26. eating in-season fruits and vegetables (mangoes are in for March!)
27. that first week of Spring temperatures when you can bust out your flip flops
28. seafoam green toenail polish
29. coaching and motivating people to run
30. visiting my Florida friends

picturing snowmageddon

Several years ago, when I was still in high-school, I was wandering through the house when I came upon my sister, sitting on the living-room couch, wracked with sobs. She was surrounded by a mountain of crumpled Kleenex, and there on the TV in front of her, Armageddon was playing. I have never laughed harder in my life! Heather laughed too; she knew she was a sorry sight. But in all seriousness, Armageddon truly is a sob-fest. Just try watching it without shedding a tear!

If you know us at all, you know that the Steeds get very involved in their movies. The Grudge makes us pull our feet up off the floor and put a hand over our mouths so we don’t shriek too loudly. The Proposal makes us howl with laughter. The Labyrinth makes us press the pause button every time the two-headed gate guards give Sarah the logic puzzle. And Armageddon makes us cry.

You know what else makes us cry?


DC just got blasted with two more winter storms that dumped about 34 inches on us here in Fairfax. The final blizzard pushed us over the mark to make this 2009-2010 season the snowiest winter in Washington DC history–with total snow accumulation coming in at 54.9 inches this Wednesday!

Snow plows are running out of space to push the snow, but I’ve done my share to help get rid of a little extra–by eating it! Snow ice cream has been a Steed tradition since I was a little girl living in Ledyard, CT. Dad would collect a bucket of fresh snow from the front yard, and we would sit in eager anticipation as he mixed up the ingredients. I’ve had four bowls of snow ice cream this week, and since we’re expecting another batch of snow on Monday, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Snow Ice Cream

~makes 1 serving~

–2 to 3 cups fresh snow
–1 tsp white sugar
–2 tsp vanilla extract
–about 2 tbsp half & half (or milk)

Mix ingredients together, starting with 2 cups of snow and adding snow and half & half as needed. The mixture will come to a creamy consistency. If you’d like to try a different flavor, add cocoa powder or peppermint extract!

In preparation for Monday’s snow, I’m off to get the movie Whip It with an old FYE gift card I discovered in my wallet (don’t you love when that happens? It has $30 on it!)

What are your favorite things to enjoy on a snow day?

I have never really experienced deja vu quite like the Sunday morning three weeks ago when I visited the Washington National Cathedral. Walking out of the parking garage, my sister, Heather, and I were stopped dead in our tracks by the sight that greeted us. A gray mist hung heavily in the air and a gentleman in a tweed coat and friendmaker cap strolled up the sidewalk towards the gothic spires that stretched into the sky. We turned to each other to confirm what the other was thinking–“It’s Salisbury!”

Three years ago we studied abroad for a semester in London, where we spent many a rainy day out taking in the sights and sounds of England. One of those days was spent touring Salisbury. Suited up in our wellies, raincoats, and caps, we did our best to keep from shivering as our Blue Badge Guide took us around the cathedral.

The architecture was beautiful. The cathedral’s neck-kink-inducing spire reached high into the dreary clouds, buttresses flanked its sides, and intricate curls and gargoyles adorned the sides of the courtyard.

The best part of the day, however, was shucking our wet coats and warming up with our best girl friends over a proper English tea.

While Washington DC doesn’t quite match the quaint charm of Salisbury, Heather and I found ourselves immediately enchanted with the National Cathedral.

Memories came flooding up, and we found ourselves wishing for England. “I want to have tea after church!” “I’m dying for a scone with clotted cream.” “I wish I wore my friendmaker cap.” (I should explain that “friendmaker cap” is the Steed term for a driver’s cap–or whatever you call those fabulous caps that British men are so fond of–the point is, if you’re wearing such a cap, and you meet another person in a cap, it impossible to not be instant friends.)

