Friday Five, Fall edition

First of all, let me apologize for working on some redesign issues yesterday (and, um, today). I don’t know if any of you happened to check out the blog in the middle of one of my millions of changes, but my apologies for having things look a little weird if you did. I’m incredibly difficult to please, apparently, when it comes to this site design, but I’ve made a few changes in a direction I think I’ll enjoy for longer than, say, 2 weeks before I get bored again. The biggest change is the placement of all my old sidebar links (things like my archives, categories, blog roll, etc). I haven’t deleted any of it, just moved it to the footer of the page, where it is magically more organized. This let me make the content space wider, which just means now I’ll get to post BIGGER pictures of my dog. All of the other stuff, including my needs-to-be-updated About page, are now at the top.

Anyway, enough of the boring stuff. It’s Friday, which means it might or might not be time for another Friday Five! Who can tell around here, though. My track record is spotty.

It’s fall, and I’m starting to look ahead to chillier weather and crunching through leaves. So here are five fall things I’m liking this week:


The Library Bar at Gild Hall Hotel, New York

I stayed at this hotel last summer on a mini weekend getaway and fell absolutely in love with the whole decor of the place. It’s in the Financial District, so it’s quiet when you come home at 3am after hitting up a corner bodega to pick up a box of mini nilla wafers and a giant bag of salt and vinegar chips and proceed to be loud, annoying drunks. Ahem. Anyway, every room had a custom leather headboard, and the hotel had this gorgeous library bar on the second floor; don’t let the lighting fool you, it was never this bright, which only added to the appeal. It was moody and dark and great for making out in a corner. Big, majestic libraries with lots of leather definitely remind me of fall. I’d recommend Gild Hall in a heartbeat.


Brown boots, H&M

I have two great pairs of camel boots, one with a heel and one without, and they are absolutely a fall staple. They go with everything. So I have my fall go-to shoes set, right? Um, I’m sorry, do you not see these booties? I can think of 30 reasons why they are perfect and why I need to have them without even batting an eye. Perhaps the most persuasive reason is that they are under $40. For someone inept at the basic skill of walking upright such as myself, spending an inordinate amount of money on death-trap-heels is a waste. Can’t you just picture wearing these with a pair of dark wool tights and some rich fall colors? These are speaking my language.


Fjällräven Kånken Backpack in “Uncle Blue”

For every year of my life between the ages of 4 and 22, fall meant back-to-school. So maybe that’s why I’m drawn to backpacks this season. Fjällräven (which is Swedish for “arctic fox”), has an iconic series of backpacks in tons of colors. I love that you can wear it like a typical backpack or carry it handheld if you wanted. This would be great for a short vacation if you needed just a little extra storage for your laptop, camera, etc. Also, how cute is that little fox?

“Leaves” candle, Slatkin & Co.

You guys, I raved about this candle a while back and at the time, I was trying to fend off the heartbreak of thinking this scent had been discontinued. Thankfully, I was right in thinking that it was just a seasonal scent, and luckily, now that fall is here, it’s back! Don’t be put off by the name. Like I said before, it combines all of the best smells of fall (crisp, cold air, warm apple cider, and crunchy leaves) without being earthy or too sweet. I was so excited to find them back in Bath & Body Works that I couldn’t resist picking one up.

Scotch Naturals Nail Polish, Fall Collection

These colors are so, so perfect for fall. Sure, as far as nail polishes go, $14 a pop is more than a little steep. But given that they are an all natural, water-based, non-toxic alternative to standard nail polish (and that dreamy magenta is called “Macbeth’s Dream”!) they’d make a great gift in individual colors. The only problem is picking one. I’m leaning towards a rich red, called “Blood and Sand,” or maybe “Hot Toddy,” the dark gray-brown.

Happy Friday! What are your weekend plans? I’m planning on tuckering Fitz out at the dog park tomorrow and then giving him a much-needed bath when he’s too weak to resist it. Great parenting!

