Plants and piles, and piles of plants.

It's dark and rainy here but I'm spending my four-day weekend with friends and food, and some really lovely Christmas gifts. I was emailing with Cassie yesterday about the New Year and I couldn't help but say that I was "pumped" for 2012.

Pumped, I am.


Getting everything in order before an early flight tomorrow—dishes, laundry, email, work. We'll be gone for nearly a week and it's nice to return to a clean home, ready for new things and a new year. So, the leftover sweets were taken to work this morning and the needy plants are together for a friend to water. (I wish they could always sit on the dining table like that.)

Don't expect too much of me around here. I'll be someplace where the internet is not as easy to find, and I'm glad for that.

Happy Holidays, friends. I hope you're warm and cozy, and with the people who mean the most. So so much love to you.


Around here today: 

1/ I made sticky buns—do you know how much butter's in brioche? You don't want to—and Sam cooked up eggs, bacon, and potatoes.
2/ Map of the Midwest from the 1890s, when ND and SD were simply "Dakota" and Oklahoma was "Indian Territory."
3/ Gifts and things: nut bowl and vintage ornaments from my mama, movie from my boss, books for/from everyone.
4/ There's a chance you might not be as excited about this as I am. But! Sam got me a vermicomposter. WORMS, guys—can't wait.
5/ Finishing up a project and coveting some extra large needles for a bulky scarf and hat.
6/ Gorgeous.

Sam and I exchanged gifts early this morning since we'll be busy all week before rushing off to see our families. Then, Dan and Maggie came over for breakfast and we all sat around in our pajamas, ate, drank coffee, listened to some records, and read the paper. A lovely and relaxing start, but the pressure's on for this week.


Hi there! It's gonna be a big next five days or so. (Hopefully I'll have time to share some of it.)

Happy Friday.


A big thanks to Elise Yetton for asking me to contribute to "Wanted this Week" on her blog Pennyweight. She's quite the curator of beautiful things and one of the friendliest voices I've heard online—an inspiration, to say the least. Thanks again, Elise!

You can see more details on my picks (and pics!) here.


Around here today:

(1) Christmas shopping for my nephew was more fun than I expected
(2) Fried egg sandwich with prosciutto and pepper, and a giant latke
(3) "The Nutcracker Suite" spinning all day in the background
(4) New Moleskine for 2012, upgraded in size from my usual (already started planning trips, goals, and projects—typical)
(5) Shadows on the newly-appointed Christmas bench
(6) Pine cones I've been collecting from the tree out front

I'm conquering a giant list today, but rewarding myself in the end. This dough is chilled and ready to be baked and I'm considering making some egg nog. I hope you all are having a relaxing evening! It's cozy here in my nest.


New sofa. New print.

We joked with one of the residents of the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative about always being drawn to graphic black-and-white artwork. He pointed us to a few bright pieces and we thought we were on the right track . . .

We couldn't help it (especially because of the Gertrude Stein imagery, since I just finished this).


It's the holidays around here.

P.S. Sam built us a coffee table—quite literally in the last photo—a couple of weeks ago, which we're still going to sand and stain. The wood is leftover flooring from the brewery and I ordered the hairpin legs from ebay.


Enjoying wearing my hair in a mess on top, just like my mom does (except hers is thick, brown, and curly). When a piece falls, I pin it back up. Wait a couple days and it'll be a nest.

[Photo by Sam]


This is such a beautiful time of the year, with so much change and love, and cold and warmth. I always look forward to the giddy feeling, but the month of December repeatedly passes me by. So, I'm making a conscious effort this year to take it slowwwly, really cherish, and participate in projects and activities that I find meaningful.

I put together this Advent calendar after work today for my friend Ashlee who's in Louisville, KY, pushing through another term of grad school—she probably needs more of reminder to slow down than I do. But, after being excited by reading it through I decided I'll also be participating, and you're invited too. (I'll warn you that bits might be a little cheesy, but so are a lot of things we create for the people we love.) Don't go further than the specified day! (You cheaters.) And, feel free to customize by changing location, gender, etc.

Happy December. Cherish it, yea? (If you're having trouble viewing the embedded preview, go here to see it directly. It may take a while to load.)


I'm continuing to teach myself to knit. Molly gave me this book for Christmas last year, which I've found very helpful.

Listen to this song.


We made buckwheat crêpes this morning. Well, I put everything together and Sam was in charge of spreading them to the perfect thickness and flipping them in the skillet.

first three ingredients sauteed together
•  •  •

•  •  •
this chocolate-hazelnut spread
whipped cream (whipping cream + powdered sugar, beaten until stiff peaks form)


Around here today:

(1) Lula Magazine and Brian Ferry's Quality of Life
(2) it's such a gorgeous little book
(3) newly-framed artwork: Edgar Allen Poe drawing by my friend Caroline and horse print by Paul Ferney
(4) vintage Persian rug from the flea market last weekend—it's worn, and torn, and perfect
(5) hers and his
(6) windows open all day
(7) I swear I made it this morning

The weather was a perfect 60-degrees and the birds sounded so glad. I listened, and made curry, and now there's pumpkin bread in the oven. Ohp! Now there's pumpkin bread outta the oven.


We found a secret path last Sunday, where I met geese with hair like George Washington. Today we're up early and renting a car for 24 hours.

Here's to some adventure! xx


It was Halloween yesterday. Molly and Eitan went as each other; Andy was a vampire (with his Harry Potter cape from when we were eighteen); and, Sam was a "kid brother" even though he was Ernest Hemingway on Saturday night. Oh, me? Werewolf. Every year.

I made:
Baguette + Pumpkin Butter
Apples + Caramel Sauce
Minestrone and Parmesan Biscuit Potpie
Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding with Homemade Whipped Cream

We listened to silly Halloween tunes and then made our way into the living room for a War on Drugs album and a little bourbon.