6pm -- still no trick-or-treaters...
and the spiders are having a hard time controlling themselves...
curiously enough, my neighbor's candy disappeared hours ago...
but the spider at my front door says * happy halloween! *
by 7pm i had only had 1 trick-or-treater! but then things really started to pick up - and the candy is all gone! i'm *so* happy - i was worried that things had changed so much since i was little - but now my faith in humanity is reaffirmed -
kids can still be kids on halloween night!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
doesn't this look cute on a tshirt?
rosie o'donnell will be on martha today.
i think i've figured out why i couldn't find any of my baby boos this year - this pumpkin probably ate them all...
have a very happy halloween!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
sounds good, huh?
i googled it and got 452,000 results - so i picked 3:
epicurious: pumpkin cheesecake crumble squares
southern food: pumpkin cream cheese swirl brownies
good ol' martha: chocolate pumpkin cheesecake bars
Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
i bought some cute halloween fabric a few months ago. so a few weeks ago, i am feeling all seamstress-ly creative, and in a frenzied hour, while trying to perfect my "i only do straight seams" technique - i managed some halfway cute halloween pillows.
"life's a witch" fabric by alexander henry:
"boo" fabric - with "trick or treat" ribbon ties - all from jo ann:
- candle (i like white)
- candle holder (glass cylinder is always pretty)
- ribbons in holiday colors
- candlescaping material - sand, pebbles, or in my case - lentils!
- wrap candle with ribbon and tape or hot glue in the back.
- add candlescape stuff to candleholder.
- place embellished candle in cylinder - try to get it level & light!
kinda cute on the table.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
singapore airlines -- and its flagship changi airport -- rank among the absolute best in the world. singapore airlines again set itself apart, by being the very first airline in the world to take delivery of, and then today - run the first commercial flight of the airbus 380. the maiden voyage is flying roundtrip from singapore to sydney.
this is business class - the seats lay flat to become beds:
the singapore airlines * suites * - sitting area:
and dedicated single bed:
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
another simple idea to dress the house for the holidays. tie a ribbon, in a holiday color, around a lampshade, and embellish it a little. i used a .33 painted wood halloween ornament, and stuck it on the ribbon with double sided tape. wicked!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
i * love * getting real mailbox mail from friends and family -- and i especially love postcards b/c they're almost guaranteed to be good news - happy thoughts from happy places - along with great visuals -- and if it has a foreign postmark, its all the more fabulous! my friend pam just sent me a great postcard from her trip to the grand canyon - she sounds happy, tired, peaceful, and thankful -- all at the same time. i loved it & she has graciously allowed me to share it:
the stamp on it is really cool too b/c i think its one of a few mail routes still serviced by mules -- the route that relays mail * IN & OUT * of the grand canyon. isn't that neat?!!
from the usps website:
- Most Extraordinary Post Office is in Supai, AZ. This office is equipped with walk-in refrigerators and freezers to accommodate the food that is delivered to the bottom of the Grand Canyon by mule train for the Havasupai Indians.
- Most Unusual Delivery Method is the mule train in Supai, AZ. The number of mules varies according to volume being carried. Each mule carries about 200 pounds of mail, food, supplies and furniture down the 8-mile trail to the reservation. An average of 2,000 pounds is carried each week.
Monday, October 22, 2007
make some enchanted bat wing potion for your visiting ghoulfriends.
just take some regular hand soap, remove the labels under cold running water, and apply stickers -- these were $1 from michaels.
caught the rachel ray show last week and she tried on some hair product called sparkling shimmer spray - supposedly it gives you a diamond dust sparkle for $13.50. i'm sure it's subtle and beautiful, but i have a certain fondness for the way we used to do it: hairspray-ing our hair like our life depended on it, and then throwing glitter at it.
now THAT was halloween.
