Archive | Holidays RSS feed for this section

Food is Love: Valentine’s Day 2014

17 Feb

IMG_9456

We went big. Not quite as big as 2012, but as always, the day and weekend largely revolved around food. (And Brian spoiling me WAY too much.)  Since we had a very late dinner reservation, we snacked on crudites and prosciutto at home while we sipped some wine before heading out for cocktails at a cute spot Brian thought I’d like called Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge. The atmosphere was retro-glam/old-Hollywood so it was right up my ally. Any excuse to wear some fur…

IMG_9441_editdress: Cynthia Rowley/jacket: Anne Taylor Loft (old)/belt: BCBG

All their fruit purees are made fresh so I was excited to try the “Brain Teaser” with caçhaca rum, strawberry puree, lime juice, and champagne. Brian had “The Avenue” with Maker’s Mark, Daron Calvados, passion fruit puree, orange blossom water, and pomegranate. His was a little too “alcohol-y” (is that a term?) I thought, but I’ll definitely try to re-create mine at home sometime soon, it was so fresh and fruity. After we snagged two bar seats, we happily sipped our vintage cocktails before heading to dinner at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel in Boston.

20140218-231412.jpgThe wine selection at Scampo is vast and thoughtfully chosen

Dinner was absolutely delicious though we had a bit of a rocky start when we were seated 45 minutes late. Nothing a few glasses of wine and some incredibly creamy, oozy burratta and prosciutto flatbread couldn’t fix though — we’re easy to please. As much as I loved our entree, (we ordered the same), I think the spaghetti bolognese was the highlight of the night for me. Well, that and the Super Tuscan I drank with our apps.

20140218-230843.jpgSo thrilled we finished off leftover Valentine’s-themed gift wrap. Finally!

Wow, three whole paragraphs devoted to food. Priorities, right? I suppose you might also be interested to hear what we gifted each other? I’ve almost given up on ever outdoing Brian’s incredible thoughtfulness when it comes to gifting because he blows me out of the water every.single.time, but I’ll share more details on that later this week… there was chocolate involved.

20140217-083243.jpg

DIY Quote Valentines

29 Jan

IMG_9322The tradition of sending valentines combines two of my favorite things in the world – correspondence + paper goods. Although there are tons of gorgeous options to buy in stores, I love making my own. This year I decided to bring back a design I used back in 2008, long before I had a camera on my cell phone to snap a picture of the results unfortunately.  I love being able to personalize each with favorite quotes, ink embellishments, and pretty paper scraps I’ve collected from old calendars, catalogs, and magazines.
IMG_9311First I gathered together some white card stock, my pretty paper scraps, a glue stick, and my favorite fine-tip black ink pen. I cut some hearts from a Tiffany’s catalog and a Victoria’s Secret “Pink” mailer, and tore out some of my favorite pages from a 2012 Audrey Hepburn desk calendar.
IMG_9318
After I glued my paper elements onto the card stock and let them dry a bit, I embellished the hearts with my pen. Then I just collected some of my favorite quotes on love, friendship, and romance and wrote them out in my best, most flourished-looking cursive. I’ll write my personalized messages on the reverse side before popping into some envelopes I “borrowed” from a huge box of generic thank you notes I got at Target a while back for like, $5 on clearance. Easy!

Christmas Crafting

17 Dec
20131217-091139.jpg
My mom is far and away the most creative person I know. Long before Pinterest and DIY became cool, she had my siblings and I making Christmas ornaments and entering craft fairs. She’s the reason I thought to artfully strew our ugly brass dining room chandelier with evergreen clippings, berries, and pine cones sourced from anywhere I saw anything worth gathering. And she’s definitely the reason I was outside freezing my behind off yesterday, making “ice lanterns” with bits of greens and berries for our party this Saturday! She taught me to think creatively and find beauty everywhere.
 
I think that’s why I have such a strong association with crafting around the holidays. We were always making something together as a family like decor for the house, gifts for friends and family, or just decorating paper gingerbread men for the Advent calender. Two of my favorite childhood projects involved painting reclaimed bricks to look like cute little row houses which I sold as door stops and garden décor. The other was a painted clay pot angel for Christmas. I made dozens to give as gifts. To me, it’s just not Christmas unless there is crafting.
 

// Photos: clockwise from top left — One of my ice lanterns / our evergreen chandelier / our second-ever gingerbread house / the anniversary bouquet that was re-purposed for some of the previously mentioned Christmas projects (see the berries and greens?!)