Friday, November 26, 2010

what's family?

a few weeks ago j & i made a weekend trip to my grandparent's home in deleware.
my father's side of the family is spread across the country.
for this early thanksgiving family came from california, north carolina, vermont & jersey.
my grandparents are 72/73.
at the end othe summer my grandmother was in a body boarding accident.
yes body boarding..
at 72.
my family's rad like that.
she walked away from the accident without serious injuries.
but we are all aware of what a close call the accident was.
to see the look on her face with all of us in her home was priceless.
for me that's family.

Monday, November 8, 2010

easy red velvet cookies

i have to thank michelle for this recipe.
she shared her favorite bookmarks with me.
& i've used three in one weekend..

these cookies..
maybe best ever?
& super easy.

yeap find them HERE.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

cawmans - salem, nj

officially joined my mom @ cawmans in salem, nj
a large co-op for antiques, collectibles, etc.
great day trip if you're a southern jersian.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

three years.

when i first tell people our story they're usually shocked.
you were engaged after how long??

three years later
& we're still here.

any other day,
things may have not turned out this way.
but they have,
and it is a blessing.

taylor swift put it best:
'you learn my secrets and you figure out why I'm guarded
you say we'll never make my parents' mistakes'

we definitely fit the mold for opposites attract.
but our values,
our goals,
& our love is the same.

my life has been turned upside down in three years.
a husband,
a home,
a dog,
and in five months a baby.

& this ride is just beginning.
j, thank you for the past three years.

ps you know you love my hat.

Friday, October 29, 2010

so many things to say.

do i have things to blog about?
you betcha.
but where do i begin.
how do i not get too personal.
when everything feels too personal right now.

how do i explain how alone i feel.
how can you feel alone when you are this close to another human.
would you judge me if i tell you sometimes i'm more scared than excited.
that i've had nightmares.
horrible nightmares.

that i'm really scared about getting fat.
it's really difficult for a ex-chubby girl to have to get chubby again.
i'm having problems accepting this new body.

that i feel dead.
or at least i think people think i'm dead.
i know everyone has their own lives.
but when did i disappear off their radar?

that deep down i know this is all i've ever wanted.
a family of my own.
but it doesn't feel real yet.
and this in between thing sucks.

and i feel that i'm abandoning my husband.
will he tire of his fat wife?
do i complian too much.
no, i know i complain too much.

i'm getting through.
one day at a time.
work keeps me distracted.
but at night..
the nightmares return.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


i've fallen in love with my job.

j calls it 'volunteer work'.

it is pretty close to volunteer work,

but it's my job.

yesterday we attended a conference with this speaker.

need some motivation?

check him out:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

i don't know.

where have i been?

three weddings burned me out.
a new job has taken over my life.

adjusting to a new life role.
keeping faith during family illnesses.

reuniting with family,
and feeling like i'm losing some.

these are not excuses.
but i just wanted you to know.

things are happening.
hoping things settle soon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


yesterday ( friday the 13 ! ) i turned 25.
i think 25 is old.
& i'm having a hard time deal.
need new goals.
a year ago i made goals.
to love.
to be brave.
to learn.

we celebrated our first anniversary
& everyday i thank God for j.

starting next week i accepted a new job,
as a counselor in one of the toughest high schools in the state.
i couln't be more nervous,
but i'm so proud i stayed strong.

on july 31st i accepted my master's degree.
a task i wasn't sure i'd ever complete.

new goals are needed.
i still want to love,
be brave,
and learn.

by the time i'm 30 - five years away:
1. take a class, each year.. just for fun.
2. have a baby.
3. stay in one office for more than two years.
4. travel to europe with j.
5. expand helen's hassack.
6. learn how to sew.
7. volunteer every year.
8. have peace in my entire family.
9. visit northern california.
10. visit orlando specifically to see the new harry potter park!

so have i changed much since i was seven years old in that old girl scouts picture?
i still have the same best friend <3
(yeap that's kate in both pictures. haha)
i still love big bows
& ruffles
& black leggings.
i still make sarcastic faces.
thankfully, my parents sprung for braces.

