Saturday, February 27, 2010

Plain And Tall

This stunning photo of 'Sarah Bernhardt' peonies by Keri Herer is a spot on portrail of how I always feel this time of the year when my favorite spring-time blooms start popping up in the flower markets. They may look as beautiful and lush as you always remember - but then like the black background seen here - there is that black cloud of winter looming over you. At least the fresh fleurs give us hope for sunny days ahead!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Have A Wonderful Weekend!

She She

I have been craving pretty shoes lately. A few problems with this: (Un)fortunately I don't really have anywhere to wear them. I would love to be the kind of girl who just looks good all the time, but lets be real - walking my dog, going grocery shopping, and running around working concerts are not the top three places to where a stunning pair of heels. Secondly, I can't afford to allocate my funds to designer wear. Third, I don't have a nice neat place to store/display them. All the shoes I have get destroyed because I pile them on top of each other, and they get smashed and scuffed...a shame really. Ok. that is my rant for the day. I just am holding out hope that one day I have a beautiful and girl-y closet/dressing room like the one pictured.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What I Ate: Belly Shack

After going to the dentist today for the first time in (eek) years (!), Ed and I decided that if we did not have any cavities, we would treat ourselves to the hip new neighborhood eatery in Chicago called Belly Shack. So guess what mom - No Cavities! The decor is skater chic. The music is dj-riffic. The food is delish.

The cuisine is an unusual combination of Latin and Asian. I indulged in seasoned fries served with curried mayo, hot and sour soup (make with chicken, cilantro, and hominy - a steal at $4.00), and finished with the tilapia 'sammich' (my favorite).

It is conveniently located under the blue line stop at Western Ave - which makes this a perfect quick bite after a long day of work. The center of the space features a single over sized communal table of rich dark wood surrounded by industrial backless stools. You order at the counter, and they quickly bring the food out to your table. Lots of layers of flavor is the name of the game here.

Check out their sister spot Urban Belly on north California Ave for satisfying bowls of noodles!

Trippin' Over

It is always about this time of the year that I want to go on a trip sooooooo bad. I would love to pack up my suitcase, get on a plane, land, and walk out to palm trees and sunshine (or freshly baked croissants and the Eiffel Tower). I am going to keep on dreaming...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This Is Not A Sin

Gorgeous. Marvelous. Stunning. This is church that has been converted into a home. Can you believe the white Barcelona chairs paired with fig toned velvet sofas! Yes Please.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Color Collage: Coral

Today I put together some inspirational images in tones of dark coral. This versatile color is classic and dramatic. It is full of fun without being trendy or cheesy. It is not too young, not to old. Vibrant, stunning, and flashy (in a good way)!

For clothing, you could wear a simple black dress or white blouse with jeans - add a bold coral sunglass, bracelet, or scarf - and you are transformed. It works beautifully in a home as well. You can see the dining room where the walls are drenched in this bold hue, but it also looks great on an accent pillow. There are a few varieties of flowers that naturally grow up to embody this tone which would all make a gorgeous addition to any event (think peonies, godetia, roses, and poppies)!


How adorably whimsical are these photos? They have me day dreaming of walks through bustling city streets, dressing up in pretty clothes, being a girl, going on a date, and eating cake (no other reason than that is what I am always thinking about). What do they make you think of?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Give Me Some Space

Some pretties that I have found recently...

Check out the Hermes tray, the skull sitting on it, and the pink chair in the background. Plus the masculine wood grained table and patterned rug look so dashing in contrast to the many feminine details throughout this space.

Such a stunning and sophisticated color palette.


Citrus Season

We got an unwelcome blanket of heavy and wet snow over night last night. Winter isn't quite over yet. This amazing party setting from Style Me Pretty though is one of my favorites that I have ever seen. The lush orange grove is such a romantic setting for a casual gathering. I love the colors on the tabletop, the mismatched chairs, and the bride's antique dress. Maybe I will scrape off my car, head to the store, and buy a big bag of juicy oranges to try and recreate this feel in my heated loft.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Girly Girl

I have long been admiring this uber feminine dress from Anthropologie. It has the wonderful substantial weight to it while looking light and dainty. I love the neckline. I love the pockets. I love the ruffles.

Plus, I have been on a search a dress that reminds me of the 'I've Had The Time Of My Life' dress from Dirty Dancing (knee length, peachy-cream, and twirly). I think this might just be the perfect answer to that dilemma for 2010.

