November 24, 2010
September 19, 2010
July 8, 2010
Things to be excited about in the next month-ish:
• Enjoying the new house with Scott + relaxing
• Wednesday night Zumba classes!
• A few Thursday nights out in Delaware with Philly friends
• Bachelorette party in South Carolina for Kelly
• Mom + Sister-in-Law's five-day visit to Delaware + NYC
• Eat veggies from our garden
• Kelly & Aaron's wedding in Connecticut
• Helping my former professor set up the UD Letterpress Studio
• Getting a puppy
• Labor Day in the Poconos with college friends
This girl is a happy girl.
July 6, 2010
Scott kindly supervised and instructed me through my first grilling practice, from having me pour the huge bag of coals in the chimney, to promising the chimney handle wasn't too hot to touch, to pretending to be interested in the 20+ photos I took of a bunch of veggies (or maybe he was actually interested?).
Our party leftovers are cooked up and lunch is ready to take to work for the whole week!
Our new grill is a Weber One-Touch Gold, recommended by both my brother (Trent) and Bill. With the chimney starter, those coals are ready in 10 minutes. We love it so far!
Pics of our Independence Day party to come as soon as I can mooch them off my photographer friends. Complete with slip 'n slide, sparklers and lots of delicious potluck goodies.
July 5, 2010
That's the bride-to-be in the middle, with two of her bridesmaids (Becca and me!). College roommates! Finally a framable picture of the three of us. Can't wait for the celebration in August. It's going to be a beautiful lake-side wedding in Connecticut.
(Photo courtesy of Becca — thanks!)
July 2, 2010
Happy birthday to the lucky kids with summertime celebrations:
Sam, former Visual Communications classmate + talented artist in a variety of media. Check out her sweet murals!
Don, Scott's dad, who treats me like I'm one of the family (and I love it), inspects my car when he's in town, and cooks up the most grand Italian feasts whenever we trek up to Connecticut (including the family's secret-recipe cinnamon sauce).
Becca, talented photogapher, college roomie + partner in many creative collaborations. Hire this girl for your wedding photography. Seriously. She's good. (Website currently being updated).
Anne, one of my best friends from elementary school. Lives so close (DC) and yet we still haven't met up in years. This should be remedied in the next year.
Megan, the newlywed! One of my favorite new people from Philadelphia : )
Mich, another crucial part of the Philadelphia pack! I am determined not to let the 60 miles between Delaware and Philly separate us from these new friends!
Amanda, former Baltimore roomie — we bonded over cultivating new hobbies together (speaking of which, did you ever take a jewelry class? I bought all of those supplies and never did! Adding it to the list of things to do!)
Above: This is the cake I made for Megan. I picked up an offset spatula and wow! It was so much easier to make a more beautiful cake. The fresh berries don't hurt, either. Same recipe as the last one. See the difference the spatula made? Only trouble is that the cake is sooo moist that both times I've made it, the bottom layer fell apart when I took it out of the pan. I managed to hide the mistake pretty well, but any advice for how to avoid this, and still keep the cake deliciously moist?
Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to (finally) present my first squash blossom. Scott tells me this means I'm getting some squash. And you know what that means? I'm about to get my first home-grown vegetable EVER. From SEED!
...though I suppose I shouldn't count my chickens before they've hatched. If any squirrels get in the way of my glory, they're so dead.
Our little garden is pretty sparse right now, but the transplants are looking happier every day. Here's a photo from a few weeks ago of Scott tillin' up the land...
...I'm even kinda crazy 'bout his farmer's tan. (Oh yes I did go there).
This blogging thing comes in waves for me. I feel a wave coming on. A wave where I actually take decent pictures, avoid excessive exclamation points and ellipses, and maybe even design the header. But first, we must finish unpacking.
June 11, 2010
Grandma Peggy, you were right! This little guy is growing out of control! It sprouted from the top, the sides, and from underneath (and worked its way up out of the water). Now how the heck do I plant it?
