Tag Archives: family

Snapshots of Home

There are a lot of pictures that I took on my phone while at home and, since they don’t really fit into any specific kinds of posts, I’ve just decided to have a “snapshots of home” post.

Don’t worry. They’re fun pictures. It really gives a sense of what it was like at home.

This one was actually taken by my sister. This is the view of Thatcher with which anyone in my family is most familiar.

I miss that mug.

New England in a picture:

Fire in the fireplace:

Reading a book in the most comfortable chaise ever by said fire in the fireplace.

Dogs to keep me company:

One of my favorite pictures from the entire trip:

See that? Sawyer is smiling at me as I read a book written in the perspective of a yellow lab.

Amazing.

Dad looking on:

That wasn’t the only place or time in which I read, though. I also read on my favorite couch quite a bit. And I got through three books! Such a good way to spend a vacation.

On another night, I went out for drinks with one of my best friends in the world, Whitney.

Can you tell how huge the drinks are?


Pretty much the size of our heads. Oh, and please ignore my boobs.

Some days were spent shopping. I had the shopping spree at TJ Maxx.

Both necessary and cathartic.

I also fit in a lot of favorites from home while at home, like my favorite tuna salad with cranberries and apples from a place called Garelick & Herb.

So good.

Another favorite?

Zumbachs! In a Toasted Almond flavor! Heaven.

Also heaven: my mom’s homemade pancakes.

I know it’s just Bisquick, but why does it taste so much better when Mom makes it?

I also made up a meal of totally separate leftovers, for which a friend and reader, Maiah, requested a recipe.

I am now determined to create a recipe out of this concoction. Expect it sometime soon!

One of my favorite nights at home was again spent with Whitney. On this night, I went over to her house and helped her family make dinner, then got to enjoy it with them.

Just looking at those pictures makes me smile.

Speaking of pictures that make me smile…

My brother, the best gift-giver ever, gave me Pumking for Christmas. Naturally, I needed to try it with him.

Best. Beer. Ever. Just the smell was worth every penny.

Naturally, the occasion was so momentous for me that I had to take pictures of us with the beer, too.

And my dad wanted in as well.

My dad’s on tiptoes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Daniel is very tall.

On my last full day at home, my siblings, dad and I all took our dogs for a walk in a local park by a lake.

I will always remember that day!

On my last night, we went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Viva Zapatas. I got my favorite meal and my favorite margarita. ๐Ÿ™‚ Afterward, my dad captured this very cute moment of my siblings and me at the top of the stairs.

Sadly, the next day, it was time for me to go back to California.

Before I left, though — right before I left! — my mom and I made blondies “for my little brother because it was his first day at his new job.”

Please. They were totally for us.

As soon as they came out of the oven, though, it was time for me to go.

So, I headed to the airport…

… and then I was back in sunny LA before I knew it.

P.S. — Don’t forget to enter the Chobani Giveaway!

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Christmas Day

Ahh, I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday of the year. It might even be my favorite day of the year — even more than my birthday!

In my family, Christmas traditionally starts with the children (okay, now it’s “children”) opening their stockings first, before the adults (“adults”) are allowed into the room.

Tradition has sort of been thrown out the window, now that I awaken early with the “adults” and my brother still sleeps in until nearly noon like a teenager (he’s in his twenties). Nonetheless, we still start with our stockings. Our parents are just there with us now. And they open their stockings, too.

Before we got to anything else, post-stocking ritual, we all needed caffeine…

…and breakfast. And not just any breakfast. No, it was time for our traditional coffee cake.


…AKA the most unhealthy cake in the world. Last year, we tried a healthy version. This year, everyone else vetoed it. No big deal. We had fruit, too.

That makes it healthier, right?

Frankly, I agreed with them. I just took a small piece and paired it with a healthy serving of berries.

Don’t worry. The family still made a significant dent.

Keep in mind — there are only five of us.

Soon, it was time for the most anticipated part of the morning: the presents under the tree!

The family did not hold back. In no time at all, we went from this…

…to this…

…to this…

… to this.

What a bunch of slobs.

A highlight of the gifts?

My brother got me a WHOLE CASE OF PUMKING!

Best. Brother. EVER. Am I right??

Other “highlights?”

Oh, just some “Superstar” fuzzy PJ pants and a Hello Kitty t-shirt that says “Being this cute is exhausting!”

… I don’t want to talk about it.

I do, however, feel like talking about how much I love this picture of my siblings and me.

Love them. Love that we lined up in height order… again.

We spent the afternoon being lazy, watching a movie, and playing games.

My favorite, however, was…

Bananagrams!!! (AKA my new favorite game.)