Sunday Inspiration

Getting ready for the week, I came across the lovely photo. I so want to be her. Strolling into my beautiful home, wearing stylish clothes, carrying a fresh bouquet of blooms. Ah...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What I Ate: Treat Restaurant

Last night I went out for a lovely evening with all of mine and Ed's best friends. We were celebrating both of our birthdays that took place earlier this week. We ate at a small place called Treat in Logan Square here in Chicago. It is a unique contemporary joint with heavy Indian influences in all the dishes.

I had the curried gnocchi (served with gingered raisins, mint, and spinach), but I had more than my share of bites from a friend's plate who had the special - tandoori Cornish hen served with couscous, fava beans, and cranberry chutney. Many guests at the party got the lamb burger (which comes dressed in roasted red peppers, cilantro chutney, and herb aioli). Best part - it is BYOB, which makes the price point just perfect! And, I can't wait to go back on a Saturday or Sunday to try their brunch (half orders of French toast is the most genius thing I have ever heard). They do a great job here, and I would definitely recommend it to someone looking to try something a little off the beaten path.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day

The sun was out today, and it felt so great! I took Maya for a nice walk to the park. I even sat on a bench and read a book for a bit. Maybe spring is closer than I thought.

How Much Fun Is This!?!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What I Ate: French Lentil Soup

Last night for dinner I made French Lentil Soup! I always love lentils (and especially love how healthy they are for you), but sometimes I think they are too dry. Soup is a perfect solution to that.

1 Med-Lg Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Lg Carrot
1 Turnip
1 Lg Potato
1 Stalk of Celery
1 Lg Handful of Spinach
1 Bay Leaf
1.5 Cups Lentils
1 Cup Tomato Sauce (or diced canned tomatoes)
3 Quarts Water
Salt and Pepper

(Finely) Dice all vegetables. Saute onion and garlic with a couple tablespoons of olive oil in bottom of pot for a couple minutes. Add the rest of the veggies, the lentils, the bay leaf, the tomatoes, and the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for one hour. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

-You can choose to blend a portion of the soup to give it a thicker base.
-A cup of cooked rice is an optional addition (making it more of a complete meal).
-A splash of balsamic vinegar and chopped parsley (or celery leaves) make nice garnishes.

Living Room

Ugh. I love love this space. I just can't say enough how much I love contrasting elements. The clean and modern architecture of this house creates a beautiful backdrop to the more traditional and warm furniture.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I got many calls and emails this weekend. I feel so loved. Thank you!

Leopard Print

Thank you to my lovely Edwin for these yummy shoes that he just gave me as a birthday present. An animal skin flat is a must as far as wardrobe basics are concerned (according to somebody...), and now they are all mine! Muah!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


It is officially Valentines Day, which also means I am officially 30. Happy birthday to me.

It is now well known that Julia Child and her husband Paul would spend a considerable amount of effort creating sweet little valentines for their friends and family. This one pictured is a favorite. I mean really. Hysterical.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I am so lucky to have Ed, and I can't wait to celebrate with him after my busy weekend. I think we might go see the new Valentin's Day movie (what a good guy). I also want to go to brunch because it is one of my favorite things to do.

Valentine Weekend

Happy Valentine Weekend! I will be working all weekend (even though it is my 30th [eek] birthday on Sunday), but I hope all of you have a romantic filled few days!

{photo via Style Me Pretty}

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What I Ate: Salsa Verde

I just made Salsa Verde for the first time, and I think it came out pretty great. I am making cheese stuffed poblano peppers and black bean tacos tonight to go with it! Everything in my version is fresh, but the addition of roasting the ingredients would certainly add a nice depth of flavor. Below is a summery of how I made it.

First of all, I don't have a food processor (yet), so I used my blender on the lowest setting. It still came out the right consistency (nice and chunky, but even throughout). This recipe is so easy (I mean really - just blend) and is worth the effort. Compared to a store-bought salsa verde, this version is so much brighter in color and flavor - so fresh!

4-6 medium Tomotillos
1 Sm Clove of Garlic
1 Small White Onion
1 Handful of Fresh Cilantro
1/2 Fresh Jalapeno (use more to make it spicier)
1 Lime
Olive Oil (small drizzle)

Peal the paper-y skin off the fresh tomotillos, wash, and chop roughly. Add a couple of the tomotillos and the juice of the lime to the blender and blend (this is just to get it going as not to clog the blender blades). Add the rest of the ingredients (all chopped roughly) to the blender and blend (only for 30 seconds or so). Serve!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Reason to Rio

This is one of the gorgeous rooms I want to stay in at the Fasano Hotel in Rio. The architecture and design of this place are to die for. It is designed entirely by Phillipe Starck, who created an exquisite blend of vintage and mid-century. Plus, you can't beat the amazing views overlooking the ocean. Ah...someday...

