Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Superbowl Bites

Even though I played sports in high school and I like to watch sporting events, I don't follow sports teams too closely.  However, I have many fond memories growing up watching football games on Sunday and Monday nights in front of a crackling fire and snacking on mom's appetizers. So to me, watching the Superbowl is about being with friends, eating some comfort food, and yelling at the guys who get paid millions of dollars a year to catch a pigskin. My sister is hosting a Superbowl party this year and in order to keep her sanity, it's potluck style. Here are some of the bites I'm thinking about bringing.

Zucchini Ricotta Fritters

Monday, January 27, 2014

Honey and Rye Bakehouse

Favorite new weekend spot

Hello everyone!  It’s been way too long since my last post, sorry about that.  After the holidays my attention totally been focused on getting our new home in order.  It’s taken me a while to get used to everything; the longer commute to work, cooking in a different kitchen, and trying to figure out the best layout for my closet. I took a step back from blogging to work on things in the home, but I’m happy that every day, I’m getting closer to feeling comfortable and happy in our new place.  I miss Uptown very much, but I definitely enjoy living in a place where I don’t have to worry about our pipes freezing during a polar vortex. For real Mother Nature, we get it. It’s January and cold weather is just part of the party.  But -40!? Please send Jack Frost to Florida for the winter. Thanks.
Any-hoo…in the meantime, I have been trying to get to know the shops and stores around our new place.  So when the time comes where I want to walk outside, I will have a variety of boutiques and shops to choose from. Enter: Honey and Rye Bakeshop.  Established in 2013 (only a few months ago I believe), this adorable little bakery is probably the most dangerous thing to my waistline in the city. Jon and I went there this past Saturday morning to see what pastries and breads they offered.  I am happy to report that this bakeshop has so many delicious treats, breads, and snacks, it will become a regular stop during our weekend strolls and midweek grocery trips. We tried a variety of breads and pastries (I may have let out a small squeak while I was trying the French Toast Pull Apart Bread) and everything was fantastic.  Next time we stop, I’ll be grabbing a cup of their coffee as well as Mom’s Multigrain bread to take home.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Game of Life

Christmas day games

What the heck is going on?!  I’m posting once a month?!  (insert bug eyes and crazy eyebrows here)
To all of those still checking and looking for my posts, I thank you for staying with me through some really busy times.  Here is what’s going on….

Jon and I bought a condo! Yay!!! It all happened so fast (we closed a month after we initially saw the place) and then we went to Utah for Thanksgiving and then the holiday season began full force.  Normally, I would be sharing photos, DIY projects that we are working on, and even updates throughout the space.  Sadly, none of those things are happening because we haven’t done any.  I’m lucky I got a Christmas tree up! As much as I LOVE the Christmas season, I am also looking forward for it to be over so I can paint, drill, make, repaint, etc.  Even though the place isn’t how we are dreaming it to be one day, it’s a lovely space for Jon and I.  It has a real wood burning fireplace (unheard of in a condo!) and a view overlooking a little lake (also unheard of for people who are not millionaires).  The kitchen is definitely bigger than my last one, however it doesn’t quite have the finishes I am looking for. Therefore, I am struggling with taking food photographs. Once the new year begins, we’ll be doing some renovations and the kitchen will be transformed into a lovely working space for me (and you!) to enjoy.   We also are creating the second bedroom into “Salon de Paris.”  At least that’s what Jon and I will be calling it.  It’s going to be our creative room where we will have a wall of bookshelves, all of our art stuff, and a place to make the world more beautiful!  I’m also on a massive hunt for the perfect sleeper sofa for our out of town guests.   There’s lots to do in our new home, I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Even though life has been hectic, I have done my best to enjoy the holiday season.  We had our annual cookie exchange last weekend and I made my traditional pizzelle. Christmas d├ęcor is sparse throughout our new place so I’ll probably be buying some decorations after the season for next year. We have had many nights in front of our cozy fireplace though, listening to the crackling of wood and talking about what an incredible year it’s been for us.   This year, we are happy to celebrate an early Christmas with Jon’s sister, her partner with their kids.  Even though we don’t have couches, and there are paint samples painted all over the walls, it’s nice to have his family here to celebrate Christmas. We  spent Christmas day with my family and will celebrate the new year up at the cabin.

I had all these amazing holiday posts planned for this month, but I have rescheduled them to December 2014.  As we close out 2013, I have already started to think of my new year’s resolutions and perhaps updating a few of my Birthday resolutions. Blogging is jumping higher on the priority list because it’s one thing that brings me so much joy.  I have decided to make the jump from a blog to a website.  I'm hoping to launch this in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for some new content!  In the meantime, Instagram and twitter will be my go to social media for the rest of the year.

