Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays to All!

From our family's elf to your family's elf ... wishing everyone a very wonderful Holiday season!

Wally, our family elf.

I will be on family vacation for the next couple of weeks and will be back blogging sometime in January 2013! Have a Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Small Blogs: Blog In Focus - "Wooden Spoon and Crafts"

My next "Small Blog" in focus is Bay Area blogger Darlene Alvarez's Wooden Spoon and Crafts.

Wooden Spoon and Crafts showcases Darlene's cleverly simple and delicious-looking baking dishes, fun adventures with her family (which includes her 6-year old son Zachary and English Bull Terrier named Luna), and new found love of crafting.

I am a huge fan of Darlene's baking recipes! Admittedly, I am not the best cook so I love that her recipes are so simple and easy to make and with pictures! I've made her "Semi-home Made Chocolate Pistachio Cake" (see below) and it was quite delicious!

Below are a few of my favorite posts from Wooden Spoon and Crafts:

I love this recipe! Darlene discovered this recipe online but being short on time she used a box cake mix instead going purely from scratch. I followed her "semi-home made" recipe too and it tasted pretty yummy good.

The ingredients.

The delicious cake.

Another quick and easy recipe featured on Wooden Spoon and Crafts. Just like Darlene, I love breakfast food and could eat it anytime of the day. 

Baked Vegetarian Quiche. Looks so good!

Such great finds on these crafty solutions for reusing old glass jars and bottles. My favorite is the glowing fireflies...so magical! Below are a couple solutions, check out Darlene's full post on more fun creations!


Glowing Fireflys

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek into Darlene's Wooden Spoon and Crafts! Check out her blog and say hello! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pinned It & Made It

I see so many cool things to make on Pinterest but just never have the time to do it! So for this holiday season I decided to make something that I pinned last year. When I spotted the Scrappy Ribbon Garland idea on Pinterest I instantly loved it and pinned it to my Holidays and Celebrations board.

Scrappy Ribbon Garland from Whitney Caroline Designs.

I decided to make my string light garland with scrap pieces of fabric rather than ribbon since I didn't have an abundance of scrap ribbon readily available in my home.  I also chose to not make my garland as full with scrap ribbon/fabric since I wanted to use my garland as a place to display my holiday greeting cards from friends and family. I used paper clips to attach the greeting cards to the string lights. 

I hung my final creation along the archway between the living and dining rooms. I love how the fabric creates a softer, more colorful glow compared to just the plain string lights. It's such a simple and affordable project that anybody could do! 

My scrappy fabric light garland with a handful of holiday cards already attached. This photo was taken last week and as of today it is filled from top to bottom with holiday greeting cards from family and friends. The tissue paper Christmas wreath was made by my son Tomás, his 1st grade class holiday project.

A closer look at my string garland with fabric & holiday cards.

Up close picture of fabric garland at night.

Picture taken yesterday evening. As you can see my garland is filled with holiday cheer from my family and friends!

Happy Pinning, Happy Crafting, & Happy Holidays to all!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

An Ode to Scissors

I love cutting paper and I love the sound of scissors cutting paper. But even more, I love the shape of a pair of scissors. There's something so elegantly beautiful about the shape of scissors. And, if I could, I would have a drawer full of them.

Here's what my dream drawer of scissors would look like:

Shears by Shozaburo scissor company from Best Made Company

Marguerite Scissors from The French Needle

Allex Non-Stick Scissors from The Shop at Cooper-Hewitt

Antique Stork Scissors from The Vintage Universe

Double Face Scissors (Photo: Colleen Abbott/Pinterest)

9 Inch Fabric Scissors from Spartan Shop

Brass Scissors from Hay

 9" Studio Teflon Scissors by Merchant & Mills

(Photo: Pack Rat Memories Blog)

I leave you with a poem by Pablo Neruda.

Ode to a Pair of Scissors

(looking like
birds, or
you are as polished as a knight's
shining armor

Two long and treacherous
crossed and bound together
for all time,
tiny rivers
thus was born a creature for cutting,
a fish that swims among billowing linens,
a bird that flies

that smell of
my seamstress
when their vacant
metal eye
spied on
to the neighbors
about our thefts of plums and kisses.

in the house,
nestled in their corner,
the scissors crossed
our lives,
and oh so
many lengths of
that they cut and kept on cutting:
for newlyweds and the dead,
for newborns and hospital wards.
They cut
and kept on cutting,
also the peasant's hair
as tough
as a plant that clings to rock,
and flags
soon stained and scorched
by blood and flame,
and vine
stalks in winter,
and the cord
on the telephone.