Monday, February 8, 2010

What I Ate: Chocolate Cookies

We went to a friends' house yesterday for the Superbowl festivities, and I decided to make Chewy Chocolate Cookies. They were chewy and chocolate-y and really easy to make - truly anyone can do this recipe. See below:

4oz Unsweetened Chocolate
1.5 sticks Butter
2 C Sugar
3 Eggs
1 pinch Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
2.5 C Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Microwave the chocolate and butter in a large bowl for 2 minutes (until butter fully melted. Stir the two together until the chocolate is melted. Add sugar and mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla and salt. Add flour; mix well.

Cover the dough and refrigerate for an hour.

Shape the dough into balls (about 3/4 inch). Place on a baking sheet (about two inches). They don't spread out too much. Bake for 7-8 minutes (until just barely set). Cool on the pan for one minute then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Winter Storm Warning

Just got word that there is a severe winter storm warning in Chicago going for the next day and a half. Yesterday was so sunny (I actually though spring might be around the corner)!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


In keeping with last year, this is how I wish Superbowl parties looked:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Party On

Today I have two 'parties' to go to! First, Eds brother and sister-in-law are taking us to a sushi lunch for our birthdays (we are only a couple days apart). I am so excited because I have been craving sushi lately! Mmm.

Second, we are headed out to have deep dish, Chicago style pizza with all of my cousins. Instead of individual gifts this year, my great aunt gave us a gift certificate to go to dinner together. She is so happy that we are close (and, do I really need her to buy me a dvd of some silly movie?). Great idea Auntie Lee!

I Want This

It is so cute I can't stand it. The whole thing. Pink with red ruffles. Are you kidding me? My birthday is on Valentines Day, and this would be a great 'birthday suit'!

available at Zappos

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What I Ate: Roasted Eggplant Dip

Tonight I made a recipe I found on Martha's website - Roasted eggplant dip and herb rubbed pita chips.

The pita chips were super easy. You just split the pita bread horizontally, brush them with a paste made of finely chopped fresh and dry herbs and olive oil, and bake them until crispy.

The dip was also easy and honestly more delicious than I thought it would be! Roast the eggplant like you would a bell pepper (over the flame of your gas stove burner until soft and charred). Peel the black skin off, chop, drain some of the liquid off, chop finely, mix with yogurt, fresh chopped garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Top with a drizzle of olive oil.

Find the complete recipes here.

Cutie Cakes

Valentines Day definitely makes me crave sweets...heck - waking up brings on my craving for sugar too, but regardless...Who wouldn't want a loved one to present some tasty treats to you in these more than adorable cupcake liners from the etsy store Cupcake Social!?! I know I would.

She has a ton of different prints (along with all of your other cupcake needs), so definitely check them out!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Valentine Gift Idea

This lotion is one of my favorite things, and I think it would make a great valentine gift. First - it comes in beautiful packaging - which is always key when giving body products as a gift. Second - I am obsessed with things that are rose scented. It is sort of French brothel and sort of old lady, but ultimately it is pretty, feminine and timeless. I have had it with terrible fruity and baked goods scented products (make my legs smell like cookie dough - yuk). Floral scents are so much more elegant.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


How beautiful is this arrangement of anenomes?!? They have always been one of my favorite flowers, and this is one of the best uses I have seen. They have such an unusual antique aura to them with their soft colors and black center. Plus, don't they look great against the snowy dusty miller foliage and in that white birch bark wrapped vase?

Monday, February 1, 2010

What I Ate: Bechemel

Since food tends to be my favorite subject, I though I would start a new series of posts called What I Ate' (inspired by my friend Melissa's posts on her blog called 'What I Wore'.)

photograph via

So, tonight I ventured into my newly obtained copy of 'Mastering' (thanks to my sister) for the first time. I poached filets of fish in white wine and topped them with a delicious bechemel sauce. I served it with a healthy combination of brown rice and spinach salad. Of course I consumed the rest of the tasty white wine I used in the cooking with it to drink. This was not one of my absolute all time favorites, but it is a classic recipe that I am glad to have conquered.