bean boot

This Maine Hunting Shoe®, 10" seems like the perfect boot for all of the urban-to-rural transitioning I'll be doing over the next couple of months. Plus, I think 10" boots can be incredibly flattering. (They also seem like they might be able to battle the upcoming Chicago winter. Eek!)

Available for $104 from L.L.Bean.

[photos by The Sartorialist]


I'm excited to go home to my farm in a few days, and then again over Christmas. I feel so happy and self-sufficient in the city, but then my heart melts when I'm surrounded by my family and old friends. I can't wait to see my nephew, take a trip to the winery, watch football with my dad, help my mom with flowers for a wedding, read, cook, and eat. Did I forget my sister in there? Yes. I'd like to see her too.

[photos of my pond by Samuel: Christmas 2008 and Christmas 2009]


he ate it

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”
- Maurice Sendak

I couldn't help but re-post.

[Catherine Campbell, via Vic]


the tin

My friend Ashlee read an article over the summer that told the story of two best friends who lived on opposite sides of the country. To supplement now-and-again phone calls, they began sending a metal tin back and forth, filled with little gifts and memories. Ashlee and I share the same fondness for many things: travel, books, adventure, aging, tall tales, surprises, mail and each other.  So, of course we shared excitement when I made the decision to go in search of a tin.

Two weeks and five thrift stores later, I decided to just buy the one I had originally bookmarked on ebay. (And don't be fooled by the $12.95 price tag—I bought it for $2.99 plus shipping.) This first shipment was a "back to school" package of sorts: a nice notebook, an air plant for her desk, my favorite easy-to-make granola, and a watercolor card. We decided that with each package we'll include a card that lists what's included, and the significance of each item. Needless to say, tears have been shed upon reception of this little box.

And I'm happy to share that Ashlee's flying into Chicago tomorrow morning, and I'll get to hand deliver her next package. I couldn't be more exxxccciiitteedd.


the whole story

I thought photo albums were a thing of the past, but these creations are like tiny pieces of architecture. "The Whole Story" is a project by Debra Folz, who just finished up a graduate program in furniture at RISD. I'm obsessed with that first image. (Are they melting? Or flying? Wait—did they just fall and land that way?) And as if their beautiful upright structure isn't enough, the spines come off in order for the book to unfold accordion style.
These photo albums were designed to fall off the shelf and land in your life, living amongst you the way the memories do, inbetween the spaces of everyday, yesterday, and tomorrow.

[via Design*Sponge]


my boyfriend

...baked this bread and took this photograph. Aren't they beautiful?


sunday breakfast

I feel like I'm always plugging Martha, but this one actually came as a recommendation from my friend Molly—mmm, pumpkin pancakes. I always wake up in the morning for work and think about how lovely it would be to sleep in. Now, I finally have a day off and I've been up and at it since 7 a.m. I pretend like this frustrates me, but I'm actually a very happy Sunday girl. Hope you all feel as cozy and motivated as I do.
PUMPKIN PANCAKES makes 8 to 10
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
a pinch of ground cloves
1 cup milk
6 tbsp canned pumpkin puree
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
1/ Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together milk, pumpkin puree, melted butter, and egg; fold mixture into dry ingredients.
2/ Using a skillet over medium heat, pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup.
P.S. Sorry for my recent infatuation with the morning. I feel winter approaching and know that my mood often correlates with the sun. So, I'm going to soak in as much as I can!

P.S.S. "Winter approaching" also means the holidays are approaching. I'm getting so excited for family, friends, good (the best) food, and handmade gifts. And if you haven't seen it already—and are a "Christmas person"—have a look at Gifted Magazine.


so, good mornin'

...good mornin'! Sunbeams will soon smile through. Good mornin', good mornin', to you.

This photo was taken at 7:30 a.m., on the 80th floor of the Aon Center. I was there bright and early for Crain's Small Business Forum, and had a disposable camera in my bag. It's always a pleasure to get up with the sun, and having complimentary breakfast in a cloud is nice, too.


a listen

I heard this song on Morning Edition today and was quite smitten. I've been in such a folksy mood lately, and I've always been a sucker for good harmony. It's unbelievable that those voices come out of those bodies.

Enjoy. xx.

[The Water, Johnnie Flynn and Laura Marling]

cat party

After talking for months about having a cat party, it finally came. I made these salted caramels, this chocolate cake, and this apple cider. Then, we played a competitive game of cationary (like pictionary, but only using words that contain "cat," e.g., catastrophe, catechism, and vacation). Finally, we all winded down with our mugs of cider and watched Simone Simon seduce in black and white.
She was marked with the curse of those who slink and court and kill by night!
Oh, didn't all of the kitties look so cute?