Friday Favorites 7/8/16

Jason Peterson 4th of July 2016{via}

The above shot from Jason Peterson is by far my favorite fireworks photo from the 2016 4th of July (and possibly all previous 4th of Julys). It’s SO DIFFERENT from anything else I’ve ever seen. Who would have thought that a black and white image of fireworks could be so amazing? Plus, Chicago skyscrapers. Always amazing.

Also, on the topic of photography, I LOVE photos that tell a story. Check out The Denizen’s feature on official White House photographer Pete Souza and Photo Collective Studio’s shots from The Bike Prom in Salt Lake City.

I decided to make our powder room Bath, England themed because I recently found an amazing set of Bath postcards I picked up in Bath back in 2000 (I save a lot of postcards), and it seemed to fit that room. Then I picked up this print. I wanted one more wall art piece to complete the space, and I just wasn’t finding anything else I liked on All Posters or Etsy. On a whim, I searched Pinterest and came across this amazing artist. I’ve got a few prints ordered and am so excited to see the room come together.

This article about digital hypocrisy. I could write a whole post about this topic. People frequently underestimate how the behavior that parents and teachers model in front of children is integral to their development. The topic of digital consumption only becomes more and more relevant each year.

Of course I can’t write a favorites post without talking about cats at least once. This comic and this comic are both so true. And does it get any cuter than this photo? Kills me every time.

This has been my go-to appetizer for social gatherings this summer. I’ve already made it twice, and I have the ingredients to make it again tonight. So delicious and so easy.

Finally, also on the topic of food, I have big plans to make these two salads for weekday lunches in the near future: Asian Ramen Noodle Salad and Chopped Brussels Sprouts Salad With Chicken and Walnuts.

What have you been loving lately?
Feel free to leave links in the comments!



a birthday tradition

Jake’s birthday was earlier this week. He always wants funfetti cake for his birthday. Some years I make cake (which isn’t one of my strengths), and some years I make cupcakes (which is more my speed). Usually I buy a box mix, but I made cupcakes from scratch this year, largely because a standard box mix make two dozen, and I really only wanted one dozen.

Funfetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes

I made the original funfetti cupcake recipe from How Sweet It Is. I made a half batch of the frosting (and still didn’t use all of it) because I’m one of those weird people that doesn’t like super sweet desserts or tons of frosting on cake or cupcakes. I think that the cupcakes taste very similar to the standard box mixes but even better because hello, from scratch with fresh buttercream frosting. Jessica also has an updated version that she made into a super cute mini cake for her son’s first birthday in December. Go start your weekend off right and make a funfetti dessert.



the first year of Hobbes

Hobbes black and white

As of a couple weeks ago, Hobbes has been in our lives for a whole year. A lot has happened this past year, and Hobbes has such a dynamic personality that it’s actually hard to believe that he hasn’t been in our lives for more than a year. Of all the cats I’ve lived with over the years, Hobbes has definitely challenged me the most, especially during the first couple months. He was often way too excited to sleep during the day unless he could calm down on someone’s lap (which made it…tough to get anything done), he frequently got into the garbage and any food item sitting out (i.e. a bag of pretzels on the counter), and he constantly chased the other two cats around the house.

Hobbes is really lucky that he’s so cute.

baby Hobbes on the suitcase

It’s hard to stay mad at that face. (And yes, he’s sitting on a suitcase.)

Thankfully Hobbes has mellowed out quite a bit over the last year. He still has a lot of energy and loves to play with us and the other cats. But he’s much less naughty and has learned how to calm himself down independently, even when there are people around.

Today I’m sharing just a few highlights of the past year with Hobbes.

We purposely adopted a young male cat because we thought that he would be a good fit with our two slightly older male cats. While it’s always a transition bringing new cats together, these boys have all done amazingly well together.

Ares and Hobbes with the laundry basket

all three cats on the guest bed

Hobbes and Apollo on the dressing room window seat

Hobbes is just as snugly as he is playful. He loves to curl up right next to or on me or Jake for minutes on end and is happy to tuck in with us at night, too.

baby Hobbes on my lap

Hobbes snuggled up with Jake

Like many cats, Hobbes loves to “help” with jewelry making. He actually usually does pretty well settling down and not attacking everything mercilessly.

jewelry helper Hobbes

In recent months as I’ve picked up cross-stitch again, Hobbes has also discovered the joy of “helping” with cross-stitch, especially the pattern.

Hobbes under the cross-stitch pattern

Hobbes thinks that laundry days are the best days ever. He loves getting wrapped up in sheets and placed in a laundry basket, and he almost always insists on getting under the fitted sheet when I make the bed again.

Hobbes in the sheets

Hobbes in the sheets

And he has no fear. About basically anything in the house.

Hobbes in the food container

Hobbes in the washing machine

Hobbes is extremely active and frequently requests to play fetch with toy mice. When he’s in the right mood, he’ll fetch a couple dozen times in a row.

Hobbes playing with a toy mouse

Finally, one of the joys of moving and working on painting projects in two houses has been having a ladder in the house. Hobbes loves to the climb this step ladder and will do it on command for company (don’t judge).

Hobbes on the ladder

We love you, Hobbes! We can’t wait to see what this next year holds for all of us.





Happy 4th of July!

Wind Point Lighthouse at Golden Hour Best

Happy 4th of July! In between grilled foods and fireworks, take a few minutes today to be thankful for America and everything we have in this country.


the start of

Lake Michigan at Wind Point Lighthouse at Golden Hour June 2016 Best With Text-3

After a ten month blogging break, I’m back blogging at a brand new site: I blogged regularly at from late 2008 through mid 2015. By early 2015, I was really ready for a break from my regular blogging routine. Then in late 2015, after spending nine days with my family during my grandma’s final days, I found out in the same hour that she had passed away and that I had failed my final fertility treatment. I was preparing for a big trip with my husband, and we were one week away from closing on a new home. I made the blogging break official and spent the first half of 2016 enjoying a fresh start and working on a lot of home and craft projects without documenting every bit of my progress.

Earlier this month I decided that I was ready to get back in the blogging game and take the plunge and move to WordPress with a new blog that better fits my current blogging goals. isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and I’ll still be referring back to posts there from time to time. The break from blogging was much needed and helped me come back to blogging with a fresh perspective. During the past ten months, I’ve been brainstorming lots of post ideas including home updates, Milwaukee and other southeast WI events, craft tutorials, new Etsy happenings, and all things photography related.

I’m excited to be back to blogging and blogging here at If there is anything you’d like to see here, please let me know.