have a wonderful holiday!

Happy Christmas Eve!

The plan was to be in Kansas City right now… but holiday chaos acts in mysterious ways.

We were involuntarily bumped from our flight last night. So, we got ourselves back to our place for one more night in BK. We will be back at the airport later today. Not great, but Delta airlines was actually quite generous in their apology, so we are taking the Christmas delay in stride.

Chaos and all, I am excited to spend time with my family this week. I hope everyone has a magical night and a wonderful holiday!

it’s not so bad…

I am feeling discouraged today. The internet feels especially negative lately.

Let’s see if I can scrounge up some positives…

Leftover strawberry-rhubarb pie made by my friend, Lauren
“Super Bass” by Nikki Minaj
“Antiques Roadshow” went to Eugene, OR, and found a $500,000 Norman Rockwell painting!
Tonight is the kick-off for the fall Team In Training season – and Travis is training this season!!
List me a few more in the comments…

Off topic: Should I spring for HBO so that I can watch True Blood and Game of Thrones? Or, just wait it out and get ’em on Netflix?

four and twenty blackbirds

So….the sad news is that the cupcake trend seems to be losing steam… for a while I thought macarons might rise to fill the void, but they haven’t quite made the leap to main stream popularity. Recently, I wrote on AceDept.com about another dessert trend contender: Pie!

There is a “micro-neighborhood” near us in Brooklyn called Gowanus (because it is located along the Gowanus canal) and NY Magazine has named it as one of the next up and coming neighborhoods. I believe them mostly because of Four & Twenty Blackbirds, a new, adorably named, totally hip pie shop on the border between Park Slope and Gowanus. The shop was opened by two sisters from South Dakota late last year and their pie has received excellent reviews.

Travis and I walked over to Four & Twenty Blackbirds Saturday morning. It is not the greatest walk for us, along busy, industrial roads, but it was worth it. The shop was about half-full of customers sitting at tables and the girl behind the counter was patient with me as I tried to decide which pies to try. After much deliberation, I ordered the salted caramel apple pie and the lemon chess pie, plus an “egg in a nest” that you see Crusher begging for below.

I didn’t want overly high expectations to ruin my pie experience, but I had heard a lot of hype about Four & Twenty Blackbirds, so it was hard to go into the tasting in a neutral mind set. The good news? The pie did not disappoint! Travis and I loved both pies.

I love pie, but I often don’t want to eat the crust — it seems like a waste of calories. Not so for this pie crust! It was buttery and chewy and delicious. For me, a crust that I WANT to eat is the ultimate test, but the fillings were certainly good as well. Neither pie was too sweet, but still full of flavor. The salted caramel apple is supposedly a customer favorite. The apples were thinly cut and tender and I loved the addition of the salted crust. However, I was surprised that Travis liked the lemon chess pie the best. Usually lemon is not his thing, but we fought over each bite of the delicious lemon custard. Yum!

Gowanus is a bit out of the way for most New Yorkers, but if you find yourself in the neighborhood, I definitely recommend stopping by Four & Twenty Blackbirds for pie.

happy 3rd birthday, Crusher!

My sweet, little puppy turns three years old today! We aren’t having much of a party, but he is getting plenty of treats.

Crusher has a strong personality – independent and demanding – but he is a great part of our family. He always wants to sit right between Travis and me on the couch and will only sleep if he can have the middle spot in the bed. He sits right beside me while I work at the computer each day and he knows when Travis gets home. He goes out to the living room each night to wait for him at six pm and does a squealing dance when Travis walks in the door. He loves it when we go out in the neighborhood to hunt for food (i.e. buy it at a shop while he waits outside) and proudly escorts our score back to our apartment with a little prance in his step. He takes his job as the protector of our apartment very seriously and he always wants to be a part of whatever Travis and I are doing. (Unless it involves wearing miniature top hats.) Basically, he is the best dog in the world.

be my valentine

I had the most fun birthday weekend (thanks to wonderful friends and family) and I can’t wait to tell you about it, but today I am thinking about all the things I love…

I LOVE sunny skies and melting snow!
I LOVE my little dog, even though he did NOT enjoy his Valentine portrait.
I LOVE leftover birthday cake. (And the awesome friend who made it!)
I LOVE leftover birthday balloons.
I LOVE texting <3
I LOVE heart-shaped candy.
I LOVE my new Ernie the envelope buttons for Swap-bot.
I LOVE this.
I LOVE that Justified is back on.
I LOVE that painter, Jasper Johns, is receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
I LOVE take out for dinner!
I LOVE staying in on Valentine’s Day with my true love.
I LOVE you!

birthday month off to a good start…

That is the view Travis sees every morning when he wakes up, Crusher and me sleeping side by side. We usually sleep at least a half hour later than Travis. Crusher is so cute — he will pretend to be asleep until I am ready to get up.

Today is the first day of my birthday month. If I truly had my choice of what to do for the whole month, I think I would choose to stay in bed for much of it. Is that horrible? Am I lazy? I definitely get enough sleep, but I could always use more. I love sleeping!

I feel guilty about how much I sleep because early risers always seem to have the moral upper hand. “Early bird catches the worm” and that sort of thing…

What do you think? Is sleeping too much a waste of time? And, why can’t I be one of those people (I’m looking at you, Martha Stewart) who only needs four hours of sleep a night?!

the hipster life

I finally got my rear end back to another Etsy Labs Craft Night!! It was so fun — I don’t know why I don’t attend every week! I went with my friends, Jessica & Lisa, and we made fringe scarves with Erica Domesek of the blog and new book, P.S. I Made This.

I haven’t had an excess of time to devote to crafting lately, but I still enjoy following the DIY-ish P.S. I Made This blog for its style and beautiful inspiration collages. Plus, I am totally impressed by Erica’s jump from the web to publishing a book! I had to buy it.

The fringe scarves were super-easy to make from an old t-shirt. Basically you cut off the top of the shirt with the sleeves, then fringe the bottom of the remaining “t-shirt-tube” — simple! They are totally hipster-ish, so I am not sure I have the confidence to rock the fringe scarf on a daily basis, but I had to let Crusher try it on…

I’m going to submit his photo to Hipster Puppies!!

my pet

This post is based on the blogging prompt “Do you have any pets? Put a blog post up about them – and don’t forget to include some pics!” from IndieBizChicks’ September Blogging Special.

my sweet puppy

This is my sweet little pup, Crusher, enjoying some late summer sun at Prospect Park. (I think everyone who reads my blog already knows about Crusher… I am a little bit crazy about him! He is a two-year-old Boston Terrier & Chihuahua mix.) He had to go to the vet today because he has an ear infection. He got some medicine and also some good news: he has lost 8 ounces! yay! He still needs to lose about 8 more, but at least we are on the right track. What a good dog!

FYI: If you are a Brooklynite looking for a vet, I highly recommend 6th Ave Animal Clinic. The staff and doctors are all awesome. Dr. Perry is our main veterinarian and she is extremely nice and down to earth. Plus, I can always get an appointment quickly.