Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Pins {Pinterest}

above: {source / pin it}
below: {source / pin it} // Mango, Avocado, & Black Bean Salad {source / pin it}
above: Peach Ginger Mule {source / pin it } // Strawberry Mango Salsa {source / pin it }
below: Boozy Citrus & Whipped Goat Cheese Popsicles {source / pin it}
One of the things that has been putting me in a good mood lately is Pinterest (and Bravo reality shows). It's been sort of an escape from reality really, reminding me to stay inspired and evolve my style. 
These are some pins from my Summer board. Hope these make you happy too. 
above: still need to find some overalls {source / pin it} // mermaid hair {source / pin it
below: {source / pin it

Friday, July 18, 2014

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad
This couldn't be a simpler thing to throw together, to serve warm or cold. Sweet, tangy, and the popping texture of quinoa. I describe quinoa as popping, wouldn't you?
In a large bowl just mix together, 1.5 cups cooked quinoa, 1 can black beans, handful of corn or more, 16oz Trader Joes BBQ Pulled Pork (in the refrigerator section), a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and some diced avocados. Drizzle with some of your favorite BBQ sauce and voila! All done. 
Nom time. 
BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chicago Lately...

Before this disruption in life I was telling you about a few days ago, summer was off to a good start. Looking back at these times, some just a few weeks ago, I am reminded that life goes on and will return to “normal” soon...
Caught a free concert AND thunderstorm in Millennium Park. Can you see the lightning reflection off the building? I don't know how I caught that moment. 
My friend invited me to join her family on a pontoon boat ride. Even though we almost sunk the boat, it was super fun to catch the free fireworks show at Navy Pier (every Wed and Sat in the summer). 
Yep, I went trapezing. Probably the most "daredevil" thing I've ever done. It's an awesome outdoor setting along the lake. I'm proud of myself for doing it, but I don't know if I have the guts to go again...
trapeze LM
LM trapeze marina trapeze girls
A few of my improv ladies after our graduation show. 
hotel lincoln
Hotel Lincoln, just the coolest boutique hotel ever.
conservatory conservatory
Flora at the Lincoln Park Conservatory (free! also next to the free zoo!)
New favorite store alert! Alapash
zoo mom
Flamingos at the Lincoln Park Zoo // glimpse of my parents visit
Adorable plate wall at Elly's Pancake House
conservatory greens
more Conservatory // Green - a gorg flower shop

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mixtape Monday: What I Listening to and Why

On heavy rotation lately, though not all new. 

1. Free the Animal - Sia (Loving her new album, 1000 Forms of Fear, right now this is my top track.)
2. Cold Case - St. Lucia (summery as ever)
3. Nothing Ordinary - Lucius
4. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (smooth and groovy)
5. The Hours - Beach House (I need them to make some new music soon.)
6. Fair Game - Sia
7. Kingfisher - PHOX
8. Tin Foiled - Andrew Bird
9. Go Home - Lucius (They are quickly becoming a favorite of mine.)
10. Honey & I  - HAIM (I overlooked this song when I first heard it months ago, I don't know why.)
11. Master Pretender - First Aid Kit
12. In the Wind - Lord Huron (Another band that needs to release another album soon.)
13. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. - Noah and the Whale (This song is exactly what I need right now.)


Thursday, July 10, 2014

This past week has been the hardest week of my life. Without getting into details, and in an effort to keep this blog on a positive note, I just want you all to know that I am okay, just my world has been shaken up a bit. One day I'll be able to write about it with more clarity, but it's going to take time. 
Honestly, I didn't know I had this much strength until thrown this situation, handed this "life experience" - and didn't know how many people thought I was this strong. The tragic, unexpected things in life can make us learn so much about ourselves and how others think of us too. I've never second guessed my move to Chicago, but this situation has truly showed me how many people here in this city truly care for me and love me. I have a foundation here, a second family.
Like this quote above I'm learning that I HAVE control over how I handle things, and it has given me a sense of power and courage. At the same time I am exploring my feelings and letting myself just experience them as to bottling them up. 
I'm taking all measures in my life right now to return to normalcy and routine as that's how I think I will heal most efficiently. Returning to work, working out, cooking, blogging, improvising, laughing. 
After the winter, I told myself I would never take leaves and grass for granted again, and I have just been reminded how blessed I am for things I always took for granted like my upbringing, my ever accepting and loving parents, mental and physical health, and my belief in God. 
I've always had a healthy appreciation for life, I've occasionally cried at nature for Christ's sake, but it has just now been magnified. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit

So many beautiful double exposures in this video. It makes my heart happy. 
These Swedes somehow perfectly capture the Americana genre, too. Be sure to give their latest album Stay Gold a listen.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Farro with Zucchini and Tomatoes

Summer Farro with Zucchini and Tomatoes
Summer produce is finally here! Here's to no ovens, fresh vegetables and eating healthy! 
This is the first summery dish I have made this season - and I'll be making it again. Loads of flavor and texture. 

