Monday, October 29, 2012

back to it

It's Monday. Back to the grid. Well really I've already been at it since yesterday. Blurg. (But yay for OT pay!!! LOL) 


Part of the joys in working in a department where you support all the offices, Nationally. I've been in Hurricane Sandy prep mode. Moving meetings, trying to schedule meetings, planning to power off expensive video conference equipment, managing conflicts with the inability to travel. Trying to make sure all the Partners and Executives feel equally important yet realizing you can't make resources appear out of thin air for them. Yadda Yadda.

None if it is utterly important. Those who are in Sandy's path - those are the ones I worry about. For all my friends & family on the East Coast - Please oh PLEASE stay safe!!! I hope you are prepared and I hope Sandy is very nice to all of you!


Please stay safe!!!!!!

**images

Thursday, October 25, 2012

thursday treats


Mama has a big new infatuation.......Holy I need!!! When the Hubs and I went looking for a new rug, I finally took the time to look and play with these babies in the store. And I fell hard. The Hubs even said 'those are pretty cool, I like them' - which means I wont roll my eyes at you when they appear at home but you know we don't need another kitchen tool! I mean I loved them since....forever online, but in person.....so much more!!!! They are on sale right now, I need a place setting for 4 ASAP. I mean I don't yet have a table for 4, but I will! They wouldn't be our everyday silverware, but dinner parties beware!! 

I love these so much I am tempted to not buy a blouse I've been saving for and get these instead!!!! Don't you agree that I need them

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Zara Lately


While eating lunch (at my desk between conference calls) lately has been taken up with just jumping around the web and seeing what's new. Here are a few of Zara's 'New This Week' items that perked my interest. I am going to have to stop to the store to check some of these out. Namely that coat, blazer & funky sweater! But really all of them and everything else the store has to offer! 

Time for a little shopping adventure! 

Have you found anything good on the web lately? Any good articles to read? Things to check out? Let me know! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Neiman's + Target

I know the announcement of a Holiday Neiman Marcus and Target capsule collection is old news. But just a few weeks ago the sneak peaks of what will be for sale hit the interwebs (or your morning news shows). Given my work load the past few months, somethings I'm just a touch behind on.

But yesterday through the magic of the internet I was reminded. And boy was I forever happy!!! This collection is so fun! Some of the pieces don't interest me personally but some do! And all are so fun! Here are some of my favorites.


1- Oscar de la Renta Pet Bowl // 2- Marc Jacobs Scarf  $69.99 // 3- Alturzarra Old Fashion Glasses $49.99, Cocktail Shaker $49.99 // 4- Rag & Bone Men/Boys Sweater // 5- DVF Yoga Mat $49.99

These were a few of the items that stuck out to me! Although I could totally see myself with the Carolina Herra stationary or the Phillip Lim skateboard. I think 2, 4 & 5 are my favorites!

I updated my iPhone reminder, I had it set for the wrong day! Now lets see if I get up in time to hit the store early.....I am avoiding the 'net after the whole Missoni crash-la-webpage-nonsense. :) Did anyone else find anything they may want to pick up?

Did anyone get anything from the Nate Berkus collection - that hit stores this past Sunday?! I saw a gold vase, but had no place for it. So I passed.

**view full items listing HERE

Thursday, October 18, 2012

for the days ahead


Ain't that the truth!!! Those rainy dreary days here in Chicago in Oct-Dec also come with much colder temps. Often accompanied by high wind and bitter breezes. Let's see...those exact items are foretasted for the next few days here in Chicagoland. Le Sigh.

One of my favorite parts of these kind of days are the easy excuses for staying in, snuggling up and listening to the pitter patter against the windows. When I do go out it's actually kind of fun (sometimes), I love to stomp in puddles. I might be 5! Even more, since layering weather is still 'new' for this year it is still enjoyable! And I'm all over it! I love pops of color poking out of neutral sweaters. Mixing prints - striped sweaters and checked shirt, yes please! Scarfs are your best friend, they can be styled up so many different ways - ultimately changing the way an outfit can look!

How do you make it through the rainy Fall days?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

F&F Sale

At approximately 11:22am CT, while on my third conference call of the day I go the most fabulous email. The Shopbop Friends and Family sale!!! Queue the angels singing down from heaven, rays of sunshine from behind the clouds. Too much?

