Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bear + Katrina

I love these two, and I love that we live so close to them!! Who would've thought that 6 years after high school Katrina and I would both live on the East Coast and only be 45 minutes apart from each other? I absolutely love it!

We had a lovely evening together last weekend seeing the Christmas sights in the city: the Rockefeller Center tree, sipping hot chocolate, window shopping, finding Christmas ornaments in Macy's and strolling through Bryant Park. Thanks for such a fun night!!

You know you live in NYC...

...when you wake up one morning to look outside your window and see a movie set with old cars, actors / actresses, fake snow and lots of cameras. This isn't the first time movie sets have crowded our street, and I'm sure it won't be the last. We don't blame them - our street is beautiful! Maybe one of these days they'll actually ask us to be in their movie!

Miss Marie in NYC after Italy

Marie and her roommate, Elizabeth, stopped by for a couple days on their way home from studying abroad in Italy {sounds like a rough life, right?}. Oh how happy I am that she's back!! I missed so much our very frequent phone conversations and text messages for three whole months. iChatting once a week was just not cutting it. She's now home and my call list in my phone once again reads "Marie." Hooray!

What we did:
Attempted to walk to the Rockefeller Center to see the tree lighting {didn't was packed}, Mary Poppins, shopping in SoHo, brunch at Kitchenette and yummy dinners both in and out {she makes a killer chocolate tortina - yum!}.

{Marie took a cooking class while in Italy. I'm trying to convince her to live with us and be our cook, but I don't think that will happen. Her lucky future husband...}

Thanks for a fun visit, Marie and Elizabeth!

we don't get pictures of us together often enough!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


We were so lucky to have Jon's parents, Lee and Jane, join us for Thanksgiving! They found a great deal on tickets and decided to pay us a visit. I absolutely love their spontaneity, and I love New York City's accessibility!

This year I realized how much of an effort Thanksgiving dinner really is! I always helped my mom and grandma with the cooking in prior years, but I had never been a host. We had so much fun cooking a Thanksgiving feast for four people in a tiny one bedroom city apartment. Thanks to Jane and Jon everything turned out wonderfully! What a fun memory this will be!

Fun highlights of the trip: ice skating in Bryant Park with Jon's students, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Jersey Boys, Met Opera, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thanksgiving Dinner {turkey, cranberry ice: a Curtis family tradition, homemade rolls / orange rolls, mashed yams, parsnips, pecan pie, apple pie, homemade vanilla ice cream}, watching the movie Up, playing Rook, beautiful weather and scooter rides. Thanks for a wonderful, memorable visit!!

Monday, October 5, 2009


No it's not a quarter year life crisis, no I don't think we're crazy, no we don't live in Europe, but YES we did buy our own little motorino! Can we just say, "When in...{New York City}?"

With a little help from our scooter-riding friends in our ward, nice deals at the Vespa dealership {thank you, Leonard} and some logical reasoning {believe it or not there was some rationale to this purchase - i.e now we have a way to get out of crazy NYC in any event} we purchased a midnight blue Vespa LX150 and are loving every minute of it!!

- 25 minutes to get from Broadway and 107th to Prince and Mercer {for our out of state friends: from the top of Manhattan to the bottom}
- no stinky, smelly, dirty subway
- we get to see so many parts of the city that were lost as we traveled underground
- PARKING...anywhere!!
- playing chicken with taxis and giving high fives to people hailing a taxi {not really, but I want to}
- more time to hug Jonathan
- 10 minutes to church
- winks from male passersby {"You know, chicks, motorcycle..."}

Caramel Apples

Fall is certainly in the air, and we are loving it!! With this beautiful change in season comes one of my favorite Bond family traditions: caramel apples. This was my first time making these on my own without the help of my darling mother, but with her over-the-phone encouragement, a little creativity {chopsticks as sticks and parchment paper to wrap} and fantastic help from Jonathan, I think we can call our first run a success!!

Step 1: Wash apples, make homemade caramel and dip.

Step 2: When apples cool, dip in chocolate {we used dark chocolate and white milk chocolate}.

Step 3: Let sit for about 15 minutes and decorate {dark chocolate with pecans and, my favorite, white chocolate with cinnamon and sugar}.

Step 4: Wrap, give away, enjoy and thank mom {and helpers} over and over for making about 120 apples to serve at our wedding luncheon!

Ours weren't nearly as beautiful as these:

Happy 27th Birthday Jonathan!

We celebrated this cute boy's birthday on September 15th! He wasn't the most chipper that day as all he could say was, "I'm one year closer to 30..."

