Have a great weekend and happy Halloween!

Photo 1 via Mary Ruffle; photo 2 via Twig & Thistle.

What a fun weekend coming up: Halloween (free candy! mmm!); for those of us in DC, the Rally to Restore Sanity; gorgeous weather (70s in DC?); and maybe even some downtime to take in all the gorgeous fall colors around us. I'm definitely ready.

Hope you all have an equally awesome weekend. See you back here Monday!

xoxo (and boo!), r.

Half-baked Halloween?

Hello all and TGIF! Happy almost-Halloween weekend!

I lurv Halloween - always have - I mean, what's not to love about dressing up in a fun costume and getting free candy? Sounds pretty ideal to me. I am kind of sad we're too old to go trick-or-treating these days (well, I could probably still pass for a high schooler, but old man weird beard [ahem, that's you, love] might stand out), but we can still do some little stuff around the house. I hate to say it, but we actually haven't carved pumpkins this year (maybe sometime before Sunday??) and I haven't gone too overboard with decorating or the like.

Here is my one little Halloween vignette:

Spooky, eh? Yeah yeah, I know it's kind of a half-a$sed Halloween set-up, but what can you do? Gourd + plastic pumpkin (he makes an appearance every year) + spooky glitter skull (which was an awesome find, here) on an upside-down bowl = I tried. It is what it is. I kind of like it though... And don't our silhouettes look kind of creepy/dead relative-ish? :)

The one effort I have made was in the kitchen. Yesterday I got the baking bug and decided to whip up some homemade "boo pies" (I have no idea what to call them - they're sort of halfway between whoopie pies [but not as cake-y] and Oreos [but not as crunchy]) - whatever you call 'em, they are were gooood (just ask Sara).

Here's proof that I made these mammers from scratch:


Patiently waiting while I mixed up the cream cheese filling by hand.

Assembled. (A tad sloppy, but it was my first attempt at this!)

Halloween-ed up.

The only trouble is that I have this left over:

A decent portion of handmade cream cheese filling. There's about a million pounds of cream cheese, butter and confectioner's sugar just waiting to go straight to my a$s. It's all I can do not to dig in with a spoon. Oy.

Have you all gotten into the Halloween mood yet? Without kids, I feel slightly strange getting too amped up over it, but I am looking forward to this weekend... In the meantime, see you all back here in a bit!


Camo gets classy

I never thought I'd see the day when I dubbed camo as "classy," but I guess today is that day. Thank you, Andy Warhol. Leave it to good ol' A. Warhubs to elevate an everyday soup can, a banana - or yes, even camouflage - to something artful and wall-worthy.

Also, that gargantuan arrangement of gorgeous hydrangea; the classic Saarinen tulip table; and the simple pops of color mixed with bright white plus dark, dark floors really helps. Whew! So many design elements mixed into one effortless, but gorgeous, room.

Camouflage silkscreen print by Andy Warhol. Photo by Douglas Friedman for C Magazine, via Destined to Design.

A video about bacon & one about life

I know some of you can't check out videos during the day while you're at work, but these two are totally worth sneaking under your desk or checking out at lunch. One's hilarious and one's pretty interesting. I suggest you to watch both. (Or at least video #2 - and you scan it quickly if needed.)

First up, this little guy is verrrry upset about having his junk food cleaned out of the fridge (by his temporary mom on Wife Swap). His reaction is kinda priceless:

In case you can't see embedded YouTube videos (iPhoners!), here's the link.

Next, an interesting look at a controversial question. Don't be scared: it's not offensive or political; it's just fascinating to see what a huge change occurs in these peoples' thinking after just one follow-up question:

Here's the link if you can't see the embedded YouTube video above - go take a look, pretty please!


Video 1 via I Suwanee; video 2 via Roblahblog.


Night comes early on rainy fall days

Via Brown Button

I had fully planned to do another post this evening, but with the rain still coming down, the sky all dreary and dark, and our house warm and cozy, I must admit that I'm already wearing my PJs and pretty much hunkered down for the night. But, I will be back in the morning (hopefully a sunnier one at that!) with fresh new posts. See you then?

Instead of rain...

...what if your windshield wipers swept over this instead today?

I know it's pouring cats and dogs out here, but wouldn't this cheery rainbow be a welcome sight?

Dutch artist Helmut Smits created this windshield rainbow using acrylic paints like this:

Concept and execution by Helmut S
mits, photo by Lotte Stekelenburg. Originally spotted via DesignLoveFest.


