Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pharrell Williams' Kidult Home

I promise an epic holiday update is coming soon, but in the meantime, check out these badass pictures from Pharrell Williams' Miami home. He calls himself a "kidult" and I think it's evident he decorates with all the panache of Tom Hanks in "Big." I love the staircase and the lucite piano, among other things. See the whole tour at The Selby.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!

The tree is decorated. The gifts are wrapped.

The stars went up. The red lipstick went on.

We took a trip to the Naro to see "It's a Wonderful Life on the Big Screen." Let's just say I sobbed a little bit less in public than I normally do at home.

Thank God we finally found the time to get our holidays on. Today, we're heading to my mountain hometown, deep in the Appalachians. I wish the very best to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

From the Falls Test Kitchen

Prepare yourself for your new holiday entertaining classic: Jen's Artichoke Dip. This is so good, and you can seriously trick non-artichoke lovers into devouring it. Jen was kind enough to share her recipe with me yesterday, even though it will expose how easy her specialty is. Thank you for your selfless holiday giving, Jen!

Jen's Artichoke Dip
  • 1 can of medium artichoke hearts
  • 1 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • Paprika
  • Fritos
  1. Drain, rinse, pat, dry and chop the artichoke hearts.
  2. Mix artichoke hearts with mayonnaise and cheese.
  3. Place mixture in a pretty baking dish and sprinkle top with paprika and if you like, extra cheese.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  5. Serve with Fritos.
Seriously. We devoured this at the Outer Banks and I kept coming back for more at our wine club holiday party. It's easy peasy and everyone will ask for the recipe!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dooce's House

One of the loveliest things about blogs is that you get to watch a story unfold in somewhat real time, not knowing what to expect or how it will end. I've been reading Heather Armstrong's blog Dooce since she undertook her first kitchen renovation and two houses later, it's amazing to see how her style has evolved and become more playful and adventurous.

These shots are from her newest house, and are of her dining room, meeting area and playroom for her daughters. Most of the furnishings are from catalogs, like CB2 and Anthropologie, and IKEA. Awesome!

Wino Christmas Party 2010

Hi friends! Remember me? I'm just your friendly neighborhood blogger who has been shopping till she drops, wrapping gifts until she has paper cuts on every finger and hasn't unpacked her weekend travel bag in months because she's always traveling on the weekends.

I've slacked a bit in terms of blogging this Christmas compared to last, when I was a new and adventurous baker. I hope you'll forgive me! I feel like new wives put a lot of pressure on themselves to deliver the perfect "first married Christmas," forgetting that they suddenly have to shop for more people, visit more people and just generally adapt to their new holiday realities. So with that, I'm going to quit apologizing for not baking more, and cut myself some slack. For your reading pleasure, I present the Wino Christmas Party of 2010.

Last year, we each brought a champagne and learned how to cut it open with a sword. This year, we took it down a notch and each brought a wine with a Christmas-y label (mine had an angel on it) and brought our "greatest hits" food dishes.

My personal fave? Jen's cheesy goodness artichoke dip (hopefully I can get the recipe to share with you).

Our line-up of Christmas-y shocker here, but most were reds.

Me and the hubby.

My new best friend, Bailey.

We did Secret Santa, and of course all my pictures are blurry. This one of Lauren was the clearest (and maybe the cutest).

But I was most excited to finally bust out my vintage leopard swing coat, a $50 purchase in Staunton a few years ago. I also wore my wedding heels!

Wine club says, "Happy Holidays!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Wrapping 2010

If you take a little lookie loo, you'll see our tree has, oh, three ornaments on it. I'm hoping to rectify that tonight, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share a sneak peek at this year's Christmas wrapping.

Every year I pick a different color scheme and roll with it. My reasons are two-fold: 1) Everyone knows which gifts are from me and 2) I don't have to buy holiday wrapper, which can't be used during the rest of the year (and which I personally don't enjoy). You can see all my color schemes going back to 2006 here.

This year I chose blue and gold. I didn't really have a reason, except that I wanted it to look rich and festive, and maybe an eensy bit nautical. I bought the gold kraft paper at Target, along with the blue metallic swirly paper. I bought the polka dot and navy rolls of paper at Paper Source. The ribbon came from Michael's and M&J Trimming.

