Wednesday, March 30, 2011

oldie but a GOODie

Growing up one of my favorite 'fancy' dinners out (besides Mexican of course!) was a family trip to The Old Spaghetti Factory. Nothing fancy, but as as child I thought it was the cat's meow!!!! You always got a salad and a dessert (they were part of the meal!) Ahh the little things! hehe

Of course, like 90% of my 'favorites' from back home they aren't here in Chicago (this chain is lots of places, but not here!) - read good mexican. So last week after my Mom went back to California to visit my Aunt and then proceeded to tell me all about her food adventures - I had find a way to make my favorite dish!!!!

It is the Browned Butter with Mizithra Cheese! (Well, if we are going to get technical, I always order the manager's Special which you pick two sauces - Browned Butter and Meat sauce please). Thanks to my good friend google (why I didn't think of this before, I'm not sure) I found this recipe, and off I went!!!

I kid you not, it tastes EXACTLY like the restaurant....beyond delish!!!! (And no I didn't eat what I dished out, my eyes were waaaay to big, but I had lunch the next day!!!!)

Here we were making it (Mom and I had a little cooking date!):

Browning the butter, by far the part which scared me the most...
surprisingly easy & smelled beyond good!

Do you have any restaurant favorites from your childhood?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Peek into the weekend

 Here are a few random shots from my weekend. And what a fabulous weekend it was!!! Now if it was about 15-20 degrees warmer it would have been beyond perfect!!! 35 is too chilly for the almost-April date!

{Date Night Outfit - Bad girl & forgot to take pictures (high wasted jeans, lace shirt, vintage booties, vintage Dior belt), Reading, more DIY, homemade italian feast}

How were your weekends??? I danced and drank like I was 21 again on Friday night - it was a BLAST! :) Then cleaned and shopped and relaxed for the remainder of the weekend. I got my Shred, on too!!! Don't worry, I haven't fallen off the wagon yet, and better yet I may have encouraged the Hubs to join me!!! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Can't even be witty

What the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks?! I have no words.The high today is supposed to be 'feels like 20' - as in 20-FLIPPING DEGREES!!!! I want spring!

The Hubs and I have date night tomorrow, I don't want to wear jeans/slacks a blazer and heavy coat! I want to wear a dress, light jacket and all that jazz! I have shopped endlessly online for something to wear, but everything is spring, so if I bought it would be months (well, that may be dramatic, but it is how I get the last weeks of March) before I could wear it. It's that time of the year when you want to rip the seasonal depression and countless layers off and run free!!! Oh wait, not every one is sick of hibernating like me? hehe.

I can't even be witty, I'm over it!

And oh yeah, I am shredding!!! Myself, along with 5 other fabulous bloggers are rocking and working out doing the Jillian Michaels 30-day shred!!! So watch out world - the FAB 5 are coming to get you! I'll do a more formal post about it later, when I am not ready to strangle mother nature and that ground hog guy....where the heck is spring for Chicago???? If you see can you send her our way???

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weeknight Meals

After such a great response the first time I shared a simple weeknight meal (here) I thought, lets go again!!! I am salad queen! I could literally eat them everyday- No lie! I keep them interesting by changing up my toppings!


Last night's was a pretty basic, and is my go to! Pretty much 8.9 out of ten times if I say I had a salad for dinner it was some combo of these items. I do change it up but this is my go-to! (The small type are other items I frequently use in this 'go-to' salad however are not pictured above)

Tons of veggies - usually any and everything on hand. Romaine (or Bagged Mixed Greens). Kidney beans (their buddy Mr Garbanzo Bean was left out bc he wasn't in the pantry, but the pair regularly join the party together!). Handful of cold plain cooked whole wheat pasta. Dried cranberries and toasted walnuts (these two, or raisins/sunflower seeds are in heavy rotation). Dressing was a bit of light Ranch (guilty pleasure!), Balsamic, Red Wine Vinegar & Salt N'Pepper.

I love the addition of a handful of pasta to my salad, especially when I make a large one as my dinner. They make the salad more filling, and make it have a longer lasting 'full' sensation. Super easy, pretty darn healthy and one of my favorites!!! What are your favorite salad fixings????

