25 February 2014

Seattle in a day

It seems like ages ago that we packed up our family and headed out west for summer vacation. Seven months ago to be exact. While we embraced our short time in Seattle, I couldn't help but miss the stillness of island life. Where we were surrounded by dark starry nights and the only sounds were the soft lulls of ocean waves and the occasional breaks against the barrier rocks. Yet some of the best vacations encompass both the stillness of nature and the bustle of city life.

Our time in Seattle was brief, but long enough to know that we will certainly be back. It is a city of heart and soul whose spirit is bursting into cool ocean air and dispensing over all who walk below.

by Elizbeth Jacob

In darkness hides a hint of light
down cool wet alleys, over slick shiny streets.
In silence lingers sound
distant talk muffled on corners, steel cans crashing.
A language all its own.
In calmness, beauty and brick, lurks fault
waiting patiently wrapped in movement.
I found solitude in the city
where lonely traveling souls walk,
distracted and gentle.

My city waits.

A few highlights from our time in Seattle include Pike Place Market, The Seattle Aquarium, The Seattle Great Wheel, a lunch at Place Pigalle, exploring city streets and dinner at Wild Ginger

A day in Seattle is certainly not enough. We hope to see you soon gentle city.

24 February 2014


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Jonas: Always serious, always sensitive.
Joshua: Always playful, always creative.
Jessica: Always happy, always dancing.

*These photos were taken with an old Nikon 2020 film camera.
*I have enjoyed shooting in film these past few weeks, it has REALLY tested my knowledge and weighed on my budget, but I am happy to announce my camera is back from the shop!

Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.

21 February 2014

documenting details | iphone photos


I may not have had my camera these past few weeks, but at least I've had my iPhone. Wouldn't the world be lost without the iPhone? I can even hear soft muffles from my children "take a picture with your iPhone" or "look it up on your iPhone."

Here are a few favorites from these past couple weeks. I've taken over the restaurant's Instagram and Twitter accounts and am excited to venture down this road. The amount of photographs that accumulate from the restaurant are endless. I can't wait to get creative and get behind the scenes.

You can follow my personal Yellow Finch account here our restaurant, Bender's Tavern, here and on twitter here.

Enjoy your weekend! Ours will be full but only in the best of ways.

19 February 2014

kale with quinoa in the heart of winter

The heart of winter has settled in like a thick wool blanket of snow tucking us down for the season. Ohio winters can be long, a stretch of time that is pulled and tugged until only a thin sheer layer exists, but it still exists. I don’t dislike winter, in fact I long for the excitement of wearing over-sized sweaters, warm fitted hats and tall fleece lined boots. The early days of winter always put a smile on my face and make me giddy and giggly like a child. I look forward to layering myself on winter white mornings, to the first snowfalls, family ski trips, the comfort of warm stew and hot cocoas made from scratch. But there comes a point when I look forward to letting go of the frigid air that whips around, I look forward to releasing winter and the bitter harshness that accompanies it. It’s on these days I seek comfort in the kitchen.

The earthy scent of kale reminds me of summer when our garden grows wild and my hands are always tinted with dirt. In the far corner of our yard a garden grows next to a wooded forest. The ritual of digging and planting, weeding and trimming, picking and nurturing brings a sense of peace and calm to the summer hours. Somehow, kale finds its way into our meals nearly daily: smoothie drinks, chips, salads, pastas and more. One of my favorite kale dishes to make is kale with quinoa. It is simply one of the easiest dishes, can be doubled (or even tripled), prepared for lunch or dinner, be topped with roasted vegetables, chicken or salmon and is ideal for packing in school lunches.


Kale with Quinoa and red wine vinaigrette
Serves about 6

1 large bunch of kale (I prefer Lacinato)
2 ½ cups cooked quinoa
2 medium carrots, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 English cucumber, diced
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 medium golden beets, roasted or steamed, peeled and diced

Prep all vegetables by thoroughly cleaning, peeling if necessary and dicing. Thoroughly rinse the kale and cut into small pieces with kitchen sheers, set aside. Cook quinoa by adding one cup uncooked quinoa to two cups water or broth, bring to a boil then turn heat to medium and cover for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for a few minutes. You can also cook according to the package.

Mix vegetables and quinoa together in a large bowl, toss in the cut kale and add the red wine vinaigrette dressing. You may not need all of the dressing, use the appropriate amount to your desired taste.

Red wine vinaigrette

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients briskly with a whisk until smooth. Season to taste, if necessary.

I paired the kale and quinoa salad with seared salmon and a glass of Ferrari Carano 2012 Chardonnay. This full-bodied wine “Delivers a refreshingly clean burst of ripe, citrus-laced fruit, with tangerine, nectarine and green apple notes and a mouthwatering finish" quoted Wine Spectator. In my opinion, this wine never fails.

This post was originally published over on my lovely friend Meghan's site The Free Bird Sings.

18 February 2014


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Jonas: A desire to read constantly lingers close.
Joshua: A young child with a tired, overworked mind. His creativity leaves him exhausted.
Jessica: Her imagination takes her on endless adventures.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.

