Alex just asked me-totally seriously-if he would “jinx” the game if he put on his SF Giants baseball hat.
Alex just asked me-totally seriously-if he would “jinx” the game if he put on his SF Giants baseball hat.
Our Brooklyn apartment hunt is slowing down (since apparently most people don’t list their apartments before the holidays), but I’ve still been daydreaming about decorating! Wouldn’t it be lovely to wallpaper just one wall in a bedroom or living room? Here are ten beautiful ones…
1. Paris. 2. Forest3. Blue feathers4. London gents5. Grey waves6. Sailboats7. Bookcase8. Owls9. Morning in Manhattan10. Animals
Aren’t these pretty? Which do you like best?
P.S. Remember Hudson’s tiny nursery?
(Top photo features wallpaper by Josef Frank from Lisa Grue’s home. Graphic design elements by Rachel for Cup of Jo)
Toby is now two and a half (how time flies!), and it’s awesome to watch him develop his own little personality. I figured I’d share a few photos, if you’ll indulge me:) Above, he’s riding on Alex’s shoulders to brunch…
Strolling around the neighborhood with a Happy Birthday balloon (note: it was not his birthday).
Cuddling with his girlfriend. No big deal.
In toddler heaven at the Brooklyn Transit Museum.
Painting during an art class.
Feeling sheep at the Central Park Zoo.
Drinking shirtless while watching TV like a dude.
Toby, I love being your mama.
In other news, we’re starting potty training this week! Wish us luck:)
Are you looking forward to the holidays this year? I can’t believe they’re already here! Today, I’m excited to kick off the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. As always, I’ve tried to find things for every budget and personality, and really hope you enjoy it.
You can look through past gift guides here: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007.
Ok, let’s do this thing! (I’ll post one every day or two, along with regular posts.) xoxo
(Photo by Petra Warrass)
What are you up to this weekend? We’re excited to drive up to our friends’ cabin in Connecticut…and are just praying that Toby’s potty training will stick. Their daughter is Toby’s exact age, so it’s going to be a noisy one! They’re making mussels (yay), so maybe we’ll bring these. Have a relaxing weekend, stay warm, and here are a few fun posts from around the web…
Alex and I saw Argo this week and loved it. Have you seen it?
The secret to perfectly cooked eggs.
Bridesmaids can now rent dresses!
A house in the forest.
Apparently some Italians fake their vacations.
The documentary Brooklyn Castle looks great.
A pretty top for dates.
If Dr. Seuss books were titled according to their subtexts.
This Valentine’s Day card made me laugh.
Love these Valentine-y earrings.
What 13 people wore to an interview with Anna Wintour.
Who wants to play Downton Abbey bingo?
Last but not least, Google’s female employees get 5 months maternity leave at full pay, and they can split up that time however they’d like. Bravo.
(Photo by Michael Graydon)
The other day, I was browsing around the home shop John Derian, when I spotted this embroidered duck onesie. It was so intricate and beautiful in person, and I learned that it was hand-drawn and designed by Brooklyn designer Stephanie Housley of Coral & Tusk. She also makes embroidered pillows, aprons, tea towels and artwork. How gorgeous are they all?!
The video below gives a peek behind-the-scenes. “I identify with the fox a lot,” says Stephanie. “He looks so cute and so funny…but he’s also really sneaky.” Find her online shop here, and watch a behind-the-scenes video here.
(Photos by Kate Lacey)
Quality standards have always been central to the lucrative service industry. Whether in tourism, hotels restaurants, customers the world over expect certain levels of service and are unlikely to patronise if these levels are not up to expectation. This is why staff in service establishments can benefit greatly from ongoing and specialist education in how to provide quality service, and this benefit in turn spills over into greater returns for businesses.
Reservation Sales Skills
Staff who take room reservations and answer front desk queries are at the forefront of any service business and present the face of an establishment. Considering the fact that an effective conversation with a customer or potential customer can determine whether or not an organisation takes or keeps the business of this customer, against the lure of the competition, makes hospitality management training in this area vital. Staff can learn the seven steps to managing a call, the phases of taking a reservation, effective communication techniques for sales and rhetorical tips to guarantee bookings.
