In a cruel turn of events, I was not able to celebrate Christmas this year because no one would let me, and I came down with plague. In my fragile condition, I halted all blogging and decided to do nothing but sleep, feel sorry for myself, and watch a British drama called Downton Abbey.
Still, I was able to celebrate Hanukkah, which unlike Christmas requires little production. Aaron and I pledged to stick to experience gifts this year, which you can read more about here.
I made Aaron a card for each night of Hanukkah which contained a description of his gift.
Ah to be a newlywed.
I got all cards at The Paper Source, which is a few blocks away in Cobble Hill and has a wonderful selection of reasonably priced paper goods.
I had some Sharpies on hand, and sat down and did a little decorating.
Done! And I bet you're wondering what those little winners contained. Well, I won't go into all the details, but I will say that his favorites were night one, which was a weekend trip for us to see the New Orleans Jazz Festival in April, and night eight, which was several weeks of Italian lessons. Bongiorno.
Aaron went one step further with the whole Zero Waste deal, and created AnnesHanukkah.com. A triumph of adorableness.
Anywhoo, I'm back in action, expect more posts soon!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
It's almost Christmas! Exciting. I was insistant on sending out holiday cards this year because it is the first year we're married and can officially send out correspondence as a couple! And I have been waiting err SIX years for that one. It somehow eluded Aaron that this was a milestone, odd.
I cruised Minted.com for some designs I liked, and found one that caught my eye -- an infographic. I spent some time in council with the Hubs to determine what would be acceptable for our highlights and miscellaneous facts. Once we had the final cut, I designed the card in Photoshop.
Adore! Without a ton of research, I decided to order the cards through iPhoto. I had done Vistaprint for personal cards in the past and though their prices are phenomenal their obsessive marketing techniques are maddening.
iPhoto was also inexpensive (.99 cents per card), fast, easy, of better quality, and came with zero marketing. Clapping.
It did bother me that their shipping was $7.49, but given how inexpensive the cards were, fine.
After we ordered the cards, I started to wonder why on earth we only ordered 25. We decided to only send those to family, and email out the rest to co-workers and friends, which was in the spirit of Zero Waste.
All set for mailing!
Of course, I would have liked to go to The Paper Source and get matching turquoise envelopes, but against my better judgement I decided to be less wasteful and just use the white envelopes they sent me.
We haven't yet gotten around to getting a return address stamp, which is high on my to do list (not really) but oh, how useful it would be to have one. In the absence of a stamp, and my wanting to try to deal with the printer (which is awful), I decided not to write return addresses at all, and left it all up to chance, and the USPS.
I imagine everyone got their holiday cards, but if not, I suppose I'll never know. Happy Holidays!
Posted by Anne at 11:12 AM
Saturday, December 17, 2011
This is Grant Gibson. I follow him on Pinterest, along with 366 other like-minded people with excellent taste. I encourage you to join us, because Grant is a world class pinner.
See example of "G", the name of his general interior design board. I can only assume G stands for Greatness.
It's a soothing wash of neutral, timeless spaces, like these...
After weeks of seeing his frequent and phenomenal choices on my Pinterest home page, I started to develop this feeling that Grant might be a little less mortal than the rest of the interior design loving Pinterest people. I was right. I Googled Grant, and he is a real designer. Like, gets asked to design an Elle Decor concept house, cough cough.
Of course, his concept house was amazing.
I went nuts over this rug, which we need, immediately. Of course it is from The Rug Company, which means it costs more than a car, which means it is not happening. Sadness.
I love those industrial lights, and the wooden salad bowl, and the chairs, and the glass bottle on the table used to pour water, which we own, and use to pour water, #winning.
It's basically a shot of our dining table, minus the egg cups.
Ok this was the real treat. Grant wallpapered the backsplash of the kitchen in Chinese menus. This is hilarious. But in that muted, dark, New Yorker sort of way, that we just get.
Thanks Grant, for being a continual source of inspiration. And now, you should follow Grant, and check out his blog.
Posted by Anne at 12:46 PM
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I've been keeping a stash of fabric in North Carolina, until the time should come when I made a decision about what to do with it. Well, patient ones, I've made a (partial) decision, about what to do with the fabric. Pillows.
I'm having the existing pillows on the chaise lounge remade. We're doing the same shape, with down fill. The fabric is a silk, sand colored, and I got a glorious trim to run down the center of the pillow. A little ::gestures:: flourish.
In place of that gray square pillow on the side of the couch, we're having bolster pillows made (think, pillow log). This is what the 'ends' will look like.
A cream rope trim, a gray velvet fabric a little darker than the couch, and mother of pearl buttons to dimple the pillows on each end.
And my favorite. These will go in the office, one on the couch and one on the desk chair. We're having them made as 16 in. squares. I believe the trim purrs when I pet it. Or that is me.
We're having two of each design made. Our dear friend Jeff Karges at Karges and Caron is doing the upholstery down in North Carolina. I'm sending him the trim this week, and we should see our pillows several weeks after that.
What do you think of the pillow designs? Any favorites?
