Broad City + Amy Poehler + Comedy Central

Have you heard? Have you seen? Ecks, I’m freakin’ in love with the new show on Comedy Central called Broad City. If you are a fan of Girls, then I’m pretty sure you will love Alana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson who play versions of themselves in the show about a couple of broke friends in New York City. It’s raunchy, it has an unhealthy-but-hilarious dose of drug remarks, and a perfect amount of pop culture banter. I laughed out loud with a sort of shocked look on my face. Last night’s episode had a cameo with Fred Armisen in a wild scene where the girls cleaned his house sans-clothes in exchange for money. The show’s producers consist of a long list favorite people including Amy Poehler and Whitney Cummings. I was a huge fan of Cummings’ show Whitney, too bad it didn’t continue after two seasons. Anyway, you must tune in (Wednesdays at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central), DVR, or watch it online. I can’t wait until next week!

Art Classes for Adults in Montgomery County, MD

It’s the new year and one of my resolutions is to get out from behind my computer and create more with my hands. I love the idea that Square House Studio has concocted — an ART BAR, open to adults (only) of course because, ahem, some tasty beverages are served along with instruction of an art class or craft like silk scarf painting, block printing, intro to photography, paper making and collaging, jewelry design, intro to graphic design; the list goes on and on.

Square House Studio opened it’s doors this past autumn and most classes are held on evenings after work. It’s meant as a fun and casual environment. No experience is necessary, and all supplies are included in the flat fee. If you’re looking for additional inspiration, just look to the studio’s walls where you can see local artist’s work hanging. Just bring yourself and maybe your friend and let the creativity come to you.

I’m so excited for this new venture by my very own, Mom! Check out the website for more info on classes and pricing. So far, each of the classes have sold out so be sure to sign up early!

If we were in DC, we’d call this a Blizzard

Being as we are such poor planners in advance, we decided four days before leaving that we should go up to Buffalo to visit Daryle’s family and best friends from high school. It had been a long while since we’d last been up there in the winter. So we called Daryle’s aunt to see if she had room for an over-packing family of three and got in the car and made the eight hour journey. I was wondering how painful it would be forcing Jack to stay put for all of those driving hours. I wound up sitting in the backseat with Jack for most of the trip, offering to give him snacks, giving him hugs from Elmo, singing and reading stories. We are trying to limit Jack’s time on the iPhone because he becomes entranced with it whenever he gets ahold of it. But it really is helpful to have, especially at the last leg of the trip when we’re all so antsy to just get there!

We drove through a ton of snow in the mountains of Pennsylvania; I was at the edge of my seat, eyes alert at the possibility of skidding off-road. It was pretty scary for me, but Daryle reminded me that people are used to the snow, north of DC; and they generally kept their distance from one another on the road. Well, we got there and were instantly in a winter wonderland! Tons of snow everywhere. It made my last post about our 1/2 inch of snow pale in comparison.

The very next morning we awoke determined to go sledding. We stopped by Target to get Jack a pair of snow pants, but the last pair in the entire store were bright pink with matching gloves! We didn’t really have a choice, and at this point Jack doesn’t know the difference. I promised myself that I would convert the photos to black and white, but I sort of love the bright color contrast with the snow; pink pants it is! Jack loved wading through the snow and I loved dragging him behind me on the sleigh! We found a long and easy hill in Delaware Park which is nestled between a beautiful neighborhood filled with giant Tudor homes. We sailed again and again down the hill and Jack, who was first uneasy to go down the hill with Daryle or our friend Douglas, nearly leapt into my lap when it was my turn! My sweet momma’s boy.

I hope all of my friends to the north east are faring well in the recent storm. We got several inches in DC, enough for some sledding. Now it’s old hat for Jack!

Our Christmas Recap

Before too much time passes, I wanted to share some photos from our wonderful and cozy Christmas. As you know, Christmas is Daryle’s birthday also. It’s a special time of year for us and we love decorating the house with his mother’s Department 56 Christmas villages. Daryle decorates the outside of our house with white icicle lights, aiming for us to have the most festive house on the block. This year we swore up and down that we would have a paired down gift exchange. We felt like we are thankful to have all the things we need and what we really wanted most was to be with family.

Even so, we each couldn’t help but get a little something for the other, and frankly we still felt compelled to spoil Jack. His three big gifts were a beautiful shiny chrome Schwinn tricycle with leather tassels on the handlebars from Grampa Jay; a “hug me” Elmo; and a ukulele which I secretly love the most. My mom and Steve came over to join the celebrations. We missed having my sister and brother present: Claire was in Dublin with her husband; and Patrick went to visit his girlfriend’s family. Even though it wasn’t a huge gathering and of course we missed them like crazy, we still had such a fun afternoon which erupted into a giddy evening. My mom and I made a buche de noel (yule log cake) which is a traditional French holiday dessert and we lite candles for Daryle to make a wish. We experimented making Bloody Marys, which lead to champagne, and then red wine, and lot’s of old Christmas records from Daryle’s collection. It was really a magical day and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m blessed to have my loving family, my amazingly supportive husband, and my little perfect angel son who I love so much. I hope you had a Merry Christmas! With lot’s of love.

New Year’s 2014 Around the World

Can you guess where each photo was taken? I was able to pick out one (Moscow). But one of my new year’s resolutions is to travel more. Hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve. We just got back from a snowy trip to Buffalo, NY and had a pretty low key night. I’ll take any excuse to drink champagne, lay underneath the Christmas tree and sing the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne (via Wikepedia on my iPhone).