Colorful Language

Just because it’s officially fall and everything is coming up pumpkin flavored, doesn’t mean I can’t still embrace bright colors wherever I can get them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than ready to stop being absolutely ravaged by mosquitos whenever I set foot outside with even an inch of exposed skin (without any exaggeration, I got at least 65 mosquito bites between June and as recently as yesterday, when one got me through my pants. Industrious! I don’t just get one at a time, either, I usually get 6-10 when they strike); and have I ever discussed my love of wool and plaid and chunky knit sweaters? I already have my first visit to an apple orchard scheduled for mid-October. I love autumn, okay? But really. The one thing missing from the rest of the year is all of the bright colors you can get away with during the summer.

It might surprise you to know that while I adore (understatement of the century) all white interiors, sometimes I want to get all Rainbow Bright up in here and have hot pink pillows on the sofa and spray paint all my furniture yellow. I love yellow, remember? I’m kind of a commitmentphobe when it comes to color, though, so it’s fun to look at inspiring interiors and fashion elements and live vicariously through them. I’m happier in muted tones and sleeping in my dark gray bedroom. Here are some fun and colorful things that are tickling my fancy:

clockwise from top left: bright pillows via flickr / Zara lookbook – TRF September / fabric garland via flickr / colorful kitchen via decor8 / fabric letters from anthropologie / yellow sideboard via flickr /

The collection of fun pillows in the first picture, including that amazing Cheshire Cat pillow, is making me wish I had possessed any design sense when I was a teenager so I could’ve pulled off a bed like that. Or that multicolored hex sideboard. These days, I wish that I was confident in my ability to pull off a bold, blue hat. Or crafty enough to make strings of bunting flags out of fabric squares. But enough being hard on myself! Do I even have to tell you that the yellow sideboard is giving me heart palpitations? I wish IKEA still sold it in yellow. Aren’t those shelves of mismatched colorful dishes so charming? The brightness would undoubtedly drive me insane, but it’s fun to dream.

Happy belated fall, kiddos! What fall-y things are you most excited about?

Remember that animal I invited to live with me?

So I know I flip-flopped about whether or not to order this goddamn camera so many times, but late last week I was finally able to overcome the sweats that always accompany large purchases and just click “BUY,” aided nicely with a notification from Amazon that the item in my cart had dropped an additional $30. It arrived at my work yesterday and my productivity for the day fell off a cliff. Unlike my macbook (the purchase of which I could justify somewhat because now that I am a “serious blogger” I needed to have the ability to lay on the sofa and post, obviously), I’m still having minor palpitations of both the excited and “oh-my-god-did-I-really-just-drop-that-much-money-on-a-camera” kinds every time I remember that, oh yeah!, I bought a new camera! Do you know how many megapixels this baby has? EIGHTEEN! One, two, three, four, five….eighteen! That’s 80% more megapixels than my last DSLR, which translates in 800% more squealing on my part.

But still. I majored in photojournalism, and I developed more rolls of film in high school than the number of boys I kissed (THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING). I’d like to say that I’ll go back to shooting artsy-fartsy stuff, but let’s be honest: we all know that I’m going to take a billion shots of my dog. Remember him? It’s really, really hard to get a decent picture of him indoors because he’s all black and can usually be found laying on our dark leather sofa or his dark doggy bed (WPP #86). But not anymore!

Ignore the fact that I clearly have to vacuum the floor and focus on that silly little beard that makes him look like he is perpetually carrying a cotton ball on his chin.

Fitz is really eager to learn and when he’s not busy being adorable and hopping everywhere, we’ve taught him “come, “paw,” “down,” and “roll over.” We’re working on training him to use the toilet (because, dude, puppy bladders? they are ready to be emptied at 6:30am every day) and how to fetch daddy a beer.

You can safely expect tons more pictures around here. They might or might not be of Fitz, but hey. He’s cute.



When I was little, I remember spending days at our swimming club splashing around in the shallow end (because I was terrified of going under water, I was just certain I would die instantly. You would think this neurosis would have faded over time, but no, instead it transfered to an irrational fear of sand) and watching my mom sitting on one of the lounge chairs, writing letters to my great aunt in Westcliff-on-Sea, a sweet little seaside town in the southeast of England. Yes, people still wrote letters when I was a kid. My mom and great aunt would write back and forth on beautiful blue airmail stationary. I think that was when I fell in love with airmail stripes. And travel. Though I wouldn’t meet her til a few years later, the idea that I had a great aunt that lived in a far away country was so exciting and romantic. I guess that’s why I find airmail strips so adorable and charming.

