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).






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.



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.


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


Lots of sister goofiness.


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.


Making ricotta with the leftovers from our mozzarella making.


Watermelon feta salad with mint!


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.


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!





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).



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










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.



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 🙂



Caprese salad with our freshly made cheese!



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!



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…

A Weekend at Home

I got on the wrong train tonight. I guess it’s inevitable, checked one more thing off my “New York” to do list. Unknowingly headed from Manhattan into South Williamsburg after having dinner with Jon. I suddenly found myself on a train that reeked horribly of old pee.

It was the city’s way of welcoming me back, I guess.

Early Friday morning I packed up and headed home for some much needed family time and a break from the city. I was up before the sun and just a few hours later, sitting at the kitchen table in Maryland! Alison and Scarlett (her niece) came over Friday afternoon for some coloring, hanging out and sandwich eating. I think I was more interested in coloring than she was. Friday evening Dad was at a guitar jam session with some guys from church so Mom and I had a girl’s night out at Facci’s, a super delicious brick oven pizza place. So delicious and so thankful for the time to sit down and chat!

photo 1-2

photo 2-3

photo 3

Saturday morning included some tasty oatmeal and Washington Post reading – I’ve discovered their crossword is far easier than the NYTimes nonsense that I attempt each Saturday. Then a trip to Wegmans! Oh goodness, I miss that place. There are definitely thousands of food options in NYC but I miss the Wegmans experience.


photo 4-2

Saturday afternoons big plan was cheese making! It was the one thing that I requested for the weekend – to make mozzarella.  It was close to a 3 hour process when everything was done but lots of fun. I got to stir my very own curds and whey 🙂 While sitting on a tuffet, of course. We ended up making mozzarella, ricotta & Jim Lahey’s stecca bread! Lots of cooking going on. Saturday night’s dinner included our freshly made food along with some other cheeses, spinach artichoke dip and kale salad. After dinner we settled in to watch Beasts of the Southern Wild – the only one of the Oscar Nominees that I’ve actually seen.

photo 5

photo 1-4

photo 2-4

photo 3-3

photo 4-4

photo 5-2

photo 1-5

photo 2-5

photo 3-4

Sunday morning was church followed by a super fluffy egg omelet – filled with sauteed mushrooms and onions. So tasty! If you haven’t noticed a trend yet, basically the whole weekend involved food 🙂 Alison came over again on Sunday afternoon and then Sunday night’s dinner was enchiladas (by my request!).

photo 4-5

When I bought tickets, I purposely got one back to NYC for early Monday morning. I figured that would help make the weekend feel longer, to have all of Sunday at home. And it definitely did! But it made for a rather early Monday morning – 3:45 am. Sorry Mom & Dad! Hopped on the 5:17 am train headed north and was able to make it into the office in DUMBO by 8:45am. Definitely the longest commute I’ve had so far. Pretty cool to start off before the sun and to be able to watch it rise out the train window all morning! Enjoyed seeing the NYC skyline come into view. Every time I leave and come back now, it feels a little less weird. I realized this morning walking to work that I was completely on autopilot & didn’t even have to think about subway turnstiles or which way to go. (Clearly autopilot didn’t help tonight on the trains…)

I actually remained rather awake all day yesterday! Shocking considering the amount of sleep I had and the time the alarm went off. I did, however, come home and immediately put on pajamas.

Thanks for the great weekend at home, mom & dad!

photo 5-3

photo 1-3

photo 3-2

photo 4-3

photo 5-1


2012 in Review

Last year at RIT, graduation, moving to Chicago, internship at Leo Burnett, long distance relationshipmoving to NYCaccepting first full time job… I’d say this has been a pretty big year.

Looking back through photos that I’ve taken over the past year, I was struck by how many places I had been, people I had seen and things I’ve done. A blog is a rather nice way to compile everything together – and to think this one only started for my Chicago adventure!

January was kicked off by my final midterms for Winter Quarter. A crazy whirlwind of homework assignments, papers, projects and work. I’m sure I packed some fun things in there but for the time being, I can’t seem to remember. Lived with Kristin, Devan and a constantly rotating 3rd roommate. Many late nights ended in singing, piling into the living room in our PJ’s, making roommate dinners, doing homework together and going on adventures in Rochester.

