A week in Vermont


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Mike and I took a trip to Vermont earlier this month. For the first few days, we stayed in Stowe, with Mike’s parents and sister, celebrating his parents’ 30th wedding anniversary and our negative one anniversary. The main drag is quintessentially New England and there were some nice shops and restaurants. It was Columbus Day Weekend and we weren’t the only people who had the idea to visit the area, so getting seated at dinnertime was a bit of a comical challenge and, as a result, we didn’t try too many restaurants. But that’s ok, because we were really just there for the company anyway. One day, we took a memorable, rainy hike up Mount Mansfield, which is the highest mountain in the state. Other highlights include: sampling cheese at Cabot, discovering the hammock chairs of my dreams, visiting the Trapp Family Lodge and eating a cheddar everything biscuit from PK Coffee.

We spent the second leg of the trip in the Burlington area by ourselves. Technically we stayed in Charlotte, in the most charming converted barn that was so lovely that we had a hard time leaving. One of the best things we did was fill a growler at Fiddlehead Brewing and take it next door to the BOYB restaurant Folino’s Pizza. The salad and pizza we ordered were not only incredible, but the service was excellent. It was one of those date nights that goes unexpectedly well and you wish you could relive over and over again.

We also really enjoyed spending the day at Shelburne Farms, which abuts Lake Champlain and is beautifully and lovingly maintained. We spent a while with the animals and walking the grounds before watching the sun set from the lawn at the inn on the property, fancy drinks and all. Other highlights include: buying complementary flannels at Vermont Flannel, finding my wedding dress (!!) at Everthine Bride, eating gingerbread pancakes at Penny Cluse Cafe, picnicking at Charlotte Beach, sitting by the fire at our little cabin and our Airbnb hosts’ famous ginger chocolate chip cookies.

A trip to Portland, Oregon


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Earlier this month, Mike and I spent a week in and around Portland, Oregon. Sadly, a large wildfire started burning the day we arrived, so for most of our trip visibility was poor and everything was covered in soot. We had never experience a wildfire up close and personal and it was just awful to think about its devastating impact.

Despite those circumstances, we had a wonderful visit with friends and family. Half of the time we stayed in Happy Valley with the sweetest, most adorable hosts ever, Jean and Jeff. From there, we took day trips to see the coast (Cannon Beach) and to do some hikes (Mirror Lake Trail and Silver Falls State Park).

The rest of the time, we stayed in the Pearl District with Natalie and Scott, exploring downtown by foot. Other highlights include: eating Salt and Straw not one, not two, but three times, seeing the sea lions at Buoy Brewery, visiting Powell’s Books and the Pittock Mansion and the International Rose Test Garden, discovering sour beers, relaxing with Roan on a rooftop and sitting around the dinner table chatting for hours.

Thanks to Hanna Martens for taking the last photo of me in the water.

We’re engaged!



On a Monday in November, Mike texted me while I was at work to ask if I wanted to go out for dinner. It was the week of Thanksgiving, so we were preparing to travel in a few days and I had some errands I wanted to run. When I resisted dinner plans, though, he insisted and we made arrangements to meet.

I assumed we’d go somewhere simple, perhaps our favorite Thai restaurant. But he had made reservations and, as we made our way toward the West Village, I tried to get him to tell me the name of the restaurant we were going to. No luck. Finally, we arrived at Olio e Piu, a cozy Italian spot lit almost solely by votives. We shared a salad and a delicious gnocchi dish. It was lovely.

And then we headed home. The night was over. At least I thought so. It was a Monday, after all. But once we got back to our apartment, Mike asked if I’d bundle up in some warmer clothing so we could go for a walk. “I’m having such a good night,” he said. “I don’t want it to end.”

Why not? Bundle up I did and we made our way back outside, meandering toward Grand Army Plaza. We stopped to look at the fountain and, eventually, approached the arch. Once we were beneath it, Mike started saying a lot of sweet stuff but, still, I thought nothing of it. It was a random Monday.

But then he dropped to one knee, pulled a ring box from his coat and asked me to marry him. Needless to say, I said yes. We are over the moon with excitement!