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DIY: Proenza-almost-Bracelet!!!

From the first time I saw the Proenza Schouler Rope Bracelet (& featured here - NEON post!) I couldn't get it out of my mind. I prayed someone would magically gift it to me, read my mind and make it appear...however reality check, that wasn't ever gonna happen. So I had to figure out a way to make it mine - pun not really intentional, but it totally works!

{via}

Enter some amazing DIY posts from 'Stripes and Sequins' and 'HonestlyWTF'...new mission DIY CREATE!!!! So I strapped on my super cool new bike bag (thanks to the Hubs!!!) and off I went!

The cast of characters you need to create your own:
In no particular order: Bungee Cords (cords or various colors - I went with a four pack of all black, bc I went a bit crazy with the other strings, but the more the merrier!), Masking Tape, 3 different colors of Embroidery Thread, cording, Clasp, Glue/Fabric glue, misc charm (I added this, bc well why not!) 

So here we go, get ready for easy fun!!!!

 1- Measure around your wrist twice with the thickest cord, snip. Burn edges with lighter to prevent fraying & tape ends. Slip on clip about 1/4 of the way and then bend the taped ends back to the center.
2. Tape around the ends to secure them (I added a bit of hot glue before I taped...lets just say tape it good so it won't slip out!) Add charm, if you want one before you tape it. I place mine near clip.
3. Take two of the embroidery threads  knot just above the tape. wrap and wrap til the tape is covered.
4. Knot the ends, and add a touch of glue - you don't want it to come undone.
5. Now to add a POP of color, knot your third color of embroidery thread, and wrap around in a fashion that suits you. I was using the neon green - like my bird charm, to add the neon I have been craving!
6. Almost done! 2/3rds of the way there!

7. Now, take your other cording (mine is hot pink!) and wrap it around the loops on the end. leave enough room so your clip can attach. I knotted, wrapped and tied off - only about 1/4-1/2inch of wrapping.  Glued, again, as double protection from unraveling.

Et voila mes amis!!!!!!


Now I am so ready for the summer and spring with my NEON!!! You with me???

PS- There are two more coming, but you will have to wait!!! hehe

Monday, March 21, 2011

here we go

Funk-tastic. That is the best way to describe my weekend, me in a full on Funk. The Hubs work schedule has changed so we no longer have anytime over the weekend off together, making it even better he has been working the night shift - so he is getting home around midnight. I am more than thankful we each have jobs, a roof over our head and are in good health. However, in the light of everything occurring in the world at this time I feel immature and inconsiderate for complaining.

But it does still stink (to me in my little world). I value every minute we do get to spend together, our schedules are often varied, so the one full day we used to have on the weekend was the highlight of my week. I will get over it and we will make it work....I mean I have an excess of PTO burning a whole in my pocket, so no time like the present to use it!

Bike riding around the city isn't the same alone, after a ride on Saturday (to stock up on DIY supplies) I decided I like a riding buddy!

His and Hers - Snuggling Bikes! ;) 

Ultimately I didn't feel like heading out and running about town - except to gather DIY parts. My weekend consisted of Pj's, Rain, TV re-runs, playing with Pup, far to much online window-shopping (thank goodness for restraint!) and cereal as meals! oh well, off to another work week! I hope your weekends were great!!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Japan

I'm sure I am not alone in saying how shocking, saddened and heart-wrenching it has been to see the devastation after the recent earthquakes and tsunami in Japan. My heart goes out to those families and loved ones who have been displaced as a result of this disaster. So today I am joining in with For Japan with Love, in a day of Blogger silence.


I have made my donation and I wish I could do so so much to help them! There are so many ways to make a donation, if you have the means to do so please help! Another avenue...

{via}

Thursday, March 17, 2011

to do or not to do

So growing up I was a blond. Now some history for ya -  as I got older my hair starting turning from blonde to dirty blonde to brunette. Alas I was at the age when going to the salon for coloring was acceptable, and living in California, so until 4 years ago I was a blonde (read all-over highlights every 6 weeks like clockwork!).  After a big break-up with my HS BF (yes, If you are good at math I dated my HS BF for nearly 10 yrs, OY what you do as a youngin! hehe) I went brunette, and that is where I have been ever since! 

