Christmas day games
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
One more walk around Lake of the Isles before the snow comes
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
- A spooky punch to serve at your party or for the adults that stop by with the trick-or-treaters
- Even though I'm a dog person, I do love these photos of Blackie.
- I don't have baby fever, but Taza's kids make me want little ones to dress up! Especially as Anna Wintour!
- I still find myself looking at wedding blogs, and here is an gothic inspired wedding perfect for Halloween!
- Put together a last minute Halloween dinner for some friends!
Friday, October 25, 2013
Towards the end of my time in Florence, I was getting very homesick. It's hard to even admit now because I would do anything to go back and live there again! However, I had lived there a few months, and was really homesick. I missed my friends and family, but mostly I missed my sisters. (this was before Skype or FaceTime was popular). The first weekend of November, my friend Kim from Germany (we met when she was a foreign exchange student at my high school), asked if I wanted to visit her and her family. I was reluctant for a few reasons (being a broke college student was one of them), but in the end decided to take the overnight train to see her. I arrived very early in the morning at the Stuttgart train station; the sun hadn't even come up yet, and the station was deserted. She was standing there waiting to see me and holding a leash with Lena (her Bernese mountain dog) on the other end. I gave her and Lena a hug, tired but happy to see such excited faces. We drove in her car to the bakery so we could pick up some fresh bread for breakfast that morning (side note: Germans know bread. They are bread artists if you will). Kim was chatting away and I remember watching the sunrise as we pulled up to her family home with Lena wagging her tail to get out. I was greeted by her parents and Kim showed me to my room for the weekend. It was a lovely space on the top floor perfect for my stay. Kim had put DVD's of "Sex and the City" in my room in case I needed some American TV. After showing me around the house, we sat down for a typical German breakfast of soft boiled eggs, German rolls, and a variety of cheeses. Kim made a pot of tea and we drank every last drop while talking and catching up on life. It was during my conversation with her and her mom Sabine, that I realized how happy I was. This was exactly what I needed, time with my "sister" and some time with my "mom." My heart could not have been more full with love and comfort, and instantly my entire outlook on the rest of my semester there changed for the better. I had the most wonderful weekend there, hiking in the hills of Stuttgart, shopping with Kim and her mom in the local boutiques, and dining out with the whole family (including Lena!) at a beautiful local restaurant. It was the most wonderful feeling to be "home" again. Even as I looked out the window on the train back to Italy, I held in my hand a letter from her dad Eberhart, thanking me for coming out that weekend and giving me a little money for the trip home like all wonderful dads do.
I was fortunate enough to have their whole family attend our wedding in Italy this past May. Kim was with me when I was getting dressed for the ceremony, and her father was the first to give a speech at our wedding dinner. I believe that people across the world are connected in so many ways, and you can find family and comfort when you least expect it. I am so blessed for my friendship with Kim, and so happy to know that I always have a place in Germany that feels like home.
Sabine's art studio
Kim and Lena
Hiking in Stuttgart
My beautiful German sister
An incredible and loving speech at our wedding
Friday, October 11, 2013
Sunshine through the autumn leaves
These candles smell amazing and I love the wine bottle touch
It's never to early to teach kids to cook
Special mid week social at the Hotel Ivy
Gorgeous architecture at the Itasca building
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Wheatberry Salad a fail by any means, but it definitely did not turn out the way I expected. The wheat berries took twice as long to cook as the instructions said, and I they didn't really turn "soft." It was more like "chewy."Nonetheless, it was an easy dish to make (I even made pesto sauce while waiting for the wheat berries to cook) and I look forward to having it for lunches this week.
I use Alessi coarse salt when I salt water for cooking
Monday, October 7, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
1. Hocus Pocus
2. Young Frankenstein
3. Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein
5. Practical Magic
6. Rear Window
7. Death Becomes Her
8. The Craft
9. The Birds
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
- Books - Coffee table books can show your personal style and interests. The only rule I tend to follow is stick to a book that has mostly images instead of text. We have a ton of art and art history books lying around that I rotate throughout the year. I also love books about fashion, travel, or interior decorating.
- Trays - I think trays can be so versatile on a table. It allows me to put decor and other objects on the table, and then take them all off in one swoop if needed. They make the table look styled and organized. I chose this tray since I like that you can still see the beautiful wood on our table. However, I also like these options and may update over time. When winter comes, I will probably lay a placemat inside the tray like this one to add some holiday decor.
- Candles - I think that white candles look the best since they are so neutral. I also usually ignore the scentless candle rule if I'm not serving dinner. This candle is my favorite during the fall. My mother in law also gave me the best candle advise I've ever heard; only choose scents that are natural to the earth. Stay away from the ones that smell like baked goods since they usually have saccharine in them (and make me want to eat an entire batch of cookies).
- Plants or Flowers - I always try to have fresh flowers in the house. They bring simple beauty to any space, and the coffee table seems pulled together with some type of natural element on it. I try to stick to plants or flowers that are not very tall since we watch TV over our coffee table. Succulents and pothos are also a good coffee table plants.
- Decor - Try to add some personal style to your table. I have a small glass bottle that currently holds conversation questions. Poker cards, interesting sculptures, or seasonal elements can add an whimsical touch and make your table feel less like a picture from a catalog.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Angelina Zuppa Zuppa
Makes: 6-8 servings
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion diced
3 garlic cloves small diced
2 lbs sweet Italian sausage casings removed
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
3 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp red pepper chili flakes
2 bay leaves1 Zucchini diced
1 russet potato peeled and diced
2 carrots peeled and diced
1 28 oz can of stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 14oz can of cannelloni beans
32 oz Beef Broth
1 bunch of swiss chard leaves removed and roughly chopped
In a large dutch oven, add olive oil on medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Squeeze the sausage out of the casing into the pot and break up meat with a wooden spoon. When the meat is fully cooked, drain off some of the fat. I did this the fancy way by tipping the pan and soaking up the fat with paper towels and tongs. Once you've got most of the fat, add in all the spices (salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, paprika, chili flakes, and bay leaves). Stir so the meat gets fully coated in the spices and then add remaining ingredients except the swiss chard. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, and then lower heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook the soup for 45 minutes so flavors blend. Add the swiss chard and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool slightly before serving into soup bowls. Enjoy!
Didn't use all the ingredients I planned because it didn't fit into the pot. #italianproblems
Rachel Ray taught me to use a garbage bowl. Very helpful!
Tomato paste is better in a tube so you can save it in the refrigerator.
I served it with crusty bread, yum!
Monday, September 23, 2013
Soup season! Recipe coming Wednesday
Shopping at Jonathan Adler
My new autumn tea from Teavana
My brother-in-law showing us his farm. Organically beautiful.