February 15, 2011

Hi everyone. I hope you had a warm and loving Valentine’s day. I really dislike it when people say that Valentine’s day means nothing but a holiday for greeting cards. To me its a day to bring our focus to the present and allow us to take stock of whats most important. I spent a lot of the day thinking about how much I love my friends, family, and all the little animals in my life. It’s easy to forget that love does not require money or things. And if it does than maybe that’s not love at all. This year Trent and I agreed no gifts. We didn’t even do cards (which is rare because I’m kind of a card fanatic). We considered Saturday to be our V-day celebration since Trent works late during the week. He met me at the train when I got off work and we walked to a restaurant in our neighborhood. It was low-key, burgers (mine veggie of course) and beer. It was fantastic. We gobbled it up before I even thought to take a photo. After dinner we really wanted to see Blue Valentine. I’ve been waiting to see that film for over a year. But it was sold out so we ended up going to a book store, walked around talking about all the books on our to-read list, and bought a gift for our nephew’s upcoming birthday. It was such a simple, quiet night just how we like it.

Although we said no gifts and we officially celebrated love day on saturday, Trent surprised me with these beautiful flowers and my favorite wine.

I wanted to surprise him with something special so after reading this post on one of my favorite blogs Secret Pocket I decided to make Trent homemade peanut butter cups from a recipe I had been wanting to try for a while. They were not easy to make and certainly not the prettiest things but still really good and rich. Trent’s reaction: “WOW, how will I ever eat a Reese’s peanut butter cup again?!”

I got the sweetest surprise in the mail yesterday. There was a card with no return address in a bright pink envelope. I opened it up and it was a funny, sweet card signed ‘Menard’ (our cat). Of course I can spot my mom’s handwriting from a mile away so I knew she had addressed and sent it but I was a little surprised because she doesn’t really get into cards. So after a little investigative work she confessed that it was actually picked out and purchased my step-dad. My family knows how much I adore my cat. I thought it was so thoughtful to pick out such a card but I wasnt too surprised because my step-dad Ted happens to be one of the most thoughtful, wonderful men you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. Officially he is my step father but in my heart he is my dad. Because I am me, I had to have Menard pose with the card for a quick photo. Poor cat!

In the spirit of the day, let me get mushy here and say thank you to all of my readers. I am always surprised when people comment or I read the stats and see that more and more people are reading. Thank you!

In other news, we survived the Chicago Blizzard of 2011. And yes that deserves capital letters. We are now experiencing a warm up and melt down. Its beautiful and soggy. I am getting closer and closer to returning to the beach and I could not be happier.

I took this photo last Wednesday. It’s the building across the alley from us and I was shocked at the size of this icicle.

Remarkably this monster is now gone. A sure sign that we are warming up for spring.

Did you watch the Grammy’s? I am still elated that Arcade Fire won. Their album “The Suburbs” has been in heavy rotation on my iPod and I am so happy that their brilliance was rewarded and recognized.

Have a good week!



February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s day baby. I love you.

“Let me be your everlasting light, sun when there is none, I’m a shepard for you and I’ll guide you through, let me be your everlasting light”


Testing for NO-Turkey day!

November 24, 2010

Today I am cleaning the kitchen and prepping for tomorrow. This will be the first Thanksgiving that Trent and I are away from our family and friends. In the past the day was bittersweet. Food and family is always wonderful but it can be quite exhausting traveling between parties on a full stomach while trying to give everyone equal time and attention. Although we will really miss everyone we are excited to have tomorrow to ourselves with no time lines. I have set out to make an ambitious menu for two. I want to feel the warmth and comfort of our old home in our new home. Tomorrow is devoted to my husband and our marriage. It will be a day to celebrate us. I am so thankful for his love and support and I want to spend the day reminding him.

For lunch I made a mini broccoli casserole with the excuse that I needed to ‘test’ the recipe for tomorrow. The truth is that this casserole is one of my all time favorite dishes and I really couldn’t wait until tomorrow to make it! This is a simple concoction that my family, especially my sister, has mastered. Frozen broccoli, cheddar cheese, butter, salt, pepper, and a crumbled cracker crust. Absolutely delicious!

I’ll be back soon with more details of our Thanksgiving. I hope your day is filled with good food and great company!



November 10, 2010

I saw this lovely blog this morning and reflected on what I am thankful for:

My loves

this guy and…

this guy.

my awesome family (new baby Carson!)

My amazing friends (Heather and Will…the best)

this beautiful city we call home

my job at the museum, art, music…life.

My life is so full of blessings and I am so very thankful.

What are you thankful for?


October 20, 2010

So I have been noticeably gone for a while. Well I’m back. We have lived in Chicago for 3 months now and we are madly in love. It really feels like home. I’ve been experimenting more than ever with food and trying new restaurants. Sadly I get so excited to eat the deliciousness that I often forget to photograph. Here are some photos that I have taken of things I’ve been cooking up lately.