And these guys are just begging for more light. So soon, guys, you'll have a big south-facing back yard to sunbathe in. So soon! Will you hold out for me, please? Just three more days till I move you! Squash and zucchini — I vow to upgrade you to a huge container if you'll just stay in the game. Pretty please?
Gardeners — have I already destroyed them by not giving them enough sunlight in their early stages?
June 10, 2010
Happy belated birthday to all of my May-birthday friends:
Erica, my most giggly college roommate.
Her giggle can make anyone laugh.
Ben, a friend from college + Baltimore.
Zach, a friend from college.
Full of great stories from his adventures.
Melissa, my college mentor.
Cupcake baker extraordinaire.
Joey, a friend from college.
World-traveling, moment-catching photographer.
Trent, my younger brother, my friend, my mechanic.
Master of bringing our family together, and master of the grill.
Dorothy (aka "Gran," not pictured), my lovely grandma.
Makes perfect "animal pancakes," and the most delicious strawberry rhubarb crisp.
Suzanne, my sister-in-law. My favorite sister, in fact!
Inspiring teacher + perfect addition to our family.
Wendy, my college great-great-mentee.
Newly graduated + heading off to study in China. Congrats!
Aren't they a fun + happy-looking bunch? Cheers!
If I missed you, please tell me : )
"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing; kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles."
June 9, 2010
Here's a sneak peak at part of Kelly & Aaron's wedding invitation suite. I posted Kelly + my inspiration images a few weeks ago — I love looking back to see how the project evolved, and the inspiration comes together to create something new.
I had lots of fun working on these. Those gold roses on the lower right are going to be stamped on with a custom-designed rubber stamp + metallic gold ink to give the whole set an extra sparkle.
Can't wait to see the final prints!
June 6, 2010
Just finished Week I of Couch-to-5K, a nine-week running program that trains a beginner to run a 5K. I'm slightly embarrassed to be doing such a baby-step program, however, for the first time in a while, I am enjoying working out. The first week was refreshing and therapeutic.
"I run so I can eat."
–Delightfully accurate quote, discovered by Megan
I've always hated running, and I think it's because it was the norm for my high school soccer coaches to push us to the max from day one, rather than gradually building our endurance. This was a good way to get us in shape for the season, but it left me thinking that running (just for the sake of running) is miserable. Now I'm (hopefully) learning that it doesn't have to be. It's possible to enjoy running by easing into it.
Secondly, I learned to work out by having coaches tell me what to do, and I had a team to go through it with me. Since I haven't been on a team in years, I find it hard to push myself without that support. Having this podcast tell me exactly what to do each week (and each minute) is very helpful so far. If you're interested in the podcast I'm using, check it out.
I've only completed Week I so far, which was a piece of cake (or anti-cake, depending on how you look at it). Looking forward to Week II! And by week IX, I should be able to comfortably run for 30 minutes straight. Wahoo!
June 4, 2010
Meant to post this forever ago, and was just reminded of it today:
My high school teachers and soccer coaches gettin' down —
including my lovely mom (2nd from left before you hit play).
Both of my alma maters seem to be very friendly, fun,
and completely unafraid of getting goofy. I LOVE it.
I'm proud to be a ladue high school alum!
PS My favorite move is the unusual interpretation of the sprinkler @ 2:18. And, of course, Madame Charles breaking it down @ 3:02.
May 21, 2010
May 17, 2010
May 5, 2010
I get to help one of my very closest friends design her wedding invitations for her wedding this summer (Kelly!). Here's a sneak peak at the visual inspiration I gathered up after lots of excited chit-chat with her about the styles she loves most:
Soft greens with pops of coral and sparkly gold... this should be a fun one : )
I made this mix for some of the folks in my family for Christmas. Seems a little late to be posting this, but the songs are bubbly and appropriate for the nice spring weather.
