Posts in Personal

Pan Loaf Experimentation

Justin thoughtfully bought two Pullman pans and a copy of the new Meyers Bakery cookbook for my January birthday.

Post Partum Baking Update

When I was pregnant with Hugh, I baked constantly.


How often do you think about the passing of time?

A Moment

When Hugh and I are strolling about town, me hoisting his increasingly heavy frame in a front facing carrier, we’re frequently greeted by those we walk past.

A Metric for Everything

Americans like to talk about how hard we work.

Allowing Moments of Simple Enjoyment

Hugh is 7 and a half months old and my garden is ripe within the heyday of summer.

A Good Start

Instead, Justin often proudly remarks that it’s the most productive and healthy garden I’ve (we’ve) ever grown.

Good...and its Opposite

“Good Baby”.

Uncanny Similarities between Parenting and Gardening

Daily life is frequently driven by our imaginings of present bliss and future success.

Growing for the Long Term

I have a son.

Shaking Off Frustrations

A garden can lift you up or break you down, and this year, our garden has succeeded at doing both.

The Best Time of Year (For a Garden)

The garden really comes into its own by early July.

Troubleshooting Discomfort

Zen wisdom states that nothing is permanent.

Already Outdated

I water, examine, assess, and enjoy my garden daily, and yet it wasn’t until I started editing these photos snapped two weeks ago that I realized how much had changed in a short amount of time.

Nourishing Bread

When I went to bed last night, I inadvertently rubbed my arm and felt something crusty and scaly: leftover dough stuck to my body, clinging there despite repeated washing of hands.

There is No Finish Line

The summer garden is in its final days.

The Gardening Identity

I know that my garden is a living, breathing entity, a “creature” that will blossom, thrive (or not), and eventually die.

A July Garden in June

Given the heat of 2015, our yard and garden is rapidly approaching end of July appearances, for better and for worse.

Informative Observations

When people ask me what I’ve done in 2015, my answers might sound less than adventurous to you (running and gardening), but the details in each of those “tasks” are greater, and more complicated, than those two words.

Ahead of Schedule

The calendar says early April, but garden activity has felt three weeks ahead of the actual date for all of 2015.

Garden Planning

In my two-ish seasons of planting last year, I never found a balance between the whimsical and poetic dreams of my aspirational garden, and the realities of planning and structure.

2014 Coffee: Reflections & Highlights

If you’re inclined to reflect on the previous year, I suggest that you save and then categorize a year’s worth of coffee bags.

Thoughts from Afar

I edited and uploaded the images for this post almost four weeks ago.

One Cuttlefish Hoe to Rule Them All

It’s bizarre how we wrap tasks in an artificial scaffolding of lists and timelines, knowing that, inevitably, a surprising gust of wind will blow through, crumbling your weak scaffolding as you scramble to rearrange timelines and to-dos.

Optimism and Possibilities

June in the garden: a time when anxious planning transforms into fleeting optimism.

Observations for Next Year

We moved in February, leaving behind two years of garden experimentation at our rental house.

2013 Coffee: A Year in Review

Heart’s Kenya Gichathaini: Besides having a truly fun name to say out loud, the Gichathaini provides the perfect example of a washed East African coffee.

Pumpkin Picking & Carving

My parents flew into town last week for a mid-fall visit, and with their trip falling so close to Halloween, we decided to drive out to Sauvie Island on Sunday to pick carving pumpkins from Columbia Farms.

An Adequate Response

It’s happened again.

The Garden Takes Care of Itself

The past few days aside, May and early June felt like summer in the Pacific Northwest.

Growing Season, Already?

After a long winter hiatus, when I first picked up the little green notebook in which I record gardening notes, I flipped to see when the last entry was.

Our 2nd Spring

In the past year, amidst unpacking, painting, gardening, work, and trips near and far, Portland's weather shifted according to the seasons: Summer involved three months of surreally beautiful dry weather, Fall brought unexpected color change, and Winter, a season I was prepared to "survive", was mild – gentler than previous years', I've heard.

