Parents Weekend

My parents made the trip up to Brooklyn this weekend now that the weather is finally nice enough to enjoy walking around outside! Like always, it’s the eating and walking tour of Brooklyn.

Started off Friday night with dinner in Williamsburg at Zi Zi Limona for Mediterranean food. Delicious food and wine all around. We had a bunch of plates to split was a perfect way to go. This was actually a repeat visit after going there when Remy was in town last week. We loved it that much!

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Saturday morning started early with a trip to Colson’s (it’s not a parents weekend without it!). Croissants and coffee.

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After breakfast we walked to the Grand Army Farmer’s market and then to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The official cherry blossom festival was last weekend but the flowers seemed to be out in full bloom this weekend.

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We, like everyone else, proceeded to take a lot of pictures 🙂

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Usually on Saturday mornings, Jon and I work on the NYTimes crossword puzzle. By work on, I mean we look at it, can usually guess 1 to 2 words and then give up. A fantastic weekend is 5 words. Apparently we just need to invite mom up every weekend because she finished it all. Can we count that as a win?

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Lunch was at Bierkraft, a restaurant in Park Slope with craft beer and sandwiches. They have the most delicious vegetarian sandwiches there and really different craft beer choices. I ended up with a cherry flavored beer. Sounds weird, tasted great.

Of course, in between all of the eating we covered over 7 miles of walking and wandering.

Saturday afternoon we made it back to DUMBO where they were staying (!) to hang out for a bit. Grabbed pizza from Juliana’s down the street and brought it back to eat on the roof. Holy amazing views. Unfortunately, part way through, it started raining. But the apartment had pretty amazing views so we didn’t mind heading back inside to hang out.

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Sunday morning involved more paper reading and another trip to Colson’s for breakfast! This time we happened to be eating at the same time (2 tables down) from the mayor of NYC. That’s the 2nd time I’ve seen him there so pretty cool that our neighborhood spot is also his!

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Went to church followed by an excellent brunch at Fonda, a Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood. That too was a repeat from Remy’s visit last week. It was that delicious and worth going back!

Post lunch walk through Prospect Park and the neighborhood before a late afternoon gelato and coffee break.

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So happy that they were able to make the trip up for the weekend. Loved having them around and it’s fun to have excuse to go back to delicious neighborhood places 🙂

Having a quiet ending to another great weekend. Thanks for coming mom & dad!

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Ending 2013

Crazy how fast 2013 came to a close. It feels like Thanksgiving just ended but it’s already January 3rd!

December was a blur of cookie eating, holiday parties, catching up with friends and family time. My apartment was modestly festive. Decided that a 4th floor walkup was not a good place for a Christmas tree, especially if I was leaving for Christmas.

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Had a good time at the Carrot Holiday party which took place at Fornino in Greenpoint. Filled with fresh mozzarella balls and delicious pizza!

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Had another holiday party with some friends from church complete with expert level cookie decorating, lots of cheese and hot apple cider. One of my friend’s boyfriend’s mom (confusing!) made 96 cookies for us to decorate along with frosting and instructions on how to decorate them. I think we all decided we’re not ready to open a bakery anytime soon.

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Had a few days in Brooklyn to hang around with Jon before my parents came through on Christmas Eve to drive me to New Jersey (way easier than attempting to carry things on the train!). Jon unfortunately had to work Christmas Eve but he joined us in NJ around 1am when he got off. Such a cozy place to spend time with family. It was a packed house but so much fun! Funny because even with 10 people there it felt absolutely huge compared to my tiny little apartment. Lots of intense games of Euchre were played.

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There was no shortage of delicious food (not all photographed unfortunately – I think Jon and some others have those on their phones which I’ll have to track down). Mushroom risotto, various meats that I don’t remember (oops), bean and cheese filled peppers, cheese plates, frittatas, ebelskivers, homemade muffins and bread. So delicious! Thanks for all of the cooking, Aunt Barb!

