Monthly Archives: March 2016

{Grown Up Moments} Getting Fancy

Do you ever have those moments who you really feel like a grown up? Despite actually being a grown up for quite some time? I do, but what entertains me is that they’re not the ones you’d expect, they’re super random little moments. I thought I’d post those moments from time to time, mostly for my own amusement.

Here’s a short list of some of the moments I would have expected to make me feel really grown up:
– Earning a master’s degree while working as a consultant for the United Nations
– Getting married and becoming a stepmom
– Signing that scary mortgage document and buying our first home
– Adopting a dog (twice)
– Becoming a Director at work (twice)
– Having a team work for me and having my success directly related to the employment of at least 20 people


I do wonder if most of these moments don’t feel like grown up moments because in most of those cases, I usually feel like I’m fooling everyone and soon they’ll discover I don’t really understand economics (so I shouldn’t have that M.S.), I have no idea what I’m doing as a parent, I’ve never been managed and I have no clue how to manage people, etc. Basically, I’m making it up as I go. Interestingly, Sheryl Sandberg devotes a lot of page-space to this in her book, Lean In, and it turns out this is a common feeling amongst women. And, guess what? EVERYONE is making up as they go.


Anywho, the moments that actually make me feel like an adult are super random. Here are the two times (besides what I’m about to write about), where I felt like a grown up:
– The first night at college after my dad got me unpacked in my dorm and went back to his hotel. I remember standing there, with my soon-to-be friends, realizing I could do WHATEVER I wanted. So, we went out for ice cream (don’t judge, we were nerdy, honors-student 18 year-olds).
– When I bought my first vacuum, at 29 years old. Until that point, I’d managed to inherit vacuums from roommates or parents and had never had to (annoyingly) buy one. Walking out of Target with that vacuum really drove home the point that I was on my own now. (I had a dog, stepson, M.S. and Director title at that point, FYI).

Last week, I had another one of those moments that made me feel grown up. Any guesses on what it was??

Wait for it. Wait for it…


Getting a piece of art custom framed. To this point, I’ve never had any artwork special enough to warrant a custom frame. My sweet grandmother sent me a painting done by my great-grandfather as a housewarming present when we bought our house. It was actually a two-sided painting – one side was a completed painting of a southern California vista (a favorite subject of his) and the other was a half-finished painting of a New York farmhouse. As I understand it, he spent time in Woodstock, NY sometime during the 40s-60s and I’d guess he started it then. It was so neat to receive a piece of family art tied to our new home in New York. 


I was finally able to get to Michaels and worked with an employee who helped me pick the frame and matte. I loved the beat-up edges to the painting and wanted the painting mounted to show them. I also wanted it mounted in a way that preserved the finished painting on the back if we ever changed our mind. The Michaels employee was super sweet and patient with me as hmmed and hawed over what frame and color matte to pick.

It was super helpful (and reassuring) to see the mockup on the computer!


Then, she rang me up. Even after the 50% off + an additional 25% off, I had to steady myself when she gave me the total. I knew custom frames were expensive, but ouch! Definitely a grown up moment. However, I love love love how it turned out and can’t wait to get a wall and room decorated around it. 


Are you a typical-grownup moment kind of person or is it the really random things that make you feel grown up too?

{Friday Favorites} Spring Has Sprung!

First, a Happy Happy Birthday to this guy! 
FFDespite his “are you taking my picture?” glare, I promise, he’s in his happy place here with his piglets. Isn’t he handsome?

This is a doozy of a Friday, friends. I signed us up for an work event that I thought was in Baltimore, but is actually in College Park, Maryland, which turns out to be an incredibly inconvenient place to travel. It’s halfway between Baltimore and DC with no airport or train station or direct line to either city. What I thought would be a nice overnight in Baltimore has now turned into a travel headache. I am currently on an airplane headed to Baltimore where I’ll rent a car, drive 40 minutes to a 2 hour event, then turn around and drive back to the airport and hopefully be back home by 3:30pm – today. Who’s in charge around here?! Oh, right. Me. The upside, I’m arriving in Baltimore at 6:30am, so hopefully I can find some crab cake eggs benedict somewhere between the airport and College Park Marriott.

This week FLEW by, but we had some great moments, nonetheless!

Spring Has Sprung

You know springtime is here (or around the corner) in our house every year because these guys show up!


I love hearing their tiny little chirps for the first few weeks while they’re in the house staying warm. And, even though it’s been an abnormally mild winter, we had our first really warm week this week and opened up all the windows in the house. I love the feeling of that first fresh air when spring arrives! Last year we still had 2 feet of snow on the ground. #crazyweather


Top Chef in the House!


