My living room statement wall

Gallery wall?!? That's so last year. Statement wall? Totally on-trend. So, we had this wall. This big plain white (well actually, Ivory Mist) wall. Our full sofa sits against this wall flanked by two very old and beat up side tables that actually belonged to my father-in-law back when he had a bachelor pad in college. I had it in my mind that this wall needed to be filled with a collage of our most prized and selectively chosen framed works of art and photographs. Well, do you know how hard that is to actually pull together? It's damn hard. I suppose if you're a person that doesn't care about planning ahead you could just nail up your first frame and gradually build it out as you went along. But this girl? Hell to the no. I needed to have all of the pieces picked out and the layout determined before the first screw was drilled into the plaster. So after four months of careful thought and deliberation I have assembled...the living room statement wall. Horray for no more big blank wall! Check out more photos and product info below. 


Happy 2016!

Well we did it. We've survived another year. It was a wild one. Shall I dare say the wildest one yet? 

New baby. Check. 

New house. Check. 

New job. Check. 

Was it tough, you ask? Um, hell yes. 

Would I go back and do anything differently? Hells to the no. 

I am SO looking forward to 2016 for so many reasons. Lulu will be turning ONE soon, she's probably only a few weeks away from taking her first steps so, watch out everybody! I'm so excited for her first birthday. While she will have no recollection of the affair, I'm throwing her a birthday party. And if I'm being completely honest, it is really a party for me. To say, "Congratulations Marissa! You survived year one of parenting. Here's to many many more."

I am so excited for the spring and summer with a toddler (holy crap, I'm going to have a toddler.) I can't wait to see all of the fun things she learns and discovers and I can't wait to run around with her at the playground or on the beach. Fingers crossed she likes the ocean a little bit more than she did last year.

Well, I don't have any grand resolutions for the year. I have some little changes or priorities that I have been focusing on over the past few months. So I'll continue to work on those and soak in all of my wonderful baby cuddles while I can still get them. It sounds so cliché but the biggest change or "resolution" I'm making is to take some time to focus on me. I spent much of 2015 catering to the demands of a needy baby and in 2016 I need to free myself of some mom guilt and take some time to do the things that make me feel good about myself. 

I want to wish you a fabulous 2016. I also want to thank you for reading this blog. Whether this is your first time or whether you read every post that I put up (do those people exist?) I appreciate you taking any time out of your busy life to tune into mine. 



The baby's "new" room

You might remember the nursery reveal from earlier this year. Well, about three months after the baby was born, we bought a new house! Unfortunately, that meant that she spent very little time in her nursery space in our former house (she basically took like one nap in that room.) However, in the new house, she received a serious upgrade in space and I'm so excited to reveal her new-ish room! I think this room is one of my favorites in the whole house. It gets great light all day long and it is spacious and airy. I loved the color that the former owners had painted the room, so we kept it and it totally worked with all of our existing furniture. 

This is pretty much the one room in our new house that is "finished" for all intents and purposes. All of the other rooms are sort of a slow evolution and need a few pieces of furniture or a project or two. I'll be sure to provide updates as we actually get the other rooms throughout the house more finished. Check out more photos of the baby's room below. 


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. 

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