if you’re making italian wedding soup, you must default to the barefoot contessa— ina garten’s italian recipes are always on point. we made a big batch of soup last week as the temperatures dipped into the 30’s, and we ate it for lunch leading up to thanksgiving. the soup was perfect!
we made a few modifications to ina’s recipe. michael didn’t use any milk in the meatball mixture and we chose a large bag of baby kale over spinach. we also used italian sausage instead of chicken sausage and mixed in leftover orzo and orecchiette from the pantry.
michael rolled so many meatballs that we froze a container of them. i might break them out as a holiday appetizer later this month, cute lil’ toothpicks and all!
2013. friendly friday: shop small.
it’s black friday, and if your inbox is anything like mine, you’re sorting through coupon codes, in-store deals, and super sales. but don’t forget the little guys and gals: small business owners! today’s friendly friday features four shops where you might find a sweet, stylish gift for someone on your holiday list. plus, i know all of them!
/// astrid studs from katie diamond jewelry. katie is the fab sister-in-law of one of our dear friends and works in a studio just outside of NYC. i own the astrid earrings in pink quartz. they’re modern and edgy and they’re available in more colors.
/// jenna necklace from crazy&co. tanvi, the curator behind the shop, blogs locally, and she has a great eye for color. tanvi imports many of her pieces from talented designers in india.
/// pecos bracelet from son of a sailor. i met billy and his wife at TxSC. their line is amazing and they’re getting a lot of press. grab a goodie from them fast!
/// arrowhead ring from moorea seal. i also met moorea at TxSC. she’s quickly become one of my favorite bloggers; moorea is creative, modern, and cool all-in-one.
p.s. after several weeks of doodling and tinkering, i finally settled on a friendly friday layout. hope you like it as much as i do!
collage by me. images via the aforementioned folks.
2013. make + take: advent calendar clippies.
materials: wooden clothespins, adhesive foam squares, scrapbook paper, white paint marker, scissors
happy thanksgiving eve! it’s been a little quiet on the blog this week as we’re housekeepin’. michael installed tub guards in our bathrooms, and i reorganized our bookcases and mantle. we also used some of our wedding money and bought a beautiful, brand-new… coffee table. we’re big spenders!
last year i made an advent calendar for michael and lined the numbers up on our shelves. it was his second calendar because i made him one the first year we were dating. this year i declared it an official family tradition and decided to make reusable clips. i can quickly put the clothespins on any bag or package regardless of size.
i used silver glitter scrapbook paper, but you can choose any color or print under the sun. cut twenty-four small circles and label them using a paint marker (puffy paint works, too). allow them to dry. stick a circle onto each clothespin with an adhesive foam square.
after you’ve collected the advent presents or candy, label them with a clothespin. sit back and smile as your loved one counts down to christmas.
it’s scarf hunting season, and infinity scarves abound. a few years ago, i only saw them in solid, neutral colors. now you can find them in every shade under the sun with patterns to boot. slip one over a sweater, tee, or jacket to add a little panache to your outfit.
my favorite scarf in the collage is the printed one because it reminds me of my pendleton bag. but i’ll take any giant scarf any day. i like big scarves and i cannot lie. you, too, am i right?
collage by me. images via anthropologie.
the picks | geometric | striped | color-blocked | heathered
the cure for boredom is curiosity. there is no cure for curiosity. — dorothy parker
2013. monday best.
cloth + stone tunic. mossimo point pants. MIA boots. necklace by jen loves kev. missibaba bag.
i’ve worn this outfit once a week over the last several weeks. i’m the only person in our family who owns denim shirts and thinks they are delightful. this particular blouse reminds me of a big jean shirt often donned by my elementary school art teacher. she’d appreciate jen’s cute necklaces!
what are your thanksgiving plans? it’s next thursday! we’re going to stay home, enjoy the cool weather, cook, eat, and eat a little more. we might get a christmas tree— we’ll see!
the look | very similar top | pants | similar boots
my baked ziti recipe is a mix of my mom’s spaghetti and my mother-in-law’s baked rigatoni. we haven’t made pasta in awhile. on friday after school i arrived home and settled on ziti.
if you don’t like hamburger, you can substitute italian sausage, ground turkey, or chopped eggplant. baked ziti is like the kid that plays well with everyone. it’s a flexible dish, and it’s elegant enough for guests. eat up!
