Friday, April 7, 2017


Our patriarch turned the big 6-0 last week so naturally what do we to celebrate? Surprise the man! He was insistent on no surprise parties so we stayed true to that word. Instead Peg planned a whole surprise birthday weekend in Berkeley with just his nearest and dearest.

To say he was shocked and awed is an understatement.

I've decided that surprising people I love the most might be one of my favorite things in the world.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Our nation's capital

Welp this post is just a smidge delayed. Better late than pregnant!* (I read this somewhere a long long time ago and it's immediately what I say instead of the real phrase. I may never grow up) Anywho, back in January, I had the opportunity to take advantage of a sightseeing/play date in Washington DC and it was a wonderful reminder of a lot of the good things going on. While the weather was more than dismal - we're talking rain and 40+ mph winds - I was so grateful to spend the day with a colleague who I had just met in October, but already know is going to be a lifer.

The two of us did not let the weather deter us and we still covered a lot of ground, blisters and all.

Walking the National Mall is just hard to explain. This overwhelming feeling of patriotism took over. Regardless of all the political talk that is dominating conversation these days, I pushed that aside to let myself feel pride in this great country of ours.

We had a ton of laughs and made the best of what we could.

And you know what? That to me is what life is all about.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

one year of bella-ness!

A year ago today, I was walking into Felines & Canines, ready to meet my soon-to-be Bella. While I knew life could potentially change, I was also convinced she wouldn't turn out to be the dog I hoped and I'd leave empty handed.

Boy, was I ever wrong. And thank goodness for that.

When I first saw her on Petfinder, her name was "Tiff" and she was described as "sweet but timid". It was her eyes that did me in. I knew I had to at least meet her and here we stand: one year later.

It's been a bit challenging, definitely life changing and I'm pretty confident I've never been obsessed with anything more in my life.

I'm just so happy this perky, energetic, cuddly, gentle sweetheart ended up with me. I can only hope this next year brings less remote controls chewed upon, less pillows snacked on and even more fun.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Does this feel even more like a Throwback Thursday because I'm actually posting?

Well, believe you me, your eyes do not deceive you. This is present time and I'm back...with a #tbt post because these are some things I'm loving today - which are bringing it back:
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch. They were on sale at the grocery store the other day and I had to have them. Now that the entire box is gone, I remember why I cannot keep this item in my own house.

Image credit
  • Let me Blow Your Mind. a la the E-V-E and Gwen Stefani. Man, this jam brings me back to high school and when I thought I was just the coolest - blaring it with the top off the Jeep and cruisin' the GE streets.

  • The 64 mega-pack from Crayola with the sharpener. I haven't bought school supplies in years, but I saw a picture of a crayon box the other day and thought YES. That's the stuff! These used to be so hard to come by and man, did you have your pick of the litter when you had 64 colors to share.
Image credit

So much goodness. Back in the day.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

i'm in love! i'm in love!

And I don't care who knows it! (quote compliments of Elf)

The newest love of my life?

Sweet Bella girl. Don't we look great together?

She's just the bees knees and more. So gentle and fun and wonderful. She hasn't figured out that her crate is also her friend, but she's so smart - I have no doubt she will very soon. Check out this mad head tilt:

I mean. I can't even handle that she's real. 

I was browsing Petfinder on Saturday afternoon - just looking - and I stumbled upon her listing. The first thing that caught my eye were her eyes. They were so sweet and soulful and I knew I had to go meet her. I borrowed brother's car the next day and kid you not: she was the first dog I saw at this seriously amazing shelter called Felines & Canines up north and I.Was.Hooked. So many questions ran through my head, but as soon as we were in a room one on one, I knew this was my dog. And I think she knew something too (because you know - she's the smartest).

So here we are! Figuring things out - not really sleeping - but my gosh - she just rocks.

And she's mine! Come visit. She loves people. And anything that moves. And small treats. And cuddling.

Friday, November 13, 2015

quoting smart humans.

I'm not about to take credit for compiling the below list, but if you know me, you know I love lists and I love quotes. I love quotes that are both funny and deep and by golly, this list hits the nail on the head.


