Wednesday, November 26, 2014

thanks & giving.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I am off to Nashville with my eat BBQ and scout out great music and wander the streets...lots of love to all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


It's officially holiday season people! And with that in mind, we had a great friendsgiving on Saturday with good friends. Great food (as Ben keeps saying "everyone really brought their A game"), good company, and a new baby - can't get better!

Our space is a bit tight for more than 6 - but it ended up working.

And in news, remember last year when I by mistake spray painted a leaf? No? Really? You don't? Yeah, that's ok (in case you care enough and want to remember - click here) - anyway, I decided to spray paint leaves to use as place cards.

Oh yeah, and for the cocktail of the evening, we went with a Bourbon-Cranberry Shrub Cocktail. It was fantastic - highly recommend it. (I actually found it in Martha Stewart Living this month, but I can't find it online - so the full recipe is below).

I also copied this chalkboard design. I didn't have time to do the download and template - so I just free-handed it...turned out fine!

And Ben dominated the turkey scene. It was fantastic.

Not to mention the mashed potatoes, jello mold, and mac n' cheese. Em brough amazing corn pudding and apple pie. Erin/Josh brought this fantastic pureed broccoli side and a chocolate cream pie. Val came in strong with cranberry sauce and these amazing little cinnamon muffins I have been eating every morning since. And Doug/Kate came with sauteed greens, enough Dolcezza for 2015 and of course, baby Charlie!

And after dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity to close out the night!

Recipe: Bourbon-Cranberry Shrub Cocktail

1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup of sugar
1 cup white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of bourbon
2 tablespoons of seltzer

1. Combine cranberries, sugar and vinegar in a pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. 

2. For each cocktail, fill a rocks glass with ice. Stir in bourbon, seltzer, and 2 tablespoons shrub liquid. Add 1 tablespoon shrub cranberries; serve immediatly. 

Friday, November 21, 2014


Remember last April when Ben and I went up to Lancaster for the weekend? While there we popped into a couple very odd thrift stores...if you need a refresher - click here....anyway, in the first thrift store I picked up this cake plate for $3. My plan was to find a candle stick or base to attach, paint it all to match and make into a cake stand. That may still happen...but for now, I did a quick paint job to make the plate more interesting - since I never found the right base! Here is the before....

Pretty, right? In a Grandma kind of way. I did this a couple months ago, and can't remember all my thinking, but I took blue paint to it...paint that works on porcelain.

 After 2-3 coats, I put it in the oven for a half hour and there you have it. Bright and blue!


I popped into H&M last night and picked up these pillow covers! H&M Home is killing it right now.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

linked up.

There is just so much going on in the world. Figured I would pass along some links I have been reading of late. First and foremost, I loooooove biscuits - so the fact that they are right up the street right now at Union Market is wonderful news! Ali sent me this NYTimes op-ed, What You Learn In Your 40s, a couple weeks ago and it just gets better as you read on - one of those pieces you should probably bookmark and come back to periodically. There is a sudden baby boom happening all around me - and that makes me think about parenting and how I really want to make sure my kids are kind and understand empathy - this WashPost piece on raising nice kids is good stuff.  Also - this piece about technology and your kids - Steve Jobs was a Low-Tech Parent. And this is something Ben and I are very much agreed on - this philosophy of family and quality time and obviously the importance of pizza - Pizza and Parenthood.

This is old but given what is coming down the pipeline this week, very relevant....what Adelson, Buffett and Gates think about immigration reform. Preach.

And finally, Bill Cosby. I hope he disappears into exile and we never have to hear him speak another word. I hope he is shamed into oblivion. And I hope everyone reads Barbara Bowman's op-ed from last week and registers the injustice not just of what he did but the injustice of 30 years of not being heard. Ugh.


Thursdays are the best! Basically only because the new Serial episode comes out on Thursdays. I slow-walked it in to work today. Episode 9 was fantastic. I know everyone is on the Serial bandwagon now but if by chance you are one of the few that isn't yet, what are you doing?! Get on it. Download and start listening tonight!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Have you all read The River of Doubt? If not, go buy now! I plowed through it last month. It was riveting and encapsulating. One of those reads where I couldn't wait to get back on the metro and dive back into the pages. It is an account of Teddy Roosevelt's trek through the Amazon after he lost the election in 1912. I've mentioned before our deep love of all things Teddy (if you haven't already, you should also read David McCullough's biography - Mornings on Horseback) - and this is an extraordinary telling of Roosevelt and also the Amazon. Simply incredible! And here is an old NPR piece about it in case you aren't yet convinced...

Sunday, November 16, 2014


We have been meaning to buy a Nest for about a year and finally got around to it last week. It is as awesome as we expected and then some. Seriously. For those who don't already know, the Nest is a digital thermostat. In addition to looking awesome and being extremely user friendly, it also saves energy and money. In fact, while I was on the phone with someone at Nest right before we installed it, the guy started telling me how he has already made back the cost of it in less than 6 months. We love it. It is also a smart thermostat, in that it learns your routine and then starts to automatically adjust the temperature based on your past behavior. It now automatically lowers the temperature at night (around 10) and this morning when I woke up it had already started to warm the house back up around 5:30 before I woke up. And, you can also control it from an app on your phone. I am telling you, it is a gamechanger!

Friday, November 14, 2014

cleaned up.

For the last 6 or so months, I have been pretty burnt out. I am not exactly sure why, just really tired and slow. I have been sleeping way too much.  A couple weeks ago, we had a friend over for dinner, and yup...I fell asleep sitting up on the couch at 8:30! Yikes!  It has obviously carried over to the blog and also projects around the house, work, even just emails and reading books. This is nothing to worry about and I actually think it is completely normal to go through ruts and phases....mix in the seasonal change, turning 30 and having questions about personal goals and priorities and we have also been traveling a ton - and there you have it! Nevertheless, the good news is that slowly but surely, I've been feeling re-energized and getting around to some diy and projects of late. This awesome paint sprayer also helped with the motivation! It is amazing. Highly recommend it. We got it at Home Depot. Ben, in all of his glory, spotted it on the top top shelf and it was absolutely worth tracking down someone to get the ladder and pull it down for us. For all those interested, it is the Graco TrueCoat Plus II Airless Paint Sprayer.

So, last month, we took the Graco for its first test-run. I present you with Exhibit A - the bookcase downstairs in our basement.

This was actually left over from the previous owner...and all of those cans and bottles as well. I've had my eye on it since we moved in since it is a disorganized mess. We cleared it off and dragged it outside into the back.
I did a quick sand job...and then when we realized just how incredible our new Graco really is. I painted this shelving unit down in less than 15 minutes. The beauty of it though is really that it is a professional paint job - smooth as butter I tell you!

Just take a look at this before and after.

I also decided to take spray paint to these old baskets and transformed them into some great red baskets for the shelves.

After we let it dry and moved the bookcase back inside, I used shelf liner to cover the shelves and then added this plastic liner, Lifeliner, on top. Love it. I picked up the plastic liner at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

 And here is the final result. Much better, right?

Also, for reference, all those cans and bottles of old paint and who knows what....? Emmy mentioned that DC has a place right over in Eckington where you can drop them off. We haven't had time to do it yet, but apparently it is super easy...good to know - here is the link with the information from

Thursday, November 13, 2014


It's been a while - so I wanted to check-in!  I haven't quite figured out the plan moving forward but just wanted to let all of you, my loyal readers, know that I haven't forgotten about you. I may baby-step it back into more frequent activity. A lot has happened since stay tuned. But in the meantime, some links I thought might be of interest to you all!