Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Party

This past Saturday we hosted a little Holiday Party with all our friends! It was an absolute blast, so much so, not.one.single.picture.was.taken! Not one, well one if you count the picture I took of the little bar area while the Hubs was cracking open a bottle of wine for me! One stinking picture!

Oh well, I guess it goes to show when you are surrounded by love and friendship you stay active in the moment! No phones out, everyone laughing, drinking and meeting new people! I love to see our different little groups of friends get along so well with the others!

I had every intention of being ready super early, busting out the camera & taking outfit photos and lots of little shots from around the house, esp the food! I love hosting so planning the food out was so much fun! I wanted to have something warm, it is winter up here & it snowed all day! Some dips, requests of the Hubs! Lots of cheese, for me, but come'on who doesn't love cheese! Even though I don't have pictures I still thought - why not share?! Maybe it will help someone out with their next party!

So here is what we had:

  • Mini Meatball Sub Bar - In my crock-pot, I had mini sized meatballs all warm and toasty in some yummy red sauce. I had a basket of pre-sliced rolls, and a block of parm & grater ready for action! I personally had I think 2, but kept coming back for more meatballs! 
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip - I used a new recipe and I love it (I have one memorized & its awesome but it's almost as though I've had it too much, that I'm over it!)!!! Served hot from the oven with plain tortilla chips and sliced french bread for dunking 
  • Cheese Platter - Herbed Goat, Port Sault, Stilton with Apricot, Manchego, and a Port soaked Tuscano. With Olives, dry roasted almonds, fig jam, sliced salami, crackers and sliced french bread. I think a few ladies and I hovered around this for a solid 15 minutes with our glasses of wine! I mean wouldn't you?! 
  • Then the extra's - I have no shame in my 'extra appetizers!' I love the puff pastry with caramelized onion & feta from trader joes....so there was a big 'ol platter of those too! And some cookies from my neighbor & a bowl of truffles to quench the sweet tooth! 
Man I'm hungry right now, just thinking about all this!!!! PS - I wish you all could have come, more the merrier in my book!

Monday, December 16, 2013

go go GIFT IT!

The time is drawing near for all those online orders to be placed, if you want them to arrive in line with Santa! :) Time to get everything wrapped for all the good girls and boys! Here area few more idea's incase you need some! :)

Little stocking stuffers:

For the Babes:

More for the BOY:

More for the GIRL:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

it's just freeeeeezing!

you guys, it is just freeeeeeeezing up here right now! The forecast for today is -25 windchill. Yes.MINUS.25! Obvi that this Californai girl took a wrong turn somewhere, haha! I might not leave the house today, if I can help it!

With these temperatures, looking like the pretties above isn't umm.... how do I say this..... You don't look like this when you are trying to fight frost bite, you just don't! Your jacket is zipped up! Your scarf is wrapped up so high your eyes barely peek out and your hair never looks that cute! I have been a good Chicago girl and now have a fully stocked drawer of cold weather accessories, scarves and gloves and hats and more gloves...I might wear them all tomorrow!

Here are a few of my favorites and ones I'd love to have to help try to stay cute while freezing my ass off! LAYERS are key! Good waterproof boots, and thick socks of course! It's always in the name of looking cute right?! Well today I might be the ugly warm one if I decide to head out! ;)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gift Guide: Little Luxuries

Rounding out my gift guides, pulling together and trolling the internet are some of my favorite posts. Today I went the luxury route.... I mean, someone was extra nice this year right?! Do you have an extra special lady or your list?! ....... Or you could call this Taylor's Dream List for Santa, I don't need any of this but would looooooove to have! :) We can all dream a little right?! 

What would be a dream item for you to receive? What about to give? To give for me, I would love to give the Hubs another bike. Alas, he doesn't need one, nor do we have room for a third bike inside our tiny place (Bc yes we keep them indoors, nice bikes = high theft in the city, even if locked up!) 

Friday, December 6, 2013

happy fri-eekend!

Ahh what a fast and busy week! I can not believe it is Friday already! It's going to be a cold one up here, time to bundle up good, there will be no escaping it! I need to dig out the beanies and gloves. My shove your hands in your pockets wont work with 20 degree temps (for the high!) 

But I don't plan on being out too much, maybe gym and dinner Sat. Then just teach Barre on Sunday ! :P The rest indoors and toasty! Time to finish decking the halls, and tree and lots of laundry....I just keep doing and not folding. My leaning tower of laundry can't not be anymore! 

What are on your agenda's for the weekend?

*I love this look, no other reason for the pic, and it's not moi - via

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gift Guide: For the Book Lover

I'm a book nerd, if we are FB friends you know this, I just put out an SOS for new book recommendations! But I also think coffee table books or cook books or just great books are amazing gifts! The more you know someone the more you know what'd they love! 

Here are a few of my favorites, and some that Santa could bring me! In case he's reading! ;) 

The Kinfolk Table // Man Repeller (this is the second appearance!) // Chelsea Market Cookbook

Any books out there that you love? Reading, picture, whatever - share in the comments! 

Incase you want more rec's here you are :D

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gift Guide: Cozy and Chic at Home!

Nothing better than lounging at home (to me at least!), and it's even better when you are surrounded by little trinkets that you love! So whether you have a bestie who works from home, a lady friend who spends Friday nights in instead out. Everyone deserves a does of cozy and chic at home! Now that I've been working form home more and more, I find myself wanting everything styled perfect, drinking water out of fancy glasses just because I can! I'd welcome all of these to my house or under the tree in an instant! 

Here are a few of my favorites items to help you on your gift giving adventure!

What items would you pick?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gift Guide: For the Boys

The 'boys' or Men on your list, they can either be the easiest or the hardest to shop for! The few I have are pretty easy, thankfully! But I always try to find them a few little items, they wouldn't buy for themselves or didn't know they needed! ;) And come'on it's the best time to spice up their wardrobe! wink wink! 

Here are a few items that might head under my tree for my 'Boys'!

Golden Age of Comics Book // Transit Issue Keychain // PS4 (the new Playstation!) 

Christmas is also a time to update a man's staples, find him some great jeans, and classic button downs. I always love upgrading his under-ware drawer with some fun printed options! Or adding a fun manly tool to their collection! What are your go-to 'boy' gifts?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gift Guide: Under $50

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to turn to the Holidays! Time to decorate, time to find the perfect gift for all your friends and family! Time for all the FA-LA-LA-LAAAA! Time for a week of fun little gift guides, I have so much fun putting these together and I hope you enjoy! 

Starting it off with some great gifts all under $50 for the ladies, let's start small! The perfect little gifts to add into the mix! Stocking stuffers! Perfect for gift exchanges with your gals! Or a one for me one for you!!! :) Enjoy! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

with and without

Seemed perfectly fitting for this holiday week! And this Holiday season!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

love & inspiration

Just a few things that I'm loving and are inspiring me lately! What is inspiring you (share in the comments!)? 

and ALL other inspirational images via

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

jeans & heels

I adore getting dressed up, heading out dressed to the nines. Although for me and my life that isn't all that often :) Not on the gala scene over here! However, I love nothing more than jeans & heels!!! Jeans are accepted pretty much every these days, you can be glam day to relaxed night out! I mean, aren't these ladies above hawt?!

Plain denim. Distressed denim. Simple pumps. Patterned Heels. The combinations are endless! I'd top the denim/heels with a classic blouse and a killer bomber or coat (I mean if you live in the north, it's just about coat season!) Here are a few of my favorites!

Denim: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Heels: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

I really want those blue suede pumps!!!!

Are you on the jeans & heels train with me?

*Inspiration images found HERE

Monday, November 18, 2013

patterned coats

1 // 2  // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

The weather lately, here in Chicago, has been all over the place! Yesterday crazy thunder, lightening and tornado's! And 65 degrees! And if we look back at last week, Monday, almost an inch of snow! I'm trying my best to ease into winter wear, and I'm thinking a patterned coat is just what I NEED! Nothing too expensive, but something fun, nonetheless! Time to play up drab winter with some fun outer wear! I have the basics (as it relates to a warm wool coat): black, tan, grey and navy. But what I don't have is something patterned!! 

And Mama wants!!! Which would you pick? 4,5,6 are my fav so far.....pile one on over jeans and a sweatshirt, no one would have a clue while I run errands on the weekend! And over trousers and a blouse, what fun for work! 

Help me decide!! Or share your fav from the internet! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thailand, Part 4; Phuket

And here we are the last little bits of Phuket. Our island hopping boat excursion! You must go on one! I only wish I had an underwater camera to have captured all the snorkeling amazingness we saw under the surface...but now I know for next time!!!

Little fishing boats, and a small army of long tail boats scattered everywhere you look. And the occasional mega yacht!!! What an incredible slice of earth! Please add this region to your travel lists!

Does this cove (below) look familiar??? Think Hollywood movie...Leo DeCaprio.... The Beach, was filmed here, Maya Bay!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thailand, Part 3; Phuket

Time to round out our amazing summer Thailand adventure with you guys! Ive been selfish and saving them, this was a trip that really touched us, and we still talk about the experiences we had with the locals daily! 

After our days in Bangkok we traveled south to Phuket! A little reprieve from the hot hot humid city, time to relax! I could drink a Mr. Cup Tea every day - my favorite was the strawberry tea with the jello bits (can someone please tell me where to get drinks like this stateside?!)!!! 

 We made it, oh man Phuket is GORGOUS!!!!! And our hotel was just incredible! The Westin Resort & Spa at Phuket, Siray Bay - We were greeted in the large open air lobby with fresh juice, and warm cloths to wipe off with (umm can you say humidity!) upon check in. Thai hospitality is some of the best we've ever had - every moment was taken care of!

Our view!!!!!

 The bathroom had a glass wall, so you could enjoy the view from the tub!

One evening we went to the Sunday Night Market (well Sunday night, go figure! :P) . What a blast! Completely different that Khao San Road or Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, but just as equally as amazing and fun to explore! In the food section we had a feeeeeew drinks. What was roughly a $2 Long Island, the best we've ever had, EVER! Also, the strongest. Needless to say, we figured out to communicate with the sweet gentleman's limited english and our non-existant Thai, to express how great they were and how we wanted more with ease!  (excuse these poor shots, it was raining, so iPhone photos only...plus humidity - everything was pretty blurry!)

More from Siray Bay, on the west side of the island!

The views.... TAKE ME BACK!!!!! {Looking at these makes me want to be there right now, I can smell the lush wet leaves, hear the tiny boat motor in the distance.....}

Some of the favorite trinkets I brought home (Poky long gone, waaahhhh!) !

Monday, November 4, 2013

bits of the weekend

Well my weekend started a bit early - 2am Friday, I was hit hard with some sort of 24 hour stomach bug. It was far from cute, and spent hugging the porcelain throne & endless hours sleeping in sweats! But by Saturday I pulled it together for my favorite 3years' birthday party - honorable Auntie had to be there!! Can we talk about her cake?!!?!!! I want one! (And ok, My Little Pony, is back, but they don't look the same?!?!!!!!! Oh My!)

And Sunday, still trying to take it easy was the perfect day to relax, and had to display my new baby!!! I shared my love with you guys, I told you I was on the hunt....and it paid off! She is mine!!!!!!! And what an incredible bag she is!

What did you guys do this weekend?