My Newest Jewelry Designs

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Just in time for holiday shopping, the jewelry designs that I’ve been working on all season are finally completed and ready for purchase in my Etsy shop!

I am so excited to share these designs in part because I am really proud of them.




I love the color combinations and the balance of wire work and beading that I created.

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But mostly I’m excited to share them because I am so ridiculously pumped about how incredible these photos look!

I don’t tend to think of myself as an especially successful person in any traditional sense, but one of my greatest accomplishments in life has been to surround myself with so many smart, talented and inspiring women. Among this group is my dear friend, Naomi, an amazing photographer who took all of these wonderful photographs for me. I basically handed her all of the jewelry and told her to do whatever she thought would look good and, as always, Naomi did not disappoint.

If you live in the Baltimore/DC area and are ever looking for a great photographer who is an absolute joy to work with, seriously, look no further than Naomi at Urban Row Photography. She’s amazing and delightful and she’ll make you look great in pictures even if you’re like me and you don’t know how to smile naturally or rarely manage to keep your eyes open.

To check out the rest of the photos, and purchase my newest designs, please visit my Etsy shop. You can take $5 off your purchase by entering the coupon code MARKET at checkout.

Happy holiday shopping everyone!






Quinoa Salad With Maple Vinaigrette

Our neighborhood had a potluck gathering last night. It was so nice to have an opportunity to meet all of our new neighbors and relax on a beautiful early fall evening, chatting and drinking and getting to know everyone. All of the people we met were wonderfully kind and interesting and we felt instantly welcomed into the neighborhood. It was a great night.

Since I was working yesterday and D was busy running errands all day (we still have a lot of settling in work to do!) we didn’t have a lot of time to fix something for the potluck. Needing something quick, but good for sharing, I found this Quinoa Salad. Tossed with pears, baby spinach, and chickpeas in a maple vinaigrette dressing and topped with pecans, it was full of fall flavors. Hearty, but still light, it was a perfect side salad. I’m sure I’ll be making this again in the months to come and I’m thinking it will pair really well with chicken in an apricot or cranberry sauce.

After a very long, busy week of work last week, I am excited to take the day off today. There are a lot of house-related things that I need to get done, but I am very tempted to spend the day on the couch, just relaxing and recouping. In the next few weeks I’ll be launching a new line of designs for my jewelry store, so perhaps I’ll spend the day getting a few more pieces ready for sale. Here’s a sneak peek of what I’ve been working on!




Recipe Rundown

A while back, my phone broke and I lost a bunch of my photos, including most of the pictures I had taken of the recipes I’d made. So in lieu of individual posts with yummy photographs that make you go, “ooh, I want to make this tonight,” I’m going to hit you with a barrage of links to a bunch of stuff I’ve made and enjoyed over the past few months. Some of these are not especially seasonal since I made them back when the air was cold and there was ice on the ground (don’t miss those days!), but they are definitely worth checking out and at least bookmarking for the future.

Pumpkin Sage Polenta (you can use cornmeal to make the polenta).

Red Lentil and Squash Curry Stew

Chickpea Fritters

Shrimp with Bacon and Collards (D made this recipe. He left out the bacon and before he covered the collards to steam, he dumped a bunch of Old Bay in with them. It was delicious.)

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake (I served this with vanilla ice cream instead of whipped cream. It’s a perfect summertime dessert!)



Fresh Market Slaw

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‘Tis the season of picnics and barbeques. I love that good weather and good friends make it so we suddenly don’t care that flies are repeatedly landing on our food.

This slaw is a perfect side dish for outdoor food festivities. It’s crisp and fresh and very seasonal–cabbage is a staple at farmers markets in the summer. The dressing is vinegar based and really simple to throw together. The flavor is strong, but not overpowering like you can sometimes find with vinegar slaw. The recipe calls for mustard seed, but I didn’t have that so I just substituted coarse ground dijon mustard and that worked fine.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced, with a good portion of the green included
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

What You’ll Do:

  • Combine cabbages and scallions in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together cider and rice wine vinegars, honey, oil, salt, and mustard and sesame seeds.
  • Pour dressing over cabbage and toss.
  • Serve immediately or let it sit at room temperature for up to an hour to allow the flavors to meld.




Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars


It has finally stopped raining. After days of nonstop, insane rain that caused massive flooding and led to a road collapsing, it has finally stopped raining. The sun is actually poking through the clouds. For me this means one main thing: I can get back out and run again. So it felt appropriate to start my morning with some good running fuel in the form of these Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars.

What I like about these is that they are sweetened only by the dried fruit that you add to them. They taste very natural and even a bit savory with a nice hint of sweetness every time you get a bite with a piece of fruit. You can make them however you want. I used walnuts and sesame seeds and added chopped dates and dried apricots.

I ate mine straight out of the oven because I wanted something warm for breakfast. They were still a little soft, but they start to harden up and stick together better as they cool. I definitely recommend them for anyone looking for something healthy that they can take with them and eat in a pinch. Even a small square will fill you up nicely.

Enjoy the return of sunshine!



Spinach-Kiwi Cooler

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After a winter in which I ate mostly hearty, thick meals and frankly drank way too much beer, I’m excited to welcome spring and return to lighter, healthier meals with lots of fresh ingredients. The local farmers market started up again this weekend and before we know it, it will be June and our CSA will be back in full swing.

With the shift into spring, I have found myself craving green smoothies. They are so refreshing and it is an easy, tasty way for me to boost my low iron levels. This particular smoothie (from my new Runner’s World Cookbook!) is really light and not overly sweet. D and I made these yesterday and enjoyed them while sitting out in the sun. Yay, spring!


What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1/2 frozen banana sliced (or if you don’t have a frozen banana, just use a regular banana and toss in a few ice cubes)

What You’ll Do:

  • Throw it all in a blender and process until smooth
  • Enjoy!



Thai Peanut Fried Rice


The other night I was craving the taste of noodles with a spicy peanut sauce, but wasn’t all that excited about the thought of eating noodles. Don’t get me wrong, I love noodles. It just wasn’t a noodle night. But the peanut sauce was non-negotiable. I had to have it. Tap, tap, tap in a google search and voila, I find Thai Peanut Fried Rice. This easy to make and I was very pleased with the result. You can play around with the amount of spice (I made mine pretty darn spicy) and with the types of vegetables you use. The only fresh vegetable I had on hand was carrots (yes, I need to go grocery shopping), but it would definitely be good with snap peas, or broccoli florets. I liked the carrots because they added an extra crunch. I have another fried rice recipe that I will share at some point that has really different flavors. But if you are looking for something quick and easy to satisfy your fried rice or peanut sauce cravings, I highly recommend you give this a shot.