Friday, October 19, 2007
my cousin and cousin-brother-in-law (indian lingo) always rave about food from the islands i.e. jamaica, trinidad, tobago, etc...so last weekend after the pumpkin patch they treated me to some jamaican food. i had the curry chicken and it was so good - i could taste the indian influence, but it was wonderfully different. it had a lot of bones in it - but there was a sign posted saying that they served authentic jamaican chicken so to beware of dem bones.
they also had this pink ting - a light pink grapefruit soda that was really good! i bought 2, mon.
this was pretty good and definitely easy.
cod filets from trader joes, slathered with some great jerk marainade, and popped in the microwave in a covered glass bowl to steam for about 4 minutes. jasmine rice cooked with butter and lots of fresh ground black pepper.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
i love the new isig wreath from ikea. it's beautifully simple and organic on its own, but can u imagine it embellished with...
- simple fairy lights
- a single mini pumpkin and a beautiful ribbon for october
- a pilgrim pal couple for november
- candy canes for december
- "2008" in small wooden numbers spray painted a favorite color for the new year...
p. took this pic of me in rehoboth beach at the exact moment i fell in love with a vespa. i would totally get one except that i don't quite trust the drivers in baltimore. i think this would be perfect for someplace quaint, like martha's vineyard...
where, every sunday morning, i would circle the island, visiting lovely farmers markets, then come home to my fabulous kitchen,
and have wonderful coffee with fantastically fresh croissants and perfectly sweet ripe strawberries with a beautiful color that reminded me of something...what was it...oh yes, my lovely little vespa...
see how everything comes full circle?
baltimore isn't usually shortlisted as a place of culinary excellence or innovation, but our downtown is getting cuter by the day, and a tasty by-product of that civic revitalization is the increase in interesting places to eat. last night i had dinner at kali's mezze (which has been around since at least 2003) and shared some roasted eggplant, stuffed peppers, falafel, and crab cakes. also had some * GREAT * spanish cava. definitely need to get more of that...
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
my mom is originally from india, where they don't have halloween, and she still can't understand "why halloween is all about * SKOOPY * things - ghosts, witches -- all things that scare the children..."
but look what she got her kid cuz she knows i love halloween! haunted house kitchen towels, and an asian "boo!" lantern.
* she can't say "spooky" :)
warning: * boring * post ahead. a post about clothes detergent.
ok, so during my trip to toronto i got some blood on my clothes. i didn't realize it until i came home 4 days later, and went to do the laundry. in the meantime i had picked up some tide (my usual brand) - thinking nothing of it. i saw the smaller bottle, and thought it would just be easier to carry. so, i wash my clothes - KNOWING that the blood stains were NOT going to come out - especially days later. guess what? they came out - absolutely no trace of them - like they were never there. i must have stood at my washer for a good minute just amazed at the result. i've had trials with the same type of stains before; even if i wash them immediately and/ or pre-treat -- they are almost impossible to get clean. and that's with whites, in hot water, with extra bleach.
turns out what i had unknowingly picked up was tide's newest product called 2x ultra tide with bleach alternative. it looks like its their best yet, and is such a big deal they are doing a nationwide staggered roll out, and have a dedicated website so that you can find out when its coming to your town.
yes, it was a boring post. but i'm writing it in wonderfully clean clothes :)
-- update - 10.28.07 --
went to a halloween party and someone splashed a little *red* wine on my *white* jacket - i came home, wet the stains with hot water, applied some tide directly to them, and then washed in hot water. the stains came out. i am sold on this detergent.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
as i sit here working on my projects, i can't help looking out of my windows. i am, for the millionth time, reminded of the main reason i bought my little townhouse 4 years ago. i love my backyard. it feels like it goes on forever. in a time when houses are being built on top of one another, and builders are favoring common areas and clubhouses over preserving green areas - this 30 year old townhouse backs to state park - which to me is just about the most perfect backyard. when i look out of my windows, and see only trees and sky, it soothes my soul.
this is my lovely view looking left
and looking right
i know eventually i'll move, but god willing, i'll never sell :)
Monday, October 15, 2007
i haven't been to a proper pumpkin patch in years, so this weekend i visited my cousin in reston, va - and we went to the one in her neighborhood. they didn't have my baby boo pumpkins (the little white ones) and when i asked the farmer - in his kilt - he said that most farms over-produced last year, and then under-produced this year, so they are a little scarce. but i am still hoping to get some this weekend.
there was a cute little country store,
and some squash,
and some more squash,
and some "pumpkins with peanuts all over them" as my cousin said,
and a $40 "monster" pumpkin,
but we finally found the pumpkin meant for us...
