November 26, 2012

the next one's the best one.

I was about eight weeks pregnant when we had our first appointment with our midwife. October 4. The month leading up to that point had been a roller coaster of emotions. We are a little surprised by the news, but mostly just excited. It was an overwhelming feeling. I didn't know that the minute you find out you're pregnant, you become a mother. Your life changes instantly, and every decision you make is with a lens on what is beneficial for that baby. Even though it's just a glimmer of a person (or the size of a blueberry, in our case), you start making plans. You tell family and a few close friends. And it's all just so exciting and terrifying at the same time.

But at our first appointment, there was no heartbeat. One week later, it was confirmed that I had miscarried.

September 28, 2012

she knows how to throw a party.

We celebrated our friend Edyta's 30th with a big blowout, which is only appropriate for the person who is lovingly referred to as the 'polish party parade' by her boyfriend Jared. The party was held at The Workshop, which is a place where you can learn to do all sorts of things, from sewing to beer-making. The icing on the cake was the hot dog cart that showed up around midnight to feed us after a night of drinking. She's knows how to throw a party, that one.

I wore a backless jumpsuit, which is like the clothing equivalent of a dirty martini. Made me feel dangerous. It's also like wearing pajamas.

Photos courtesy of Edyta & Jared's photo booth company, Tomfoolery.

September 23, 2012

how to win friends and influence people

People, it's time. It's the time to tell you about The Cookie. It occurred to me I haven't given near enough attention to this cookie recipe on my blog and I aim to rectify that situation post-haste, tout-suite.

If you aren't a big baker but want to have one solid cookie in your repertoire, this is it. Make this slightly adapted version of the New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe and immediately everyone will think you have magical baking skills. I promise.

September 21, 2012

bill cunningham new york

image from the New York Times
I just finished watching the documentary Bill Cunningham New York about the fashion photographer who does the weekly column 'On the Street' in the New York Times. The Sunday edition of the NYT is one of my most favorite things in the world to read. When I get the chance to read it, I flip immediately to the Style section which is where you can find Bill's column. What an inspiring life he has lived - for someone who is so connected to the wealth of the fashion world, frugal doesn't even describe the way he lives.

"He who seeks beauty will find it."
- Bill Cunningham

August 21, 2012


Who are those goofballs? Oh, goodness. Last week our good friends launched a hip new photo booth company called Tomfoolery. They make custom backdrops for each event.. These photos were taken at the Gap/Rue Magazine party last week.

In other related news, my hair is now long enough to pull all the way back! Very exciting stuff in my life these days.

August 19, 2012


What happens when you don't yet have a human child? You spend all your money on your dog. And when he has intensive knee surgery, you mother him back to health and bore all your friends with updates on how he's doing. I can only imagine what my friends with kids think about us spending an ungodly amount of money for the doggie version of a knee replacement.

Our six-year-old boxer is on the mend. Is it weird that I have loved mothering him and attending to his every need while he recuperates? I think maybe it means I need a real kid. But for now, he is our child and it was hard to see him in pain. I will say that the orthopedic veterinary surgeon we used (yep, those do exist - and they charge A LOT of money) did an amazing job. 10 days later, and he's already walking like a normal dog. I honestly can't believe it. So for all of you waiting anxiously on the edge of your seat for an update, he's doing just fine. He'll be back to running laps and punching other dogs in the face in no time.

August 15, 2012

don't give up

I remembered this post from Design Sponge the other day and thought, oh yeah, I meant to tell people about that. Let's forget for a moment that it was posted two years ago. Details. I mostly love the print that's leaning casually against the wall, reading "don't give up" in big block letters. I also liked the guy's name, Percy Bright. Sounds like a character in a novel or something.

I've got a real thing for graphic wall art - at the Renegrade Craft Fair that came through town it was like WALK AWAY from yet another piece of fancy paper with words in pretty fonts, in every booth. Sadly, this print isn't available anymore. You can buy the t-shirt here though. 