Ok. So really i got super excited! By 11:24 I was on their site filling up my cart. In roughly 10 minutes of browsing the 'New Items' I was ready to check out. With a $929 bill I might add.....Well really a mere $743 with all that savings!!!

Clearly my subconscious thinks I need more tops/blouses and simple accessories. I don't disagree. I would wear all of these in a heart beat. A heart beat I tell ya!!!! Work & play covered! #3, 6, 7 are my favorites. Those are still in my cart, after some heart wrenching editing. Now if only $352 extra bucks would appear in my bank account.

*Dreams of way to get these!* 

Did you scoop anything up?!!! Do tell?!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

bundled up


Fall is here, and I'm already thinking about winter! I want to be prepped and ready. Ready to fight the chill all cute & bundled up!!! I am not going to lie, my first few winters, I was solely trying to stay warm. That big ugly puffy North Face coat - god love her and her warming ways, but seriously she is so not cute. And she is now reserved for the snowiest, sleet-iest and ugliest of days. I'm totally cool with admitting I let winter win. Or rather commuting in winter win. Hey, I was raised in San Diego, and if you weren't aware it is warm enough to go to the beach on Christmas day there, we don't worry or know how to do 'this'. So this has been and still is a learning experience for me! But not any more.

Since last year, I've vowed to step up my winter game. I grabbed two amazing coats last year on super sale! And started the process of updating to better winter accessories. Head over and visit Heidi and see the few pieces I'm hoping (no going!) to stock up on before we say good bye to 40's-50's......and hit 20-30's. SOB!  I'm hold down fort for her while she vacations....lucky girl!

Monday, October 15, 2012

wet


Doesn't the pooch look like he loves me?! After a rain filled weekend someone got a tad muddy out on our walk, so.... a bath in the kitchen sink! (like most dogs right....in the sink?!) :) My little stinker was my constant companion this weekend while we hid out from the rain. Lots of snuggles on the couch & movies on the TV. A great weekend!!

Also, don't forget Bauble Bar's Blogger style off is still going on, so you still have a chance to vote (for me)!!!  Your support and friendships mean the world to me & I appreciate your support more than I can say! Don't forget you can vote daily (thank you if you already have!!) - It's super quick and easy! XOXO [Click HERE to vote!], ends tomorrow.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dining Room

Things on the home decorating front kinda stalled out after the kitchen. I'm not mad at it, but I still want to do more with the new place! What girl doesn't?! We are taking it slow, to make sure we love the decisions we are making. Which I've found is just the way to do it.

A new area rug is coming for the living room & I can't wait for it to arrive, currently on back-order from West Elm. We scooped it up with they were having the 20% rug sale, so we just have to wait for it to get delivered to the store. It will be perfect addition, especially since the weather has cooled off, and it will be a cozy plush addition to a chilly wood floor!

The living room & dining area are in one room - so of course I want to tackle her next! What we currently have, a 2 person bar-height table, it works but we I hate it. I've had it since back when I lived in California..... and we know that hasn't happened in a long while! 7 years!

I really want to upgrade to a 4-seater, think adult dinner parties! Just plain 'ole room for more than just us!! I picked out the chairs I wanted long ago, and recently determined the table. And a great inexpensive light fixture. What the landlord 'gave' us is hideous, just like their mustard paint - it drives me nut-so! And then I found the ART!

Here are the items I think we need!!!

I have pinned soooooo many rooms with this image in it, or images with art/photography of this Prada art installation in Texas. I love the amazing photography by Maison Gray of it, although out of my price range - then Art.com had this pop up!!! OMG! Kismet! I need it, I mean my dinning area needs it. A real piece of art, so adult! :)

Here is how I would love for it to come together! Of course fun gold flatware & some skull tumblers/tray wouldn't hurt to have around for a dinner party!! Now time to work my magic on the old man. But somehow I think the print is the one thing that will be easiest to talk him into!


* This is not a sponsored post or anything from Art.com. I just DIE for this print. You have no clue how many times I've google searched it! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bauble Bar Blogger Style-Off!


Yesterday afternoon started Bauble Bar's second Blogger style-off on their Facebook page. And I'm participating!!!! I'd love if you could pop over and vote for me! Voting is open all week long (and you can vote everyday...just saying...lol) Thank you in advance my lovelies!!! You are the best!

