fortunate woman

(from Greece, last year)

I feel very fortunate. yesterday we very modestly celebrated my love’s birthday and today, seven years after meeting him and practically a year since we were engaged, we’re jetting off to spain. no, not to elope…spanish laws won’t allow that anyhow. but I won’t pretend that wasn’t the original plan. we have much to be grateful for; we are excited about life and that’s a feeling I hope never fades. it’s so special to share that with a person.

so, we’re off! this time tomorrow we’ll be munching churros and sipping cafe con leche and (hopefully successfully) navigating our way through old streets rich with stories. More soon.

ps: happy halloween!

packing for spain

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days before we depart and I’ve conquered that anxiety I always thought was inevitable. maybe it’s experience, or perhaps the nature of the trip, but either way it’s a welcome change. I love this routine-printing out copies of everything just in case, placing satisfying checks next to each and every to-do (as I mentioned before, I love this list), notifying everyone that matters for critical matters (i.e. banks! credit cards!) and frantically “googling” last minute ideas or questions. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but it really, truly is. in fact, while organizing a few documents I yelped out I’m so excited!!! before I could hold back my words.

there is nothing in the world like the feeling of landing in another country and beginning an adventure. never mind the jet lag.

for this trip, packing is a little tricky as we’re visiting cities with vastly different climates and weather reports have fluctuated by day. I learned my lesson in Greece when I felt there no need for a jacket and was welcomed by plummeting temperatures. see, experience. nevertheless, it all goes into a carry-on or on my body.

this list just includes clothes, mind you. the rest can be found on the check-list above. as always, we’re bringing one carry-on each and I’ll have a tote bag (a simple black tote I picked up in a box labeled free in the nicest area of town. Still going strong 5 years later) too.

List, first draft (I’ll update with what I actually bring)

bottoms
black jeans*
long skirt
leggings

tops
cashmere short-sleeved top
grey sweater
cardigan*
black sheer top
tan lace top
3 tank tops*

dresses
1 black quarter-sleeved
1 green sleeveless

shoes
1 pair black boots*
1 pair sneakers
1 pair flats (on their last leg, so I might dispose of them while away)

misc.
pajamas, undergarments (incl. socks and pair tights)
bathing suit
2 scarves
black wool jacket or red quilted jacket, depending on forecast*
small leather cross-body purse

* denotes outfit for the plane

coconut oil vegetable fried rice

it’s been a while since i’ve popped a recipe up on this page and this one is just the ticket for the cold months ahead. plus, we’ve pretty much been making this weekly so I thought it fair to share it with you, too.

weeks have been busy around these parts, especially in the evenings. it’s been mostly slow-cooker soups and rapid prep one-pot meals, and that’s been just as well since they go just fine with the mission to save a little money in the process.

this recipe comes from the website A Perfect Health Diet- a blog and book written by the same name that focuses on nutrient dense foods that are low in toxicity. If you’re interested,you can read all about it here.

the best part about this is just how easy it is. a few basic ingredients (in pretty large quantities, I’ll say) create something pretty darn wonderful and a great way to use up that CSA to boot. so remember, let your ingredients be your guide

let’s start!
Coconut Oil Vegetable Fried Rice
only very slightly adapted from this recipe

fried rice

for my version, you will need:

butter (~2T)
eggs (I used 7…dinner and lunch for two and all)
olive oil (~1T)
garlic
soy sauce
turmeric (just a pinch)
peas
carrots
onions
kale
mushrooms
coconut oil (~1T)
cooked white rice (we use parboiled long grain-about 6 cups)

Directions
Heat 2T of butter over medium heat and add 6 eggs, lightly whisked. Cook until cooked then remove from pan.

Add a bit of olive oil to the pan. Add garlic and onion and cook until fragrant. then, add the rest of the vegetables until cooked through, adding soy sauce to taste towards the end (note: if you use soy sauce, you may have to wipe out the pan before continuing).

Add about 2 T coconut oil to the pan. Add in rice and toss until coated. Add the rest of the ingredients back in and toss to combine. Add turmeric to taste (and a bit of hoisin sauce if you have it!.) Enjoy!

La Colombe, Fishtown

Alternate Title: Portland meets Philly

When L first moved to the city we were tipped off by the manager of a restaurant nearby that La Colombe was the best coffee in the city and we had to visit their shop on 19th street. 6 years later and that little shop has taken over restaurants and cafes and reached locations across the country. meanwhile, the purist coffee scene in this city has reared its head and resulted is a  truly impressive selection all across the city, including several incredible roasters.

In case there was any doubt, La Colombe reclaimed its ground and then some with the opening of its newest outpost in Fishtown.

Smack-dab in the middle of Frankford Avenue activity stands the coolest spot to pop up as far as I’m concerned. The outside is sort of unassuming- its sandwiched between a (my) hair salon and another neighborhood coffee shop and true to its warehouse bones. Inside, it’s like a hipster candy shop.

A sprawling counter is dotted with made-in-house breads and pastries and all sorts of coffee-making apparatuses await your order (for a price). On the wall there is a full cafe menu ranging from sandwiches to skillet meals. The pièce de résistance is perhaps the rum distillery housed in a room of glass in the back.
You can order by the glass to accompany your meal, or else wine and beer is available as well if the mood doesn’t strike you.

The vibe is cool and relaxed. It begs you to hang out for a couple of hours in the perfectly curated leather chairs surrounded by bottle after bottle of rum or savor a meal with friends. If it wasn’t 3 miles away, I’d be visiting on a regular basis. There is no WiFi. Take a breath, close your computers and have a conversation or write or read a bit. It’s better that way.

La Colombe Torrefaction
1335 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

FRI-SAT: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
SUN-THU: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

http://lacolombe.com/cafes

surprise in the orchards

I’m not much for tradition as the years tick on. call me a scrooge, but I rather allow myself a little bit of freedom to choose activities that suit my whimsies each year in opposed to participating just because. some years  I check off those autumn must-dos like a champ and others, I just soak in the season without a second take.

this year, autumn has been splendid. more than splendid, really. and for the first time in several years we partook in the all-american activity that is apple picking. as a child we did this yearly- the cider donuts, the wagon ride, the climbing of the trees to get the most prize piece of fruit- but as an adult the tradition faded. this year we woke bright and early on a sunday morning and drove into the winding roads of hunterdon county, new jersey, to melick’s farm.

it was the most beautiful day with bright blue skies and shining sun. we wandered through the orchards as a big group, slowly filling up our baskets and sharing ideas of what we’d be making, most of the party facing the other direction, when this happened:

before venturing into the orchards luke’s friend of almost 25 years asked me if I would hold the ring. hold the what? I asked. He looked at me quizzically likely thinking I was trying to play along, actually knowing his plan but wanting to feign ignorance. upon realizing I was certainly not playing dumb, he divulged his plan. oh I was over the moon for them!  I secured the box in my purse and  volunteered to take photos when the time came. I then wondered aloud how will I know when it’s going to happen, how will I be ready?  He responded simply well, you’ll know because I’ll ask you for the ring. Oh, right.

So! A bit of time passed and he gave me the look. I dropped the box in the basket of apples he was holding and prepared myself for the main event. moments later, he was down on one knee and she was as happy as I’ve ever seen a person be.

what a special day. oh how we love you guys.