Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh Winter, Where Have You Gone?

I just turned around and realized that tomorrow is the last day of 2008. The end of a long, complicated, sometimes wonderful and sometimes terrible year. I look forward to 2009.

I just got back to blogging but I'm already taking a break due to the New Year and the celebrations and friends it brings. Chandler and I are going to have a full house through the weekend.

I can't believe that Winter Solstice has passed and the days are getting longer. It already feels like Spring with these days in the high 60s, and those freakish days right before Christmas when we were 4 degrees from 80.

Paperwhites are blooming in the backyard...I wish I had a whole yard full, instead of the random patch that grows in the middle of the yard, as if they sprouted there on a whim.

Image from EasytoGrowBulbs.com

I want to plant a bunch of bulbs and give them as gifts next Christmas.

Anyway, with all these Spring sensations, it sometimes makes me lose track of the fact that it's still Winter for a few more months. In case you're having the same problem, I'll share something that always brings me back to a Winter mindset:

"White Winter Hymnal" by Fleet Foxes:

Monday, December 29, 2008

little tree

I was busy baking, celebrating, playing, etc., and didn't update my blog over Christmastime. But if I had been blogging on Christmas, here's what I would have posted:

from Kathryn Flangan

"little tree" by ee cummings:

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stuff and Things and I Love Materialism...

The lastest and greatest Christmas Wish Collage:

Newest Wish List by waitforthesignal

Also, I love yellow.

I love "Yellow"

But I also LOVE the color yellow:

Eva Mendes's Bill Blass Spring 2009 dress is so eye-catching with the great silhouette, the floral print and the jeweled neckline. Besides that, yellow is such a happy color!

Like this amazing headband from House of Telsa:

Doesn't it make you smile?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can you believe that this woman is the First Lady of France?

I know it's old news now that Carla Bruni is now "Mme. Sarkozy" but I just can't get over it. I've been enamoured of this woman since Chandler made me a mix of French music (I've always been something of a Francophile) when I was a junior in college.

I just think that this is something that would never happen in America (unless it were within the fictional bounds of a chick flick).

Anyway, if you don't know much about Carla Bruni, she was born in Italy (in 1973) and is the heiress to her grandfather's Italian tire company. Her mother is a classical pianist and her father is a classical composer and industrialist. However, it's come out that her biological father is actually a classical guitarist (and grocery store magnate) her mother had a 6-year affair with, who now lives in Brazil.

Her family moved to France when she was 5 years old to avoid kidnapping by the Red Brigades, a terrorist group. She went to boarding school in Switzerland, studied art and architecture in Paris and dropped out of school at age 19 to model. She modeled for all the big names--Dior, Chanel, Versace, Yves St. Laurent, etc...and dated Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton (she likes the older guys) while modeling. She left modeling in 1997 to pursue music full-time. She had a number of dramatic affairs.

Oh yeah, and then she met recently divorced Nicolas Sarkozy at a dinner in November 2007 and married him 3 months later, making her the First Lady of France.

How is that a real life? Lifetime movies have been attempting to create storylines like this for ages, and this woman has lived this way her whole life!

"Let's Get Out of This Country"

I love music that sounds like it could be on a long, long road trip mix. It makes you think of open windows and passing landscapes and a huge stretch of space that could take you anywhere.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I feel like today should be an international holiday.

Image from Wikipedia.

Today is Jane Austen's birthday. It's safe to say that Jane rocks my world.

She was snarky before snark existed and her characters were more realistic than other fictional heroines of the time--they were more than the sappy girls in Gothic romances. If they were wealthy and attractive (like Emma) they had selfish and meddling tendencies. If they were filled with common sense and wit (like Elizabeth Bennett) then they had less money and embarrassing families.

Some great Jane quotes:

* "Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody."
* "Good-humoured, unaffected girls, will not do for a man who has been used to sensible women. They are two distinct orders of being."
* "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance."
* "I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me that trouble of liking them."
* "It is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage."
* "It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before."
* "Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."

Chandler may want to stay out late tonight, because there's a solid chance I'll be parked on the couch enjoying one of these:

What's your favorite Austen novel? Favorite adaptation?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Some things in my brain today.

"What We Want"

What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names--
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.

~Linda Pastan

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Run, Run, Run Away

My name is Sabrina, and I am an escapist.