There are tons and tons of options for nerds like me who fall in love with things like stripes. And thanks to the magic of the internet, I can collect my very favorite pieces and obsess over crafting airmail-inspired things.

top picture from here / bottom picture from here / tape strips from here / rubberstamp font from here

I was completely inspired by Lauren Elise’s crafts using this airmail washi tape (a roll of which I bought and can’t wait to use) and this Diving Twine. How great and vintage-y is that rubberstamp font? I’d love to create an invitation for a party or something by printing onto mail tags (like the one above), and stringing some of the twine through the hoop. Cute, right? And how adorable are the letterpressed wedding invitations with the airmail theme?

Surprisingly, I’m not very crafty by nature. Sure, I’ve painted a desk or two in my day and I’ll redecorate the same 4 square feet until I’m 10000% satisfied, but I never really had the gene to break out some crafts and make handmade invitations. Until now! The only problem is that the tape is so cute that I want to hoard it and snuggle with it. Now you know what turns me on.

What sort of crafts have you guys been up to lately? Holly over at Love of Life made some really swell fall crafts (like this wreath and this felt flag garland) for staggeringly cheap! And check out these gorgeous hand-printed cards from Süsk. It’s things like that which get me excited about crafting.

Four Eyes, part 2

Thank you all for your helpful and sweet suggestions on this post last week. The glasses arrived yesterday, and I think we have a winner. Unfortunately, it was a last minute addition to the home try-on package, and therefore didn’t make the voting last week. Ladies and other ladies (since I don’t think a single male reads this blog), I present to you, Huxley. And my face. Sitting in a tree. K-i-s-s-i-n-g.

I realized I’ve never posted a picture of myself on here before. Sorry to keep you all waiting for so long and then deliver something that looks like that. If you’d like, you can pretend I look like a supermodel, like I always do. No, I really didn’t make the bed for this shot. I’m a compulsive bed-maker. Also, sorry for being such a dork. But given that I am, I think these glasses work perfectly, non? They are a little thick and tend to say, “HI I AM ON YOUR FACE” more than something slimmer and less hipster, but I love them anyway. I think. I still have another 30 days after the official prescription versions get here to decide if I want to keep them.

The other frames were kind of a disappointment. Thatcher was way too big and swallowed both of my eyebrows. Roosevelt had a weird key-hole bridge that looked weird on my nose, and Digby was just too wide. I’m the goldilocks of hipster frames. Huxley was everything I liked about Roosevelt and Thatcher, without being too big or (believe it or not!) overwhelming on my face.

Can I take a moment to just say that Warby Parker has amazing customer service? Not only did they throw in the Huxley frames last minute when I emailed them after they processed my order, but they shipped them to me in 2 days. Look at the packaging, too. They’re lucky I’m trustworthy otherwise I’d have a really nice jewelry box right now.

So yes. I have glasses! And I am bizarrely more excited about it than I think I should be. But glasses are a very fun accessory. And it gives me another excuse to leave the house without makeup (like I needed one more).

Totally unrelated tangent: Last night I almost succumbed to peer pressure and almost, almost bought this camera (I’ve decided against getting the kit lens, and just going with the body and buying a nice 50mm lens since I was so in love with the one I had for my Nikon DSLR). But then I started sweating profusely and couldn’t go through with it. I started to anxiously overreact (as I do with everything in my life) about the gravity of dropping $750 on a camera that I in no way need. What if something were to happen and I lost my job and then needed the money to buy health insurance or stay afloat and pay bills until I found another job in this terrible economy? What if I bought the camera and then went blind and never got to use it and it was past the 30-day return policy? What if I bought this camera and it was cursed? What if, when I’m 85 and falling apart medically, I am faced with some sort of disaster and between my savings and social security I’m still $750 short? What if I —

Oh, whatever. I just bought it. I have a degree in Photojournalism. I should have a DSLR that isn’t almost 5 years old that has less megapixels that the $100 point-and-shoot I bought a few months ago. Rationalization!

