Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bright Ideas

I've never really had the option or responsibility of choosing where I will call home, until now. It's always been sort of pre-determined: I grew up where my parents lived, I moved to a city where my college was, and then to New York City, where my career is based.

Now this new chapter, this up-in-the-air relocation across the pond, presents a new challenge: Where will we settle down and try to start our new life? There have been a variety of options, regions, towns and cities considered, but I think Steve and I have finally come to agreement on our ideal future home location.

First, I want to start by listing out my personal home-picking criteria, which played a big factor in coming to our little plan.

1. City versus town atmosphere - I've lived in NYC for the past 3 years, and Philadelphia for 4 years before that. Although I grew up in a small town, and it's lovely, I have a natural fast-paced city attention span, and I like to be in a busy environment with plenty to do and see. I love the multi-cultural melting pot atmosphere that can be found in cities, as well as accessibility and proximity to public transportation.

2. Proximity to a port - As a self-proclaimed foodie, I've gotten very used to the availability of a wide variety of super-fresh vegetables, meats, and fish, and it's just not as possible to access great food when one is land locked. Cities will also (usually) be closer to airports for international travel opportunity. Not to mention, I'm a beach junkie (I love living about 20 minutes from several great beaches here in NYC) so I would like to be within a short walk or drive to the shore.

3. Jobs - Well, let's be honest, there are more jobs in larger populated areas. Although Steve can do his job just about anywhere, I need to be in a bigger town or city, and his job will definitely have a higher earning potential in a city as well.

4. Family & friends - While my family will be about 3,000 miles away, it's great to have all of my husband's relatives and friends within arms reach. I mean, they're my fam now too, so I don't want to be hours and hours away.

So, our conclusion: Brighton.
I love Brighton Beach here in Brooklyn. In fact, my old roommate & best friend just got a new apartment down there, and we've already been dropping in uninvited a few times. It just seems funny to me that we might end up in Brighton across the pond, too!
We agreed that we both want to live somewhere where there is plenty to do & see, a great multicultural grocery scene for me to explore, and beautiful scenery. It's about an hour and a half drive from the in-laws, so it's close enough for a visit, but not close enough for an unexpected one (wink wink). I think that Brighton is going to be absolutely perfect, so here's to crossing our fingers and making the next step!

All found images

Monday, July 21, 2014

More Magical Moments

I was really thrilled to wake up this morning to an email from my great friend and wedding photographer Naomi. Photos from my wedding reception last month have been finished, and I'm so excited to share a few more. Glancing through, I am reminded of how unbelievably fun that day was. Just, perfect. Family, friends, and unbridled fun. Memories to last a lifetime.

Steve's family (this is one of my favorite shots) 


 A much less dignified type of dancing

 My  momma

Some of my closest friends - we go way back

 Om nom nom cake

Who knows? 

My oldest (and most handsome) friend/ex-roommate, Greg 

My worse half Dave and I, in the throws of a singalong 

A happy man.


A combination of summer's finest seasonal ingredients, and my recent wanderings in Brighton Beach (known as "Little Russia" to the Brooklyn locals), has left me with a craving for beets.

Red, ripe, naturally sweet - I love them picked or steamed, in salads and soups. One of my favorite summer foods from my childhood was my mom's pickled eggs & beets, the eggs stained burgundy with the vinegary sweetness of the beet-infused pickling liquid.

This time, I whipped up a quick beet soup - it's super simple and, if you omit the yogurt or sour cream garnish, it's vegan too!

You'll Need:
2 medium sized red beets, peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes
1/2 one yellow onion, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped 
1tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp lemon zest 
White pepper
Black pepper
Sea salt 

For the Garnish: 
Greek yogurt (or sour cream) 
Fresh dill (or parsley)

Add beets, onion, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper to a medium saucepan.
Fill with water just to the top of the beets, and bring to a boil.
Simmer until the beets are fork tender (the softness you'd want potatoes to be for mashed potatoes)
Add lemon zest just at the end, and remove from the heat.

Using a stick (immersion) blender, puree until smooth.
Garnish with Greek yogurt, or sour cream, and some fresh dill.