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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Downton Abbey, series two

Downton Abbey series two is quickly approaching it's return to our PBS stations in the U.S. Friends in the U.K. have been bugging me as they have not just seen series two but they have also seen the Christmas Special thanks to ITV1. I am going crazy over here! Love this show so much and even M is super into the storyline.

Who else just aches over poor Mister Bates? And who else wishes Mary and Edith would stop screwing each other over? YOU ARE SISTERS, PEOPLE! Chill out.

Anyway, here are some videos from YouTube, some are official promos for the U.S. and others are from U.K. Enjoy and please support and donate to your local PBS stations - not just for Downton Abbey, but also for local programming, Sesame Street, music (Andrea Bocelli in Central Park, anyone?) among so many other wonderful programs!

Downton Abbey returns on January 8, 2012!
[Ed. Note: for those who don't know, in the U.K. it is 'series' NOT 'season'; the song on the ITV1 and PBS promo for series 2 is a cover of U2's "With or Without You" as performed by Scala & Kolacny Brothers]

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas decor

Do you love the holidays?

I am a big fan, and I treasure pulling out the things that I have inherited from family, as well as new things that M and I have acquired together. Above is a beautiful bird from Caspari, which M gave me as an early gift this year - the tag said - "Enjoy your tree twitter."

My Mom has a ton of baskets and gave me one. To fill it, I found some pinecones in the woods on our property and lightly applied some glitter to the tips. The broom is a cinnamon-scented broom I got at a local country store. It makes the whole first floor smell of cinnamon, I love it!

M's aunt knit him this enormous stocking. It is endlessly hilarious to me so I call it the 'Club foot' stocking. It stretches as you put stocking loot in it. Very retro-chic.... ahem. Anyway, so we have it on our mantel, then when we go to my family's home we put it up on their mantel to be filled!

This is dim, but shows the craftsmanship. M was raised Lutheran, and his German family has attended this one church for years. When M was little, he and his grandfather made this church together. Stained glass and all. It actually is a music box. You can take off the top and look inside and the built-to-scale church. It is very sweet and one of few things that links M to his grandfather who died when he was in middle school. It is on a table in our hallway. The other lights are from a garland I wind up our stairs, and some figures that I have been given from my side of the family.

I will do another post of the 'really old stuff' later this week! Do you have any special Christmas artifacts from your family?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oxfords and Oysters 2011

Tonight is the second-annual Oxfords & Oysters event, hosted by Sky Blue Events at the newly-opened Four Seasons Baltimore! I am thrilled to be going this year as last year M and I had VIP tickets but had to miss the actual event at the last minute. Regardless, I am so happy that my friend Jennifer Grove was able to pull off such an event coup, scoring one of the best venues in town for a charitable event, before anyone else.

She has really done it this time and I am so excited for her- she hinted to me months ago that this year's O&O would be a big deal but she couldn't give me any deets until after it was all finalized. Plus, she was probably also waiting to make sure the hotel finished in enough time, as it just opened in October!

Again this year the O&O is fundraising for the Oyster Recovery Project, which helps bring oyster shells back to the Chesapeake Bay where they can keep doing their job, being reclaimed and also cleaning the Bays waters (not sitting in a dump). It is a massive operation with restauranteurs that participate and help the University of Maryland with this work. Clearly, this event means I get to eat oysters which I adore and cannot wait to imbibe in, so delicious...

There will also be an incredible DJ, who made it hard (impossible) to leave in a timely fashion at Sky Blue's last event, Pints & Pinstripes at Silo Point... As well as an open bar. It may be (Thirsty) Thursday but most of us likely are not going to work on Friday and are staying at the Four Seasons... Woohoo! One of my bridesmaids and best friend is joining me as my date so she and I really look forward to a fun night on the town after P&P closes up. I got a new cocktail dress for the occasion and am thrilled this event will be the kickoff of my Christmas party calendar!

Jennifer took the attached photos which include the heated infinity pool looking onto the Harbor, the infinity pool at night looking towards the Inner Harbor and Federal Hill, and from the balcony looking across to the Domino Sugar plant. It is such a beautiful location at Harbor East - Chiu's Sushi, Ra Sushi, Whole Foods, James Joyce, Little Italy and Fells Point all within easy walking distance of the Four Seasons hotel!!

Are you doing anything fun this weekend?