Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cooking: At Home

One of my favorite things to do to destress, to reconnect with the Hubs (we love cooking together) and to just have some fun me time is prepare a meal. I love spending time in the kitchen! I know it's often said American's have unhealthy relationships with food, and I do not disagree. I do though know for me personally, I use the act of cooking as a hobby, stress release and the food is just the added bonus at the end.
Sunday Night: Creamy whipped mashed potatoes (with garlic herb butter) and 
red wine & butter sauted mushrooms over grilled lemon chicken. 

Trial and error have lead me to a few great go-to meals, but I love playing around too! Often big ol' belly flops occur, and then you order take-out. But you learned in the process!

Monday Night: Lemon Grilled Chicken over mixed veggi salad. With marinated mozzarella

Do you enjoy cooking? Would you like to see more simple meals (that sound fancier than they really are, Sunday's nights was a breeze to cook!) on the blog?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Group Gatherings

I love having people over to our place! For drinks & appetizers, regular old lets just drunk like we are 21 parties on the deck in the summer, or a nice casual dinner - you name it! We don't do it often enough (in my opinion - but hey life is busy), but this weekend the Hubs and I may have a few friends over to watch the game! The Superbowl, ehemm sorry ladies! LOL

My chance to make some fancy dips, foods and play hostess like I so very much enjoy! Now just to decide what I want to make. It's a fine balance of trying to impress the crowd but making sure you still have time to enjoy it yourself! I mean of course I want everyone to think 'oh wow yumm' but let's be honest don't we all want to also impress them with our 'Martha-ness' to some degree too?!

I don't want to be tending to food the entire time, although not particularly interested in seeing every play - but it's also my time to hang out with friends!


A Chili bar sounds delish! The weather is cold enough and the food will warm our belly! Veggies are always a great idea, I esp love the fun use of bell peppers to hold various dressings! Or maybe premake a pan of meatball subs - perfect game day food.


Or maybe a taco bar?! I mean I am from California!!! I've never made this oreo popcorn yumminess, although Shari did at a girls night and I can attest it's divine! Perfect for after a nice bit of savory food.

I also threw out the idea of some Italian beef sandwiches - I could keep the meat and au jus going in the crock-pot and let everyone make a sandwich at their leisure. I mean might as well embrace the Chicago love of those sandwiches!

Decisions Decisions!!!! Are you hosting or going to a SB party? What are you bringing/making? {I've our plans pan out I'll be sure to share what I make and the rest of the spread next week!}

*All images found and kept on my Party Time Pinterest Board. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

wishful thinking

The weather has been cray cray up in deeese parts. Like for reals!

Ok I'm back and hopefully my grammar is in check, although we know that will never happen. Ok, but in all seriousness. Yesterday and today, 55-60+. Umm I live in Chicago  it is January. That is not normal. Oh but by Friday, ya know.... snow possible and 15 degrees, but probably 8!

I have warmer weather on the brain now. I want fun dresses! New spring shoes (ie no more socks!)! New gear for the bike, ie some cute casual clothes! Here is some of my wishful *shopping* thinking this week!


I guess you could say I am on a sweatshirt kick. Really I've always been on one, they are just now more appropriate to wear out of the house, LOVE!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

thursday treats


Available HERE

.....I couldn't agree more! I still can't get used to the name myself!

And since I have been living in sweatshirts, with jeans, heels & sparkly necklaces this winter...me thinks this baby needs to find a home with me ASAP!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Greens


No not the kind you eat...nor the kind you smoke. I'm talking greens like plants. Whether they are potted trees, small plants, cactus, or fresh cut stems or branches. I love them all around the house. If I could I'd have a fresh bouquet weekly. 

I love orchids and large potted plants and trees, I really don't discriminate! When scaled and groomed appropriately they are amazing. Now here's the thing. I have a brown thumb. Or is it a black thumb? Who knows. I just know I have killed a few house palm trees, more than a handful of orchids, and some summers my balcony window boxes. 


