Thursday, January 31, 2013

all curled up with a good book!


I just started reading Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and I have hardly been able to put it down! Have you heard of it? Oh man...I don't want to give away anything, but if you like stories with lots of twists and keeps you guessing on who really is the "villian", then this is the book for you!
While the novel starts out with the main characters (Nick and Amy) celebrating their five-year anniversary, it becomes clear very quickly that the love that was once unquestionable, has certainly changed. And then Amy disappears, taken from their home. The books goes back and forth between Nick and Amy recalling moments of their relationship throughout the years, all while Amy's mysterious (and troubling!) disappearance is being investigated. Okay, I've probably said too much already!  
I'm only about halfway through, but I cannot wait to get home tonight and keep on reading/feeling anxious about what might happen next!

Anyone else reading a great book? Feel free to share :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

have a cozy weekend!

Well, we made it through one of the chilliest weeks I have experienced in a long time and I am looking forward to a bit of  R & R this weekend! I am hoping to get to the movies-Ry & I are debating between seeing Silver Lining Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty...working on some apartment projects and hopefully finding some furniture (sitting on the floor is only "fun" for so long)...doing some exploring around the new neighborhood...and making it to the gym-part of my goals for 2013 :)
What will you be diving into this weekend? Whatever it may be-hope you are staying warm and with the ones you love and if you're stuck inside, here are a few links from around the web...

I've got my eye on these wedges-if only they weren't out of stock!

Good reads for the twenty-something crowd...

If you're craving brussels sprouts this recipe looks delicious!

Some funny moments with Aziz Ansari on Parks and Rec 

An interesting article on "living large in small houses"...

Cute idea for sprucing up a table in your house (definitely doing this!)

Carbonara mac n' cheese? Yes please!

Intrigued by Elle Fanning's upcoming movie!

This kid, is awesome.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

my first milwaukee visitor!

hi all! good news: I have the internet up & running in the apartment (hallelujah!)
even better news: I had my first successful Milwaukee visitor last weekend! My lovely cousin (and dear friend), Laura, decided to pay the midwest a visit and I couldn't have been happier to show her around and spend some quality time with her.

We lucked out and the truly cold weather didn't show up until the end of her visit, so we were able to be out & about quite a bit. We managed to spend some time thrift shopping in Cedarburg (where my parents live), made some AHmazing homemade pizza, made a pitstop to Duluth Trading Co., sampled some beer at Lakefront Brewery, dined on some tasty tacos at Bel Air Cantina, and even played darts & pool at Wolski's (your classic Milwaukee dive bar) all in one weekend!

A few things about planning activities in Milwaukee-get brewery tour reservations in advance! Make dinner reservations at the local hot spot in advance (I'll get to Odd Duck one of these days!), and even though I hate to admit it, having a car is reaallyyy useful!

*thanks to my cuz for borrowing a few of her photos!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

unpacking & adjusting

Yes, I am still here and haven't been swallowed up by all the boxes (see below) in my apartment, thank goodness!

I have been slowly trying to find a home for everything and realizing along the way that I had forgotten some of the basic necessities: towels, silverware, soap, coffee pot (yes, this IS a necessity!), but surviving and settling in just great!
In the midst of unpacking, I have fully realized that despite my best efforts to deny it, I am such a pack rat. Exhibit A: still have the save the date from my girl friend's wedding that was practically three years ago! Exhibit B: Textbooks from college. I have no idea why. Exhibit C: Clothes...the ones I bought thinking "I can totally take this in myself" and never got around to...Goodwill is going to loove me by the time I am done going through everything :)

Honestly though, I can't even tell you how much life improves by only having a 10 minute commute instead of an hour commute! I've gained back so much to make sure I use it wisely is the tricky part. Getting back into a workout routine is #1 on my list, which will happen as soon as I find my running shoes! I promise to get some non-moving box pictures up as I get more settled in (currently on the hunt for a couch and chairs for my kitchen table, amongst other things) and hopefully a few DIYs that you can try out for your own spaces too.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

girls and golden globe extravaganza!

I hope all of you are enjoying this lovely weekend (though many aren't pleased with the Packer loss here in the Wisco)! I just finished moving into my apartment-thanks to the help of my family and Ry and now the unpacking fun will begin...but first...GIRLS! And the Golden Globes! 

I know that everyone and their mother, well maybe sister, has hopped on the Girls bandwagon, but I'd say it's for good reason. The terribly awkward, but totally relatable (for us 20-something ladies) and funny lives of Hannah, Marnie, Shoshana, and Jessa have me totally hooked. If you are into the fashion, or perhaps lack of fashion at times, check out this great interview with the show's costume designer, Jenn Rogien, on Cup of Jo.

