Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Friday.

Thank the Lord.
And I am exhausted.
But I made it!

So true.
Seeing co-workers suffer through classes I survived years ago,
when the thought of moving back to Wisconsin was only a dream,
and the light at the end of the tunnel seemed so far away...

Albeit challenging and relentless,
I feel so blessed and 
thankful for my current station in life.

And I hope you are, too!

~Images via elements of style & bits of truth~

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Access yourself

If wishes were fishes,
(and if money grew on trees),
I'd catch ALL of these anthro accessories...

Just sayin'.

~Images via anthropologie~

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Possibly the best combo ever...

Everyone loves tomato soup and grilled cheese.
(Am I right or am I right?)

So why not make the best of both worlds and whip up some
Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar?

Holy shiznits.  That is one mug of deliciousness.

And since I am still feeling under the weather,
soup sounds spectacular.

Adding this recipe to my "must make soon" list....

~Images via smitten kitchen~

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rachel Zoe

Some of my favorites from her new collection:

"Oh my God."



Catch a new episode tonight!
(It's not the same without Brad, but what can we do?)

~Images via Rachel Zoe~

Monday, September 26, 2011

Current obsessions

File this post under (random) "things I am currently OBSESSED with:"

Water Bobbles

One water bobble = 300 regular water bottles!
Think of it is a personal Brita filter on-the-go.
Makes every water "drinking water" worthy...
not to mention they're environmentally friendly.
Replace the filter every 2 months and you're in business!

"Cool Touch" Kleenex

I found myself battling allergies this weekend.
Word to the wise:
Preggo + sickness = super shitty.
(Mostly because you can't take any of the good meds. And already feel exhausted.)
I digress.
But then, I saw these "cooling" Kleenex at Target:

I don't know what kind of voodoo these Kleenex people are working with,
but these tissues are seriously SO comfy on a raw, inflamed schnoz.
(And yes, they are actually cool to the touch.)
They were on sale for $1.49/box.  I MUST go buy more!

Lush "Ultra Bland" Face Wash

Gifted to me by a good friend.
I cannot get over how clean and soft it makes your skin feel!
(Unfortch, seeing as my hormonal, sensitive skin
currently cannot handle anything other than Cetaphil,
I am looking forward to commence its use this spring.)

Finally, (I could keep going, but I won't)
this jam off the latest Strokes album:

So damn catchy...a mood/energy booster for sure!
Probably because listening to The Strokes instantly transports me to college,
and all the gloriousness that being 21 has to offer.

Happy Monday, m'dears!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fantasy football

Someone please tell this to my husband,
who is in approximately 3 different leagues...

I mean, seriously.

Watching the Packers kick ass,
then twiddling my thumbs while being forced to watch The Red Zone
until it's HBO time.
Boardwalk Empire returns tonight!
Nucky's snaggle teeth await us on the mobby Jersey Shore!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Football Saturday: The Brat

Next up?  The classic Wisconsin bratwurst.
Again, none can compare.
(Do they even eat brats anywhere else?  I wonder.)

You can even pocket a brat and sneak it into the stadium for a mid-game snack,
just like these guys:

I remember being a freshman in the UW-Madison dorms,
and this dorky out-of-stater said to me and some lady friends:
"You Wisconsin broads sure do eat a lot of meat!"
Word, brother.
Because it is GOOD.

If your lucky enough, like me, to have an aunt with a family-run meat locker
to send you hand-made sausages, like jalapeno cheddar brats (mmm!),
Or, perhaps you are lucky enough to live next to an establishment,
which has about 20 varieties of fresh brats for you to choose from daily.
Otherwise,  there's nothing wrong with your standard Johnsonville's...
just make sure you buy the UNCOOKED brats,
because half of what makes a Wisconsin brat "Wisconsin" is the cooking technique.

Bring at least 2 of your favorite beers, sliced onions, and water to a boil.
(Note:  Darker beer is better for this technique, but to each his own.)
Add your brats, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-ish minutes.
Par-boiling adds delicious beer-onion flavor to your pork sausages.

Note:  This can be done ahead of a time.  Even the day before!
So there's no excuse not to have the best brats at your morning tailgate.
Ya hear?

Fire up the grill!
Brats will still need to cook approximately 5-7 minutes per side over medium heat.

Add an opened can of sauerkraut (don't forget to remove the label!)
over indirect heat to warm.
Frank's is the best!

And you cannot have a Wisconsin brat without the kraut!
(Your brat farts will not be the same!)

Meanwhile, caramelize some onions.
(You could also do this ahead of time, wrap in some foil,
and bring to your tailgate to re-heat on the grill.)
I like Vidalia, Spanish, or yellow onions 
because they're sweeter than red or white onions.
Slice them about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
Heat a pan with olive oil AND butter.
Add the onions and get them sweating.
Add salt and pepper to taste,
along with garlic powder,
a pinch of cayenne pepper and some sugar.
Saute over low heat for as long as possible.
Usually 30 minutes will get you to a delicious golden brown color.
Just like candy.

