December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice

Today during the Winter Solstice ceremony at Stonehenge, it was reported that the sun shone directly over the stone formation; the druids henceforth proclaimed that 2012 will be an excellent year. Let's hope those druids are on to something here.   

Happy Winter Solstice!

{Image via The Telegraph}

December 14, 2011

Can you just turn it down a bit?

I would be terribly offended by this video clip of Shit Girls Say if I didn't identify with so much of the content. I cannot stop laughing. It's comforting to know I'm not the only woman who wonders if she's locked the door after leaving the house.

{Video via Youtube}

December 12, 2011

Fantasy Christmas Wish List

This divine, plum-colored Soho diary from legendary luxury goods company Smythson of Bond Street features high on my Christmas wish list (the fantasy version). A girl can dream, right?

{Images via Smythson}

November 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, T

On Saturday I threw a little birthday soiree for T. It was a swinging success, for many reasons, but not least of which was this red velvet cake with buttercream icing and cream cheese filling from my favorite bakery, SusieCakes. It was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and an absolute hit. Oh, SusieCakes, you can do no wrong in my eyes.

P.S. How amazing do these turkey frosted sugar cookies look? And that pumpkin pie! Be still, my beating heart.

{Bottom two images from SusieCakes}

November 9, 2011

Squirrels love fall, too!

Have I mentioned before how I simply adore this time of year? Not sure if I have.....In any case, I'm not the only one who cherishes autumn. Squirrely here knows what I'm talking about.

{Photo by Christine Kysely, via Pinterest}

November 4, 2011

Tea Slave

This is me right about now. Stuck in bed with a pernicious cold (oh, when will it end?). At least I have a boyfriend to bring me ample cups of tea. 

{Image via Rishi Tea tumblr}

November 1, 2011

Happy November

Can you believe it's November already? Where does the time go?  Here's to a sweet month of cozy meals and delicious moments with friends (and may they be filled with lots and lots of chocolate).

{Photo via Kate Spade New York tumblr}

October 26, 2011

Literary Jack-O'-Lanterns

My favorite Halloween ritual just might be the reading of chilling gothic tales and ghost stories. So I was pretty delighted when I came across these incredible jack-o'-lanterns inspired by great works of literature. The enormous amount of skill, precision, and imagination needed to execute such beautifully detailed designs boggles the mind. I heart these all so much, almost as much as the stories themselves. Can you spot the specific tales of each one?

{Images via Flavorwire}

October 21, 2011

"Good luck with your boobs"

This good luck card from Egg Press is pure genius. It's a great way to offer support to a friend who's battling or has battled breast cancer. Or any woman for that matter (Egg Press lists ten occasions in which to give this card: one of them involves a European beach vacation. Hilarious!). 10% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. A fitting way to observe breast cancer awareness month this October, methinks. 

{Image via Egg Press}

October 19, 2011

Heath Ceramics

A dense gray fog has settled on Santa Monica of late, subsequently creating the perfect autumnal atmosphere. When it's cold and a little dreary outside, I want nothing more than to cozy up inside with a warm blanket, a fat book, and a mug of hot tea (or hot chocolate if I'm feeling particularly indulgent). This gorgeous mug from Heath Ceramics would do the trick quite nicely. They have a cornucopia of colors available - I would be quite happy with any one of them, truth be told. Anyone care to donate to Joanna's Heath Ceramics fund? Anyone? Bueller?

October 15, 2011

"Pumpkins Make Fall Bearable"

I think I'm in the mood for a little autumnal cuteness on this gorgeous fall day. How about you? Though I sure as hell wouldn't wish to be that pumpkin. 

