Marissa says...not much

It's been quiet on here for a while, and I'm sorry. I don't have a good excuse. I have plenty of lame excuses like, "I have a baby. I'm still trying to get settled into my new home. I just started a new job. I haven't been cooking because of items A, B, and C above." But I really believe that you make the time for the things that you love to do and I haven't been making time for this. I love this blog, I really do. I love having a place where I can go all "stream of consciousness" and no one seems to mind. (Well, at least you don't tell me if you do.) But over the past year, sometimes it has felt like a burden. Like a thing I have to do, instead of something I want to do.

Three years ago when I started this thing, (good Lord, I can't believe I've had this blog for three years!?) I had no idea how it might turn out. Of course, I had grandiose dreams of turning it into a sustainable career with awesome paid advertisers and free merchandise coming to my front door. But in reality, I knew that was unlikely. While I have been approached by various companies/individuals over the years inquiring about paid content and advertising, I've never been tempted by an offer that seemed too sweet to pass up. Plus, I always kind of felt that if I went down that road that I would taint this thing that is perfectly mine. This sacred space that is completely and utterly in my control. I don't know, maybe I'm just being dramatic. Maybe I'm just scared about what would happen if I really actually tried to make money from it.

Anyway. I don't know where I'm going with this...with this post and with this blog. I'd love to say that I'm recommitting, that I'm promising to post X times a week moving forward, but I'm not going to do that. What I will say, is that even though it's been quiet on here, it still matters to me. I still take photos that I want to share with you, I still cook delicious food, I still want this to be a safe space for me and I really don't intend to let this blog die. 

That is all. XOXO, 


Marissa's Best of Philly List

I love eating (and drinking) around the city of Philadelphia (and it's neighboring suburbs) so I thought it would be fun to keep track of my personal favorites in a variety of categories. I realize you may disagree with me, I realize that you might think I'm totally bonkers for my "Best of..." list, but I don't care, because this is my blog and I'm entitled to my own opinions. So, without further ado, ***drumroll*** I now present my Marissa Says 2015 Best of Philly list... 


10 memorable moments from our third year of marriage

Happy 3rd anniversary to my one true love! It's hard to believe that it has been three years already since we said our vows and began our journey as husband and wife. It seems like just yesterday when we were running around in the rain on our wedding day. Three years goes by in a blink but at the same time, each year is filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of beautiful moments and memories, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. Here is just a list of 10 memorable moments with you in our third year of marriage. I hope you know how much I love you, because it's impossible to express in words. Without you, my life would be lonely and sad and full of trash and recyclables (because that's your thing) and the grass would be overgrown and the mailbox overflowing. See? I'm acutely aware of all the little and big things that you do for our family and I am thankful every day to have you. 

10. Hanging a new ceiling fan in the living room. Man, I know this seems like such a small accomplishment, but it was tough and it was frustrating and at points we almost killed each other. However, as a team we were able complete the task at hand, both picking up the slack and staying positive when the other was feeling frustrated, and because of that, we have a beautiful new fan and get to enjoy the outcome of our hard work every day. 

9. Our trip around the world (in Philadelphia) Rodin Museum, Pizzeria Vetri, High Tea at the Four Seasons, and dinner at Marrakesh with friends - it was an awesome way to celebrate my birthday and we got to try a bunch of new things in Philly that we've never done before. 

8. A camping trip in freezing cold weather. While I was a little anxious about doing this when the temperature in the Adirondacks were going to drop below freezing, I had such a wonderful time with you and our friends. There's nothing like a campfire, s'mores and an old school R&B sing-a-long to warm you right up. 

7. Witnessing the marriage of our wonderful friends in Charleston, South Carolina. It was so awesome to see the joy (and a few tears) on their faces and join with them in celebration. Charleston is definitely a special place and we'll have to get back there to see more of it. 

6. Our visit to Boston to see our friends and meet Baby Guy. This was such a special trip because we were able to celebrate new engagements, a healthy baby boy, and a baby on the way, plus Boston blessed us with unseasonably warm weather! 

5. Our winter weekend in Cape May. We have been talking about getting to Cape May in the off-season for a long time now and we finally did it. We had an amazing dinner, and witnessed a lot of inebriated people singing Christmas carols.

4. The long holiday break spent in New York. I loved that we both had an extended break of sorts at the end of December. While it was filled with some stressful moments it was also filled with a lot of laughter, joy and quality time spent with our families. 

3. Our family vacation in Cape May. It was awesome to have my parents there to help us with the baby and see all of the wonderful reasons why we've fallen in love with this quaint shore town. 

2. Buying our first home together. This was something that I could've never predicted would happen for us this year and I feel so blessed that we found this house and that all of the stars aligned for it to become ours. It's the perfect place for our family and I truly feel at peace coming home to that residence every day. 

*Drum roll please* And the number one memorable moment is..... 