Photo credit to the lovely Kate Edwards, who we are thrilled to be working with.

Brief thoughts on loss


NanaWhen I was young and scared of the sound of thunder, the adults in my life sometimes consoled me by telling me that the noise was caused by one of our loved ones bowling a strike in heaven. I’m not sure where that story originated, but I believed it for many years. It’s funny to think back on it now and realize that I was somehow comforted by a tale that involved death, which was surely more terrifying than thunder.

As we age, the ways in which we comfort ourselves change and evolve, as do the things for which we need comforting, and we outgrow certain notions that we held tight to during childhood. But there’s nothing wrong with making up stories to pass along to each other, folktales of sorts, when they help us get through hard days.

So from now on I’d like to think of the sound of thunder as being caused by Nana celebrating the fact that she won a game of bingo — her lifelong hobby, which she was so dedicated to that nearly every year she left my birthday party early to make sure she could sit in her favorite seat — up in heaven.

Rest in peace, Nana. We love you always.




jan151jan152jan153jan154jan155Despite arctic temperatures, January was filled with activity. Walking along the Brooklyn Bridge. Trying Grimaldi’s pizza. Getting to know coworkers over pickle back shot at the most adorable bar in the East Village. Starting a leisurely Saturday at a favorite spot, Quintessence. And taking in a Broadway show, thanks to a buy one get one ticket promotion.







An unseasonably warm December, filled with holiday preparations, decorations and festivities, mastering the art of making lattes and snuggling with our new baby boxer, Sasja.

I still remember


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I still remember.

It was nearly midnight on a Friday and the world was dark and rainy and crisp. I was studying alone and campus was deserted and eerily still. Hours earlier I had sent you a silly message and now my phone buzzed, letting me know you had finally responded. Your roommate was gone for the weekend and you asked me if I wanted to come over to help you mop and play Skyrim, your favorite at the time. I had no real interest video games or cleaning, but I loved the idea of being near you.

That week you had come to Target with me for the sole purpose of buying a mop to clean the kitchen in your suite. No longer could you stand how sticky the ugly diamond laminate flooring had become from six boys traipsing across it every day for months on end.

I walked back to my dorm room to put away my books before crossing campus, cloaked in blackness, to meet you at yours. I was naive. I brought nothing with me but an umbrella and a coat. We were just friends. I wouldn’t be staying over. You met me at the door, smiling, and I shook off the rain and came inside. While you moved the kitchen furniture into the hallway I leaned against your bed, which you always kept perfectly made, and put together a music playlist originally titled “Mopping” for us to listen to.

You wore red sweatpants low on your hips and a thin white undershirt. When you moved a certain way a gap grew between the hem of your pants and your shirt, exposing your lower stomach briefly, and I tried not to stare. Your wheat colored hair was long and thick tufts of it stuck out from beneath the Crusaders hat you wore in an attempt to suppress it. Everything was foreign to me. Spending time in a guy’s room, being granted the privilege of seeing him freshly showered and dressed down for the evening. It felt intimate and new.

Mopping didn’t take long because the room was barely 100 square feet and I didn’t help at all, unless you count making a playlist and taking pictures I would later come to cherish. Eventually we returned the chairs and table to their place and sat down next to each other to play Skyrim, which you had been telling me about for months. I only lasted for a few minutes before passing the controller back to you because my thumbs were tired from the joysticks and I was terrified that the horse my character was riding would somehow die under my inept control, a thought that disturbed the animal lover in me.

You were hungry so you poured yourself a bowl of peanut butter flavored Cheerios in a navy blue plastic bowl and let me have a few spoonfuls before asking me if I wanted to watch a movie. I checked the time. I was worried about walking home too late at night and thought that I should probably leave, but you suggested that I spend the night. I said no, citing the fact that I didn’t have any pajamas or a toothbrush. But you told me I could borrow a shirt and a pair of shorts and that you had a spare toothbrush, too. I hesitated briefly but agreed. I was naive. We were just friends, I told myself again. Maybe friends do this. I imagined that you would have me sleep in your roommate’s bed, but I asked no further questions.

