Archive for April 2011

A Hearth At Home

Let me tell you, house hunting is deceivingly harder than it appears. What HGTV doesn't tell all you "property virgins" out there is that you will spend way too much time looking at all the houses for sale, fall in love with a few, stress about making an offer on the right house, freak out about the finances involved, and then become incredibly distraught and nervous when a couple of the houses sell before you can even walk them. Someone please remind me again why we decide to look at houses two months before the wedding? 
I'm going to blame this one on Zach. :)  

This past week as Zach and I scoured the real estate websites for houses, I began to realize that all the houses I immediately adored had one thing in common…a fireplace. 

Here is what I envision when I ponder about my future home with that glorious fireplace:
As the sun starts to set and dinner is finished, I grab my latest read with my Pinot Noir in tow.  Walking to the den, the scent of burning logs envelops the room in a pleasing way. My feet cross over from the hardwood floor to our plush shag rug, where our new doggy rests upon. Flopping down on the sofa with a sign of relief, the flames from the fireplace crackle and dance about; I'm instantly subdued by it's song.  Hours I spend absorbed in my novel, only taking a break to stoke the dwindling fire. As the fire warms the room, it is only a matter of time before it lulls me to sleep.  It is the perfect end to a quiet night at home. 

Just few lovelies I like. 

So what would be the one element of a house that you couldn't do without? 
Any down sides to having a fireplace that I should be aware of? 

Happy Friday to you all! Have a lovely weekend!


Posted in | 2 Comments

Purple Aubergines

The eggplant, otherwise known as an aubergine, has been a fruit that I've loved since grade school. Unfortunately, it hasn't been until the last year that I've actually ventured out and tried different recipes for this tender nightshade. In stews, pasta sauce, and Indian masala; eggplant can be utilized like a vegetable to enrich a meal to it's potential.  I've been trying to come up with meals that I can teach Zach; ones that require no recipe and just a few ingredients.  Grilled eggplant on ciabatta has become one of his favorites. 

First corn I've tasted this year!
Anxiously awaiting fresh ears from Illinois. 

1 eggplant (used half)
Few mushrooms
Pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)
Ciabatta bread
Olive Oil

Slice the eggplant and place in colander, sprinkling evenly with salt. 
(This will help remove excess moisture and prevent the eggplant from being super soggy!)
Let sit for at least 20-40 minutes. Once they are drained, use a plate or cookie sheet to press down and remove more moisture. With a paper towel, remove excess salt and wipe dry.
You can use a grill or saute the eggplant on the stove, but we just used our panini maker to grill them. 
Brush just a tad of olive oil on eggplant, adding mushrooms, onions, or whatever toppings you prefer. 
Slice bread and toast in oven. 
Place eggplant, toppings, and spread pasta sauce on top.

Easy aubergines!

What ways to you enjoy eating eggplant?
I'm thinking eggplant fries might be on my list of recipes to make...


Posted in | 10 Comments

Easter Weekend

Easter is always a wonderful holiday I look forward to each year. 
 After a long and hilly 20 mile run on Saturday, it was refreshing to bum around for the rest of the afternoon, head to Portage to bowl with friends, and sleep into 8:30 a.m. on Sunday!  Getting together with family (even if they aren't my own...yet) and celebrating new life was exactly what I needed this weekend. 
Spring seemed so evident on Sunday, especially as I hid Easter eggs amongst the flowers and budding foliage.
I loved that I could sport a skirt sans tights...still waiting on that tank and shorts weather. 

 Top: Thrifted, Vest: jb & me, Skirt: Thrifted
Belt: JCrew Outlet, Shoes: Target, Necklace: c/o Blue Poppy Jewelry

Spring is such a blessing after a crummy winter. I love seeing all the animals run about as nature becomes more vivid in colors. Life in abundance makes it appearance; I swear I always seem more pregnant ladies or super cute babies around spring time.  As much as I disliked this past winter, it takes the bad to make the good seem so much sweeter. Things must fall apart before they can be fixed. We must go through the dead of winter to get to the birth of spring, our houses and lives become messy and hectic before we can clean it up, muscles need to be torn in hopes of building bigger and stronger ones, and relationships must be broken in order to be mended.  This is why I love spring, it is a constant reminder that life is a cycle...that no matter how hard it is, it will get better.

