our e-session - part two

For the second part of our e-session, we went to downtown Salisbury. There are a lot of cool nooks and crannies down there that I have never noticed before.

The first part of our e-session is here.

{all images by Gillette Portrait Arts}


our e-session - part one

For the first part of our e-session, we took pictures at the FH's grandfather's house. Now, in the first couple of pictures, you may notice that we look a little sweaty and tired. Well, Peyton got out of her collar (she DID NOT want to pose) and we spent 20 minutes running around in the hot sun trying to catch her. This is also why there are no pictures of her with her tongue in.

It was also super windy that day, so my hair was NOT going to stay in place. But besides the FH and I wishing we were each 10 pounds lighter, the pictures turned out pretty well. Raye takes absolutely amazing pictures. She is so talented! I know I have said this before but I highly recommend her if you are in this area. She is so laid back and easy to work with. We felt comfortable with her immediately. So here are the first set - others to come later.

Hope you enjoyed them! More to come later...

{all images by Gillette Portrait Arts}


a little green baby

I have been attempting to grow food. My herbs are doing decent but after the Italian parsley practically died, I figured it would be safer to take them out of the heat and bring them inside. The parsley is coming back (three little sprigs!).

Outside I have a tomato bush and a strawberry bush in containers. The strawberries are doing decent but I don't think I will ever grow them again until I am able to plant them the ground. I am not sure the lady at Lowes knew what she was talking about. They grow out and not up and it doesn't really have room to grow in the container we put it in so there has really only been like a cup and a half of strawberries over the past month and a half.

I was getting really worried about my tomato plant. It started to get all these weird bumps on it. Is that normal?
But then I went out today and saw a little green tomato! Maybe I am doing something right after all (even though I have no idea what I am doing)!
I am definitely not a gardener but I have always dreamt of having my own vegetable, herb and fruit garden. Any advice is welcomed!


shabby apple

FINALLY!! A store that sells dresses that actually cover. For a lot of people this isn't a problem. But as a person with a larger chest, I am constantly having to a put a tank top under dresses or wear a cardigan that covers my upper half. And for the most part, it is nearly impossible to find appropriate dresses for work.

I always said I should have gone into fashion design to create cute bras and clothes that fit on larger breasted girls.

Enter Shabby Apple, an online shop devoted to "A return to what dresses were always meant to be — a one-piece outfit. No need to add anything...no tank tops, no cardigans, nothing (except accessories, of course!)."

And what can be better than a place with dresses, dresses and more dresses!! They have shoes and accessories as well. I haven't ordered anything yet but I plan to. Here are some of my favorites:

They also have bridesmaid and maternity dresses, as well as swimwear and work-out clothes.

I can't take credit for finding this site, though. Elizabeth, at e tells tales featured some dresses on her blog. Thanks!!


my dream home

I wish I could live near the French countryside but considering the FH's job will always keep him in Salisbury, I don't think that is going to happen. Luckily, there is a lot of "countryside" to be had around here.

The FH and I have very opposite tastes. He likes things that are very classic and traditional while I like a rustic, more wild style. In other words, he likes manicured flower beds and I like vines that grow up old houses. But I am sure we can make it work.

I LOVE this house:
Isn't it perfectly charming?? Oh and that green door! Fabulous! I would love this far away from all the other houses and the road. A few vines growing up the outside. And a big backyard - big enough for the dog to run around and lots of room for a vegetable garden and fruit trees. This house in a field would be nice with a few trees around. LOVE IT!

Inside I would like a lot of exposed beams like these:

And I would like an long, old farmhouse table so that we can have huge feasts (made from the food I grew in my garden). Preferably, I will find the table from an old lumber salvage yard.

And I am not sure yet if I want a rustic "white" kitchen or a rustic "dark" kitchen.

I guess I will tackle the outside later. Whew! All this hypothetical planning is a lot of work.

Now the question is: where do we find a house like this in Salisbury?

