Friday Link Love – Here are a few of my favorite new things I discovered this week or have been meaning to share for a while now. And when I say new, I mean like I discovered it on instagram a few hours ago.
Vampyrex – Esther Lee collects and sells vintage Pyrex and displays it beautifully in her Brooklyn home. I asked her if it would be okay if I stopped by for a visit to see it in person. She said yes!
I love The Little Book of HYGGE. It describes perfectly every feeling I have about home and living. Madeline has been talking about it for a while and I have to admit I had never even heard the word until last year when she came home from Study Abroad. I’m big on cozy lighting, candle light and a roaring fire all the while a storm is raging outside. I had no idea that this is what they call Hygee. When Madeline went back to school after winter break I sent her a Salt Lamp to get her through the long winter. Candles, twinkle lights and a salt lamp all seem very Hygge to me.
Last week we were making our way to The Laundress on Prince Street to pick up a bottle of Wool & Cashmere Shampoo when we came upon The Little Prince. It was about 5 o’clock when everything looks magical in the late afternoon light. It was that warm day last week that felt like Spring. We ducked into The Little Prince for a quick bite before heading home. How could we not? I mean, could a little bistro be more inviting?
One of our favorite coffee shops last week was AP Cafe or AP A Place Creative in Bushwick, Brooklyn. We came upon it completely by accident. Don’t you love when that happens? It’s a light filled cafe where you can meet with friends or get some work done while noshing on the most delicious breakfast burrito. Are you following us @coffeeshopsofnewyork ? Where should we go next? We love suggestions! Have a beautiful weekend! xo annie
Outdoor lighting is one of the first things I address when we move into a new house. My feeling is that lighting indoors and out is one of the most important features you can add to your home. Are you are getting your house ready for the Spring real estate market or just updating your nest? Here are my favorite outdoor light fixtures from Barn Light Electric. I’ve talked about them before in this post. What I love about Barn Light Electric is their commitment to quality. There are a lot of similar products on the market, but there is no comparison in my opinion. We used the Atomic Industrial Guard Sconce on the side of our garage. As I mentioned in the previous post, our detached garage is in our backyard. We added a portico and the sconce to give it more of a guest cottage look.
When we purchased our home it already had copper lanterns. It’s maybe the first home that came with porch lights we love. Our home was built in 1900 and the lanterns are very old. Had we not been fortunate to have existing lanterns, I would have been happy with Old Town Barn Lantern or the Andover Lnatern. Depending on the architecture of your home, all of these are so beautiful. And they can be ordered in different sizes and finishes.
For me curb appeal starts with lighting. No matter what time of year it is, I want our porch to look and feel inviting. We added Edison style bulbs in our lanterns on the front porch and on the garage. I keep it clean by using a battery operated leaf blower. Keeping the porch clean helps keep the house clean. I use a mat from Home Depot that I cut to size. I only use it in the winter months when the porch gets slippery. I keep a bucket of ice-melt right outside the front and back doors. We found our house numbers here, but I’m loving these from Barn Light Electric and will be using them on our next house! I can hardly wait to get started on our next project!
Honeycrisp Hasselback apples. Need I say more? Hasselback potaotes were my favorite, but now it’s Hasselback apples. We used Honeycrisp apples because we LOVE them. Granny Smith apples would be good too. We made individual ones in these cute Anchor Hockingmini pie dishes because everything is better when it’s in its own dish, right? Super easy to make and not so much of a recipe as much as a combination of ingredients. The amount of course depends on how many apples and how healthy you want them to be. So we took a less is more approach with the syrup, brown sugar and butter.
Place apples flat side down and carefully slice from side to side but not all the way through. You want the apples to stay intact. Your slices should not be too thin. You just want them to fan out a bit.
Place each in a dish flat side down. If using individual dishes, place dishes on a cookie sheet.
Prepare the glaze by combining 2-3 tablespoons of Maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Whisk together and brush over each apple with a pastry brush. (Save any remaining to drizzle on after). Bake at 400º for 20 minutes. Meanwhile make the streusel topping by combining 3 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces. Add in 3 tablespoons of oats and about the same of dark brown sugar. Combine using a fork and sprinkle over each apple. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a little vanilla yogurt and a drizzle of the syrup mixture. They are really just baked apples, but on a snow day to have your house smelling like baked apples–pretty nice!
National Shortbread Day? Who knew that was a thing? I only know because I saw it on World Market’s Social Media this morning. We were hoping for a snow day or at least a delay, but no luck. Not enough snow.
Shortbread cookies are the easiest thing to make with just a few ingredients. Butter (obviously), sugar, flour, vanilla and a tiny bit of salt. I call these Lorna’s Shortbread cookies because my friend Lorna would always make the dough and shape it into long rectangles and carefully wrap in plastic wrap and then leave them in our freezer. Whenever someone came over I could take one out and slice and bake. They are perfect with a cup of tea. I think I’ll make these for my friends at Valentine’s Day, but instead of baking them I’ll give them just like Lorna left them in our freezer. That way they can make them whenever they feel like having a treat. They save for months if placed in a freezer bag. Here’s an old post that you can find here. You can also find the recipe here.
Make a DIY pomegranate bird feeder in just a few minutes. Madeline and I made ours with a few bruised pomegranates we had left over from the holidays. We see quite a few cardinals in our yard and I thought a bird feeder might make them stick around a little while longer. Now I realize we are probably feeding more squirrels than birds—but we are going to give it a try.
