29 December 2011

christmas baking party

I know, I know Christmas is over! But I never got around to blogging about this brilliant party idea. The week before Christmas my friend Kasey hosted a "Christmas Baking Party" in Brooklyn. She had all of the guests (it was a group of 7) submit their favorite Christmas dessert recipe to her in advance. She looked over the recipes, combined ingredients,  and then distributed ingredients among everyone who was attending. In total, everyone only ended up bringing a 2-3 ingredients each (since there was a lot of overlap), and we baked seven wonderful and different delights! We baked all together at Kasey's apartment, and at the end of the night we each took home a container with a variety of everyone's treats. Not only do I love to bake, but getting to take home everyone's favorite holiday dessert...well, it took the cake! This party was a terrific idea and would be fun at other times of year, too.

28 December 2011

want to see a beautiful interior?

The one above is by designer Lindsey Harper, who I happened to work for last fall. She is an amazingly talented designer (as you can see) and has lots of spunk and pizazz to back up her use of color and bold graphics. I feel thrilled to have had the opportunity to work on this project a tiny bit last year while she was completing it (& this is the first finished photo I've seen of it!). Definitely check out the whole article in this month's House Beautiful. The interview is fun and spirited and will give you an idea of what a blast it was working for Lindsey!

27 December 2011

rainy day glimmer

A rainy day in New York City on the day I return from Christmas "vacation" on a 6 AM flight out of Birmingham to go straight to my office means there isn't too much that could make this girl smile today. Ironically, using my new umbrella was about the only bright spot in my day. You understand why.

christmas dinner

Nothing against my welcome-back-to-the-hustle&bustle Chirping Chicken dinner tonight, but I can't stop thinking about Christmas dinner leftovers. My brother deep fried a turkey for us this year, and before you go thinking about how unhealthy a "fried" turkey is, just taste one. And before you say you're a traditionalist and like oven-baked turkey more than anything, just taste one of these. I chose leftovers in place of Taco Casa for dinner last night because this turkey is that good. If you know me, you know that speaks volumes. Until next year, Christmas dinner...

photobooth faces

Thanks to this new app on my iphone (Popbooth Photo booth) two of my nieces and I had a lot of fun making photobooth faces during our down time over the holidays. I don't think I've ever seen McKay laugh so hard as when she saw Mayce's face in the top left photo. I must admit, Mayce's got some good faces. They've got skills.

24 December 2011

twas the night before

"Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there."

I know three little kids that are hoping for St. Nicholas soon to be here! At least they're nestled snug in their beds...

december 24

[Wishing you peace & love on Christmas Eve! Retail store in NYC] 

home sweet home at christmas

merry christmas!!!

This year, festive celebrations and work got the best of me and I didn't take the time to send out Christmas cards. This doesn't have quite the same feel (at all), but here is a feeble attempt at sending my seasons greetings this year. I'm finally safe and sound at home in Alabama, and there's no place I would rather be. I hope you all have a merry and blessed Christmas season and Christmas day! Sending good tidings of joy to you and yours from Alabama and New York City on this Christmas Eve.

20 December 2011

december 20

[Store display at Gap on 67th and Broadway. I love the neon colored yarn!]

smores ornaments

My roommate in college would give me ornaments for Christmas each year (thanks, SarahHo). What a bright idea that was because now I have a small collection of ornaments to adorn my future tree. One year she gave me a smore ornament holding an American flag (she is quite the patriotic!) and it was so adorable. I had never seen anything like it, until last year in a Christmas Ornament swap, I got another smore ornament. I did some research and found out that there are tons of them!! I think they are so cute, and would love to have an entire tree with these adorable little characters...... these are the ones I would choose for this year!

a reunion

First, I want to apologize for one thing: my lack of posts about my trip to South Africa. I promise, updates are in the works. But sifting through 5,000 pictures (yes, 5,000) and almost as many stories and memories is difficult work during the holidays, or any time really. I have a lot of thoughts, but getting them into short, semi-interesting posts is another story. They're coming though. If you're interested in my trip, please don't give up on me, they'll be up shortly (hopefully).

Secondly, on that same note, last Monday night our Cape Town team had a debrief and follow-up meeting. It had only been two weeks since we had seen each other, but after spending 10 solid days together, it felt like two weeks too long. It was refreshing and exciting to hear everyone's thoughts after taking some time to process them. We sang some songs we learned in Africa and drank orange Fanta (although, it tastes different in America). Most of all, we just cherished and enjoyed the time we spent together. And planned our next time to get together. And tried to pretend like we were still in Cape Town, rather than New York (everyone checking their cell phones was a dead giveaway, though). It was a glorious reunion, and made me so thankful to have embarked on such a journey with these 15 people.

In the meantime, if you want to read about the trip from the perspective of some of my team members, you can read here on Bethany's blog or here on Amy's blog.

19 December 2011

december 19

[beautiful Christmas paper weight at John Derian]

ann-marie & jon's wedding

This past weekend, in a picture-perfect setting, my friends Ann-Marie and Jon tied the knot! They were married in a beautiful chapel on quintessential 5th Avenue and 55th Street with their reception in a spectacular building overlooking Rockefeller Center and the Rockefeller Christmas tree. I could go on and on about how beautiful the whole wedding and ceremony was (and how sweet it was to be a part of it), but I'll stick to letting the pictures be worth a thousand words.

my fellowship group at the wedding! (so happy to have nana back from CA!)

the knott-craigs

our view for the night.

Rockefeller Center ice skating rink

I took as many pictures by this tree as I possibly could...

This photo was taken at 10:45 at night. And the streets are still jam packed!

bride & groom's first dance!

My friend Kristen from Auburn and Ann-Marie are first cousins. What a small world, indeed!

me and Nichole with the lovely bride

NY skyline! (I did the graphics for the wedding - the skyline and their names!)

18 December 2011

december 18

[Santa in Rockefeller Center]

uws women's christmas party

Bethany and Katherine

A little blurry, but I love how the tree is shining in the background & the bokeh effect.

the 3 women's groups together.

Emily with her cute Kate Spade "Taxi" mittens.

Last Tuesday night, all of the Redeemer women's fellowship groups joined together for a festive "Dirty Santa" Christmas party. It was great having the three groups together. And, I walked away with two new Essie nail colors, so it wasn't too dirty. Very thankful for all of these girls in my life!

sock bun curls

One day while searching through pinterest, I saw a picture of beautifully curled hair that looked like it must have taken hours to do with hot rollers. After reading a little more about it, I found a youtube video that gave a tutorial of how the curls were made: with a "sock bun".  It involved a few easy steps: putting your hair in a ponytail, rolling it into this "sock bun", sleeping on it, and then supposedly you came out with beautiful, perfectly curled hair. I was skeptical.

However, I braved up and tried it out yesterday for my friend's wedding (my straightener also blew up in Africa, so my options are a bit more limited), and guys, this really works!! I was blown away. I don't like to spend too much time on my hair, but this was more than easy since most of the time I was sleeping. And most of the curl stayed in my hair all night. If you're looking for a way to spiff up your hair, I highly recommend trying this trick. (You can find the tutorials in my links above.)

16 December 2011

december 16

[It may not look like it, but this is actually a Christmas tree! Taken in an office building on 36th and Broadway]