Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Murphy in the Morning

For the past couple of months Murphy has been coming to work with me. I love having the little guy around! He sleeps, sniffs around, and gives me puppy kisses when needed. When he was a pup, Murphy was awake at 6 am, jumping on us, licking get the gist. Now, at 5-years-old, we have to coax him awake with lots of petting and promises of breakfast. On cold mornings he shivers when we get into the car so I've started wrapping him up in a blanket on the way to work. He falls into a morning stupor, somewhere between awake and asleep, and it's too cute. I snapped a couple pics this week. Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paper Memories

For years, I've saved greeting cards, notes, concert and event tickets, and other random paper memories in a plastic box and vintage suitcase with the promise to "do something cool with them someday." Last weekend I FINALLY went through them. My fear, prior to beginning this project, was the potential for overwhelming emotion. And it was. But instead of being sad, I felt nostalgic, happy, and most of all thankful.

As I shuffled through the cards, dividing them by holidays, thank yous, and randoms, my heart was warmed and humbled by the things I read. Support, encouragement, and heartfelt advice poured off the parchment. Sweet notes from my mom, grandparents, aunt and uncle, friends, and even one from my great grandmother who passed nearly 20 years ago. I discovered that the cards are kind of like a journal from the outside. Stories from the card-givers reminded me of where I was, who I was, and even more important, who I have become; How important it is to remember how lucky I am to have such a beautiful group of family and friends in my life.

A word of advice for your next card-giving experience: Write the date. For us card savers, this small piece of information is invaluable.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012


My mom and I went to a HUGE antique fair recently. It's the same one I always go to, but this was the "holiday extravaganza" definitely lived up to the name! We decided to make a day of it next time and take some breaks so we can see everything. All the walking worked up an appetite so we headed to Pure Pizza, a new spot that uses all local ingredients and serves local honey with their pies for crust dipping! I got arugula microgreens on my pie, and it was fabulous!

 My 12-year-old self would have given anything for this box of trolls!

Just a little creepy...


Friday, November 9, 2012

Bugs Lately

Insects fascinate me. I always pull for random bugs who end up on my windshield while I'm driving, "hang on!" A couple weeks ago, a huge fuzzy black spider held on for three hours with me going 70...impressive! Praying mantis are so cool and robotic; they totally intimidate me!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pickin' Greens

A farmer down the street from me has a decent-sized garden and invites people to pick greens in the fall. I carefully stepped my way through an ocean of plants and picked a bag full of beautiful fresh greens. The collards were delicious...the kale was a little bitter, but the whole experience was so fun! Now that's local!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Marshall University Homecoming

A few weeks ago I visited Huntington, West Virginia, home of my alma mater, Marshall University, to celebrate homecoming. I got to hang with great friends, watch a parade, eat good food at Giovanni's Pizza, and enjoy some beautiful fall weather. It's always so nice going home!

Monday, October 8, 2012


"With so much drama in the LBC it's kinda hard bein' Snoop D-O double G..." I couldn't get these lyrics out of my mind during a recent two-day work trip to Long Beach, California. It was my first time in the area and I was surprised at how big it is! It's a giant city right by the sea; there was a perfect beachy breeze and plenty of California sunshine.

In addition to cool Pacific ocean water temperatures, the oil rigs located not far from the shoreline make it a less than ideal swimming beach (although some brave souls were trying it out). I heard a rumor that during a visit to Long Beach, George Lucas was inspired to create a Star Wars monster based on the giant cranes on the shipping docks. Although most visitors may not want to swim, Long Beach is definitely an accessible area. A sidewalk lines the beach for miles giving plenty of space for walkers, bikers, roller skaters, and more. I had a fantastic vegetarian lunch at the Renaissance Hotel (Moroccan spiced beans, kale, and winter squash) and a quick tour of the Queen Mary. This giant ship used to be a cruise liner in the late 1930s, then became a military ship during WWII, and finally settled in Long Beach as a hotel, event venue, and museum. Nearly all of the Queen Mary is in it's original condition and I felt like I was whisked back in time to the Titanic. It was a short trip and I'm excited to explore more of Long Beach when I return in a few months!

