January Sunsets

Already 2016 is flying by, though I’m not complaining. I was more than ready for a fresh start after last year. Here’s what we’ve been up to …

IMG_20160116_142441-COLLAGEWe trekked to Harrisburg, PA, for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s U.S. wedding celebration. One of the best parts, besides spending time with family, was a really fun trip to the Pennsylvania Capitol. It was a beautiful building and we got to take a great free tour.thumb_IMG_8662_1024I’m so excited that the sun is already setting a little later and even though I don’t like it getting dark so early, winter sunsets are one of my favorite parts of my office location on the third floor of our house. With no leaves on the trees I can see really far and it’s just lovely.thumb_IMG_8678_1024Back in Harrisburg we went to the Pennsylvania Farm Show, which was basically a giant fair indoors. It was quite a sight and fun for a little while until the smell of animals, fried food and cleaning product mingled just a bit too much and we had to high-tail it outside to get some fresh air.thumb_IMG_8742_1024The main reason we were in Harrisburg was to celebrate the nuptials of John and Priya. We hadn’t seen them in so long and it was really nice to spend time with them and the rest of Mike’s family. Now we’re home and gearing up for the Patriots game this weekend!

2015 into 2016

Happy New Year! We’re diving back into work and routine after two weeks off enjoying the holidays. Here’s how we spent the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 …

IMG_20151206_163729We made soft pretzels (using this recipe if you’re interested) and they were AMAZING!IMG_20151209_201448Upstatement hosted its holiday party at Spoke in Davis Square. This is one of our favorite restaurants, so it’s always such a treat to go there. IMG_20151226_115445This is a bit out of order, but it was so warm on December 26 that Mike played golf.thumb_IMG_8488_1024We got to go to the WBUR holiday party because Upstatement is doing their website and that included ice skating at the Agganis Arena, which was so cool.thumb_IMG_8494_1024We went on the Somerville Art Council’s Illuminations Tour, one of the city’s best events of the year. Hot chocolate + cookies + holiday lights = delicious, festive funthumb_IMG_8528_1024We went to New Hampshire for a few days to celebrate Christmas with the family. We had so much fun playing games, doing puzzles, eating great food and exchanging gifts, like our family cookbook!thumb_IMG_8546_1024When we returned to the city, we went to see Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 at the A.R.T. in Harvard Square. It was phenomenal!thumb_IMG_8551_1024We also went to Tatte, AKA heaven.thumb_IMG_8552_1024Cherry trees were blooming in Boston on Christmas Eve.thumb_IMG_8560_1024Somerville does not mess around with holiday lights.thumb_IMG_8567_1024Christmas!thumb_IMG_8616_1024First snow of the season.thumb_IMG_8655_1024We had visitors for New Year’s, which was so much fun. We walked all over Boston and had an amazing dinner at Highland Kitchen (our other favorite restaurant).thumb_IMG_8636_1024And just like that is was 2016 and we were at Gillette Stadium for the Winter Classic. We planned this for so long (like a year) and it was beyond fun.thumb_IMG_8650_1024The Bruins lost but the whole experience was fabulous and I’m so glad we got to experience together.thumb_IMG_8653_1024Black-eyed peas and collard greens with farro) for luck and money in the coming year! This is a Southern tradition we adopted last year and I love it. This meal is delicious, easy and fun to think it may bring you a great year.

Thanksgiving 2015

This was our fourth year hosting Thanksgiving and third(!) in our house, which I can hardly believe. We lucked out this year with unseasonably warm weather, which allowed us to take some much-needed walks between feasts.thumb_IMG_8329_1024I took this snap on my usual walking route, the Community Path, in Somerville. It was rainy, but such a pretty scene.thumb_IMG_8332_1024A couple of weeks ago Mike gave a talk at Creative Somerville at Aeronaut Brewing. His dad even made it up for the evening and Mike did so well!thumb_IMG_8340_1024And just like that, it was Thanksgiving. This year we used Muzzy’s tablecloth, napkins and runner on the sideboard and Mike’s grandparents’ glasses. I love adding special family touches to our home.thumb_IMG_8342_1024Apparently our Christmas cactus didn’t get the message that it’s not quite time to bloom yet. No matter, we LOVE this beauty, which brightens up out kitchen a lot during the short days this time of year.thumb_IMG_8345_1024Thanksgiving crew, unfortunately my dad wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t make it down. We still had a nice time, though he was missed.thumb_IMG_8375_1024Cuties all dressed up for dinner on Friday night.thumb_IMG_8386_1024After a day of resting and cleaning up from fall, we decided it was time for Christmas. We absolutely love this season and try to make it last as long as possible. thumb_IMG_8392_1024We got our tree at Ricky’s, a local nursery, and had so much fun decorating the house inside and out!

