fun : 2008 unreported favorites

Hi Everyone -

It's hard to believe, but 2008 is just about over! Wow, where did the time go? It really
has been such an incredible year from our historic election to economic strife. Let's hope that the inauguration will help things turn the corner and head in a positive direction. Since there were some favorites not mentioned this year, we thought we could do it in one final post before January 1st. We wish you all a very Happy & Safe New Year and only good things in 2009.

xo, Cindy & Scott


Death Cab For Cutie : Narrow Stairs
Amazon : iTunes
We didn't really listen to them until hearing this wonderful album. Now, we're listening in reverse and discovering some older music that's new to us.

Allman Brothers Band : A Decade of Hits 1969-1979
Amazon : iTunes
A classic band in every sense that Scott loves and Cindy, too.

William Eggleston at The Whitney Museum of Art
Mr. Eggleston is thought of as the photographer who secured the acceptance of color photography as a fine art. Images are never staged and capture scenes from daily life. His use of a
dye-transfer printing process provides rich, saturated colors. See more images here.

Macaron Cafe
It wasn't until Cindy's two failed attempts to make French Macarons that she looked to see if they could be found in NYC. She did, a mere ten blocks from her office. Find them in your town here.

The Script
This group from Ireland has a very strong pop sound and reminds us of a combination of John Legend & One Republic. For a long time, Cindy just couldn't get the song Before The Worst out of her head, which meant Scott couldn't either.

This movie is so tough (were going to say bad-ass, but didn't want to eat soap ;)), we wanted to immediately see it again. We're not smokers, but Thandie Newton sure makes it look sexy and Gerard Butler is so cool.

Marlow & Sons
How did we ever miss this incredibly cool restaurant/shop in Brooklyn? We went for the first time the other day without a camera - ugh! It felt like we were transported to Montana 100 years ago
and can't wait to go back.

Stereophonics : My Own Worst Enemy
This is Cindy's favorite song for the entire year, but unfortunately there is no video. Perhaps, they need a concept? Here it is - 1960s Go-Go Dancer.

Radiohead : House of Cards
We're so happy to see Scott entering the 21st century with this favorite song and its techno-cool video.

Top Gear
We love cars and this show is all about pushing them to the max. The guys look like they're having so much fun and we consider it as one of the inspirations behind starting our blog.

Gwen Stefani : Early Winter
Gwen collaborated on the writing of this song with Tim Rice-Oxley of Keane and it's a beautiful song. But, it's also visually gorgeous and Cindy really loves the green and black Dolce & Gabbana dress Gwen wears.

Please indulge is as we throw in a couple of our own favorite posts. Except for the self-portrait part, Summer Vacation was totally impromptu and photographed all in one day. Surfing is a favorite because it really was so silly.

holiday : new traditions

Hi Everyone -

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed the time with your families and the goodies you received! Our holiday was very nice and one thing that is great about the season is the tradition. This year, we started a new one that will run all year long. You might find it handy, too.

It all began when someone had a 'minor' tantrum because someone else didn't leave work on time on Christmas Eve and got caught in traffic for 2 hours. Needless to say, there was a bit of a cranky dialogue involved and someone let a cuss word fly. Well, that is a serious infraction in our house with associated financial penalties. However, those penalties are rarely collected and obviously do not serve as effective deterrents.

So, while watching the classic movie The Christmas Story for the trillionth time, there is a scene where the main character, Ralphie, drops the f-bomb and pretty quickly ends up with a bar of soap in his mouth. LIGHTBULB! Pactum factum*, the Octagon Soap and brother, sister does it taste nasty. Just ask Scott ;). Enjoy your weekend!

xo, Cindy

* A done deal in Latin.

tunes : keane live

Madeleines Martha-style : Tomorrow, French Macarons Helen-style

Hi Everyone -

I know we're supposed to be on a break this week, but I saw this beautiful video today for Keane's You Don't See Me filmed live at Largo in LA and wanted to share it with you. I'd also share the Madeleines I made this morning, but they're soon to be gone! Have a great holiday! I'm really going this time ;).

xo, Cindy

holiday : best wishes

May Your Holiday Spirit Be Light As A Feather!

