Archive for March, 2013

March 28, 2013
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I have always had a sweet tooth and recently had a hankering for Baklava.  I was first introduced to this delicious Turkish pastry by my Grandma Loring when I was a kid.  We were really close and I spent the night at her house often.  We would always pick a new dessert recipe or dinner to try together and end the night with a classic movie.  I love how the flaky pastry dough soaks up the honey + vanilla and melts in your mouth.  I could probably eat the whole pan so I called in backup ;)  My sister Suzy and I tried our culinary skills out today + have included the recipe in case you all wanted to try it at home.  Bon Appetit!

  • 1 pound chopped mixed nuts  (we used walnuts)
  • 1 teaspoonground cinnamon
  • 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Toss together cinnamon and nuts.  Unroll phyllo and cut whole stack in half to fit the dish.  Cover phyllo with a damp cloth while assembling the baklava, to keep it from drying out.
  3. Place two sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the prepared dish.  Brush generously with butter.  Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture on top.  Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with about 6 sheets of phyllo.  Using a sharp knife, cut baklava (all the way through to the bottom of the dish) into four long rows, then (nine times) diagonally to make 36 diamond shapes.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 50 minutes, until golden and crisp.
  5. While baklava is baking, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Stir in honey, vanilla and lemon zest,  reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately spoon the syrup over it.  Let cool completely before serving.  Store uncovered.  Share with friends so you don’t end up eating the whole pan! ;)
March 25, 2013
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last spring during a weekend getaway to NYC with my gordy girls, I noticed that chrissy was getting phone calls and texts that made her giggle and grin like a school girl. ‘new guy?’ I asked and she proceeded to tell me all about kevin. it was obvious that she was crazy about him and so I wasn’t too surprised when she and her son miles moved in with kevin and his daughter anna. it was all like it had been meant to be forever this way… miles and anna adored each other – even their dogs chubs and gus became the best of friends. so I was very excited when I got a text several weeks ago from chrissy letting me know that they were planning an intimate wedding ceremony and dinner at their beautiful home in lewes. when I got there it was no surprise to me that chrissy was chopping salad vegetables while in her dress as the kids ran around checking out the wedding cake and other goodies. as both chrissy and kevin’s families began to arrive, I loved the relaxed and lovely mood of the evening. miles and anna joined their parents in front of the fireplace and held the wedding rings as chrissy and kevin exchanged vows.. there wasn’t a dry eye in the room – even chubs voiced his happiness as a couple of barks could be heard from the back porch. after some photos everyone sat down to a long tabled, family style dinner and shared conversation, memories and laughter…. such a beautiful evening!

chrissy and kevin, I am so SO happy for you, miles and anna! thank you for including me in such a special day  xoxox

March 18, 2013
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in planning my trip to colorado, I was so excited to see so many people… and they were all adults. yes I knew that 2 of my best friends had kids and because I was going to be staying with both of them I assumed that I would probably meet these little people. but I thought that it would be a ‘hi, nice to meet you’ exchange and then they would run off and do whatever kids do. I had no idea what a gift I was about to be given. I met mak first when she and kerry picked me up from the airport and the last time I had seen her was when she was 2 months old. as we drove into boulder, she was talking up a storm and sharing her favorite apps from her iPad with me. we walked the pearl street mall and she convinced us to dip into her favorite candy store where she debated between several of her favorite treats. then we had dinner at the restaurant where I worked for years before leaving colorado – she was just so great to talk to.. animated and funny. she even ordered one of my old favorites off of the menu and placed one of her raviolis on my plate when I wasn’t looking. during the following days, I learned that she loves her dogs (who are, in turn, obsessed with her) that she’s super creative, ridiculously smart and more mature than most adults I know. I got her ready for school one morning and tucked her in one night and on my last day there she told me that she wished for really bad traffic so that I would miss my flight and stay because she had a play that night…. then I got the biggest and best hug.