*These photos were taken with an old Nikon 2020 film camera.
*If anyone wants to join me on my film adventure, I am using only film for the next couple weeks while my camera and lens are being fixed. So far, I am welcoming and embracing this challenge!

16 February 2014

focus and film

I dedicated the new year to focusing on words and photographs. Recently, life has been so full I haven't had the chance to sit and write. My desire is strong and I have the urge to write, to tuck myself away in a coffee shop and type my words away.

These next weeks will be about focusing on writing. I've also decided to embrace the time away from my camera and focus on film, an area I have always struggled. Do you use film? Do you have any tips? I'm looking forward to sharing this journey over the next month. Searching on pinterst has been inspiring, but boy does it make me miss my camera!

14 February 2014

happy valentine's day

We are off on an adventure today. The kids don't have school so Jon came up with a scavenger hunt that will send us on our way. A trip to the museum, the park, lunch, the coffee shop and more! I'm looking forward to spending the day with the little ones. It's a crazy weekend for us, the restaurant is packed which means I'll barely see Jon this weekend. But we celebrated last night and are looking forward to a house filled with family on sunday.

Happy Valentine's Day friends!

12 February 2014

broken camera blues


I’ve always joked that I have bad luck, but these days I may be starting to believe it. Remember back in October, Jessica’s birthday to be exact, when my camera (as in my new camera, I can’t believe my amazing husband bought me this camera) fell and the lens was shattered and broken? Yep, that camera. Well, I managed to do it again. Long story short, Saturday night our school hosted their annual auction and my family helped out by manning one of the food stations for the Men Who Cook event. As the night came to an end we broke down the tables and loaded up our cars. As I was making one of those trips to my car I slipped on a piece of ice and fell. I even took off my heels and put flats on prior to going out in the snow! I never thought to check my camera bag (that new camera bag that is supposed to prevent such happenings) until the morning. As I carefully put my hands around my camera and pulled it from the bag I could hear broken glass shaking beneath the lens cap. My own hands began shaking and the tears quickly fell. I was crushed.

Like I said, long story short. My lens is broke, hopefully fixable but if not it is totaled. The disappointment continued when I realized my camera was out of whack as well. I tell you what, I don't know how I fell, but I must have fallen hard!

So, I am without a camera and a lens and I feel a bit like a lost puppy. Today, as I sipped my coffee, rather than edit photos I scrolled through every single photo I have taken and saved. Some good, lots of bad. I have decided to stop moping around and use this month to get organized, to stay on track and to set a path for my future. I'll begin by organizing my photographs and deleting everything I don't need. I may even pick up my old film camera and get creative. And I hope to share a few posts that have made their way to the back burner. Our day in Seattle, a few recipes, a couple poems and images that I somehow always feel drawn to.

Please tell me that I am not alone. I cannot believe this has happened to me ... again!

*note to self: I should write a poem about the Broken Camera Blues

11 February 2014


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Jonas: His passion and heart are after soccer.
Joshua: His newest passion is the loom.
Jessica: Her passion is dreaming and playing the day away.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.

I'm hoping to come back and list my favorites later today or tomorrow. I have declared today as "clean the entire house" day and I am determined to finish! Now off to clean I go.

08 February 2014

on writing


For the longest time I hesitated to call myself a writer. What exactly is a writer, how does one assume that title, or better yet, how does one acquire the title of writer? From the early days of elementary school, I found an underlining passion for writing, poetry, creative stories and literature. That passion soon grew and quickly blossomed into a path that I would eventually pursue, in college and in the working field. But does that make me a writer? When I eventually decided to embrace the title, I still tip-toed around the idea. It wasn’t until long talks with my dad, over strong coffee and his famed scones, that I was persuaded to clench the passion that yearned inside me since youth. My passion to write.

The online world is an endless maze that is vast and overwhelming. Choosing to open up, both creatively and emotionally, can be a difficult task. But if it wasn’t for this online world there is a slight chance I would never embrace the title of writer. Does this make a blogger a writer? Well, no it doesn't, but there are several bloggers out there who deserve the title.

So what does make you a writer?

I don’t have a concrete answer but I can say that we are all writers, we all have the words embedded deep inside of us somewhere, it’s just up to us how we execute and deliver these messages. Sometimes they emerge in the form of words, sometimes photographs, paintings or collages. Sometimes they shine through in our patience when working with others, in the teachers who are leaders in the classroom, in food and spirit that are creatively crafted or in the simple acts of life that truly are the defining moments.

What do you like to write? What is your genre of choice? Where do you find inspiration?

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

These photos are from our trip to San Juan Island this past summer. Our friend's uncle lives at one of the highest points on the island and we had the chance to stop by and explore.

05 February 2014

love is in the air




Julie + Wedding_-13



'Tis the season for love, hearts and valentines, hues of red and pink and several parties! This past Saturday we hosted a little get together with some dear friends, enjoyed good food, sipped on bubbly drinks and crafted the day away. You can find more details on our get together over on Babiekins Magazine Blog and some tips for hosting your own party.

I would like to send a special thank you to Anne, owner of Clafoutis, and Marie-Laure, the inspiration behind La maison de Loulou, for working with me on this special event. And of course, thank you Leslie, Camille, Sophie and Eli for helping us throw one awesome party on a cold Saturday afternoon!