I can get obsessive about watering them, and pretending I am the best house plant mom ever. Then other times I may.... forget about them. Forget for like weeks, like 2 winters ago, the darn palm tree shriveled to death in the processed heat of our winters. So, my track record leads to the conclusion......I think I might be killing them. I mean eventually my cactus from college turned yellow and fell over. How hard is taking care of a cactus?! 

BUT here is the thing. I NEED a plant for the corner of our living room. It is calling out for one (well don't ask my Husband he may not agree). And I want a fiddle leaf tree. A kinda nice sized one. But hot damn they are just as expensive as beautiful. So I thought I may try with a less pricey option - ie something from my local Home Depot. And if I can keep it alive for more than a handful of months I can get a fancy house plant. 

So here is where I need your help - I need all the help I can get! How do I keep it alive??? Is there a house watering app? That will remind me to water it? To rotate it for sunlight?! And what is the best kind of plant to get!! Please, so I can graduate to the really extra fancy kind I want!!! 


How do you keep the plants in your house alive?

Images - All were from here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Layers McGee


Yesterday was balls ass cold!!! (sorry for the language. It WAS!) The temps were hovering around 10 with a wind chill temp of -7 to -10. By far the coldest day we have had all winter. And if you listen to the weather man, its some of the coldest air we have seen in the past two years...oh yay! Not. But when brunch and time with the Hubs calls (and a good hair day :P), I must answer!

Yesterday was the first day, ever in my life, I wore leggings under my jeans. Then if you care there was also these friends: Two pairs of socks (wool ones if you are counting). A tank under shirt, a regular shirt and then my button down. Then the wool coat, the fleece lined mittens, giant funnel scarf and partridge in a pear tree. My behind was still slightly frozen.

But I'll be damned I wasn't going to miss that chance at a Bloody Mary & food from Bongo Room. Nor a chai from Wormhole - two of my favorites on Milwaukee Ave in Bucktown.







  BRRRRRR....To get to this final outfit choice, I might have tired to get my entire closet on my body first, on top.of.one.another. It was a rough one. But the multiple thin yet warm layers won and surprisingly really worked! Did any other Chicago ladies venture out yesterday?

Scarf: Limited (old) // Jacket, Plaid, Jeans: J.Crew // Gloves, Purse: Forever21 (both from last year)// 
Boots: Rag&Bone // Hair clip: Ban.do

Thursday, January 17, 2013

the bed

Now take your pretty little brain out of the gutter....I wasn't going there!

Do you have something around the house that drives you nuts? Dishes in sink, remotes all over the couch? Anything (all of it?)?  For me, I have a weird little thing with an unmade bed. If I am home and no one is sleeping in bed, it must be made. Why, absolutely no clue! It just needs to be! I make it before I leave for work, if I get home in the evening and the Hubs didn't make it, I do.

I might be the soup nazi of made beds, in my home. A battle against wills in my house man vs woman, Husband vs wife. I like it made and he could care less! I even straighten the sheets a bit more before getting in at night. I've been known to make the bed with the dog still under the covers. It's oddly soothing to see that that linens are straight and duvet fluffed at the foot.


This doesn't make sense I know. I mean I really do, but ..... the pillows in a row, the blankets perfectly even. The best!

Do you make your bed daily? Am I alone in this endless battle again the Hubs?

*not my bed, I wish! image via

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I might be old :)

So folks, there I said it (in the title). And again here, I might be old. I came to this realization a couple weeks ago when walking around Target after the gym (see! example #37 of why), and they had all the Valentines decor out.

I wanted it all.

I want heart(s) on my hand towel in the kitchen, on my spatulas, on my water glasses. I want pink and red all over. {Here are a few of the things I wanted to scoop right up and take home! Some made it in the cart and then, reluctantly I took most out, oh boo}


I now want decorations and festive stuff for all the non-Holidays! Growing up, only Mom's did this. Only Grandma's did this. Not cool young kids. I fully expect my fully grown college kids may walk through the door at any moment... I kid, sorta.