Monday, August 2, 2010

bridal shower

what a weekend.
what a summer.

after graduating with my m.s. on saturday,
we celebrated the upcoming nuptials of my best friend.

the renault winery looked fabulous.
the bridesmaids & i contributed a few details,
& we had a great day.

five weeks until this crazy wedding.
and if the bridal shower was any preview..
the wedding is going to be fabulous!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

live like a locale - orange county, cali!

we just returned from a vacation in cali
& mexico,
to see my aunt get married on a cruise.
more on that later.

i love getting to see the west coast fam.
i was so excited to see the first issue of LOCALE magazine.
see my cousin ashley is the chaos manager.
seriously best job title ever?

she brought us all copies.
she's a fellow jersey girl
who followed our aunt to cali
& then was followed by her mother to cali.

that girl on the front on the website..
yeap my cousin!
if your an orange county resident..
check it out for all things LOCALE.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


as most of you know,
i spend more money than i make on etsy.
& i'm okay with that.

two recent purchase:

love this.
super cute,
& fits great!

rocked this to work today,
got a compliment.
didn't get a headache.
which is a big + in my life.
may attempt to make one on my own!

in other news,
leaving for a family cruise.
and my etsy shop will close tomorrow morning.
and will reopen tuesday, july 20!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

veggie meal.

fresh garden veggies are abundant in jersey right now.
i was so happy to incorporate zucchini
& basil fresh from my garden into this rachel ray recipe.

i've been trying to fix veggie meals once a week.
j was initally resistant,
but he has ate the last few meals with no complaints.
this summer vegetable pasta was a hit!
rachel's ray summer vegetable pasta

1lb rotini
1/4cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves chopped
1/2cup italian style bread crumbs
1lb zucchini (1 large or 3 small) thinly slice
4 ears of corn - kernels cut off
6oz swiss cheese - shreded
salt & pepper
1/4cup fresh basil chopped

1 - cook pasta according to directions & reserve one cup of pasta water, set pasta aside
2 - heat 2tbs of olive oil in pan, add 1/2 garlic & cook until brown, add bread crumbs and set aside off heat
3  - in pasta pan - cook 2tbs olive oil & garlic until brown - add zucchini and cook until zucchini lightens to almost clear
4 - add corn, pasta, 4oz of swiss & water to zucchini & toss
5 - add 2oz swiss cheese & basil to bread crumb mix
6 - place pasta mix in bowl & top with breadcrumb mix
salt & pepper to taste


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


mindfulness is a great concept i learned this year.
being aware.
being present.

can you feel your toes.
can you feel your backside on the chair.
try and feel the keys on the keyboard as you type.
listen as your friends speak.
try and paraphrase back to them.
did i hear you right?
acknowledge their feelings..
you seem upset/happy/enraged?

breathe through your nose.
count your breaths until 10.
when you hit 10 start again.
lose count?
start back at 1.

purchasing this for my vacation to learn more!
already purchased this for my vacation because i need a new obsession.
oh my vacation.
cali, mexico
& an aunt's wedding.
in 9 days!
continue for a few minutes.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

oregano & butterflies.

a beautiful butterfly enjoyed my oregano today.

an hour after work i sat down on the deck
& read the long song.
after a three day painting escapade i needed an hour.
it felt good to sit
& rest.
but my mind wanders.
so much to do.

this butterfly caught my attention.
reminded me of one of my goals..
slow down.

the house will be cleaned..
the paint will be completed.
and will be worth the wait.

but today will never return.
are you watching deadliest catch?
what a reminder of how short life really is..
& why i need to slow down.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

the great zucchini

the second zucchini i picked from my garden weighed in at 1.5lbs
this zucchini..
2.5lbs of love.

i don't think anything beats the taste of your own homegrown veggies.
i already made this zucchini lasagna
& it was delish.

have you checked out the danskin workout line at wal-mart?
yeap i said it..
currently loving the $10 sweat capris
& the sports bra tank for $11.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


been a busy beginning of summer
bridal showers & graduations have consumed my life.
my newest in home project is this cabinet.
crafty mom painted it
& i've been filling it with my grandmother's fiestaware.

the garden is blooming
zucchini are only a few days away!

