Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
There's a nice new flower shop in Reston Town Center and as I walked by there recently I stopped to appreciate their holiday window dressing and outdoor greenery.
A pretty orchid tucked among some pansies.
I loved how they used these succulents as decoration. They were real--I checked.
I wish there were more flower shops like this, they sure do a lot to brighten up a pedestrian walkway. It is so refreshing to see some greenery among a bunch of shops and restaurants. And I love going inside and seeing buckets full of fresh flowers. I hope all the shoppers and people in offices around this shop will keep them in business. I can't wait to see this place in the spring.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
So if you don't watch Top Chef, you won't appreciate this post, but Mike Isabella was a star on two seasons of Top Chef, and was the runner-up on Top Chef All Stars. We love to watch Top Chef and Mike Isabella was always a favorite of ours, because he was from DC and was the chef at a restaurant in the building where Walt works downtown, Zaytinya. Now he has his own hip happening restaurant downtown, Graffiato, and we went there last night with Julia to celebrate both Walt's and my birthdays.
|Pork belly with cannelini beans and ham|
|Pizza with black truffle, fontina cheese, and farmed soft egg|
|Looking out the window from our table|
|Zeppoles with autumn spices and pumpkin caramel|
After dinner, Julia spoke to the waiter and asked if we could meet Mike Isabella, and told her it was our birthdays. (Sometimes it's good to have an assertive daughter.) So we got to meet Mike, talk about his experience on Top Chef (I asked about Padma, and yes, he is still friends with several of the other contestants), and he even put his arm around me and posed for a picture with moi!! So cool! It was a really fun night.
|Julia and me|
Oh, and I almost forgot, the coolest thing is they have prosecco on tap! Woo hoo!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
|Foxglove (I think)|
|I like this view because you can see the garden it is in|
|A pot of hyacinths--look at those cute flower lights|
|Beehive (and bee) in tree|
|I loved this frog|
|And a sunflower of course|
I've gotta get me some of those flower lights, they are super cool. My garden would look great with those flower lights...
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I was not a very good blogger yesterday, as this is the only picture I got of our visit with Tom and Evie and Hayden and Halle. Jill and Drew were taking advantage of the grandparents in town and went away for the night, so we only got to see the Bissell girls, and they are so sweet and well-behaved. They loved playing with Julia's doll house again, and they watched Julia make cake balls, which we all enjoyed for dessert, along with a little leftover peppermint ice cream cake. I made Ina's lasagna and salad for dinner, and Hayden had two servings of lasagna, which made me very happy!
Biff spent some time showing me how he deals with all his pictures on his computer and uses them for his blog. He stores them on a portable hard drive, thus not using tons of space on the computer. Taking pictures every day sure does fill up the memory on your computer, as I am finding, so I am looking for a better way to store my pictures, especially now that I have this fancy camera that will take up even more space. I also gave him a library card, so he can try downloading books from our library, which he thinks has a wider selection of ebooks.
Today, it's back to work for everyone and I have to work tonight. It shouldn't be too busy in the library--don't think there will be too many kids in doing homework and projects! It's cold and rainy and dreary today, wish it would turn to SNOW!
Monday, December 26, 2011
Here are a few pictures from throughout our Christmas day. Bob and Carol and the boys came over around 4 pm and we had a yummy dinner of beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, sweet-sour green beans, corn casserole, and popovers! A good old Davis Christmas dinner. We played a lot of Bananagrams, Sorry, and worked on the Christmas puzzle. Everyone was in good spirits and we were all happy to be together.
|Pretty votives from Julia|
|Ellen got a new camera!|
|Walt got a new laptop|
|Keenan got a new phone|
|Boys playing Sorry|
|Bob and Julia|
|Julia and Carol puzzling|
|Julia, so proud of her "mise en place"|
|Julia and Jackson|
|Keenan and Julia, partners in Bananagrams|
|Peppermint ice cream cake|
Friday, December 23, 2011
|Brooks's first Santa visit|
I always put out the Santa pictures of our kids when they were little at Christmas time, because they bring back such happy memories. Contrary to what I see at the malls today, with long lines and music and people overload, we had very good experiences with Santa and I have very sweet memories of our Santa visits. I would take them during the week to the mall and we would make an afternoon of it, visit Santa and then go out to a fancy (for kids) lunch afterwards at the Hot Shoppes cafeteria in the mall.
|Julia's first Santa visit|
I vaguely remember Santa visits myself, but I do have happy memories of Christmas lunches at the Silver Grille Restaurant in Higbee's Department Store in downtown Cleveland (think A Christmas Story, it's the same store). As kids we would get a little cardboard stove at the table, and it had tiny pots and pans on it with peas and carrots and mashed potatoes. Then you would get this teeny tiny china chicken with maybe creamed chicken in it? My cousin Bob and I love talking about those lunches and remembering all the little details, like the little pitchers of chocolate milk that came with the stove. I seem to remember Santa made an appearance during lunch. I remember walking by and admiring all the department store windows at Christmas and it was always so fun to see who had the best, Higbees, May Company, or Halles. And then there was the smell of the nut store next to May Co.--wow, that is a strong memory. I always wanted my mom to stop in there and get some roasted nuts!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
|Ellen, Eileen, Prudy|
Last night was our famous Christmas Cookie Exchange. Eileen and Prudy came over to my house for dinner and we had a butternut squash lasagna and citrus salad. We first enjoyed some wine and oohed and aahed over all the cookies, and more importantly, the containers and little presents we put in along with the cookies. We spend a lot of time admiring each others containers and themes.
We are big into the presentation. This all began back in the day because Eileen felt her cookies weren't as good as Prudy's and mine, so she started putting her cookies into cute containers and adding little gifties. Now the containers are as important as the cookies! This year Eileen used a French Chocolat market bag, Prudy used beautiful wooden bowls she bought on her Vermont vacation, and I used a big blue flower pot.
After dinner, we have a sampling of all our cookies. This year Prudy made rugelach, a chocolate cookie with nutella (new this year), and a praline topped cookie. Eileen made chocolate caramel (a repeat that Julia requested!), a ginger cookie, and a lemon wafer with frosting. I made chocolate shortbread hearts, vanilla pretzels, and apricot bowties. Prudy brought a few extra raspberry thumbprints for dessert.
These are Eileen's caramel topped chocolate cookies that Julia requested. The presentation in that little box with the Christmas paper is excellent!
Prudy put her cookies in these cute peppermint bags.