Sundays at the National Cathedral start of with a Sunday Forum. Each week, a guest speaker is invited to come answer questions on a chosen topic. As luck would have it, our guest was Os Guinness–a Brit! Oh, we were in love! If you’ve never heard of him, he’s a social critic who is absolutely fascinating to listen to, not only because of his ideas, but because he has a delightfully quirky way with words, turning phrases like, “He was the disappointed lover of the French Revolution.” Heather and I really enjoyed listening to him, and by the end of the forum we were homesick for London.

The service itself was a winning point over Salisbury. You don’t fully experience a cathedral until you attend a service there. The sung psalm in between the reading and the Gospel was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard, and I enjoyed getting to share The Peace with a group of high schoolers seated behind us who were visiting from New Orleans. As the service ended, we snapped a few pictures to remember our visit by, and were accompanied out onto the lawn by the ringing of the cathedral bells.

All in all, my visit to the National Cathedral was well worth the trek from Fairfax, so much so that I want to go back for their Tour and Tea. How wonderful does that sound? I can only hope that it’s gray and misty again when I go back!

If you’re new to 101 in 1001, check out my list for more scoop! And yes, I did write this blog post whilst sipping a cup of Twinings tea. (Earl Gray. Hot.) (;

so happy, mr. bradley

More for the Happy List!

21. watching the jellyfish float around their tanks at the National Zoo (my friends yelled at me for watching them too long!)
22. the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves and seagulls
23. $5 Walmart men’s sweatpants (size small and rolled down three times)
24. the smell of a fire burning in the fireplace
25. Gregory Peck’s eyebrows

What makes *you* happy?

This was the video that made me fall in love with Andrew Bird–the combination of the haunting music and the ink illustrations and the wonderful myth of it all.

101 in 1001

I’ve seen several other people with these lists and I couldn’t resist the list-making any longer!

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

My 101:

Start date: 21 January, 2010

Finish date: 18 October, 2012

3 / 101 things. 3% done!


  • Plain text = to-do
  • Italics = in progress
  • Strikethrough = completed


1.   Have a homecooked Sunday Dinner once a month with friends.
2.   Call Mom and Dad at least once a week!
3.   Private goal.
4.   Do something fun or have dinner with the DelToros at least once a month.
5.   Network with other photographers.
6.   Visit Florida friends at least twice a year.
7.   Keep in touch with friends over the phone.
8.   Use all 450 minutes of my AT&T plan one month.


9.   Write at least a rough draft of The Light Brigade.
10.  Design my website/blog.
11.  Buy a domain name.
12.  Design business cards.
13.  Make my own coffee table book.
14.  Swede a video.
15.  Complete 10 DIY projects.
16.  Read 10 non-fiction books. [Reading Katharine Hepburn’s autobiography, “Me”.]
17.  Read 15 business-related books.
18.  Read all the unread books in my library.
19.  Second shoot a wedding with a photographer I admire.
20.  Invest in a Nikon D700.
21.  Practice fiddle 5 days a week, for at least 20 minutes, for 2 months.
22.  Shoot a session in an old library.
23.  Shoot a session in a movie theater.
24.  Buy a strobe and learn how to use off-camera flash.
25.  Have a show in a gallery.
26.  Read my entire camera manual.

+ Entertainment:

27.  Watch all of Star Trek TOS and TNG.
28.  Buy a VHS player. [I bought it, but either I haven’t hooked it up correctly, or it’s broken. Finding an expert (read: engineering friend) to help.]
29.  Go to Atlanta for a Braves game with Brendon.
30.  See the Red Sox play at Camden Yard and the Nationals’ stadium.
31.  See 3 concerts.
32.  Attend a roller derby.
33.  Attend a weekly Irish music session at a pub.
34.  Find a cinema café in DC.
35.  Go to a Capitals game.
36.  Go to a Red Skins game.

