in which we celebrate thanksgiving and eat crabs

in which we celebrate thanksgiving and eat crabs


I spent Thanksgiving with C’s family in his hometown of Baltimore, MD. We headed out to the airport at 5am Wednesday morning to catch our 8am flight. We were anticipating mass chaos but found the security lines empty. Needless to say, we had a good hour and a half to kill at our gate…

Let’s not sit here and pretend I wasn’t a little bit nervous to meet C’s family and all his closest childhood friends. We all know this could have been a deal-breaker if I blew it. I’ll have you all know that I believe I passed with flying colors. Is it possible for a guy’s family to like you more than their own son?

The whole trip was very relaxed. We slept in until at least 10am every morning, ate lots of great food, hiked in the woods with their dog - Kira, ate sushi with C’s best friends, ate ribs with them too…visited the DC Zoo, and trolled the shops in Georgetown.

The icing on the cake had to be our crab dinner “send-off” on Sunday night. I’m pretty sure I provided the majority of the entrainment that night as C patiently taught me how to dissect my crab and consume all of the deliciousness inside. It really is interactive eating. So, in case any of my faithful readers find themselves on a first date at the “swankiest” crab joint in town, I’ve provided guided instructions on how to eat a crab. It’s fun and messy and only a little bit gross, but the end result is totally worth it.

(Disclaimer: My hands were much too dirty for step by step instructions so I hope I can explain this process well enough with my words…)

  • Choose your victim.
  • Methodically remove your legs and claws. (Save the claws to crack open at the end).
  • Flip your crab over onto it’s top. Use your knife to pry up the center bone piece thing (yes, this is the technical term). Pull it off.
  • Slide your knife under the top part of the shell and pry off.
  • Scrape off lungs and inner guts, mustard…yucky stuff (more technical terms).
  • Half and then quarter the body cavity area.
  • Devour. Yum!
  • You can then follow this up by gently cracking open your claws and eating the meat out of there as well.
In case you’re more of a visual learner, I’ve included an article with pictorial instructions.

fragrance frenzy

fragrance frenzy


I’ve been preparing my Christmas Wishlist on Pinterest and a friend asked my why I was “wishing” for several different perfumes. I really like to have different scents. I’ve never been one of those girls with a signature scent. In fact, I’m always asking friends (and strangers for that matter) what perfume they are wearing when I smell something I like.

In fact, there is one particular scent which has proven to be quite elusive. It’s a scent that C. is particularly fond of. He would smell it on some girl in a bar and then we would spend the rest of the night trying to track her down so I could ask her what perfume she was wearing. Finally, while out with friends at Saint Ann on Saturday night, C. got a whiff of this “magical” scent. It just so happened that the girl was sitting at the table next to us. So when C. went to get drink re-fills, I slyly asked for the name of her perfume. Mystery solved! She was wearing Michael Kors and even had the bottle with her so that I could confirm with C. that this was indeed the favored scent.

And so, the weekend ended with a trip to Sephora to track down the perfume and add it to my collection. Sephora has a really great collection of some widely popular scents that come in a rollerball form. You get about 0.2-0.3oz of perfume in an adorable, portable rollerball! They usually cost $15-$25 and are the PERFECT way to try out a new scent without committing to a whole bottle. Needless to say, I picked up the infamous Michael Kors rollerball which actually came with MK on one end and Very Hollywood on the other. I also picked out Stella by Stella McCartney which I can already tell is going to become a favorite with Craig.

Here is the complete list of the perfume collection I’ve stared. PS. Never turn down or throw out a fragrance sample - you never know if it will become your new favorite scent.

1.Marc Jacobs Daisy 2.Chanel Chance 3.Kate Spade Twirl 4.Stella McCartney Stella 5.Boyfriend 6.Michael Kors 7.Marc Jacobs Lola 8.Very Hollywood
{recipe} chocolate & pumpking layer cake with cream cheese icing

{recipe} chocolate & pumpking layer cake with cream cheese icing


You probably think I’m lying but I promise you, this cake is SO easy to make. Simply prepare your favorite chocolate cake and vanilla cake recipe. (Note: In order to make your vanilla cake into pumpkin cake substitute once can of pumpkin and 1 cup of water for all wet ingredients. Also add 2-3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.) Bake off in four 8-inch or 9-inch round pans.

After letting cakes cool completely, it’s time to assemble. Whip up your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe (mine is 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 stick softened butter, 1 eight oz. package of softened cream cheese and a splash of cream to adjust the texture). Begin stacking and frosting the layers.

Let cake set in the fridge for about 30 min to one hour. In the mean time make your ganache. For this cake I used 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, 2/3 cup heavy cream and a table spoon of light corn syrup (to make it shiny). Heat cream and corn syrup and pour it over the chocolate chips. Mix gently until melted, smooth and completely combined. Let cool for 10-20 min. 

Remove cake and slowly spoon ganache over the cake until the desired effect is reached. It is best to have pieces of parchment under your cake so that you can slide them out and remove excess ganache without a mess. Ganache could take up to a day to set so my advice is to make this cake one day in advance of when you need it.

The cake is best if consumed with 5-6 days of making it. But I doubt yours will last that long. This was a surefire hit among my friends. Enjoy and Happy Baking!
san diego, ca

san diego, ca


This weekend was everything I hoped it would be and more. Relaxing, exciting, fulfilling, comforting, enlightening, calming…

The zoo was a total blast. Definitely put me touch with my “inner child”…just ask C. Despite the downpour on Saturday, the wedding was lovely. It was a total bummer to have it moved inside as it hardly rains like that in San Diego but the event went off without a hitch. Friday and Sunday were beautiful - the most picturesque days. It was such a treat to wander around the beach, coffee in hand, toes in the sand. I (and C.?) MUST find a way to end up in San Diego down the road. Does anyone want to hire us?

C. not only met my mom and step-dad but also had the pleasure of meeting a gaggle of my aunts/uncles/cousins/family friends…etc. He did GREAT! Everyone was so thrilled to meet him. It was such a treat to get to introduce him to some really important people in my life. I can’t until he gets to meet my sister, Margaux at Christmas!

It takes big family events like these to get us all together since my family is spread out from coast to coast. It’s always really fun to catch up and pick up right where we left off. Hopefully C. and I can make a trip out to Chicago in the Spring/Summer to meet up with some of my family.

As always, I loved spending time with my mom. I especially loved having this opportunity for her to meet C. and see why I’m so obsessed in love with him. 

All in all, it was a great weekend. We canNOT wait to go back. Soon.

Rainy San Diego beach walk (Taken with instagram)

wedding #5 of 2011

wedding #5 of 2011


This weekend, C. and I are headed to sunny San Diego for my eldest cousin’s wedding! Seth is marrying the beautiful Holly just minutes from the beach in their charming hometown of Del Mar. I’m so excited for this trip. Since my extended family is spread out all over the country, it takes events like these to bring us all together. Last September, my cousin Jake married his beautiful bride Jenn in Chicago. It turned into a pseudo family reunion as many of us hadn’t seen each other in several years!

We plan on visiting the San Diego Zoo on friday…I haven’t been since this picture was taken probably 20 years ago (me with Seth at the San Diego Zoo)! 

me and seth many moons ago

Friday please come soon so we can go celebrate!


This is probably one of my favorite verses. I’m actually pretty sure I’ve posted about it before. I even have a sticky note with this verse on it at my desk. And it’s written on my mirror in my bedroom…

{music} matthew mayfield


This guy opened for Needtobreathe a while back. He’s awesome and so is his new video. You can even download his album for free here!!


We are loved, by the grace of God. Let’s not ever forget this.
we are loved.
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