practicing a purpose

we love guests

One of my best friends came to visit during this Thanksgiving holiday and with him came endless laughs, good conversation and lots (and lots) of couch lounging. More pictures and a thorough update to come.


Henry takes on D.C.

Now, I won’t be THAT person to proclaim that “My nephew is cuter than your nephew” — but who am I kidding? I’m not that mature.

My nephew is cuter than your nephew.

And I have the most amazing pictures to prove it. I was desperate for some company last weekend, and so my sister and brother-in-law came to the rescue. Nothing minimizes your sorrows like a toddler signing (yes, signing!) things like, “I’m hungry” or “I’m tired” or blowing kisses to his auntie. Granted, it took him a day to warm up to me, but it took him seconds to run to Graham and hug him at his feet. Whatever. We’ll be besties when he’s older. He just doesn’t know yet.

Lucky for him (and for all of us), he’ll be expecting a brother soon, which of course will mean more photos, gushing, and blog lovin’. But before I get ahead of myself, we can’t forget little Lucy, who’ll be joining us in a few weeks. Granted, Holly and I have tried (keyword “tried”) imagining the birthing process, but we only get as far as the phrase “severe pain” before we have to stop and start talking about shopping, or classes, or cooking. Looks like a “Holly’s Baby Survival Kit” is in order here soon.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos. He’s such a ham. And thank you, sister for visiting!


There are times …

when cool stuff like this happens. Total reenactment folks, but totally legit.

keep sakes

There’s just something about beautiful things. I started Congratulatory while sitting on the wood floor of our room last year, wrapped in a pile of blankets to escape January’s bitter cold. I had so many pictures that I’d collected over the past few months — all from different photography and design blogs — and I wanted to put them in one place. Thus, Congratulatory was born, and it has proven my constant companion ever since. I love aggregating photos that tug at me in a certain way, that evoke an emotion, a memory or a longing of some kind. And on particularly hard days, the kind that make me want to go back under the covers, I go back into the archives and look at the photos I’ve stored away. It’s the perfect kind of keep sake.

And today, I’ve collected a few that make me sigh in a good way, and I wanted to share them with you.


Last night

So I may have alluded to you in previous posts that I freelance for the Spotlight Column with The Washington Examiner. It’s a fun lifestyles gig that centers on events around the city. I mostly report on restaurant specials (hello, Happy Hour beat), art showings, concerts and Library of Congress lectures.

The great little perk of the job is that I occasionally get to attend special media events. Last night I went to Vinoteca and had a five course dinner and beverage pairing with well known lifestyle journalists Kate Michael of K Street Magazine, and Leslie Quander and Laura Mullen at Capitol File Magazine. It was such a fun evening and I’m telling you, the food was out of this world.

In other news, Graham will be leaving us this weekend for a wedding in Chicago. I’d be right there with him if it didn’t cost an arm and leg to travel. A change of scenery is always welcome in my book (hint: New York I’m coming soon I promise!).

Photo courtesy of Saddest Summer

pumpkin carving

Graham picked up a big, fat pumpkin on his way home from work the other night and we saluted fall by carving it. We were a well oiled machine – cutting, scooping, drawing, preliminary carving with the exact o knife (oh yes, we went there) and the official lighting of the candle inside. I even baked the pumpkin seeds as a snack, in which Graham wrinkled his nose after tasting and said “Oh. Hm, not what I was expecting.” I know, I know. It was delicious.

The best part was deciding what to carve. We sat there for at least 10 minutes debating over highly involved drawings that had to do with typography and superb, intricate die cuts. A very long, three minutes of brainstorming silence led to a unanimous, “Oh what the heck, let’s not make this too complicated” and the face magically appeared. You should hear the sound Graham makes when he mimics the pumpkin’s expression.

It’s getting chilly here, and leaves are falling at an unbelievable rate. I’ve been sipping copious amounts of hot apple cider at work and tonight I dug into Kinfolk Magazine’s new fall issue. It’s gorgeous and inspirational and leaves me itching to bake something (as always) or grow a garden (which will never happen).

Well, I’m off. Be sure to pull on your warm wool socks and slip on a thick jacket tomorrow cause it’s going to be a cold one! (This goes for everyone except for my California sister. Holly – wear that tank top proud).

our almost night out

When I’m not serving open-faced tartines, organic quinoa tabouli or our vegan soup of the day (some like to call this “slinging hash”) I’m writing for a small events column for a local newspaper in the District. It’s a fun little gig that keeps my brain energized and reminds me that there’s life outside of the restaurant-biz. Two nights ago, I wrote a column on an event hosted by The Catholic University of America Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir. They were performing Mozart’s Requiem, you guys. I mean, not that I’m exactly well-versed with Mozart’s work, but Graham is. And it just so happens to be one of his favorites. Since it was a free event, we decided to go and make an evening out of it.

I forgot, however, how nerdy Washingtonians can be. I thought going one hour early would ensure front row seats. Unfortunately, going one hour early ensured us no seats. At all. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of standing room? We waited ever so patiently just to hear the words “I’m sorry guys, the concert hall is full. Try again next time.”

We ditched the place and went out to eat instead.

momentary blues

After an 8 hour work day of serving who knows what to who knows who, I collapse in a fold up chair in the back and slowly take off my overly worn I’ve-seen-better-days keds and slip into boots. I lug my green bag out of the office, throw on my blazer that reminds me of the days when I didn’t have to wear a green uniform, and walk through the back of the store into Peregrine Coffee: our lovely next door neighbor that makes soy lattés better than I ever could. I walk up to the counter of flannel wearing baristas and ask for a coffee. I could have easily poured myself a coffee before I left work I say, a free coffee at that, but the thought of having someone hand me coffee for once feels really, really nice. And after surveying the store for a few seconds, I choose the stool right next to the open door.

I am an anonymous customer. A worn down, uniform-wearing, can’t-feel-my-feet customer that is thankful for a momentary break. It’s only momentary though, because after this, I’ll be scrambling my brain for creative words that I can pen for tomorrow’s column.

Just never stops does it? Nope. So bring on that good coffee I say.

birthday gifts

My birthday was so relaxing. I spent time reading this week’s issue of The New Yorker over a cup of coffee, meandered through Anthropologie and shamelessly drooled over their pretty fabrics, and then ended the evening at Tryst with Graham and our close friend Kyle. Saturday brought another wonderful day with Graham, who gave me the most beautiful birthday gifts. That kid just knows me so darn well. 


today’s improvement