Did you have a great weekend? Get any goodies from the Easter bunny? :)


Posted in | 8 Comments

Daisies & Roses

This past week I finalized the flower selection for my wedding!  Back in October I had pretty much narrowed down all the flowers, but recently realized that I wanted to create more color to the bridesmaids bouquets and centerpieces, so additional pale and bright yellow roses and daisies were added.  I'm super excited to see how these turn out; I know my florist, Laura Truer, will do an amazing job! 

Do you think this floral selection will cohere well with my color and style scheme? 
I know I can't go wrong with my favorite flower. :)

Happy Earth Day and Good Friday! 
I hope everyone enjoys their Easter weekend. 


Posted in | 6 Comments

Cheery Kitchens

With a little more than two months to go until the wedding day, thoughts of where Zach and I will settle down and call home have been lingering in the backs of our minds. Every so often when we look at houses I dream of cheery kitchens where I can cook my heart out. 

I really want to make my future kitchen appear bright and playful. The colors I have been currently contemplating are turquoise and yellow.  I know these color schemes will probably change a thousand times over until we actually buy the house, but inspiration never hurt anyone! 
Here are a few of my favorite turquoise and yellow kitchens.


Black White Yellow Blog

Creative Home
Which kitchen is your favorite? 

I'd love to do a back splash in one or both of these colors. Or I could keep the whole kitchen pearly white and bring in all bright accent colors in yellow or turquoise. So many cool choices! 
 If you could remodel your kitchen; what cheery color would you use, if any? 

I hope everyone's week is going well so far. 
Happy Wednesday Lovelies!

Posted in | 8 Comments

A Roller Coaster Called Life

Lately I've been feeling like I'm on a never ending roller coaster.  Climbing up and up, trying to go push myself to tackle anything and everything that is within my reach.  Arriving at the top to take in my surroundings; only to realize that the path down requires me to let go and fall. I like being in control of my life and on this roller coaster, I'm not the one in charge.  Over the past year I have slowly started to learn to relinquish that firm grip, but this is a constant challenge... and against my nature.  Feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and exhausted, I have been looking forward to those few precious moments where I can see a friend, drink a cup of peppermint tea, cuddle with Zach, or just sit and be. 

This past weekend was another non-stop, go till you can't go anymore, weekend. 
The saving grace with meeting up with friends and not having to worry about the next loop I'm climbing on the roller coaster called life. 

Coat: Dress Code, Top: The Limited, Shrug: Hot Mama
Skirt: Thrifted, Tights: Ann Taylor Loft, Shoes: Naot

 Zach and I were stoked to visit with our friend Meghan, who had just arrived back home from India! 
It was so interesting hearing all her stories and to see her passion for the Indian culture. There is such a great need in Nagpur and it was astounding to hear how the Nav Jeevan Santha project she was apart of has helped the local children there.  If you are interested in supporting this program, I strongly encourage you to check it out here

I was so glad Anna put this night out together.  Seeing a few of our college friends all together and having a good time always makes me happy. So crazy to think that it's been almost three years since I've graduated college! 

This week I've decided to slow down a little bit in an attempt to save my sanity and my nerves...and to prepare myself for the next two months of crazy wedding planning and chaos that will inevitably ensue. 
When you are riding that roller coaster, how do you get yourself back to solid ground? 
I'm thinking a wine and chocolate night is in the future. 

Here's to a care free week!


Posted in | 8 Comments

The Gold of the Incas - Quinoa

As a vegetarian and vegan "flirt," I'm constantly looking for new meals that pack a ton of nutrients, flavor, and depth to them.  Since shying away from meat, processed food, and most dairy, the list of what I can purchase at a grocery store has become quite small; which definitely has it's pro's and con's. Experimentation and willingness to try new foods is a must for my lifestyle.  So when my Mom made this amazing new quinoa salad for me to try, I knew I had to feature it on here.  Thanks Mom!  

