Thanksgiving Eve

I like to feed people. It’s my way of expressing love. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I can’t imagine a better way to give thanks to those who are important to me than to make them lots and lots of delicious food.

I started baking on Tuesday. I made pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing as sort of a decoy dessert for the boys while I made the prime time offerings (and kept them off limits until Thursday).

Yesterday I baked three batches of cornbread muffins for use in the cornbread, caramelized onion, sage and pork sausage stuffing (a departure for me which represents a hybrid of recipes from my friend Lexa, the high maintenance Martha Stewart, and Chris Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen). I also made a bourbon pumpkin cheesecake because Colin has never had cheesecake, and frankly I don’t like pumpkin pie.

I had a long to do list for today: bake the apple pie, prep the traditional mushroom turnovers, prepare the stuffing, brine the turkey. Done. Done. Done. And done. I feel like there should be more “dones” because each recipe had numerous steps and/or components. But now I’m finished way ahead of schedule. Run of show is sketched out for tomorrow. Wine graces my glass. Life is good. A shower would make it even better.

I have a small crew for tomorrow’s festivities. The boys, my sister Meghann, my DC sister Rayanne, and Nancy and her crew for their second dinner. I would welcome double the numbers but I’m thankful that I get to be surrounded by these important people in my life.

But they better bring their appetites. I have lots of love to express.



photo shoot saturday


I was very honored when the wonderful women of Periwinkle asked me to join other local bloggers for a photo shoot today for their holiday look book.

As part of my effort to encourage the opening of an outpost on Capitol Hill, I said yes. Plus, who doesn’t want to be dressed in festive attire to have a photo taken?

So this morning, with my hair expertly styled by Mickey Bolek and my yoga pants on (for downward facing dog plans later in the day) I set out for my modeling gig.

The shop was decorated for the season and mimosa offerings graced the counter. Owner Elizabeth Mason was decked out in an amazing fur vest and had her own camera in hand, taking shots aside the photographer.

For my first look, I wore skinny jeans, a tunic blouse and black cardigan with leather detail on the sleeves. Kitten heels, bling and a wreath in hand, I played the part of holiday shopper.

A surprise second look may become my birthday dress. They squeezed me into a black v-neck Trina Turk dress, more bling, and my favorite accessory, a glass of champagne.

Overall it was a festive morning, and I can’t wait until the catalog comes out. I took the early shift, so I also look forward to seeing how the bloggers who arrived later in the morning were styled.

In the meantime, if you need a holiday outfit or just a gift for a friend (or your favorite blogger) head to Periwinkle. I can’t promise the treats and champagne will be available, but you can still soak up the season and maybe get some shopping done.

working for myself, day one

Today I officially begin working for myself. Mark this as the first day of my new professional adventure. And by adventure I mean that I plan to tackle messes, convert the playroom into an office and otherwise preempt my usual forms of procrastination so that when it comes down to the task at hand, finishing my novel, I have no distractions.

It’s kind of amazing how much more productive I already feel at 9:45 this morning even though I haven’t even had a shower yet, and since I didn’t need to take a shower by any specific time, I got to sleep an hour later than usual. I successfully fed and got two kids off to school (okay, I do that most mornings) but this morning I could do it with a smile and not the proverbial whip that I usually carry because I’m trying to get myself ready too among the chaos.

The second load of laundry is running and I unloaded the dishwasher. I cleaned out one of the drawers of the drafting table I’m using for my desk, a space that previously housed a variety of little boy trinkets, all covered with a film of pencil shaving dust. I made a to do list and paid some bills.

Now, I feel somewhat settled and ready to write, though I am a little jittery from too much coffee. And I even have a starting place. Last night my instructor posted her critique of my major writing assignment of the semester, 5000 words of my story ending. But before I sit down to tackle her comments, there’s a new chapter idea brewing in my head that I feel compelled to start. But before that, I have this post to finish.¬†And after that, I think the book shelf needs reorganizing.

And then at some point this afternoon, the professional adventure will begin.

Happy anniversary, George

A year ago today, I self-published my first story with help from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. It was short. It wasn’t overly promoted except perhaps in these pages. It never went viral. My fantasy of appearing on late night TV has not been fulfilled. But it was an accomplishment nonetheless.

I’d estimate that a couple hundred of you read it. Frankly, I have not. Not since doing a final run through anyway before hitting click and committing it to the electronic world forever. I just can’t. And especially now, eight weeks into my writing class. I already suspect what my flaws were. I can be at peace with it all by thinking that someday, you all will call it my ‘early work’.

My full-length novel, which does not feature an appearance by George Clooney, is developing nicely. The Stanford online writing class has provided me good structure, feedback and a community of fellow writers. In two weeks, 5,000 words of my ending will be workshopped. While at the start of this class, I dreaded my workshop week, now I look forward to it.

I can’t say for sure how far along I’d be right now in writing my novel if I hadn’t taken the baby step of writing My Night with George Clooney. So on this, our anniversary, I think of George and apologize that he’s been folded up in a box since our return from Hawaii.

I promise to pull him out to celebrate the completion of No Working Title Yet.