Friday, December 21, 2007

The Nutcracker

John and I went to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center the other night. I had been dying to see it ever since we came to New York five years ago. When I was little, I used to go see friends of mine in performances. I loved it. Then and now. The strength and elegance of these men and women (and children!) are not to be believed. I would highly recommend it if you're in town. John even said it was better than he thought it was going to be:) Performances run through December 30th. Check out the schedule here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Little Devil

I know - it looks kinda cute, even to me. And not at all like it has rabies.

Alive, check.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our New Neighbor

It doesn't seem right to say what I'm about to say below this adorable little guy, but... I hate cats. Okay, maybe hate is too strong. And I have liked a few in the past. There was DD, Jasmine, Lilly, and Kitty. But that's about it. (That's a lot, I guess.) But these days, I'm all about dogs.

That is, until the neglected cat next door started meowing so loud, my Holiday Road music wouldn't drown it out. John, being the kind soul that he is, decided to put out a plate of turkey and some water. It didn't take long for the thing to come and gobble it all down. And when it did, John cracked the door to try to make peace, and it bit him! I nearly had Earl Gray coming out of my nose. Sensitive, I know. But John went from feeling so sorry for this little guy, to slamming the door in the frozen cat's face.

I spent most of the day yesterday convincing John he doesn't haven't rabies. Apparently, if the cat dies in 10 days, we have a problem. So now, we're suddenly obsessed with keeping this cat alive. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Welcome, Hope!

My sister had her baby this weekend! Her fourth, actually. They've named her Hope. I love this name. As she was talking to me from her London hospital bed, I was looking at our Christmas tree - decorated with ornaments from childhood and new ones from friends and family - and was filled inside with joy at what a wonderful gift this little Hope is to all of us.

We'll be taking a vacation after the holiday to go visit my sister and her family in London. I'm so excited to meet my new niece! I've been waiting to buy the little one a soft little friend, like Abigail above from Hop Skip Jump. Indigo's pretty darn cute too! See more cuties from Aussie crafter Hop Skip Jump here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fridays with John: Elf Yourself

Before joining Liz (professionally), I worked in advertising for 5 years, mostly as a copywriter. It was great work and I still love a great ad--especially when you don't feel you're getting sold to. OfficeMax's Elf Yourself microsite does this perfectly. It's a great way for you to get into the holiday spirit and make fun of anyone you have a picture of at the same time.
While Liz is out running an errand, I took the liberty of "Elfing" a few of her favorite animals.

And this thing is no joke, created by the small, but big-minded, NY ad agency Toy, received 36 million views last year--over a span of only 5 weeks.

Red & Blue Rudolph

I recently did these cards for a client. I love that they wanted to use something other than red and green. Rudolph looks quite handsome in blue, too.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New York's Finest: Hot Chocolate

The hail tapping my window right now has prompted me to post this most delicious post.

Hot chocolate is a staple of mine for getting through the winter. I don't know how I survived four years living in Maine - but I'm a complete wuss when it comes to winter. My hands, my feet, my nose - they all cry out as soon as my pinky toe steps outside. (John loves this about me.) I walk around with my shoulders pressed up to my ears and wonder why I have a sore neck.

So anyway - hot chocolate. Last February, New York Magazine rated the city's top cups of hot chocolate, and I was pretty proud that my favorite was also their number one choice: City Bakery. YUM. It's more like drinking chocolate and you can really only have about 5 or 10 sips before you get a tummy ache. So take it easy. My friend Nick says Jacques Torres is the best, but NYMag only gave it #7:

Try to keep up, Nick.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lucky Us, Lucky You

Happy Holidays from Linda & Harriett and Lucky Magazine! We're giving 25% off to Lucky (and lucky) readers. Go sign up for Lucky Breaks at Lucky Magazine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Martha's Moose Peeking

The Christmas Cards are rolling in. Here's a cute one by Martha, of course. (I seem to say that a lot - "Martha, of course.") Anyway - I loved this little Moose peeking out behind the trees. And the envelope it came in was almost even better:

I love patterned envelopes. I'm trying to work it in to our line for early next year. I like to think of it as an extra little surprise party in your mailbox.

Monday, December 10, 2007

28 for Dinner + Graham Cracker Houses = One Big Surprise Party.

Okay, so my vision of rolling out the gingerbread didn't really pan out. But the kids had fun. And my father in law's surprise party was a huge success. Dinner for 28 in our apartment was not as hard as I thought. The keys were having enough places for people to sit (we used every single seat option, including our park bench and work chairs), cooking in advance and reheating (spinach artichoke dip, cocktail weenies, homemade lasagna and baked pumpkin pasta), and having plenty of booze - it doesn't (usually) go bad, so there's no harm in over-doing it. Over-buying it, that is.