I think they look pretty good so far! I'm still wrapping, though.

This is just another little sneak peek at our holiday decor (which is nowhere near finished). I took down our regular grouping of photographs and paintings and replaced them with the glitter stars from our wedding. They look very lovely, and I'm happy I could use some of the wedding stuff again.

We'll be putting some more ornaments on the tree tonight! I'm excited to finally deck my halls, even if I'll be out of town for most of the holidays.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday Best v.43

I went to my first professional football game yesterday with my own Redskins superfan husband, and a gaggle of friends. Our dear friend Ashleigh gave us tickets as a wedding present. It was really cool to see them in person, and much more interesting, but the weather, which was cold and rainy, was miserable. Srsly. And of course, they lost in the last second. I'm looking forward to going to more games in the future, though; they are much more entertaining in person.
  • If only Facebook were so kind as to give us this warning label.
  • These are pocket books after an English major's heart.
  • Perfect gift for your chocoholic office mate: chocolate pie chart.
  • I've been a hopeless collector for all my life. Perhaps if I photographed my collections like Lisa Congdon, I would be able to part with some of them someday. She has a very fabulous-looking book due out, too.
  • If I had a kitchen, I would buy these schoolhouse lights by Amy Ruppel in a second.
  • Finally! Sandwich spreads named after my favorite catchphrase.
  • I'm in love with these special edition classics, most especially the cover of "Emma."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lonny Magazine

Do you guys read Lonny? I was a Domino Magazine devotee and still sometimes can't get over the loss of the magazine after it was closed by the dunderheads at Conde Nast in 2009. It took me a little while to warm up to the idea of reading Lonny on my computer, which is like an online sister to Domino with the former staffers to give it street cred, but the issue that went up today was gorgeous. So much eye candy.

Take an hour this weekend to flip through the digital pages; you won't be sorry. Enjoy your weekends, friends! I'm off to DC for the millionth time in the past 2 months, this time to help move my sister-in-law into her awesome single girl apartment and to go to my very first Redskins game. Sunday Best probably won't go up until Monday as a result, but I promise it's got plenty of awesome links.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Paper Wreath Completed!

I finished the wreath last night once I'd replenished my hot glue stick supply. All I had to do was add some extra ruffles and fill in some of the holes. I have to say, it does look pretty fabulous.

We're going to do the rest of our decorating tomorrow night, and I'm very excited. I've been feeling so left out in the neighborhood!

Unfortunately, we aren't getting a real tree this year like we did last year. We are going to be out of town almost every weekend of the holidays, plus our neighborhood doesn't provide any recycling services and the city won't pick it up. I'm sad to say we might not have a real tree until we live in a real house...that's motivation to save right there!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paper Wreath

While I was tearing my guest room apart the other day, I came across a tupperware container full of these garlands from our wedding. I had no idea where they had wandered off to, so finding them was such a pleasant surprise! I knew when we made them that I would like to incorporate them into my holiday decor as a way of remember our wedding. Plus, a bibliophile like me can never get enough to typography- and book-inspired decor.

I wanted to find ways to tie the theme together, so I googled around and found this tutorial to make a wreath of book pages. Considering I still had half of "Breaking Dawn" left to be mutilated (the only book I felt comfortable destroying), I thought this was a perfect project for the home of two journalists.

As with all craft projects, however, I encountered some hiccups along the road (would I be me without them?).

I'm not going to pretend I can be as exhaustive as that tutorial I linked to, and I also didn't take incredibly pretty pictures. I had my eyes on the prize for this one. But I can help you along a bit. You will need:
  • A styrofoam circle
  • Ribbon if you want to hang it up with ribbon
  • Books you don't mind ruining
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Tear out a ton of pages.

Fold them in a way that intrigues you. I do not believe there is a right or wrong way, except for maybe accordian folding, which would require much more gluing. You will need to squirt little dabs of glue between the folds to secure them, then place a line along the flattest side and stick it to the wreath, with the pretty foldy part toward the outside.

