June 28, 2013

THE WEEKENDER

This weekend Kurt and I are headed to our hometowns for family parties.  I'm excited to spend time with both of our families and visit pieces of our pasts.  I hope you have a great weekend!  Here are some of my favorite links from around the web this week....

I've always liked doing work at coffee shops.

....and it turns out that coffee is good for us too!

How great are these his + her mugs?

Hopefully I'll have time to make one of these beautiful crowns for the fourth of July weekend.

How cool would this bedroom be?

In just a few weeks I'm going to be surrounded by cacti.  I might try making this cute mini cacti garden for the new yard...

I would love to take a road trip and visit some of these beautiful national parks (and make a stop at the Redwoods).

I love these ideas for a little spring cleaning for your body.

BLOGLOVIN

I've finally gotten around to joining Bloglovin.  Follow me and find some of my other favorite blogs (there are so many great ones out there!).


June 27, 2013

BRUNCHIN'

As we all know, my favorite meal of the day is brunch.  Before I left my beloved city of Milwaukee, I had brunch with a friend at one of my favorite spots in the city, Cafe Hollander.  The bloodys were amazing (Grahams had bacon! and mine was infused with avocado. yum.) and the atmosphere was relaxing but upbeat and fresh. We sat outside by the fountain and it was beautiful.  I'm hoping to make it back to Milwaukee for one more brunch before I head out west.  I'm thinking Balzac or Blue's Egg?  Hopefully the southwest loves brunch as much as Milwaukee....

June 24, 2013

SUNDAY FUNDAY


Every second of this last weekend was perfect but if I had to choose, my favorite day was Sunday.  We spent the whole afternoon biking along the river and through the city.  I discovered areas of Dayton that I didn't even realize existed!  We attempted to get lunch at the Silver Fern Cafe at Riverscape Metro along the river but they aren't open Sundays (along with every other lunch place in Dayton, it seems).  So instead, we enjoyed the fountains at the park, ran into a festival downtown and finally made our way back home to indulge in Chinese take-out (our favorite).  And if it wasn't a perfect day already, Kurt surprised me with tickets to a comedy show at Funny Bone.  We were laughing all night, it was the best.



 Thanks for a perfect weekend, Kurt!

June 21, 2013

THE WEEKENDER

{a shot of campus in late fall}

This weekend I am returning to my alma mater for the first time since I graduated (it's been a whole two months and I already miss it!).  Kurt still lives next to campus so I'm visiting him for the week!  He has hinted at a week full of surprises, dinners at some of my favorite restaurants, and time to relax together.  I'm so excited!  Have a great weekend.  Here are some fun links from around the web....

This made me a little nostalgic and a lot happy.

Some great (and cheap) breakfast ideas.

Videos like this give me a little more faith in humanity.

This bloody mary looks amazing.  I can't wait to try it.

Some of these ideas make me want to throw a party!

This project is so fun!

Don't these cocktails looks delicious?  I'm planning on trying the gin sparkler tonight!

June 20, 2013

OJAS

{The beautiful, inspiring beaches of Ghana}
My favorite part about eating healthy is how it lifts my spirits and this Whole Living article only further affirmed my experiences.  I love this idea of an 'ojas' and I can't wait to try some of these tips for better nutrition to impact my mood.  Some other things I like to do to ensure a positive day and boost my ojas....
Do yoga (even just 5 minutes) the moment I get out of bed.  This stretches out my body and calms my mind so I can start my day on the right note both mentally and physically.
Eat a good breakfast.
Exercise!  Find a type of exercise you enjoy and get into a routine--this is another aspect that has a positive impact both mentally and physically.
Surround yourself with positive, happy people that you love.  A positive attitude is contagious!  Those who I am closest to agree with these beliefs and we help one another to keep a positive, happy outlook.
Have something to look forward to--whether it's a delicious new recipe I'm planning on making for dinner or a new bottle of wine to indulge in that evening, having something to look forward to makes me that much happier throughout the day!
What do you do to ensure high spirits and a positive day?

June 19, 2013

COMET


Kurt knows my favorite meal is brunch so when he was in town last weekend we spent my last Sunday in Milwaukee exploring the brunch scene.  My mom had recommended The Comet Cafe with a post card she bought from the cafe and sent to me back in April when I was living in Dayton.  I have wanted to try it ever since and neither Kurt or I were disappointed!  The menu was vast (and vegan friendly!).  I really enjoyed Kelly's Vegan Scramble and Kurt was adventurous and got the special--a breakfast sandwich made of sausage and eggs with pancakes as the bread!  We got to sit at the bar and the staff was great--it felt like we were hanging out with friends!  With such a fun atmosphere, great bar, and amazing food I'll make sure I make this a stop when I come back to visit my hometown.

