Thursday, September 30, 2010

Take me to your leader....

Every morning I feel like I am doing the zombie walk to my coffee machine or espresso machine (if I have the energy to make espresso) which I usually don't, which is why i am sleepwalking to get coffee in the first place, duh. It's like those Folgers commercials.

Shot 1: The sun is rising just over the mountains...
Reality: it's raining in Chicago, there are no mountains, its flatter than my 12yr old chest (did i just write that?)

Shot 2: You see my arms just starting to stretch as I open my eyes in bed
Reality: i am not in my bed but probably on the kids floor or worse, half sleeping on the edge of a toddler bed and i NEVER WAKE UP LIKE a little person always wakes me up first

Shot 3: Close up on the coffee maker with last few drips of coffee falling as it beeps that it is done
Reality: ok, this actually does happen, yeah!

Shot 3: I inhale the aroma and it brings a smile to my face
Reality: i am tapping my arm, can't get the caffeine in fast enough, no time to stop and smell the coffee :)

Shot 4: Beautiful cream pouring into a hot cup of coffee in my favorite mug
Reality: My husband has used the last of the half & half i am furiously calling him out on blackberry messenger
Wait, this just happened in real time: i am sitting here with my half cup, ready to go for a second, and my husband says, "oh, i thought you were done" after he pours the last few precious golden drops into his travel mug.

Nonetheless, I have been cherishing old (and new) coffee signs lately...snapped a few in some coffee shops and have one in my kitchen that I bought at a sidewalk sale (and by sidewalk sale, I mean someone literally selling their stuff on the sidewalk in front of their house during the Old Town Art Fair).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Love going through old photos ...found one of my faves that I wanted to share. Taken at a friend's wedding who got married on a farm/vineyard in northern Michigan. Lovely wedding. Lovely day. Lovely moment.

Shopping my closet

I currently cannot see my bed or any piece of furniture in my room due to the emptying of my closet. Transitioning seasons here and trying to be a thrifty chick by shopping my closet and putting fall outfits together. The sea of tags from unworn items is a bit disturbing and just a little reminder of historic retail therapy sessions and day of date freak out purchases. Sigh...

But, alas, a friend of mine has inspired me to do a full purge. She went by the three seasons rule...if it hasn't be worn in three seasons, it's out. The funny thing is, the pieces that I am saving are like six seasons old but have come back around again. Many of the items have already been in a "donate" pile previous years, only to be rescued for the "just in case" moment or for nostalgia purposes.

So far, it looks like I will be shopping elsewhere :) But, we'll see what my closet has to offer first. If I could only pull together the look of that short fisherman-esque sweater in previous post. I really can't stop fantasizing about that sweater.

The best part about this boutique, they serve red wine and m&m's. Back to the closet....

Monday, September 27, 2010


I (my friend and I) can find a find ex-college boyfriend that my "friend" dated for a month before he transferred schools (no, he's not on FB or Twitter, oh and no, we don't consider ourselves stalkers, just expert sleuthers ;) BUT I cannot find out any more information on this sweater featured in the Sunday Style section of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. What gives here?!?!? Need to find this sweater so that I can do further research into finding an affordable copycat!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I cherish any store, restaurant, company that embraces children and allows a mom to shop. The places that don't give the all-knowing, "this is not the place for children" look. Because let's face it, sometimes you have to get something accomplished, sometimes you have to bring your kids, sometimes they go along with it and are perfect angels, and sometimes they are not. That is when you find yourself chasing them around the store, praying that nothing will break, and making way more "deals" in the form of candy and trinket toys, than Parenting magazine would probably recommend.

So, when I walked into Benefit the other day in search of a birthday gift, I was afraid that it was going to be one of "those" times. The crazy switch went off in the kids and they were on the verge of going bananas. I thought that I was going to have to bail when my 4yr old headed out the door so I told the saleslady that I'd come back later. And that is when she asked if the kids would like to draw. Ummm, YES, they would LOVE TO DRAW! What took you so long to ask!? And for the next 20 minutes, I had two perfectly quiet angels drawing in the Benefit Activity Books, while I actually had some makeup applied, shopped for my friend, and had a little moment of bliss. Kudos to Benefit. And smart move, because I am just as much of a sucker for new makeup trends as the next tired worn out mom with bags, a need for primer, and a little tint...

852 West Armitage
Chicago , IL 60614

Friday, September 24, 2010

Flights and Friends

I had such good intentions for fun fall posts this week, but in reality, it was a rough, long week and I am just glad it is Friday. Looking forward to a nice glass of red wine and some trash TV tonight to shake it all off.

Last Friday, I celebrated a friend's birthday with red wine flights at The Tasting Room. It was a lovely evening and the wine, cheeses, and flatbreads simply topped it off as a great intro to Fall.

Happy Friday Friends!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New blogs I am cherishing this week....

and wanting to have more time with...but that would entail not sleeping. I will get to them sooner or later...hopefully sooner and with a grande latte in hand, curled up in my favorite Barefoot Dreams blanket (had to include a link here bc it is seriously the coziest blanket eva), and with all my bookmarks open.

Country French Doughnuts

When the weather on Sunday had called for thunderstorms and cooler temperatures, I had envisioned a day of baking and cooking. But when the sun peeped out around 9am and the temperature started to rise, I had to switch gears and spend the morning at one of the kids' favorite parks. Also, ok, as September usually allows us to drag summer out a bit longer and it's been way to cool way to fast. However, I did get some baking in in the early a.m.

I had forgotten how easy these yummy little muffins are to make. Recipe is from my mother in law so I can't give proper credit. All I know is that they are a delicious little treat and go perfectly with coffee and the Sunday paper.

Wishing that I was baking them in this country French kitchen....

in this country French villlage....

Recipe to follow...

Monday, September 20, 2010


I've almost come to grips that summer is over and I am falling in love with fall.

Pumpkins, baking, red wine, boots, cozy sweaters, fireplaces, fall vegetables, cableknit legwarmers in size 2T (adorable on those little toddler legs), spiced cider, football, back to school grins, dark nails, s'mores, the list could go on....can we repeat in fun fonts?

b a k i n g

boots, boots, boots
cozy sweaters
fall vegetables
cableknit legwarmers in size 2T
spiced cider
back to school GRINS

the list could go on....

Let's start with Saturday morning at the Green City between rain storms.
These organic carrots have so much flavor

Who knew kids would eat radishes?

In my current favorite jeans for September (J.Crew-purchased years ago)...rolled up twice..they are not bright white, not cream, just really neutral (I don't follow that no white after labor day silliness)...perfect with striped shirts and great belts. Cherishing that early fall nautical look. A few more weeks and these goodies will be retired for the season....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Project Stripes!

The Challenge: Contestants must show their design aesthetic by creating an American sportswear look using the iconic Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as their muse and inspiration.

The Winner: Mondo

The Real Winner:
the shirt owner

Friday, September 17, 2010


Going into the weekend phoneless, cameraless,'s been a bad week for electronics. Think it will be liberating or imprisoning? Most likely, I'll be on the porch catching a one-bar wifi off the neighbors and camping out at Verizon to be the first customer on Saturday morning.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Repost: Pesto Tonight!

Walking in the door after 5:30 with nothing planned for dinner always puts me into a slight panic. Sometimes, just sometimes, I surprise myself and whip up a good dinner, unplanned.

I have been watering my basil in the herb garden box and almost forgot the reason I HAVE the herbs! So, I clipped a handful of leaves, searched for a few "easy pesto recipes" and came up with this.

(I don't pretend to be a good cook, and I don't have the patience for a lot of measuring so I often just improvise and cross my fingers).

Recently made Pesto again and varied the recipe.

*About a handful and a half of basil (big stems removed)
*1/2 cup olive oil (divided)
*Juice from half lemon
*Half a clove of garlic (1-2 cloves)
*1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
*Couple shakes of nutmeg
*A little salt
*Couple shakes of black pepper
*1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I actually used 1/2 but that was too much, 1/4 cup will be perfect)
Walnuts made the pesto thicker and more flavorful!

