Friday, August 31, 2012

closet cleanse

This week has just been hectic/fun/tiring, so I am certainly excited to have a whole extra day this weekend to tackle projects I just haven't had the time for. Currently my major project is....
de-cluttering and closet cleansing! 

 I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure in the past I have single-handedly kept the retail businesses going with some of my shopping was an issue and though I am still guilty of making a few impulsive buys here and there (cue Ryan laughing at me and pointing at my boot collection) I have been doing a much better job with making more thoughtful buys. 
STILL. There are still somehow waayy too many boxes of my things that made their way down from Duluth to Milwaukee, so it is time for part ways with those I "just had to have/such a great deal/why not?" items that have been collecting dust in the good ol' closet. 

Do you have a method for your closet cleanses? I personal start off with making piles: Keep, Maybe, Not sure what to do with this (aka missing buttons, needs to be taken in etc.) and Giveaway! My goal is to have the "keep" pile be the smallest and the "giveaway" the biggest (which my mom and sister usually appreciate!). 

Another great resource for making your closet and wardrobe really work for you is Kendi's, from Kendi Everyday, Working Closet series. It is a really great and approachable way to start working on getting rid of those extras you really don't need or maybe just don't work for your style anymore-I highly recommend checking it out here. If anything you can check out the rest of her blog and get some great styling ideas and laugh at her oh so witty commentary on life and fashion...a win-win-win, I'd say!

So if you have been feeling the itch to really purge your closet or other knick-knacks around the house, take advantage of that extra day this weekend and get cleaning! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


sending some special love type thing birthday wishes to this guy right here. 

now get your butt home so we can celebrate! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

local spot: the foundation

A few weeks ago as I was preparing for my move to Milwaukee, I mentioned how I was excited to show off all the great things going on here in this town....and then I totally did not follow through! My bad. BUT I am hoping to start really incorporating the people, places, things, events, etc. that I come across as I explore Milwaukee and settle in to my new home (settling in is always a process!).

To start off, I thought I would tell you about a great spot in the Riverwest neighborhood that I was at last night: The Foundation bar. This place is like your own tropical getaway, smack-dab in the Midwest! You walk into a Polynesian-themed room, traditional art, palm trees, and of course puffer-fish lights (see below!).

They have a great drink menu, full of tropical choices like the Jamaican Sour, Little Grass Shack, or the Tahitian Sling...the list goes on. With so many options, sometimes I have a hard time picking out what I want, so I decided to go with what is apparently "Milwaukee's best Mai Tai!" Now, I haven't really had many Mai Tai's before, in fact probably never, but I have to say that this was one delicious drink! According to their menu, they serve the traditional 1944 Trader Vic's recipe for their Mai Tai, but you can also have a slightly sweeter version of the drink, called a Hawaiian Mai Tai. Either way, you can't go wrong! If you ever make it to the Foundation, I would also highly recommend the Cuba Viva which made with cardamom rum, cola, and lime...I had a sip of my friend's and it was really great-almost tasting like chai because of the cardamom.

So next time you find yourself in Milwaukee and want a lil taste of the tropics, you definitely need to hit up the Foundation! In the mean time, feel free to whip up your own Mai Tai for a some happy hour action tonight :)

The Original 1944 Trader Vic recipe

2 ounces of 17-year old J. Wray & Nephew Rum over shaved ice.
Add juice from one fresh lime.
1/2 ounce Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao.
1/4 ounce Trader Vic's Rock Candy Syrup.
1/2 ounce French Garier Orgeat Syrup
-Shake vigorously.
-Add a sprig of fresh mint

Friday, August 24, 2012

it's the weekend, lake weekend!

We are off to an annual gathering of some of the greatest people around on one heck of a lake. Hope you are able to enjoy of these last weekend of summer as much as we are going to!

Now join me in a lil Friday afternoon dance party with the hilarious duo, Sophia Grace & Rosie (and of course, the talented tWitch!) Their enthusiam is just plain contagious....and adorable :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

in the kitchen: foodie find!

Some of my favorite things to peruse on the web are different cooking blogs and cooking websites-there are just so many great ones! Because there are soo many great spots to find new recipes to test out, I wish I had a better way of condensing it all together....POOF! Wish granted.

