happy new year!

Wishing you health and happiness in the coming year! See you in 2011. :)
*image via little blue deer


my resolutions

natural nails

Has anyone had any experience with natural nail polish? The brands I've had my eye on are "3 free" polishes. That is, free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DHB) and formaldehyde - all known carcinogenic ingredients. I'm just curious whether one brand has better staying power than the others. 

I've been considering Priti NYC, Zoya and Butter London, all of which have some lovely shades. Hmm.

weekday retreat

Staycations are officially getting my stamp of approval. Yesterday I went for an awesome 5 mile hike in the local hills and spent the rest of the evening making pizza, soaking in the hot tub under a starry sky, drinking homemade limoncello, and watching Part 1 of The Elegant Universe. Brian Greene is kind of my science crush.
*images by Jeannette Ordas & Annabelle Breakey (via Sunset Magazine)


Wishing you a wonderful Christmas! May your day be merry & bright. :)
*fawn image via shelterrific


Raining cats and dogs here, which has made for an extra productive day. Good thing too! The holiday rush has reached fever pitch at work. I'm all for it if it means we're all extra relaxed on our winter break next week. :)


away in a manger

Did anyone else grow up with a nativity scene in their home for Christmas? Or is that just a Hispanic thing? Half of my family hails from South America, so el nacimiento has always been an obligatory decoration in our household. Although I'm not a religious person, I still think it's a beautiful tradition - I love setting up the little town of Bethlehem with its mix of sand and snow. 
Growing up, it was my responsibility to move the Three Wise Men closer and closer to baby Jesus every day - finally arriving to the humble manger on January 6th, known as El Día de Reyes or Three Wise Men Day. On the 6th, we usually eat la rosca de reyes, which is a ring-shaped piece of bread usually topped with sugar, fig, cherries and quince. Baked somewhere in the bread is a small plastic figurine of the baby Jesus. If you find the figurine in your piece of bread, you have to make the tamales for El Día de la Candelaria on February 2nd. Most people consider that day the true end of the holiday season, but in my family it ends on January 6th. Like most holiday traditions, it all varies widely from family to family, culture to culture.


christmas crafting

Seasons greetings - hope your weekends were lovely! Mine was chock-full of holiday activity, yet somehow relaxing. Saw The King's Speech on Friday (so good!), had Christmas carnitas tacos with the boy's parents yesterday, and today I prepped for the holiday get-together I'm hosting tomorrow.

First, I made a little coffee table display of pine, berries, burlap, and candles. (Should be nice and fresh for tomorrow, though it may not make it to the 24th.) Then I put my custom "Over the River & Through the Woods Trail Mix" in goody bags for everyone. Gotta say I'm pretty full of yuletide cheer. :)


Wishing you a lovely holiday weekend! I'll be doing some last minute shopping, viewing holiday lights, and eating delicious fattening things. :)
*image by the talented Shelby Tanner


In the past week or so, I've been meandering my way through Model as Muse by Harold Koda and Kohle Yohannan. I believe the book went along with an exhibition by the same name that was at The Met last year. It's been interesting to learn about the history of fashion from the late 1800s to present day through the lens of the models that embodied those periods. 

I find myself gravitating most toward the elegant, slightly haughty femininity of the 1940s through late 50s, exemplified by Dorian Leigh and Lisa Fonssagrives in the 1940s, and in the 1950s by Dovima, Sunny Harnett, Jean Patchett and Suzy Parker. Unfortunately, my attention has started to drop off now that the late 60s is being covered in the book. I love that the fashion world was finally getting hip to diversity at that point, with models such as Donyale Luna achieving great success as a cover girl, but the fashion doesn't excite me as much. And I confess I don't feel much like reading about the Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell generation of models. Is that bad? Yeah, I shouldn't dismiss so many decades of fashion. And Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington are cool with me. Maybe the 80s through now will seem a lot more fascinating and alluring when 50 years have passed. Or maybe Kate and Naomi in particular just really bother me as people. :p
*image of Suzy Parker via herecomesthesky, of Jean Patchett via tompalumbo, and of Dovima via skorver1
I think I'm overdue for a nature outing. Trees and deer and mist mainly. Did you watch the meteor shower last night? I decided to sleep through it, but hopefully next year I can catch it. The last time I stayed up for the Geminids was in high school. My mom drove my two friends and me up to the mountains, and we ended up parking on the side of this desolate road. I remember seeing this man walking down the road toward us - it was so strange to see anyone else in the middle of the night in this deserted place. He walked by us silently and then disappeared down the road like a ghost.

