Snow Day in Northeast

We are having a big snow storm and I couldn’t be happier. There is something about waking up and rushing to the window to see everything covered in snow. It is always such a beautiful soothing sight. What are your plans? I am having an off day so I am spending the whole day indoors. I am also going to make the creamiest very chocolatey hot chocolate, and if you would like to join me here’s how I plan to do it.

Recipe: The Creamiest & Very Chocolatey Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

1½ cups of whole milk
½ cup of cream
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
A big bar of your favorite dark chocolate cut into small pieces
Sugar to taste (usually a tablespoon)

Method:

Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Add the cocoa powder, chocolate pieces and sugar and whisk until it is all combined. Remove from hear, pour in a big mug, top with whip cream and dusting of cocoa powder. Settle with a book and enjoy!

Photo by Betty Petrella.

Have a Wonderful Holiday!

Happy Holidays! Hope you are having a good time. I am going to be spending my holidays cooking and baking from my favorite cookbook. I am not really a great baker, it is always a hit or miss, but I am keeping my fingers crossed this time. For christmas day I am planning to make roasted rack of lamb, celeriac puree (from this cookbook), fennel risotto and tabbouleh salad. New Years day is going to be more relaxed with a big pot of pasta, a simple salad and finish off the day with hot chocolate :)

Photo of me in Washington D.C.

Gift Guide Part III: The Fun-Loving Person

Utowa Eyelash Curler, $22, the iconic Japanese beauty tool that delivers a natural lift and curl.


Stripped Cotton Pyjama Set, $30,  a classic set that’s a must have. This one with a longer trousers are also great.


Hi Bye Gloves, $48,  Hi Bye Gloves are saying hello with one hand, whilst waving goodbye with the other. 


xo necklaces set of two, $59, the dainty necklaces are the perfect way to your love and gift to any special woman in your life.


Fingerprint Bookmark Band, $7, cleverly designed Fingerprint Bookmark Band slips onto a book and has a hand shape with a pointing finger to mark your place on the page.


Square basket, $25, for their things.


Boy Hat, $25, because she’s a master at puling off any look.
  

Duralex Glasses, $36, set of six glasses in six colors: crimson, mint, yellow, lavender, gray and cobalt.


Peace sign, $50, bold and modern, the peace sign will catch the eyes of many with its brass shine.


Indoor Plant and Planter, $52, with a 1-year guarantee to replace dead plants, this gift will be a massive hit.


Inner voices notebook, $20, writing as a therapy journal.

P.S. Parts I and II here and here.

All photos via websites linked for each product. Hi Bye Gloves via Swiss Miss. Fingerprint Book Mark band via  A Cup Of Jo.

5 Books to Read This Holiday Season

‘Elmet’ by Fiona Mozley

Not many debut novels can claim a spot on the Man Booker Prize shortlist, but that achievement is just one of the things that makes Fiona Mozley’s lyrical, noir-esque tale exceptional. The story follows Daniel, his sister Cathy, and their gargantuan, bare-knuckle-boxer father as they eke out a life off the grid in modern-day England and gradually face off against a group of landowners bent on changing their way of life. The lilting beauty of Mozley’s prose combined with the casual, matter-of-fact violence that accompanies the characters’ lives brings to mind a time when fairytales were filled with dark forests and bloody deeds—a perfect antidote to holiday sugar-and-spice overload.

‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee

This intimate saga explores the torment and small joys of life as a Korean immigrant in 20th-century Japan through the eyes of a tight-knit, fiercely loving family. Lee’s straightforward prose details the chaotic world of good but flawed people faced with agonizing decisions amidst a nation’s upheaval and the crushing force of modernity, yielding a poignant tale of survival and pride that's nearly impossible to put down. —Julie Kosin

‘Home Fire’ by Kamila Shamsie

Home Fire is a literary thriller about prejudice and the slide into radicalisation, but it is also an expansive novel about love. A modern-day Antigone set against political tensions in London, Shamsie’s latest is a haunting and arrestingly current portrait of two families forever caught in the insurmountable gap between love and country, loyalty and desire.

‘Things We Left Unsaid’ by Zoya Pirzad

Deep in an Iranian suburb, made rich by the booming oil industry, Clarice Ayvazian lives a comfortable life surrounded by the gentle bickering of her children and her gossiping friends and relatives. Happy being at the heart of her family, she devotes herself to their every need. But when an enigmatic Armenian family move in across the street, something begins to gnaw at Clarice’s contentment: a feeling that there may be more to life - and to her - than this. Set in Iran, Zoya Pirzad’s award winning novel crafts an intimate portrait of family life – its joys and its compromises  – and how we find happiness that endures. 

‘Autumn’ by Ali Smith 

The extraordinary friendship of an elderly songwriter and the precocious child of his single-parent neighbor is at the heart of this novel that darts back and forth through the decades, from the 1960s to the era of Brexit. The first in a projected four-volume series, it’s a moving exploration of the intricacies of the imagination, a sly teasing-out of a host of big ideas and small revelations, all hovering around a timeless quandary: how to observe, how to be.

What book are you reading? I’d love to know :)

Gift Guide Part II: The Sweetest Woman You Know.

Baby Pearl Ring, $168, because she’s delicate and strong just like pearl and gold together. Perfect for your mother.


Eyes Valet Tray, $68, because it’s perfect for all her delicate jewelry.


Joelle Ciocco Précieux Cérat, $271, a precious ointment that gives intense hydration and nourishment, and is especially great during winters or when traveling. This is lovely too.


Bonne Maison socks, $22, such a pretty colour and pattern.


Buly 1803 hand cream, $50, one of the best hand creams out there and it comes in the most pretty tube.


Uni Candlestick, $38, simple and graceful just like her.


Pendleton Yakima Blanket, $130, famously durable and warm, they’re modeled after the blankets early shepherds used to brave the elements of the pacific northwest - right where they are still woven today. Perfect for cosy evenings.


All Birds Wool Sneakers, $95, a remarkable shoe that’s soft, lightweight, breathable, and fits your every move.

All photos via brand’s respective websites.