May 28, 2012

in season

Happy day off. Apricot tart recipe courtesy of Orangette.

April 16, 2012

nutella, en francais

I was first introduced to nutella in my sophomore French class. My teacher, Madame Meinhardt, let us have aptly-themed food parties once a semester. To this day, I credit her with my love for the language. She would turn on a custom-made "en francais" neon light in her classroom and for 20 minutes or so, would tell us a story all in French. Somehow, I was able to understand her and I came to love the sound of her voice. Although she was American, she was so chic in that perfect Parisian way.

So yes, nutella. It's delicious. My favorite way to eat it is spread on top of a good French baguette. I came across a recipe for the homemade version. I never even considered making it because I assumed it would be overly complicated. Well I'm here to tell you, it's not. In fact, I would classify this as very, very easy.

The hardest part about this recipe is getting the skins off the hazelnuts after you roast them. This is how I do it: spread the hazelnuts out evenly on a pan and roast at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until they appear golden and start to smell nutty. Let them cool for a few minutes and then rub the nuts between two clean towels. The friction of the towels will take the skins off. Discard the skins and set the nuts aside.

Recipe from theKitchn
Makes about one cup.

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and peeled (see above for instructions)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 T canola oil

Put the hazelnuts into a food processor. Blend for about three minutes, or until the nuts form a semi-course butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth, stopping at least once to stir so that everything incorporates well. If refrigerated, the nutella will last at least two weeks. 

April 11, 2012

lessons from living away

It's April? Apparently I fell off the blogging wagon. Sorry about that. I wish I could say I've been really busy doing something important, but the truth is I've been busy doing nothing in particular.

I just returned from a surprise 48-hour trip home to Missouri. I bought my ticket about a week before and decided not to tell anyone I was coming - well ok, I told a few people. It's hard to pull off a surprise all by yourself. One of my best friends had a baby a few days before. It was the first time I wasn't at the hospital to support my friend and meet the newest addition to her life; and it was a fact of living away that was hard for me to accept. So, I booked the next reasonably-priced flight I could find.

Seeing my friend as a mama for the first time was priceless.  I got to spend an entire, uninterrupted day with my mom and my sister. It was the first relaxing trip I've had since we moved.

The distance is still hard. I love my new city so much; it would be even better if it were closer to home. I'm not great at balancing everything, but I've learned some lessons in the last nine months:

1. Sometimes you just have to show up. Huge life changes don't happen often and I'll never forget meeting little Clara for the first time. I remember meeting Stella #1, Stella #2, Thomas, Reese, and Dane like it was yesterday.
2. You can't be everything to everyone, although you can drive yourself crazy trying.
3. Living away means missing out on the day-to-day. But the lasting relationships in your life won't suffer that much because you pick up right where you left off.
4. I have two homes now, and that's not bad. It's like double the goodness.

Happy birthday, baby Clara.

February 29, 2012

for an impromptu dinner party

It was more than a year ago that I printed out a recipe for an apricot tart from my favorite food blog Orangette. I love making tarts because they're pretty and they look a lot harder than they are. Even so, I don't make them very often. When our friend Betsy came to visit us from Missouri, we ended up throwing an impromptu dinner party - the best kind - and I made a tart for dessert.

The recipe calls for apricots, but they're not in season now. I found some decent looking plums instead. You bake the tart for almost an hour, so the fruit gets soft and jammy. The amount of sugar is just right, and I added in some lemon juice to balance it out.

I love those evenings when you bring people together who don't know each other, but by the end of the night all your friends have become friends themselves. It's such a nice surprise when that happens.

Fruit tart
Recipe courtesy of Orangette
Use any kind of stone fruit; I used plums, but I'm looking forward to apricot season. Peaches would be very nice too.

4 Tbsp. ice water, plus more as needed
¾ tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
9 Tbsp. (4 ½ oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

5-6 ripe, good quality plums, halved and then quartered (8 pieces per plum)
1/3 cup sugar
3 pinches of salt
juice of 1/2 lemon

To make the dough:

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the ice water and cider vinegar.

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to blend. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles the size of peas. With the motor running, slowly add the water-vinegar mixture, processing just until the dough comes together and moist clumps form. The dough should hold together if you pick up a handful. If the dough seems a bit dry, add more ice water by the teaspoon, pulsing to incorporate. If it seems to wet, add a tiny bit of flour.

Dump the dough out onto a wooden board or clean counter-top sprinkled with flour. Shape it into two balls, and then press each ball into disk about 1 1⁄2 inches thick. Smooth the edges with your hands. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, smoothing out any cracks with your hands and the pressure of the plastic. Refrigerate the wrapped dough for at least 2 hours. (Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw it in refrigerator overnight before using.) Before rolling it out, allow the dough to soften slightly at room temperature for about 20 minutes. 

To assemble the tart:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a large, wide circle big enough to fit a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Gently place the dough into the tart pan and press to fit, making sure the sides reach to the top. Put the pan with the dough into the freezer while you prepare the fruit.

In a large bowl, combine the halved-and-quartered plum wedges with the sugar, salt, and lemon juice. Toss well to combine. Remove pie crust from the freezer. Arrange the fruit into a concentric circle, starting from the outside and working your way in. Drizzle the remaining juices from the bowl over the fruit.

Bake on top of a cookie sheet for about 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. The filling will look very juicy, but will thicken as it cools.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

February 27, 2012

a weekend in san francisco

The options for a weekend in San Francisco are endless. Our friend Betsy came to stay with us last weekend and we did some of my most favorite things. I started thinking some of you might be interested in a sample non-touristy SF itinerary, no?

Here are a few suggestions:

Friday night dinner at Bar Tartine in the Mission. This place is quickly becoming my favorite restaurant here. Get the brussel sprouts and fried potato bread with dill and sour cream.

Grab some quick breakfast and coffee on Saturday morning at the Ferry Building Farmers Market. Beautiful (expensive!) produce, food carts, and good people watching right on the water.

Head to wine country for the day. Before filling up on good wine, stop at the Fremont Diner for lunch. Get the basket of biscuits. I mean it.

We typically stay on the Sonoma side of wine country. When we have time, we go up to the Russian River Valley and visit Copain and Porter Creek.  This time, though, we were invited to the wine pick-up party at Scribe, which is a members-only vineyard just a short drive from the Fremont Diner. Scribe completely won us over; it was phenomenal. We sat on a beautiful hillside drinking their chardonnay and eating fresh dungeness crab. It just doesn't get much better than that.

A must-stop on the way back into the city is Ram's Gate Winery. Get the pinot and sit outside curled up with their monogrammed blankets, or inside by the fire if it's too cold.

When you get back to the city, you'll be too tired to do much else besides get a burrito from Gordo Taqueria and watch a movie in your PJs.

Sunday morning, get in line before 10:00 am. for brunch at Outerlands Cafe in the Outer Sunset. The word on the street is that the Dutch pancakes are amazing and worth the wait. If you need a second cup of coffee, walk a few doors down on Judah Street to Trouble Coffee & Coconut Bar, and pick up some pretty gifts at The General Store. Finish the weekend with a walk on Ocean Beach. I have a feeling you'll want to come back again soon.

February 13, 2012

one for the recipe box

Do you have a recipe box? Like the old fashioned kind where your grandma kept all her favorite recipes, printed in her handwriting? I do, but I'll admit I hardly ever use it. I wish I did, but instead, I inevitably end up printing off recipes from my favorite food blogs. I like the idea of writing them out by hand to pass down for generations. We still have some of Jason's dad's recipes written out in his familiar scrawl and I always like seeing them.

This recipe is one for the recipe box. It's a no frills, traditional apple pie recipe, but one that I've made enough times to know how to get it just right. My husband is what you might call an apple pie connoisseur. His grooms cake at our wedding was his mom's apple pie. It was a lot to live up to, but he loves this pie. It's high praise coming from him.

Simple Apple Pie
Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

3 large granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
3 large sweeter apples, like jonathan or gala, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar, plus a little for the top of the pie
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
4 T butter
1 1/2 T corn starch
2 pie crusts (store-bought, or see recipe below)
2 T milk or cream for brushing on the top

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place the peeled and sliced apples, the sugar, spices, salt, butter, and cornstarch into a large sauce pan. Stir together and cook until apples are slightly soft, about 10 minutes.

Prepare a pie pan with one of the rolled out pie crusts. Pile the apples onto the pie crust and cover with the other crust. Pinch the edges of the crust together making a curvy shape all around the pie. Brush lightly with the milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar. Place on top of a cookie sheet to catch any drips.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 40-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Pie Crust
courtesy of Orangette; I doubled it to make two large pie crusts.

8 Tbsp. ice water, plus more as needed
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks plus 2 T cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the ice water and cider vinegar.

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to blend. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles the size of peas. With the motor running, slowly add the water-vinegar mixture, processing just until the dough comes together and moist clumps form. The dough should hold together if you pick up a handful. If the dough seems a bit dry, add more ice water by the teaspoon, pulsing to incorporate. If it seems to wet, add a tiny bit of flour.

Dump the dough out onto a wooden board or clean countertop sprinkled with flour. Shape it into two balls, and then press each ball into disk about 1 1⁄2 inches thick. Smooth the edges with your hands. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, smoothing out any cracks with your hands and the pressure of the plastic. Refrigerate the wrapped dough for at least 2 hours. (Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw it in refrigerator overnight before using.) Before rolling it out, allow the dough to soften slightly at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

February 6, 2012

an excuse to make food (not that I need one).

The Super Bowl, for me, is really just an excuse to make food. It's not that I need an excuse to make regular, everyday food, but seven-layer dip is not one of my everyday foods. But I'm here to tell you that it's so worth the extra effort to make the guacamole layer from scratch. Trust me on this.

Our SB Sunday started with a pre-game bike ride out to Ocean Beach with our whole crew on a 65-degrees-and-sunny February day (seriously? seriously.). We made a pit stop at Devil's Teeth Baking Company for $1 beignets, which is quickly becoming my favorite bakery in the city. Everything there is delicious, they serve Sightglass coffee, and they have a parklet outside for seating. It's like the San Francisco trifecta.

Our SB menu consisted of a gigantic seven-layer dip that ended up being around ten layers; Edyta's spicy spinach-artichoke dip with sourdough bread; Bobby's bloody mary's, complete with fancy pickled green beans; Mexican pozole soup for the meat-eaters and veggie soup for the non-meat eaters; and salty peanut butter cookies (recipe here). We ate, we drank, and we all agreed that Madonna really rocked it at half-time. Don't you think?

January 29, 2012

if shrimp and lobster had a love child

Have you heard of Argentinian red shrimp? Well now you have, and you're welcome. Argentinian red shrimp taste like shrimp and lobster got together, had a love child, and the result was like shrimp, but a little sweet and buttery, like lobster. Shobster? Anyway, it's delicious, and you can find it at your local Trader Joe's if you're lucky enough to have one nearby. Jason rolls his eyes at my obsession - let's call it a love affair - with Trader Joe's, but I'm not ashamed.

Let me back up. A few years ago, our friends Ian and Courtney lived in Springfield for a year. Courtney is one of those natural cooks. Everything she makes is delicious and I always end up asking for the recipe. We have similar food brains, I think, and tend towards the same types of dishes. She shares my love of Ina Garten, for one thing. We cooked a lot together during that year; I miss those dinners.

