Monday, October 31, 2011

Flapper Fashion!

although i was trying to take in the character and be dramatic, this looks says, "why can't you ever figure out my camera?"
and, why can't he?

Last week, I wore my late grandmother's dress to a costume party.  I went as a flapper.  My grandmother's dress was her performance dress from a little barber shop style singing group that she was in called Sweet Adelines.  It is/was a national group and she was a member of one of the regional chapters.  If only I had a photo of her in it

What I do have is a page from my other grandmother's photobook.  I was going to cut out the photos and paste them but I love my grandmother's handwriting and stickers.  My grandmother is in the middle two and right photos.  Her friend, Grace (as listed) is on the left.  Don't you just love old photos that capture moments of your loved ones before you knew them.  Makes me want to turn back time and be a fly on the wall.  Like who are these boys she was hanging out with in Albany?  And what color what that dress on the right?  I do know that my great-grandmother made all of my grandmother's clothes...even her wedding dress, which will be featured in a future post.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Design Harvest

A few weeks ago, we attended Design Harvest, a fall festival celebrating design.  It's the type of festival that makes you want to go home and throw away EVERYTHING and paint all the walls white.  Unfortunately, that did not happen as I sit here staring at a sea of toys and craft supplies.  Snapped a few shots of some of my favorite ideas...

Design and paint your own rug...the best is that you can vacuum up your mistakes before sealing it 
Beautiful hanging foliage containers; great design, perfect for adding privacy to a city deck or porch
fun painted soup cans used as napkin holders; would be fun for an outdoor party

Friday, October 21, 2011

Are you down?

No longer for the North Faced enthused outdoorsy type, the down vest has become more of a standard piece in my wardrobe.  I wear it indoors and out. Throw a cozy faux fur collar or hood on it, and I'm sold.  I purchased this particular one at an Eddie Bauer outlet, like three years ago and I swear I live in it all winter.   I even slept in it a few nights in September - ok - our heat was out but it sure did keep my toasty.  The beauty of it is that my fashion staple for the winter is from Eddie Bauer peeps and the outlet for that matter. And, yes, as these photos reveal, I may have found myself in another single white female situation at work the other....but I just may have had my vest first...maybe. Btw, price per wear = negatives, for sure.  Husband, are you reading?

Believe it or not, my favorite vests I found upon searching for a new one are from Old Navy...$39.95 a pop.  
Love the collars on these!

and of course i'm swooning over this $270.00 beauty from Madewell!

look at the super cozy hood on this one from Patagonia

Linking up with KORI for Fashion Fridays!
Head on over and link up with us!

Wishing you all a warm and cozy weekend!
I'm off to Chicago's Fashion Focus runway show tonight...I'll report back next week.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fabulous Granola Recipe

A friend of ours has a fabulous tradition in his family where they must make all of the holiday gifts that they exchange.  We have enjoyed hearing of his yearly crafting which has included items like hard candy, Kaluha, soap and more.

Probably about six years ago, he made granola and hand wrote his recipe on a post-it for me.  The post-it is tucked in a sleeve in my recipe binder to be found each winter!  It just seems like more of a cool weather recipe.  The best part about it is that you can vary the recipe to fit with what is in your pantry...lots can be substituted.  Oh, and I'm totally down with any baking that makes my house smell like I've been working my arse off much more than I actually have.

Tom's Homemade Granola Recipe

4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

WISK the following and pour over dry ingredients
1/3 c Canola oil
3/4 c honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

Pour onto ungreased cookie sheet
Bake @350 for 20 min
STIR STIR STIR ever 4-5 minutes

Substitutions I've made:
  • Can use walnuts even almonds
  • I only had 1/2 cup of honey the other day and used maple syrup to complete the 3/4 c
  • I always add 1/2-1 tsp nut meg
  • Can add dried fruit, obvi
I recommend doubling the recipe because if your house is like mine, a single batch can get eaten in a day!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I was going to do a couple product reviews today, but I got a bit distracted after this conversation with my husband.  Sparked by my son waking up at 5:30am (yawn), we started talking about all the stuff kids get to do today in comparison to what we did when we were five and three.  We'd come home from school and play in the yard...maybe we'd go to the park, or get an ice cream at the dairy downtown, or watch a few eps of Courtship of Eddie's Father while snacking on super healthy nilla wafers with marshmallow fluff.  And then electronic games came along and that didn't really change much.  We had pong, until it started our TV in fire.  We never had Ataria, even though we begged for it.  We did have this Pac Man mini arcade and Matel electronic football.  I'm pretty sure we didn't play them as much as my kids want to play on the iPad, but hey, a few little greens lines as football players, that can only move in one direction, not so exciting really.

