Monday, December 29, 2014

The Indoor Plant Project




There's something about the Winter that makes me a little weird..  I get lazy,  moody, and extremely anxious around the house.  Partly because it's depressingly cold here, and another reasons is the fact that there's hardly any natural sun!  We are fortunate enough to live in a big, beautiful apartment with tall ceilings, wood floors and huge windows that open up to (drum roll please) a big ol' brick wall, so it's easy to conclude that my craziness is directly from the absence of sunlight around here.

This winter, we took it into our own hands and bought a huge grow light to mount above the kitchen sink.  It was quite the project, but we made it work and now we are rewarded by a blinding fluorescent grow light for all my assorted plants and succulents!  Woo-hoo!  Time to get wild and blossom into the crazy plant lady I've always been destined to become.

What are your ways of beating the Winter blues?  And are there any other plant fans out there?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chasing Daylight




FINALLY got my hands on a beautiful wrist watch for Christmas!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!  My clues were rather aggressive and direct this year so they knew exactly what I was after.

We traveled from Chicago to St. Louis this year to visit Jake's family, and boy, has it been a loonngg time since I've seen them.  We had a wonderful stay with his enormous (and extremely nice!) family and ventured back home to relax for the weekend.  It sure is nice to be back home!

Took a few pictures trying to show off my beautiful unisex watch, but the sun sets so freaking fast lately.  I swear, it's trying to peace out by 1pm now which makes taking pictures in the daylight nearly impossible.

Did everyone have a good Christmas?  Any New Years resolutions yet?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Knitted and Knotted




Coat: Thrifted // Leggings: La Fee Verte // Sweater: Urban Outfitters // Shoes: French Connection // Earrings:Anthropologie

Whoa!  It's been a while.  And let me tell you why in as few words as possible. 

FINALS

OK..  That was one word because I don't think finals need any lengthy explanation.  
I was absolutely beat after my exams and at one point, I swear my brain was so scrambled that I forgot my own name.  I've been mixing up words during that period as well, with things like "productful" and "irreguardless".  Am I the only one who does that?? (please someone tell me I'm not so I feel less crazy)

Anyways, can we talk about this wonderful oversized, chunky, textured sweater?  Isn't she a looker?  I happily snapped this up on an online Urban Outfitters sale and could not be more pleased for a substantial winter outfit.  Bring on the cold!!  

How's everyone's party season going?  Are you caught up with Christmas shopping??  I haven't even started... Whoops!  Happy Thursday!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bread making for beginners




So.. I got a little sucked into watching the numerous food and farming documentaries they now have on Netflix and I got a little inspired.  After viewing a certain Ted Talks about bread, I think it's safe to say that I was drinking the kool aid a little too much and instantly sought out a plain and simple basic bread recipe.  I filed through countless recipes but none of them seemed "authentic" or easy enough for me until I stumbled upon this whopper.  It requires only 3 ingredients and very minimal effort so we can skip to the eating part without breaking a sweat from kneading it all day.  Yay!  I modified the 'no-knead crusty artisan bread' recipe from The Comfort of Cooking blog, and I was completely shocked when my bread came out EXACTLY like hers on the first attempt!  I'll be keeping this one. 

No-Knead Crusty Artisan Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Directions:

  1. Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add warm water and stir until all the flour is wetted thoroughly and the dough forms a cohesive mass.  Do not overwork the dough! (Shouldn't be a problem for us lazy folks)
  2. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and and let it sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours.  The dough will rise and get bubbly. 
  3. Preheat your oven to 450F and place an uncovered dutch oven in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.** 
  4. Turn the dough on a floured surface with floured hands and form it into a nice ball.  Let it sit until the dutch oven is heated through.   
  5. Place the dough into the heated dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.  Remove the lid and bake for 7-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. 
  6. Remove the bread and chop it up with a sharp knife. 

I ate my hot, crusty, fresh bread with butter and marmalade and will be eating it later tonight with some soup.  It was delicious! 

