Friday, December 31, 2010

Auf Wiedersehen 2010!

Today is the last day of the year....eeek! Over the past 12 months we've had so many adventures that I'm almost hoping 2011 is somewhat of a calm(er) year. In January we were jumping on frozen lakes in Ithaca, in March I wrote a break-up letter to to our 'gorges' town, I flew to Seattle in May to visit my sis for the annual Cheese Festival and Chris finished his grad program (yippee!), from June to July we zoomed around Europe (collectively one of the best experiences of 2010, except for when people thought we were sibs), a week later we packed our things and moved south, and since then we've been settling into our new Richmond neighborhood we now call home. To finish things off,  we've also had the good fortune of spending the final two weeks of the year visiting family and friends in California and Oregon. After all of this running about I'm ready for a long winter's cat nap in my own fluffy bed (with my own fluffy cat).

Whew! See you in 2011 and thanks again for reading!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hello, breakfast.

Plates of sugar cookies, nights of endless feasts, and lots and lots of wine. The eating never stops. A warning to Continental Airline employees: I'm going to have to be rolled off the plane. Magic cookie bars (layers of butter, grahams, chocolate chips, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk) are in the oven right now. Never before have I needed a New Year's resolution so badly!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Home for Christmas

It's finally here! We arrived in Portland this morning---our flight was even early---and spent the afternoon eating cinnamon rolls, drinking coffee, and opening presents. We were in California for the past couple of days (where this picture was taken) without any internet access, so I'll be posting our adventures at Disneyland as the week progresses. Now off to relax, feast, and partake in the annual viewings of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street and It's a Wonderful Life by the fire. A merriest Christmas to all of you!

P.S. Can you tell someone was trying to give us bunny ears this picture? Sneaky, sneaky.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And We're Off!

Another White Christmas clip for you---I can't resist, this is probably one of the best Christmas movies out there. I watched it over the weekend and am always blown away by this tap number with Vera-Ellen and John Brascia. She makes it look so effortless in her little mustard yellow outfit and heels.

In other news...we're off to California today! I'll be posting here and there over the next two weeks, but I expect us to have a jam-packed holiday break. Enjoy the last few days leading up to Christmas and be sure to squeeze in as much cookie baking and Christmas movie watching as you can!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas Darling

What a weekend! We wrapped presents, listened to Christmas music and got some things in order for our upcoming trip to the West Coast. On Saturday we met some new friends at Balliceaux, and I could have sworn I was back in Portland. We stayed for live music and drank Dark & Stormys that really packed a festive ginger punch (the Dark & Stormy intrigue began after reading this).

On Sunday morning we celebrated 'Christmas #1' to exchange gifts that were unpackable for Portland. Husby got me a fantastic radio + iPod dock (so excited to listen to NPR and my new French album)! Santa is bringing his present to Portland, so more gift-giving ahead!

P.S. We're leaving tomorrow. TOMORROW. Eeeee!!!!! Must pack.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'll Drink to That

These sweet ceramics were available in Portland for "Little Winter" (I discovered them via some pictures posted after event). I wish I had gotten my hands on one before they all sold out online! My favorite is the optimist cup---guaranteed to make you smile in the morning before heading out to take on the world.

Have a festive weekend! Only one week until Christmas Eve!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Favorite Things

As previously mentioned in this blog, I have been a longtime fan of The Sound of Music. "My Favorite Things," for me at least, has always been associated with thunderstorms, pillow fights, and sibling harmony orchestrated by a kindly governess. This is why it perplexes (read: annoys) me that it's become a shoe-in for a handful Christmas albums. The version below by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass Band is probably my favorite (and the only one I can tolerate)---it makes me want to do a Christmas polka or something.

Also, I've wrapped my Christmas gifts this year as 'brown paper packages tied up with string' to switch things up a bit. With the red and white baker's twine I found at Crate & Barrel and the DIY idea from Design*Sponge, they look like they've just arrived from the North Pole. Or Fräulein Maria's musical imagination.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One Week!

