Saturday, January 19, 2013

I Carry Your Heart

A combination of illness (Giulia's - now resolved), the Inauguration, & plain old life have conspired to prevent many posts lately & for the next few days. Please have a wonderful weekend wherever you are...and know this.

You could get started with Valentine prep, you know. xoxo

Update - Wednesday, 23 January 2013 ~ Due to illness posts will not be starting again for a few weeks at least. 
(photograph by David et Myrtille)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter Ballet in Cinema

The winter-spring season has begun (though The Sleeping Beauty has now played mostly everywhere, there are a few cities that will see it next week) & the line-up is wonderful. The Ballet in Cinema website has all the details & links to cities & theatres (including in Canada & Europe). 

If you'd like some more active inspiration, Ballet Beautiful has new streaming videos (or you can buy DVDs or, get this, take a class via your laptop.) Highly recommended. xoxo

(photograph of Svetlana Zakharova by Nikolay Krusser via The Daily Ballet)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Day of Service

No matter where you live, you can participate in the first official activity for the Inauguration. That is, a day of service to honor Dr. King on his official holiday, 21 January 2013 (today is his actual birthday). Search here for an event in your area (or just do something on your own). If you have or will be looking after small children for the holiday, here is last year's post. (photograph via Pinterest)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Skating Under the Stars

If ice skating is not part of your routine, you probably only think about going during the holidays or during an Olympic winter. If so, it's time you thought about a session by month's end. It's national ice skating month in the States & many ice rinks & arenas are having special events, plus lower rates for a session. If you go, we'll go. Deal? (Our neighborhood has a small outdoor rink, open November through March. No excuses; we walk by it on the way to the market. Gulp. Photos, um, maybe:) If you're coming to Washington, DC for the Inauguration festivities, you should visit the National Gallery Sculpture Garden & go skating, too. If you live near an outdoor rink, try it (or go again). There's something special about skating at night under the stars that makes up for the cold.  xoxo

PS: Reward yourself with this. Or this, if alcohol isn't your thing.

(photograph by Clara Lidström)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Something Sweet - Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

This is an old recipe that faded out of popularity (with some of us). Who knows why because it is genius. These are light & airy, you will not miss the flour; it's not only for those who are gluten intolerant. 

1 cup peanut butter (any kind)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
sugar for the top if desired

Mix everything together. You don't need a mixer. Just one bowl. Scoop out tablespoonfuls onto a non-greased baking sheet. (A nice touch is some demerara or turbinado sugar sprinkled on top, after the traditional crosshatching by fork.) Heat the oven to 350F. Bake 11 minutes (times will vary, keep an eye on them). Cool at least 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack - they are fragile until cool. 

If you require more photographs, hand-holding, etc.instructions, see here. Variation here. Photograph (crop) via PBS Parents as have lost will to take any this evening. xoxo

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Put Pen to Paper

So who knew it was National (or World - reports vary) Letter Writing Week & why weren't we informed? Coincidentally, letter writing is happening here again, slowly & not all that sparkling with wit, but it's happening. We all know that the personal letter (or postcard) means so much to the recipient, so make time. What holds many back, including yours truly, is the idea that this letter must make up for months (years) of their lack. No, no, no. A short note or postcard is just fine. Think of how you feel when you receive any sort of personal correspondence. xoxo

How to write a thank-you note. A helpful review. (h/t to Lori)

Letters of Note - see how brief a missive can be so effective, there are scores of examples. Here's a favorite.

 After the children have written their thank-you notes, let them play at the online National Postal Museum Activity Zone as a treat.

(Vintage Royal Mail poster via Retronaut)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

La Pluie

Unexpected rain here today & would that we were in Paris in the rain (or shine). Here's some good advice on how to handle Paris rain. A favorite song always helps, here or elsewhere. Don't forget to review your French, weather terms included. xoxo (photograph by Susan Sermoneta)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Everyday Luxury - Hyacinths

Are you angry & bitter because you did not force bulbs like Concha's (above) for the post-holiday blues? That is terribly unattractive, so snap out of it! Instead, look at your neighborhood market's floral department. A single potted hyacinth can be had for $3-5. If you can afford more, great, but one is all it takes to lift one's mood. (If it flops over, just cut it & place in a small jar or vase.) Heavenly. xoxo

PS: Lovely primroses are also in markets now & there are deals for 2-3 plants for $5.  Daffodils & narcissus will be available soon.

(photograph by Tiago Cabral)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Have a Fun Weekend

Still only links to give, sorry to say. Some day there will be a return to longer posts but onward is the idea, today & every day. Have a wonderful weekend & if you're near or in snow, lucky you! (We say that until the third day after a snow & we complain like the rest of you.) xoxo

Fabulous video of the northern lights in Norway.

Beautiful snow (also via Norway).

More auroras. Gasp.

Now you need to warm up, so here's a favorite roast chicken recipe that feels just right for this weekend. Then promise you'll make these beets, even if you think you hate them. Read the post & then decide. So good.

Irish coffee sounds good right about now, too.

Here in North America, Downton Abbey's third season begins on Sunday. Get caught up or refresh your memory, here. And join the Twitter party on Sunday. The perfect reason to join Twitter. Yes. Do it.

(photograph of Hitchcock & grandchildren via Kottke)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

We Are Made Out Of Stars

Loving Meera Lee's illustrations, especially the one above. You can find her work for sale here, & there's an interview with her on the Poketo blog (along with the illustration above on a pullover). xoxo

(illustration by Meera Lee; hat tip to Lori)