52 dates // 29

52 dates // a thousand threads
The date // A pilgrimage to the original Jimmy Cone
The bonus // An amazing night with friends, old and new

We all fall into our little routines… our happy places, or sometimes just our comfortable places.

Ice cream is most certainly one of ours, especially in the summertime (but let’s face it, always too). Want to do something special but don’t have plans? Ice cream is the answer – or at least an answer we consider – almost every time.

And I’m pretty okay with that. But there are other routines I’m less fond of.

DC has a routine. A go to work, come home, check email before bed and go back to work kind of routine. Maybe you’ll hit a bar somewhere in the mix, socialize with folks who work on the Hill or at a nonprofit like you… talk about work, because who knows who you might meet. Every drink is an opportunity.

… the problem is that I’ve never been one for opportunism.

When I moved to DC to go to George Washington, everyone I met was gunning for the same internships, then the same jobs, and the ones who weren’t seemed even more lost than I was. Trying to find their place in a world that wasn’t catering to them, that might even have felt like it was working against them. A world where the first question you’re asked when you meet someone new is “what do you do” and the second is “where did you go to school?”

But it’s not just the monotony or the intimidation that forces folks back into themselves. In most cases it’s also the fear, or even the true belief, that they are legitimately alone.

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3 years / How are we doing?

how are we doing? // a thousand threads
So we already talked about my birthday, but did you know that this little blog will turn exactly 3 years old this Saturday?

Still just a toddler… and still very much toddling along without a real idea of what we look like to the grown-ups around us.

So, grown ups… this is where we beg you to let us know. How are we doing? What can we do to improve for you? Because you, grown ups, readers… you’re the reason we’re here! How silly would it be if we didn’t try to make you happy?

If you have just a few minutes, we would be so honored if you would let us know your thoughts.

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Small Business Diaries // Emily Jeffords

small business diaries // emily jeffords // a thousand threadssmall business diaries // emily jeffords // a thousand threads
Today I’m excited to share an interview with Emily Jeffords: artist, blogger, mom, and all-around amazing lady that she is!

Read on to see why I’m so crazy about this hard-working artist who’s taking over the world.

… and also why my new motto might just be, “another cup of coffee and a lot of grace.”

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52 dates // 28

52 dates // a thousand threads
The date // Curling up for a night on the couch.

Sick always seems to come at the most inopportune time.

But then when is there ever really an opportune time?

These past few days have been slow for me, moving at half speed while my body forces me to slow down at just the time I wish it would sit back, shut up, and hang tough.

But there is at least something of a silver lining, in that the sick has afforded Mark and I a good chunk of time to snuggle up on the couch. We’ve been able to keep up with the latest crashes and dropouts on the Tour (wo this year), watch a few more episodes of Breaking Bad, and jump into the new season of Masters of Sex… perfect activities for the dark summer storms that have been swirling outside our window all week.

(Do a little anti rain dance to ward off the storms on Saturday for me, will you? We can move our party inside, but the outdoor location is so gorgeous I’d just hate to have to.

… then how would we roast s’mores?)

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Watermelon salad with goat cheese, basil, and bacon vinaigrette

watermelon salad with goat cheese, basil, and bacon vinaigrette // a thousand threads
Some flavors just shouldn’t go together. Chocolate and olives, strawberries and tomatoes, oysters and kiwi — but they do. I mean not that this dish is exactly salmon and licorice (I don’t know about that one…) but it is pretty weird.

So weird that after tasting a similar dish in Raleigh last summer, Mark and I couldn’t stop thinking about the combination.

Sure, watermelon makes sense… it’s summer, they’re everywhere and they’re insane. Give me an excuse to eat a watermelon and I’ll snack all day. Plus avocado? Sure — two vaguely tropical warm weather fruits. Bring ‘em on.

But bacon on warm weather fruit? Peaches, maybe… avocado, ya… but watermelon?

I mean I know it goes on everything… but that even sounds weird to me. And goat cheese and basil are great together… but what do they have to do with all of that other stuff in the mix?

So when this dish came to the table on a particularly gorgeous, warm summer night, I wanted nothing more than to find out.

One bite and we both knew we had to go home and try to recreate the crazy goodness that was this delicious weirdo of a salad.

Of course, this particular meal was combined with such good people and such good fun that it’s hard to come anywhere close to the whole of that amazing experience… but these flavors sure do remind me why I can’t wait to go back.

