Wednesday, November 30, 2011

who's that girl?

i admit it: i am totally charmed by zooey deschanel's new girl. i have a girl-crush on zooey to begin with, but i think even those of you who don't will probably agree that new girl is sweet and funny. also: in my constant and admittedly self-absorbed musings about my personal style, i have decided to take a page from zooey's character's book and begin embracing ruffles, polkadots and bright colors. (it's time to resign myself to the fact that i'm much more girly-anthropologie than streamlined-j.crew. not that that's a bad thing.)

above is a clip from new girl's thanksgiving episode -- i hope you enjoy it. have you been watching, too? do you love it like i do?

p.s. i am also adopting the term "fancy fix" after last night's episode.
p.p.s. i also have an actual crush on the nick character on the show. he's so cute.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

local loving: juno & jove.

it makes me happy when i discover local stores with not only beautiful products but an eco-friendly mindset, as well -- and sarasota's juno & jove has both of those things. priding itself on "actively supporting companies the understand business should respect a balance between people, planet and profit," the store carries sustainable, well-made pieces from the likes of linda loudermilk, swedish hasbeens, pendleton, mociun and more. whenever i swing into downtown sarasota's whole foods or starbucks and walk by its windows, i always look back over my shoulder longingly, coveting almost everything that's displayed.

it's good stuff, guys. seriously.

and since i love sharing pretty things, above are a few of my favorite pieces (those earrings and that coat, specifically, just went to the top of my wish list). it's worth spending a few minutes scrolling through juno & jove's website, though -- or, if you're local, stopping in its bricks-and-mortar location. i'm positive you'll find something to love.

p.s. juno & jove is giving away a $500 gift certificate to one lucky shopper -- you can visit the store's facebook page for more details. (you better believe i entered.)

p.p.s: more local -- well, hometown -- love here.)

photos via juno & jove, layout by me

Monday, November 28, 2011

the (holiday) weekend + committing to...

i'll be the first person to admit that i try to put a positive spin on most of my posts (have we talked about the fact that my friend kate accuses me of living in a marshmallow?), but i'm just going to be honest: overall, my thanksgiving wasn't that great, and i was really glad to get back to sarasota on saturday afternoon, where i promptly went into what i'm referring to as "christmas nesting mode." i put up my tiny tree (pictured above), i hung up some gold glitter snowflakes and i started on a couple of diy projects -- one being a huge, custom photo for my bedroom wall. and actually, now that i stare at this photo, i realized that i also actually swapped out that black frame for a much prettier white one, and it looks so much better. being at home is really making me happy right now -- i daresay it's keeping me sane.*

and in the spirit of good mental health, here are five commitments for the week:

+ exercise. for both the endorphins and the fact that i need to burn off the exorbitant amount of pie i consumed over the  long weekend.
+ make this: pumpkin and goat cheese risotto. it sounds so, so, so good.
+ pick up a curtain and curtain rod for my bedroom window. in the spirit of making my home prettier (and my random nesting), i think it's about time, don't you? especially after almost three years here.
+ start making some of my holiday gifts. (more on them after they're given.)
+ just breathe.

*daresay is a word that never fails to transport me to the pages of a jane austen novel. i kind of can't believe i typed it but i'm pretty glad i did.

photo by me

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

baked! gingersnaps (+ happy thanksgiving).

tonight i'll be heading up to orlando with two pies in my backseat -- one pumpkin, one chocolate cream -- from our local amish restaurant, and i can't wait. (i sound kind of like a pie bandit, don't i?) thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not just because i love food in general, but because i especially enjoy fall and winter flavors -- pumpkin and spices and the like.

when i saw the recipe for these gingersnap cookies on smitten kitchen, i knew i wanted to whip up a batch and maybe add them to what i'm only half-jokingly referring to as my christmas cookie menu. i had all the ingredients on hand, so on sunday night, i set about making them. not only is the recipe incredibly easy to put together, the cookies are just as delicious as i'd hoped -- gingery and autumnal and perfect with a cup of chai tea. i prefer a softer, cakier ginger cookie, as a rule, so i baked them for about 11 minutes, but deb says you can keep them in the oven for as long as 15 for a, um, snappier gingersnap.

they'd also be perfect as a garnish for pumpkin pie or, if you cook them until they're harder, as the crust for a cheesecake (preferably pumpkin also). deb also recommends them as an accompaniment to her baked pumpkin and sour cream puddings, and i have to say, i think that recipe may be next on my list...

happy thanksgiving, everyone. i'll see you back here on monday. i hope your holiday is everything you want it to be!

photo by me

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

loving: makr.

