Its chilly in Phoenix, and I’m happy in nestle mode (the Bunny iPhone cover being a small piece of evidence). Six warm scenes from our house this week:

1. I brought home these sweater-knit/tree-branch textured votive cups from CB2 in New York. The porcelain is thin enough to show the flickering flame within, $2.95 each here.

2. This discovery is the very color of November: an amber-hued geode sliver from FAO Schwarz in New York City, where there is an entire room now filled with science and minerals for little rock hounds. I was supposed to be shopping for my nephew, but lost my head and brought home a stack of rocks for me.

It was a cold and bustling night on Fifth Avenue, and as I walked out of the toy store with the bag heavy in my hands, I smelled roasting chestnuts from a corner cart and hummed a song.

It’s Christmas time in the city.

3. This sly little fox peers out from the bookcase: a souvenir from San Francisco that Tyson and I chose together in the Christmas Department of Macy’s on Union Square. It reminds me of a tender moment with him, when he was intent on being my best friend.

4. On Sunday mornings,  we make breakfast and he brings in my paper. I learn new things.

5. These cookies are diabolical maple bliss. I can see them as little treats on everyone’s plate at Thanksgiving.

6. My friend Rodd gave me his favorite book for my birthday, which is about as good as a birthday gift can be. He knew I would swoon over the first sentence and made me read it immediately over drinks by the fire pits outdoors at the Biltmore:

“When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.”

I know. You’re all in.

Find The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami here. This is my favorite pasta sauce, for when you begin reading this book and need pasta immediately.