It’s Fun-Gi’s

When we moved to the Philadelphia area, we did not realize we were moving just a few miles away from the Mushroom Capital of the World. And do I mean it. Kennett Square and the surrounding area products more than 50% of the mushrooms consumed in America. That’s a lot of fungus.

This weekend was the 27th annual Mushroom Festival. So of course we had to go.

Adam was super excited they had mushroom soup, made by the Kennett Square Inn. Despite it being 85 and sunny he tucked into a bowl.

Then we made our way into the Mushroom Growers Exhibit, where we saw all kinds of weird looking things. Mushrooms grow in only a few weeks. It was interesting to see the process of how they keep the fungi under control. Plus we got to pick mushrooms from a giant bed. I’m pretty sure that will be my first and last mushroom ever.

Unfortunately we missed the mushroom eating competition. Some poor fellow managed to gobble down FIVE POUNDS of deep friend mushrooms.

The Southern girl in me was tempted to try some, but I decided to wait for some ice cream instead.

After running the gammut, we stopped by the booths where we really found something we liked. We picked up a Raspberry Chipotle dip mix from one booth and a Pomegranite frozen wine cocktail mix from another. She was handing out shots and it was just delicious. Just y’all wait for our next party.

While we were walking around, we kept looking for the ATM. Little did we know it was on the move.

Both weird, clever and redneck all at the same time. It would have been better if you could actually read the screen, but the machines were from 1993.

On our way back towards the car, I just couldn’t help myself:

Then we hauled ourselves the four blocks to the parking lot. This sky was about to open up any second.

If only we had gotten in a little bit earlier so we could have taken a more leisurely pace. Except if you all know Adam’s stride, he struggles with leisurely (at least my leisurely) sometimes. Plus we both hate thick crowds so it’s doubtful we would have gone much slower in the earlier crush.

I would definitely recommend this festival if you’re new to the area. I’m not sure if we’ll go again next year, perhaps to see the cooking demonstrations. We missed those by pure bad luck. They also had some carnival attractions and lots of games, etc for the kids. So maybe in 10 years we’ll go back, if we have kids by then.

Here’s to our next local adventure!

The Most Uneventful Holiday Weekend

Here at Club Nels we had the most uneventful holiday weekend ever. Our friends were busy- in Atlanta, at the Bruce Springsteen concert, going to Jay Z’s Made in America, at the beach. We were busy too- taking epic naps (and I mean 3-4 hour epic naps), reading A Dance with Dragons, writing a bit, and doing laundry. Oh, and of course baking chocolate chip cookies and then eating them all before the weekend was over (there goes my sugar-free lifestyle. Starting over tomorrow!). And snuggling with Daphne.

Last night we stopped by The Station Taproom for an early supper. We’ve heard lots of good things from the locals and finally decided to try it out. They have an impressive and constantly-changing beer selection; Hubby settled on a pale ale while I chose a wheat.

Both were delicious. Then we tucked into the menu.

The chef at the Taproom is originally from London but spent quite a bit of time down in the deep south. From renowned Shrimp and Grits to perfect beer-battered Fish and Chips, this place is my friend Chelsea’s deepest dream. We ordered the burger of the day, veal with a berry compote, and the fried green tomato BLT sandwich, both with Truffle fries. These must be the only french fries I’ve ever had that actually taste good microwaved the next day.

Hubby with his Veal Burger with Berry Compote and Truffle Fries

My yummy Fried Green Tomato BLT with Truffle Fries

As usual, he did much better on his dinner than I did on mine:

After dinner, we made a quick stop by RedBox to pick up The Hunger Games. We saw it in theaters, and Hubby graciously let me rent it again. We had a “One Year Anniversary” rental which made our Blu-Ray 39 cents. Win.

To make up for my boring movie choice, we swung by local brewery Victory to refill our growler. I even let him pick up some St. Boisterous, which once I got a taste I liked better than the Victory Pale Ale.

