Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cabin Fever

Sorry for the radio silence! This weekend went by in a flash, like always. Though I ran around most of Saturday, it was worth it celebrating my Dad's birthday with all of our family. Those dinners are really the best and I had a great time being with all of them on a day just for my Dad. And let's talk about the cake: it was four layers with chocolate buttercream in between and 7 minute frosting on top. Delish! and before we know it, it's already Wednesday!

But with the weirdest winter weather I have ever experienced, I've been experiencing cabin fever like no other. Maybe it's just because I love to be outside, or maybe it's because I work with preschoolers who NEED to go outside to just run around and exert some energy. But it really truly has not felt like winter. I'm talking LOTS of snow for more than one day, and cold temperatures that have to be accompanied by said snow. Hasn't happened yet, but maybe today will be the day!

So I'm yearning for some sun and some outdoor time! Thankfully two of my favorite ladies and I are off for a spring break cruise in the Bahamas! I'm so so so excited, because I've never been on a cruise, or to the Bahamas. Even though it's not for awhile, I'm yearning for some fun and some sun, and quality girl time too!

Are you experiencing cabin fever? Where would you run off to right now given the chance?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Fancies: Black & White

Good morning! Whew what a busy week this has been. I literally have been running around so much that I've spent probably 4 hours total in my house besides sleep. It'll be nice to have a few days to just relax (somewhat!).

This week's fancies are Black and White, what a classic combination. There so many ways to do black and white, from fancy to casual. This look is perfect for my tomorrow: attending a conference for work and then head out to celebrate my Dad's birthday (it's a big one!).

black white

Also, this might be the exact same top that Kate Winslet wears in The Holiday. I know, I'm a little obsessed! (and I may or may not be watching that movie tonight, just by myself. Yes, I do know that Christmas has been over for a month. Woops!).

Have lovely weekends! and head over to Long Distance Loving for more fancies!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Taste

Last night, my friend Katie and I watched that new show The Taste on abc. We really liked it and will definitely be keeping up with it in the weeks to come. What we didn't know was that it is a competition sort of like The Voice with four teams and each cook can only prove in a blind taste test how good their food is. The judges were very picky, as they could only have four cooks each. I thinking how hard it must be to prove that in one bite, you can cook well.

Though I am still partial to baking over cooking, I am getting better at it and keep trying to improve simple things like chopping (still working on this one. It's hard, no?) but I was thinking, if I had to prove in one bite that I make good food, I would definitely make butternut squash risotto. Creamy, flavorful and just yum! Or chocolate chip cookies. I make those pretty well, if I do say so myself! If you had to show off your skills in one bite, what would it be? Did you watch The Taste? What'd you think?

photo found

Monday, January 21, 2013


I am so thankful to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the faith that he had in himself and the people of this country to make changes that shaped our whole nation. He was such a brilliant speaker, and this quote for me says a lot. I think that many times in our lives, things are uncertain. We never know where exactly we're headed next, so we need to have that faith and believe that things will head in the direction they are supposed to. I think another thing I've learned from Dr. King and others like him was how hard he worked to achieve his dreams. I know that if I do enough hard work and believe in myself, I know that I'm doing something right, something meaningful.

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Everyone enjoy their day off (I wish I had today off!)

Image via

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Fancies: Outfit Crush!

I absolutely love these outfit crush fancies! Let's be honest, we all get inspiration from Pinterest, magazines and the Internet, and why not put that to our best advantage and be a little creative! Lately, my style has been very simple: button downs and jeans, or sweaters and jeans with scarves. Lots and lots of scarves!  But I thought I'd dig back to a look that I loved so long ago, and completely forgot about!

Source: via Susan on Pinterest

This look is absolutely effortless looking! Of course, I love the shoulders on this coat and how the silk scarf just ties it together.
blake lively outfit

It looks a little like a mish-mash, but hey it works! I'd add a splash of color in the beanie, but keep everything else neutral. Perfect look to bundle up! The cold comes in on Sunday!

Go check out everyone else's outfit crushes on Long Distance Loving today! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Duvet Love

My parents just gave me their old down comforter (hooray! It's so warm!) and it is need of a duvet. I want an all white for my bedding and this one seems like a dream!

Source: via Susan on Pinterest

I love the ruffles, and could you imagine a down comforter being even fluffier? What a dream! Any duvet suggestions? Find this one here!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hey Jennifer Garner!