June 18, 2013

BREAKFAST CHRONICLES

Love & Lemons has done it again.  I spent the morning making their delicious vegan french toast.  The best part?  I had everything I needed right at home.  Paired with a mountain of fruit and a mug of daybreak, it was a perfect morning.

June 17, 2013

THE BEST SURPRISE


{I loved the Apple Peach Hard Cider from Ciderboys}
This weekend was even more perfect than I had planned!  Friday night we celebrated my mom's last day of work with our favorite fish fry and some Veuve Clicquot. On Saturday we made our annual visit to the Breast Cancer Showhouse.  It was beautiful and fun, as usual!  After the showhouse we visited the newest restaurant in my town, The Bay.  I give it rave reviews, the salmon salad was delicious.  Then we headed home to get ready for Beer Fest and.....
Kurt was in the kitchen!  It was the best.  We spent the rest of the day tasting the amazing beers of Wisconsin with friends and enjoyed a barbeque at a family friends house for dinner.  It was the perfect weekend.  Thank you for the best surprise, Kurt!
{one of my closest friends, Luckey, and I at our second annual beer fest together}

{me, Charlie, and my mom enjoying the day}

{one of my favorite beers was a chai tea porter from this Stevens Point Brewery}

BREAKFAST CHRONICLES

This is my all time favorite breakfast.  Over the last year I have developed an avocado obsession and I like fitting it into my diet in different ways.  This morning, I layered slices onto a whole wheat english muffin and sprinkled salt and garlic powder on top.  I'm sure you'll be seeing this one again (and again, and again) in different forms (think: honey).  Enjoy and be healthy.  Happy Monday!

June 14, 2013

THE WEEKENDER


{A shot I took last summer while sailing on Lake Michigan of the sunset over Milwaukee}
This will be my first weekend spent at home in weeks but the last weekend I'll spend in my hometown for a while.  So I've filled up my schedule with dinners with family and friends, Milwaukee's best beer fest, and a father's day cookout.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Here are some fun weekender links....

I am a huge Sex and the City fan and loved this collection of Carrie Bradshaw moments.

In case you're in a bind and craving some vino.

So very true.

Some good ideas for making your home more efficient.

These are so cute for a girls night!

I'm currently re-reading this and am so excited to see the movie when I visit Kurt next week!

June 13, 2013

BIRTHDAY SISTERS

{WSJ}
It's time that I confess my love for the Olsen twins.  I practically feel as though I grew up with them.  I watched as they would play with Uncle Jesse, solve mysteries by dinnertime, and have jealous-worthy tween adventures around the world.  But now, I am an avid lover and follower of their fashion.  Many people are unaware of their success in the fashion world.  Clueless to the existence Elizabeth and James, The Row or Stylemint to name just a few.  So happy birthday to my favorite sister power team.  Thank you for the inspiration.

BREAKFAST CHRONICLES

Breakfast is such an important (and healthy, and critical) part of the day.  I used to never eat breakfast due to lack of ideas and time but I have recently started to change my mindset and take control of mornings.  By waking up a bit earlier and having a long list of easy and delicious meals on hand, I have been able to start my days on the right note.  I am excited to share some of my favorite breakfasts with you through my 'breakfast chronicles' series!

QUICK OATS
prep time: 10 minutes

Follow instructions on how to make Trader Joe's Steel Cut Oats on the stove.
While the oats are cooking, cut up your favorite fruits.  This morning I used bananas, strawberries, and blackberries.
Sprinkle fruit on top of the cooked oats and drizzle honey to taste.

June 12, 2013

PLANT DRIVEN


^^homemade sushi! a birthday exception.^^

Healthy living is an important part of my life.  This is most prominent in the kitchen where, on a regular basis, I eat a whole foods plant based diet.  Put more simply, I rarely eat animal products or animals themselves.  My Wisconsin-born family gave up all things animal (including cheese!) over a year ago (beginning with this amazing documentary) and we are so happy with the results.  I feel better, have healthier skin, and am overall happier.  Contrary to what many believe, my diet does not consist of lettuce and cardboard.  In fact, I have more fun cooking on a whole foods plant based diet!  I get to use my creativity and scour the internet and cookbooks for fun new recipes and I even make up my own.

That being said, I eat this way for health reasons only, which means that I get to make exceptions when the time is right.  Having me over for dinner?  Make me a steak!  What did I order for Easter brunch at Lillie’s?  Eggs benedict with salmon! Balance is essential to a healthy life and everyone needs to indulge once and a while :)

^^juicing with fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers market has become a new favorite^^


^^Kurt showing off the pig's nose at an exception barbeque when we were vacationing in Florida^^

^^a cheese-less pizza picnic at Columbia last Spring when Kurt and I visited my brother Charlie in NYC^^

June 11, 2013

IVY LEAGUE

I spent a good amount of my weekend driving but it was worth being able to celebrate my cousins graduation in New Hampshire.  It is a beautiful part of the country that I have never been able to explore before.  Although Dartmouth is located in the middle of nowhere, it was absolutely beautiful and inspiring in it's isolation.  From frat parties to official Phi Beta Kappa meetings (my cousin has some brains!) it was a wonderful weekend full of food and a lovely celebration of accomplishments.  Congratulations, Joey!