You say tomato, I say tomato tart.

Photo from Cannelle et Vanille

Hello kiddies. Miss me? This post is actually something I meant to put up last week, but what can ya do. Here it is for you now. It's a half educational, half bragging kind of post. Kidding, kidding. Well, sorta.

You see, with summer fully gone, I knew tomatoes would be on their way from beautiful, round and abundant to pretty much scant and mealy. In order to take advantage of the last gorgeous, local heirloom tomatoes still cropping up at the farmers markets and grocery stores, I decided to make a tomato tart.

I got the recipe from Martha Stewart (here) a year or so ago and have been dying to give it another shot since my mom gave me a real tart pan (read about my first attempt at this here).

So, here comes the pat myself on the back part (don't say I didn't warn you)...

Here's Martha's version of the tomato tart:

Photo from Martha Stewart

And here's mine:

Not bad, eh? (Especially considering this was a crappy iPhone pic I took as the tart was cooling in my dimly lit kitchen.) In a way, I almost think mine looks prettier with the mix of yellow and red tomatoes. Could it be?

In case you want some more eye candy, here's a close-up:

Yum. It's like a really fancy pizza. Mmmm, pizza.

If you're interested in giving this a try yourself, here's the recipe:

Heirloom Tomato Tart
Originally from Martha Stewart Living, July 2005
Serves 8

1 head garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
Note: next time I would cut this down to 2 tablespoons
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Pate Brisee (pie dough)
Note: I used premade dough from the grocery store, found in the refrigerated section (not frozen), and it was just fine
2 ounces Italian fontina cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 pounds firm but ripe tomatoes (4 medium), cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place garlic on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Wrap to enclose garlic in foil, and place on a small baking sheet. Bake until soft and golden brown and the tip of a knife easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.

Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. When garlic is cool enough to handle, using either your hands or the dull end of a large knife, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and into a small bowl; mash with a fork, and set aside. Discard the papery skins.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 12 inches in diameter. With a dry pastry brush, brush off the excess flour; roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough so that it is flush with the edges; transfer to the refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes.

Spread roasted garlic evenly on the chilled crust. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheese, in an overlapping circular pattern. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer to oven.
Reduce temperature to 400 degrees. and bake until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, and serve warm.


And, in case you're like me and need "Cooking for Dummies" in the kitchen (I so do!), Gail from She Loves to Cook posted step-by-step pics as she made her tomato tart - too bad I didn't find this tutorial until just now, drat! Her post on this recipe is here. Doesn't her tart look pretty with the green tomatoes included? (It's still uncooked, obviously, but pretty nonetheless):

Photo from She Loves to Cook

I assure you this recipe is easy as can be (if I made it, you know it is!) and won't take that long now that I've done it more than once. So let me just relish in this one-time kitchen success and forget about the fact that I had to call my friend Sara in a panic to ask her how to cut a tomato. (I said forget that part. Eep, embarrassing.)


I love you so.

The sweetest Where The Wild Things Are quote has been made into a print by Dear Colleen on Etsy. I've talked about her work before [check it out here - it was a good post if I do say so myself! :) ] but I truly adore this new print - wouldn't it be sweet for a Valentine's Day gift or hung on the wall on the way out of an entry? Oh and did I mention that it's only 29 buckaroos? Sold.

Print available here.

Spotted on roblahblog.

Boo your neighbors

...Not for leaving their trash on the curb two days early - for Halloween!

I love this cute Halloween neighborhood tradition of "booing your neighbors" (from the ever-brilliant Kristin of Blonde Designs). This seems like a tradition that would be super simple and easy to do. And no pressure - you only have to do it for two neighbors - they in turn do it for two other neighbors. Fun!

Here's how quick this would be:

Step 1: print out the awesome printable labels from BD here.

Step 2: Fill two bags full of inexpensive Halloween treats.

Step 3: Include the fun "boo" poem explaining the deal (the poem is also included in the printables here).

Step 4: Put the "boo" ghost sign (below) on on your neighbor's door (see top photo) and leave one of the treat bags.

You've just booed your neighbor!

Further instructions and printable templates available here. All photos from Blonde Designs.


Girls on the go

Sadly, with the weather getting rapidly cooler and the sunny days fading, I'll be putting my beloved scooter into storage for the season. I suppose if I really had some cajones I could ride it year-round, but that would require some heavy-duty coveralls (Carharts and work gloves, anyone?) that I'm just not willing to bust out.

