Happy Valentines Day!

Valentines Pancakes






Happy Valentines Day!

Boyfriend is traveling (for work) right now, so we did our thing last weekend. I made my favorite pancakes for breakfast in the heart molds he got me for my birthday this summer. Hope your day is as sweet as our chocolate chip pancakes!


Welcome to Chicago!

Hey Lesley,

Can’t wait to see you tomorrow! You asked in your last email what we might be up to this weekend. Don’t know yet, but here are things I hope to get up to this summer (when you’re visiting and not).

-Refinish the not-matching frame on the picture in my bedroom my dad gave me

-Do something classier to the edge of the shelf in the living room

-Restyle my mantel, which is getting more cute things, but less cute looking

-Figure out what to do with my awesome coffee tables so they look cute

-Organize my newly-enlarged basement storage unit (hooks!)

-Make large art for my dining room (I think at my birthday party!)

-Refinish the buffet that will go in my dining room

-Rearrange my dining room stuff into the new buffet

-Redo entire bathroom (you know, rip out walls, put new walls up, have someone build a shower including 3/4 wall and new plumbing, find new vanity, shelves, and so on. No big deal.)

What are you up for this weekend?

Can’t wait to see you!


Cooking from a CSA, part 4: Making a really awesome cake instead of eating my veggies

The third week of the CSA was a bit of a failure. I got a TON of leafy greens: three heads of lettuce, multiple bags of spinach, mustard greens, and something I never successfully identified. This on top of asparagus, turnips, beets, and tomato puree. As I spent the entire weekend out of town*, I just couldn’t get through all of it. I should have planned ahead and given more away. Major failure to plan on my part. So I mostly, had salad this week and a veggie bake with greens, tomato puree, asparagus and turnips with quinoa (not that great, so I’m not going to share it). I am, however, going to share the fabulous cake I made.

My boss’s birthday was Friday, and she is a frosting lover (and a pretty great boss), so I made her a four-layer cake piled high with plenty of buttercream frosting. Here’s a picture of the cake after 45 minutes in the office:

White cake with buttercream frosting

Not the best photo, but the cake was pretty awesome. It was gone by 10 a.m. — my new record.

As Lisa had requested white cake with buttercream frosting, so I searched the internet for the best recipes for both white cake and buttercream frosting. I went with this recipe for cake and this recipe for frosting. The frosting recipe made a huge batch, but I cut each layer in half to make four layers, and was very generous with the frosting between layers, so it worked out perfectly. Rave reviews!

Introducing Mary

Hi Mom(s)! I’m so excited to start working with Lesley on our new format.This actually reminds me of when they would introduce a new American Girl (before they got all commercial; mother is not okay with commercial): Mary is an American Girl who lives in Chicago in a _____ (adjective: spunky? refined? rustic?) apartment by herself (so if I were an actual American girl that would be weird/illegal. I’m a grown up though so we’re good). She loves playing tricks on her little sister, roller skating and helping the housekeeper (bonus! Which American Girl did I have??). [Note: I don’t actually have a housekeeper.]

I make this kind of expression a lot.

So, I really do live in a one bedroom apartment in Chicago. I teach high school math. I do my best to be green, including biking to work when possible, recycling and running the Green Team at my school. I wouldn’t say I’m artistic, but I like to put things together so they look good. I make all my own cards, and I like to think I’m pretty good at choosing the right paper and look and combination and then putting it together, but I can’t really draw or anything like that. I’m working on learning to do different types of lettering though!

My mom saves EVERYTHING (because you never know when it might come in handy) so whenever I get a specific idea in my head, she’s the first person I ask. And my dad is one of the handiest people I know, so he’s my go to for home repairs and the like, especially replacing light fixtures.

When I’m not decorating my Chicago condo or making some cards, I’m probably baking something (I’m trying to cook more, but I’m a baker at heart) or playing a game with friends. Lesley and I are a great team and I hope you enjoy our (mis)adventures!