Lancaster, PA

Good morning,

Unfortunately, I left my camera at my aunt’s house last night, so you’ll have to wait for Ocean City, New Jersey pictures for a while.  This morning I am going to Lancaster Pennsylvania with my aunts.  I am so excited to go see the beautiful country side.  I wonder if I’ll feel like I’ve traveled back through time, as  Amish people drive by in horse-drawn buggies.  I will be snapping away, so be looking for pictures.

I hope you had a good weekend full of laughter and good conversation.



Mother’s Day Recap

Hi guys,

Sorry for my absence lately.  Things have gotten really busy around here, and it has been difficult to find the time to get on the interwebs.

As most of you know, Brendan and I spent Mother’s Day with my sweet Aunt Cindy, and her family at Longwood Garden, an amazing Eden surrounded by homes and farm land in Pennsylvania.

The whole time we were there I kept on thinking of this Emily Dickinson poem

TWO butterflies went out at noon

And waltzed above a stream,

Then stepped straight through the firmament,

My cute cousins...They constantly ran ahead of us.And rested on a beam; And then together bore away, Upon a shining sea,—

Though never yet, in any port, Their coming mentioned be.   

If spoken by the distant bird, If met in ether sea, By frigate or by merchantman, Report was not to me.

Cacti!We really did have the best time.  What did you do with your families yesterday?

Here's my east coast fam. They're great.

That’s all for now.



TWO butterflies went out at noon
And waltzed above a stream,
Then stepped straight through the firmament
And rested on a beam;
And then together bore away         5
Upon a shining sea,—
Though never yet, in any port,
Their coming mentioned be.
If spoken by the distant bird,
If met in ether sea         10
By frigate or by merchantman,
Report was not to me.

The Master and Commander of Pastry

Hi there,

Mother’s Day is approaching!  What will you be doing for your mothers? This is the first year that I will be spending Mother’s Day apart from my mom; and I’ll admit that I’m sad.  It’s hard to spend holidays apart from your family.  My wonderful Aunt Cindy knows what it is to be far away from family, having re-located to the east coast about  sixteen years ago,so when she invited us to spend Mother’s Day with her, I was relieved. Spending time with her, my Uncle Bob, and their boys, makes me feel a lot less homesick.

In honor of the day and my sweet aunt, we will be going to Longwood Gardens.

Doesn’t it look beautiful? We are really looking forward to spending the day with my aunt and uncle and their boys.  We will be having a picnic lunch in the gardens while we are there, and I want to make something special for everyone.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Flower cupcakes! Appropriate, non?  This icing tutorial from Loralee Lewis will be a tremendous help. So I would make a nice vanilla cupcake, with a butter cream frosting…

Or, I could riff on this wonderful Mascarpone-Filled Cake with Sherried Berries recipe, only have mascarpone frosting, with a few dainty berries on the top of the cake…

This is actually my favorite cake to make. It impresses everyone, and it isn’t hard to make at all. You should try this! Seriously, what are you waiting for? You will be crowned Cake Queen or King..No, the Mayor of Cake Town… The Ambassador of Delicious Flavor.. I’m finished now, sorry… I tend to get over-excited about pastry.

I hope you are having a glorious Monday.



The Kindness of Friends and Neighbors

Did you go Ace Hardware this last weekend? Brendan and I did, and for our troubles, we got a quart of Clark + Kensington paint + primer…For FREE! True story. We now have a quart of Fleck grey.. Unfortunately I can’t find a picture of the color on the interwebs, but it looks like this:

Yep.  It’s a great color.  I’m going to use it for my bench project. It is super exciting! In the next couple of weeks, I will start working on the bench… Definitely before my in-laws come out for Easter.

So a few days ago our neighbors, who are unfortunately moving away (sad face), gave us a bunch of picture frames. I am not exaggerating.. Are you ready for this?

We have so many pictures from the wedding, and from the last few years, but we’ve been waiting on getting any frames because it can get really expensive. It was so nice of our neighbors to give us the frames. I cannot wait to print out pictures and put them all over our walls.