To lift his spirits and get him ready to face a wonderful year ahead, I decided to throw him a surprise birthday party that weekend. Thanks to my good friends Jill, Thomas and all who attended, we pulled off a fantastic SURPRISE with Jon not having even the slightest clue. Sadly we didn't get pictures of his face as he walked in the door, but I can promise you he was certainly surprised.

First Day of School Year 2

Just look at that determined face! Now that he has one year under his belt he's ready to face any challenge that comes his way. This year Jonathan teaches:

- 9th grade Integrated Health and Math
-10th grade Advisory
- 12th grade Senior Seminar: Engineering and Robotics

Friday, September 18, 2009

Homepage Fame

Just go to and scroll to the second picture. Yep, that's Jonathan Curtis!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Miss Marie is studying abroad in Siena this fall, so my family {Dad, Mom, Marie, Jonathan, Uncle Bill, Aunt Jackie and Cousin Dallin} immediately jumped at the opportunity to drop her off and tour the beautiful country for 11 days. My hubby is Italian at heart {his family lived in Padova from ages 15-19 while his parents served as mission presidents and went back for one year to do a study abroad / olympic volunteer work}. Naturally, due to his Italian ties, Jonathan was the driving force behind this trip planning our day-to-day schedule, coordinating transportation, suggesting hotels, speaking the angelic language and packing all of this information into a quite impressive itinerary!!

We spent the first two days in Roma seeing all of its ancient history. It's incredible to see in real life old Italy really is! Every thing was all so magical to me as this was my very first time in Italy.
Highlights: watching Jamie eat real gelato for the first time {says Jonathan}, watching dad eat gelato {says Jamie}, the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Moses and Pieta, the Colosseum.

St. Peter's Cathedral
The Colosseum
San Pietro in Vincoli {Michelangelo's Moses}
Trevi Fountain
Spanish Steps
The Vatican Museum
St. Peter's Cathedral
The Pantheon
Riding on the train from Rome to Florence was an adventure. Thanks to ferie, all of Italy was returning from their 2 week vacation leaving Jonathan, Marie, Dallin and I 1.5 hours of riding in a stairwell between the train cars. Luckily Florence is a gem, and definitely worth the uncomfortable ride.
Highlights: singing with the missionaries in Piazza della Republica, shopping in the Florentine Market, Ponte Vecchio, staying in beautiful apartments that overlook Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi, Michelangelo's David at the Galleria dell'Accademia.

Santa Maria del Fiore
The Baptistery Doors by Ghiberti
Ponte Vecchio
We picked up a 9 passenger van in Florence and made our way towards the countryside. Our end destination for day five was Lerici, but we made stops in Vinci to pay tribute to Leonardo and Pisa {it's a checklist item, right?}.

Lerici is part of the Italian Riveria {across the bay from Cinque Terre} and is breathtaking!
Highlights: delicious seafood, relaxing on the beach.

On the way to Venice, we made a memorable stop in Modena. Ask the boys, and they will probably tell you that this was their favorite stop! Although it's a baby compared to the Vatican, I'm pretty sure we spent more time per square foot in this museum than we did in any other throughout this trip.
Highlights: the looks on Jon's and Dallin's face after driving a Ferrari for 15 minutes.

Dallin driving a Ferrari!
Jonathan's dream come true!
Along the way to Venice, we stopped in Verona {Jon says that if he had to live anywhere in Italy, he would probably live here}. It's charming, quaint and beautiful.

This beautiful little city holds a special place in the Curtis' heart as this was the place they called home for three years while Lee and Jane served as mission presidents. Unfortunately this mission has now closed, and as a result they have also torn down the mission home. It was fun to stop by, tour Jon's old neighborhood and eat at one of his favorite pizzerias in all of Italy - Dove Come Quando.

I loved Venice. I have bits and pieces of every stop that I absolutely loved, but Venice was my very favorite to photograph. Every turn around its windy streets was as incredibly picturesque. We also took a boat ride to a nearby island called Murano where they specialize in glass blowing.

Marie will be studying in Siena this fall at the Dante School. Lucky girl...Siena is beautiful. We purchased beautiful hand-painted pottery, ate yummy Tuscan food and walked around the beautiful streets.

Chianti is heavenly! It's a quaint town about 20 minutes outside of Siena in the Tuscan countryside. We stayed in an incredible villa that overlooked the breathtaking landscape that is filled with olive trees, vineyards and beautiful rolling hills.
Highlights: riding scooters, eating breakfast on a patio with a beautiful view, the villa!