Category Archives: family

Grab a Prop & Strike a Pose


One of the best decisions we made for the wedding was to rent a photo booth for our guests. We chose the Party Booth from Shifoto, a Ma & Pop photography business based in West Virginia. They were so kind, helpful, professional and communicative.

We asked for all the photos to be in black and white (it’s classic and it hides sweaty flushed faces), and we put out a couple of chalkboard speech bubbles, a 20 piece set of photo booth props, and a framed print of the image above found here on Pinterest.

It was a blast — we got so many compliments on it from our guests — even the minister and his wife hopped in! It helped keep everyone busy while we were photographed after the ceremony and before the reception, and it provided lots of entertainment when people took a break from dancing.

Here are a few of our favorites (so hard to choose!). You can see the whole set here.

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Halloween 2012


pumpkin carved

me and pu mpkin


Last Halloween, we dressed up and went to a party at a friend’s house. This year, our first year in our house, we stayed home to greet trick-or-treaters and hand out candy, for the first time. It was lots of fun! Ruby ran down the steps barking for each door bell ring, then softened and wiggled with excitement seeing all the kids.

Apple Crumb Pie

apple crumb pie

apple crumb pie recipe


My Mom’s apple crumb pie recipe is simple and delicious. I was craving it on Saturday, and then my sister B and her boyfriend unknowingly made the pie when we celebrated my mom’s birthday yesterday.

My mom had a lot of extra apples that she sent home with me, so I made my own last night. I made the pie crust from scratch, as well.

Andrés, his mom, and I all had a slice with our late breakfast.


  • 5 to 7 apples (5 cups)
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter


Core the apples, and cut into thin slices. You can pare them, or not — I don’t. Put the apples in a large bowl and mix with 1/2 cup of sugar and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon until they’re evenly covered. If you want a more tart pie and you’re using sweet apples, like Red Delicious, you can add some lemon juice to the mix. Arrange the apples in the unbaked pastry shell.

Mix 1/3 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of flour, and cut in the butter until it resembles course crumbs. I use my hands to cut in butter because I’m lazy, I don’t own a pastry cutter, and the two knives method annoys me. Sprinkle the crumbs over the apples.

Bake at 400° F for 35-40 minutes. If the pie browns too quickly, cover the edges with tinfoil.

Serve it warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Traditional Sunday Dinner

Last Sunday, my sister A & her partner M came to our house to cook us a traditional Scottish Sunday Dinner that’s very characteristic of the island they live on.

A described it as a topside/silverside cut of beef rubbed with salt and pepper, seared and slow cooked for 3.5 hours with two large quartered white onions in a broth of fresh thyme, garlic and a touch of red wine. It was served with sour cream mashed potatoes, boiled carrots, savoy cabbage and broccoli which was steamed and sauteed with garlic, butter and salt. The broth from the meat was boiled and thickened with Bisto gravy granules.

This traditional Sunday dinner from their island is particularly characterized by the lack of fancy techniques or things like Yorkshire puddings and a non-optional presence of mashed potatoes (although roasted potatoes are acceptable as an addition) and copious amounts of gravy and the meat NOT being pink at all.
It made the house smell amazing for hours. When we finally sat down to eat, the anticipation made it that much more delicious. It means a lot to M to have this dinner on Sundays, and A has taken the time to learn it, and even improved it in small ways. It’s a labor of love.

Across the Ideological Spectrum

Adrienne Pine, an assistant anthropology professor at American University, was about to begin teaching “Sex, Gender & Culture,” but her baby daughter woke up in the morning with a fever. She had no good child-care options, so she brought her sick baby to class. The baby crawled on the floor of the lecture hall during part of the 75-minute class two weeks ago. When the baby grew restless, she breast-fed her while continuing her lecture in front of 40 students. This sparked  debate.

While I’d love to hear how you feel about a single mom nursing her ill baby as discretely as possible in her classroom of college students in a feminist anthropology class, I’m more excited to share my dad’s reaction. My very conservative, ex-Marine, all around hard-ass (in a respectable way) dad.

He wrote an email to her:

Dr. Pine,
I am probably on the opposite side of you in every aspect politically, socially, and anthropologically…
As the proud father of 4 daughters, there was absolutely nothing wrong with or inappropriate about your taking care of your ill baby whilst teaching your class.
Unfortunately while too many claim to be compassionate and sensitive and tolerant and broad-minded, they are accepting only when it does not apply to them… or does not cost them anything… or someone else pays for it…
The antiseptic upbringing most of your students have been subject to most likely precluded them from understanding that breastfeeding is the third thing a living being does after taking a breath and crying after birth!
Do not be cowarded by intolerance! You have my full support.
Kind regards,
[My Dad]

She kindly wrote back, appreciative of his support — especially from “across the ideological spectrum.”

I love this. I love that my dad is pro-breastfeeding, and that he took the time write her and show his support. I’m proud of him.

Titi Miriam

The main decorations for our wedding are lace covered jars and coffee filter peonies.

Andrés’ aunt has helped me SO much. I get a little teary-eyed when I think about how gracious she’s been — never complaining or backing out. She decorated dozens of jars, in detail (the simple ones above are my own), and she assembled over 60 paper peonies. She’s incredible, and I’m grateful to have her. Last night she called and asked if I needed her to make more. Bless you, Miriam.


Top: Yesterday, Andrés & I hosted a ladies brunch / wedding decor making party. We had lots of family and friends come over to help make lace wrapped jars and coffee filter peonies. It was such a good time — I love being surrounded by such generous, beautiful, talented women. So grateful to know these women.

Bottom: (this photo is by my little sister, Y) Me helping my mom compose a picture in Instagram of the table set with all of the brunch food. We had five people Instagraming the crafting and Ruby!