Hi Everyone -

We just wanted to send you our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season! Thanks so much for visiting with us this year. It has been great fun and our 200th post is quickly approaching. We already have an idea about a way to celebrate with a special giveaway from New York City to you, but we're going to take short break to finalize the details ;). Be safe and have fun!

xo, Cindy & Scott

PS I ran out of time and energy to make our own holiday card this year, so ours came from Target. Guess what they had on them? GLITTER!

holiday : snow in the city + santa

Hi Everyone -

Friends, Romans, Countryman lend me your warm coats and sweaters! It's freakin' cold in NYC for under dressed city slickers. It snowed yesterday and we went to Central Park to take some pictures. Before long, Scott was on verge of a midlife crisis because the clothes that kept him warm last year weren't getting it done this year. And, I was convinced I needed knee and hip replacements from the cold. But, we carried on right over to The Plaza Hotel where we spotted a certain someone looking very jolly and bright. Hope you're having a wonderfully warm weekend!

xo, Cindy

Central Park.

Squirrel noshing.

Love these wooden huts.

Central Park Zoo.

Just hanging on.

Garish in gold.


Snack at Danku.

Now, that's a candy cane!

The Plaza Hotel - Eloise, please.

Santa and his body guard.

After a rest in The Plaza Hotel followed by a run in the Apple Store and FAO Schwarz (trust me, it's on the right side with the tiny banner), Santa hops into his limo and is off to your town. See, no worries - 'world financial crisis' means nothing to Santa!

fun : a few favorites

Abby Try Again : Heather Smith Jones

Hi Everyone -

I'm glad it's Friday since we're expecting a snowstorm today - camera get ready. I just hope it's not too bad because we were planning on going to Brooklyn Flea & Gifted on Sunday to pick up a special BonBon, McClure's Pickles, Whimsy & Spice Marshmallows, and who knows what else. I have another list of happy things, which I hope will make you happy, too. Here goes -

Art : Abby's film photography has warmth and soul.

Blog : Freshness Factor Five Thousand by Jason Mraz makes me wonder if he ever sleeps.

Cook : Helen's Red Berry Macarons make me want to get into the kitchen and start cooking. I'm determined to try making them before Christmas - wish me luck.

Craft : Heather's handmade sequined hearts are not only beautiful, but 40% of the profits will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Film : The Tale of Despereaux previews look so cute.

Music : Ryan Calhoun is an up and coming singer/songwriter who reminds me of Jon McLaughlin in the best way.

Have a lovely weekend!

xo, Cindy

pics : holiday feathers

My try with some feathers

Hi Everyone -

I saw this beautiful photo (below) from Rebecca Thuss a few months ago and wanted to try it myself someday.

Then, Pia posted about her lovely holiday decorations and was so nice to share a source for beautiful feathers - Renewed Resources.

So, I gave it a try. I have several other colored feathers, which are so interesting and quite a challenge to photograph. I'm sure there will be a series, soon!

xo, Cindy

fun : happy things

Millie, The Retrobot

Hi Everyone -

There's been a tag going around to reveal five things that make you happy and I was inspired to give it a try myself because there are many. So, here goes in alphabetical order:

Blog : Invaders From Planet Zorg is a very clever web comic by Lori's rad son Jack Henry. Oh, he's 9 years old.

Craft : Stephanie's Snowcone + Mav's Calendar = 3191 heaven. Mav is closing her shop on 12/17 and this set is also really beautiful.

Read : Letting Go of the Camera, Essays on Photography and the Creative Life by Brooks Jensen helps me realize that many photographers deal with similar issues and it's not just me.

Toys : Marshall Alexander Paper Toys are so neat! Thanks, Erin.

Tunes : Coldplay's Prospekt's March EP includes some really pretty tracks and this sweet video. The out takes from the video must be really funny with Chris in that crown and cape.

