It’s hard to believe that December is here and the holiday season is in full swing. One of my favorite things about cold weather season is the emergence of plaid. I have had the same plaid and checked scarves for over a decade and it amazes me how they never ever go out of style. Here are some great options if you are looking to add some plaid to your look or home.
I have watched all month as people on Facebook have posted about what they are thankful for. I am not a big Facebook-er but I love the idea of writing it out so I am going to do it again this year. Last year at this time life was very different. I was living in India, and really still residing in DC. I didn’t get to experience fall at all, and this year I was lucky enough to experience a New England fall, now living in Boston. Lots of changes. But one thing remains the same, I am very lucky to have what I do and want to be more thankful every day.
1. I am thankful for my framiliy! I am lucky to have a close-knit family, but it’s my “friend family” that I relied on for many years before moving back to Boston. I am so fortunate to have found such a remarkable group of people when I moved to DC. They are the best a girl could ask for, I miss them every day and appreciate them more than ever now. You know who you are!
2. I am thankful for physical therapy. Over the course of the move, so soon after surgery, I had some pretty severe symptoms and was having trouble just walking. I found an amazing therapist in Boston and I am feeling so much more on my way to a full recovery.
3. I am thankful for my health, but also that I am fortunate enough to have great healthcare. With all the politics involved in this debate we can’t forget that there are many people who don’t have access to even the most basic care.
4. I am thankful for puffer jackets! Never bought one in DC, it’s a necessity now.
5. I am thankful for the new spin studio I found in Boston. For some reason biking is easier on me than a lot of other exercise so I am finally getting some regular cardio again. Great for the mind, body and soul.
6. I am thankful for history. We have such a rich history in the U.S. and I love the way we honor so much of it with really thoughtful and poignant tributes. The assassination of JFK, the 50th anniversary of the “I have a dream” speech, baseball championships, you name it, we know how to celebrate the past and what it means to the present.
7. I am thankful for Instagram. It is by far my favorite social media platform and I swear it helps me step up my photography skills.
8. I am thankful for having gotten to spend so much time in the Cape this fall. It’s such a great time of year there, which I haven’t experienced in over a decade. I feel lucky to be reminded how enjoyable it is.
9. I am thankful for trains and airplanes. (Notice I didn’t say airlines :)). I have traveled a lot over the last few months, mostly for work, but for fun too and it never ceases to amaze me how much connectivity we have.
10. I am thankful for the view from a plane just above the clouds at dusk or early in the morning. That view is truly priceless.
11. I am thankful for new experiences. As hard as it can be to feel like a stranger in a strange land most of the time being back in Boston, I have already met lots of nice people and found new things to appreciate in the city.
12. I am thankful for my family and friends here in Massachusetts. My favorite part about the last few months has been the ability to spend more time with the people I love most here, and not feel rushed and time crunched like I always did when visiting.
13. I am thankful for memories. This time last year I was across the world, but I love thinking back to where I was a year ago and all the fun memories I made and people I met in India.
14. I am thankful for our men and women serving in the military. At the Pats game on Sunday, they were celebrating our troops and there were some pretty emotional tributes to service members who have lost limbs and endured some pretty heavy stuff. It really puts things into perspective and we all need to appreciate the lives we lead here in the U.S., in large part due to the sacrifices made by others.
15. I am thankful for fall foliage. There is nothing like walking through some colorful crunchy leaves on a chilly day. As they say, life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall…
16. I am thankful for coffee. I am pretty much useless until I have that first sip in the morning, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
17. I am thankful for my new home in Boston. It’s in a great neighborhood, and while it has its quirks, I am very lucky to have found a place like this to start my new life here.
18. I am thankful for old photos. I love looking at old pictures. My Memere had a huge board with decades of pictures of our family in her home when she was alive and I loved looking at it. Picture sharing is now a part of our daily life, but old pictures are better sometimes because of their pre-digital age imperfections!
19. I am thankful for Pinterest. Talk about the ultimate inspiration board. No matter what you need: a recipe, a workout, an outfit idea, an inspirational quote, it’s all right there. I love the way technology enables so much access to sharing information. (Especially when that information is food/fashion/decor related!)