1. The arrival of our little Lulu Bug. This one is pretty self-explanatory but it has been an amazing experience to bring a baby into this world with you. You were a wonderful husband and supporter during my pregnancy, a wonderful cheerleader during labor and you are an amazing father to her each and every day. 

I love you. Happy Anniversary! Cheers to three years of great memories and for many many more! 

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More sunset photos from Cape May!

In my opinion, you can never have too many sunset photos, so prepare yourself, you're about to see a boat load of 'em. We had a long weekend in Cape May but this one was a bit different from our last few trips (this one, this one, this one and this one) because... my parents came with us! It was awesome to show them around this cute little town that has become our annual summer vacation spot. We brought them to H&H for all-you-can-eat crabs and gave them a thorough lesson in crab eating. We laughed over martinis at The Mad Batter happy hour where we stood outside for a good 30 minutes because of a fire alarm mishap (my dad was the only smart one in the group that brought his martini with him!) We showed them our favorite breakfast spot and our favorite late-night cocktail spot and BryGuy and I even got to sneak off for a solo dinner to celebrate Bry's birthday! It was an awesome weekend with gorgeous weather and even better company. We can't wait to go back again next summer! Check out more photos below. 


Peach flatbread pizza appetizer

Don't lick your screen. Don't you do it! I know it's tempting... but it's really better if you don't. The story behind this flatbread is that I had purchased a bunch of peaches from a farm stand. I had some girl friends coming over and was trying to think of an easy appetizer where I could incorporate the peaches. So I came up with this plan, melty mozzarella cheese, slices of perfectly juicy peaches, served on a crispy flatbread with a sprinkle of fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic. And there you have it, the Peachy Flatbread. Truth is, I never ended up serving it to my friends because we ate our weight in cheese and funfetti dip (yes, that's an actual thing.) So, I got to enjoy this yummy pizza all by myself! It's so easy to make and only requires a handful of ingredients; it's a winner in my book! Get the full recipe below. 


Bacon wrapped water chestnuts

This appetizer is everything. It has been a staple at family parties for as long as I can remember, in fact, it's always a challenge to try and get your hands on a few before they are all gone. I've continued that tradition and have brought them to a few parties with friends and I instantly become the most popular guest at the soiree. Bacon wrapped water chestnuts are essentially the cheap version of the bacon wrapped scallop but BETTER because there's an awesome crunch in the middle of your bacon instead of a mushy scallop. If you're not serving these in your home you can precook them in the oven then just bring them to your destination in something microwavable and give them a quick 30 second zap in the micro before you put them out. Make sure you grab one or two for yourself before you leave the kitchen because otherwise, you'll blink and they will disappear. 

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Makes approximately 50 appetizer bites

2 lbs bacon

3 cans whole water chestnuts (8 oz. cans)- usually found in the Asian section of the supermarket
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons (approximately) soy sauce 
2 tablespoons (approximately) Worchestershire sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Take a water chestnut (or cut them in half if they are big) and roll them in half of a piece of raw bacon. Stick the roll with a toothpick
  3. Line up your bacon rolls in a casserole dish with the toothpicks pointing up
  4. Sprinkle liberally with brown sugar
  5. Shake soy sauce and Worchestershire sauce over the top of the bundles. (Give a quick sprinkle over the top making sure that each little roll gets hit with a dash of soy and Worchestershire)
  6. Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes or until browned and cooked through (this might take a little longer if you use thick cut bacon)


5 Tips for Shopping on Craigslist

People always tell me, "Wow, you find such great deals on Craigslist! How do you do it?" And it's true, I'm a master Craigslist shopper. I've bought dressers, a dining set, patio furniture, end tables and lots of other awesome stuff through Craigslist. I thought that instead of selfishly keeping all of this wisdom and insight to myself, I should share it with you so that you too can fill your home with beautiful recycled things! Check out five tips for shopping on Craigslist below.


My southern front porch

Remember when I shared some inspirational photos of beautiful Southern porches? Well, mine is coming along quite nicely, if I do say so myself! It's a bit of a work in progress but I scored the two large wicker chairs on Craigslist for $25 each (and they came with the cushions) I just needed to spray paint them a glossy black. Then I found the love seat and coffee table also on Craigslist for $80 (also included the cushion)! I already had the two mismatched small tables, so I threw them out there and then I purchased the rug from Ikea for $50. So basically, I stuck some plants and candles out there and now we have a living room of sorts on our covered front porch. It's the perfect place for a Saturday morning coffee or an evening cocktail. How did I do? Who's coming over for a bourbon cocktail on the porch?!
I thought about providing a tutorial on how to spray paint wicker chairs but there's really not much to it. Buy the spray paint color you like and cover your lawn or driveway with a large sheet of plastic and get to painting. If I recall correctly, it took almost three cans of paint per chair to cover them completely. There are so many nooks and crannies in a wicker chair, so just be prepared to keep looking at it from different angles and finding new spots that need to be painted. 
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