The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Not That One)

October 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

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It is hard to make new traditions sometimes, but one that I am a stickler about is Pumpkin Day. As I have mentioned before, I have an odd, deep love of pumpkins…they make me really, really happy. So getting my stash each year — A.K.A. “Pumpkin Day” — is pretty much one of my favorite days of the year. And for the last three years, our adorable Nephew has hit the patch with us, making PD even more fun and a sort of new tradition in our family that is blissfully prep and stress-free.

This year, Nephew — now older, wiser and more choosey — went though the field with gusto and also insisted on rolling his cart himself (with the help of my Brother and Mr. H., as he is, you know, only two). He also seemed pretty particular about which pumpkins were up to snuff, which I see as a good skill to cultivate early. And as you would imagine, he was pretty devastated when we had to put his cart away. Seriously, the child was upset. Thankfully, all was forgiven during the dessert course at lunch, where chocolate pudding was served. Nephew may have had ice cream before, but to our knowledge, never pudding. And heavens, did he enjoy it! The All-Over-My-Face kind of enjoyment that you can only have when you are this age.

Needless to say, we’ll be making this particular pudding another part of Pumpkin Day from hereon in.

Here is to Pumpkin Day and making your own traditions.

xx

(Photo of our haul: Mr. H)

One Last Hurrah…

August 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

almostover?

Oh my goodness! How did it get to be the beginning of Labor Day Weekend? (AKA: The End of Summer.) I know that it was busy, but really, this one went way too fast. Thankfully, I think we made the most of it, especially over these last couple of weeks. So, before we start thinking about fall and Fashion Week and All That Work We Need to Do, some last bits of summer, which in my book is at its best by the beach…

One of my favorite things about the season is the flowers — I know, this is not new information. And I especially love these particular roses when they greet me each day…

rosestogreetyou

The Village Improvement Society’s Annual Geranium Planting (I am not kidding about this, even though it sounds very Star’s Hollow) makes dog walks* a little bit more inviting in the morning, when I pretty much don’t want to be walking at all.

villageimprovementsocietyimprivingdogwalks

Also making dog walks and other activities more enjoyable is our town itself, which I find to be quite charming. Pierre’s is our year-round spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and the best fries around), and the library next door is very high on the Adorable Factor, as is their library card, of which I am a proud holder. (But I am pretty sure I owe them a late fee for a Mary McCarthy biography. I feel bad about that…I really do. But somehow, I still haven’t made it back in to pay it. I think it is shame that is keeping me away.)

pierres

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And then there is the beach. I don’t think there is a better place to take a nap than on a beach. And nap I did this summer. Quite a bit. This was my typical view when I woke up from one of said naps…

howlongwasiout?

Unless I was opted for the shade of our beach camp…

beachcamp

And sometimes, after napping, walking would happen. I know, everyone says it, but that is because it is true: A walk on the beach clears the mind, lifts the spirits and sometimes gives you ideas for interior design projects. (OK, that last part is probably just me.)

nevergetsold

imeanit

shells

(And this shell below has me thinking of all sorts of masculine colors for our kitchen project….but that is for another post.)

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Then there is eating. One of my favorite things to do. Ina always talks about them, but this place really is yummy…

goforthemeatloafstayforthemeatloaf

As is Navy Beach, which has been GOOP-ed, but I like to think that I knew about it first…

iwantayellowbikenow

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If only they were a little more forthcoming about the availability of tables outside…

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Not that I am complaining. Well, actually, I am. Seriously, that was just a few of the open tables outside. Grrr.

Anyway, one thing I could never complain about is Mr. H’s annual Birthday Dinner with our dearest friends. As always, this was one was excellent — and included doughnuts from Dough!

tradition

Naturally, this kind of eating requires a little more movement than just rolling over on my beach towel. So, I did attempt a jog or two and either I hallucinated it, or there is an amazing cobweb in this photo that I cannot see. If you can, I am very happy for you.

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And just in case you were concerned, A+O also had a very restful summer, including lots of time on the down cushions of our sofa. This does not please me, but they are so darn cute that I let it slide…

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And this year, we had an extra fun treat in the form of a fantastic sail on the most lovely boat…

yar?

I am not a sailor, but I think this one is pretty “yar”. (Watch The Philadelphia Story, please.)

someanchor

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So, even though I hate to see it go, I think that we did summer quite well this year, and hope you did same. And don’t forget to savor this long weekend — whatever your plans may be. I will probably still be napping and eating, if only for the sake of consistency.

xx

* In all fairness, Mr. H performs this duty far more frequently than I do. But, I am the one on teeth brushing and managing their schedules. Yes, they have schedules because parts of my life are ridiculous.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night and Mr. H)

How Do I Love Thee?