We were all bundled up in our down jackets staring up at the sky, cracking jokes in between streaks of light. I think what made it especially fun was that we had school the next day. Almost as good as playing hooky. :)
*first image via nowness (not sure who photog is), second by the talented Anna Verlet


I don't know what's come over me, but I'm suddenly obsessed with sparkle. It's never been my style, but the holidays have kind of infected me with the bling bug. Just don't judge me when I wear these pants post-December.
*sweet-ass Ralph Lauren pants modeled by the glamourai.


at the movies

At long last, The Black Swan and The King's Speech are finally coming out this weekend. I could not be more excited about these two films. In one corner we have ballet + Natalie Portman + Mila Kunis. In the other we have Colin Firth + Geoffrey Rush + Helena Bonham Carter. I've been following both Natalie Portman and Colin Firth's careers closely from the very beginning, and I am thrilled they are both receiving Oscar buzz for their respective roles. Here's hoping my weekend at the movies is as good as I think it will be!

* images property of Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company.


I always tell myself I'll wear big, beautiful earrings every day, but my reality? Studs. 360 days of the year. So instead of kicking myself for being boring, I've decided to just give myself over to them and diversify my selection. My first purchase? These little guys from Upper Metal Class on Etsy. They'll do nicely I think. :)


Happy Monday! You all have a good pre-holiday weekend? It rained the entire time here, which was a bummer in that I was too nervous to make a planned road trip, but good in that I relaxed. 
My mom had mentioned she wanted to really decorate for Thanksgiving this year, so I decided to make a garland-y thing to hang over our dining room door. It was surprisingly easy to find what I needed in our backyard - I love foraging! I'm not sure if it's going to make it to Thursday, but it's nice to look at in the meantime. :)


Good Will Haunting

Took me a week to get around to scanning all of the pictures from our Halloween party, but here they are! Was a lot of fun, and I was happy everyone dressed up. :)


Before I go up north for the weekend to set up our party, wanted to wish you all a spooky Halloween! May it be filled with chills, scary stories, and plenty of fun!

*image from ThisisToy


Sad to see this weekend go! I got in some major relaxation. Nonetheless, should be a great week with Halloween coming up. Wishing you all a lovely Monday!
My brother's dog, Spot :)
Went apple picking yesterday with CB. :) The weather was nippy, but deliciously autumnal. We ended up snagging a bunch of empires for the caramel apples I'm making for our party this week. They're gonna be frickin delicious...I hope. The apples certainly are. After the orchard, we squeezed in a little nature walk on the other side of town. I always forget how beautiful our local mountains are!


Have a great fall weekend, all! In between working for the weekend, I definitely want to hit up an Oktoberfest or two, or possibly do some apple picking. All I know is I am grabbing myself a piece of this gorgeous season!

*lovely photos from the talented Kevin Russ.

most wonderful time of the year

I am proud to say that my Halloween decorations were hung last night in preparation for this auspicious day...the first of October! Coop and I are throwing a costume party later this month and I am scheming and dreaming more than usual. Can't wait for the carmel apples, pumpkin carving, scary movies, skeletons, cauldrons, scarecrows, and general mischief. Three cheers for the creepiest season of them all!


Farewell, summer. Thanks for being so good to me this year. :)


I have such a soft spot for old photos of couples kissing. Black and white just makes it all seem more romantic somehow. :)
*image from lannadelarosa