When, in life, I'm confronted by difficulties, the first thing I do is run to the world of fiction. I scour Netflix for some delightfully long BBC mini-series, or turn to a stack of books (last year, during a particularly hard time, I read the entire Harry Potter series, start to finish).

I think too much. If things worry me, I play them and replay them in my mind, imagining every possible scenario and trying to figure out how to fix it.

Occasionally, all of us find ourselves in situations where we are simply not in control ( are we ever, really, in control?). In these situations, the decision is not up to us, even though we're involved. Why, then, is escapism so bad in a situation like that? Why not just wait it out, curled up with a book or ten, until the decision is made?

Right now, I want to go back to my "old faithful" writer. Whenever I feel down and need to get away, I crave L.M. Montgomery...the author whose work I devoured as a girl--who brought me Anne and Emily--characters whose creativity, wit and charm made them each someone who you just wish you knew in real life--someone who would point out the upsides of your situation, who'd make you laugh and tell you a story to forget all of your hopeless feelings.

What's wrong with a little escapism, anyway?

Am I the only one who does this? If not, what do you do to take a little mental vacation?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Today is Rainer Maria Rilke's Birthday

"You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now."

Letters to a Young Poet

(I know these are some of Rilke's most-quoted words, but I can't deny how relevant they are.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Magnet: "You Got Me"

On this chilly, chilly night, I'm bundled on my couch drinking apple cider, about to watch the film version of this book:

...and thinking the world is full of possibilities...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I haven't updated my blog in almost a week...

...and I'm a little bit ashamed.

Here's what I've been doing since I went missing from the Interweb:

* Teaching my gorgeous 14-year-old sister the glory and addiction that is Polyvore
* Drinking endless cups of peach-ginger tea, apple cider and hot chocolate
* Having fondue parties
* Dressing Maya up in my clothes and laughing at her (and filming it, so I can watch her and laugh again)
* Playing on the beach instead of participating in Black Friday
* Decorating the house with my pitiful collection of Christmas objets
* Mourning the cancellation of Pushing Daisies
* Having staring contests with the giant pumpkin pie in the fridge
* Being really, really thankful to be surrounded by these people:

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving too!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Will Wonders Never Cease?

This is a cover of Beirut's "Elephant Gun."

The twist? The band performing is in 5th grade.

When I was in 5th grade, the only songs I probably knew were on the Top 40 stations and I had absolutely no musical awareness.

I wonder which of the band members orchestrated the whole thing?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Know You're Tired of Me Saying This, But...

You HAVE to watch Pushing Daisies tonight. After two weeks of other stuff, It's finally back on. ABC is being a bully and threatening to cancel it. I really need that to not happen, because I love this show.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Unrealistic Christmas Wish List.

* All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Travel Channel Academy

($2,500 + travel, food and lodging expenses)

* All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Ireland to Practice the Skills Learned in the Aforementioned Gift
Image from EJC.net
(I want to travel in comfort and style, so roughly $5,000 would do.)

* This mind-bogglingly beautiful Oscar de la Renta dress from Net-a-Porter:


* A future without confusions and questions and crises.

That's not too much to ask, is it?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh Gwynnie...

I know some people are mocking Gwyneth Paltrow's newish website and newsletter, but I really enjoy it. Getting the weekly email is like indulging in the latest issue of Vogue-- Gwyneth makes everything look effortless. Each week falls into a different category: "Make, See, Do, Get, Go, Be."

Mostly, I love how she loves black (especially because I love black):

These are from Gwyneth's "Get" emails.

But her other advice has been strangely interesting as well. I will certainly continue to look forward to these weekly informatives!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Autumn Uniform

With autumn being such an exciting/inspiring season for me, you'd think that my outfits would be bursting with color. Not so. Here is a sample of my autumn uniform:

My Autumn Uniform by waitforthesignal

I need a little more spice in my life. Seriously.

Where do you add color in your fall wardrobes? I just have a deep attraction to gray and black that I obviously need to break up a bit more.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Sister City.

I'm off to Savannah this afternoon!

Image from Wikipedia.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A New Epic?

I adored Strictly Ballroom, I really liked Romeo + Juliet, and I loved Moulin Rouge!. On Thanksgiving, Australia premieres.

Do you think it will live up to Baz Luhrmann's other films? I really can't decide, but I can safely say that I'll watch the film. From what I've seen so far, it looks stunning.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Tiny Plea

Image from The Guardian.

