My dear friend Emily came over to visit the week after my surgery in December and gave me the loveliest holiday candle I've ever smelled. The scent is a seductive blend of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves and cinnamon -- with just a hint of vanilla and amber (I truly despise vanilla-scented candles, and this one in no way smells like vanilla -- it just smells like wintery heaven). I loved the scent so much that in my Percocet-y state, I asked Emily to light the candle immediately so we could enjoy it as we ate the delicious dinner she had brought over and half-watched reruns of Dawson's Creek (noting just how absurd and implausible that affair between Pacey and the new teacher really was -- I mean, really!). The candle really added a warm, wintery spice to the ambiance, and since then I've burned it often to bring a little holiday cheer to the apartment (so often that, as I write this, it's burning down to the last bit of wick and wax and its 60-hour life is sadly coming to an end - though the glass can be repurposed for brushes and such on a vanity or pens on a desk!).
Obviously we are well past the December-themed holidays, but Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day are coming up (both holidays in my book), and it is still f*cking cold and snowy outside (excuse my French). And if we can't fight the freeze (or flee to the Caribbean), we might as well embrace it. This candle makes the weather tolerable and turns a dreary day into a warm, spicy burst of happiness.
Where to Buy
Nest Holiday Candle, $34 from Nordstrom.com (free shipping!)
Happy New Year! Wishing you all peace, love, happiness and a dash of whimsy this year!
I recently happened upon a super fun peace sign hand sculpture that I hope will find its way to my home in the coming weeks. It just perfectly captures what I hope 2014 will bring: peace, whimsy, and strength... and happiness.
Matt and I were discussing New Year's resolutions yesterday, and I said that one of mine was simply to be happy. "Happy? Is that a resolution?" he asked. "Absolutely!" I said. Happiness, at least to some extent, is a choice and can at times require a great deal of resolve to obtain/maintain. The old adage "fake it 'til you make it" comes to mind here, and the payoff once you "make it" is enormous and enormously worth it. If that's not a resolution, I don't know what is. The universe can have a pretty sick sense of humor at times (and at others, a delightful one), and it's up to us to decide how to handle it. 2013 was a year of some pretty phenomenal ups and some pretty brutal downs, but even now, as I close in on month ten of a debilitating foot injury and finish up week three of a painful surgery recovery, I feel an extreme sense of gratitude for the hand that was dealt to me this year. I'll never know how it happened, or why, but I like to think there was a reason and that the experience will make me a stronger and more compassionate person (even though it is easy to feel pretty worthless and woe-is-me in my current state). Who knows? A girl can dream.
So how did I find that fun little hand? On a whim of course, which is my favorite way to find things. I'll take you on a little tour of my search (a window into my meandering, "creative" (i.e. mildly ADD) mind), because I stumbled upon some great blogs along the way! During a delightfully aimless Google search for gold side tables yesterday (I am planning out a reno of our living room - inspiration board coming soon!), I happened upon a fun blog entry on gold/brass and marble color combos (one of my favorite combos) on a fabulous blog called The Covetable. This led me to The Covetable's "Apartment Envy" section (OMG, what fun!), which featured the apartment of Amelia Canham Eaton, who co-founded the blog The CHICago Life (also a fab blog). In Amelia's apartment tour, I saw this image and thought the peace hand was just super fun:
Then I saw this image and knew I'd found a kindred spirit - she has my pig bookends!!
I separately had been looking at the Jayson Home website (a Lincoln Park based home décor store that I wish existed in New York) where a brass peace sign captured my attention. Could it be the same thing? I thought when I saw the hand in Amelia's Chicago home. I do believe it is! At $168 plus shipping though, it's not the steal of a deal that my $29 pig bookends were and thus not something I can just purchase on a whim. I did a bit more digging to see if this happy hand was sold elsewhere, and I think I've found the same one (or an excellent replica) at Zinc Door for $137 plus free shipping. Same dimensions and similar coloring (unclear whether the coloring is in fact different or the photography is causing the difference):
So, what can this funny little hand represent? Many things! For me, it will be my adaptation (plus an addition) of the "10 to Zen" that has been cheesily circling about Pinterest recently. In other words, the pursuit of happiness.
What are your New Year's resolutions??
Happy New Year! And peace, man!
Apologies for the radio silence, everyone! Recovering from surgery is a bit more intense than I'd anticipated, and I just haven't been up to writing. Basically all I am capable of doing right now is watching TV and pinning on Pinterest (apologies to anyone who follows me for overcrowding your feed!). I am going to take another week or so off from blogging while I continue to recoup, but I wanted to take a minute and share our holiday decor photos before they're completely outdated!
Matt and I put up our holiday decor the weekend before I went under the knife. The transformation was very quick and easy (and something I was somewhat capable of doing in a walking boot). We bought a ginormous tree from the nice tree sellers that come down from Quebec every year, and we also grabbed a bunch of loose greenery from them (free when you buy a tree or probably if you ask nicely) to use on the mantle and dining table.
On the tree we used white lights and ornaments that our families have given us over time. I love the feeling of history that a tree can have when you hang ornaments that members of your family grew up with and that tell a little story of who you are.
The tree is actually so large that I couldn't get a photo of it head on. This angle is from our foyer looking into the living room (the fireplace is to the left - you can see the rug in the bottom left corner).
For the mantle, we used oldies but goodies that we have "on file." A few years ago, my mom gave us a nutcracker (she used to take me to the Nutcracker when I was a kid) and my mother-in-law gave us some cute Noel and snowman clown figurines from the Taft Museum in Cincinnati. The colors all go great with our decor and make decorating each year super easy! We just added the greenery around the figurines to give everything a bit more life and to tie in the tree (I also used some to cover up the ugly wall hanging nail that shows on the top of the mirror - worked like a charm!)
For the wreath, I wanted something that was just really green and fresh - and easy. I bought a $20 wreath that our Quebec friends were selling and then I got about $10 worth of other boxwood-style greenery from the corner bodega. I hung the wreath over our door knocker and stuck the bodega greens into various parts of the wreath. I then curled the greens around the circle of the wreath and held it all down with a little wire that my Quebec friends gave me. I added a burlap bow (parts of it are braided but you can't see from here) for some rustic charm.
And that's a wrap, folks! What did you do for your decor? I'd love to know!
Hope you all are celebrating your various holidays and can hopefully enjoy a little time off from work. Happiest of holidays and I'll be back in the new year!
Merry merry and happy happy!
I am an artist/designer and former financial professional with a background in comparative literature, business and design. I live in New York with my overworked lawyer husband and my two boys Michael and Theo and spend much of my free time dreaming about how to enhance the aesthetics of our little world. I am endlessly inspired and always in search of something new. This is a blog about my search, my inspiration and things I just really, really like or want.