Sunday, December 11, 2011
|Nest / Alessi Kettle / Saabon Soap / Klean Kanteen / Kindle / Safety Razor / L.L. Bean Tote|
On our path to Zero Waste, we've found a few products along the way that have been essential in our reuse efforts, and those products make up our Zero Waste Gift Guide. Of course, there have been other essentials, like microfiber cloths, but if someone gave me rags for Hanukkah I would be displeased, so those did not make the cut.
Nest - We don't own this, yet, but, oh drool. It's a thermostat with a design so sexy I want to take it out to dinner. See David Pogue's full review.
Alessi Kettle - I just appreciate modern design that never goes out of style. It was designed the year I was born, and ours is a hand-me-down from my parents. We use it to make tea the old fashioned way, with loose tea and strainers. It's all very Zero Waste, and English.
Saabon Soap - We live in Brooklyn but work in New York and Saabon is never far. It smells so good in here, and those amazing soaps are available with no packaging. We stock up in bulk.
Klean Kanteen - We own two of these at home, and I have one at the office. We always have them stocked with cold water, waiting for us in the fridge. I adore them. We get the aluminum ones since you can't put the colored ones in the dishwasher, and anything that can be done to make something dishwasher compliant will be done.
Safety Razor - Aaron is still committed to his Gillette, which is so expensive to maintain I'm hoping we can claim it as a dependent. I am committed to bothering him about this until he tries a safety razor, with replacement blades that cost .79 cents each. And the whole thing looks cooler, and can be recycled when you're done using it in 50 years.
Kindle - I discovered Kindle on our honeymoon, our hotel leant them out to guests. I always looked down on Kindle, which wasn't iPad, and why would you get Kindle, when you could have iPad. I was looking past the obvious; the Kindle screen is really like paper, with ink, and is super light and has blissfully limited functionality. Since getting Kindles, we've donated almost all of our books, and haven't bought any new non-digital books since.
L.L. Bean Tote - I think the origin of these bags were just a utilitarian way for sailors in Maine to lug ice around. We use them to lug fruits and veggies home every Saturday. We like them because they appear to be indestructible, replace plastic bags, and look cute, especially because our two are monogrammed with "Anne" and "Aaron," and Aaron dosen't seem to mind how embarrassing that is in public.
Well there you have it, if you are interested in gifts that last and will be reused again and again, these are some great options to consider. Happy holidays!
Monday, December 5, 2011
I assume many things about my blog readers. One, I assume you're all incredibly stylish, intelligent, and have phenomenal taste in recreational reading. Two, I assume you're all women. Three, I assume those of you who are not women are Aaron, who reads the posts that have not yet been posted so he can restrict my liberal use of the semicolon, which you don't know about, because he stifles it; stifler. Take that!
It turns out, I was wrong, wrong about this blog's readership mirroring the Junior League. I found that out on Facebook, where I find out most interesting things.
One Brooklyn Modern has a Facebook page, with a glowing fan base. And these are the insightful page insights...
I annotated it so you could hear my internal monologue.
In a final, thrilling addition to these insights, I clicked on 'more' under lanugages and found that there is one incredible reader who uses Facebook in "English (Pirate)".
Me hearties, goodnight.
Posted by Anne at 7:28 PM
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Of all the things I love about Zero Waste, my favorite has been reducing. We've been clearing our home of everything we haven't used in over a year, and furniture and electronics we think we can do without. In the past few months, we've donated thousands of dollars worth of stuff, and I can't for the life of me remember what any of it was. In our effort to reduce, we've also been conscious about buying new things. In donating so much, it really weighed on me how much money we could have saved had we not bought the vast majority of that stuff in the first place.
Aaron has wanted a sound system for such a long time. When we moved into our first apartment in Chelsea, he went all out, buying Mirage speakers and a receiver and a subwoofer which all together he tells me now (like, just now) cost $800 (what?). In a devine intervention, none of it worked, so it all got sent back.
This time, Aaron was wooed by Sonos, a $250 speaker made by Sony that connects wirelessly to online music services like Pandora and Spotify.
I casually evaluated it and said it looked cool, and he immediately ordered it. I would have preferred to think about it for another two years.
Sonos arrived and landed next to our marble lamp in the living room.
It blends, something I strive for in all home electronic purchases. Aaron set it up. It worked, which already gave it an edge over the previous $800 trial.
He set up all household computers and phones to be able to connect with it via the Sonos application, and we started using it all the time. It's very much like having your speakers connected wirelessly to iTunes, except the services it connects to are more varied and better than iTunes, so we're thrilled.
This is a screenshot of the desktop application.
Aaron and I are both using it at the moment, and we're both adding songs to the queue, which is insane.
The iPhone and Android apps are just as easy to use.
We only have one speaker right now, zoned for "Living Room". I'd love to get them for other rooms, but they're kind of big (our is the smallest), and expensive (ours is the least expensive), so...we're waiting on that.
In our new world of trying to own less, I'm really happy we decided to get Sonos. We recently sold the T.V. in the living room, so music is the main entertainment, and it changes the room into a conversation area vs. a glowing rectangle area. We've entertained a lot more since getting the speaker, and music, which was once a scramble of hooking up a computer to a speaker, is now blissfully easy.