I wish you all the happiest of the holidays and hope that you find peace love and joy with all that you do.  XO

Thursday, November 28, 2013

So Grateful

This has been the best year of my life.  I can truly say with confidence that I have never felt so blessed and fortunate to have the friends, family, and experiences like this year.  We are spending this Thanksgiving with my extended family in Utah, and I am so happy to be surrounded by loved ones to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! XO

Monday, November 11, 2013

Just a little lovely chaos

One more walk around Lake of the Isles before the snow comes

Wow! It has been a really busy couple of weeks. In fact, this last month has been a bunch of lovely chaos.  The best part is that life is running its course right now, and I am in the race.  I am hoping that things continue to move upward for me, and I promise to do my best to keep posting through the madness. Thanks for sticking with me and my blog. XO

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween

We are one day away from the start of the holiday season!  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and Jon and I always dress up and go out with friends to sing karaoke. We went out this past weekend as Ms. Scarlet and Mr. Green from the classic game/movie Clue. It was a fun costume to put together (thank you and we had a fun night out singing our favorites.  Here are a few of my favorite Halloween blog posts to help you celebrate this year. Happy Halloween everyone!

  1. A spooky punch to serve at your party or for the adults that stop by with the trick-or-treaters
  2. Even though I'm a dog person, I do love these photos of Blackie.
  3. I don't have baby fever, but Taza's kids make me want little ones to dress up! Especially as Anna Wintour!
  4. I still find myself looking at wedding blogs, and here is an gothic inspired wedding perfect for Halloween!
  5. Put together a last minute Halloween dinner for some friends!

Friday, October 25, 2013

It Feels Like Home

Years ago, I remember sitting in my college apartment, reading an email that just told me I was accepted for a study abroad program in Florence Italy.  To be honest, I was shocked.  For some reason, I didn't think I would get in.  I think because none of my other sisters had studied abroad, so for some reason I didn't think I was meant to either. Months later, I was living in a beautiful apartment in Florence, living with girls I had just met a few weeks prior. I have thousands of memories and stories from my time there, but a few of them stand out more than the others. This is one such story. 

Towards the end of my time in Florence, I was getting very homesick. It's hard to even admit now because I would do anything to go back and live there again!  However, I had lived there a few months, and was really homesick. I missed my friends and family, but mostly I missed my sisters. (this was before Skype or FaceTime was popular).  The first weekend of November, my friend Kim from Germany (we met when she was a foreign exchange student at my high school), asked if I wanted to visit her and her family. I was reluctant for a few reasons (being a broke college student was one of them), but in the end decided to take the overnight train to see her. I arrived very early in the morning at the Stuttgart train station; the sun hadn't even come up yet, and the station was deserted. She was standing there waiting to see me and holding a leash with Lena (her Bernese mountain dog) on the other end.  I gave her and Lena a hug, tired but happy to see such excited faces.  We drove in her car to the bakery so we could pick up some fresh bread for breakfast that morning (side note: Germans know bread. They are bread artists if you will). Kim was chatting away and I remember watching the sunrise as we pulled up to her family home with Lena wagging her tail to get out.  I was greeted by her parents and Kim showed me to my room for the weekend. It was a lovely space on the top floor perfect for my stay. Kim had put DVD's of "Sex and the City" in my room in case I needed some American TV. After showing me around the house, we sat down for a typical German breakfast of soft boiled eggs, German rolls, and a variety of cheeses.  Kim made a pot of tea and we drank every last drop while talking and catching up on life.  It was during my conversation with her and her mom Sabine, that I realized how happy I was.  This was exactly what I needed, time with my "sister" and some time with my "mom." My heart could not have been more full with love and comfort, and instantly my entire outlook on the rest of my semester there changed for the better.  I had the most wonderful weekend there, hiking in the hills of Stuttgart, shopping with Kim and her mom in the local boutiques, and dining out with the whole family (including Lena!) at a beautiful local restaurant. It was the most wonderful feeling to be "home" again. Even as I looked out the window on the train back to Italy, I held in my hand a letter from her dad Eberhart, thanking me for coming out that weekend and giving me a little money for the trip home like all wonderful dads do.  

I was fortunate enough to have their whole family attend our wedding in Italy this past May. Kim was with me when I was getting dressed for the ceremony, and her father was the first to give a speech at our wedding dinner. I believe that people across the world are connected in so many ways, and you can find family and comfort when you least expect it. I am so blessed for my friendship with Kim, and so happy to know that I always have a place in Germany that feels like home. 


Sabine's art studio

Kim and Lena

Hiking in Stuttgart

My beautiful German sister

An incredible and loving speech at our wedding