I styled my Cyndi Gem Strand necklace over a simple sweater dress & jean jacket. And of course my fall staple, booties! Fall weather is quickly escaping us here in Chicago, so in a matter of minutes adding tights will be required! But what I love most is how stunning this necklace is, and how quickly it kicks 'basic black' up a notch or three!


I am up against some of Best Blogging Buddies and an undeniably beautiful group of ladies! I had so much fun!! Sometimes picking out a necklace and getting dressed around it - just what the doctor ordered!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In the Kitchen: Barbacoa

I couldn't  tell you the last time I had eaten at Chipotle. Had to have been over a year ago. Not because I don't love it, I do. You know me by now, I love Mexican food! More so, their portions are huge, and delicious so I do what everyone does, pig out! Sooooo not cute on the waste line. 

Well. We moved, which means our gym moved, and there just happens to be one right there, so convenient on the way home. And I caved, rather we caved - if I am going down so is the Hubs, he was guilty too! The Hubs and I sweated are arses off at the gym a few nights ago, and then proceeded to eat all that hard work away in yummy Mexican. To the point that I wanted again the next night and the next. And it may have happened once more. 

Then this past weekend, while frigid and couch bound the Hubs said why don't we try and make it at home. (Quality control on size and ingredients, inevitably makes it healthier, right...at least a bit!) Of course I agreed, it meant I got to bust out the crock pot!!! (I have really bad luck with making flops in the 'pot, even though I try and try!). After a trip to the store in PJ's (sorry I did, I am ashamed!) I had warm delicious smelling beef stewing away on the counter. Homemade Barbacoa burrito bowls coming right up!!! 

Best part!!! Unless feeding a crowd you are guaranteed food for at least another night (and I even halved the recipe!)!!! Yippee! Mexican two nights in a row, without begging! 

Stewing away....then all shredded up.

I made fresh brown rice, and pinto beans. And then all your normal taco fillings. I can't wait to try this again, possibly on a tosada or homemade flautas!!! Oh man, I am so making this again in like 2 weeks!!!!

I halved the recipe because I did NOT need to make 30 tacos! Which is how I normally cook, portion control in cooking, my down fall - so people you can always stop by for dinner. No seriously! So I made a few changes and it turned out amazing! 

Recipe adapted from The KichnSlow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

*This is my version below, with the amounts I used
2-4 chipotle peppers (from a can) plus all the adobo sauce it sits in
1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
3 dry bay leaves

1 teaspoon ground cloves, & 1-2 cumin
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
Juice of 2-3 limes
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2.5-3 pounds beef brisket - I used 2.89 lb of bottom round, you could also use top round. Pick which looks best! I also removed all the large pieces of fat before cooking.
1/2 a box beef stock (2-3 cups, til meat is almost covered)
Stir together chipotle peppers and sauce, cilantro, red onion, garlic, clove, salt, lime juice, and cider vinegar in the insert of a slow cooker (if you have a food processor, pulse till combined first before adding- I do not have one, it turned out amazing. I roughly chopped my peppers before adding bc of this). Place the brisket on top of this mixture. (I cut my beef into large chunks (quartered it) to make it fit better and cook slightly faster, since i started late). Add stock to cover the meat and place bay leaves on top. Use tongs to move the meat around gently to combine everything and put the lid on.
Cook on HIGH for 2.5 hours. Then cook on low for 3. Once finished, turn crock pot to WARM. Check meat it should be tender and falling apart with a fork. If not leave in for longer, a lower temp for longer with  help meat that is 'tough' become tender.
Remove meat from slow cooker and place on rimmed baking sheet/ large plate. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Discard the fat, if desired. Place shredded beef in large bowl and ladle cooking liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. 
Serve as desired! Copy Chipotle like me, or make tacos/burritos with fresh tortillas! or left overs for breakfast - can you image with heuvos!!!! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

At Home

I think I blinked and two days of weekend passed. How does that not happen on days named Monday, Tuesday, Wed... etc?! Boo. I spent the better part of the weekend indoors at home. Well lets take that back, 95%. 

I packed up all my Summer gear. SOB! Goodbye sandals, shorts, and light sundresses. Relegated to a storage bin in the basement. Til next year babies!!! 