April meant Jon leaving for NYC (which was probably one of the saddest days thus far). So incredibly hard to say goodbye and move him out of his apartment but little did we know that we’d be back in the same city (kind of) just months later! (If only I had been reassured of that at the time…). The next few months included lots of girl time with my awesome friends and lots of memories for my last months at RIT.

Took a trip in April in the middle of Spring Quarter to see Jon in NYC. Met with Carrot for the first time at Creativity Industry Day where I got to meet them in person and show my portfolio. Continued packing my days with last minute Rochester to do items (bike rides, yoga classes, exploring, public market). School continued on with projects to work on and portfolios to complete. Pretty sure my motivation levels were at an all time low.



May was a whirlwind of final projects, last classes (EVER), presentations, portfolio walkthroughs and wrapping things up at the admissions office. I can’t even begin to say how thankful I am for having that job for 4 years. Starting out as a freshman in the mailroom stuffing letters and four years later getting to work on 5 RIT Students behind the scenes with Ashley and everyone else really helped shape what I eventually wanted to do with my career. It definitely became more than just an on campus job. Looking back at it makes me realize just how many doors it opened and friends that I met through working there. Not to mention a good boost of self-confidence that comes with leading 50 people tours on Open House days.




The end of May brought graduation. The close of four years at RIT was bittersweet – I thoroughly enjoyed my four years there but definitely felt ready to move on and have new adventures. How about a giant thank you to Mom & Dad for their support over my four years there!!


Packed up all of my belongings (thanks mom, dad & Sarah) and left Rochester for the last time (at least so far..). Got home on Sunday and had a quick 4 days to unpack & resort items to get ready to move out to Chicago.

The short time home was not without a trip on June 1st back up to NYC to interview at Carrot Creative! Despite already having the internship at Leo Burnett set up for the summer, I was eager to meet with Carrot and see if something might happen for August when I was finished.  It was also a much needed weekend to see Jon for the last time before heading off to Chicago for the summer (two days later).


June 11th was my official 1st day at Leo Burnett. [If you recall, that was also the first day that this blog started. Which thankfully means that the year has been documented from then on. For such a crazy hectic eventful year, I’m loving having a written record of things that I have packed into it.]



In between work and sleeping, the summer was spent exploring everything there was to see in Chicago, crashing on Kristin’s couch for the summer, hanging out with Remy & Kristin, making new friends at Leo, playing volleyball on the beach, spending hours at coffee shops, swimming in Lake Michigan, trying new restaurants and learning to entertain myself and feel comfortable exploring on my own in a new city!


Definitely learned a boatload of things at Leo and am thankful for my time there, but one of the major things I learned this summer, is that it wasn’t for me! It was an awesome opportunity but the whole time I felt this constant nag that there was something else out there for me that was a much better fit.


Early August I began talking with Carrot Creative again and they officially offered me a job – just a week before my last day at Leo! A quick trip to Wisconsin to see my grandparents was made before packing all of my things up (AGAIN) and driving back to the East Coast. Frantic trip up to NYC to look for housing and then a week at home to finish packing for the big move up to Brooklyn.


The beginning of September was my first day at Carrot Creative and I haven’t looked back! I’m currently starting my fifth month there and I absolutely love it! It was also the end of the long distance relationship nonsense (yay!).


Since then, well… you’ve all been reading that day in and day out. Exploring NYCloving Brooklyn, making friends, walking everywhere, hurricane Sandyspilling coffee..

If you had told me 12 months ago that I would be writing my 2012 recap post from my very own yellow couch in Brooklyn the night before I head back to work, I probably would have told you that you were crazy.

I’m so incredibly thankful for all of the changes and new adventures that have happened this year & even more thankful for all of the family and friends who have been there along the way!

Here’s to an awesome 2012! Now let’s see what 2013 has in store.. 

Christmas 2012

Now that we’ve sufficiently eaten our way through all of the Christmas cookies and I have made my way back to Brooklyn, I can begin to recount the past ten or so days.

Lots has happened – although most involves cooking & eating.


Friday at work we celebrated two birthday’s in the office + our interns last day. Cue lots of sugar. I made Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were pretty much as delicious as they sound. Seriously, you can’t go wrong stuffing anything with Nutella.