** I also didn't have a dutch oven, so I used a circular glass casserole dish with a lid.  It worked just fine! 

Find the original recipes and additional photos here  at the Comfort of Cooking blog. 

If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out!  I hope you are as excited about this as I am :) 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Skyscrapers (And Pants) for Miles

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I definitely have not been able to update my blog as much as I've been wanting to because school, work, and this head cold I've had will just not quit!  Thankfully, Thanksgiving break is coming up so I can lay back, relax, eat everything and take some food photos!  Hooray!  My favorite things ever! 

Don't worry, I wasn't going to fail to mention these ridiculously excessive high waisted pants. I spontaneously snatched these from Anthropologie on the sale rack after seeing that these were the last pair (I'm such a sucker for lonely items) and managed to shell out a measly $24.00 for these!  Still not certain if that was a deal or not since they show every single lump, bump and insecurity I've ever had, but I am drawn to them anyways.  Expect to see them later.  Much later, actually, like waayy after Thanksgiving and my workout plan has commenced.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Black and White Lakeshore




Nixon hates us
Wool Coat:Elevenses  //Black Skinnies: H&M//Booties:Report
Scarf:H&M//Leather Bag:Steve Madden

When you live in Chicago, the beach ALWAYS sounds like the best idea you've ever had until you get there. The season doesn't even matter. In the Summer, the strong winds pelt you with sand and particles until you get irritated, blinded and eventually give up and leave. In Autumn, it seems like the perfect place to take some cool pictures against the milky sky and water until you realize that every inch closer to the lake becomes -10 degrees colder than before. In the Winter, forget it! Although I'll probably return to take some pictures anyways when it's all frozen and beautiful (and instantly regret being there). 

 Brysen and I froze our asses off and his poor dog, Nixon, looked completely miserable the entire time. We snapped some photos before calling it quits then went to a Vietnamese restaurant for some lunch. I've never had Vietnamese cuisine before, so I was stoked! I did have a concern however.. After we burned our lips off with jalapenos, we noticed that the egg rolls tasted like barnyard... Is that normal?? We were too awkward to say anything so we ate them all figuring we will know soon if they were tainted. We finished off our afternoon browsing some marketplaces and spent the rest of our night in Target because we are weak and can't spend less than an hour in there. Have a great rest of your weekend! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bite lipstick quad


Top left: Pomegranate//Top right: Winterberry//Bottom left: Rhubarb//Bottom right: Sable

I want to start off by saying that I went to Sephora for ONE LOUSY THING and left with a gift set of 4 lip crayons and several other items I convinced myself I would die without. 

Sephora!! You old stinker, you got me again with your siren song and money siphoning abilities. 

Despite the fact that I never actually bought what I went there for in the first place, I'm actually pretty impressed with ALL of these Bite shades. I'm only slightly skeptical on that sable shade but just because I have it in my mind that all nude lippies make me look like a pale, waterlogged dead body.
I highly recommend these extremely pigmented, slightly scented and creamy lip crayons. Not a bad idea to pick up this adorable set if you're still trying to find a nice lipstick shade that suits you. 
Plus, did I mention that the texture and opacity surprisingly hides flaky, dry winter lips? High five! 

Have a happy hump day!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Baby Blue





It's November, and I left my coat inside just so I could snap a few photos of this ridiculously soft and fuzzy sweater. Am I freezing half to death? Maybe. Am I leaping around to stay warm or because I've always wanted an action shot? You may never know! Ok, I'll admit, I love jumping around because I like seeing how much air I can get (in this case, roughly 2 inches).

I had a bit of a wild Friday night and made some kitty cat nail art! Now I can take my "friends" everywhere this weekend ;) I'm still a firm believer that crazy cat lady chic is always in style.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lilac Rhombus?


Dead weasel or crabby cat? 



Ok, so I've had a more than stressful week and Halloween gave me the excuse I was looking for to get a little wild and dye my hair purple. Please don't ask why I've always wanted to do this but now that I left my professional job, I am all over it. Time to let my freak flag fly! Just joking, this will wash out soon and I just might let it.. (maybe).

