Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The B-day gifts trickle in

My nice co-worker brought me a birthday gift today: flour and chocolates.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Birthday fruit tart

I love when my birthday lasts a few weeks with wishes and cards and dinners and gifts trickling in. My friend "Sister" invited me to dinner tonight. When I got to her house she announced that we were going out and we walked across the street to the Elephant Walk. I've heard great things about that restaurant for years (French/Cambodian food) and dinner was delicious.

We passed on the dessert menu since Sister had bought a fruit tart. I imagined a custard filling in a pie crust with fruit on top. Yum. Sister served the tart and it looked different than I expected. It had beautiful fruit on the top but was dark so I assumed it was chocolate mousse with a graham cracker crust. We both took bites and then both made faces. It wasn't at all what we imagined and frankly didn't taste very good.

Sister jumped up and went over to the box and then exclaimed, "HAPPY VEGAN BIRTHDAY!"

Note: Dessert w/out butter and eggs is NOT dessert!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cousins Club

My oldest cousin Anita is in town with her husband. I picked her up at the subway station this morning and we went to church together. Her husband has a conference and she'll be puttering around the city and then they are going to Bar Harbor. They'll be back the end of the week and staying with me so I'll get a photo but in the meantime here we were many years ago.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Movin' on down

My friends the Truscotts moved down to Rhode Island ("row-dieland") today after six years at MIT and in the Arlington Ward. I'm telling myself I'm not sad because they are only an hour and a half away and most of my friends who leave here end up WAY on the other side of the Mississippi River. I drove down to Rhode Island today to see their new house and help them unpack a few boxes and make a few beds. Their house is really cool--it has a pool (and 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a very nice kitchen, loads of space, and a huge yard).

When I left, their youngest Sam YELLED (he only YELLS), "I LIKE YOU AND I LOVE YOU!" Right back atcha Truscotts and I'll see you soon.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Tonight I was at the Temple and having a quiet conversation with a friend sitting next to me. The woman behind me leaned up to say something and I thought she was going to tell me to be quiet. Instead she said, "Are you Ellen?" What?!? She remembered me from California. She said she met me and my brother at some singles activities. And, I sewed a dress for her. She was going to a party with her then-boyfriend and I made a blue dress for her. She still lives in California and I guess was in Boston on vacation.

Well, I'll be. I thought I remembered everyone I had met and everything I had done.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Condolences to the Jackson family but hey I have a good "brush with fame" story. It was the afternoon of New Year's Eve in the early 80's (Michael's short pants, white glove, Thriller era) and I was at the Sherman Oaks Galleria Mall with my mom looking for something to wear to the New Year's Eve church dance that night. I looked over and there he was. Michael Jackson walking through the mall. My mom didn't believe me. But it was him.

If the Jacksons had gone to public school they would have gone to our high school (Birmingham) and they lived in our ward boundaries. I used to drive by their house on my way to work (their trash day was Thursday----just kidding, I don't really remember that).

Weird or not, it's sad when someone young dies.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

He's happy to be on a bike

European travelers

Last week my nephew Jamel surprised his sister Adrienne at the Heidelberg Castle in Switzerland. I know it meant a lot to Adrienne and I hope it was a high point of Jamel's (49 day) trip. I love this picture.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Old cake plate, new recipe

Tonight I made the Barefoot Contessa Coconut Cupcakes for the first time. I haven't tasted one yet but I think they are going to get an A+ (they have 3 sticks of butter in them). I've got a dozen to take to work with me and some set aside for a sewing bee tomorrow night plus a few extras. I realized as I was starting the frosting that I didn't have a pound of cream cheese so I made half the recipe and there was plenty to frost two dozen cupcakes. So...who can tell me how many cups 1/2 of 1 1/2 pounds of powdered sugar is?!?

P.S. I love this cake plate; it's a family heirloom.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

She was crazy about Woody...

...and I had fun taking lots of photos!

Loaves and fishes and Trader Joe's cookies

I haven't been baking as much the last two weeks (could this be a factor?!) so I bought these Trader Joe's cookies for refreshments for my first R.S. presidency meeting. Then I took them to our R.S. Closing Social the other night. And today I took what was left to a BBQ. I guess they are a Triple Treat.

Before Anne Geddes

I'm working on finishing a scanning project for my friend. This is one of my favorite baby pictures of her.

Baptism day for Gus

I took a ton of photos of Gus before his baptism in his white jumpsuit outside but as soon as I saw him return to the chapel with his dad--both in bow ties--I had to take more photos of him. Gus was all smiles at his baptism today and is a great kid!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Coolest birthday gift

My very crafty co-worker made this for me!!! I was so surprised when she handed it to me! Months ago I saw a graphic similar to this in someone's etsy shop that I loved (it was pricey). Diana must have remembered that and so she painted this one for me. I'm hanging it this weekend above my fabric stash in my living room. It's seriously one of the coolest gifts I've ever gotten!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another year, another birthday hat

Celebrating together: Robby 3, Ellen 2

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Deep Thoughts at Muzzey High

Tonight I was outside waiting for my walking buddy and I saw one of my neighbors and mentioned I was going walking. This is what she said:

Don't you find
that when you do physical exercise
you feel more energetic.

