Friday, December 28, 2012

Weekend Reads



The weekend is here again, and for some of you, it should be nice and long! If you have any extra time on your hands and feel like diving into a great book, I have two recommendations for you! My book club just finished reading Beach Music, by Pat Conroy - and wow was it a great book! The Price of Tides has been an old favorite of mine, but Beach Music is now a close second. His way with words is just wonderful, and you will not regret the time spent reading either of these great books - so kick your feet up and get reading!  


Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Stress Be Gone


It's Christmas Eve and Family time is about to begin for me! This usually is the time of year that I stress the most, but not this year! No no - I am going to practice my 6 tried and true calming technics as much as possible, and I know they will work like a charm. They are listed below, just in case you are the same way during the Holidays~

1. Count to ten in a language other than your native tongue - my language of choice is always German, because most of the German numbers sound like swear words to me...

2. Drink lots of liquids that start with a W - wine, water, whiskey...

3. Take a walk in the middle of the day alone. This is the time to clear your mind and check your mood.

4. Remember this is a short period, so soak it in because it will be gone in a blink. This is really the time to be the person you want to be - the true you.

5. TRY to eat fresh fruits and veggies throughout your days - I know there most likely will be a lot of yummy food around you, but this will help stop you from overeating, and I promise you will feel so much less bloated by the end of the day.

6. Kiss someone - or something - animals can be included in this... (they usually are my first pick anyway) and take a second to enjoy that moment of love. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays


It truly is the Season! Last year I shared with you a video from my bestie and her husband singing a Chirstmas carol. Here is 2012's version - hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

P.S. Annie's favorite thing to eat are pickles - totally normal...totally!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ugly Sweater Parties



Have you gone to an Ugly Christmas party this year? If not, you should, because I swear Christmas clothing just makes people jolly.

I just finish Holiday shopping this weekend and now have to wrap and ship by tomorrow... I wish Ballou could help with the wrapping - it would be a total time saver if those little paws could work.

"Christmas is not a time not a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." - Calvin Coolidge

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Home Made Marshmallows


Have you ever made Marshmallows before? 
I haven't, but really want to for the Hoildays. There is a restaurant here in Chicago called Hot Chocolate that has the best mellows ever, and I have a feeling this recipe is the closest I will find to match them. 
Cannot wait to try it out!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Marshmallow Caramel Cookies


I am so excited to make these! Don't they look am-az-ing? If you have a cookie party to go to - making these would upstage almost any other cookie at the shindig. 

Here is the link if you want to check them out!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Winter Reading



This Winter, I plan on reading a new book every week - well, at least that is my goal! Where is no better time to read than when it is cold outside, and it also helps cut down on TV watching. Here is a list The New York Times has produced of 100 notable books from 2012. Take a peek and get to reading! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ballou's Hair


Ballou's hair/fur is out of control right now! I have been trying to get a good picture with her hair grown out, but it really does not show up - you have to see it in person... I mean, I really think it is the longest it's ever been. I swear there is at least one person each time we are out for a walk that gives Ballou a double take - like "is that a real animal at the end of that ladies leash?". I think I am just going to keep it growing - I mean, everyone goes through at least one hippie stage it their life, right?

Hope you had a wonderful day and all is well in your wor\ld -sending a little love your way!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Poinsettia Time


Have I been MIA or what?! Life has been a little crazy lately, and working all day on a computer does not make coming home to blog on a computer very desirable. But, I think I have missed blogging enough to come back regularly; all I need to do now is work on getting a routine down. Please bare with me, as it may take a few weeks to find my groove again!

We just finished decorating for Christmas at work and our first poinsettia was delivered as well. I love poinsettias and  think they add just the right amount of color and hope for the holidays. This year, I do not know how much decorating I will do,  but you better believe I will have a big poinsettia on the table!

"Today...dare to live without judgement, to give without expecting and to love for no reason." - Unkown

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ice Cream Time!


OHMYGOSH I want to try all of these ice-creams! They look amazing and would make any mouth happy - maybe not any tummy happy, but absolutely any mouth!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Broccoli with Almonds


Can you believe it's already the week of Thanksgiving! This year, we will be celebrating with John's family, and I am so  looking forward to eating and relaxing. Because I am "the vegetable expert" I'm in charge of some yummtastic veggie dishes. This Broccoli (pictured above - recipe found here) recipe seems to be right up the Thanksgiving Day alley, and I think it is absolutely worth trying out before Thursday!

Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving recipes that are vegetarian friendly?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Michelin Guide - Do You Follow?


Happy Friday! Have you checked out the 2013 Michelin guide yet? John and I went through the guide for Chicago, and were shocked at some restaurants that were left out - and others that were left on! Apparently, we are not the only ones that think like this, because WBEZ reported on the choices of the Michelin guide as well. Here's the article if you want to check it out!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Music



Are you into Christmas music? I've found this to be a "hot" topic around the Holidays, along with when to start decorating, and if Christmas is just a Hallmark Holiday. Some turn into Scrooges when these jingling tunes come on, and other feel the music warm them, like a big mug of hot cocoa. As you could probably guess, I am a Holiday music lover, and cannot wait to spend the next month rocking to Jingle Bells and Oh Holy Night - There are too many things in the World not to like, and Christmas Music is not one of those things. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Fool in Foolproof


"A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of a complete fool." - Douglas Noel Adams



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baby Coveralls

Wowza it is getting cold in Chicago! I wish L.L. Bean made these Fleece Coveralls in my size because I would totally wear it all winter long! 



But then again, they most likely would not look as cute on an adult... Babies - they can just pull off anything! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Going Green


It is time to cleanse my diet again! Every weekend seems to fill itself with unhealthy food choices - and I always end up saying "why not? It is the weekend after all!" - but there really are no days off when it comes to eating - as everything we eat - no matter what day it is - will effect our bodies and so much more.

 Today is a new beginning, and dinner tonight will be on the green side. This salad from Kitchen Konfidence is just what I was looking for to kick start my efforts. Doesn't it look wonderful? If you are in need of some extra green (not talking about the monetary kind!) then make this along with me and share in on the yummyness!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Word


We are at the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend! It is amazing how quickly the Holidays sneak up - Thanksgiving is already in a few weeks!

Last year, I made a mini chicken for John, and he claims it made him sick (which I guess makes some sense I guess) - so this year, I will just have to stick to my veggie ways. The Pioneer Women (Whom I adore) has this amazing Blackberry cobbler, that I really want to make, and I think Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try it out!

Friday Word:

Ambrosial - exceptionally pleasing to taste or smell; fragrant and delicious.

*Synonyms: divine, yummy, pleasing, fragrant 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pear Sipper


Happy Thursday! I hope you are having a great week so far. Here is a drink recipe that would be perfect for a chilly Fall afternoon. This is non-alcoholic, but you could absolutely add vodka - I think we should all get to sipping!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Small Changes





This past weekend, I stopped by the salon were I worked through college - just to say hello and catch up with old friends. When I walked in the door, I had this intense "cutting" itch - as in, lets chop off my hair! This always happened to me while I worked there and I usually couldn't grow my hair past my chin for longer than a week! Instead of chopping off the whole head of hair this time, I decided to just get some bangs, and was reminded of how such small changes can create rather grand illusions. Afterwards,  John and I went to a bar to watch some college football, and this was the photo he got of me. Not the best, but you get the idea of what they look like! This was just what I was looking for - the right kind - well, really it's more like the safe kind - of self expression!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stacking Vessels


Wouldn't these little vessels make you happy while eating? They bring a smile while holding spices or sauces on the table. And I think they would make an awesome wedding/engagement gift!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Word



HAPPY FRIDAY! It has been a long and winding week for me, but I am happy to report I have made it through the turns in one piece! Tonight, we will be going to a Black Hawks charity event and I cannot wait to watch some Hockey with my friends.

Before I bid adieu and leave you with your Friday word, I want to share with you two quotes I have enjoyed this week.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" - Eleanor Roosevelt 

and

"The important thing is the obvious thing nobody is saying" - William S. Burroughs


Great thoughts, don't you agree?

Friday's Word

Zany - amusingly unconventional; an erratic or eccentric person

*Synonyms: foolish, goofy, comical, witty


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Head Cold Fix


How is it that Cold and Flu Season manages to always come at the same exact time? John has a head cold that has crept its way to me as well! Tonight we are going to relax in a Sauna, and after,  I will be making hot toddy's. 
Here is my go-to recipe:


  • about two ounces of Jack Daniels
  • A spoonful of honey
  • Juices from a half of a lemon
  • Hot Water
  • If you have them- a cinamon stick and/or dried anise for fun!
Mix together and sip slowly...enjoy every sip!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Good Tunes

Here's is a song for your Monday! It is one of my newer favorites and I think it will make you smile too!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Word of the Day


We made it to another Friday! Hip Hip Hooray! 

