Cozy Modern Fireplace | @thefauxmartha

In the last month of construction, we nixed the fireplace in the living room to stay on budget. So the room, the first room you see when you walk into the house, looked like an afterthought. Or maybe it looked more like no thought. The picture above doesn’t do our random assortment of furniture justice, as we had already started clearing stuff out when I got this shot. But that TV stand, the one I rolled home from the alleys of Chicago, was the biggest eyesore. Maybe because I painted it bright light blue when we moved to Connecticut. Read more

Toddler Cakes + KitchenAid Mini Giveaway | @thefauxmartha

She climbs the big tall ladder at the park by herself now. And dresses herself as soon as she wakes up. Always in a dress, mostly pink. She insists on closing every door we encounter. I wince at the shut and pray no tiny fingers are hurt in the crossfire. She sneaks sips of my black coffee and talks about how she can drink wine with me when she’s older. She’s in the thick of every dinner conversation, takes flaky salt on her avocado slices, and steals all my cookbooks and baking supplies off to her own kitchen. (See giveaway below.) Read more

Peppery White Wine Pasta | @thefauxmartha

It’s strange how relationships go. When you first start dating, it works because it’s easy and spontaneous. And if it’s anything but, you end things real fast. Eight years into marriage—three of those years with a tiny human—it works because we work at it and because we add a weekly event to the calendar. “Hang out.” And in the event notes: “No iPhones allowed.” We’re officially old not young. Read more

Italian Cream Cake | @thefauxmartha

I’ve written this post before in different words. Around the very same subject—cake. Making cake is a religious experience for me. Why, I’m not exactly sure. But it takes me to a place in my mind that dinner can never touch. It reminds me that we’re more alike than we think. Which is really important when things feel mostly polarized. Read more

Walking Bánh Mì | @thefauxmartha

I’m going to rename this blog Mel’s Food Truck. Because most of our dinners are composed as if they were just grabbed from the window of a food truck. You know the kind. Familiar with a modern flair. Casual but flavorful. Saucy with ten thousand toppings. We have a new item on our food truck dinner menu—a Walking Bánh Mì.  Read more

Sleep-In School Lunches | @thefauxmartha

Early alarm clocks. Bedhead. Breakfast at the kitchen counter. Spilled milk. Last-minute lunch box packing. Excited giggles. Anxious bellies. Shoes on the wrong feet. Scurrying out the door. First day tears. Back to school cheers. It’s that time again. Let’s keep packed lunches simple, and sleep-in a snooze longer. Read more

A Night In | @thefauxmartha

Well this looks different, huh? Night lights. Chiaroscuro. A rare photo of me and Kev. I’m excited to be a part of ‘A Night In’, hosted by two of my favorites, Yellow Brick Home and Chris Loves Julia, and sponsored by Rejuvenation. (Thanks for having me!) They’ve invited a flurry of bloggers to share their nighttime ritual—like what happens after that beloved natural light disappears. Mine comes with a story and a solicitation. Help. Read more

Sturdy Cream Cheese Frosting | @thefauxmartha

We just got back from Texas. From the hottest place on earth. From my brother’s wedding, where my sister and I made enough cake to feed 230 people. 230 people! We pulled it off. Just barely. With enough time to put on makeup, dresses, and knot our hair up in an up-do. We pulled it off mostly thanks to this sturdy cream cheese frosting recipe. It sounds like an oxymoron, I know. Sturdy and cream cheese frosting in the same sentence. But it’s real. Read more