Necessary Luxuries

 

DSC_0062 Happy Monday to you!  Though I’m sad to say goodbye to this weekend filled with family, friends and gorgeous weather, the bouquet I put together for our Easter celebration will make me seriously happy all week long.  Fresh flowers are on my list of necessary luxuries, along with: Friday night sushi, traditional Sunday dinners at home, the exquisite custom letterpress stationery my friend Amy created for me, runs by the lake, coffee dates with friends, and a handful of embarrassingly expensive hair and skin care products.  Do you have any little luxuries you hate to live without?   DSC_0066 DSC_0071photo 3

Sensual Beauty

DSC_0249IMG_0135DSC_0271 IMG_0145This weekend during a trip to the Shedd Aquarium, I was struck by stunning visual similarities between a cluster of sea anemones and the peonies I had photographed just days before.  Though one is rooted in earth and the other in water, one undulates with sea currents and the other on spring breezes, they share an astonishing sensual beauty.

all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante

Valentine Hints

Pink Valentine

“…the next thing I knew, I was kissing her all over – anywhere – her eyes, her nose, her forehead, her eyebrows and all, her ears – her whole face…” – Holden Caulfield

I haven’t exactly been in a sweet sort of mood, though if anything on this list were to come my way, I certainly wouldn’t refuse it.  Especially the Rothko.  But considering his Orange, Red, Yellow recently sold at auction for $87 million, I’d settle for a museum date and a bunch of luscious peonies.

Kimono Robe
$40 – ae.com

Fleur of England Bow Bikini
$180 – journelle.com

Fleur of England Plunge Bra
$145 – journelle.com

Bottega Veneta Perfume
$120 – harveynichols.com

Diptyque ‘Feu De Bois’ Candle
$90 – nordstrom.com

Mark Rothko’s Red and Pink on Pink, circa 1953

Coral Pink Peonies

Farmers Market Friday

This morning I made a quick trip to the Lake Bluff Farmers Market and could not resist snapping a few photos.  I, without fail, spend every bit of cash I have on hand whenever I go.

DSC_0195From the fresh squeezed lemonade/limeade stand.

I can’t wait to put some of these in an omelette.

This is always my favorite flower stand.  I had them make up this bouquet of peonies and cornflower:

which matches the outfit.  Not on purpose.  SO happy my hydrangeas are blooming!  I know, we need mulch.  Don’t get me started on the landscaping.

Flower Lust

The flowers for this weekend’s dinner party were insanely gorgeous and I cannot take credit.  Molly Flavin, the amazing florist and owner of Molly Flavin Floral Designs, filled our house with the lush and fragrant blooms of spring.  Peonies, ranunculus, hydrangea, grape hyacinth, and cherry blossom branches  – all favorites – provided the perfect backdrop for a lovely evening.

front hall arrangement, above and below

white ranunculus in the powder room, above

white hydrangeas in the dining room

cherry blossom branches and hydrangeas in the living room, above and below

grape hyacinth on the bar, above and below

hydrangea and ranunculus in my favorite French opaline glass vase

The white ranunculus are now on my bedside chest and the grape hyacinth have moved to the kitchen, where we spend most of our time.  If only they could last until spring actually arrives!

all images via the aesthete and the dilettante

The Winter Blues

This long sloooow march through the colder months often saps my spirits and ambition (cue The Dream Academy’s Life in a Northern Town).  It is much easier to spring out of bed when the sun’s rays embrace us early.  I am sharing a short list of things that carry me through the winter doldrums, and would love to know what works for you, too.

1) Coffee.  Coffee.  And more coffee.  I tried to give it up once and lasted until 10:30am.  Some things we must accept about ourselves and that I need coffee to survive is, for me, one of them.

2) My Quoddy Twin Strap Shearling Boots.  Gorgeous they are not, but let’s be honest, neither are Uggs.  And these are made by hand in Maine, and guaranteed for life.

3) Flowers.  I almost always have them on my bedside table and in the foyer.  An instant mood lifter, fresh bouquets or potted bulbs (loving fragrant hyacinth right now) are a reminder that things will, indeed, turn green again.

4) Regularly scheduled workouts with friends.  Again, it’s easy to jump out of bed and throw on your running shoes when you don’t have to layer up and freeze your way through the first half mile.  When I’m tempted to throw the covers back over my head and skip it, I won’t when I know there is someone counting on me for motivation, too.

5) Casual, intimate dinner parties.  I love hosting laid back dinners in winter, when no one feels like going out.  There is nothing better than sitting elbow to elbow with good friends over a rustic meal, then cozying up around the fire place for great wine, dessert, and conversation. (And yes, I actually baked that apple pie pictured below.)

6) My evening glass of wine.  Okay, if we are being completely honest with each other, this ritual occurs during all seasons.  But in the winter it is always red.

So tell me, what brings you pleasure throughout the cold season?

image 1 via www.nataliefrenchphotography.co.uk, image 3 via citified.blogspot.com, image 4 via vintagealbum.blogspot.com