A Little Break.

A slight change in plans: after a lovely and very relaxing Christmas, I've decided - like many of my blogger friends - to take this week off. (Just a little break, not so much from blogging, but from computers in general.) I'll be back January 2nd, and I can't wait to see you all then!

In the meantime, a few links in case you're looking for something to read:

1. New York Magazine dining critic Adam Platt lists the 101 best restaurants in New York City. Guess how many I've been to? Six! Seems I've got a lot of work to do.

2. "The Moment's Best in Design." So much great stuff - I love those colorful dining room chairs.

3. Philip Bump of The Atlantic figures that Santa Claus would have to visit over six-thousand kids per second on Christmas Eve. Whew.

See you all very soon!

Vintage blocks photo via bellalulu on Etsy. (Sadly, they've been sold.)

Happy Holidays.

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you laugh, love, and eat to your heart's content. I'll be back January 2nd, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share photos of two family Christmas trees: first, Max and Margaux's, (featuring adorable fluffball, Henry),

and mine, back in NYC. That's my roommate, Natalie, and me, pretending to hang ornaments during our tree-trimming party earlier this month. Don't we look convincing?

Wishing you the happiest holiday weekend! See you in the new year! 


Isn't this wonderful? Thanks, Swissmiss.

Jeffers's Java.

I hopped on over to artist Oliver Jeffers's website yesterday after seeing this post on all the mountains. I've been a fan of Mr. Jeffers's work for a while, (my three-year-old niece adores his delightful children's books), but I wasn't aware of his other projects, all of which are positively enchanting. I especially love these drawings, each featuring a ring - or several - from the bottom of a coffee cup. 

See more at Oliver Jeffers's website, here, including the rest of "A World With Coffee."

PS: A big thank you to everyone who commented yesterday with ideas for holiday desserts - I'm so excited to read through the recipes and give them a try! 

Dessert Dilemma.

It happens all the time: because my love of sweets is no secret to anyone who's spent more than five minutes in my presence, I often get asked to provide dessert for dinner parties and holiday gatherings. This year's no exception - I've just learned that I'll be in charge of the last course of my family's Christmas dinner on Sunday. Here's the thing, though - as much as I'd like to fancy myself a pastry chef, my skills are, well, still developing. 

Last year, I attempted an apple upside-down cake, which cracked down the middle as I was taking it out of the pan - we called it "the San Andreas cake." Oops.

I was wondering, because you've always been such great advice-givers, do you have any favorite holiday dessert ideas that you'd be willing to share? I would love to try something new this year. As always, I appreciate your input so much!

Holiday Humor.

Hello from not-so-sunny Los Angeles! Despite the clouds this morning, I'm so happy to be home. The time difference (a whopping three hours) has messed a bit with my blogging schedule today, but I couldn't let the afternoon go by without posting these amazingly funny holiday cards by artist Nicola Rowlands. (Nicola makes the "pocket man friends" that Joanna blogged about in October.)

In case it's hard to read, this one says, "Happy holidays to you and your horrible little dog,"

while this one introduces us to Geoff, "a rabbit who loves the Christmas spirit."

"Here," says this jolly, carp-wielding gentleman, "I didn't wrap it."

Lastly, these pillow ornaments feature cats craving tacos. Incredible.

See more at Nicola's Etsy shop, here

Homeward Bound.

Sunday morning, I'll be heading home to LA for the holidays, and naturally, I've already made a lengthy to-do list for my three weeks there. At the top of my agenda? Spending time with family, of course, which includes these two wide-eyed critters. I can hardly wait!

Pictured above: Charley the schnoodle, and Ramona the cat. Both photos by Max Wanger.

Have a happy weekend! See you Monday.

3 Things.

Three links for this rainy Thursday: 

1) Click here to see how this interactive poster by Roland Tiangco works. So smart.

2) I loved this round-up of "unique celebratory desserts" from around the globe, at My Modern Met. I tried pavlova on my trip to New Zealand a few years ago. (The photo below comes from this recipe post by Sarah J. Gim on Tastespotting.)

