we end as we begin

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetThe end of the year. A time for new beginnings. I’m sincerely terrible with resolutions so let’s skip that. I usually forget not long after they are made. I would like to plot some goals. I’m not so good at that either. But it’s time I figure out where things are heading.

I’d like to do a lot more writing this year. For myself and otherwise. I’ve been working on so many crafts and projects it’s something that I’ve really let slip to the side more than I’d like. Blog posts are shorter and more reserved; it’s time to change that.

As I write this, it looks more and more like resolutions. They’re not though, I assure you. None of those “I should eat healthier” and “I should exercise more”s. Though I should do those too. I’ll give it a shot. I’m not making any sort of commitment. What I’m writing instead are goals that can can be attained, that have some unit of measure in my heart but are not defined by a number.

I hope you all have a lovely new year and that 2014 brings you immeasurable happiness.

movies I meant to mention

lenfant-den-hautAs the year comes to a close everyone seems to be posting their top film lists for 2013. Personally, I’m still trying to catch up on a few films before the year ends. Last year I was resistant to making such a list, but it’s nice to have something to look back at. I realized though, lurking in the unposted drafts of this blog, I had a few films I had meant to mention from previous years. Of course all but one of these have yet to be released in the US so this is mostly for posterity sake, and so you know to seek them out when one day they become available.

SISTER is the story of a young boy stealing from the guests of a nearby ski resort to support himself and his sister. It is beautifully shot in the Swiss Alps and has fantastic performances from the young Kacey Mottet Klein and Léa Seydoux. It is a thoughtful meditation on growing up and the responsibility placed on a child when he still longs to be just a kid.

sangue_do_meu_sangue_1_fullBLOOD OF MY BLOOD brings you into the world of a family living on the brink in the outskirts of Lisbon. The tension in household is already high for the family of four living in a cramped apartment but things fall apart when Márcia finds out about her daughters new boyfriend. This film does a great job of creating a claustrophobic atmosphere by layering the dialog so the sound feels inescapable. You’re also able to peer into the lives of each character within the family without losing focus.

eat-sleep-dieEAT SLEEP DIE follows Raša as she tries to find a new job after getting laid off from the food packing factory she works at in rural Sweden. She is determined to find work even though she must also take care of her ailing father. Nermina Lukač gives a compelling performance and shows the struggles of the young working class.

Nos EnfantsOUR CHILDREN is a dark drama about a woman’s decent into an all consuming depression. Based on a true story, the film gives a look into how things can go horribly wrong for a seemingly happy family. Émilie Dequenne portrays Murielle with nuance and subtlety, adeptly showing how madness can creep in and destroy a person. This is the one film in the list available on iTunes and on dvd.

gingerbread houses and people

gingerbread house 227It’s almost time for winter vacation! Having finished all my holiday gifts and shopping already, we found ourselves with a spectacularly unplanned weekend. We invited some friends over for gingerbread decorating and a little bit of celebrating the winter solstice.

gingerbread house 228I’m always a fan of cookie making, especially in the cold winter months. (Perhaps it’s time I revisited some of my cookie recipes from years past.) For these gingerbread people I used the recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Shawn made some awesome monster gingerbread people. There were also some more unsavory characters.

gingerbread house 230It was my first time constructing a gingerbread house and it was a little lopsided. I spent awhile holding the roof on only to find it slowly sliding moments later. I still think it’s pretty cute though. Maybe next year I’ll try something a little more elaborate. I used a pattern from this recipe book.

gingerbread house 229It was a fun evening as we decorated and ate lots of candy and talked late into the night. The days will be getting longer now as we slowly march towards spring again. Another year is almost over.

winter movies for your icy heart

snowy_moviesSmilla’s Sense of Snow / Fargo / Winter’s Bone / The Ice Storm / Touching the Void / Frozen River

I’ve been on the lookout for snowy movies, but not the cheerful or festive sort. All month I’ve been in the mood for bleak, cold films that really feel like winter. Here are a few of my top picks.

Other worthy mentions: The Shining / Alive / The Thing

Do you have any favorite winter films?

cozy gift guide


1. Albion Coat Pattern > 2. The Snow Child: A Novel > 3. Earl Grey Hot Chocolate > 4. Over the Knee Socks > 5. Space Cat Throw > 6. Sweatshirt Cape > 7. Bamboo Robe > 8. Owl Slippers > 9. Giraffe Pajama Pants