A few photos from my birthday – months later. The day before was spent with friends where we learned that yes, you can order too much pizza and that this chocolate chip cookie recipe is really the best. The next day Mark and I spent the whole day doing whatever I wanted: Oakland Nursery, lunch at The Crest, a walk on along the river, a nap, and a trip to my favorite sewing store. There was even mystery macaroons left at my door by someone with notoriously bad hand writing.


it’s not so bad


I get it. It’s cold. And snowy. And icy. It sucks.

Okay now that we have established that can we just take a second to see how pretty it is. Yesterday I watched feathery snowflakes sift passed our bedroom window. The cats were laid out on the bed and the view outside was charming. I chose to walk to work last week cause I figured it was better than driving downtown on slick roads to drop off and pick up Mark. It proved to be good for my soul to experience winter in it’s fullest. It will also make those first warm days of spring that much sweeter.





This is the 100th post on the blog! So I’m sharing some things that I love about our tiny little house along with lots of links to past posts. I was going to do 100 things but I got to about 32 and realized that it was way too much commitment and no one wants to read me waxing poetic about a washing machine.

• Our dining room set. It was a very special gift and it’s holds some of our favorite memories. We fill it up regularly with friends, food, projects, and sometimes even cats.

• Dry sauna capabilities. This is especially appreciated during these 0 degree days. Besides my insistence on it not being cold in here this place really does hold heat well. Our attic bedroom gets downright unbearable if you’re not careful.

• It’s so tiny. It’s so much easier to keep a little space like this neat and tidy. I usually just have to turn around to put something away. When I was young and stupid I would fight with my mom about how I hated our little house and couldn’t wait to live in a mansion. She would laugh and say “well have fun cleaning it”. I don’t mind the size and only notice how small it is when we try to cram 20 people in here.

• It feels like a treehouse. I’ve always wanted to live in a tree house and this is pretty close. I love the way the sun projects the branches onto our walls and how we have a stair garden in the summer. Our bedroom is in the attic and I call it our birds nest because it’s so high up and cozy.

• One more show. We got our couch on Craigslist from an adorable couple that I still run into once in a while. It’s shockingly sturdy and so so pretty. Mark and I will sit on that thing for hours binge watching shows and when an episode ends I hold my breath waiting for Mark to say “one more show” before hitting the controller.

• Our great big yard. Ok it’s not that big but it’s huge for a city yard. It’s best when the fire pit is set up and surrounded by friends. Also when Mark is grilling something wonderful. I’m looking forward to giving it a little facelift this spring and spending more time out there.

• It’s filled with things we love. Almost every thing on our walls and shelves are things that hold special memories. Our No Cheating No Dying poster, the Columbus illustration, my Grandmas spice rack, Jesse’s framed bugs and plants, wedding photos, Sara’s M&M sign

• Our neighborhood. Our house sits on a little brick road in a great neighborhood. It’s walking distance to downtown and the short north and is filled with it’s own gems like Katalinas. We have a couple of friends that live nearby and I love running into them on the way home or at the grocery store.

• Some of my favorite times are right after we clean the whole place and Mark picks up his guitar. He’ll strum away while I work on the blog or cut quilt squares. It’s so peaceful.

Decorating for Christmas. There is something intoxicating about the smell of a roast in the oven with Bing Crosby humming out Christmas tunes, the soft white lights all strung up, and a humble little tree all made up.

project splurging





Before embarking on a thirteen day work streak I spent my last day off filling each room with projects.

On our coffee table: freshly printed photos and washi tape. Working out the first couple of pages of my 2014 album. The dining room floor: an old sunprint kit I found while cleaning out my desk. Laid out under pieces of lace and glass in a rectangle of sunlight where the cats usually lay. I had to shoe them away every few minutes. The couch: frames that we got for Christmas getting filled with photos and objects dear to me. Then hung crooked on the wall and later adjusted. The dining room table: a not-so-secret project (I know you know cause I’m terrible at secrets).

It feels good to fill a day with personal projects. To get those things out of the way before beginning more stressful and important endeavors.


Hibernation Oufit

It’s back up to 40º here but man was it cold last week! I celebrated my three day weekend on the couch, covered in blankets, with a hot cup of coffee. Despite basically hibernating inside for three days I still managed to put on “hard pants” and catch up on some housework. To be honest I’ve never been a fan of staying in my pajamas all day. Throwing on a pair of jeans and taking the time to somewhat fix my hair has always done me good. I just feel more motivated.

Rockford Red Heel Socks

Hand made Scarf

Oval Hoop Earrings

Ohio ‘Til I Die Crew Neck – Tigertree
Striped Ralph Lauren Top – Macy’s (on like super duper sale)
Black High Waisted Jeans – H&M
Rockford Red Heel Socks – Tigertree (these are incredible!)
Crocheted Scarf – Handmade from Sara!
Oval Hoop Earrings – Autumn Equinox
Library Candle – Tigertree

sous chef

Table Setting

A year and a half ago I practically forced Mark to quit his current job in retail and to take a somewhat drunken offer to cook at a lunch spot downtown. He was miserable at his job and despite his lack of experience cooking professionally I knew that his love for it would be enough. I was right. Last week he was promoted to Sous Chef at one of the busiest restaurants in the city. So we celebrated.

