Category Archives: family

Family! Fun! Boston! (and Marblehead!)

image_23The whole Martin clan came to Boston this weekend to move in my sister, aka my and Mike’s roomie for the summer. We adventured around Copley Square on Saturday, including a stop at Restoration Hardware and, OMG. I’m moving in. Mike told me 1000000 times I would love it there, but obvi I didn’t listen until I actually went to shop visit. Beeeaa-uuuty.

On Sunday we spent the day in Marblehead, with perfect weather and an impromptu photo shoot or two (see last photo). Family fun for all 😉

image_22 image_24 image_21 image_19 image_18 image_13 image_14 image_17 image_16 image_12 image_10 image_9 image_11 image_7 image_6 image_5 image_4 image_3 image_2 image_1 image

Rockport & Gloucester

image_6I’m baaaack! I’m going to try my hand at a more casual approach to blogging – more life updates/photos, fewer recipes, same amount of crazy stories of my adventures. I hope you’ll stick around!

Mike’s parents came to visit this past weekend, and we took a day trip up to Rockport and Gloucester. We hit up Halibut Point State Park, ate lobster rolls by the ocean, and just be-bopped around. It was a beautiful day!image_1 image_2 image image_13 image_3 image_4 image_5 image_7 image_8 image_9 image_10 image_11 image_12


Sibs in Boston!

DSC_0106My brother (Peter) and sister (Emily) came to visit me and Mike in Boston this weekend, and on Saturday we braved the cold & wind for a little adventure. We headed to Harpoon’s new beer hall (which was our back-up plan after discovering that all the brewery tours sold out only an hour after opening!!) where we tasted some beers and scarfed down soft pretzels with IPA cheddar, garlic parmesan, and maple cream cheese dips. To DIE.

Then we took Emily to try her very first lobster roll and poked around the Seaport and Fort Point Channel (obvi stopping by Flour for homemade oreos). These visits always feel too short but I was so happy to have them here! Come back soon, sibs!

DSC_0051 DSC_0052 DSC_0060 DSC_0064 DSC_0067 DSC_0079 DSC_0080 DSC_0097 DSC_0099 DSC_0105

How to Survive a Snowstorm: A Step-by-Step Guide

DSC_1204I LOVE SNOW. Looove it. Can’t get enough. Should probably move to Antarctica.

Last year we got almost zero snow – which I’ve been crying about for the past 10 months –  so when the weatherpeeps at home started predicting a small snowstorm headed our way, I said “GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH” and did a snow dance. However, in my old age I’ve started to realize that the rest of the world (or at least the rest of the people in my life) are not snow fans. Everyone else hears snow and they’re like, UUUUGH.

Luckily I have enough snow cheer to spread around all the land, so! I’ve put together this guide for all you snow-hatas to help you survive your next snow storm. In addition to following this guide to a T, I would also suggest a.) good snow boots b.) a gigantic fluffy down coat and c.) EXTRA warm mittens.

Step one: Grab the closest snow-naysayer and drag her outside. Make snow angels! Don’t throw a snowball.

PicMonkey CollageStep two: Go inside and warm up with a mug of hot cocoa and peppermint marshmallows (discovered at Target!!)

Step three: Encourage someone else do the shoveling.

Screen shot 2012-12-28 at 2.59.06 PM
Step four: 
Make homemade Ben&Jerry’s ice cream with your new ice cream maker. Chocolate peanut butter cookie dough should do the trick.


Step five: Drag another snow-hata outside to make a snowman with you. When the snow is too fluffy to pack into a snowman, put a tiny snowball on top of a snow pile and call it a snowlady.



Step six: More hot cocoa. A good book. Bunny slippers. THE END.





Merry Merry

DSC_1176Ho ho ho and Merrrrryyyy Christmas, my friends! I am in the midst of happily being snowed in to my house and haven’t left my couch (or my new bunny slippers) in over a day – except to go out for hot cocoa. Pri.or.i.ties. Here are some {lots} of pictures from the past few days of Christmas-ing 🙂



imageMy aunt made 22 kinds of Christmas goodies. Twenty-two. Can one person fit 22 cookies in their belly, you ask? Only if they’ve been training since the age of three, I tell you…

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 4.15.50 PMAll the cookies will be miiiiiiine.


image_2This year we went to Utica the weekend before Christmas to spend time with my extended family. Mike and I stayed at my aunt and uncle’s log cabin in the woods, and we woke up in the morning to freshly fallen snow, a wood-fire stove and lemon-ricotta pancakes. Dreeeeamy.







image_3All the cousins with Buscia! She’s the cutest.

image_4After visiting with everyone in Utica, Mike and I headed to his house (along with 10 family members + 3 dogs) for Christmas round three! There were Christmas crackers and tree decorating and adorable puppies in reindeer antlers. And, an ice cream maker! YES! Ben and Jerry’s, heeeere I come.




image-2Finally, I headed home for [real] Christmas. We had our traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner, went to mass, and battled it out for the Christmas pickle. Peter {brother} found it in four seconds. As ALWAYS.




image_1-2How was your Christmas, friends? Anyone else want to join me on a cookie detox?

