Happy 1st Birthday.

You were born at this exact moment 1 year ago.

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Your party was this weekend. So many people came to see you.  Here’s a picture of your first letterpress invitation. And your homemade cake.  There were lots of felt banners and many noisemakers.  You deserve it.

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Going Home.

My mother was the first person to show me how to appreciate good design.  She takes such care in her home, every nook and cranny is perfect, yet not at all unapproachable or unlivable.  Even the newly affixed baby gates on the stairs were custom made to fit her modern craftsman aesthetic (maybe that’s nuts? I dunno…). Here are some pictures of my parents home in CT.

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Happy Halloween!

It’s my favorite holiday.  And now that I have a little guy to celebrate it with, it makes it all the more fun. Hello, homemade costumes! (until you want to be a Power Ranger and then that will kill a little bit of my soul).

For his first celebration, I made him a Narwhal – but everyone thought he was a unicorn.  Oh, Brooklyn.

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It happened today…

…that moment when I knew I’d been in New York for a long long long time.

I remember my 22-year old self thinking that I would have these “I used to do this” kind of conversation with someone someday…I just didn’t realize it would happen, well, now?

I was talking to a younger co-worker about going dancing. Seemed simple enough. Before I knew it I had launched into a serious diatribe about our beloved Don Hills.  Sigh.  I was recalling a “once was” time about something that is just a shadow of it’s former glory.  Sigh, again.

Does anyone remember the nights of TisWas?  When Blur , Pulp, Suede and Stereophonics ruled the dance floor (along with the Culkin brothers)?  Blogger William Gone writes “The club was also a destination for stateside fans of Britpop. In the dark and Anglophobic days of the early-’00s garage rock movement, the Tiswas party kept the Union Jack fluttering over the local club scene. Billed as an “indiepop electro dance party,” Tiswas was friendly to English bands and New York groups with transatlantic sympathies. The Strokes, Interpol, the Mooney Suzuki, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Realistics and other popular New York bands all played Tiswas before achieving international fame. Spacehog — a British band living in the United States — rocked the party, as did Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.”

We were there…my friends and I.  We lived through that.  We had a front row seat.  This place suited us, not too pretentious, not too underwhelming. Great music, good atmosphere and fantastic people.  You felt like you belonged there.  There was a promise of a good time.  We used to pretend we were an all girl band and convinced passersby that we were going somewhere.  That they should come to see us.  That we needed to be seen.  Don Hill’s broke Jenny’s nose and prevented her from going to basic training, which, in turn, prevented her from going to Iraq.

I couldn’t have said it better…so, for now, I’ll leave you with an obituary of one of NY’s greatest venues. Or am I really mourning myself? Sigh, trois.

Record Shopping Sundays

We’ve started a new tradition with our oldest and dearest friend Matt.  Record shopping Sundays. (This a good segue to introduce the genius that is Matt Sucich too).

I bought James a turntable for Christmas…two years ago.  He just set it up.  BUT in order to build our collection, we’ve decided on a friendly little game. We will pick a new market or record shop each week and the goal is to find the record we have in mind to listen to that day.  It’s challenging, for sure. But what a great way to spend a Sunday! Here’s what we found this week. (I think I won with Thriller, don’t you?)

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Yum. And some

Going to be doing a lot more of this.  Remember when we used to write about food a lot (Brooklyn Plated ring any bells?).  Well, that might happen some more. I really miss cooking for friends.

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I’ve never really addressed why we stopped. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to have Sunday Dinners or take pictures of food or eat that food. It was because I lost someone very important to me who read that blog every day.  He commented nearly every day as well and quite frankly, seeing his comments is like seeing a ghost and I couldn’t really bring myself to look at them anymore.   When he was sick, he would write to me about how much he loved reading the posts and imagined himself cooking a lot of the things.  So, sane as I am, I began to compulsively cook – just to make sure I had enough to share.  When he died, I realized a lot of those posts were for him. I think about him every day and I’m so glad we had something in common to talk about.  It’s been almost 2 years since he passed away and I’d like to start cooking for him again.

All about the Benjamin’s…

I just purchased these two fonts and I’m going to use them in an invitation. I typed out this quote to see an example of how they looked together.  And then I got to thinking about it.

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When I was in 7th grade, Mrs. DeFelice wrote this on the board.  I have a horrid memory and I’m shocked that, to this day, I remember it verbatim. I even remember writing it down in the back of my day planner as if it were some reminder on how to behave. I know this was written as an exercise in financial frugality (and maybe it’s my New England upbringing) but these words has somehow followed me around to this day, in the forefront of every decision I’ve made.  I often felt guilty for enjoying myself, as if it were to set in motion a series of unpleasant events. I practiced restraint on the most base of levels. I made “smart” decisions and followed cerebral paths. Because if I did, I wouldn’t have deal with any collateral damage brought on by using my heart or following a feeling.

For the last few years, going back to about 2008, I consciously practiced a different exercise.  I’ve stopped holding back, started encouraging desire, if you will.  I treat every opportunity as a opportunity to treat myself and I love the opportunity to celebrate a moment.  I’ve gotten more joy out of every day since then.  I left a passionless professional field that I thought made me appear “smart, worldly and put together” (International Education) and entered a world based on something I love that thrives on beauty, vision and tradition (Paper Arts).

I am proud to have cultivated a beautiful life and I’m grateful for this quote as a reminder that, from time to time, the first action sets in motion all that follows – and sometimes that’s a positive thing.  Sometimes the desires that follow are paying homage to the first heartfelt decision one can make.

I love Heath Ceramics.

One of my favorite jobs ever was the year I worked at the Heath Ceramics factory in Sausalito, CA while in graduate school.  It’s my favorite thing on earth…which is saying a lot since I’m not particularly a fan of the mid-century look.  Everyone should own a studio mug. I’ve amassed quite a collection over the years. Edith would be proud.

Heath Ceramics Collection