Thursday, February 28, 2008

Basic Black

I was reading Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life) by Cathie Black when a friend suggested I attend some upcoming Inforum networking events with her. I went online and was amazed to see that Cathie Black herself would be a guest speaker talking about how to achieve a "360 degree life" at an upcoming Inforum luncheon. Well, today was the day and Cathie Black did not disappoint. Her book delivers everything from interview strategies to advice on dealing with difficult personalities at work, through stories & lessons learned over her 40 years in publishing. My favorite bit of advice from Cathie Black? Be prepared. I was and when I had the chance to meet her, I told her that I was a Country Living (a Hearst magazine) honoree from their Women's Entrepreneur event. She was pleased and asked if I was attending their event again this year (Yes!). What did I wear to this really interesting luncheon? Basic black, of course.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

White Pizza

I simply had no choice. The moment I saw "White Pizza" on the menu I had to have it. 

I had been wanting to try out a new food cooked in coal-fired ovens.

We went to Anthony's in Palm Beach Gardens and I was hooked. Their white pizza is made with ricotta, mozzarella & romano cheese on homemade pizza dough - yum. 

So the next time you feel like a "slice," see if a coal-fired pizza joint has sprung up in your neighborhood - it's fun and coal-stoked ovens are very Mike Mulligan.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Gilded Age

I had heard that the Flagler Museum, a winter retreat built in 1902 by Henry Flagler as a wedding gift for his wife, would be a fun place to have lunch with my Mom. It is a mansion situated on the intracoastal in Palm Beach and is a year-round museum with a waterfront cafe. We had lunch in the glass pavilion that also houses Henry's private rail car (see it pictured below) - which is significant in that Flagler spent his life building luxury hotels along the Florida coast and then developed a railroad system (Florida East Coast Railway) to deliver the tourists to them.

Genius. All and all, it was an interesting peek into what Mark Twain dubbed "The Gilded Age."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Japanese Candyland

I was so thrilled when my friend Heidi brought me a Japanese cookie tin for my birthday one year. She was living in Japan at the time and knew that I would love the graphic container. Later I had the brainstorm to ask her for Japanese candy. I had already designed a Delight tote with a collage of pink candy wrappers and thought that the cartoon-like graphics of Japanese candy would be amazing. She arrived home at Christmas with a bagful and this is the result.  I have used this photo on a Delight tote and it looks gorgeous.  Thank you, Heidi!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Floating Art Exhibit

I had to show you this. Yesterday I noticed a tremendous yacht docked in Palm Beach and I snapped a photograph to show it's scale against an office building behind and started to wonder who, what, when and where. Then I saw it cruising along this morning and I had to know. From our balcony, I could read Seafair on the side and googled it. I found out that this is the world's first fine art mega ship - mega as in 228 feet long. It sails to affluent U.S. cities along the eastern seaboard and hosts private gallery exhibitions. Got art?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Secret Service

Some shop windows are so well composed you simply have to take a picture. I could not resist this one - especially the way the palm trees reflect in the glass. They are a perfect addition to this handsome still life. White loafers & cocktails. My dear Miss Moneypenny, this is the life of James Bond.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dreaming of Europe

I wonder who lives here...behind this lovely pale blue door. Can you imagine someone riding up on a bicycle with a sack of groceries, fumbling with the lock & key and then brushing through the doorway to fix themselves an icy drink. Do you think they sometimes get bougainvillea petals in their hair? 

 This looks like picture-perfect France to me, but I actually took this photograph on Via Mizner Lane in Palm Beach. Neat, huh?  

The world is not so big after all.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Oh, Baby!

The next time you host a party "for girls" check out your local bakery; they may have a specialty that is just perfect for your event. 

I am all for baking, sewing and crafting things on my own, but sometimes there is a local artist that simply can't be beat. 

In December, we served these baby bootie petits fours at my cousin's baby shower (born this week - It's a boy!) and they were simply darling. Delicate white cakes glazed with super-sweet frosting. 

Ahhh...the pitter patter of little feet.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Escape to New York

I have 2 different friends on trips to New York City this weekend and I am feeling a touch jealous. I sent one girl to Tinsel Trading, a glorious store loaded with velvet, cotton and paper flowers and a wall of ribbon!   

