sweet potato casserole.

I'm known in my family for three things:

  1. General outrageousness.
  2. A self-deprecrating sense of humor.
  3. Sweet potato casserole.

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This is not a photo of my sweet potato casserole, but this is probably what it will look like when I make it tomorrow.

I've been making this for the past several years for Thanksgiving, and it's the

4 1/2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/ cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9" x 13" baking dish [I usually make it in a french oven--any sort of baking apparatus will do.] In a large bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup butter, milk, white sugar, vanilla extract and eggs. Spread sweet potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour. Cut in 1/3 cup butter until the mixture is crumbly, then stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the pecan mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

It's not low-fat, but that's not what the holidays are about. Happy gluttony!


sweater weather.

As all of you New Englanders are well aware, it has been sooooo cold out. Olive refuses to go out without some sort of  jacket, and even then she's shooting me nasty looks as she does her business. It's not fun.

But I found something that's making my excursions outside a little more bearable:

I scooped up this cardigan at Old Navy for a steal (today, it's an extra 30% with code EARLYGIFT), and it's perfect for the bitter cold weather we've been having as of late--super cozy and heavy and great for lounging.


weekend in pics.

Lychee Martini // Edamame with Lime // Sushi Extravaganza // Giant Mimosa // Greasy Breakfast // Fancy Wine

I had such a fun weekend: Friday my sister came to my place and we went out for cocktails and sushi (so delicious) and then we watched Parenthood and tormented Olive. We were very productive  Saturday morning and went out to eat at what I thought was an International House of Pancakes, but turned out to be an entirely different restaurant that did not disappoint with their super-sized (and cheap) mimosas. We ran errands and went back to my parent's house and drank my most favorite pinot noir ever, because that's what Saturdays are for.

Sleepy Jetes // Turkey Hats // Dad and the Hud
Sunday was supposed to be the first of two Turkey Trots, but with the wind chill creating a temperature  of around 4 degrees and my two running partners being asthma sufferers, we decided running was for the birds (bwahaha). We went to my sister's house instead where we stuffed our faces with french onion soup, grilled cheese and a fabulous spread of apps.

How was your weekend?


happy, happy weekend.

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I'm trying so hard not to wish my weeks away, but this one was a doozy. Why does all of the shit hit the fan right before you're taking time off of work?

Anyway, I made it and the weekend is finally here. So pumped for a sister sleepover tonight and then a week of family bonding and stuffing galore. And no work.

Wishing you the happiest of weekends!


holiday thoughts.

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I recently read Kelly's post What About Thanksgiving?, and I couldn't agree more. (Read it.)

I don't know what it is about this year in particular--maybe it's the plethora of Peppermint Mochas I've been seeing in my instagram feed coupled with the abundance of Christmas lights blinding me during my commute home, but I feel like Thanksgiving is totally being bypassed by it's more sparkly holiday sister.

(Lest I give you the wrong impression, I'm not a scrooge. I am the first person to wax poetic about the magic that surrounds December).

But I think there's something strange about sitting around the Thanksgiving table with the scent of pine and twinkling lights from a Christmas tree in the background. And while I'm excited to decorate and listen to carols and stuff my face with all things peppermint, I'm holding off until after I celebrate the fabulousness that is Thanksgiving.

Because she deserves her place in the spotlight, too.


books lately.

There's really nothing better than curling up with a good book. I love to read for an hour or so before I go to bed (which usually means I'm in bed super early. Olive doesn't mind. She loves to snooze). 