Wait. I lied. I canceled the order. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Four Eyes

Ever since I was a kid, I have longed for glasses. I don’t know why. Both of my parents were practically blind without the aid of some serious ocular assistance, and somehow I managed to escape the same fate at every yearly eye exam growing up. Much to my dismay, I might add. It bummed me out every time the doctor said my vision was perfect. My vision was so perfect, actually, that it was better than 20/20. How I ended up walking into so many walls or leaving the house in tartan bell-bottoms in high school, then, remains a mystery. Still, I wanted glasses. I bought a fake pair of readers at Claire’s in the mall when I was 14 and used to wear them in the same vain hope with which I wore bras all those years: maybe if I wear them, I will actually end up needing them.

And while the verdict is still out on the issue of boobs, one thing became certain last night at my optometrist’s office: I officially need glasses. She broke the news to me gently, afraid I would revolt at the idea of surviving 25 years without them only to be riddled with poor vision later in life, and insisted I only needed them for reading/sitting in front of a computer, but I was all, MY DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE! And then I pulled the neckline of my shirt out and said to my chest, “YOU GUYS BETTER BE NEXT.”

These days, those of us who are visually-challenged (are there support groups for people like us?) have far better and more stylish options than say, my dad, who was born before 1940 and who probably had to use a monocle as a child. And the monocle was probably 4 inches thick. No, these days, we have Warby Parker, the genius site that offers $95 prescription glasses in all sorts of retro, Mad-Men-ish frames, and who donate a pair to someone in need for every pair they sell. Not only will I get glasses, I’ll also get that do-goodery feeling that accompanies acts of charity. Win-win.

After playing around for hours with their virtual try-on option, I narrowed my selection down to these 3 frames:

Thatcher / Roosevelt / Digby

Obviously, they all look amazing on me. It’s like I was born to wear glasses, you guys. You can have up to 5 pairs sent to you for free to try on at home, and I chose these 3 (it’s not that I can’t count, it’s just that when faced with too many options, I can’t cope). And yes, mom, before you point it out, I realize that the Digby’s are men’s frames, but clearly that just means my facial structure is so perfect that it transcends gender. Wait.

ANYWAY, now I’d love to know your opinion on these frames, you guys. Which of the three do you prefer? I realize it’s hard to judge without seeing them on me, but until they get here I am not going to post the webcam-shot I used to do the virtual try-on through the site, because I’m 10 different kinds of unkempt in it.

So now all I have to do is wait for these bad boys to get here, make my selection, and then spend eternity checking myself out in mirrors and pretending to be taken aback by how geek-chic I look.

Polka Dots

I like to pretend that I am refined enough in my design sensibilities to be unaffected by something as pedestrian and juvenile as polka dots. I like vintage inspired pieces that tend to border on shabby chic. I like sleek, all white, Scandinavian interiors, with minimalist furniture and natural woods. I am mature. But seriously, sometimes I see polka dots and become a dog chasing a laser beam and my brain just explodes with rainbows and giggles and I can’t focus on anything else besides how gosh-darn cute polka dots really are. There are even times when I will pour nonpareil sprinkles into my mouth because there isn’t any real candy in my house. And don’t even get me started on candy buttons, even though the candy to paper ratio you end up ingesting isn’t ideal.

But anyway, polka dots. They’re adorable, they’re cheery. I mean, have you taken time to appreciate polka dots recently? I mean really appreciate them? And not just because they happened to be on your underwear or socks? No? Well let’s start off high-brow then, shall we?

This was the inspiration for this post. Artist Damien Hirst (and his assistants) have painted over 300 of these spot paintings, and this coming winter they will all be shown in a touring exhibition in several galleries around the world. You can buy one of these when they go on sale through London galleries, if you happen to have a cool $75K laying around. Ahem.

