Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chitty chitty bang bang

I am thinking that something needs to be done ASAP
to bring a little excitement & sexy back
to my long brown locks.
(My current pseudo-bangs, are just not cutting it!)

These ladies surely provide "bang" inspiration with their amazing coiffes.

I hate having to find a new hair designer following a move.
It's like throwing $70+ dollars on the lotto...
You're either going to love them or HATE them.

Based on the good reviews,
I'm thinking of trying the Institute of Beauty and Wellness, an Aveda school.
Plus, it's essentially in my 'hood, which can't be beat.

What are your experiences using cosmetology schools?
I've utilized the one in my hometown (based on my mom's rec) a couple of times and have been quite pleased with the results....even though it takes 2-3 times longer than a regular appointment!
Lord knows, the price is right.
(Read: 45 minute pre-natal massage for $25? 60 minute facial for $35?
Sign me up, STAT!!)

~images via pinterest, la dolce vita, pinterest & institutebw.com~

Monday, January 30, 2012

Night at the Domes

A recap of our Friday evening excursion to Dining at the Domes.

Sounds fun, right?
I hadn't been to the Domes since I was a little kid.
(And they definitely didn't serve gourmet food and drinks.)

While there certainly were some good eats and an overall good time was had,
the whole event was definitely lacking on organization.
I felt like I was a guest at a Top Chef challenge,
waiting in ridiculously long lines for mediocre soups out of heating pans.

It was also a little dark and colder-than-expected inside,
but still pretty!

Summary:  Will I do it again next year?
Probably not.
But at least we got to sample some tasty grub (& beer for the huzz)!
And the money went to keeping the Domes blossoming all year long.

~photos by a +  b~

Ivory & brown nursery

Brown is not a typical "baby" color.
But a sweet, soft ivory sure is!
And these neutral nurseries would certainly work for me.

Or, how about the addition of a crystal chandelier & mirrored dresser?!
Not to mention a white fur rug and antique mirror.

Stunningly simple. 

Gorgeous, calming, & classy.

We will be going with something a little more "vivid", however,
as my husband believes babies & children should have as much brightness as possible, which I can't argue with!  (Enter:  Zoo animal theme + vintage family heirlooms).  Pics to come!  (Read:  When the room actually has said contents out of boxes & assembled.)

Which "neutral" look is your favorite?

~images via elements of style, me oh my, & houzz.com~

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January link love

I just made these delightful soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies.
Recipe via The Pastry Affair ~ {HERE}.
Insanely good with a cup of jo and/or a tall glass of cow juice.

Her pictures are far more drool-worthy than mine, but I like to keep it real, peeps.
Oh, and they freeze well, too!
Which means hot chocolate chip cookies (or frozen cookie dough balls!)
whenever we want them!

Speaking of food,
here is the Pioneer Woman's Printable Pantry List.
Stock up at your discounted grocer and you will never go hungry!

And how cute is this "things that go together" post via Miss Moss?!
All true.

Have you heard of these people?
They have quite the arsenal of youtube videos.
I hadn't, but their "Interview with a One Year Old" is so damn cute & funny.
I mean, his "drinking problem"?!  I DIED.

Do you think this sweet little cherub's name is really "Jose Luis"?
I'm guessing NO by pops' over-accented pronunciation.
Regardless, I'm happy sorry to say that it is not on our "top baby names" list.

Speaking of babies,
I am still on the market for some baby shower decor
that my moms and I can whip together relatively quickly and easy.
I'm thinking these tissue paper lanterns (in various shades of blue)
might be a fun option...

(And let's face it, Martha never lets a crafty girl down.)

~photo by b / image via martha stewart~

Friday, January 27, 2012

Discover fashion online

That's the ASOS slogan.
How have I never heard of this British online shopping mecca before?!
You know how I love free shipping (both ways, especially).

Check out their website {HERE}
for some ridiculously reasonable and cute threads.
First up? The Zero Moda line.
All looks circa $30!!