20. I am thankful for the ability to cook. I truly enjoy the process of baking or making one of my favorite recipes and sharing those recipes with friends and family. I consider it a compliment that I am often tasked with dinner planning and cooking when I am with my family.
21. I am thankful for the ability to drive. There is something so great about a good road trip and the freedom being behind the wheel can bring. My sister and I always talk about how we became emotionally attached to all the cars we have had because of the freedom they represented and memories made with each one.
22. I am thankful for quiet moments. It’s difficult to turn it all off, and so rare really. I am trying to get in the habit of just being quiet a little more often. The technology (and emails!) will be there regardless, there is no reason for FOMO!
23. I am thankful for music. I am one of those people who appreciates any and all kinds of music, I love to dance, and I am still amazed at the way a song can lift my mood, make me emotional or hit me with major nostalgia from the past.
24. I am thankful for the things that just make life easier, the Hail app for cabs, Seamless for take out, Flight Board for travel. Like it or not technology is making us more efficient in some aspects!
25. I am thankful for holiday traditions. I am excited to address cards, decorate and watch my favorite holiday movies (The Holiday, White Christmas, Charlie Brown, Rudolph (with claymation!).
26. I am thankful for pens and paper. I am a person who needs to write it all down: lists, goals, data dumps, doodles. I love a blank notebook to fill however I like, it keeps me sane and somewhat organized.
27. I am thankful for late night comedians. It has seriously been silly season from a political/celebrity standpoint over the last few months, and the ability to laugh at it all sometimes serves as a bit of therapy. Someecards is another great source for sarcastic humor.
28. I am thankful for random acts of kindness. I experienced one the other day and it’s great. Paying it forward is always a good idea.
29. I am thankful for garden fresh vegetables. My Dad has been doing farm-to-table since before it was trendy, and most of the vegetables on our Thanksgiving table are from his garden.
30. I am thankful that I have wonderful family and hot meal to enjoy on Thanksgiving, it’s so easy to take that for granted. We have had the same tradition for as long as I can remember and I know that’s not always the case for others and that alone is something to be thankful for.
My new apartment is finally feeling like it’s coming together. I feel like it will never be done, and there is still some small things I need to address, but the last big thing I need to do is create a small dining area. I definitely eat on the couch more than I would like to admit, but I don’t want to be without the option. Of course the biggest challenge is space. I had my heart set on the IKEA Docksta but I think it’s too big, so now I am searching for a smaller option.
Anyway, these were the pics I pinned for inspiration and how I hope to pull it all together. I love the Rattan Bistro Chairs from IKEA, if I can’t have the table at least I get to fall back on those, as a much more affordable alternative to french bistro chairs. How would you style a small dining area?
It’s hard to believe but it is time to start thinking about decorating! I am excited to pull out my holiday decor for the first time in two years. I also brought some great stuff back from India so that is exciting too. I do miss my wonderful little DC apartment though, it had a working fireplace and had room for a full size tree, not so much room in the new place (plus there are four flights of stairs to climb!), but I will enjoy decorating it anyway.
I love simple but sophisticated holiday decorations that you can work into your everyday decor. I am not a huge fan of tons of nick -nacks. But I do love little white lights and simple touches that make all the difference during the holidays. Here are some of my favorites from around the web.
I am thinking a small tree like this might work for my place. I have a great copper pot I can use to put it in.
I also love this idea as an alternative to a tree. The space above my sofa is currently empty so this is an option as well.
Thankfully I still have a mantel and I always appreciate the simplicity of greens to dress one up.
I am a big fan of pinecones in winter decor (added bonus, you can leave them up post-holiday!), this is an easy DIY with items you probably already have and free pinecones.
And if you do have a big beautiful tree to decorate consider adding some non-traditional color into the mix. I also love the look of wreaths on windows, I have been replicating that look in my holiday decorating for a decade.
So the kitchen in my new apartment is TINY. Thankfully my good friend Whit’s husband made me (yes, made it) a great wooden kitchen cart which has given me some space to prep and I am able to cook a little more. However, cooking for one also presents some challenges. Buying tons of different foods and spices for a couple of meals a week gets pricey fast and I end up having all kinds of stuff I don’t use.
