December 30, 2009

Foregoing a Yearly Tradition: My New Year's Extravaganza With My Meilleure Amie

So apparently my excitement about my guest post today was a little premature... it may or may not be for next week, haha. So yeah, I'm kind of a spazz, and I'll keep you posted about that.


Anyhoo. Today I wanted to talk about my friend Molly (who also has a blog). See, Molly and I have been meilleures amies since middle school, and starting in seventh grade (when we got up to some shenanigans at my dad's new year's eve party) we've had a New Year's tradition to spend the holiday together  often at the cost of spurning our boyfriends for each other. This will only be the third in thirteen new year's eves that we don't celebrate together - boo. I'm pretty bummed out about not getting to see her this year, especially because we have a long history of partying hard and internationally that I would have liked to continue (even though I know we'll continue it next year).

Until the end of high school we were obviously celebrating locally, here in good old Cambridge, but starting college we've each year's special night in (chronologically) New York City (in the Empire State Building - because we are badasses like that), Montreal, Boston, Chicago, New York (again), and last year, in Rome. If I could have swung it, I definitely would have flown to Minneapolis to celebrate with her there this year (and adding another city to our list) but it's wasn't a realistic plan.

So now all I can do to not get too lonely for my Molly Moo tomorrow is reminisce about the good times we've had, imagine all those to come, and keep in mind that the last two new year's eves she spent with me were new year's eves not spent with her boyfriend, and so he deserves to spend it with her this year (you owe me one, Walter!).

So Molly, let's take a little stroll down memory lane, shall we?

1997: The year a great tradition started. When that you, me and Laura stole three bottles of champagne from my dad's party, went to drink it in the snow, and couldn't stop laughing for hours... (life was so much simpler when we were young!)

1999: When I had that insanely huge and out of control New Year's Bash at my dad's house, for which I thought it was imperative to have a black light set up in the living room (ahh, the joys of the 90s)


2002: When we spent New Year's Eve at "the apartment" and I'm pretty sure at one point you had a carrot in your pocket... 'nuff said.

2003: When we rung in the new year watching the fireworks from like the 50th floor of the Empire State Building. That was awesome. With the DJ's t-shirt: "black vinyl white powder" and whatever nonsense that was going on in the bathroom (and eventually got the party broken up) but went straight over our heads because we were 19 and oh-so-innocent.


2004: When you came to visit me in Montreal, and I slipped and slid down seven feet of black ice on my butt.


2005: When we were stuck in Boston, but ended up having a great time with Rose at the house party in Allston (which was unfortunately after it snowed about a foot on us while we were waiting for the bus... in mini skirts and open-toed shoes).

2006: When I came to visit you again in Chicago, and we party-hopped all night long. Then, thanks to my hangover, I had a cultural misunderstanding with the waitress at the Golden Nugget the next day.

2007: When you came to Rome and we had the most unbelievably random and awesome night ever - from partying with the Italian aristocracy (and posing for photos in front of their pair of original Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe prints) to packing six people in a Fiat Panda and singing Queen at the tops of our lungs, to grunge-ing out with the punk rockers and their dogs at the 3 am concert.

2008: When we went back to New York and made it a night of Stoli Blue and Soda, while chatting up new friends outside the club. That was the night I discovered almost no one's American cell phone is set up for international calls, trying desperately to call my boyfriend in Italy.

I wish I had pictures of all of these wonderful evenings (I do of some, but I have too much respect for myself and Molly to post them online) so all of you could truly understand how amazing New Year's Eve can become when Molly and I get together and become a force of  nature to be reckoned with!

Alas, this year, New Year's Eve is about 24 hours away, and I don't even have plans yet. This is highly uncharacteristic of me (usually around now I would be making sure my shoes and accessories matched my chosen-a-month-in-advance party dress), but I actually don't really care that much. I'm actually considering spending the evening with *gasp* my mother (who, in her defense, is having a pretty awesome party).

At the risk of sounding maudlin and melancholy, I guess I don't really care because if it's not going to be an amazing night celebrating my my partner in good times, I guess it doesn't really have to be an amazing night at all....

Not that I won't accept be any last-minute invitations to awesome parties.... I'm not that melancholy.


Happy New Year Everyone!
Have a Wonderful Evening, and Be Safe!
Don't Drink and Drive! :)


 P.S. Oh! I almost forgot! The lovely Amy, of Ha ha.Wait.What? gave me an award today!


Apparently this award has no rules attached to it, so I'll just accept it graciously, and award it out when I see fit in the future. :) In the mean time, check out Amy's blog, she's hilarious!

December 29, 2009

Julia's Little Shop of Wonders

Apparently when it comes to being creative I have a sort of ADD.
Barely two weeks ago, as soon as I arrived, I was all about the sewing. I sewed for days straight, and made no fewer than two purses, a clutch, and a make-up case.

