Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Fancies: White Out!

Happy Friday everyone! For four days, this week was long, no? I'm so excited to enjoy the weekend with some sun, some good food, and hopefully a good run or two! And what's better than kicking this off with some good old whites? (with a splash of color that is!)

white out

I love how girly this white frock is and it's so different from any other white dress out there! It could go miles, no?

Here's hoping that you all have the best weekends and enjoy these warmer temps!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jumping on the Bandwagon

I'm a baseball fan, tennis, golf (yes, I LOVE watching golf on tv. It's a family thing), and even basketball too. But I'd never say that hockey would be the first thing I'd switch on.

Until the hockey finals come on...and the Chicago Blackhawks are in them.

Yes, most hockey fans hate this, but I've jumped on the Hawks bandwagon this season (about 4 games ago). Though I missed last night's game, you better believe that I'll be with friends cheering them on! Hawks fever has hit this city.

And that's perfectly ok by me! Please tell me that I'm not the only bandwagon lady in this city!

image found here

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Fancies: Memorial Day!

As I sit here, it is 41 degrees.


We were 85 on Monday. Where did that go? This is not Memorial Day Weekend weather! This is March! We're in MAY! But I digress. I always love Memorial Day Weekend. It's always so nice to have that extra day off to just do whatever you'd like. In my case, having a family bbq and then gossiping with friends over the series premiere of the Bachelorette. 3 whole days of just pure relaxation! I can't help but love it.

memorial day

I've been drawn to blues lately. Literally this week I have worn blue almost every day. Classic cobalt and navies are perfect for this time of year and Old Navy has been killing it lately in the dress department. Great dresses for great deals and perfect for every summer occasion! This little frock is perfect! And I love this American flag bag! Fourth of July is my favorite holiday too and this bag is a great deal! Hopefully the temps will at least climb up to 70 this weekend.

What're your weekend plans? Hope you all have safe and happy ones! Visit Long Distance Loving for more Memorial Day inspired outfits!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I didn't learn this at school!

boy I have not done a good job at this challenge! Things just get in the way! But this was a fun post to write!

Day 23: Fortunately, for me, I have been lucky to go to some pretty amazing schools, from grade school all through college. My parents truly went above and beyond to make sure that I got a great education, including amazing experiences that went along with it and I'm forever grateful for everything I learned at every school I went to. And as much as teachers try, you can't learn everything, so here's what school hasn't taught me: sense of style! I went to Catholic school, so it took me until I was about 19 to really figure out what my style was and what fit my personality (let's just say that my high school sister now is way more fashion forward/stylish than I was in high school!). It took some getting used to, but now, almost five years later, I've figured it out. And I love it! to master the perfect cup of coffee. Sorry Starbucks, but I think I have you beat! My hot morning cup brings a smile to my face and I learned that perfection all on my own, with lots of trials and errors of course. Oh and my number one tip, get a foamer for your milk! It's a game changer.

found here to stay organized. I'm way more organized now than I was even during my college years, and even though it's taken awhile to master, I feel like I have more balance, from writing everything down, to putting my laundry away right away. I still have more to work on, but I'd say I'm getting there!

Ok, your turn! What have you not learned at school? Anything important the rest of us need to know?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Fancies: Stripes!

So much for blogging every day in May! This gets difficult, I tell ya! One thing that's never difficult: Friday Fancies! The theme is stripes and as I sit here I just happen to be wearing one of my favorite striped tops. You can never go wrong with a stripe! Though it is sometimes difficult to find the right stripe that flatters your body, if you put in the leg work, it's totally worth it.

It took me awhile to catch on to the whole striped cotton dress. Why? No clue because I think that it's one of the cutest little dresses to have in your closet. It can go everywhere with you!


I wore mine to work the other day with my Nike tennis shoes on and I still thought I was rockin it! But this all comes together with a great denim jacket (I've worn mine so many times already, and it's only May!) and yes, I'm sorry, bear with me while I dream about these cute Kate Spade purses with the phrases on them. This is why it's Friday Fancies, correct? I've grown up in a family of golfers and this is just too cute to resist, especially with stripes, no?

I have a rather busy weekend ahead, but tonight we are finally going turtle racing! We've been talking about it for months, but now finally we're going for the turtles! Hopefully one of us will win/be able to race one! Enjoy spring wherever you are! Pop on over for more stripes at Long Distance Loving!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Tuesday Tune

I could go on for about two hours for my love of this group The Tenors (formerly The Canadian Tenors, since yes, they're Canadian!). I saw them on Sunday and to say that I was in love was an understatement.

Yes, Clifton, that tall dark haired boy with the unbelievable smile, come live in Chicago. That's all I have to say! (oh and Frazier, the one on the end, he's pretty great too!)

