Friday, December 23, 2011

what are you doing this holiday weekend? (have a sweet one!)

happy holidays friends -- hanukkah, christmas and whatever else you might celebrate! until next week (and possibly until the new year), i hope you have a warm and cozy weekend that's exactly what you want it to be.  i feel like christmas came early for me (see: last weekend), so anything else is icing on the cake.

here's to a weekend full of peace, love and lots of cookies.

if you're in need of a sweet stocking stuffer, i highly recommend theo chocolate bars -- not only are the paper wrappers pretty and festive, but the flavors look great. (i used the milk chocolate in my peanut butter cookies earlier this week and am smitten.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

baked! the most ridiculous peanut butter cookies ever.

i haven't been feeling too well this week, friends, but that hasn't stopped me from cookie-baking -- it's just slowed down the process a little.

i've been dying to try molly's salted peanut butter cookies since she posted the recipe a few months ago. i'd actually been looking for a good peanut butter cookie recipe for awhile, and in that search had made a batch of peanut butter cookies prior to reading molly's recipe that were sadly subpar -- quick, yes, but lacking the substance i've come to love in my favorite cookies (in other words, lacking the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and chocolate -- oh, chocolate -- that this recipe includes). they were, in a word, disappointing. i almost gave up the search. then i found this recipe and decided i had to try it. i was just waiting for the right time.

turns out, tuesday night was the right time.

in spite of not feeling great, i got to baking after a quick trip to whole foods to purchase some fancy chocolate (i figured hey, why not go all out for this recipe?). i measured, i mixed, i chopped chocolate and i even used my handy-dandy ice cream scoop to make sure the cookies were perfectly round (and, honestly, to make sure they were large-sized). i knew when i tasted the dough and discovered that it tasted like the peanut butter inside a reese's peanut butter cup that these were going to be good cookies.

i was not disappointed.

if you want to try them yourself, the recipe's here. the dough comes together quickly -- not unlike any other cookie recipe -- but the key is to use a natural peanut butter (which will provide a more authentic, stronger peanut flavor) and good-quality chocolate (i normally use ghirardelli for everything and love it, but i really think the theo chocolate i bought added something to these cookies). also, as molly notes, you want to use milk chocolate here instead of semisweet or bittersweet. i use ghirardelli 60 percent bittersweet chips for my chocolate-chip cookies and would be hard-pressed to change that, but again: the milk chocolate takes these particular cookies from awesome to other-worldly. if you try them, please let me know how you like them.

photo by me

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

a life we loved.

the new york times magazine does an annual feature called "the lives they loved," in which readers are invited to submit photographs of people they loved who died during the previous 12 months. my aunt judy sent me the link this morning and asked me if i wanted to write something about my grandmother.

of course, i said yes.

i'm not sure if our paragraph will make it online or into the issue; i guess we'll see. but i thought i'd share this funny picture of my awkward 12-year-old (i think) self, my seven-year-old brother and my wonderful grandmother, who wore her hair in a french twist every day for 50 years and loved her family more than anything.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

winter wonderland.

the past weekend was one of the most perfect i've had in a long time. there was snuggle-worthy sweater weather, amazing live music that drifted from little cafes onto the street, a cozy dinner at a charming restaurant, long walks by the water and hot cocoa in styrofoam cups. but i keep coming back to those lights...

photo by me, taken in st. augustine

Friday, December 16, 2011

what are you doing this weekend?

happy friday, friends -- we made it to the weekend (and the last weekend before christmas, at that!). have you finished all your shopping and baking and prepping? have you made your new year's plans?

i'm finalizing all of the above -- next week will be the great cookie bake of 2011, and the final slew of holiday parties -- and this weekend i'm going out of town (and doing a little early gift-exchanging while i'm at it). i'm really looking forward to it; it's always nice to get away and i've been feeling a little off-kilter lately, anyway (a bit snappy, less motivated to exercise, etc.) since thanksgiving, so i think it'll do me good.

posting will probably be a bit lighter around here until the new year, but i'll still be around -- and until next time, what are your plans for the weekend?


photo from rue magazine

Thursday, December 15, 2011


love everything about this j.crew model's hair and makeup. my hair is at a weird in-between stage and i can't decide whether i want to grow it out or cut it again, and i've been hemming and hawing about getting ombre highlights put in for months now. this hair is totally pushing me toward doing it, though -- it's so subtle and golden-glowy. new year, new look, maybe?

(this post brought to you by the letter "v," for vanity.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

a little sweet.

i had some dreams / they were clouds in my coffee...

just a little something sweet for your wednesday.

photo by nikole

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


just a little pretty for your wednesday, via the talented anna ådén. looking at images like these is one of the few instances when i feel like i wouldn't mind replacing beach views with something like the above. just for a little while, anyway.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

loving: oh leander

so, how sweet are these pieces from oh leander? i love each and every one of them, but that "hello, sunshine" mug, in particular, has stolen my heart.

photos via oh leander; layout by me

Monday, December 5, 2011

the weekend + committing to...

happy monday, friends. it's looking like a busy week ahead -- full of projects and dinners and more pulling-together of christmas gifts for friends and family. things may be a little quiet around here (although i've got a sweet etsy shop to share with you tomorrow, at the very least), but i'll try to check in later in the week. until then, here are five happy things from the weekend:

+ (speaking of presents) baggu totally coming through on holiday gifts this year. i can't recommend them enough.
+ a long walk around my neighborhood, which i don't do nearly as often as i should.
+ the pumpkin and goat cheese risotto i mentioned last week. totally delicious.
+ gingerbread lattes. yum.
+ an impromptu, wine-fueled friday-night dance party with friends to the rap hits of the '90s (think: notorious b.i.g. and tupac.) totally hilarious.

and five commitments for the week:

+ patience. i really need some.
+ ice cream. (yes, you read that right.) i think it's about time i try out my new ice-cream maker, don't you? any flavors you absolutely love that i should try?
+ a new book. not sure what it'll be yet, but i'm open to recommendations. (i just read mindy kaling's new one, is everyone hanging out without me? and other concerns, and loved it. highly recommend.)
+ outside time. the weather has been perfect -- highs in the 70s and low 80s, lows in the 50s and 60s. i love having my air conditioner off.
+ and i'm recycling one from last week: just breathe.also: remember this thought -- last paragraph.

have a great week -- what are your goals for the next few days?

gorgeous photo by karin mathilda

Friday, December 2, 2011

what are you doing this weekend?

happy friday, friends--we've made it: to the end of the week, to the start of the weekend, to the beginning of a new month, to the last 31 days of the year. crazy, no?

after a not-that-great thanksgiving weekend, i mentioned on monday that i came home and promptly started nesting, which means i'm already pretty well-ensconced in the christmas spirit. i've got my cookie menu almost all planned out (expect a slew of baked! posts soon), my gifts (most of which are homemade, all of which come from local and/or small business) ready to go and my house decked out with a bit of sparkle (like that sweet gold snowflake, above).

what are your plans for the weekend? i'm making a trip to ikea tomorrow, i think, plus i've got after-work plans tonight that include some of my favorite faces, so all of that will be fun.

and i'm trying really hard to focus on the spirit of the season instead of the blatant materialism that i see going on right now. don't get me wrong: i will always enjoy reading gift guides, i love shopping and i'm drawn to pretty, sparkly trinkets just as much as, if not moreso, than the next girl. but i find myself slipping into a crazed "buy! buy! buy!" mindset too easily around this time of year, so i'm making a conscious effort to step back and remember that what's most important is spending time with the people that you love. it's not always easy, but it's worth it.

happy weekend, everyone.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

back to december.

happy december, friends.

here's to a month of peace, joy, calm, hope and lots of cookies.

photo via