Easter Pancakes

We livened up our weekend pancakes (it's true, we eat pancakes most weekends!), by transforming the chocolate chip rounds into easter shapes: bunnies and chicks.

Resurfacing with the Aloha Spirit

Two weeks ago, I was packing for our eagerly anticipated trip to Maui, stashing extra sunscreen in suitcase pockets and making a quick dash to Powell's for reading material.

Regularly Scheduled Content

I assure you I've been doing more this past week than eating dessert, but I'm still organizing my thoughts, editing pictures, and brainstorming content.


Any conversation about American food culture eventually comes around to a familiar set of topics: the decline of the "family dinner", the pervasiveness of fast food, and ways to make cooking more convenient.

Snowshoeing with an iPhone

In my past thoughts about snowshoeing, I conjured up images of myself stylishly bundled up, casually tramping over snow, enjoying a low-impact activity.

2012 Coffee: Stumptown is King

Signs of the Season

To the Coast

No visit to Portland should be considered complete without a day trip to the Oregon Coast.

Mimosa Tree Woes

As July turned to August, I didn't share a garden update because much remained the same.

Happy Halloween!

For the majority of my life, I've lived in places that aren't frequented by trick-or-treaters.

Atmospheric Pumpkin Picking

A few weekends ago, Justin and I, along with several friends, drove the ten miles from SE Portland to Sauvie Island, on a pumpkin picking quest.

London in Late August

We flew to England four days before my best friend Brittany's wedding festivities started, both as an attempt to acclimate to the greater time difference from the west coast (now a formidable eight hours instead of five), and to eat, drink, and wander around in one of our favorite cities.

The Inspiration Behind These Salty Oats

For the past eight months, Justin and I have been working together on a complete overhaul of my former site, Cheery Observations.

A Mid-August Farm Dinner

We booked tickets for a Plate and Pitchfork farm dinner as soon as we moved to Portland.

The City to the North

Though my parents lived in Seattle for a number of years before I was born, my only contact with the city was in waving goodbye to the skyline as our cruise ship disembarked on its way to Alaska--this cruise was a college graduation present, which is to say, years ago.

A Lucky Day

I didn’t know it at the time, but the day I took photos of our blooming sunflower turned out to be the only day the sunflower looked healthy and strong.


We've been more than taking advantage of summer in Portland, attempting to pack our weekends with as many warm-weather activities as possible.

The Ladies Across the Street

You can barely walk a block in SE Portland without hearing a soft 'cluck cluck' or an insistent 'bok bok' from a back or side yard.

Front & Back

We inherited two spectacular plants with this house, one in the front yard and one in the backyard.

Complacency Forgiven

June was a productive month for our 4x4 garden, the multiple container plants scattered about our driveway, and the flowers in both the front and back yards.

June's Ingredients

Visiting "Waterfront Chic"

It's disconcerting to visit a new place with certain expectations, only to arrive and find that your expectations missed the mark.

Ladd's Roses

Like many cities, Portland contains numerous neighborhoods.

Sunset over Portland

Everyone knows about Portland's rain, but you probably were unaware of the amount of daylight Portland receives.

Sharing Portland

When a family member or friend visits your new city for the first time, excitement often mixes with nervous energy.

Midnight Gardening with “Ladies in Red”

The last time I wrote about gardening and general backyard maintenance, I was still cleaning things up and progress inched along.

A Repeat Visit

A few weeks ago, I planned a bike ride that took me from our house in Portland's Sunnyside neighborhood down to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and back, roughly 10 miles in total.

The Dream of the 1950s is Alive in Portland

What makes a product so alluring that you'd leave your grocery store line to investigate it?

A Tame Last of the Mohicans Reenactment

We celebrated Easter by driving an hour south of Portland for a ten mile hike among nine waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park.

Dandelions, Slugs, and Buried Yard Tools

To me, one of the most exciting parts of home rentership, aside from doing laundry whenever I want and not hearing the neighbor's conversations, is having a yard.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

As part of my ongoing egg project, my latest learning curve centered around hard-boiling eggs.

