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Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Happy Holidays!

27 Dec

{ Christmas: }

Wishing you all a lovely holiday season with your family and friends. May it be filled with good food, lots of love and much laughter! Happy New Year to all my friends!

xo,

f

 
 

Linzer Christmas Style

26 Dec
Gluten-free goodness!

Here they are in all their powdery sugary glory. The verdict: Delicious nutty goodness. The only thing I would change is that I would like to roll out the dough more thinly next time. That’s it, no other comments. So go ahead, make some for yourself and your loved ones, and definitely don’t wait for the next holiday. Did I mention that they’re gluten-free? Now you know.

My Christmas was quite lovely. Apparently Santa has a little helper elf who reads my blog, therefore, I did get that faux fur vest I was pining for. I also got a Crock-Pot, which I’m pretty sure is a sign of adulthood; even more so because I actually asked for it. I love cooking. I dislike not having enough time to do it as much as I’d like to. The slow cooker is destined to help me realize my dream of eating home-made meals every night.

I’ll report back on the experiments, of course.

 
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Merry Christmas!

25 Dec
We took this picture on my birthday, which was also the same night
the Giants won the World Series just down the street!
 
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Friend Friday: Holidays

24 Dec
Joyeux Noël!

FBFF Q&A: This week’s theme revolves around the holidays. Fun stuff!

FBFF: Your favorite holiday memory:
FJ:
When I was about 5, we were still living in Beirut, Lebanon. I remember that our apartment was really done up, every room had been decorated. My grandmother mémé got me a doll that was almost as big as me. She could stand and spoke when you pulled the string. I eventually cut off her hair and painted her eyelids green, but that was all part of the fun. My parents had German opera going on the reel-to-reel and I thought it was Santa singing. That pretty much sums up the magic of Christmas for me.
 
FBFF: Were you ever a victim of those family Christmas party photo shoots? What do you think about them now? Care to share an old photo?
JF:
No, my dad being a designer and photographer took all our photos, which were usually candid. They were great, though one year a Polaroid captured everything I associate with the late seventies; Kitch, extra ruffles, the tree and three doe-eyed kids, (my sisters and I.)

These photos are part of the series my dad used as a promotional Christmas card for his studio. I didn’t the one he actually sent in my photo album. I can still recall him writing on my face and my staying very still while he did it. I was a really happy kid, even though I looked like a boy for the first five years because they kept my hair really, really short.

FBFF: Best Christmas gift you ever gave:
FJ:
I saved up and bought my dad a functional hand-made Italian train set in my early twenties. I had to special order it. It was so expensive, I can’t believe I did it! For years I never got him anything interesting so this was The Big One. I got him this gift because I used to have a really, really cool train set when I was a kid and I was fascinated by it. He and I would play with it for hours. I have very happy memories of that moment. I played with trains and cars, played dress-up with dolls and drew. Minus the trains, that sounds like me still.

FBFF: Craziest/funniest holiday family tradition:
FJ:
It’s not so much a tradition as much as it is something that just happens. When my sisters and I get together at my dad’s house, it gets nuts. We’re all so excited to see each other that we talk and make so much noise that it’s practically a party of three! We interrupt each other, we talk over each other, we laugh a ton. It’s a total scene.

Gluten free Linzer cookie!
FBFF: Favorite type of Christmas cookie:
 FJ: That’s a tough one. I’m a bit of a cookie monster but having to be gluten-free has changed my outlook a little. Overall, I would say that the linzer cookie is my absolute favorite. It’s got the right kind of texture, I love the hint of fruit preserve in the middle, totally love the two layers and powdered sugar! I’m going to try to make them this year. My mom used to make them for me as a kid all the time.

As always, I’d like to thank Katy of ModlyChic for putting together these questions. If you’d like to learn more about Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday, click here.

Photos of Fabienne courtesy of Mark-Henri David
Photo of cookie courtesy of Stephanie Stiavetti, Wasabimon.com
 
 

Missing You.