I really love that genre of crossover music, and though it's been on the radar for awhile now, it's picking back up with artists like Josh Groban, Michael Bublé and now, luckily for us, The Tenors! As cheesy as it sounds, I love inspirational music with a message and every Tenors tune does that.

So instead of going on about it, I'll just give you an example:

They also do some great covers and each of them at their concert sang solo. I was smitten! 

Got a group on your mind lately? What's your favorite tune as of late?

image via here

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

There is no other woman out there who knows me better than my mother. She's always been there for me, through it all and I could not be more grateful to have her in my life. She has raised me to be the woman I am today and has worked so hard to give me and my siblings the best life we could ever ask for.
My beautiful Mom and her mother

Mom, thanks for always being there at everything, cooking delicious food, entertaining our friends, crying with us when things are difficult, celebrating our good work and always being here every day being the best mom there is. I love you!

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, Grandma, aunts and all the rest of the Mom's I know! You guys are amazing!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

10 words

So today's challenge is describing myself in 10 words or less. Here 'goes:


Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Fancies: Weekend Wear

Happy Friday everybody! If you're like me, you live for the weekends, especially after long weeks like this one. I try to keep it simple on the weekends. Sometimes I like to dress up because my work wardrobe is more casual. But usually on weekends, it ends up looking something like this:

weekend wear

I feel most comfortable in jeans. My sisters think that I'm crazy to say that, but I really do love them and I could live in my Gap Skinny Jeans (in long). They're the perfect length for me and the cut is just the best. I always love long boyfriend cardigans and though this striped tee's pricey (hey, it's fancies after all!), you can't go wrong with stripes. And those TB flats are the best!

This weekend, I'm relaxing and finally recovering from all the allergies/sinus infection/bad vision/vertigo junk I've been experiencing. I feel so much better and hopefully I can get back to my regular routines soon! On Sunday night, I'm seeing The Tenors. Ever heard of them? If you watch PBS like we do you probably have. They've got the voices of angels. and they're super attractive. I.can't.wait!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's out there!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Random Moment

So today of the BEDIM challenge is a random moment in my day.

I got glasses! It's such a change, but it's kind of fun too! I love the style, and though I'll probably eventually get contacts, it's fun having glasses for now.

Oh that and my sisters were chanting about The Great Gatsby coming into theaters in 2 hours. Typical Thursday!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My one piece of advice for you

Really. This should be a no-brainer.

But I have watched many people in my life struggle with this, and it's very sad to see.

So I advise you, wherever you are, to please try.

Because it makes life so much better when you do.

Oh and always carry an umbrella. That helps too.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Things I'm Afraid Of

Ok, I'll just put it out there. I don't like scary movies. They scare me. Even the lame ones make me jump. Does that make me a scaredy cat? Maybe, but that's ok by me. Give me a drama, or a comedy, or yes, my favorite of choice: a chick flick and I'm one satisfied gal.

I'm afraid that once I'm out on my own I won't have enough money saved. This shouldn't scare me, because I'm well on my way with a big safety net, and lots of saving in my past and present, but everyone hears horror stories of people who never saved enough money before they moved out. I don't want that to be me.And it's not that I'm afraid, I'm just worried that I won't know when I'm ready. 

That's pretty much it.

I'm not afraid of very much, though I do worry about things from time to time, I wouldn't consider myself a person who is afraid, not confident, or even shy. We all have things that we doubt over, but I wouldn't say that I fear, because I know that every day is a learning experience, and you can't be afraid to learn more.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What it is that I Do

So today's Blog Every Day in May question is if I couldn't answer with my job, what is it that I do?

Well, here's what I do:

I'm musical! I can't help it, it's in my genes and you'll find me singing all day long, playing the piano whenever I feel like it (I should be wayy better about this!), harmonizing with every song on the radio, being that loud girl behind you at church, giving piano lessons five days a week and volunteering with my musical abilities as much as I can. It's what I do for me!

I run! I started running 10 years ago, and though I go through spurts where I run more months than others, I still consider myself somewhat of a runner. It's such great exercise and I love to see myself improve, get stronger, and my strides can get a little longer.

I'm the oldest in my family. and yes, it's something I just do. I always make sure everyone's ok, I always lend an ear, and I have to know what's going on at all times. If you're the oldest, I'm sure you know what this means!

I love working with kids! Yes, in my 9 to 5 that's what I do, but when I'm off the clock I spend lots of time with kids in other ways like piano lessons or nannying. They always know how to make you laugh and it's so rewarding for me to help kids become better at something, anything!

Coffee. coffee. and more coffee.

I do Jillian Michaels workout videos. Her voice is so, so so annoying, but hey, they do the job! And I've consistently kept up with it for about 3 years now.

I love to experiment in the kitchen. I'm trying to be a better cook, but I do love to bake. Yes, I'm a chocoholic and have absolutely no problem with it at all. Anything chocolate. I'll take it.

