i'm thirty!

goodbye 20's! hello 30's!! i have officially started another decade of my life. it's hard to believe that i'm thirty! ahhh!!!

the picture below is of my mom kneeling down to let my sister hug me right as i was carried in the house from the hospital. i was just a few days old. sisters are the best!

December, 1978


three years.

on monday i celebrated with my boyfriend (and my sister - i'll explain below) our three year anniversary, of dating that is. he surprised me with the most beautiful bouquet of roses!! what a gentleman.

it was a full moon the night i first met him. i dragged my sister with me on this "blind date" because i was so so nervous to meet this guy that my aunt (and godmother) had so kindly set me up with. honestly, i still can't believe my sister agreed to come with me.

when we walked in the front door of the local neighborhood bar that we were meeting at, there he was! i remember seeing his smile and then my heart start POUNDING! he knew it was me because i told him i would be wearing a turquoise jacket. but with my sister right next to me, i think he was a little confused because he was not expecting a twosome blind date! the three of us sat at this little table, and well, had "our" first date together.

three years later, and we're still together!


thankful :: four

greetings from st. augustine, florida!

there's nothing like being in the warm weather to celebrate the holidays with family. i'm thankful for 70 degree weather and palm trees today. oh, and of course my family. :-)


thankful :: three

a dear friend of mine who is a yoga instructor graciously agreed to help me with a final project i'm working on for graduate school. i have to build an interactive narrative on the benefits of practicing yoga. so, naturally, i turned to her from the get go for her expertise and direction with this project.

yesterday she was the subject of my photo and video shoot. here is one of my favorite photos.

it was a very fun and very successful shoot! so, in the spirit of "Thanksgiving," i am very thankful for her and the contributions she has made not only to my yoga project, but also to my life. she's a fabulous woman and friend!!

thankful :: two

a picture is worth a thousand words, especially in this economy. only $22 to fill up my tank. now that's more like it.

so, therefore, i'm thankful that the "gas lords" decided to lower the price per gallon - more pennies in my pocket. i still, however, don't understand why just six months ago a gallon was over $4. Ridiculous!!!


thankful :: one

given that it is november and thanksgiving is approaching, i thought it would be fun to post (as much as i can here given all of the grad school work i have to do) a series of entries highlighting just a few of the things (because there are many!) that i'm thankful for in my life.

so i will start off this first post by expressing my gratitude for crafters, especially those whom i'm related to, eh em, thistle downs wool design.

i recently purchased a couple of handmade purses from her for christmas presents and being the fabulous cousin that she is, she included two special treats, one for me and one for my sister. have a look:

felted scarves!! the pink and grey one is so me. while the brown and tan one is very much my sister's style. i can't stop wearing mine!

so i am thankful for you cousin and your thoughtfulness and generosity.

for those of you looking to purchase something handmade this holiday season for a special someone, i highly recommend going on over to thistle downs wool design or visit her store at smashing darling.


happy halloween.

look at this beautiful mural that my sister created. it's for her halloween party tonight.

i hope you all have a fun and frightful night!!

also, look at this adorable bumble bee sitting on my lap! she is my colleague's little girl who loves to watch videos of herself on her daddy's facebook page. :-)


new music - adele.

i realize that i have not posted about music on my blog. i sometimes wonder what life would be like without music - not very joyful, if you ask me. it feeds my soul whether i'm happy or blue.

i like so many different genres of music actually - reggae, jazz, r&b, disco, funk, to name a few. but there's a special place in my heart for bossa nova. i absolutely love the beat and the rhythm of this type of music.

i spent most of this evening, however, looking for new music on itunes (i know, i know, i should be doing grad school work -blah!), in the hopes to find something i've never heard before. and i was successful! i discovered this fabulous album by adele titled, 19.

i am definitely more likely to download a single song than a whole album from itunes, but this one is good from start to finish and worth the (very affordable) price of $7.99 on itunes. so i now own her complete album!

as i type this post, i'm listening to "right as rain" - a favorite. check out her profile on myspace to learn more about her and preview her tunes!


butternut squash + friends = a fabulous fall day

my friend visited yesterday with her son, noah. i cooked them up a batch of yummy butternut squash soup!

i have to admit it was my first attempt at making the soup, and it came out so good! i used a recipe from realsimple.com.

i also made some homemade croutons from this bread i bought over the weekend from a bakery in port chester, ny, the kneaded bread. if you are in that area of ny, go there and try the aged provolone. you will not be sorry.

after lunch we got some fresh air and went for a walk. it was the best way to spend a fall sunday in october.

oh, and i had to take a picture of mr. noah in the hat that i made for him last winter. it still fits!!


my love.