Now that's a major breakthrough.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elder(s) Patton

My brother Robes served in the Belgium Brussels Mission.  I will never forget the day he got home when he announced, "I adjusted over Texas."  Yeah, right!  His son, Elder Ian will be home in a few weeks (my how time flies!).  My sister-in-law spoke with him on Mother's Day and she reported he had a very thick Spanish accent so I have a funny feeling he probably won't be adjusting over the Florida Keys.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Arlington Ward night at Kimballs

Tonight, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Arlington Ward, we met at Kimballs. It was chilly and cloudy but that didn't stop probably 75+ people from showing up and having delicious ice cream. This little rascal--John Henry Wright--enjoyed eating someone else's ice cream! That's what toddlers do.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Leah!

One reason for the trip to New York City was to celebrate my friend Leah's birthday. Today after our delicious lunch at Gabriela's we got up to leave and the waiter ran up to me and said, "Please don't go yet. We have a birthday cake for your daughter." His comment made me laugh. She could be my daughter (I would have had her at 15). Leah is a great friend and it was a treat to celebrate her birthday this weekend with her!

Broadway show

Last night I went to my first Broadway show EVER! We saw Phantom of the Opera and of course it was great! Please excuse the juvenile nature of this photo.

Eating my way around the Big Apple

I feel like we chased food the whole weekend in New York City! Here is a summary of our weekend eating. Friday night: Dinner at the Shake Shack (we went to the one near Madison Square Park and the line had about 75 people in it so we went to the one on the upper west side instead and only waited about 15 minutes) and then we made a quick stop at Crumbs for cupcakes (yum). Saturday morning we ate breakfast at the Europan Bakery near the Manhattan Temple, ate lunch at Grimaldi's (delicious pepperoni pizza), picked up some Chinese food for an early dinner, and then had a late dinner at Carmine's after going to Phantom. Oops; I guess we had 4 meals that day. Today we wanted Mexican food so had brunch at Gabriela's (I had Mexican Toast and it was amazing!), followed by another stop at Crumbs (those cupcakes really are yummy) and then dessert at Cafe Lalo (I ordered creme brulee--my favorite!) before heading home to Boston. Here are a few favorite food photos.

New York City favorite photos

Here are 5 of my favorite photos from my weekend. I feel like it was a New York City FOOD weekend so I'll be posting more photos soon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

BIG RED EP goes to the BIG APPLE

I love going to New York City the first Saturday in December.  And every year when I go I always say I want to go back--for a weekend--when the weather is nice(r)--and this weekend I'm going!  My friends and I are leaving at 4pm and we have a fun-filled weekend planned.  I plan to eat creme brulee at Cafe Lalo and pizza and Grimaldi's, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (I took this photo about 5 years when I walked across it for the first time), visit the Tenement Museum and the Manhattan Temple, spend a few minutes in PurlSoHo, buy peppermint jelly beans at Dylan's, have a late dinner (our reservation is for 10:30pm!) at Carmine's, eat at the Shake Shack, visit St. John the Divine (at my mother's request), maybe go to a show (in all my trips to New York City I have never been to a show--shameful!!), try to find the best cupcakes in the city and maybe go to Top of the Rock!!  I'm looking forward to a non-stop, fun-filled, Big Apple weekend.  I'll have lots of photos and adventures to share when I return.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

3 kids/3 countries

I talked to my sister-in-law Kim yesterday and she commented that her 3 kids were in 3 different countries: Ian is on his mission in Argentina, Jamel and his buddy are spending 49 days in Europe and were in Belgium, and Adrienne is on a 2-week school sponsored trip to Europe and was in Germany.

Here's a picture of Adrienne's travel group (she's in green).

Lucky kids!!

Favorite magazine

My friend is in a book group and they were each asked to list their ten favorite books.  A few of the women made sure to put the Book of Mormon and Bible at the top of their list.  It wasn't a trick question.  Of course those are our favorites!  So Real Simple is my favorite magazine and the Ensign is my very favorite magazine.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shifting gears

Two weekends ago when I was driving to the airport I realized I was going about 60mph in 4th gear (and my car has 5 gears). It reminded me of a trip I took to Utah with my friend Gloria (she is my parents' age) back in the late 80's in my first car: a 4-speed Mazda GLC. She took a turn driving and as we got going on the highway I realized we were in 3rd gear and going at a pretty good clip. I didn't know how to tell her to shift into 4th gear so I hesitantly whispered, "shift...". Gloria quickly shifted into 4th gear and then said, "Oh, Joe [her husband] would have said, 'Are we going all the way to Utah in third gear?'"

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Graduate(s)

Last night the LaPierres hosted a Graduation Party for the seniors in the ward (and the Lynnfield Ward) which included their 10th and final child to graduate (Laree). It was fun to be with ward friends to celebrate these amazing youth. Laree is going to BYU. Zoe is going to BYU Idaho. Sam is going to BYU. And, Kyle is going on a mission to Kennewick, WA (and playing football at Tufts when he returns). They are all really cool kids and they will be missed.

Sunday, June 07, 2009