I have no idea if this is old news, but my mom's good friend mentioned a great foodie website that she knew I would be into and boy was she right! It's called Punchfork-have you heard of it? If you have, then I guess I am jealous you have had this lil gem, but if you haven't then I highly recommend taking a gander at their one-stop-shop for great recipes from a lot of talented cooks. Another useful feature is the ability to sort through the site by your type of diet: vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and even paleo! Of course you can always leave the filter off for us meat eaters :) Here are a few of my latest finds that I hope I can test out soon! 

kale, white bean, & potato stew (fall is right around the corner!)

creamy avocado pasta (I'm curious!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

red lipstick + supporting girls' education= a perfect match!

I think it is safe to say that red lipstick is all the rage right now and maybe it's possible that it always has been, but now I just feel like I can actually wear it. Only trouble is that red lipstick sometime looks weird with my olive skin-any other olive-skinned ladies out there have the same issue? Well, lucky for you, one of my favorite singers/writers, Dessa, has partnered with a Minneapolis-based make-up creator, Karoline Wells of Elixery, to come up with a special red lip stick that not only works for those of us with olive-skin, but it also is helping to support girls education!

For every lipstick purchased, Dessa is donating 100% of her proceeds to the charitable organization,CARE, where they will use the funds to support girls' education around the world. Pretty great, right? I thought so!

Sidenote: I don't recall if I have told you about my love for singer/writer, Dessa, of the group Doomtree and also an independent performer of Doomtree Records. Well let me tell you, she is pure great! Dessa has some AHmazing music, truly a talented writer and continually makes an effort to connect with different causes throughout the Minneapolis community, as well as internationally.

Dessa wearing "Dessa"!

Long story short, if you are looking for a new (cruelty-free) lipstick and like supporting great causes, you should visit to get your "Dessa" lipcolor today :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

monday thoughts

Being "all there"...being present. Not often the easiest thing to do, especially on a Monday! Still, the conscious decision of being present in the moment, any moment, can be such a rewarding practice.

I feel like so often I will be in a meeting, talking to a friend, family member, etc. and suddenly realize that I have thought of a million different things and have lost focus on what is going on in the "now". It is so easy to get wrapped up in all the things we think are important: our to do lists, checking emails, running errands etc. And yes, those things probably need to happen or need to get done, but I encourage you to really take in the moment and present, be all there, so that way when you walk away from that moment you will know that you were a part of it, 100%. Time is precious and you have got to spend it doing the things you love and being around the people you love...otherwise what's the point??

How's that for some Monday thoughts? ;)

Friday, August 17, 2012

on the road...

to Duluth!

Sorry, probably not as exciting as you were hoping, but that's where I am headed! I have a whole heap of things still there that I need to bring home annnd I might even get to see a few friends amidst the packing. It's amazing how long you can stretch out the whole moving process sometimes...probably not the best way to do it, but oh well!

In the mean time, for your Friday "I'm at work, but I really am already checked out for the weekend" mood, you must peruse one of my favorite tumblr's for a few Suri's Burn Book. Yes, as in Suri Cruise (no, it's not actually her), but it features some pretty hilarious commentary on fellow celebrity kids and their parents, sometimes saying exactly what we are all thinking! Anyways, here's one of my favorites:

"Don’t smile at me, don’t match me, don’t even look at me until you get yourself some new shoes.
I’ve seen these heeled elfin booties enough for one lifetime, thank you very much."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

100 years (and a few days) with Julia Childs

Happy belated birthday to the queen of the kitchen!

Check out this awesome video brought to you by PBS (they're the best!) which pays tribute to this wizard of how-to's and making some of the most complicated recipes feel a lot more approachable. Have any of you ever tried making any of her infamous recipes from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" like Amy Adams character in Julie & Julia? I personally have yet to tackle that, but I it certainly is on my cooking bucket list.

If you are feeling like spending some time in the kitchen, you can take part in paying tribute to this master chef by cooking one of her recipes and sharing it on Facebook or Twitter with the hash tag: #CookForJulia. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

in the kitchen: mini peach crumbles

I don't know why, but something just came over me last night and I had to make peach crumble (or cobbler, whatever you prefer to call it!). Lucky for me, there just happen to be two peaches sitting at home, practically calling my name. My parents have these great ramekin dishes, so I decided that with just two peaches, I would make mini peach cobblers. I kind of had an idea as to everything I wanted to include, but I also found a recipe from Joy the Baker that served as much better resource for some more specific measurements.

