Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a tale of arts and crafts furniture...

I've been trying to determine what style of furniture I like lately.

I had a short love affair with Danish Modern style, and as much as I do adore it, it's cold and also very expensive to execute properly. I'll save that style for my NY loft someday.

I have fallen in love with the Arts and Crafts furniture lately sometimes (although different) also referred to as The Mission style. I love clean lines, organic elements, and timeless styling. I think the style best fits my personality.

The most popular colors used in this decorating scheme include very natural colors (such as beautiful muted greens) and neutral backgrounds. I love the dark wood, and I've always loved the time period. Here are some pictures.

This is a Morris chair named for the philosopher. It's very iconic for the style...
Wood everywhere....
Tiffany lamps are also very traditional for the style...

Here's an awful picture of a typical Arts and Crafts style dining room...

So be honest what do you think?

Friday, December 26, 2008


I feel simply fanciful!

I really hope you will read my previous post from less than 24 hours ago, all about my very "very" Christmas. But I have a second and would like to say hello again.

I think the reason I feel fanciful is because I'm wearing these delightfully fanciful striped tights. They aren't necessarily striped in the "I'm in first grade, and I like pink and purple" sort of way. They're a bit more sophisticated. They're grey and black striped, with an ever so fanciful bit of sparkle, or rather a shine. I'm wearing them with a very grown up grey wool skirt and a muted teal turtleneck. Occasionally I glance down at my legs and feet and see the tights and some very pretty patent leather Mary Jane shoes and thing to myself... fanciful indeed.

You want to know what else makes me feel fanciful? Christmas baking! I shall fulfill my need to bake over the weekend. Including my friend Liz's coffee {!} pecan {!} fudge {!!!} I shall also attempt this recipe for layered peppermint bark. And.... a whiskey soaked dark chocolate cake {!!!}

Tomorrow night Mr. Brandon and I will be celebrating 2 years together{!!!} We will be having a very nice dinner out. I will be purchasing something fanciful to wear. (Don't worry, there will be photos.) Seeing that 2 years is quite the dating accomplishment. (As far as I'm concerned.)

I plan to take advantage of some after Christmas sales today. I could really use some new (and potentially fanciful) clothing items. I found this sweater on sale at Anthropologie. Do you like it? I think it looks fun and handmade, like something you'd find in a rather exclusive boutique. One frequented mostly by artsy women who prefer to be cozy. I can completely envision myself wrapped up in this sweater. I just might order it!

I might also take my little sister out for a fanciful night together, to see the Zoo Lights. (Accompanied by some pizza of course!)

I'll let you return to whatever you were doing... I just wanted to type for a few minutes.
Have a very fanciful day! xoxo

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

This was a very "VERY" Christmas. Just wait until you read this post. You'd think that "very" is my favorite word. I had a very wonderful Christmas, read on...

Yesterday was slightly tiring but completely worth it. I sort of almost passed out during the Nativity liturgy... but I didn't. It was the hot, tired, hungry, thirsty combination. I think my sweet choir director might just hate me! (Sorry about that Margaret.)

The feast was fun. Exchanging presents and the Christmas greeting with friends was a very wonderful feeling. Sadly, although my blog might have indicated otherwise, I was not quite in the Christmas spirit until Dec. 24. It could have been my June Cleaver complex, or my insistence on never saying NO, or maybe the fact that this was the first Christmas I had a "real job." (Did I tell you guys I got a promotion, I'm now the "marketing and sales support assistant." I think it has a nice ring to it!) Basically I got completely stressed out, complete with a knot in my shoulders that felt like a baseball.

My sweet boyfriend made a very good point. He pointed out that since we were fasting we were on a journey, and it wasn't supposed to be particularly enjoyable. Fasting isn't always the easiest thing to do, and sometimes the extra services during a fast make my loathe my feet. But the tough part is over, now I've got 12 days to celebrate. The journey was definitely worth it! CHRIST IS BORN!

Quick overview of Christmas day:
My family woke up later than usual and opened the presents.
I got:
  • 2 very cool handmade (by my awesome mother) aprons. I can't wait to show you the pictures!
  • A very nice colander
  • A sweeper-vac for my apartment. It's super cute and dark blue. No you didn't miss anything I don't have an apartment yet. I'm currently saving money.
  • A really cool paint set from my siblings. It was a very cool and thoughtful gift!
  • Some trouser socks, I really needed them. We have a chilly office.
  • I also got a very nice jump start on a new apartment furniture fund. (I think I left something out.)
Then we had brunch. Ah glorious brunch! My strata was all I hoped it would be! And we had chocolate chip pie for dessert. Don't you love brunch for its ability to justify dessert with breakfast.

Then I used my beautiful food mill (from my boyfriend) to make some very buttery, very cheesy mashed potatoes to take to his house. We played with our new toys, my mom got this really cool digital die cut machine, we had lots of fun. Oh, how could I forget, we watched A Christmas Story on TBS. I adore that movie!