What will you be doing this weekend? John is boxing for a black-tie charity event and, as I prefer not having to see him punch/get punched, I do have to admit I am excited to get all dressed up and cheer him on! 
My dress is long and black, so I'm thinking fun earrings, lipstick and shoes to spice it up... Don't worry,  I will be taking pictures for you! Have a great weekend, and enjoy life's gifts. 

Friday Word:

Exuberate - Extreme or excessive in degree; joyously unrestrained and enthusiastic

*Synonyms: Ample, filled, generous, abundant, profuse 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dog Watching

(Gretchen, Mom, and I - 2007)

My Mom dropped off our family dog (Gretchen) last-night before she left to visit my brother in Colorado... Gretchen is a rather large doberman... and it's a little bit different than Ballou! Because John and I have seriously considered getting another pup (and we are only looking at large dogs) I think this will be a good test for us to see if we can actually handle taking care of two doggies.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Funny Feet




Yesterday, I was walking around the nieghorhood with Ballou and  stumbles a little over an uneven square of concrete. Ofcourse, I looked behind me at the ground and then back again at my feet (as if to figure out if it was me or the ground that was at fault) and noticed how small my feet were. This got me thinking about how funny feet actually look...  now I understand why we spend so much on good-looking shoes - we have to cover up those heels and toes!  Speaking of, J Crew has done a wonderful job on their shoes this season - don't you agree?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Butternut Squash Lasagna


Squashes are back in season already - I cannot wait to make Butternut Squash Lasagna - this just looks like comfort heaven!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Muffin Making



I saw these breakfast muffins, and I cannot wait to try them! They are totally not on the healthy side, but I'm pretty sure they would be a crowd favorite, and a perfect recipe if you had to make something for a brunch...don't you think?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall time







This Fall, the weather seemed to change faster than usual in Chicago - it was as if the cold wanted to make a point of reminding everybody it was on it's way in. There are always two sides to a coin, and I find football, clothes and the holidays to  be on the other side of the "cold" coin.

That being said, I'm totally loving Levis line this year and need to get to their stores soon! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Word


Hello! Friday has come and I have been super lazy with my Friday words - but don't worry, I have one for you this week!

Friday Word

Ingenious - Clever, original and inventive.

*Synonyms: able, gifted, innovative 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Calcium Punch

Need a new juicing recipe? I know I do, and this is the one I will be trying tonight!



  • 1 apple
  • 2 large carrots 
  • 1/2 cup fresh broccoli
  • small handful of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lemon peeled
  • 1 tsp agave nectar - added after the veggies have been juiced



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sponge Tip

Yesterday, as I was cleaning the kitchen after dinner, I started to think about what was festering in the sponge I was using... Now, we do replace our sponges quite frequently, but I still don't know what exactly is inside their pores! This lead me to do some searching on how to keep sponges cleaner - and I found the simplest solution:

Use a binder clip to keep the sponge upright! This way it will dry throughout and not sit in it's own water. The article I found this idea in, actually has many fun cleaning tips that could help with the trickiest of messes...check them out and have fun scrubbing!  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Giving And Letting Love Come In



"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in."  
-Morrie Schwartz

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cheddar-Sriracha Swirl Bread


Hello beautiful people! I have found the  ultimate sandwich bread: Cheddar-Sriracha Swirl Bread! This is one of those recipes that I instantly thought "why didn't I think of that?".
My family has been slathering on sriracha for over a decade, and it remains an ever present staple. For some reason, I have only used this hot chili-paste-sauce as an addition after my food was cooked. It took me until I saw this recipe to stop and think about all the different possibilities sriracha can be a part of! Here is the recipe if you want to make the swirling beauty of a loaf with me... enjoy the heat!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ed Sheerran

I know I left you with my favorite Ani song yesterday, but Ed Sheeran has not left my head since the interview I heard with him on Q (my favorite Canadian talk show on NPR). Maybe if I share him with you, his fabulous voice will stick in your head too!



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ani Concert


Jessica surprised me last night with Ani Difranco tickets, and  Oh My Gosh it was amazing! Here is my favorite song by her - Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oh Comics


There is something about reading the comic page in newspapers that still brings a smile to my face! Do you ever read the comic section? I would love to study comics from year to year, and see how humor evolves over time... Here is a comic I found on Comic Strip Library, that is from the 1921 and I could still totally see this in our newspaper today!


This one is from 1904, and is a comic about smoking... now that I could not see in the newspapers today!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Nature


"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Einstein

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