But a girl can still dream, and evidently I have been, since these are three images of absolutely fab girls on the go that I bookmarked recently:

How stylin' is this scooter fashionista? If only I looked so glam. Instead, I rock a bobble-head helmet in lieu of this chic hat. Safety first, right?

Forget the limo - this is my kind of wedding transportation (other than wedding bikes of course). Wee vintage cars are always my fave.

And as much as I love to hate her, Olivia Palermo really is lovely. Though I refuse to believe she's actually going to ride that bicycle in those shoes.

How do you get around? (That sounded wrong.) Fall is still a nice time for bikes and walks in the crunchy leaves before the weather turns cold and bitter and I practically run to my car each morning. I must remind myself to take advantage and be my own chic girl on the go while I still can...

Photo credits: 1- photo by Laura Sciacovelli for Vogue UK
(October 2010), via Fashion Spreads, 2- via Say Yes to Hoboken, 3- Olivia Palermo in London, from The Sartorialist.

Polka dotty

I'll take one roll in each pattern of this very happy polka-dotted tape, please. ;)

I'm picturing it adorning/sealing up packages simply wrapped in kraft paper, using it to hold up pics on my inspiration bulletin board (the tape is removable), as a fun flourish on cards and other paper crafts, or even just to tape things together as needed (I'm looking at you, cover on the back of the universal remote where the batteries go!). Too cute.

Spotted on Armelle blog.


Leafy wreath-y

Truth: I've been having some extreme motivation problems. Maybe it's that it's getting darker earlier, or just that my body is preparing itself to enter hibernation mode (it happens every winter: the daily routine becomes a cycle of: drag myself out of the warm bed into the cold house, shower, work, eat, watch movies in, eat more, cuddle, sleep, repeat, not much else - I don't like the collld!), but I've lost my gusto for all things non-mandatory. Whereas I used to relish DIY projects, I've been dragging my feet lately in getting them done or not taking them on at all. (I'm keeping it real here, peeps.)

But if I can squeeze out even one ounce of extra energy, it might just be for this incredible DIY wreath from Kathleen of Twig & Thistle. Isn't it beautiful for fall?

She took these ugly typical (trying to be slightly nicer) fall fake-leaves...

...spray-painted them purple and collected some coordinating ribbon, pins, and a foam ring...

...tacked the leaves onto the ribbon-covered ring...

...et voila! The most beautiful (and weather resistant!) wreath for your table, windows or door:

Isn't it so cute? I love the silvery-gray fabric flower things paired with the ombre purple leaves.

Want the full instructions? Kathleen was kind enough to lay it all out, step-by-step, on her blog here. Also, she made this fall leaf creation as part of a contest for Better Homes & Gardens - won't you be kind enough to vote for her wreath here? I mean, if I can't muster the energy to make this myself, the least I can do is take the two seconds to vote for the lady who created this, right?... ;)

From The Nick to The Moth...(and Brooklyn too)

Last weekend as Sara and I drove home from our whirlwind NY trip, we queued up a podcast to keep us entertained. Sara chose a story from The Moth. (For those of you who haven't heard of The Moth, it's a non-profit storytelling org. in NY which brings in authors, celebrities, musicians, etc. to share stories live in front of an audience. Go check out the podcasts now - they're great.)

This podcast of The Moth featured Steve Burns from Blue's Clues, the old Nickelodeon kids' TV show. If your brain is as foggy as mine, let me help you out here - Steve Burns is this guy:

Nice shirt, Steve.

Anyway, Steve is no longer Steve of Blue's Clues (some dude named Joe took over); he's now a musician and off-Broadway actor. And bald. But anyhoo. Evidently he's doing pretty well for himself - or those Blue's Clues royalties still really pay off - because this is his gorgeous home in Williamsburg:

I love that his house is blue. Get it? Like Blue from Blue's Clues. Heh.

Yes, so right after I got home from said weekend trip, I came across these photos of his bachelor pad in New York magazine. Isn't the place great? Check out the interior courtyard:

I love that he has private garden space -- in Brooklyn. Who knew?

I'm glad to see that Steve o' the Big Red Chair is doing so well for himself and not, as was rumored for a while, dead from an overdose. Well done, you!