01. Sea of Love | Cat Power
02. Home | Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
03. I Was Made for You | She & Him
04. Kick Drum Heart | The Avett Brothers
05. Silver Lining | Rilo Kiley
06. The Heart of Life | John Mayer
07. You and I | Ingrid Michaelson
08. One Eyed Cat | Jenny & Tyler (UD Alumni!)
09. Rollercoaster | Kimya Dawson
I've been in the mood to make more mixes lately. I especially like the process of narrowing it down to no more than 12 songs. Time to get on it!
May 4, 2010
Scott took me to the Jónsi (of Sigur Rós) concert last night. The theatrical set blended with the music to create a completely hypnotic experience. When the music stopped at the end of the night, I felt like I was awoken from a trance.
It's really out there stuff — very ethereal. I find it soothing and inspiring to work to. Most of this album is in English, but it sounds like Icelandic to me, really.
We sat on some stadium bleachers in the back so that we could take in the whole experience, which was a good move (and I'd recommend it), but I would also love to have the opportunity to go again and stand right in the front. Maybe when the next album comes out.
You can read more about the set design here (by Fifty Nine Productions). It worked so well with the music, in fact, that I find it kind of amazing that they weren't all created at the same time. It even seems like the motion graphics could have inspired the music. This video will give you an idea of what the concert was like:
And you can listen to the whole album, Go, right here:
May 1, 2010
I think the zucchini started to show signs of powdery mildew, so I took a tip from You Grow Girl and sprayed them with Powdery Mildew Brew (a mixture of milk + water).
Well, dope that I am, I did this inside.
And they sat in the sunniest window.
Sprayed in milk.
Needless to say, the house smelled like garbage by the time Scott got home. I fessed up, but Scott didn't tease me nearly as much as I deserved for this goofball move.
So! I moved all of the seedlings outside right away, without hardening them off. Like a real gardener, I worried about them surviving that night, but fortunately it's been a really warm week here in Philly. They're still looking happy, and they're getting more sun and better air circulation.
I can't believe I haven't killed these things yet.
April 25, 2010
April 20, 2010
We're half way through week five. Not much to report — they look pretty much the same as last week. The seedling leaves from the squash and zucchini plant got yellowy brown, so I cut them off. They look much happier since I did that. Hopefully that's normal... hmm.
I think it might be time to fertilize, but I'm not sure what kind of fertilizer to buy. Suggestions? Mom, I think I might be game for a worm farm/composter in a few months. What kind do you recommend? Didn't you say there are some that are very small/neat/tidy? Still need something else in the meantime.
It's been about two weeks since I placed the sweet potato in the water jar. It now has roots up to three inches long. No sprout yet, but I'm happy to see some action.
I get way too excited about checking on these things every morning.
April 15, 2010
Happy Birthday Kevin, Lindsay, Allie, Alison, Andres, Scott, Madison, Greg, Kate, BethAnne, Uncle Stephen, Charlotte, Michael, Rick, and Jesse!
I love birthday faces. Ya know, the face someone makes just after their friends and family sing Happy Birthday, and just before they make their wish and blow out the candles. It's often a touch awkward, because someone is yelling to wait for the camera, but there's always a hint of the giddiness of a five-year old. I think Scott's birthday face is particularly cute.
If your birthday is in April and I missed you on this list, please let me know!
On a somewhat related note... though my cake decorating skills are a disaster, this simple chocolate cake recipe is delicious. I used boiling coffee instead of boiling water, to add richness. For icing/filling, I whipped up some heavy cream, and added some cocoa and a tiny pinch of sugar. The sweet cake balances out the bitter chocolate whipped cream. It's my new go-to birthday cake recipe. What is yours?
April 14, 2010
Here is the promotional poster for the Delaware: The Musical premiere (last night):
I got to work with current UD Visual Communications student Kristin Berry on all of the UD Musical graphics. She came up with the concepts and did the illustrations and I helped with production. Kristin is super talented, fast and fun to work with!
I couldn't help but brag on my favorite fellow St. Louisan, Ladue High School alum, UD Alison Scholar, and UD VC girl!
My friend Avi (and his friend/colleague Drew) created this awesome glee-like musical to promote the University of Delaware. Check it out!
