Roses, peonies, violets, hydrangeas; all very sweet and old fashioned. But there is only one spot in a girl's heart for the favorite flower, the dream flower that the boy is supposed to present you on bended knee (without ever being prompted).

Those flowers, for me, are lilacs.

Brooklyn's lilacs are blooming and I could just about die of happiness.

The smell! The different colors! All those little flowers combined!

I think the obsession started with reading Nancy Drew's adventure "The Mystery at Lilac Inn". Stolen lilac trees and ghosts? Yes ma'am.

My favorite bedroom at Elmwood has the most achingly beautiful antique lilac wallpaper, too. I used to stare at it for hours, it was so pretty my older sister pulled rank to sleep there and rightly so. That's the joy of being an older sister, I guess.

When I was little my mom's fancy, special occasion stationary was embossed with lilacs and I think we dabbed it with lilac perfume. They're in my blood, I can't help it.

Fresh off the bus from the botanic garden, I ran to the corner store and blew my budget on some for the house.

The lovely and amazingly talented food photographer Kristi Schiffman came over this afternoon and we did a little bit of shooting; lilacs and Butter Lane cupcakes (plus some liberty fabric). It's good to be a girl.

Kristi is so talented, shooting with her is such a treat. Thursdays are something I always look forward to.

Even when styling doesn't involve taking little bites of cupcakes.

I scream

It was 90 degrees in Brooklyn today. Phew, I'm not ready for this quite yet. Thank god for ice cream, otherwise I'd be a sweaty, cranky mess.

Fittingly Brooklyn's own Koolman garage is finally open for the season. I love walking to work with the hopes that I'll get a peak inside, it always makes my day when I catch the trucks all lined up and waiting to go.

My dad was an ice cream man in the late 60's while studying at Temple in Philly. He drove a Good Humor truck and was the only driver that could be convinced to take the Camden, New Jersey route.

He says that the kids would chase him down the street and take flying leaps onto the back of his truck to try to steal ice cream.

(A move which I would totally try if I was just a tad more nimble.)

Back on the bottle

Last November I went to Dead Horse Bay with a very respectable guide and regaled you with tales of our treasures. Well, now that spring has sprung, I've gone back and stocked up with even more scavenged new-old loot.

This time I was escorted by the awesome Amy Azzarito from Apartment Therapy. I forgot to take a single photo of the beach because I was too distracted A. looking for bottles and B. talking with this amazing girl. She is a bee keeper who wrote her grad thesis on counter culture architecture for god sakes! Geodesic domes!

Oh well. We will just have to go back again so I can take more pictures.

Last time I beefed up my milk glass collection and this time I looked for smaller clear glass bottles that I could use for flowers. Milk bottles and inks wells, etc...

The 15 or so bottles that I took home are now living tucked away in my picnic basket with the rest of my hoarded clear bottles. All 37,000 of them (I joke). I have too many to even display so I've been stashing them away, out of sight out of mind.

I can't wait to make little clusters of wildflower/weed bouquets come summer. And maybe even empty out that darn picnic basket so I can finally get some use out of it!

A minimal moment

I have been trying very, very hard to not buy anything I don't need these days. Let's just say I'm going through a minimal moment.

Shock. Awe. Horror. I never thought it would happen to me.

However, it didn't stop me from buying this amazing oldie fruit still life, my first ever vintage etsy purchase (and hopefully last till I can control the wild amounts of things I already own). Let's face it, people. I have a hard row to hoe.

That being said, I have a weak spot for antique fruit things. My uncle Jim owns an orchard and I think it has something to do with spending so many girlhood days swinging under an apple tree.

Next up, I'm dying to buy this Victorian stone peach, but I need to clear a space for it first!

Squeezed Dry

Now I know why my beloved fresh squeezed orange juice is so wildly expensive. It takes a ton of oranges and creates a massive sticky mess.

Oh but it's worth it.

Now if I can just get myself to slow down while drinking it, I'm a criminal gulper.


It's happening, trees are finally blooming.

The magnolias are in full bloom at the botanic garden and I'm so thrilled I don't even mind that the sun hasn't shown in about 2 weeks.

I haven't been back to the garden since this, it seems spring has sprung while I was fretting over other things.

I love grey spring days, I could just burst with happiness.

The Big Top

Tonight the circus leaves town.

Instead of going, I spent the evening looking through my beloved children's book "Great Days of the Circus". Who knew a little dumpy 60's pictorial could have such great original images?

I was a big fan of the circus as a kid. Not so much the ringmaster bit, but the popcorn and elephant rides. It was like a big glittery zoo with men in tights.

At the impressionable age of 8 I saw a PETA expose on the circus that soured the whole experience a bit. I cried. But I still love a bit of circus romance, especially an old timey circus.

You can't forget the sideshows. Here's Lambert, the giant baby.

Side note- Some of my favorite X-Files episodes of all time are the sideshow ones, oh so good!

The actual photos of the performers are just so heartbreaking. This sweet little girl makes me, the stay at home curmudgeon, want to run away with the circus.

So amazing.

And yes, I love a girl in a dainty white Edwardian dress with a whip and a handful of leopards.

You know she was a toughie.

Baby Ray's Chicks

Happy Easter, lovelies.

As a kid my mom would give my sister and I real live baby chicks in our Easter baskets. What a good hippie mom!

So when I saw this darling 1920's poster in the basement of the best store ever I was smitten. The amazing owners have it hung over top of their own personal collection of drool worthy little boys toys. I love these people.

And in the spirit of Easter, Jim's mom gave me these adorable candy molds. A bunny and mother hen, I wish I was a chocolatier.

Hope the Easter Bunny stopped by your house this morning, too!

Jelly Belly

I have a confession.

I really love buttered popcorn jelly bellies. Can't get enough of them.

I never realized they were so polarizing. But I've come to learn that everyone I know hates, no, loathes them. Except my mom and sister, the Merrick girls understand a good jelly bean when they see one. EDIT- Apparently even my mom doesn't like them.

I could never get into the whole bunny suit rigmarole of Easter, but popcorn jelly beans are something I can really get behind.

Those days

It's just one of those days. Grey sky, pouring rain, warm enough to not be wearing a proper winter coat and cold enough to make you utterly miserable.

Don't get me wrong, I think rain is very romantic and dreary skies sometimes make me feel like Catherine from Wuthering Heights. But when you get caught in a torrential downpour with armfuls of groceries the fantasy just Poof! disappears.

My advice? Tuck into the local diner and wait it out.

With coffee and bacon.

That didn't take too long, now did it.

All dry, all happy. Until the afternoon rolls around and you have to stare down Turbo Tax.

The cruelest month, indeed.

Pencil me in

My save the date for Miss Branch's upcoming nuptials arrived in my lonely little mailbox today. And knowing Ginny, they're not just any save the dates, but personalized pencil saves the dates, to boot! I freaking love this girl, so witty and sweet and charming!

(Shh... I already took one before she sent them out, so now I have two.)

New pencils are such a morale booster, especially when they have your name on them (see exhibit A and B).

My favorite "pencil design" website has over 40 pencil color options to keep me busy for hours, because, lord knows, there's nothing else I should be doing.