December 13, 2010

Industrial Pink

I really appreciate a space that combines different aesthetics for an eclectic look that still makes sense.  If you were a fan of the now-defunct Domino, or if you currently read Lonny or Rue, then you know what I mean.  I love this industrial loft (via) that is outfitted with some decidedly feminine touches without going over-the-top-girly.  The contemporary touches like the stainless steel dining table and the neutral wall color keeps the bright pink (honeysuckle, perhaps?) grounded and in proportion with the other design elements. 

December 11, 2010


Photos of the Spades's (Andy and Kate, natch) have been making the internet rounds of late, but I love all things Kate Spade so I'm posting them, too.  Enjoy!


(more images via The Selby)

December 10, 2010

2011 Color of the Year

Thanks to The Beauty In Everything for the inspiration for this post!  The Pantone Color Institute announced yesterday that Honeysuckle (Pantone 18-2120) as the 2011 Color of the Year.  I grew up in Mississippi where honeysuckle grows in abundance, and honeysuckles will always remind me of waiting for the blossoms to appear each spring and summer. From the Pantone site:

While the 2010 color of the year, PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, served as an escape for many, Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.

I enjoyed virtually flipping through the Spring 2011 Fashion Report from the Pantone Color Insitute as well, and now of course I'm ready for Spring, although DC had its first snow flurries of the season today.  The grass is always greener!

Morse Code

I recently came across these morse coded necklaces and think they are precious.  You can choose from a variety of code words, such as love, lucky, Mom, swell, etc., or you can request your own code word with special meaning.  For around $36, they're very affordable and a great idea for holiday happies.

December 9, 2010

Tree Skirt 101

After trying to find a tree skirt for my Christmas tree that a) didn't look like it cost $5.99, b) didn't cost more than $80, and c) didn't look like I made it [I mean me, specifically], I saw this post on Design*Sponge about sewing your own reversible tree skirt.  I'm actually really happy with the one that I found, but in case you're a bit more DIY-esque than me, this looks semi-easy and kind of fun!

Recent Readings

Settle in, I've been doing quite a bit of reading lately.

In my last post, I mentioned that I recently finished Let the Great World Spin (by Colum McCann), winner of the 2009 National Book Award for Fiction.  I had high expectations for this book, and while I'd rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars, I didn't like it as much as I wanted to.  The story centers on the intersecting lives of several residents of New York in the 1970s--an Irish immigrant monk and his brother, a heroine-addicted hooker and her daughter (and her daughter's daughters), two young artists playing fast and loose with life, and a group of women who meet each month to discuss the loss of their sons in the Vietnam War.  The novel is extremely well-written and showcases the New York of August of 1974, the same month that French tight-rope walker (funambulist) Philippe Petit danced across a wire strung between the Twin Towers.  While the novel ends on a hopeful note, it takes the reader through some difficult and desperate twists of fate to get to the light at the end of the tunnel.  I honestly believe if I had known less about the book before I began reading it, I would have enjoyed it more; I expected to read more about Petit, and he is merely a minor character in the novel, though his own story has been published as well.

Just prior to Let the Great World Spin, I read Still Alice, by Lisa Genova.  I thought this was such a moving story, told from the first-person perspective of Alice Howland, renowned professor of psychology at Harvard, who slowly succumbs to early-onset Alzheimer's disease.  Alzheimer's frightens the ever-living $@#! out of me, and it runs in my family, but I found this story moving, compelling, and somewhat haunting.  From the outside, the minds of those suffering from dementia seem like such a maze of thoughts and memories, and reading this book somewhat illuminated what that experience is like with the reader.  I appreciated the insight into how Alzheimer's can affect not only the family of the afflicted, but also the (albeit fictional) perspective of the person suffering from the disease, particularly when the sufferer has spent her life being praised and recognized for her brilliance and intellect.  Scary, enlightening, interesting, and a story of family sticking with one another through difficult times.

Before Still Alice, I finished Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy that begins with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and ends with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  If you've read my previous posts (here and here, respectively) about this trilogy, you know that I had mixed feelings about the first book.  Parts of it were extremely graphic and difficult for me to read, but I remained intrigued by the story of Lisbeth Salander.  I really, really enjoyed the second book, and the final chapter did not disappoint.  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest picks up where The Girl Who Played with Fire ends, and the action doesn't stop until the final page.  The third book aims to tie up many loose ends, and there seem to be quite a few convenient occurences; however, the mystery surrounding Lisbeth's life keep the story's momentum going throughout.  Instead of merely confronting her enemies, Lisbeth must now either destroy them or face her own destruction; since she's lying in a hospital bed for the majority of novel, she's got a problem on her hands.  I'm glad that I finished the trilogy since I enjoyed the story much more than I initially thought I would, and I'd recommend it to you if you are a) still reading this blog post, and b) like stories that involve espionage, government conspiracies, and lots of action and suspense.

Between The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and Still Alice, I attemped to read The Corrections, by Joseph Franzen.  I'd read some great reviews and thought the story sounded amusing, smart, and possibly controversial, so I was ready to dig in.  Not even 200 pages in, I put it down and haven't picked it back up since.  This is significant, because I rarely don't finish a book that I begin.  In fact, the only other book that I can immediately recall not finishing was a Janet Evanovich book, and those things are just terrible (unless One for the Money was just a truly amateur effort).

Okay, done.  Still with me?  Bueller?  Bueller?

December 2, 2010

Pumpkin Dip

My book club met last night to discuss our latest selection, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (more in my next post).  It was my turn to host at my apartment, and I appreciated the motivation to have my Christmas decorations in place before I had visitors.  I actually considered not putting up my tree this year, but I'm glad that I did.  (And I'd like to take a second to comment on tree skirts; I didn't have one last year, and when I sent my mother a picture of my tree this year, she was horrified that my tree wasn't fully dressed.  Let me just tell you, a decent tree skirt that at a decent price is hard to come by.  Thank you, T.J. Maxx!)

While we always make time to discuss the book, we actually spend more time catching up over dinner and drinks.  Since I'm no chef, we ordered pizza for delivery, although I did make some delicious pumpkin dip, served with Ginger Snaps and Nilla Wafers.  This is actually my favorite variation on pumpkin dip so far, so I've shared the recipe below.



8 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup pumpkin
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg


Let cream cheese warm to room temperature. Mix the cream cheese and pumpkin. Then add the powdered sugar and spices. Serve with Ginger Snaps or Vanilla Wafers.

December 1, 2010

So Holiday

Thanks to my darling sister for sending this my way (via Twitter); Kate Spade has shared the new holiday campaign via the Kate Spade Facebook page.  I love the colorful and whimsical styling of these shots, and if you're looking for anything to buy me for Christmas, look no further!