Can you imagine standing in front of this wall of ribbon? It's like Baskin Robbins and their 31 do you choose? 

When I was shopping with my friend here, I actually had a hard time hearing her. The ribbon screaming to be used was simply too loud.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Virtual Yoga

Can you think of a luckier yoga class? 

The next time you need to visualize something, pretend you are part of this class with the ocean spread out before you.

Do you have a group to exercise with? I am including this post to remind you that friendships often come out of a shared experience. A yoga class, water aerobics...even a walking buddy can really make exercise fun and help you to connect with others outside of work & home. 

And since you'll want to look super cute, I'm including a link to a catalog I received. It is full of beautiful exercise clothing for women called Athleta.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day. Today has long-been my favorite holiday. It all started in grade school when my summer birthday (Aug 20th) prompted me to adopt Valentine's Day as my "school party." Every year, my Mom & I brought in pink frosted cupcakes, paper napkins with hearts on them, and red heart lollipops for the Valentine's party at school. As I got older it evolved into a Valentine's party at my house. We all wore red, drank punch, played games and loved every minute of it. I remember placing heart-shaped red foil stickers on everything and everyone. You can see them on the cheeks of some of my friends. And there I am at the punch bowl, hostessing already. Please don't miss the fact that I am wearing magnetic heart earrings - remember those? So today is Valentine's Day and I wish that I could see those dear friends again for an afternoon of punch & cookies. Happy Valentine's Day, Love, Anne

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sweet Dreams

I wanted to show you a lovely little Valentine I've made - a heart-shaped lavender sachet. To make one, you'll need some pretty fabric, pinking shears, a scoop of lavender buds, a coordinating ribbon and a sewing machine. Lavender flowers symbolize devotion, so this is a simple project with a lingering message. Place it on your sweetheart's pillow and know that he'll have sweet dreams. Happy Day Eleven.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Heart-Shaped Pizza

When I saw that Papa Romano's was making "The Love" pizza, I knew that I had to have one. I made the pizza guy laugh too. When he asked what kind of toppings I wanted on my heart-shaped pizza, I responded "Half pepperoni & mushroom; Half pineapple & ham...because love is about compromising." He absolutely split and said he was going to use that line all week. Happy Day Ten of the Twelve Days of Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Simple Bouquet

Do you have any flowers in the house? The 12 Days of Valentine's Day are about celebrating love & friendship with kind gestures and beautiful sentiments. I think it's time to treat yourself to a bouquet of fresh tulips. Pick up a bunch at the market, place them in a vase on the kitchen table and enjoy them all week long. You may be surprised how much pleasure they bring. Happy Day Nine.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Linen Tribute

Tonight my favorite version of the Jane Austen movie, Pride & Prejudice, is showing in Masterpiece Theater's "Jane Austen Film Festival." Normally watched with my Mom as a movie marathon over Memorial weekend, I think it is perfect that it falls on Day Eight of The 12 Days of Valentine's Day. It makes for a cozy Sunday evening with the fire roaring and pork chops for dinner. This is a six-hour "mini-series" spread over 3 Sundays, so plan accordingly. The dishtowel? I bought it years ago in a tea shop owned by a lovely English woman. I could not resist this tribute in linen. Happy Day Eight.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Streaming Chocolate

Since chocolate is a such a big part of Valentine's Day, I thought you might like to see the chocolate fountain at Jean Philippe Patisserie inside The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. 

This Wonka-like fountain streams 2,100 lbs of melted milk, dark & white chocolate from 27 feet above. If you click the Jean Philippe Patisserie link you can select the video tour and see the entire fountain in action. 

Ahh...streaming video of streaming chocolate. Be still my heart. 

