think the best.

"think the best
of each other,
especially of those,
you say you love.

assume the good
& doubt the bad."

jeffrey r. holland



grateful for the first slowly drifting snowflakes, the satisfaction of a freshly rearranged bedroom and new quilt, hot coffee, blogs to read, a bit of hang time with the birthday girl and a babe who finally snoozed in my arms til my biceps wore out, a little date night with b, phone tag with a west coast favorite, sleeping in (til 7:30), the new david sedaris book, and my first weekend at home in a while.


happy j day.

we've come a long way together, girl. happy, happy #30 to my longest friend and partner in so many adventures. thank you for being the caring, generous and loving person that you are, and for kindness that you share with everyone around you. the here's to another decade and all that it will bring. xo




the beauty of having a quick & easy meal to reheat for dinner is that i have time and energy to be inspired for other culinary evening adventures. last night i made a big pot of applesauce with local cortland, honeycrisp & macintosh apples. i also made a double recipe of baked oatmeal. we've made it a few times last winter with mixed results depending on quality of  oats (no in instant oats!) and pans (no to cast iron!), so i tried a new recipe last night from joy the baker, one of my absolute favorite food bloggers. as is generally true with her recipes, it was amazing! b and i both enjoyed it immensely this morning-- to the extent that i could not wait to get to work to heat it up and enjoy after my morning workout. i skipped the raspberries and pistachios, and baked it with craisins & chopped apple instead. i also added a splash of maple syrup, because there is always, always room for syrup.

recipe can be found here.



grateful for good mix cds in the car, a husband who makes dinner when i'm on a long drive home from a weekend visiting friends, wearing a dress & boots on a fall day, grass blowing in the wind, vermont apples with crunchy peanut butter, texting with friends and a puppy who wiggles wildly with enthusiasm.



"aliveness is energy. it's the juice, the vitality, and the passion that wakes up our cells every morning. it's what makes us want to dance. it's the energy that moves a relationship from the status quo to something grander and much more expansive, something that makes our hearts beat faster, our minds and our eyes open wider, than ever before. everything is of interest to a person who is truly alive, whether it's a challenge, a loving moment, a bucket of grief, or a glimpse of beauty."
-daphne rose kingma


simple song.

digging this song by the shins.


sometimes spontaneity is the best. a little visit at the bravakis household can brighten any day. husbands sitting on the shed steps drinking a beer, pups playing in the yard, sweet baby t snoozing, and besties (finally) catching up on the couch. grateful for friends who are like family and live around the corner. xo



lots of sweet moments lately-- happy dogs running through leaves, bold blue sky emphasizing the golds and reds of the foliage, soups & stews & applesauce simmering on the stove, a trip to the cape with mom, an evening bike ride with b.

just me & the pups on a saturday morning walk.

love this one.

october on the cape.

another great weekend on the cape.

evening bike ride.

happy husband.


advice lists.

last week, i came across two very different lists. one, "25 things every woman needs to know" and the other, "the unofficial goldman sachs guide to being a man." ginormous gender cliches and stereotypes aside, both lists contain some great lines and good advice for all human beings.


25 things every woman needs to know.

  • "leggings, no matter how much we wish, will never one day magically transform into pants. wearing them with tops that don't cover your bum is not cute. please, please stock up on pants."
  • "here's the truth: you are going to spend a lot of hours focusing on who you are not, or who you want to secretly be. but you won't ever wake up and actually be that person. you've got to embrace what you bring to the table. if you don't like what that is, have the courage to change it."
  • "the world does not revolve around us. turns out we are just little points of punctuation in a much bigger story glittered with periods & commas & dashes. how are you helping that story to be better? how are you being the best dang point of punctuation that you can be?" 

the unofficial goldman sachs guide to being a man. 