However, if you like rainbow polka dots and want to integrate them into your life (I do! I do!), here are a few (cheaper) ways to do it:


1. Umbrella, Amazon / 2. Bowl, Fishs Eddy / 3. Plate, Fishs Eddy / 4. Kisslock coin purse, Etsy / 5. Spice Jars, Fishs Eddy / 6. Straws, Sweet Lulu / 7. Japanese Washi Tape, CuteTape / 8. Glasses, Fishs Eddy / 9. & 10. Teapot & Teacup, Cath Kidston

You’ll notice that Fishs Eddy has a lot of polka dot products. It’s not that I’m a lazy blogger, but when life offers you that many products with polka dots, you include them. And if you want proof of my restraint, there was actually a really cute polka dot tea towel that I decided not to include. So there!

This morning I’m hitting up Target with two of my lovely coworkers to browse (JUST BROWSE) the new Missoni collection before we head into work. It’s a tough life.

Laduree & Lidia

Laduree & Lidia. Lidia & Laduree. I was a half a step away from continuing that alliteration and including “lovely” and “luscious.” I’ll let you figure out which adjective goes with which. Yay, games!

Sometimes, when you’re dealing with something beautiful (in this case, food), words are completely unnecessary. This explains why people are so often rendered speechless by the mere sight of my face, and why I can’t have mirrors in my house (this is a burden, you guys). So here are some photographs from last Thursday’s adventures with macaroons and delicious Italian cooking, with limited interruption from my giant mouth (except, obviously, when it comes to licking my screen).

When I die, I want to my otherwordly self to be sent here. After I’m finished haunting all those who have wronged me or withheld macaroons from me in this life. (Maybe it is time to rethink your whole, “You don’t need to buy the box of 30,” stance, boyfriend.)

She’s making this face because I had just asked if she thought I possess any discernable culinary talent worthy of more than concealed laughter and nausea.

And now, the meal, where I tried to capture each dish before I started eating it, but was not always successful. Sorry, it was just too delicious:

SO. Eataly. I’d been there once before, but just to eat a panini and have a glass of wine and a cup of gelato (just). And walk around and admire all of the imported olive oils and smell the fresh-baked bread. Getting to go back again and experience a whole different side of it was a real treat. The little school is a private kitchen with maybe 10, 2-seater, marble-topped tables (which I have been trying to hunt down ever since, because I need one in my house) and a curved island with a cooktop and prep area in one corner. Lidia, who is exactly as cute and sweet in person as you’d expect her to be, wanted us to call out any questions we had about anything, whether or not it was related to what she was doing at that exact moment. I got her take on de-bearding mussels, and boyfriend got a history of the spice trade in northern Italy and why Italians don’t use pepper traditionally. I learned it is perfectly okay to leave mozzarella on the counter instead of in the fridge, and that I really, really like Prosecco. The sommelier of Eataly paired a wine with each of the courses and gave us a history of the grape varietal and how to match wines with certain foods. Turns out, unsurprisingly, my palate is woefully ignorant to anything other than sweet whites.

We were each given an official Eataly folder that contained the menu du jour, all of the recipes from the class (HA, as if I will ever be able to recreate the magnificence that Lidia prepared for us), as well as wine tasting notes. We also were given the opportunity to have Lidia sign our cookbooks and take a picture with her. Hello, Christmas! And I totally got my moment to call out boyfriend for having a massive crush on her. YOU’RE WELCOME, dude.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a beer on the amazing roof-top beer garden while we waited for our bus home and so we could indulge in our high from the afternoon.

And while at the bar, a woman came up to me and asked if my Laduree bag was from the city. I told her it was, and you should have seen this woman’s face light up. I imagine it was exactly what I looked like when I found out they were opening in the states, only my hair has never been able to achieve the level of shine that this woman’s did. But that might have had less to do with macaroons and more to do with her superior grooming habits. Anyway, this totally validated all of the spazzing I did about Laduree and how much I stressed making the trip uptown for these macaroons to boyfriend, who ridiculed that anyone would spend $3 on something bite-sized and kept saying that it couldn’t be that hard to make them, he could totally make them, and are you really going to keep cuddling that bag all day? And then we got home and he tried one and then it was all, “OH. Oh, those are delicious.”

So yeah. You could say it was a good day all around. Understatement of the century.