I was really happy with how they turned out and they were the perfect serving size...great to keep in mind for entertaining or if you're just in the mood for a little something sweet to end the day (or start the day) with!

Mini-Peach Crumble, adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes four individual servings

2 ripe peaches
(about) 1/3 c flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3-5 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
2-3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
4 small, oven-safe bowls (I used small ramekins)

-Get your oven pre-heating to 350 degrees F! You'll want a rack placed in the center of the oven.
-Slice your peaches in half and take out the pit. (FYI-this was trickier than I thought it would be-I was worried I was going to squish my peaches as I took them off the pit, so just be careful with it!) Using a small spoon, you'll scoop out some of the center part to have more room for your topping. Save your trimmings!
-In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, cinnamon, and coconut until it is well blended (you can use a spoon or fork for this). Next, add the cubed butter and with your hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients. You want it to be well combined, but not that some of the butter might be in smaller pieces than others-that's totally fine!
-Take your peaches, place them cut side up into the dishes. Top each of the peaches with your crumble...load 'em up! Optional: Top each peach crumble with some of the peaches you have left from earlier.
-Time to get those crumbles in the oven! Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown...serve with ice cream or a small dollop of whipped cream. Honestly, they are pretty darn good just plain though!

Bon appetit! 

(belated) weekend recap!

Once again I was swept up in the beginning of my week and have been m.i.a. from love type thing world-my apologies. I am happy to report that I did have a pretty swell weekend with my family! 

Friday night my younger (and only) sister got back from her summer-long internship in Indiana and I was (and still am) oh so happy to have her around for a bit before she has to head back to Indiana for her last year of college! I don't know how many of you out there are the eldest child or just have a younger sibling, but it is such a weird/awesome/crazy/cool thing to see your siblings all of the sudden become adults...where does the time go?! Anyways, my parents invited us to join them on their traditional Friday night outing to the local "Summer Sounds"-a Friday night jam each week throughout the summer that features one or two different bands, usually from the midwest area. It was a perfect night-cool breeze, tasty drinks & food, good tunes, and of course great company :)

Saturday continued to be a great day....I got to catch up with one of my dearest girlfriends from college who was passing through the area for a wedding. She and I always have the best chats and I miss her "in-person" company and friendship, but we make it work despite the distance between here and D.C! Most of the day and evening was relaxing, finishing up with a much needed (and delicious) run to Noodles & Co. and Red Box with my sister...pasta, movies, red wine, and my sister make for a great night.

The weekend wrapped up with a classic Sunday night dinner: bbq pork loin, polenta, roasted veggies, and homemade french bread. And some awesome pie. Annnd the Olympics, naturally. I hope you had a great weekend too...stop back in later for my mini-peach crumble recipe-tried it out last night and it was DEElicious! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

in the kitchen: Greek dip

A few weeks ago, I made this tasty (no-bake!) party dip from Iowa Girl Eats to bring over to my co-workers house and it was GOOD!
I always get a little nervous when I decide to bring something I haven't tried out before but I felt confident about the simplicity of the recipe & knew all the ingredients couldn't possibly fail!

Greek Dip via Iowa Girl Eats

Base layer ingredients:
-6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
-10oz red pepper hummus (I went with the recommended Sabre brand, but you could always grab your favorite)

-crumbled feta cheese
-kalamata olives, chopped
-Roma tomatoes, diced
-red onion, minced
-cucumber, chopped
-optional: fresh parsley

Put it all together!
-Spread the yogurt for first layer on your plate (you want one with a deeper bowl to it). Then use your hummus for the second layer.
-Sprinkle your toppings evenly on the hummus....and you're done!
-you can serve with cucumbers, carrots, or whole grain crackers...I decided to use pita chips!
Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

pinterest finds

gold tube bracelets via Honestly WTF
red lips, polka dots...can't go wrong
divine looking chocolate cake
great DIY via I Spy DIY 
anchors away!
gorgeous wedges
cheddar jalepeno spoon bread...yes.

Feel free to check out more pins here! Hope your week has been going well

Monday, August 6, 2012

weekend recap

I hope all of you were able to take advantage of your weekend-I know I tried to fit in what I could! On Friday night I met a friend for some eats at Milwaukee spot, the Eatery-I went with the portabella mushroom sandwich and sipped on a cold Lakefront Brewery IPA. After catching up for awhile, we headed down to the Urban Island party at the Lakeshore State Park, a small park that is close to the Modern Art Museum & Discovery World in downtown Milwaukee. 