(Just kidding. Christmas or not, cookies are life.)

((But I will join you in eating 10x more veggies.))

Thanksgiving Weekend

Hi friends! I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. I was home in upstate NY for a few days – here are some pictures from my turkey-pie-family-filled weekend!

I. Am. Moving. Into. This. Kitchen. BE MIIIIIIINE.

My brother looks like a hoodlum and my dad is being “MomDad the Two-Headed Parent”. Can’t take us anywhere.

Fa la la la la, la la la la! Christmas season is here!!

Bring on the Christmas cookies!



Cosmetic Bags by emme purses

When I was home a few weekends ago, I discovered that my mom had transformed my childhood bedroom into her sewing room. Bye bye, N*Sync posters! See ya later, high school prom photo collages. Good riddance, closet full of clothes that haven’t fit me since I was 14.

I started to shed a tear BUT THEN… I opened my dresser to find a drawer full of these teensy adorable cosmetic bags. And I said MOM, I WANT FIVE HUNDRED OF THESE! AND SO DO MY FRIENDS! And she said, STOP YELLING!

And all was well.

What I’m trying to say is: my mom is a super talented sewer (sewer? seamstress? one-who-sews?) and has an adorable etsy shop full of hand made purses, clutches, and totes. She recently listed the cosmetic bags because I convinced her that everyone in all the land would want to buy them for their friends for Christmas.

So go check her out! And support Small Business Saturday while you’re at it! 😉

Note from my mom: Just to make “The Sweet Life” readers’ holiday shopping a little sweeter, I am offering free shipping! Please use coupon code “DEC2012″ at checkout. You’ll be helping Superstorm Sandy victims as well – I’m donating 10% of my sales to the American Red Cross. AND, don’t forget: if you don’t see a fabric or style that suits you, I do custom orders as well! Thank you and happy shopping!

Note from me:  If someone doesn’t buy that seersucker clutch soon, I *promise* you I will.

*Guest Post* Fall Food Lovin’ by Emily

Today’s post (and awesome photos) come from my sister Emily, who was recently home from college on fall break and on a mission to eat and photograph every fall food imaginable (we MUST be related ;)). Take it away, Emily!

Fall Break means a few things.  It means family time, it means Reese’s peanut butter cup pumpkins (and lots of ‘em!), it means being cozy on the couch while stuffing my face with hand-fulls of candy corn, and it means ALL THINGS pumpkin and squash.  Here’s a little glimpse into what I did (but mostly ate) over my time home from college this past week: homemade Pumpkin and Candy Corn Rice Krispies Treats, homemade Pumpkin-Maple-Cranberry Granola, pumpkin donuts and homemade Butternut Squash Pizza, Pumpkin 7-layer Bars* (homemade and way too delicious to not exist all year round), a trip to Cooperstown with lots of apples, Pumpkin soup (again, homemade-thanks mom!) with soft garlic bread, homemade Butternut Squash and Apple Muffins, walks around the neighborhood to take in the beautiful fall views, and pumpkin soft serve with chocolate sprinkles!  But most importantly, is the Fall Trail Mix that I concocted, which is really just a mash of snack-y foods with a fall twist. Enjoy!

*Note: these are pictured TWICE because they are just. THAT. DELICIOUS.


  • Chex
  • Pretzel nuggets
  • Chocolate chips
  • Candy corn (I used regular, Indian, Blackberry Cobbler, and Tangerine flavors)
  • Chocolate-covered Cookie Dough Pieces (or chocolate-covered anything!)
  • Raisins
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews

Mix together in a large bowl and EAT!

Life These Days {Part 2}

{Sunset over the slope at Cornell}

Here are a few more photos from our upstate NY adventures. Please excuse the 100 animal photos…it’s Wildlife Wednesday???

{Toad friend we found outside my grandparents cabin in the Adirondacks. Photo credit to Mike!}

{Hummingbird at the feeder. Kudos to Mike (again! Wildlife photographer extraordinaire!) for this shot}

{Grandparents’ cabin, but we call it “camp”. I think this an upstate NY/Maine thing? Either way, most relaxing place in.the.WORLD.}

{Archway at Cornell}

{Inside the Cornell war memorial. Mhmm I love my old school yes I do!}

{Big sister/little sister Cornellians. Go Emily GO!}

{Clock tower}

{Last Cornell one. Swear.}

{The definition of upstate NY. Please note the two cows in the back are MOOOOOing at me.}

{Mike and I at the sailing club on Otsego Lake}

{Twilight on Otsego Lake, Cooperstown}

{I apologize that this is blurry and out-of-focus but UM…this is the night sky at home. Look at all those STARS!!}

It’s official: I’m never coming back to Boston. It’s too pretty here.

(Except that I am. Seeya Saturday!)

Snapshots from Home

Mike and I went home this past weekend to celebrate my not so little brother’s college graduation and we couldn’t have asked for nicer weather or a more beautiful weekend with family! I swear I didn’t realize (or appreciate!) how pretty upstate NY is until I wasn’t living there anymore, and I SWEAR it gets prettier every time I’m home. Rolling hills, so much greenery, family time, and a sweet sunset on the ride back to Boston; here are some snapshots from home!