babes in woodland





The plan was to head south and visit a little town that apparently everyone in Ohio has either been educated or drunk in. Or a mixture of both. But the weather report was gloomy and even the cutest town didn’t sound appetizing in the rain. So we stayed put and Jesse had the brilliant idea to take a hike through Highbanks Metro Park, an old favorite of hers.

We skipped the trails and instead walked upstream along the creek finding these incredible fossil formations along the way. There were also swarms of tiny bugs that really wanted to live deep inside our eye sockets, a thousand tad poles, and one GIANT momma spider that Jesse and I almost smashed while jumping over this log. If you look closely at the photo you can see her egg sack (AGHIGHSHKGDJ!!) that she was guarding with her life. We talked about my childhood where I spent much of my free time playing in the woods behind our house unattended and how our children would probably not have such an opportunity. And how terribly depressing that is. After that we ran back down stream singing “Colors of the Wind” ’cause life is too short to be depressed.











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.

oh geez

Life got busy so here is another oh-geez-i-got-behind-on-my-blog post.

My beautiful in-laws came to visit from Florida and weathered some really awful er.. weather to hang out with us and to take me to an Eagles concert. They are great and I am beyond lucky to have gotten such wonderful bonus parents.

Nanny celebrated another birthday and is still the most strikingly graceful women I have ever met.

My dad turned 60 and I forgot to take a picture! But please don’t let that reflect poorly on him because he is just the greatest. I told him after the birthday celebration that I look forward to the next 60 with him.

Our cats are still jerks.

And most importantly my best friend had her baby! I could just burst with happiness when I’m around them.

sophie’s community


It was the beginning of my thirteen day work streak when I realized that I had no clue how I was going to execute this baby shower. So I did what I always do and I made an epic list, then I put it all on a calendar. It was tight but doable. The RSVP’s started rolling and with almost every acceptance was an offer to help. Normally I would say “Oh, thanks but I think I’m good” cause I’m a control freak and I have in my head how I want things. The reality though is that I usually run out of time and have to slap something mediocre together anyway. So with each offer I pulled that list out and assigned a task. Within just a few days the entire list was crossed out. I basically just made signs to map out where everyone should place their offerings.

The shower went off without a hitch thanks to a community of friends and downright wonderful people. Sophie is lucky to have such wonderful parents and a herd of individuals ready to love her to pieces.

Also I made a quilt. With the help of my mother and last-minute-quilt-binder Evie.

no licking things out of diapers

Shower Invite Suite

Almost eleven years ago a spunky strawberry blonde girl dragged me out of my dorm room to go dancing. We left the party early and walked back to the college talking about how much we miss our high school best friends. How life in the city was so different and how we couldn’t wait to start new friendships. Since then we have been through so much together. And in just a couple of months I will get to welcome her little girl into the world. I am beyond lucky to have Sara as a best friend and this little girl is the luckiest to have her for a Mom.

Baby Shower Invitations

Cat Invitation Specialist

Ok, enough of that sappy stuff. What this post was supposed to be about is planning her shower. I LOVE throwing a party and am really looking forward to this one. Oscar helped me assemble the invitations this weekend. I wanted them to be feminine without the traditional pink and frills. Washi tape was employed at the last moment cause I was worried the registry card would get lost in that long envelope. It would not have been my first choice but they really needed to get in the mail and as I stacked them it grew on me.

As for the rest of the party I’ve mostly avoided baby shower inspiration and instead pulled together ideas from all types of celebrations. Sara’s only request was that there would be “no licking things out of diapers”.

Crystal Print Cookies
Pretty cookies

Floral Backdrop
This gorgeous backdrop

Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate

DIY Onesies
DIY onesies This was the one baby shower inspiration site that I have used and it’s really wonderful.

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.

let’s catch up

There are just too many things that I haven’t gotten around to creating full posts of. So let’s just do a quick catch up.

If you spread anything between crepes and stack until cake sized it will be amazing. This one was a blueberry and honey cream crepe cake for my sweet Jesse’s birthday.

It’s hard to get up when this is happening.

My mother reading a story to Fran. (She will try to tell you otherwise but don’t listen, she is reading a book to a cat.)

Marathon Champ
I ran a marathon!! Okay maybe I’ll elaborate on that one later.