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Friday, August 30, 2013

It's Friday, Love

{ Making the topping for a Tomato and Squash Gratin }

#Staycation2013! Oh what a long strange trip it's been. And I still have a few days left. After three years I've realized I have a process for this week. Prior to the week I come up with a large, completely unrealistic list of things I'm going to accomplish during Staycation. This includes home improvement projects, cleaning/organizing and relaxing. I'm not sure how one can accomplish relaxing but I tell myself I can. The week begins and I think I have plenty of time. This is an excuse to sleep late. After a couple days of this laziness I start to get overwhelmed because time is quickly winding down but the list hasn't gotten any smaller. This is followed by two days of depression and pouting because I will never finish the list and I have wasted Staycation. Then one morning I wake up and become a machine. I finish everything in two days and say to Staycation I'll fiinish everything up front and then I say this to myself I know full well next year will be exactly the same. No matter, it's still been a great week.

I've felt like cooking which is something I haven't had a taste for this summer. There have been too many amazing things happening and fun road trips to take to stay cooped up in the kitchen. My Tomato and Squash Gratin and Cherry Bourbon Ice Cream will make for a couple great blog posts over the next coming weeks. I've also tackled a DIY Chalkboard Menu in my kitchen which I absolutely love and a couple other really fun nights with friends have been great. Here's to a wonderful last weekend of summer. Saying goodbye to the sunshine and warm weather is always hard but I'm looking forward to the leaves falling, wearing scarves and drinking that first warm cider of the season. Happy Labor Day everyone!

{ Maybe my favorite picture of Miss Austen ever }

{ Church Hill Music Co. had our first gig this past Saturday. Check out our music here. }

{ Lighting some candles is always a good idea }

{ A couple chairs I picked up that with will be perfect around the firepit with a coat of paint and a new cushion }

{ Great lunches with friends this week. Girl talk = fattening food! }

{ I'll feature the DIY Menu Chalkboard in my kitchen in a future post }

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Need An Office

I need an office. I already have one for my day job but I've come to the realization that I need one for the blog too. A high-rise loft space with floor-to ceiling-windows, a space to shoot, meet clients, relax on comfy couches and an espresso machine? I wish. That's down the road. For now I just need to use the desk I have in my back room. Baby steps....

This blog started out as a hobby, a way for me to share photos and write a bit about my adventures. But slowly it has evolved into something more and one day I hope to grow it into a business. I used to be fine writing and editing photos on my living room couch while I caught up on the news at night but I'm finding myself increasingly distracted and in need of a dedicated space to work. This week I'm on staycation so it's been great to spend a few hours working at the cafe at VMFA. I've been able to write and plan out the next couple months and I'm very excited about the possibilities.

I've also planned a few projects in my back room that will hopefully make it feel more like a creative work space and less like a place for company to crash and for me to throw my clothes in when people come over. I'm documenting the transformation for an upcoming post so wish me luck on my home improvement skills. I hope you enjoy these pics I took while working (hanging out and thinking:)) at VMFA.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Moshi Moshi

{ Kale Salad with Seared Tuna, Salmon and Tofu }

I was lucky enough last week to get a behind the scenes look at the kitchen at one of Richmond's favorite restaurants, Moshi Moshi. Thanks to Victor, the amazing chef, and the whole crew for their hospitality. I hope you enjoy the pics as much as I enjoyed eating all the food!

{ Victor working his magic! }

{ The epic bromance of Victor and Richard Grossman }

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's Friday, Love

{ NCSL Swag- I'm now an official member of the Hawaii Legislature:) }
The first week back after a loooooong conference is always tough. You've been out of the office, you're behind on email and sorting through everything you brought back takes a while. Just today I really feel caught up finally. I'm looking forward to a fun weekend to kick off my Staycation next week which has been a really great thing for me the past two years. I've planned a couple day trips, a few projects around the house and time to relax. It's a great way to get organized and caught up so I feel ready to start a new year. Here's to a great weekend see ya Monday!

{ Doing a little prep work at the house for some projects during next week's Staycation }

{ A great chardonnay we had at Rappahannock River Oyster Co. }

{ I got to attend the We Work For Health Roundtable with Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Chairman Terry McAuliffe }

{ Shooting an upcoming post at Moshi Moshi Restaurant. Photo by Richard Grossman }

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Me and Joe

Nothing stays the same. That's the only thing you can count on. Well, I take that back one thing morning coffee. You get the title of today's post now right? See Joe and I go way back. He's always been there for me. Every day he stands a post and provides me with that little bit of foundation and stability I need. So armed I can vanquish any foe and arm myself against the trappings of the day ahead. Sounds like a battle hmmm? Well, some days it is. Others it's more like a jousting tournament on the first day of May with all of its frivolity and celebration. Each day is different but Joe stays the same. That's comforting. No matter where I travel, no matter where I live, no matter how old I get or who I'm with there will always be that first cup of coffee in the morning with a tiny splash of cream and some cinnamon.

So why am I dwelling (clinging for dear life) to anything stable? I blame the time of year. Despite the fact that I no longer make that yearly shopping trip for new pencils and notebooks (I am soooo old! Now kids are shopping for iPads), I still feel like it's the start of a new cycle. A fresh start. And new beginnings are great don't get me wrong, but it's nice to have a framework to fall back on while new people and traditions are being incorporated. Which brings us to the reason I'm looking to my morning coffee for stability. My framework is very different than it was a year ago and it's still changing. People have come and gone, attachments are not what they were and my hopes for the future are very different. Normally there have been a few things that I knew I could count on, people I knew I'd see. This year that won't be the case in many instances. But that's ok. That's life. 

I think we surround ourselves with photos and mementos because things do change so much over the course of a life. The framework I've had for the past five years was not what it was ten years ago and so on. Change is always scary but it's also very exhilarating. You loose people but you also gain others. As we change we also hopefully incorporate all we've learned and become better.  I'm very much looking forward to the next five years and the new traditions they'll bring. Joe will be my confidant on this journey as he always is. He knows my secrets and will stand beside me no matter what giving guidance along the way. He is warm. He is strong. He is Joe. And he's my favorite tradition. 

Monday, August 19, 2013


I had a great time in Atlanta last week as you can see from the pics. Started out with some family time and then had a work conference for the majority of the week. It's the biggest and longest one of the year so I always say it's a marathon not a sprint:). I had grand plans of posting last week but only managed Monday so I hope you'll forgive me. Glad to be home for sure so I can relax and spend time with people I've sorely missed. Things get busy again in September so hopefully the next couple weeks will be great! 

{ Getting my caffine fix on the looong drive down }

{ Jack's new word, of which he's very proud, is Oreoicecreamchickenfeet! }

{ Miss A relaxing at my sister's house }

{ Jack and I hangin at the pool }

{ The only warm day we had }

{ Liv and Grandma }

{ Time for work mode }

{ Giveaways are very important at this conference }

{ Meeting the Georgia Tech Mascot }

{ Had a great time with my friend and colleague Katie }

{ They had a conference social event at the Georgia Aquarium. The dolphin show was surprisingly magical }

{ My brother and I survived the shark tank }

{ Two of the four Fitzgerald siblings:) }

{ Had to stop at The Varsity for some fabulously unhealthy food }

{ Katie is quite excited about our bounty as well }

{ Best onion rings I've ever had }

{ Fried Peach Pie }

{ Beautiful reminders of the '96 Olympics are all over Atlanta }

{ Got to hang with Mr. Charles Barkley himself! }
{ One last hug before I head home }