Spent a large majority of the time cuddling this little man on the couch, feeling like butt. Also busted out fall/winter gear. Boots and sweaters are now at the front of the closet instead of pushed to the back. 

Pulled out some festive gear. And the crock-pot! Homemade barbacoa - recipe coming up tomorrow! It was soo good. 

I need at least two more days off! Not feeling well totally cheated me of the feeling of having a 'weekend'. Although I got a bunch done.... Do you know what I mean?! What did you do?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Weekend Plans - Ad Lib

Ad lib, isn't that what they're called? Where you fill in the blanks with 'verb' 'noun' etc... ? Well if not, let's just go with it. I've had a rough week, and I am going to take full advantage of the weekend. Some ME time.

So here is a bit of what I have planned for the weekend, ad-lib picture style! Let's start.

Thinking about treating myself to a Friday after work BLANK-1. And BLANK-2 for fall!
Answers: 1- MANICURE 2- DECORATING THE HOUSE

And given that summer is officially over. Date and temperature wise (SO SAD!), time to bust out BLANK-1 & BLANK-2. Also high on the list laundry - being gone for a weekend kills my cycle! Anyone else?! I have two weeks worth to do. Uggh. Although upside getting into bed with fresh BLANK-3
Answers: 1- SWEATERS, 2- SCARVES, 3- SHEETS 

And of course food. Weekends are time to stock up at the grocery store, and get ready for the week. One of the traditions the Hubs and I like are special dinners at home on the weekend. Thinking about trying a new version of BLANK-1, using sweet potatoes (maybe alongside grilled pork tenderloin or chicken breast). Can't forget football watching finger-foods. BLANK-2 are my favorite! Maybe time to bust out the crockpot and try an at home BLANK-3 fav, Broccoli and Beef! Maybe a new BLANK-4 dish, with sausage and brussel sprouts - sounds like a great lunch for chilly days the week ahead at work! 
Answers: 1- BAKED POTATOES, 2- DIPS, 3- TAKE-OUT, 4- PASTA

Ok, not sure how successful that was for you. But it was kinda fun for me, so there! Essentially, cook clean and pamper myself a bit. What are on your agenda's???? 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Twosome

Sometimes making a statement is really easy. Simple. Two key points or items to bring a look to fruition. Each of the below are high on my list to recreate.

It's officially Fall. And skimpy dresses and skin and sandals are out. Time to start playing with layers & new colors.

See! Most of us probably already have one or all of these in our closets. Now time to pair them together!

Shop the above, plus so many other fun options! I am SO getting these polishes (a new red and a navy), and determined to try a red lip (even though I am petrified, I only wear chapstick. Ever. Only.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Food and Wine Festival : Epcot

I mentioned last week that I had headed to Florida (soooo fun!) and one of the days while there we were heading to Disney World. My Mom and I decided on Epcot - her fav, and a great bc we weren't there to do all the rides, more chat, people watch, and eat/drink! Epcot is the best for all that, given the around the 'World' concept and all the small areas devoted to each country.

To our surprise when we arrived it was the annual Epcot Food and Wine Festival!! Now I know what you may be thinking a Disney food & wine festival, ehhh.... It was fantastic. Food and wine pairings by renowned chefs, not your typical burger and fry food.

And wine and dine we did. We literally ate our way around the 'world'!!! Even got our food passport stamped along the way! Oh and there were drinks too, alas those were consumed much quicker - partially due to the heat (it was 95!!!) and ya know, birthdays are for celebrating and drinking! ;) So they aren't pictured below. ;) Margaritas, Frozen Belini's, Mimosa Royale's, beer....you catching the drift?!


Our food choices and the countries/regions we tried them in.
1-Argentina - Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichuri over Boniato puree
2 - China - Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce & Pork Potstickers
3 - Caribbean - Rope Vieja with Cilantro Rice
4 - Belgium -Belgian Waffle with fresh Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
5 - Greece - Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki over warm pita
6 - Australia - 'Shirmp on the Barbie' with a pepper berry citrus glaze
7 - Mexico - Taco de Filete

I could go for more than a few right now! They were so good! Has anyone ever been to this food and wine festival? And yes - drinking is now allowed at Disney parks (at least in FL) - I had no clue til earlier this summer when we went, makes the hot screaming kids not so bad. ;) I mean, right?!