May You

Dream more
Pray more
Love more
and listen more.

Here's to a fresh start.

First Day

The first snow came today. Woke up to a white cover on the town. Happy first day of Winter!

Chicago in Black & White

We try to make it up to the city when we can at Christmas time, so beautiful!  Here it is through the lens of my iPhone in black and white.

Hey Neighbor

Nothing better than getting a box of fresh baked cupcakes to your front door all wrapped in a bow.  These were chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and crushed peppermint. Merry Christmas Neighbors!

Baby, it's getting cold outside

When the Christmas music comes on and the lights start twinkling, I am a melting ball of Christmas cheer.  Ok, that's weird but it really was the first thing I thought of.  I bought my first tree ornament of the year yesterday- oh so sweet, makes my heart bigger.

Now this is a room I could sit in all holiday season long.


3 am

Do you remember those late nights in college when you stayed up till 3 am writing that paper that you knew about since the beginning of the semester when you saw it on your syllabus?  You typed those last words and closing statement, then had printer trouble till 5:30, took a shower and made it to class by 8.  Clearly I know way too much detail to have not done this before.

I pulled another one of those nights.  It wasn't as late as 3 am and I didn't have printer troubles, but I did stay up late creating- this time cupcakes. 289 of them to be exact.

Vanilla Bean-  Vanilla cake and vanilla bean cream cheese frosting

Chocolate Fudge- Chocolate cake, chocolate cream cheese frosting, fudge drizzle and white chocolate shavings

Caramel Apple- Apple cinnamon cake, cream cheese frosting, caramel drizzle and peanuts

Photos taken by Holly Birch Photography

Nothing More

There's nothing more I want on these rainy, chilly days then to be locked away in woodland cabin for the weekend.  My love, flannel blankets and coffee with warm sugar cookie creamer by my side.  I think this could work.  Gosh, it's lovely.


A good part of our life is spent waiting.  We wait for our latte' to get made, the light to turn green, the rain to stop so we can get out of our car and our computer to start up.

We wait for the latecomers to get to meetings and for the soup to warm up in the microwave, for the other girl to get out of the bathroom and for the clock to hit 5pm on a Friday.

We wait for our dinner to be served, for the bill to come, for our show to come on and for our stomach to stop rumbling after too many cookies and milk before bed.

But one thing we can't keep waiting for is doing something awesome.  What's the point in waiting, waiting for tomorrow or the next day.  Waiting until we have money or time or energy.  Stop waiting.

Something We Can Agree On

You could say that the man of the house and I have different tastes when it comes to decorating.  Although we've seemed to find things that we both like to put in our home, I know he would love to have the deer heads on the wall.  I understand the whole displaying your accomplishments type thing, but deer, pheasants, geese, ducks, fish can all stay in the wild for as far as I'm concerned.

Having animals on my wall makes me feel a little... queasy. I mean there just sitting there on the wall looking down and us and any guests that we might have.  Maybe if they had sunglasses or something, but gee it's like they're staring.

I think I found something we can agree on.

Expression of Thankfulness & Joy

I'm pretty sure my Math teachers passed me along so they could stop answering my non-stop questions.  I barely passed Math class with D minuses the whole way through.  I would sit at the kitchen table and do (try to do) my homework and cry and cry and cry.  Sob stories later, I realized this wasn't my thing.  My Math section of my brain must have been created itty bitty.

I was good at something else though.  Celebrating.  Give me a reason, any reason and I can make a celebration out of it.

Getting a new job?  Let's celebrate!
You got a new piercing?  Let's celebrate!
I found my watch that had been lost for a year?  Let's celebrate!

There's really no reason not worth celebrating.  It's an expression of thankfulness and joy, so party!

Happy Birthday Husband.


Sometimes I sit at dinner thinking- "What if some catastrophe happened and we weren't able to have dessert!?"  Like a power outage, tornado or the restaurant runs out.  Gosh, I have issues.  First world issues that I need to get over.  But until I get over them, here's the fix-Backwards dinner/date.