I loved doing this list! Maybe, I'll do it again? Recently, I've made enough Etsy purchases alone to keep it going for a while. Unfortunately, we received the credit card bill the other day - eek! Sorry Santa, but in my opinion, I've been very, very good this year ;).

xo, Cindy

craft : dear glitter

Dear Glitter -

Now that the holiday preparations are just about complete [and I'm done with you], I have some issues to discuss before I pack you away. As with all good performance reviews, we will go over the positives first. Yes, it's true, you are sparkly and fine like diamond dust. You turn the dull into the gleaming. You are quite a delight and shimmer in the light.

Now, for the constructive feedback [and real reason we're having this chat]. You never leave. You stick around in places you do not belong. Waxed paper, containers and plastic bags just do not hold you. I do not want you in my hair, on my face, on Scott's face, on the floor, on my CAMERA LENS, etc. You get the picture?

So, please see what you can do about yourself and speak to the person who endlessly promotes you. Perhaps you can both come up with a full proof method of application?

See you next year. Shine on.

xo, Cindy Sparkle

PS The fabric trees were created using a pattern from The Small Object with a few of my own modifications:
  1. No sewing, I used fabric glue and pinked the edges for the cones.
  2. A small piece of cotton was placed between the layers to separate them.
  3. Instead of hot glue, I strung a bead on thread and sewed up from the bottom attaching a bead at the top so they would wobble around a bit.
The trees were so easy to make and I just love them - they're pictured everywhere this week. I think I'll keep them around after the holidays.They would also be so cute made from paper of any type - the comics, financial pages, foreign newspaper, scrapbook, etc.

art : big crochet

New York Daily News

Hi Everyone -

Scott saw this amazing crocheted water tower cover by Queens-based artist Robyn Love in the Daily News (more pics) & New York Times, today. Isn't it incredible? The piece was inspired by the iconic pencil for the London-based charity D&AD in connection with its annual Pencil Awards for graphic design.

Happy Sunday!

xo, Cindy

tunes : nicky's jazz for kids

blowing bubbles : practice is essential : less is more

Hi Everyone!

My brother gave me Nicky's Jazz For Kids a few years ago and I really love it. This CD introduces 'children' big & small to the joy of jazz with fun, light-hearted songs performed by some great jazz legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie.

Chew Your Bubblegum by Ella Fitzgerald inspired the photo and it took forever! Thanks to Martha McQuade for recommending a wireless camera remote, which kept this project from taking an eternity! I found out after stuffing three pieces of Bubble Yum into my mouth at once that blowing a big bubble does not require a lot of gum. Quite the opposite. You can learn more in this tutorial. See, you always learn something new round here ;)!

Have a great weekend! Go blow some bubbles, but sugar-free gum only, please.

xo, Cindy

holiday windows : anthropologie+

Hi Everyone -

Well, we're at the end of our holiday tour with Anthropologie, Rockefeller Center. I especially liked these windows as this is a favorite store. The displays were cozy and pretty in their unique vintage-style. There were two women pressed up against the windows with their cameras who were so cute. One took out her Holga camera at the window with all of the boxed Christmas balls and you know she captured something special.

When we got to Anthropologie Scott was a little bit tired (we walked about 2 miles at that point) and said he would go inside and look around! He did get me a surprise, which is probably some kind of soap. He loves soap and is always smelling it. Go figure!

There are a few extra treats at the end. Thanks for joining us!

xo, Cindy

Saks Fifth Avenue
The theme for this group of windows was "A Flake Like Mike' from the book by Mike Reiss and they were full of Swarovski crystals.

Not yet ... keep going.

Rockefeller Center
It has become really difficult to get a photos of the tree. There are so many people and they have cordoned off the best spots. But, there's always a way. We'll try to capture the tree and angels at night, which is when they look the most beautiful.

Grand Central
Light show! We started at 9:30 am, and as the clock indicates in the photo below, we finished at 2:30 pm! We had breakfast at a new place called Danku, followed by a quick diversion into Lacoste - sale yay!, lunch at Sarabeth's, and then on our way home for dinner and a nap. We love New York City and feel lucky to live here. Some people never leave their own neighborhood and explore other parts of the city. That sounds crazy to us as it's not always an easy place to live. We're happy to share our experiences with all of you. But, for now, that's all folks! See you tomorrow with some really happy music.