aurora borealis

Breath-taking aurora borealis.

"The midnight phoenix rises: Biggest solar storms for six years create spectacular northern lights."

Read more: dailymail.co.uk

:type travel tuesday: {abbey road, cambridge}

abbey road Another Abbey Road. Cambridge, England.


james is one

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Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet nephew James!

We love you SO MUCH and can't imagine our family without you!


culinary quests: crème brûlée

I've been wanting to try making crème brûlée for some time. When Brandon announced that he wanted this weekend's dinner-party-dessert to "involve fire," we decided to give it a go (and he excitedly ordered a blow torch minutes later). It turned out to be a very fun (thanks Joel and Jessica!) and EASY dessert to make, not to mention being completely-amazingly-scrumdidliumptously-delicious! I ate SO MUCH crème brûlée this weekend. SO. MUCH. Each dish was like a little Paris in a bowl.

I've made up this quick visual guide to a crème-brûlée-making-experience.
(click photos to enlarge)

(click photo above for animation)

We used this recipe.


panorama-postcard from paris

It may be apparent by now that I am in love with Paris. Before we went back last year I was worried that I had been romanticizing it in my mind / talking it up to Brandon and that we would both be disappointed. It was exactly the opposite. The city more than lived up to my expectations and I love it even more now after exploring more than I ever had before. Brandon fell completely in love as well. It was a dream to experience the city of love together.

I found this vintage postcard from Paris of a view atop L'Arc de Triomphe and realized I had taken similar photos myself.

So here is a little postcard from Paris for you.
Now we can all take a little mind-vacation on this ho-hum Wednesday.

I didn't have the EXACT shot so I concocted this little Paris panorama.
(click to enlarge)

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( . )


:type travel tuesday: {alice's, notting hill}

alice's, london alice's, london alice's, london


By Appointment to H.M. Queen Victoria R.I.
Purveyors of Quality Goods from the Empire

Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London


lemon, parsley, and parmesan

I'm on a health-kick after eating my weight in sweets over the holidays. As soon as I got home I filled our fridge with produce and started looking for some new recipes to try. My mom gifted me a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living (thanks mom!) and Martha always has good recipes. I made this one the other night and it was DIVINE (without even including butter *shock*).   

Try it. 

When I make it again, I think I will bake only chicken breasts, instead of the whole bird (though I plan to use the carcass for stock/soup tomorrow) and I will put the sauce into the oven for the last few minutes so it's warm.


  • For The Chicken And Potatoes

    • 1 whole organic chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 lemon, halved
    • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved or cut into thirds if large
  • For The Sauce

    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 lemon, zested (2 teaspoons) and juiced (1 1/2 tablespoons)
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    • Pinch of red-pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken, breast side up, on a baking sheet. Rub with 2 tablespoons oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Place parsley and 1 lemon half in cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
  2. Toss potatoes and 2 tablespoons oil. Drizzle with juice from remaining lemon half. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter potatoes along chicken.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees; cook for 25 minutes. Rotate pan, toss potatoes, and cook until potatoes and chicken are golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken's thigh reaches 165 degrees, about 25 minutes more. Let chicken and potatoes stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine ingredients. After 10 minutes, brush sauce on chicken and drizzle on potatoes.


jaira grace

welcome jaira

WELCOME to our new little niece Jaira Grace! Born to Chelsey and Jon on January 3rd.

We were blessed to be able to meet the precious peanut before returning to Texas.

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...some of my favorites:

A narwal I made for Paul (my secret santa) this year.

The first ornament my parents bought me as a baby.

A glittering red bird.

Two fuzzy sleeping bunnies.

Two little mice having tea.

and Mom's exquisitely-ornate angel scene in an egg shell.
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