Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:


I.  Having nothing to do with either cooking or decor, you will have to forgive me for using this forum to share a photograph of the satellite MAVEN, which NASA launched this morning.  My father worked on creating the satellite that will study the planet’s atmosphere (or lack thereof), and I couldn’t be more proud of him!  Check-out the awesome lift-off video here.


II.  To celebrate my father’s hard-earned victory, I will be making his favorite chocolate layer cake with vanilla buttercream when he returns from Kennedy Space Center later this week. Modifications on boxed cake mix make this dessert as easy as it is delicious.


III.  When a friend posted a photograph of OTB Goods products on Instagram, I instantly became curious about the bag line made from repurposed materials and scraps.  Founded by a woman who gave up traditional city-life in San Francisco, and headed out on the road with no final destination in mind, OTB creates beautiful pieces out of everything from old military cloth to wetsuits that have too many holes for repair.  With the holidays coming into clear-view, I’m placing my order for these denim and waxed canvas dopp kits to give as gifts.

IV.  What happens when cocktails meet science?  The Exploratorium’s annual Science of Cocktails soiree!  Learn how the size and density of an ice cube, the temperature of a drink, and the number of times a cocktail is shaken affect the outcome of your favorite beverage, all while imbibing innovative libations at the Exploratorium’s new waterfront location.  The event takes place January 24th, with pre-sale tickets available until December 2nd.  In the meantime, create science-inspired cocktails at home using recipes from past years.

V.  This month has flown by so quickly that I haven’t had a spare moment to think about Thanksgiving.  Tasked with planning the tablescape at my mom’s this year, I will be recreating my DIY paper runner from my table last year.  The easy substitute for pricey tablecloths is perfect for the occasion, which will surely be messy! 

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt