Monday, November 11, 2013

New Home

Pssst.  I don't know if anyone is still out there but if you are, I have a new internet home.   Pop over and say hello.  I miss you all.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

For Walls, For Hanging

Lord Bodner's Octopus Print at Jonathan Adler's Georgetown Store
When Mary was here we spent a lot of time shopping, as we always do.  We are suckers for silk scarves and vintage purple leather (thank you Good Wood) but I was obsessing over art apparently.   Every photo I took was of art from the vintage horse poster to the Jonathan Adler Octopus in Georgetown.  Apparently I am in the market. 

Munch poster at GoodWood

Polo Poster in Foundry

The cheapest most beautiful mirrors at GoodWood

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Documerica, Part II

EPA Gulf Breeze Laboratory Biologist is Dip Netting for Contaminated Female Shrimp, this is for a Study of Whether PCB is Passed on to Their Offspring , 07/1972 by Bill Shrout

So months after first blogging about how much I wanted to see Documerica at the National Archives  Mary and I finally went on Monday and it was amazing.  As good as I hoped and twice as gorgeous. The exhibit was smaller than I would have liked and the majority of the photos were of people. You can’t help but wonder where that bride is now and why she looks so grim and what the smiling biologist found.  I'm so amazed by how modern the family living in the bus look, the parents could be hipsters in any American city in 2013.  This gorgeous government funded project yielded thousands of photos and they are all on the National Archives website available for hi-res download. I’m so tempted to blow up a few of these pictures for my already too crowded walls. Here are a few of my favourites. 

"The painted bus is home."  by David Hiser, Rifle, CO, October 1972.

Mary's favourite hometown art - Great Kills Park, Staten Island 5/1973 by Arthur Tress

Photograph of a bride and her attendants in new Ulm, Minnesota by Art Hanson

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Books, For Small Hands, Eyes

When I married David I inherited nine nieces and nephews, now there are ten of them under the age of ten and.  I have become the unavoidable cruel aunt who gives books for presents.  Because she doesn't think you need anymore plastic that can splinter and lodge in anyone's septum, because she doesn't believe in electronics for children and because she loves books more than most other things.  Because she is so so sad that the nieces are too old to get Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady and that no one ever bought it for them when they were small so that they would know that the greatest thing you can do is plant lupines and live near the sea, better if you can do it in Maine (this is a fact).   I have to keep a running list so I don't get Grandfather Twilight for the same child for two occasions in a row

Two of the nephews are turning four this summer and I think they need some books about the sea and the summer.  Maybe because I'm feeling deprived with no time at the sea, the boys are getting books of boats, and sand and water and old men who live by the sea and keep boats patched.  Books of water colours.

Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man By Robert McCloskey
Time of Wonder By Robert McCloskey
All the World By Liz Garton Scanlon

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cool and Blue

There is something about DC in the summer that compels me to leave the city.  I want to buy boat loads of fruit and grill and spend my days floating around in a pool.  Luckily my Oldest-and-Best-Friend (she of getting married and naughty little sisters and helping me wrap my bouquet along with swimming lessons at the age of 9 and fort building and college break visiting and teenage shenanigans fame) and her husband bought a house.  An hour and twenty minutes up a highway are complete with pool and grill and spare bed big enough for David and me.  A weekend of faffing around in their pool, eating her glorious cooking and talking about politics, religions, books, TV and recounting the mid-90's upstate New York strife with the Oneida Indian Nation to our husbands who, not having been there, couldn't possibly care less.  Coming back to work today feels like a tragedy.  I'm making her come back soon.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Tomorrow we are trudging down to the Mall with about 700,000 other people to watch the national fireworks.  We are going to attempt a picnic (we got this Picnic Basket as a wedding gift and it needs more exercise), I'm thinking olives and bread and goat cheese and pate etc., little nibbley things, cookies. Also if you tuck a flask in the lining of the bag you should be able to get it onto the mall.  This summer I've resolved to be better at keeping the sun off of myself (it's not actually going so well) and I'm loving spray suncare products.  I don't care what they are, I just wan to be able to spray instead of the rubbing in that is definitely not going to happen.  Add a straw hat (mine came from Ross' and was six bucks but it's similar) and some sunglasses and if we end up spending a couple of hours under the sun eating olives we won't mind.  I'm obsessed with these Mexican blankets that you can get anywhere and they make great picnic blankets.  Because I'm the ass who on St. Patrick's day wears black and tells everyone to go fuck themselves (apart from being the granddaughter of an Irish citizen) I refuse to wear red white and blue.  I'll wear grey and mint and coral.  I'll throw a book and a magazine (YA dystopian crazy makes me so happy in summertime and certain magazines that make me feel guilty for not being able to sail are too fun).  The fireworks will be amazing, they always are and on Friday we are off to my parents farm to swim and hang out in the backyard and maybe ride some horses, eat my mother food.  Enjoy the long weekend.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The End of an Era