Mesh skirt.

Drape jacket.

Print dress.

Sequined mini.

Not to mention ASOS' adorable frocks...

Can't wait to look again come spring/summer!
(Hopefully, fingers crossed, with a hot post-baby bod.)

~images via ASOS~

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I will not vote

"I will not vote for a candidate
who thinks you can ‘pray away the gay,’
I will not vote for a candidate 
who thinks that he has more rights to my uterus than I do,
I will not vote for a candidate
who thinks that it’s okay to dump toxic waste in the ocean.

I’m afraid for our country that people like this...
could even be thought of as the president.
I live in a country where I believe all men are created equal,
not just wealthy white guys.

I believe all men, all women, 
regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic background, 
you deserve the same rights... " 

-Sophia Bush

~quote via interview on FOX~

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Both the song "Magic"
and even more so, the pictorial of his wife's evolving bump,
that serves as the video's fitting backdrop.
Isn't she just the cutest baby mama?!

And even though I completely shun the thought of a 16 x 20 photo
of my big, bare pregnant belly hung as "art" in my home,
I must admit that I am envious of such a darling maternity documentary.


P.S.  Here are far-less-fancy, self-portraits at just over 30 weeks...

Keep cookin' little man!
We cannot WAIT to meet you in ~ 10 weeks!!
(Nor can your grandparents and aunts & uncles!)

~photos by b~

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Man style

I'm specifically talking suits and blazers.
Makin' your man look all snazzy!

Here are some of my faves from J. Crew...

And a more "casual" look from Lands' End Canvas...

And some more random, yet spectacular, shots to drive the point home.

Whether it's tweed, charcoal, khaki, navy or pinstripe,

In a fitted jacket, that is.
Leave the cooky scarves (and shirts & ties, for that matter)
on the sale clearance rack for someone else's man.

~images via J. Crew, Lands' End Canvas, & because I'm addicted~

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thrifty weekend

On Saturday, the hubbs and I explored our new city of Milwaukee
via a little thrift shore shopping!
(Admittedly, one of our favorite ways to pass time & blow money.)

We visited one vintage clothing store & one antique market in the Third Ward,
as well as another little gem over on Brady Street.
SO many great things!
Here are a few snippets of some of my favorite finds...

Old lecture hall (or theater?) seats.
How fun would this be in an entry way or mudroom for people to sit on while donning their shoes?

Vintage trunks and luggage!
And totally reasonably priced.  I almost bought one for the babe's nursery, to perhaps be used as a bookcase.  They also had a neat mini one that was over 75 years old!  I thought it would have been adorable to use on a changing table, propped open, with stacks of diapers and wipes stacked inside.  Alas, it was not in the best condition, so I (regrettably) passed.

LOVE this green accent chair.
I got distracted and completely forgot to check the price...and about this chair, for that matter, until I saw the pic on my phone.  Rats!

If I were one of the Picker Sisters, and crafty with an electrical wire,  I would fashion that vintage blue fan into  some sort of light fixture.  I just love it! But I am neither, so there it stayed.

How fun are these old type-writers?
Perfect for those "guestbook stations" at weddings that are all the rage these days.

Beer paraphernalia!
A RIDICULOUS amount of bomb-dizz bar gear, from lights and signs to glassware galore.  (Milwaukee is the brew city, after all.)  My dad would have been in beer heaven.

And here is the loot we actually purchased...

Alex scooped up 4 old belt buckles with our monogram.
Pretty cool!

Along with 4 vintage skinny ties, a silver tie bar, & a collar bar.
(The last things he needs one more of, but that's besides the point.)

I snagged 2 fun bracelets.
(To help get my coveted arm party on.)

And I saved my favorites for last...
I bought the "A" (for $5!!) for the nursery gallery wall.  And the kind sales lady threw in the "N" (for our last name) for free!  I already have a silver metal "N" in our living room...contemplating where I will throw this bad boy.  I'm thinking the kitchen!

