Thursday, January 31, 2008

birthday boy

josh turned 32 on monday! we both took the day off from work and walked around boston until we couldn't feel our toes. greek gyros for lunch. thai food for dinner. duncan hines classic yellow cake with chocolate whipped frosting for the ending. married for 6 years; here are some of the things that make me love him more and more every day.

-he is such a great husband, son, brother, uncle, grandson and friend. even though we live miles away from most of our family, he keeps them laughing. he is a breath of fresh air in many people's lives because he doesn't take things so seriously.

-if you were to ask him if he likes desserts, he would say "no"-i guarantee it. but, when i make cookies, cake, or a pie he eats it like there's no tomorrow. so cute.

-he loves taking care of our plants. he treats our aloe and rosemary plants with the most respect-religiously watering them and using the kitchen spray faucet to get the leaves and soil. he dreams of having a huge garden someday where we can grow vegetables and herbs. i have a feeling it will be well taken care of.

-josh is left-handed. creative. not mainstream. a designer. landscape architect. he likes clean lines and believes that less is more and that simple is better in design, nature, and photography.

-i respect the fact that he left the field of sales to enter the field of landscape architecture that gives him more personal satisfaction. it wasn't easy changing careers, going to graduate school and taking the path less traveled, but he did it and i am so proud of him. i think landscape architecture feeds his soul and lets his creativity soar.

-he was such a strong support when i was working full time and going to grad school at night. when i would come home from a 14 hour day of work and class frusturated and wanting to quit; he would have an incredible meal waiting and would listen to me and would give me the confidence that i needed to fight through and finish.

-he loves nature. hiking, moutain biking, kayaking, skiing, sledding. and especially camp fires.

-he's concerned about the environment. if i accidently throw away a used jar that could be recycled, he'll find it in the trash and call me out on it. his master's thesis was on alternative energy (wind turbines), a topic he is very passionate about.

-in the morning when josh is walking from the bedroom to the bathroom he usually does something goofy by saying something funny or pulling his pajama bottoms up to his armpits. it makes the morning easy and light.

-he loves tales of survival; man vs. wild, ernest shackleton, everest, jon krakauer books. i think he would thrive if he lived in the wilderness without modern conveniences.

-no matter how long we live in the boston area, he will always remain loyal to the browns, cavs, and indians.

-hard worker. he doesn't just get something done. he takes the finished product to another level and is detailed oriented and conscientious.

-he has embraced my family. he and my brother have so many inside jokes i can't keep them straight. and he leaves funny voice mail messages at my parent's house so that they can play them back through the year and crack up.

-he can take a boring routine chore, and turn it into the most hilarious thing of the day.

-we do everything together. we grocery shop, take walks, explore boston, read magazines in bed together before we fall asleep, cook, laugh and dream about our future together. he is my best friend, my soul mate and the one that makes life interesting. i think he's really neat and i'm really excited about spending the rest of my life with him.

eames rubber stamps

i just got into rubber stamping last year. making my own thank you notes, birthday cards, and random love notes to josh keep me creating. so i'm always looking for ones with a design edge. i found this eames rubber stamp kit on amazon and i am smitten.

paloma's nest

these hand-stamped ceramic bowls are dear, just dear! possible valentine's gift for my loved ones??you can purchase through paloma's nest on etsy.


gave josh this book "chairs: a history", by florence de dampierre for his birthday because he digs chairs. i'm all about books with lots of pictures, and this one has a lot! it spans the emergence of the chair in ancient egypt to design classics of today.

comfort food

image from whole foods market website.

had friends over last saturday night for dindin and i made this spinach and cheese lasagna recipe below. whole foods has a great index for recipes! love looking through and getting ideas.

spinach and cheese lasagna
- from whole foods

This recipe serves 6–8 for when you need to serve more than four or want leftovers for lunch the next day.

  • 2 cups (15–16 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated 365 Everyday Value™ Mozzarella Cheese, divided
  • 1 cup Whole Creamery™ 3-Cheese Blend, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (16-oz) bag frozen 365 Everyday Value™ Spinach, thawed, chopped and well drained
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 (25-oz) jar organic pasta sauce
  • 9–12 no boil lasagna noodles, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl mix ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup 3-cheese blend, egg, spinach, salt, pepper and oregano. In another bowl, combine the remaining cheeses. In a 9x13" non-reactive baking pan, layer one cup sauce, then a layer of noodles, layer of ricotta/spinach mixture and repeat. Top with sauce then sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Pour 1 cup water around the edges of pan. Cover with parchment paper, then very tightly with foil and bake 1 1/4 hours. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 25, 2008

ruby beets

ruby beets is a store in sag harbor, ny. i stumpled upon their website after looking at the 07/07 domino magazine issue that featured shopping in the hamptons and listed them. i have made it a favorite ever since. i have never purchased anything, but it's nice to dream. if i had my own store, i would definitely have a similar theme. neutral and natural things that would look great with white painted floors. my favorite things from their current website:

Thursday, January 24, 2008


discovered etsy in december. it' s my go-to for gift buying. etsy is a website where you can buy or sell handmade things. the site allows sellers to list their goods for free. love buying from a creative artist who has a passion for what they do rather than from a chain store. the prices are reasonable and the process for buying is easy. you can use paypal. below are some of my favs:

map collage-'germinate'/ by selflesh

'winter'-original abstract modern artwork turquoise grey brown/by artstudio

HELLO january 08/ by ashleyg

screen printed red berry branch notes (set of 6)/ by annacote

wheat silhouettes - mocha (set of 6 note cards)/ by annacote

HELLO june/ by ashleyg

blue green birds on chandelier print - 8x10/ by jaimers

map collage - hands/ by selflesh

random number tags/ by everyjotandtittle

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

3 day

photos of sunlight on objects above < clicking
saying good-bye to a friend leaving for costa rica with her church < waving
friday night lights < addicting
out to eat with friends to central kitchen < laughing
coffee and dessert at our place < more laughing
fresh pond < walking
magazines < purging
josh's birthday is next week < shopping
bid placed on my grandmother's house in ohio < celebrating
red wine short ribs < cooking
peanut butter surprise cookies < baking

a is for aalto

via design milk blog. you can purchase this poster from blue ant studio

ll bean

the maine hunting boot 16" from ll bean has provided much warmth and comfort from the elements this season. no, i am not a hunter. and they are from the men's department, but i don't care. i got them at the ll bean flagship store this past july in freeport, maine. i was so excited about this purchase that i almost pulled them on over my capris to break them in during the rest of our trip. worn with my fleece socks and jeans that i can french cuff and then pull the boots on over; they have prevented me from falling on the ice. a classic kicked up a few notches because of the height.

modern country

front cover of the december 2007 issue of metropolitan home. i'm saving this cover for inspiration for a future home. i love the modern chairs paired with an antique wooden table. oollaalaaa. and the shelf displaying the framed black and white pictures leaning adds an architecty (i know it's not a word, but my friend haley will get what i'm trying to say) element. if i had a kitchen to decorate, i would definitely pick one with open shelves or glass doors so you can see what you have, as seen above. it's so fresh.

pure joy

photo from sports illustrated
pure emotion. pure joy. pure elation. the number 1 north carolina tarheels lost to maryland; an unranked team this weekend. maryland won 82-80 in chapel hill. you may ask why i care so much about this? why i would blog about this? well, underdogs have always had a special place in my heart. they defy the stats and pass their competition fueled by emotion and skill. hoosiers, rocky, and rudy have all conjured this moment on film. maryland has no significance to me as a state or school, but when josh showed me this picture, i stepped into the mind and world of these players for a minute and felt what it was like to be in sports heaven. joy. happiness. and success. and i tried to do a chest bump with josh because it looked fun. i wish i could have been in the smith center to see that raw emotion. i think that's the number one reason i care about sports. it's to see underdogs win. i got so excited seeing appalachian state (my brother's alma mater) beat univ. of michigan in football this past fall. i think this stems from the fact that i grew up in a small town, chagrin falls, ohio 25 miles outside of cleveland, ohio. a city that is the brunt of many jokes. a city that has come very close to winning a championship recently, but has not. the underdog city. different from new york city or boston. i love the cleveland area. and i love the potential it has. browns, cavs, indians. cafe tandoor, night town, the metroparks, warehouse district, university circle, the cleveland botanic gardens, the cleveland museum of art, cedar and lee theater, great lakes brewery, the snow belt, nola true, gamekeepers, raintree, the western reserve historical area, grove hill, the pumpkin roll, the rec center, my high school with no locks on the lockers, sledding, chagrin river walks, dingman tree farm, sincere and real people who work hard. i hold these things close to my heart. so when the underdog wins in sports; i not only celebrate their win, i celebrate the potential in all underdogs finding pure joy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

martin luther king, jr.

delivered by Martin Luther King, Junior on 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C./photo from this website:

"I Have a Dream" by, Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Friday, January 18, 2008

2 for 1

love this 's' chair as highlighted in february's domino magazine on page 126. modern dose is offering a discount on them. 2 for the price of 1 if you enter "domino" at the checkout. they also offer free shipping for everything on their site. i see this modern chair tucked into a raw wood table for contrast. i love mixing modern furniture with antiques.

eames stamps

my friend in 'bama sent me this link:
which announces that 16 stamps will highlight the design duo of charles and ray eames. call me a dork-I don't care- this is so exciting! i just wish they were coming out in time to grace my red envelope valentines. visit to find out more.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


this 'fainting sofa' is available at urban outfitters. they have free shipping on this and other pieces of furniture until january 20th. it exudes a feeling of romance. all i would need is a cup of tea, a jane austen novel and i could make myself very comfy cozy.

live wire farm timber

there is a beautiful simplicity about these spoons, hooks, and napkin rings. john robohom of live wire farm timber in jacksonville, vt uses his hands to create these pieces of art from maple, beech or birch tress. how soulful.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

photo books

you can create your own photo books via iLife photo on the mac website. they have all sorts of layouts and sizes and you can have them done in hardcover, softcover, or wire-bound. josh's birthday is fast approaching so i might do a 2007 photo book for him.


this blog entry via "list of the day" is just too funny not to mention. my friend, joanne in syracuse, ny forwarded this to me and i haven't stopped laughing since i opened it. they compiled some hilarious portraits from olan mills and sears. you have to check it out:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

envelope buzz

josh & i took a long stroll on massachusetts avenue in cambridge on sunday afternoon. sweet josh patiently waited while i stopped at paper source to get envelopes, card stock, and heart stamps to make my valentines. i can't believe the joy that envelopes bring to my life. instant buzz in that aisle. it's really the small things that get me excited. my favorite is the one with the string and button (seen above). they also have fun and festive stripes and polka dots. and the glasine ones are always cool to use if you don't mind the postman reading your card.


i read "eat, pray, love" by elizabeth gilbert (2006) over my winter break. one of my favorite quotes comes when the main character visits a medicine man in bali and asks him how she can find more balance and be with God all the time.

"To find the balance you want,... You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead."

Monday, January 14, 2008


lunch time walk. trees covered with coconut cream frosting. silence. insulation. mother nature's magic. our pure delight.


discovered this new textile company via design sponge. ortolan manufactures 100% organic cotton dish towels, hand towels, pillows, and blankets. check out more of their clean and simple designs at their website:

goat cheese "ravioli" with parsley sauce

i am a sucker for any recipe that has goat cheese in it. so when i spotted this in the martha stewart everyday food magazine (jan/feb 2008), i was eager to try it.
serves 2
3 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 small garlic clove, crushed through a garlic press
pinch ground nutmeg
coarse salt and ground pepper
12 square wonton wrappers (3 1/2 inch)
parsley sauce (below)

in a small bowl, use a fork to mash together goat cheese, ricotta, garlic, and nutmeg until smooth; season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

assemble ravioli (see below) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; reduce to a bare simmer. drop ravioli into water, one at a time, stirring them gently to prevent sticking. cook until al dente, 5 to 7 minutes.

using a slotted spoon, transfer ravioli to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet, and arrange in a single layer to drain briefly. divide between two plates; drizzle with parsely sauce, and serve immediately.

parsley sauce:
in a small bow, stir together 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon grated parmesan, and 1 teaspoon water; season with salt and pepper.

ravioli how-to:
arrange 6 wrappers on a work surface, keeping remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel.

spoon 1 level tablespoon filling in the center of each wrapper. with a fingertip, wet edges of wrappers with water.

fold a corner of each wrapper over filling to form a triangle, and press edges to seal. flatten area around filling to eliminate air pockets. repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

(photo from
martha stewart everyday food)

broccoli rabe and white bean soup

tried some new recipes this weekend from the martha stewart everyday food jan/feb 2008 magazine. i love heading to the grocery store with list in hand and picking up fresh veggies to use in a new receipe. it's healthy for you and we freezed the left overs to enjoy on a cold winter's night. served with crusty bread, this one is easy to make:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound), trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

in a large dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium. add onions and garlic; season with salt and pepper. cook, stirring frequently, until onions have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to release their liquid, 2 to 4 minutes. add broccoli rabe; cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

add broth and 2 cups water; season with salt and pepper. bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium low. cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli rabe is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. add beans and parsley; simmer until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

serves 6.