20 Dec
Cozy Cabin Cream Leggings from Lulus.com

You won’t believe what happened this evening. As we were parking the car I turned to my husband and professed that it felt so strange to be coming home without plans to blog. Turns out that taking the weekend off was plenty of time away. I missed my baby! It happened, it’s become a habit. That’s what thirty days straight will do to you. I think this might have been Kendi’s secret master plan. She looks cute but she might just be devious like that.

I’ve officially navigated the holiday season quite well. I have one gift left to buy, (yipee!) I’m not stressed, hung over, sick or have bad hair. Remember that list I made last week? Just in case you missed it:

  • Christmas card designed and mailed, no YES!
  • Christmas tree purchased, no YES!
  • Christmas decorations installed, no  YES!
  • Christmas presents made, no YES! 1 more to go, I just decided it’s a New Year present!
  • Christmas baking planned, no, (it’s ok, there’s still time)
  • Baking ingredients purchased, no YES!
  • Holiday parties attended, yes, one

And just because I really like making lists and crossing things off, I’ve added a few more items:

  • Decorated Christmas tree, YES!
  • Had friends over for dinner in Christmas-y house, YES!
  • Gave gifts to team at work, YES!
  • Had hair done, YES!
  • Maintained running schedule, YES!

You’ll see that I’ve progressed quite well, if I may say so myself. By the way, where did this expression come from? It’s totally redundant. Who else is saying so? I resolve to stop using it. Yes, in fact, it will be one of my New Year’s resolutions.

Since I didn’t want to leave you hanging you’ll notice I posted a little eye candy. Yes, I am referring to the happiness that is also known Cozy Cabin Cream Leggings from Lulus.com. I bought them. I admit it was an impulse purchase. I really had no idea how on earth you wear these things, let me tell you, it’s like a cross between some bad childhood sweater I had and 1974 ski movie there on my legs. I was too curious to pass up that experience.

A few minutes foraging through the forest that is my closet and I came up with not just one, but two outfits. The second is a bit fun although I may wear it to work on a dare to myself. If you’ve been good, I’ll show you the first of the two tomorrow. Ok, I’ll show you if you’ve been naughty, too. I’m more flexible with that kind of stuff than Santa. Just sayin’. Santa’s alright and everything but I don’t care too much if you’ve been sleeping or if you’re awake. Just as long as you’re happy!

Photo from Lulus.com

 
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FBFF Q&A: Holiday Party Attire

17 Dec

Unfortunately, I’m unable to post a picture of the outfit I’m wearing today, but take my word for it, it looks totally fab! I added a few key accessories from yesterday’s noontime jaunt to Anthropologie for some last-minute Christmas shopping. Actually, I added ALL the accessories. I’ve been wondering if anyone has noticed the onslaught of decorative newness. I’m pretty sure the entire office is riding much too high on sugar from our lunchtime party to notice anything right now. That’s cool. I’ll wear it again next week and I’ll document it for you right here. The colors in effect at the moment are deep cherry, dark tomato red, plum and brown. Bam! Another explosion of color!

You know what day it is. It’s Friday. That’s Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday to you, if you’re friendly. Read on.

FBFF: Which holiday party are you looking forward to attending this year?
FJ: Every year, my best friends and I rent the same house in Lake Tahoe for a week to celebrate New Year’s Eve and ski and snowboard the rest of the time. That’s my favorite party because I’m literally only surrounded by people I love the most.

FBFF: What is your go-to holiday party outfit?
FJ: I don’t really have one. It depends on the party. If it’s a small party with close friends, it’s usually something ridiculous and/or outrageous. I scored a hot pink faux fur jacket at H&M on clearance a couple years ago for $17. It makes an appearance now and then. I like dressing up almost to the point of creating costumes.

