Alt Summit Wise Words

After an amazing time at Alt Summit NYC 
and attending a beautiful wedding on the Cape, 
I'm back to (normal) business, 
embracing routine and a bit of relaxation 
as I try to catch up on sleep
and rely a little less on coffee. 

I plan on recapping my experience 
from the Alt Summit in the coming days 
but until then, 
I share some bits of wisdom 
from the various speakers.

Quote from Social Media Panel speakers:
Tracey Stewart of Moomah
Jennifer Rubio of Warby Parker,
John Jannuzzi of Lucky Magazine

Photo is sponsored by Atly 


Alt Summit NYC

I arrived in NYC today, 
excited to experience first hand an Alt Summit conference, 
hosted at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

I'm eager to soak up all that is offered over the next couple days, 
and look forward to being surrounded 
by inspiration and ideas,
to help motivate and create 
in the coming months.

Recap to follow!


What My Dad Taught Me


My father didn't teach me how to throw a ball.
It would have been a waste of time anyways. 
What I have learned from him 
resonates so much more, 
and the amount of love, respect and admiration for him, 
only continues to grow everyday. 

My dad taught me to be polite, 
that very rarely is there the need to yell. 
Family comes first, 
but who we consider to be our family can be molded over time.
Remain calm, take a deep breath, and resist overreacting. 

My dad taught me all I know about money, 
to respect it, to be wise with it, 
and to also let it allow you to enjoy little treats. 

My father taught me the joy in simple pleasures, 
good food from the grill, 
a great bowl of pasta, 
an evening together with loved ones. 

He passed on his love of tv, 
of the importance of sitcoms, 
and the joy in having a great show to look forward to. 

I work hard at what I do because that's what I've learned from my father,
who owns his own business and leads by example.
I try to believe that all will be ok 
if hard work and time is devoted. 

My father taught me to love animals
and when I brought home my first pet as an adult,
I understood why my father always surrounded our home 
with their unconditional love.

I look forward to seeing him with every visit, 
with the same enthusiasm that we both have 
for digging into bowls of ice cream, 
complete with chocolate sauce and whipped cream, 
for I know the importance of dessert, 
just as he taught me. 

photo circa 1990


Sweet Toothed

As I've said before, this is not a food blog.
I'm not a recipe creator by any means. 

But I just really like food. 

(Is there such a thing as simply a food lover's blog?
Nothing ingenious, just adoration?)

Anyways, I also suffer from a major sweet tooth. 

So while I might have come across as all nice and healthy with my farro shout out last time, 
it's not exactly an authentic representation of all my culinary cravings. 

So even as I read Meg Fee's recent posts about going sugar free 
and even as this idea resonate so deeply with me
and my current dietary dilemmas, 
and even as I attempt to start figuring and mapping out 
how I'll remove sugar from my daily diet, 
I find myself making raspberry jam swirl blondies the other night at 9 pm 
for my even more stronger sweet-toothed father for father's day.

As I stood over the stove top, I came to the conclusion 
that the smell of brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, 
is absolutely pure heaven.
I want to bottle it up 
and surround myself with this scent 24/7.

And of course, I couldn't help 
but cut off a little corner piece, 
for sampling sake, 
and it just melted in my mouth.

The raspberry seeds added an ever so subtle texture 
to the smooth, creamy blondie,
and as I wrapped up the individual pieces
I knew, somewhat discouragedly, 
but with really no effort to fight it,
that blondies and their various accoutrements will be a new
repeating recipe in my slowly but surely growing repertoire.

So thank you Joy the Baker for refusing to let me go completely sugar free.

The recipe for these blondies can be viewed here

photos via my iPhone


Soup for my Soul

Some things work just because, 
no rhyme or reason.
Some things fix symptoms 
in ways we can't really understand
(brownies always cure bad days). 

And some things fix ailments
we don't even realize we had until they've passed. 

This past weekend I headed home with the boyfriend 
 for a brief couple days with my family.
We didn't go out to eat, we didn't visit with anyone else, 
we stayed simple, 
chatting about silly things
and just soaking up each others company. 

I made the hike home 
after a conversation only a couple weeks prior, 
my parents tired from the chaos of a house under construction 
and life with two aging parents of their own,
and a simple request for Tom and I to visit soon. 

And this weekend worked out, 
no events, weddings, or showers to attend, 
just a drive westward to the green fields of upstate New York. 

Last week was a good week, 
June arriving with much more enthusiasm and positivity
than how May departed. 
But sitting on my family's couch 
I realized how badly I had needed that little respite, 
how much the visit meant to my loved ones
and how much my soul had needed it too. 

And the really great strawberry shortcake 
was pretty fantastic as well.

photo via my Instagram


Currently ♥ing

If I had to currently choose my favorite mode of social media,
Instagram would win by a long shot. 
It visually fills me in on what my friends, family, and those who I admire, 
are surrounded by, 
lending updates, inspiration, & smiles. 