Fall Fun

Fall is in full swing here and we’ve been enjoying it at every turn.thumb_IMG_8183_1024Flowers from our garden! I thought our Black-Eyed Susans weren’t going to bloom at all, but they’ve been a riot of blooms all fall.thumb_IMG_8210_1024We went up to New Hampshire to visit Muzzy and Bob over the weekend and went on a nice hike near Castle in the Clouds. It was a crisp, but beautiful way to get outdoors and see the foliage. thumb_IMG_8215_1024I’ve been all over the world, but New Hampshire truly is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever been.thumb_IMG_8233_1024It was also Sandwich Fair weekend, so we stopped by to say hi to all of our animal friends (Mike especially loved the geese and cows, of course). We also loaded up on fair food–soup in bread bowls, fried pickles, fried dough, doughnuts and cider. So glad we made it this year!thumb_IMG_8251_1024And now we’re home and the leaves are changing in Somerville too. I snapped this photo on the way back from breakfast yesterday morning. It was such a picture-perfect fall day.

September Scenes

Summer is officially over, though you’d hardly know it today. The weather has been mostly really nice and we’ve been soaking up as much outdoor time as possible. We’ve traveled a bunch this month and while it was so fun, we’re looking to being home a bit more this fall.thumb_IMG_8117_1024We had to get one more last hurrah in at the lake, so we jetted up to see my parents two weekends ago. We were rewarded with an absolutely perfect day full of kayaking, golfing, swimming and lots of outdoor time by the water. This is what I’ll be holding on to when returns rears its ugly head.thumb_IMG_8156_1024The next weekend we all (my parents and Mike and I) went to D.C. to visit my brother and his girlfriend in their new apartment in Old Town Alexandria. We had a really fun weekend complete with a house tour, trip to the farmers market, great food, lots of walking and more fun.thumb_IMG_8165_1024We event went to Mount Vernon, which was so cool! It was wonderful to visit this beautiful property that’s so steeped in history.thumb_IMG_8173_1024Mount Vernon has lots of gorgeous gardens that we loved strolling through.thumb_IMG_8175_1024Game day!thumb_IMG_8177_1024On the house tour in Old Town Alexandria. We loved getting a peek inside some of this city’s beautiful old homes. And when we got home, we watched the Pats crush the Jaguars and took in the Super Moon Lunar Eclipse, which were both awesome.

Now that we’re home I’m looking forward to getting back to cooking more, especially some fall favorites like chili, soup and pumpkin and apple everything!

Summer Scenes, II

It’s been nearly a month since my last post, so today I’m going to fill in what we’ve been up to the last few weeks. We’ve been traveling a bunch and just soaking up summer as much as possible before it’s gone.thumb_IMG_7652_1024First up was a trip to upstate New York to visit Mike’s mom and step-dad. We celebrated his birthday with them with a nice dinner, carrot cake and golf (for them, yoga for me). On the way home, Mike and I stopped by one of our favorite places, Shelburne Falls, to see the Bridge of FlowersIMG_20150829_135151A few days later we were off to Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate our wedding anniversary (and 10 years of being together!) and Mike’s birthday. We’d never been to the Vineyard together (I’d never been at all), so the trip was long overdue.IMG_20150830_093117We had an absolute blast eating so much great food, riding bikes around the island, going to the beach, catching sunsets and sunrises and just relaxing. Take me back!thumb_IMG_7756_1024We stayed in Vineyard Haven, but took in all of the towns on the island during a day when I rented a Jeep for a surprise for Mike’s birthday. This is the view from the Edgartown Lighthouse.thumb_IMG_7782_1024We ended that wonderful day, which also included a stop at the Chillmark Store for amazing pizza and cookies, touring the Aquinnah Cliffs and a stop at the West Tisbury Farmers Market, by eating lobster on the beach in Menemsha and watching the sun set.thumb_IMG_7826_1024This sunset was so good people clapped (no I’m not kidding).thumb_IMG_7849_1024Us with the Jeep taken on our new selfie stick (yes we are those people).thumb_IMG_7921_1024One day we biked to Edgartown for breakfast at the Among the Flowers Cafe. I got this waffle with fruit and it made my life.thumb_IMG_7997_1024We also got up early to catch the sunrise, which was stunning. The only bad part about the trip was how quickly it was over. It may have been our first trip to the Vineyard but it will not be the last.thumb_IMG_8065_1024This week I changed out the plants in our flower pots to reflect the coming fall season. I’m not ready for fall (or winter, gasp), but I’ll never say no to a little digging in the dirt.thumb_IMG_8072_1024On Sunday we escaped the city and went to Crane Beach. We were not alone in this endeavor, which almost derailed our trip, but we stayed the course and ended up having a great day. Plus we got to eat lobster rolls and steamers with this view at Woodman’s after our beach day was over.thumb_IMG_8080_1024With temperatures rising, we beat it out of the city early Monday morning to stake a spot at Walden Pond. We had a wonderful day reading, swimming and walking around the pond.