Then putting my epic naps to good use, I stayed up until 1 am working on a short story. The ending is horrible, but it’s not too bad for not touching fiction since my Senior Sem days as a Creative Writing major. I know I don’t mention that part much, but I loved spending my senior year laying under the oak trees at Elon listening to poetry and pretending to know something that Joyce or Whitman or Fitzgerald might have known. I also did a bit of editing for TheCelebrityCafe which totally made me happy.

It wouldn’t have been the perfect uneventful weekend without a bit of Harry Potter thrown in. 1, part of 7 and 8. Not exactly the most comprehensive marathon, but at least I hit on the main points. I really should have thrown in parts of 3 while I was at it, but I just didn’t have time to hang out in Azkaban.

When I tell people I went to boarding school, I tell them I went to Hogwarts Lite. At Foxcroft we had houses, colors, chants, and inter-house competition. I was also a Prefect, just like Percy, Ron, Hermione and Draco. Our dining hall may not have had an enchanted ceiling, but we did have a smoker big enough for several full pigs. Much more practical in the South.

So now that I’ve gotten off on a complete tangent, I hope you too had a good holiday weekend and that waking up tomorrow isn’t too difficult. I’ll have a harder time leaving Daphne.

The Water Dog

Last Saturday we took Daphne to nearby Marsh Creek State Park. We had a LivingSocial voucher for kayaking, so we thought we should start introducing her to water sports early.

She loves going to the park because everyone who passes us bends to pet her, play with her, pick her up, and otherwise indulge her excessive need for attention.

Once we were all loved up, we went down to pick out our kayak. Needless to say she was a bit shy about approaching the water.

We set off, heading out into the lake towards to distant shore. The boat guys told us it would be easier coming back because of the wind. We’re not entirely sure it was. But we headed in that direction, eager to see what lay around the corner.

Daphne settled in, first on my lap then on Adam’s.
Eyeing the water with curiosity, she soon grew bored. She couldn’t run the length of the kayak like she wanted to, and consigned to wimper under the sun. We did our best to make her comfortable, shading her with a tshirt and giving her cupped hands filled with cool lake water to wet her throat.

As we entered a branch of the lake, the clouds began to cover us and give Daphne a much-needed break from the sun. Dogs only sweat out of their nose and their paws, so all that fur gets hot pretty fast. Testing her sea legs, I held her out over the water so her paws could skim the surface. She was uninterested–a better emotion than the terror I imagined she would feel at this massive body of water.

Finally I found the perfect spot for her. Comfortable, secure, and out of the way of our paddling:

She slept the rest of the ride, not even noticing the other boats passing by. For as active of a dog as she is, I expected a bit more of a reaction. Hopefully when we take her out on a sail boat and there’s some room to roam she’ll get a bit more involved. And hopefully she’ll learn how to swim before she outgrows her life jacket. Yes, that is a puppy life jacket she’s wearing. Gotta love the pink polkadots. People still asked if she was a boy or girl puppy. Apparently pink wasn’t enough of a clue.

Love is in the Air?

This summer has definitely been a big one for romance. In June, a classmate of mine Andrea got married in Greensboro, and yesterday Southern Weddings posted photos of her wedding shot by Abigail Seymour. I love the classic monogram:

and these adorable Elon cupcakes:

and who could resist these traditional North Carolina favors: Krispy Kreme doughnuts in adorable boxes reading “Glazed and delicious from the new Mr. & Mrs.” So precious!

Next to their cute favor boxes, I just had to leave this great photo of Andrea throwing her bouquet. Check out more photos in the Southern Weddings post and on Abigail Seymour’s blog. Congratulations! I can’t wait to borrow some of your fabulous ideas!

In July, Adam and I went to Jake & Kim’s wedding down in Durham. You saw a photo peek here, and here’s a snapshot of me and Adam all dressed to the nines:

and I snagged this adorable photo of the happy couple off Facebook (all my pictures were blurry thanks to the ambient low lighting and my point & shoot camera) thanks to Brian Mullins Photography:

There are some amazing shots up on Brian’s blog! I love how you can see the reflection of Kim and Jake in the piano. So classic! And to top it all off, the next day, Adam proposed in the Duke Gardens!

