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 flour....it'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}