Up-selling Skills at Front Desk
Moreover, being the first point of call at the front desk of a hotel, sales counter or restaurant gives staff the opportunity to offer customers an upgrade to a higher category of service. This up-selling, whether it be of a higher value room, a better seat on a plane or a luxury lounge in a dining establishment, is integral to growing the brand and profit margin of a business. Yet it can also be a difficult skill to master and thus hospitality management training in this area is useful. Staff can master identifying every up-sell opportunity, learn how to sell value over price and equip themselves with quick-win selling techniques.
From the front desk to the boardroom, hospitality management training is ever efficacious. One of the key aspects of a director or manager’s role is the successful negotiation of contracts and stakeholders. Since this is at the core of maintaining and growing the business, managers and directors are well-advised to educate themselves to improve their ability to set objectives in meetings, negotiate through conflict, and navigate the steps of a MICE contract.
Front Office Organisation Skills
If the front office does not function efficiently and consistently behind the scenes, it will impact sales and customer relations. Front office managers should undertake hospitality management training so that they can learn how to set up successful procedures, plan and administer operations and concisely evaluate the work of the office by reliable standards.
Complaint Handling Skills
Finally, at the heart of meritorious service delivery is effective complaint handling. This difficult skill set can be mastered by a greater understanding of customer expectations, conflict negotiation skills, use of the WINNER formula and an appreciation of the role of emotions and feelings in this area. If these skills are developed well, complaints can actually be positive for a service business.
More information, please visit :
Black is one colour that is never out of fashion. Black is classy, black is smart, black is evergreen, black is dignified…black is black. From cars to apparels to pets, the colour black has a kingdom of its own. And the world of Koi is no exception. Among Koi lovers, be they professional breeders or hobbyists or simply Koi enthusiasts, black Koi has caught the imagination of many. There are many who specifically look for black Koi. And why not, a black Koi swimming gracefully along the other brightly coloured ones is a sight to relish. Apart from its colour, two other reasons that have added to the popularity of the black Koi are its larger size and its ability to change colour. The colour change occurs due to a change in water temperature (seasonal) or due to a change in their food.
And ‘logic’ can well be the third reason. A black Koi is less visible to predators against the dark background of the pond. So the colour is an insurance policy, isn’t it? Feel like LOL? Well, it was meant to be a joke!
It is important to note here that there is no difference between the coloured Koi and the black Koi. They are just the same. ‘Black’ is just another colour in which Koi is available. You can get an ‘all black’ Koi or a black with some colourful markings. Some Koi varieties have been classified into various categories based on their black colour.
These are listed below.:
- Karasu – This can be called an all black Koi as the parts of its body that are visible to the spectators’ eyes are black. However, the belly of this fish can be white or orange. Since the upper body and fins are completely black, this Koi is also called ‘crow Koi’. Also, Karasu literally means crow in Japanese.
- Matsukawabake – This Koi is a mixture of black and white. It can turn completely black (or white) in certain circumstances, due to seasonal colour change.
- Showa Sanshoku/Sanke – It’s a black Koi with red and white markings. But sometimes the white on the body increases so much that it can get confused with Taisho Sanke, which is a white-skinned Koi.
- Utsurimono – This black Koi has a red, white or yellow marking.
- Kumonryu – It is a black doitsu scaled fish with curling white markings. It is also known as the dragon fish because of the resemblance it bears to the pictures of dragons depicted in oriental paintings. These are famous for changing colour with season.
In addition to these there are some varieties that are not actually black but appear to be black, when viewed from the top, due to their very dark tones.
These include the following varieties.
- Tsumi Goromo – This is a type of Koromo Koi. It has a very dark burgundy high overlay, patterned in a manner that creates the effect of a grape bunch. Due to this extremely dark colour it appears to be almost black.
