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So it’s time to get it right.

29 years of tears, fears, smiles, trials, tribulations, screaming, yelling, carrying on, studying, working my ass off, laughing ’till I cried, laughing ’till I peed, running away, moving, moving to the city, moving to the country, shaking, growing, dieting, dancing, music, travel, living, surving, loving, protecting, reassuring, connecting, pacing, cooking, cleaning, being an advocate, painting nails, running errands, supporting causes, teaching, speaking, writing, being loved, really loved, hurting, fixing, building, getting dirty, dyeing hair, getting pierced, wanting a tatoo, not getting a tatoo, promising, hoping, wanting, lusting, needing, being needed, acting as a conduit, being the shoulder, being the peacemaker, being a daughter / sister / cousin/ niece / granddaughter / friend, singing like no one is watching, gyming, doing yoga, meditating, standing still as the world passed me by and jumping in with two feet just to get in on the fun.

Well that was the past. Today is the future. And today, my 29th birthday is absolutely a gift. A big massive present with a huge bow. It takes these kinds of presents to stand still, peel back the paper, close your eyes and wish that the last time you blew out the candles actually appeared in that box.

Happy 29th Birthday Thea, be good to yourself. xoxo



When in doubt of emotional stability, one should follow these simple steps:

1. Cook. It seems that standing in the kitchen, regardless of how cold the floor tiles are, makes a difference. Cooking allows creativity and consistency to happen at the same time. Whether it’s something you have never made before or a classic pasta dish that never goes wrong, cook. It’s food for the soul. Literally.

2. Plan visits. My girls came this weekend. It was a quick 24 hour trip, but made a HUGE impact on my emotional disposition. It’s also incredible how being friends since college has provided that loophole of it doesn’t matter how long we haven’t seen each other, we’ll just pick up where we left off. There was comfort in the conversations of work stress, home life perils, significant other or lack of complaints. And comfort in cheese. Lots of cheese. And cupcakes. And bread. And coffee. And wine. In no specific order.

3. Plan ahead. Thinking of things that are coming ahead on the calendar allows for anticipation and excitement to come through, healthy emotions that hopefully will kick ass on the ones getting you down. Writing things on the calendar or having a countdown (reasonable numbers work, hundreds not so much) also shows you when something you actually want to do is coming around the corner.

4. Don’t ignore that you are turning 29. Or whatever milestone year that is freaking you out. Not sure if it’s the number or how fast time is going, but make it stop! Please. And. Thanks. One solution is to pretend it doesn’t bother you, it may actually become reality as it’s hard to be miserable while celebrating. For example, heading to Mercato for an amazing dinner with the brother, his girlfriend and the roommate and then off to the symphony at Bard is an excellent distraction. And delicious, fun and memorable.

5. Give it up. Clearly dwelling on misery isn’t going to allow it to leave. I know, what a novel idea.

6. Don’t watch the weather. It’s never right, it’s going to snow no matter what s/he says and if you’re luck the sun will come out and it won’t feel like 12. Again.

7. Eat ice cream. Or whatever treat that you can have a bite of and feel a lil better. Moderation IS key, but hit the gym a little harder, starve yourself tomorrow or just pack on a few till spring. That’s why they make bulky sweaters and leggings.

More to come on how to make yourself feel better… it’s been a full-time job lately, so there are some pointers that may get us all through it.

“Healing takes courage, and we have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” ~ Tori Amos

Dear Mademoiselle Noel,

Thank you for having Lady Antonia and I over for dinner. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope to do it again. Your Indian food was just divine and I hope you didn’t go to too much trouble.

As an aside, I wanted to let you know how found we are of you. On a regular basis your name comes up in conversation. Usually it is in relation to your ridiculously fabulous cooking, your childlike lightheartedness or something “funny” you did last night. Or that other night. Or at the last party. Your spirit is larger than most. It touches the people around you. Either with a smack of upside the head or with a gentle smile or laugh.

And then there are the creations you make. Edible. Art. On. A. Plate.

Thank you very much for hosting the girls for the most delicious Indian fair in all the land. My summary will give it no justice, as we all know the written word needs to have smells and taste to truly capture the culinary  genius that you create.

The marsala coconut chicken were the perfect pieces of chicken wrapped in a blanket of yumminess. The sweet coconut and nutty curry undertones created the perfect bite, after bite, after bite.

Hello coriander and red chilli pepper flakes, oh how we love to roast thee.

Shrimp! In coconut marsala sauce. We loved you, please come again.

And perhaps my most favorite party guest was the red lentil marsala stew. Spinach, butternut squash and red lentils were absolutely fantastic. Each flavor came through on its own and they still all played nicely together.

The plate of perfection before us will always be remembered. It was the combination of textures, smells and tastes that complimented each other, but no one got lost on the way to the party. And to think the special guest was definitely the coriander and star anise brown jasmine rice. Thanks for making a cameo.

Your favorite cottage guest,

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