Happy Day Seven of the 12 Days of Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Valentine's Day Party

Today at 4 o'clock, the Roseglen Garden Club (plus mothers & brothers) had our Valentine's Day Party. We ate heart-shaped cupcakes, drank cocoa and proclaimed our love courtesy of the conversation hearts. I decorated a few of the cupcakes with candied violets in honor of what brings us all together...the garden. I bought them in Paris and I knew the girls would flip when they took a bite and saw an actual petal encased in sugar. The agenda for our short meeting included a rose & rose cone update (they are working beautifully), plans for expanding our Garden Walk invitation list (tickets need to be distributed earlier) and a consensus that we were all looking forward to Spring in the garden. Nothing makes me happier than hearing 10-year-olds comment on foxglove and lavender. How did I ever get so lucky? Happy Day Six.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hearts Abound

I have a weakness for food with a theme. During the Super Bowl, I'm the girl that buys the football-shaped cake at the grocery store. At Easter, I make "Jell-O beans." So needless to say, I am baking a lot of heart-shaped goodies this week. On Monday, dinner was heart-shaped corn bread and a bowl of chili. Last night, I made beautiful puff pastry hearts and layered them with vanilla pudding and sweet cherry pie filling and then dusted it with powdered sugar. Have you used frozen puff pastry sheets lately? They are amazing! Simply defrost, unfold and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, then bake at 400* for 15 min. Next time I am going to switch the cherries for mini-chocolate chips. Yum. Happy Day Five of the 12 Days of Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

This Little Kitten

Today is the fourth day of the 12 Days of Valentines Day and it is all about memories. I have scanned a series of Valentines my grandmother received as a child (around 1908). They are sweet & simple postcards that will be so cute framed and displayed as a collection. Lately I have made a project of scanning old photographs & postcards. Once they are "in" the computer, the originals can be safely tucked away and I can make things (ornaments, pillows, framed art) over and over with the jpgs. Have told you that I love technology? What could you scan and then make a memento with? Happy Day Four.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sailor's Valentines

Do you know about Sailor's Valentines? They are treasures made from tiny shells arranged by color, shape and size into stunning (and heavy!) mosaics. Romantics say that this art form originated in the 1800's when sailors, pining for their sweethearts on dry land, painstakingly crafted shell masterpieces. These works of art often included phrases of love & devotion ("Remember Me") spelled out in shells. In truth, we know that most Sailor's Valentines were created in the Bahamas and sold to sailors who then brought them home as gifts to their love. No matter who did the gluing, the message is the same...I have missed you. Happy Day Three.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Oh, Valentine!

Today's the day to shop for Valentines to mail to your dear friends. A short note on a lovely "vintage" Valentine is sure to delight. The cards I am sending feature Victorian scrap and are from a boxed set by Punch Studio. When you are making your list, don't forget your college roommate. Or your lunch buddy at work. Go out and take a peek to see what your local shops have and then share the love. Valentine's Day is about love and friendship. Let people know that you care about them. It is truly the greatest gift. Happy Day Two.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Key To My Heart

Want to start the 12 Days of Valentine's Day off right? Make cookies! I've posted my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe for you here. My favorite Valentine cookie cutters are a "Key to My Heart" and the "Love Letter" (a rectangle with a tiny heart cut out where the stamp would be). Happy Day One.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

2008 Knit Events

I always think it is fun to stop by Knitting & Fiber events to see what new accessories, books or techniques are getting attention. I was at a fiber festival when I first saw glass knitting needles

Yes, handmade clear glass knitting needles with blue lampwork swirls which I bought on the spot. 

Today I attended Knit Michigan, an event that supports cancer charities in Michigan. I saw tiny sweater ornaments that looked like they had been knit on toothpicks (!) and an interesting travel guide for knitters. 

Looking for fiber fun? Check out the Knitter's Review Calendar and see what's coming up in your area.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fine Feathered Friend

I took this photograph on Sanibel Island in Florida and I am pretty sure that this is a Great Blue Heron

This fellow had men casting fishing lines on his right, scores of "shellers" sifting through the surf and me crouching behind, yet he kept his focus on the sea.  

This shot really captures the essence of Florida for me. Sand, Surf and Shells - what the Gulf coast is all about. 

Last year, the Martha Stewart show featured beautiful shell art (mirrors, boxes & displays) from the Sanibel Shell Fair. If you will be vacationing in Florida between in early March, you may want to take a daytrip and check it out!