Also, I love my little point and shoot, but all of the time I have spend adjusting the levels in Photoshop after taking them off my camera makes me wish I had a good DSLR again. I’m getting dangerously close to buying this like I’ve been talking about for months. What? You think I could go an entire post and not mention something I wanted to buy? Whose blog do you think you’re reading?

Friday Five

Hi! I want to start by saying that I’m seriously impressed that I can articulate a thought outside of “ohmygodohmygodmacaroonsmacaroonsohmygod”  and “ohmygodohmygodLidiaLidiaLidiaohmygod” after yesterday. I think I can safely rank yesterday as one of the best days of my entire life, from start to finish. I mean, really, what isn’t to love about getting a day off work to traipse around Manhattan, walking around the gorgeous public library, eating macaroons imported from France, having drink at my very, very favorite bar in the city, having a 4 course meal (& wine pairings) prepared by a famous chef, and then coming back home to a puppy who is beyond ecstatic to see you? I have so much to tell you about Laduree and the Lidia experience, but I’ll wait until Monday for all of the pictures and details (there are lots of both). Don’t worry, I’ll still give you a sneak peak at the action below. I am benevolent like that.

Also, another lovely side-effect of having a Thursday off work is that I only have to wait one day before the weekend arrives. I’m pretty sure this has spoiled me for all future work weeks in the same way that Lidia has spoiled all food not prepared by her for me, and the same way Laduree has spoiled all desserts that are not French macaroons for me. White. People. Problems. Actually, speaking of WPP, my darling friend and ex-roomie Lyndsey provided me with perhaps the most amazing WPP of all time, in reference to her recent drive down the east coast: “I was so frustrated because NPR kept going in and out!” That might trump every other WPP, ever.

Anyway, here are 5 things I’m digging this week:

The New York Public Library, main branch

I’d walked by the main branch by Bryant Park the last time I was in the city, but unfortunately, the last time I was in the city was Memorial Day weekend, and naturally the library was closed. It was on my to-do list this morning, and boy am I glad I got to see it. It is a massive and beautiful building that is seemingly all marble and dark, carved wood inside. The ceilings are cavernous and gilded and hand-painted, and now I totally understand why Carrie wanted to marry Big here. I love libraries. They always smell so good. Oh, and there’s books. I like them because of the books, too.

Macaroons, from Laduree

Have I mentioned yet that I went to the new Laduree in New York? Or that I was really, really excited about it? How silly of me, I thought I already shared that with you. Allow me to fill you in: YOU GUYS. YOU GUYS. YOU GUYS. These macaroons. They are, and I’m straining to say this politely, an orgasm in your mouth. I know I should be all delicate with them because they cost just under $3 a piece and are not something I can easily go buy more of, but something happened to me when I opened the box, and it wasn’t pretty. I lost all ability to keep my saliva inside my mouth and my clothes spontaneously came off. I might have growled while eating them. From lower left, we have 2 pistachio, 2 rose, a vanilla at the top of the row and a vanilla at the bottom of the 2nd row, caramel with salted butter (OMG WHY DID I ONLY BUY ONE?!), 2 blackcurrant violet, a green apple, a raspberry, a coffee, a lemon, a coconut, and finally a strawberry & mint. I also bought the world’s most expensive carrier bag so I can take my lunch to work and look like a total snob. Horray! More pictures on Monday.

LIDIA, at Eataly

Here, the woman who gives me a flicker of hope that my ability to cook exists is explaining the kind of saute pans she prefers to use. Isn’t she adorable? If you’ve ever watched her show on PBS (and if you haven’t, WTF!) then you definitely get the sense that she is a genuine sweetheart whose passion for food and travel is inspiring. She is so knowledgable, and such a good chef. Really, this might have been one of the most expensive meals I’ve ever had in my life, but it was worth every penny. Again, waaay more pictures to follow on Monday. I have so much to show you!