Friday Afternoon Along the Waterfront

We kicked off a beautiful Portland weekend by taking a late Friday afternoon stroll along the Southwest waterfront.

One Block Radius

We've been in Portland for 10 days and it's rained 8 of those days.

Brooklyn ---> Portland

When we originally planned our move to the West Coast, we envisioned a once-in-a-lifetime road trip across the country.


We landed in Portland on Wednesday night, after an enjoyable drive from Brooklyn to St.

Final Images of New York

We're apparently gluttons for exhaustion, so in between bouts of endless packing, we had our last marathon Manhattan weekend, with energy provided by my visiting parents.

Coney Island on a Winter Saturday

I hesitate to use the term 'bucket list' for fear of accidentally linking myself with Jack Nicholson, but with a week or so remaining in Brooklyn, I have no choice but to create a mini-list of things to see before we leave for the West Coast.

On Leaving Brooklyn

Moving to Brooklyn changed me.

Ella at Nearly 5 Months | Family Photography

You can never predict the course that friendships will take in your life, and that's certainly been the case with my friendship with Rachel.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pick a ‘Stache, any ‘Stache

When I was in the kitchen with Alison and Michael of Butter + Love, I watched the entire process of jam cookie creation.

Destination(s) Unknown

We took a day trip this weekend with our end destination determined, but no other parts of the day fleshed out.

2011 Coffee: More coffee than weeks in the year!

In fact: Coffee from Ethiopia was our favorite throughout the year--we had a total of 8 Ethiopian coffees, with Guatemalan coffee closely behind with 7 bags.

Parallel Life

My dad is a therapist to troubled adolescent boys, and a good one at that.

New Christmas Memories

I'll remember this year's Christmas as the year things got back on track.

2011 in Pictures

Don't you hate it when your favorite television show surprises you with a sneaky 'clips' episode, in which the writers use a subpar story line to weave together the season's funniest or most heartfelt moments?

The Baltimore Conservatory

Justin and I spent last weekend in Baltimore visiting several of our friends.

This Year’s Tree

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Justin!

Evi and Sam | Prospect Park Engagement Pictures

Sam and Evi are good friends of ours from Washington, DC.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and friends.

Doorways, Stoops & Numbers

Working from home has its perks (hot chocolate breaks, cuddles with my cat, sweatshirts), but sometimes I just have to get out of the apartment.

Mile 7, NYC Marathon

How do I describe the rush of seeing elite athletes run by me, clocking 4:30 minute miles?

Images of Fall

All of these pictures were taken before that unexpected snowstorm we had on Saturday.

Happy Halloween!

Considering we received 2 inches of snow on Saturday, today's weather is chillier than your typical Halloween.

Care for a Stubby?

Oliver Strand wrote that these bottles look as if they belong in a "cooler on the porch".

Portraits with the 85mm

I had to mail back (my) the 85mm lens yesterday.

Renting, Wishing Otherwise

I rented the Nikon 85mm 1.4 G for five days and have had an enormous amount of fun photographing with this incredible lens.

Decades in the Making

The last my parents visited Central Park, they were younger than I am now!

Time to Wander

Our goal this year was to leave the city by 10:30 and eat a picnic lunch on one of the shaded lawns.

Two Years Ago, Today

Yesterday, we celebrated our second anniversary with a trip to Storm King.

Bridge over the Canal

I frequently walk between Brooklyn's Park Slope and Carroll Gardens neighborhoods, either via Union Street or Carroll Street.

Copenhagen Vignettes

Justin started a travel journal during our Spring trip to Portland.

The Louisiana Art Museum

In most Copenhagen guidebooks, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is placed in the list of 'top 10 musts', along with a haphazard collections of other 'must' items that includes smorrebrød (open-faced sandwiches), Fredericksborg Slot, the National Gallery, the main harbor of Nyhavn, Tivoli, and Danish design.

In Cambridge for the day

Over the past four years, my college roommate, maid of honor, and dear friend Brittany has slowly become British.