Summer Farro with Zucchini and Tomatoes
(adapted from Joy the Baker
8.8 oz bag farro, cooked and cooled (I love the 10 minute boil bags from Trader Joes)
2 zucchinis, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1lb. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped rosemary 
4oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions, peppers, garlic and zucchini and saute until cooked through but still vibrant in color, about 5 minutes.  Toss in the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste towards the end of cooking the vegetables.
2. Toss cooked vegetables with cooked farro in a large bowl, along with rosemary, 2 tablespoons olive oil and goat cheese. Salt and pepper to taste and add extra oil if needed. 

Can be served cold or warm - makes about 6 large servings

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer To-Do List {Chicago}

Time for my annual Summer check-list -  but one more centered around my new Chicago home. 

> go the beach a few times, try out different ones - must get used to them not being salt water
> attend a Cubs game
> have a coffee and chill out in Heritage Bicycles General Store
> explore more of Logan Square and Pilsen
> go to as many free outdoor concerts and movies as I can
> get to know my neighborhood and surrounding ones EVEN better
> rent a bike and ride down Lake Michigan
> STREET FESTIVALS, all weekend, err weekend
>check out Garfield Park Conservatory, and all the other conservatories for that matter
> swim in a pool
> host outdoor parties at our apartment
>Farmer's Markets
> improv jams to fill the void of taking off classes this summer
> finally take some pictures of the apartment for the blog
>find/wear some overalls!
>try not to get sunburnt

>complete the patio and plant more flowers in the front yard
> homemade sodas and simple srups
> Shrimp and Grits
> Korean Tacos and Bahn Mi Tacos
> try more Moroccan dishes
> create summery cocktails
> homemade salsa
>paint some terra cotta pots
> DIY citronella candles

> Honey Butter Fried Chicken / Leghorn Chicken
> Bang Bang Pie Shop
> a rainbow cone
> The Boiler Room for their PB+J (pizza, beer and Jameson) deal
> Jeni's, lots of Jeni's
> all the fresh fruit and vegetables
> try out more donut shops
>Nini's Deli 
> 90 Miles Cuban Cafe
> Paper Moon Bakery

> The Vacationers
> The Goldfinch
> Wild
> all the other books that I put down and never finished

> They Came Together
> Neighbors
> 22 Jump Street
> The Fault in Our Stars

Whats on your Summer to-do list?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mixtape Monday: Stay Golden

It's finally reached 90 degrees and I have started crossing things off my Summer to-do list, which only means it's time for a seasonal mixtape: 

1. Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It! - Kishi Bashi
2. From Africa to Malaga - Jj
3. Boom Clap - Charli XCX
4. Just One of the Guys -  Jenny Lewis (Jenny Lou is back! Praise JESUS! And I have tickets to see her live!)
5. How Loud Your Heart Gets - Lucius (Also seeing this band live too! Check out their debut album, I don't know why I waited so long to get it.)
6. Silverline - Lykke Li
7. My Silver Lining - First Aid Kit (great retro vibe)
8. Frogs Singing - Andrew Bird (Off his latest album of Handsome Family covers)
9. Friend and Foe - The Watson Twins
10. Southern Sun (Live from MusicFeeds) - Boy & Bear
11. I Never Learn - Lykke Li (must watch accompaniment
12. Far From Any Road (Be My Hand) - Andrew Bird (True Detective theme song cover)

listen to all but #9:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Guide to Modern Chairs

I promise an apartment tour is coming soon, but for now here are little snippets of my home - the statement chairs. One King's Lane asked me to show off my favorite chairs and share their Complete Guide to Modern Chairs - a very interesting read that gave insight to my vintage and new seating.
 I have so many different eras and styles of chairs in my apartment, and I think that is only a reflection of my overall interior design style. 

mid century chair
Definitely a Mid-Century Modern chair - the legs and Mad-Men vibe totally give it away. This chair was actually left by the former tenants and just happened to my in my favorite decorating color: orange. The pillow was my addition, and the plant stand next to it - my roommate's - is also in the same Mid-Century style too. 
mid century chair ghost chair
peacock chair
My beloved $13 thrifted peacock chair score! It was bright green, but I spray painted it periwinkle to match my coffee table. The cushion adds to the throne/perch feel. Though I associate peacock chairs with Palm Springs and the 1970's, the early designs were made in the 1920's by Frank Lloyd Wright from Chicago. 
ghost chair
This Louis Ghost Chair was the chair of my dreams in college and I still love it today. Clearly modern and new, no pun intended. 
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