A note of inspiration.

I'm headed to hang out with the gals for a book club gathering tonight, and I've got thank you cards and hostess gifts on the mind.  Too often, I grab a bottle of wine on my way out the door- no card, no cute ribbon- just wine.  Which, don't get me wrong.  Wine is always a much appreciated gift in our home.  But on the rare occasions that I'm not scrambling to finish the book up until the minute I have to leave, it is nice to put a little more creativity and thought into the gift... or at the very least include a card with the wine!  I mean, these ladies really do go all out for the occasion.
Which leads me to these lovely polaroid notecards, from a seriously fun place to gift shop, Fred FlareIt's nice sending a note with a little added inspiration.  The cards are creative, original, and simply, dreamy.  Each image sparks up a childhood memory, a favorite place or experience, or a reflection of nature, and the changing seasons.  {Note:  These may have hit the blog world already, but since I'm a fairly new blogger, I'll play the new 'card' here and share anyways.}
The creator, Jen Altman, is brilliant, in my book.  This pretty much says it all...
...she is a photographer, writer and editor.  and she loves italy, chocolate gelato, the south, pretty much anything that has been deep fried, french pop, old school heavy metal and thinks science is almost as fascinating as art.
Yes, my kind of lady.  And, I just discovered that she has a blogA happy day.
  {Here are some of my favorites...}
 The cards can also be purchased here and here.
On another 'note' (I'm on a roll with the puns today!), make sure you visit my friend Stephanie, for not one, but 2 recipes.  And one of them can serve as an appetizer, dinner, or dessert!  Check out the rest of her blog, while your at it... if you're up for witty, down-to-earth, real life stories, and lots of tips and inspiration too :).
I made Abby's soup last night and it did not disappoint.  It was hearty, healthy, and delicious.  I adapted it a bit, according to my pantry (as she suggested), and topped it off with kalamata sourdough bread/Gruyere croutons.  Her blog is another one of my new daily reads!  Just read this and you'll see why.  She had me at "a big old farmhouse."


  1. Book Club!? I'm jealous!
    I love Fred Flare and I got those last year for Christmas! Love them!
    Have a lovely time, darling!

  2. Oh wow, Kalamata olive bread is one of my favorite things in the world. I literally ate an entire loaf a few weeks ago. I cannot be controlled around it. How fun that you have your book club tonight! And you're so sweet for thinking about creative hostess gifts. I almost always just bring the standard bottle of wine, no ribbon, no card. Maybe this will inspire me though! That recipe with the dough and nuts today looks amazing!!! Have a great time tonight!


  3. You are TOO SWEET Torrie! Thanks for the kind words & links.

    I'm so glad the recipe turned out well for you. Did you use cranberries? I used cranberry beans, which are similar to canellini, but if you used actual cranberries extra points for creativity! I could eat cranberries by the handful and often do.

    Love the polaroid cards.

    xoxo abby

  4. Abby- Yes- realized after I posted this that your recipe didn't even include actual cranberries, but cranberry beans!

    I thought it was very creative of you to include cranberries, and figured, why not give it a try! Turns out I was the one that was "creative"... but unfortunately, on accident:).

  5. absolutely gorgeous photos indeed! thanks for sharing her work.

  6. Torrie-too many good topics here! Ok you will have to tell me how the book club and discussion goes on the 19th wife. Looks like an interesting read. And, thanks for the reminder on the recipes..I will head over to Stephanies. And one more thing-LOVE those polaroids. I just went to the site and adore the variety of pictures she has. And what a great deal at 15.95. I think they would make great gifts.

  7. um, hello? are those pink hunter wellies for little girls on the bottom right? that image makes me very happy!

    thanks ever so much for the sweet shout out. that makes me even happier! xo

    have fun at book club.

    p.s. wellies arrived today just in time for the rain to cease! boo.

  8. those are soo pretty, thanks for sharing!!

  9. Never seen these before - they are adorable!! Love Fred Flare too. Great find!!

    p.s. I've been wanting to join a Book Club for years... maybe I need to start looking into that. Sounds so fun.

  10. Love those cards!!!...I love Fred Flare too! SO much great stuff!!

    I am jealous of the book club too!!

    ...does Oprah's count? That's the only one I have ever done! ha ha :)

  11. I'm also jealous about Book Club! I'm still working on managing one Mommy Night Out a month. Lovely cards, too!

  12. Cherishing these note cards as I am obsessed with polaroids! Lovin your bog!

  13. what beautiful pictures!!!


  14. We're all jealous! As much as I love books, I've only belonged to one book club and it was amazing. You would have loved it. We would meet at a restaurant that somehow related to the book, ie. Japanese writer then we'd do sushi. Sadly, it disbanded too soon and I don't know of any book clubs in the area.

    Those notecards are beautiful. So evocative. The best part is that they are ones you would keep around just to look at and perhaps even frame. By the way, no need to worry about what's been in blogosphere. I always appreciate a writer's unique take on a topic.

  15. Minnie-
    Thank you... You're completely right:)- and yes, I would've LOVED that book club!

    Seriously- those "jealous" should start one!! :)

    We all take turns hosting, one book per month (decided upon at the December meeting, which is not a 'book discussion' but a wonderful potluck). We have a nice dinner together, wine, book discussion, catching up on all else, dessert- nothing formal (no specified questions, just discussion). And the selection process is easy. Each person comes with one or more recommendations for "their" book choice, and we decide based on how many have read, if it sounds interesting- no vote, just a quick decision (usually really easy because most just come with one option)!

    I would highly recommend it:).


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