I love it, it definitely fits me and is much easier to maintain...except I have to cover some pesky grays (thanks Mom!)!!! But in my upcoming appointment I'm thinking that I want to change it up a bit. No I am not coming back from a salon appointment a blonde....just need something to change it up. Here are some photos I've saved from the 'net (can't remember where, sorry) that I keep coming back to. I don't want 'ombre' but maybe a hint of it, but not. I want the 'I was out in the sun for far to long a while ago - sexy color'.....Sure, I know thats just how I'll explain it! 



Both of these are from Season 6 of Sex in the City, Carries hair here is my inspiration. And if you were (are) slightly obsessed with that show, like I was in college - specifically her hair in the episode where she decides to move to Paris. 

Everything about this whole look, really works for me.

Thoughts? Honestly, your opinions on why or why not are totally and whole heartedly welcome & desired! You are like my friends - so spill!!!! I know I can trust you - The Hubs just says "sure uh-huh, don't what you want babe!" 

Happy St Patty's Day Loves & a BIG HAPPY Dating ANNIVERSARY HUBS!!!! Happy 4 years - I love you more than I did the day we got married, you are my world and I can't wait for all the fun that lies ahead of us! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

little POP - Neon


1. & 2.  - Timex watch with Hot Pink Strap - Watch $98, Strap $12
3 - Proenza Schouler Rope Bracelet - $150
4 - Alice & Olivia Josephine Dress - $370
5 - Comme des Garcons LG Leather Pouch - $133
6 - Archie Grand Notebook - $10 
7 - Marc by Marc Jacobs Bow Stud Earrings - $48 
8 - Cleobella Raffia Tote - $165


For the upcoming spring and summer season...I'm thinking an interjection of color - a pop of neon might be necessary! #1&2, 3 and 5 - are all on my 'Closet' List!!! Have you or are you going to be adding any POP's of color to your wardrobe??? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

getting close!

So the time time change is still putting me through the ringer. Feels like I am a few steps behind where I should be by this time of day! It was glorious to look out the window at 7:30 last night and it wasn't pitch black. Now if only my body clock would catch up we would be great!!!

It isn't until the time change that I can really get into the fact that spring is coming soon. Growing up in California by this time of the year you would have random days with temps anywhere from 70-80 degrees and maybe a cool one thrown in there somewhere. However after living in Chicago a few years, I have accepted the fact that a heavy winter coat is needed, if not mandatory, til at least the end of March. The high Sunday was 35. Le sigh.

So now the time change has occurred and Mother Nature can't keep this up for all that much longer! We have a good couple weeks yet til an exposed limb will make a break for it. But let me tell you it feels soooo good to have made it this far!!!  And I know days like this (see below!) will be closer than they were just a few weeks ago! Let the countdown begin!!!

Our Balcony Spring/Summer 2010 - to be replicated SOON! {photo by me}

How ready are you??? I am beyond! Starting to plan a few summer getaways and looking into a big Europe trip...plus about a million bike rides - Can't wait!

Monday, March 14, 2011

oh Monday

Oh Monday...You've been a beast! Monday AFTER a time change, I growl at you! With the time change and cool temps - couldn't you be more kind?!

Well at least there is the internet and boring conference calls to make it better, because then you can find inspiration like this! (New striped dress and polka dot tights - yes please!)

Alexa Chung. Doesn't she look cute? Spring-y yet still perfectly layered for the cold that won't leave! 
{via}

Psst - How were your weekends??? Mine was great, naps x3, Dinner date with the Valentines (Beyond delish and sooooo nice to see our amazing friends!), Brunch and then a short bike ride (Silly flat tire ruined it!) But it's ok - again soon! I stopped by Target ready to pounce on a handful of the Go International dresses, but after looking I decided to pass. The styles were cute but I wasn't feeling it. There was nothing wrong with them, but in an effort to be a smart shopper I knew if I put that $ towards something nicer that I've been lusting after, I will wear said item a bunch more. So hard, impulse shopping is fun! Did you get any, if so which ones? I put back the Thakoon Color Block, and the Tracey Fifth floral (I'll probably be sad I passed them up in a bout a week when they are gone).

