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Pad Thai Tale

There’s this hole-in-the-wall Thai place, unpromisingly located in a squat grey strip mall next to Pizza Hut. It is never as busy inside as I think it should be. The waitress- I’m pretty sure there is only just the one- always greets me with a crooked grin and confirms I want ‘the usual’ before I can even sit down. She is a tiny lady who wears her black hair in a bob and speaks just enough English.

Even if it wasn’t my favorite pad thai around, I would keep coming back because it just feels delicious to be greeted so warmly.

I brought a friend there the last time I was in town. I should note here that she ordered exactly the same meal I did, which I really appreciate because, why is it that when you tell someone a certain dish is the whole reason you go to that place, they don’t just order it immediately? Be adventurous, yeah, yeah, yeah. I can appreciate that but really I also kind of find it so daunting.

I know they will want some of mine.

This trip to Colorado, when the airport shuttle dropped me off in front of the same friend’s house, I slumped up to her front door totally exhausted. She greeted me with this awesome little story. I had to share.

A few weeks earlier, she had taken her boyfriend to my little restaurant and wanted to order what we had the last time; she just couldn’t remember what, precisely, it was.

Luckily, she is a brilliant genius: she remembered my celebrity, how quickly the waitress had recognized me last time. She pulled up a picture of me from Facebook on her phone.

Do you remember her? she said. I want what she usually gets.

After one false start- and I can just imagine the sweet woman looking terribly chagrined when she couldn’t recognize me in the first photo- the waitress was delighted, my friend got her order, the end. A pretty good use of technology, I’d say.

More like this:

March 8, 2013 - 9:23 am

Becks - that is a fantastic story!! and i love love love this thai place. will you get me some takeout for when you head back east??? :) best thai ever – except for maybe in thailand. heh.

March 8, 2013 - 2:51 pm

Emily - Saddest thing- I only drove by and took a photo, no time to eat there this time. Next time, I will order a double serving. (I miss going there with you!)

March 11, 2013 - 2:15 pm

Becca :: Making Room in Sicily - Aww, just the pick me up you needed, right? What a sweet story! Also I really want to eat there. Sounds personable and delicious!

March 11, 2013 - 2:34 pm

Emily - It’s so great, Becca! Do you have many non-Italian restaurant options to choose from? When I was living in Orvieto, there was a lone Chinese restaurant we visited when we needed to change things up a bit but that was IT.


I am officially joining the ranks of bloggers telling five random facts about themselves. Lucky for me, this space is still new and I’ve got quite a trove of material to work with. So many interesting tidbits you don’t know yet.


The first non-babysitting job that fattened my wallet was pretending to be pregnant. For real. With thanks to my mom’s ties to the medical community, I got to be a fake-pregnant teen, a little test subject for students working on their patient interviewing skills. The pay was super excellent and I like to think I was prettttty convincing in my stories about a sudden and strange craving for peanut butter ice cream. Seriously, what could be wrong with me, doc?


I lived in a convent in Italy for one happy semester in college. It came fully equipped with four Italian nuns who breakfasted and lunched me (and 20 other students) every single day for four months. It was colder than an igloo in January when we all arrived, but by the end it was more similar to a marvelous day spa than anything particularly academic. It was the only experience during my undergrad years in which I was encouraged “not to study too hard” and instead “go take a nap on the deck”.


I come from a family of six, five of whom have (at least) one degree in a mental health field. Our checklist: bachelors in psychology (x2), school psychologist, psychiatric social worker and psychiatrist. As the case may be, you won’t be the first to ask if my parents psycho-analyzed me during my childhood.

My brother said enough with all the noggins and became a welder.


I am truly and inexcusably terrible with directions. Prior to my first day driving to high school- a school I had been attending for a solid six months- I asked my dad to draw me a map. I thought this was a necessary step for my timely arrival; it probably was. The school is a precise 2.0 miles from my parents home and includes three turns, one of which is out of our driveway. Ba-doom-boom.

Five, part a.

I keep trying to break up with my phobia of flying. It’s an on-again-off-again relationshop.

Five, part b.

I went skydiving a couple of years ago and loved it. You never feel so safe in a plane as when you have a parachute snapped jauntily to your back.

More like this:

March 7, 2013 - 11:37 am

Kate - Love the picture. Need more about #1!

March 7, 2013 - 11:57 am

Emily - My favorite part about this was clearly the forty bucks I was handed for playing make-believe for a half hour. Second best, telling people about it for years to come : ) It was awesome- I was coached by a staff member on a set of ‘symptoms’, then went into a conference room with a handful of medical students who were to figure out what was ‘wrong’ with me. I proceded to answer questions and act confused as they eventually got to the point of asking whether I was rapidly gaining weight or peeing a lot. I imagined I would have been able to diagnose me much more quickly than they did.

March 7, 2013 - 4:53 pm

Rachael - Haha, funny. I was just double checking over here and was going to link up to you in my 5 things. but you’re already on it!

March 7, 2013 - 5:51 pm

Emily - And now we see what comes of my being impatient and just posting away, without a tag or link-up in the world. Nothing good, that’s what.

Can’t wait to go read yours, though!

March 8, 2013 - 1:34 pm

Becks - i wish that i knew you for all of your/my time at Gordon. then i could have been in italy too, napping instead of studying, with you!

March 8, 2013 - 2:53 pm

Emily - Agree. Where were you all that time?

March 11, 2013 - 10:25 pm

Jelly - Number 4 makes me think of that one day when you got lost on your way to Cafe Romeo…stranger danger!

March 12, 2013 - 12:15 am

Emily - Oh my gosh I never told O that story.


He knows just when to look up for self-portraits

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March 4, 2013 - 8:01 pm

Jeanine - Too cute!

March 4, 2013 - 11:12 pm

Emily - I just love these pics; we always end up taking a few of ourselves when we’re on shoots, it seems.

March 8, 2013 - 1:32 pm

Becks - love these! i think my fav is the second to last – it looks like you are whispering to him… O, look up, it’s gonna flash in a minute, ready??

March 8, 2013 - 2:52 pm

Emily - Much less darling than that, I was really asking what settings he was using for his white balance. Ha.

March 11, 2013 - 10:26 pm

Jelly - Loving this!

March 12, 2013 - 12:20 am

Emily - I think it’s some of my favorite pics of us this year. One of the perks of being a photographer = many chances for self-portraits without feeling like a nerd for taking them. “We have to make sure the gear is working!”

Discovery { English Building Markets }

In a attempt to cozy myself up within this city, I’ve been looking for hidden nooks I know I’ll want to visit over and over again. On days when temperatures in Colorado soar to the sixties as we must squint forcefully at the thermometer, willing it to reach just a smidge higher to hit the thirties, I need an extra dose of encouragement. English Building Markets is cosy, warm, and well-suited to the greyest of days. For those of you who have fond memories of wandering through flea markets in the heat of summertime, I’m willing to bet it’d be nostalgic in June as well.

Outside, it looks like Anthropologie suddenly decided to take on a local antique store as a pet project. Their window displays are lovely and ever-changing. Anthro doesn’t get any credit, though; Carol and her artists (cleverly disguised as part-time shopkeepers) have created a beautiful space full of beautiful things. It is exquisitely curated, perfectly wanderable.

I spent the afternoon there yesterday, taking photos and looking for something to decorate the baby shower I’m planning for a friend this summer. I guess I just want to throw the shower there, amidst their vintage fabric, letterpress type and deep blue glassware. I kept thinking about how our city is full of students, most of whom I have a suspicion have filled their dorms with IKEA furniture. Come on over here, I want to say to them all. Pick out something pretty.

English Building Markets | 839 Chapel Street, New Haven | Facebook

More like this:

March 1, 2013 - 3:39 pm

Rachael - Gorgeous photos!

March 1, 2013 - 4:05 pm

Emily - Thanks, Rachael!

March 1, 2013 - 5:59 pm

Jeanine - It looks like a lot of fun; I want to go there when we visit!

March 1, 2013 - 7:06 pm

Emily - We will definitely go there when you visit! I can’t wait until you guys are here so I can show you around.

March 1, 2013 - 11:54 pm

Melissa - You did a fantastic job capturing the magic of this special place!

March 2, 2013 - 9:05 am

Emily - Thank you, Melissa. It really is a special place, I agree!

March 4, 2013 - 8:16 am

Becks - i require a visit to this store, when i visit you in CT. just fyi :)

March 4, 2013 - 10:51 am

Emily - Agreed. Can’t wait to take you.

April 7, 2013 - 11:47 am

Becky Tyre - Emily – You did a wonderful job capturing the personality of the lovely shop, English Building Markets. Carol and he staff are so creative! I have not been there in several years and you have me aching for a revisit. I’m planning to share one or two of your images over on my blog, The Retail Details and I’ll link back to your blog, so watch for some new followers soon.
Pleased to have stumbled on your lovely blog. All the best…
Becky Tyre, owner Retail Details blog & Trends Editor at GIFT SHOP Magazine

Food, lately

I’m certain the burning question on the minds of hundreds is what we have been eating the last few weeks. Problem is, I cannot really remember. There was the time we went out for pizza, and the time we went out for that other thing, and … I guess I haven’t been cooking much recently. This fancy new blog and the fact that photography season is gearing up as the icy sludge finally drips away has taken my mind off our little white kitchen. We have, however, had the time to make each of these. All of them are winners; gold stars to everyone. I was planning to choose one favorite for the week, but when I racked my brain for any demerit I could give a single one, nothing appeared.

The quinoa, O said tonight, is really effing good. The best quinoa recipe we’ve tried so far. The fact that you boil the grain in coconut milk and broth instead of water is perfection.

The noodles are not good for you, not really, probably not at all. But they are quick, easy, and taste the emotional equivalence of your most beloved paperback on a cold winter evening (with more butter). Everyone needs some comfort food every once in awhile.

The thought of these nuggets make my mouth water as soon I pull out the broccoli in anticipation of roasting it. Make a double batch; they are time consuming, but worth it, and you’ll want more than the single recipe produces.

Recipes & Photos from:
1. Iowa Girl Eats | Thai Fried Quinoa
2. Pioneer Woman | Pesto Pasta with Cream Sauce
3. Joy The Baker | Broccoli and Potato Nuggets

More like this:

March 4, 2013 - 8:15 am

Becks - I pinned that thai quinoa recipe and have been dying to try it!! so pumped you guys did and that it gets such a rave review from O! :)

March 4, 2013 - 10:51 am

Emily - Ofer read this post and said, I did NOT say effing.

I said, yes, yes, you did.

He said, alright, fine, I did.

I was really that good!