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One of the top things on my list is homemade ebelskivers. It’s a danish pancake type thing. Delicious and fun to make!

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And then there were the cookies. SO many cookies made by Mom, Dad & Sarah (I didn’t get to help in the cooking baking this year, unfornately). I’d pick a favorite but that’d be too hard. Almond tarts, Cranberry White Chocolate, Molasses, Biscotti, Nutella Filled Chocolate Chip, Paper, Thin Sugar Cookies. Yum.

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On Friday after Christmas, we headed down to Maryland (through Brooklyn which added lots of hours to the ride 😦 ). Got to spend about 4 days at home hanging out and eating even more delicious food! Vegetable pancakes (from Smitten Kitchen), peanut sauce on soba noodles, spaghetti squash and black bean enchiladas, homemade bread, taco dip, etc. Not all photographed (due to lack of phone space) but all oh so delicious.

Good news, new phone this year which means OODLES of space for food documentation. Get ready.

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On Wednesday morning it was time to hop back on the train and head back to NYC. Felt so weird seeing the skyline come back into view after being gone for just over a week. Definitely was a much needed break and time with family!

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Happy New Year!

 

Summer Eats

There has been a whole lot of cooking going on this summer both at work and home.

Forgot to share this next photo in the post about my trip to Maryland. On the last night Mom asked what I wanted for dinner. In my typical, “i can’t decide” fashion I started listing things I wanted: enchiladas, tacos, beans, guacamole, corn, etc. Turns out she whipped them all up. Vegetarian enchiladas with roasted corn, pico de gallo, guacamole and a mango slaw. So so tasty. Thanks mom 🙂 Being indecisive is pretty tasty. 

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I’ve been working on some secret summer projects at work – we have a new client which means lots and lots of pasta! My day to day work life lately has consisted of grocery shopping, cooking, and photographing the food. 

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Jon brought me surprise flowers one night when i got back from Maryland – guess I was gone for a while! I was outside in the park enjoying one of the many summer concerts they have (this one was Barenaked Ladies and Guster) and he showed up with flowers and gelato! They made for a good breakfast backdrop for a while. 

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This was a failed recipe. Jon and I made guacamole pesto stuffed mushrooms. The idea of them was delicious but the recipe called for entirely too much garlic. Yuck.

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Tried making wheatberries one night. They’re definitely a lot chewier than I expected but worked well to have on hand for multiple meals! Added tomatoes, chick peas, parsley, olive oil and parmesan to this one. 

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The UX intern for the summer’s mom brought in cupcake/cookie type things. So tasty.

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Jon and I attempted black bean burgers one afternoon. We got in the habit over the summer of cooking on Sunday afternoons. Very relaxing way to end the weekend. This go around was spicy black bean burgers with avocado on little tiny rolls. Cute and tasty!

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For one of the Carrot-versaries at work, I made brownies with raw cookie dough on top – don’t worry it was a recipe without the egg. I didn’t want to be responsible for a company of 50+ people getting food poisoning! They were time consuming but seemed to work out well!

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The theme of most nights at home was vegetables! Somehow this one week I ended up with SO MANY. Roasted some corn, made some kale salad and lots of the extra eggplant and peppers were made into ratatouille. 

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We occasionally have BBQ’s at work and are asked to bring something in. This summer BBQ included pulled pork (and a veggie option of chili on chips) along with a huge number of pasta salads, regular salads and desserts!

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Huge summer salad!

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Jon and I made brunch one morning – scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes and mimosas. The rest of the ingredients weren’t pictured because we have bad cooking timing and got hungry. 

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No Food Shortage

These pictures and the order of events might be slightly out of order but it was a month ago so it’s as close as I can remember 🙂

One of the days that I was home we headed to Rock Creek Park for a short hike. Sarah and I used to spend the majority of hikes growing up whining and complaining so we tried to replicate that as much as possible 🙂

The hike itself was only 2 miles or so on an easy path through the woods and down along the rock lined creek (hence, the park name).

