I’m back from a long weekend in Michigan. The trip there was chaotic and nearly led to me stabbing someone. The stay itself was gorgeous, happy, and everything good. The trip home was perfect. I have a few photos to share, but I thought I would post this one tonight. It’s one of my favorite pictures that anyone has ever taken of me.
Maybe it’s a cop out since you can’t really see my face, but Steven managed to capture a moment that I’m not sure he was aware I was having. Or maybe he was. He’s sharp like that.
Sailing on Lake Huron. Allowing myself a moment to take it all in. To think of the view, breeze, pulse of it all. To think of my grandmothers. To think of how much more I want to experience.
Yesterday Steven and I continued our three-year long tradition of going apple picking. We headed up to Kingston to meet up with his family and then over to Red Hook (not Brooklyn) to get our picking on. There’s only one problem: there weren’t any apples left! None. The dude who gave us our bags warned that there may not be many left, but we assumed we’d find something. Every tree was picked clean and we were super disappointed. Still, we had fun exploring the grounds and ended up snagging some pumpkins from their pumpkin patch. I’ve never actually picked pumpkins before…not quite as satisfying as munching on apples while pulling more fruit off trees, but at least I can say I’ve done it. Steven bought two adorable white pumpkins that he’ll use for cooking soon. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.
Next Saturday we’re going to try apple picking again with a few friends of ours. Let’s hope we get a good haul! I’m in the mood to try out some new recipes, along with a kickass apple pie.
Have you been apple picking yet? How do you celebrate fall where you live?
My summer ended in the middle of August and since then it’s been absolute madness. Work has pretty much taken up all of my time. My weekends have felt…fleeting. Now that things are starting to settle (thank goodness), it’s time to head back to this space. September is the start of something new for so many and it’s the same for me. That energy. It’s in the air. The leaves are changing and we’re finally nearing the one year mark of our wedding countdown. Suddenly things are starting to get real. I haven’t spoken about the planning too much on social media, partly because there hasn’t been a lot of it, but also because I don’t want to start posting like mad when I know that we have to keep the guest list on the small side and a lot of people will be “left out.” I’m freaking out about it actually. But the plan is still to share some of the process on the blog. Maybe it’ll help some of you who are going through the process. If not, it’ll be a record of all of the hard work we put into our day.
For now, it’s time to play catch up. Here are some things that I’m currently into…
Watching: In my teens and early 20s, September always marked the return of my favorite television shows. Nowadays, my excitement has waned, but that’s probably because I’m too tired to ever stay up to watch anything. My television schedule is as follows: local news in the morning, local news in the evening and/or some HGTV/Food Network/Cooking Channel (maybe). I have three episodes of Doctor Who to watch. It’s pathetic. One thing I have seen and am super duper excited about is The Mindy Project. I’m happy to have all of those crazies back on my screen. Though the plot sometimes goes in questionable directions, I still find Mindy Lahiri to be as charming as ever. I love how flawed she is. I love her style. I love how she reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. Also, if you caught the premiere, please watch this lovely reminder of the final scene. *fans self*
Listening to: My boys, Empires. They’re my boys even if they don’t know it, because I staked a claim on them way back when they posted their first ever demos. I fell in love with them that night and even though I don’t get to see them live very often (stop playing in Brooklyn on weeknights, you assholes), I’m so excited for the music they make and the future they are creating for themselves. Their new album, Orphan, comes out on Tuesday. Yayness!
Reading: When Anthony Bourdain talks, I listen. When he writes, I read. I can’t pinpoint when my love affair with him began, but it’s been a very satisfying relationship so far. I’ve caught up on many of his “Parts Unknown” episodes on Netflix and now I’m slowly making my way through his book, Medium Raw. It’s basically a series of essays about life, travel, and food. I’ve been purposely taking my time with it, because I don’t want it to end. If you’re in a book store and can pick it up, I’d recommend checking out the chapter called “Lust.” He makes food sound so sexy.
Thinking about: Steven (the hubs to be) and sending him good vibes as he starts his new job as the director of the theatre program at our former high school. I know the choices for the fall drama and the spring musical and I am so excited to see what he and the kids come up with throughout the rehearsal process. There was an amazing piece from This American Life about our district, East Ramapo, and the struggles it has had in recent years. The report is thorough, complex, and more than a little heartbreaking. Please give it a listen if you can.
Excited for: Boots! Apple picking! Apple cider donuts! Frizz-free weather! A weekend in Michigan! Weddings! The smell of leaves everywhere! S’mores! Sweaters! Red cups! Basically all of the things. I just realized that my Twitter profile and background have been fall-related all year. Proof that it’s my absolute favorite season.
(As always, credit goes to Dani Hampton for her “Currently” inspiration.)