Friday, October 5, 2012


Last week my friend Tim came to visit and we went to see Fiona Apple! It's been a friendship-long dream of ours to see her in concert and she didn't disappoint. We had a great visit filled with good food, tasty drinks, and the fabulous Fiona!

Can't go wrong with quiche and mimosas.

The pre-concert bar had an awesome feature: a "snow crusted" rim along the bar to keep glasses cool. What a fabulous idea!

Fiona rocked it out and her band was really talented. For the opening act, each band member came out and jammed. I think that's a really great idea!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fuzzy Faces

I had the privilege of photographing some of the newest fuzzy faces at Catering to Cats and Dogs recently. It's so much fun and great photography practice. Some of those kittens are almost impossible to catch! These are some of my favorites...

J. Lo must have been adopted since her info is no longer online. Yay!

This shot of Barkley is one of my favorites EVER. Those eyes, that smile, oh my! He is 7-years-old and was surrendered his former owner. Stories like this break my heart! How can you resist that face? Can someone give Barkley a loving home?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Food Lately

Notice a trend in my last few posts? They revolve around food! Since I've been more sporadic with my posts, I find that food motivates me to blog. Over the past few years trying different recipes and new ingredients has been a welcome challenge. As a result, I've developed a new confidence with culinary adventures. I don't fret as much if I'm missing a certain spice or ingredient, and figure out how to use what I do have. Sometimes I even come up with my own creations and, regardless of the outcome, the process is always meditative and enlightening. I'm looking forward to trying some warm and hearty recipes this fall.

I realize this doesn't look like much, but wow, this red kidney bean curry from Smitten Kitchen was the perfect complement to the crisp fall air that's blowing in lately. An added plus is that it's a simple recipe...basically a bean chili with Indian spices. A beautiful balance of sweet and spicy, this hearty dish will warm you from the inside out! I topped it with a fresh farmer's market tomato and some cilantro. This is a new mainstay in my culinary repertoire! 

The farmer's market has been an absolute delight this month. The crossover between summer and fall gives access to a LOT of awesome fruits and veggies. Tomatoes are still around; this summer I fell in love with Pink Lady tomatoes. They're juicy, tender, and burst with flavor after a touch of salt. Fall greens like arugula and kale are slowly making their way into the market and the beautiful turnips I found last weekend were delicious. I roasted them with diced red bell pepper, onion, garlic, and pesto. I can't wait to find a head of fresh broccoli at the market! Happy eating everyone!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Adventures in Food

My first attempt at making Spiced Chai Concentrate and Homemade Almond Milk was a success! I used some fresh baby ginger from the Farmer's Market that was just perfect.

 I'm savoring the last batches of Farmer's Market fresh veggies while they last! Roasted eggplant and okra (favorite new veggie of the summer) with Vegan Roasted Tomato Basil Soup that was smooth, warm, and soothing.

French toast panini stuffed with fruit and cream cheese from Soul. It was my first "drag queen disco brunch!" So much fun!

Red Sunset Juice from Earth Fare: beets, cucumbers, carrots, ginger, garlic, and apple juice. It's incredibly tasty and surprisingly filling!

I'm thrilled about our new Whole Foods and attended a special pre-opening tour. It was my first Whole Foods experience; So much thought was put into this store and I was amazed! We tasted delicious samples and got to learn more about the different sections in the store. They have a cooking school, self-serve wine bar, local beers, a make-your-own trail mix bar, and a huge salad and hot food bar. The only downside? It's about 30 miles from my house. Definitely worth the drive once in a while! Have you had any good eats lately?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Recently, I got to visit Luna's Living Kitchen, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Everything they make is raw, vegan, and super creative. I finally tried the "Lunasagna" which consists of thin zucchini slices, cashew "cheese," and a delicious sun-dried tomato sauce. As always, I finished off with their homemade iced chai...yum! They recently redesigned their website, added some new items, and announced a possible second location! My fingers are crossed that it's somewhere close to me!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I got some beautiful flowers at the farmer's market last weekend...


Monday, August 27, 2012

Murphy at 5

Murphy and I had a photo session for his 5th birthday...check out my handsome 4-legged puppy son! Can he please stop growing now?

Heart-melting smile
Murphy and his beloved leopard-print ball

"Two ballz iz better than one"