Since I had a rare weekend off, I decided to indulge in a little more kitty torture. I felt inspired by the fallen leaves and wanted to make him a Lion King style crown that I foolishly assumed he'd enjoy and all I got in return was bite marks. As it turns out, you can't force cats to do ANYTHING. In 98% of my photos (I probably took around 100) he's either screaming or looking completely defeated/dead, which makes my sweet leaf crown look more like a miserable burial shroud.

Have a great rest of your Sunday! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Revisiting Scotland








Finally rounding up these endless trip pictures! As I'm flipping through them, I can't seem to decide what part of this trip was my favorite. I thought it was London, then Brighton, but now I'm remembering how wonderful Scotland was. Screw it, I'll just have to go back!

My Friend I was traveling with actually lives in Scotland and attends Veterinary school in Edinburgh. We spent the last week of my visit here so I could visit the school (and hopefully get accepted sometime soon) and we hiked up Arthur's Seat, checked out some local art exhibits and visited Glencoe as well. We got some solid relaxin' in too since we pretty much walked our legs off up until this point. It was soo nice having our own bed, shower, personal space and towels since we stayed in some pretty sketchy hostels along the way. Don't get me wrong, hostels are amazing and extremely cost efficient but none of them gave us towels for the showers! What is up with that? We were supposed to rent or buy them for about 6 pounds (uh, no) so we just air dried. 

Tomorrow is Halloween! Eek! Are there any good last minute costume ideas out there? 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

National Kitty Day!



Did you know National Cat Day was a thing? Me either, but I gotta keep my crazy cat lady status intact somehow! Had a less than glamorous "photo shoot" with Carl but he always gets a little wild the second I whip my camera out. Time to curl up with this fella and take a little nap. 
Happy Cat day to all the fellow cat lovers out there! :) 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dreaming of Brighton









Whew! It's been quite a long time since I've revisited these vacation photos. In all honesty, it's been really difficult to get back to my normal life since I got home. I lost two very important people the day I left for this trip and then in the following weeks after I got home. It's been extremely hard for me to cope with and needless to say, it's been even more difficult to gain momentum and start up my hobbies again all the while keeping up with school and work. There's been a lot of stress, sadness, and worry for my family but I FINALLY feel like I can focus and think clearly again. I feel extremely lucky for having both of these people in my life and I count my blessings every single day.

So, as I was going through these photos all over again, I realized that I almost forgot how much Brighton stole my heart. I mean WOW, isn't she a beauty?! We stayed for 2 days and nights and leaving Brighton was probably one of the hardest things I'll ever do in my life (seriously). We spent most of our days soaking up the sunlight on the rocky beach and got ourselves into some hilariously sketchy situations at night. We absolutely could not get enough of the sounds the waves made when they rolled over the pebbles, so we watched the sunset and spent several hours of the night on that beach. Probably not the best idea, but we were O.K (aside from me losing my phone on the pitch black beach and then falling asleep on it). We mastered the art of rock stacking and skipping and stayed on that beach well into the night with some drinks and good conversation. Man, we need to go back ASAP!

Not going to lie, most of this time we were completely drunk so it was humanly impossible to get a good photo of ourselves or each other. Yikes! These are hands down the best photos we have of ourselves from Brighton which is sort of sad and pathetic but you gotta do what you gotta do. I have my back turned because we quickly realized that my face and grin were drunk, and Colette is just a big sass. Whoops!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Neutral lovin'



Jacket: Primark//Bag: Steve Madden//Leather Leggings: La Fee Verte//Shoes:Urban Outfitters//Tank: Target

I did some light shopping before leaving Scotland since I had a little bit of room left in my carry-on.. Boy, was that a mistake!  I could hardly close my suitcase, let alone lift it into the overhead compartment for the flight.  Whoops!  Luckily there was jjusstt enough room for this insanely warm and fluffy jacket.  

Time to relax and enjoy this beautiful Sunday with a cup of coffee and cozy up with a good book.