Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mykonos mood

One of the recent Anthropologie catalogs has me dreaming
about the Greek Islands.
How nice it would be to be amongst all that sun and blue water!

Sporting one of these blue frocks wouldn't hurt either.

I'm available to be transported there right about NOW.
Please and thank you.

A little Fleet Foxes to seal the daydream deal.

~ Images via top-travel blog & anthropologie ~

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fire bowls

If I were fortunate enough to get cancelled from work tonight,
(Dream on, sister!)
I would spend the last few hours of the holiday weekend,
with a big glass of red wine and a plate of grilled meat,
relaxing around a campfire.
Or, one of these gorgeous firebowls...

You can roast marshmallows over a fire bowl, right?

~ 2nd image via Lonny ~
(Disclaimer: The other photo was collected for my own home inspiration files and I do not know its source of origin.
If you know, please inform me & I will correctly cite!)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day weekend

Unfortunately it's my holiday to work (boo!)

But today's my one day off (woohoo!),
and if it were up to me,
I'd be spending it with a good book in the sun on a lake:

Last year, we were kayaking {HERE}...
Note to self: Never go kayaking on Lake Geneva on a holiday weekend.
Aside from Lake Michigan, pretty sure it's the closest non-man-made lake to Chicago.
You will be paddling against some serious FIB-WAB wake. ;)

(Disclaimer: Most of these photos were collected for my own home inspiration files and I do not know their source of origin.
If you know, please inform me & I will correctly cite!)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Latest J. Crew obsessions

I just found the latest J. Crew catalog crumpled on the coffee table.
I think the huzz may have been trying to hide it from me,
because I LOVE/want everything inside.

Pardon the poor quality photos,
but I couldn't snap and get them up fast enough.

Stripes and scarves!
 Skirts, dresses, sparkles, and cotton blazers!
Necklaces & gauzy cardigans!
Ruffled swimsuit cover-ups, straw bags, & yes, even sweat shorts!

Considering signing up for an extra shift so I can treat my summer wardrobe to a little J. Crew treat (or two)!

~photos by b~

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rainy day soup

What to do when Vidalia sweet onions are on sale and it's raining outside?
Make a pot of French Onion Soup!
Plus it's fun to say in a French accent - On-yon!
Today's recipe is from {HERE}
(adapted from food whiz Julia Child)|

My husband walked through the door and said "what smells good?"
(Let's just say it wasn't my Tom's natural deodorant finally starting to work.)
Here's a play-by-play picture tutorial:
(with my recipe addendums)

I used 3 medium-size sweet onions.
(Vidalia, Spanish, or yellow will do you fine!)

Additions:  I added olive oil, garlic, and Herbs de Provence to my toasts,
as well as fresh thyme to the caramelized onions.

Make sure you caramelize for the full 40-ish minutes
for a deep, golden brown color!
Your taste buds will thank you later.

Patience is a virtue.
Take this time to check your email or do P90x Ab Ripper.

Seeing as Rombauer Chardonnay was the only available white wine,
I chose (wisely) to de-glaze the pan with Dry Vermouth!
(And saved the Rombauer for sippin'.)

After adding the beef stock/broth, I also threw in a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce for some extra salty deliciousness.
(Bonus points if you can pronounce this correctly.)
The longer you can simmer, the more developed the flavors will become.

Almost to the finish line!
Ladle your soup into OVEN PROOF bowls/crocks.
(Key step: Otherwise there will be an intra-oven explosion.)
Add your toasts, covering as much surface area as possible.
Then top with your cheese and bake away!

While the cheese is busy becoming melty, toasted, and yummy,
make a salad to go with your soup.
I chose baby spinach, spring greens, sliced radishes, beets, bleu cheese, and a honey mustard vinaigrette (to go along with the french theme that's occurring.)

I added a pinch more of Herbs de Provence and French sea salt to the crusty tops.

Then, pour yourself a glass of wine...
And plunk down at the coffee table!
(And quick throw together some homemade guac
when your husband says soup and a salad aren't enough to eat for dinner)
And resume planning your upcoming vacation!

Bon Appetit!

~photos by b~

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Seasonal patios

I could definitely groove on lingering over dinner,
with just enough sun and a light breeze blowing through,
in a multi-seasonal area like this:

I love combo of sage, light wood, and foliage in this sitting area
(and that ivory Chinese garden stool!)

Pouring myself a glass of something of the chilled and white variety,
and continuing this daydream outside...

(Disclaimer: Most of these photos were collected for my own home inspiration files and I do not know their source of origin.
If you know, please inform me & I will correctly cite!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crushin' on Cameron

I'm digging all things red.
And, apparently, all things Cameron Diaz.

Wishing I could pull of a perfect red pout like this:

And seriously, how amazing does she look in this red number?
(Not to mention the beachy blonde waves and nude pumps.)

Red lips, red dress, red hot
Me, red with envy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Theme of 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness.
"I'll be fine once I get it.  I'll be good."

Soundtrack and theme of 2011,
which has, thus far, been pretty cruel to a lot of people I love.

(sans the lines about drugs and drunk driving, obviously. but the overall gist is pretty spot on)

P.S. Lissie rocks. (So does Kid Cudi.)

P.P.S.  This quote is also pretty much spot on:

2011, try as you might, you will not keep us down!