So the usual date might look something like this-

But... A backwards date-


What a stupendous idea.  I want to hug the person who decided this was ok for the world to do.

Here's what we started with.

Peaches and Cream Pie with Thai Basil Ice Cream.  It was gone in about 4 seconds.  We shared.  That's just plain silly.

Two Sticks of Butter

It's pretty, it's pink, it's delicious. The man of the house "doesn't like Rhubarb" Hmm that's weird because I don't think he'd ever tried it.  Why do people say that?  I do it too.  I don't like octopus.  Have I ever had it?  No.  Does it sound disgusting?  Yes.  Does it look like it has 16 eyes?  Yes again.

I was determined to make a believer out of him.

I had the Rhubarb farmer at the Farmer's Market help me pick out the best Rhubarb and texted my mom to get the recipe for Rhubarb Cobbler.   There's no way you can't like this concoction- Butter, oats, brown sugar and Rhubarb...  Now we're talking.

See those two sticks of butter?  Oh yeah, that's what I meant when I said there's no way you can't like this recipe...

If you're having company and you want a smell that makes people fall to their knees and melt to the ground when they get the first whiff, this is your poison.  Turns out my husband does in fact like Rhubarb now... He's turned a new leaf after the cobbler.  Thanks Mom.

Take a Peek

We've been in our little house for about a year.  Well I have, the man of the house moved in about two years ago.  I've put my little feminine touch on it in that time and I think it's finally coming around.

We have a mix of new and old.  We are avid fans of auctions and antique shops so those little gems fill our home.  I love imagining the stories behind each piece and giving those pieces a new home.

One of the pieces in our home has a lovely story behind it.  When we went to get our marriage license at the courthouse in the county we were to be married there was this Norman Rockwell painting on the wall.  It was of a couple getting their own marriage license.  We both noticed.

A few months later we were at an antique shop and saw the same painting.  I thought it was too expensive so I didn't get it.  Later, on our first wedding anniversary the man of the house handed me a gift, I opened, it was that painting.  Even better- the calendar on the wall inside that painting is our anniversary date!  ... Aweeee.

We're not done yet and I think I'll be sad when we are.  I love having a project, having that piece to look for and making our hideaway lovely.


I tried something new yesterday.  I am all about great eye catching packaging and labeling. So when I see something with these qualities it gets me every time.  I'm one of those gals who will pick the $7 peanut butter because of it's pretty packaging while the generic- and so much less pleasing to my eye- sits on the shelf beside for $2.  One of my weaknesses I guess, I just appreciate people who have taken time to make something look pretty.

I had a meeting at the cupcake shop in town- perfect place for a meeting by the way- and saw this pretty little drink.  It had a unique label, a fun font and a great bottle so I asked what it was. The hostess told me it was "Elderflower".  Elder-whatty?  I had no clue and no time to open my dictionary app so I went for it. 

I still can't put my finger on the taste of this drink, but it's something so lovely.  It's a soda- like drink with fresh flower tastes, pressed fruits and spices. The drink comes from Belvoir Farms in the UK.  The company is located at the Belvoir Castle estate in the countryside of Lincolnshire.  How
enchanting is that?

The soda is so refreshing and fresh, almost like the flowers and spices have just been squeezed into that bottle right before I got to the shop. I've decided that this is my new favorite drink, you just have to try it.

Belvoir Fruit Farms


Quick little Saturday afternoon project. I had this plain Jane wooden spoon holder and it was crying out for some pizazz. Much better.

Eat Cupcakes, Be Married

My dear friend asked me to do the dessert table for her wedding.  She was married in my hometown and it was a blast being able to be a little part of her huge day.  Here are the pictures taken by the lovely Kaitlyn Meeks.  You can find her here- kaitlynmeeks

Wedding Theme- Travel.  We added vintage suitcases and stamps to the dessert table along with the standard cake plates, sewing drawers, platters and cake plates.

S'more cupcake- chocolate cake, marshmallow icing, graham cracker crumbs and a Hershey square on top.

Red velvet cakes with cream cheese icing.