Life Advice from 10 Smart Humans
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
{Maya Angelou}

"The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked...that's the moment you may be starting to get it right."
{Neil Gaiman}

"Don't try to win over the haters. You are not a jackass whisperer."
{Brene Brown}

"I see people my age...getting married to people they've known for a like a year and a half. A year and a half? Is that enough time to get to know someone to know you want to spend the REST of your life with them? I've had sweaters for a year and a half and I was like 'What the fuck was I doing with this sweater?'"
{Aziz Ansari}

"Deep breaths are very helpful at shallow parties."
{Barbara Walters}

"My husband likes to say that the work is probably evenly split if both partners feel like they are doing upward of 60 percent of the work, since a lot of what one partner does is necessarily invisible to the other partner. If you feel like you are doing half, you're not."
{Rebecca Rosen}

"There is hardly a more gracious gift that we can offer somebody than to accept them fully, to love them almost despite themselves."
{Elizabeth Gilbert}

"Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere. A berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And siting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core out to be. I don't want anyone I know to take that terrible chance. And the only way to avoid it is to listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Eliot wrote, 'It is never too late to be what you might have been.' It is never too early, either."
{Anna Quindlen}

"Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived...Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist's true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here."
{Anne Lamott}

"Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched."
{Mindy Kaling}

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

you're my boy, blue apron

During girls' weekend #2 on the Cape in the beginning of October, one of the ladies mentioned how much she loved Blue Apron and how much more enjoyable cooking was.

Now - if you know me, you know the words enjoyable and cooking never go in the same sentence. That said, I decided it was fate when I was reading one of my favorite blogs and she was offering $20 off to the first 100 readers to sign up for Blue Apron.

I caved.

I was nervous.

I'm renown in my family for failed cooking attempts - anything from scrambled eggs (which I've since mastered thankyouverymuch) to not plugging the crock pot in with all the ingredients inside.

My first Blue Apron delivery arrived the last week of October and it was intimidating. I was lifting things I'd never seen before out of said package . Thank goodness for recipes with pictures. AmIright?

Meal #1: Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese 
with brussel sprout, argula and hazelnut salad

Luckily Marky was in town for this and able to give an extra helping hand (plus an extra pot of honey? What? Yes, it's true). This was the least intimidating recipe to me because well, it's grilled cheese. But guys, this one was legit. 

The dressing for the salad was delightful. Let me bring you back to the helpful pot of honey. Blue Apron does an impressive packaging job; however, the little bag containing the honey had unfortunately broken open in transport and spilled pretty much everywhere. Which put us in a sticky situation (oh yes, I did). I was sad to not be able to make the true homemade dressing.

Ready to turn to the trusty ol' ranch dressing, my random brother declared "oh I have honey in my bag!" And by golly, that boy sure did. Talk about meant to be(e).

Meal consensus: Absolutely delicious. Wanted to lick my plate.

Meal #2: Spicy Fregola Sarda
with soft-boiled eggs, fennel & kale

Feeling confident from the success of meal #1, I concocted meal #2 on my own. I had zero clue what the second two words of the recipe were and I don't do "spicy". Being the wise woman I am, I simply left the red pepper flakes out of this puppy and holy cow, was it delicious!

Who knew that fregola is a type of pasta? Certainly not I! This dish is filled with tons of veggies and vegetarian-friendly. It did take me forever and a day to chop everything up so if I venture to make this again, I'll have an extra set of hands. I also see this working with pretty much any kind of pasta, which is great because do they even sell fregola in regular grocery stores? I do not know.

Meal consensus: really flavorful but so.much.chopping.

Meal #3: Delicata Squash Red Curry
with black rice & thai basil

Sadly I waited to long to make this and the greens were no longer useable. But in my mind, two outta three meals ain't bad!

Overall Blue Apron consensus: TRY IT. It's affordable when you consider you get exactly the right amount of ingredients and you're eating delicious, fresh food. Plus I kid you not when I say: if I can do it, you most definitely can - says the girl who didn't know what fennel looked like.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

that time i fell in love with minnesota.

and two boys under the age of three.

That second part sounds creepier than intended.

At the end of July, I finally got the chance to visit my friend LJ's lakehouse in Minnesota. I've only been hearing about this so-called Pelican Lake since 2002 so I figured - fine, I guess this friendship isn't going away and thirteen years later, I made it!
oh hello, my love.
Something I realized on my way up there: I'd never been outside in Minnesota. My only experience was staying inside the Minneapolis airport (solid airport, by the way).

