CK’s aunt and uncle, Leslie and Bob, were incredibly kind and let us stay with them last weekend at their charming storybook like home by the ocean. I absolutely love this house and was thrilled to have the opportunity to wake up on an honest to goodness sunny morning and have sparkling blue water be the first thing that I saw from the window in our guest room.
It was hard to be away from Watson and I knew he was in Anna’s very capable hands while we were out of town, but I still missed my little guy. However, their gorgeous rag doll kitty, Paris, did an admirable job bewitching me with her crystal clear eyes and adorable stunts including the ability to drink from the sink and beg for treats. Watson could definitely learn a thing or two from cousin Paris.
This shaded table on the patio is where we spent the majority of our time when we weren’t in the water of course. At low tide you can walk right out onto the little island in front of the house and swim or sunbathe. I honestly can’t imagine a more perfect way to spend the day.
Leslie also has a number of lush flowers and vegetables planted throughout the property so we were treated to freshly picked salad greens and herbs all weekend. In addition, this regal purple patch of lavender is so covered in honey bees gathering nectar that it appears to be alive.
I think what I liked the most about staying with Leslie and Bob was how casual and carefree I felt. We sat around in bathing suits and sun block with messy hair and it felt extremely easy and natural. You definitely can’t say that very often about day-to-day life.
On Saturday evening after the sun set we were treated to two fireworks displays. One from the town of Niantic and the other from a neighborhood family celebrating a wedding. Then we drank Sam Adam’s Summer Ale and ate hamburgers and hot dogs. Isn’t it amazing how perfect everything tastes after a long day relaxing in the sun? I honestly can’t remember the last time I was so completely relaxed. I’m quite certain that my “happy place” will also be by the sea.
My Aunt Beth cracks me up. This is the book she sent me for my birthday. In case you can’t see the card it reads, “Happy Birthday Erin! Let’s survive the imminent zombie invasion together.”
Here’s the thing. I’m a little obsessed with zombies. Unfortunately, they scare the hell out of me and I have zombie nightmares all of the time, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to read about them or watch movies where they shuffle around in hordes eating humanity. Yup…that’s me…princess movies and zombies. Perhaps someone needs to combine the two and Anne Hathaway could star? Actually, now that I think about it, that would be pretty fantastic!
My mother has already started to send me emails asking what I want for my birthday. Usually I just say, “Oh whatever…” but this year I’m going to regress back to a time when I used to be the Queen of Wish Lists. The best way for me to illustrate this would be for me to have you think way back to a day in the Fall when we were all still watching shows like Family Ties and Jem and the Holograms and the mailman would deliver the gigantic Sears Wish Book. In some ways that day was more exciting than Christmas. I’ve heard tell that many families had to share the Wish Book and each child would circle what he or she wanted with a particular marker or crayon color but I was an only child and that coveted Wish Book was mine all mine.
And I didn’t just circle things I wanted. I made charts complete with quantity, description, size, item, and page number. Yes, I was a control freak even at 8 years of age. So just for old times sake I’m going to provide my family with this cute visual list of things that I would love to get for my quickly approaching 29th birthday. According to the calendar June 3rd is only 21 days away. Yikes! I can’t believe I’m only going to be in my twenties for one more year. How did this happen?! Oh well…on with the list:
1. I’m hoping to spend the evening of my birthday with a few close friends at Cuchi Cuchi.
2. I’ve wanted this French Bull Utensil Set for several years now and it’s almost always out of stock, but via some miracle it’s actually available right now. Obviously it would fit right in with my whole pink kitchen theme.
3. So I shrunk my blue Reading is Sexy shirt and can now only wear it as pajamas because it would be scandalous for me to be seen out in public with it on. I’d love to have the new pink ringer version though, preferably in extra large so that when I forget and dry it again it will still fit around me.
4. When I bought that Julia Child prayer candle a few weeks ago the owner of the Etsy shop assured me that she can make any kind of prayer candle that you want. So what I really really really want is a prayer candle with Ina Garten on it.
5. This write-on mug is just awesome. That is all.
6. I can’t make homemade strawberry jam or chicken stock if I don’t have a proper stock pot (in Caribbean please).
7. The new iPhone comes out in June. My iPhone is now two years old and is practically a Mac antique. This one is all CK. No worries Mom.
8. I’d like to read Michael Ruhlman’s new book Ratio so that I can hopefully start to figure out how to compose some of my own recipes.
9. Zombies. Need I say more?
10. I really need a mani/pedi. If someone were to get me a gift certificate that would be outstanding. I don’t care where I just need to go.
CK and I spent Easter in Maine with my family. I started off the festivities earlier in the week with a box of nostalgic Paas Easter egg dye and a cheapo package of white eggs from CVS. The results were less than stellar. You’d think at the grand old age of 28 I could actually make Easter Eggs that looked better than this, but apparently not.
Once in Maine we decided to test our hand at decorating. My sister Nicole and I tried our hardest, but as evidenced below icing and the finesse that such a skill requires does not run in the family. Needless to say none of this will ever make an appearance on ErinCooks. Initially my mom and I thought we were out of red food coloring so our color scheme took on a life of its own, but then we found two more boxes in the pantry. Our rainbow looks more like a Dr. Suess puddle but the cake tasted awesome and the finished product was super vibrant on the plate. You can learn how to make your own rainbow cake at Om Nom Nom.
We ended the afternoon gorging ourselves on ham and roast beef. In case you haven’t figured it out yet all we do in Maine is eat. We also rock the Fiestaware and the paper napkins.
This is my grandmother’s nativity scene. She painted all of the pieces in a ceramics class many years ago and it’s been a part of my Christmas memories for as far back as I can remember. The donkey may be missing his ears, one of the wise men appears to have broken the top to his Frankincense container, and the shepherd on the left only has one leg, but I still love it all dearly.
When I was little I would spend a huge amount of time arranging and rearranging the figurines. Then I would inevitably have to do it all over again after a meddling relative would move the people and animals back into their “proper places.” I treated the nativity scene like my own personal dollhouse. Yeah, She-Ra was cool and I loved my Crystal Castle, but She-Ra didn’t have lambs and an itty bitty baby Jesus that fit perfectly in my mischievous little hand.
Honestly I can’t believe that the poor little guy is still in one piece as I not only used him as Ken and Barbie’s stand-in baby, but also was known to take him in the bath with me. Maybe I was pretending he was baby Moses floating down the Nile? I doubt it though. More likely than not I probably coverd him in green sparkly roll-on soap and pretended he was Kermit the Frog.
During the huge storm that hit Maine on Sunday I got it into my head that I was going to enjoy the snow from the bubbly depths of my mom’s hot tub. So I bundled up in a borrowed parka (no way was I doing manual snow removal in my pink coat) and got to work. Well 20 minutes later I realized I was insane and that even though the back deck was cleared off, it was filling back in quickly. Also, I was now thoroughly frozen solid and there was no way I was going out there again in my bathing suit when it was so bitterly cold outside. On the upside, all of that shoveling probably burned off a few cookie calories so I suppose it all worked out in the end.