things i love thursday

Posted: October 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: things i love thursday | Tags: , | No Comments »

A little late… not to mention this is the first of these I’ve done in…. MONTHS. Happy Thursday!

The Good Wife • drawing again • making new girlfriends and having girls nights • meeting the owner of El Compadre – you’d think I met Brad Pitt • making green smoothies everyday • chatting with my brother online almost daily – big deal because he is overseas right now and I miss him sooo badddd • putting together care packages for him • getting to the point where I actually look forward to Pilates instead of griping about how I have to go work out • cleaning up my office so I actually want to spend time in here again (my cats like it, too) • “sam, tun, turk, & chic” • ”Oooh man that salmon smells good! Makes me wanna go Episcopalian!” • “I would have flirted with you in a chatroom. I would have asked ya for a pic.” • cleaning the filters on my Dyson, and having it work 100x better (these are the things that excite me… wow) • also, de-cat hairing my bedroom and office so I can breathe in here again • taking after dinner walks • playing fetch with Frank • Intelligentsia coffee in the French press (I’ve started drinking my coffee black, by the way,and it’s great. I feel like my Dad) • buying fresh art supplies … and USING them • having an iPhone again • making friends with 80 yr old men • evenings spent by the outdoor fire eating s’mores, drinking wine and listening to music with my husbie • running errands in the middle of the day when everyone is at work • making cauliflower popcorn • reading our texts from the first year Julian & I knew each other… :)

Images: Yanni Floros

quote of the day: october 3, 2012

Posted: October 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: quotes | Tags: , | 2 Comments »


I chose this because it sums up a lot of what I have been channeling since I turned 30. Less criticizing, less judging, more self improvement, more leading by example, more time spent becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be. I have a lot of respect for people that exhibit this behavior, and always find myself wanting to be around them more. Not to mention these are usually the people I look to for advice or guidance. What a brilliant quote!


Image: Seventeeth & Irving

the best chicken noodle soup

Posted: October 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: food | Tags: , | No Comments »

Last week I sent Julian to the grocery store for chicken breasts and he came back with chicken thighs. Ok. No problem, there are plenty of great uses for chicken thighs. Last night I looked at our pantry and decided that despite the 90-something degree temperature outside, I was going to use those thighs and make chicken noodle soup. Instead of following a recipe like I usually do, I decided to wing it and try to make it myself. I have to say, it’s my favorite chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had! Like even better than the deli. So I thought I’d share the recipe like a good friend. Of course I didn’t take any photos because all my food photos look like gruel.



3-4 tbsp olive oil
3 chicken thighs
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 cups water
4 chicken boullion cubes
1 small onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
good pinch of marjoram
good pinch of oregano
1 bay leaf
2 cups short pasta (I used bow tie, literally anything will work)


1. Heat olive oil in large dutch oven/pot (I used this). Add chicken thighs and cook 5-7 minutes on each side over med heat. When cooked through, remove chicken from pot, setting aside. Don’t dump the pan drippings!

3. Add onions and celery to pot and cook a few minutes until soft. Meanwhile, cut cooked chicken into bite sized pieces.

4. Add carrots, chicken, chicken broth, water + bouillon cubes*, marjoram, oregano, bay leaf, and salt & pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Add pasta and simmer for another 10 minutes.


Voila! I kind of didn’t measure the spices, so you’ll have to just give it your best shot. It doesn’t need too much salt, though.

* You could obvi just sub more boxed chicken broth instead of the water + bouillon cubes, but this is what I did, so this is what I’m putting!

Image: Delish


Posted: October 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: life | Tags: , , | No Comments »

I’ve been a bad blogger lately. According to whose standards, you ask? Yeah, I ask myself the same thing. I spent some time this weekend being a real nerd and reading my old blog posts and laughing at all the memories and things that were happening in my day to day. It really made me miss updating, which I didn’t think I would miss anytime soon.

Part of my slacking is due to the fact that I have been in school, which took significantly more of my time than a day job ever did. Part of this is also due to the fact that I simply lost a lot of interest in/become overwhelmed with blogging and just wanted to step away from it for a while.

It’s super easy to get overwhelmed by having a blog because you feel pressure to update, put your life on display (to some degree), be “one of those blogs,” and then you feel guilt for not keeping readers happy. I also get stage fright from time to time, realizing how many people that I don’t know are reading this. I don’t write (or draw) well when I know people are watching. But like I’ve said before, this blog isn’t about any one particular thing, I don’t have any goals for it, it’s just about me (how self absorbed does that sound), and I just needed a break from it. Especially coming off years of being a working writer. The last thing I wanted to do was write everyday.

All that to say, I think I will try to make this thing a ‘thing’ again. If I let go of my ideas of what it “should be” and just let myself do what I do, I generally like the way it turns out. I also really like looking back at my posts. I certainly have plenty of time right now, as I’m not working or going to school this semester (short story: I need to take Anatomy before I can take my upper level classes and I can’t take Anatomy this semester, so I’m just taking the semester off).

I probably could have done without writing this post and just jumped back into it but I wanted to let you all know what’s up. I’m thoughtful like that!