Martha's Vineyard 2008

New York City 2006



what could be better than spending a weekend with your girlfriends picking apples, baking apple crisp, drinking wine, and chatting until the wee hours of the morning?

it was so nice to spend some time with my ladies (and one gentleman pictured below). i needed to take a break from this insanely busy life that i'm now leading. i took this picture below of my dear friend MV and her son noah. he is the little boy for whom i made the light blue sweater for posted over in the right column. he was such a riot at the orchard.

we picked a lot of apples - probably too many. but you can never make enough apple crisp. i made two batches and it's all gone just after one day. must be a good sign.

ah! i love fall...

p.s. i just bought a new camera (yippee!). so you'll be seeing even more photos, possibly some more video, and even a little audio. so check back often!


yearbook yourself.

i was procrastinating last night. i had to write a paper for one of my classes and i was doing everything under the sun to not start it. bad taber.

anyhow, i thought i would share my distraction with you. it's pretty hilarious actually. i learned of a website called yearbook yourself. it's the perfect way to waste some time and have a good laugh. here are a few of my results:

have a fabulous weekend!



i really should be working right now (shhh), but i can't stop looking at this diy project from one pretty thing, this new blog that i discovered from thistle downs wool design. it's a tutorial on how to decoupage bangle bracelets. i love it! i must find time to make a few of these very soon. do not be surprised if you (my dear friends and family) receive one for christmas.

photo from one pretty thing.



so i started graduate school two weeks ago, and my life is so chaotic. more so than i had ever imagined.

i spend many nights at my kitchen table reading and writing instead of cooking and eating. maybe i'll get back to that when i'm done with this program two years from now. until then my kitchen has been transformed into my own classroom.

one of the requirements for my intro class is to blog. so i have started a new blog, organized chaos (the title is so appropriate for how i feel right now in my life - juggling work, school, family and friends), where i will post several times a week on topics related to my master's program in interactive communications. i'll do my best to post here on cafe taber when i can - when i need a break from writing about the fathers of interactive technologies or about writing for the web. but if you are interested in reading about what i'm learning, i invite you to navigate over to my new blog.



i received the sweetest email from my boyfriend this morning with the following picture attached.

"you are as pretty as a rainbow."

he took this picture the other day after a rain storm. a few minutes afterwards, a second rainbow appeared above the first one.

i feel blessed.



there's nothing sweeter than watching a bride and her father walk down the aisle. i had the honor of witnessing my dear friend bonnie tie the knot a few weeks ago, and i (well, actually my boyfriend) captured "the walk" with her father on video. take a look:

and check out her glass slippers...or shall i say her manolo blahnik's.


fresh produce.

i went to the store yesterday and stocked up on lots of fruits and veggies. there's nothing like fresh produce! and not only does it all taste so delicious, it's so beautiful to put in the center of table. the colors just make me so happy!


it's so wonderful to write whatever i feel like writing... cafe taber has served me well thus far. even though i haven't been posting as much as i'd like to, i really see this space as my own. i feel so free to write what's on my mind. i love it. just a few days ago, i finished my essay for graduate school and submitted my application. seriously, admissions essays are a disaster. i found it so difficult to articulate my thoughts about why i want to pursue a master's degree. i really agonize over my writing. i want it to be perfect, which i know is hard to do even for the most skillful writers and journalists out there. revise, revise, revise. regardless, i'm very hard on myself in this area. i think that' partly why i started a blog. i thought that if i have a place that i can write and express my thoughts freely, that i would feel more comfortable with it.

anyhow, this fall i'll be forced to work on my writing even more. i'll be taking two courses, which will require lots of reading and lots of writing. ugh! research papers! no fun. but it will be good for my brain. i've been away from the classroom for eight years now. i'm so excited to learn more about the field i'm in, and to be able to apply what i learn immediately to my projects at work. i must admit, though, that i'm a little anxious about balancing work, school, and my free time (if i will have any). but i know i'll get through it.

class of 2010 baby!



boys are just as wonderful as girls, i must admit. my cousin and her little boys are here visiting for the month, which is such a treat! p.j., who is 2-years old, and very energetic. and matthew, who is 6 months old, and just wants to be held and cuddled. p.j. can say my name now, which translates to (in english) "big bird," but i'll take it.

