November 29, 2007

time for tea

I went to lunch with my mom last Saturday to a quaint cafe called Bouchee. It was a chilly day - being late November in Wisconsin - so we each ordered a cup of tea to warm up. They were brought to our table in the most charming glass teapots filled with beautiful flowering teas that "bloomed" before our eyes as they steeped. It was enchanting. And they were delicious, to boot! What a perfect afternoon with my mom. I'd love to own my own Numi tea set to make every tea time just as special.

November 27, 2007

lovely linens

I heart these linen cocktail napkins from Inleaf. Designed and crafted by Lotta Helleberg, these charming napkins capture the beauty of nature in a simple, single geranium leaf print (handprinted from the impression of a real leaf!) on eye-catching fabrics. I'd love to have a few sets of these in my linen closet!

November 21, 2007

say cheese!

This set of four charming Bird Cheese Markers from Beehive Kitchenware caught my eye. I think they would be perfect presented with a selection of fine cheeses and a bottle of wine as a hostess or housewarming gift. For the cheese-lover or entertainer, the set would make a great stocking stuffer.

recipe to try: chocolate layer cake

I may as well just fess up now. I am a huge sweets lover. I am hopelessly devoted to cakes and cookies, pies and tarts, ice cream and chocolates, and cupcakes! I'd like to blame it on my genes and the long line of sweets-aficionados in my family or that I grew up in a household where dessert followed every meal. Whatever the reason, I love to eat desserts - always have.

And as a result, I have really grown to love baking. (what better way to get those sweet treats than to make them myself?) I don't think a day goes by - and I am not exaggerating here - that I don't check online at least once for a new dessert recipe. You can imagine my glee when I spied the recipe for this deliciously rich chocolate layer cake posted on Just Baking (one of my FAVE sites!), and originally posted on Epicurious. Just look at the picture of that cake! Drool. This recipe is a must-make!

November 20, 2007

i wish i took home-ec

If only I knew how to sew because then I could make these sweet Gum Drop Pillows by Amy Butler. Amy's got a great eye for scouting out lovely vintage fabrics, and her designs for hangbags, pillows and bedding are fantastic. The sneak peeks of Amy's design studio and home leave me feeling incredibly inspired and appreciative of her ability to blend soft, feminine fabrics with modern furnishings.

little details

I {heart} hand-made stationary and am always on the look-out for the cutest and most clever designs. I stumbled upon these adorable felted cards from Cake & Milk and am just smitten by them! The blank note cards can be used for any occasion. And at just $13.50 for a set of six, I am certain that they would make a perfect stocking-stuffer for someone this holiday season.

November 19, 2007

gets me thinking

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I got to thinking that it would be a good idea to start a "what I'm thankful for" list. It's a way for me to stop and recognize the things that have made me smile and show my gratitude to the people who brighten my day. In these days of madly rushing from one thing to the next (especially now that the holidays are here), I think it is so important to observe all the good that is in my life.

So, here's a few things I am thankful for:

Keri's homemade pumpkin bread
The delicious "Me Want Cookie" cookies that Wade so generously shared with me!
Baking nights with Jen - and the sweet treats we come up with.
Knowing that I'll be home to see my parents in just 3 days!
Saturday night with my Deetah.
Lazy Sunday night at "sofa-city" with Wade.
Phone calls with Em, Kevin & Matt.
My Jazz station on Pandora - the music really calms me!
Turning 30.

I'm going to try to keep this up throughout the season, and I hope it will keep me grounded during all the holiday hullabaloo.

a new twist

Cute clothes and accessories usually come to mind when I think of Free People, but when I was on their site today, I stumbled upon their charming interpretation of a 1920's-era steamer trunk. Covered in patchwork quilts and with drawers lined in pink satin, this trunk would be the perfect accessory in a boudoir to hold jewelry and lingerie. Or I could see using it in a craft room for stowing all those little crafting bits and pieces. It would also be adorable in a little girl's bedroom so she could hide away all of her special treasures in one place. Love it!

a home to envy

Anna of Absolutely Beautiful Things posted some photos of her new home on Friday, and I am just enamored with her design! Her knack for mixing vintage with contemporary pieces is really remarkable, and I really love all the feminine touches she adds. The bunches of fresh flowers, colorful floral fabrics, and delicate trinket boxes and tea-light holders are just lovely. She certainly has a great eye, and her home reflects that in each and every piece. I only wish she was stateside so I could order some pieces from her boutique Black and Spiro, but shipping from Australia is (way!) too much, so I guess I'll just have to 'window' shop.

November 16, 2007

all that glitters

I just love the new Constellation line from jewelry designer EllaPoe. Alas, the pieces are not exactly in my price range, but a girl can dream, can't she? If I could pick just one, I'd get the Libra ring in white gold because I'd think of Wade every time I looked at it.

Who knows? Maybe someday I'll really be able to do just that.

November 15, 2007

pretty, pretty pottery

I'm really into hand-made pottery lately and think these charming hand-pinched footed tea bowls by Diana Fayt would be a nice addition to my small (but hopefully growing!) ceramics collection. The organic shapes and freehand floral sketches are lovely, and these delicate bowls would be perfect for a relaxing afternoon tea break (or ice cream break, as Diana suggests!)

call me!

I'm just smitten with these calling cards from iomoi. I'd love to order one with a simple, geometric pattern and then add a little embroidery or something around the edges to jazz it up.

November 9, 2007

it's the holiday season

And as long as I'm looking at VivaTerra, I've just got to get a pair of these holiday trees. Maybe it's the way the birch bark pieces gently layer atop each other or the beauty of the rustic tree trunks, but something about these little trees seems ethereal, calming. I don't know that I'd want to stow these away after the holidays. They might become a permanent fixture at my house!

i've got my eye on

I am loving these hand-crafted porcelain pear vases from VivaTerra. I can just see them as part of the centerpiece on my dining table or scattered about our bookshelves. I also love knowing that these are coming from an eco-minded company that values the harmony between people and our planet.

November 7, 2007

joie de vivre

I'm reading "My Life in France" the story of Julia Child and her time spent in France in the 1950's. During this time, her love of food and cooking was ignited, and quickly grew into her wanting to teach others to do the same. But her story is about so much more than cooking... it is about her following her dream and loving life along the way. It is heartwarming and funny and refreshing, and I'd bet anyone who reads it will find inspiration and at the very least want to make a reservation at the nearest French Bistro! Now I really want to go home and make crepes...

This is my blog. Thanks for stopping by...

Just like the title says, this blog is about the things -- big and small -- that inspire me and bring me joy. These things remind me just how wonderful this life really is. There is so much beauty out there, if we only stop for a moment to consider it.

Mostly I'll be on the lookout for creative sorts who have something wonderful to offer -- be it a mouthwatering recipe, a handknit scarf, or a captivating photo -- and then I'll use this blog as a way to applaud that talent.

I also like nothing better than to page through shelter magazines and online design galleries, absorbing each and every detail of the well-designed rooms, and so I'll most certainly be showing you all the rooms and homes that inspire me.

I'm hoping that along the way you'll get to know me a little better.

... and that you'll want to stay a while!

xo, kristin