Hi, and welcome to my world! I thought I'd jump on Kayleigh's challenge bandwagon and share more about who I am, what I do, and what I love.
1. I'm a New England girl at heart
I grew up in Massachusetts, and one day I hope to return to that corner of the world. I'm a person who needs four seasons, and Fall - my favorite one - is so special up North. The changing leaves, fires on a chilly night, cooking with the harvest, all of it makes me so happy.
These days, I live in Hoboken, New Jersey. I love it here - I'm close enough to NYC that I have access to every cool thing there, but far enough that my street is quiet and my neighbors can become my friends. I still get up to New England frequently, usually to visit my family or ski.
2. I speak German
My dad grew up in Germany and emigrated around the time that I was born. My mother is American, but learned German in college. They were committed to bringing up my brothers and me bilingually, and it mostly worked. My dad spoke German and my mom spoke English with me.
Unfortunately, I threw a wrench in their plans by refusing to speak English in my American preschool. So they transitioned to using mostly English at home. I retained most of my German fluency through high school and college, but my younger brothers didn't get as much exposure and it hasn't come as easily to them.
3. I studied Art History in college
I went to Yale, and originally wanted to be a creative writing major. It wasn't in the cards. Luckily, around the time this became clear, I took the coolest class in the world: Furniture in American Life.
Every week, I spent hours in a huge basement warehouse packed to the gills with furniture and got up close and personal with it. The basement had everything, literally from the Mayflower to modern-day design. We treated each piece like a puzzle: What does the design of this table's foot tell us about where it was made? What does the scraping on its underside tell us about how it was used? What can the type of materials used to build the table tell us about its original owners? I was hooked!
Every time I left an art history class, I felt like my view of the world had expanded. Though I studied art from almost every genre, material, and geographic origin, I specialized in decorative arts and wrote my thesis on the use of performative inscription on American silver hollowware.
4. I'm a pastry chef
After Covid, I was floundering career-wise and needed a new direction in life. I lived with my parents for the worst of quarantine, and dove into baking to relieve some stress. When the world opened back up, I went to the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan and studied Restaurant Management and Pastry & Baking Arts.
Now, I work for a new restaurant in Hoboken. I am their only pastry chef, so I develop their recipes and am responsible for each aspect of the sweet stuff that hits the table. I love my job. It's been so rewarding to see strangers enjoying my food. Plus, it's a great conversation starter for awkward small talk at parties :D
5. I'm getting married in a couple of weeks
I've been with my fiancé for six years, and soon he'll be my husband! I'm very excited to spend the rest of my life with him, but honestly filled with anxiety about all the mechanics of our wedding. I've been on the phone and emailing with my vendors nonstop for what feels like months. And I hate being on the phone and emailing.
Any brides out there have tips on relieving stress? Ya girl is desperate.
6. I have a cat
Her name is Aura, and she's my perfect garbage baby. I got her five years ago through a rescue service and didn't realize that I was basically adopting a feral stray. She hid under my bed for the whole first week I had her, was desperate for love but had no idea what to do when I petted her so would scratch or bite in response for months, and liked to pee on soft things. Like my comforter.
She's come a long way since then. Now, she's very affectionate, chatty, and cuddly. My one gripe? She clearly prefers my fiancé over me. Come on! I pay the vet bills, I scoop the litter box, I feed her every day... and he's the one who gets the most love. So unfair.
7. I inherited my mom's black thumb
I love plants. Unfortunately, I am a very neglectful plant mommy and they do not last long around me. I've lost more than I can count to spider mites, overwatering, underwatering, fungus gnats, cat snacking, and just general malaise.
I used to make fun of my mom for the same thing. We always had dead or dying herbs on our windowsill. Karma's really coming back to bite me for that one.
8. I love to read
Groundbreaking, I know. I'm a big fan of thrillers, mysteries, and horror stuff. Stephen King is my favorite author - I just love how he builds characters, worlds, and plots!
My favorite book that I read in the last year would have to be 'A Certain Hunger' by Chelsea G. Summers. It's about a cannibalistic, nymphomaniac food critic. It's unbelievably dark, fun, and imaginative, and so well-written that I found myself gasping at Summers' prose frequently. And also, quite literally drooling over her descriptions of food.
9. I knit
Another Covid hobby that took over my life! I taught myself to knit in college and churned out a bunch of pretty basic scarves. It was a fun way to keep my hands busy in lectures or while watching TV.
Over quarantine, I majorly upgraded my skill level and obsession. Now I have achieved SABLE (Stash [of yarn] Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy), make all my own sweaters, socks, and winter gear, and have about twenty various works in progress at any given time.
10. I'm allergic to peanuts
I feel like I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel for this one haha.
Funnily enough, I accidentally inoculated myself as a kid by eating PB&J for lunch every day. It was a rude awakening at 17 to discover that what I thought was IBS was actually a pretty severe allergy to peanuts.
Sun Butter scratches the itch for me. But what I wouldn't give to eat a Reese's or a Butterfingers bar just one more time...
Phew! Now you know me just about as well as you can. Join in on the fun and tell me all about yourself, too :)