31 December 2011

New Year Cheer


This year went by faster than ever. Somehow, everything managed to get done in these last few weeks--we had a memorable baby's first Christmas, which included baby's first international trip. More on that later. We even got our Christmas cards out the door before we left.

Speaking of cards, I just created a little electronic post to wish a few friends a Happy New Year with Paperless Post. I am quite impressed with their interactive features to create a personalized invitation to send out, and for the recipient to open one via email. All the designs are very tasteful and look like you could reach into the screen and feel luxurious card stock. I used my free stamps to send out the invitation to our little cookie party earlier this month and the RSVP managing tools are very user friendly and helpful. For the sender, this is so much easier and faster. But for the recipient, nothing will ever replace the excitement of getting a beautiful piece of real mail.

Here's hoping there are many occasions for both electronic and real greetings in 2012. Sending warm wishes and cheers for a very happy New Year!

13 December 2011

Tangerine Tango


Pantone announced that Tangerine Tango is the color of 2012. I was only a couple shades off with my professed love for subtler emberglow.

It's a bold color, that's for sure. I think it is best in small doses, making an impact in neutral territory--unless you really want to stand out. I could see see this hue as a great color for my lips or toes on a tropical vacation. (Essie Clambake.)

12 December 2011

Sweet Exchange


It is festive around the house and it's lovely. Funny how having a child makes you excited for Christmas again like a... child. After four years of marriage, my husband and I got our first tree together. Even though we won't be here to unwrap Santa's gifts on Christmas morning, we couldn't imagine that baby's first Christmas season would be tree-less.

We hosted our first holiday party this weekend, a cookie exchange. It was also our first hosting as parents with other new parents and little ones as guests. (The last holiday party I hosted was with my roommate in our tiny NYC apartment five years ago. Now I find myself juggling winter white sangria with a baby on my hip and I feel so lucky.)

I had only been to one cookie exchange before, and none of our guests had. Essentially, you arrive with 2 dozen of your baked cookies and leave with an assortment of 2 dozen (minus those you've eaten, of course). It didn't quite end up that smoothly, but I think the evening was a success nonetheless.

Photo above is of my batch of chocolate crackle cookies. Delightfully chocolatey. And who doesn't love anything with powdered sugar? I recommend baking them on the lighter side to keep them soft and chewy.

09 December 2011

Say Cheese


I can't believe 2 years later, I haven't blogged my love for this place. Because, quite honestly it is definitely one of my top five favorite Pittsburgh establishments. I am talking about Penn Mac in the Strip. The first time I stepped foot in this cheese mecca, I was sold. I bring every out-of-town visitor we have here and then they are sold on Pittsburgh being so livable. My NYC and New England friends and family have requested to go back on subsequent visits. I am pretty certain Penn Mac could rival the best NYC cheese shops on selection and price. Plus, they are very friendly and helpful here. Come visit and I will take you!

I just dropped by earlier today to pick out a few cheeses to serve at our little holiday shindig we are hosting this weekend. I also picked up a soppressata (cured sausage, or soupy to my Rhode Island friends), and come to find out, it is from Rhode Island. Naturally.

01 December 2011

'Tis the season


The first weekend of December is upon us, and that means cookies, shopping and All Clad in Pittsburgh. We have all three respective events on our radar, as well as a trip up to Soergel's to pick out 2 pines for our front porch entry, and our very first Christmas tree. Very exciting.

Lawrenceville Cookie Tour
Look for the gingerbread cookie icon at participating storefronts along Butler and beyond. 

I Made It! Market
If you missed the Handmade Arcade this year (guilty as charged), cute unique trinkets for holiday gifting can be found here, held at Bakery Square.

All Clad Annual Seconds Sale
The big sale of these amazing pots and pans is in Washington, PA, but Crate in Greentree has the same prices and a great selection (and within half the distance).

The recipe for the deliciously decorated sugar cookies above can be found along with other recipes and delights at glorioustreats.
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