Tuesday, December 31, 2013

gifted & talented.

I know the holidays have past but I still thought it might be useful to include some of my favorite gift ideas for this year in case you are in need of something coming up...so here goes...

I got my brother, Chris, this classic Thermos for Christmas this year. I love it and since he is outdoorsy and always on the go, I figured he could use it for coffee or even soup! And, it also reminds me of the thermos my Mom used on our roadtrips during the summer - so there is some tradition in it too!

LLBean - Stanley Vacuum Bottle - $36
A ring dish or jewelry tree is a sweet gift for someone, I love the look of this one from Anthropologie.

Anthropologie - Carousel Trinket Dish
I am all about maps. Lately, Ben has had to remind me that we have enough maps in the house right now, so the next best thing is a vintage globe! What a great gift for someone...here is one from Etsy...

Etsy - Vintage Crams World Globe
How great are these wooden animals? All kids love animals and these are beautiful little pieces.

Etsy - Wooden Toy Animals - 3/$36
This will be the year of landscaping and gardening for us, and I am suddenly beginning to appreciate all things yard. A colorful watering can always stikes me as a great gift, whether family or a hostess gift.

Terrain - Cherry Blossom Watering Can - $79
These necklaces are simple and gorgeous...

Kate Spade - idiom reversible pendant necklace
Scott Gave us this cookbook, Mast Brothers Chocolate, A Family Cookbook. The pictures alone make you want to dive in immediatly.

Yes, ties are a boring gift. But if you are going to do it, you might as well pick a really attractive one. The hold that you can't go wrong with this Gingham Check Cotton Tie from JCrew

Monday, December 30, 2013

holiday wrap-up.

In the last ten days, I have been to Michigan twice, Uhauled from Ann Arbor to DC, celebrated Ben's Juris Doctor, visited Denver for Christmas, made a pit-stop in Westchester, a day in NYC, and amtraked it back to DC. We are back in DC after a whirlwind couple of weeks and here were some (not all) of the highlights...

Packing up the UHaul during snowstorm Electra was a joy!

Post loading up the Uhaul, we feasted on indian food with Emmy, Aaron and Brittany. 

The drive was actually enjoyable and we are all moved in. Ben graduated last week and it was a full weekend of celebrating.
We ate at Mani and of course went over to the Washtenaw Dairy for a last, glorious donut.

We also ate dinner at The Grange with friends and family, a great cocktail party at Vinology Wine Bar, a run around the Big House, and final packing and move-out. We bid adieu to the University of Michigan and jumped to Denver to see my folks. This of course including brunch at Luciles with my Mom (beignets were ordered!). We also went to Thump for coffee downtown...

We headed to a new place in LoHi with Dad and Charlotte for dinner, the Old Major. It is pork heavy and very cool - and the first place that I have been that hands you an ipad with the drinks menu.

We lucked out with great weather. Ben and I ran every morning around Wash Park and battled the altitude...
We also went to Jelly for breakfast with Scott (I had mentioned it way back in April in this post on Denver spots).  They had quite the sampling of jelly donuts.

We also went out to the RiNo District to check out The Source. It is basically Denver's version of Union Market and we wanted to check it out! The space is still very much in formation but has a couple cool looking restaurants...
The Leas had us over for Christmas dinner leftovers. We played drinking games in the kitchen like any good adult dinner party would do...
By the time we left Denver, it was the homestretch! On Saturday, we headed into the city with Ben's parents to shop sales and go to dinner. We ended up at this awesome bar in SoHo, Mother's Ruin. I absolutely loved it and the bartender made me what was quite possibly the best drink I have had in years.

We had a fantastic meal at Rubirosa. Salads, pastas, and pizza to boot - we highly recommend it.
Not pictured but most importantly, we enjoyed family time with my Mom and Dad, a lot of sleep, a visit with Ben's grandmother, a shiva in Westchester for a family friend, many episodes of Friday Night Lights, watching Michigan football with Timmy, dinner with Timmy and Amanda, and so much more. Hope you had a wonderful holiday week!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

d.c. harvest.

There has been a lot happening in the last two weeks - moving Ben back to DC via U-Haul, his graduation weekend in Ann Arbor, and now we are in Denver to see my parents. Updates to come...but in the meantime...

Another day and another restaurant announcement in the neighborhood. D.C. Harvest is slated to open this spring and we are excited about this one! The chef is formerly of Hank's Oyster Bar and it will be farm to table just five blocks away...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

the mother load.

Hannah linked to this piece, Teaching a Daughter She Can Do Anything, When A.L.S. Means her Mother Can't. It is touching and heartbreaking and beautiful. Talk about powerful stuff, you should definitely read this piece today!

double time.

Have any of you been to Baby Wale or Thally yet? They have both been on my list to get to and I haven't yet, but with Ben back and the new year coming down the pipe, these two 9th street places are topping my list. Baby Wale is the sister restaurant to Corduroy. And Thally is getting rave reviews. Cheers to early 2014!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

true that.

