November 28, 2012

an abrupt transition

One of my favorite favorite favorite favorite things in life is the bread and butter pickle. 

I would just pop open the jar and eat so many pickles growing up, that my mom affectionately named me the "pickle puss." I would always snag them off of her sandwiches and the ones on her plate used as a garnish, but those kinds aren't nearly as good as a nice, crispy bread and butter chip.

Which is why I decided that one of my fall activities this year needed to be making my own pickles. I guess I never realized how easy it would be. Pickling is kind of a set-it-and-forget-it crock-pot mentality, and tell me - who doesn't love that? I couldn't be happier with my results. I used this recipe from Recipe Girl and they might be the best ones I've ever had! (That's saying a lot.)

yum yum yum - look how beautiful and tantalizing. 

And let's just say I'm glad I made them Monday night when I did, because I was definitely down to the wire in being able to call it a "fall activity." This is what I woke up to Tuesday morning:

Big fat flakes fell from before I woke up at 8 until about 2pm. Winter is fast approaching in Eastern PA. Even though winter doesn't technically start for another few weeks, I judge by snowfall, because snow changes everything. 

So the pickles just made their cut off. You gotta try 'em. 

November 14, 2012

mountaintop wedding

We're finally home from our San Diego/Massachusetts marathon wedding experience. Here are some shots of the joyous festivities!

We spent rehearsal dinner afternoon with this motley crew in Seaport. Where is Ella's other shoe? Lord only knows.
The rehearsal was so chilly! Check out that sunset though. Crazy.
Practicing "I do's".

Catching my big bro's eye with beaming smiles.

Bridesmaids - Dealing with a potential dress issue in the wind :)

Groomsmen, lookin' fly in their chambray & boots.

One of two studly ring bearers.

The girls, doing their job. Look at how the groomsmen are all looking at them so endearingly. I love it.

Anxiously awaiting his bride. He looked so dang good.

My beautiful sister-in-law :) Exchanging tearful vows & praying together.

Bam. The deed is done. Can't believe it!

Lucky enough to be escorted by someone I know :)

The Mr. & Mrs. making their big entrance!

Their first dance.

The bridesmaids were enthralled with every little moment of the first dance...

....groomsmen? Not so much ;)

Under the market lights during Brad's toast - where the amazing dance party later unfolded.

Hope you enjoyed a snippet of the day! It was a whirlwind, but absolutely beautiful and blessed in every way. Cheers to the new Papias.

Photos courtesy of Mom :)

November 6, 2012

round 2.

Welcome back, Barack.

I'm excited and more than willing to let you finish what you've started.
Lord, bless our president and our country. It's ultimately in your hands.

October 31, 2012

a very warm halloween

We celebrated Halloween early this year with a Fall Family Festival in Santa Barbara at Landon's church last Saturday. Will may kill me for posting this, but here we are: geriatric Superman and pumpkin pie. 

Today we're going to tour the Midway aircraft carrier (a naval aviation museum) and explore Seaport Village. Some good ol' touristy fun.

Enjoy your candy everyone :)

October 30, 2012

santa barbara is mighty nice.

Such a beautiful place, and a fabulous time spent with a dear friend and his family. 
Santa Barbara, we'll  most likely be back.

In San Diego now, and only three more days until the wedding!

October 26, 2012

news as of late.

I’ve been awakened to all that is Downton Abbey. I never usually follow TV shows as they’re airing, but seriously. How many of you knew about this and didn’t force me to watch it? I can’t remember life before it and I wait for season three with bated breath. 

I got a job as a Stylist at the most fabulous store: Madewell. Go to the site. Look, shop, and drool over everything. If you come to the King of Prussia Mall (largest on the east coast mind you), I’ll help you fashion a fabulous outfit. I know that I once stated that I could never be a fashion blogger because I love to dress frumpy, but maybe now I’ll be inspired to post photos of what I wear to work. Gotta look fly, friends. And it’s so awesome to work in a place that is fashion-forward. My last place of employment could barely handle my bright pink J.Crew chinos. If I do get gutsy and post outfit photos, we can call it off-the-job advertising. We’ll see. No promises. 

Remember our ridiculous summer away from home? Well we just embarked on another three weeks away. We’re currently in Santa Barbara visiting a dear college friend, then we're off to San Diego for my brother’s wedding. In just 8 days, we’ll be at the most incredible mountain-top Southern California party wedding, and we’ll inherit a new sister-in-law! Will and I are both in the wedding, which is fun, and we’re so excited to have time away for a destination wedding with so many family members and friends. My brother and I are incredibly close, so I feel like this wedding will be more enjoyable for me than my own - almost all the same people, except the attention won’t be on me so I can actually chill and relax (not to mention eat a full meal and have time to dance)! Then after the west coast party, we head back to Massachusetts for the east coast party. The fun never stops, friends.

[my brother on the far left, Landon from Santa Barbara on the far right]

I painted our front door a lovely shade of eggplant. I’ll post a photo when we get home. I really like it.

