punch party

With New Year's Eve right around the corner, it seems like the perfect time to whip up a batch of punch. I love serving punch at parties. It's a great way to serve a fun cocktail without having to play bartender all night. To really up the cute factor, try searching your local thrift store (or grandma's cabinets) for a vintage punch bowl. I recently scored one- with 12 matching cups- for only $10! 

If you really want to take your punch to the next level, try making your own decorative ice block. Not only will it look fancy, the block will melt more slowly than ice cubes and keep your punch from getting watery. Making an ice block is super easy. The hardest part is remembering to make it the day before your party, so it has time to freeze overnight.

Click below for the how-to:


chickens: a retrospective

I've been missing our chickens lately, so I thought I'd share a few videos I found from the first year we had them. This photo is of Dorothy the first day we got her. Being a two-day-old chick is so exhausting, you often fall asleep in your food dish while eating.

This first video was taken in March 2011, when the chicks were about two weeks old. This was their first trip outside and their minds were blown!

This video was taken the very next day. It didn't take them long to feel more comfortable testing out their new wings outside.

Just two short months later in May 2011- the ladies have entered their awkward teenage phase...

And then by January 2012, they were full grown chickens fighting over a dish of oatmeal and flinging it all over each other.

Sadly, we had to find a new home for the chickens when we moved, but I'm looking forward to the day when we have a big enough yard to get more baby chicks! Only next time we'll know better and won't try to raise them in our living room.


muji muji muji

The new MUJI store opened in San Francisco this weekend and I went to check it out!

The store is 7,250 sq feet spread out over two levels. It seems larger than the MUJIs I've been to in New York (though I'm told its small compared to their stores in Asia).  The first floor is mostly clothing and stationery, and the second floor is furniture and housewares. 

As soon as I walked up the stairs to the second floor, I immediately took back anything bad I've ever said about minimalism. As much as I usually gravitate towards bright colors and patterns, there's nothing like a MUJI store to make me want to organize all my possessions in matching white boxes and swear to live a life of Japanese simplicity. 

It's hard to argue with their philosophy of "no-brand quality goods".  I find it so refreshing to visit a store where everything is not covered in logos. They focus on design and quality, streamlining their products to just the essential components. Where else can you buy a blank notebook that actually has a blank cover, with no writing at all? 

Plus, what they lack in branding they more than make up for in merchandising...

What is it about a well-stocked display that makes me swoon? 

Somebody better hide my credit card. 

[all photos except MUJI sign courtesy of Michael Pieracci]