Wishing you and your family a happy 2014; and to health and wealth!

In order: Toyko, Vilnius (Lithuania), Moscow, and Berlin.


Hipster Tote Bags with Fabby Typography

Oh yes, I too thought I had completely written off buying new tote bags forever until I spotted these cuties. Honestly, when I’m in between purses, or just can’t make up my mind what bag I should carry, I grab my unbleached tote and throw my wallet, lipstick and Jack-snacks in it, then hit the road. Do you still use tote bags? Or are they totally passé?

Here’s where to get yours:
It’s just that I literally do not care at all
Bonjour Y’all
I Would Though
Wild at Heart

Thanks A Cup of Jo for the inspiration behind this post!

A Bit of Cold White Stuff All Around Us

This is the first legitimate snow we’ve had since Jack has been born. I woke up rather peacefully and glanced at the clock — it was 7:30am and Jack was only at that moment beginning to stir. I smiled at the time thinking I had been given a gift of an extra 45 minutes of sleep. I took a look out the window, it wasn’t too bright out, and noticed a lovely and quiet snow falling. I leaped out of bed to get Jack, and when I went into his room, he was already looking out the window. I exclaimed “Snow!” and he gleefully said back to me “Nooooo!” Eeee! He’s beginning to say so many more words. I picked him up and together we merrily sang “Snow! Snow! Snow!”

I left Jack and Daryle cozy in our bedroom and went downstairs to make coffee and decided, oh what the heck, I’ll whip up a coffeecake while I’m down here. It was a special snow day afterall! Daryle and Jack came down to join me and we lazily hung around the Christmas tree hung the rest of our ornaments. We didn’t want to get too comfortable. “Come on” I said, “we’re going for a walk in the snow.” We got bundled up and I found a pair of mittens and a matching hat for Jack. The hat is actually a little small, as you can see it’s sort of popping off his head. :) But he looked adorable in our eyes.

Jack was mesmerized by the snow. He kept gathering it up in his paws and squeezing it together. His hands and feet were soaked with wet snow and I wondered if he was ok — he wasn’t even phased. We snapped some pictures for our Christmas card, danced around and decided to go in for some coffeecake. Three cheers for snow!

Destination Wedding: Fontainebleau, France + The Château

paris-fontainebleau-wedding-chateauThe entire London and Paris trip was leading up this this very day: My sister’s wedding. It was an enormous day for me and my family. The second child (and my best friend / younger sister) would marry her Irish love. Since the day we heard his name, Mick, we swooned at the possibility of this happening. You see we are a proud Irish family and maybe a little selfishly, we wanted to be more green at heart.

They decided on the Chateau Bourron, located in Fountainebleau, a short train ride outside of Paris. I remember when my sister, Claire told me over the phone that she found her wedding location at a château. I exclaimed “A château?!” in which she replied, “Well, it’s a small chateau.” “Oh, so it’s a small chateau, well well well.”

When we arrived by carriage (just kidding!), I was awestruck by the beautiful grounds. It was no “small” château, and it even had a moat surrounding the stone structure! The marriage took place in a small forest within the compound. There, an intimate group of my sister and Mick’s closest family and friends gathered to watch them become husband and wife. A family. A single fiddle player made me weep so hard, as he played in between readings and prayers. It reminded me of the days Claire and I spent playing classical music together in high school. It was a simple ceremony, so perfectly my sister’s taste.

After the ceremony, cocktails were enjoyed to the tunes of an uptempo gypsy jazz band. I felt like I was at a party in the 1930’s. We all shimmied and danced like we were flappers in a smokey club. The band were beyond awesome. Afterwards, we dined on a traditional French dinner. And then of course the dance party erupted when the hippest French DJs I could have ever imagined, spun the latest indie-pop and electro. Even Daryle was impressed.

In France, so I’ve heard, it’s tradition to have fireworks on your wedding cake. Yes, you read that correctly. My sister and Mick opted out of the standard wedding cake and had a macaron cake instead. When it was time to “cut the cake” a firestorm of sparklers went off and that’s when the party really started. I took a video with my phone, so you’ll be able to catch the spirit and excitement of the this entirely magical affair. Plus you can see how truly beautiful my sister is! Love her so.

Check out our entire London + France adventure:
First trip to London
Drinking Pimm’s at Pubs
London Contemporary Art & Radness
Back to Paris with a Toddler
In Paris Partying by the Canal
Paris Wedding Festivities
A Paris Style Guide

2013 Fantastical Holiday Gift Guide: For Your Sister

Admittedly, I want everything on this page. But I’m pretty sure my sister would like them too.

01. Paris versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities – This book’s simple illustrations will make you want to go back to Paris and move to New York. Here’s hoping.

02. The most simple and delicate, gold chain necklace you’ve ever seen.

03. London Style Guide: Eat Sleep Shop – I lived off of this book while in London. Dear sister, when you return to England this winter, I recommend you do the same.

04. Handcrafted Wooden Sunglasses – Take ’em to London with the book!

05. Cat T-Shirt – This is pretty sexy for a crazy cat lady shirt. :)

06. Hoodie Pillow – Because I know you can’t sleep on airplanes.

07. Tiny rings that go on the tops of your fingers – I  You really, really, really need this.

For lotsa other ideas, check out the archives:
2012 Gift Guide
2011 Gift Guide: 01, 02, 03
2010 Gift Guide: 01, 02, 03
2009 Gift Guide

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