bake | copycat levain chocolate chip walnut cookies.

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I did it. I went to Levain when the doc and I were in NYC this past October, and I ate one of their monster chocolate chip walnut cookies that tastes bready, almost, its so dense.

And then I went home and managed to recreate them in my own kitchen. I decided the keys were: very cold butter mixed with sugar, a dab of cornstarch, and a bit of cake flour. No vanilla. My process was very close to this one.

They were magical. I wouldn’t want these as a replacement to my own, silver dollar sized and so soft mini chip cookies, but I’d add these into rotation every now and again. It was a great experiment in the kitchen; one that paid in dividends.

knit | road trip.

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I just returned from two weeks on the road, camping. I brought with me four skeins of Quince and Co. Sparrow in the rille colorway (a salt and pepper marl yarn) for a Purl Bee Notched Hem tanktop.

And while I’m rounding the finish line already on this garment, I mostly read on the trip. In fact, I’m also rounding the finish line to Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and I started it just about two weeks ago.

Hurrah for accomplishments, knit and small, big Russian literature and short memoir.

What are you knitting? Reading?

pussyhats | 10.

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I have knit 10 hats for friends and family who will march with me on Washington this coming Saturday. If you don’t know about the Pussy Hat Project, read more about it here. Today, I registered all of my hats with their website.

I’m pleased I managed to make a hat for everyone on my list in less than a week. I wanted to include as much of my own flair as possible–so there are chunky hats, striped hats, and interpretations on “pink”, which is the color you are meant to knit your hats in.

Most of these were knit up with yarns in my stash–quite honestly, I’m not a big “pink” gal, so I was surprised I had as much in my collection as I did; and I purchased a few chunkier yarns when it got closer to the wire of my deadline. Yarns include Manos Del Uruguay, Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Malabrigo Rasta, Noro Silk Garden, and Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage.

Each of these will be packaged with a copy of We Should All Be Feminists, which I feel is essential reading my marching friends can check out as we rest at our campground the night before hitting the pavement.

I also helped make a handful of signs we will carry. There’s nothing like handmade protest signs. I hope to remember this day, one day, even though I had hoped we wouldn’t need this kind of solidarity in 2017.

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Did you knit hats for the march? Will you be there, too?

cross country.

Roanhorse Canyon, Navajo Nation, norther New Mexico–Sean’s grandma’s land. It’s the most perfect camping spot and the only one we got to hit up this summer as part of our cross country journey from Phoenix to Boston, where we are now together, putting our house together.

Summer, why do you ever have to leave? See more snaps from our trip here.

tripping.

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After a successful 2014 trip to Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, Arizona, Sean and I decided to venture back to the beautiful campground and hiking spot for another go around last week. It’s a gorgeous spot. Plenty of trails (which allow dogs, hurrah!) and campground facilities, all the while making you feel remote and alone at your campsite.

We pitched tent on Friday early evening and settled into a relaxing evening of margaritas and snacks. A black widow scare later and breakfast the next morning, we set out on our first hike of the weekend. Little did we know, a dog would come out of no where and maul our poor pooch Jack, forcing us to scamper down the mountain and to an emergency clinic. Jack is lucky to be alive; we are lucky to have him, and a few hours of surgery later, we were packing up our campsite and returning to Phoenix.

I don’t know how I feel about ever going back to Catalina. It held such fond memories, but now, all I can think about is that dog, ripping Jack’s throat, and the panic that ensued. For me, living in Boston, an escape to 85 degree Phoenix was plenty enough. All I wanted was sun and warmth, cocktails like Sean’s famous Moscow Mules in the copper mugs I bought him last year…. and of course cacti. I got all of those things.

camping.

This summer, I spent most of my time on various amazing, life changing trips. Nights in a moon roofed tent, days hiking in canyons and swimming in secluded lakes. If I could go back and start them all over again, I would. If you want to see some snaps from my jaunt through the southwest, pictures are here but have yet to be organized. Oh, and we did that whole east coast, Tennessee, and Smoky Mountain thing, too.

Can we please go back to summer vacation?

summer view.

What I get to look out at every morning in summer, with no alarm clocks (though I’m an early riser, period) and nothing but quiet and birds. Lake Winnipesaukee is heaven; if this view doesn’t inspire you to make things all day long, I don’t know what will.

spring break.

I spent my spring break on two camping trips–I began in southern Arizona, surrounded by more than 5,000 saguaro cacti, and then flew to Savannah, Georgia to meet my mum and sister to camp along the eastern seacoast all the way home.

It was a blast; the weather in Arizona was delicious, and I managed to read 3 books and knit 2 sweaters in all the relaxation.

You can check out snaps from the trip here. Or, wade through last year’s cross country camping trip as well.