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.





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.


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

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.


2014 Album

One of my goals this year is to keep an ongoing album of pictures, notes, and mementos. Okay okay, it’s a scrapbook. Go ahead and judge me. But I’ve been inspired by the creative ladies over at A Beautiful Mess and they make it look so cool. Anyway I hand drew the cover and have started the first page. I’ve vowed to not over-think it too much which is why my wedding album still isn’t done (eek!), and honestly why I don’t post on here nearly enough. I’m just going to let it be a free creative space to do whatever I’m feeling into. I look forward to sharing some of the finished pages with you later.

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.