Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Little Things

Becca, my dear friend and lovely maid of honor, has always been a master of the little things. Get a new puppy? She’ll bring him a package of toys and treats. It’s Sister Day? She’ll send you a note to say you’re like a sister to her.

My girlfriends and I all traveled to NYC this fall to support Becca as she ran the marathon, and before I had even unpacked my suitcase upon my return home, she had already sent me a thank-you note and a photo of all of us at the race. I have already received at least four engagement-themed cards and packages from her, each one designed to make my day.

But this time she outdid herself. She sent a letter to my mother. Telling her how much she was looking forward to the wedding. How she had just visited me and Mr. Bliss for New Year’s and what a great couple we are. How she is so excited to be my maid of honor and has already started planning.

It made my mom smile, and me too, when she called me to tell me about it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

An Apricot Orange Affair

So the day after my true color was revealed to me via Colorstrology, everything I saw seemed to be popping up – you guessed it – apricot. While I won’t be using the marmalade shade during my wedding (more on that later), if I were, I think it would actually be quite lovely.

Top row from left: Dress via Nordstrom, flowers via TheKnot, apricot place setting via Martha Stewart.
Bottom row from left: Save-the-Date by Crane & Co., placecards via TheKnot, cake featuring marzipan apricots by Martha Stewart.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Have you checked out the Colorstrology feature on color authority Pantone’s Web site?

It’s a new system that blends elements of astrology and numerology. Colorstrology combines these elements with the spirituality of color to create a color profile for every day of the year.You simply enter in your birthday, and your color profile will appear.

My color – Apricot Orange (Pantone 17-1353) – wasn’t what I expected it be, but I have to admit that it is growing on me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy (Belated) Heart Day!

I’ve retired the KitchenAid mixer since it was on overdrive in December baking goodies for book club meetings and cookie swaps. Mr. Bliss and I agreed it was time to lay off the baked goodies, with the wedding approaching and our mode of winter hibernation in full swing. But I just couldn’t resist making Valentine’s Day treats to share with coworkers and friends.

Linzer Cookie Recipe courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa

3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup good raspberry preserves
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut 2 3/4-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter. With half of the rounds, cut a hole from the middle of each round with a heart- or spade-shaped cutter. Place all the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.

Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. Spread raspberry preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the tops of the cut-out cookies with confectioners' sugar and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the confectioners' sugar on the top.

Step 1: Bake shortbread cookies. When you are cutting out the cookies, make sure you cut out all the cookies with the same cookie cutter and then use a smaller cutter to cut the middles out of half of them.

Step 2: Pick the preserves of your choice for the filling. After the first few cookies, I found it MUCH easier to scoop the preserves into a bowl first, making the “spreading of the jam” part of the cookie production go much faster.

Step 3: Spread the preserves on the whole cookies.

Step 4: Sift powdered sugar onto the cut-out cookies and press them onto the cookies that have preserves on them.

Step 5: Eat the crispy results and pack the rest in individual bags, tie with ribbon, add Valentines with personal messages, and voila!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Return to Sense & Civility

Did you catch this article?

Ruth La Ferla discusses the return to old-fashioned civility as seen at Fashion Week, where sheaths and shifts evoking the White House years of Jackie & Jack abound.

Designer Thakoon Panichgul is quoted saying, “There is an energy about being proper. It’s not about wholesomeness, it’s about respectability, about having manners again.”

While I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on all things proper, I’m certainly no Lindsay Lohan either.

Here are my tips for being a lady with manners.
o Always brings a hostess gift. I like giving orchid plants for overnight stays and wine for dinner parties.
o Always send a handwritten thank-you note. No, email will not suffice.
o Always wear an outfit your Grandma would approve of. (Admittedly, this rule is much easier said and done post-college).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pretty Little Poppies

I have never been a red person. In fact, I don’t think you could find one stitch of red clothing in my closet if you looked. But lately, everything’s been coming up red poppies in the spring catalogs, and I think I may soon be writing on red poppy notes and affixing the pretty broach below to my black peacoat. It’s time for spring, don’t you think?

Top row from left: kate spade poppy note cards from Crane & Co.; pillow from Anthropologie; water bottles and mugs from Pottery Barn
Middle row from left: cupcakes via; condiment bowls from Anthropologie; Claus Porto red poppy bath soap via Saks
Bottom row from left: dress from J.Crew; broach from Etsy seller vaivanat; cake via Martha Stewart; skirt via British Vogue

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pleased to Meet You


I'm a gal who's blogging, working in New England, and planning an Adirondack wedding (although not necessarily in that exact order).

Among other things, I love to bake, I enjoy reading a great book, and I love walking my bulldog, Otis.

And seven short months from now I'll be walking down the aisle with Mr. Bliss! Hopefully, we can keep each other company along the way (and trade a few tips and stories here and there).