it goes without saying that it's always good to see local businesses creating cool stuff. my hometown -- winter park, fl. -- is not only the headquarters of the amazing rifle paper co., but also where super-cool purveyor of accessories and home goods, makr, has set up shop, as well.

makr makes canvas and leather bags, wallets and similar accessories, but sells furniture (see: these stools) and home accessories, too. i love the classic, modern simplicity of each of the pieces, don't you? they're the kind of things you'd have forever and that would only get better with age.

all photos via makr; layout by me

Monday, November 21, 2011

the weekend + committing to...

happy monday, friends -- and happy thanksgiving week! are you gearing up for the holiday? it's a short week for me -- i'm off thursday and friday -- and i'm really looking forward to lots of relaxation time and, of course, good food (my mom is a phenomenal cook).

that's not to get ahead of myself, though -- the weekend was delightful, and since i haven't done a monday post in this format in awhile, here are five lovely things from it:

+ encountering a park bench that had a plaque instructing visitors to "sit long, talk much and laugh often" and doing just that.
+ the best shrimp and grits i've had in recent memory.
+ the warmth of gingersnap cookies. (more on those this week.)
+ sunday afternoon spent outside, laughing and talking.
+ a generous and unexpected (and wearable!) gift from my best friend k.

...and five commitments for the upcoming week:
+ exercise. (i'm aiming for spin class!)
+ patience. (especially important during the holidays, don't you agree?)
+ more gratitude. for everything.
+ wear bright lipstick every day to work. (such a mood lifter.)
+ stay on the early-to-bed-early-to-rise track.

photo by anna inghardt

Friday, November 18, 2011

what are you doing this weekend?

i mentioned on monday that i feel like i've been regaining my sense of equilibrium, and that's true: this week i managed to get back into a lot of my regular routines (like going to the gym and cooking something for dinner more complicated and nutritious than cereal). it's felt good.

something else that feels good is that the weekend is officially upon is, and that next week is -- for me, at least -- a short week. come wednesday night, i'll be picking up our thanksgiving pies at yoder's (i love bringing a bit of sarasota home with me for thanksgiving) and heading up to my parents' for at least thursday and friday, if not the entire weekend. this will be our first thanksgiving without my wonderful grandmother, so i'm sure there will be some sad moments -- but my brother will be home, which is a welcome and unexpected treat and will hopefully balance everything out a bit.

tonight i'm having dinner with (and, hopefully, walking around for awhile with*) someone delightful, and tomorrow i have lunch plans at one of my favorite places that i don't get to visit too frequently, so i'm excited for that. other than that, there's a little work to be done but i plan on hibernating for most of the time. it just feels like it should be one of those weekends.

what are your plans? tell me, and i'll see you back here on monday!

*walking around with people i like is one of my favorite things to do; to me, there's nothing nicer than strolling through a pretty park or neighborhood, talking and taking everything in.

images by emerson merrick. i can't get enough of the moodiness of her photographs.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

like crazy.

i can't wait to see this movie. it looks like a tear-jerker and a heart-wrencher.

p.s. that's ingrid michaelson doing a gorgeous cover of "can't help falling in love" in the background.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

baked! glazed pumpkin cookies (or: a tale of leavening)

the minute i saw the recipe for these glazed pumpkin cookies on the design mom site, i knew i had to try them. they sounded like the perfect autumnal sweet treat: soft, pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y and topped with a vanilla glaze. yum, right? plus, i had a major pumpkin cake fail over the weekend, so i wanted to redeem myself. (side note: seems like it is my lot in life to have a major baking mishap the weekend of november 14 every year. see: last year's salted caramel banana cream pie debacle. weird, right?)

anyway, you'd think i'd be extra careful making these cookies, wouldn't you? yeah, nope. i totally forgot to add both a teaspoon of baking powder and a teaspoon of baking soda. i don't know how that happened -- i am generally a really good baker (even if my treats turn out a bit rustic-looking sometimes, they always taste good!) and i wasn't drinking wine while mixing or anything (which, yes, i've also done in the past, with similar results). weird.

the cookies still turned out well, at least--they just have a much different consistency than you might expect when you hear the word "cookie." i brought a plate to work today and one of my colleagues described them as "doughnutty"; i think that's apt. they're very cakelike. but you know, the flavor and the texture in combination with the vanilla glaze just works, so i'm ok with it.

if you'd like to make your own version of these cookies (with or without baking powder and soda--no judgment from me!), you can find the recipe here. happy baking!

photo of my cake-y little pumpkin nuggets by yours truly.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

loving: icemilk aprons.

how pretty and sweet are these pieces from icemilk aprons? they're almost too lovely to even think about streaking with flour and sugar...and they'd make a perfect holiday gift for the baker in your life.