+ Travel & Tourism:

37.  Visit 5 museums in DC.
38.  Attend a service at the National Cathedral. [completed 25 January, 2010]
39.  Try out 5 local restaurants that I’ve never been to. [1/5 completed: Potbelly Sandwich Works]
40.  Eat in Morocco in Epcot.
41.  Take the train home to CT.
42.  Visit Deidre in NYC.
43.  Visit Audrey in London.
44.  Go to a restaurant that was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, & Dives.
45.  Take a photograph at every metro stop in DC.
46.  Visit Kristen at JMU and Ryan at VT.
47.  Visit Ireland with Mom.
48.  See the Kentucky Derby, have a mint julep, and wear a fancy hat. And bet on a horse.
49.  Take a trip to Las Vegas.
50.  Get crab cakes in Baltimore.

+ Self:

51.  See a movie in a theater by myself.
52.  Compile a cookbook/recipe book.
53.  Find a church that I love.
54.  Try a new haircut that I’ve never had.
55.  Get a cat.
56.  Volunteer with 826 DC.
57.  Wear red lipstick everyday for a week.
58.  Use my reusable grocery sacks every time I go grocery shopping. [I remembered the last two times, yay!]
59.  Take part in Race for the Cure.
60.  Wear a skirt/dress everyday for a week.

+ Body:

61.  Run a half marathon. [Disney Princess Half Marathon, March 7, 2010]
62.  Run a marathon.
63.  Run a 10K in under an hour.
64.  Run a snowshoe race.
65.  Do pilates or yoga twice a week for 3 months. [2/24 days completed]
66.  Take a spin class.
67.  Get 8 hours of sleep every night for a week.
68.  Floss everyday. [25/1001 days completed]

+ Organize:

69.  Buy a file cabinet.
70.  Clear out my inbox and keep my email organized. [OMG, OMG, I now officially have only ONE message in my inbox, plus I deleted tons from my archived messages!!! I will cross this off at the end of my 1001 days if I’ve kept my inbox under control.]
71.  Buy an external hard drive.
72.  Organize computer files and transfer files from old computer.
73.  Donate or get rid of old computer.
74.  Buy a coat hanger and a hat/mitten drawer.
75.  Print photos for living room wall. [Made some small prints and glued them to clipboard in an “inspiration wall” style. I want at least one big wall print though!]
76.  Get my car registered in VA. [completed 21 January, 2010]
77.  Buy a porch chair.
78.  Buy utensils.

+ Career & Money:

79.  Get a job.
80.  Create a price list for my photography services.
81.  Photograph my first customer for photography.
82.  Be financially independent and stop allowances from Dad.
83.  Write down what the systems of my business would be and create a manual.
84.  Create a budget on mint.com.
85.  Have an emergency savings fund of $5,000.
86.  Get rid of cable. [Unfortunately I have to finish out my year’s contract or they’ll charge me a huge fine. They offered me a discount on my current bundle though!]
87.  Start a retirement fund.
88.  Invest in health insurance.
89.  Get rid of my SunTrust accounts.
90.  Attend a PUG meeting.

+ Fun:

91.  Join a kickball league. [Joined NAKID Kickball League in DC! I’ll cross this off when I’ve played!]
92.  Start a bunco night.
93.  Go tubing.
94.  Learn how to pour latte art.
95.  Go on an ale-trail in Alexandria.
96.  Go on a hot air balloon ride.
97.  Call the zombie hotline.
98.  Make fried pickles.
99.  Buy spotted dick at the grocery store after shouting “Price check, spotted dick!” on the International Food aisle.
100. Learn how to pick a lock.
101. Inspire someone. [I inspired a friend to run her first half marathon. I’m not crossing this off yet because I want to inspire someone *again!*]

so happy, mr. bradley

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated, but I’ve had a lot to be happy about recently, so I thought it would be fitting to come back with the next installation to my Happy List. If you don’t know what my Happy List is, it’s an idea that originated over at 43 Things. I’m listing 100 Things that make me Happy.

16. Christmas tree hunting
17. going to trivia night with friends and consistently winning the losers’ consolation prize
18. talented doctors, surgeons, and health care professionals who caught my Mom’s breast cancer early and are helping her get through this experience
19. a large network of loving, supportive, and positive friends and family
20. a sister who can cook a kick-ass turkey. bergok!