I was a bit stressed prior to the big event - hosting 28 people for dinner in our little apartment to surprise my father in law for his 75th birthday. I was wondering if we were going to have enough food, enough chairs, enough (ack!) space! But in the end, the apartment has never felt so full, so comfortable, and so alive. Everyone was just happy to be there. John's large family is spread out all over and rarely gets together in the same place at the same time. It had been over a year - since our wedding - and before that, I don't even know. So it didn't really matter that the lasagna sauce was dripping down into the oven and causing the whole room to fill with smoke. Or that our tv/sitting room fits about 3-4 people max, or that we had plastic plates and silverware - so environmentally unfriendly, yes, but admittedly, it's the aesthetic of plastic dishes and utensils that bugs be even more. Everyone was thrilled to be with each other - celebrating my father in law's birthday - in the company of their nearest and dearest loved ones - seemingly oblivious to be sitting on uneven park benches, bumping into each other at every turn and eating reheated pasta with tacky plastic forks. Aleluya!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fridays with John: Paperwhites Part 2

And now I've found myself writing about flowers...
See below for my now open-aired opinion about the lovely Narcissus papyraceus. When googling the topic, I found Liz's entry and one other that addressed the topic. A gardener from the DC area wrote about it in an appropriately titled blog post: Pee-Yeeuuu.
I've taken some solace in reading the comments that followed:
  • Pee-yuuu, but Pre-tty!
  • Personally, I hate paperwhites. A more sinister confession: I'm not even that fond of tulips. I mean, the leftover foliage! It's like a balding man with a comb-over.
  • Once someone pointed out to me that the smell of paperwhites was very close to that of burning electrical wiring, I have had problems with them.
  • The first time I forced paperwhites I walked around my house for a day or so going "what is that SMELL??"
  • The malodorous flower is pretty but not enough to grace this house. My wife bought a bunch to force for one time only and they now reside outside in the garden.
  • When I was given some blooming paperwhites I had the same experience of looking for an electrical problem and then thinking there was something stinky in the garbage...I've avoided them ever since.
  • My son thought the ones on my desk smelled like model airplane glue.
  • I was wondering if I happened to buy a pot that was pee-d upon or something. My den stinks of urine.
I might not quite be in good company, but at least I'm not the only one with thoughts about this so-called "exclusive fragrance."

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Paperwhites For Bird

I love paperwhites. I love the simplicity of their bloom on top of their forever long stems - and of course I love the way they smell. (Side note: John thinks they smell like pee and thinks maybe I like the smell of pee. Nice.) Moving on, I do love them. They also remind me of my dear friend Bird. Years ago, my mom helped Bird put together a little paperwhite arrangement for her parents. A couple days later, they found out that her dad was allergic, and I'm pretty sure that ended paperwhites in their house for good.

I'm especially enjoying my paperwhites today because it's Bird's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Birdie!

And ps, feel free to protest John's sentiment. I mean... pee?? Let's get serious here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Goodies

I know I said I didn't want to make you all jealous in posting my goodies from Nancy - but I had to add these guys too. (Nancy said it's our very own Frank!) I don't know where our creative friend found these little treasures, but I do know that they will hang around well after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Morning in the Mail

Last year, John and I received a package from Nancy that trumped any package I have ever received. It was our first Christmas together, and knowing so, Nancy filled this package with all sorts of beautifully crafted ornaments and decorations. It felt like Christmas morning as John and I carefully unravelled each little treasure. I was floored yesterday when we received another package from her with more holiday goodies. John said I could post for the next week about these gems - and he's not wrong. (I am tempted - but I don't want to make you all jealous!)

While these packages from Nancy are above and beyond gorgeous and generous, I can't help think that receiving anything in the mail is a treasure - like having that person right there. You see their handwriting or unwrap the goodies they have selected for you or even get to enjoy something they have made or baked. Nancy is queen of these packages. And every time I get something from her, whether it's treasures like these little glass ornaments above or her famous chocolate chip cookies, I know she's thinking of me, and I feel her love all around me.

It's my goal (as indicated on the cover of our calendar) to send more care packages. It feels too good on the receiving end not to.

Thank you Nancy. I love you.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Two (beautiful) last minute additions

We're a little late on posting these. Late being quasi-relative. Late according to the decked out streets of Brooklyn, the trees for sale on the street, having attended my first two holiday parties this weekend, the holiday music (and 80 thousand decorations) in Duane Reade and the nice surprise sprinkle yesterday - yes, I suppose we are a bit late. But I LOVE them - and there's tons (and by tons, I'm making myself feel better here too) of time to buy gifts and send holiday cards - so I am sharing. And selling here. :)

Long Live Navy & Chocolate

I've had a lot of people tell me how they like the navy and chocolate envelopes, but how are they going to address them? I always suggest a gel pen, but not everyone has jars and jars of pens and markers lying around like me. I also like the good old "Hello My Name Is" name tags in a pinch, but I decided to design my own for L&H. So here we are, the festive little labels for addressing your envelopes. Get some for your dark envelopes here.