Category Archives: Photography

what dreams are made of

(via Making it Lovely)

Omg. Bottle this up and send it to me. Happy Friday, All!

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Filed under Photography

bump watch


This is what a 27-week Clam looks like.

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Filed under Baby, Photography

behold! the fancy pants cookies

I know what you’re thinking about this blog, and I want to set the record straight. It’s not always about babies. Sometimes it’s about cookies.

Take note, gentle reader. This is the post that will change your life. This is where you learn how to make the most salty-chewy-sour-cherry delicious of all chocolate chip cookies. This is the cookie that will make you stop mid chew, while you’re typing an e-mail to a co-worker at the job that you loathe (totally hypothetical situation) and think: I. Am. AWESOME!!! Just for having baked such an amazing treat. And that last part, you’ll sing! Just like these cookies do.

But don’t take my word for it. (Here’s looking at you LeVar Burton.)

A few words before you begin.

These cookies take approximately 36 hours from start to finish.

Take a moment. It’s okay. I understand.

They have to marinate, if you will, in their own ridiculous juices. I don’t pretend to understand the chemistry of this, I just accept it. Like a religion, but even better. Have faith and you will be rewarded. Like for real. In the corporeal flesh. In the very near future. You can’t beat that with a stick.

Also. These cookies, they’re not cheap. You should use the very best ingredients you can get your hands on. That means real vanilla (not imitation) and a full pound of Ghirardelli chocolate pieces (or even higher quality high cacao bittersweet chocolate).

Oh, and a cranberry flavored with cherry juice does not a cherry make. Yeah, that’s right, Craisins. Dried. Cherries. That’s what you want.

And even more annoying, where applicable, I’ve listed measurements in ounces, which means you’ll need a kitchen scale. Don’t fight it. Just go buy one. Seriously, the cookies are worth it. The New York Times recipe that my recipe is adapted from lists measurements in ounces and also in cups, but I can’t vouch for the cookie made without a scale. Why even risk it?

So. Let’s just all  take a deep breath and embrace the fact that these cookies are neither cheap or easy to make.

I should also say that the Fancy Pants were inspired by this cookie at the Metropolitan Bakery and the aforementioned recipe from The New York Times that I found on the food blog Orangette.

After making my first batch, I knew I was on to something.

And that, friends, is when my life began in earnest.

Fancy Pants Cookies

Adapted from The New York Times, David Leite, and Jacques Torres via Orangette

makes about 2 1/2 dozen

8 1/2 ounces cake flour

8 1/2 ounces bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

10 ounces light brown sugar

8 ounces granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, at least 60 percent cacao

1 bag of dried cherries (about 8 ounces)

Sea salt.

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt together into large bowl. Set aside.

Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, cream butter and sugars until fluffy (a few minutes). Add eggs, mixing well after each one. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and attach plastic pouring shield (this thing here) to mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture until just combined. ***IMPORTANT*** Do not over mix! Pour chocolate pieces and cherries into batter and mix briefly. Press plastic wrap on top of dough as well as plastic on the top of the bowl and refrigerate for 36 hours.

36 impatient hours later, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Use an ice cream scoop to fashion six generous sized balls of dough per cookie sheet. Sprinkle dough with sea salt. Place one sheet (and mixing bowl of remaining dough) back in the refrigerator. Put the other cookie sheet in the oven. Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden, turning baking sheet about halfway through cook time. Place cookies on wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.


Filed under Food, Photography

two years and counting

photo by Andy Olsen

Happy Anniversary, S.  You still make me laugh.  I love you!


Filed under Personal, Photography

things you should know if we’re going to stay friends


1. We traded Camptown Races on the ceiling every morning for a deee-lux apartment in the skyyy-yyy-yy, and we haven’t looked back. This is one of the views from one of our bedroom windows.

2. We gave up Old World charm to move closer to this:


Cheese fries, funnel cakes, FRIED OREOS!!!!!!! It was totally worth it!

3. This is our new coffee shop. It’s as cute as it could be.


I’m off to unpack a box of books. Have a good night!