So my Mom had been reminiscing about some of the things her relatives in Alabama used to say, and how much she was in the mood to watch Fried Green Tomatoes.  I was ashamed to say I’d never seen the movie.  Gasp!  I know.  Well I had the house to myself a couple nights ago, so I watched it on YouTube. It’s such a beautiful film!  Here’s a scene when the main character, Idgie, is first trying to cook fried green tomatoes:

That got me to googling recipes and today I made fried green tomatoes for lunch!  As luck would have it, my neighbor was digging up his tomato plants for the season a couple days ago, and he had five tomatoes on the bush that were still green.  He asked if we wanted them.  Heck yes!  To make my fried green tomatoes I used a recipe by Robin Shreeves, who had adapted it from a recipe by the Neelys on Food Network.


  • Oil
  • 4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rings
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch paprika




  1. In a deep-fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees F or heat oil in frying pan on stove top.
  2. Season tomatoes, on both sides, with pepper.
  3. Place flour and garlic powder in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with the milk. In another dish, mix bread crumbs with cayenne and paprika.
  4. Dredge tomatoes through the flour, then the eggs, and then through the bread crumbs. Add only a few pieces to the fryer at a time, so they can cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes in the fryer or 2 to 3 minutes per side in the frying pan – flipping occasionally. Drain on paper towels and serve sauce.




Eat with your fingers for best results!! 😀


(note the absence of utensils!)

flashback: august 1990

I found some old pictures of my trip to the Enchanted Forest in Rhode Island!  My Mom took me and my sister when we were three, and we went with our “best family” (like best friends, but a whole family), Mrs. DT and her oldest son Brendon (who was three also), and a neighbor friend named Jenny.  It’s so funny to look back at these because now there are three DT kids, but back then their middle girl was only a newborn!

Check out these old-school rides:

This is me, flying my plane, girrrrrl. Fierce.


Heather and me: Jeep-drivin’ gals! (Brendon and Jenny are in the car in front of us).


Heather on the merry-go-round.  The horses were so small!  But they were the perfect size for us. (:


Heather, me, Jenny, and Brendon riding the boats that floated around a little moat.  I do remember these!  Check out the patriotic American flags on the boats.


If this doesn’t give you a hankering (I know, I’m 80) for the old days, I don’t know what will!

picturing: magic

Today I went on a magical adventure with Mom in Rhode Island.


Met a pooka named Harvey in the furniture store–(he was a little shorter than 6 foot, three-and-one-half inch tall, but barely):


Spied some garden fairy cottages:




Had a staring contest with a grasshopper (he won):


Sauntered through some sunflowers:




And sought out the remnants of an old childhood haunt, The Enchanted Forest.  It was a toddler amusement park (of the old Americana type) that I went to when I was two (I still remember parts vaguely, like the House That Jack Built–I didn’t understand why it was crooked and it bothered me).  The park had been built in 1971 and had small-scale kiddie roller coasters (verrrry small!), storybook structures (like Jack’s House and a The Old Lady Who Lived In a Shoe–a giant boot that was a slide), a putt-putt golf course, and a petting zoo.  It also had a pirate ship, which I was apparently fond of, although I don’t remember it.  The park closed in 2005 due to low funds, and the rides were mostly auctioned off.  Supposedly a delapidated pirate ship remains somewhere back there in the woods, but it wasn’t accessible.



Below is the old putt-putt course.  I think the signs were the ones that told you what the par was.



You may think The Enchanted Forest looks more sad than magical (and it *is* now), but I feel such a sense of nostalgia when I visit old abandoned places.  Some used to be the site of a lot of love and they deserve more than to be grown over and forgotten.  I know it’s strange to personify a place, but I sometimes feel that old places like this have place-souls and are just lonely and waiting for someone to care.  Or maybe I’m just an old soul who regrets that children today are being sucked into video games (though I’d never hate on Guitar Hero) instead of magical places like this.

What magical things did you see today?