Here are some books I've read as of late, accompanied by my deep thoughts:

  • Wild, Cheryl Strayed: I didn't love it. While her story is certainly amazing and inspiring, it just didn't jazz me the way I thought it would based on the reviews. Still, I would recommend it, especially if you'd rather live vicariously through someone outdoorsy and not experience the blisters firsthand.
  • What Remains, Carole Radziwill: This one really surprised me--I had remembered Carole the writer from her Glamour magazine days, and of course I knew Carole the television star from Real Housewives of NY, but this book gave a whole new perspective of her life as a journalist and wife, and I really, really liked it.
  • The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, Anton Disclafani: Hmmmm. I would recommend this, but as I'm thinking about what my real opinion is of the book on a whole, there are certain aspects of the storyline I didn't enjoy. If you read it, you might know what I'm referring to...but I still think it's a worthwhile read.
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple: Loved it. I didn't want it to end.
  • The Fault in Our Stars, John Green: Looking for a book that makes you ugly cry? This is it. I spent a solid 1/2 hour sobbing--even though it's marketed as YA, this quasi-adult thoroughly enjoyed the story.
  • The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman: I wasn't totally wowed by this one--I liked the general concept, but I found that it dragged in certain places. It definitely makes you think, though--heartbreaking.
  • The Tragedy Paper, Elizabeth Laban: I don't know if it's prep school kid in me, but I really liked this book--it keeps you sucked in, and I thought the ending did it justice.
  • The Other Typist, Suzanne Rindell: I'm only three chapters in, but so far so good.

Do you have any book recommendations? What should I add to my list?



You know how Brussels sprouts have that reputation as a hated vegetable? Especially for kids? I never had that...and I think it's because I have absolutely no recollection of ever eating them. (That's not because my parents thought it was a lost cause--I have a sneaking suspicion that my dad didn't want to eat them, so they were never part of the dinner repertoire).

My parents were so good about making us eat food we might otherwise say no to--we were required to take a "no thank you helping" of anything we didn't really want to eat which instilled good manners if we were eating at someone else's house, and also expanded our little palates. [Note to future children: you will be carrying on the "no thank you helping" tradition. You can thank me later].

Anyway, I have found that I really, really love the sprouts. And here is a super easy recipe to enjoy them (adapted from this):

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Take a 1 to 1-1/2 pound bag of Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Cut up some prosciutto into 1" squares (around 4-5 ounces). Put everything on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands.

Cook for 15 minutes, toss, and then cook for another 15. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar on top (I did around 2 tablespoons) and voila!

Sprouty goodness.

(If you want a more pronounced balsamic flavor, I would recommend this recipe, although it is a bit more labor intensive).



I had a total hermit weekend, and it was awesome. The goal was to have as little contact as possible with the outside world. I think I succeeded.

My mom came over for pizza and champagne on Saturday: it was a winning combo // I'm loving Trader Joe's mini pumpkin pies // I made molasses cookies using this mix and they were super easy and delicious // Olive likes to help with cleanup in the kitchen, but her overzealous methods tend to  leave her in an awkward position. 

I otherwise spent hours (and I mean hours) watching Parenthood--I am so late to the game with this show, but I thoroughly enjoyed my mini marathon. I need to catch up.

How was your weekend?


happy weekend.

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Kate Spade has the best wallpaper for your phone/tablet/computer. Such a fun way to spruce things up, and it's free!
Download here.
I'm super pumped the weekend is finally here. I'm not too pleased, however, that I am coming down with a bit of a cold.

I have a feeling it's nothing a little champagne can't fix...


deep thoughts.

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For as long as I can remember, I've been a person of if onlys. I would put a huge focus on what I didn't have and I'd get it in my head that "if only I had/did/was x", then my life would be complete.

"X" could be anything: losing ten pounds, getting engaged, finding a new job... even when I seemingly had it all, I still found myself with a nagging feeling of discontent. There was always something else that could be better...a missing piece that would make my happiness puzzle complete.

The past couple of years have been a bit of a roller coaster of emotion (to say the least). They've been filled with highs and lows, but in my old age I've come to a sort of revelation: there will always be something I want to change, and that's perfectly fine. But I need to spend a lot less time focusing on the have nots and put a much higher value on the haves.

And slowly but surely, I think I'm getting there.


apartment tour.

I moved into my apartment in February after a year of post-breakup soul searching. It's an old mill building that was converted into lofts, and I absolutely love it.

Hallway when you first walk in.