Fresh Minnesota air.
Quality time (aka spending a first of the month with someone who truly appreciates it as much as you).
Homecooked meals.
Sparklers (not the firework-y kind)

It was the recipe for a perfect long weekend. And it was. Oh it was.

Here's the sneak peek:

Teach Fordie pie the importance of selfies. While he drools. What an (almost) 3 year old move:

His dad graciously brought him a lollipop the size of his head. How sweet:

Donaldson boys: reunited!

Saturday happy hour cruisin' with this strappin' lad:

I woke up like this:

Sunday bloody (Mary) Sunday:

Just holding an intellectual conversation about waterskiing with your toes with my bud, Kelly:

Upside down giggles:

Sweet new kicks!

Best slippers around:

I'm so glad I finally got to enjoy it. I'm just bummed it took me so long to get there!

The good news? I'll be so very back if the gracious hosts allow it!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

owning the night like the 4th of july


I just got to spend ten days in my most favorite place ever. Yes, I realize I haven't been everywhere this wonderful world has to offer, but I know enough about me that I feel as relaxed as ever when I'm on Cape time. And that is worth every single penny.

Originally, I was slated to spend about 6.4 days there but as I sat on the picture perfect beach day as pictured below:

I realized that leaving Wednesday was just too soon. I need more time. So I did what any self-sufficient smart folk would do: hopped onto the SWA app (whilst on said beach) and booked myself a different flight out for Sunday night. For a mere $26 more. Guys, it was clearly a no brainer. And a pretty genius move, if I do say so myself.

That said, this trip was filled with some house upkeep, completely wonderful beach time and solid running.

I feel refreshed, revitalized and yet not...ready to leave at all.

I don't know what it is about this place that just feels hypnotic and magical. And I know I am so blessed that I truly can come back whenever, yet whenever I cross over that bridge back to reality, it hurts.

I guess that's a good sign?
hi pretty running path.
mark does a great job of reading on the new deck.
guess whose geeky idea it was to hold up 4 fingers for the 4th of july?
surely NOT MINE.
history! mugs consuming food at sesuit harbor in the summatime.
the most gorgeous dune tour ever.
hi pretty.
never ever gonna get old.
so cool.
mutual adoration.
it truly hurts to leave.

Friday, June 5, 2015

time to kampe!

This here's a quick tale of my best friend's wedding.

Which happened about a month ago and I'm just now getting around to writing about it. Ho hum.

It was pretty darn surreal. I'm still not quite sure it happened, but yet I'm thinking it did.

I arrived in Cincy the Wednesday before because why not? Originally the plan was to help out with any last minute wedding details, given I haven't been able to do any of the little stuff, living out of the state and all. However, I arrived to a calm as could be bride - as sure of herself as ever. And a groom patient and gracious enough to allow me to invade their home just days before they were making it official.

I just wanted to hit pause on everything. Soak it all in. I haven't seen her happier or more stunning and for that, Brian, I thank you. It was truly a memorable, amazing weekend that if I think about too long, I become sad it's already over.

I'm excited to welcome a half brother-in-law in my life and as I warned him, when you marry Tina, I'm a part of that package - for better or worse.

Cheers to this next chapter, Mr. and Mrs. Kampe! Can't wait to see what's next. Love you two kids.

Champagne supernova - all did up.
Strong selfie game.
It's official!
We did it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

aw nuts!

Welp - my peanut world is officially rocked. These came in a goody basket my loverly parents won at a fundraiser last month which I promptly scooped.

Holy moly me oh my.

They are deeeeeeeeeelightful.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

somehow it's april?

Welp it seems the last of February came and went and now I've completely missed the month of March. Ho hum. Sooooooo for that, I shall update you with simply pictures because that's what I do.

Brothers Angel on the mikes:

Ricky and I went to Charlotte with the intention of visiting Mark, but picked up a new friend in Mindy as well:

St. Paddy's Duck Hulk Smashing:

Oh then I went to Louisville to celebrate this stranger:

We took some family selfies:

And we took a standard:

Then I went to Dallas for my cousin's wedding and forced Mark to be my date:

The ceremony was glorious:

We hit the dance floor. Hard:

Then Mark smushed my face:

My father turned one and we were oh so proud:

And I kicked off April on a strong runnin' note:

Let's do this, Spring!