Exactly one week until we fly out to begin our Best Coast Christmas! In California we're looking forward to spending time with old friends, a trip to Disneyland, and the huge Christmas Eve party with 30+ relatives. A few days after that we'll be in the beautiful city of Portland eating my dad's famous Christmas morning 'cinnamon buns from heaven,' partaking in the annual girls' downtown shopping trip (my mom, sister and me) and seeing as many of our beloved Portlanders all the way through the new year. I. Can. Not. Even. Wait.
[Image via Squidoo]

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good Morning, Old Man Winter

I woke up this morning, quite sniffly and sick
But I looked out the window--"It really did stick!"
And what with my wondering eyes did I see?
At least an inch of snowfall, and each tiny flurry.
I love festive weather, especially this time of season.
Looks like Trudy does not (I think I know the reason).
A happier morning I could not have had
(except for my's making me mad).
Hoping tomorrow brings the same kind of weather
And that watching movies at home makes me magically better.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Have a Cozy Weekend

I think some Christmas movies, down blankets, and hot chocolates with Baileys are in order this weekend.

Portland in two weeks from tomorrow!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I'll be honest--I absolutely judge books by their covers. A poorly designed cover turns me off to picking up the book and actually reading it. It makes me want to hide it in public. If one book has the option of coming in multiple exterior designs, I might even pay a smidge more to have the cover of my choice. That's why I am loving these Penguin Classics in beautiful hardcovers. I want a whole bookshelf of them. And lucky for everyone, these editions are on sale right now at Anthropologie and Powell's.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas on the Rocks

With Christmasy movies on every night and a multitude of festive lights about town, I thought I'd share this excerpt from David Sedaris' Holidays on Ice. The story is called "Six to Eight Black Men" and is about Sedaris' discussion with a local about Dutch Christmas traditions. Earlier in the story he finds out that the Dutch Santa is skinny, lives in Spain, used to be the bisop of Turkey and threatens to beat up kids who have been bad that year. Oh, and he does this all with a posse of six to eight black men. Who used to be his slaves and are now his friends. Find the whole story here.
While eight flying reindeer are a hard pill to swallow, our Christmas story remains relatively simple. Santa lives with his wife in a remote polar village and spends one night a year traveling around the world. If you're bad, he leaves you coal. If you're good and live in America, he'll give you just about anything you want. We tell our children to be good and send them off to bed, where they lie awake, anticipating their great bounty. A Dutch parent has a decidedly hairier story to relate, telling his children, "Listen, you might want to pack a few of your things together before you go to bed. The former bishop from Turkey will be coming along with six to eight black men. They might put some candy in your shoes, they might stuff you in a sack and take you to Spain, or they might just pretend to kick you. We don't know for sure, but we want you to be prepared."
 Pack your bags, kiddies. Santa's a-comin'.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Disneyland Ruins Everything

Well, except Disneyland.

I lived in Southern California until I was four years old. I have one set of grandparents in the San Diego area, and the other pair lives roughly thirty minutes from Anaheim. Needless to say, I've been to Disneyland. Probably more times than I can count. There is definitely a sense of magic when you grow up watching princess movies and then, as you are led down Main Street though the giant castle only to come out on the other side to see flying Dumbos, your little adolescent head is filled with dreams and rainbows and bibbity-bobbity-boo-ness.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hibernation Preparation

The stockings are hung and the windows are caulked. The apartment is aglow with festive lights and not a breeze is to be felt through the closed windows (anymore). Christmas music is on continuous play and I'm counting down the days until we're back on the West Coast (two weeks from tomorrow!!!).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gift Guides

There have been so many wonderful gift guides floating around in blogland lately. Joanna at A Cup of Jo is posting new lists everyday for each person in your family, and Design*Sponge posted some fun ideas for various budgets. 

A few weeks ago I discovered a treasure---hands down my favorite holiday helping guide this season. Gifted is an online magazine with embedded links, so when you see a great gift idea you can click on it and voila! The website appears before your eyes. Brilliant.

Have a lovely weekend! We are meeting friends on Saturday to drink hot chocolate and watch the Richmond Christmas parade. It might even snow a little! [Image via How's Your Weekend?]

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And the winner is....

For the ugliest driver's license design.....drumroll please...

I should have taken a clue from my time at the DMV. I had never seen a Virginia driver's license before, but I didn't have high hopes. When I stepped up to the counter to file my various forms of paperwork to register, re-title, and the license the car, I had no idea they would only give you one try for your photo. Or that they wouldn't let you approve it before it went off into DMV no man's land. Or that you couldn't even smile with your teeth. Things were doomed from the start.

So I'll look like a dweeb, I thought. What can I do? Then it came. In the mail. Last night.