And then I started feeling guilty about not writing my grad school applications. I said to myself, if you have time to be sewing, you have time to be writing. So even if I didn't spend every free minute writing personal statements, the sewing machine was still sitting lonely and neglected by the balcony.

But I started making some progress on my applications. And then Christmas happened, so those were like another five days that had miraculously flown by in place of one.

Suddenly, I've been home for over three weeks, I'm wrapping up my essays (and thus feel less guilty about doing fun, crafty activities), and there's this weird week of lull between Christmas and New Years.


So I took up jewelry making. Well, not from scratch. My mom has a bunch of beads and jewelry making stuff, and I've dabbled in making some earrings and necklaces before, for myself and as gifts. But I decided that I wanted to do it a little more seriously. Last year I made my aunt a pair of earrings to match a sweater my mom bought her, and she loved them. She wears them all the time. So I thought that this year for Christmas I would make her another pair. That's when things started getting out of hand.

In front of my mom's tray full of beading stuff, I started having visions of earrings I wanted to make, matching necklaces, and all sorts of fun, pretty things. So the other day I made a pair of dangly earrings for myself with some beads we had, and a little bracelet. But I didn't have the stuff I needed to make the rest. So today my mom and I took a little trip to Beadworks, in Harvard Sq., and bought up some beads and findings. I guess I went a little crazy this evening (while watching an early 90s movie about Meryl Streep and Shirly MacLaine being sort of crazy), and made no fewer than three more pairs of earrings (only one for myself), and a necklace, to go with the earrings and bracelet from the other day.

Anyway, I'm not telling you all of this to say look at how amazing and talented I am (well, maybe a bit). But I feel justified in showing off my goods mostly because I never thought it would be so easy and take so little time to make something so pretty! Seriously, next time you're looking at a pair of earrings (except those crazy chandelier ones - those are too complicated), think of how easy it would be to make them yourself!

Well, now that you've come this far, you can stay for a little demonstration of what I made, all by my self!

The earrings for my aunt, with Lapis Lazuli and Jonquil Rhinestones,
 

  (those weird looking spots are actually little flecks of gold)

Some Jade and Sterling Silver earrings I made for myself,
 


and the matching necklace,




And then I thought that the style I used for the jade earrings
would look pretty with a white stone,
 


and then I had a little Sterling Silver wire left over,
so I made mom a shorter version of the last two styles, with little Turquoise balls,
 


Oh, and the little bracelet from the other day,
sort of boring, but cute in its own way,
 


And finally, my entire little shop of wonders (sans bracelet)
(I only call them wonders because it's wondrous that I manged to make them!)
 


Meanwhile I still have a bag full of fabric and lining sitting in the corner waiting to be made into a purse...



P.S. Tomorrow I'll be guest posting for a very special lady! Check back in the morning to see where!

Hate Mail: Arctic Tundra Weather

Dear Weather,
What the hell? Are you going all Sybil on me again? First you dump over a foot of snow on us - just long enough before Christmas that it ends up being a grey Christmas instead of a white one. Then you rain. For days. With uncharacteristically warm weather mixed in, to make sure all the snow melts and everywhere I look its desolate grey wetness. And just when I thought, hey,weather's going to give us a little sun, maybe it'll be nice and warm and sunny... BAM! You invade Cambridge with a super powerful gust of your frigid, frozen, icy arctic wind, bringing temperatures below zero (Fahrenheit), making ominous howling noises, and making me scared that trees are going to start falling on my head. I'm not happy about this. Not one bit.
Cold, but lucky and thankful to have a wood stove in my house,
Julia

December 26, 2009

The Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 1963 - A Vintage Treasure!

The other day, while finishing up the last of my christmas shopping, I was wandering around Harvard Sq. with my brother, and we happened to walk by the sidewalk book vendor. He's this dude who set up a used bookshop on the sidewalk (basically a bunch of milk crates jammed full of old books), selling everything for $2. I've always seen him around, but never really looked at what he had, so that day I thought I'd give it a glance, since I was walking by. Aside from a couple of trashy novels, I found a copy of the 1963 Good Housekeeping Cookbook. What a find, let me tell you! This book is chock full of vintage cooking goodness, from the photos, to the featured ingredients, to the recipes. Since I think a good deal of foodies stop by here, and because I'm still in too much a post-Christmas brain haze to come up with original material, I thought I would feature some amazing shots from this special find.

First of all, the drawings. This is a throwback to the olden days when photographs were too expensive to print and so most cookbooks were illustrated. This particular cookbook does have photos (we'll talk about those in a bit) but it has some old school illustrations, too, like,

The lobsters in the front cover, yum.

and
and a typical 1960s picnic.

After the standard index, there's a who category of meal menus for specific events,
with wonderful old-fashioned names such as,

 
and

  haha, robust fare. that just cracks me up.



But if you want to make your own a la carte menu, we have a several individual recipes,
for your cooking pleasure.