Wandering East London

If Copenhagen were the meat (or cheese, if you're a vegetarian!) of our trip, then London served as the sandwich bread for said meat.

Editing and Reflecting

We just flew home from a nine day trip to London and Copenhagen.

A Philly Day Trip

I grew up outside of Washington, DC, before spending over four years after college in the DC area.

Peach Picking

Fishkill Farms has one of the most welcoming stands at the greenmarket.

Summer Garden Update

In May, I shared that I was gathering items to start my own fire escape garden.


If you haven't visited the World Trade Center site recently, you might be surprised by the formidable appearance of One World Trade Center.

Shade & Company

My brother and sister-in-law were in town this week, visiting Brooklyn and New York for the first time in years.

Carrot Study

Learning to Use, Not Save

Do you hate plastic bags as much as I do?

Spot Metering at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

For the past year I've relied almost entirely on matrix metering, with the occasional spot metering thrown in when I'm shooting food at home.

The High Line Part 2

The High Line is one of my favorite places in all of Manhattan.

Two for Two

It would be amazing if Justin and I are able to maintain our tradition of visiting The Hendry House once a year.

Swiss Chard Study

We had beautiful, seasonal wildflowers at our wedding, but I've since remarked that if I were to marry again again (you know--in a parallel universe), I'd be tempted to carry stunning greens (or even a bouquet of asparagus).

One way to cool down

I had to share a picture of this beer bottle.

An Island Storm King

On Memorial Day, Justin and I rode the ferry from Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 to Governors Island.

Stone Barns in June

It’s no secret that I love Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.

Let it Rain

Portland is surrounded by mountains and bordered by the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.

In a week

We picked up these vibrant tulips last weekend at the Greenmarket.

Caffeine x 7

In the months leading up to our Portland trip, Justin and I joked that we were going to come back to Brooklyn sleep deprived, full of amazing food, and overly caffeinated.

Still Editing

I'm still organizing and editing the many pictures we took in Portland, with the hopes of sharing these pictures and thoughts on the various aspects of the city (coffee, food, nature) by next week!

Preview on Two Hours of Sleep

We flew the red eye back from Portland, Oregon tonight (last night?!).


I had planned this post for tomorrow, but today's weather makes it a necessity.

The Glass House

This week, I had the opportunity to visit The Glass House in New Canaan, CT.

Back in Season

This past Saturday felt like our first spring-like Saturday of the year.

Goodbye March

Snow & Graham's illustrators must feel as glum about March as the rest of us.

Photography Exercise: 3/15/2011

Exercise: I went back to where it all began!

Feature: A Trip to the East End

It's time for my second travel feature!

Weekend Escape

We just returned from a weekend trip to Long Island's East End.

Riverside Park & Columbia University

On Saturday, we took a day trip to Upper Manhattan, specifically West 110th-122nd Streets.


I made my very first cake this weekend, in honor of my mother-in-law's birthday.

Fake Spring? I’ll Take it!

A few weeks ago I read that artist Will Ryman had created giant metal roses to line 10 blocks of Park Avenue.

Pigeon Toe Ceramics

In April, Justin and I are taking a long-anticipated trip to Portland, Oregon.

Photography Exercise: 1/25/11

Thoughts: A wide aperture worked well when the camera was pointed away from the sky.

2010 in Pictures

Note: It was incredibly difficult to narrow each month down to a solitary picture, especially when most months contained trips, birthdays, weddings, and incredible food.

Traveling Adventures

Getting home yesterday was not as calm and leisurely as expected.

Images of a New York Christmas

Eight Days

Is it really the last weekend before Christmas?

Living Ornaments

A plant is nestled inside this glass bulb, roots and all.

Thanksgiving 2010

A reflection on this year’s Thanksgiving dinner starts out in a nearly identical fashion to last year’s Thanksgiving dinner post:  we’ve just moved; we want to cook Thanksgiving dinner because we love sourcing and cooking elaborate meals; we view Thanksgiving as a fitting celebration after an exhausting move.