when I went to steamboat to see leslie, her daughters hannah and maille were in the back seat of the truck as we met up in town before driving up the to their house. I poked my head head in and said hi, knowing that although they knew who I was, I was basically a stranger. the last time I had seen them, hannah was little more than a toddler and maille had just been born. when we got to the house, they went upstairs to work on their homework and later went sledding with their dad while leslie and I caught up. once we all got together for dinner, I learned that hannah loved guitar and maille the keyboard… and they both LOVED taylor swift. they told me what subjects in school were their favorites and about their friends. they both kept peppering me and les about our history, amazed as to how long we had been friends. after dinner, maille and I picked through assorted nail polish choices for the perfect color and once it was time for bed, they wanted me to come up and see their rooms. each space was so clearly them and reflected their interests and loves – hannah even sleeps with the same stuffed pig that leslie did when we were her age…. that blew my mind a little bit. the next morning maille was up and at it early, modeling her favorite pj’s and robe as it was pajama day at school – this girl is such a trip! she has a big, beautiful personality and the best sense of humor. hannah came down and it was clear that she has inherited her mom’s fashion genes. because I was there, les decided it would be a perfect reason to go out for breakfast and we headed into town. like mak, I loved the conversations I had with the girls… each so individually special and amazing. when it became time for them to head to school and for me to go back down the mountain to boulder they told me that they couldn’t wait for me to come back and again, I melted as I got hugged tight by four little arms.

I loved seeing the best parts of the friends that I love so much reflected in their kids.. little versions of them. mak’s wit so like kerry’s, maille’s spunk and hannah’s grace so like leslie. and although it made me a little sad that it had taken this long to really get to know these awesome girls, I know the next time won’t be so long and am so grateful that they were such a special part of my trip.

 

this is my first grey t-shirt project post – if you’re not familiar with this new feature here on the blog, click here. given that we haven’t seen each other in almost 8 years, the fact that I can start with leslie seems like beautiful fate. see I don’t really know a life without my her – we have been best friends since we were 4 years old. in 1973, my parents moved our family from baltimore to fayetteville, new york – a small village outside of syracuse. as the movers were loading our furniture into our new house, patty – leslie’s mom who lived 7 houses down the road, saw me playing in the front yard and asked my mom how old I was. it turned out that we were only 10 days apart in age and both of our mother’s were excited for all of the future play date possibilities… we weren’t having it. the more they forced us to spend time together, the more we fought over toys, cried and basically couldn’t stand each other. defeated, our moms decided that it wasn’t meant to be and stopped getting together. maybe it’s the gemini in us or perhaps we knew something that they didn’t, but as soon as they kept us apart all we wanted to do was be together. as we got older, our paths would divert… in high school, I was a hippie who could care less about going to class and spent weekends with my friends playing music in the hills while she was an honor roll fashionista who hung out with college guys at the SU bars – but we always found our way back to each other. the best example of this is colorado… I had been living in boulder for about 3 years when she came to visit. she was living the dream.. working in marketing and publishing in manhattan and to be honest, I was pretty jealous of her life in NYC. but there was something about the mountains that spoke to her and shortly after her visit, she packed up her city apartment and headed west. she lived with me until she found her own place and I loved having her in my day-to-day life again. I had to move back east temporarily to help my mom with my grandmother and was gone for about a year – when I returned to boulder, les was working at a restaurant called the med and had fallen in love with a chef named murf. I started waiting tables at the same place and we saw each other every day, took vacations together and were once again inseparable. right around the same time I moved back to the eastern shore 11 years ago, she and murf had married and moved to annapolis. it was in annapolis that I met their daughters hannah as a toddler and maille who had just been born. their time in annapolis was short lived and soon they headed back to the rockies, making a home in beautiful steamboat springs. last week as we were reunited and gave each other the longest hug ever, it was.. as usual, like no time had passed. we spent the next 2 days, doing what we do… telling each other everything going on in our lives, heads and hearts and it was a true joy getting to know her amazing 2 girls… both so smart, funny and lovely. they seemed fascinated about the story of our friendship and shared history and I realized that it is pretty unique and special. to have someone in your life in your forties who knows all of your ‘firsts’, your secrets, your highs and lows, who has seen you at your worst and loves you anyway and who celebrates your victories with you is such a gift. hannah put it best when she said ‘so you guys are kind of like sisters’ and we are. over the past 4 decades we have fought, loved, laughed and cried together as only family can do. to say I love you seems obvious but it’s so very true. to say I’m grateful for you doesn’t seem like enough. to say that I will see you soon is a delightful truth xoxox

March 12, 2013
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kerry has been one of my best friends for 16 years – when we met I immediately liked her because of her east coast sarcasm and sense of humor. I will elaborate more on our friendship in july when I do my grey t-shirt session with her in boston (of course I forgot to bring the damned shirt to the gym!). several months ago I noticed that she was posting different photos and links regarding CrossFit on facebook. then she posted one of her doing a one-handed hand stand and my immediate reaction was ‘daaayyyuuuummmmm!’ and it soon became clear that both she and her husband jason had become devoted followers of the CrossFit cult (their words, not mine) so about a week before I was to leave for colorado, kerry and I decided that because I would have my camera with me, I would go with her to the gym one day and I would shoot a workout. now kerry has always been active and looked great, but when she picked me up from the airport I had another ‘daaayyyyuuuummmmm!’ moment – she looked amazing! and I soon learned that she works insanely hard to get there. I mean really…. it’s insane. the WOD (workout of the day for those of you not in the know – like me) was posted and everyone was checking out the other stats from those who had completed them earlier in the day and once the clock began, it became clear just how seriously they take it and how hard they work. these folks are hard.core. don’t believe me? one of them went outside to throw up and some people encouraged me to go shoot it (I didn’t lol) but damn if it wasn’t inspiring! frankly I think I’ll remain a yoga girl, but my girl and her friends are awesome!

