Monday, February 23, 2009

House Beautiful

I used to work at House Beautiful magazine and I think this is where my passion for home decor comes from. I learned so much while I was there, from interior design and decorating to the logistics of magazine layout and publishing to event planning. I will be eternally grateful to the then Art Director who taught me all I know about InDesign and Photoshop and how to layout a magazine page. (Thanks Alice!) It was at House Beautiful that I got to work with Eddie Ross before he moved on to Martha Stewart. You might recognize him from Bravo's Top Design or from his inspiring blog. My co-workers were some of the most creative and talented people that I've ever worked with. With the recent onslaught of shelter magazines, I realize that House Beautiful is an entity all it's own. It has been around since 1896 and it's here to stay. So thank you, House Beautiful, for all you have taught me. I look forward to many more years of beautiful homes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Can't Resist You...

Hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day! Unfortunately I was sick so I didn't quite have the romantic weekend I was expecting. We stayed in and had a Friday Night Lights marathon instead. Anyway, Mike was super sweet and got me flowers from my favorite flower shop in Ithaca and picked them out because they reminded him of our wedding flowers!

He also got me a sweet card from my favorite store, Terra Rosa (you must check it out if you are ever in the area) letterpress even! Wow, he was really on a roll. Such a sweetie.

The only thing? He got me the same card for our anniversary six months ago and I've had it up on my bulletin board ever since. No wonder he said the card looked familiar to him at the store! Aww... at least I know he REALLY can't resist me!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I *Heart* You

I can't believe Valentine's Day is just around the corner! It seems like yesterday when I was making my cookies and treats for LAST Valentine's Day. Since Love Day really crept up on me, I haven't done much planning or cookie making. So I think I'll post about what I did last year. Here it is, 2008 style!

Tea for Two

One of the simplest handmade gifts to make are tea bags with personalized tags. Remove the old tag, cut colored paper into two hearts and sandwich the tea bag string in between. Write your favorite sweet saying and viola... you're done!

Valentine's Day Cookies

I love a good butter cookie and this recipe is the best I've found. The cookies are rich and crumbly and taste like butter! That is why I call them
The World's Best Butter Cookies:

33 min | 15 min prep
48 cookies

* 8 ounces unsalted butter
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1 large egg yolk
* 2 cups all-purpose flour

1. Beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla together until
smooth and creamy.
2. Mix in the egg yolk until well incorporated, scraping
down the sides of the bowl at least once.
3. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated.
4. Scrape onto a lightly floured board and knead a few
times, just until the dough smooths out.
5. Turn onto a sheet of plastic wrap, refrigerate for
several hours or freeze.
6. Before baking, preheat the oven to 325°F.
7. Line your baking sheets with parchment.
8. Roll out until 1/8” thick. Cut out with cookie cutters.
9. Bake until JUST beginning to turn golden around the
edges, about 16-18 minutes.

The frosting is a simple Royal Icing Recipe:

* 3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
* 4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
* 6 tablespoons warm water

Mix well and add food coloring as needed.

The Finale:

Package your goodies in clear cellophane bags with ribbon, add a homemade card and you've got yourself a memorable Valentine's gift for anyone to enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

House Love

Have you picked up a Better Homes and Gardens lately? I've always thought of BH&G as a mom's magazine, not that there's anything wrong with that, but compared to some of the younger home magazines I just thought it would be a little out of touch. NOT SO. I happen to LOVE the home interiors. They're fresh, modern, perfectly styled and totally livable. In fact, one of my dream homes is featured in BH&G. I'm smitten with this house. Check out BH&G and you might be smitten with the mag too.

I love Cape's... they're just so New England-y.

The color palate of this house is perfect...neutrals but with pops of color.

Classic, all white kitchen with marble counter tops. The builder white washed the beams and added spruce floors to "add warmth and texture."

This makes the house for me... I adore the cozy sitting nook off of the kitchen.

The dining room is slightly rustic but still very refined.

I love the idea of a 3 season screened in porch. It instantly adds room and character.

(All photos from Better Homes and Garden, Feb. 2008)

Monday, February 2, 2009


I'm into nesting. I'm not going to lie... I really love it. There is something so gratifying about creating a cozy home and making my family (hubby and pup, for now) comfortable. I can't wait for the day when we actually have a house and have little munchkins running around. So right now I'm really loving this song by Feist. It completely describes how I feel. Take a listen:


Helping the kids out of their coats
But wait the babies haven't been born
Unpacking the bags and setting up
And planting lilacs and buttercups

But in the meantime we've got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay

Old dirt road,
knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow...

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house oh
And we'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done oh

How many acres, how much light
Tucked in the woods and out of sight
Talk to the neighbors and tip my cap
On a little road barely on the map

Old dirt road,
knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow,
Old dirt road rambling rose
Watching the fire as we grow
Well I'm Sold...

- Feist

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's the Little Things

I've finally gotten around to a "project" that I've been meaning to do for forever. "Project" is in quotes because really, it's such a simple thing that I could have done ages ago but laziness and procrastination always get in the way. In my attempt to be more organized, I finally collected all the buttons that I've had lying around in my jewelry box, in my desk drawers and scattered around the apartment and put them in a pretty container. Now when I'm looking for a replacement button I know exactly where to go. It's the little things, people.

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