grateful

It’s the unofficial start of summer and to that I say, “Amen!”

My little Eloise has been sick for about 2.5 weeks (cough, cold, pink eye?!?, ear infection…), so, needless to say, it was wonderful to get outside this weekend to soak up the sun. 

We dined al fresco for brunch with great friends at G & O. (My classic breakfast and mimosa hit the spot without leaving me too full or too tipsy, the staff was friendly, and we can’t wait to go back!) 


We walked around the neighborhood, trying new routes each time. Ellie loved watching the tour boats on the river.


We had a pizza party with family friends from growing up. We’ve been trying to get everyone together for a year so it was fantastic! Ten children, 10 adults, and a pup! Always a great time when we get together, and so fun to watch our kiddos make new friendships together, too.


We had a family graduation party for two of my cousins, Brittany and Kyle. I’m so proud of them and excited for their next big adventures (the real world for B and college for K!). 


And all the while, the sun was shining. Weekends like this remind you that life may not be perfect, but we are free and shouldn’t take that for granted.

My thanks to all who serve to protect us and our freedom. I don’t say it out loud enough, but I am forever grateful.

can food bring good luck? new year’s eve menu for two

This year was the first time Nate and I stayed home for New Year’s Eve, just us. I wasn’t sure what to make for dinner because it’s not just the evening before 2017, it’s also when Nate (finally!) proposed to me six years ago. 

I say finally because it felt like EVERYONE was getting engaged but me, and we’d been dating for eight years at the time. Eight. Years. If you know me, I had serious ants in my pants. But at our first apartment with good friends in the other room, Nate proposed in his sweet and simple way with the prettiest ring he designed himself. Six years later, here we are.

So back to the meal! I found this story on Reader’s Digest about 7 lucky New Year’s foods and wanted to see how many I could incorporate into our meal. So, here goes:

1. Cake

We had donuts from Glazed & Infused that morning, so we didn’t need more cake. Have you tried the apple fritter? My new fave! 

2. Grapes

I know you’re supposed to have grapes at midnight, but they looked too good on my cheese platter with prosciutto to pass up!

3-5. Pork & Greens & Noodles/Grains

I made my own fresh tomato sauce for the first time from this recipe from the New York Times, and I liked how it turned out. I sautéed some mushrooms and spinach, as well as pork strips, and added them all to the sauce. Incorporated that with some parpadelle pasta topped with fresh basil, and it’s time to mangia!

6. Fish

Well, I didn’t want to worry about how to incorporate fresh fish into this meal, so I cheated, and we ate Swedish Fish in honor of Nate’s heritage. Right…works for me!

I was bummed I forgot to add the beans to the charcuterie platter, but I’ll take 6 out of 7!

Ellie’s First Halloween

I’ll be the first to say that Halloween is not my favorite holiday (Christmas and Easter are!). Last year, we stayed in and watched a scary movie (No Country for Old Men). Having a child definitely makes for a different experience! This year, I’ve been thinking about the holiday quite a bit. Because Ellie can’t choose for herself yet, she wore two of her cousins’ costumes: an octopus in the afternoon and a flower in the evening! (George dressed up, too! See below!)

If that wasn’t enough, I got her a Carters outfit at Target that says, “I’m so cute, it’s spooky!” Who can resist polka dots, glitter, and a black tutu? Not this mama!

What’s great about Halloween is spending it with others. We had some friends over for stew and cider (and they brought Sweet Mandy B’s!!!)–not to mention adorable photo opps, then headed to the burbs for an open house party and more photos!!! 

Seeing all of the kids dressed up for trick or treating (both in person and online) was so fun! Keep the photos coming, and I’ll keep liking them!

It also got me day dreaming about when Ellie grows up: taking her trick or treating, seeing what costumes she’ll choose, making her give Mommy and Daddy all of the Snickers. Just kidding…she can keep some.

Hope you had a great holiday celebrating, and that you’re enjoying the extra hour of sleep. I’ve been up since 6 am…zzzz….