We had a terrific end to the summer (I’m still in denial about the fact that it’s waning) and I’ll be holding these memories close when cold weather and shorter days hit hard this winter.

Summer Scenes

It’s a rainy day here, one of the few we’ve had all summer. Since it’s Tuesday and the garden needs to be watered, I’m not minding it a bit. Here’s what we’ve been up to for the last week or so.thumb_IMG_7506_1024Remember all those blueberries we picked? I’ve been busy using them up in things like this blueberry-raspberry crisp, blueberry corn salad and blueberry pancakes. YUM!thumb_IMG_7507_1024I love eating big salads for lunch, something I do all year, but summer is when salads really shine. Here’s an example of a recent one that really hit the spot. The key to deliciousness and satiety is to packing it full of good stuff. This one includes spinach, carrots, bell pepper, tomatoes, cheese, walnuts, dried cherries, chickpeas, avocado and homemade balsamic dressing. Pair with toast, crackers or grains for a solid meal.thumb_IMG_7522_1024I have been loving our garden so much this summer. Watching it grow after all of our hard work on it is so rewarding. And sometimes I even make new friends while puttering in it, like the other night when I spotted this praying mantis!thumb_IMG_7532_1024More delicious, fresh summer eats. The aforementioned blueberry corn salad, caprese salad and shrimp cocktail on a beautiful summer evening.thumb_IMG_7534_1024True love: when you and your spouse pick out nearly the same wine to drink with dinner.thumb_IMG_7536_1024We had to have some special wine to celebrate this guy winning his division at the Boston Open golf tournament the other day! So, so, so proud!!!thumb_IMG_7545_1024We recently woke up to a cooler, cloudy morning that dashed our beach plans. Instead of sulking, we set out to explore Charlestown, somewhere we’ve barely been despite living here for about eight years.thumb_IMG_7538_1024We climbed the Bunker Hill Monument (holy stairs!) and visited the USS Constitution, which were both very cool. Charlestown is also adorable and I’m so glad we finally made it down there.thumb_IMG_7549_1024We walked into Boston proper, visited the new Converse store and then headed to the new Boston Public Market for lunch. I was so psyched to snag lunch (a quinoa bowl and smoothie) from Mother Juice, which I wrote about many moons ago. Mike enjoyed fresh, tasty ramen and dumplings.thumb_IMG_7554_1024Needing to satisfy Mike’s cannoli craving, we wandered over to the North End to stop at Mike’s Pastry. We stumbled upon a sweet little parade celebrating the Maddona della Cava, which we bumped into several times on our journey. It was such a great slice of North End life.thumb_IMG_7559_1024We walked around Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, which has graves dating back hundreds of years. Exploring them made me think about all the walks I used to take at lunch in Salem in the cemetery there.thumb_IMG_7561_1024Spotted this cool poem outside the Old North Church, which we also popped into.thumb_IMG_7564_1024More tasty summer food! This is the recent takeout-style sesame noodles from Smitten Kitchen (I added pan-friend tofu and shredded carrots), which was easy, refreshing and flavorful.

Where have your summer adventures been taking you?