February 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been a sucker for Valentine’s Day since I was a little girl. All those reds and pinks in crepe and construction paper, the doilies and twinkle lights are just too hard to resist. And there is just something about hearts that always makes me smile, even when paired with the cheesy cupid cutout. So, for just about forever (particularly bad breakups excluded), I have loved this holiday.

New York usually loves it too, but when I was trying to find windows that filled me with that special “Valentine” feeling, I came up somewhat short. I did find one that was close enough, at a children’s store of all places (it’s my neighborhood…we just can’t help ourselves):

I think that big heart is sufficiently over the top. Perhaps the store’s proprietor also digs the holiday.

This is also the time to be over the top by making Valentines, another activity that I adore. Way before I knew that Paul and Julia Child prided themselves on their annual Valentines, I’ve been making my own, mostly for Mr. H. And if I had more time, I’d probably make them for many more recipients. I highly recommend it, provided that you really let it rip.

If making Valentines is not your thing but you want to get into the spirit of the holiday, may I suggest something as simple as sending someone you love some of your favorite love songs? I’m not suggesting “Annie’s Song”* or anything, but there are plenty that fall into the cool, retro and classic categories that will do the job. Off the top of my head, I would have to say that these three are the most romantic I can think of…

Cool  

“Number 1” by Goldfrapp (yeah…the video is weird)   http://www.goldfrapp.com/video/

Retro (and Cool)

“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure

Classic

“Moon River” written by Henry Mancini and sung Andy Williams (even Big thought so)

And they are all available on iTunes if you feel like sending your sweetie a little something sweet.

xx

*Not that there is anything wrong with this John Denver classic. I know that I cannot be the only grade school girl who imagined herself walking down the aisle to that tune. It’s ok. You can keep that to yourself.

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

A New Year

January 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

Crazy nice weather today, making our annual New Year’s Day Beach Walk one of the nicest we’ve had in a few years. For some reason, our New Year’s traditions seem the most special of the holiday season, even though it is beyond low key. Maybe because we are long past making it The Best Night of the Year, and just want to have a nice, quiet night before things start getting Not Quiet in a few days. Maybe it is because we really like champagne and a stupid movie. Who knows? I just know that I like it.

Many good things for us all in 2012.

xx

(Photo of the beach at noon today: Some Cozy Night)

“Our Place”

August 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mr. H and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary next week. And earlier this month, we attended my cousin’s hard-won, fully-legal-in-NYS nuptials. Needless to say, my thoughts between these two bookend events have been a little bit focused on the passage of time, what on earth Mr. H and I have been up to for all these years, and the countless little things that have become a part of our life together.

I’ll leave the sappy stuff to deBeers and mention one thing that all couples probably have in common: That restaurant or coffee shop you two go to all the time and think of  as “your place”. Mr. H and I have had a few, but one that remains a true constant is on a leafy block of the Upper East Side, not far from the park. We don’t live near it, but always seem to find ourselves there before or after a museum visit or some other jaunt uptown. (Or whenever we desperately need one of their delicious sandwiches or insane lasagna.) Our most recent visit to Our Place was on a gorgeous day last week when we decided to play hooky. We didn’t exactly plan it, but there we were, having our sandwiches and lattes, enjoying the silly people that surrounded us, and mostly enjoying each other’s company. Which, of course, is the best thing to do when you are at Your Place.

xx

(Photo of what was a delicious afternoon latte: Some Cozy Night)

P.S.

In the spirit of sharing:  If you are on the UES and find yourself in need of something delicious, pop into Via Quadronno on 73rd between 5th and Madison. Even the little cookies are super yummy.

Matchbooks are for Lovers

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

I don’t smoke. (I don’t think you are allowed to in New York anymore.) But I am a sucker for a charming matchbook cover. So it saddens me that so many restaurants around town are replacing their lovely matches with weird little logo-emblazoned pads of paper that are about the size of a Bubblicious wrapper. They are just so, well, disappointing.

No one is writing their number on those things to give to someone at the bar. And I am fairly certain that important note-taking happens using one’s smartphone, tablet or lovely Hermès diary. And so, I deem these matchbook replacements to be useless. And unless something is ridiculously beautiful or highly amusing, I don’t go in for Useless.

Which brings me back to the matchbook. Aside from being extremely useful — candles, people, candles — I love passing by a small group of them around the house and office. For me, they serve as excellent little mementos of time spent with the people I adore at the places I love best. Like photographs, but without someone’s eyes closed in the shot or you feeling like your arms look bad.

Therefore, I make this plea:  Can we have real matchbooks again, please??

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

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