The kiddo entered the Top Chef competition at his school on Monday and for the second year in a row, placed in the top 3! He cooked up the Cauliflower Fennel Soup and one of the judges who is local chef came back to the prep room and asked him for a second serving. Nice job buddy!

Bloom Where You’re Planted


For the past couple years, I’ve bought the Erin Condren Life Planner when it goes on sale in February. Even on sale, the high price is hard to justify, but when it arrives, I feel all optimistic and have these high hopes of my entire life getting organized because I have a pretty planner. #ifonly I love the pocket pages at the back to store bills and documents and the envelope case is great for checkbooks and stamps. The first year I used it pretty consistently, but last year’s is almost empty. I said I wouldn’t do it again and then I saw the one my friend Courtney got and even though I’d seen the cover before, it really resonated with me this year. Ever since I moved to New York, I feel like I’ve been waiting to get started – waiting to move, to get married, to buy a house, to know that we’re going to stay here for a while, to feel like this was home. I know it seems silly, but seeing that planner cover on Instagram made a lightbulb go off – I AM home, this IS my life, it’s TIME to get started. So, when the planners went on sale last week, I was suckered in with this planner cover. Here’s to blooming! 

Spring Cleaning

My office has been a bit of a team joke because it’s been such a disaster for so long. When we restructured more than a year ago, I had the entire contents of someone else’s office dumped in mine. That, combined with my tendency towards a cluttered desk, means I don’t remember the last time I saw the top of my desk. Perhaps in preparation for the guaranteed organization that is arriving with my new planner, I was hit by the organization bug. Look! There’s my desk! It’s amazing how good it feels to tidy up. I’m aiming to make this last. #Igiveit2weeks


More Pendant Ideas!

Carmel followed up her post on our kitchen pendant dilemma with ideas on coordinating island pendants and a chandelier, which I’m now totally leaning toward. I’m loving the casual+elegant option! Which ones do you like? 


Flat Roasted Lemon Chicken

I posted my go-to Flat Roasted Lemon Chicken recipe last year and we had it for dinner last night. This chicken makes me happy every.single.time. It is SO flippin’ good. You definitely need to make this for dinner.


By the time I see you next (Monday), I’ll have completed my roundtrip day trip to Baltimore, celebrated TimTheFarmer’s birthday, and completed two roundtrips to NYC. We’ll see if I’m still standing. Have a great weekend!

{Farm Fresh} Spicy Maple Glazed Coconut Carrots

I’m sitting in Penn Station in NYC waiting for my train home after a work event watching the pigeons, which always makes me think of Mary Poppins #feedthebirds. Except for that I’m not in smoggy early 20th-centruy London; I’m three stories below ground in a dingy train station. Seeing pigeons flying around, below ground, feels a little post-apocalyptic or something. Wouldn’t you agree? Mary Poppins and post-apocalyptic in one paragraph…not bad for a random start to a blog about carrots, eh?


Anyway, I’m about as far as you can get from farm fresh here in the bowels of Penn Station, but it makes me all the more grateful for the fresh “country” life we’re living up in the Hudson Valley…and these awesome carrots we had last night. 


There aren’t a lot of local farm fresh veggies at this time of year, but carrots are one of those root vegetables that store well and last well into late winter. You can still find them at your local farmer’s markets into March.


Up until TimTheFarmer became a farmer, I never liked cooked carrots. They can be so mushy-bleh! I have, however always loved them raw. For some reason though, I feel like you MUST cook your dinner veggies…that’s just the rule, right? 😉 Anyway, we were drowning in carrots from Tim’s farm, so I thought I’d revisit the cooked carrot. I made sure not to overcook them—we grilled them and they still had a decent crisp to them—and I loved them. Who knew? Now we cook them all the time.

My mother-in-law made carrots for holidays that she’d toss in maple syrup #yesplease! I drew inspiration from that recipe and added a little cayenne to give these a kick. I love roasting root veggies in coconut oil as they pick a bit of the flavor and sweetness up from the oil. Sprinkling a few coconut flakes on drives the coconut flavor* home. These are a super easy side dish. Enjoy!


*It’s key to use unsweetened coconut. It’s healthier and doesn’t give you that weird, synthetic Almond Joy flavor. 

Spicy Maple Glazed Coconut Carrots
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. Whole (not baby) carrots (3-5/person)
  2. Coconut oil (melted)
  3. Maple syrup (2 tbsp per 10 carrots)
  4. Pinch of cayenne pepper
  5. Unsweetened coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)
  6. Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Peel carrots, chop bottom off, leave the tops
  3. Toss carrots in coconut oil, enough to coat
  4. Place carrots on baking sheet in a single layer
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper on carrots
  6. Bake for 25 minutes
  7. Stir cayenne pepper into maple syrup
  8. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle with maple syrup
  9. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and serve
Isn't That Grand?