I dumped all of the above except for 1/4 cup olive oil into my blender (my food processor is still sitting nicely wrapped in the crate & barrel box from my wedding 6 yrs ago...otherwise, i would use that). And I topped it off with the rest of the olive oil (I read on one site that this helps weight the leaves down and pushes them into the blender blades).

Meanwhile, I boiled pasta, washed lettuce and chopped walnuts.

Dinner was Pesto with whole wheat rotini and a mixed greens salad with goat cheese and walnuts. Dressing was olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and a little lemon juice.

Dessert: Pineapple Coconut ice cream topped with fresh blueberries.

Kids has seconds. Husband asked if it was his birthday. Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hip Huts

Spotted at Renegade....

As much as I am trying to downsize in the toy arena, I may just have to have one of these hip huts in our condo...let's see, hmmmm, I could live without the oven. There, found a space for it ;)

Real Housewives of Bedrock

I caught this scene on The Flinstones the other day while flipping through channels. Well, I definitely couldn't relate to this show when I was six, but...i can now.

Wilma: I sure made a boo boo this morning.

Betty: How come?

Wilma: I casually mentioned that were going shopping today to Fred.

Betty: That explains all the screaming and yelling I heard at your place

Wilma: I guess the whole neighborhood heard it.

Betty: I guess I am lucky, Barney didn’t say a word, not a word…he just turned around, clutched his throat, gasped a few times and fainted.

Wilma: Fred always turns red, starts screaming and shows me the check stubs.

Betty: I hate those check stubs.

This is word for word...yes, I sat there with the dvr remote until I got it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MCA Farmers Market

Tuesday morning farmers market at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago...this has been my best discovery of the summer.

The museum has a kids art tent at the market that features a weekly art project. The last project was using food or random objects as painting tools (the corn cob was the biggest hit, making nice textural patterns). Every project incorporates recycled or found objects.

I think that the market is over for the season...but we'll be back next year.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Octoberfest Alley Party!

Octoberfest Alley Party! Another fabulous party in the back alley with the neighbors. It's amazing what you can pull together with so little planning. Just a quick checklist email on Friday and everyone pitched in to make a very fun party. Craft beers, artisan cheeses, brats, German chocolate cupcakes, tea lights...need I say more!

Mobile photos...wish I could find my real camera!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Renegade faves

Looking forward to visiting several of my favorite Renegade artists and one of them is Jo Design. Her amazing stuff just cries for winter, hot chocolate, cozy tights and boots! I have purchased several dresses and live in them all winter.


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Countdown to Renegade Craft Fair!


The Renegade Craft Fair takes places this weekend on Division Street!
And the Saturday scene that I have playing in my head is getting me through the week.

It will start out with me sleeping in until 7am (yes, 7am is sleeping in for me, sad, but true).
Reality: the kids wake up at 6am...someone has a meltdown...i drink coffee and watch curious george for an hr)

The next shot is of me heading out the door for a nice run along the lake (more likely not, but this is my movie).
Reality: I am still drinking coffee but we have moved to the porch and kids are playing, and i am not working out

After my morning workout, I head out the door, sporting a super cute early Fall outfit, straw bag in hand, and take a stroll through the Green City Market.
Reality: i am chasing kids around the market, dodging strollers, and eating too many doughnuts

Finally, I head out to Sip for a large cappuccino and start my RENEGADE DAY!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Obsession: stripes

And just as soon as I thought my stripe obsession was coming to an end...I see this

bb dakota

and these...



the last two of which i have similar twinsies, almost same cut and color, hanging nicely in my closet.

too tired to post links...second two cardis from shopbop

Have fruit. Need recipes.

Picked 56 pounds of apples and 5 pints of raspberries this weekend at Garwood Farms.

Searching recipes now.....

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

Savoring the last long weekend of summer at the lake...

Hoping to:

take slow strolls through the farmer's markets....

take long bike rides
(not really, bikes and i don't get along too well, but love this bike in the photo;)

get in a beach fire...i can taste the s'mores now!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


From the Architectural Boat Tour
4yr old photographer

Monroe Street Bridge, I think

Signature shoe shot