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We took a driving tour through some absolutely gorgeous neighborhoods in DC before arriving at our dinner destination: Etete! The restaurant was an Ethiopian restaurant that was super delicious. I’d never had that kind of food before but I will most definitely be looking for it in the future. We shared a vegetarian platter of various spreads and things. Everything is served on a fermented sponge bread which sounds really weird but goes really well with all of the other tastes! 20130728-142442.jpg

Time at home also included lots of House Hunters episodes, a trip to the AFI movie theater in Silver Spring to see 20 Feet From Stardom (really interesting movie) and lots of deck time.

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One of the mornings we went for a walk through Centennial Park followed by a trip to the running shoe store for new running shoes for me!! My old ones were well worn and needed to be replaced (which I’ve been putting off for months). In the month that I’ve had these new ones, they’ve definitely gotten their fair share of use.

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Fun snacky lunch with cheese, watermelon (more rinds off the deck), grapes and fresh bread.

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Lots of sister goofiness.

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And iced wine! Sarah, Mom & Dad had gone to some vineyards up in Upstate NY and had discovered iced wine so of course we had to recreate that.

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Making ricotta with the leftovers from our mozzarella making.

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Watermelon feta salad with mint!

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And pasta with homemade pesto and ricotta (from above). There was really no shortage of food at home. Going through all of these again now makes me want to hop on a train and head back down there for breakfast tomorrow.

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Home again, home again

A month long break was not the initial intent. Soon “oh, I’ll post tomorrow” turned into 20 some days later and here we are…

I had a fantastic 5 day vacation to Maryland at the end of July to spend lots of quality family time. Took the train home late one Wednesday night in order to maximize time at home.

The first morning there we all headed down to Baltimore for some breakfast and an art museum! Super tasty breakfast at a place whose name I unfortunately forget – Spoons? Delicious breakfast tacos. We wandered our way over towards the Inner Harbor to the Visionary Arts Museum. Dad had been looking at going there for quite some time. It turned out to be an awesome place!! It was a very funky and different museum with art from artist who were not traditionally trained. The best part of it was this entire room filled with Esther Krinitz’s hand embroidered stories of growing up during the Holocaust. We by far spent the most time in that room looking at the absolutely gorgeous hand-crafted pieces that told her whole life story. There was a video that went along with it.

The most random part of the museum was a fart wall – the artist was even standing by his artwork! He had a fart post where you could push a button and a different fart sound would come out as well as images that depicted what he thought different farts looked like – totally random and hilarious!

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Out front of the museum was a sculpture garden, a funky mosaic bus and some other murals. There were 3 buildings included in the museum so it took some time to walk through but each was equally engaging. One building had a life sized chess set, another was filled with huge cars/moving contraptions and the third had the majority of the artwork (in the more traditional sense).

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Of course, the weekend meant lots of quality sister time 🙂

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Even after living in Maryland for as long as I did, we never really made it to Baltimore that often so it was neat to explore a city that wasn’t quite as large and overwhelming as NYC can be.

Headed home for some cheese making! It’s my number one request every time I go home now – homemade mozzarella. Although I typically lose focus due to the 2 hour long process.. Some kitchen dancing and wandering may occur.

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Weekends home involve lots of delicious homemade food and a LARGE kitchen (which I have learned not to take for granted!). There was homemade foccacia to go along with the mozzarella. I’ve learned any food I wish for in passing… wish granted 🙂

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Caprese salad with our freshly made cheese!

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Also included in time home is hammock time! Even with living as close to the park as I do, there’s nothing like hanging out on the back deck or in the hammock. So much space!

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And watermelon rind throwing might occur – something that would perhaps be frowned upon off the roof of my building.