  • "never stay out after midnight three nights in a row... unless something really good comes up on the third night."
  • "act like you've been there before. it doesn't matter if it's the end zone at the super bowl or on a private plane."
  • "you may only request one song from the dj."
  • "measure yourself only against your previous self."
  • "take more pictures. with a camera."
  • "stop talking about where you went to college."


Two years of Lu.

Sunday marked Lupita's two year adoption anniversary. She's gone from 12 to 52 pounds in two years, has sprinted thousands of miles while accompanying us on skis, bikes, runs, hikes and walks, and loves nothing more than to play with her best friend OD. On Sunday, she & I enjoyed a run in the woods, a bit of snuggling on the couch and in front of my parents' fireplace, and I may or may not have let a few things slip off the cutting boards while having a cooking extravaganza. I love you most, Little Lu.

new from mary oliver.


letters to teo.

this may or may not be the first in a new little series. we'll see.

dear teo,
today you are one week old. to me, this past week has felt like a full lifetime but at the same time it's truly flown by. a week ago, brett & i were driving home from portsmouth eager to meet you. you and your mom & dad were groggy and recovering from your grand entrance into this world.

on monday, i got to come meet you at the birthing center- i felt so honored. you were so tiny and you snuggled right into my arms and promptly fell asleep for most of two hours. it was hard to believe you were real, and also overwhelming how much i loved you at my first (slightly teary) look. your parents were beaming with joy and pride. you are a skinny little bug and you have your mother's coloring. your eyes are dark blue but the color will probably change when you get a little older.

on tuesday, you came home! brett and i made you a little "welcome home teo" banner that we left on your front door, and we love that your parents still have it hanging. your first few days at home have gone great while you've figured out the ways of life, your parents have figured out the ways of parenthood, and you've enjoyed your first few visitors (mostly your grandparents & me and brett). most of the time you sleep when i visit, but you also really like to stretch out your legs when i hold you on my lap. yesterday you woke up for a bit to look at me, and that was pretty awesome.

everyone says new parents lose any sense of time, and i have to say- that's even happening to me! all of my visits with you have lasted 1-3 hours, which is usually between 2 and 15 times as long as i think they will be. you sure know how to capture our days, and our hearts.

we are all very excited to see what week 2 brings. i can't wait to see you soon.

auntie e

recipe recommendations.

a favorite dinner treat: chicken tamale pie.

current favorite pancake recipe (so fluffy!).

on the menu this week:

roasted tomato and basil soup (with grilled cheese, of course).

chicken taco chili.

butternut squash lasagna roll ups. (new recipe for me. i'm excited about it.)


savoring september.

September 2013 was a month to remember, and i want to pause to recap this tremendous period. from start to finish, september was a beautiful, unique and memorable month. starting with the anticipation of our wedding, the gathering of our nearest and dearest friends & family, an incredible celebration and the fullest heart. then a relaxing mini-moon enjoying each other's company, lake champlain's shore, some bike rides and a happy dog. a few weeks of settling back into the work routine and some stress of wrapping up another fiscal year for me. and then, a weekend getaway to new hampshire and maine with only the most spectacular weather. wrap it up with the arrival of baby teo, who i already love an incredible amount. talk about life changing moments. enjoy a few shots taken along the way:

mr. & mrs. 

best wedding party.


peak foliage in vermont.

coastal explorations.

auntie e & baby teo.

so long, september.


sailing on lake superior by kirsten dierking

before us now the edge of the earth,
below us the nearly endless cold.
around us nothing but shimmering
the miles of empty and sparkling blue.

for a few hours, the sail fills on
toward infinity. shadows of
our delicate bodies ebb and flow
across the deck of our delicate boat.

what if the beautiful days, the good
and pacific temperate moments,
weren't just lovely, but everything?
what if i could let it all fall away
in the wake, that ache to extract
meaning from vastness?

let us suffice; the ease of thinking
it all goes on, whether we're here
to see it or not. the splashing waves,
the suntipped gulls arcing across 
the radiant world. 


planning my day.

"i get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." -e.b. white