Friday, December 30, 2011

In or Out?

It's hard to believe 2011 is coming to a close. It's been a great year, and even a few difficult times have made me more grateful than ever for the wonderful people in my life. Of course the big question this weekend is what to do on New Year's Eve! I typically like to go out and whoop it up with friends -- and kiss my husband at midnight. But this year I'm craving a quiet night in. We'll see how the night shapes up, but no matter what we do, I'm looking forward to ringing in 2012!

How about you: Are you staying in or going out on New Year's Eve?

Photo from here

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sky High

After the busyness and richness of the holidays, and as a new year approaches, I always crave simplicity. Perhaps that's why I find this Marin County home, featured in Sunset, so appealing. It's LEED-certified, with gorgeous materials, clean lines and clever, inspiring ideas. Have a look:

Photos from here

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vibrant Legacy

I was saddened yesterday to hear about the passing of Helen Frankenthaler. The artist was so influential, and her paintings are are mesmerizing in their sense of freedom and expressive color. I always love seeing her canvases in person. What an inspiration.

Photos from Google Images. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Art-Inspired Style

This holiday season, I've been drawn to metallics -- gleaming silvers and rich golds. I've used them in my Christmas decorating, and they got me thinking about the artist Gustav Klimt. While The Kiss is certainly his most popular work, I'm inspired by his portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer I. The gold and geometric shapes seem the perfect starting point for a glittery New Year's Eve look. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

This was such a fantastic holiday weekend! We kicked it off with a Disco Christmas party on Thursday, complete with disco ball ornaments, holiday songs set to disco rhythms and friends decked out in sparkly clothes. On Christmas Eve, we hosted my husband's parents and had a nice evening relaxing by the fire. And on Christmas we went to church and spent the evening at my parent's house, with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins stopping by as the night went on. And today, my husband and I both have the day off. We're not sure yet what we'll do, but I hope it's something to make the most of this last day of a great long weekend.

How were your holidays? I hope you had a wonderful weekend of your own!

Photos by me. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let there be Light

I understand today is the darkest day of the year. It's comforting to know the days ahead of this one will be more light-filled, that the rest of winter will not be any darker than today. And I love how we seek illumination this time of year, how our candles, lanterns and strings of twinkly lights cut into the darkness. It makes me think of this T.S. Eliot quote: "So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing."

Photos from here, here, here, here, here, here and here.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mountain High

I'm afraid we will not have a white Christmas this year. We've had a few flurries but the snow has melted quickly. No matter -- I'm going to daydream about this Montana ski lodge, featured in Elle Decor. I love the clean lines, soothing colors and hints of lodge style in the stone fireplace and wood beams. Maybe thinking of this place will calm me down as I do some last-minute Christmas shopping and prep the house for our holiday party tomorrow. Here's hoping!

Photos from here

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Color Cue: Crimson

Red is such an ideal color for the Christmas season. Rich and jolly, it's equally perfect for ornaments, lipstick, a festive outfit or a little reminder to love big.

Photos from here, here, here and here

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wintry Weekend

I had a wonderful weekend filled with lots of Christmasy activities. I baked cookies with my mom, went to "The Nutcracker" with a friend, and my husband and I listened to Christmas music as we repainted the kitchen. It's not necessarily the best timing to do the latter, but we need to finish this task before our Christmas party Thursday night -- yikes! We went to our friends' holiday party on Friday night, which was so much fun, and left as snow had just begun to fall. The following morning I woke up to sunshine and a snow-covered view. I so love this time of year!

Photo by me. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Weekend!

This week has been a blur, days busy with rushing from one thing to the next. I'm so thankful the weekend is nearly here, and I want to fill it with good things: Hanging out with friends at a holiday party, baking cookies with my mom, going out with my husband, catching up with an old friend on the phone, maybe doing a little Christmas shopping and, hopefully, catching up on sleep!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Photo from here

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rainbow Brights

If Santa would only bring me a J. Crew party dress in every color of the rainbow, I'd definitely be good all year long! Can you imagine all these beauties wrapped up under the tree?

Photos from here

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chalet Style

I'm not typically one for rustic style, but I must admit the headline on House to Home promising a "romantic Alpine chalet" drew me in. The home -- nestled in the French Alps, no less -- is a nice mix of woods, clean lines and cozy touches like faux fur throws and a roaring fireplace. I wouldn't mind tucking away here for Christmas, or maybe the rest of winter!

Photos from here

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twelve Days

Is Christmas really twelve days away? While I can't quite believe that, here are some Etsy finds -- paintings, prints, jewelry and more -- inspired by the twelve days of Christmas!

Second day: Turtle doves.

Third day: French hens.

Fourth day: Calling birds.

Fifth day: Golden rings.

Sixth day: Geese a laying.

Seventh day: Swans a swimming.

Eighth day: Maids a milking

Ninth day: Ladies dancing.

Tenth day: Lords a leaping

Eleventh day: Pipers piping

Twelfth day: Drummers drumming. 

Monday, December 12, 2011


This weekend brought a holiday tradition: choosing a photo for our family Christmas card. My parents started sending out an annual card when I was a baby, and the convention has continued ever since. Today, it includes husbands, sometimes our dogs and now my little nephew.

There's always a bit of drama involved. As kids, my sister and I dreaded the day we'd have to go out and take the photo. Our once-hippie parents almost always wanted to shoot outdoors. So there was the year we had to sit up in a tree and the time we crouched amid snowy bushes in our front yard. More recently, the challenge is us six adults agreeing on one photo. It's no easy task! But it's always fun, and I cherish that we have these annual pictures of our family.

This photo is one of my favorites. If this shot is the best one of the bunch that year -- with me clutching a cracker, my sister laughing between bouts of crying and our hair flying in the wind -- I'd love to see the outtakes!

Photo by my parents. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

True Colors

I find the artwork of Claire Desjardins so encouraging. Her paintings are bright and exuberant but also feel contemplative and personal. She writes in her artist statement, "My work is about me and my existence in this world. It reflects my journey on this planet, and the context in which I fit: sometimes melding with the flow of my environment, sometimes feeling quite separate ..."

I hope you have a beautiful, colorful weekend!

Photos from here

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Swank Digs

Hillary Swank strikes me as an actress with maturity who really has it together. And seeing her Manhattan apartment makes me believe it even more. It's so calm and sophisticated, no?

Photos from here via here

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Midweek Motivation

Sometimes we can all use a little pick-me-up. Here are some lovely words and pictures, via Pinterest, to keep us inspired on this winter Wednesday.

Photos from here