Ben sent me this HuffingtonPost piece yesterday, I Might Be Mediocre, But at Least I'm Honest. It is exactly what I have been thinking and wanting to articulate for a long while now! Social media has become a means for people to manage their image. I wish more people would post pictures and videos of their kids mid-tantrum, and blog about the parts of their life that are less than perfect and colorful and curated.

berenstain bears.

Remember the Berenstain Bears? I loved these books growing up! I am adding this series to my list of top books for little kids from here on out...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Grandpolly died the day before yesterday. In truth, she was gone long before Sunday night and I am relieved. Just last week I was debating whether to send her a Christmas present - she wouldn't have any idea about it - but nonetheless I was thinking to send her a new throw to keep her warm. She hasn't been able to talk on the phone for a couple years but I have still kept her on my speed dial in my iphone. I have been missing her for a couple years now, but now I really miss her.

I always loved her hands and fingers. I don't know why but even when I was little, I loved them. They were slightly crooked from arthritis but she had beautiful hands and I loved the way when we were sitting at dinner and she was talking, she would tap the edge of the table with her fingers when she was making a point. I miss playing backgammon with her. Even when she was basically blind, she was still playing backgammon. We would read the dice out to her and she would feel the pieces and game-board with her fingers. I loved the sound of her true laugh, her chuckle that felt like a reward if you could get it out of her. We were bored by her repeated reviews of the latest book she was reading. My god, it seemed like she was reading about Lewis & Clark for my entire childhood!...but her love of history and reading trickled down through her family. I am forever grateful for Walloon and her gift to us of it. Whenever I drive by Pansies Point on South Shore Drive I have vivid memory of watching her swim to it from the dock and back. I am so thankful for the pictures she took of her grandchildren, it is safe to say that part of the reason the deBree children love photography so much is because of her. And we can't forget Grandpolly with Bill. Bill is still today my standard of a gentleman. He is what honorable means to me. He was the example of patience. He was so kind and so gentle to Grandpolly. He let her think that she was driving the train when really he was in the back steering everything without her ever knowing. Their dynamic was mysterious and we all thought dysfunctional, but at the end of the day Grandpolly loved Bill so much and Bill her.

Don't get me wrong, Grandpolly was tough and to really remember her, we can't forget that. She could be sharp-tongued and had a puritan streak to her that meant harsh judgements and standards that, alas, trickled down through her family. Grandpolly lived through heartbreak and tragedies (two husbands died, her son and daughter-in-law were killed in a plane crash, another son-in-law to cancer and more) and yet she never cried. No, I mean, she actually never cried. In college, I started ending every conversation with her saying "I love you Grandpolly" just to see how long it would take before she finally said it back. It only took 4 years. I remember it distinctly, I was walking back to my apartment in Brooklyn and she finally said it back. 

She was terribly competitive, so generous, principled, had impressive posture, a stubborness that the women in her family have inherited, and the very definition of a matriarch. She was a force to be reckoned with. And I loved her. 

I am so sad she died alone. Though it does seem fitting. She was so damn determined that I am going to let myself believe she waited for everyone to leave the room. I just wish I had sent that blanket to her last week. She would have died covered in something sent with love and that her fingers could feel even if the rest was lost. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

photo bomb.

This slideshow by Reuters of the best photos in 2013 is amazing! I stared at this one below for a good 30 seconds. Unbelievable, isn't it?!

Susana Vera

factory & lab.

I have been living for the weekends of late. And today has been a gorgeous Saturday not least because I swung by the Dolcezza grand opening! Today, they opened their doors to show off the new gelato factory and coffee lab that is opening up just behind Union Market - 2 blocks from the house! The space won't formally open until the spring but this sneak peak was fantastic. The short story is the warehouse will be producing fresh gelato and sorbet daily and the coffee "lab" will be featuring stumptown coffees. To say we can't wait is an understatement - fresh gelato during hot DC days and a coffee spot brewing up the latest all right up the street...yes please!

Monday, December 2, 2013

boxed up.

Ack! You know what else December means? It means I have not made much progress on all my dreams of DIY projects this fall. I haven't even ordered fabric swatches for the headboard (click here for the post) and painting is a slow slow process. Nevertheless, I have been able to tackle some smaller tasks - things I could get done in an afternoon here and there or in bits at a time. The projects are all in different stages of completion right now so I can't show you most of the DIY going on...but I did decide to use some left-over fabric from the folding chairs to recover this box for jewelry organization.

Here is the before...
 Then when I stripped off all the old fabric...

And here is the after...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

1 december.

Welcome to December!

This month I am looking forward to....

      • a Denver visit and getting to see my Dad and Mom...
      • I also get to introduce Ben to my best friend.
      • hot chocolate
      • wrapping gifts
      • hopefully some snow
      • soups
      • Ben's graduation
      • and a cozy new years eve....