{Bronx Zoo bears' fall frolicking from YouTube, via Jezebel}

October 11, 2011

Wild Thing

One of the many things I love about autumn is the ritual of dressing up on Halloween. While I personally refrain from the dressing up part, I can't help but fall for the adorable children's costumes that pop up around this time of year; I love the joy and sense of playfulness that a holiday like Halloween engenders. And if I had a kid, I would absolutely put him or her in this Max costume, as inspired by the beloved children's classic, Where the Wild Things Are. Though the cost is a wee prohibitive, I'd rationalize the purchase by letting the kid wear it year-round. I mean, how could a bookish mother resist?
Look at that tail! Incidentally, before stumbling upon the children's costume, I had read an interview with Wild Things author Maurice Sendak that has made the blog rounds in recent days due to Sendak's, uh, colorful opinions about some famous people. The webosphere likes to point out how crochety Sendak comes across in the interview, but I find his candor rather refreshing. So he's human after all! Who would have thought? A fascinating interview that is well worth the read.

{Images from katesy's Etsy, via A Cup of Jo}

October 9, 2011

Adventures in Pasta Making

The best birthday gifts are those that keep on giving long after your birthday has passed. My birthday was a few weeks ago, but I'm still enjoying the rewards of one such gift given to me by my boyfriend T: a gift certificate to attend local cooking classes. It was really a pretty clever idea of T's because he more than anyone (except perhaps yours truly) stands to reap the benefits of said gift. And ever since taking the introduction to pasta class a couple weeks ago, I've been on something of a pasta-making roll. It's actually way easier than I anticipated and quite fun to make! I've been experimenting with different types of flours and the different textures, and what I've thus far learned is that semolina can be very difficult to work with (it's a tougher grain, so isn't as malleable as, say, all-purpose's a learning process). With my new handy dandy rolling attachment that I have affixed to my apple green Kitchenaid mixer, I am now one lean, mean pasta-making machine. 
Behold my latest cooking creation: fettucini with pesto, olive oil, and a dash of parmesan. Not to toot my own horn or anything (I realize that I am tooting away, anyway), but it was pretty darn delicious. I've come a looooooooong way from the very first meal I've ever made that, embarrassingly enough, involved a George Foreman grill....don't ask. 

October 5, 2011

Here comes the rain

Rain has come to Southern California. And just like that, fall has arrived. My oft-neglected rain boots are mighty happy to get a little action today. 

{Image via Pinterest}

September 30, 2011

Blog turns 3

Today is my third blog birthday. I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately: why I started Lark in the first place, the amazingly talented artists I've discovered since embarking on the whole venture, as well as the rather disappointing aspects of the process - i.e. the distractions, the comparisons that are naturally drawn between bloggers, the excess and regurgitation of content, the commercialism, the superficial nature of blogging in general (I'm just as guilty as everyone else). And yet, I keep coming back to this space because I like it here, this small nook that I've created for myself. Because I'm constantly being inspired, whether it's by books I've read or new artists whose works I've stumbled across somewhere, and I like to share these experiences. Even if I'm the only one reading, the very act of writing, synthesizing information, and publishing it makes me feel alive, engaged, informed, productive. So even though it's an imperfect medium, I'll keep plugging away at it. No matter where (or nowhere) this little venture takes me. Because the alternative - i.e. the not participating and marveling and learning - is not an option for me.

{Image via The Sweetest Occasion}

September 28, 2011

Another Pottermore post

Dear Reader, if you're not riding the Harry Potter train (i.e. you couldn't give a fig about the boy wizard), then by all means ignore today's post. And for the rest of you...ok, I think they're gone. Anyway, so my Pottermore welcome email finally arrived the other day. The website isn't open to the public until October, but since being granted early access this week I've able to rummage around the beta site ahead of the worldwide unveiling, and I can tell you that it's pretty freaking awesome. You basically read along with the books, unlock/find certain magical objects (it's a virtual game, people. And yes, it's a little on the nerdy side), and most exciting of all - at least thus far - is that you can procure your very own wand and get sorted into one of the four houses at Hogwarts (alas, if only it were a real school)! Take a look at my airy, serene living quarters that is my house common room. 
Yep, I'm in Ravenclaw. And I'm not at all surprised, I might add. Ravenclaws highly value wit and learning and scholarly pursuits above every other house. So naturally this bookworm of a blogger got sorted there. Anyone else having fun with Pottermore? And can we be friends?