For the gourmet chef, we have this amazing fresh minestrone recipe,


And for our lesson of the day,
welcome to nutrition, 1960s style:

because we all know that lunch and vegetable are interchangeable terms!

 More in the luncheon/veggie category,
because pasta loaded with melted cheese also falls squarely into the veggie department,

as does a casserole,
with no fewer than eleven layers!


But wait! We aren't done yet! Dinner is served!


 To start, we have the ambiguous-looking tomato slice soup,

As an entree, the penis-bread floppy meat display,

and for dessert,

The strawberries and cream-stuffed canteloupe,

and monochromatic pineapple pie!

Bon Appetit Everyone!

December 25, 2009

Tidbits of Comical Food Induced Laziness

Yesterday I promised I would post something today... but that was before I realized how tired I would be from eating ham and playing five rounds of Banagrams. So excuse the abridged version of whats swimming around in my head today.

Today is actually Christmas (although with all the Christmas-related hoopla that's been going on for the past weeks it almost feels like Christmas should long be over), but I'm already tired of Christmas-themed posts, so I'm just going to talk about random/funny things that happened this year, or in general, to me, or other people (and some videos, because I'm feeling extra lazy today - but at least they're funny videos).

  • That time my mom dropped her camera in the pecan pie. Not the cooked pecan pie (which would have been a lot less messy), but the ooey gooey pecan pie batter, essentially sugar and eggs. I really, really, wish I had been there.
  • That time my scooter spark plug got disconnected in the middle of a highway over pass and I almost got hit by a truck and died. Luckily I didn't die, but I did end up pushing my scooter up hill, in four inch heels, for 5 km while it was hailing. Like honest to god marble-sized piece of ice pelting me in the head for an hour. This was also the day I discovered it's impossible to hold an umbrella while pushing a scooter. Granted, this was terribly un-amusing at the time - but it's hilarious now.
  • That time I kept stealing all my brother's tiles while playing Bananagrams.Ok, so that happened like 20 minutes ago, and Lucas didn't find it all that funny. But I had a great time.
  • That time Berlusconi got hit in the face with a little metal statue of the Milan Duomo. That cracked me up so much.
  • That time I found the video that so perfectly and wordlessly sums up the different between Italy and the rest of Europe:
  • That time I rediscovered this other random video, which we thought was so hilarious in like 10th grade:
  • That time I got really tired from eating delicious food and opening christmas presents all day, and decided to go to bed at 10pm.
Ok, that was super lame. If you've made it this far, you're a trooper and you deserve a prize.I'll be back when my mind works again.


December 24, 2009

..............................................................................

Merry Christmas Everyone!



And Happy Other Holidays to All of You Who Don't Celebrate Christmas!


I'll be back tomorrow with a real post - in the mean time I have been, and will continue to be cooking all day with my mom (recipes to come later), preparing such delicacies as cider glazed ham, almond sugar cookies, rosemary parmesan ice-box crackers, peanut butter parmesan doggie treats, remoulade, golden and red beet salad, and other yummy things for our little get together this evening. See you soon - after we manage to demolish this avalanche of food!




December 23, 2009

Weekly(ish) Photo Essay: O Tannenbaum


 We finally decorated our tree, yay! Isn't it purdy? I'm kind of miffed that the lights came out blue (they look much whiter in person) but I guess that's how those newfangled eco LED lights work.

I thought that for this week's photo essay I would take you on a little tour of our tree, and all the lovely and quirky ornaments we have. We happen to have a large number of beautiful vintage glass ornaments (my mother's snagged a bunch in yard sales (of vendors who knew little about the value of what they were selling), and some unusual international ornaments, so I thought I'd share.

These are some of the lovely vintage glass balls we have, still very shiny after years of use (notice the reflection of the camera in a few of them - and excuse the blurriness),


These are some lovely hand painted egg ornaments from Hungary... I think,


And this is just a funky glass pineapple. Everyone should have one of these.



Then we have what I like to call the disco balls, all sparkles and bright colors (there are pink and green too, but I think you get the point),

 

And an adorable mini corn husk nativity inside a carved out pomegranate (how cute!)


These are some paper balls I made - I found the idea at How About Orange, where you can also find the link to the tutorial.


the paper was supposed to be sparkly,
but it doesn't really show in the picture

ok and this one is sideways, but I don't feel like fixing it

This is our German Good Luck Christmas Pickle Ornament (there is a story behind this, but I don't remember the details... something to do with my friend Molly, a German friend of hers, and a fad at Urban Outfitters)



Oh, and this is the "tongue in cheek" samurai ninja on top of our tree (obviously put there by my brother) which is only allowed to stay up there until we find the santa doll or the angel that usually top the tree),


And last, but not least, are the little bone-shaped peanut butter and parmesan doggie treats that we baked this morning, poked holes in, and strung up so our little doggie, Truffle, can eat them off the tree whenever he likes.

 

I wish you all a very Lovely and Merry Christmas!
 Thanks for stopping by!