One of the dishes that Courtney taught me to make was a Greek-style bake of shrimp and potatoes covered with tomatoes, oregano, lemon, and feta. It was one of those enlightening dishes that I came to crave often. It's kind of unexpected. It's nice to have those in your back pocket.

I had sort of forgotten about the dish until recently, but the recipe didn't make it to California. So I made it from memory and I think Courtney would have approved. The dish is hearty, but really fresh and bright from all the lemon. It's a year-round sort of dish, I think. But then again, I'm now living in the land of eternal Spring and Fall {we went for a run on the beach today, in January, not to rub it in or anything}.

Greek shrimp & potatoes
serves four
4 medium sized yukon gold potatoes
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 T olive oil
1 1/2 lemon, juiced
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices and layer into the bottom of a 9x12 inch baking dish. Cover the potatoes with water and bake for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain the water and re-arrange the potatoes back into a single layer. Set aside.

While the potatoes are baking, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic in a small bowl and whisk together to combine. Reserve half of the olive oil mixture and add the other half to the thawed, peeled, shrimp. Mix gently to cover the shrimp with the marinade and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Pour the remaining half of the olive oil mixture/marinade over the baked potatoes. Add the tomatoes, shrimp, and feta (in that order) evenly. Bake for 15 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through. Remove the dish from the oven, cool for five minutes and serve.

January 22, 2012

mother-in-law cookies

In relationships, each person usually brings something to the table that enhances the life of the other. A few years ago, I discovered one of Jason's contributions to my life: his mom's oatmeal cookies. I've never been particularly excited about oatmeal cookies in the past, and they're still not what I would pick if given the choice between almost any other cookie. But my mother-in-law's oatmeal cookies? Now that, my friends, is a different story. Janie's cookies are the sort that you cannot stop eating once you start, no matter how hard you try. Jason once described them as little bowls of oatmeal, except they're way better than that.

My mother-in-law and I are different in many ways, and cooking is no exception. I love her dearly. Where I am a kale and saffron risotto kind of girl, Janie is a pot roast and cream of mushroom sort of lady. She makes an amazing pot roast, by the way, that is always always accompanied by mashed potatoes, sweet cinnamon-y carrots, and green beans. Every time. 

I finally got my hands on the oatmeal cookie recipe recently and we attempted to re-create them. I don't know if it's the California climate or the fact that I just can't bring myself to use Crisco, I'm sorry, but I can't do it - but our first batch of cookies was nowhere near as good as Janie's. However, after we chilled the dough while we gave each other pep talks to try again, the second batch was so close! We ate at least 15 cookies in two days! Even though, as my husband lovingly pointed out, his mom doesn't chill her dough.

mother-in-law cookies (aka oatmeal cookies)
makes about 3 dozen small cookies. it's important not to over-bake these, which was one of our mistakes with the first batch. they are mean to be soft, not crispy. the good amount of salt gives lots of flavor.

1 cup raisins
3/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (like Spectrum brand)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick-cooking oats

Place the raisins in a small bowl, cover them with water to soak, and set aside.

Beat together the shortening and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, water, and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the oats. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Drain the raisins and stir into the cookie dough. Chill for at least two hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Drop the dough by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet or one lined with a baking mat. Bake for 11 minutes; do not over bake. The cookies should be just lightly golden and they will continue cooking on the pan as they cool.

January 15, 2012

a lesson in detox

Last year, I told you about the two week cleanse I did that felt amazing and helped me to understand how my body interacts with certain foods. If you've never done a cleanse, I highly recommend it. I'm a firm believer in the body's ability to heal itself. In order for it to do what it's supposed to do, it's important to take a temporary break from all the foods that can cause harm and irritation. It's like giving your body a vacation at the beach. It will thank you later.