I won the first round…

… but my family didn’t like that very much. And my family plays dirty. So, while I wasn’t looking, they switched the tiles around before the next round so that I got almost entirely consonants.

You know what they say about Karma, though? Check out my brother’s tiles.

He got what he deserved!

Wine helped the games (and my dad) be quite silly and fun.

Before we knew it, it was Christmas dinner time. No, we did not dress up. None of us even showered. Why do you ask?

We did, however, dress the table up. Someone had to look fancy.

Isn’t that pretty? My mom is amazing.

Those Christmas plates have been around for as long as I can remember.

Christmas was a wonderful day full of lots of love with my favorite people in the world.

But, all too soon, it was over.

How were your Christmases? I miss hearing from you guys!

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Christmas Eve

In my family, Christmas Eve is as much as a holiday as Christmas itself is.

It’s also arguably one of my busiest days of the year. Case in point: I made an effort, that morning, to capture photos of all of our Christmas decorations. It looks like this is the only one I got.

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Whoops.

Thank goodness for coffee, right?

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My last Christmas cup of the year! I love these cups. I got my regular holiday drink — a grande soy latte with one pump of peppermint. I’ll miss those.

So, why did I need all of that caffeine? My family had lots and lots of last-minute Christmas shopping to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

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This year, we actually finished early because we’d gotten a lot of shopping done the day before — something new for us!

Good thing, because it let us start our cocktail drinking early. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This year, our drink of choice was orange vodka with fresh-squeeze orange juice and orange slices.

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Heavenly. ๐Ÿ™‚

And they allowed for lots of family affection.

I mean, that’s what alcohol is the holidays are for, right?20111225-093045.jpg

We spent our evening with my Dad’s side of the family for dinner, for which my mom made her traditional and amazing lasagna. This was my first year as a vegetarian, which means it was my first year having just the vegetable lasagna. I felt in no way, shape or form deprived. ๐Ÿ™‚

After my dad’s family left, we started a new tradition: decorating the tree on Christmas Eve! This is something we usually have done weeks ahead of time, but now that we’re all around the world, my mom waited for us to do it.

That way, we each get to hang “our” ornaments. This is one of mine:

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And then, it was bedtime! The stockings were hung with care…

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… and from there, it was time to simply anticipate Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Christmas Eve Eve

Hi, guys! Remember me? Kaitlin? With Honey?

Life has been an absolute whirlwind lately. There was that whole new job thing, for one. I was at the job until 5:30 on Thursday and then basically immediately hopped on a plane to fly home overnight and arrive in Connecticut at 6:30 on December 23 (AKA Christmas Eve Eve, for those of you as obsessed with the holiday as I am.

To my delight, I arrived to see this:

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My sister made and left that for me. Is she the best or what?

Anyway, I hadn’t been able to sleep much on the plane, so I went and napped for a few hours. But then, I woke up to this:

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AKA my favorite and go-to East Coast breakfast.

Oh, and I also woke up to this (even better):

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My dogs AND my little brother? I was a happy camper.

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I think the dogs were, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ … Except when we locked out of the new (essentially) “no-no room.”

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They got over it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, some of us still needed to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, so I went along for the ride. We hurried back, however, as my mom had planned for a family cocktail hour that evening to precede our nice dinner out.

We made drinks out of Frangelico, Kahlua, Vodka and splashes of milk.

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It’s nice having a sister who’s been a bartender before. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Soon, we went out to dinner at a nice new restaurant in town. It was tons of fun.

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Family cheers:

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… And soon, it was Christmas Eve. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Snapshots of Home, Part Two

In case you missed Part One, you can find it here. And, of course, here is Part Two!

So, on Wednesday, my mom treated me to a really special day. We had tickets to see…

How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, on Broadway and starring Daniel Radcliffe!

Yes, really.

We were actually supposed to make a day of it and go to this fancy place for lunch…

But we got a little sidetracked and were just a little bit late to the city, so instead we were in and out of this place in 20 minutes…

No big deal. My mom and I are cool like that. Plus, we made up for it by going out for a really nice dinner that night with my dad and Daniel.

That’s a Blood Orange Martini, FYI. And it was phenomenal.

My dad and I split crab cakes.

And then I got fettucini with lobster and shrimp.

Different for me, for sure, but really good!

The next morning took a slightly different turn. It started, however, with my wonderful mother bringing me coffee and one of my very favorite breakfasts.

Is she the best, or what?

Unfortunately, she brought me these things because I was holed up in a corner with these guys:

Hurricane Irene was coming and, since I was starting that new job on Monday, I needed to get back. So, sadly, I had to cut my vacation two days short and booked my flight for Friday instead of Sunday.

On the bright side, I managed to make the most of the rest of my time.