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Filed under Food, Home, Photography


We’re moved into our new place. We’re surrounded by boxes, but we’re in. I’ll miss Pine Street but not what our lives had become there.

More soon, when I dig myself out a bit.

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Filed under Home, Personal, Photography

a birthday suit, love in a jar, and other happy birthday stories

I loved the Lilly Pulitzer birthday suit that I rented.

S. and I enjoyed a delicious meal Saturday evening at our favorite restaurant, Barbuzzo. We really splurged with a bread pudding for dessert and a budino to-go! This little love in a jar was my breakfast this morn. It’s so good it makes me trill. And dance on my tippy toes. At the same time. Recipe here.

And I rounded out the day’s nutritious meals with macaroons from Garces Trading Company.

It was a lovely day! Thanks to everyone (especially S.) for all the birthday love.

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Filed under Fashion, Food, Personal, Photography

peace and quiet, jerseystyle

We fled the running 22-month old upstairs this weekend and headed down the shore. We slept ’til 9 a.m. both days! S. was able to study in peace yesterday, and I took a long nap. We walked to the beach and nearly had it all to ourselves, all the sweeter since I know it will be packed in just a few months. It was a lovely weekend. I hope yours was too.

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Filed under Personal, Photography, Travel

a room with a view

(by Stefan Ruiz, available at 20×200)

Most of my coworkers have a gorgeous view of the Philadelphia skyline from their office windows. So gorgeous that I linger just a little too long when I walk by. I would never, never- ever!, get tired of looking out my window and seeing the tops of those buildings disappear into clouds on rainy days or a sunset reflected back at me on their glass facades … if I had a window.

I’d also be happier and more productive and no I have not had my worms today.

So I decided that I need a huge photograph of a big sky and some kind of view for my closet office. I love the one above of Cairo, Egypt (which I found at 20×200), but the small size is too small and the next biggest size is $600. It inspired me, though, to look through photos of our travels to see if I could find one that would work. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

near Petra in Jordan

downtown Amman, Jordan

downtown Amman, Jordan

on the Nile in Luxor, Egypt

And then I found the company LTL Prints, which sells wall decals, and they have this one of Amman that I like:

Or I can have them make a decal from one of my photos. I’m excited that I can just stick it on my wall! But now I can’t decide. What’s a girl to do? Any thoughts, Internets?

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Filed under Art, Design, Photography, Uncategorized

Uncle Billy

My mom’s eldest brother, my Uncle Billy, died on Wednesday. That’s him in the red hat and sunglasses. That’s me in my pink Sanibel Island t-shirt and red jellies. I love this photo. I love how me, my brother, and my cousin Zack stairstep up with Uncle Billy behind. Not one of us is his own child, and yet in the middle of summer, on a random weekday, he carted us out to the racetrack.

When I think of Billy, I think of the track. When I think of the track, I think of Billy and very often of this day. The photo wasn’t an accident; it was promised ahead of time. “We’re gonna get our picture made with a horse!” In my memory, the whole day is colored by the promise of this photo. You have to win to be in the Winner’s Circle photo, and I’ve always wondered how Billy knew that Lucy’s Late was going to win. Although, when I look at the photo finish these 25 years later, it seems like it might have been a no-brainer. (How many lengths would you say Lucy put between herself and good ol’ Two Liner?) At the time, though, to an eight-year-old who loved horses and the adventure of the racetrack, it was a little bit of magic.

My Uncle Billy didn’t so much talk as roll out words in a monotone mumble. If you didn’t know him,  you’d never guess he had a yard full of hostas and ferns and all that’s good and green. He knew about plants in the way that my mom knows about plants and the way my grandmother knew—what to plant in full sun or partial, what to separate and when, why this plant or that one didn’t come back like it should have. I didn’t get that gene, but I wish I had.

Uncle Billy was complicated and flawed, as we all are, but he was funny and generous, indulgent and kind-hearted. And that’s a lot.

And here he is “giving away” my mom at my parents’ wedding. Check out the brown shoes with the black tux. Classic.


Filed under Personal, Photography