2013. game day.
madewell pinhole sweater. current/elliott jeans. tory burch belt and reva flats. old navy honeycomb scarf.
sundays are game days at our house. my idea of a game day would include scrabble, settlers of catan, and maybe rummy. but michael’s idea of a game means football, specifically the eagles. i don’t pay too much attention to NFL games but i can tell by watching my husband if the eagles have a great or terrible day.
on sunday we went to the grocery store, made lunch, and watched TV (mostly michael). i wore my boyfriend jeans that i purchased at an embarrassingly low price ($15) over the summer. i’m very partial to dark denim, but i like these jeans, too. barneys warehouse has the same jeans if you’re interested.
michael caught my off-and-on cold, but he’s recovering much more quickly. we turned on the fireplace at night much to sophie’s delight. she loves being cozy! life has been good this week.
the look | similar sweater | jeans | similar flats | scarf
the wedding book (i.e. a small journal) will always hold our wedding vows. we worked with our friend (an ordained minister) on other aspects of our ceremony, but we wanted our vows to be our own.
if you search wedding vows or wedding ceremony you’ll find thousands of little snippets and thousands of full samples. if you’re not picky, you can copy and paste a wedding ceremony in less than two minutes. we used a traditional outline (processional, prayer, music, vows, and exchange of rings, recessional) but personalized it with the addition of a buddhist wedding prayer and a song performed by our close friends’ children.
weeks before the wedding, we began to piece together our vows to each other. i remember michael asked, “what are the guidelines?” we decided on “not too long”, “not too silly”, and “nothing embarrassing.” mainly we agreed on “the most important words”— kind and loving words to share about each other in the presence of the dearest people in our lives. on the morning of the wedding, michael copied his vow on the first few pages in the book, and then i skipped a couple and wrote mine.
at the church, michael spoke first, and then i did. though smiling, we fought back tears. our ceremony and the echo of the words sit unmoving in my memory. i am not sure if i will ever digest the beauty; it feels like time stood still.
if you’re thinking about writing your own wedding vows, i encourage you to simply try. find a quiet place on a weekend afternoon and jot or type what you feel in your heart. the words may not be perfect the first time (or fifth time) but the words you want will show themselves eventually. good luck! if all else fails, google.
today we thank the brave men and women who have served our country. i explained to my students that a service person is someone who protects and helps our fellow americans. we also shared photographs of their family members who were (or are) part of the military.
on a related note, today is my brother’s birthday. happy birthday, S! for the past few years, he and his friends with november birthdays host a party back in virginia in partnership with toys for tots. instead of receiving gifts for themselves, they ask guests to bring children’s toys for the marines. their event grows bigger and bigger each november.
i share this story as a small reminder that we can serve in a small way even if we are not part of the military. help your friends, church, or community and we can make our neighborhoods and cities a better place. happy veteran’s day!
2013. red, white, and plaid.
dalia plaid tunic. mossimo ponte pants. frye boots. vintage shawl (worn as scarf).
are you a fan (or wishlister) of j.crew’s pixie pants? well, i am. then i found these pixie-lookalikes at target. i bought two pairs of them online when i was sick. they come in black and navy blue (my favorite color) and they might be my best fall clothing purchase yet.
this outfit is seven or eight days old but it compliments today perfectly. stay tuned after my paper doll for a veteran’s day doodle!
the look | similar top | pants | similar boots
when i told michael i planned to design our wedding invitations, he said, “of course you are. we wouldn’t have it any other way.” i didn’t have any previous experience making stationery, but as you know, i love to draw, and that seemed like a good enough reason.
magazines, planners, experts, and oprah will tell you that an invitation sets the tone for your wedding. metallics and scripts work well for black tie and rustic touches are perfect for outdoor parties. michael and i wanted something personal, pretty, and down-to-earth, so i settled on an illustrated, handmade combination.
i drew the artwork, placed the type, and printed the cards on eames canvas paper before carefully cutting them with an x-acto knife. i mounted the invitation on a kraft card and wrapped the entire set with baker’s twine, a paper shape (all the shapes were different; they ranged from vintage keys to little messages to birds), and a metal initial of the guest’s last name.
after we sealed the envelopes, i hand-lettered everyone’s mailing addresses. all i can say about that step is: ooowwwww my hand and thank goodness i bought a lot of white pens.
looking back, i probably should have worked with an online printer like vistaprint or a local copy shop. the process seems effortless in a photograph. there were many times i felt annoyed and overwhelmed with the computer, our printer, the paper, the dimensions, the decorating, etc. doing-it-yourself isn’t always easy, but the experience is worthwhile. i had a pep in my step as i carried them in a bushel basket to the post office!
we absolutely adored the final invitation and so did our family and friends. today i share our invitation with you as a small glimpse of our wedding day and my stubborn, creative brain.
this post is my first wedding reflection. stay tuned for a few more.