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Monday, June 8, 2015

Our First Week in the New House + Summer Shrimp Pasta Recipe

I don't know how it happened, but we've officially been living in our new home for almost three weeks now.  The last two months have been a flurry of activity and plain old stress.  After our first night here almost settled in my body and brain came down from a tightly wound last 8 months (year?) and relaxed, almost in an exhaustive breakdown.  Ok, so maybe not that dramatically, but almost involuntarily had to take a real break.   I've slept in way too late, read several chicklit books (which I've never done before) and allowed myself a recess from the world and just enjoyed easy living in our new house.

Now renewed a bit, I'm back at work and back thinking about the next steps with the house.  Of course, somewhere in my consciousness is a list a mile long of things we "need" (furniture, rugs, artwork...), but I'm doing my best to ignore the part of my brain that wants to do everything immediately.  There were so many decisions that had to be made over the last year that I'd really like to take my time with the decorating.  I want to hunt and gather and enjoy the process rather than just order everything at once.  

In the meantime, I will be working on organizing what we do have.  You don't want to know what   my pantry looks like right now... or the basement.  Tomorrow the organizing begins.  For now, I think I'll fix another cup of tea and think about what we're having for dinner.  There is something to be said for this (new to me) relaxing life : )


This photo was from the first morning after we moved in - Emma and I breaking the marble in with scones.  This was one of those moments that I had thought about (maybe even planned the entire kitchen around?) while we were designing the house.  Wide open doors and windows in the morning while we made breakfast.

The light in here is amazing.  In the past I've always had to diffuse the light through our windows with a sheet, but the overhand from our back porch provides perfect shad for our kitchen windows.  Whew.

Cranberry Orange is our typical go-to, but in my haste at the store I forgot cranberries.  So, we made orange scones - completely delicious.   Still not remembering cranberries later in the week, we made blueberry orange scones over the weekend.  Maybe a new favorite for summer.

This nook in the counter was supposed to be for a counter stool, but turns out it has been the perfect spot for emma to keep her chair so she can stand and help me bake.

Our first dinner - lemon and rosemary marinated chicken.  You can still see boxes in this photo : )

This is what dinner looks like for us most of the summer - grilled chicken and vegetables with a side of heirloom tomatoes and burrata.

Our other staple is pasta with lots of fresh ingredients.  To keep it lighter in the summer, I try to add a lot of vegetables to the pasta and use a really light sauce.

Summer Shrimp Pasta
serves 4

1 pound of rigatoni
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound of shrimp (peeled and deveined)
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of white wine
2 tablespoons of butter
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (I like red and yellow)
fresh basil
parmesan cheese

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until almost done.  Remove from water and strain.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, cook shrimp in olive oil for 2 minutes on each side, then add garlic.  Cook for 30 seconds more, then add white wine.  Cook for 2 minutes, then add heavy cream and butter.  Reduce heat for and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add pasta, tomatoes and basil and toss with sauce.  Top with parmesan for serving.

More photos later this week of my organizing/unpacking progress and some yard updates, too.  Hope everyone is taking some time to enjoy these first weeks of summer.  There is always something a little magical in the air this time of year - embrace it and take a break : )


  1. Love reading your blog. Your kitchen is beautiful. Where did you get Emma's cute dress from? Adorable! Thanks!!

  2. Hooray! How exciting for you guys. I've been following your renovation posts with great interest. And those scones look declicious.

  3. Your kitchen is so very pretty!! And the recipe is in my 'to try' stack for the summer. I love your butcher block counter surrounding your sink - what did you seal it with so the water doesn't leave marks?

  4. Jenny,
    I don't think any of us, going through a major renovation, realize the stress it puts on us. At least you recognized the signs that indicated it was time for slowing down and enjoying each day until you recharge. I love your kitchen and will look forward to a tour somewhere down the line, when you're ready. :-)

  5. Anonymous8:30 PM

    Thank you for the update! I cannot wait to see more photos of your house and a source list too. I love your bar stools. I am waiting to see your back patio too. Don't make us wait until it is fully furnished- we enjoy seeing the progress too. Thank you so much for sharing the journey. Sue

  6. I know that feeling of needing to rest and mentally escape for a bit after everything that goes into building a new house. We built ours two years ago and I'm still looking for things for the decor, but I finally have enough done that I don't have a nagging to-do list! Your house and kitchen are just beautiful as are the memories you're already making there.

  7. It feel so good to slow life down and live in the present doesn't it?!? The glimpses of your new kitchen look so beautiful and I look forward to seeing a tour when the time is right. Thanks so much for the yummy recipes, I can't wait to try them this summer! Emma is darling, I sure do miss those "little" years with my own children.


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