I was home for five days so… to be continued…

Father’s Day

So Father’s Day happened… a few days ago. Mom, Dad + Sarah all drove up for the weekend. It was Sarah’s first time in Brooklyn (since I moved here anyway). Friday night after their long trip (due to traffic) we met for dinner in Park Slope at Olive Vine, a cute outdoor mediterranean restaurant. Aside from getting slightly eaten by bugs, it was great! Walked around the neighborhood before Mom & Dad headed to Jersey for the night. Meanwhile, Sarah and had a rambunctious night… and were in bed by 10:30 🙂

Woke up Saturday morning to enjoy some crossword time on the stoop. Headed to Colson’s Patisserie for breakfast: croissants! We actually ended up loving it so much that we went twice during the weekend. How I don’t stop there every morning for breakfast is no small feat of self-control.

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The day included much walking. Jon met up with us and we headed to the High Line in Manhattan. Walked the entire length of it (14th-34th street) before crossing over one avenue to the Hudson walkway. Walked the Hudson path from 34th-14th street before figuring out that the lunch place we wanted to go to was 2 avenues over and 10 streets up. So much walking. Had a super delicious lunch at Co. – so much pizza! The rest was much needed. After lunch we wandered from 24th street back down to 14th street to go to Chelsea Market and walk through.

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Jon split off and we continued across Manhattan (towards 1st ave and 34th street) making a pit stop in Madison Square Park and Eataly.

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Eventually made it to the East River Ferry dock on the far side of Manhattan. It was my first time walking across Manhattan in one day! Sarah was less than pleased. Rested for a good 20 minutes or so before boarding the ferry to head down to DUMBO.

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Stopped by work to show Sarah around before heading back home to grab some dinner. Picked up salads at Just Salads and took them to the park to watch some baseball games and have a picnic dinner. I think we were all a bit exhausted but we managed to walk a few more avenues in search of some frozen yogurt!

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Sunday morning was Father’s Day so we finally let dad have some say over what we were going to do for the day 🙂 He requested another breakfast at Colson’s. More croissants! Before heading back down to DUMBO for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

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After walking we made our way to Brooklyn Bridge Park for Smorgasbord, a food festival in DUMBO. Had fun taste testing a bunch of different things included this jello, edible cup that Dad found. Had some bubble tea, pork something (not me…), a shared arepas and some terriakyi dough balls filled with potato.

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Headed back for some more frozen yogurt in Park Slope and ran into a street festival that went on for about 25+ blocks. Before long it was time for them to hop back in the car and head south. Overall a super fantastic weekend of walking, eating and catching up. It was great to get to show them around some of the places and things that I’ve been doing and writing about. Having people visit is starting to make me feel like I actually live here!

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Side note: If you decide to visit, I won’t make you walk this much 🙂

 

June Preview

As has been happening more often than not, I look up and it’s been 23 days since I last blogged. How that happened, I have no idea. Three busy weeks and packed weekends have come and gone and suddenly it’s June 24th. My living room holds a random assortment of items not quite put back in their places after I’ve passed through quickly. The plants, at least, have not been neglected.

In an attempt to catch up, how about one post a day this week. June has included a Web Conference at Penn State University, a trip to Hershey with Jon for the weekend, family visiting for Father’s Day weekend, long work days, full week nights, lots of good eats and a packed weekend (including a brief trip to NJ) to celebrate Jon’s birthday (which is today).
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Despite the 90 degree temperatures lately, I’m so glad that it’s finally summer. An abundance of events around the city should keep me busy and content for the next few months. 
 
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Stay tuned.

The Days We Walked

Two weeks ago my parents came up to Brooklyn for some city adventuring. It was their first time up here since October (!) so I had lots of city to show them.