Hey Jennifer Garner, you are such one lucky gal! Can I just say that Ben was completely adorable last night? He was just so handsome and suave sitting there, then he wins, starts shaking and tells Jennifer Garner that she's his world, he absolutely adores her and he'd be nowhere without her. I was melting! So so cute! Can I be Jennifer Garner for a day?

Also on my high list was Hugh Jackman's win for Les Miserables! So so great! and he was extremely cute with his wife as well.

Though I didn't catch the Globes in its entirety (Downton Abbey was on!), I'm so glad that I saw some great moments last night and hearing more about movies that I want to see before the Oscars next month. What'd you think?

And just for good measure, I'm sharing one of my favorite dresses of the evening: Michelle Dockery hit it out of the park!

Photos 1/2/3/4

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Fancies: Emerald!


So even though I was in love with Pantone's color of the year last year, I have to say their pick this year was pretty great: emerald! I'm a fan of green and it's definitely a color that I want to incorporate more into my everyday outfits. But sometimes, you have to make a statement. This anthropologie dress (on sale too!) is just that. Anthro styled it so well for what to wear now and I took it a little farther for later this spring. Navy and emerald are one of my favorite combos together! Now I don't have spring fever by any means (I want more snow! 60 degrees today Chicago? Not havin' it!) but I do love how the colors are just so meant for spring, I couldn't help myself!

Have lovely weekends ladies! Check out more emerald love on Long Distance Loving!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What Would You Do?

Ok, I simply ask because I need advice. Nothing serious, I promise you! But during the winter months, I have been wearing boots to work. Mind you, I work at a preschool where we're outside and on our feet quite a bit all day and I like my feet to be warm! I've been rotating with three pairs of boots, but I don't like to overwear any of them because I don't want to trash them up, especially my one really nice pair with leather soles. My brown pair with rubber soles that I've had for three years now are showing a bit of wear. They need new soles, probably new heels, and one zipper broke. I know what you're thinking, they should just bite the dust. But I just love them so much! They're the perfect fit at the bottom and have the space at the top that I love. This would be the second time that I would be getting this pair fixed and I don't know how much more money I should put into a pair of boots that weren't cheap, but nothing too unique that I couldn't find for a cheaper price (especially with all these sales right now!). So what would you do?

image via

Monday, January 7, 2013

*Downton Spoiler!*

Ok I am so sorry that I am spoiling this for all those who didn't watch that amazing two hour Downton Abbey premiere last night. But I'm going to anyway!

Of course, the show stopper was Miss Lady Mary. Some hate to love her, I just love her! It's simply gorgeous. The veil was stunning and when she got out of the carriage I did a big AHH. Also, for the record, I love how British grooms don't face the bride when she walks in and they wait to see her. It's so romantic, I think. My sister Ellen said now she wants to carry lilies when she gets married. I don't blame her! Who else loved those carriages and all of the banners and how she rode in on the white carriage? It was like re-living the Royal Wedding (ok, not exactly. But good enough right?)

What did you think of the episode? I can't wait for next week's. And I'm still OBSESSED with Matthew. Probably even more than before!

I even made scones for the premiere! Recipe coming tomorrow!

Images via Elle UK

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Fancies: New Year, New You!

new year

Happy First Friday of 2013! Hope everyone's new year has started off on the right foot! and a short work week on top of it? No complaints around here! This week, {av} challenged us to start the New Year with New Year, New You. I thought I would go a little bit out of my element with these leather leggings. Now, they are a huge risk! But I have seen so many people pull them off so well that maybe in my fantasy they might work, dressed up or down! What's one trend out of your comfort zone that you'd want to try?

Hope you all have relaxing weekends! I'm going turtle racing tonight (haha I can't wait!) and then the rest of my weekend is whatever I want it to be. I want to go skating before all the ice melts! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Anyone catch the Gilmore Girls reference there? What would the Barefoot Contessa Do? Haha well that's beside the point. On New Years Day I really wanted to make risotto, so we got out Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics and made her Wild Mushroom Risotto.! I finished the leftovers last night.

Because the mushroom water was used from soaking the dried mushrooms, it really had a great, natural flavor to it. It was so decadent and yes, took a little bit of work, but was so delicious. Definitely eat it al dente!

And no, unfortunately this is not my image, but it was so good the first night that I ate it all without taking a photo and the second day it still tasted delicious, but didn't look as pretty! But at least I can tell you all that it tasted delicious! That's really what counts, right?

Just a note, we left out the safron and only used dried mushrooms since we didn't have any fresh on hand. We also added some onions for more flavor.

Find the recipe here or in your Back to Basics book!

image via