Lena Dunham is great and even though some have criticized her for the series (listen to the Fresh Air interview here), I think that she has created exactly what we wanted to see! So whether you love the show or hate it, I know that I am super excited to hang out with some friends tonight, order take out and laugh/cringe and all the ridiculousness of the second season of Girls. Oh and let's not forget-Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting the Golden Globes tonight...the cherry on top of an exciting weekend! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

apartment inspiration

happy friday everyone! I am especially excited for this weekend because it time to move into the apartment! My parents have been beyond generous with allowing me to "crash" with them during this transition time, but now that life is a bit more settled, it's time to actually settle in to the city of Milwaukee. Most of my things are still packed in boxes, so you can imagine the fun I will having sorting through all those things I probably should have tossed when I was first packing them up :) But hey, it's all just a part of the process.

I am really looking forward to having my own space and naturally, decorating is #1 on the list....which means finding a lil inspiration via pinterest had to come into play. Check out some of my inspiration for creating my own space in the new apartment and you can see more homey inspirations on my home & design board too!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

d i y: etched beer steins!

When I was thinking about what I wanted to get friends and family for Christmas, I knew I wanted to try to do some crafting for at least one person and Ry’s dad and stepmom became the lucky winners J They have spoken about taking a trip to Germany in the future, so I thought it would be fun to make them some “custom” beer steins to go with their Germany travel guide....

Enter: glass etching! A super easy way to add a little something extra to your ordinary glassware! Now I will admit that I kind of cheated by buying pre-made stencils, but I know that making your own is another great addition to this project and can be done easily an adhesive paper. Whether you make your own stencil or use one from the store, the process wasn’t complicated and I really liked the results (so did Ry’s parents!)

-glassware (cup, mason jar, vase, etc.)
-Armour etch (I found mine at Michael’s)
-stencil or adhesive paper to make a stencil
-newspaper/paper bag to cover your work space


  1. Determine your design-if you bought stencils, choose the letters you need or decide which image you want to use for the etching (remember it’s permanent so choose wisely!)
  2. Stick your stencil onto the glass where you want the design to be and make sure it is pressed down firmly so none of the etching cream leaks under
  3. Apply generous amount of the etching cream to your stencil, so that all the empty space is covered. Be careful that you don’t put too much, because you don’t want it to run!
  4. Let the etching cream sit…note: the instructions on Armour Etch said it only needed about 1 minute, but after reading other tutorials, I gave it a full 10 minutes.
  5. Wash etching cream off…remove stencil and dry off.
Viola! You are left with a fun design and glassware that has just a little extra personality J

Saturday, January 5, 2013

in the kitchen: overnight french toast bake

While we were away for our New Year's celebration, I put myself in charge of making breakfast for the group on New Year's day. I wanted to be able to make something ahead of time and also had a craving for french toast, so when I spotted Frugal Upstate's Overnight French Toast Casserole, I knew it would be a winner! 

Because I was able to prepare everything the night before, I didn't have to stand in front of the stove the entire morning AND it was a huge hit (we even had a gluten-free version that was a success too!). I will definitely be adding it to my list of "go-to" breakfasts. 

Overnight French Toast Bake via Frugal Upstate

12-15 pcs of cinnamon swirl bread
1/2 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 eggs
1 1/2 C milk

-Whisk eggs, vanilla and milk together, set aside. 
-Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together
-Melt butter and pour into 9x13 pan
-Place first layer of bread into pan, then pour small amount of egg mixture over the first layer. Sprinkle about 1/2 of the sugar mixture over the bread. 
-Layer the second half of the bread, then pour the remaining amount of the egg mixture over the bread. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top.
-Cover with tin foil and refrigerate overnight

In the morning...Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pan into the oven, still covered and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes until the top is browned. Let cool for a few minutes before serving! 

picture from normal cooking

Friday, January 4, 2013


alright people, today is the big 2-6...I'm not going to lie, I was not looking forward to this birthday-having to step into the world of "late-twenties" seemed, well underwhelming...also, I have a unfounded fear of turning thirty-it's weird, I know. Good news though-I am happy to report that I have officially thrown that attitude out the door and I am ready to fully embrace this new year! With my birthday being so close to the New Year, it seemed fitting to mull over some of my resolutions/goals/hopes for the upcoming year and naturally, share them with you :)

1. Spend more time writing! Currently looking for some once-a-week writing challenges to keep the creativity flowing and the brain's going to be good.
2. Bring back some yoga in my life...sun salutations here I come!
3. Traveling-whether it's in the states or abroad, I want to continue to have adventures and explore as much as I can. West coast, east coast, South America, Asia....I'm down for anything.
4. DIY time, as in actually make time to for trying out the hundreds of things I have found on pinterest instead of just thinking about it!
5. to new ideas, new places, new people, new activities. Life is a whole lot more interesting/fun/exciting when you are open to the unknown (yes, easier said than done!)

So here is to being's going to be a good year.