Then in the last two weeks, I had two sorority sisters get engaged as well. Congratulation Lisa and Alison! You can read Alison’s adorable engagement story here. And to top it off, The Wedding Chicks are giving away customized DIY wedding invitations with this classic bicycle built for two design:

Photo source.

Just enter in your info, pick your colors, and each file will be emailed to your address. Get your invitations here.

So all this romance has to make a girl wonder, is there more in the summer air than just humidity?


Jenna Kate

Back From the Nap…

So I wanted to apologize for my hiatus the last few days. I’ve been in a blogging nap, both from lack of inspiration and from being busy in real life (sort of). Here is a mini life-update:

Friday, we took our usual office outing to Murphy’s Irish Pub, where I of course followed along with The Unicorn Song, doing all the hand motions. I even went to bed at a sensible hour.

Saturday, I attempted to bleach my hair with good old-fashioned lemon juice

Photo source.

but alas the sun was not cooperating on the project. I also successfully organized my scrapbooking stuff, which I will begin to work on tonight. Then we had an office-sponsored Washington Nationals versus the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game.


Photo source and source.

The Nats lost 2-9. And later that night, I attempted diplomacy with my fiance’s friends. I also learned that ‘tear-away jorts’ are in fact my biggest fear.

Photo source.

Sunday, I came into the office for a few hours to jumpstart some work for this week. My massive allergy attack that ensued prompted me to pop a Benadryl when I got home. I woke up several hours later with my best friend banging on my apartment door coming to borrow a dress for a wedding San Francisco this weekend.

Photo source.

So now we are back at Monday. I have successfully tapped my beauty-product-obsessed sister for skin care advice, and will try to persuade her to write a few guest posts to share her knowledge with you. I have also scheduled a job interview for a position in Colorado starting in January, which means I don’t have to feel guilty going to Monument with Adam or about spending two months with him in China at the end of this year.

I have also decided to put John Frieda to the test. I’ve been unhappy with my hair color for a while now, and I’ve never dyed it (that’s right, 100% natural blonde here folks). So I’ll be testing out some of the JF products to see if they do in fact improve my blonde from a brassy corn field color back to a more champaign beach blonde shade. So keep posted for that project.

Photo source.

Anything exciting happen yet on your Monday?


Jenna Kate

If I Was a Signature Drink I’d be Strawberry Lemonade…With a Twist

Last night I met up with some Dukies and a few UVA Cavaliers (Don’t judge, VTech is my Virginia school) in Dupont Circle. We ended up wandering down to U Street where we found a great little bar with no line and an amazing air conditioning system. With the heat wave in DC at the moment, it was a critical decision to get out of the heat. While one of the boys was ordering Yucca fries with a tangy mayonnaise sauce, I caught a glimpse of the cocktail menu. They had this delicious glass on their list:

a Strawberry Lemonade. The ingredients were listed as Vodka, fresh strawberry purée, and fresh lemon juice which they squeezed out of a lemon wedge in front of me. I’d definitely call that fresh.

Because the girls and I became immediately obsessed with this drink, I searched for a recipe. This one adds seltzer water, but it suggests using Absolut Citron or another lemon-infused vodka, which is exactly what I will do for my next roof-top party. I’ll probably skip the seltzer water in favor of a fresh, traditional lemonade flavor without the added bubbles. Thanks for your user-submitted recipe section where I found these instructions:

  • 2 ounces vodka (ideally lemon-infused or citron)
  • 2 ounce freshly squeezed lemonade
  • 1 ounce strawberry puree (doesn’t need to be strained)
  • 1/2 ounce club soda or seltzer water
  • Half strawberry or mint sprig for garnish
  1. In a separate container, purée strawberries using a blender or hand-held immersion blender. Extra puree can be frozen for future use.
  2. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  3. Pour vodka, lemonade, strawberry puree, and seltzer water in glass and stir to combine puree with other ingredients.
  4. Garnish with half or whole strawberry or mint sprig.

Again, I would skip the seltzer water, and the recipe suggested using any type of berry to make the purée. I’ll definitely try raspberries, but I’d be curious how blueberries might taste as well. Definitely an experiment for August! Share your favorite summer cocktail and I’d love  other recipes to try! Try and stay cool!


Jenna Kate