Here is the latest collection of pics that I liked right away,
posted by people who quickly are becoming favorites. 

Row 1: @christinaperri who's uplifting quotes are as fab as her songs,
 @sproutedkitchen who seriously makes me want to eat healthier everyday,
 and @ruemagazine who's new entertaining & wedding issue has me very excited for.

Row 1: @gabbybernstein for while I may not be a super spiritual yogi, 
has me interested never the less, 
 @elettraw who I'm developing a major girl crush on 
& holding this baby sloth increases the adoration even more, 
 and @sunsetmag who makes me wish I lived out West.

Row 2: @cherrybombemag & their quirky/awesome food love 
(& I seriously want this shirt),
@darcymillernussbaum who's illustrations enchant and inspire me creatively,
and @lovelydetails who's peony love is equal to mine (Yay Trader Joes cheap bouquets!)

My first round up of Instagram loves can be viewed here


I've Fallen In Love With Farro

My exciting Friday night 

This is by no means a food blog, I didn't set out to write anything even close.
I don't consider myself all that great at creating culinary masterpieces. 
I can make a solid pasta dish and bake a great cake, but I'm no Julia Childs 
nor am I trying to be the next best food blogger. 

I just really love food, and I really love eating it. 

I love reading about food and looking at fabulous foodie pictures. 

And so I have a roll of food blogs that I've fallen in love with, 
where I can get lost for hours, 
getting ideas and inspiring me to cook an endless amount of deliciousness. 

But unfortunately, due to time and energy, 
I have only made a handful of these salivating recipes.
But when I do, I get really excited. 
And I want to eat a lot of said dish and tell everyone. 

And so this brings me back 
to what started this whole foodie rambling in the first place: 
I made a damn good farro salad Friday night 
and the leftovers I had for lunch were absolutely awesome, 
maybe even better than the original serving.

I've come to realize that I adore pretty much every grain out there, 
and when some veggies are tossed into the mix, 
it's not only incredibly satisfying 
but makes me feel pretty healthy too. 

Inspired by this farro salad of red peppers, red onions, carrots, celery and feta, 
I've been brainstorming other grain salad concoctions...

Quinoa with avocado, corn and tomatoes?
Brown rice with edamame, carrots and shredded chicken with a dash of soy sauce?
Cous cous with walnuts, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta? 

Toss in some olive oil dressing variation, salt, pepper 
and I have several days worth of meals. 

But back to the recipe that got this all going: 
Farro Salad courtesy of Shutterbean 

View the full, super easy to follow recipe here 

recipe photo courtesy of Shutterbean 

top photo via my Instagram 


Diving Into Decor

I've always been passionate about style and beauty, and since college, my interest in food has grown quickly, becoming a prominent factor in my life. But more recently, my interest in home decor and design has been emerging, creeping in, catching my eye more and more.

While I've enjoyed decorating in the past, helping my Mom choose wallpaper and paint colors, collecting swatches at Home Depot, giving my opinion on what item to place where, it has been as I've matured, developing my own sense of style, and as I've moved into my own apartments that I've had the opportunity to create something that truly represents me. 

Most recently, with my current apartment, my eagerness to create an authentic sense of home, one that reflects my personal style meshed with that of my (good sport of a) boyfriend, has grabbed ahold of me. Moving in together was a chance to take stock of the odd assortment of items we've each collected over the years, and since we weren't able purchase new versions of each and every item of furniture and appliance, it's taking time as I continue to streamline our aesthetic, slowly replacing old items from college with newer, better standing, more mature counterparts (goodbye plastic bins.)  

I'm eagerly diving into the depth of decor and design inspiration available, replying on my classic resources that arrive in my Inbox (One Kings Lane, Joss & Main) and excited to discover new sources (Pine Cone Hill and their gorgeous linens) and the endless amount of glorious design sites and blogs (Apartment TherapyElements of StyleThings That Sparkle & more.)

But as much as I'd love to dive into the deep end and start a full redecoration project in my little humble abode, it truly is one step at a time, one purchase at a time, and first up on my list is a new table lamp for our living room, one with adequate light for reading when the main ceiling lamp is off but nothing that takes attention away from our big, beautiful built-in window shelf unit.

Here are a few that caught my eye during a recent online browsing session, but I'm not ready to settle with just one yet...the searching continues, but I'm finding out that that is half the fun. 

Lamps sourced from:
Top Row, L to R: Pottery Barn for left and center images, Restoration Hardware

Top photo via Pinterest 


Happy Summer Weekend!

May your weekend be filled with 
lots of sunshine, laughter, 
cool drinks and even cooler ACs

photo via Tumblr