Friday, November 30, 2007

Dear Santa....

For the last couple of years my office has participated in a project called Operation Santa Claus that is organized by the US Postal Service. You'll find more information regarding this program below:
"Operation Santa Claus," as it’s referred to by Manhattan’s general post office, began more than 70 years ago when a handful of postal clerks rescued a few "Dear Santa" letters destined for the dead letter office. The wish lists were for food and clothing—appeals that reflected the hardship of the Depression. The clerks pooled their resources to fulfill the requests, and they’ve been doing it ever since.

These days, Operation Santa is organized by the post office but driven by volunteers, who descend on the James A. Farley Building on 8th Avenue in Manhattan, where all of Santa’s mail is forwarded. After postal workers open and sort the envelopes, the public is invited to read the messages and answer the letters. People from all walks of life take part, and many parents bring their own children to show them that giving is as much a part of Christmas as receiving. Folks who are unable to physically go to the Farley Building call in and have notes sent to them.

Most of the letters come from the New York metropolitan area, but all states are represented, and there are a surprising number of appeals from adults. The children’s requests range from predictable, i.e. a Sony PlayStation 2, to the heartbreaking—"Please send food, because if you don’t have food then you’ll die and I don’t want to die." The letters from adults generally describe a family’s financial hardship—often brought on by an unexpected death or disease—and request assistance "so my kids will have a nice holiday."

I had to share a few of the letters we've received so far this year, partly because they are enough to break your heart, and partly because they will help you realize just how truly blessed you are and how little you are truly in "NEED" of.

Totally channeling CBK

Anyone who's read the book Bergdorf Blondes will understand the title of this post. I absolutely love this Mandy jacket, mostly because it is totally channeling Jackie O!

And on sale? Be still my heart!
Check out the sale at J. Crew, they just added a bunch of new stuff!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

family pictures

Since we just made it to our three year mark, I thought our family picture was in need of an update since our wedding. So... I enlisted the help of my friend Jill, my trusty canon rebel, and the beautiful fall foliage of Central Park, and these are just a few of my favorite photographs that resulted.

back in action

It has been an entire week since I posted anything on the blog, so here I am back and ready to roll. I had tried to post this little quote on gratitude last week but for some reason blogger was being crazy so here you go, this is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

being thankful

I have loved reading the expressions of gratitude posted on peoples blogs throughout this month and the spirit of thankfulness that this season evokes. I haven't really posted anything of this sort on my blog yet because in the last couple of weeks, it has been hard to put into words the things I find myself thankful for at the moment. There has been a lot going on in our lives and I have been caught off guard in terms with what I am viewing as blessings in my life.

I thought I would share a couple of things...

1.I am thankful for the chance to live away from most of my family and friends. This seems like a contradiction, but living away from the people we have been close to all of our lives has opened us up to new friendships and experiences that have really enriched our lives, and we feel so blessed by the wonderful friendships we have made living here in New York.

2. I am thankful for modern medicine and the technology we have in this day. it is so amazing to me the things that we are able to accomplish with the medical technology available today and I feel really blessed to live in a country where top notch quality health care and treatment is available to me. It is so amazing that diseases and conditions that 20 years ago had few treatment options are now minor inconveniences because of what is out there.

3. I feel blessed to live in a country and be part of a church that values the role of women and grants us freedom. I recently read the book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and the biggest impact it had on me was my gratitude for a husband who loves me and treats me well, and to live in a culture where women are not restricted or mistreated.

4. I feel blessed for my education. Living in such a big city, you come in contact with all sorts of people from all walks of life. It breaks my heart to see so many people here working menial jobs and struggling to make ends meet. I have realized that the biggest thing that sets us apart is the opportunities and education I have been blessed with. I feel so grateful to have a warm home, and a good job, and to not have to worry about the basic needs in my life.

5. I am grateful for Dan. Did you know he is the most patient person on the planet? Did you know that in our whole life together I have never heard him say one unkind word about anyone else, and I have never seen him treat anyone less than Christlike? I feel really blessed to married to such a loving and kind person who sets a great example to me every day. In all of our marriage I have never heard Dan yell or even get mad. He is not perfect, but he sure if wonderful and I need to be better at recognizing all the wonderful things that he is!