Pouring Vinegar
(photo taken by our friend Jesse Mesenburg)

Bread & cheese, sausage, porterhouse, an especially tiny poussin, little potatoes, wine, and Oreos (I forgot to make dessert). I unpacked Mark’s Mom’s toile dishes, my Great Grandmothers silverware, and Nanny’s silver pitcher.* The dinner and company was beautiful. Even the abandoned mess once the friends were gone looked photogenic.


tiny poussin


after dinner mess

*Another goal of mine this year is to use more of our wonderful table service.

twenty fourteen

Year of the Cat

It’s only been three days. But I’m feeling really good about 2014. Really good.

We welcomed in the year at our friend Monkee’s annual Glitter & Doom party. Each year they construct a ball to lower from their two story home. The first year was a glittery sphere of decent size which Monkee lowered in a silk robe (I remember it being unseasonably warm that year). Each year the ball has gotten bigger and brighter. This year though, man did they over do themselves. Hovering high above us was a metal reconstruction of their cat Netflix. Pieces of metal welded together, painted and covered with furry cloth. It was a masterpiece. And as if this was not enough there was also beams of light shooting out of it’s eyes and fog coming from it’s mouth. Take that Times Square.

2014 Dancing

We danced the night away and when we were all too exhausted to go on we filled ourselves with gas station subs and went to bed. Friends slept on our couch and living room floor. Morning came and I was giddy with the idea of whipping up a big ol’ breakfast. The kind that sustains you until dinner. I feared that everyone would awake in my breakfast-making haste and apologize for having you get on with their day. But instead there were no plans made and we all lazily gathered around a beautiful spread of eggs, bacon, toast, oranges, and tiny donuts. The feeling of a whole day with no obligations is one that I cherish most. It was the perfect way to start the year.

New Years Breakfast

Jesse and Fran

Happy ThanksHanukkah!


Nope, not Jewish. But this year I have been studiously reading up on Hanukkah since it’s falling on Thanksgiving. I even made this Salted Fig Challah from my Smitten Kitchen cookbook. It was okay.

Just kidding!! It was incredible. I delivered it to my bosses and our half Jewish part-timer and managed to steal a hunk off before leaving. Now each year I will look forward to Hanukkah and to making this delectable braid of dough every year.

have you eaten?

I’m not sure if I’ve made this perfectly clear or not. But all those lovely food photos that float around on this blog from time to time are the workings of my wonderful husband Mark. I might whip out a dessert here and there but he is the one that cooks the meals. He cooks them sometimes? Nope, all of the time. Since the day we started dating in November of 2006. Before then I was fed by the stale basement cafeteria at Columbus College of Art & Design. And before that by my mother who would have to call me on summer afternoons to ask if I had eaten anything yet. Most of the time the answer was no.

I’m bad at feeding myself. The preparation of food is something I never think about unless it is made of mostly sugar. The few times that Mark is not home I have to be interrupted by a stomach growl before even think about what I’m having for dinner. By then I’m too hungry and light headed to make anything and fast food it is. A few weeks ago Mark began a new cooking job that has him working dinner shift. As elated as I was for him I couldn’t help but wonder “but what about me?”.

Then I hit rock bottom. It was 6pm and I was plating up my McDonald’s (cause that somehow makes it seam better). For lunch I had a butterfingers and for breakfast almond m&m’s. To really top it all off I had not worked out since the marathon and my outfit that morning had been chosen by “what will make me feel less huge”. The next morning I cleaned out the fridge, made a meal plan, and hit the grocery store. I’ll never be Mark who spends his whole evening constructing the perfect meal. For me it needs to be easy, fast, and satisfying so as to keep me from also whipping up a batch of cookies.

I’m on week three of feeding myself and I’ve done pretty good. I’m actually starting to look forward to it.

Meal Plan
My meal plan.

Cheese Tray
A fancy cheese lunch with my co-worker.

Butternut Squash Lasagna
Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash Hash Breakfast
Butternut Squash Hash, an egg, and toast

dressed: quirky wedding wear

Quirky Wedding Outfit

Never have I danced so hard. Our friends Jim & Ann got married a couple of months ago at a beautiful Country Club in Illinois. It was one of those weddings that makes you want to do it all over again. Everything was beautiful and thoughtful. And fun. So much fun! At the close of every song I would say “I need a break!” but then the next song would be another “this is my favorite song!”. Even Mark who usually only dances to New Order (and there was some of that) was on the dance floor half the night. I snapped Polaroids the entire day and at the end of the night shoved them in the card to the Newlyweds. Waiting for your wedding pictures is the hardest. It’s nice to have a few shots to hold you over.

Quirky Wedding Outfit 2

Quirky Wedding Outfit 3

Scalloped Cardigan: Tigertree
Cat Dress: Anthropologie (the one purchased on our honeymoon)
Black Tights: Target
Black Heals: Aldo
Arrowhead Earrings: Tigertree
Hot Pink Lipstick: Revlon’s Just Bitten in Flame