Category Archives: Life


This is my first post since July. I’m feeling unconfident about writing for myself. But I want there to be a record of this year and I want to do this more often.

At the beginning of last year I had three goals: move more, seek creative moments, travel. I feel like I’m just getting started on these. Not that 2015 wasn’t a productive year. Some highlights:

Visiting Los Angeles (enough to get to know it pretty well), San Francisco (twice!), Portland Maine, Nantucket, OBX, Denver, Atlanta, NYC, home to NJ, family trips to Ohio. Seeing so many great concerts: The Walkmen, Icona Pop, Smallpools, James Bay, Passion Pit, the Academy Is, Urban Cone, the Griswolds, of Monsters and Men. Growing my team from 1 to 8. Work turning into a family. Meaningful time with my family. Exploring coffee shops and vineyards. Surrounding myself in art. Reflective time by the water. Many Sunday Pastas. Making a new best friend. Four beautiful weddings. Yoga and tap dance and joining a gym. Short curly hair. The Gilmore Guys.

There’s still much I want to do to have a full life. I work incredibly hard but it’s important to find time for more. Traveling, finding inspiration in the world, staying active and healthy and having fun doing it, reading, sleeping enough, meeting new people, spending time with friends that bring me joy, writing, cooking new dishes, finally moving to a new apartment, turning stress into something productive, being intentional, standing up for my feelings. Sounds so much easier said than done. In 2016 I want my whole life to move forward.

Taste of Summer

Taste of Summer: Peach Cobbler Taste of Summer: strawberries Taste of Summer: proscuitto Taste of Summer: spring onions Taste of Summer: chaia dc tacos Taste of Summer: whiskey cocktails

A few favorite tastes of early summer:

homemade peach cobbler and vanilla bean ice cream

strawberries fresh from the farmer’s market

thinly sliced prosciutto – served with basil, melon, or burrata 

these bright onions that remind me of the sea

veggie tacos in the park

summer smoke: whiskey cocktails + fire pits

Trying to savor every bit of it. Need more moments like these. S’mores and peaches and beer outside…these things just taste better.


Cupcakes for Breakfast: 2015 here we go

Well here we are again. I’m well on my way of being considerate daily of my goals and resolutions for this year. They’re pretty simple, and personal. But they all contribute to being a happier, smarter, more inspired, healthier, creative person. Last year was difficult for many reasons, and it seems like a consensus out there that we’re all thankful for a blank slate. But I grew exponentially in 2014, especially professionally. I won’t forget this. But I’m ready to make life round – fill all the spaces and moments with experiences. Burst at the seams….not in a stressful way. Relaxation is a part of the plan. But take advantage of every opportunity. Do more. See more. Be bigger.

A few simple things will help me feel this fullness. Move, Dance, Reach. I don’t expect to transform into the athletic dancer I was 10 years ago, but I don’t have to. There’s a middle ground and I think it will make me very happy. Going to dance class my favorite non-workout workout. Stretch every night. Plan for yoga. Run down streets you’ve never been down on warm days. Leap, reach, turn, twist. Remind your body that it knows how to be more than scrunched up in front of a computer or asleep. Seek creativity, find my own. Cook more, visit museums, write, find new blogs to explore, get back on pinterest, find a new coffee shop, learn what makes them special, make breakfast on the weekends, draw, read a novel, read about business, connect other creative people, choreograph, make pasta from scratch. This is not for work; it’s for myself. But I can’t wait to see how all of this will impact my creativity at work too. See the world. It’s time to go exploring. I’m taking a break from vacations doing nothing and ready to start moving and seeing things. Weekend trips to NYC and Charleston, a birthday trip to Paris, a little West Coast exploring, the beach and the mountains and the city and foreign countries. Time to just go. Undoubtedly this will help with resolution number two. It’s decided then. Now where should I go? Who’s coming with?

Nikki dancing gi

paris | coffee | pasta | dance

My Family Recipe Rocks With Joey Fatone

Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone

Ok let’s chat about dreams coming true. A little over a month ago, I spent the day with Joey Fatone filming an episode of My Family Recipe Rocks. My episode airs this Sunday 5/25 at 8:30pm on the Live Well Network. Find out where you can watch – I hope you do!

Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone

Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone NSYNC

Even several weeks later, I can’t quite describe the day. It was everything. It’s JOEY. I’ve spent so many many hours of my life thinking about him. It was so strange to talk to real life Joey about NSYNC Joey. They were the same person and different person at the same time. Does that make sense?

Look! We hugged, we touched, he was on his phone which has JC’s number in it, we talked about Lance’s wedding, he kissed my cheek, we spent a whole day together! If only 12 year old Nikki could imagine this could happen one day. That she’d move on from writing NSYNC fan e-zines and starting writing a food blog that would lead her to filming a TV show with Joey. I still can’t believe it did.

There were parts of the day I remember so clearly – our conversations and his funny quirks, his movie quoting and his smile – but so much of it flew by, especially the cooking part. I probably said a lot of silly things. Honestly I don’t even remember. But looking forward to seeing how MFRR’s amazing crew pieces it all together.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone

Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone

I made some awesome breakfast recipes on the show which I can’t wait to share afterwards – My Grandma’s Jewish coffee cake, corn and blueberry waffles, whiskey slush mimosas, and antipasti breakfast pizzas. And because this show is about family and I couldn’t have done any of this – from the NSYNC e-zines days to our holiday feasts to my life in food today – without them, my family was part of this episode too. I’m SO glad they were. After all, Joey was a big part of their lives too.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone Blueberry Corn Waffles Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone

Back to dreams coming true. They did in so many ways. For NSYNC, for Joey, for my family, for my passions, for my life. Thanks Joey.

Can’t wait to see the episode! AHHHHH (still can’t believe it!)

Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey FatoneCupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone Cupcakes for Breakfast: My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone NSYNC

In focus: Market Mornings

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – BasilCupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – TomatoesCupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – BeetsCupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Little Gem

Have I mentioned I’ve been busy? Ha. But really. Work is great. I’m learning and challenging myself every day. It’s a lot but I’m feeling like something big is happening and I’m ready to see where it takes me. I’m so lucky that I was able to turn the things I love already – food, design, writing – into something I love even more at Cava. It feels incredible to love what I do and who I work with every day. Remember where I was a year ago? Funny how long ago that seems and how different I feel. If I take a second to stop moving, I might even look back and realize I’m proud of myself.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Flowers

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Asparagus

Other than work, life is a little strange. I guess I haven’t figured out what it is right now and who I am. But I’ve learned to accept that’s ok. The one good thing about this though is timing. It’s spring. And allergies aside, I honestly walk out my door every day excited about the world. The fact that giant green leaves can grow back on cold trees and we can eat the most flavorful food that comes from the ground nearby. Sure, it’s cheesy, but these are some of my favorite solo moments recently. When I find a break to take a walk through the farmer’s market or read a magazine in the park (like actually read the articles too) or make a tomato sandwich with fresh ricotta. My moments.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Spring Onion

Some big projects aside – wedding coordinating, filming a cooking show with Joey from NSYNC, redesigning my website – most of the things I’m doing outside of work aren’t very challenging I suppose. Might not have the headspace for it. (Although I totally just marathoned the entire Dawson’s Creek series again. So that’s something right?) But one thing that has been a fun challenge is learning to use my DSLR camera. I’ve been told it’s a powerful little guy and I’m slowly uncovering it’s potential. I’m learning the technical bits at work but I’m also just pushing myself to get out and use it. We all know that’s the only way I’m going to feel more comfortable with it. Make it a habit, try different lighting, actually learn what ISO means and when it has to be adjusted.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Apple BlossomsCupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Ramps

I guess one of the things I want myself to know is that even if I’m not blogging here or baking a cake regularly or keeping my apartment clean or going on several dates a week, I’m still being creative. It just doesn’t stop. It’s not a rut. It’s something new. It’s me changing and growing up and challenging myself. It’s happening at work now…with my team, with new projects, which I couldn’t be more excited about. It’s happening a little more quietly right now. On my mornings at the market and long walks around the city. As I’m learning more about ramps, morels, little gem, and growing herbs. As I slow roast garlic. As I edit photos while listening to Coasts. While helping a friend decorate her apartment. When I make a simple tomato sandwich.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Herbs Cupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Morels Cupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Poppies Cupcakes for Breakfast: Farmer's Market Mornings – Kale Flowers