We rescued six adorable baby red squirrels from our backyard. The mom had abandoned them for hours so we grew worried. We called an animal rehabber who has us box them up and drive them to her house - where she and her husband are currently raising like 70 abandoned squirrels until they’re old enough to be released. Can you even fathom that?! But she sent us a few photos of them to let us know they’re progressing well. Here are some of our little friends at roughly 6-7 weeks old.

Well I suppose that’s all for now. I’m never good at posting on the road (and not even that great when I’m stationary), but I’ll try to send some goodies from our next three weeks of travel!

October 14, 2012

fresh healthy lunch

As the weather has turned extraordinarily fall-like, I decided it was high time to try making a butternut squash soup and it was delicious. I've never made the kind of soup that needs to go for a spin in the blender or food processor, but I'm totally sold. Try the recipe here! I also added some cinnamon and nutmeg, because I was slightly appalled that there were no autumnal spices involved.

And for the dressing - I just really love it when my food doesn't have ingredients involving the words "gum", "sorbate" or the ever-popular "high fructose corn syrup."

Check out these highly disturbing websites about what is 
probably in your salad dressing, and then try the recipe below!

Homemade Honey Dijon Vinaigrette dressing

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients together and then blend for about 10 seconds in the blender.
Let sit for 30 minutes for flavors to meld, then serve.

adapted from

Enjoy this beautiful fall day!

October 2, 2012

the inspiration station

Now that we're finally getting settled into our new home, it's time to start adding more of the finishing touches. When you first arrive in a place, there's the basic unpacking, the repeated arranging and rearranging of furniture - but you really feel like you live in a place when your stuff is finally up on walls and every inch of every room just feels like you.

Our place is starting to feel that way :) What I'm working on next is my desk area. In this house, I have space to have a legitimate desk of my own and do crafts! We have this landing on the second floor that has room for a desk for me, a desk for Will and a craft table. Wowza. So thrilled. 
I shall call my area the inspiration station.

Here are some ideas that are fueling my organization of this space:

via Say Yes to Hoboken

                             via A Blog Named Scout

via Maya

As you may have gathered, here's what I'm into - white and clean neutral colors, plants, organic materials, color-blocking, dip-dying, organization to the max and a slight vintage flair.

I've already color-blocked some cans for my markers, colored pencils and paint brushes and I intend to make that wall organizer and rope bowl soon! I might dip dye the legs of the bench I'm using and recover it, but my biggest challenge will be keeping plants alive. Alas.

I'll keep working on it and take some photos when it's presentable!

September 24, 2012

musings on community

Not the TV show. Although while up in Mass, our dear friends introduced it to us and we love it.

But this is more about real community. Real life people in the flesh - not even Facebook community. Will and I have been "living" in PA now for almost four months and it's time we start analyzing what this community thing will look like in our lives. It's hard to believe we've been here so long because, well, we've barely been here. But I've been having conversations with various friends lately about the role community needs to play in our lives, and ultimately, a church family.

I'm struggling with the thought of embracing a new church family. Or even the idea of making new friends. Is that ridiculous? I've moved, and maybe I have to accept that, but in my mind - I already have my friends. I'm not really looking for more. I am so blessed to have one of these dearest friends living less than a half hour away now and another 40 minutes away, but that's it - and it's not close enough. And the rest are back up in Massachusetts.

One of the reasons this might be so tough for me is that I once lived in an intentional community with thirteen other people... three years ago! Whoa. Has it been that long, guys? We cooked meals together, grocery shopped together, read the Word together, turned our kitchen into a Starbucks and did homework together, sled down the stairs on mattresses together. It was quite literally, ideal.

I fear now that I have such a high standard for community in my life because these people changed mine forever. These people are my truest friends because we've gone through so much together: many break-ups, graduating, and now four weddings in the group - these friends are the only community I want. They've ruined me :)

The problem I have now is this: another one among us got married last weekend up in Massachusetts, and like I said in my last post, I knew that wedding was going to hold so much joy - obviously because of the two lives joining, but also because we were reunited with that community. And I was on cloud nine the entire weekend. A bunch of us got together on Saturday night and my throat was sore with laughter. We all talked about living together once again and fought about where we'd be located. Emily and I were, of course, making a strong case for Pennsylvania.

I was already having a tough time coming around to the idea of new community, but after being around them all again, I fear I have dug my heels in even deeper. What do you think God calls us to concerning community? Is it a "grow where you're planted" sort of thing, or can you take on the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" attitude..?

I think that God has given us all gifts to share with one another, and that His plan would be that the church (the greater church - His people) gather together and share of themselves to help each other grow. So I know that means we obviously need to find a church down here (which we've started to research), but that probably also means more than just showing up on Sunday mornings. It probably means joining small groups and ministries and starting all over from scratch. Which to be honest, is a completely exhausting thought.

I already have at least 8-10 people who know everything about me. All of my dirt, my shame, my sins, my shortcomings, where I find joy. Is it wrong to just want to keep it at that - even states away? I was praying today that God would convict me if this attitude is selfish or short-sighted in His greater plan. But any thoughts that this community can share about new friends or how you've dealt with a move would be greatly appreciated.

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but I definitely have another gift to share:

The joy experienced in a true community and the 
blessing of such dear friends that stand the test of time and space.

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