Slice the pomegranate in half and scoop out the flesh leaving a thick edge to support the cord or twine. Then pierce four holes about 1/2″ from the top with a sharp object. (we used the tip of a meat thermometer). String the cord through one hole to another and tie at the top. Repeat with the second two holes. Fill with bird seed, hang from a branch and wait for the birds to discover it. This post inspired by the Orange Bird Feeder my friend Sheri Silver made a few years ago. Thanks Sheri, you always inspire me!
If you’ve come over from our Serena & Lily Giveaway on Instagram–welcome! Here’s how I use my new South Seas Side Cart and keep reading to see how Brooke and Cait use theirs! Around the holidays I love to have people stop by–day or evening I can easily prepare a coffee or drink station with my new bar cart from Serena & Lily. Having a designated piece of furniture that can be moved from one room to another and not have to worry about clearing something off, makes it easy to quickly assemble for a gathering. I set up a coffee and tea bar using my nespresso for the coffee and a large S’well bottle holds hot water for tea. A few homemade goodies or even store bought treats from Trader Joe’s makes it festive. In a small house it’s easier to have drinks set up in one room and food on the kitchen island.
When I have bloggers over I use my custom stamps from Casey Rubber Stamps for a latte to go. It’s the little things.
I worked with Tinyprints again this year for our Christmas card. They have the most beautiful holiday and Christmas photo cards. Tinyprints makes it so easy to upload your photo to see how it would look with the cards you like. I’m always pleased with the options they have. The last few years we used Letterpress. This year I went to the site completely open minded. I used a photo from Summer vacation–and I never do that, but it did make the whole experience a lot less stressful. Tinyprints lets you upload your photo, personalize the message and then get a proof.
You can play around with photos and really feel like you are designing your card with all the options they offer. Options I chose for our card: Rounded corners, Premium DoubleThick Matt and photos on both sides. Remember the days when you had the perfect vertical photo, but the only cards you liked were cards for a horizontal photo? Tinyprints has a card for every photo and every budget.
Even the envelopes are a standout at tinyprints. I went with this one with a return address on the back in the same lovely handwritten font. To make the envelopes extra special we chose to add a liner. If you haven’t ordered your cards yet, tinyprints is offering 30% off everything with the code: HOLLYJOLLY. And if you order today and select expedited shipping, you can get your cards by December 23rd.
I’ve talked about JORD Wood Watches before and, you know what, we still love them. Madeline and I have the Fieldcrest Series in Maple. Mine is slightly larger and Madeline’s is a small watch, perfect for women. I tend to like to wear a larger watch. Both watches have held up beautifully. This time I decided to let my son choose one. He was actually way more interested that I thought. I guess I don’t give him enough credit. He chose the Reece Series in Walnut and Navy. And to make them even better– Jord is offering engraving on the back of the watch or on the really cool wood box. We went with the engraving on the back of the watch. It makes it a great gift. It arrived just in time to wear to a few college interviews and I think it gave him a little extra confidence. There’s something old school about a watch and an interview. This watch looks great with a nice starched shirt–or with t-shirt. So here’s your chance for a gift card towards the purchase of a Jord Timepiece. And–there’s still time to have it engraved. Not a lot of time remaining, so hurry! Check it our here!
Chocolate Crackle Cookies–I’m pretty sure we called them Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, but whatever you call them they are an old time favorite. I love to give a small plate of cookies to neighbors and these seem perfect this year. You know what makes them even more special? Giving them on a festive plate from Anthropologie. This recipe from Martha Stewart is so good. Just don’t over bake! You want them to be chewy and soft. What’s your holiday favorite from childhood?
When we bought our current home we knew it was a bit of a project. We began with the detached garage and yard. It desperately needed attention. The entire yard was overgrown. The existing garage was an eye sore that took up a big chunk of the backyard. The first thing we did was remove the overgrown shrubs and trees. Our goal was create a real yard with enough room to play. The next thing we did was paint it black. It took one weekend and instantly it transformed the look. To take it to the next level, my husband built a portico over the side door making it look more like a cottage. The only thing missing was an exterior light.
We went with the Atomic Industrial Guard Sconce from Barn Light Electric. We are so happy with the look and quality of the sconce. You are able to customize your light with several options. We really wanted the Galvanized Finish against the black, but there are 30 different Finish options to choose from. This makes it a great option to use not only for outdoor, but in bathrooms, hallways, playrooms, mudrooms to name a few. You can also select between three different guard options and six different glass options. And these are options just for the Atomic Industrial Guard Sconce. Barn Light Electric has so many lighting options for any type of home or commercial project. I’ve been seeing Barn Light Electric on Pinterest for quite some time and have loved everything from the Original Warehouse Gooseneck to their new Machine Age Lighting. The more I read about Barn Light Electric and their commitment to quality, the more I love this company. They are based in Titusville, Florida where everything is made, in the USA. It started as a passion for vintage lighting fixtures by owners Bryan and Donna Scott. I think if you watch their story, you’ll see why I love this company and their products.
A look at before when we bought the house a few years ago and today. The yard is still small, but considered large for an in-town property. Due to the size of the yard we almost always have at least one broken window–my husband has become quite proficient in small pane window repair. Now all we need is a big wreath on that black garage. In the next few weeks I’ll post some photos of how we made the portico and how we decorated this space for Christmas.