Friday night they met me in DUMBO at work to see Carrot. Friday afternoons are generally a pretty crazy time/a good time to see all of the office culture in one visit. Took a trip up to the roof too to see our sweet Manhattan views. Walked around Brooklyn Bridge Park & the waterfront before heading towards Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill. Really fancy brownstone neighborhoods with tree lined streets makes for good walking paths. Also got to check out the new bouncy bridge they put in. Apparently I was so excited they were there on Friday that I didn’t take a single picture. Oops. We ended up walking down Court Street in Cobble Hill & eating dinner at Nature’s Grill and then going for the best ice cream ever at Blue Marble Creamery just down the street.

Saturday morning they came down bright and early to meet for breakfast at Windsor Cafe in Windsor Terrace. Jon met up with us as well. Super tasty breakfast before heading out to walk through Prospect Park. You could certainly put on a lot of miles in that place. Watched some softball/baseball games happening in the fields, visited the boathouse, saw part of the lake, walked through the woods to find a waterfall, walked on part of the loop, visited the zoo and finally walked up the long end of the park past the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens towards Grand Army Plaza and the farmers market there. Hung out in the grass for a bit before walking down through part of Park Slope to De Lux, a coffee shop.

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Mom’s one request was to join in on our weekend cappuccino/espresso run which has become a regular thing now.

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Took about a 5 minute pit stop back home before hopping on the subway and heading to Manhattan.

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Walked through Washington Square Park and a little bit of the west village before heading to dinner at The Grey Dog, one of my favorite restaurants in Manhattan. Walked north towards the Flat Iron building and Madison Square Park where we stumbled upon a new art exhibit that had just been put up. It was also surprisingly chilly outside so a detour through Eataly was necessary to warm up.

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Finally ended up at Think Coffee, the coffee place near Union Square that Jon & I have gone frequently. I guess it was a pretty good peek into what we usually do around here. Walk, eat, drink coffee, repeat.

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Spent some quality subway time for the full NYC experience.

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Sunday morning I woke up early and got ready to head to Jersey City for a (week early) Mother’s Day Brunch. So crazy to pop out in Manhattan for the 5 borough bike race, walk under the Freedom Tower to the crazy tunnel of escalators and then 5 minutes later pop up in Jersey City on the other side of it all.

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Sunday included lots of delicious food (thanks Aunt Barb!), so much puppy time and a central park walking tour that Eric & David had set up.

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Amazing, amazing views of Manhattan from the other side. photo 5-3

A delicious breakfast prepared by Aunt Barb – cinnamon rolls, rhubarb coffee cake (YUM) and a make-your-own quiche  frittata? egg with veggies in a muffin pan? Delicious regardless of the name.

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So much puppy time.

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Eventually made our way to Manhattan for a Central Park walking tour. Complete with puppies (!). Can you tell I don’t have enough dog petting time in my life?

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We took a guided tour through the top part of the park which was super cool because I had never really ventured up to that part. The park itself is so huge that it’s easy to go there a bunch of times and still miss out on a giant section.

The tour was mostly around the conservatory which was gorgeous and filled with all sorts of new spring flowers. Perfect day to be outside.

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When the weekend was all said and done, I think it came out close to 25 miles of walking from Friday-Sunday. Yikes! I told mom & dad that this was revenge for all of the hikes they took me on as a kid 🙂 They seemed content with all of the walking though, so I don’t think it quite counts as revenge. Overall a spectacular weekend and I really enjoyed getting to show my own parts of NYC 🙂 Or at least those that I know so far.

Definitely needed to rest some Sunday night because I felt a little like this:

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Sneak Peek

Haven’t been able to catch a break this week for a minute of free blogging time.

Just finished another round of 100 handwritten wedding invitation envelopes for another freelance project (2nd project like that in a month). Fun but time consuming! Working on a branding project as well. Plus working on eating my huge quantity of veggies that get delivered each week. And waking up super early to go on a secret mission for work with a coworker then we’re going to see Seth Godin speak at 8:30am in Manhattan for Creative Mornings. So pumped! Completely packed day tomorrow at work too so I imagine I’ll sleep well tomorrow night.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at last weekend:

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This weekend I should have a chance to sit down with the details!