Re-Entry: A Week’s Worth of Coping

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Happy Thursday! I’ve been back home for almost a week now and I must say, things have been not too shabby.* As always, a combination of planning and being open to whatever has been key.

On the planning front, I made sure that the house was in Ready Mode when we arrived with a stocked fridge c/o Fresh Direct and some lovely flowers from Emily Thompson (


There is also the matter of making sure that my agenda for the return week was set to a certain degree. Before I left, I divided my “Work”, “Home” and “Personal” To Do lists into “Before You Leave” and “Upon Return” segments. I’ll spare you the contents, as many things were as mundane as “order diverter for shower” and “complete the E&O Insurance Application”, but every list feels better when you have it in something pretty. I count my blue diary with refillable inserts among one of those things, even if the checkbook sticks out:


And in the diary, I reminded myself to schedule some fun and some maintenance. So, brows and facial this afternoon with the lovely Robin Evans who keeps me from looking like a teenage George Whipple ( and dinner at The Modern ( last night, with a wonderful view of one of my very favorite gardens in the city…


Nothing like this kind of view to make you feel less glum about leaving the sparkle of the sea and unlimited amounts of guacamole. Also, the wine and painstakingly prepared and served food helped.

And this evening, dinner with a Bestie — just us girls — as the most excellent 606 R&D ( Donuts may be consumed, so I was good and had some steamed broccoli for lunch.

As for the unexpected, I managed to unpack on Saturday (this almost never happens to me), leaving me with a free Sunday. So, I decided to head uptown to buy some hankies for the upcoming and dreaded allergy season. In addition to discovering that the watch repair place was open (ON A SUNDAY!!), I also happened upon the last few boxes of my absolute favorite plain note cards by G. Lalo. I am a great fan of the handwritten note and these could not be more stylish…


They are still on my dressing table because the boxes make me happy. I will put them away, but not until a trip to Ladurée occurs, I think. Macarons are immensely cheering, no?

The weekend will be at the beach, where large amounts of working out will hopefully occur, as will the consumption of a fabulous Saturday lunch c/o Topping Rose House (, one of the best additions to our little town out there.

And that is about all I have for now, except to say that I have more to say about the Fall Collections, but for now, I will leave it at this: Is it me, or was there WAY too much fur?? (For me, “none”, is best.)


*Except for my inability to rise at a decent hour to work out or meditate. Hoping to re-set on that one this weekend.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)


Waste Not, Want Not

February 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Or something like that. After the flower-cade from last Saturday, some of the more delicate flowers in the arrangements were a tad past their prime by Wednesday. But I make it a point to never toss out the good with the bad, so I set to work tidying them up and making new arrangements with the material that was in fine form.*


Originally from the Out-of-a-Dutch-Still-Life arrangement in the dining room, some of the magnolia branches add a perfect bit of  color in my rather monochromatic bedroom.


Tulips from everywhere found a place to be all swoon-y in the library…as did some anemones and ranunculus…


And I never forget the bathroom, which always benefits from a little floral matter. This time, I took some smaller magnolia branches and used them as support for some other tulips…


Happily, these have kept the place cheery during our nutty week that is now meant to end with some serious snow — and hopefully a flight out to our Nothing-is-a-Problem Hideaway on Sunday. Fingers crossed and keep cozy!



*This also works well with arrangements you might not like, or are too big. When you spy a juice glass or teeny cup at a tag sale or in your basement from who-knows-when, think about the possibilities.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night and Mr. H)

Doldrums Takedown

February 4, 2013 § Leave a comment


Heaven knows that I was delighted to read that the Groundhog’s Day Projection is only six more weeks of winter. Nevertheless, I think that we needed to banish an impending Winter Doldrums stat. So in addition to having some good friends over for a leisurely dinner this weekend, I also decided to go a little insane in the flower department — courtesy of the wonderful Emily Thompson. The dinner definitely chased away those blues, making the latest snowfall more charming than dreadful. And clean up the next day was vastly improved by all those lovely flowers…so I thought I would share them with you. Enjoy!






Just six more weeks!!


(Photos: Some Cozy Night)






July 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

So, I am back from a little trip to Southern California for a proper get together with some of my good friends. You probably already know this, but concentrated time with your Besties is very important on the Life Worth Living Front, and I am so glad that we are all able to make it happen on a semi-regular basis, especially when breakfast overlooked this view…

In addition to having a lovely time just hanging out and catching up on the Important Issues of Our Times (managing your triceps, avoiding bad feet later in life, whether or not Ballet Slippers has been reformulated…), I could not help but notice that the spa grounds were covered in marigolds. Not a flower I typically enjoy, but in such concentrated amounts, with dashes of brilliant purple, I was kind of digging them…

This was a reflexology path, which none of us walked on since it looked kind of hot and burned feet were not going to help us relax.

And one closeup of the combo. Not sure if it does it justice, but trust me, it was cool.

Marni Girl that I am, I was also thinking that maybe this is a color combo I can try as summer reaches its peak and rounds into early fall. (Mrs. Roper gave Color a bad name, I fear.) I think carefully planned, this may look kind of fantastic. Full report to come. Until then, mix it up a bit…no better time than the present.


