Sunday, November 20

a promising pumpkin pie

{image via martha stewart}

hello dearies!  thanksgiving is fast approaching & i must make a confession: i do not like pumpkin pie.  pumpkin muffins, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin mousse, even, yes.  but not pumpkin pie. i think it is the odd wobbly texture, the slightly watery surface that develops when chilled.  or maybe i've just never had a proper pumpkin pie.  anywhoo, i believe i have found a pie with promise: {martha stewart's deep-dish mile-high meringue version.}  i adore meringue, of course, and i love the idea of toasted clouds of it floating above a perfectly, warmly spiced filling, resting in a gingery crust.  could this be the pumpkin pie for me?  only time shall tell, as i plan on whipping this up when i return to boston on wednesday for the cherished american holiday, one that i missed last year while living in london.  

are you planning on making anything for thanksgiving?  with all of my recipe & entertaining reading, i look anxiously forward to the realization of my ideal thanksgiving menu one day, with a beautifully curated table, of course, laden with a delectable & traditional feast, sparkling friends & family on a perfect fall thursday, but as a slightly over-worked twenty-three year old without even a kitchen table, i am tremendously thankful for my thanksgiving this year, one which involves me coming back to boston late wednesday & enjoying a leisurely meal at my aunt's, no extensive preparation involved.  oh and catching up with brother & cousins & best friends, and saturday, transitioning beautifully transitioning into the holiday spirit via boston ballet's the nutcracker.  oh & fun fact.  have i ever told you that one of my ancestors came to america on the mayflower? {and presumably took part in the very first thanksgiving?}  c'est vrai.  & perhaps it's why thanksgiving and i are such bonnes amies. xx hillary 

Sunday, November 13

kate spade: holiday happiness

hello lovelies!  have you seen any of the kate spade youtube videos yet? for the past year the company has been making the most darling short films, most recently to correspond with their color-of-the-month campaign.  although i will admit i am not the most enthusiastic about the mutli-color choice for november, i do adore the fun vibe of this video.  thanksgiving is first, but here's to holiday wrapping ahead... xx hillary

p.s. how is your weekend going? yesterday i enjoyed the most beautiful fall day. {did you see my instagram pick of the park?} the morning was coffee & a stroll down fifth & madison to the met, wandering, constantly evermore delighted, particularly in spying the museum christmas tree being decorated.  then college football & my favorite eggs benedict with a great friend, off for a much-needed hair cut at an amazingly attentive salon {lavished with crystal chandeliers, no less}. then a leisurely stroll home through the half-light of an autumn afternoon, popping in to banana to try on some new holiday pieces i have my eye on &, oh, a necessary diversion to find the latest martha stewart living, architectural digest, vanity fair, and town & country. and today has been peaceful & productive, leaving me feeling quite prepared for the busy week ahead..  

Thursday, November 10

late-autumn hues: nature & nail color

hello dearies!  sorry not to be checking in as often as i'd like, but things seem to be hectic hectic everywhere.  work & fun & such a wonderfully successful post-war and contemporary evening sale on tuesday. but tomorrow i know that after a morning at the met, i will stroll peacefully down fifth ave, basking in the filtered light created by the avenue of overarching tall oaks overhead, bursting with autumn, possibly similar to the photo above.  this is reminiscent of last year's treks through hyde park & the path in st. james & green park leading eventually to the palace ... long strides & deep breaths in my tall riding boots. 
isn't this just magical?
and this reminds me of photos i've been dying to share for a full year now ... a perfect autumn saturday in the english countryside, at the most magnificent chatsworth.  a great duke's 'attic sale' hosted by sotheby's followed by hours of romping about the grounds, snapping photos of remarkable vistas, the house a picturesque masterpiece, & in the house, gasping at its beauty & extravagance, and hoping just hoping that mr. darcy would appear around every corner.  all coming soon, tomorrow perhaps?    
but now, head out of jane austen & back in new york, i think i have found the.perfect.nail.color for november pre-thanksgiving.  downtown brown by essie.  described by essie as a chocolate brown with deep red undertones, it is quintessentially late autumn, moving away from the apple reds of september & october & preceding the jewel-tones and sparkles of the christmas season.  & now two manis in a row.  thoughts?  what are your go-to colors for november & december?  so happy for my walk down 5th tomorrow.  surely instagram pics are in the making.. happy almost weekend.  xx hillary 
so obsessed .. my contribution to a thanksgiving table?

{all images via pinterest}

Thursday, November 3

back ... and here to stay.

hello mes cheries!  i am so terribly sorry about my extended absence.  but now the stress that my life has been is over over, i have returned to stay & post & post once more.  how was your october?  mine was full of moving {again} of writing and reading and working, of a trip home {oh, how i do love thee suburbia}, a best friend visiting, a snowstorm {yes ...  in october ... in new york}, a halloween house warming.  but i am so so triste to have missed october, perhaps my very favorite month, with its leaves & apples & pumpkin patches & the lovely crisp weather.  but now the holidays are here here.  {when starbucks switches to the holiday cups, well, c'est officiel}  & christmas music on the radio & ice skating in rockefeller plaza.  i'm more than ready for a season of fêting & the warmth of thanksgiving & the sparkles of holiday parties & the nutcracker & thoughtful, beautiful gifting.  and on and on.  so this month will be filled of holiday entertaining ideas, recipes, decorating, flower arrangements, winter style & beauty, & oh so much art.  

but first, a poem i've known for years & have found myself drawn to of late.  charles baudelaire, fin de siècle paris, fleurs du mal.  it's a beautiful evocation of the relationships between man & nature, and just such an lovely way to practice one's french when read aloud {as all poems should be}.  enjoy & so happy to be back.  love love.  xx hillary.


La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers

Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;

L'homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles

Qui l'observent avec des regards familiers.

Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent

Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,

Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,

Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.

II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants,

Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,

— Et d'autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,

Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies,

Comme l'ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l'encens,

Qui chantent les transports de l'esprit et des sens.
Charles Baudelaire

... and the best translation ... 


Nature is a temple where living pillars 

Let sometimes emerge confused words; 

Man crosses it through forests of symbols

Which watch him with intimate eyes.

Like those deep echoes that meet from afar 

In a dark and profound harmony, 

As vast as night and clarity, 

So perfumes, colors, tones answer each other.

There are perfumes fresh as children's flesh,

Soft as oboes, green as meadows,

And others, corrupted, rich, triumphant,

Possessing the diffusion of infinite things, 

Like amber, musk, incense and aromatic resin, 

Chanting the ecstasies of spirit and senses.

— Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974)