View from the office, not actually in Washington
I will miss Google Reader.  Right now I'm flipping between Feedly, Newsblur and Bloglovin.  I don't like clicking on the headlines on Feedly, Newsblur only lets you follow 62 blogs (and I follow about 120) and Bloglovin' seems slow although I think a lot of bloggers like it because you can see their ads.  Feedly (currently my favourite) doesn't let you know when someone updates though without refreshing the page. When you spend the entire day at the office reading blogs and being a bum you really want to have the auto update.  Blurg,  bring back Google Reader and keep my life happy and easy.

In other news, it's a grey, grey week in Washington.  Sweltering hot and overcast and raining. I hope it lets up by Thursday.

Friday, June 28, 2013

This Friday

friday loves

I am loving my new J.Crew rhinestone necklace and would like to wear it with everything please and thank you; this Himalayan Trading Post 'Fleur de Lys' Candle - it smells magical and it's beautiful and you can get it in DC at GoodWood;  This gorgeous painting by  Lulie Wallace that wants to hang over my couch; and these Honeyed Sunreaders that are on super sale right now.  I also love strawberries and sleeping in.  I might just eat strawberries and read in bed all weekend.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To do this summer

Breakfast chez moi

I'm feeling compelled to make lists recently.  The summer is already in full progress and I have so much more I want to do before it gets cold again.  Having a list makes it seem more reasonable.

1) Spend a day at the beach
2) Can peach-lavender butter, peach salsa
3) Can blueberry syrup and chutney
4) Can tomatoes, in sauce, salsa and paste
5) Can ALL the pickles, a winter full of fresh crunchy pickles
6) Picnic on the mall
7) Swim in Tres' pool
8) Go on a weekend trip (to Philly, to Lancaster? To NC?)
9) Plant basil and thyme on the windowsill.
10) Go to Union Market
11) Go to the drive in theatre again

I know this is a universal truism but time really is speeding up as I age.  I don't like it one bit.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer time

It's amazing how quickly the summer gets away from us.  Dave was out of town last weekend and I had my sisters in, next weekend a friend from college is visiting, the next two weekends we're out of town and then Mary visits and the next thing you know I'm 27 and it's August.    Summer gets away so quickly so I'm trying to make sure I take the time to leave the city to swim in my sisters pool in Rockville and leave our neighborhood to do some of the cool summer things around the city.  This weekend we went to U St to shop and then the Zoo and Eastern Market (oh the jewelry at eastern market!). 

On the first of our weekends visiting my sister and her pool and her delicious spicy canjun shrimp pasta we brought her our second couch so we can finally rearrange our apartment.  Which has led to some furniture rearranging and eventually it will lead to some art buying.  Now that 20x200 is gone -where do we buy art?   Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

If anyone needs me



Barbra Streisand

Barbra wearin’ a hat!

I will be lost for days in this tumblr of Barbra Steisand in hats.  YOU ARE WELCOME.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I have no money and my job may or may not be super dead-end and I am exhausted due to a late night out with an undergrad friend and ready to climb under my desk to nap and why is my desk so messy anyway and wouldn't it be nice if offices had tea carts like British trains and brought round tea and Crunchie bars? I think it would be very nice indeed. Oh and here are some beautiful jewelles that I would like to wear on my fingers.   Thursday, let's power on through.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Cleaning, Upholstering, Organizing, Culling, Moving, Rearranging

This has been my spring of discontent.  I'm really uncomfortable in our apartment, it has too many things in it, it's too small and there are a lot of little things that are driving me insane. I resolved to fix the things that caused me to feel bad and not worry about everything else (my life is not a photo shoot).    In the spirit of the 30 x 30 list (I've already made an appointment for #25 the facial and I'm saving up for my painting) I decided to make a list of concrete things that will make our apartment easier to use, more comfortable.  Things that alleviate guilt and make help our house feel homier. 