Living Room/Desk Area.

Living Room

Tree stump coffee table courtesy of my dad.


Living room (back to the desk).

Dining Area.


Kitchen (back facing desk).

Booze city. Population: me.
Stairs to bedroom (bathroom on left).

We're pretty happy here.


weekend on a tuesday.

This weekend was just what the doctor ordered: a whole lot of nothing:

  1. My Gray Malin Prada Marfa print came, so that was exciting.
  2. Picked up some flowers at Trader Joe's--you can't beat $3.99 for roses.
  3. Watched The Bling Ring--I thoroughly enjoyed it {via}.
  4. Had some post-Pure Barre beverages, and promptly took a nap.
I didn't do my planned baking project out of pure laziness, but there's always next weekend. I did, however, make pasta sauce using this easy recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It was okay--it was nice to be able to make a three-ingredient pasta sauce that takes a little more effort than just opening a jar, but I think I like my sauces a little more flavorful.

As I was making it, I couldn't shake the feeling that I had seen the tomato-butter combo somewhere before.

And then, it dawned on me: this is the gourmet version of Mama June's "sketti"!

Amazing. Who would have thunk?  


get comfy.

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I'm loving all things Emerson Fry this season, but I'm particularly enamored with this sweater and those shoes. With the temps dipping in New England this week, there would be nothing cozier (or more chic).



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Between my quick trip to Maine last weekend (which was fab) and then a 36-hour jaunt to North Carolina for work at the beginning of the week (not so fab), I'm ready for some serious downtime.

I'm planning on running some errands, tackling a major baking project and releasing my inner slug.

Happy weekend.



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Admittedly, I'm super late to the bootie game. 

(Disclaimer: if you're looking for the latest in cutting edge fashion, you've come to the wrong blog).

But a plus to being behind on trends is the plethora of price points (alliteration intended) you're faced with once you finally decide to join the party.

My final four contenders were from Target, Express, Madewell, and Rag & Bone ranging from $35 to $495. I initially bought the ones from Target, but I ended up returning them because I did not enjoy the zipper with the blue backing running up the heel. I loved the Madewell ones, but I was feeling a little cheap (truly shocking) and I didn't want to drop $218 on booties. Clearly, the Rag & Bone's were out of the question.

So, thanks to my sister, I went with the ones from Express. I didn't even know they made shoes--the last thing I bought from there was a zebra print polyester skirt circa 2000. But my sis picked these up and I copied her. I'm still trying to figure out what to wear them with, but I am quite happy with my $60 purchase.

Do you bootie? Which are your favorites?


for the walls.

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I first saw Emily McDowell's prints on the Lulu and Georgia website, but this one takes the cake.

No truer words were ever spoken--check out her other fabulous prints here.


weekend in pictures.

This past weekend I drove up to York Harbor, ME (also known as my most favorite place in the world) for a quick getaway with my parents:

Glidden Point oysters // Crab and avocado melt // A sleepy, squished-faced Olive // Fireside cocktails at the York Harbor Inn // New tanks from the Lululemon outlet in Kittery // Sunday night sushi
It was so nice to get away just for the night, and it was a great way to relax and recharge before a crazy, travel-filled workweek.

(I'm very busy and important).

How was your weekend?


35 years.

Wishing my mom and dad the happiest of anniversaries today:

These two lovebirds have been married for 35 years. I have no words.

Here's to 35 more!


happy halloween(ie).

Olive and I had a raucous Halloween:

Someone was not too pleased about her weenie costume (recycled from last year), but I certainly wasn't dressing up. She stepped up to the plate, albeit begrudgingly.

My building offered door hangers to let the kids of the complex know that the inhabitants were participating in trick or treating festivities. I stocked up on my faves for leftover purposes (and I had a pomegranate tooni because that's how I roll).

It was super cute, and I'm glad I participated.

Olive then spent a chunk of the evening waiting for people to come to the door, and I stuffed my face with leftover Butterfingers watching the SAW marathon on IFC.

Happy weekend.