Image: Becca Stadtlander

a little piece of history

Posted: September 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: family, misc | Tags: , , | No Comments »

My Step Dad* sent me this beautiful video this morning that the National Park Service made in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, or “the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with 23,000 casualties on both sides.” I am no Civil War buff, but I have a great appreciation for all the men and women who spend their time preserving history and educating the public about this important time in our country’s history. Especially because my Dad is one of them! He is not in this video, but he is one of the many that take part in the frequent living histories that take place in the area. I feel lucky to have grown up in a place that is so rich in history and I think it’s really cool that he does this.

I also think the video is gorgeous and love the music. Hope ya enjoy it too!

My Dad IS in these photos, however. Pretty cool, huh?

*I say ‘Step’ here for clarification’s sake, for anyone reading whodoesn’t know I have four parents, but my Step parents are every bit my parents as my biological parents! They are the best!!

why i love saturdays

Posted: September 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: food | Tags: | No Comments »

Julian: “What do you want to eat for lunch?”

Me: “Jalapeno cheese crunchies?”



Posted: September 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: travel | Tags: , | No Comments »

Somehow our trip to Seattle just creeped up on us! We’re heading up today. I am really, really excited, and honestly not even minding that I’m about to turn 30 (well, maybe a little bit). I’ve got my Hunter boots ready, though it looks like sun the whole time we’ll be in town. We didn’t really make plans this time, just looking forward to wandering around the city and hopefully not looking like tourists (especially on Saturday). I do really want to make a trip to Mt. Rainier to see Paradise, which looks gorgeous! As usual, I am most looking forward to the food. If you have any good restaurant tips, or any Seattle tips really, we’d love to hear ‘em.



Photos: Liam Bahneman / NPS

friday quote: september 7, 2012

Posted: September 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: life, quotes | Tags: , | No Comments »

“Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste
of energy; you can’t build on it; it is only good for wallowing in.”

- Katherine Mansfield

Photo: EyePoetryPhotography

embarrassing reading

Posted: September 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: books | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

One of those “funny ’cause it’s true” things. Don’t act like you haven’t thought about this before! I may be considered ashamed of what I’m currently reading… but not fully ashamed because it’s still entertaining, and after all, it’s still reading. I decided to give the Emily Giffin books a go, and I’m on book 4. I’ve read Something Borrowed, Something Blue (my fave), Baby Proof (least fave), and now I’m reading Love The One You’re With. They are easy to read and hold my attention for the most part, but it’s not like I’m learning anything or challenging my mind while reading. And I certainly wouldn’t read them in public. The very definition of chick lit!  Let’s face it, it’s cooler to be seen reading something that makes you look slightly more intellectual. At least it’s not Twilight!

I am not sure if reading the books back to back is something I would recommend, because I am starting to get that feeling you get when you eat one too many chocolate caramels. Good in small doses but really, really hard to stop even once you realize you’ve had enough. It’s leaving me feeling glazed over and like the story lines and characters (all female, with cool jobs, living in NYC, caught in an undesirable romantic situation) are starting to blend together.

Anyone else read these books? What did you think?


Shamefully, I have no idea where that image came from and the Internet isn’t helping me out here.

ahh september.

Posted: September 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: home, LA, travel | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Hotel near Loch Ness

Happy September, my friends. I haven’t been posting much this Summer because I have been keeping busy with other ‘happenings.’ For starters, we took a two week trip in June to Scotland & Ireland, followed by another week in Virginia for the Fourth of July. It was stupendous. We miss the UK already. I especially miss the sheep and cows. Julian posted plenty of photos of our travels on his photo blog. We also had the pleasure of hosting my 15 year old sister for a week in July, and my 12 year old brother for a week in August. Other than that, we sat by our pool a lot, drank out of coconuts, made pancakes on the weekend, I grew more addicted to Pilates, and I gave into Julian’s pleading and finally watched Star Wars. All in all it has been a fun summer, albeit a bit too quick. However, my favorite season is rapidly approaching, so I’m in good spirits.

I’m always excited to see Fall, for the usual reasons – a change in weather, a change in scenery, a change in wardrobe. I like the coziness of the season and looking forward to the upcoming holidays. This year is extra special because I’m turning 30 in just a few short weeks… ok, a couple short weeks. But I’m trying to stretch out my 20s as long as I can, you see! Why is turning 30 such a massive ordeal? It’s not that I feel particularly old. Or even look particularly old, so I’m told (and I hope it is true). I’m happier than I ever was in my 20s, so why does everyone make such a big deal about 30? I’m doing myself a favor and viewing it as a new beginning…  a fresh decade!

I’m pretty excited about celebrating as well, because this year we’ll be celebrating in Seattle, a place I’ve always wanted to visit but never have. I’ve never even been to the Pacific Northwest, or Northern California beyond San Francisco. We thought about making the coastal drive, but quickly decided that we’d get more pleasure out of spending days wandering the city rather than sitting in our car. If anyone has an recommendations for restaurants or parts of town to check out, I welcome them!

I’ll also try to make an effort to update more often, but no promises. :)

my new Irish bovine friends