Ready for 2012. Delighted to have a clean slate. Inspired by Kate Spades resolution campaign “Break the Rules (just a little)” I decided to make a list of my own resolutions for 2012 (with a few Kate Spade throwbacks, just because). Happy New Year friends… hope it sparkles!

soup @ seven

The minute the air gets crisp and the summer segues into fall, I start thinking soup! With visions of bisques and broth dancing in our heads, we invited friends to join us in celebrating the season.

Tomato Basil Bisque, Butternut Squash and Apple, and Carrot Ginger soups were served with various artisan breads. Our guests contributed cheeses and red wines. Delicious! We kept the decor simple, rustic.


via Chicago Home + Garden, September/October ’08.

holiday tipping: the mail carrier

The holiday season is traditionally a time when Americans choose to thank those who provide them with services year-round. Keep in mind that under federal regulation, a cash (or cash equivalent) tip is not permissible for mail carriers but there are other ways to show your gratitude. This year we are gifting pepper jelly and hand-written note thanking him for his service.

Following is a detailed description of the United States Postal Service’s gift regulations:

Mail carriers working for the United States Postal Service are allowed to accept the following items during the holiday season:

  • Snacks and beverages or perishable gifts that are not part of a meal.
  • Small gifts that have little intrinsic value (travel mugs, hand warmers, etc…) and are clearly no more than $20 in value.
  • Perishable items clearly worth more (large fruit baskets or cookie tins) must be shared with the entire branch.

Mail carriers working for the United States Postal Service may not accept the following:

  • Cash gifts, checks, gift cards, or any other form of currency.