Lake Time

We’re just back from another wonderful weekend spent at the lake with the family. Words hardly do the experience justice, so let’s just get to the photos.

thumb_IMG_7431_1024Driving up to the lake on Thursday evening after a rainstorm. Don’t worry, I was in the passenger seat.thumb_IMG_7434_1024Coffee on the perch on a beautiful summer morning. Muzzy and I saw a moose swimming across the lake just before I snapped this photo. Saukee is on the lookout for more.thumb_IMG_7445_1024We spent the majority of Friday morning blueberry picking and ended up with so many sweet, delicious wild blueberries. So far we’ve made blueberry pancakes, muffins, tarts, a crisp and eaten them with yogurt. More tasty treats to come!thumb_IMG_7446_1024The view from our top secret blueberry picking spot on the lake.thumb_IMG_7448_1024<3 my heart <3thumb_IMG_7466_1024Michael did it again with the lanterns! He’s just the best brother. We had so much fun setting them off during Friday’s blue moon.thumb_IMG_7469_1024Make a wish.thumb_IMG_7474_1024Pretty much perfection right here.thumb_IMG_7495_1024Someone decided to have SIX [homemade] desserts one night. This is a blueberry tart, brownie, key lime pie, peach raspberry pie and ice cream (s’mores is unpictured for those counting). YOLO!thumb_IMG_7497_1024Finally, a slogan we can all get behind: A bad day at the lake still beats the best day in the office.thumb_IMG_7502_1024Thunder out on the water.

We did so much this weekend, including golfing, paddleboarding, eating lots of great food, having a bonfire, kayaking and more. Summer forever!

Life Lately

There is a lot going on behind the scenes over here and in between it all, we’re trying to soak up the summer as much as possible. In addition to the fun photos below, I’m also making some career shifts, which you can read about here.

thumb_IMG_7291_1024Our garden is growing amazingly well! We both love it so much and barely remember the fountain that was there when we moved in.thumb_IMG_7308_1024Hot days, cool coffee. I’ve been brewing lots of iced tea and coffee to keep us cool during these gloriously warm summer days.thumb_IMG_7314_1024It was predicted to be (and was) really hot on Sunday, so we knew we needed to get to the water to cool off. Our usual spot, Crane Beach, is inundated with bugs right now and Walden Pond had some sort of bacterial issue, so we hopped on a ferry and went to Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor for the day.thumb_IMG_7319_1024It’s been on my list to go to the Harbor Islands forever and I’m so glad we jumped at the chance to go last weekend. Getting down to the dock on our bikes worked great (until I got a flat tire on the way home) and taking the ferry was really fun.thumb_IMG_7327_1024The best part was this view during our beach sit and being able to cool down in the ocean when the temperatures rose. We had such a fun time (capped off with ice cream that evening) and would definitely return for more beach time or to explore the islands on foot.


How is 2015 already halfway over? I can’t believe how quickly it’s flying by. Thought I had during the July 4 fireworks: that it could serve as a sort of mid-point New Year’s to check in with how the year’s going so far and get a fresh start for the second half. Going to try to keep that in mind going forward. In less serious news, here are some recent snapshots.

thumb_IMG_7175_1024I’ve been loving the warm, sunny summer mornings, like the recent one where I snapped this shot of the Prospect Hill Monument. One of my favorite places in Somerville.thumb_IMG_7184_1024We were fortunate enough to spend three whole days up in new Hampshire for the Fourth of July this year and lucked out with almost all great weather (minus a few rainy hours on Saturday).thumb_IMG_7190_1024We spent lots of time lounging outside, reading, sailing, golfing, paddle boarding (see below), eating, walking and just relaxing.thumb_IMG_7199_1024King of the paddle board!thumb_IMG_7207_1024Paddle boarding was so fun. Mike and I had done it before but this was even better. It felt so joyful.thumb_IMG_7228_1024Michael tried his hand at it too and had so much fun he laughed himself right off of the thing!thumb_IMG_7239_1024Ice cream in town was a must. We walked around just enjoying the beautiful evening, including new art that’s cropping up in Meredith.thumb_IMG_7243_1024OK, now you’re just showing off.thumb_IMG_7250_1024We had a lobster feast for the Fourth, which was delicious and wonderful.thumb_IMG_7261_1024Topped it off with our own personal fireworks show on the dock with this silly guy. We didn’t leave home but got to take in about 10 fireworks displays that neighbors and other lake residents shot off. It was magical! thumb_IMG_7271_1024We also resurrected some lanterns for a little wedding throwback. Loved setting them off again–it brought back such beautiful memories.thumb_IMG_7283_1024Such a special night. Wish it didn’t have to go by so fast and end so soon.