A long-lost pair of scissors
cut your mother's
from your navel
and handed you for all time
your separate existence.
Another pair, not necessarily
will one day cut
the suit you wear to your grave.

have gone
they've explored
the world
snipping off piece of
and sadness
Everything has been material
for scissors to shape:
the tailor's
giant scissors,
as lovely as schooners,
and very small ones
for trimming nails
in the shape of the waning moon,
and the surgeon's
submarine scissors
that cut complications
and the knot that should not have grown inside you.

Now, I'll cut this ode short
with the scissors
of good sense,
so that it
fit in your pocket
smoothed and folded
a pair
of scissors.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Anne Hathaway, My Lady Crush

Anne Hathaway is such a striking star in both her movies and fashion. And to me, she is one of the few actresses of today that grab my attention and whose films I enjoy watching

For the past several years she has been a major crush of mine in la femme world. I loved her performances in The Devil Wears PradaBecoming Jane, and as the rodeo rider wife of Jack in Brokeback Mountain. My boys and I even enjoyed her voice performances in such family favorites as Studio Ghibli's The Cat Returns as the (English version) voice of Haru and Rio: The Movie as the voice of the female blue macaw, Jewel.

In the Dark Knight Rises, Anne shines as Selina Kyle especially opposite Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne. Of course Christian is my #1 pretend boyfriend and any woman who can create such dynamic on-screen chemistry with my main squeeze has got to be good! 

And I thought sparks only happened between me and Christian!
(Photo: Dark Knight Rises)

I am really anticipating her upcoming movie Les Miserables out this Christmas. I've found that my favorite roles of Anne are her more darker, heart-breaking roles. She exudes a sort of sadness that comes through the screen and makes you feel it. I even got teary-eyed watching the Les Mis featurette with her singing "I Dreamed A Dream". 

Of course off-screen, she has a totally gorgeous fashion sense. Her style has a sort of romantic sophistication to it. It's breathtaking yet dreamy. Also, I am in love with her new short hair. She not only looks great with long hair but she looks even lovelier with short hair. I have great admiration for ladies who brave the scissors and cut those locks off and afterwards totally own it! I've done it and it does feel quite liberating and fantastic at the same time! Anne joins that small selection of other actresses that really rock their pixie hair cuts (Judi Dench is my #1 for ladies that rock the short 'do).

Here are some of my favorites of Anne:

Anne wore a strapless ivory silk point d'esprit tulle wedding gown by Valentino for her Big Sur wedding to Adam Shulman. Her flowy and feminine dress featured a lace headband and veil, and painted in a soft pink hue. (Photo: VOGUE)

 For the London Premiere of the 'Dark Knight Rises', she wore a loose-fitting Gucci gown with flowery details on neckline with matching gold heels. (Photos: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

For the 'Dark Knight Rises' London Premiere after party, Anne wore a J. Mendel semi-wrap white dress with silver embroidery. In addition, she wore custom pointy toed, silver Casadei heels which were a perfect match to her simple and feminine dress. (Photos: Getty Images; VOGUE)

At the New York Premiere of the 'Dark Knight Rises', Anne dazzled wearing a beautiful white Prabal Gurung gown. Her dress had a deep plunging neckline and cowl back with a jeweled exposed corset. (Photos: hawtcelebs.com)

I absolutely love this Valentino Couture gown that Anne wore to the New York City Ballet Fall Gala. Her billowy, long-sleeve gown had a 70s vibe to it with a colorful print and a Fall-like feel. (Photos: Getty Images; C.Smith/WENN) 

And here, Anne pulls off couture like most celebrities could only dream of doing: 
  • Interview Magazine, September 2011. Mert and Mercus capture these stunning photographs of Anne Hathaway in black and white wearing these dark, romantic gothic gowns and dresses from the likes of Nina Ricci, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Tom Ford.

  • W Magazine, November 2008. I love this fashion spread of Anne photographed by Mario Sorrenti. She looks absolutely stunning! 
Marc Jacobs’s white silk taffeta dress.

Alexander McQueen’s silk taffeta cape and Ralph Lauren Collection’s silk and polyamide tulle gown.

Francisco Chaydez’s silk taffeta cape.

Anne Hathaway wears Dior Haute Couture’s embroidered crinoline and silk gazar dress with sequins.  

  • VOGUE (Paris), September 2008. Gorgeous black and white photographs of Anne Hathaway by Ben Hasset for Vogue, Paris.

And that's my lady crush, Anne Hathaway. Who are someone of your favorite lady stars that dazzle you? I'd love to hear!