~Image via Bits of Truth~

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Keri Russell
(not Molly Russell's Wort,
as my Uncle Buck-loving hubby would be tempted to say)

I've always thought she was so pretty and cool.
Therefore, it is not surprising that I find her home in Brooklyn to be tres fab.

I love EVERYTHING about her home, but maybe mostly, that chandelier.
Aaaaaand she has 2.
(just kidding!!)
I just took a quick glimpse of the latest issue of Elle Decor, and it already has me drooling!

And now I find myself longing to be holed up in my p.j.'s,
watching a Felicity marathon.
Ben vs. Noel?
I can never decide.

~Images via Elle Decor~

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday, Friday...

For me, this would not involve going to work today and tomorrow.
But I digress.

And because it is Friday, I simply couldn't resist:

RB, Rebecca Black...Glee version.
Fun, fun, fun, fun!!

~Image via SayingImages~

Hip Hop, Chambray

At first, I wasn't totally on board with this trend.
But I eventually succumbed to Chambray, seeing as it is EVERYWHERE.
Namely, I found a replica of this Lands' End Canvas shirt dress
on the Target sale rack for ~$10 back in February.

It is one of those pieces that successfully makes the transition
from late winter (with tights and  boots)
into spring (with ballet flats)
and possibly even into summer (with wedges).

I think I could also grove on these Chambray lovelies as well.

But sadly, work calls
and I will not be wearing Chambray-anything for the next couple of days
...unless they make Chambray scrubs.
Too much? ;)

~Images via Lands End Canvas, yellow brick blog (via Forever 21), & Ulla Johnson (spring collection)~

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Calling all make-up artists

I would like to hire you
so that I could have "everyday" make-up like this:

and "everyday" ponytails like this:

I prefer Ken Paves-types.
So we can openly gossip about others.
And because when I ask you
if I look fat, or white, or if you think this zit has a heartbeat, etc.
you will straight up tell me (and then somehow fix it.)
Payment = you can watch all the Bravo! you want at my house and I'll set you up with my hot gay friends.

~Image via Max Factor~

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Basketball snacks

If you're looking for a quick and healthy snack
(of the hot & salty variety)
as you cheer on the Bulls or Heat tonight,
then look no further!

Slice veggies to ~ 1/4" thickness.
(I'm partial to eggplant or zucchini, but summer squash also works well).

Then, lightly bread them:
Wet mix: I use 1-2 eggs beaten with salt, pepper, & a splash of milk.
followed by,
Dry mix: a combo of regular bread crumbs, Panko, garlic powder, Italian seasoning & grated Parmesan.

Bake to crispy perfection on a lightly-greased baking sheet at 375 degrees, for about 30 minutes (or until crisp), flipping halfway through cooking time.

Then, dunk in your favorite sauce - I like marinara or ranch.

They may not as be sinful as mozzarella sticks,
but they are still delicious ~ and way more figure-friendly!
(Read and repeat: Must be skinnier by summer, must be skinnier by summer...)
I think my college roomie, Carrie, and I used to eat the eggplant version once a week our junior year.

~photos by b~

Adirondack chairs

When we were in Madison,
I leafed through the summer course guide
for UW students and alumni (a.k.a. me and the huzz).

While sailing and salsa dancing classes always sound fun (at least to me),
I thought it was neat that they offered a "make your own Adirondack" course.
Literally, you build and design your own chair!
We're talking saws and whittling wood - the whole shebang!
(It costs ~$200/person, mind you, but that includes all materials and instruction.)
I'm pretty sure you can't buy pre-made ones at that price!

These lovelies would be my inspiration:

Would it be possible to arrange for the scenery and lake house to be included?
No, that's too much?

Well, one can dream.

(Disclaimer: Most of these photos were collected for my own home inspiration files and I do not know their source of origin.
If you know, please inform me & I will correctly cite!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Used books, new to me

This little trio arrived in the mail from Amazon:

I would give my eye teeth to be able to sit outside
and soak up the sun
and read the day away.

Too bad that ain't happening anytime soon.


I will add these highly-recommended gems to my shelf
until my days are a
little less grad school, and a little more carefree.

Until then!

~ xo

Monday, May 16, 2011

Madison weekend

a FANTASTIC weekend was had
with the best of company...

Friday night Wiley Wedding in Windsor, WI:

LOTS of beer consumed...

And good times (read: biscuits & gravy and bathroom tv's)
were had back at the Comfort Inn & Suites...

The weather on Saturday continued to not cooperate.
I've never seen an empty Terrace, mid-May, on graduation weekend. Not a soul.
(view from our Memorial Union hotel room) 
I think it dipped down into the 40's, along with wind and rain.

(a.k.a. no hiking Devil's Lake, no al fresco cocktails.)
But we did go {HERE}, a new place called Merchant,
a gourmet grocer and lunch spot
that serves pretty delicious craft cocktails and small plates by night.

And then we decided to have 1 or 2 (or 10) boots,
of many Capital Brewery colors (Pale Ale, WI Amber, Maibock, & Island Wheat)
at The Capital Tap Haus {HERE}

This got played a  LOT on the juke
(and will be your soundtrack for the remainder of this post):

 And a couple of side beers ( no big deal)...
(Leftover rally sign from earlier in the day. Stay strong, Wisco!)

Topped off with Sunday brunch at Graze {HERE}

Now it's back to reality.
I am thankfully OFF today (whoo hoo!),
but I will be working hard to crank out some papers and clean the crib,
all while reminiscing about the weekend and longing for future Madtown visits!

~photos by b~