Anyway, if you are a Cardigans and Couture reader you know that Katie has been using Blue Apron lately and when there was a special on Gilt City a few weeks ago I decided to try it out. Basically they send you all the ingredients you need for three meals a week. You can choose vegetarian or meat options.
I got my first box on Friday and I was very impressed. The first meal I made was Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. I enjoyed the experience because I was able to make a home cooked meal without schleping to the grocery store to pick up a ton of random ingredients, but had all the components I liked about cooking, like taste testing along the way. It was a great meal and I had lots of leftovers.
If you are a busy single or couple looking to take the guess work out of weekly cooking, this might be for you. I don’t think I will do it every week, but I can definitely see myself trying it out again. I like that it gets me out of my cooking comfort zone so I try new things. Next up Braised Beluga Lentils!
Measured out fresh ingredients/Step-by-step instructions with photos/ Creamy bechamel sauce with butternut squash/Mixing in the pasta/ Prepped for the oven with bread crumbs on top
I love looking at all the pretty holiday decor on Pinterest lately. I also really love a beautifully set table. One of these days, when I host a holiday dinner, I know that creating a pretty table scape will be one of my favorite things to prepare. For today’s post I am going to showcase two table options: glam and rustic. What is your style?
If you like a simpler or more rustic look, this might be for you. Again using sweet pumpkins, but this time layering in more natural elements to create great style.
To get this look, use lots of natural elements. I think you could easily cut some wood pieces on your own or find someone local to do it, to use on the table. The wicker charger can be used all year-long, IKEA has a really affordable version. Birch candle holders are a great investment in Fall decor generally and it would be really easy to make your own burlap runner as well. Simple and chic.
Late last week and over the weekend the cold really started to set in causing me to start thinking about winter coats. In DC its cold, but you can get away with the most basic of winter wear in my view. Not the case here in Boston! December, January and February will be very cold and require lots of bundling when leaving the house.
I think I am looking for two different coats. I want a down puffer jacket to keep me warm and will also be useful in the snow and cold rain that we will get. While a long puffer is attractive, I also like the idea of a shorter one that can double as a ski jacket since I plan to get some skiing in this year. I also want something a little dressier that still keeps me warm but also has some style. My dream dressy coat is the one above from Emerson Fry, a Christmas gift to myself, perhaps?
I also think that it will be important to have some good accessories as well. I love long gloves because it’s so much easier to avoid that little gap between the sleeve of your jacket and the top of the glove. I am prone to ear infections so I also need hats and muffs to keep mine covered!
I realize we are a week in, but November is way too special not to get its own inspiration board. I love November, mostly because of Thanksgiving, it really starts to cool down, pinecones everywhere, and Christmas right around the corner. It is definitely the best time of year. What I want plan to do this month:
- Break out my crock pot, this is what I want to make first.
- Write out the 30 things I am thankful for like I did last year.
- Take a photography class so I can take lots of great snowy pics this winter.
- Pick up my knitting, once I figure out where I packed it.
Have a great weekend!
First things first, it’s my little sister’s birthday and my parent’s anniversary today. Love you all so much!
Anyway, I am looking for a room divider screen for my new apartment. I have never really had a need for one before, and definitely have found them a bit kitschy at times. However, I have a serious lack of storage in this place and a screen will help remedy that by dividing a corner in my main living area where I can keep some things. I think the best one I have found is this upholstered nail head version at World Market, but I have been looking at Pinterest for inspiration as well. Here are some rooms styled with screens that I loved.
I like the idea of using it as a headboard as another option (maybe in a future home!).
I also like the idea of using it to house some artwork. Hard to pull off, but could be an option for adding texture and layers to the space.
Another option I have seen as a room divider is using plain white curtains. I don’t think it will work for my space, but I love the look.
I loved this quote by Oscar Wilde. It is so easy to just exist, it’s hard to remember to live! Last year at this time I was visiting the Himalayas and definitely felt like I was living one of the best adventures I ever went on. Everything was new and different and it was easy to feel exhilarated. I need to try to remember how to be that way in my everyday life.
I hope you had a great weekend! Here are some links to start the week.
It’s time to start thinking about the holidays. I love these Brake Ink cards and tags.
Speaking of, it’s never to early to think about holiday party dress options, like this shimmery number.
An autumn omelette that sounds just perfect.