best of 2010














I love photographs of couples in love, but of course, we already know how all of these ended.

Jane Birkin + Serge Gainsberg [via]

Alain Delon + Romy Schneider [via]

Robert Plant + Audrey Hamilton [via]

But what is really amazing is the timeless style. These photos are decades old, but pretty much look like they could have been taken today.

The Life of Pi

Picked up this book on our last trip and could not put it down:

It was so good. I had read recommendations for it a few years ago, but the premise sounded stupid: boy stranded in lifeboat with tiger?

But then I read the first page in the bookstore, and fell in love. It was so well-written and charming; I didn't want it to end and then couldn't stop talking about it. Definite must-read.

little things

This year, the little presents were the best:

Skeleton pirate finger puppets (from sil).

Jesus hates it when you smoke patio ashtray (from other sil).

Skipbo stocking stuffer, a new dinnertime tradition.


I was looking at the hotel bed in the morning, and it was so funny that on hubby's side there were four pillows and only one on mine. Four was barely enough for him, and even one is too much for me. I really don't like pillows, I usually have to move them out of the way to fall asleep, but somehow always wake up with one under my head.

Two things that from now on, I will always keep in my carry-on. They take up so little room and you never know when you will need them:

Bottle opener. In case of a lame hotel bar, nothing beats a bottle of wine in your room.

Bathing suit. We could have stepped right outside of our room and into this heated pool. How fun would it be to take a dip in December? In California? Next time, I'll be ready!

new books

For the new year, I ordered a few books off my wish list. I bought used copies, so they were dirt cheap, kind of recycled and even hardcovers. I'd been considering a kindle, but I'm just not ready to give up the feel and smell of books yet.

The Weaker Vessel: Women in History by Antonia Fraser
I've been hooked on her books since Marie Antionette, they are so interesting and so surprisingly readable. I've also read Mary Queen of Scotts and Love and Louis XIV. All great!

I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie by Pamela Des Barres
Sort of obsessed with '60s and '70s rock groupies right now, thanks to this blog. Maybe I should watch Almost Famous again.

That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between by Victoria Beckham
I like her, and she seems to have a good sense of humor. Either way, this should be a fun read. (By the way, it cost $.98!)

A Spy in the House of Love by Anais Nin
I've been wanting this one for a while, I think because I like the title so much. Don't think I ever read erotica before, does VC Andrews count?

alternative Christmas

Ready for some holiday fun? Here are a few of the best alternative rock Christmas records I've found (in no particular order, Bright Eyes is my favorite I think):

I've been listening to my favorite Christmas music non-stop. I'm not too big on most of the holiday originals, but love having versions of my favorite classic songs for whatever mood I'm in.

big cats

When I was younger, my favorite thing about the zoo (besides the elephants) was the big cats exhibit, I could sit forever watching them pace up and down with such incredible beauty and grace and power.

I came across a Cartier ad in Vogue on Tuesday featuring this adorable little guy:

And ever since have been telling my husband that that's what I want for Christmas. And I'm only halfway joking with him. Then today the blogs had this for me:

Lily Donaldson holding a newborn on the cover of Harper's Bazaar. I think the universe is telling me I need one.


We watched a small interaction on the airplane, and it pretty much summed up what is wrong with the world. This is a bit of a rant, bear with me. A lady was sitting in the middle seat 14B next to her husband who was at the window. It wasn't her seat, so when the woman came who belonged in the seat she asked if she wouldn't mind sitting in 15B instead, so she could sit next to her husband.

The new lady said no. She then offered to switch her middle seat with the man on the aisle, but the other lady said but that's his seat not mine, referring to the man already sitting in the aisle. The new lady said too bad then and proceeded to make the other lady switch and sat next to the other lady's husband for the 4+ hour flight.

I spent way too much time trying to figure out why she wouldn't switch. There was no benefit to her that I could see to being in 14 instead of 15. Neither were exit rows. She wouldn't get off the plane the one row sooner since her bag was up in the back, and she would have to wait until everyone un-boarded to get it. There were no babies, and the men in 14 were even larger than the men in 15, which does matter when you are spending hours crammed next to a stranger and want to preserve all the personal space you can.

I can think of a few reasons someone wouldn't want to change, if they are sitting next to someone with them (she wasn't), if they are asked to switch an aisle or window for a middle (which I have done before for people if they are nice), or maybe even if they are way up in the front and are asked to go way back in the back of the plane (this was one row).

The only thing I can figure is that even though there was no benefit to her to keeping her original seat, there was no benefit not to. She was not willing to do it precisely because it benefitted the someone else and not her. Something so simple that would greatly improve 2 people's next few hours and not hurt you at all. She didn't do it because she didn't have to. I hope there are not too many people like that in the world, but I'm scared that there are.


I wrapped presents to put under the tree and watched Elf. Elf is my favorite movie, probably ever. It's so feel-good, and sad at the same time. There are a few places I laugh out loud and a few where I get choked up. Every year when I watch this movie, I really want to get an elf costume to wear around the house in December, maybe the pink one from the end of the movie:

Ok, but then today I saw this:

Katy Perry totally upstaged Zooey in the Christmas costume department! Now, I totally want to be a snow woman! Look at those twig arm gloves - awesome!


Vogue UK December 2010 Horoscopes

I can't believe this year is pretty much over again, and that it's time for another birthday again. In between all the excitement of Christmas, I almost forgot.

pumpkin bread

This one has fresh cranberries!

Have you ever seen a fresh cranberry? I don't think I ever had in real life till I saw these babies in the fruit aisle after Thanksgiving. I've eaten my share of Craisens, and the annual slice of canned cranberry sauce on turkey, and I love cranberry juice, so I thought I pretty much knew what to expect when I popped one of them in my mouth. Not so! Man, these things are pretty yuck - so, so sour!

I went along with my recipe anyway, but did not have much faith. Got even more worried when the bread batter's consistency was more like cookie dough.

It baked up deliciously, not too sweet, but not too tart at all, and I had a warm piece right out of the oven. After my hubby tasted a bite of mine he even had to have his own piece!

I would definitely make this recipe again. I followed it exactly, except not really cause here are the changes I made: substituted 1 cup brown sugar for white, left out the orange peel, substituted 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice for cinnamon, and baked in 2 round silicon cake pans for 45 minutes.

winter outfit inspiration

(Kirsten Dunst for Miu Miu)
Winter has finally arrived in Texas, and by that I mean it's in the 60s during the day and 50s at night. It makes me want to start dressing for the holiday weather, and looking back over the pictures I've saved recently, that seems to means I want sexy, but ladylike glamour, and classic black-and-white-and-red color palettes (with a bit of fun: animal print, fur - faux! - and leather), and messy blonde hair with black eyeliner and bright red lips!

(Ashley Smith by Paul Schmidt for Jalouse)

And these pjs are at the top of my list, wouldn't they be perfect for opening up presents on Christmas morning?