Vanilla bean cupcakes- white cake with vanilla bean frosting.

And the ever adorable peanut butter buttons cookies tied up in bakers twine.

If you'd like to talk about your own dessert table you can contact me at! Thanks to my lovely mom and grandma for all the help!



My friends made a cross country trip this week. 


 I could even handle a couple state trip.  I'm feeling that restless feeling.  I have that urge to pack up and get away with my love to see something I've never seen.  Take an adventure I've never taken.  And eat something I've never had.


Too Pretty

My "recipe box" is compiled of mismatched notebook paper, post-it notes and brown paper sacks.  They come ripped, torn and crinkled.  And most of them have the drippings of the recipe I made while the paper was lying on the counter. 

I've been looking at recipe cards for awhile just waiting for the perfect ones.  These get me pretty close to perfect.  They're from Rifle Paper Co. and they are lovely aren't they?  So pretty I would be reluctant to write on them.

My compilation really isn't a problem until I'm actually looking for one. Which who wants to find a recipe after they've made it? Um... Me.  I need help people.

Someone Once Said

Someone once said "A birthday isn't a birthday without a cupcake"

She's also writing this blog..

It was my dear friends birthday and for all I knew we weren't having cake.  Or a party.

This is a huge problem.  Like not the world's biggest problem, but definitely a problem.

Solution: Cupcake Buffet.

I made some vanilla cupcakes and gathered up a few toppings- blueberries, peanut butter cups, raspberries, graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips.  Let's not forget the sprinkles.  They make the party.

Brown Paper

I am probably the worst present wrapper on this city block.

Maybe a few blocks actually.

I get really frustrated when it won't crease perfectly and start to panic.  Once you fold there's that permanent line on the package, if you keep trying to re-fold it can rip.  Just so many issues.  So I pawn this job off to the man of the house.  He wraps, I make it look pretty.

I love brown paper.  It's so simple yet classy and you can pretty it up in a thousand different ways.  Twine is the same way.  Wrap it around 10 or 12 times and no one will be able to get into that present.  It's all about the anticipation right?

Those little banners are from a vintage encyclopedia and the mini clothespins are just darling.

Happy wedding day friends!

Hour Long Massages

You know that thing you don't get sick of?

Re runs of Full House

Pancakes on Saturday Mornings

Your birthday

You get my drift.

I've made this every day for lunch for the past week.  I take kind of berry, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil from my front porch.  I've used raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or whatever I pick up and just like hour long massages, not sick of it.

To Love




I ate half..

and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Plain Jane

Some things are just better plain.

Coffee- I add sugar, a flavored creamer, soy milk, ice and a pink straw...

Pizza-  I must have ranch or parmesan or hot sauce or you get the point.

Phones-  I don't know how I lived before without a phone who is basically a human being.

and not a Saturday night-  Those need to be full of great food, tons of laughing and staying out too late.

But a burger and fries can be plain.

And so can Jane.

bragging rights.

We all have them.  My mom has them on cooking, my dad has them on taking pictures and I have them for having the messiest closet ever.

And now my husband has them.  He has the bragging rights to the most wonderful dish he's ever made.


Ever since our trip to Florida, we are both pretty much obsessive when it comes to Cajun food- fish tacos, fried shrimp, gumbo and jambalaya.  We bought the ingredients for the Étouffée.  It's really a lot like gumbo- hot and jam packed with shrimp, vegetables, spices and love.  (Obviously because the man of the house made it for me).

I come home from work and the house smells like a million bucks!  Not literally because money smells awful- but it smelled like the beach restaurants we so dearly miss and I could not wait to try it!

Aren't those little shrimp dolls?  I want to put a little dress on them.  Ok- I'm drinking coffee and my mind keeps going to these crazy places.

 Oh my million bucks.  It was heavenly.  Really, I think if heaven has food- Étouffée will definitely be on the menu.  He did such a good job. The shrimp were cooked perfect, the flavors were intense and hot in the best way.  He added the rice on top and served it with cornbread.

Like I said, bragging rights.  And the key to my heart.