{This was what made it home, it's hard to see a little trinket dish (red lower right corner), it's a ticket shaped dish that says admit two in light pink with hearts around border}

Am I really old? Or is the stuff getting cuter? The advertising better? What gives? I swear I'm not 43...although I am knocking on 30's door (SOB, bye 20's!).

Please tell me I am not alone.........please. Any.one.out.there...... ;)

Friday, January 11, 2013

furrrrrr

Do I need her? No. Do I want her? YES! No, wait maybe I do need her.....


I've had this fun little baby in my cart for weeks now. I think it's time to pull the trigger! It's just so fun, and crazy and would make a dreary day so much better! And the price won't break the bank. Now what do I think the Hubs will think....

Ever happen to you? A totally.frivous.crazy.out-there item stake clam in your brain and won't let go? WANT!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Digging

On Saturday night I decided our spare room needed a rearranging. When the rest of the young adult population was out dinning, and prancing around town I was rocking sweats & moving 2 dressers and a desk! HA! Why is it this bug always strikes late in the evening?

Once I moved everything around, of course wouldn't you know it needed re organizing! Go figure! ;) In this room we have a metal shelf storing shoes, because umm we have a shoe problem in my house. I stacked the top shelf higher than normal after the re-org, selfishly. I wanted a bit of girl space. On one of the shelves I created a little display with books, magazines my jewelry box etc. Nothing fancy, and yes the horrid gold walls still exist in here (although I think I am going to fix that on the ASAP looking at these pictures is making me cringe).


The new location, right next to my closet, and the fact that I'm there grabbing shoes every day has started something. Digging. For the past two days I've worn pieces I'd since semi-forgotten about. Ya know, outta site outta mind.


On Monday there was this combo. A little bold to start the week!
Necklace - Vintage // Ring - Gorgana // Studs/Gold Balls - I haven't the slightest clue, dey be way old!

And Tuesday these babies.
Necklace - Tiffany // Bracelet - from street fair in college // Stud/Silver Balls - Tiffany

And Wednesday this,
Necklace/Horseshoe - Marc Jacobs // Watch - Michael Kors // Studs - J.Crew // Bracelets: Skull/Alexander McQueen, Cuff/J.Crew

Not sure how//why I ever stopped wearing these fun pieces!!! I fully suggest digging in your jewelry box and seeing what you can find and then let me know how it turns out!

**sorry those photos aren't the highest quality, darn it getting dark out so early!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

ticktock

tick tock ya don't stop. Too much this early?

I've been on the watch hunt lately. I wear my gold Michael Kors one religiously. Like every everyday. I want another one to mix into the lineup. Switching up is fun & currently my alternative (my workout watch) isn't so pretty (doesn't look great with slacks and pencil skirts, LOL)! These three have perked my interest and kept me coming back for more for about a month now.


Do you have a favorite?

I was thinking I may want a two tone - gold/silver but with a simple face. So far I've only found men's versions or ones with the tiny extra dials. But these three are right there, I wish I could find a two tone to narrow it down! My poor gold one needs a day off!

Monday, January 7, 2013

lately & a new year

pheew....I missed you guys!!!! No for reals, I did!!! Christmas was great! I had hands down one of the best trips in.a.long.time! The warmth, the time in the sun, the family time, the time with my two stooges (Hubs and Brother), the laughs - I can't really say there was a minute I wasn't having the best time of my life.


When it was time to head home, I go hit hard with a big bad cold. Last week was a medicine haze or naps and barely functioning at work. Here are bits of life via Instagram.

Clockwise from top: Snacks at work // My sparkly new Ban.do clip that brought commentary on the train // New gold flatware making a home next to my Grandma's silver // Layers, and Layers // Decorations for the next holiday // cold equals extra snuggles

I am amped up, recharged and so excited for this new year. So much in store, 2013 is set-up to be one of the best yet! So much in store, I can't wait to share with you all! Time to hit the ground running!