{Image via Pottermore Central}

September 25, 2011

Ode to Autumn

Friday, September 23rd marked the first day of autumn here in the northern hemisphere. This little autumnal song sums up perfectly my sentiments about this most glorious of seasons (I have my five-year-old twin nieces to thank for introducing this celebratory tune into my life). Take it away, Moose A. Moose.

{From Youtube, via Nick Jr}

September 21, 2011

Book Quote

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." -Jorge Luis Borges

{Image of Nigella Lawson at home in her library from House and Garden, via The Neo-Traditionalist}

September 19, 2011

Celebrating Roald Dahl

So this is where the magic happened. Where beloved author Roald Dahl imagined his beguiling stories for children and grownups alike (last Tuesday marked the 95th anniversary of his birth). I'd quite like to while away an afternoon in a holy place like this.

Oh, and how amazing is this cutout illustration from artist Jayme McGowan? James and the Giant Peach was my first and favorite of Dahl's books. You can view more of her brilliant artwork at Roadside Projects.

{Images via The New Yorker and Roadside Projects}

September 15, 2011

Go Green

I just purchased these colorful "Go Green (Forever)" stamps from USPS. Not only are they a helpful reminder to each and every one of us to do our part in being kind to the environment, their "forever" status guarantees that you can use them to post mail in the United States indefinitely, regardless of the next postal stamp price increase (which is bound to happen, sooner or later). As is often the case, it's doing the little things that invariably creates the most impact. Turning off a light here, fixing a water leak there. If enough of us choose riding a bicycle over driving a car or remember to bring reusable bags to the grocery store, we can change the world, people. Buy them here.

{Image from USPS}

September 9, 2011

Santa Monica Farmers Market & Good Food Festival

I'm not the only one who's recently turned 30. The beloved Santa Monica Farmers Market is also celebrating the big 3-0 by throwing what will be the very first Southern California Good Food Festival & Conference. On the agenda? Chef demos, doc screenings, and a fancy Localicious Gala where chefs from top LA restaurants (think Rustic Canyon, Animal, Spago, A.O.C., and more) will create signature dishes using fresh, local ingredients from the farmers' market. Where do I sign up?

{Image via Grub Street LA}

September 6, 2011

Nurturing my inner green thumb

Loving this post on the exceedingly popular A Cup of Jo blog about nurturing house plants. T mocks my planting-tending abilities - I've been known to kill a plant or two in the past - but I swear the green thumb is in my genes: my father's a farmer, so surely the apple doesn't fall far from the tree? Even if where it lands is a little questionable. There's hope for me yet!

P.S. The image above is a snapshot of the home of Deborah Needleman, former editor-in-chief of the now defunct Domino magazine. RIP.

{Image from Lonny, via A Cup of Jo}

September 1, 2011


Nothing signals autumn quite like the start of September. Even if mother nature isn't exactly hopping on the autumnal bandwagon - she can be a bit stubborn, holding onto summer longer than she sometimes should - there is a feeling of change in the air (I've waxed lyrical about this before). Bouquets of sharpened pencils, crunchy leaves of red and gold, nubby woolen socks, cuddling up underneath a warm blanket at night as the brisk night air drifts through an open window, steaming mugs of spiced apple cider are all conjured, at least in my mind, on the 1st of September. Though sometimes it takes awhile to coax Autumn out her shell, she nearly always does. And it's well worth the wait.