& mexico
are less than a month away.
two months until
a week in sea isle, nj
much needed vacations can't come soon enough!

hope you are enjoying your summer!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

one year later.

wedding date: june 5, 2009
how did i miss our actual anniversary?
our internet went out for an entire week.
probably the best weeked ever to go out.
no distractions, just us.

two wonderful dinners.
a favorite with family.
joe italianos maplewood - hammonton, nj
classic italian food.

a new restaurant that did not dissapoint.
luke palladino - northfield, nj
the ex-head chef of ombra in the borgata,
opened up on his own.
& out shines his previous employer.
yuup that good.
i love you.

thanks again, kamila

all grown up.

from seeds,
to seedlings,
& now to vines.

they are starting to want to conquer the rest of the garden.
all grown up
& ready to bud.

i smell the pumpkin bread already.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

garden update

may 1, 2010:

as you know the pumpkins are growing rapidly.
& the rest of the garden?
beautiful & green!

may 31, 2010:

Monday, May 31, 2010

week 4 : pumpkin seeds

large vines replaced the seedlings.
summer is moving in quickly.
the pumpkin seeds are requiring more water.

hope you had a great memorial day weekend.
thank you to all those who are fighting for freedom
& to those who have protected freedom in the past.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

jersey girl.

see i try and tell myself i'm different.
that since i lived in virginia for four years,
and i live in south jersey..
that i'm nothing like those girls.

you know those girls.
jersey shore.

i'm a jersey girl.
but i'm different.

today i cleaned out my closet,
and i found this:

and i think to myself..
'oh, no i didn't'
totally in my jersey slur.

& no it didn't go into the goodwill bag.
because you never know..
tomorrow i may need the perfect mix,
of animal print and glitter.

fist pump.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

3 weeks: pumpkin seeds

the garden is blooming.
i am finally done my masters classes,
and will graduate july 31.

so now..
i relax,
& love.

time to use that heart.
the brain needs a rest.
courage will be needed later.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

2 weeks: pumpkin seeds

after two weeks,
i had six seedlings.
i trimmed them down to the four strongest.
not sure if i should trim it down to three.

being my own darwin.
survival of the fittest pumpkin seedlings.

how bout them flyers?
my grandfather's name is stanley.
but everyone knows him as sonny.
i use to think it was sunny when i was a kid.

i'm hoping the flyers win the lord sonny cup.
aka the stanley cup!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Attempt One: Ricotta Cookies

i am biased
but i truly believe anyone who marries an italian has it a bit harder
italians love their food
and marrying an italian who went to culinary school
i am screwed

i love italian food
i use to eat spaghetti sauce from a jar
and think it was good
now i can only eat homemade gravy

i have been dyng to try some italian cookies
when i found a recipe for ricotta cookies in family circle
i had to try

i am still looking for more italian cookies
please send me links
& family recipes

i'd love to try another variation of the ricotta cookie
but here is the ricotta cookie i used today:

2 1/4cups flour
1tsp baking powder
1/4tsp baking powder
1/8tsp baking soda
(mix four dry ingredients)

1/2cup butter
1cup granulated sugar
(cream butter & sugar)

1cup ricotta
1teaspoon vanilla
(add to butter & sugar)

slowly add dry mix to butter & sugar
drop in rounded teaspons
on greased baking sheets
bake for 14min at 350

cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes
transfer to wire racks

mix two cups confectioners sugar with 3 tablespoons milk
dip cooled cookies into glaze

Saturday, May 8, 2010

1 week: pumpkin

i must say i'm pretty impressed by pumkin seeds.
planted five in a mound.
one week later i have three seedlings.
my cantelope,watermelon
& buttercup squash also matured in one week.

can you imagine four weeks?
i'll keep you updated.

you should plant your own pumpkins too.
then you can make pumkin pie,
pumkin chocoate chip cookies,
pumpkin bread,
pumpkin lattes,
& pumpkin martinis.

have i convinced you yet?
let me know if you plant some pumkins.
we can track their growth together!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

how does your garden grow?

last weekend j constructed my wonderful garden.
thanks to a co-worker i have a ton of plants.
beefsteak tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
jalopeno peppers
green bell peppers
buttercup squash

oh the things that i will be making this summer.
my mouth is already watering.

in other news.
two weeks of my masters program left.
i promise regular blogging will resume.
& yes j,
regular cooking
& cleaning as well.
& yes minion,
regular walks.