We went to Brandon's house and there were MORE presents. I got:
  • A really nice set of Calphalon knives from B's parents. I never thought I'd have such a nice set of knives!
  • Some lotion and smell good stuff from Victoria's Secret from B's sister Courtney. She was probably tired of me stealing her lotion every time I came over so she bought me some of my own.
  • And a very very cool motorized pepermill from B's sister Ashley and her husband James and lil' Justin.
A very good day! I'll give you more details later. I'm exhausted, and I have to work tomorrow. (It's a fair trade off, I'll be working the phones tomorrow while we have a skeleton crew in exchange for a day off on the 2nd of January... that's right I get a 4 day weekend next weekend. Wanna play?)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

dear friend. how i have missed you...

Let me introduce you to my old friend, Miss Dairy. I haven't seen her in ages, close to 40 days! My how I have missed her...
I hate to associate the Nativity of Our Lord with dairy products. But, it is a FEAST! A feast is the time to pull out all the stops, we have fasted for 40 days, and what better time to break a 40 day long fast than Christ's birth! And oh boy do we feast.

I started my Christmas cooking tonight. So far I have made egg salad for the Nativity celebration Wednesday night/ early Thursday morning. I thought about deviled eggs, but have you ever transported deviled eggs? I would rather just smush it all together and have egg salad! Plus, we'll have deli trays catered (with meat, cheese, and bread) so us [lacto/ovo/pesca] vegetarians will have something other than meat to eat with our bread!
I also prepared a very eggy/cheesy Cheese Strata for Christmas morning. It's a family tradition. It consists of cubed bread soaked overnight (or longer) in an egg, cheese, and milk mixture. This year I added some onions and minced parsley to try something new. I also dairy-ed it up a bit by using half and half. Oh and the butter, there's lots of butter cubed on the top of the strata before it goes into the oven. It tastes rich but almost has the texture of a souffle. I cannot explain how much I love this dish!

I also plan on making my ever present brunch staple... CHEESE GRITS! I'm sure my family will make some bacon, or country ham, or maybe sausage. I could use some smoked salmon with my brunch, maybe I'll pick some up tomorrow. And we'll have coffee, duh! I'll be having mine black.
And I can't forget the candy. We always get candy in our stockings, and yes we eat it with our breakfast. I really love those hazelnut rocher things. When I was a kid I thought their commercials were so elegant, and I insisted on trying them. I think I had pretty refined tastes for a kid! Later I would discover the joys of pure dark chocolate, but I still enjoy the rocher goodies. The love of these little chocolate hazelnut wonders would later result in my Nutella obsession...
See, from the looks of that commercial, you can understand my intense desire as a child to try these. Sheer elegance, in that gaudy 90's sort of way!
Tomorrow is a pretty long day. (Luckily I'll have the day off.) The services will start with the Royal Hours at 7:30 AM. Then there will be a Liturgy at 9:00 AM, but this isn't the big one, not yet. Then at 9:10 tomorrow night Orthros will begin, then around 10:30 the Nativity Liturgy will begin. It's going to be a pretty long day. But completely worth it. I can't wait!!! Talk to you soon, if I don't see you again before Thursday... Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

yes, 8 days, i am aware.

I haven't posted in 8 days. I've been so busy I didn't even feel guilty about it! My calendar is really ready to be retired for the year.... it's been getting a workout. I've even put several appointments in the "notes" section for 2009.

Bring on the weekend. It'll be the last one before Christmas, so I have quite a bit of baking to do!(Or homemade pasta making... do you think people would like fresh pasta for Christmas presents? Hmmmmm.) And parties to go to... quite a few parties. I do enjoy a nice party. Oh and those cards. I need to send them (or give them, have you seen the price of stamps these days?)

Happily most of my partying is going to happen in the days after Christmas. Which, as you know by now, is when Orthodox people do the celebrating. I've never quite had a year where my agenda is full from December 25 onward. I like it.

Gotta run! Hope the season's going well for you! Only one more week! Then we get to say it... we get to say CHRIST IS BORN!!!

(ps- for those of you who aren't Orthodox the response is: GLORIFY HIM!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

but would june cleaver do it?

I really didn't want to do it, but I work and I'm busy, and I just didn't have the time!

The thought's still there, right?

They'll love them, right?..... I'm probably too young to have June Cleaver inferiority issues!

Honestly, it isn't that big of a deal.... it's only ONLINE SHOPPING!!!

It was just hard for me. I realize they won't even know if it's from the Internet. I just feel like it's so impersonal. Honestly, I think my biggest hang-up is that June Cleaver wouldn't online shop!

Ok, that's a really silly reason. I can't really explain my semi-guilt for online shopping... If I could explain the things that go on in my silly little head then I'd be a very boring person!

Let the packages be shipped... only 15 more days!!!