Yes, it’s a cat post

How was I to resist Kate's head bumps and cute poses?

It’s that time of year….

Were moving!

The Mohonk Preserve

After traveling for much of October and knowing that things are about to become fairly hectic with our impending move, this past Saturday Justin and I drove up to the Mohonk Preserve for a crisp late Fall hike.

Goodbye, Fall

Happy Halloween!

Halloween in Brooklyn

No city does Halloween like New York and its boroughs.

I wish for a stoop

To sit on, to read on, and most importantly (in Brooklyn at least) to decorate for Halloween.

Preview: A Weekend in the Berkshires

Highlights of our weekend trip, including what to see and where to stay, will be posted soon.

One Year

Justin and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this weekend with a trip to the Berkshires (post forthcoming)!

Dinner in Neversink’s Barn

As I quickly mentioned in the previous post, we drove out to Neversink, New York on Saturday for a barn dinner hosted by Neversink Farm and prepared by the staff of the West Village's Bobo restaurant.

Barn Dinner

Our Saturday was...long.

What a difference a day makes

Tribute in Light

Each September 11th since 2003, 88 searchlights are placed next to the World Trade Center site, lighting up the Manhattan skyline.

Off the market

A Lost World Reimagined

Governors Island is a 172 acre island located half a mile from Manhattan and Brooklyn.


We spent Saturday on Governors Island.

Last weekend…

The current rainy, slightly chilly weather is a much welcome break from the agonizing heat we've had this summer.

Cape Cod Lobster Bake

We just returned from a long weekend in Cape Cod.

Bringing a Coffee Bean to ‘Life’

Cafe Grumpy has two locations in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan.

A Peaceful Visit to Storm King Art Center

Justin and I spent an idyllic weekend in the Hudson Valley, including a 'died-and-gone-to-heaven' meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns (more on that in a later post).

Scenes from the Dalmatian Coast: Shore

The Dalmatia Coast hugs the Adriatic, encapsulating the land between Split and Dubrovnik, including all of the islands in between (biggest=Brac, Hvar, Korcula, Mljet).

Chocolate Cake & Tea Break

Photos from a Festive 4th

Temperatures climbed and kept climbing this past holiday weekend.

Scenes from the Dalmatian Coast: Boats

Scenes from the Dalmatian Coast: Lush Vegetation

I'm dedicating several of my next posts to pictures from our recent trip to the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.

American Style Cupcakes in London

Two weeks ago today, we started our honeymoon in London, England.

Time Out

Cheery Observations will be on a brief hiatus, as Justin & I jet off on our honeymoon.

Images of Denver

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Denver, CO and its surrounding mountains and canyons.

Decorative Onions?

For the past few weeks, flowers resembling fuzzy orbs have been popping up everywhere.

Eating our way through Tribeca

On Saturday, we joined hundreds of other people at Taste of Tribeca.

Hidden Personalities

My parents live on 5 acres on the outskirts of a medium size town in Virginia.


Justin and I took a quick visit to D.C.

The Brooklyn Flea: Revisited

Late this past Fall, right after moving to New York, we wandered down to the Dumbo location of the Brooklyn Flea.

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Pier 1

The Brooklyn Bridge Park is a massive undertaking.

Spring at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Flowering Dogwood

This particular Dogwood tree outside of our apartment was a blink or you'll miss it situation.

Top of the Rock

Saturday ended up being sunnier than expected, so we made an impromptu decision to go to the top of Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) on our way to the Museum of Modern Art.

Wishing Away the Cold…

This past week of warm weather has me completely spoiled.

Snow in Brooklyn

After watching with increasing horror as the snow piled up in Washington, DC, where we used to live, we're finally getting our own taste of winter weather.

Bright Colors in Winter

Yesterday, we took advantage of the refreshing sunny weather to wander through Central Park.

The High Line

Koons' Balloon Flower

I knew that pop artist Jeff Koons had recently displayed some of his work on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but being a New York 'newbie', I was unaware that this was out for all to see (since 2006, actually).