If you have any sense of magic, watch this show. If Pushing Daisies isn't your cup of tea...just help a girl out, and turn on the TV and leave it on from 8-9pm on Wednesday nights while you take a bath, do math equations, knit a sweater or work on your novel. I love this show with my whole heart and it might be taken off the air due to ratings. Think of a more macabre Amelie and you'll get an idea of what this show is about. Is it sometimes cheesy and campy? Yes. Does it glorify bizarre murders? A little bit. Does every screencap look like it could be part of a color-saturated picture book? You bet.

So turn on those televisions and let the magic happen.

Edit: OK...it looks like Dancing with the Stars is on tonight. Please watch Pushing Daisies as of the next time it's on!

It's a Beautiful Day...

Image from NewZimbabwe.com

...and the world is full of hope.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall Feeding Frenzy

On Sunday, we made a meal that I think was perfectly autumnal.

I forgot to take a picture, but imagine the bright yellow of this Bouillabaisse

filled almost to the brim with creamy orange of the butternut squash and ginger soup that Chandler made. If ever a food could coordinate with the pot its cooking in, this meal was it--you could find these colors blending all over the trees that are just barely starting to change color in Charleston. The soup was so rich and filling that we didn't even need to eat anything else with it.

Then, for dessert, I made a rustic Granny Smith apple tart that can be found here on Orangette.

The recipe was simple and delicious, and I think it turned out well.

The best part of the recipe is the simple apple syrup made with the cores of the apples. It can be drizzled over the top and provides just the right amount of sweetness to complement the tartness of the apples.

Let me know if you try it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I really like this song.

It's kind of gray and hazy outside, but this song is really comforting and quiet. It perfectly suits my mood.

It's not an exciting music video or anything, but hopefully you can enjoy it and let it make you feel like you've just pulled on a warm sweater or just taken your first sip of hot chocolate.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Maya is going as Rocky.
See how intimidating she is?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

French Milk

I'm not usually a fan of graphic novels, besides

Image from LSU.edu.

and this, which I enjoyed in high school:

Image from BetaParticle.com.

But the graphic novel, French Milk, sounds so charming that I have to read it.

Image from IndieBound.com.

Besides the fact that the main character is a girl (pretty much the only reason I'd read a graphic novel), it takes place in Paris. Perfect. The graphic novel catalogues the author's trip to Paris with her mother, capturing all the charming oddities and moments that happened.

Has anyone read it? I can't wait.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Please excuse my absence...

...as I've been in Vermont.

I've been seeing things like this

Image from SE Jones Photography.

and this

and this

and this.

And doing things like this

and this

and this

and this.

But I'm back now, in the Town of Charles, so expect posting to occur semi-regularly for the next while.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Duchess

Historic drama? Check. Gorgeous costumes, jewelry and hair? Check. Strong, independent heroine played by Keira Knightly? Check. Could this be Pride & Prejudice that I'm talking about? Or Silk? Or Atonement? Well, yeah. But it's not. (Even though it's become the formula for many films that I love.) Last weekend I saw The Duchess. It was fabulous, to say the least. I knew from my first viewing of the film's trailer that I wanted to see this, so I avoided reading reviews, so as to not give away any possible plot details. I was very pleased. I was tempted to read up on Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire's life, but I realized that that would be just as bad as reading film spoilers, so I avoided that too. I was certainly surprised by many of the plot twists, and even more surprised to learn that they had actually happened.

If you want an engrossing film that makes you tear up at unexpected moments, this is for you. However, if you just want to sit and ogle gorgeous gowns, corsets, thigh-high stockings tied with bows, powdered wigs and faces, and some amazing jewelry and gigantic mansions, you'll have more than enough entertainment as well.

See it. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Image from the The Chicago Tribune.

Holy cow...I know I'm late to the party on this one, but how good is Mad Men? The intro credits, the storyline, THE COSTUMES, the characters...it's like an Academy Award-winning drama stretched into multiple seasons of awe-inspiring goodness. It's too good to be a TV show, really.

I always meant to watch this show, but I learned about it after the first season had already begun, and I hate starting a show in the middle of the season. Thanks to the almighty Netflix, I am now three or four episodes away from the end of Season One. Too bad Season Two is already on air. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up on the marathon of that one.

I just cannot get enough. Does anyone else watch this? Have a favorite character?