I ride my easy rider bike. It's so cute and I feel so cute riding it all over town or down to the beach. That thing is coming with me wherever I go.

So what is it that you do?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Small Edits

So remember, way back when, I decided to make this Peanut Butter, Cocoa and Banana Smoothie? Well, I made it again, but with a few better edits (in my opinion!). The last time I made it, the bananas were overpowering that I had to supplement by adding more of everything, which made it not as healthy as its potential.

Now, with a few little adjustments, it's better than ever and my favorite little sweet treat after a workout or just after dinner. Yum yum! (oh and did I mention that it's thick? Like milkshake style thick? Just checking!)

1 frozen banana
1-1 1/2  cups of almond milk or any type of milk
2 tbsps of peanut butter
2 tbsps of cocoa powder
1 tsp of vanilla
1 pinch of sea salt
1 squirt of honey

Put all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until desired consistency. aka until the creamy goodness is to your liking.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Favorite Quote

This is a tough one.

I love quotes, I won't lie! So to ask me to pick a favorite, well that's difficult.

My favorite quote has changed over the years because I think at different points in my life are different quotes that resonate most with what's happening with me personally. As I have gotten older, I always try to remember this first quote:

Everyone personally has struggles. Life has many bright, light, happy, joyful moments, but life is also full of challenges and trials, and I try to always remember that if someone is having a hard day or not acting the way I think they could act. It's kind of like never judging a book by its cover. Everyone is fighting a hard battle, so I just always take a step back.

And then there is this. If I have my faith, I know that anything is possible.

What quote is your favorite? Your go-to? 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Fancies: Floral Frenzy

Happy Friday! We went from days with 80+ degree temps to 40 degrees with wind chills in the 30s. Yuck! I'm getting over whatever this sickness/allergies is: a sinus infection with partial, mild vertigo. Have you ever had vertigo? It's the weirdest feeling! I feel like that Alfred Hitchcock movie! Anyway, moving on.

floral blazer

So I haven't fully jumped on the floral trend just yet. I like it, but I'm afraid to jump all in. I do have a button down from Old Navy that I love and wear to work all the time, but it seems different in a blazer. I love this blazer with jeans, just dressed down and functional. Plus it's perfect for these cooler temperatures that we can't get rid of yet! Those boots are per-fection! Love them! They'd be perfect for summer, no?

We're heading up for a quick trip to Wisconsin for some R&R, fish and chips, and some good ol' Amish donuts. Have the best weekend everybody! Go visit Long Distance Loving

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cookie Tips and Tricks

Ok. This topic was a little difficult for me to think of. Yes, I know that I am good at several different things, but putting them into words is hard to do. Because you all probably don't want to learn piano 1:1 (and because I can't teach over the interwebs...yet!), here's a random piece of advice to help you all make the best chocolate chip cookies:

I'm partial to the Mrs. Field's recipe for a richer cookie, or if you're in the mood for a lighter crisper cookie, I love Ina Garten's recipe. But here's the number one tip for cookie baking:

  1. always take them out earlier rather than later. Yes in every cookbook the author tells you that they'll look underdone when you take them out, but then, if you're anything like me, you'll look in the oven, see the underdone-ness, and leave them in for a minute or two more, just for good measure. DON'T DO THAT! Because it completely ruins the texture and makes them harder and the flavors aren't as good. 
  2. Also, another tip when baking cookies, and this was something that took me a long time to learn, is let every ingredient fully mix in before adding another ingredient to the bowl. I've messed this up so many times I can't even tell you! But it makes such a difference in the texture of the dough, and ultimately in the taste of the cookie. So one at a time! and let each fully incorporate before adding another one in. 
  3. And this is an obvious tip: don't leave the kitchen until all the dough is made! Sounds obvious. But it's just so tempting to leave...and then you end up with smoke in your oven! Don't do it!
So there are some of my tips and tricks that I've learned and I now call myself a chocolate chip cookie pro!

What's one thing that you're good at that you could teach me? (or anyone else for that matter!)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Story of My Life

I'm doing Blog Everyday in May! Here's today's topic:

My life story in 250 words (or less!):

I grew up the oldest of four kids in a Chicago suburb. My siblings and I did everything together growing up and my mom and dad gave us the greatest childhood anyone could ever ask for. They helped me develop my passion for music and at age six, I started playing the piano, something many specialists probably never believe I could do, since I could barely hold a pencil or use scissors in kindergarten. I went to an all-girls high school and had some of the best years of my life, kept playing the piano, and it helped me get into the best school ever: Illinois Wesleyan University where I majored in Elementary Ed and Piano. Now I'm teaching school, piano lessons, living the life with my family and I couldn't ask for anything more. Wouldn't be anywhere without the most cliché three fs: family, friends and faith.