Happy Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this season makes you realize just how truly blessed you are!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

the ultimate gift

What to get for the girl who has everything? Well if you can afford a price tag say around $1800 you could give her a membership to the new J. Crew shoe of the month club. I'd say that would definitely be my idea of the gift that keeps on giving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

gift idea # 8, a scent in the air

If I were to make a list of my all time favorite things, these candles would be on it. Not only are they pretty, but they smell oh so heavenly and come in so many wonderful scents you'll feel like you are living in a luxury hotel suite if you burn one of these babies in your house. You may be wondering, $30 for a candle, really? But trust me, it will be worth every penny and you will thank me.
To get your own buy here, or head to your local Bath and Body works
One of my favorite things to do in November in preparation for Thanksgiving is to head to Williams-Sonoma and pick up one of their free Thanksgiving recipe booklets. They always come up with original variations on the Thanksgiving classics. I am on my way to pick on of these up on my way home from work, but you can get all the recipes online as well...I think I might tray make the the butternut squash chowder. I can't wait for Thursday!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

gift idea # 7

Let's face it, we all love stationary and who doesn't appreciate the sentiment of a thoughtful card? I was totally thrown off today by the creativity of these pretty cards from pink loves brown. This line is called the Periodic Table of Sentiments, I think these are so adorable and clever!

gift idea # 6, a snowy day

This snowman kit from Restoration Hardware would bring joy to just about anyone on a snowy day, and it would ensure you'd also have the cutest snowman on the block. You can get 20% off anything on their website now through November 18th by entering H07FAF03 at checkout! Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

gift idea # 5

I am absolutely positively in love with these little makeup bags! With or without the monogram I think they would make great gifts for the holidays. I am liking the green and pink the best.

Happy Birthday Dave

Dan's dad is absolutely wonderful, and anyone that knows him can attest to that. Today he is celebrating a big birthday and we really wish we could be there to give him a big hug and kiss and help him blow out the candles. Dave is an amazing Dad and has set a great example for Dan. We love when he comes visits us in New York because Dave has a way of making everything more fun and more exciting! Happy Happy Birthday Dave! We love you! Celebrate in style!

Little Dan riding a horse at Millville

Kathryn, Baby Dan with his broken legs and Papa Dave
Dave and the boys

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bargain Hunter

All I can say is that I had a fortunate occurrence of Serendipity this weekend when it came to finding fabric for my chair. Last Saturday, Dan and I rented a car for a day of sightseeing outside the city, and running errands. It was pretty grand to be out in the open and sneak a peek a beautiful leaves in Westchester. After a few stops at Stew Leonards, Costco, and Target, we trusted our lovely GPS to take us to the nearest Cheesecake Factory (okay okay so I have been jealous of all you Utah people that now have one of your own). Well our trusty little Garmin lead us over the Tappan Zee bridge and straight to one of the biggest malls I have ever been to, the Palisades. Not only is there a Cheesecake factory here, but there is every other store in the world including a Joann's fabric superstore. I was in heaven needless to say, and to make along story short, I ended up getting the fabric pictured above to reupholster my chair for $3/yard. So basically, it was steal. I spent the rest of the weekend stripping and re-upholstering and I have to say, so far so good. I'll post pictures as soon as I am done. I am still giddy over my awesome bargain!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Anniversary Honey!

I just wanted let everyone out there know how lucky I am to be married to this beautiful, blogging lady. It was 3 years ago today that she said yes and got stuck with me for the rest of her life. But that also meant that I got to be with her for the rest of eternity, so I guess I am the one that got the better of that deal. Happy anniversary honey!!

(on the honeymoon)
(a year and half ago)
(yesterday, she just keeps getting better)

Friday, November 9, 2007

the chair revisited

For the last few months I have been plagued by the task of finding fabric to recover this chair, I ordered lots of swatches but in the end nothing I had liked looked the same in person. I was just about ready to throw the chair back on the street, when I stumbled across this pretty little number. The only problem? It is a little more than want to spend. What do you think bloggers? Is it worth it? I would love to hear your opinion who ever you are.