Friday, October 12, 2007
wondering what to make for that great halloween party? i'm all for martha and her imported dutch chocolate and tahitian vanilla extracts, but sometimes you just need something simple, quick, and fun. if that's the case, then you might want to check out good old kraft foods for some cute holiday ideas.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
20x200 is a website devoted to showcasing new artists and making their work accessible to all of us. prints are available for $20 and are part of a limited edition run of 200. i love this print called I Bought All Of These by Kate Bingaman-Burt. her art reflects themes of "obsessive consumption." i think it would be just perfect in a home office or bathroom...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
i have known two amazing gardeners in my life -- my dad who was from india and my friend seema from nepal. and i'm telling you, even if they just walked by a plant, it would spring into a gorgeous thriving specimen. i mention where they are from because growing up in those countries, even in the 20th century, they had few modern conveniences as far as farming. my dad's family had a lot of acreage when he was growing up, and only bought their first tractor in the late 70's - when he was about 38 and had long since moved to the states. i think the rustic, no frills method imparts a true skill and love for gardening. it was all organic and heirloom varieties before most people ever cared about those sorts of things. no pesticides and no hybridized seeds - just digging shallow baby trenches that re-routed streams, that came from rivers, that came from the himalayas, and then swinging a shovel. if you can grow something under conditions like that, then you probably know what you're doing.
when i was growing up and would see my dad walking amongst his tomatoes and squash, i think i knew even then, that he had a sincere love for living things. and this extended to all living things. when the deer would come and eat his plants - he would never try to scare them away - he would just watch them, usually while eating a tomato or something he had just picked from his garden. one day i saw him standing there again, and i asked him why he didn't use deer repellent or something, and he answered, so very simply, that they had to eat too.
i love my dad and i love eastern philosophy.
my dad is gone now, and i still have a hard time when i see the daffodils he planted come up out of the ground every spring. i miss him for the smallest of things and for his profound excellence as a father. i know he had to leave, willing or unwilling in that moment, to continue his own soul's journey. we come alone and we go alone. i'm not to cry too much, because it would make his soul restless because he would feel my sadness. i am to thank him for all that he was, and is to me, and to be at peace with the circle of life. to bless his journey and tell him that we miss him, but we are doing ok, and that wherever he is - he should be happy and peaceful. when i remember these things those daffodils hurt a little less.
in the years since, i have met seema and she can grow anything too. her vegetable gardens are more compact, but fantasticaly luxuriant, lush, and healthy. when i first saw her garden it blew me away. she was living in a cute little brick row house, and she opened her cute little kitchen door, and it was like something you'd see in a movie. her backyard was different from everyone else's - bookended left and right with beds that had huge plants in amazing shades of green that were so heavy with vegetables. now whenever she comes to my house i try to gently steer her to my backyard - talking about this and that - just so that i can ask her questions about my garden. i think she's onto my motives but she doesn't seem to mind.
i got my love of gardening from my dad, but i am still a beginning gardener. i try to stick to things labeled "easy to grow" or "vigorous performer." i also only grow small amounts - mostly in containers. this year i grew 2 types of lettuce for the first time --
i don't recall putting in much effort - and they grew beautifully.
thanks dad, every bloom in my garden i owe to you.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
everyone loves a great smelling house, and bath and body works is having an amazing sale on all their essential oils -- they're just $3! i love using an oil warmer, and here are 2 tips i've learned the hard way:
- glazed ceramic or glass oil warmers are best - they're nonporous so they don't retain old fragrances
- fill about half of the reservoir with water, then add oil. it will be a gentler and longer lasting burn.
some recipes for fall essential oil mixes from b&bw:
Monday, October 8, 2007
and share your travel experiences with others!
there's lots of travel websites out there offering all sorts of great information. but one of the biggest considerations for me when traveling is the accommodations - its a huge chunk of my vacation dollar. expedia is a great all around resource, but my first stop while doing research on accommodations is trip advisor. they have rankings, real reviews, and pictures! whatever website you choose - do your friends and fellow travelers a favor, and share your experiences!
and just to get you started, here are the top 20 travel tips according to fine living. tip no. 7 has been a personal travel mantra for years:
Tip # 7: Sanitizing Measures