Hayloft Holiday Punch – a recipe for holiday success

Yesterday, we decided to get creative at Hayloft. As we do some days, we had a photoshoot. We bought flowers and holly at the wholesale/retail shop nearby (full of all KINDS of whacky flowers – roses dyed black and in multicolored swirls, and natural ones in a brilliant, velvety red), and Blythe brought punch supplies. We had asked Oscar to prepare an ice ring the night before, in a Bundt cake pan – full of cranberries and rosemary for full, beautiful effect. And we decked out one of our upcoming January lots – a Victorian ebonized and inlaid credenza – as if it were the main gathering table at a holiday party.



We made punch, and so we got to talking about it. Had it gone out of style? It seemed so... Why on earth had it? Punch is perhaps the most brilliant holiday tradition there is – a light alcoholic beverage in a bowl to refill one’s cup with throughout the day, to keep spirits lifted, family members from going for each other’s throats, and the introduction of the new boyfriend as jovial, non-awkward, and non-nerve-wracking for him as possible. Not to mention that punch is delicious. And, of course, it can be non-alcoholic and still quite fun, festive, pretty-looking, and delicious. Here is our recipe, with optional prosecco!


Hayloft Holiday Punch:

-       1 Bottle of Prosecco (optional)

-       1 Bottle of Stirrings Cosmopolitan Mix

-       1.5 l of Ginger Ale

-       0.5 l of cranberry juice

-       1 l of pineapple juice

-       Stirrings glass rimmers (for decoration and fun flavor)

** Garnish with cranberries and rosemary; an ice ring made either from a vintage mold or a Bundt cake pan!


The 5 best #shelfie items to find at auction

One hashtag that has been particularly popular across the lovely platform of Instagram lately has been the #shelfie.

Perfect, layered, colorful shelves seem to exist in every decorator’s living space these days, and it is not too difficult to see why: the shelf is sort of a narcissistic display, a way for the self-indulgent young human of our generation to lay out for each guest passing through (and, of course, each Instagram follower) what it is that makes up his culture, piques his interest, and makes it into his bubble of taste. The hashtag really sums it up: it is a #shelfie, after all, reflective of the person who put it together; akin to a mirror pic.

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"I'm a holiday traditionalist!" - Blythe's two cents on holiday festivities

I'm a holiday traditionalist!

I like, no, I LOVE setting up my tree each year, I NEED to read Tasha Tudor's illustrated version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, on the night before Christmas, and my stockings, hand sewn by a dear friend, must be "hung by the chimney with care," even though it's not a working fireplace.

This is all much to my husband's chagrin, as he is a minimalist (whom I refer to as "the Grinch" year round). But I never can quite celebrate unless I have decorated for the Holiday...

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Some Musings on Travel

It is Tuesday, November 21st. I am writing this post a day early – in the SUN, while savoring some delicious Hershey’s chocolate – because we leave tomorrow for our Thanksgiving holiday. What a treat. All of it. The chocolate, the sun, and the knowledge that a few days off are in store (and lots of delicious food, and the mixed adventures of family time).


The theme of today’s post is travel because, for one, I am craving a trip somewhere (I almost always am), and, secondly, because I discovered some old travel journals here the other week. One of my specialties at the warehouse, as you may previously have read, is going through boxes of books. It was probably deemed a specialty because no one else wanted to do it – it’s quite dusty and involves a lot of redundant activity - but I really sort of enjoy it once I get into it. Often, the box contents are lackluster: old hardbacks or paperbacks no one is ever going to read. Sometimes, they are nice leather-bound volumes that end up in the office I built for myself out of bookshelves, to be lotted and sold in future auctions; they are beautiful decorative items. But the things that get me the most excited when I find them, the ones that I put aside to pour over when the warehouse is a little bit less busy and I can concentrate on creative endeavors, are the more personal books. The old notebooks, or schoolbooks, or the books with beautiful inscriptions in their front pages, are the ones that speak to me. An entire life’s travels came out of a box last week: recorded recollections, in journals of many shapes and sizes, that spanned many continents and more years. Somehow, they ended up on our doorstep.

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