this picture below is from my visit with the boys out in sunny california. i was taking p.j. on the airplane ride at legoland. he went on several times with both his mother and me. i'm sure if he had it his way, he would have taken his nap on the ride.



i'm living in a sea of boxes right now. every time i walk through my living room, i'm reminded of all of the to do's on my list, one of which is sifting through everything...old stuffed animals, dolls, love letters, childhood artwork, etc. i need to find a place for all this stuff in my apartment. i need to get organized.

i finally tackled one box and found these beautiful smocks that i used to put on my dolls. the most beautiful part of it all is that when my sister and i were little we used to wear these dresses (or smocks as the labels say). i think they're called that because they button in the back. after all of these years stored up in an attic, there wasn't one sign of aging. all they needed was a little hand washing and a quick dry on the clothes line.

i know these dresses will be worn again some day. i can imagine one little girl wearing one of these dresses and running through the grass so freely. barefoot.

speaking of little girls...my dear friend just gave birth yesterday to a little girl. abigail sawyer. she is the most adorable newborn baby girl i've ever laid eyes on. look at those little plump lips of hers!

there's nothing sweeter than little girls. it's time to get my knitting needles out. something pink is on the way for miss abby....



bye bye nashua! i had an eventful weekend of moving, loading, and unloading. i said goodbye to my parents and the house that i grew up in for almost half of my life. today they begin the very first days of their retirement. they are florida bound!

my father packed the u-haul on saturday, that mind you i drove solo across several states, with so much care. not one thing moved around when i reached my final destination.

inside this u-haul were boxes of old memories (yes - i still have love notes from elementary school), family heirlooms, beds, and even a wheel barrow!

i have to admit, it was sad to say goodbye to my parents and to know that we won't be celebrating holidays, birthdays, etc. in new england anymore. but as the quote up on the top of my blog says, "when you are through changing, you are through." so here's to change! or as my sister would say, "here's to new beginnings!"



i was visiting a friend over the weekend and she told me that some new neighbors had moved in. :-) right inside one of her bushes is a nest of baby robin's eggs. they are the most beautiful color blue. naturally, i had to capture the moment.

i wonder when they will hatch? seeing these eggs reminds me of a dear friend of mine who i know is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her baby. just a few more weeks. the suspense is killing me (and i'm sure killing her, too) as to whether it will be a boy or girl. but patient i must be. happy june!


the 80's.

i was going through some old pictures this morning and found this one.

my sister and i are totally 80's!!! look at our walkman's. also, check out the rockin' jelly shoes i'm sporting. oh, and the red vw bug was my dad's. i wish he still had that car. anyhow, have a great weekend. i'm off to a girlfriend's bridal shower and then to see sex and the city!


african violets.

i remember my grandmother (a.k.a. gammy) used to have several african violets right above her kitchen sink in the windowsill. i have one in my kitchen, and finally this year it bloomed. but it needed a little bit of help -- african violet plant food. regardless, it's so beautiful right now. and i'm reminded of my gammy each time i see it.


martha II. nyc.

i promised i would post about my adventures in nyc, but more importantly the tour of the martha stewart empire. so here you go! note: i didn't have my camera with me. so no pictures with this post. p.s. sorry for the delay in posting. it's been a very busy month. but i'm back!

it all started early on monday morning (4.28). i was at the train station early. half asleep. trying to gather myself to make the train to grand central. as i was hustling to the track, i passed through a movie scene in the tunnel of the station. i was told that al pacino was behind the dark black curtains. ooh la la! my boyfriend will be the first to tell you that one of my favorite movies is scarface. but no celebrity sightings for me. regardless, it was a great way to start the day.

when i arrived in nyc, i checked my bags at my hotel and decided to head down to the chelsea area where the martha stewart offices are located to get a sense of where i would be for the rest of the day. it definitely wasn't by chance, that i ended up in the bead district. every store i walked by was filled with the most amazing strands of beads. i couldn't resist and had to take a quick peek.

i was immediately drawn to the turquoise and red colored beads. my latest color obsession. but i was so overwhelmed and decided that this store and the others on that street were worthy of a separate trip into the city. so i was good and didn't purchase anything, and continued on walk.