3. My brother, Max, has just posted some of his photos from our recent trip to Tokyo on his blog - and not surprisingly, they're stunning. I especially love the collage he put together, pictured below. See his full post, here

In Love With Lists.

My love for lists has been well-documented on this blog; first here, then here, and finally, here. So naturally, when I came across Shaun Usher's new site, "Lists of Note," (Shaun's the editor of the equally brilliant "Letters of Note"), I was instantly hooked.

Three stand-outs: architect Eero Saarinen's index of his wife's most captivating characteristics (including my favorite - "that you were fantastically efficient"),

Johnny Cash's short and sweet list of to-dos

and this guide to jive talk from musician Harry "The Hipster" Gibson. (I "solid blew my top" when I saw it.)

See more at Lists of Note.

Holiday Gift Ideas: Do-Good Gifts.

To close out this year's gift guide, a few chic choices that benefit wonderful charities - click the links below to find out which!

That does it for the gift guide - thanks so much for following along; it was fun, if not a little dangerous for my wallet. See you tomorrow!

Holiday Gift Ideas: For Pets.

For dogs, cats, and the owners who love them: a cardboard teepee, organic catnip, a wooden puzzle for canines, and an extra-snazzy bow-tie collar.

Tomorrow, do-good gifts...

Holiday Gift Ideas: For the Kids.

For sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews: a pair of fleece-lined yellow moccasins, all-natural play dough, a charming little feathered friend, and a heart hat I'd buy for myself in an instant - if only I could. 

Have a lovely weekend! On Monday, gifts for pets...

Holiday Gift Ideas: For the Guys.

For dads, husbands, boyfriends, and brothers: a pickling kit by Brooklyn Brine, gold frame Polaroid film, a handsome set of vintage pencils, and the very best album of all time, "Who's Next" - because if he doesn't already own it, gosh darn it, he should. 

Tomorrow, gifts for little rascals...

Holiday Gift Ideas: For the Girls.

Among my picks for mothers, sisters, daughters, and girlfriends: the sweetest-smelling hand cream (discovered during my manicure in Japan), my favorite New York cookie, a bottle opener in the shape of a crescent moon, and the best book I read this year, written by my number-one girl crush.

Tomorrow, gift ideas for the boys...

Bloom Burst.

"Exploded Flowers" by artist Qi Wei - breathtaking, no? 

See more at Qi Wei's website, here. Found via Free People.


Good morning! Did any of you happen to see this amazing story - about a Brooklyn woman who built her own (grown-up) backyard treehouse - last month in the New York Times? I don't know how I missed it, but I'm so glad I happened to find it while browsing online this weekend.

The best part? She did it for just $400. I don't have a backyard myself, but one day, I'd absolutely love to have a treehouse. It seems like it would be the most wonderful place to spend a rainy day.

Read the story, by Steven Kurutz, here. Photos by Trevor Tondro for the New York Times.

PS: Though I was originally planning on starting a holiday gift guide (my first!) today, I had an unexpectedly busy weekend and am going to have to postpone it. For now, I plan on posting the first installment Wednesday morning, continuing on through the following week. I can't wait!

I Heart L.A.

I've only just returned from one vacation, and I'm already looking forward to the next - in three weeks, I'll be heading home to L.A. for Christmas and New Years. It's been an incredibly hectic fall, and I'm looking forward to having some time to read, sleep, be silly, and just breathe. I'm also excited to sit down and really spend some time working on my blog - I have so many ideas for it, and I can't wait to devote some serious think-time to them!

What about you? Any plans for the rest of the holiday season?

Have a happy weekend!

Los Angeles heart map by Kevin Lucius, available on Etsy.

Paper Cuts.

Recently "favorited" on Etsy:  remarkable paper dolls (almost) too pretty to play with, including this "Girl with Reindeer" by dubrovskaya,

and this brilliant blue pigeon from illustrator Faye Moorhouse.

Also, this breathtaking cardboard typewriter is just too beautiful not to post. "I'm sorry to say it isn't functional," writes artist Stacie Van Arsdale, "but I think it definitely makes up for it in charm."


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