It has been years since I’ve had neighbors that I actually spoke to, let alone had coffee with on a regular basis. We are really going to miss them a lot.

That’s all for today.




Happy Birthday Mom

Hi everyone,

Today is my beautiful mother’s birthday. It makes me sad that I cannot be there with her today, but I thought I would send her some love via the interwebs.

I love you Mom. I miss you a lot. I hope that this birthday is the best one yet.

My mom is one of the coolest women I know…One of my best friends. She’s the kind of mom who sends you packets of flower seeds to plant in the spring, and always laughs at my jokes. She’s great. You’d think so too if you met her.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of my mom as a young woman. She looks totally cool in a lot of these.

so beautiful

love this picture

My mom and dad 1980.. My dad's stach makes me laugh.

What’s Cookin’?:The Post in Which Brendan Cooks for me

It all started with a nice chunk of pancetta.

You wouldn’t think that a piece of cured and salted pork could inspire such excitement; but at our house it does.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara was the second dish that Brendan ever made for me.  Coming from a family of fairly conservative eaters, I had never heard of carbonara, and when he asked me if I wanted it for dinner, after an internal struggle to seem like I knew what the heck he was talking about, I nodded and smiled and pleased sounds. “I’ll just do a google search later,” I told myself… Of course I didn’t…

I was surprised when he pulled out this little chunk of red  cured meat, marbled with fat. “Does it taste good? Probably,” I said to myself, “Look at all the fat, that has to taste good…”

That first night, as I do every time he makes this, I watched him prepare the meal.

He carefully sliced up the pancetta.  One of the things I like best about Brendan is how intentional he is.  This is a man with a plan. Who says what he means, and is careful with me, and everything that he does.  Slicing up pancetta is no different. Look at it. Doesn’t it look good?

Garlic. Not very romantic, but so delicious.  One of the first things that I brought and left at Brendan’s was a  toothbrush.

The aroma of the pancetta sizzling in a pan, freshly seasoned by garlic is one of my favorites.

Mmmm. Salty, cheesy richness.  This dish is so bad for you, but if you only make it occasionally, it’s not so bad.

I love it when Brendan cooks for me.  It makes me feel cared for, and brings me back to the first time we ever had this together. Sitting side by side, critiquing the meal, talking about what we would do different, then never writing it down.

I love this routine we have. I love us…

ElleBee Photography

ElleBee Photography

ElleBee Photography

ElleBee Photography

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. I hope you are with people you love, and take a minute to  not only show some love to somebody (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife…Cat); but to also love yourself.

Wish me luck on my Valentine’s Day meal.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Decorating Blues

A couple of nights ago my adorable beagle ate a chunk out of my coffee table/tv stand (Coffee table/tv stand? We’re poor, what do you want from us?)

Yes, Dexter the Dog, remember him?

Yes, this guy.  Don’t be fooled by his adorable-sleepy state, he is a murderer of furniture.

Here’s the damage:

I spent a week sanding it down priming it, and painting it.  This was my first major furniture project, and it makes me so sad that I can’t repair it.  I wanted to scream I was so angry, mostly at myself for having lost track of him long enough for him to gnaw on my table like a raw-hide bone.  Sometimes I forget that we’ve only had Dexter a few months, and expect him to be good, when I should be expecting him to be looking for trouble. Le sigh, I am so sad (use your thickest french accent for that, everyone).

It really bums me out that this had to happen right before my friends come into town to see our house for the first time.  Oh well, at least Callie and Steph are two very non-judgmental people.  I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if our house was fully decorated.  When we moved here we had very little in the way of furniture, and nothing that could be considered decorative.  It makes me sad that the only piece of furniture that I really loved is gonzo. My walls are basically blank, and our space is not personalized yet.  It makes me wish that our friends were going to be coming later rather than later this month..But honestly, I am clinging to their coming here, like a life line. It’s pretty lonely out here, so it will be nice to see people I know and love, that love me too…

Anyway, moving on to the next Unfortunate Event.