i was to have lunch with a good family friend (my sister's godfather) who works for the martha stewart show, but he was pulled into a conference call at the last minute. so i took this opportunity to lunch solo! as i walked through chelsea, i came upon a very colorful outdoor patio that had the cutest furniture. guess what color? turquoise! i took a quick scan of their menu and entered. i was their first guest for lunch. so i sat at the bar by myself. the restaurant, pars, is in fact a persian restaurant. i ordered the salmon kebob, which was so delicious! i have to admit i was little weary of how the food wood be, but i was pleasantly surprised. a few minutes after i sat down, i was accompanied by another bar guest, marshall. a retired business man from brooklyn. he had a copy of the new york post in hand and we chatted for a bit about the headline, roger clemens' love affair. and we both shared our views on infidelity. definitely an interesting conversation to have with a complete stranger. but anything goes in nyc, i guess.

after lunch, i made my way down to the martha stewart living omnimedia offices (mslo) for my afternoon tour.

all i can say is that when I entered the lobby, i literally felt like I was in heaven. for one, everything was white (wow! martha loves white, too!). the walls, the couches, the tables, everything!! also, the mslo offices are located on the ninth floor so being high up and seeing the beautiful view of the chelsea piers and water below added to this heaven-like experience. i was feeling anxious. ready for the tour to begin...i was about to see one of the most creative work environments in new york city.

we met gayle towey, the chief creative officer of mslo, in the conference room, which was floor to ceiling glass all around. i sort of felt like i was in a fish bowl. to the right of the room was martha’s office (i should note, one of martha’s offices. i believe she has a few in the city).

as you can imagine, it was all white, and very tidy. so sign of a computer, probably stashed away in a drawer. everything had it’s place. there was a beautiful beige colored chaise lounge, which was set in the corner of the room. there was no sign of martha. but i really wasn’t on the tour to see her. i was on the tour to see how her concept of “living” is brought to fruition.

when gayle entered the conference room and introduced herself, my heart began beating faster and faster. i felt like a little kid in a candy shop. she gave us the historical background of the building and noted that mslo is the only company in manhattan whose office space is the length of an entire city block. and after seeing how much they house in this space, it’s no wonder why martha chose this building. from test kitchens to a wood working shop to photography studios to craft areas. but the best use of space of all, in my opinion, was the AMAZGING prop warehouse.
the prop warehouse houses over 10,000 items used for magazine photo shoots. anything you can think of is inside this very organized room. next time you see a photo in the living magazine, you can bet that it was created right in the mslo office space. they have everything, fireplaces, hardwood floors, front doors, furniture, bedding, you name it the prop house has it. it’s like putting all of your great tag sale finds in one room. martha actually employs people to go find all of these props for her. they travel all over and collect pieces for future magazine shoots, television shoots, etc. gayle mentioned that every quarter they have a tag sale in the prop warehouse. they open it up to all of the employees, which i should mention are mainly female, and sell many of the items they will no longer use as a discounted price. what a great perk!

as we toured through every department, i was in awe of how much creativity goes on every day at mslo. the set up of the office space is such that each employee has they’re own cubicle. but if they turn their chairs around they are facing an open desk area where they can collaborate with their other coworkers on magazine spreads, crafts, textile designs, holiday products, websites, and so much more!

as the tour came to an end, we were returned to the lobby area where we started. in the conference room, i saw a group of mslo employees (all women - go figure!) gathered around the conference table, which was filled with plates of homemade cookies. i was told they were doing a taste test for a cookie contest that was connected to the new release of martha’s cookie book. once again, i felt like i was in heaven.

i was fortunate enough to continue my martha stewart experience just a few blocks down the street by meeting up with a good family friend who works for mslo for a private tour of the martha stewart television studio. since it was a monday, i wasn’t able to see a live taping of the show. but i actually got to see a whole lot more because the studio was closed. he showed me everything from martha’s dressing room to where all of the producers sit to the actual set (yes, i stood right at her kitchen counter where she and her guests stand on the show). i have to say martha is amazing! no matter what anyone says about her, she’s a very smart and very talented business woman who has her hands in every area imaginable. she employs over 700 people who believe in her creative vision. and both tours were proof of that.

it was a full day of martha, martha, martha. but worth every moment. i left nyc feeling so inspired. i know that i need to continue tapping into my creative side. i know that i need to believe in myself. and who knows, maybe one day i will find myself in that same heaven-like state again.


cherry blossoms.