And congratulations, Avi! I really admire your enthusiasm and ability to pull this whole thing together. The way you got so many prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty and staff involved was pretty amazing, too.
I'm proud to be a blue hen : )
April 10, 2010
Today is the beginning of week four (day 21 since planting). Look how tall the zucchini and squash are! Check out those roots on the left. I'm trying to stall on transplanting them into pots since I don't have any yet (eep). How much longer can I wait? Also, should I be worried about those yellowish flimsy leaves on the one in the front/center? My instincts tell me that maybe it is getting sunburned since it's rightnextto a very sunny glass window. Plant doctors — any advice? Here is a close-up.
Edit: I think I may have solved it. The tin foil I used to protect the tray from water damage has been reflecting blinding light onto the leaves. Fixed!
I spy a cilantro leaf.
Pepper sprouts are looking happy.
I also thinned things out this week. I always resist that part, but I cleaned house so there is only one squash/zucchini plant per cup, and only two sprouts in all of the other cups (basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, peppers & tomato).
Nothing from the sweet potato yet, but I suspect it might take a couple of weeks. Some people say they sprout right away, others say it can take six weeks. We shall see.
Thanks for following along!
PS Just got a brand new copy of You Grow Girl, which looks like an AWESOME resource so far. Planning to dig into it more this weekend. I also ordered this one, but it's on back-order until May at Amazon. Aboo.
April 7, 2010
I'm attempting to grow a sweet potato in water.
I ogled all of the gorgeous window boxes in Philadelphia's Society Hill last summer, and my mom told me that the vine I envied so much was simply a sweet potato vine. They are the most brilliant yellowy-lime green or deep plum.
I'll keep you posted on the progress.
It feels like I'm doing a 3rd grade experiment, and it's glorious.
Oh, and I couldn't resist posting another ranunculus photo.
Forgive me : )
P.S. What is the difference between "root" "grow" and "propagate?" I'm trying to absorb this gardening vocabulary. It's all pretty new to me. I suppose I could Google it, but I like asking you.
April 6, 2010
I bought myself this beautiful little ranunculus from Poppy.
It's the first time they've been in season since I declared them
to be my new favorite.
One cute little stem on my desk has given me so much brightness.
Grandma Peggy, can you tell I miss your garden blogging?
The three of us midwest girls aren't completely familiar with beachy creatures — is this definitely a jellyfish? Anyone know what kind? The morning after it rained, there were hundreds of them all over the beach. They ranged in diameter from about two inches to one & a half feet!
April 5, 2010
We had some lovely visitors this weekend (Scott's family!), so I decided to make some no-knead bread while they were here.
The previous two times, I made this recipe — a hacked recipe which you should use if you only have 6–8 hours of time to let it rise. It also condones the use of a stock pot if you don't have a dutch oven around. Both times I made it, the dough was extremely soupy from beginning to end — I basically poured the dough into the pot. Though my loaves were just a wee bit flat, it tasted great, had a phenomenally crunchy crust, and I would still recommend this recipe if you have less time.
Also, if you are curious about which flour to use, I used all-purpose flour once and bread-flour the second time and couldn't tell the difference.
This time, I started with the recipe from Smitten Kitchen (and I still used my stock pot). Just before the final two-hour rise, I added 1/2 a cup of halved kalamata olives and about five halved garlic cloves by gently folding them into the dough. Mmmm! The dough was much easier to form into a ball (not a puddle like the previous recipe), and it rose into a large, rounded loaf.
Annnnd let me tell you, it was brilliant, if I do say so myself. Though it probably would've been better if I could've contained myself — I should've left it in the oven for a full 30 minutes in the very end so that it got a bit more browned on top. But! Still. Delicious.
Two years ago I experimented with soup.
Then salads. Now breads. What next?
Ponder ponder. Perhaps grilling?
April 4, 2010
The Easter Bunny brought me the most delicious dark chocolate & almond covered toffee. Thank you!