June 10, 2013

SNACK TIME

My favorite snack just happens to be an easy and (somewhat) healthy one.  How lucky am I?!  Just pour a slight layer vegetable oil into a heated pan, add a handful of popcorn seeds, cover the pan and let them pop!  Add a little sea salt and throw in your favorite movie (or show)!

June 7, 2013

THE WEEKENDER

{a shot of the Lion's Gate Bridge I took while visiting cousins in Vancouver last summer}

I can't believe its already the weekend again.  And I'm already headed back to the east coast!  My cousin is graduating from Dartmouth and we are on our way to celebrate with him.  I'll be driving through some familiar territory (a similar route I used to take when I would drive to school in Dayton) and some new (hopefully beautiful!) areas of the country I haven't seen before.  Here are some fun weekender links for you....

This is my favorite playlist to listen to while spending an evening cooking, eating, and enjoying wine in the kitchen with my family.

Have you seen these funny and interesting maps of the United States?

Safe Haven was my first Nicholas Sparks book and I liked it so much that I'm going to try out this memoir during the drive to Dartmouth!  I heard it's a little different than his others so I'm really excited.

I'm also going to be reading this.  Alex was reading it on the beach last weekend and it seemed so uplifting and interesting.

As a fresh graduate with no current employment I have been scouring Netflix for a new show and ran across Private Practice.  I'm a huge Grey's fan and am always a little late on TV shows so it's so perfect for me.  I've been loving it!


I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

June 6, 2013

PIZZA PIZZA

I made the most amazing pizza for my family last night.  I found the recipe on one of my (new) favorite food blogs The First Mess.  I was a bit wary about adding the mint at first but it was the perfect addition and the extra touch that made the pizza as delectable as it was.  I used my own sauce recipe and paired it with a delicious (and cheap!) bottle of red table wine from Trader Joe's.  Try it out and enjoy!

Sauce:
one can of tomato paste
three spoonfuls of Trader Joe's Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant and Garlic
two garlic cloves, minced
a squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper to taste

June 5, 2013

THE BEST DATES

I live for going on dates.  Whether it's dinner at a fancy restaurant, an afternoon bike ride, or Chinese takeout and netflix, I believe dates are so important for a healthy relationship (and they're FUN!).  When we were vacationing in Florida we would spend our nights at a dirty, old fashioned arcade and I loved every second of it.  Friends, the games, the beer, the photo booths, the rides...we were in heaven.



June 4, 2013

CRAVINGS

{browsing a vintage store in paris last summer}
I am craving some new pieces in my wardrobe now that there is finally a hint of warmth in the breeze coming through my window.  With my days left living in Milwaukee slowly dwindling it may be time to take one last visit to my favorite vintage store in the city.....hopefully I'll be back soon with some beautiful new additions!

June 3, 2013

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

{an afternoon in brooklyn bridge park}

My brother Charlie has been taking classes at Columbia for a couple of years and New York City has become one of my favorite places to visit.  The last few holiday breaks have been spent exploring the energetic streets of the city.  In April, Kurt and I left our mini city of Dayton to spend the week in a true urban setting.  We filled our week with everything from visiting touristy destinations with cameras around our necks to blending into the nightlife on the upper west side.   
From morning runs through central park with Kurt to evenings in local pubs on the upper west wide with one of my best friends from Semester at Sea (and now Charlie's girlfriend!).  From walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and exploring beer gardens to looking out over the lights of NYC at night with a kiss on top of the Empire State building.  From spending an evening laughing at Upright Citizens Brigade to Easter brunch at Lillie's to walking The High Line, it was a wonderful week spent with some of my favorite people.

{New York, we love you!}

DUNE DAZE

{the dunes on the shores of Maryland}
My weekend was full of indulgences and constant conversation.  We had so much fun laying out on the beach, catching up on the last two years, and reminiscing about our travels together. I tend to be distracted by the moment but here are a few that I was able to catch before they were over.  Hope you had as wonderful a weekend as I did!
{waking up to this in the mornings. bliss}
{sushi is possibly my favorite thing and we indulged (twice!)}
{seafood just tastes better in the salty ocean air}
 
{we had to hide between the dunes to escape the wind. but it was still so beautiful}


{i had so much fun with you two! lets do it again soon}