Monthly Archives

January 2015

Cousins Who Blog Together…

January 30, 2015

…stay together. 

I’d love to introduce you to Rebhan Renovation, a blog run by my cousin Linsdey! It was originally a space used to document the renovations she and her new (at the time!) husband were carrying out on their first house. While the blog remains a chronicle to Lindsey’s various renos and all around craftiness, there’s been a little shift in content.

Lindsey has officially entered the world of mommy blogging!

Both of us running blogs was serendipitous and I revel in it. While we are nearly a country apart, we are no longer tied only by our last names (or maiden names) and round faces. Lindsey has even carved out some room for me on her page, ‘Blogs We Love,’ which is quite possibly one of the biggest and best compliments I’ve ever received.

Send some P&S love to Rebhan Renovation and check out their page, their adorable dogs and the most huggable, squeezable baby you’ve ever seen!

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 11.56.59 AM

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Stewing Over Stew

January 29, 2015

I am a winter nester. Always have been. Being a winter nester away from home though mandates that all the stew and hot cocoa that you want must be made by, well, you. Right away that presents me with a problem. Sure, I can make eggs and mix a packet of Swiss Miss into hot water, but real winter nester food, that’s a whole different story.

Yesterday, as I was getting home from work in the frigid chill of another January sunset, I decided that I would try my first winter dish. My mom’s Barley Stew (better known as the barley stew recipe on the back of the Goya bag).

Thus begins another kitchen adventure:

I got to TJ’s in search of barley, beef stock, oregano and bay leaves. In true TJs form they had coconut flour and dried lima beans but no barley. So, in an ironic twist of fate for all grocery store market competition, I trekked below Washington Circle to Whole Foods.

Surely Whole Foods would have bags of barley! This was, of course, only partially true. The barley was loose in a pull-the-lever-measure-with-your-eye-then-weigh-it kind of a deal. In this moment I learned two things: 1. I do not have an eye for what one pound of pearl barley looks like 2. while my love for Whole Foods is immense, I would at some points, do absolutely anything for a Shop Rite that sold bags of GOYA products.

I got home, simmered, boiled, browned and prayed to the food gods that the mish-mash in my pot would come resemble anything that could possibly be mistaken for a stew.

I think it went over well. The Boy in the Polo Hat went for seconds.


Barley Stew Ingredients


Eating Barley Stew

You Can Get Lost in a Room

January 26, 2015

I am an unassuming people watcher. When I’m on an overlook at a two-story bar or standing on line at Trader Joe’s, people float in and out of my eyesight and I can’t help but to think about who they are and what they’re doing.

My favorite part of people watching is catching someone doing something infinitesimal like trying to stick a nacho into their mouth when its far too big. In those cumbersome moments, I wish I could hug that person, because somehow that nacho makes them human. That chip, too big for their mouth, makes them vulnerable to cheese dripping on their pants and sadness.

I’ve often wondered, directly after my urge to hug the stranger who’s just unintentionally shared a private vulnerable moment with me, if people ever look at me and have some visceral reaction. Has anyone walked down the street, as I do, and feel a pang of nostalgia and the need to call their dad after they’ve seen me trip on the raised brick outside of the dry cleaners? I do things like slip on ice in rush hour walking traffic carrying a brand new laptop and a full travel mug of coffee wearing a winter white shirt.

Watching someone do something that makes you ache for them has two dimensions. It can make your heart hurt while also showing your humanity. The pang of fear that they are lonely or sad or going through something that isn’t etched on their face shows that somehow, in your busy day-to-day life, you have time to care about someone you don’t even know.

A nacho is so much more than a nacho sometimes.

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Hirshhorn Saturday & A Bottle of Red

January 25, 2015

This Saturday was an adventure day. It was one of those days that moved from planned to unplanned, the perfect hybrid of aimless adventuring.

While the Hirshhorn wasn’t on my To Do List originally, its a stop I’ve always wanted to make on the Smithsonian circuit. So, when I woke up to a blistery cold morning and a text from my friend Taylor that said, “Want to adventure?” I knew that it was the perfect excuse to walk through Days of Endless Time. 

I can’t say that Taylor, Carolina or I are connoisseurs of modern art and I must admit that I may have fallen asleep in one of the video installations. During my half-dream state, sitting in that dark room being ushered through the wilderness by a video camera, I realized that art, for some people, is like good writing to me. Its a beautiful thing to be moved by something. I was moved to take some pretty cool pictures. And to eat some wonderful French food. Continue reading for photos of both.


Continue Reading…

On My Mind, P&S in Progress

January 19, 2015

Welcome to post-welcome week. On the agenda for the next 7 days is some TV catch up, some crafting, some To Do List accomplishing and some P&S editorial decisions! Happy Monday, may your MLK day be far more non-working than mine is!

GIRLS & The Mindy Project catch up

Since I don’t have HBO on my budget college apartment TV, catch up is always a must. Following the first episode of the 4th season (and my subsequent tears) I’ve been waiting all week to get home on Monday night to Adam Driver (my weirdest celebrity crush) all of a sudden thrust into a LDR with the insufferable and scarily somewhat relatable, Hannah. Watch GIRLS. Its smart and ridiculous. Also this week is a new episode of The Mindy Project. I must watch and support a self-made writer with an affinity for tweed skirt-suits. Her adventure in Cali continues; what more could we ask for?



The Mindy Project - Season 3 - Promotional Poster

crafting for above my bed

I started a project, with the help of my dad, near the end of break but just didn’t have time to finish it before I was directed back south to the District. This week I’m going to buy some painters tape and some paint and finish up the wood arrows. I’m planning a black and gold chevron pattern. A How-To will follow! Keep your eyes peeled later in the week.


the To Do List, #1

This last semester is going to fly by, so I need to get on the To Do List ASAP! I made a promise to myself that if not all of these were complete by the end of the semester there would be a very good story attached to why one remains incomplete. I’m unsure which one it’ll be, but by next Sunday something on the To Do List will be crossed off and photographed!