{Image via Flickr}

August 28, 2011


Tomorrow is my 30th birthday (talk about a milestone). There's something about entering a new decade that sort of stops you in your tracks a little bit. It's the ideal time for reflection and rumination, for thinking about goals and dreams not yet achieved. It's tempting to get caught up in the past and dream/worry about what's to come. And there is plenty of time for all that self-evaulation and planning. But right now I think I'll just sit here and enjoy a slice of decadent birthday cake and be grateful that I've made it this far, alive and pretty darn happy to boot. What more could a girl ask for?

{Image of Marilyn on her own 30th birthday from This is Marilyn}

August 24, 2011

Getting Frisky

Lately I'm coveting some leopard pieces to integrate into my fall wardrobe. Leopard can be a bit tricky - it's far too easy to veer into trampy territory - but when done right, it can look exceptionally chic. Rose Byrne knows what I'm talking about.

{Image via Go Fug Yourself}

August 18, 2011

Birthday Owl

So my birthday is in 11 days (and it's a big one). What are the chances of one of my friends sending me this owl birthday card? Good, very good, or slim to none? I guess I'll soon find out! This darling owl comes courtesy of Sycamore Street Press, one of my new (to me, anyway) favorite letterpress companies. They happen to be looking for an intern at the moment; the job sounds like a blast and would be perfect for anyone with a letterpress fetish (like yours truly). If only I lived in a gorgeous mountain valley town like Heber City, Utah. Le sigh.

August 16, 2011

Movie Night at the Aero

On Saturday, I hit up my local cinema to watch the oh-so-poignant and beautifully shot film classic On Golden Pond (I suggest you go watch it if you haven't already; it's a touching story of a couple in the golden years of their life and the father's strained relationship with their daughter, and in this case, art imitated life, as the two Fondas in the film, Henry and Jane, weren't exactly on the fuzziest of terms. Oh, and it also stars Katharine Hepburn. Is that enough of a reason for you? Go see it!). In celebration of the film's 30th anniversary, the Aero Theatre had a showing and invited director Mark Rydell to view the film with the audience (I sat behind him! Squeal!), and afterward he participated in a Q&A. His anecdotes were informative and very entertaining. In one story, he told of how the inhabitants of Squam Lake, which was where they filmed the movie in New Hampshire, were reluctant to let the studio film in their neighborhood (which is understandable). That is, until Katharine Hepburn showed up at their town meeting one day and pretty much told them point-blank, "You will let us film here." End of story. As only a badass like Katharine Hepburn can do.

Did I mention that it's highly possible that I was the youngest person in the audience? Maybe this is why I wasn't successful in enticing anybody to go with me. What do people have against the elderly? Sheesh. So typical of our youth-obsessed culture! We're all heading that way folks, and some faster than others. But then again, I've always embraced my geriatric tendencies - e.g. I don't like loud music. I love a good fireplace, with book in hand. And I've been known to use the term "whippersnapper". When I reach the age Katharine Hepburn was while making the film, I hope to be half as awesome as she was: fiery, eternally optimistic, and still diving into ponds on the brink of turning 70.

On a tandem note, I stumbled upon this recent interview with Jane Fonda and Charlie Rose. Apparently, she has a new book coming out, and in the interview, she talks a lot about her life and the things she's learned along the way, and what she had to say is really quite riveting. She also talks about making On Golden Pond with her father around the 38:00 mark (the entire interview is just under 50 minutes). Click here.

{Photos via here and here}

August 14, 2011

Perfume as aphrodisiac

"People often think of perfumes as aphrodisiacs that attract others. But in reality, the scents we buy attract us to ourselves. A dab of one fragrance can make us happy, the spray of another can inspire the kind of confidence that comes with wearing a favorite shirt or pair of shoes. And it’s the projection of that inner happiness and confidence that really makes us more attractive to others."

-Geoffrey Gray, "The Invisible Scent", New York Magazine

{Photo via Pinterest}

August 12, 2011

Wait for me!

Happy summer weekend! Hope you find some time to monkey around.