for years I have wanted to do a personal photography project – something completely unrelated to weddings and well…. personal. so several weeks ago while I was planning my trip to colorado I knew that I wanted to photograph 2 of my girlfriends specifically because I hadn’t in a long time. and then I thought of all of the other amazing women in my life and how cool it would be to photograph them as well. see when I was younger, I always thought I was a ‘guy’s girl’ and I was.. the majority of my close friends were and primarily have been men. but probably in the past 10 years I have come to realize the unconditional love and understanding that comes from close female friendships. caring for parents, juggling careers, day to day stresses and relationship dramas are things that we all ‘get’ about each other and bonds us together. so I started making a list and came up with 25 women who have enriched my life unmeasurably and who I want to capture forever. now my friends are many and varied.. some are t-shirt and jeans girls like me while others are pretty glam so I wanted there to be a common thread in all of the photos and the classic grey t-shirt seemed to fit what I was envisioning. so from now until december I am going to do my best to photograph everyone on the list… my girls are spread out all over the country so if they don’t come to me, I will go to them (good reason for some road trips!) and number one was completed a week ago! I am really excited about this because not only do I get to see all of them but also to photograph what makes them each so special and individually amazing….

March 08, 2013
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when a boy from pittsburgh convinced me to move to colorado 20 years ago, little did I know how much my life would change. I had been through denver and red rocks when I was on tour but to live there was an experience beyond my wildest dreams and I thought I would never, ever leave. then 11 years ago, life – as it has a way of doing – happened and I moved back to the east coast. I thought that it would only be temporary and that I would move back eventually but the universe had other plans. not that I’m complaining.. to be here for my parents as their time on this earth ended is an honor that I would never change for anything as well as all of the other gifts and blessings I’ve been given – but going back has always been in my heart. to be honest, I think I was a little nervous.. being gone SO long I wondered if I would even remember what made it so special to me.  but as soon as I saw the rockies outside of the airplane window, my worries were gone and my heart was so full. the past week has meant so much to me that it’s nearly impossible for me to put it in words.. but I’ll share some highlights

  • I refused to bring my laptop – first time in 10 years that I truly left work behind, I forwarded all emails to kristie (you’re welcome sweets! xoxo) and let business calls go to voicemail
  • I fell in love with a bernese mountain dog named theo
  • I shopped… of course I did. boulder has some pretty cool stores, just saying
  • I was fed delicious meals made by wonderful friends
  • I stood on the top of a mountain and cleared my head and heart with cool crisp air
  • I laid on my back and gazed at a dreamy night sky filled with millions of stars and made wishes on several as they shot across the mountain
  • I got to know amazing kids that I hadn’t seen since they were infants. we told jokes, shared stories about their parents, they shared their dreams with me and I even got one ready for school and put her on the bus
  • I was able to spend real time with people that I love so much and talk about anything and everything
  • I felt like myself for the first time in a long time – as though there was a puzzle piece that I left there over a decade ago that finally clicked backed into place.

when the time came to get ready to go, I was so sad…. like people feeling sorry for me at the airport sad. colorado has always felt like home, ever since my first day there so long ago. I was mad at myself that I had waited so long to go back but at the same time I knew how much better I felt for having gone… so many pieces of my heart are there. now back at home, I feel focused and grounded and ready to get things moving – the studio, the upcoming season.. life in general. and I know that should I start to get that lost feeling again, that my little slice of heaven is just a plane ride away.

March 04, 2013
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As you all know I have the best sisters in the world- okay, okay I may be a litttttttle biased ;)  We had an amazing, fun day yesterday just goofing off, acting silly and just being “us.”  They are a huge support in my life and the four of us have a friendship that can never be duplicated or replaced.  I know I have mentioned them on and off througout the years but have never formally introduced them indivually.  And knowing that they will only continue to come up in my conversations I am going to go ahead and put faces to their names. :)

 

 

I’m so thankful that I have these girls in my life.  Always sisters, forever friends.