I soaked up both sunshine…

And rain…

Some amazing food…

(Recipe to come for that amazing pasta above.)

(Those were just made from the recipe on the Godiva chocolate chips package… really good, though!)

And some old staples…

(Brought some coffee home to LA with me!)

My very last meal in CT — my favorite, an egg sandwich!

And I also had one last homemade meal — a rotisserie chicken sandwich made by my mommy.

Those cookies lasted all weekend, FYI.

I’m homesick already!

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Snapshots of Home, Part One

I have been the worst blogger lately. Seriously, the worst. And I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t lose any of you along the way.

The thing is, when I was home, I just wanted to be home. I just wanted to spend time with my family and enjoy the time off. I didn’t really mean to not blog, but I was so distracted! And then my vacation was cut short, which means I had even less time to devote to anything other than hanging out with my family.

On the bright side, I did document most of it on my camera. So, here’s a little at-a-glance of my trip home. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, when I walked into my parents’ room on my first day, I immediately zeroed in on something… interesting.

Anybody notice a theme amongst those pictures? Yep, those are all pictures of my little brother. My mom literally took time out of her schedule to refill the frames with just pictures of Daniel because she knew I’d notice.

What a jokester, that one.

Anyway, she made up for it the next morning. How?

Let’s see, what else? Oh! My dogs! Practically half the reason I went home.

Thatcher…

And Sawyer…

Cuties.

We celebrated my dad’s birthday (again — it’s really more like a birthweek) on his actual birthday.

My mom loves the element of surprise with gifts. She’s famous for it.

Dad’s perfect dinner:

And, of course, cake, which my mom made.

Again, my mom — a jokester. She thought it’d be funny to switch the numbers around.

(It was pretty funny.)

We righted it, no worries.

That’s my dad opening my gift to him, by the way. It was an autograph by the guy who does the voice for Squidward on Spongebob. I met him a few weeks ago. My dad loves that show (yes, the children’s cartoon), so I thought it’d be a fun gift.

Unfortunately, my mom kiiiiind of upstaged me.

Whatever.

Alright, that seems like enough for now. Part Two to come!

It’s my first day at my new gig today! I’ve made it so that this post publishes automatically while I’m there, so… wish me luck that the day is already going well!

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Splash

Upon arriving home, I jumped right in. (Does that work well with the title, or what? Total coincidence, too, since I’m about to write about a restaurant called Splash.)

My flight was delayed, so I got in around 6:45am (I was supposed to get in at 5:30), at which time my admirable mother picked me up. We got breakfast, we went home, I gave my dad a big hug, and then I promptly took a two hour nap. I usually tough the jetlag out, but I had a big day ahead of me.

After I napped, I took a shower (sorely needed) and then my mom and I were off to pick my best friend, Will, up from the train station! We spent the afternoon catching up by the pool and then it was time to go out to dinner with my family to celebrate my dad’s birthday.

We went to a fancy-schmancy restaurant on the Sound, Splash.

We really enjoyed being in the sun and then watching the sun set over the water.

The idea behind the restaurant’s serving method is awesome — everything is served family-style, so everything is meant to be shared. Amongst the five of us, we got four appetizers, four entrees, and… oh, ten drinks? It was MORE than enough, but that doesn’t meant we didn’t do our very best in finishing it.

Drinks

I only captured mine, but I got a coconut martini…

And a blueberry mojito…

Appetizers

So, like I said, we got four to split amongst the five of us. These were our options:

We got the Firecracker Spring Rolls…

The Thai Style Lettuce Wraps (my second favorite)…

The Blue Lump Crab Cakes…

And the Crispy Beef Tip Skewers (my favorite — which totally surprised me!)…

Entrees

Again, we got four to split amongst the five of us. These were our choices:

We chose the Macadamia Crusted Swordfish (my second favorite)…

The Sea Bass Baked in a Banana Leaf…

The 5 Spiced Grilled Chicken…

And the “Shanghai Style” Filet Mignon (again, my favorite — so weird!)…

My (super packed) plate full of tastes:

Everything was absolutely delicious, but obviously the meat dishes were my favorite in each of the courses. I was surprised because my second least favorite appetizer was the one I’d chosen (the crab cakes) and my least favorite entree was also the one I’d chosen (the sea bass). Maybe I should let other people order for me from now on?

After dinner, we took a bunch of pictures by the water so we could capture the magic of the evening.

We also didn’t let it stop there — we were feeling pretty good from the cocktails and decided that we needed to keep the fun going. We headed to a mini-golf course (and may or may not have picked up a six-pack on the way…) and had a lot of fun being “that family” during the game.

No regrets. We all had a blast. It was a perfect first night home.

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