Originating from South America, quinoa was considered the "gold of the Incas" which they thought to be sacred. The Incas knew what was good for them!  This superfood is packed with lots of amazing nutritional value, such as:  

Complete protein 
High in dietary fiber

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup cranberries
Handful of chopped pecans
1/4 cup of grated carrots
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons oil

Rinse quinoa thoroughly. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. 
Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes and fluff with a fork. Add cranberries, pecans, carrots, and chives. 

Whisk together dressing of oil and vinegar. 
Pour over quinoa and toss well. 

I'd love to experiment with quinoa some more and try different salads; maybe a ginger dressing with broccoli and walnuts. Yum!  Have you had quinoa before?  If so, what is your favorite way to cook and eat quinoa? 

Happy Friday!
 Hope your weekend is full of delicious food, good company, and productivity...I know mine will be! 


Posted in | 10 Comments

A DIY Challenge

To take on a DIY is somewhat ingrained in my nature. I've always been a very independent lady; my parents can attest to my strong willingness to do everything on my own when I was very young. I wanted to dress myself, attempt headstands on my own, and ride my bike for the first time with no help. Apparently I liked to tell my parents, "I do myself!" when asked if I needed help. At the time, this attitude might have been somewhat of a struggle, but it has transcended well into my adult life. I like to take on new adventures and seek endeavors on my own. But sometimes I need the help of others for motivation along the way. 

This is where Indiana Adams, Made This / Love This, a DIY collective comes in.
This is a great project that Indiana recently put into play to help others get motivated to try new DIY's and to showcase your projects.  I'm hoping it will eventually give me that extra push to bring out the sewing machine more often. But let's not get to ahead of ourselves. :)

Here is a look at the first project
An easy t-shirt scarf.

Dare to take the Made This /Love This Challenge? Sign up and join the community
Plus, it will be fun to see everyone's finished projects on the site! 
Anyone interested? 

Posted in | 7 Comments

A Treasured Weekend

What a weekend I've had! It flew by, like most treasured weekends do. 
Truly, nothing is better than beautiful weather, stuffing my face with delicious food, and spending time with the most beautiful lady in my world, my Mother.  After running eighteen miles Saturday morning the first thing I wanted to do was eat! So Zach, my Mom, and I headed over to Marie Catrib's for lunch. I feared that after the run I would be dragging the rest of the day, so I ordered a half pot of Turkish coffee and ended up drinking all of it myself. Yeah, it was that good. Doesn't it look so yummy in these baby cups?!

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Burger

Mom and I got right down to business with discussing wedding plans and where we were going to go thrift store shopping. I love styling other people and my Mom is so fun to shop for. She gives me a few ideas of what pieces she is looking for and knowing what she looks best in, I usually end up with a armful of outfits for her to try on. I think she is pretty lucky to have her own personal stylist. :)  I hardly have any pictures of my favorite lady, so I insisted she pose for some. 

Of course I had to get a pose in there as well. 

Another highlight of the weekend was eating at Little Africa. I've only eaten there a couple of times, but I drool just thinking about there food. I love the simplicity of the cuisine, the spiced tea, and the communal aspect of sharing a huge platter with your friends and family. 

My Zachary
You know it's good if it's that colorful. 

A lot of people say we look a like...

To top off the weekend we got way ahead of my wedding task list! Granted there is still tons to do, but those dang details really do add up and take tons of time to accomplish.

I hope everyone had a splendid weekend as well. Did you enjoy the nice weather? Zach loved it so much he decided we were both going to wax our vehicles. I think I actually got a slight tan.
 Crazy Michigan Weather.


Posted in , | 10 Comments

Savory Thai

The aroma of fresh limes, savory sauces, and the overwhelming flavor of cilantro filling the kitchen. 
Sounds of sizzling shallots and garlic being sautéd is mixed with some groovy tunes emitting from Pandora. 
A nice cold Oberon sits, waiting for me on the counter top

Sound great? Making Thai always does.
Zach and I could eat it almost every day, especially Pad Thai.