Friday, March 11, 2011

on my mind

I can't stop thinking about my bike - I want to take it out and ride all about town - I want it to be warm enough this Sunday so I can go on an adventure (while not freezing to death, maybe dramatic but you know!)!

Here are some pretty bicycles I've saved to my computer over the past couple weeks...a bit of inspiration of sorts! It's all I've been thinking about (so ready for summer!)

Her Bike is the same brand as mine - and we have the same cork grips! :)
{ALL via}

This is my own photo - Oct 2009 Amsterdam 


Happy Friday DOLLS!!!! 
Have a great weekend and see ya back here on Monday!  

PS - Don't forget Sunday is the Target re-release of their past Designer collaborations - Go early or hop online! Don't miss out on your favorites!!! 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

won't you be...

Oh pretty skirt won't you be mine????

{via}

If only skirts with pleats looked semi-normal on me....I think I'm going to have to try this on to be sure - cuz I HRT it! And here's to it being Thursday, one day away from the weekend!!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the SHORT of it all

Since about say Jan 4th I've been dreaming of wearing sandals, sleeveless tops and sun-dresses galore come spring and summer! But with the new bikes, I have realized I will be needing more shorts verses a boat load of fun flirt-y dresses. Which is by no means a problem to me - But I am determined to find cute, girly shorts to mix in with classic khaki's and ripped denim (which already have homes in my drawers). Here are a few that have recently caught my eye!


Our bike ride home from the shop on Sunday was exhilarating! Abet a bit nerve racking getting used to sharing the road with 'its-winter-I'm-not used-to-so-many-bikers' drivers. Chicago is a bike city come the warmer months and the Hubs & I are ready to hit the road, lake-front and everywhere else we can think of!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

weekend recap - 3/5-6

Saturday Chores...Eating at an old-standard & favorite - PF Chang's (remembered why I used to frequent so much in college- so good!)...escaping snow showers by slipping in and out of stores (new work clothes, boo! But scored an amazing trench!)...relaxing on the couch!

{His - Red/White & Hers - Cream, And yes they live in indoors next to the dinning table!}

Movies in bed...Mani/Pedi with Mom....New Bikes!!!! Relaxing afternoon baths and favorite dinner delivery - Mexican!!!! Wonderful weekend in our neck of the woods - How were yours???


**Sorry for the iPhone pics! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In the Kitchen: Stuffed Shells


I shared a glimpse of some stuffed shells I made two weekends ago - ladies they were delish and simple!! That weekend I was craving Italian in a bad way!!! It was damp and rainy all day Sunday - so a home cooked meal fit the bill nicely! I wasn't wanting to cook my normal spaghetti with meat sauce....I wanted something easy but different. Enter Stuffed Shells. I pulled out my trusty cooking helper, Google and found the easy recipe above. 

So easy and quite simple to make! My only regret: I wish I would have looked at the serving size - I made portions for six, but it turned out ok, because I froze a tray for later - or you could make a tray for a sick friend, or your Mom or neighbor! For me, the later happened to be this past Monday night - and this second go around tasted just like the day I made them, they kept wonderfully!

The cast of characters: 
[I threw in some spinach as well, cuz why not - I had it and I enjoy it in my pastas]

[Prepped and ready for the oven]

VIOLA!!!!!!!!!!

These were a hit in my house!!! They were surprisingly light and I had a pre-made garlic bread in the freezer, a simple and easy solution to my italian-always-better-with-bread problem! I hope you try and enjoy!!! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Wish List

Last summer I lived in a pair of nude sandals and with Spring & Summer getting closer I've started eyeing a new pair! Flip flops are great but they are often more laid back feel and not always the look I want to go for - but fear not, there are more pairs in my closet that I care to admit (California beach girl habits die hard!) 

After last year, I found they were such a great item (closet staple worthy!) for me to have - they went with soo much & got so much wear!!! These two are topping my wish/shopping list!!! 
{via}

{via} I can't decide if the shimmer on the dark silver or the nude is better?! Overall color is so similar

Are you a fan of a nude summer sandal??? Any I should take a look at?