It was nearly three in the morning by the time the movie finished but I was too aware of what was happening to be tired or to remember much about it. We walked to your bedroom and you opened the wood veneer drawers beneath your lofted metal bed frame and pulled out something for me to wear. I took the clothing from you and pushed open the gray swinging door to the bathroom and changed in the fluorescent light. I looked at my reflection in the mirror, the basketball shorts falling to the tops of my knees and the shirt swallowing my frame. I worried about letting you see me like that before deciding it didn’t matter. We were just friends.

I emerged from the bathroom ready to make a quip about my outfit, but when I saw you standing in the bedroom in your boxer briefs, hat off and contacts replaced with dark rectangular glasses, words escaped me. We were just friends, I thought again. Maybe friends do this. I brushed it off, still imagining that I would sleep in your roommate’s bed. But then you told me to get in first so that I wouldn’t fall in the middle of the night and I knew. I knew we weren’t just friends.

After I climbed cautiously into the bed you crossed the room to turn off the overhead light, but an exterior light still cast its glow through your open windows. I rested my head against the pillow and watched, transfixed, as you walked toward me, your creamy skin illuminated and bare, a sleepy and gentle smile playing across your face. You lifted yourself into the bed, taut muscles shaking the mattress briefly, and lay down next to me. Under the magical lighting all time stopped and the world faded into nothingness and you and I were all that was left. I would have given anything to stay in that perfect moment, punctuated by nothing but the sound of our chests rising and falling, all doubts and insecurities and worries cast aside.

I wondered silently what this meant and if I was ready for the implications but you were so beautiful. You looked into my eyes for a long time but finally the trance ended and you kissed me tenderly on the lips. We exchanged no words as you pulled the thin red comforter over us and placed your arm around my waist and we both fell asleep. When we finally woke up, it was as if the world had always been that way.

We weren’t just friends. No, now we were everything.

image by Hanaa’ Tameez



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Listening obsessively to Serial, a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, which examines one story per season over the course of several episodes.

The series came to life when Host and Executive Producer Sarah Koenig was asked to look into a murder case that took place in Baltimore County, Maryland in 1999. The body of Hae Min Lee, a senior in high school at the time, was found in a local park a month after she was reported missing and her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in jail. After she started digging around, Koenig became fascinated by the information she was uncovering– the case is fraught with inconsistencies and it seems possible that Syed is innocent. But is he?

A new episode of the podcast is released every Thursday and examines different aspects of the case as Koenig tries to reach a conclusion. The reporting is wonderful, the storyline is perfectly paced and the case is so fascinating that it’s hard to wait a full seven days for the next episode to be released.

From the Serial website:

Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she’s been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators’ notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago. What she realized is that the trial covered up a far more complicated story, which neither the jury nor the public got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence – all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.

Here’s a New Yorker piece with some behind the scenes information about the production of the series.

image via the Serial Podcast Facebook page



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Lately I’ve been enjoying the transition into autumn, my favorite season, and trying to appreciate the fiery beauty of the foliage before the leaves fall to the ground. We filled Columbus Day Weekend with as many fall activities as we could and managed to cross baking homemade apple pie, mulling cider, making caramel apples, taking crisp walks in the woods, collecting leaves, sitting around a fireplace and picking pumpkins off our list. This cute pup named Gadget recently entered our lives and it has been fun to watch him try to figure out life. Things like walking on a leash, sitting on command and eating slowly take a lot of effort for him right now, but he’ll get the hang of it soon. I’ve also taken a few trips into Manhattan as I chase the ever elusive carrot known as employment. Sometimes I forget to look up when I’m walking from destination to destination but I’m never disappointed by the view when I do.





Trying to practice these writing tips

Loving Emma Watson for speaking up and delivering this wonderful speech about feminism

Reading the book Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy

Looking forward to making this yummy lemon and garlic chicken dish this week

Ecstatic that all of Gilmore Girls is being added to Netflix tomorrow

Saving up to invest in a pair of rain boots that won’t rip after one season

Planning on checking out the SoWa open market this weekend