Here is my simple veggie verison.
The Sauce:
Juice from 2 Limes
4 tablespoons Shoyu soy sauce
2 tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate mixed with 3 tablespoons of water 
(I didn't have tamarind so I just added more soy sauce and lime)
Pinch of coriander

The Rest:  
1/2 package of tofu, cut in small pieces
1/2 package of rice noodles
Cooking oil
2 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 carrots, grated.
1 cup of bean sprouts (optional)
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
Cilantro to garnish
Prep your ingredients and mix sauce together and set aside for now.
Bake tofu on a lightly sprayed baking sheet at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
While this is baking, cook rice noodles according to package; boil a pot of water, remove from heat, then add the noodles in to sit for about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Sauté oil, shallots, garlic, and onions until tender. Stir in noodles and toss. Add sauce, tofu, carrots, and bean sprouts, cooking until everything is warm (about 5 minutes). 
Top it off with cilantro and chopped peanuts. Yummers.

What I love about this recipe is that as long as you make the same sauce you can add anything you want to the rice noodles and call it Pad Thai! Next time I'd like to throw in more veggies like broccoli and bok choy.

What is your favorite version of Pad Thai? Or do you have a different Thai dish you'd like to share? 
I'm slowly becoming better at these types of dishes. Zach is a good test subject, so it works! 

I'm really excited about all the great food I'll be munching on this weekend. My Mom is coming up to work on wedding plans, so on Saturday we are heading into Marie Catribs for lunch, then Little Africa for dinner. Plus, I get to try all the homemade goodies that she is bringing with her. I love that my Mom enjoys ethnic cuisines and willing to try anything. I know this weekend will be a blast! I hope yours is too. 


p.s. I just created a Facebook page for this blog, so feel free to check it out! 

Posted in | 8 Comments

Musings of Design

Although I throughly enjoy everything vintage, I can't get enough of modern decor; especially when it's mixed with older pieces!  Since I get most of my vintage pieces locally, I tend to surf the web for modern items and ideas.  As of late I've been checking out interior designer, Jonathan Adler's website.
Adler's take on modernism and his "happy chic" view on decorating is refreshing and fun. 

Here are a few shot's of Adler's design in a Westchester home.

I want this kitchen!

Great mix of patterns and use of bold color! 
Adler's Musings have great quick tips on perking up your space and speaks about his inspirations. 
Makes me want to decorate right now!  What modern designers speak to you? Any favorite websites you'd like to share? I'm always looking for more inspiration, especially since tomorrow Zach and I meet with a real estate agent to discuss finding a house! Woohoo!  

I'll leave you with my favorite piece from Adler's collection...

I can just picture Zach and I drinking from these King & Queen Mugs once I officially become Mrs. King!
So adorable.


Posted in | 5 Comments

Productivity is Beautiful

Don't you just love when you create a list of things to do and almost everything gets checked off? 
My Saturday looked oh so daunting on paper; running 12 miles, finishing off the invites, starting wedding favors, working on bridal party gifts, trying on my wedding dress, and doing the last of the spring cleaning seemed overwhelming.  Upon getting home that night after a delightful dinner with our friends/wedding photographers Bryan and Mae, I sat and thought about how wonderful the day had been. 

Productivity is beautiful.  Taking a jumbled mess of errands, arranging time just so, and fulfilling those moments efficiently doesn't work for everyone. Chaos into an organized form is art; and I thrive in those eloquent moments. There is something so satisfying about rendering my energy and witnessing an outcome. Even the simplest of deeds, like writing an email, has a sweet reward of completion.

Does anyone else feel this way? Or is it just me? 

With a lot of running around on Saturday I kept my outfit pretty causal. I did up my hair for my gown fitting and called it good. It put a smile on my face to be wearing my spring coat and no tights/socks!
 Hence the extremely white feet. :)

My co-worker's wife was so sweet to give me this awesome black dress, I love the asymmetrical neckline on it and how soft it is. It looks great with leggings too. Thanks Debbie! 

My mega ring that I've had since grade school! 

I didn't realize until today that my coat, scarf, and belt are all thrifted. I think more than half of my clothes were someone else's first.  Haha!

Needless to say, I do get burned out if I'm in a constant mode of needing to accomplish things. Sunday was my chance to unwind and not really do anything...except clean which is a stress reliever to me. :) 
Do you feel like the weekends are your chance to be productive, unwind, or both? 

Here is to a wonderful week ahead and hopefully warmer weather for Michigan! 


Posted in | 5 Comments

Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by