grandpa's art

Last weekend, we celebrated my grandfather's 85th birthday. His very full life has included philosophy, teaching, writing, and most notably, art. As long as I can remember, Grandpa has filled the walls of his home with oil pastel drawings. There are hundreds of portraits lining the walls; political leaders, religious figures, iconic celebrities, nameless faces from magazines, and plenty of family members as well. Grandpa spends almost every night drawing and continues to create beautiful pictures. For his birthday, my mom and I created a coffee table book of some of his works. It was truly amazing to go through decades of my grandfather's art and see all the meaningful pieces that he has drawn.
I remember when I was young, Grandpa gave me my own drawing pad, set of chalk, and I (along with some of my cousins and siblings) would sit in Grandpa's drawing room, listening to the Beatles and drawing the day away. I was so proud to have an artist in the family that I brought Grandpa and some of his artwork for show-and-tell when I was six years old.
Below is a sampling of Grandpa's artwork through the years.


thanksgiving times 2

We hope that everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and if you happen to be braving Black Friday- best of luck! Last night we celebrated Thanksgiving with Nick's family and finished off the night with dessert at my parents' house. This year, Nick's parents were hosting Thanksgiving for 33(!!) and I was asked to handle the Thanksgiving decorations. I decided to keep things very simple to make room for all the people and food. We used cut burlap to create runners for each of the four tables. Next we added small sugar pumpkins and squash, carved to be tea light holders.  Glass candle holders filled with walnuts complemented to the a natural look. The final touch was scattering fall leaves up and down each of the runners. 
We weren't the only ones using natural elements to dress up the Thanksgiving tables. My mom, who hosted Thanksgiving for 20, decorated her long tables with a variety of plants found in their yard. She created a runner on the white table cloths using rosemary and fall leaves. She then added sprigs of orange berries to the arrangement. She used tiny orange pumpkins with a tag to identify each place setting. So simple, yet so pretty! 
Decorating for Thanksgiving is so fun! I love how each table can look so different. Did you do any table decor yesterday?


thankful for

my husband's kind heart 
his sense of humor
his generosity
lucy's love
henry's antics
our parents' love
our special siblings 
our stable jobs
supportive working environments
our lovely friends
our eccentric neighbors
my precocious students
our cozy home
our miniature dishwasher
falling leaves
the color pink
oatmeal and the today show with nick
car seat heaters
the beauty of california
the farmer's market
warm boots
candy, so much candy
nick's handsome glasses
big family thanksgivings 
far away friends
 my faith
newest family members arriving safe and sound
the ocean
plaid shirts
our vibrant neighborhood
recipes and cooking
home depot's paint department
long walks with our little family
steam heat
my own closet
almost every person in our families under one roof 
lucy's cuddles
adventures with friends
scented candles
black tea
technology (usually)
friendly strangers
homemade pajamas from mom
mini vacations
christmas music and movie season
bouquets of flowers
the blog and those of you that read it
nick's mad laundry skills
my fancy camera
our optimism 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 


wild turkey tuesday: west coast contingency

Nick's fraternity in college had an annual tradition called Wild Turkey Tuesday. The event, always taking place the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, consisted of drinking Wild Turkey among friends. Last year, Nick decided to carry on the WTT festivity over here in California. Last night we celebrated our second annual West Coast version of the event. Every successful party needs food, correct? Last night I decided to make this Martha Stewart recipe for soft pretzels. Having made these several years ago, I knew that they were easy and really fun to make. I paired the pretzels with a variety of mustards. Although I personally consider doughy pretzels a whole meal, most people require more than just carbs for their dinner; so Nick grilled several types of sausages and we offered cheese as well. 
Happy almost-Thanksgiving everyone!


last of fall

I'm thisclose to taking down my fall decor in favor of all things Christmas. However, I decided to wait until Friday, at least. In the meantime, I wanted to show you the last bit of fall in our home for the year. This is the look our house has been sporting since the week after Halloween. The main areas of decor took place in the living room and the entryway. I kept things simple, reusing Halloween pumpkins and other natural elements like walnuts and wheat. I've had fun decorating our new floating shelves and my head is full of the possibilities for Christmas decor. No, no, but this post is about fall decor, not Christmas (yet!) so here it is:


i'll drink to that

Sadly, the rest of my fabric for my anthropologie-ish ottoman has yet to arrive- boo. While that project has been put on hold, I have about 10 more up my sleeve to keep me more than busy over this holiday break.  Let's just say I'll be painting, sewing, cooking, decorating, and shopping over the next few days. Lots and lots of holiday projects! I've been a little lazy in taking pictures of our house lately, even though things have been a-changing as always. One area that got a mini-makeover was our summer bar. Since Summer has finally left the building here in CA, it was time to change things around and make the bar feel more seasonally appropriate. Once winter and Christmas decorations come out, we will surely be changing things up once again. Here's the current state of affairs - bar wise. 
After a little shopping trip to West Elm, I added a  faux white antler to the bar and a gold lacquered tray to hold the alcohol. Oh, how I love West Elm! I used several mercury glass votive holders from my collection on the top shelf of the bar, along with a painting in pinks and reds. I removed the basket and went for a simple arrangement of bar glasses on the bottom shelf. All the rest of our glasses are stored in the spacious cabinet below the bar. Ready for some holiday entertaining! 


things that make me happy this friday

1. It's Friday. And it's my last day of work for 9 days... Let's just let that sink in, shall we?
2. This wonderful guy took me out for a mid-week date last night, to destress after a crazy week. Aaaand talked me into getting a Carmel Brulee Latte from Starbucks (sooo good.... yet sooo bad for you!)
3. I bought  these orange roses 2 weeks ago at the Farmer's Market and they're still going strong!
4. Two of my four fabrics for my ottoman project arrived in the mail yesterday- oh happy day!
5. Last but not least, they two crazies crawled under the covers of our bed this morning after Nick got up.


connor robert

After work yesterday Nick and I visited our new nephew, Connor Robert. Connor was born early yesterday morning. Sweet baby boy and his mother, Emily are both doing well. We are so excited to welcome another member to the Reisfelt family- especially such an adorable one! Congratulations to Emily, Matt and big sister Hayley!


apple crisp

After our adventure to Apple Hill several weeks ago, my parents took a trip of their own, bringing us home a box full of crisp apples. We filled a whole drawer of our fridge with apples and still had plenty left over. We decided to try several apple-related recipes, while the apples were still fresh. First up, apple crisp! Nick and I followed this easy recipe and had a delicious crisp ready in no time! 

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