Eggs scrambled with tomato & spinach with toasted Multi-grain bread.

Bean enchiladas with fresh salsa

Cauliflower & potato curry

Noodle stir fry

Levi jeans just launched a new project that connects creative women across the world. It’s a community for creative support and discussion. I created a profile this week and encourage you to do the same. And of course you should connect with me. Its really fun and inspiring.

Shape Whats to Come


Today’s soundtrack: Andrew Bird’s Noble Beast

Lunches and…

May 28, 2010

Hello. I hope everyone is well. This is a quick blog but I will try to be back again soon. I have tried some new items lately and I cant wait to blog about them. We are now seriously counting down for the big move. Time is going so fast and we are so excited!!

I have had a couple really great lunches lately and I thought I would share.

The BEST Chinese food I have had in a very long time. Broccoli in Garlic Sauce with steamed rice from a small place downtown. So good that I had to go back a few days later and get it again.

Salad with veggies and Roasted Veggie Soup with a Tazo peach tea enjoyed outside in the sunshine. The perfect, most delightful lunch.


Rusty! He is the doggie of my in-laws and we got to visit him recently. He is so sweet and funny.

Trent and Rusty. So cute!


I have been listening to a lot of Laura Marling lately. She is amazing!

Happy Accident

May 14, 2010

So last night I was super eager to make homemade veggie burgers from a vegweb recipe. The recipe called for Gimme Lean Hamburger flavored crumbles. Of course the store only had sausage flavor so I ended up buying another fake meat brand. The crumbles wanted to crumble not form into patties. I almost gave up and threw it out altogether. Then I realized I could make it into my mom’s sloppy joes! I just threw in ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar. Delicious! It was so yummy and it tasted just like my mom’s recipe without the cow. Cooking is art. You have the freedom to be creative and impromptu as you wish. Last night’s dinner was certainly a happy accident.

Fresh corn cut from the cob sautéed with a little Earth Balance and salt/pepper…The BEST!

The meat-free sloppy joes along side a baked sweet potato & corn. Really tasty. I’m definetly making this again.


May 13, 2010

I pretty much eat the same thing each morning/afternoon. My schedule can be pretty random. If I don’t have to wake early for a tour I usually sleep in. So breakfast can easily become brunch or lunch. I normally recommend never to eat the same foods over and over. But I love this combination so much that I have eaten it at least 4 days a week for the past year. I call them breakfast burritos but it’s really just lots of sautéed peppers and mushrooms wrapped in spicy tortillas. It’s so delicious and filling.

I always start with coffee.

I love peppers.

Veggies cooking. It seems like a lot but they get smaller plus there is nothing wrong with eating lots of veggies. 🙂

So good!

A side of fresh fruit.

I started out (a year ago) eating burritos with cheese and eggs. Then no cheese. Then no eggs. Now its just tons of veggies. I really need to add some greens to the meal. My journey with healthy food is always progressing. It’s really wonderful when you begin to allow yourself to change.

Me and Nardy!

Coffee Perfection!

May 5, 2010

I am a serious coffee lover. I like a medium roast with a little sweet cream. I used to drink the super sweet creamer with high fructose corn syrup. (ick!) Then I switched to Organic dairy creamer. From there I used Silk soy creamer. Although this is a very tasty creamer I wanted to get away from soy products. I have hypothyroidism and there are concerns that soy is not so good for me. So the next step in my journey was So Delicious Coconut Milk creamer. Dairy Free, Soy Free, and so yummy! It is true coffee perfection. I am now addicted and in coffee bliss each morning.

I got this super cute Snoopy coffee mug at a garage sale last weekend for 10 cents.

I LOVE coffee mugs!

“I hate it when it snows on my french toast!”

Still crazy for Silversun Pickups this week

Weekly Beauties…

May 3, 2010

There are a lot of little beauties that have made me very happy in the past week and I would like to share them with you:

This band

Silversun Pickups!

Trent has loved this band for a while now. I listened but nothing ever clicked until this week. I am now fully obsessed with them. Their music is intense and really exceptional. Their album “Swoon” has been on serious repeat.

I had lunch with my good friend Abby today. We chose Indian food and it was so delicious. I was happy to have lots of leftovers to enjoy for dinner.

Pineapple makes me very happy. It is now in season and so heavenly.

I eat so many pineapples in the summer that I have my own system of cutting them in record time. Fresh is always better than the pre-cut.

I cannot wait to wear these dresses!

Recent very lucky garage sale finds:

Great condition, my size, only $2!

Perfect for my new Chicago kitchen!

Vintage Clutch only 50 cents!

I love unique pottery

I found this fabric last week. I’ve been making it into very cool crafts.

Best cat ever. He always makes me happy.

Have a lovely week! Good luck with finals to my school friends!