We get by with a little help from our friends

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men and new homeowners sure have gone awry. This weekend I showed up to Radley Cottage with a trunk full of new tile, mortar and grout, ready to start making our bathroom shiny again. The bathroom renovation has been on our to do list for months and now that the holidays (and many amazing visitors) have come and gone, we can afford to tear the thing apart. I had planned that this tile laying would take one, maybe one and a half weekends total. That plan was literally flooded out of the house when we arrived late Friday evening to the sound of something rushing and spraying inside the house. We found the handle had burst off of the hot water in the tub and water had been shooting strait out at such a force for who knows how long. The entire house was drenched in condensation, like it was sitting inside of a giant sauna.

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What We’re Reading: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists”

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Of course, there’s no arguing that sentiment here.

Recently, the country of Sweden gave this book to ALL sixteen year old students. I’m not an educator, nor do I know many young people. But as soon as I do, I’ll be gifting them this little jem. It’s a really fast read and in fact, you can finish it in about the same time it might take to eat a muffin or listen to the TEDx Talk that inspired the written version (linked below), so there’s really no excuse not to pick it up.

Feminists get a bad rap, but Adichie’s manifesto is nothing but positive, forward thinking and inclusive. Even when siting systemic oppression or horrific acts of violence toward women to prove a point, the motive is not to dwell on those most depressing facts, but to inform and empower a generation to change. We are so much more than our pasts. As Adichie says, we have evolved.

Also, its small enough to fit into a stocking! Happy Holidays!

Celebrating Diwali

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Last week one of my best friends and I took an adventure out to Queens.  A little history on us: She grew up in Bangalore and has essentially made my life complete by moving just a few blocks away. Isn’t that every separated BFF’s dream? We went to college together, worked together, were roommates senior year and I’ve traveled to India with her twice. In school and throughout our travels we’ve always collaborated and made work together- so it just made sense to take a quick trip to the Little India of NYC -Jackson Heights- and document our adventure.


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PAPRIKA

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For some reason, I NEVER use paprika. I always think of it as a flavorless red dust that’s primary use is to add color to The Deviled Egg. I got this cute and fancy one from a shoot and the smokey smell has knocked my socks off! This is not the paprika I am used to. Now, what do I cook with it?

Waging War on Wisteria

My biggest project so far has been waging war on the wisteria that had infested my beloved pines. Really, I feel in love with this property because of the trees on it but somehow didn’t notice the massive wisteria situation we had going on. Maybe it’s because at the beginning of the summer the vines didn’t have tons of leaves? Who knows. Anyway, I was baffled. Sure, wisteria is beautiful if/when if blooms, but it’s super invasive and it is slowly killing my prized Norway Spruce pines! Everyone said it is impossible to get rid of. I googled and I read everything I could find online before calling a landscaper.

one pine with the wisteria growing up to the top

one pine with the wisteria growing up to the top.

I could feel it suffocating the tree. No light was getting to the inner branches. I felt so bad for the trees and I grew to hate the wisteria. It literally has no structure of its own, it depends completely on the tree and as soon as its cut it falls flat. I don’t like those tendencies much in humans either.

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a closeup of the same tree – the wisteria is the fern-y leafy bunches.

When the landscaper came, he told me he’d have to cut the two trees down. Uh, bye Felicia!

Nobody’s cutting down my trees.

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Introducing Radley Cottage

me with our money tree in front of the house

me with our first purchase -a money tree- in front of the house.

Well, we need help with the name. “Radley” is a combination of his last name and mine, and cottage is all we can agree on, though “mountain haus,” “chalet,” and “izba” have been thrown out as options. Leave your suggestions in the comments!

I should apologize for being a lazy blogger as of late, but rest assured I have not been lazy IRL. Continue reading

Iced Fresh Ginger and Tumeric Tea

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Last month, I road tripped with a friend halfway across America.  At the very end of our long trip, we woke up deep in the woods, in a gorgeous house on a rushing river. Life couldn’t be more picturesque or more perfect. Then as I groggily stumbled out of my temporary bedroom, I was offered a cup of the most delicious hot tea I’ve ever tasted. Crushed fresh ginger, turmeric, cloves and loads of black pepper came together to create her “witches brew,” as she called it. Each sip made me feel like my body was getting stronger, my soul was reviving and for a second I thought, Continue reading

Get What You Want, When You Want It

My reward for not taking no for an answer: taking in this view all weekend!

My reward for not taking no for an answer: taking in this view all weekend!

At this risk of sounding totally bratty, I’ll admit that much of my life I’ve felt and acted quite entitled. I’m very much a product of my parent’s upbringing, which was to assure me that I could “be and do anything you want” or with hard work, “accomplish anything you want.” As a child and teenager I was a daddy’s girl and there wasn’t much I longed for that I couldn’t have. Some of that would quickly change while I was in college and the economy crashed, my parents almost declared bankruptcy, I graduated when the job market was the worst it’s ever been (at least, in my lifetime) and I had to learn to fend for myself. Continue reading

Men Who Stand for Women’s Rights: Jimmy Carter

This TED Talk by former President Jimmy Carter is one of the most refreshing things to come across my news feed in months! It’s not often that an old, white man has such an empathetic view on women’s civil rights that takes the side of the feminists, but Jimmy Carter does it here with such a natural passion! Continue reading

Beef Roast + Cilantro and Kale “Chimichurri”

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I’m almost always cooking for my whole household, which is an untraditional 3+ people. I live with my fiancé, two amazing friends and often we have more people over…our apartment is kind of a hub for wandering friends, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Continue reading