Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Comfy Chair

My grandmother had a green arm chair in her house that was a true comfy chair. It was the kind of chair you could really settle in to and read a book or just doze off. It actually came from my parents house and I remember reading Stuart Little in it when I was little. It's gone now except in memory, but I would love to find a chair like it to call my own.
A very cool but outrageously expensive chair from Anthropologie.

Bedtime Stories

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One of my favorite time of the day, or night rather, is story time. One of the books I've become a huge fan of is "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown. I bought it because I knew it was a classic. Honestly, I did not quite get the appeal at first. Now having read it at least fifty times, maybe more, I have fallen in love with the great green room and its inhabitants. It offers up something new each time.

My daughter is trying to read now and knows what is coming up on each page. She finds the little mouse as he moves about the room from page to page and doesn't mind when I turn off the light in her room when the story is finished. How perfect is that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Knit One

Now that it's freezing out I'd really like to get back to some of my knitting projects. I feel like I need a big chunk of time to get going again, but really I just need to decide what and where to start. Also to get excited about finishing a sweater in time to wear it this winter. I would be thrilled to finish just one project before Spring. And by finish, I mean the dreaded sewing part as well.

I find it helps to think about new projects I could start once I make it through the back log of half finished knit wear. Here are three sweaters that are far beyond my current skills but tempting none the less.

Patterns available at Kim Hargreaves from the Precious Collection.

Assembly Required

Wow, I'm glad the rush of Christmas is over. I really find holiday shopping exhausting and while I love wrapping gifts, it felt like I was on a holiday assembly line. There are only so many bows one can tie.

The thing that really almost took me over the edge this Christmas was the assembly required doll house I bought for my daughter. I guess I should not have been surprised that something as large as a dollhouse would not be shipped fully assembled, but I was. Despite a positive attitude and a strong cup of coffee, the assembly did not go smoothly. Suffice it to say replacement pieces are on their way.

The snow storm came as a relief. A message from the skies to chill out. I woke up the morning after the storm thinking okay now we have to make snow angels and a snowman. Sounds fun, but I was so tired that the idea of being out in the cold had little appeal. Luckily, when I asked my little one if she wanted to go out in the snow, she firmly stated "No, it's too cold." The wisdom of a three year old.

So we didn't cross "build a snowman" off our list. It really was way too cold. Instead we stayed inside and just watched the wind whip up the snow. Sometimes the to do list just needs to be ignored.

Plan Toys Victorian Dollhouse above. It's really beautiful but get a helping hand if you ever need to put one together!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Green Bridges

Last night I caught a snippet of a Nature show "Prince of the Alps" about red deer in Austria. The program briefly discussed "green bridges" that have been built in Austria and other European Countries to allow animals safe passage across highways. France started a program of bridges and viaducts designed to allow animals to safely follow their migratory routes in the 50s. What a wonderful idea.

How much better than the walls that are built along US highways to block the noise for nearby housing developments. I sympathize that no one wants a highway in their backyard, but I hate seeing the bodies of deer and other animals who ended up trapped on the highway with no way out. Hurrah for green bridges. I hope we see them popping up along our roads one day.

More about green bridges and wildlife corridors here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Affordable Luxuries # 8: Hot Chocolate

Sunday we spotted Santa in a local parking lot. The little town next to our was throwing a "Meet Santa" event. We stopped long enough to get a photo with Mrs. Santa, grab a balloon and realize the line to see Santa was too long. It was freezing cold. Despite the hot chocolate and cookies that were being handed out by kind elves, my usually adventurous sidekick was more than happy to fore go Santa and head back to the warmth of the car.

Seeing so many people enjoying hot chocolate reminded me how nice it is to sip one on a cold day. Hot chocolate whether a fancy cocoa or a mix with little marshmallows is definitely one of life's affordable luxuries.

Sugar Plum Fairies and Dancing Snowflakes

We are going to see the Act II of the Nutcracker this weekend. It's nice to have something extra special planned. So as I work my way through the week, visions of dancing snowflakes are twirling in my head and keeping a smile on my face.

It's interesting to look at the different interpretations of the Dance of the Snowflakes. The top photo is from the National Ballet of Canada and the bottom photo from The Washington Ballet. Very different but both very beautiful.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Slowing Down: Crossword Puzzles

The idea of relaxing with a cup of good coffee while solving the Sunday New York Times Crossword Puzzle seems a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. I say the idea because in reality Sunday mornings are anything but slow in my world. Oh, and I'd be the first to admit that the Times puzzle is way above my head. But I'm working my way up.

One of my daily rituals is to pick up the two free papers with crosswords included. True crossword aficionados would laugh but I enjoy solving these novice puzzles on the train ride home. It stops my mind from running and pushes back the work day. So even while my mind is working it feels as if I'm slowing down.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Knock, knock, can I live in your house?

Ever wish you could move into someone elses home? That was my reaction when I saw these photos of this home in Holland. It's stylish, cozy, minimal but not cold. I love that there is a fire place, plenty of wool to knit with and a super cozy looking sleeping loft. Knock, knock.