Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Looking Back: November

I always hate to be the person to say, “Wow, can you believe it’s Insert Month Here?” But really, seriously, wow, can you believe it’s November? Because I most definitely can’t. I feel like it was February five seconds ago—February 2010 five minutes ago—and now, here we are, one month left of the year.
In November last year, John and I were hanging out on a beach in Punta Cana. Over those five days, I read two books (this and I can’t remember the other one), swam with stingrays, went snorkeling, ate coconuts on the beach and learned Prince William and Kate were getting married.

We did this excursion. 

While I haven’t had that need-to-be-in-the-warm-weather RIGHT NOW feeling yet,  I’ve already started turning the heat up when John’s not looking and yesterday I broke out the winter jacket.

But can you blame me? This is what the trees looked like in Punta Cana: 

And these were the trees outside our apartment on Saturday: 

(And that just made this post basically the same as this one. But that was March! It’s too soon for snow!)  

So what were you doing last November? And what are you looking forward to this year? 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Apple Picking Success

Although, truth be told, if you had asked any of us while sitting at a gas station at 3:30 p.m. last Saturday whether we definitively thought apple picking would have been a success, we likely would have had another answer for you.

Because, as you can imagine, we weren’t the only ones who thought going apple picking on an 80-degree long weekend in October was a good idea. But! The bright side: We found an orchard, complete with beer garden, cider donuts and live music. And once we got our bags and figured out where the best apples were, the day turned out pretty great.

All photos by the super-talented Dorna.

We had planned to make apple pies when we got home, but with some butternut squash, whole wheat pasta and spinach, Karen made dinner, instead. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


After some back and forth—and lots of Etsy research—I finally decided it was time for this blog to get a new look. And here it is! What do you think?

I bought the template from Yellow & Savvy Design and love the colors, the cuts and the fact that it reflects my own style a lot more than before. Next up, I'll (finally) be working on the About page and just overall editing some of the features. Baby steps, yes? Anyway, I hope you like it and that you're enjoying this lovely Tuesday!  

xo, m 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple Picking Inspiration

We’re going apple picking on Saturday—yay for all fall activities, all the time!—and as a way to avoid having like, five pounds of apples sitting around for weeks on end, I’ve been thinking about lots of different ways we can use them. I'm hoping to help John's mom make apple jelly (apple jam?), but aside from that, how good to THESE look? 

I found this recipe for "Classic Apple Crisp" over at Pinch of Yum

And hi, apple nachos. LOVE. The recipe, from Shugary Sweets, is here.  

And check out these Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes from The Craving Chronicles. (p.s., the rest of her food photography looks pretty awesome, too.) 

Have you made any apple-infused goodness lately? Any tips? 

All photo credits linked above. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Turning Twenty Eight

On Monday, we went on a wine tasting cruise on the Hudson River - so fun! 

I’ve been making a ridiculous number of lists lately. What we need to buy for the apartment. Recipes I want to try. Movies/books/music I want to see/read/listen to. And that’s in addition to my boring every morning “Things I seriously need to get accomplished today” list.

So it’s only fitting that when I turned 28 on Monday, I started to make a list of what I was looking forward to for the year and, since I am always all sorts of nostalgic, what the past year was like.

I’d have to say that 27 was a bit all over the place, although maybe that’s every year. But there were lots of upsides. The getting married part, most of all. And the moving in together. The having of our family from Italy, Canada and friends from California here. The visiting of new places—Punta Cana last November, Miami in March, Spain in July, Dallas in September. The learning that what’s right for some people, isn’t always right for me. (And that that’s ok.)

But there’s been lots of adjusting to different situations. And lots of time wasted with worrying. (Weddings will SERIOUSLY do that to you. I was watching an episode of Dina’s Party on HGTV the other day and she was throwing a wedding re-do for this couple where the husband got salmonella poisoning and missed the reception. And I was all, OMG that was my worst fear realized. I think I ate nothing but pizza the two days leading up to the wedding. Why pizza? My dad, a former pizza man, says nothing can live in a 400-plus degree oven. If he’s lying, PLEASE don’t tell me.)

All in all, though, I’d like to think that on the first year of my late 20’s, things came together quite nicely.

And now, on to 28. I thought about making a “29 before 29” list, but I stopped at 20 and didn’t feel like forcing it. So we’re going to title this To Do at 28, instead.

Here are a few:

- Make donuts 
- Go to Iceland
- Win that godforsaken radio contest already
- Finish my professional website
- Take a photography class
- Do a juice fast
- Have a tapas party
- Volunteer, preferably with something that has to do with reading
- Learn to make tomato sauce from Nonna
- Forget the “shoulds”

I’m hoping that having these here will actually remind me to finish them. That, and the fact that I’m going to print the list out and scotch tape it to my desk. (Better add bulletin board to that list of things to buy for the apartment.)

What about you? Do you have a running list of things you want to accomplish in any given year?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Summer in Spain

It’s only a few hours into fall, but I’m still wearing flip flops (albeit in the rain…) and though I’m as excited as the next girl for pumpkin spice lattes, I’m not totally ready to give up on the fact that summer is, in fact, over. So, to keep that feeling going, I thought I’d (finally) share a few pics from our July honeymoon in Spain.
I’m in the midst of creating a photo book on Shutterfly—thank you, Groupon—and have been picking out some of my faves. Here are a few:

After a bumpy ride to Malaga, in southern Spain, we picked up our lovely blue rental car, and drove to Marbella to start our 13-day trip.

We had a gift certificate to the spa and a bottle of Cava waiting for us (thanks Carmine, Chris and Karen!). And with a view of the ocean, it gave those first four days a decidedly “honeymoon-ish” feel.

After lots of beaching and pooling and mid-day napping, we made the two-hour drive to Sevilla—my favorite of all the cities, actually. (This photo was actually from the Granada leg of the trip, but we made a similar stop at some randomly packed roadside restaurant on the Sevilla side.)

Road trip food!

I don’t know if it was because it felt like a small town in Italy (although that could have just been the ridiculous amount of tourists) or that the little streets lend themselves perfectly to fun walks, but from our hotel, which used to be a palace, (picture below on the left) to the gardens of the Reales Alcazar to the awesome restaurants we found courtesy of an English language Lonely Planet we picked up, it was seriously amazing.

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From Sevilla, we made our way to Granada, where this photo below was the view from the hotel café. We got up early to wait in line for Alhambra tickets, wanted to try all the tea in town and put our blue car to good use driving up the mountains of the Sierra Nevada until we found no guardrails and lots of mountain goats.

After dropping our rental car off with the gas station attendant next to the airport, (who kindly left his post and drove us to our gate.), we boarded our flight to Barcelona. We spent three days walking for hours, dodging people and street performers on Las Ramblas, shopping—oh, how I love you red-ish pants from Zara—stuffing our faces with (even more) tapas and loving all things Gaudi.

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Overall, it was amazing, honestly. And I know you’re supposed to say that about your honeymoon and all, but it really was. There were times when we wondered whether we should have gone on a more beachy or exotic trip, but I think this suited us much better—the wine was cheap, the roads were perfect for getting lost and the company couldn’t have been better.

P.S. If you'd like to see some photos from the wedding, click here.