April 18, 2014

Easy Easter Flowers


So you may have noticed that it snowed a few days ago in Chicago. Yeah.. about that.  I'm trying not to complain since unless Storm from X-Men is real, there's not much we can do about this weather.  I was thinking of ways to cheer up (deciding what winter coat to wear was not helping) and thought a good bunch of flowers would do the trick.  If you have a few of these basics already at home then next time you are at your local grocery store or market, pick up some flowers on the way out.

This is super easy and would make for a great hostess gift or centerpiece.

You'll need:
Sharp scissors
Ribbon or twine or any fun pretty fabric
Jars or vases (you can use the similar ones like I did or mix it up with different styles)
*You can find mason jars for pretty cheap at most craft stores. Also find them online here.
Flowers (go nuts with whatever you like but tulips felt very spring-like to me)
Pins (optional)

My tips when putting together your arrangement:

As tempting as it is to get flowers that are fully bloomed, it's actually best to buy them when they are closed, they will last a bit longer and bloom when you get them in water (so unless you have a dinner party in 30 minutes, resist).

When you are trimming the stems make sure to cut them under cold running water at an angle. If you get a flower that has a milkier sap (Sunflowers, etc) you can actually put a match to the bottom of them and burn the edges to seal them in. If you get a flower with a branch stem, cut in a half inch down the center to let more water soak into them.

Make sure to trim any leaves on the flower stem that will be under water and if you have a floppy flower, like my tulips here, you can insert a small pin just under the flower which will help keep it from drooping.

And just in case...

Who doesn't like flowers? If you don't have any jars or vases to play around with, think about gifting a bouquet. Buy several different bunches of flowers, take off the plastic and re-arrange them together however you think looks best. Then wrap them up in butcher paper and tie it with a ribbon. Instant pretty "market style" bouquet!





April 17, 2014

Blushing






Bcbg jacket (old) / Vince tank (similar) / Vince jeans / Loeffler Randall Sandals / Gorjana Necklace



 In winter they say when in doubt, wear black. In spring, when in doubt, I say just wear white (double points if you layer with other neutrals). We had an oddly warm day in Chicago and I can't tell you how many times I was taking this jacket off, then putting it back on. But I'm not complaining..I'll take the heat any day.

My boyfriend said I looked very 'Southern California' which I think was pretty fitting as we headed over to city favorite Summer House Santa Monica for brunch. Have you been yet? It was great except I could have done with less clubby music for a morning meal. But again..shouldn't complain, it was great to be out in the sun!

April 16, 2014

Currently Coveting :: Copper Cups


Maybe it's just that the pictures of these copper mugs were done PERFECTLY but I'm seriously coveting a pair. I mean, who isn't looking at these and salivating at the idea of a tasty Moscow Mule right now? I am. 

One Kings Lane, a great sample sale site similar to Gilt Group for Interior Design currently has a set on sale for $42. 

Do you own copper mugs? How do they age? I'd love to hear your thoughts before I invest in a set!

Find these mugs here.

April 15, 2014

Pattern Play





J.Crew cardigan / Cynthia Rowley skirt / Rag & Bone tank / YSL Petite Ligne 'Y' Purse

With warmer weather, comes.. great music. Like clockwork, when my boyfriend I and start to come out of winter hibernation, we begin to get back into our music game. Not only have we gotten our Lollapalooza tickets, we're thinking of hitting up the Jack White show in July as well (among others). 

And yes, tomorrow we decided to randomly see the Riff Raff show in Logan Square. I'm assuming that it will be the ultimate experience in people watching and I'm hoping for something completely weird and ridiculous to happen. For the first time in a long time I'm not wondering what to wear, I'm wondering who I'll see wearing what.

Be sure to follow on Instagram for updates!



April 14, 2014

Black Beans and Avocado over Rice

Photo: David Malosh

It was kismet the night we made this dish. We only had a few random items in our fridge and I had just happened to read this Martha Stewart meal. We didn't have all the ingredients for her recipe but had the main ones so ended up using a few variations of our own. The dish we weren't so sure about but it ended up being delicious and we are definitely going to make it again! The best part? Insanely easy, yum!

Here is our version below, let me know if you end up making it!

Ingredients (serves 2-4):

1 can (16 oz.) of black beans
1 cup of steamed jasmine rice
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon Cumin
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (this dish will be spicier the more you add. Use less red pepper if you do not want a very spicy dish).
1 small onion diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 poblano chile, diced (optional, we did not have this and our dish was fine)
1jalapeno chile, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cilantro
2 ripe avocados
Crumbled Feta cheese to sprinkle on top

1. Wash your rice and then cook it per the directions. If you have a rice cooker, you can get easy and freshly steamed rice. 1 cup jasmine usually needs about 1 3/4 cup water.
2. In a wok or other large pan, heat with oil over medium heat. Cook onions, poblano and garlic together until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Add in cumin and stir.
3. Then add beans with the liquid and stir in the oregano, red pepper flakes and salt. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Serve over rice, top with avocados, cheese and jalapeno. We didn't have salsa but if so we would have thrown a little salsa on the top as well!

Enjoy!

Original recipe here.

April 10, 2014

Thank You Berry Much







I tell just about anyone that gives a damn that Madewell shoes are some of the most comfortable I've ever put on. They don't need to be broken in at all, they feel instantly good. These loafers were no exception (and on sale right now with plenty of sizes left), I just can't say enough good things about their footwear!

Another surprise fashion find are these Old Navy jeans. I've never tried pants from there before and after reading about 500 reviews (does everyone review their purchase on that site? It's awesome but after 30 minutes I started foaming at the mouth), I decided to give them a go. Some people mentioned they were stretchy and would loosen up after wearing so I decided to get a size 0 Short (instead of 00). Let me tell you, after wearing these about 15 times, I'm still waiting for them to loosen up. Which is great for a pair of $30 jeans but also buyer beware- you may want to go up 1 size if you are getting the petite version. I think if I stuck to a 0 in a regular length I'd be good but the short = tight!

Styling advice aside, I saw the film Finding Vivian Maier over the weekend, about an undiscovered street photographer (majority of work in the 1950s-70s) who lived her days out as a nanny in Chicago. I highly recommend checking it out, her work is absolutely stunning and the curious story about her past (and lack of information about her) makes it really just interesting and gripping. It was a funny, sad and mysterious story about a woman who was extremely private and without anyone knowing it, created the most amazing photography. Have you seen it? I'd love to hear what you thought!

April 9, 2014

Currently Coveting :: Coach Moto Jacket


This jacket makes me want to be a better person. Is this not the most perfect color (pastel for spring), shape (slim moto) and styling (a few details but not overly embellished) for a spring leather jacket?
I just can't, it's too good.