After work I headed off to Penn Station to wait around for a bit for my train! I had an hour or so to kill so I went to dinner at Moe’s. Let’s just say it was not a pretty sight to watch me attempt to eat their burrito. It looked like a bomb went off. But delicious nevertheless. Always a good way to start a vacation – eating a messy burrito in a back room in penn station full of strangers listening to a mixture of Elvis and Michael Jackson. Train eventually took off and I was on my way to Hershey! Only had one transfer in Philadelphia but that was quick and easy. The highlight of the trip was a girl sitting down next to me and saying “You don’t look too weird, I think i’ll sit next to you.” Always reassuring.

Saturday morning we got up early to drive to St. Thomas for Jon’s family Christmas. All of his extended family gets together for the day and it happened to work out perfectly – I managed to fit in 3 Christmas’s this year. Lots of delicious food and a great time hanging around – so much Hannah time! This is only the 4th time I’ve seen her since she was born last November, she’s getting so big!


Jon drove me the rest of the way home to Maryland on Saturday night. Home just in time for Mom’s Choir Contata at church!


The next few days included eating delicious home cooked meals, goofing around with Sarah, making the famous thin Christmas cookies, learning the names of football players (thanks to Sarah), and pretending to be Martha Stewart when Sarah and I worked on decorating the table for Christmas dinner.

IMG_5789 IMG_5790 IMG_5817

This is the first year that we weren’t together with Barb & Joe for Christmas Day. Sarah & I ended up making Christmas Eve dinner before we headed off to church for the candlelight service. We made Avocado Yogurt Dip, Spicy Feta Dip and Brussels Sprout Dip with Artichokes. Sensing a theme here?

IMG_5820 IMG_5825 IMG_5828 IMG_5837 IMG_5844 IMG_5845


Christmas morning we woke up, made Cinnamon Chip Apple Scones & Chili Cheese bake before sitting down to open presents – a record late time compared to some of our previous 6am starts.

IMG_5856 IMG_5857 IMG_5859 IMG_5866

Christmas dinner was chinese take out – it was crazy packed! Who knew we were missing out on it all these years. Finished out the night by watching Moonrise Kingdom and House Hunters.

IMG_5869 IMG_5885

To be continued…


32 Hours at Home

Headed east early Thursday morning to go back to Maryland. I drove for the first time since may. Let’s just say that I’m so glad I’m moving to the city and I probably didn’t make my parents very confident in my driving with my comments every once in a while 🙂 biggest thing was remembering that I was driving!! I’m so used to someone else driving the train or bus now so it was hard to remember that I was in charge of this large moving thing. Two hours into it I seemed to get the hang of it. But passed it off quickly!











Friday was my only day spent at home. We got back late Thursday night and after unpacking the car I quickly passed out. Friday was spent trying to organize my room, packing some more things, buying train tickets, signing job paperwork(!), and hanging out with my high school friends Alison and Megan! Breakfast was the best part of the day – dad and I picked some of their tomatoes! Yum! Hoping there are some left when I get back tomorrow.



Dinner was grilled veggies and salad, super tasty. Then an early bedtime because the alarm was set for 4:40am!


15 Hour Drive for Dinner

After hanging out with Remy on my birthday, I met up with my parents! Who had driven 15 hours from new jersey to Chicago for a birthday dinner 🙂 and to pick me up!

We walked around a bit and ended up going for a late dinner at mista down the street from my apartment. It was the same place we went after they moved me in ten weeks ago. Rounded out the night with some ice cream at Bobtail ice cream nearby!

Tuesday morning we woke up and met for a walk and some coffee! Saw tons of neat houses that we wanted to move into. And I finally got to take them to Next Door cafe where I had frequently skyped them from.




After a quick lunch at my favorite vegan restaurant in Chicago, native foods cafe, we headed north to Sheboygan to see grandma and grandpa. I tried to take in as much of the farmland as possible after a summer in the city and a move to yet another city coming up!




The two days in Wisconsin were fantastic. They were filled with chatting, walking around the neighborhood, eating grandmas cookies(!), and making (failed) rose hip tea. The second day was filled with a surprise visit from my aunt, uncle and cousin Alex! Had a tasty lunch at the excellent pizza place in Sheboygan and dinner with Mel and Shirley (family friends).






Wasn’t long before it was time to hop back in the car and head 15 hours back east to Maryland.