“A Beautiful Death,” by Jack Crossing

Jack Crossing is a British graphic designer with a really interesting and unique portfolio of work. I stumbled across this bird on a tumblr somewhere without any credit to the image’s creator. Thanks to the (crazy and futuristic!) invention of reverse image search, I was able to track it down. Now I just wish he had a print of this available for sale. Something about it is so haunting and dear. From Jack: “This was a piece I put together last year for a project called RVLR, where a selection of designers, artists, and illustrators were all given the same images and asked to create a new piece of art work.” From me: I really love this image.

Alphabet totes

I bought one of these, with a giant E on it, a few years ago from Urban Outfitters (at an insane mark-up now that I look at it). It has been my go-to bag ever since. Sure, I have a ton of bags and purses, but this tote seems to go with everything, and has held up well to being beaten up over the years. It could use a good washing, but I’m trying to use that as an excuse to buy a brand new one. They have them in a few different color combinations, but my heart is still with the natural & black combo. Really, as far as canvas tote bags go, this is high quality and durable. Plus, I’m a narcissist at heart, so I’m obsessed with my own initial.

This weekend I am hoping to catch up on my sleep and lick the inside of the Laduree box for any crumbs that might have escaped my grasp the first go-around. And, you know, I’ll probably spend the weekend being talked-down from going back to New York to get more. Or to stalk Lidia and make her live with me. What are your hot weekend plans?

Enjoy, kiddos!

Inspiration: Kitchens

Right now I am en route to New York via the ever-so-cheap and convenient Bolt Bus, set to arrive in Manhattan at 10am. You might recall that I had made plans to attend a cooking class with Lidia Bastianich last week, but thanks to the arrival of a very annoying rain cloud named Irene, the class was postponed. To today. So this afternoon at 2:30 I will be sitting in the back of Eataly in a small private classroom (with carrera marble counters, swoon) mere feet from everyone’s favorite Italian grandma, while she prepares a 4 course meal and provides a wine pairing for each one. Hopefully, through sheer osmosis, I will be able to pick up some of her skills and talents with food, because, at present and when left to my own devices, I am incompetent at any task more advanced than boiling water (wait, that’s a lie. I can make homemade pasta. Which sounds impressive, but is easier than boiling water). Also, I am going to attempt to strap boyfriend to his chair to prevent him from lunging at Lidia and planting kisses all over her plump cheeks. (Forreals, dude? You couldn’t crush on someone more like Gisele? I’m curious as to what this says about me.)

But I will still have a few hours to kill both before and after the class, and my plan is to hightail it to the new Laduree on Madison Avenue and blow my entire paycheck on macaroons and pastel colored packaging. Horray! Don’t understand why I’m so excited? Take a look at these pictures:

from New York Magazine

Still not convinced? Well, the macaroons are over-nighted FROM FRANCE every day, and served only by actual French people. Again, let me repeat here one more time with feeling, you could serve me dead bugs and if it came from the hands of a Frenchman, I’d be so honored I’d probably cry.

from Park & Cube

With flavors like Pistachio, Rose, Blackcurrant Violet, (and did I mention THEY’RE IMPORTED FROM FRANCE?), how is your mouth not watering? I’ve talked about them this much already and I will probably still mention them in tomorrow’s Friday Five. You never know! Well, actually, you probably do, who am I fooling.

Anyway, since today I am learning to cook (kind of), I thought I’d share some beautiful kitchens for a little dose of Thursday inspiration:


from here

I know I’ve featured this kitchen before, but I still cannot get over how perfect it is. Painted white brick! Old stools! Chalkboard wall! My brain is pulling a Fitz and just ceasing to understand.

from here

Metal counters, subway tile, and an old French street sign? Can I get an “amen.”

from Living Etc.

I’m in love with subway tile. And farmer sinks. And plants in pitchers. And raw wood. And open shelving. So basically, this kitchen is heaven on earth.


from here

This is from a Swedish based (obviously) sustainable-home manufacturer. Do you know how much I’d love to be able to function with something so minimalist? Or how much I’d love an all white cabin on a Swedish island? This reminds me of my dad’s sense of design so much, and his kitchen.

I have to say, these are pretty exciting plans for a Thursday. Any interesting plans of your own for the end of the week? And advice for me as I try to cook with a professional? I’ll see you guys tomorrow with another Friday Five!