Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Florida in Photos: Part II

We didn’t say in Miami for the entire duration and partook in a drive up to Boca Raton to visit family. That was equally as nice, and in addition to some great quality time with the Aunt and Uncle-in-law, we got to the beach (albeit for a short time) and I enjoyed seeing another part of Florida.

Oh, and I forgot to add that my husband got to enjoy his favorite QSR breakfast place...iHop.

The trip came and went too quickly and four days wasn’t enough for me. Just as I was starting to get in vacation mode, I was back at work, just as quickly. Well, until my next adventure, there are some great memories to carry me through!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Florida in Photos: Part I

The Golden Girls had it right when they said “Miami has style” in their endearing and sweet jingle. And style does it have.  From the gorgeous art-deco buildings on Ocean Drive to the scene in general, Miami certainly has personality.

The Versace Mansion

We took it all in and extensively walked around town, enjoyed some dinners out (a very nice one at BLT Steak) and relaxed by the pool.
Signature pop-overs at BLT Steak

While it was a short one, we made the most of it and enjoyed everything from the room (which was a sweet upgrade in the Penthouse), to the pool, the town and beyond.

Creepy wall painting in our suite, which I found myself starring at often...
The property was gorgeous and provided some amazing views of the bay, in addition to great people watching at the pool.

In addition to much needed R&R and sightseeing, I got to check out their Whole Foods as I’m wont to do in other cities (and can report back to the NYers that it doesn’t hold a candle to ours). And I stopped by the local Kidrobot as I had to check out their goods and store too.

It was a great time in Miami, but our Florida stint wasn't over there. After a couple days in, we embarked to Boca Raton for the remainder.

Stay tuned for more pics to come!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Annalee Obsession

I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m one of those crazy doll collectors.

Not porcelain or baby dolls, not sweet little cherubs peacefully sleeping – but felt-made, poseable critters and creatures called Annalees.  Not your typical dolls, Annalees are bendable and felt-bodied, with a painted face similar to that of Annalee Thorndike, the creator.  

According to the brand’s virtual museum, the company started when the family chicken farm failed in the early 1950’s. Originally a hobby doll-maker Annalee was forced to “really get serious about her childhood hobby, doll making with a dash of Yankee influence.” And so it began, “the old chicken coop became a design room, Chip became a salesman, and Annalee a doll maker. She fashioned her creations directly from the activities of her two sons who were always skiing, swimming or otherwise engaged in what children do best. There is no doubt that this is why Annalee picked more than one mischievous, whimsical face for each of her doll creations.”

According to Wikipedia, Annalee Dolls came into the spotlight again when, in 1975, a New Hampshire state legislator gave then-president Ford a selection of dolls to decorate the White House Christmas tree… and the rest was history. 

While they no longer make their dolls in a "factory in the woods" in Meredith, N.H. they still have the same combination of creep and charm – traits I thoroughly enjoy. 

I started my collection in December of 1992 and can’t believe I’m 20 years in! My first piece was Santa in a rocking chair, asleep, which was given to me by another collector and my dear grandmother, Mary.  From that initial treasure, I continued to receive about one a year and amassed a nice collection. 

While I initially only collected the Christmas characters, I started to expand to other holidays over the past couple of year. And lately, the collection has gotten out of control. With Valentine’s Day, St. Patty’s, Easter and beyond, I can’t help but collect! 

While I’ll be posting some great spring additions, here’s a little sneak peek at the lot!