Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ciao bella

How have I not written about Ciao Bella before? I'm glad I haven't because until recently I thought Ciao Bella was good just for delectable fruit sorbets. An independent on-campus eatery started stocking single serving cups of Ciao Bella Mango Sorbet. The ingredient list? Mango, Water, Sugar and Lemon Juice.

After graduation, I found Ciao Bella in a few grocery stores, mostly more high end like my boyfriend's coop in Berkeley where I picked up the Blood Orange Sorbet. I was in Target picking up a few holiday gifts and found a whole new world of Ciao Bella... Maple Ginger Snap Gelato.

The perfect winter treat, it does taste just like a soft ginger cookie (there is no snap, but I'm glad for the smooth, creamy texture.) The maple flavor is subtle and ties together the cream and sugar-ginger. Luckily, despite the seasonal feel, it is not one of the four 'seasonal' flavors for Ciao Bella. Though come summer, I know I'll be back to downing the Mango Sorbet!

Monday, December 28, 2009

christmas preparations

Christmas is my favorite. I have a huge family and love planning presents, even though luckily we do a Secret Santa for the cousins to keep things under control. Usually from Thanksgiving (or before) I make lots of lists and debate present ideas for people. This doesn't keep me from never having a good present for my brother until the 20th (this year: Jay-Z's latest, in honor of the CD we frequently listened to in high school. This year, I was gone basically from Thanksgiving to Christmas and didn't have as much time to plan. I found some great presents in Copenhagen but still, my lack of planning made me feel not-to-Christmas-y upon my arrival back in the US. So on one of my two nights in Richmond before going to my grandmother's, I decided to wrap my presents. Usually, this is done on my grandmother's ping-pong table that is commandered and turned into an elves' wrapping station the week before Christmas so that everyone's presents are wrapped in variations of the same 4 rolls of paper and the bags that are re-used from year to year. While this makes me smile, I wanted to get myself in the Christmas-y mood. So I scavenged my house for wrapping materials, and this is what I came up with.

I used old trace paper as tissue, both in a bag and to wrap up my dad's present. I spray painted some Christmas tins that I picked up a while back at a garage sale to be festive but less cute-sy for my grandmother and mom (decorated with an ornament from Tivoli Gardens) as well as one I spray painted yellow for my cousin. I used twine as ribbon and tied on some hot chocolate sticks for a European style hot chocolate. For my little cousins, I had picked up some really cool NASA calendars, even though I wasn't supposed to give them presents. I figured a calendar that they were sharing wouldn't be too indulgent of me. I just wrapped some paper around them and tied it with really cool rope- perfect for 8 years olds. Afterwards, I felt so ready for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

500 pencils

Imagine a new set of colored pencils of every month. Sometimes in college it seemed I was buying new pencils or new markers ($3 markers!) every month in order to get one color or another that I needed. This would have been a really cool present for my friends and me then.

The company, social designer, "curates and creates smart products that tune into the greater good." I'm intrigued to see what they do in the future.

your regularly scheduled program will resume shortly

I'm off to Copenhagen for the UN COP15 climate negotiations. I promise pretty pictures. Sadly there will not be as much sunlight as there is below. Nonetheless, despite this being a 'work vacation' I swear I will enjoy as much art, design and beautiful things as possible.