Blue mason jars!
Going to use these as votive holders at the baby shower, to go along with the blue vintage tea tins I previously purchased on Etsy (to be used as mini vases).  {HERE}
Too perfect!

Vintage blocks!
I spent at least 20 minutes trying to spell out Alex.
(There's a story behind the "A", but I'm glad it all worked out!)

All in all, a successful day of thrifting!
Great shops and so much more convenient than thrifting in bigger cities (proximity, parking, etc.).
Looking forward to visiting a few more places on a weekend to come!

~photos by b~

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Turkey, Kale & Brown Rice Soup

A healthy & delicious recipe to kick-off your 2012 resolutions!
(And to calm your winter colds.)
Adapted from the gorgeous Italian lady chef, Giada De Laurentiis.
Original recipe {HERE}.

Olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 an onion (sweet, yellow, or Vidalia), chopped*
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb white-meat ground turkey
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence**
1 bunch of kale, rinsed & chopped (get rid of woody stems)
1 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, juice and all
1 can white cannellini beans (or Great Northern Beans), drained
1 cup cooked brown rice (or one microwaved packet via Trader Joe's!)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock

*you can substitute 5-6 medium shallots, chopped
**you can substitute Italian seasoning

What do to:

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven.
Add chopped onions, garlic, carrots, & bell pepper.
Season with a little salt & pepper.
Saute until just soft.

Then, add in the ground turkey.
(Note:  I got mine from the deli counter...it was the same price, if not a little less, than the pre-packaged.  And I felt better knowing it was truly all white-meat and fresh.)
Season your meat with a touch more salt and pepper,
and your Herbes de Provence.

(I bought a shit ton of this "spice" concoction when in the South of France on our honeymoon and LOVE when recipes call for it!  It contains basil, fennel, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, & thyme.  It is insanely fragrant and tasty...good on meat & breads and in salad dressings & soups - you name it.  I've seen it reasonably priced at Home Goods.  You could, however, substitute, Italian seasoning.)
Saute the turkey until it is mostly browned.

Meanwhile, rinse, de-stem, and coarsely chop your kale.
Glorious kale!  Dark leafy green goodness!
(Perhaps my huzz will be happy to see it in another application than juice?)
Add it to the pot, and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.
Key to tasty soups? Season as you go, peeps.  Season as you go. 
And don't freak it out.  It may look like Mt. Saint Kale, but it will cook down.  A LOT.
And just think of how good all of it is for you!

Add the can of fire-roasted tomatoes (with their juice).
If you can't find fire-roasted, though they are always in my grocery store, you can use plain diced tomatoes.  I just think the fire-roasted adds an extra layer of smoky deliciousness.

Also, add the can of beans (drained and rinsed).
Note: White beans were not in G's recipe, but they add extra protein & fiber.
And really, in any Italian soup with greens, they should be there.
Come on, foodies, you know I'm right.

Toss in the cooked brown rice and stir everything together.

At this point, be sure to taste again,
and add a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it!

Add the 4 cups of chicken stock/broth.

Bring to slight broil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
By the time you have cleaned your kitchen,
you are now ready to serve!

Giada adds fresh chopped parsley and grated Parm to her bowl of soup.
While you can never go wrong with fresh herbs and cheese, in my opinion,
these additions are optional.
I did not have either on hand and thought it was DELICIOUS without.
(And even tastier come Day 2!)

P.S.  I made a half-batch of these yummy corn muffins
(with garlic & sundried tomatoes!) as an accompaniment to the soup.
Shout out to 50 cent Jiffy corn muffin mix!

Bon apetit!
And sayonara winter doldrums!

P.P.S.  You could make this soup vegetarian/vegan by omitting the ground turkey,
substituting vegetable broth or stock, & possibly adding another can of beans.

~pics by b / images via nine cooks, muir glen & cookingchanneltv.com~