I hope you all have a fabulous week! I missed you. ♥
I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. I’m always baffled by how my life has turned out so far. Sometimes it makes me sad to know that my “life plan” that I made in high school didn’t quite pan out, but really, I shouldn’t complain. I’ve got my family, even though we’ve lost a few people along the way. I have my pup. I have a job. I have a partner. When I was seventeen, I dreamed of being a writer. Maybe I would write for a newspaper or a magazine. Hard news. Investigative pieces. Maybe it would be the lovely lifestyle fluff. Maybe I would be a film critic. I would definitely be married. I would definitely have a kid by now.
I’m mostly okay with who I’ve become. Mostly. But I do find that it’s always fun to dream about other things, too. One of the things that I love about Steven, is that he’s a secret dreamer just like I am. We dream of our future together and I’m realizing that I’m with someone who can help make those dreams tangible. We went on a day trip recently to a town called Cold Spring and we had such an amazing time just walking around and enjoying the sights. We met some nice people, ate delicious food, and admired cozy homes. We plotted our future–the one where we will live in a town like Cold Spring, be a part of a community, source from local farmers, and build with local materials. I know it all sounds so silly, but it made me feel good. Because even if things don’t go as planned (read: when they don’t go as planned), I have someone who I’ll still be able to dream with.
In my seventeen year old head, I thought the ultimate thing would be to live in New York City. Now I can never see that happening. Give me small town life with a dose of the city and I’m good. I want to live in a house that we can grow with. I want enough property to build some kick ass gardens and a studio space where Steven and I can make beautiful things. I want to cook wonderful food. I want to know the people who are growing that food. I want to have some chickens. I’ll draw the line at having a cow, because those majestic creatures are incredibly smelly. I want to have a family. I want my kids to play outside and not ever be afraid to get dirty. I want to know my neighbors. I want to be happy.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in dreams and not take the steps to actually help those dreams come to life. It’s easy to read my blog feed be inspired and frustrated by the projects, recipes, and materials that other people are making. But it’s better to tuck those bits of inspiration away and then sit down to figure out how to make the future happen. I can’t say that Steven and I are in control of our destiny, because I certainly don’t believe that we are, but we can make choices to help lead us in a specific direction. I appreciate the little moments we have now, before everything sets in. Before the wedding. Before we live together. Before kids. I love sketching out our future in my mind and thinking and how we’ll get there.
Those little scraps of ideas pile up as we craft our happy life. I can’t wait.
July is almost over which, in my head, means that summer is almost over. I’ve always had not-so-great feelings about August, because August signaled the start of the school year. August is like the Sunday of months. Basically, it’s the worst. The dread of the start of something new. Now that I’m a teacher, I have that same feeling, because my work is school.
This month I went back to college to get some credits towards my Early Childhood certification. New York City was approved for universal pre-k; our school was one of the few charters approved, too. So in September, I’ll be the lead teacher (finally) of a pre-k/kindergarten class. It’s exciting and really, really scary. I wish I had been able to do a lot more this summer, but it’s been nice so far. Class was pretty fun. I’ve always loved learning, so it was nice to get some more information and learn some new tricks to take with me into the coming school year.
A big thing that I’ve been doing this summer is cooking. Well, baking mostly. And taking pictures. A lot of both. I purchased an older DSLR from Megan (Freckled Italian) and have been learning to shoot with it. I have a PDF of the manual saved in a tab, but mostly I’ve been tinkering with it on my own. It’s been a little frustrating not being able to immediately snap the shots that I see in my mind, but with more and more practice I’ve really been getting the hang of it. It’s so exciting to finally have a “real” camera, though I still use my trusty iPhone, Eames, as much as possible. It’s dope.
(Photo by Steven)
So the things that I’ve been photographing have been food items. Steven has been working on setting up a new blog, thanks to some inspiration from my bestie and her husband, so I’ve been shooting photos for him to use. Then I’ve been trying out new recipes for my Adventures in Cooking series. I probably have about ten different things that I’ve made and photographed over the past few months that I’ve just been holding onto, but a lot of things were holding me back. But if Steven can get his stuff together, then so can I. I can’t wait to share some of the new things that I’ve tried! It’s funny because I really like to cook and I do, in fact, make things other than dessert/baked goods. But I realized that whenever I cook, I use different amounts of everything. I have a standard idea of how I make my chicken parmesan, but I would never be able to share a specific recipe, since it’s always “a little of this and a little of that.” My goal is to start photographing some actual meals, but I’ll have to start with what I have.
I hope you all are enjoying your summer so far! Unless you live in Australia, in which case I hope you’ve been enjoying your winter. ♥
(P.S.-I have a new blog design! It’s from The Blog Boat on Etsy. The original design is super clean, but I’ve been adding some extra bits of color here and there. I’m not sure that it’s done yet, but I’m happy with it so far.)