Saturday, October 30, 2010

Paper Mums

I love these wreaths made out of paper mums that I saw in a Paper Source calalogue. 

I wish there was a PS store near me.  From the website, it looks like they sell a kit to make the wreaths with pre-cut flowers.  I wonder if it's difficult to make the flowers yourself.  They would truly make a beautiful fall door decoration.

Image courtesy of Paper Source

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Manhattan Kind of Weekend

 Central Park in Autumn
Last weekend, Anthony and I headed to New York.  I booked a last-minute hotel room on Priceline and once we got to Grand Central, we headed over to Chelsea to drop off our bags.  Then, we took the subway down to the Lower East Side where New York Magazine/Grub Street teamed up with the Hester Street Fair for a food festival.  We were so excited about it but by the time we got there, many of the stands had closed or run out of food and the area was so packed that we could barely move.  We waited in line for almost an hour and finally got to taste a few things but next time, we'll try to get there earlier.  I would have loved to try food from Wafels and Dinges or Melt Bakery

We then took the subway across town to the West Village for dinner, since we were still really hungry.  There are so many choices on Bleecker and Cornelia but we decided on Keste Pizza & Wine for Neapolitan-style pizza.  The restaurant was really homey and it was still early so we were able to score a table in the back where it was pretty quiet.  I ordered a really great salad and Anthony and I each got a different kind of pizza and shared.  The crust was delicious, the cheese was so fresh (Anthony's had smoked mozzarella--so good!) and the owner was really friendly.  Afterward, we walked across the street to Amy's Bread and bought a cupcake and piece of chocolate cake for dessert.

Later that night, we lined up outside the Uprights Citizens Brigade Theater.  We were both UCB virgins and really excited to see the improv of Death by Roo Roo.  We had an awesome time--comedians are funnier in person sometimes, right?--and will definitely go back again.  

The next morning, we got up early and headed out for breakfast before catching our train home.  We walked down to La Grainne Cafe and didn't even have to wait for a table.  I loved the bustle of the restaurant and the food was so good.  I am still thinking about the thick french toast with blanched almonds.  Anthony had a delicious crepe with apricot preserves and we both enjoyed the fresh-squeezed orange juice (I loved the coffee, too, but it was a bit strong for Anthony). And the guy at the table next to us had cafe au lait, which I am now dying to try!

Overall, we had a lovely weekend in New York City.  The weather was perfect and we didn't come home with bed bugs.  I think that maybe next time, if Anthony's up for it, we'll take a fall stroll through Central Park...

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, October 24, 2010

From Across an Ocean...

Last week was not a good week for me.  Work was horrible, I was stressed with personal matters and I was counting down the minutes to the weekend.  When I was sifting through the office mail on Friday, there was an envelope addressed to me on gorgeous atlas-patterned stationary.  My dear friend Deirdre, who is living in Ireland for the year, sent me a wonderful note from across the Atlantic Ocean.  It was a pleasant surprise and I was so touched to get a hand-written card (my favorite kind!) from such a good friend.  Deirdre, you made my week and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that!  I hope you are exploring Ireland and enjoying every minute.  And I hope you know you are missed back here in the States!  xo

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Books: The Opposite of Me

When I was younger, I used to read two or three books a week.  No matter what was going on around me, I could block it all out as I turned the pages and got deeper and deeper into the story.  Now, I'm lucky if I read a book every other week.  I spend my time doing other things, and, even though I hate to admit this, the internet definitely takes up a lot of the time that I would normally spend on reading.  Recently, I decided that I am going to start reading more, aiming for one book per week.  So far, I've been keep up with it and I even went to the library this past weekend to stock up on books that I've been wanting to read but couldn't find at the bookstore (honestly, I was shocked by what Barnes & Noble didn't have in their massive store.  No Joan Didion? No Zoe Heller?  No wonder people are reading less literature--there is hardly any in the stores!).

Last week, I devoured a book that a good friend loaned me called The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen.  From the summary of the book, I didn't think I would like it.  It's seemed too light, with a gossipy quality that I tend to avoid.  I'm so happy I gave it a chance.  The Opposite of Me is about a pair of twins who are so different from one another that they are barely even friends.  The story is narrated by Lindsey, the 'smart' twin, and follows her from a high-powered advertising exec job in New York City back to her childhood home outside of Washington DC.  Her sister, Alex, is beautiful and popular and always has been--she's engaged and living near Washington DC too.  Even as an adult, Lindsey finds it hard to compete with her perfect sister.

But things change and this becomes a book about relationships and life, not about petty arguments with siblings.  Pekkanen is a great writer, clear and concise, and she knows what's important to a reader.  Her characters are familiar but only to a point--she distinguishes them just enough to make them real, flawed but relatable.  I felt like Lindsey and Alex grew as individuals as they grew closer as sisters, which the type of character development that I love.  The Opposite of Me had a satisfying ending, too, which left me feeling happy but a little sad because I wanted more.

Overall, Sarah Pekkanen's first novel brought me back to my late teenage years, a time when I would get so caught up in what I was reading that I would forgo sleep just to finish the book.  I only got three hours of sleep last Tuesday night because I couldn't wait to finish The Opposite of Me, but I went to bed content.

Image courtesy of Sarah Pekkanen's website

Friday, October 15, 2010


It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted and I apologize for that.  These have been some of the busiest weeks that I can remember but I have tons that I want to share with you.  I'll be back soon to post about adventures in apple picking, our weekend in New York City and, of course, my brother's wedding!  xo

Photo courtesy of weheartit