Prepare your sides.
I suggest things like:
Maple-brown sugar-bourbon baked beans.
(You can re-heat in a tin can over the grill if you're tailgating).
Warm up your brat buns while you're at it.
(Read:  I said BRAT buns, not hotdog buns.  BIG difference.)

Potato salad.
Homemade pickles.
(All will keep chilled in a cooler.)

Add the brat to your warmed or toasted brat bun.
Top with spicy brown mustard and a little ketchup, if you must.
Add the kraut and onions,
and I promise you won't be disappointed.
A little bit of spicy, vinegary, sweet, meaty goodness in every bite.
And don't forget an ice cold beer to wash it all down!

Happy Tailgating, Wisconsin-style!

~Photos by b~

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall is in the air

It's "officially" fall...get inspired!

Farmer's Markets!
Bring on the pumpkins, apples, & squash!


Orange, red, gold!  Mums!


Jackets!  Hats!

More things to "fall" in love with:

Pumpkin spice lattes (decaf, of course)
Pumpkin "anything" for that matter
Honeycrisp apples
Apple crisp
Cinnamon scented candles (I'm looking at you Yankee' Autumn Wreath!)
Foggy morning walks
Crisp "football weather" weekend afternoons
Chilly evenings
Watching the leaves change & jumping in the crunchy fallen ones
Rosy cheeks
Carving pumpkins and picking apples
Hot chocolate
Boots & tights
Hot spiced cider
Hiking Devil's Lake
Hay rides
Red wine
Butternut squash ravioli
Homemade apple cider doughnuts & pumpkin bars at the Farmer's Market

Needless to say, 

Celebrate the season, my loves!

~Images via bits of truth, hip hip hostess, lands end canvas; farmer's market photo by b~

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Terrible, horrible, no good...

...very bad day.

Feeling like an idiot during rounds at residency?

Being called a "noctor" (diss on the NP profession) by one of the MD partners?
Slap in the face.

Car won't start in the parking lot of the ghetto hospital I'm rotating at?
Why not.

Jumping it three times still doesn't make it work?
Keep it comin'.

Feeling overly emotional and exhausted like the pregnant mess that I am?
(Not to mention sad that my husband is moving to Wisconsin months before me?)
Fuel to the fire.

When it rains, it freaking pours.

I feel like JR in this video...
Remember him? {HERE}

Taking solace in the fact that tomorrow is a "brand new day"...
not to mention FRIDAY.
It can only get better, right?

~Image via bits of truth~

Khaki knockouts

Gorg McGorg.
Not sure what I love more,
their luxurious honey locks
or their rich, tailored apparel.

That coat is TO DIE.
And hey, might as well show a little leg
while the weather is still (somewhat) cooperating!

~Images via this is glamorous and little bits of lovely~

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Picker Sisters

Lately, I cannot get enough of this show!
(And, unlike my husband and father,
I hate shows of this nature...say American Pickers, Pawn Stars,
Hard Core Pawn, Storage Wars, etc.  BARF. I despise you all.)

Yet, I adore The Picker Sisters.

These two little ladies are interior designers who just opened a store in LA.
They drive along I-10 in the South in their cute clothes and "pick" for a living...
We're talking scouring junk yards, farms, etc.
They dig through the piles of crap,
barter and heckle with some cute country bumpkins, and then
turn their purchased old rusty metal & wood into amazing pieces for the home!

I love watching them give Alan, their builder, shit.
These modern swivel chairs were once Diamond T truck fenders.

Watching the show makes me want to head to a flea market
and get my DIY on right now.
Tuesday nights on Lifetime.
Don't miss it!

~Images via Lifetime~

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Autumn al fresco

It's definitely possible with amazing outdoor spaces like this...

Redwoods, Marin County, California:

NYC rooftop (hello, jacuzzi!):

I'll bring the hot cider and apple crisp,
just let me know what time I should show up!

~Images via Sunsurfer~

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blue britches

Blue doesn't necessarily scream fall,
but I'm digging these blue looks regardless.

Cropped, cuffed pants:

Wide leg jeans:

And navy skirts!  Like this flowy one from J.Crew...
I ADORE this "End of Summer" polyvore from the Elements of Style blog
(I'm a sucker for scarves and accessories):

What do you think...
do you have the fall "blues", too?

~Images via little bits of lovely, emerson made, elements of style~

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just be

 ~Images via La Dolce Vita & bits of truth~

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Football Saturday: The Bloody Mary

Today I bring you the first installment of classic Wisconsin football recipes!

The Wisco Bloody Mary.
Or, the most Bomb-Ass BM, if you will.

