Portland was very nice even if I was there for work. I stayed in a great old hotel, The Benson, and was able to get out and shop a little one night. Anybody heard of Powell's Bookstore? It's ginormous! I spent some time roaming the isles and purchased several books and magazines for myself and Evy. I also did a bit of clothes shopping which is always a good time. I got home on Wednesday and am leaving again tomorrow for another work trip - this time for St. Louis. Today Evy and I had an outing at the mall where we bought sparkly shoes (for Evy, but sadly not for me), and some fun clothes for the two of us. I don't shop for clothes very much so it's fun when I do. My favorite store is J.Crew (very often I realize that literally everything I am wearing (save for underthings) is from J.Crew. - this includes my coat and scarf). I do love that store. Anyhoo, I recently received a wonderful, and completely indulgent cookbook as a belated birthday present from my friend Boni, and at about the same time I purchased another cookbook - nearly as equally indulgent - just because it looked so good - "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey" and "Cupcakes!" respectively. Both have great covers, pictures, and recipes.
"Sticky, et al" is by Jill O'Connor, photographs by Keigh Beisch. "Cupcakes!" is by Elinor Klivans, photographs by France Ruffenach. I wouldn't normally add who did the photographs, but they both do such a fantastic job that I had to mention them.
This is a picture from "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey" as is the below picture.
A bit blurred, but you get the idea. Those colors, the arrangement of the food...it's all so great.
This delightful photograph is from "Cupcakes!"
I recently updated the display atop the little chest of drawers in our entry. I love old baseballs and like how they look in a silver champagne bucket. If my friend Susan reads this she may recognize it as a wedding gift from her in-laws, which has yet to be used for chilling any sort of beverage in the 10 years we've had it. It's been used for practically everything else though. Also pictured is the new (old) clarinet that I recently got from an antiques store called Hunt and Gather in Minneapolis.
I think it's the combination of a classy, respectable looking champagne chiller filled with very old, beat up baseballs that appeals to me. I don't like things to be too much of anything - it's the mixing and matching of old and new, glitziness and restrained elegance that gets me excited.
And since it's almost Valentine's Day I am including a picture of the little hand-stitched heart that I made last February. It's hanging in the Living Room right now, but normally resides in Evy's room. Some of you who have been reading for awhile may remember when I made this humble little heart last year.
Thanks to everyone who drops by even when I'm not so quick to update my blog. I really do appreciate your comments and emails. Thank you for always being so supportive, kind, and funny. Talk to you when I return from St. Louis.