Sun x Southwest

It’s vacation time! I’m headed out to Arizona for a week to catch up on some much needed R&R (even if the recent lack of posts may mean it’s not even noticeable!). I may decide to post if I’m feeling inspired. Too bad I didn’t discover these before I left!

Happy weekend, and happy (early) next week!

Photo by Taking of Toast


Last weekend, instead of joining all the St. Patrick’s Day revelers (and, as always, there were many), I took a walk up to the Conservatory Garden, located near the northern end of Central Park. Although it was a little early in the season to be visiting (few trees were in bloom, the fountains were off and without water), I’m still glad I went. If anything, it just made me want even more to go back later in the spring to get the most of it. I can’t wait to see it in a couple months, when hopefully, everything is in bloom.

I even found a perfect spot for reading, which may not be so easy to find later in the season, when the garden will be (presumably) more crowded.

Here’s to spring (and I mean spring, not spring-summer, which we’ve been getting hints of lately)!

Photos by Taking of Toast

Seasonal Thoughts

With spring (even summer?) seemingly just around the bend, I’ve been thinking about starting afresh. Spring begs you to be outside, take advantage of the (hopefully) endless blue sky and just-warm-enough weather, before the humidity of summer makes you want to be anywhere but outside. I have a tendency to laze around inside, but I want to make sure I do things this spring. I’ve decided that those activities don’t have to be outside themselves, as long as they’re inside some place other than my own room. I just have to commit, right?

I’d love to buy some watercolors and paper and practice making cards (I find myself constantly thinking back to these prints by Jessica Durrant) or figure out something to do with these amazing fabrics (after seeing them on Oh Joy!).

I haven’t been to The Cloisters since I was in middle school. I’d like to go back for the Medieval Garden and the views of the Hudson.

Very up there on my list is a visit to the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. (I’ve been meaning to do this for almost a year.)

In the realm of trying something new: I’m no coffee connoisseur and don’t have a clue about how coffee flavors translate from description to taste, but Caffe Vita‘s Caffé Del Sol sounds pretty good to me.

I caved and decided to link my blog to my Pinterest. I’ve had my account for a few months, but I’ve only been updating it every few weeks when I think of it. I’ve done some significant pinning and repinning today, though, and think it’s ready for its debut. (I’m having the most fun with my Home Inspiration board. Aah, the possibilities when you don’t need to worry about a budget!)

So. Let’s see what happens.

Photo by Taking of Toast


I was browsing in Anthropologie a couple weekends ago (a new one had opened in what used to be a movie theater, and I was curious to see what they did with the space), when I noticed some beautifully packaged lotions and bath gels from Lollia. I’ve found that scented hand lotion can be hit or miss: Sometimes, the scent is overwhelming and can just make your hands smell as if you rubbed perfume on them. But the few Lollia shea butter hand cremes I smelled were subtle enough to make your hands smell nice, but not so much that you’d wish you knew how to take it off. (Seriously, how do you do it?!) I think the petite versions would make great hostess gifts.

In Love/Classic Petal

Breathe/Peony & Lily

Calm/Hyacinth & Honey

They also have beautifully packaged soaps and shower gels.

All photos from Lollia


Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to over last month, while I work on some other posts.

In all my years of living in New York (a.k.a., most of my life), I had never been to ABC Carpet & Home. I don’t know how that’s possible, but it’s true. At the beginning of February, I finally went, briefly, before a family birthday celebration at ABC Kitchen, and my feelings are mixed: I loved it, because everything there was beautiful, but I hated it, because everything there was beautiful … and most of it out of my reach/budget. Can you imagine being an interior designer with a budget? Things could get pretty crazy. We didn’t have much time to spend in there, but I still managed to check out the Matta clothes (those fabrics and colors!) and stare up at some fancy chandeliers.

Birthday weekend continued with brunch at Parm and then a stroll through the neighborhood.

Then, a couple weekends ago, I got back into baking the easy way by making coconut macaroons, adding chocolate to make them “Oscar Sunday worthy.”

All in all, it was a pretty delicious month.

A Sign?

This coming Sunday’s issue of The New York Times Magazine is all about London. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I dream about moving to London someday for a year or two. I wonder if Sarah Lyall’s answer to why Londoners apologize so often, in the “Explaining Londoners” feature, is somebody’s way of telling me that I should go for it.

7. Why are Londoners always apologizing?
Londoners’ air of permanent regret can seem bewildering and perverse. They apologize when they bump into you, when you bump into them, when they walk into doors, when they drop things, when they want to speak, when they are flustered, when they disagree, when they are brushing past you, when they cannot hear, when they can hear all too well and as a reflex when they cannot think of what else to say. But by no means does saying “sorry” mean the speaker is in fact sorry. Frequent apology is one of an arsenal of clever tricks Londoners employ to obscure their true feelings and remain opaque to outsiders and possibly even to themselves. Sarah Lyall

Up until the last sentence (or maybe the second-to-last sentence, depending on the situation), I kept thinking, “Wait a minute, that’s me.” I’m the one who backs into a chair and apologizes, who says sorry to the person who bumps into me, and who frequently says it instead of “excuse me.” But I promise I’m working on it.

Photos by Taking of Toast