Gift idea #5 wrap it up

I am currently dreaming and scheming of this little scarf from Kate Spade. They are out of stock online, but it is such a simple design and $95 is way too steep for something you wrap around your neck. I think if I found the right fabric I could easily make these as great holiday gifts. Ever since I saw my friend Whitney wearing her off white scallop scarf this week I can't get it out of my head. I am now on a mission to track down the exact consistency of boiled wool to pull this baby off right. I'll let you know how it goes.
p.s. I am thinking this would look adorable with a mongram!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hooray for Dan

Congrats to Dan who passed his series 66 yesterday!
He is lucky taking tests comes so naturally to him! Good Job honey! You make me so proud, let's go celebrate!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

gift idea # 4 a cute & cozy mug

For almost as long as I have been shopping at Anthropologie I have wanted one of these mugs with a big old "C" on it. they are only $6 and every time I go into the store I promise myself I am going to buy one, but still end up leaving empty handed. Somehow in my imagination a cute mug makes hot chocolate even more delicious. These would be cute gifts for the holidays all wrapped up with some peppermint sticks and a bow around the handle!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

oh baby

Remember this pretty little baby shower from a couple of months ago? Well the baby came about a month ago and since then mom and dad have been all smiles. I got to go visit this weekend and snap some shots of little Evelyn. Here are a few of the little cutie!

a little thank you

I don't think I have mentioned on the blog yet that I recently got called to be the Primary President in our ward. This has definitely been one of the most humbling and most overwhelming experiences of my life, but I am loving getting to know so many wonderful people through my calling. I had to come up with a thank you gift this weekend for some of the wonderful Primary people in our ward and with the holiday season fast approaching, my first instinct told me paper whites! So on Saturday afternoon, I trekked down to the flower district to see what I could find and voila! I think they turned out pretty cute!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Gift idea # 3, toasty warm

I have decided ear muffs are the perfect solution to keeping my little head warm in the chilly winter without messing up my hair. I am liking this pair from J. Crew, Now if they would only go on sale! I'll have to check Target and see if they are knocking these off.

a little sparkle

The new Holiday collection from Martha Stewart Crafts is here and available online. In usual MS fashion it is as cute as can be!I'm on my way to check it out in person tonight after work and unfortunately, I am getting on a holiday decorating kick even though we will be in Utah for most of December. I just can't resist!


Last year over Thanksgiving we were in Hawaii with my family basking in the sun (insert sigh). This year our plans are pretty indefinite but we are not expecting anything too glamorous! Looking through these pictures made me aware of the fact that I really need a vacation, preferably somewhere warm with a beach. Since that is probably not going to happen this year, I am reliving our Hawaii trip vicariously through these pictures. Ahhhhh.
A hidden locals beach where the boys tried to learn how to surf!
Dan and Jordan early risers on the golf course.
the lagoon at our hotel.

There is nothing like a tropical island to chase away the blues.

Friday, November 2, 2007

cool yule!

I remember for a couple of years as a kid, we would leave cute wooden clogs out for Santa to fill with goodies. When I saw these in the new Blueprint it took me back to childhood. What a fun tradition to start with your family! You can purchase a these cute wooden clogs at for only $25, though I swear I have seen these at michael's crafts as well, and you could always paint your own!

Happy Birthday David

This little tyke is turning one and I can hardly believe it! It seems like just yesterday we were driving to the hospital to meet him! Time sure does fly! From what I hear he is getting ready to walk all over the place! Happy birthday sweetheart! I can't believe we've missed almost your whole life!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

gift idea # 2

Charades is always a fun game, but I definitely think it would be more fun if I had these darling little Popsicle sticks from Restoration hardware to play with! They are only $12 so I just might have to have Santa bring them to me!

gift idea # 1

These sweet little flats from Target look like dead ringers for the styles I have been seeing at Steve Madden and Nine West recently but of course they are a much better price at only $24.99!

Gifts Galore

If you read my blog regularly then you know that I LOVE to post all of my finds and fashions. Since we are coming upon Christmas in a near 55 days, I thought it would be a great time to start posting holiday gift ideas, which means I will be doing my best to post at least one gift idea every day from now until Christmas day!

And remember, I wouldn't post anything on here that I wouldn't want myself, so those of you that say I am hard to shop for-I'm sending plenty of ideas your way!