In case this post has piqued your interest, you can listen to Steve Burns' story from The Moth here. It was pretty hilarious.


Have a great weekend!

Doves, it's been grand, but I'm off for a girls' weekend in New York. We're truly taking advantage of the Columbus Day hoiday and staying through Monday, so we'll have an entire extra morning in the city. Woohoo! I doubt we'll actually be riding bikes around town like this adorable girl, but it seemed like such a fun (and fashionable, in this pic!) way to flit about the city that I couldn't not include it.

If we're lucky, we'll see fall in full force like this:

Though I'd even settle for moody evenings like this:

Either way, I know I'll have a great time with friends, running around the city, eating, shopping, and talk, talk, talking. Oh and did I mention eating? Can't wait!

Hope you have a great weekend. Since we're staying in the city an extra day, I'll see you back here Tuesday!

xoxo, r.

Photo credits: 1- Topaz Page-Green on her bicycle (photo by Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times); 2- via 6th Street Design School; 3- by Jamie of From Me To You.

The Hipsters are back...and this time they're attacking your face

It all started with a photo of a bride and her bridesmaid. Totally cute and sweet. But then I looked closer and I realized: "is that bridesmaid sporting a perm? And oversize, hardcore nerd glasses?" She's like the Steve Urkel of the wedding party here. What?

Then, the more I thought about it, I realized I've been seeing these giant nerd glasses popping up all over fashion blogs. Behold, hipster-itis in full effect:

Do you think these people just woke up one day and said, "I think I will personally campaign to bring back the 80s, and I'll do so through my fashion choices. Fugly plaid, canvas sneakers, and giant corrective glasses, here I come!"

Why have just one hipster with giant nerd glasses when you can have two?

I wonder if they shop at the same glasses store.

Anne Sage of The City Sage is brilliant and adorable and I do think she actually kinda pulls off these glasses, but really? You too, Anne? Three hipster cliches in one? (I'll let you count for yourself...)

(Hint - #1: giant nerd glasses; #2: red lipstick; #3: pictures in front of lucha libre masks (from Mexican wrestling). Isn't she so ironic? ;)

And finally, hipster glasses for the more mature set. See, pairing anything with a vintage quilted Chanel bag makes you super grown-up and super hip, didn't you know? It also strongly reminds me of my grandma...

So there you have it. Please pardon my snarky tone. I am only (kinda) kidding. :) I do think some of these examples are pretty cute... And let's be honest - my fashion stylings tend to run more preppy than edgy so I can't really talk (though I did rock the gold loafer look - so trendy now - back in 3rd grade - does that count?).

Are you feeling the huuuuge glasses?

Photo credits: 1- Sean Flanigan via Style Me Pretty, 2- The Sartorialist, 3- Emili Vesilind for the LA Times, 4- The City Sage, 5- The Sartorialist.

For some non-nerd glasses, check out this round-up.

For some more hipster goodness, take a look at this or these.

Pretty in pink (and pasta)

Image via Mary Ruffle

I absolutely adore this image. The top half is all ladylike elegance and proper with panache. Scroll down a bit further and you'll see that this girl's not just pretty and prim - she can down some spaghetti and drink some wine with the best of 'em. So maybe she's more Sophia Loren than Grace Kelley after all. Love it. (We could hang.)


Nap. Snazzily.

Hey Snuggies, move aside. There's a new product for relaxation and it doesn't need sleeves...'cuz it's SNAZZY.

Okay seriously, how could I NOT talk about this on here?!

Has anyone else seen this Snazzy Napper thing? I laughed for a solid five minutes when I saw the ad. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it essentially a blanket with a nose-hole? But oh is it snazzy... ;)

I reneg. I think it may be more scary than snazzy. If you saw this scene what would you think?

I'm pretty sure if I saw this scenario on an airplane, I'd be deeply concerned that someone had died mid-flight and the stewardesses were trying to cover up the corpse. Either that or a snazzy terrorist had boarded the plane.

Maybe it's more appropriate for use in a car?

Oh wait, that's totally insane too. Kids, don't try "snazzy napping" while driving, k?

How about in between two total strangers?

I love that these guys are not paying any attention to the woman donning an ill-fitting burka next to them.

Are you all loving the Snazzy Napper as much as I am? Good, 'cuz you're all getting one for Christmas. You can thank me later. ;)

Want more ideas for portable nap spaces? Check out the Sleepyhead mattress cover and the cocoon chair. Nap away!