Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Grinch Cookies!

This holiday treat is just easy enough to be kid-friendly and just tasty enough to be adult-friendly.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
1 egg
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks


1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.

2. Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

thanks for nothing

I absolutely hate writing thank you cards.

I came to terms with this fact after spending a restless night NOT sleeping and instead stressing about the thank cards I had still not sent for the lovely gifts Sweet Pea got right after he was born (he is now 3 months old). So with husband and child sound asleep, I got up out of bed at 4 this morning to finish up writing my notes and it all took my less than a half hour. Seriously. It is ridiculous as to how I can (and do) procrastinate over certain things. I am always on top of the laundry and dishes, but writing a friend back? Impossible for me to do in a reasonable amount of time. Maybe it's the perfectionist tendency I have when it comes to writing. It's something I'm supposed to be good at and so I obsess over it to the point of not doing it at all. So for those out there who are due a thank you note - it's in the mail, it I owe you an email - I'm working on it, and if you are waiting for any thing  else from me - write me a note and maybe I'll get back to you this summer.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We'll see you guys on Monday. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Image courtesy of
A beautiful centerpiece and great company can make a dinner truly memorable even if the cuisine is not Iron Chef-worthy. I say this because it is more likely I can put together something special for the table than develop my mum's cooking skills before Thusday!
Here are a few pretty options...from simple floating cranberries to autumn roses, there are numerous options, but generally I think less is more.
Images courtesy of pinterest,, pinterest,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

the first year

It what has become a spontaneously themed week on anniversaries, I just want to throw my own modest celebration into the mix - my one year wedding anniversary. Just over a year ago I married the sweetest man I've ever met in a ceremony surrounded by those we love most. It was the start to what has been one heck of year that has included major home construction, the completion of a dissertation, and the birth of one smiley and squeaky little boy. We are tired, but also very happy. And even though we really, really hope our next year is just a teensy bit less crazed than this past year, we look forward to collecting up our own autumns in the years to come.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Five Autumns

This fall marks five autumns since we moved from the city to, well, the country really.
Five autumns away from our lives of late night dinners with friends, last minute road trips, and those weekend mornings involving multiple, uninterrupted cups of coffee.
Having a baby really does change your world.....having three babies in five years, flips it all upside down.
Five autumns of first steps, runny nose maintenance, constructing perfectly jumpable leaf piles, and picking pumpkins. Five autumns of waking due to scary Halloween dreams, writing names for the first time, and learning to wave bye-bye.

I was thinking, when I watched my youngest blow her sweet and sloppy 8-month-old's kisses.....five autumns of babies or toddlers and every little incredible thing they do and are- that is something that won't come around again.
So, I should pause and celebrate a five autumns of wonder and more happiness with the changing of every leaf.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy 50, too!

Image courtesy of pinterest
This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the film version of West Side Story, starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. There has been much written and done in celebration of this anniversary, including this feature in Life magazine, and a whole series of numbers on the show Glee.
My favorite song from the film and musical is the swoon-y "Somewhere", but I am posting the jazzy dance/song number "America" because it showcases the incredible talent that appeared in that production 50 years ago.....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy 50

Fifty years ago, an architect, Norton Juster, and an illustrator neighbor, Jules Feiffer, created The Phantom Tollbooth. It has since become a touchstone of Children's Literature and my ten-year-old nephew's Christmas gift.
I could go on about the wildly imaginative world these men concocted half a century ago and extol the many ways in which this is a tremendous example of the Fantasy genre, but really when the book gets a shout out from The New Yorker, that says it all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"the world offers itself to your imagination"

 Just some poetry on this chilly fall day...

"Wild Geese" 
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
{image via wehearit}

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall Baby Shower

Last weekend I threw a baby shower for my sister. I knew from the beginning that since the shower was happening at the end of October I wanted a "little pumpkin" theme, but after looking all over, I was disappointed with the cartoon-y options.
I wound up using some scrapbooking accents, real mini pumpkins, fresh fall flowers and some DIY cupcake toppers to make it come together.
She was very happy with I was very happy with it :).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

fall strolling

Sweet Pea and I are presently in love with weather that is finally and consistently brisk. It makes our daily walks both more energizing (for me and my homesickness for Northern falls) and lulling (for him and his coziness under a woolen blanket and hat). I really wish it was like this all year round...

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
- George Eliot

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

autumn arrangements

Image courtesy of elementsofstyleblog
Wouldn't it be lovely to have floral arrangements in your home at all times?
When I worked as a librarian at an Interior Design firm, they had arrangements brought in nearly weekly to scatter around the office.....nothing like a fresh orchid on your desk to get you through the day!
I love these autumn floral designs- it is not just time for gourds and corn husks folks....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Paris vs New York

I might be late to the game, but I LOVE these prints by French graphic designer Vahram Muratyan in which he cleverly compares Paris with New York. So vibrant. So cool.

(I do, however, have to admit that I would love to see someone do something like this with a non-glamorous town and make the locals proud. Fuquay-Varina, NC anyone? Can I hear it for Hoboken, NJ? Even with other - less popular - world capitals would be awesome).

Images via Paris vs New York blog and shop.


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