FBFF: Do you go dressed in something that would be impractical to wear at any other time of the year?
FJ: Absolutely! Impractical and totally inappropriate. I suppose it we’re talking about a work holiday party, then it’s just a dressed-up version of what I wore to work that day. I might add sparkly festive jewelry, more black, more make-up; basically, your standard issue day-into-night look. For more intimate parties, it’s no holds barred!

FBFF: If you are going to a house-party what gift will you bring to the host/hostess?
FJ: It depends on the hostess. Often it’s a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine, something that can be enjoyed by everyone.

FBFF: If you could buy only one trendy piece to update your holiday party wardrobe, what would you get this year?
FJ: I’d like a faux fur vest. Do you hear that, Santa?

As always, I’d like to thank Katy of ModlyChic for putting together these questions.

 
 

The Tree in the Clouds

15 Dec
I just noticed a fern growing out of my flower bed. Huh.

Check out the sweet fingerless gloves! Thanks Stacy!

Tree hugger

I’m very excited today because yesterday I got a Christmas tree. I’d been feeling a little under the weather this weekend and as I ho-hummed my way around the house rather than ho-ho-ho, something to do with stuff I won’t dwell on like insomnia and how long it takes to walk home (exactly one hour) with two bags of groceries (weighed down with dairy, dairy, eggs, more dairy and two salmon fillets), though I won’t dwell here on why, (car broke down, forgot cell phone at home, don’t know anyone’s number apparently and mis-dialed my sleeping husband’s three times until I got it right.) I was perfectly ready to give up on a tree.

Then it dawned on me. That is EXACTLY why I needed to get that tree. You can’t come home to a house that smells all yummy and Christmas-y covered in twinkly lights of happiness without a little bounce taking over your step and compulsively busting into Santa’s Little Helper’s dance. Skip that last part, that may just be me. I confess, I have a happy dance. It involves a swinging and rotating of the hips, somewhat but not necessarily rhythmically. Some times, when I get really carried away, there’s clapping. I’m multi-dimensional that way.

I conspired with a BFF, shuffled a meeting around to take an early lunch, got picked up in his Christmas Tree Chariot, A.K.A.: the big white truck, and off we went.

There were three price ranges. Charity almost got the best of me as I considered one of the discount trees. They just seemed so sad and sparse. Some were a little yellow, too. Lonely, tugging at my heartstrings. Ah, but the voice of Christmas reason kicked in just in the nick of time and I quickly settled on a beautiful Douglas Fir. (Charity is for other things, not Christmas trees!) My friend Tracy took a video of me hugging it for his girlfriend abroad. See what a tree hugger I am?

Now I’m so happy that I can barely contain my excitement! I skipped yet another holiday party to go running, better for the spirit and the insomnia than alcohol and a late bedtime. I think. And I can’t wait to start decorating!

I’ll even get to hang the ornament I bought for our house this year. This one I penned after The Fantastic Mr. Fox. That’s his name: The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Look, I covered my naming convention quirks early on, (see Hootie). He’s really, really cute! And now he has a home!

My husband gets dubious of my enthusiastic Christmas spirit. So much so that he attempts to operate with a little tough love and says things like “look, you want a tree, you get a tree, but you know the rules. You bring it home, you decorate it, you clean up after it and you get it out of the house afterwards.” You’d think I was asking for a puppy.

This Pollyanna really heard him say: “Look, I love that you got our home a beautiful tree. And that you did it while I was busy at work during your lunch break. Thank you for decorating it, it warms the cockles of my heart. I love you more every day.”

See, I know what he means.

Deets: Shimmery purple turtleneck/Michael Starts, charcoal shawl cardigan/Cheeky Boutique, raspberry scarf/handmade by my adopted grandma, necklace/Alexis Bitar, crystal cocktail ring/Ariella, super snazzy striped fingerless gloves/handmade by my friend Stacy, skinny jeans/Old Navy, boots/ModCloth, smile/courtesy of Christmas tree purchase.

