Friday, August 24, 2012

A recipe for your weekend

My granny has a recipe called Koolie Cookies.
I have no idea how they got their name, but let me tell you, they are better than good.
My granny would send me back to college with a making of the salty sweet treat & they would last about 15 minutes between my pal Amy and me.
It's quick and it's easy. Probably too quick and easy.
You need 1 cup of each
light (not dark) corn syrup
peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
a bag of fritos (scoops or regular)
Spread fritos closely together onto parchment paper, tin foil or a baking sheet.
sugar, then syrup, then peanut butter

 Mix sugar and syrup in a boiler over medium heat.
Add peanut butter and stir until blended together.
Pour evenly over fritos.
Cool for at least an hour. Cut into squares.
Congratulate yourself on self-control and enjoy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Down South │Visiting family & friends


Going to Alabama means visiting the place where roots run deep, hugs are more common than handshakes, and everyone is eager to hear if our Southern accents have taken a Northern brogue.
It means flowers in bloom and lamplight and lace curtains.
It's boiled peanuts and fried everything and Dad's homemade biscuits in a cast iron skillet older than me.
It's pear salad and deviled eggs and fresh cream corn.
It's wide open spaces and driving cars and sunsets that make me pause.
It's humidity that fogs my lens and Mama hemming my pants.
It's reunions at my collegiate stomping grounds and feeling like an official grown-up.
It's little girls watching with wide-eyed wonder the college girls they will all too quickly become.
It's playing iPad games with a favorite 3-year-old and melting when he tells the lady at the ice cream counter,
This is JUSTIN! as if J were Santa Claus himself.
It's late night decorating projects and laughing 'til I hurt.
It's early morning coffee dates and well-worn pajamas.
It's meeting the dearest of friends for margaritas and wishing the night would never end.
It's welcoming brand new life and hugging tightly the old.
It's grace and love and some of the most restful sleep.
The place where roots run deep.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Down South │Visiting Elizabeth

Justin and I recently made a voyage down south to visit family and friends.
Part of our trip included a visit with Elizabeth, Mike and Everett.
You can read her tales here.

We were guests in their home & while I hope we were good ones, it felt more like we were family.
Justin stretched out on the sofa. Mike brought us a morning paper. We drank coffee and talked small town happenings.
Everyone took turns reading Everett his favorite book and watched him with swoony eyes because how can you not.
Everett also discovered the curls atop Justin's head and my heart swelled.
Check out this video.

I sat down with Elizabeth's sewing machine and I told her I felt like I was sitting down with another woman's husband.
She taught me how to put in a zipper, snapped her magic fingers and the cutest makeup bag you ever did see was born.

Justin lamented that his golf swing was choppy and the next thing you know, all the fellas were in the backyard with clubs chipping and pitching away. Priorities.

One of my favorite memories of our time together was helping Elizabeth in her classroom.
With desks arranged and her teacher's space cornered, the three of us- J, E and I- sat down and took it all in.
High school football players practiced in muggy heat that fell like a cloud around them.
Old wooden floors in the hallway begged to tell story after story of First Days of School and young teenage love and dreams for the future realized.

I sat in one of the students' desks and looked over at my beautiful friend- she really is beautiful, within and without- and had this thought...
These kids that skip run jump into her classroom this year?
They will meet more than a teacher.
They will meet a woman who has known heartache and pain and joy.
She will listen to them and they will be known by her.
She will encourage their strengths and they will feel strong.
She will be their champion and they will love her for it.

She will change their world. She definitely changed mine.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

'round here │edition We Are Home!

j+m cab it home

I have beautiful friends.
Claire on the left, Amber on the right.

French press reunion.

Hello all!
Justin and I are back home to New York City & we've hit the ground running.
There have been surreal moments in cabs (more on that later),
a farewell dinner to my very first friend in NYC (Claire pictured above),
a reunion with my French press after two years of being a part (long, happy sigh).

So much happy and so much bittersweet all in a matter of a couple days.

See you soon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Rigos take vacation

We are headed South to the land of central air conditioning, homecooked meals and wide open spaces.
We've got people to see and fried things to eat.
While we are on vacation, I've got one main goal...

:: in every moment :: 

I recently read the following quote on pinterest by Jim Elliot:
Wherever you are, be all there.

The photo above is a moment I captured between two people I've never met.
He was reading a book to his lady and spoke a language I didn't recognize.
Ducks quacked. Ferry horns bellowed. Kids ran wild.
And there they sat, calm and confident despite the noise around them, present in their own moment.
That's what I want for this trip.
I don't want to think about my to do list or what I'm missing on twitter or my inbox.
Wherever we are, whomever we're with, I want to be all there.

So I'll extend the challenge to you as well...
Wherever you are, be present and enjoy it.

I'll instagram a bit while we're away and hopefully come back with some family recipes to share with you.