Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fall Fashion: J. Crew

I'm a huge fan of J. Crew. I'm also a huge fan of reading magazines, tearing things out of them, and squirreling my finds away in an elaborate filing system. {Seriously - the carrying case I keep my stuffed manila folders in must weigh 10 pounds!} But that's a story for another time.

Today I'd like to share with you some of my favorite fall inspirations ripped from the pages of J. Crew catalogs from the last three years or so. Even though many of the exact products aren't available anymore, I hope you'll be inspired nonetheless.

{click to enlarge!}

As you can see, I love J. Crew jackets. Though their prices are usually hard to swallow, I think the jackets - with their unique tailoring and dreamy, impossible-to-find-elsewhere colors - could be worth the price. I'm also loving the layering (of both colors and textures), the trim shirts tucked into full skirts, and the mixed prints (i.e. floral under argyle and topped by tweed). Somehow, it works.

Check back tomorrow for some of my favorite (current!) items, but in the meantime...

What's your favorite J. Crew fall trend?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cool Hand Luke

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Mr. Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”

{Photo and quote from the celebration of his life in the New York Times}

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

That's what she said...

Oh, how I love The Office. Tonight's premier, I think, was one of its best episodes ever.

And check this out:

Conan on The Office. Somehow I missed it the first time around.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And a chocolate raspberry pavlova for dessert

I completely forgot to mention what we did with all those lovely berries!

Not mine! (I forgot to take a photo, but this looks just like it.) From tdijkman's photostream on Flickr.

I decided to use them in a Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova to help celebrate a friend's birthday on Monday. It's also J's favorite dessert, so he was happy with this decision!

It's a really easy recipe from Nigella, but it takes a while to bake and cool so there is a little forethought that must happen if you're interested in trying this one out. Believe me, the delayed gratification is so worth it -- this recipe is really a stunner in both looks and taste.

Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova (slightly adapted from Forever Summer)

6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
3 Tbs. best quality cocoa powder, sieved
1 tsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar (I've used both with success)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups raspberries
2-3 Tbs. coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking tray with wax paper.

Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cocoa, vinegar, and chopped chocolate. Then gently fold everything until the coca is thoroughly mixed in.

Mound on to a baking tray in a fat circle approximately 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 and cook for about one to one quarter hour. When it's ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be dry on top, but when you prod the center you should feel the promise of squidginess. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the meringue cool completely.

When you're ready to serve, invert on to a big, flat-bottomed plate. Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the raspberries and the chocolate shavings.

Serves 8-10 (but I've stretched it to 16 in a pinch).

Apple Picking and Raspberry Harvesting

This weekend J and I went home, ostensibly so he could get a haircut from his mama. We managed to squeeze in a trip to our local pick-your-own orchard around his hair appointment. Luckily, our gorgeous New England Indian summer weather obliged!

Here are some of the delicious looking (and tasting!) raspberries:

Another glamour shot:

The path between the bushes.

The view from the top of the hill (you can just see the river in the background!).

Later in the day we took an evening stroll on the train tracks that cross said river. Don't worry -- only freight trains run on this particular route, so we were in no danger after business hours!

And later in the weekend I had the chance to visit a family friend's farmhouse in Connecticut's "Quiet Corner" and couldn't resist sharing the pictures. The house itself is charming in the true sense of the word, with twists and turns, nooks and crannies, and one very narrow staircase. It also has beautiful "grounds" consisting of a carriage house, an old railway depot they've converted into an art gallery, gigantic oaks, a sun-dappled lawn, woods, and even a small pond.

The pond's on either side of the path!

How did you take advantage of last weekend's gorgeous early fall weather?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



I love black and white photography. I love New England islands and exploring new places. I love headbands and long loaves of bread, tortoiseshell sunglasses and pearls, cupcakes and chocolate chips. I love Target and Anthropologie and flea markets. I love playing tennis, Indian food, NY Times crossword puzzles, maps, calligraphy, warm laundry, Duke basketball, wedding blogs, old movies, china patterns, and Martha Stewart. I also love paper, and making paper lovelies.

If you love any of these things, too, let's be friends.