(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

New Life for What is Spent

July 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

So, you guessed it: I am still at the beach. Fielding work and home crises, naturally.* But I have been able to fall into several wonderful Beach Comas, determined that no shelter magazine from the last five years contains My New Kitchen (for another post) and also puttered around the garden a bit.

Yesterday’s haul was quite pleasing…

Even O-Dog approved:

And yet, there was the issue of the lavender plants. A week ago, they were in fine form:

I keep them by the back door to the house so that when you brush by them, you get that delicious fragrance. Which also works in smaller doses in the guest bath, for instance…

But as of yesterday, they were spent, and if there was any chance of getting more blooms, I had to do the deed: deadhead the suckers. Like a hard prune (which I performed on my tomato plants earlier in the week), this is one of gardening’s most uncomfortable endeavors. But, it must be done, and so I did it. This left me with a significant position of lavender blooms that I just could not toss. So, I began harvesting, which is probably considered a sign of insanity in the DSM.

“How long could this take??” I cheerfully thought to myself as I began the process. For the record, it took as long as it took Mr. H to get through the first half of his seven hour BBQ Pulled Beef (which is insanely delicious, but off topic, I know). Still, I let the perfume soothe my slightly achey head and kept going until the above pot was full.

And there was still more.

So I decided that these little science lab measuring cups would be perfect for tiny bedside whiffs of lavender. (They are also good for a chic way to dispense vitamins. Also off topic.)

And there was still more. So I found a jam jar and put the rest in there for later use.

I wish I could tell you that my house smells like Provence, but it smells more like BBQ sauce (homemade!) and sunscreen. Still, I was glad to have had the time to do it, and who knows, maybe my weekend houseguest will have sweeter dreams on account of my of efforts.


*Was that water leaking from the office above ours onto a few desks? YES, is was, making this our second flood in about six weeks, but whatever. Thanks to my able team that I didn’t need to come back to the city to manage it.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night.)

It Does Not Take a Lot of time to Have a Little Yum

July 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Just a quickie for a little inspiration.

My herb and tomato plants are doing nicely, and Mr. H sent me this photo of some of our yield from earlier today:

Pictured here is some delicious yellow grape and brown cherry tomatoes, basil (we have TONS of basil…pesto soon), mint and marjoram.* I like to combine these things with a little cheese on some multigrain toast for breakfast or a snack. Yum!

Enjoy the 4th!


*Please note that marjoram is lovely with all kinds of other herbs, so mix it up. And is smells heavenly, so don’t be afraid to put some in a bud vase.

(Photo: Mr. H for Some Cozy Night. And the salt is Maldon…Gwennie isn’t a dope all the time.)

The First Cut is the Deepest

June 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

My life is not always the life I have in mind for myself. I want to be one of those peaceful people who has time to grow things, come home from work and make an amazing meal, carefully manage how my orchids are coming along and discuss which new ballet productions I’ve loved and which ones I loathed. Maybe I want to be a retired WASP living in Connecticut? Or an Alice Waters-type in Berkeley? Who knows. But I think we can all agree that whatever it is, I am not there yet.

That said, I did get this to bloom again. So, that is something.

Still, the disconnect between how I want things to be and where they really are requires that I recall the principle of the BATNA from my negotiation classes. (Yes, I actually studied this stuff.) BATNA stands for the Best Alternative To No Agreement. Right now, I am in need of a Life BATNA, and decided that my Best Alternative to being the person I described above is to get a little help with the getting to that place and to not bite off too much when possible. (The latter is a Development Area for me.)

This brings me to the Cutting Garden. I’ve wanted one forever, since I am a firm believer in fresh flowers in the house whenever and wherever possible. And there is something so luxurious about just popping out into your garden and snipping off a few buds to bring into the house. So after several years of dreaming about it, and thinking that I would get to it when I have time, I asked my friend who is also a Landscape Designer to just put a small one in for testing purposes. (The following years will be for getting the layout just where we want it, and for flower choice refinement.) And so he did:

Dahlias and salvia.

More salvia, which line each side of the beds and smells lovely, and some zinnias in a color that I wish I could find in lipstick.

Cleome, I think.


No idea, but I am sure they will be pretty.

More dahlias…

And the “something green” I asked for in an email, but could not remember what I meant when pressed during our last meeting. But he came up with something perfect.

So I found myself standing around all these new things in the back of my house, and didn’t want to touch a thing. I mean, shouldn’t I be “saving” these flowers for something?

The answer is simple: No. Flowers are for now. But being a planner and someone who’s childhood was not without plastic slipcovers, this is a big block to overcome. But I reminded myself that (1) cutting these flowers was part of the Life BATNA I am working on and (2) if I didn’t, I would have to buy some and that would be wasteful. And I hate waste. So, I got my clippers and went for it…

Dahlias and salvia.

Some very early hydrangea blooms…this was a tough one, since they last a long time on the plant, but I cut anyway.

The light scent of roses makes brushing one’s teeth in the morning a little more civilized. And that is the point, isn’t it?

Now, there is still much left to do to get these beds to where I want them to be. Same goes for me personally, I guess. But at this very moment, I am delighted by both the present result and the prospect of the future.


(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

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