my 2010

Holding down the arrow key in iPhoto, and watching my (documented) past fly by, I had the idea of making a sweet little video. It's somewhat of a slideshow, and a stop motion at times, but let's call it—a movie.

Soundtrack: Om Nashi Me by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros



This plant came from my grandma ages ago. It's been sitting in a cup of water on my windowsill for over two years now, hence the root rotting. I cleaned it up a tad and will pot it tonight—it deserves some lovin'.

P.S. I'm trying to make this blog more navigable, so please forgive its current visual state. On the other hand!: my header now links, as do my post titles, and soon there will be a nice little archive list. Give me some time.



50+ flights

. . . and I'm still the girl taking photos out the window. I'm never going to get over it.


christmas eve

My Christmas Eve looked like this from the outside:

And this from the inside (my nephew, everyone):



Even though Christmas is only two days away, I keep skipping ahead to thoughts of the new year. And this Polaroid I took epitomizes my hopes for 2011.

Image: Yellowtone National Park, May, 2010


i saw

. . . this last night. Thanks, Sam.

P.S. The guy is a classically trained violinist, can play multiple other instruments, has a haunting singing voice, and dashing looks, but—have you heard him whistle?


half-price mondays


Molly and I made a game plan before this thrifting adventure. My mental list consisted of: chunky knits, pretty beige night things, and pots to grow new plants (so inspired by Lotte). And I followed Alexa Chung's advice, and—very successfully—looked for sweaters in the little boy's section. For only $10, I got everything pictured above, plus the treasure-hunt-satisfaction that is the beauty of thrifting. I'm particularly in love with the soft pink nightgown find. I love the little boobs; they're perfect for my little boobs.



Here is a tiny something that made me smile this morning. This light traveled from the other side of my apartment, around a corner, and then peaked at me from underneath my bedroom door. I, of course, had to let it in.
Good mornin', sun.


gingerbread in clothes

Hello there. I purchased these cookie cutters in Glacier National Park, when I went on that trip to Montana over the summer. Although the cookies were so cute and quaint, they had a rough bus ride today, lost many appendages, and were then gobbled up by my co-workers.

The best advice on how to be a baker without looking like a baker: take it all to work, man.
GINGERBREAD COOKIES makes about 2 dozen large cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 egg
1/ Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper into a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter and vegetable shortening until well-combined, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into two thick disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.
2/  Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Work with one disk at a time, keeping the other disk refrigerated. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until just warm enough to roll out without cracking, about 10 minutes. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick, cut out the cookies, and transfer to nonstick cookie sheets. Knead the scraps together and form into another disk. Wrap and chill for 5 minutes before rolling out again to cut out more cookies.
3/ Bake, switching the positions of the cookies from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are set and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.
4/ Decorate as you will. I used this recipe for the icing.

[recipe by Rick Rodgers, via Food Network]


my new pet

Hedera helix // Pittsburgh English Ivy

This angel is considered a pesky weed in the Pacific Northwest. It is everything but, sitting in the sun by my window.



I didn't have anough yarn for a scarf, but this cowl will work perfectly. And the only pin I could find was this jewel-eyed feline that belonged to my great-grandmother. Oh my days, does she love cats.


cats and yarn

Winter gives me such a good excuse to be a homebody. Any plans I had of venturing out today were abandoned due to the slushy mess outside. Instead, I caught up on the news, made the same bagel/cream cheese/smoked salmon/capers breakfast that I've had all week, and watched knitting tutorials on YouTube. Then, I discovered the beautifully curated knitting shop, called nina: a well-knit shop, that happens to be across the street. Who knew? I chatted with the helpful girls inside for a bit, bought some yarn and a pair of needles . . . and came back and taught myself how to knit. (Well, with the help of this girl. I know it seems a bit silly, but she's quite easy to follow.)

Maybe I'll have a scarf to show off tomorrow?


this moment


I recently finished Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. Three down, and I've yet to be disappointed by this man (although my pretty cousin feels a little differently):
Billy licked his lips, thought a while, inquired at last: "Why me?"
"That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is." 
Oh, I acknowledge my repetitiveness, but—mornings are the best.


roasted chestnut cookies

Hello there. Want to see what I baked yesterday? I never thought I'd actually roast chestnuts around Christmas (or at all), but then I saw Deb's handsome recipe and conveniently had the next day off from work. Although lovely, these guys took a bit of time. (You might be able to catch the day . . . to night . . . to next workday transition in the lighting.) Roasting was pretty simple, but most of the labor was in the peeling; however, this was quickened, or so it seemed, by a couple of Friends re-runs. (I'm not embarrassed to admit that they can still make me giggle. And after my stint in England, I have a newfound affinity for Ross—they love him there.)

Well, that's enough of that. Here's this!:
ROASTED CHESTNUT COOKIES makes about 4 dozen
1 pound chestnuts
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon + additional for coating
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1/ Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut a small X on the top of each chestnut with a sharp knife. Roast chestnuts on a baking sheet for about 20 to 30 minutes, until a darker shade of brown and the X peels back to reveal the inner nut.
2/ Cool on tray, peel, and chop coarsely on a cutting board. Grind 1 cup of chopped nuts in a food processor until they are very well chopped. Then, transfer nuts to a large mixing bowl and add the softened butter. Mix with an electric mixer until combined. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour and mix until all ingredients are integrated.
3/ Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic, chilling for one hour or until firm. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and a few pinches of cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. Working with one half of the chilled dough at at time, roll it into 2 teaspoon-sized balls with the palms of your hands. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet.
4/ Bake until golden brown on bottom and just pale golden on top (about 14 to 17 minutes). Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, and then gently toss in cinnamon sugar to coat completely. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough.

[recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Epicurious]




 (The couple walking out of the frame is perfect in this last photo.)