  • Get the leg fixed on Nana’s desk
  • Move couch to Elle’s and rearrange furniture (my little sister needs a couch and I have one too many)
  • Put glass in corner cabinet
  • Purge glassware and vases etc (this means ALL the Ball canning jars.  Does anyone have a good method of storing those little bastards?)
  • Replace plates with something that won’t score and chip constantly
  • Purge books (seriously, just do this one)
  • Come up with system for mail (maybe an old letter holder)
  • Get table for entryway (I have fantasies about a tall narrow apothecary drawer thingy or a card catalogy looking thing, a drawer for dog leash, for David’s keys.  I can't find a reproduction one that isn't gross and I can't find an antique one that fits my incredibly strict size limits,  now that Ikea doesn’t sell Moppe anymore I have fantasies about getting my parents favourite furniture maker to make one)
  • Frame Pennant (YES! For Christmas Dave got me the vintage HC pennant I’d been pining for!)
  • Get chair from Mom and Dad’s (remember this sucker?)
  • Reupholster chair (with what magestic magic?)
  • New Living Room Rug (like this?)
  • Living room art (rearrange, reassess with rearranged furniture)
  • Entry way light fixture (how do I hang it over a bare bulb? Can I make this or is that cray?)
  • Welcome mat (to keep the never ending mess tracked in on pet and human feet in the hall. Now, what kind???)
Phew.  Just writing it down feels like a start.  What are you working on this spring?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Art Museums and White Ware

at Som

This weekend we had friends from out of town and we went to museums and ate lots of Chinese food in China town and spent hours in Room and Board and Home Rule and Good Wood because these friends love a good vase as much as me. 

We've been stressed and Dave's been finishing finals but having visitors drags us out of our corner of the District and makes us visit museums and leave our routine a bit.  It's a nice change of pace.

Also: I managed to not buy this record of Richard Burton reading John Donne.  I'm a sucker for any reading of The Relique. "All Meas

Friday, May 10, 2013


I should never have asked Mary is getting mounted butterflies was ethical.  She said if I got them used it was.  And the floodgates of ebay made me want to live in my wedding dress with Helena Bonham Carter hair and cover my apartment walls with butterflies.  Because THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Rainy Mondays

Coming back to work on a Mnday after a weekend at the farm is officially a terrible thing.  It's rainy and cold and there isn't a pony or a fuzzy dog or a sweet sister in sight.  My sister and I made throw pillows and the other sister is a pro with eyebrows and took care of mine and one of them bought me this mascara and it is as good as they say it was. My pretty curling hair isn't even curling because of the rain, it's just frizzing, and I've got to start the trip down HELL lane that is becoming a vegan for three weeks (my MD is insisting).  Is there anything worse than Mondays?

Teatowel, $16.50

Friday, May 3, 2013



I’m off to my parents farm this weekend. I’m seeing my stylist (I always go back to the same girl who has been doing my hair since I was sixteen) for a keratin treatment (I hope I look like Veronica Lake magically afterwards) and maybe a trip to the flea market to keep an eye out for a cake stand or some lovely blue mason jars. Every time I’m at the flea market I want to be one of these people who buys things in the country and sells them on Etsy but I might not be on top of it enough yet to do that.  Instead I'll just keep an eye out for all the things the Best-Friend-From-High-School needs for her new apartment.  My littlest sister and I are going to make throw pillows with freezer paper stencils (my new fave) and I’m going to eat all of my mother’s delicious cooking.

  Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Foxes, Flowers


The thing I don't like about living with David, living with any man really, is that you can't have as many pink things, as many things with flowers and maybe little foxes.  I wonder if I could talk him into one on the gallery wall?    Kari Herer's gorgeous animals with flowers are among my favourite things I've seen this year.   



Everyone has heard of freezer paper tutorials at this point.  I'm late to the party but what a party.  My twin sisters turned twenty-four and one of them (the teacher) got a rad tote bag.  My bag making method is basically two big rectangles sewn together and then turned inside out and then sewn again (my mum calls these french seams, I assume she's right) and then handles.  Here is my incredibly simple explanation of how to freezer paper stecil with the shakiest iphone photos ever:

I printed my design out on regular paper (and the BIGGER and simpler the design the better when you starting) and I taped it onto a cutting board.  Then, with the shiny side down, I taped a layer of freezer paper over it.
You could trace and then cut but I just used an exacto knife and cut through both the regular paper and the design beneath.  You are aiming to have the negative space intact so I cut tiny bits out of the E rather than worry about keeping the E intact.

Then I placed the E with the shiny side down onto the fabric and ironed it on high without the steam setting.  I paid extra attention to the edges because I wanted the edges of the E to be crisp.  Then I painted my fabric paint on with a foam brush and when I was done I peeled off the freezer paper and left it to dry (no photos of the painting part,  I was unnecessarily concerned and got paint on my fingers like the glamorous mess I am).
And then I made myself this knitting project bag.  Can I stencil hearts on ALL THE THINGS?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cards, Birthday

Do you send birthday cards? I try. I really do. When I read the Happiness Project last year one of the resolutions that resonated most strongly was her resolution to send an email to her friends on their birthdays. There are a lot of people I love and it’s not really sufficient to just love them alone in my apartment, I need to reach out. So I’ve been trying to send birthday cards religiously. Even if it’s the only time I reach out in the year it’s something and the thought of getting a card and mailing it in advance of their birthday seems to mean a lot to people.