- Magoi – This fish has deep bronze scales and thus appears to be black. Some do not consider this to be a true Koi. As they are free from the stunting effects of breeding for colour mutations, they can grow really huge.
Due to this quality their blood is being reintroduced into some Go Sanke bloodlines to maximize the growth potential.
Could you ever imagine that ‘black’ could be so ‘colourful’? In the magical world of Koi, colours are like refraction from a prism; a slight change and you have a different set of myriad colours!
More information, please visit :
I’m back from vacation and verrrrry slowly beginning to get back in the swing of things. This is always a confusing time for me. I’m happy to be back in my little home with Lucy, yet I dearly miss the friends I only get to see once a year or so. Bittersweet!
Here are some scenes from Part One of our trip out east. Andy and I first dropped Lucy off at his mom’s place. She lives out in the country and there is this beautiful old grange hall there I’ve always wanted to get photos of, so I finally did. There were some very enticing racks of clothing inside, but the place was locked up tight, sadly.
Next stop: Detroit to pick up our pal Stephani, and then the three of us set out for the Catskills. But first, we stopped overnight in Ithaca, NY. We had a nice little dinner with fancy cocktails, and in the morning checked out beautiful Buttermilk Falls, which has a nifty swimming area at its base.
We then set out for the Catskills, naturally taking the slow route, which consisted of beautiful twisty roads through New York’s Southern Tier farmland, and stops for ice cream and antiquing. Stephani and I hit gold in one shop: a mod canary yellow linen dress for her, and an Alpine print sundress and matching jacket for me!
But our friends J.R. and Jason in Kerhonkson (or KerHUNKson, as I now call it) were waiting for us at their beautiful country home. They live in the woods, off a pretty little creek with the most idyllic swimming hole. My dear friend and former roommate, Rob, came up from the city and joined us, and we basically spent two days enjoying the amazing hospitality of the Kerhunks–eating like kings, drinking cocktails, sitting in the sun, reading in the shade.
It was the kind of setting that just made you want to wear breezy little dresses, which luckily was pretty much what I packed.
The setting of Jason and J.R.’s home is unbelievably gorgeous–and the inside is just as spectacular. I was totally inspired and could not stop snapping photos (see below).
The first set of photos below show the screened-in porch, where we ate all our meals and of which I am hugely covetous.
On our last day, before heading down to the big bad city, we stopped by the boys’ Rural Modernist studio/shop, where Jason sells his fabulous ceramics, art, and greeting cards, and J.R.’s collection of outsider art is also available for sale. I nabbed a beautiful vase for myself (photos to follow soon!).
I think we all were tempted to stay at Casa Kerhunkson, especially knowing the 90-plus temps that were awaiting us in NYC, but we had many dear friends to see, so on we went. More on my return to Gotham later!
Well, I’m back, back, back in the post-vacation (not New York) Groove. Or am I? The moment I thought I’d recovered and gotten into my Back-to-Work Groove, I seem to have fallen into a Humidity Haze. But I will take a cool shower and push on through, because, heck, there is a lot of vintage coming your way!
There are a lot of dresses in this shop preview, for which I do not apologize.
1960s mustard and forest green voile ethnic print dress.
Orange calico print blouse, by Macshore Classics.
Adorable shorts and top set, by Bill Atkinson Glen of Michigan.
Sage stripe high waisted skirt.
Mod red crazy stripes dress, Shaker Square by Bill Sims.
Lace scalloped-edge shell.
Gold and pink waves shirt dress, by David Crystal.
Dotted bib-front blouse, by Judy Bond.
Classic black silk shantung dress, by Brentshire.
1950s nubby fabric full skirt in one of my favorite color schemes!
Mod daisy dress.
Gold squiggle print tunic tank with pockets, from Lord & Taylor.
1950s blue and gray striped dress.
Citrus colors modern art sheath.
Overgrown flower garden crepe dress.
Harvest gold paisley print dress with bow at back of neck.
1960s mod floral day dress with belt.
Sweet pink floral dress, by CR Juniors.