I actually never even knew about this park, so I was really excited to be able to check it out. I do wish we could have been able to be a part of the event during the day because they did kayaking, paddle board demos, and even a hula performance, but we weren't able to get down there til later on in the evening. Still, it was a lot of fun to hang out for a bit and be a part of something new. After that, we met up with some other friends and grabbed a drink at one of the local bars, Hotel Foster...they serve their drinks in mason jars, enough said. 

The rest of the weekend was a lot of fun too! I finally went to see Beasts of the Southern Wild-beautiful story & acting (had a good cry), and I went on a three hour bike ride on Sunday around town and out to the bluffs for an awesome view of lake Michigan! It has been waaayyy too long since I have made biking a part of my routine, so despite some challenging hills and maybe getting lost (I'm directionally challenged!), it felt really good to spend the afternoon cruising around.

My Monday flew by, which is great because my sister is coming home Friday AND my dearest friend  from college will be in town on Saturday! So there is plenty to look forward to as the week goes on :)

in the kitchen: eggs in a boat!

Good morning world! 
As I mentioned last week, I have got to start my day with some kind of breakfast-even if it's just an apple and peanut butter or some toast, this girl has got to eat in the morning. Assuming I have enough time before heading off to work, eggs are one of my "go to" breakfast choices throughout the week. The beauty about eggs is that there are so many ways you can prepare them and practically anything tastes good mixed in, on top or on the side! Here is one way that I recently enjoyed my do you like yours?

Eggs in a Boat
1-2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
chopped red pepper (however much you like!)
chopped onion
1 hoagie bun, cut in half (take out excess "dough" from each half) 
1/2 c shredded cheese of your preference

1. Crack those eggs into a bowl! Add in your milk and whisk with a fork, set aside.
2. If you haven't already, chop up the onions and peppers
3. Put a small about of oil or butter into a pan and then add your vegetables to the pan. 
4. Once the veggies are sauteed to your liking, add in your egg mixture and stir occasionally until you have the eggs cooked. Take them off the heat.
5. Go to the oven & turn the broiler on low (or high depending on quickly you want it to go)
6. Grab your hollowed-out hoagie buns, scoop in your cooked eggs in and add your cheese on top. Place the "egg boats" onto a cooking pan and put them on the top rack of the oven. Broil til the cheese is bubblin'!
7. Take your egg boats out and enjoy! I opted to have mine with some greek yogurt & fruit, but feel free to serve with bacon :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

morning thoughts

1. Breakfast is SO necessary for me to function in the morning. And coffee (duh.)

2. Commuting to work (in a car) is just awful-how do people do this every day? Thankful for 88.9 Radio Milwaukee and NPR right now for providing some mental escape from commuter land.

3. I'm in total nerd mode with the Game of Thrones books. I have about three other books sitting in my "dock" on my Kindle, but every time I have finished a GoT book, I ignore all the rest and download the next one! Since I have just started the final book in the series, I figure I will crawl back out of my "medeval" world and back into one of my many other books (Sin in the Second City, The Night Circus, The Fault in Our Stars...)

4. I know I am not the only one and definitely not the first to say this in the last 48 hours BUT, 
Gabby Douglas. You rock!

5. My dad is one of the best cooks around-the temporary living at home situation is a tasty one :)

Happy Friday morning to all of you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

relocation = blog neglect

sorry folks, my move (though not a super far one) from Duluth to Milwaukee and starting the new job has meant an absence of blogging. That and my nightly watching of the Olympics instead of writing-what can I say, it's so exciting!
Anyways! I am back in Milwaukee...well actually outside of Milwaukee, hanging at my parent's house until Ryan joins me here in the land of beer and brats. Side note: everyone knows there is more to Milwaukee than that, right?! Might have to make it my mission to enlighten you...). I have started my new job and I am missing the liveliness of my old office, but I know I just have to take some time to get settled in and find my groove. New beginnings, even when you're in somewhat familiar settings, can be so overwhelming! I have been occupying my time with lots of apartment hunting, catching up on reading (in the midst of three books!), and learning a lil backgammon from my dad. 

Promise I shall return soon with more regular updates! Until then, I hope all of you have had a great start to your weeks-almost halfway through already!