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 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.
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.
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”.
DIY onesies This was the one baby shower inspiration site that I have used and it’s really wonderful.
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.
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.
*Another goal of mine this year is to use more of our wonderful table service.
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.
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.
Today it snowed. The mixture of rain melted it instantly but still… where has this year gone?!
These Labor Day dinner photos are long over due. Mark treated us to a table full of grilled goodness and Tasha and I whipped up this cocktail.
Amoretto Sweet with Plum – to be honest it’s been so long that I can not remember what we put in here but it was something like this.
• Smush plum wedges with ice and simple syrup in the bottom of a pitcher
• Add amoretto and I think whisky (cause that is usually our drink of choice but use rum if that’s your thing) until there is enough
• Fill the remainder of the space with club soda
Then adjust any of the ingredients to taste. Okay that is a terribly vague recipe but this cocktail was amazing so I really think it’s worth giving it a shot.
Presenting my Father-in-Law’s Birthday Feast created by Mark
(food photo’s by my Mother-in-Law Michelle Parsons the first)
Mama Sue came to visit and we spent a beautiful day walking the zoo (maybe not the best idea after running 13 miles) | Taken to eating lunch at the nearby park. It makes my packed lunch seam a lot fancier.
Balloon Toss competition at our friends birthday party (Mark almost won – almost doesn’t count). | There was also a dangerously large fire and I realized that I have become a total mom cause it scared the crap out of me.
We had a pretty tight budget for our wedding and I was determined to not cut the guest list. So we cut out other things that weren’t as important to us like rings and a DJ. Mark and I and all of our friends are into music so we got this, right? Turns out the i-pod wedding DJ thing is way harder than I thought. There are tons of great tips floating around online: make separate playlists for cocktail hour, dinner, & dancing, choose songs without weird intros or endings, buffer time with extra songs just in case things go over, etc. However I could not find a single list of hipster appropriate wedding party music. I vowed to share ours after spending hours and HOURS of putting this together. So ten months later here it is…
Ceremony by New Order
We are Young by fun.
Triangle Walks by Fever Ray
Abducted by Cults
Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac
Such Great Heights by The Postal Service
Holland, 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel
Wild Night by Van Morrison
Endless Highway by The Band
Cecilia by Simon & Garfunkel
When I Paint My Masterpiece by The Band
Youth, Movement, Genocide by Pixels
I Would Do Anything For You by Foster the People
Ho Hey by The Lumineers
You’re My Best Friends by Queen
Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
Helena Beat by Foster the People
Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap
‘Cause I Love You by Carla & Rufus
Graceland by Paul Simon
The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
Starting a New Life by Van Morrison
For the Actor by Mates of State
Bruises by Chairlift
Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
Come Running by Van Morrison
Another Saturday Night by Sam Cooke
Bandits by Midlake
Bessie Smith by The Band
Blackbird by The Beatles
Carrion Stoves by Astral Ride
Congratulations by MGMT
Crazy Love by Van Morrison
Crown of Love by The Arcade Fire
Decatur, Or, Round of Applause For Your Stepmother by Sufjan Stevens
Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
The Drinks We Drank Last Night by Azure Ray
Drops in The River by Fleet Foxes
Forks and Knives (La Fete) by Beirut
Gee Whiz by Carla Thomas
Good Times by Aretha Franklin
Got Me by She & Him
Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez
Heaven Go Easy On Me by The Head and the Heart
Hurry HOme Through the Crowds by Trembling Blue Stars
I Need All The Friends I Can Get by Camera Obscura
I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) by Otis Redding
Into the Mystic by Van Morrison
Knight of Wands by Au Revoir Simone
Love Type Thing by Tegan & Sara
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins
Montezuma by Fleet Foxes
Oh! darling by The Beatles
Only You Can Make You Happy by Au Revoir Simone
Razzle Dazzle Rose by Camera Obscura
Shadows by Au Revoir Simone
Sleeping Lessons by The Shins
Something by The Beatles
Sounds Like Hallelujah by The Head and the Heart
These Arms Of Mine by Otis Redding
Thirty-Three by The Smashing Pumpkins
Tonight by Lykke Li
Walk in the Park by Beach House
Wedding Song by Bob Dylan
When I Paint My Masterpiece by The Band
When That Evening Sun Goes Down by Van Morrison
September by Earth Wind & Fire
Got My Mind Set On You by George Harrison
My Body by Young the Giant
Laisse Tomber Les Filles by April March
True Faith by New Order
Into the Groove by Madonna
Hey Ya by Outkast
Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett
Superstition by Stevie Wonder
Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours by Stevie Wonder
Helena Beat by Foster the People
Just Dance by Lady Gaga & Colby O’Donis
Gangnam Style by PSY
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Eurythmics
Beat It by Micheal Jackson
Hounds Of Love by Kate Bush
Time to Pretend by MGMT
Young Folks by Peter Bjorn & John
Praise You by Fatboy Slim
Sucked Out by Superdrag
Age of Consent by New Order
Let’s Get Out of This Country by Camera Obscura
Dancing Queen by ABBA
Hey Jealousy by Gin Blossoms
You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes
Irish Rover by The Dubliners
Let’s Not and Say We Did by Silver Jews
Dusk Till Dawn by Ladyhawke
(There’s) Always Something There To Remember Me by Naked Eyes
In The City by The Jam
Kids by MGMT
Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac
Think by Aretha Frankling
Electric Feel by MGMT
The Way You Move by Outkast
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths
Sweet Darlin’ by She & HIm
A New England by Billy Bragg
My Old School by Steely Dan
Lovesick by Friendly Fires
Since You’ve Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson (just trust me on this one)
Everyday People by Sly & The Family
1 Debaser by Pixies
Dancing On My Own by Robyn
You Know What I Mean by Cults
Crayon Box by The Gerbils
Lust for Life by Girls
All of The Lights by Kanye West
Heart of Glass by Blondie
Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode
Super Bass by Nicki Manaj
Me And The Major by Belle & Sebastian
Get It On by T.Rex
Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
Midnight City by M83
Outro by M83
The night of the beginning of my 28th year ended in the yard on a blanket. Our all day party had come to an end and Mark and I stared at the half moon, our bellies full of crepes, spiedies, and champagne. “We should do this everyday” Mark insisted. I agree.
The crepes were a smashing hit. The perfect consistency with a hint of sweetness and stolen from Smitten Kitchen’s crepe cake recipe. Oh they are to die for! Here is my adapted version so you can see what all the fuss is about.
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup milk (I would stay away from non-fat)
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon canola (or vegetable) oil
Crepe skillet (or one that is shallow and has a smooth lip)
• Melt the butter on high in a small sauce pan. Once it is melted turn to medium-low heat and keep an eye on it. It is going to foam, bubble, then start to turn brown. Keep stirring it, scraping the bits off of the bottom. Once you get that nice nutty smell take it off and let it come to room temperature.
• In a blender (or whisking vigorously) combine the cooled butter, milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk/blend for a few minutes. You might see little brown bits from the butter – that’s okay.
• Put the batter in a pouring device to make the next step easier
• Heat up the skillet with 1/2 Tablespoon of the oil. Once it is nice and hot pour about a 1/4 into the middle of the skillet and swirl it around until it reaches the out edge. Let is cook until the edges look slightly brown. I like to check it by lifting a little edge up with a fork. Once it has spots of golden brown it’s time to flip.
• Flipping is probably the hardest part. I use the method recommended in the book which is to hold one edge with your fingers while flipping the whole thing with a wide spatula. It takes a little practice but once you’ve got it you’re unstoppable.
Stuff with sweet or savory items, roll up, and enjoy!