  For a while I bought Rifle cards in bulk but at this point, with David in school and in a much more expensive city, we are DIYing. This afternoon I sat down and designed four cards that will hopefully cover the birthdays of sisters and friends and cousins and coworkers and the babies of friends. I thought tomorrow I’d swing by the printer and get a bunch run off and keep them in my desk at work with regular old Paper Source envelopes. I’ve set up my birthday alarm and hopefully I’ll keep on top of it. I hope they print well.

All cards the product of me and my computer.

Window Boxes

Window box

Our apartment has deep wide windowsills (so deep and wide that a family full of squirrels hang out and tantalize the cat).  Since we've moved in I've wanted to do huge window boxes just sitting on the sill and it's on my 30 x 30 list to plant a container herb garden.  The weather seems to be good and ready to stay warm and I’m already planning my weekend alone (Dave’s got finals) and paper flowers won’t keep me busy all weekend so I think I might try my hand at a window box to fill with herbs. I’m planning on two boxes in the kitchen with herbs and maybe two off of the bedroom all filled with colourful annuals. The inspiration boards of plants will keep me going until Friday.


Grow your Own Grub from the BBC
Herbs for Every Window Box
Budget Friendly Window Box Garden

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sisters!

Twenty-four years ago today I woke up late and learned that the babies had arrived and they were both girls.  Identical twin sisters just for me.  I was pretty excited and wandered around Chicago announcing to anyone who gave a shit that I was their big sister and they were welcome to congratuate me on my good fortune.   Happy Birthday, Sisters!  I hope this year is your favourite one yet!


Tuesday Morning Flowers

Now that the weather finally seems to nice and staying nice I'm leaning into the flower obsession.  I try to buy flowers once a week and this weekend I might stop at my favourite flower market on my way back from my parents' house to pick something lovely for the week.  It's so nice to have a big arrangement on the sideboard in the living room and I have heart that waking up to flowers in your bedroom makes you happier all day (well duh, and also - not very scientific).  Just looking at the pictures in The Flower Recipe makes me happy.  Joanna has posted a couple of very simple recipes this morning for you to test run.

Monday, April 29, 2013


This is the best thing I have ever seen.  I luff the Queen.

Happy Monday.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Paper Flowers, Set of 6, Quince Blossom, Dark Coral

My experience with West Elm has been really mixed,  I ordered Christmas presents that were then backordered (after I paid) until March and only after ten calls and a bunch of really unattractive tweets did they acknowledge this and then attempt to make it right (which looked like just sending half the order and canceling the other order).  Then for birthdays I gave it another shot (because my brother REALLY needed this and my sister needed a house warming gift) and they came and they were beautiful (if slow).  So the fact that I have a deep and abiding need for this rug is source of irritation to me.  Despite the mixed bag that is WE, I'm loving their paper flowers and they have inspired me to try making some of my own before I buy some.     These crepe paper pink flowers are my favourites and this crepe paper bouquet is fun, a few of these on my desk might be just the thing.  
Crafting, a trip to Eastern Market, some roast chicken and a special project for the twins birthday are all on my weekend agenda.  I hope yours is scrumptious. xoxo

Thursday, April 25, 2013


If you've ever seen a picture of our apartment, even at it's very tidiest, you will notice that it is FULL OF THINGS.  We moved our big apartment in Durham into a very small apartment in DC and I wasn't ready to get rid of all the things.  Now my sister is in her own apartment in Rockville and it's time to pass on one of the couches to her (maybe a bookshelf) rearrange and donate.  I've been scouring the interwebs for good ideas and here are some of my favourites:

Apartment Therapy's January Cure (can be done in may though)
Laura Miller on the Well Tended Bookshelf
The NYT asks authors what books they can live without
Young House Love's Organizational Projects
Declutter Tips and Tools from Design Sponge

And my favourite tip from Gretchen Rubin.  She was having a hard time parting with some of her daughters things but once her sister was having a baby she was quite happy to hand them down to him.  She recommends finding a place you'd be happy for things to go.  I know it's so much easier to offer some of my favourite things that no longer fit or just don't get worn to my sisters rather than just send them to Goodwill.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Just in case you want to join me in getting a little twisty and then eating tiramisu for breakfast some time, here is the very best tiramisu recipe of all time.  VERY. BEST.  I know because it's my mums.  Also: she scans recipes in and sends me the exact recipe she uses, so you should add the 2T of Kalua and know that 16 oz of cream is FINE apparently.  And get a big trifle bowl.

Monday, April 22, 2013


David is now 28 which feels like adulthood.  I am still only 26 which feels like the very edge of youth. His parents came to town and we had lunch (and tiramisu) and went to the Air and Space Museum and then went to the movies and had pub dinner and home.  Happy Birthday to David!