& yes self,
you might have a life.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

down by the bay.

down by the bay.
somers point, nj
bayfet 2010
four blocks of food, crafts & games.
the anchorage,
a parking lot made into a beer garden.
so full you can barely move.
ran into only about half of my friends who were there.
was in bed by 5:00pm
think that makes a perfect spring day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

baseball season

hot dogs.
cracker jack.
chase utley.
the phanatic.
getting phevers.
take me out to the ball game.
crab fries.
home runs.
roasted peanuts.
'ill' tshirt.
the wave.
ringing liberty bell.

it's baseball season in this house.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


i have to thank gwen stefani for finally teaching me how to spell bananas.
if you read my blog often you probably know by now i suck at spelling.
i know how to spell success & beaggressive from cheerleading.
and banana from gwen stefani.
& in july i'll have my master's degree..
only in america.

on to banana & chocolate chip bread.
outside is crunchy,
inside is soft.
aka it's pretty sweet.

2cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1/4teaspoon salt
1/2cup butter
3/4cup brown sugar
2eggs - beaten
2 very ripe bananas - mashed
2-4tbsp orange juice
1/2bag chocolate chips

mix 1st three dry ingredients in one bowl.
cream butter & brown sugar.
mix in eggs & bananas with cream mix.
mix in dry mix until just wet.
hand mix in chocolate chips.
lightly grease pan(s)
bake at 350 in bread pan (i used two mini-loaf pans)
approximately 60minues

adapted from

i added the oj because i wanted moist bread
& didn't have enough bananas
you can substitute one banana for oj,
but you don't taste the oj in the bread :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

three years later.

yesterday we remembered 32 members of the virginia tech community who are in heaven.
many people said things, way better than i ever could.
coleman collins - an ex-hokie basketball star put out what i often think.
i slept through the shootings,
less than a mile away,
i dreamt of ambulances as they rambled past my sorority house,
woke up to find all of my friends safe,
but it doesn't make it okay.
read it here.

can i tell you how much i love this VT print from etsy?
did you meet your lover on the blacksburg campus?
heading to a wedding of hokie love birds?
you need this:
Virginia Tech Print

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Peanut Butter & Chocolate, is there a better mix?

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies
not so much peanut butter,
but hit the spot nicely
devoured quickly

1/2cup butter softened
1/2cup white sugar
1/3cup brown sugar
1/2cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2tsp vanilla
1cup flour
1tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt
1/2cup rolled oats
1cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. cream butter & sugars
2. add pb, egg & vanilla
3. separate bowl mix flour, soda, salt
4. slowly add flour mix to butter mix until just wet (be careful, do not over mix)
5. add rolled oats & chips, stir in by hand
6. drop onto lightly greased baking sheets
7. bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned

a soft cookie,
perfect when small
disappeared - one day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

beautiful weather.

this is not an illusion.
stuck in traffic on 76.
felt amazing.
i parked in the farthest parking lot.
took a long walk to school.
perfect week to start my summer shape-up.
sunny weather = motivation.
the plants are growing.
enjoying spring,
or this pseudo-summer for as long as it lasts!

what plants are you planting this spring?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

bracelet bonanza

loved receiving a lot of bracelets from my mom yesterday!
listed them all today.
if you let me know you're a blog reader 10% refund on all bracelets purchased!
if you a return customer & read the blog 20% refund on all bracelets purchased!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

how do i thank you..

on thursday i finished nine months of my practicum for my master's degree.
i thanked the staff the only way  a poor graduate student could.
i baked.
chocolate peanut butter cookies
boxed chocolate cupcakes with mini chocolate chips with buttercream icing.
mini coffee cake muffins.

i was excited to find out that when i head back to full-time office work,
i will be visiting my pracitucm site often.
i've made some great connections
& will miss working with adolescents daily.

reminds me of how much i DON'T miss being an adolescent :)

now i'm heading back to my full time occupation.
i need a way to thank my two supervisors,
who have been extrememly flexible and supportive.

any creative, relatively inexpensive thank you gifts?

& i will be baking more for the entire office for being so flexible!