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Introducing // Field + Foundry

field + foundry with bing // a thousand threads
Finally, you guys, I can let you in on this secret! I’d like you to meet our latest venture, Field + Foundry, a dinner series meant to foster new connections and collaboration among creatives in the greater DC area.

Melissa Hope and I have teamed up with Bing to hold three small dinners this summer and fall, and we’ve gathered a great group of creatives that we can’t wait to connect. Each evening will feature an outstanding creative or local business owner who will share a little bit of their inspiring journey with the group. Each will also feature a short workshop that will allow folks to create something they can take home. For the first of these dinners, to be held super soon (next week!) at a farm in Virginia, Amanda Marko of the newly-launched Trouvé Magazine will join us to speak, and guests will be invited to make their own sourdough starter to take home.

And, of course, we’ll treat everyone to some awesome seasonal pie!

I can’t wait to share more details as they begin to take shape, and to take you all on our journey along the way.

If you’re an awesome creative in the DC area and you’d like to join us at a future event, I hope you’ll visit our site and sign up to join the collective! We’d love to hear all about what you do!

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Summer crostini on Oh the Lovely Things

summer crostini // a thousand threads
So the fireflies are here, and that means my favorite part of summer has officially arrived.

I grew up without fireflies – which really shouldn’t even be allowed – and for a long time, I thought they fit in the same category as fairies and unicorns. I can still hardly believe that those twinkling lights are real. So while I’d gladly give the rest of the big bugs the boot, the total magic of fireflies makes up for any shortcomings I might occasionally find here on the east coast. (Not that I’m biased.)

There is truly nothing more magical than sitting outside on a warm summer night, watching their little lights burn.

Except maybe eating egg salad on a crunchy, savory crostini while you enjoy that same warm summer night with some friends (Like how I did that there? Shameless…).

If that sounds as good to you as it does to me, head over to Oh the Lovely Things today. I’m sharing a delicious summer crostini while Clemence in away in Fiji. (Fireflies are great and all, but Fiji? Jealous much?)

P.S. Be sure to check back later this week for a fun announcement Melissa and I have been teasing over on Instagram for a while!

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52 dates // 27

old rag hike // 52 dates // a thousand threads
The date // A hike up Old Rag in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The snack // Hand pies, a baguette we snagged from the market, a little cheese, and the best apricots ever at the summit.

Yesterday Mark and I put everything else in the world on hold. We packed a bag, pulled on our boots, and drove to the Shenandoah National Park to finally tackle a trek we’ve been talking about for years.

After a 2 1/2 hour drive through some of the most beautiful country around, we started our 5 hour round trip hike straight up the hill — something Mark warned me was coming, but I had no idea.

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Happy 4th!

happy 4th of july // a thousand threads
Hope you have an amazing long weekend. Light a sparkler for me!

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Small business diaries // DU update

small business diaries // du update // a thousand threads
Things have been moving along so quickly with Dough Uprising that I’ve barely had a chance to stop and catch you up, so today I thought I’d do just that.

It’s not that we’ve taken any major new steps – actually even our website is still sort of in flux – but after a couple of months at the market, we now know for sure that we have a product we can sell. In fact, we’ve sold out or come close almost every week.

Of course, we’ve also gotten a lot better at guessing what it is we really need. Our first week was almost comical. We knew our current market was small, so we guessed at what small felt like to us, and we were oh so wrong. Turns out small is actually pretty big — close to our capacity in our little home oven.

So when we move to the markets in DC (which we hope to do next season) there’s no doubt in our minds that we’ll need to be cooking in a commercial kitchen.

But that’s where we come to our current hangup. Technically right now we could expand, easily. We have offers from multiple other markets where we’d love to be selling on other days of the week. And if we were to move to those markets we could probably make enough money to allow one of us to take it full time — for the summer.

The problem comes when summer ends. Sure the holidays should be great for pies, but then we don’t have much of an outlet from January to April or May. The reality is that it looks like our next step will need to be open a store front downtown, or open a store front on wheels. And that requires a big investment.

So at this point, we’re still plotting out our next steps… and while I’m sad that it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to tackle that big step right away, I’m so excited to know that it’s even an option.

There are, truly, a lot of ways this could have gone. Mark and I thought our pie rocked, but that didn’t mean everyone else would agree.

We’re lucky that they do. And for now, even if we have to stay small a little longer, I think that’s enough.

12 Comments | |
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