As one of my favorite "day" drinks,
I can say that I have sampled this drink everywhere,
and none can even remotely compare to those in good ol' WI.
(Same could be said for the classic "Old Fashioned," but that's another post.)
My fav Bloody ever is from my hometown of La Crosse, WI - Del's Bar on 3rd St.
Close runner up?  The Wicked Hop in Milly-walk-ay.

I have lived in IL for the last 6 years and their Bloody's are atrocious.
Thick, bland tomato juice with a green olive and lemon wedge garnish.
What the what?!
That'd be unheard of in the Motherland.
I don't even want to look at that.

This is how we do:
(Soundtrack appropriate.  Just trust me.)

I believe in the "make-your-own" Bloody Bar,
so everyone can make their own Bloody, to taste.
Easy peasy...just have everything laid out nicely.
A sure tailgate hit!

Start with a good Bloody base.
This can be a high quality tomato juice or simply find a Bloody Mix that suits you.
They make them in a variety of spice levels,
and that little kick of horseradish really adds something!
Get sampling.

And people, when selecting your vodka, please,
this not this is not the time for the Goose.
I recommend Absolut Peppar for a special occasion, but
Smirnoff or Svedka are reasonably priced and delicious in this application.
However, stay away from the Fleisch!

Fellow Wisconsinites will probably disagree,
but I promise you nothing good can come from consuming this cheap vodka...
Unless you consider public vomiting or displays of indecent exposure a good time,
or subscribe to this philosophy:

For a mocktail version, "The Virgin Mary", skip the vod
and add an extra squeeze of lemon juice.
(Hey, sometimes you just gotta do it for baby.)

You will need the following mix-in's to your base:

Worcestershire sauce, or as we like to say,
"Werrrr-shhh-shhh-shhhire sauce." 
(I'm partial to Lea and Perrins.  "Unwrap the possibilities" is right.
I add this to a variety of sauces for that meaty, salty kick.)

Your favorite hot sauce.

Lemon wedges for fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

Extra olive juice for those who like to ride dirty.

Celery salt.
(You can even rim your glasses in this delicious treat.)

Mix the above well.
With a fair amount of ice.
(Nobody wants a hot BM.)

And if you're with a group of people who are lazy and/or don't give a shit
(probably men),
just go ahead and do steps 1-4 to your liking & have it ready to go in a pitcher.

Part of what sets a Wisconsin Bloody over the edge!
The end product should look like a mini-meal in a glass.
Here's what I always include and/or have available on my BM bar:

A spicy meat product. Or two.
Summer sausage, salami, pepperoni, beef stick, beef jerky - you name it!
Hit the Farmer's Market, you will not be disappointed in any locally made meat.
Or if all else fails, a big, thick, juicy slice of bacon will do.

Usually a cube of Wisconsin sharp cheddar and pepper jack.
Or, make like the Wicked Hop & throw some mozzarella cheese whips on there.
The mo' cheese, the betta'.

Pickle spear.
Bonus dill, vinegary juices.

Pickled veggies skewer.
Usually homemade by someone,
e.g.  mushrooms, pearl onions, brussel sprouts, beets, asparagus, green beans, etc.
Thanks, Mom!
And don't forget the olive!
Make sure it is stuffed with something delicious,
say with bleu cheese or garlic or jalapeno.
Yeeeeeeah buddy!

A pepperoncini pepper.
'Cuz when you bite in, and that pepper blows it's load,
that juice just adds even more spicy liquid deliciousness to your beverage.

A celery stalk.
For good health and a sturdy stir stick.
Plus, leaving the leaves on top makes your drink purdy.

And if you wanna get real fancy, a big juicy shrimp.
The tomato base kind of tastes like cocktail sauce, after all.

The possibilities are endless, really.
Get creative!

Serve with a damn beer chaser, would you please?!
Standard with a Wisconsin BM.
Drinker's choice.

Here's a list of the best bloody's in Mil-town.
Can't wait to check out all of these after the big move!

O.M.Geezies.  Enjoy!
I guarantee you will never look at Bloody's in the same way ever again.

~Photo by b, image via i can read & milwaukee journal sentinel~

Friday, September 16, 2011

Grandpa gets a webcam

I'm trying to get my parents to set up a Skype account.

Why do I have a feeling that it would go a little something like this?

(The yawn, song, burp, and request to pull down her dress and show her boobies
definitely screams "shit my dad would do".)



Hotel Ridiculous

Ridiculously awesome that is.
How sweet would it be to visit such unique establishments?

Tree house hotel in South Africa.
Safe above your jungle friends.
(Assume the "Titanic" position with your travel mate at your own discretion.)

Ocean front zen heaven in the Maldives.
It'd cost me my life savings, I'm sure.

Poseidon Underwater Hotel in Dubai.
Who knew there was more than just desert fun to be had
in the United Arab Emirates?
(Obviously not me.)

How can I win a free trip (airfare included)?
Sign me up.

~Images via sunsurfer~