Remember this?

We went to Thrift Village last night, and Brendan finally admitted that he didn’t like it. At first he said that it was fine, and let’s get it, but I could see that he didn’t want to get it.

Outside I was like this:

Inside I was like this:


I keep on telling myself that it was good that we didn’t get it, because Brendan would have been unhappy with the purchase.  I listened  to my partner, even though I really didn’t like what he had to say.  I guess this is what happens when you and your partner has different aesthetics. Brendan likes a very unadorned modern feel, whereas I like a little more decoration Mid-Century kind of feel. It is so frustrating decorating a house when your husband has opinions, lol.

So those are my unfortunate events, and now I’m down a coffee table, and my house is still pretty blah. Oh well. I’ll have to find more DIY projects to make my house less blah… Hopefully Brendan will sign off on them.

Compromise is good. My parents house is pretty, but I don’t see my mother in it at all. My dad’s aesthetic comes through more clearly than hers, and it is sad to think that they couldn’t find middle ground. I have found thus far that finding the middle ground is difficult, but it could mean the difference between having an argument, and both of us feeling satisfied with what we have jointly chosen.

Gah. I still wish that it was dictatorship as far as decorating goes, but that’s not healthy, when the other person has feelings about it.

That’s all.



Anthropologie Tuesday has Turned into Anthropologie Duvet Tuesday

Hi guys,

I know that today I would normally share my favorite Anthropologie Fresh Cuts (and it still may happen today), but I have to finish this duvet cover.

gathers, gathers, everywhere there are gathers

I am going a little crazy because of this project, but I have to say that I have reached a lot of the goals that I had set for myself…When I haven’t been tearing my hair out over this duvet.  I know my sewing machine a lot better now, and feel that I will be able to do my Modcloth Knock-Off dress easily enough.

Doing sewing projects like these bring me closer to my Grandmom, and reminds me of the summer I learned to sew with her. I am happy to have that connection.  It makes me feel less far away from her, and closer to the eleven year old girl that I was sitting in my Grandmom’s bedroom, hunched over a sewing machine, as she guided me through my first (and admittedly awful) sewing projects.

Here we are sewing my first dress, I think...Also, do you like my water shoes?

Who taught you how to sew? Did you teach yourself?



Date Night Recap


Did you have a good weekend?

Brendan and I had our date on Saturday. Almost everything went wrong, but it was wonderful. I guess part of being in a new city is getting lost half of the time. Even with our GPS, we drove around  searching for this Thai place in Washington Township. Finally we found it, and luckily it was not at all crowded at all (a bad sign?).  The food was okay, but the conversation was good, and sitting next to each other in a new place, knowing that Brendan thought I looked pretty from the way that he looked at me- it was a good feeling.

Oh, here is a picture of Brendan’s  dinner:

The rice is heart-shaped.. Appropriate, non?

After dinner we headed out to a movie theater…Or what we thought was a movie theater… Which actually was a movie theater, just not the right one.  So we got back in the car and drove…And drove…And drove. Finally we got there, and the movie we had wanted to see had almost started and the line to buy tickets was HUGE. Bummer.

We stood in line for about three minutes and decided to get ice cream and  watch a movie at home. We watched this Bollywood movie that had a hindi name, and laughed and practiced our Indian dance moves…Okay, I practiced my dance moves.

It was a wonderful night. Probably one of the best dates we’ve had in a while just because we were together and focusing on each other.



Friday! Hurray! Hurray!

Hi guys! Happy Friday!  What will you do this weekend? Homework? Surfer le web? Watch a movie? Go on a date? Clean your house (womp womp)?

It just so happens that this weekend, Brendan and I are going a proper date… Then cleaning the house on Sunday (I guess you can’t have everything).

We are going to dinner and a movie. I’m really excited. I think I might even wear heels. Fun!

Have a great Friday.