After eating about twice my body weight in food when I was home for ten days in Missouri over Christmas, I was craving a little detox. The program I followed last year is called Clean, and it's a great plan - but it's very regimented and can be tough to pull off, especially if you live with someone who's not so keen on the idea of pureed raw squash "soup" for dinner. What I learned from that experience is you have to make it work for you. And doing a little bit of good for yourself is better than no good at all. I find now that if I can do little mini-cleanses (3-5 days) several times a year, not only can I shed a few pounds if I need to, but I can actually pull it off and do something nice for my insides.

This time around, I picked up a copy of the January edition of Whole Living Magazine focusing on detox. Their plan was really similar to Clean (no dairy, wheat, nightshade plants, alcohol - all the allergen-inducing foods), but it's a bit more realistic. I took advantage of Jason going out of town to do a 5 day mini-cleanse. It was totally do-able and it was the reset I needed after all the holiday excess.

This is the general idea:
- Clean smoothie for breakfast (example: 1/3 cup mango, 1/3 cup pineapple, coconut water) + green or herbal tea
- Kale slaw for lunch
- Spiced butternut squash soup for dinner
- Snacks throughout the day, like dried mango, apples, and avocados.

I discovered some new recipes in the process that I could eat anytime, not just when I'm trying to be super healthy. Who knew raw kale slaw could be so delicious? I sliced it thinly and mixed it with red cabbage and a bunch of other herbs, and doused it in a vinaigrette. I used chopped roasted almonds instead of the seeds. 

My favorite new recipe is spiced butternut squash soup. In the winter, I need something warm for dinner, but the fact that it's blended still gives your digestive tract a break while you sleep. It's super easy to make (especially if you own an immersion blender), thick, spicy, and very comforting.

spiced butternut squash soup 
adapted from a recipe by Whole Living Magazine; makes about 6 servings
This soup is seriously good, and it has a secret ingredient: apple. You'll need either an immersion blender (much easier option) or a blender to puree all the veggies at the end. 

2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, grated or minced
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
pinch of ground cloves
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tart apple, peeled and chopped
1 whole medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
3-4 cups of water
salt + pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat; add the onion and garlic and cook until tender (6-8 minutes). Add the fresh ginger and all the spices and cook for about 1 minute. Add all the veggies, water, salt, and pepper. Cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, let cool for a few minutes, and then carefully use an immersion blender to puree the soup. If you don't have a hand-held blender, a traditional one will do; just blend the soup in batches and return it to the pot.

January 8, 2012

if it's the beaches

Although we may make resolutions for the new year, most of us don't keep them. We mean well, but we're creatures of habit and change is hard. I like to think about setting intentions for the year. I guess that's what resolutions really are - intentions. My intentions for this year? Some of them are important and serious, some of them not (growing my hair out -  I have serious hair envy from this 2010 pic). The author of a blog I read often, nat the fat rat, said that all she wants is for her life to be beautiful. What an amazingly simple concept. If we all lived with that in mind - to be always looking for ways to create beauty in our lives - our world would probably be a much more peaceful place. I'm going to try to live more beautifully this year.

Luckily, we now live in a place with physical, tangible beauty that I can see everyday when I walk outside. My brother Josh said the other day that we underestimate the impact of the aesthetics of our everyday surroundings. It's something he notices when he goes home to Missouri. I've been listening to a song by the Avett Brothers that always makes me think of what Jason and I did, or what he did for me. It speaks to the bittersweet and brave act of leaving the familiar, seeking out more. He's a pretty wonderful man, that husband of mine.

If it's the beaches
If it's the beaches' sands you want
Then you will have them
If it's the mountains' bending rivers
Then you will have them
If it's the wish to run away
Then I will grant it
Take whatever you think of
While I go gas up the truck
Pack the old love letters up
We will read them when
we forget why we left here

By the way, did you know he's famous now? We recently became the proud owners of a 1962 Corvair Greenbrier that came with stories and pictures of its original owners who, like us, were young and in search of adventure. We feel a kinship with our new-old car. You can read Jason's car blog and the recent mention of our project on the popular car site Bring a Trailer.