i never realized how many cherry trees there are where i live. in fact, i didn't realize there are more than one kind. i'm 99.9% sure my neighbors have what is referred to as a yoshino cherry tree. it's sooo beautiful with its cluster of white blossoms. no wonder i like them (note: i'm obsessed with white, in case you didn't know).

well, tomorrow i'm off to the big apple for the business and design conference...and also for the special tour of martha stewart living omnimedia. so much to do, so little time. but i'm so excited! i'll be sure to share my experiences with you all when i return.


porch party.

i love porch parties! to celebrate the warm weather, a few girlfriends of mine came over to my place and we officially opened up the porch. it's such a great place to gather and enjoy each other's company. thanks to my dear neighbor (and good friend), we now have beautiful paper lantern lights hanging from all three sides.

i'm looking forward to spending many more nights out there in the coming months...



gorgeous weather, but more importantly a need for some sisterly love, is what brought me to vermont this past weekend.

this is the view of stowe mountain. so serene! i attempted to go on a hike with my sister and one of her friends, but half way up the trail we were faced with 2 1/2 feet of snow! not suitable for two women, one of which was in sandals!! but regardless, it was so refreshing to see such beautiful views.

on saturday night, my sister's friend, lucas, cooked the most amazing bbq. pork, lamb, chicken, corn on the cob, and mango salad. yummy!

vermont = kitties. i got to see izzy and gerty. the two dearest, sweetest cats of all. look at gerty. soaking in the soon to be summer sun. she blends in so well with the dirt. maybe that's why we call her "dirty gerty." ha!

check out the old volkswagon bug. orange (i love that color lately). this vintage car sits in my sister's backyard. it's a decoration of sorts. i love how she and her roommates pile the wood next to the car.



martha, martha, martha. oh, wait. that's marsha, marsha, marsha. ha! well, regardless, i have martha on the mind. want to know why? because i just received confirmation today that i will be one of fourteen peeps to have a private tour of martha stewart living omnimedia by the chief creative officer, gael towey, at the end of this month. yup! i'm going to see the behind the scenes of martha's empire. how cool!!!! you may be wondering how this opportunity came to be. well, i will tell you. you see, i have a very cool boss who suggested that i attend this business and design conference in new york city in a few weeks. so i registered for it a few months ago. but not knowing that this special tour would be offered to a select group of registrants. it's so exciting! this will be a great networking opportunity for me. i promise to provide an update post-conference. i wonder if i will get to meet her...

oh, i should also mention that my sister's godfather works for the martha stewart show. so i'm planning to meet up with him as well. and just yesterday i received the latest issue of her magazine, which i just adore. life works out in mysterious ways...


this is a shout out to my cousin, erica, for being the hottest wicked witch of the west. she is starring in the wizard of oz this coming weekend at her college out in colorado. and i wish i could be there to see her perform. she gets to fly and melt...all on stage. i'm so proud of her.


happy spring.

there's nothing better than the change in seasons. i just absolutely love it. i can always find a reason to embrace winter, spring, summer, and fall.

saturday was a gorgeous spring day here. so sunny and warm. i woke up and headed off to meet a friend for breakfast before we began our morning's worth of tag sale hunting. boy did we score some good finds. below are two necklaces i got for $3 each. they've already been tagged as favorites. :-)

another great find were these vintage aprons. i bought three for $5. what a deal!

(the pink one above is reversible!)

i really want to learn how to make my own, but i need to learn how to sew first. my aunt gave me a sewing machine and taught me how to thread it, but i need to put it to use once and for all.

in addition, to the necklaces and aprons, i also acquired a spinning scrabble board ($5) and a cast iron pan, already seasoned ($1). so all in all, it was a successful day of tag sale hopping.

when i got home, i took one look around my apartment and decided it was time for some change...and major spring cleaning. so i spent most of my sunday afternoon rearranging furniture, scrubbing floors, and doing laundry. tonight, i've tasked myself with putting my winter clothes away. no more turtlenecks. ah....spring really is here...


more dollhouse.

i spent most of last sunday afternoon working on my dollhouse with my aunt. i'm finally done stripping all of the wallpaper that i had glued on haphazardly when i was younger.

here i am cleaning up my mess. next i have to pick out the wallpaper. i need some guidance with this because there are sooooo many options out there. i've been looking through a ton of magazines and to get ideas.

this really is so fun! especially since it allows me to spend time with my aunt/godmother (pictured below). she's been such a guiding force in my life. it's so wonderful to spend this time with her and learn from her.

so stay tuned for more updates...