Paris: A Picnic Under the Eiffel Tower

After shopping at the markets of Rue Cler we made our way over to the park beneath the Eiffel tower. It seems to be a rather popular spots for middle school kids to take their lunch breaks, but that didn’t bother Brian or I. Yes, that is a giant tennis ball hanging off the tower. While we were in town, the French Open was in play. There were huge screens closer to the base of the tower playing the event, and even some I’m guessing what would be exhibition matches on small courts as well. The thrill of tennis is quite lost on me though, so I just focused on the beautiful weather. 

We came back just in time to see the lights!


Comfort Food, Sweet Cornbread

Everyone has their comfort foods, and most of mine I’ve realized quite recently are made from corn. It’s the unique combination of being both from the South, and growing up as an Italian-American that really cements it. From the italian side you’ve got 1000’s way to make polenta and delicious summery grilled corn. The southern side gives you grits, boiled corn, hush puppies, spoon bread, and best of all corn bread. Not just any corn bread, I grew up on a thick, sweet, cake cornbread. There are few things that taste better straight from the oven than that. 

I’ve had kind of a stressful few past weeks. I mentioned that I’m in the process of going into photography more full time. It’s taking a lot of planning, interviewing, and stressing to get to the point I’m even at now. So I’ve been eating my feelings more than I’d like to admit. I haven’t been going crazy, just cooking a bit more like Mama used to make then my normal dark green and lean protein fair. But that’s besides the point. You want to know how to make this said delicious, comforting, amazing cornbread right?

Golden Sweet Cornbread

  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Dump all every single one of your ingredients into a bowl, and combine until smooth. 

Grease a 9 inch round cake pan liberally with butter. Were talking “is butter a carb?” liberal.

Dump all the ingredients into the greased baking pan. 

Cook for about 25 minutes, until a knife pulls out mostly clean from the cornbread. I like mine the tiniest bit undercooked. If that’s not your thing, wait until the knife pulls clean. 

That’s it.  It’s so easy, you’ll find any excuse to make it. #teamsweetcornbread

Recipe provided by

Summer Break!

I know I haven’t been posting very much these past two weeks, but I’ve been enjoying my summer! I just got back from a long overdue family reunion, the photo above is just some of my cousins around the best grandmother possibly of all time.  I’ve also been making some moves to be a photographer more full time. It’s been stressful, nerve wracking, and very busy. It’ll be worth it in the end, hopefully. This is just a head’s up, that I’m not dead. I’ll try to get my act together more this week. 😉 

New Patterns, The good and the very bad.

So I thought I’d take a peak at what some of the non-indie pattern companies were offering (Simplicity, Butterick, and McCall’s.) A lot of it is just straight up terrible. But we’ll save my snark for the commentary. 


Butterick 6048 doesn’t look terrible. It’s one of those patterns that’s either going to work, or fail horribly. It looks very simple on the technical drawing. Honestly I could draft it easy peasy. The other view on this pattern is terrible though. I’ll wait until I see some reviews before I decide if it’s worth it. 

I actually really like B6049. I might actually pick this up. The other views are super cute, and it seems very versatile! You could sew this up in a colorway that would look modern as well. I really like view C.

Don’t judge me, but I am weirdly super into 6052. Yeah it’s kind of matronly… But hike up that hem and it could be super cute. I’m secretly a grandma at heart, so it might just be me, but I’m going to say this is a win. I really like this model they’re using a ton as well, she’s super gorgeous. 

OMG butterick just stop it. 6056 is a weird kerchief hem sack. This will be flattering on like maybe .00002% of the population. Also those patch pockets certainly don’t help matters. Plus size women don’t want to wear sacks, I don’t know how many times a pattern company can hear this and ignore it. 

At first glance I’m really into 6067, another Gertie pattern. But the seaming on the bust is just strange. There’s not way that’s going to fit well on anyone with anything more than a B cup. Why would you seam directly over the boobs instead of under? Plus I just picked up the bombshell swimsuit pattern so I’m going to pass on this one. 


Of all the 1930’s fashion this isn’t what I would have pulled from the archives to impress modern sewers. 6995 & 6993 has some interesting style lines on the skirt, but the other pieces are just kind of terrible. Why not something along the lines of these patterns from the 30’s? They’re so much more fun and interesting, which  is why I would want to sew a reissue pattern anyways. 

I like the style lines for 6989. I think not sewing it up in that terrible shiny bubblegum fabric would have been cool though. I would totally make this as a black and white combo ala Wednesday Addams. But sometimes my boyfriend says I’m too goth to live, so take that advice with a grain of salt. I’ll probably buy this, even though I could probably never sew all the patterns I own basically ever.

100% no. 

But after I saw this gem of a pet costume all is forgiven McCall’s. I will probably buy ten copies of 7004 and make all variations for my poor dog Bowie. Pray for him.


Fine, I can’t be snarky all the time I guess. I want all of the new simplicity patterns below. There wasn’t anything heinous for me to say anything about. I’m into that jumper and kimono top a lot. Good job you guys.

McCall’s seems to be by far to have the worst offerings. Butterick, besides the patterns I posted, really bored me. If it wasn’t a gertie pattern I found few even interesting enough to consider. Simplicity on the other hand killed it. I see a spot in my wardrobe for all their newest offerings.

Have any pattern faves/hates in the new releases?




Paris: Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes

The Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes is a zoo in ParisFrance, belonging to the botanical garden Jardin des Plantes. It is the first and thus the oldest civil zoological garden in the world. Today it does not have very large animals like elephants, but a lot of rare smaller and medium sized mammals and a variety of birds and reptiles. 

Although smaller than a lot of the American zoo’s I’ve been too, the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes is really kind of charming. You seem to be much closer to the animals than in America, there’s few enclosure that are surrounded by the big deep moats. The price per person was 13€. Although a bit on the expensive side ticket wise, the weather was nice and it wasn’t crowded on a Saturday, which was even better. It’s definitely worth a look if you have a free day like we did. 

The animals above were all playing together in the same enclosure. It was beyond cute.

My favorite part of the trip though was probably the reptile/amphibian/insect room.  It’s big, and a very old building. It reminded me of the zoo from the second harry potter movie (nerd). Also there was a snake that was obviously trying to speak parsaltounge to an older couple in the pictures below. (nerdier).

It was giant tortoise feeding time. I almost died. They were mashing away on veggies. 

Been to your local zoo lately? What’s you favorite part?