 
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Connecting with readers

12 Dec
It was really foggy today and felt somewhat ethereal

Hand-made bead and necklace, gifted, (lucky me!)

My first purchase in 30 days

The holidays are officially wreaking havoc on my life as of right now. I’m a planner with a mild, yet debilitating, case of Type A at the moment; I officially feel behind. I have a to-do list which loosely outlines all the ways that my scheduling abilities are failing:

  • Christmas card designed and mailed, no
  • Christmas tree purchased, no
  • Christmas decorations installed, no
  • Christmas presents made, no
  • Christmas baking planned, no
  • Baking ingredients purchased, no
  • Holiday parties attended, yes, one

I blame being under the weather for some of it. The rest I attribute to having high expectations of what I, SuperFabu, can achieve in less time that anyone else. If I figure out how it’s done, I’ll let you know. As of now, I just got off the phone with a friend who will help me get a tree. FTW!

Let’s turn back the clock a little to Friday, shall we? I’m digging these Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday questions, the topic is on reader connectedness.

FBFF: How important do you think reader connectedness is to the success of your blog?
FJ: It depends on what metrics one uses to define success. Personally, I’m currently defining is as a way to share, entertain, inspire and connect with others. If I can inspire a reader, or get a chuckle out of them, that makes me feel like it’s worth the effort. Based on my criteria, I would say reader connectedness is important.

FBFF: What do you do to draw readers in and create that writer-reader bond?
FJ: I try to keep the content fresh and personal enough to engage. If my content was totally dry, it would disregard the human nature of bonding. One way we bond with each other is through similarities. If I tell a story that someone can relate to and I tell it in a way that keeps the reader engaged or entertained, it’s more effective.

Some time this can also take form in replying to a comment or sending a personal response. I think being present and validating my readers is important.

FBFF: What is one way you could improve this connection?
FJ: Remain thoughtful in what I’m sharing in a public forum, and do my homework and research so that I don’t end up becoming so predictable that I’ve become dull. Follow up on comments that are posed as questions. Create a dialogue.

FBFF: Is there a blogger you think does a great job creating that writer-reader bond? Why? 
FJ: Absolutely! Quite a few, actually. The ones I’m thinking of make me feel like if we met we would share a laugh or two while trading tips and stories. Their tone is personal enough to get a sense of their character, which I find likable. There is a nice balance of personal and relevant content for me to feel a kinship while learning something valuable.

FBFF: What do you do to cultivate new readers? How do you get them to your site in the first place? 
FJ: I think this goes back to an old saying, which I’m certain to be paraphrasing: Be the friend you want to have. What I interpret this to mean is if I want to generate curiosity and get people to comment, then I need to be that person. When I’m inspired by someone’s outfit or post, share that with them. Why wouldn’t I want to be that person? I don’t have tactical marketing strategies only because this is my labor of love. I’m not interested in putting on a business hat at this point though by no means would I judge another for doing so. There are plenty of clever ways to get readership, I may at some point dedicate effort to doing so, I don’t know what the future holds. At this point, I’m pleased with my new blog baby. I’m enjoying the process of learning, I’ve only been blogging a short while.

I will add that being visible and participating on a more public level, such as the FBFF definitely helps. Ultimately for me, I was interested in other than numbers, I like being part of a community dialogue and meeting new people.

I will not discount using social networking like Twitter or Facebook, which I have been using regularly anyway. I also added my blogs to my email signature and anytime I mention one of my friends, I always send it to them, which they seem to enjoy.

I’d like to thank Katy of ModlyChic for putting together these questions. She’s got tips on how to wear over-sized sweaters featured today, (yes please!)


Deets: Teal tanktop/Free People, aqua cashmere cardigan/Bloomingdale’s, ochre elastic belt/Anthropologie, black ankle cigarette pants/BDG, Urban Outfitters, hand-made beaded necklace/gifted, black leather ankle boots/Munro.