Last Year Series To Do List

a new project, p&s

This week and next I’ll be working on P&S’s newest series (along with a non fiction story and a profile for feature writing). I just spilled the idea to a couple friends and got some great feedback, hopefully everyone loves the concept as much as they do!

P&S in Progress

The Last Year Series To Do List

January 12, 2015

Whether you’re a senior in college or not, most people can relate to the feeling one has when something that feels permanent in life is realized as finite, as running out. Its a feeling of both helplessness and unadulterated excitement, because while last’s can be sad, they also have a way of creating experiences in the purest versions of themselves. Its the carpe diem feeling, the grab life by the horns moment when you’ve realized that the time to be that certain version of yourself is running out.

This isn’t meant to be depressing, its meant to light a fire under all of our seats. Of course I mean this for the seniors, the class of 2015, but also for those of you removed from college, settled into another part of your life already, this is for you as well. There are always reasons to get up and do what you haven’t already. There is always room for a to do list. There’s always time to act on an impulse, eat caviar, get up while the sky is still dark and sit on Lincoln’s lap while the sun comes up.

My reasons for the Last Year Series To Do List are clear: its my last moments as a college student in the district. Who knows what city I’ll end up in after graduation. Who knows who I’ll be with. Now’s my time to enjoy all the things I want to enjoy, with the people I’ve grown to love, here, in the nation’s capital.

Last Year Series To Do List

If you have any suggestions for the To Do List, comment on this post or fill out a contact form.

And as for you? Jot down 5 things you want to do before May; the list will only grow from there. And then, let me know how it goes.

xo & little moments make you graduate,




January 7, 2015

Peony Prattle

prat · tle  /’pradl/

verb   1. talk at length in a foolish or inconsequential way.

noun 1. foolish or inconsequential talk

What’s a blog without a space for a little inconsequential chatter?

I’ve learned that there’s an expanse of limbo between what constitutes a blog post and what remains just a fragmented thought. It would be wrong though, to cast off wisps of experiences, thoughts, memories, or observations that don’t quite round out to a full fledged posts. So, here’s Peony Prattle. For all intents and purposes this space is a little peek into the less finished, less refined side of P&S.

Think of this as my blogging diary. You can find this new series on the far right side of the menu bar.

Now, let this adventure commence.

Peonies for Christmas

January 6, 2015

Writing is part of me. This has been apparent to those close to me since I was much younger. In a way, it was always synonymous with my identity within my large New Jersey family: Kelly is the writer, the English lover, the bookworm.

They’ve always supported me, urged me; Kelly be a writer, Kelly follow your dreams. And when I went into college undecided (a tale I tell with a shake of my head) they all seemed to know that it was only a matter of time until I drifted to English or to journalism. And when I applied and was accepted to the GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs they only said, good and where you belong. 

My cousin is most vocal about my writing, always pushing me to do more. Perhaps she’s unaware, but she’s been saying, “do whatever you want, as long as you keep writing,” for as long as I can remember. It may be just a tick to her, just something that she says when were talking about writing, playing Scrabble, or when she’s abusing me about my affinity for nerd games like ‘Blurt,’ but I take it to heart each and every time it comes out of her mouth.

On Sunday, at NJ Christmas, she was thrilled to give me my gift, telling the whole family that it was the present to beat, the best one that she had gotten that year. Was it the world’s cutest shirt? The J Crew numbers of all J Crew numbers? No, it was far far better.








In a way, just by embroidering that bag and engraving that pen, Kim and her husband Ward showed me a different kind of support (the same as when my mother and father got P&S logos on t-shirts last year). It makes me want to do better, write better and write more creative posts more often.

So, I’ll don my new bag, use my new pen, and hope that I can live up to their expectations and mine.

2015 is going to be a good year for P&S!




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On My Mind, the Last Week Home

January 5, 2015

This week I’m sniffling my way into my last semester in college and my first week as an editorial intern for DC Magazine. Look out for the first Peony Prattle, and happy 2015!

the winter cold

You know the one: head stuffed with cotton, low grade temperature, runny nose, all around need to cry and curl up in a ball in front of the TV. I was blessed with its arrival yesterday night and have been mouth breathing ever since. I guess it comes at an okay time, since I was looking for an excuse to spend my last days at home on the couch anyways!

the drive to dc

At the end of every Christmas break, my mother and I pack up the car and head south on 95 toward the start of second semester. Its a tradition to stuff the back of the car with my new clothes, groceries, Swiffer pads and new shampoo and conditioner. While this trip is a refill for my life at school, it has also become a fixture of my time at GW. Sometimes my aunt or uncle accompanies, sometimes the Boy and the Polo Hat hitches a ride, but it always leads to some reenergizing before the start of the semester. It almost always includes a trip to my mother’s favorite, Il Canale. I’m looking forward to packing the car this Friday and embarking on our annual trip!

starting work, dc

The end of vacation is near! As the last semester of college, its all very bittersweet, but I’m thrilled and excited to be starting a new job! On Monday I’ll make the trip to Friendship Heights in order to start my position as editorial intern for DC magazine; I couldn’t be more ready to take on this position.

the last semester, officially

I’m unsure how this happened, but I guess its time to accept that my last semester as an undergraduate is beginning on Monday. Here comes job searching, networking and a string of all day brunches toasting to nostalgia and senioritis. The Last Year Series will be in full swing for the next semester, accompanied by a Last Year Series To-Do List! Look out for that in the coming weeks!