{Photo by Sharon Montrose via The Animal Print Shop}

August 8, 2011

The Morning After

The other night T and I hosted a small, impromptu dinner party with good friends (those are always the best evenings). When I awoke the following morning, this lineup greeted me. Not a bad night's work, if I do say so myself.

P.S. The wines were delectable, too. From left to right: Santa Margherita, Italy Pinot Grigio (2010); Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc (2010); Melville, Santa Barbara, Syrah (2009); Erath, Oregon, Pinot Noir (2009)

August 6, 2011

I am magical! (Yes, this is a Harry Potter-related post.)

If you're not a fan of Harry Potter, then please ignore this post....and if you are and don't mind a little gleeful bragging, then here goes: I just acquired early access into Pottermore! And it was on my very first try of The Magical Quill challenge, too (luckily I happened to be in front of a computer at the right time; yes, I know I am a raging dork; it's part of my quirky charm, or so I like to think). All this just means that I get early access into the website before it's unveiled to the entire world in October. How early remains to be determined. Apparently, welcome emails to enter the beta site will be sent any time between August 7-September 30 (they don't want to flood the site with a million people who gained access). And now, we wait.

August 4, 2011

Downton Abbey

I hopped on the Downton Abbey bandwagon real late (I tend to do that with books and music, too). What can I say? I tend to eschew the hype because I'm generally a skeptical person by nature and usually hype isn't worth the interest (case in point: there's a reason why I haven't watched one second of The Jersey Shore). But sometimes I'm wrong. It took me years to start reading Harry Potter and then once I did, I fell for the books hook, line and sinker. Same goes with the Masterpiece production of Downton Abbey. It has all the makings of compelling television: the high drama, the lavish costumes and decedent set decorations, the intricately-drawn characters, excellent pacing and captivating plotlines, even the time period is fascinating (the series starts on the day the Titanic sank and spans the years leading up to WWI, a period of time that saw dramatic political and social change, and the ushering in of the modern era). The acting is superb; Dame Maggie Smith is a personal favorite, the lady has the best quippy lines. Since I got a late start, I was able to watch the series in its entirety in one go on Netlix. Now I have to wait until the second season airs in January. Boo hoo (lucky Brits get to watch all the drama unfold on the BBC this fall). January can't come soon enough.

{Photos of the ravishing blueblood Crawley sisters via Note to Self}

August 1, 2011

Birthday Gift for Virgo

Look what the fine folks from Anthropologie just sent me: a 15% off card featuring a beautiful depiction of the Virgo zodiac, just because it's my birthday month (the big day is the 29th). Such a delightful thing to receive in the mail! Anthro, you've really stepped it up this year.

July 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

"You're told time and again to write about what you know, and what do you know better than your own secrets?" – Raymond Carver

{Image from Abby Kullman's Webstagram via Pinterest}

July 21, 2011

Advice for Little Girls

Mark Twain, children's book author? In a word, yes. In 1865 his story Advice to Little Girls was published and appeared alongside other stories in a compilation called The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories. The NY Books explains that:

"American children’s literature in those days was mostly didactic, addressed to some imaginary reader—an ideal girl or boy, upon reading the story, would immediately adopt its heroes as role models. Twain did not squat down to be heard and understood by children, but asked them to stand on their tiptoes—to absorb the kind of language and humor suitable for adults."

Twain's story is now re-published today alongside these charming, incredibly funny illustrations by artist and children's book author Vladimir Radunsky. The wry, subversive, decidedly very adult humor of Twain comes to life when juxtaposed with Radunsky's droll illustrations. Reading them makes me feel like I've stumbled upon something extraordinary; I think they might have to become a part of my permanent book collection. They're simply too delightful to pass up. Radunsky's work sort of reminds me of Maira Kalman's; I think both artists share a fierce intelligence and honesty in their work.

Any of these images can be enlarged on the NY Books website. More of Radunsky's work can be found on his own website.

{Photos via NY Books}