Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh Jenna

Jenna Lyons that is.  Like Vanessa Bruno's home, hers is one that I could look at a million times in a million magazines and blogs and never grow tired of.  I'm always searching through my folders to revisit images for client inspiration, so I thought I'd put them all in one place for ease. And although you've probably seen them time and time and time again too, I'm sure you wouldn't mind just another peek, right?

The simple palette is cool and playful, youthful and sophisticated. And it all does perfect justice to the beautiful architectural details that she's blessed with.

(Images: Domino, Living etc, Levenson McDavid, at casa)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


 Happy Christmas season!!!!!!! I hope the main event was as delightful for all of you as it was for our family. I think it was the best one yet!

We spent the week leading up to Christmas in Williamsburg with both sides of our family. Everything about the trip was lovely--the chilly but sunny weather, the singing, the beautiful colonial decorations, the girls' happy hearts and good moods, excellent food (eaten perhaps a little too frequently).

The only bummer was the fact that I left my camera and phone in the hotel lobby. Thankfully Williamsburg is probably the safest place on earth and it was Christmas eve, so it was turned in, and should be making its way back to DC sometime soon I hope. So being sans camera on Christmas morning I don't have any Christmas day shots to share, but instead I'll leave you with one of my favorite Christmas season recipes.  It's my take on Darby's insanely delicious honey butter. It's easy to make, way addictive, and impossible to get wrong. The girls love to help make it too. We like to make a bunch and give it out as hostess gifts and treats for our guests that pop in over the season:

Spiced Christmas Spread (perfect on toast...and everything else!)
  • 3 Sticks of Butter
  • 1/2 cup of Honey
  • 1/4 cup of Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp. of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 6 Lady Grey Tea bags  (the secret ingredient)
 -Butter should be softened at room tempature
-whip butter until smooth and fluffy
-stir in honey, powdered sugar, and brown sugar and mix until blended
-add cinnamon and orange zest and blend
-tear open the Lady Grey Tea bags and stir in contents one at a time until
-blend for a few seconds, and divide into containers (we use 5 oz ikea spice jars and add fabric and twine to the top)

I usually measure ingredients by eye, so it turns out slightly different with each batch. And I also like to experiment. The orange zest and brown sugar are new this year, and so far I've heard only good things. So if you haven't already felt the guilt on Christmas indulgence set in, go whip up a batch and enjoy!

(Images: 1: Merriment Events via Snippet & Ink, 2: me)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recycled Angels

Forgetting our grocery bags last week turned out to be a good thing, although you might not have believed it if you happened to have spotted some wildly dramatic lady in the parking lot last week letting out an exhausted d word when she realized she had forgotten them...again....

But thankfully for the good of her saintly children :) she managed to pull it together, embrace her imperfection (and abundance of paper bags), and put a few bags to work. We are making ornaments this year for presents, and these angels are the latest. They take no time at all, and can be made with things that you probably already have around the house.
Start out with a bag:
cut out a shape (we did angels, but we're also thinking about doves and gingerbread boys). For this part, I cut the shape out while the bag was still intact (doubled up) so that I would have 2 perfect sides without having to trace and recut a second side:

Then we flipped them around so the design side was in, and Maddy took over with the sewing:
For MollyGrace, I pre-poked the holes with a needle, so that she could sew more easily without poking her little fingers:
Then we added a little stuffing. We used some from a stuffed animal that Koa (our dog) had decapitated that morning. But you could also use cotton balls or newspaper...or if you're extra fancy, real stuffing :)
Continue to sew up the remaining edges before attaching a little twine to the back with an extra stitch (or glue). We used newspaper for the wings:
and glued them on over the twine in the back:
We used another piece of newspaper for our scroll and stamped it with Christmas messages, but names of recipients would also work.

Oh, and PS, a little gloating--I won my first ever giveaway!!!! I checked out Ally's blog, last night just before going to bed, and I couldn't believe it! I was so excited I couldn't sleep...which absolutely exhausted Rich was extra thrilled about. I kept telling him, "I won something!! I won something!!! I WON something!!!" I think the light fixture is really cool...Rich shared my excitedment for about 2 seconds before showing him the picture, to which he responded "It looks like a wigwam"--total buzz kill Rich! The girls like it though, so I least I have someone to share my excitement :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Natural and Simple Christmas

I love the glittery lights of Christmas, and the glow of reds, and the sparkling golds, but I also delight in simple touches that make me appreciate the bare branches and the awesome whites and the few remaining greens of the season.

(Mari Erikkson of Angel at My Table blog)
Newsprint is my wrapping paper of choice. I still remember getting a gift form my uncle, whom I absolutely adored growing up, and it was wrapped in newspaper...can't even remember what the present was, but I though he was the coolest just for the wrapping paper. And I admit to feeling just a little as cool myself whenever I wrap up a gift in newsprint :) You can check out more newsprint inspired Christmas decor in a recent article I did for Apartment Therapy. 

Oh Branches, oh branches, you get me everytime.
 (Etsy seller Frenchie Flea)
And burlap, you're a runner up in my heart.

 (Etsy seller One Gift World)

One More Peek At A Danish Modern Christmas

I was just sent more pictures of the Danish Embassy's Creative Christmas, so I thought I'd share a few more highlights. All are taken by the very talented Dakota Fine for the Danish Embassy.

 (the design students along with 2 form last year's Creative Christmas )
 (all the food was divine, but I revisited this table of duck with apple and prune chutney more times than was probably proper :)

(and me with beautiful Nicole)

Thank you to the Danish embassy for an awesome night, and to the very talented design students who made the celebration so special!
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