I can remember lying awake in my bed, watching the clock until 4am after Easter Sunday when I was a kid, because I ate 6x more chocolate than I ever did on Halloween.
Missing my own family today. I love you all! Hugs from 1,000 miles away : )
This weekend marks the beginning of week three — 15 days since planting.
This morning the first parsley sprouts snuck up and out of the soil. And after some very close inspection, I think I see a pepper sprout just about to spring up. That means everything has sprouted! It's alive!!
I think it's time to start hunting for some pots and buckets. I like the way these buckets (from here) are wrapped in burlap for a uniform earthy look, however, I'm not sure all of my containers need to be that deep. Has anyone had luck with Estate sales in the PA/DE region? I'm hoping to find some terracotta pots at a good price.
March 31, 2010
We put most of these back on the beach after collecting, sorting, and taking pictures of them. My mom developed a new game: scatter our unwanted shells on the beach (near our beach chairs), then sit back and watch who nibbles on them. A lazy, yet satisfying game.
The whole process of collecting, sorting and photographing is so wonderfully therapeutic. And it doesn't hurt that we did all of those things while basking in the Florida sunlight.
March 30, 2010
Check out the squash! All of the zucchini and squash sprouts are about two inches tall already, and it's only been 10 days since I planted them.
The basil, chives and tomato are peeking out of the soil, too. Teeny little sprouts—right on track.
The bell peppers have one questionable sprout (out of three pots). Not sure if it's actually a pepper sprout or something else random from the potting soil. We shall see.
No sign of the cilantro or parsley. Hmmm. Patience is key.
March 28, 2010
Just got back from a fantastic little vacation with my mom and my aunt Melissa. The mom spotted this heart-shell, and it turned out to be my favorite picture of the trip. But grrr, once again we forgot to get a shot of all of us together.
We got twice as many sunny days as we'd expected!
Lots of catching up, relaxing, and shelling.
Oh, and lots of grouper. ; )
Looking forward to future girls' trips when more ladies can join us.
PS Thank you Kathy & Terry for sharing your lovely home with us!
March 27, 2010
March 20, 2010
Three little planters of each — basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, tomato, squash, zucchini & peppers. I lined the box with plastic wrap and put a few seeds in each little pot (knowing I'll have to thin them out eventually). The pots are biodegradable so transplanting should be a breeze. After taking pics, I covered the whole thing with plastic wrap*, poked a few teeny holes, and put it in our big south-facing window.
Some things, like the squash, I'm afraid I might be starting too early in the season. Buttt if the squash does well, we may be gifting a couple of the seedlings to friends. I hear one squash plant is plenty.
Keep your fingers crossed for me! I'm going to be so excited if I even get one veggie out of this bunch.
Advice is still always welcome (especially if you notice anything I am doing wrong). I'm planning to post weekly progress : )
*Edit: should I take the plastic wrap off so the seeds have better air circulation? Don't want them to get too moist and then moldy. Hmmmmm...
March 19, 2010
March 18, 2010
Last night I bought a bunch of seeds to start our backyard garden (basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, tomato, squash, zucchini & peppers). I'm a little skeptical about attempting to start all of these from the seed, but this blog post recommended certain plants for it. I'm starting them inside, just as the post recommends.
I'm feeling confident about getting the seeds to sprout, but now it's time to do some research about the part that comes next: transplanting, container gardening, vegetable gardening, etc.
Do you gardeners out there have any favorite gardening books? I've seen some recommendations for You Grow Girl and Grow Great Grub. Ever check 'em out?
Also, if you have any advice from your own gardening experience (Mom! Grandma Peggy! Avi!), pretty please share your wisdom. I'm excited, but wary of my black thumb.
PS I also just discovered that the April issue of Grid Magazine (towards a sustainable Philadelphia) is all about city gardening! Just grabbed my copy. You can actually see a virtual issue online if you're interested.
March 17, 2010
March 16, 2010
March 12, 2010
March 10, 2010
March 9, 2010
Last weekend we drove down to DC to visit Courtney and Becca.