Like so. Repeat, many many times.

Eventually, you'll finish the first layer and you'll start a second layer right on top of that, and another and another until it starts to look as full as you imagined it. This takes some time, but is a fairly mechanical process.

The only problem would be if you, say, ran out of glue sticks not even halfway through the first layer and your husband ignored your frantic text to pick some more up. But never fear; that's why a good woman always has a jar of Mod Podge lying around. It'll get the job done, but will just take a little longer.

About halfway through the process (holy blurry picture, Batman!), I decided it was bow time, which is always a source of struggle for me. I can never seem to wrangle ribbon into pretty bows, which is why I praise the Internet Gods for the myriad tutorials out there. Martha Stewart's site has a particularly useful bow guide.

I'm still not done, but I went ahead and hung the wreath from the china cabinet until I can replenish my hot glue provisions. I think it looks sort of fluffy and romantic, but I'm wondering what the neighbors will think? Nary a poinsetta in sight!

Monday, December 6, 2010

China Cabinet

What would we all do without friends who have trucks? Miranda and Travis saved us again this weekend, which was jam-packed with rearranging, decluttering and organizing.

At the rate we're moving, we'll be decorating for Christmas in January. While most people were digging out their ornaments and lights this weekend, we were making messes upon messes in an effort to get organized.

We were fortunate after our wedding to receive many of the things we asked for, albeit without anywhere to put them. Our kitchen cabinets were stuffed to the gills; I had two drawers so full of linens you couldn't really open them.

Once we stuffed all the leftover wedding stuff (centerpieces, decorations, napkins, etc.) into the guest room, we piled the gifts in there, too and suddenly it went from neat and tidy to an episode of Hoarders. And if you saw my collection of empty boxes, that's not far from the truth.

We agreed the solution would be a china cabinet, but to make that happen, we had to move our big IKEA Expedit bookcase out of the dining area and into the guest room. And to make that happen, we had to clean out the guest room. You can see where I'm going with this, can't you? That was our entire weekend.

We bought this Federal-style china cabinet with George Hepplewhite-style drawer pulls off Craigslist. Although the wood is quite pretty, I'm not a dark wood kind of girl, at least not in an apartment that gets almost no sunlight.

I can't paint it just yet, since it's winter (I would totally take the risk if Sean hadn't stopped me), but I wanted to do something to make it a little more me. I sloppily (I'll admit it) lined the back of the cabinet with gold metallic kraft paper I bought at Target. It looks sort of Christmas-y and festive. When I can paint it, I'm thinking white or a whitish gray on the outside, with a blueish gray on the inside, possibly with stripes.

I was excited to finally display all my pretty things in one place. The William Rogers silverplated dessert plates came from Plantiques in Newport News; the Wedgwood pieces were my grandmother's and the gravy boat is from Crate and Barrel.

The jadeite cake stand is a new purchase! I spotted it at the Williamsburg Antique Mall (my fave!) and had to have it. The teal pressed glass sundae cups are from there, as well.

For our honeymoon, Sean bought us the creamer and sugar bowl from Heath Ceramics in San Francisco. Their color is more green than you can tell in this picture. The dessert plates also came from Plantiques.

Another new purchase! Zinc placecards from Paper-Source.

I was most excited to have somewhere to stash my linens, especially because I just bought a pretty white linen tablecloth in Alexandria, along with a taupe hemstitch linen runner.

And voila! The only scary part is that the whole thing wobbles a little when we pad by it, so I've been walking very, very quietly. Also, the glass is loose in the right pane there, so that will eventually have to be addressed.

Tomorrow I'll show you some incredibly embarrassing pictures of how messy it got in the guest room. I'm redoing it again, and my goal lately has been to bring more cohesion to my home. I'm trying to prune out my belongings a bit, and repeat colors and patterns. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Best v.42

Today, I'm admiring hat storage in fabulous homes. Remember when men regularly donned chic chapeaus? Nope, I don't either, but I love to fantasize about it. These clever fashion-as-decor hats belong to Tom Wolfe, up top, and Herve Pierre, below. Both homes have been documented on The Selby.