{images found here, here, here, here, here, and here}


grand opening - designblanc

I know I have been MIA lately. But I had a good reason. I have been working on opening my Etsy shop, designblanc, which you can find here. Please stop by for some unique, handmade jewelry. Here are the first listings:

I am so excited about my new shop! And if any etsy sellers want to give me any advice - my ears are open. I am hoping to post some more items in the next week.


fried pho

I had left over cooked pho noodles and a craving for fried rice. Fried Pho was born! Surprisingly this recipe is not so terrible for you - I calculated it to be around 230 calories. I really cut down on the oil. I figured since the pho is such a soft noodle it really didn't need that much. I really eyeballed this so play around with it. Sorry I don't have a picture.


serves 2 as a side/serves 1 as an entree

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 spring onion, chopped, white and green parts separated
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup frozen mixed chopped vegetables (like peas and carrots or whatever you like)
4 oz cooked pho noodles
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon butter

1. Heat oil in a frying pan or wok. Cook onion until fragrant. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
2. Put garlic, white parts of spring onion, and vegetables in pan and fry for about a minute.
3. Put in cooked noodles and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring every so often.
4. Add soy sauce and cook for about 2 minutes and then add butter and cook for about more 2 minutes or cook until desired texture. (I like mine a little crunchy.)
5. Add green parts of spring onions.

Let me know what you think...


taking the week off

So I think I am going to take the week off from blogging. The FH is out of town so this is probably a good time to finish those few things I have been wanting to accomplish. I thought it might be useful to take a mini blogging vacation. Here are some things I would like to finish:

1. Straighten up the house

2. Decrease the size of the ever-expanding laundry basket

3. Exercise

4. Make some jewelry

5. Make a skirt with the polka dot fabric I bought months ago

6. Enjoy this beautiful weather

7. Shop and prepare food for a friend's beach bachlorette weekend

8. Find gold shoes to go with the dress for said-friend's wedding

9. Cook some new food

10. Create a summer reading list (any ideas?)

11. Take Peyton for longer walks

Can I get it all finished in the next couple of days? I hope so. Otherwise, I may have to extend this vacation...


my love affair with chipotle (and how it came all the way to salisbury for me)

I first met Chipotle my junior year of high school, about six years ago. I grew up in Baltimore County in the Cockeysville area and, back then, the only Chipotle around was past the circle in Towson. My friend Alissa introduced us. She drove me there for dinner and helped me figure out what the hell you were supposed to do. I remember I had a chicken fajita burrito. It was so huge I couldn't even eat it all. And man was it cheap.

Later, I realized that I really liked the veggie fajita burrito and I could actually finish it. (And back then you could eat it for way under five bucks! I feel like it was $4.25.) This has pretty much been my staple ever since. Sometimes I add corn, sometimes I don't get sour cream, and sometimes I eat it as a burrito bowl with chips.

One year in college I decided that most people only like either the onions or the peppers. I am an onion person and pick most of my peppers out. Others I know pick the onions out. I wrote Chipotle to ask them to separate the onions from the peppers. I started a facebook group to support the cause. They are still in one container.

In the summer of 2008, before my senior year (well, senior semester) of college, I wrote Chipotle to see if their restaurants were franchised. I knew I would be moving to Salisbury soon to be with my fiance and there wasn't even one Chipotle on the Eastern Shore. The FH and I knew how profitable one would be near the college. They wrote me back saying that they were company-owned.

So I checked to see what Chipotle looked for when coming to an area. I wrote them back that we had a big hospital, a large employer (Perdue), a university (SU), another university nearby (UMES), and Salisbury just keeps growing and growing. They wrote me back that they hoped to see me in Salisbury soon.

The FH picked me up for lunch last Thursday. We rarely go far up Route 13 for lunch but that day we went out of our way and this is what I saw:

So what did I do as we drove past? Well, I lost all control of my brain and body. I started banging on the car window like a crazy person and starting screaming - no, actually, shrieking would describe it better. The FH looked a little surprised and scared by my reaction.

Chipotle is scheduled to open in August so I guess I will be fighting all the crazy college kids but fight, I will. When you're crazy in love, nothing will stop you from seeing each other.

Next question: Does Trader Joe's want to have a threesome?


a sunkissed glow with carrots

One of my best friends from high school, Tanya, has the luxury of being a beautiful Mediterranean mut. Even in the winter she never turns white pale. Her parents gave her beautiful olive skin in the winter and glowing bronze skin in the summer.
But then I came across a post from the kitchn saying that eating vegetables high in carotenoids will give you a natural looking glow. And Tanya is obsessed with carrots. OBSESSED! I always I make sure I have carrots in the fridge when she comes over just in case.
You can read the blog post here. I think I am going to go cut up some carrots (and rub on some spf)...