Anyway, my point, is that my kids play harder and experience much more than I did at their age.  And they eat better.  In fact, they've probably done and seen the equivalent of what I did by when I was 16.  Ok, back to the point again, all this activity should make them sleep in past 5:30 and go to bed earlier.  I promise they don't come home and play Wii, they go out, we go to the zoo, museums, the city farm, so what am I doing wrong here?  Back to sleep training.....

(old matel ad-if I was the copywriter)
"Hey Dad, this camping sucks.  I'd much rather play my Matel Electronic Football."
Dad:  "Hope you don't trip on that rock."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Three Cheese Skillet Deliciousness

As the temperatures fall, my motivation for cooking rises.  Perhaps it's simply the coziness of the kitchen and the warmth of the oven that makes me want to spend more time in this room, fattening up the family for winter.  I've been dusting off my old recipe binder to make some of my winter go to recipes:  soups, stews, cookies, granola, and this delicious three-cheese skillet lasagna (via Martha Stewart)! Easy to make, even though it does keep you in the kitchen longer than my usual preferred maximum 10 minute prep time.


  • 43 ounces canned whole peeled plum tomatoes (from a 28-ounce can and a 15-ounce can)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature
  • 1 box (12 ounces) no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, pulse tomatoes until coarsely pureed. In a large deep skillet, bring tomatoes, garlic, and oil to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce to a simmer and cook on medium until thickened, about 12 minutes (you should have 5 cups marinara sauce).
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together egg yolk, ricotta, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  3. Carefully pour sauce into a heatproof bowl and return 3/4 cup to skillet; spread sauce evenly. Add a single layer of noodles, breaking them up to fit. Top with half the ricotta mixture, spreading evenly. Follow with a second layer of noodles, then 1 1/2 cups marinara. Add a third layer of noodles, then remaining ricotta mixture. Follow with a final noodle layer, then remaining sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and pecorino over top.
  4. Bake lasagna until golden and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
MY TIME SAVING HINT:  If you don't have time to make the marina with the plum tomatoes, you can simply use a box or two of POMI Marina or start with strained tomatoes and skip the food processor part.  POMI tomatoes are fantastic and I keep my cupboard stocked with them.  I try my best to stay away from canned goods (because of the PBA issue) and these are a great replacement to canned tomatoes, which happen to absorb higher amounts of PBA compared to other canned foods because of their acidity.  I used one box of strained tomatoes when I made this last week.  The recipe calls for more, but one box was fine.

Have a winter go to recipe to share?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Makin it Work

I have a sewing machine sitting in the corner of my room.  In a box.  Used once for a class.  You'd think my obsession with Project Runway might inspire me to open the box, hem a pant, plug it in. But, no.  Apparently, I prefer to watch people sew more than actually sewing and shell out $30 to have my jeans hemmed.
Plus, I don't really know how, so there you go.

BUT, if someone could teach me to knock out designs such as Anya's from last night's final challenge, then maybe I'd dust off that box.

Anya's designs.  Stunning and I want all three.

Who's your favorite designer this season?

Appropriately linking up with KORI for Fashion Fridays!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Princesses and Pumpkins

Princesses getting married at our favorite flower store (taken from the sidewalk)
I always peak in this venue when strolling by as this is where my reception was...I've seen some stunning brides lately.  Don't you love the feather piece in her hair?

Princesses at the market

Flowers for the princesses.  Beautiful cabbage roses...this is the first year I've seen these.

Happy Wednesday, besties.
I'll be back this week with some new product reviews!

Monday, October 10, 2011


Whether the winner, the walker, in the middle, or the very last, they are all inspirations!
If you are every going to run a marathon, Chicago is the city to do it.  The fans are amazing and the energy of the runners, fans, and music along the way gives you goose bumps.  What a great morning we had spent with friends and strangers, cheering on the runners with noisemakers and high-fives!  

Friday, October 07, 2011

edgy romantic

Meet one of my besties who always takes her style to another level.  She's the one in the office who inspires on a daily basis, the one whose outfit you find yourself subconsciously copying and not realizing it until you feel like single white female walking around the office.

Here she perfects this romantic look with a floral blouse and wispy pulled back hair, all while keeping her innate kickin style with the rockin boots and armful of goodies.  And love, love the juxtaposition of the feminine blouse with the edgy skull bauble charm.  

She is also the inspiration behind my post on doubling belts as bracelets.  
The girl has style. Check her out on tumblr here.

you can find the necklace at this etsy shop

Who inspires you?

Linking up with Kori for Fashion Fridays!