Monday, November 14, 2011

the weekend + committing to...

it was a good weekend.

it began friday night, after a busy work week, with dinner at downtown sarasota's newly opened eat here (our second time in seven days). my friends had shrimp tacos, i had smoked salmon flatbread with creme fraiche, and it was all delicious. plus, the place was packed and the air was crisp and fall-like, so it was a fun way to kick off the weekend.

then, on saturday, after a day of cooking and baking (my pumpkin cake was, sadly, a failure, but my caramelized onion dip was perfect), i headed over to my friend steph's house for her birthday and our annual game night -- and let me tell you, if you have not experienced the joy of playing catchphrase with a group of your friends after a couple of adult beverages, then you have not lived. i can almost guarantee you'll laugh until you cry, and an impromptu dance party might even take place, courtesy of the musical hits of the 1980s.

i may or may not have consumed enough wine as to make me feel ridiculously lazy on sunday, so that morning was spent lounging in bed and cuddling with my fluffs, and then, later, cleaning out my closet (three bags of clothes went to goodwill, yay), cooking and laundering.

so yes, it was one of those weekends where a lot happened but it all went by quickly -- i kind of can't believe tomorrow's monday again. and it'll be another busy week, but after a few weeks of feeling a little off-kilter and out of my routine, i'm finally starting to regain my equilibrium. that's nice.

and speaking of getting back into my routine, here are my commitments for the next few days (the first list in quite awhile, huh?):

+ try out a new recipe. sometimes i forget how much i love cooking until i'm back in the kitchen chopping and mixing and stirring. anything you've been loving lately? (i'm itching to make these.)
+ hit the gym. i feel very soft and i don't like it. plus, as much as i love going to media tastings and event dinners, they are not the best for the waistline when you're not exercising regularly. spin class, here i come.
+ start thinking about/planning for the holidays. this includes everything from potential vacation days to my christmas-cookie menu.
+ keep my house spic-and-span. it is sparkling right now and i find that there's really something to the whole clean house/peaceful mind thing. (is that even an expression? oh well, you know what i mean.)
+ during a month -- and a season -- that's all about being grateful, remember to actually be so. i have so much to be thankful for. i am so lucky.

photo by max wanger

Friday, November 11, 2011

what are you doing this weekend?

happy friday, happy 11/11/11, and most importantly, happy veteran's day. (with a newly appointed marine in the family -- my brother -- plus what would have been my army-general grandfather's birthday just two days away, veteran's day has even more meaning than usual for me this year. i may not agree with the war, but i am beyond thankful for those who risk their lives on our behalves. thank you.)

so, yes, there's a lot going on today, but it's been a busy week, too: i've had after-work events every night, and tomorrow we're celebrating my friend steph's birthday with game night at her house. game night is one of my favorite friend traditions because we all inevitably end up laughing so hard we cry; plus, when you add adult beverages to the mix, you're guaranteed some pretty funny -- and quotable -- conversations. i'm really looking forward to it.

i'm also looking forward to cleaning out my closet (my house is sparkling clean, the closet is really the last piece that needs to be dealt with), sleeping in and enjoying what's supposed to be absolutely gorgeous fall weather. i really need to get to the gym or get back to the jogging this weekend, too -- all this cocktail-party food can't be the best for the bod, so that's on the agenda as well. it should be a good, fun, productive weekend.

what are your plans? tell me, and i'll see you back here on monday. have a wonderful, wonderful weekend!

photo above of my hair, which got put in this pretty, messy updo at my event last night (a local company was doing mini-makeovers). totally having this done for the next formal event i go to.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

loving: blankets (+ ceramics!) from coterie.

jane flanagan is one of my favorite bloggers, not only because she makes beautiful sentences but because she has impeccable taste -- as evidenced by the items she sells in coterie, her online shop. this textured silk and cotton throw, in particular, made my heart beat a little faster when i saw it -- it's the kind of thing that would be perfect in anyone's home.

p.s. i've got my eyes on those porcelain votives in the second photograph, too!

images via coterie

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

to market, to market.

just a pretty picture of an outfit i plan on shamelessly copying this fall.

dress, cardigan, tights, cute shoes. yes, please.

Monday, November 7, 2011


hi, guys.

life sure has been busy lately. between halloween, a trip to the sweet, sleepy little town of beaufort, s.c., last week for my brother's marines bootcamp graduation (!), a weekend guest, and the tangle of a crazy worklife plus the upcoming holidays, i haven't had much time to blog, much less sit still.

but this week should be less crazy, and there's lots to share (and get caught up on), so i'll be back soon.

until then, i leave you with this thought, which i really like and which reminds me of this quote.

see you soon. xoxo