We crammed a lot into two days!
- Told stories and drank too many margaritas in Courtney's kitchen
- Played buck hunter and skeeball at Rocket Bar
- Walked around the mall all afternoon (gorgeous sunny and 50º!)
- Watched a group of dancing kids ham it up in front of the Washington Monument
- Discovered the best little restaurant in China Town
- Baked gooey butter cake on somewhat of a whim
- Watched The Hurt Locker, which had me on the edge of my seat
- Took a few photos near Courtney's neighborhood on Sunday morning
AND! We made it back to Philly by 2pm Sunday, which left us with plenty of time to explore the huge Asian supermarket, walk to Reading Terminal Market, do some laundry, relax, and watch the Oscars. An amazing weekend, I'd say.
Thanks for being an awesome hostess, Courtney! We had a great time.
Happy Birthday Chris, Lauren, Bill, Dom, Haley and Greg!
Due to my blogging slump, I missed February, which was a doozy of a birthday month. So happy belated to Sam F., Dawn, Graham, Connie, Diane, Lauren M., Lorraine and Nitika!
Let me know if I missed anybody!
This birthday blog each month may be kind of silly, but I like it.
January 28, 2010
I think I found a design competition I'd like to enter:
READY SET is a limited edition collection of prints that will be designed by you and letterpress printed by Gilah Press + Design. Of all submissions received, only ten artworks will be selected for inclusion in the finished limited edition boxed set. Entries will be judged for concept, design, illustration and typography.
“Fly” is the first collection’s theme and is entirely open to your interpretation.
Once the jury has sorted through the initial submissions, each of the 10 chosen artists will be contacted for a final AI/EPS file of their artwork. We will letterpress the artwork, produce an edition of 110 and each of the winning artists will receive their own boxed set of prints.
After all is said and done, Gilah Press + Design will host a READY SET studio show where each of the letterpressed artworks will be put on display. The completed boxed sets will also be available for purchase at that time. And we certainly can’t forget about all of the delicious food and wine we’ll be consuming to celebrate. Soon afterwards, the sets will also be listed for sale on this website.
This will satisfy another one on the list:
Also, since I'll be designing it in the next week,
I think I may count it as my January design project.
January 26, 2010
Good episode of This American Life.
"Of all the 6 and a half billion people in the world, what are the odds that any two people are a real match? Stories from people who know they’ve beat the odds, and the lengths they’ve gone to do it—including an American professor who sings Chinese opera for anyone who'll listen, to get one step closer to his mate, and two kids who travel halfway around the country to find each other and become best friends."
January 25, 2010
#6 on the list of 25 things to do before I turn 26 is complete!
Saturday I went to Terrain to take a gardening class: Houseplants 101. The store itself is rustic, calming and whimsical. The gorgeous products and displays are great inspiration, so I didn't mind spending a bit extra on a couple of items (which were a little overpriced). A nice treat!
The class was a wonderful deal. For $15, there was an hour long lecture, and then an hour of help selecting a plant, a pot and help with potting the plant (plant + pot cost extra). I got some really basic questions answered, such as, "Is this pot big enough?" "Am I packing the soil too tightly?" "How high should it sit in the pot?" and "Can you show me how to tease and massage the roots?" I had read about these things, but getting some hands-on instruction was great.
The photo above is my new rosemary plant, which will soon be placed in our cool, drafty, sunny south-facing window sill (after it rests in the shade for the week because of the shock of being repotted). It smells so delicious. We're going to make this tonight (recommended by the teacher).
In the next week or so, I'll post some of what I learned about light, watering, soil, topsoil, potting, fertilizer, herbs and pests.
Oh, and on a sidenote, I went to this class all by myself! I get anxious about driving to new places alone (especially places 30+ minutes away). And! I think the last time I entered a classroom without knowing anyone else was three years ago. It was a small challenge for me, and it made me feel really good to push myself. Everyone was so nice, and I had a really great time : )