The tree has been trimmed. The lights have been strung. The cookies have been baked…and many of them eaten. Christmas is my favorite thing about winter. The warm glowing lights. The crackling wood in the fireplace. The cozy clutter of decorations. The family time. The advent…the waiting…the anticipation. (Increased this year by the gift of discovering our baby’s gender on Christmas Day.) The dressing up in red, knit and boots. Celebrating the birth of Jesus and all that it meant when God came to walk the earth in human form. (Increased this year by the kicking baby in my belly reminding me often of Mary, young and scared, carrying the most important baby in the world.) The excitement of a small child over every element of the holiday season.
My Pinterest BFF* (whether she knows it or not) and Instagram friend Jill Browning sent me this awesome retro 2013 desk calendar as a house warming gift. It’s made up of 12 printed 4×6 cards and a neat little clear case to display them. It’s sitting proudly on my desk:
Here are a few more pictures from her Etsy shop.
If you don’t have a 2013 calendar yet, go get you one!
*Do you have someone on your Pinterest feed who pins all the most amazing things? I feel like I could save myself a lot of time and just like and repin everything Jill pins. She’s a graphic designer, she’s a mom, she’s into mid-century modern style…she has great taste. Thanks again, Jill!
Remember in 10th grade when you would practice signing your future name “Mrs. Jason Ahlbrandt” and “Martina + Jason” and “MLA” all over your Physics notebook? Oh, wait that was me. Well, that’s me again, except now it’s a house I keep daydreaming about. I was down at the house meeting with our contractor about tile and when I got back to my desk, this happened:
I also might have printed out the kitchen plan elevations from our cabinet guy and sketched in notes about what I’m going to put in which cabinets. (First post about our kitchen plan is here.) It helped me to notice a few things, like that I wanted to add a pull out drawer for the trash and recycling near the end of the peninsula.
Our pantry will surround a coffee/tea bar area.
This open shelf at the end of the peninsula was one of my dream items.
The open shelf here for our everyday plates, bowls and glasses was another dream list item. (Inspiration can be seen in the plan here.)
I’m also very happy about the counter overhang that will allow space for a few bar stools and that cabinet on the right corner that’s accessible from the dining room side—it seems like the perfect place to store Lucy’s dog food and dishes.
Jason and I just finished watching Eames: The Architect and the Painter on Netflix, and it was totally inspiring. What I love most about the husband and wife duo of Charles and Ray Eames is that they never limited their creative interests and business endeavors to just one field. Charles was trained as an architect though he never graduated from college or got a license. Ray was trained as a painter but never made her living that way. Together they took on the challenge of creating an ergonomic chair made of bent plywood—completely innovative in their day.
From there, they went on to produce tons of furniture designs out of their studio in California with a team of designers working for them. But the couple also dabbled in film production and toy making. Everything they did was as a team. I loved seeing the letters they sent back and forth while they were separated for work, each updating the other on progress at the studio, what shops to visit in Paris, where to buy shoes, where to get a great deal on perfume—complete with whimsical drawings and love notes. It reminds me a lot of the kind of texts, emails and phone calls Jason and I exchange throughout the day. What a cool couple (minus the whole infidelity thing…eh hem), pictured below in the home they designed together.
I know it’s silly but for the past 36 hours, since I first saw it at Kroger, I’ve been in love with Mom’s Best Naturals cereal. Now I’m not typically a cereal lover. Lucky Charms was the only cereal I would eat growing up. My breakfast of choice in high school was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But I’m a graphic designer by trade and what-can-I-say, I was sold by the packaging. I walked 3 steps past the end cap in Kroger, pulled out my camera and went back to take a picture. As I walked away, posting it on Instagram, I decided I should buy a box and try it. Back at the display for the third time, I was pleasantly surprised that it was only $1.50 a box. I found raisin bran to try. I’m happy to report that it tastes as good as any raisin bran I’ve ever had, though I’m admittedly not a cereal connoisseur.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris