Thursday, March 29, 2012

awkward and awesome

-the Duluth bus/people on the bus in general (this will probably forever be in the awkward category every single day)
-those lil fly aways that I attempt to straighten and tame and only cause them to stand up in an "Alfalfa" kind of fashion.
-fly down for the majority of the morning, yep.
-Dancing with the Stars...sorry for fans out there, I just think it is!
-overloading on coffee, causing extreme hot flashes (?!)
-my new iphone photo apps that will be my new obsession (see above!)
-having the best co-workers a girl could ask for
-broiling brusselsprouts with a lil parmesan cheese-deelish!
-magazines coming in the mail with tons of great recipes to try out (thank you Whole Living)
-toasted great harvest bread with peanut butter and honey
-massages....every day should start with a massage.
-martha marcy may marlene, finally saw it-still creeped out/disturbed by it, but it was awesome. and so is Elizabeth Olsen
--going to Milwaukee (yes, again!) tomorrow to celebrate my baby sis!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fashion Forward Duluth

This past weekend I decided to go to the Fashion Forward Collective, a charity fashion show supporting the Scottish Rite Clinic (free speech pathology services for youth) here in Duluth.
I really had no idea what to expect...Duluth isn't necessarily noted for being the fashion mecca of the Midwest, but I was impressed with the designers and their work-some really interesting pieces. Also, Danielle Everine, from Project Runway Season 9, showed clothing from her collection that she is preparing for Denver Fashion week! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

celebrating the big 2-1!

happy birthday baby sis...can't wait to celebrate with you so soon!

rustic italiana!


Ever have that feeling where you know that something realllyyy cheesy and reallyyy savory is just what you are in the mood for?! Well welcome to my plans for tonight :) I stumbled upon this awesome looking recipe for Penne Frittata and Basil from Sunday Suppers (adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe) that looks simple and oh so delicious. 

I hope to have a few friends joining me for this meal-wouldn't want to devour it all on my own-so I'll have to have a big ol' salad to balance out the pasta.
Will you be chef-ing it up tonight? Feel free to share your favorites! 

Makes one 10-inch frittata; Serves 10 to 12

* 6 large eggs
* 1/2 c whole milk
* 1/2 c fresh ricotta cheese
* 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
* Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 3 cups cooked and drained penne rigate pasta (from 7 ounces dry)
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* Garnish: fresh basil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together eggs, milk, ricotta, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in cooked pasta and chopped basil.
2. Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat bottom and sides of skillet. Pour in egg mixture, and cook until edges are just beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake until eggs are completely set, 10 to 12 minutes. Invert onto a plate, and re-invert onto a serving dish. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. Garnish with basil.

Friday, March 23, 2012

have a lovely weekend

whew! I feel like this week was just a blur and it's sort of hard to believe it is already Friday! I've unfortunately got a weekend full of work (gotta pay those bills!), but excited for the sprinkling of fun things throughout as well..
-a 4onthefloor concert
-catching up on some reading (a Handmaid's Tale has been really intriguing so far)
-possibilities of cookin' and craftin'!
-the Fashion Forward Collective show (my roommate is walking in it!) w/special guest Danielle Everine from Project Runway Season 9
-AND The Hunger Games!

I hope all of you have some fun plans for the weekend-if you've got sunshine, get out there and enjoy it on behalf of all of us who are stuck in the rainy and foggy weather that just doesn't want to go away! If you are trapped inside, check out some of my favorite finds from around the web...

bicycle buses for Dutch kids (they are always ahead of the game there!)

one of my favorite online shops lovely spring dresses, like this one

hilarious Bachelor sketches (via Cup of Jo)

a peek at Katniss's Hunger Games looks

crazy cat nap positions

my favorite source for tattoo inspiration

Prosciutto-wrapped salmon with asparagus from aneessa at What's More to Love

And this lil diddy to get your weekend started off...have a great one!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

bathroom stall wisdom

You just never know where you are going to find some interesting advice-thought I'd share this find from over the weekend at Paddy's Irish Pub in Milwaukee. Note: I don't necessarily agree with all of this "wisdom" (I think some of this could apply to men too!), but found it entertaining nonetheless!

Every woman should...
know  how to use a stick shift; a plunger
understand the difference between don't tell a soul and 
don't tell a soul I mean it. 
Know her mind; change it.
Have protection handy; but too handy;
use special china and special underwear for no special reason;
over commit; come through; refuse to do it again; 
be able to discuss first and ten;
have better things to do;
set boundaries; go camping;
grow something; dance crazy all alone;
get dressed in five minutes; be a princess; get over it
believe in the perfect man (or woman); get over it
read; walk; flirt; shock; listen; sing
be single and like it; a lot
raise a child; or not
see a wrinkle and be reminded of her youth; not her age.

cheers to all you wonderful women out there! Happy Thursday :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

happy birthday to you

I am not going to lie-this morning I woke up with no creative thoughts to share, no grand DIYs to make sure you knew about. But I got lucky, I was reminded that today my grandpa or as we called him, Grandan (grandpa + Dante = Grandan) would have been celebrating a birthday. 

thanks to my Aunt Mary for the photo!

Grandan was one of the smartest, most worldly, and inspiring people I knew and certainly wish I could have known him longer in my adult life so I could truly appreciate it all. I love hearing from my mom about all the love letters he sent my grandma over the years-he was was quite the romantic.
I have quite a few great memories of Grandan, but one of my favorites was the time he took my brother (Tj), sister (Olivia), and me out on his boat.  We were all giddy to be out on the boat and happy to be out on the water and enjoying some quality time with him. As we were zooming along the Long Island Sound, he turned to me and said, "Want to take over?" Of course I was thrilled and eagerly stepped up to take the wheel....I couldn't have been much more than 12 or 13, so this was all a pretty big deal and felt pretty epic when Grandan encouraged me to go even faster! It was quite a ride-I don't think I'll ever forget that feeling....
So cheers to you Grandan, we all miss you and wish you were still here to celebrate! 

Do you have any special ways of remembering those who you have lost on their birthdays? 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

(belated & brief) weekend recap



all in all the weekend was a great one: 
lots good food and tasty beer (from Lakefront Brewery!), saw friends and family, good chats in the car and gorgeous spring weather (I even got my first mosquito bites of the year!)

Hope all of you had a great weekend and good start to the week-happy spring equinox!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

weekend celebrations

    This weekend we have headed home to Milwaukee for what is sure to be a fantastic time with friends and family!
    We are celebrating Ry's Dad's 50th and of course, there is St. Patty's day today-one of our favorite holidays of the year! Ironically, Ry isn't Irish at all, but as a beer brewer he has made a mean IPA for festivities and named it after the Irish gang in New York.
The traditional Irish fare is actually one of my favorite meals-I could eat corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes any time of the year! Oh and don't forget the Irish soda bread-with extra raisins :)
    If you're looking for a bit of a healthier version of the Irish meal, try out Skinny Taste's Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe

How will you be celebrating today for St. Patty's? Wherever you are, sláinte!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

awkward and awesome thursday!

Inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Sydney at The Daybook, I've decided to make my Thursday post an "Awkward and Awesome" theme that she has been doing for awhile now (and encouraging others to do as well!)

-having someone come up to me and ask me if I want to buy their kid...$5 bucks and she would have been all mine (no thanks.)
-answering the phone at job #2 (Eagles Nest) with the greeting "Thanks for calling PAVSA (job #1), how can I help you?" Click. Hang up.
-Trying to pass a fellow walker on the right...then they move right...then trying to pass them on the left...they move left. C'mon now!
-Knowing that Ry and I (and reef) are heading home tomorrow to see family, celebrate st. patty's day, and his dad's 50th! Family makes my heart sing :)
-Walking around outside in March without a coat on. Everyone else might think this is expected, but good weather can never just be expected this time of year in Duluth
-my amazingly wonderful and supportive co workers-they are just the bees knees
-The totally delicious nut/grain/berry salad I am currently chomping on from our local Whole Foods Co-op
image from

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

spring awakening!

I swear it was one week ago that I was groaning about how we still had SO much snow here in Duluth and now here I am, singing the praises of the beginning of spring time! But I am not complaining, not one bit.

Ryan and I got out yesterday for a little while with Reef (his Aussie Shepherd) and it was glorious! Still a bit slushy, but you can see all around, everything and everyone responding the warmer weather and taking advantage of it.

It feels so refreshing to not have to bundle up in long underwear, multiple pairs of socks, sweaters and whatever else you could possibly think of...just to walk to the bus stop. I went to an early morning yoga class and this session, I decided to dedicate my practice to spring time and it's potential for new beginnings and growth.

So wherever you are, I hope that today you get a chance to get out, enjoy some sunshine and find time to reflect on your new beginnings for this spring!
"The earth laughs in flowers." ~ E.E. Cummings 

Monday, March 12, 2012

guilty pleasures

Alright. You know that you all have one-a guilty pleasure. 

I feel like mine always ends up being some form of reality tv-whether it was back in the day watching "American Idol" or in my college days, "Making the Band" (you know you love Danity Kane!), I just get drawn into the drama and ridiculousness of it all.
Current guilty pleasure: The Bachelor...

I know, I know-roll your eyes, but I watched one episode and I was hooked. It might be because it has given me a weekly outlet to just make fun of and criticize other people for 2 hours or to hear these women's crazy metaphors for love each week. Who knows!?
Tonight marks the finale and I can honestly say I am relieved to free myself of this-though I had a few favorites over the course of the show, the women are just full of unrealistic expectations for love (you can call me a cynic), cattiness and Ben is....gross.
So cheers to the Bachelor, it's ability to pick some crazy women, and to Ben's seemingly unwashed hair. Au revoir!

p.s. if you too are a Bachelor addict, I insist that you check out this woman's Bachelor Recap articles...they are hilarious and I wish I could have watched the show with her every week :)

What are your guilty pleasures?

Friday, March 9, 2012

wish beads

 So I feel very blessed to have such a stellar extended family-despite the distance between us (they are all on the east coast), we all work hard to see each other each year. My cousins and I have stepped up to take on planning the reunion and now make it a yearly event to have a girls cousin weekend!
This year we are combining the visit in Philadelphia with a special baby shower for my cousin Katie-pregnant with her first (a baby girl!). Planning is fully under way and I just wanted to share one of my favorite things we are going to do....wish beads!
What is a wish bead you say? Also known as a "blessing bead", gives guests the opportunity to bring a bead of their choice and write down a wish, affirmation, story or blessing for the mom and baby...all the beads are then strung together and the mom-to-be keeps the necklace as a token of her friends/family's love, the support network during her pregnancy and for her experiences going into motherhood.
Though I am far from preparing for having a baby-I just love this idea and I am so excited to be a part of it. I think that I am going to even make my own bead, just to get real crafty with it!

 wish bead necklace

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

winter time blues

First of all, yes. It is still winter in Duluth, though it has been quickly melting these past few days.
Living in the midwest for a majority of my life, winter is just a given and 75% of the time, I really don't mind it. There really is nothing better than throwing on a big comfy sweater and my smart wool socks...but man, once it's supposed to be the start of spring and you still have 2 feet of snow on the ground, eesh.

What do you do ease those winter time blues? I go back and forth from wanting to cook tasty soups, to snuggling up with a great book, and sometimes just embracing the winter and taking the dog for a walk-snow pants on and all!

curried carrot soup-click for recipe!

Monday, March 5, 2012

why buy when you can rent?

Vena Cava
Citrine by the Stones

My friend had always told me that she'd consider renting a designer wedding gown rather than spending money on buying her own...I thought, no! You must own your own so you can save it....for what, I don't know?

Regardless of your thoughts on wedding dresses, I do think that it is a great and practical idea to look into renting an dress or even accessories rather than spending unimaginable amounts on an item you might only wear once. But where can you go to find such a thing? Say hello to Rent the Runway, created by college friends Jennifer Fliess and Jennifer Hyman, who wanted to create a way to access a "dream closet" without breaking the bank! Genius.

Rent the Runway is free to join and you have access to clothes and accessories from designers like: 
Calvin Klein
M Missoni
Vera Wang (one of personal faves)
Cynthia Rowley....and dozens more!

So check out Rent the Runway today for an upcoming occasion or just to see if they have something from one of your dream designers. There's no need to go broke just to look good :)

For more reading about the beauty of renting vs. buying, check out this article too!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

here we go!

so here it is...after a few years of reading many (okay TONS) of other people's lovely blogs, I've decided that it's time for me take a swing at this.

I hope to share with you tid bits from my life from my adventures in the kitchen, craft projects, fashion, travels and whatever else comes along the way!

thanks for stopping by!