These pictures were taken five years ago on two separate visits to the city. 
Back when we weren't married. 
Weren't even engaged. 

And my goodness, how our lives have changed. 
Our relationship has grown more than my heart could even comprehend then. 
And this city has challenged and blessed us in innumerable ways. 

(This is also evidence that I need to grow my hair out immediately.)


Filling up on biscuits and grits.

I can't claim any real relationship to the South. But after this weekend, oh, how I wish I could. If I were a true, y'all-calling, front-porch-sitting, magnolia-growing southerner, I might boast some part in the perfection of a buttermilk biscuit. I might draw some connection to the many glorious things that you can do with pickles (who'd have thought?! pickles!). And I might have some excuse for the sheer volume of food that I consumed at Jacob's Pickles during Sunday brunch.

Sadly, there is no excuse for a poor Connecticuter (oh yes, that's the official term) who's still trying to figure out what the heck you do with nutmeg, and why our state founders couldn't have chosen a better food affiliation. Toaster pastries, maybe?


Thoughts from Gus.

Hi friends,

I would very much like to go to kindergarten. I mean, in dog years I'm almost 11 years old. Have you ever met an 11-year-old kindergartner? Probably not. It's insulting that my parents haven't even tried to provide me with an education.

For now, I'm taking charge of my own education by going through magazines (mostly Fitness and Inc.) and reading nutrition policy articles that my mom leaves around the house. But it's really hard to get invested in nutrition policy when all I eat is dog food, day after day.

I hear they feed you peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in kindergarten. Must be nice.

Sniffs and licks,


22 Days Nutrition Bars.

When I first read 22 Days' manifesto, I was pretty sure we could be friends. "We believe in the idea of embracing great foods, not avoiding bad ones"? Preach. "We believe that a great workout is its own reward"? Me, too! "We believe we have the power to effect change"? Why yes, yes we do.

And then I realized that they had a bar called "Enlightened Pumpkinseed". I was smitten. 

I had the opportunity to try out each of the 22 Days Nutrition Bars this past week - in the morning, on the way to the gym, at my desk. These are the real deal. Vegan, organic, gluten free, soy free and filled with magical deliciousness like mangos, acacia, and dates. The Pineapple Chocolate Chip Wonder is now my snack of choice. 

See here for more information. And try them. Really. 

The good people at 22 Days provided the bars for my review. 


Our Life Book.

I asked Blake the other day where his 16-year-old self thought we'd be right now. He said married. With a couple of kids.

When I was a teenager, I kept a (really dorky and slightly obsessive-compulsive) life book with me. It had a timeline laid out with the years of our graduations, job moves, children's births and travels. And I fear I'm woefully behind in some aspects of where I thought I'd be, but enormously blessed in the direction life has taken.

With all of its imperfections, I don't think either of us has been disappointed by our deviation from the life book. Right now, we're rather content in togetherness with a side of 70 lb. English Bulldog in a 500 square foot apartment in New York City. And I realize that much of life doesn't like to be planned out in books.


On Bedford.

We headed out to Williamsburg this afternoon to try a Thai restaurant just off of Bedford Street. 

And I'm not sure what it is about January
or the busy, history-laden streets of Brooklyn
or the smell of Pad Thai and curry on a Saturday evening 
but I'm reminded that
hey, I love our corner of the world
and it makes me pretty happy when it loves us back. 


Sweet Revenge.

When I heard about a little place in the West Village that serves cupcakes paired with wine, my first thoughts were (a) who will go with me (answer: anyone. anyone knows this is an awesome idea.) and (b) why haven't I been there already?

So last week I headed over to Sweet Revenge with my coworkers. And as much as I like to share the love, I kind of want to be selfish and keep this place to myself forever and ever. But out of the goodness of my heart, I'm recommending Sweet Revenge. Sometimes I'm too nice.


Sunday afternoon in Little Italy.

Yesterday we headed down to Little Italy for afternoon coffee and an early dinner at Parm. And I'm still kind of fascinated by how the city continues to surprise me. Impress me. Remind me that I am a thread in the fabric of Manhattan - a fabric that has been torn and mended many times before I got here, and will go through countless cycles of change when I leave it.

I sat down to dinner with a friend on Friday night and talked about age and time and their continual escape from our grasp. The love and fear of time is such an integral part of life everywhere, but I think time's elusiveness consumes us all the more in cities that seem to evolve right before our eyes. We never fully master time; we're driven by its slow, steady creep. But goodness, how I hold moments with such clarity when I walk down these torn and mended streets, resonating with their echoes of life.


Homemade Toaster Pastries.

If given the choice between any dessert and toaster pastries, I will choose toaster pastries every time (also, can we get a better non-branded term for these little squares from heaven? I propose "squares from heaven", obviously). I'm pretty sure they (sadly) got me through my first year of college. It was not my most nutritious season of life.

So when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, I knew that it had to be done. Immediately. 

These squares do not disappoint, my friends. And Smitten Kitchen knows what's up. 

Pastry - 
2 c flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 c unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
1 additional large egg (to brush)

Filling - I used Nutella and cinnamon raisin peanut butter

Directions at the link above.


On a lazy Saturday morning.

If we have the chance, we like to lay low on Saturday mornings - take the rare opportunity to sleep in, make vanilla almond coffee in our French press, dog-ear recipes that we want to try and talk about the day ahead. Living in New York, I often feel guilty for those stolen moments of simplicity, because there are so many experiences to be had just outside our door. But taking the time to invest in what we have inside our little apartment? That's better.


True love writes it on toilet seats.

This morning I woke up to little notes all over the apartment. I love that husband of mine. And what luck! - he loves me back.


Another love letter (of sorts) to NYC.

New York City, you can be kind of dreary in January - discarded Christmas trees strewn on sidewalks, disgruntled residents braving the freezing wind whipping down avenues and the hope of summer just a little too far away. But somehow, I'm not minding as much this year. The months pass to quickly to bemoan any season. And in spite of the dreariness, we're finding new reasons to love our beautiful city, from violinists in the subway stations to sunsets in the Village. Beautiful home, you continue to take our breath away.



Every time we visit my parents, they've picked up some cool new hobby that makes me feel just a little bit more inept at most things DIY (have you seen this? it was created for people like me). My parents are always building, monogramming, designing or cooking something amazing.

And since I'm recently obsessed with yogurts and probiotics (keep your intestinal microflora happy, my friends!), this is one of my new favorites. There's so much you can do with yogurt, and making it on your own offers the freedom of substituting goat milk, coconut milk or soy milk. So I'm turning our pea-sized kitchen into a bacteria farm! My husband is so pleased!

It's a new year, and I may be turning a new leaf on DIY projects. But let's not go crazy yet.