Weekend Links

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Happy Friday! This week has just flown by and I have another busy weekend ahead. We’ll be celebrating a friend’s birthday, catching up with friends we haven’t seen in ages and enjoying this beautiful weather while it lasts. Btw, this Sunday is the first day of Fall and I couldn’t think of a better way to bring in the new season than with a photo shoot with one of my favorite websites. Make sure to follow along on Instagram for some sneak peeks and behind the scenes of what really happens in preparation for a shoot. Do you all have anything fun and exciting planned? Do tell!

WEEKEND LINKS

Artist Livia Marin created a series, Nomad Patterns, of melted teacups as art. They are amazing and I am simply obsessed!

Jenny from The Little Green Notebook has her home tour in the new Domino magazine and it is so good. Here’s a bit of a preview!

Whether you’re single or not, learning how to manage your own money is critical. This article from Refinery29 teaches you what your money style is and how to get better organized.

While I continue to work on redoing my home office, these simple organization hacks from Domaine Home are definitely on my list.

Anthropologie recently launched their wedding registry and since we never had one for our wedding, I would include this, these, and this on my list.

This vanilla chia seed pudding with fresh fruit looks so delicious and the perfect way to start your mornings.

 

Day for Dim Sum

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I recently purchased this dress for my birthday (back in August) and it has quickly become one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe. Besides the fact that yes, it’s another black dress, it is so versatile and is a perfect piece to take from day to night!

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  This dress is very feminine with it’s frills but the top half of the dress has an almost military-like appeal. I love the juxtaposition of how they come together to create an edgy, smart and sexy dress. And my favorite element? Pockets! I paired it with a simple, black wedge sandal and a camel-leather purse with gold hardware.

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I was so excited to get back to The Phoenix restaurant, the best when it comes to dim sum, and walk around China Town. Not only is the food delicious, but it’s the perfect spot to people watch and explore the small shops filled with exotic teas, candy and dried goods. Not to mention, indulge in a sweet treat! I ordered the mango, passion fruit boba smoothie!

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Little Black Dress (Sachin + Babi) | Black Wedge Sandals (similar) | Leather Purse (loving this one) | Jewelry (vintage)

Thanks for reading!

Photos by Jennifer Coffey Photography

Color Trend | Olive Green

elle decorWhile I love the natural color of olive green and that it immediately makes me think of rustic elements and the Mediterranean, I never thought I would be wanting to add it to my own home. After seeing Jenny transform her bathroom with olive green notes and a marble bath, I was not only impressed by this undervalued color but reconsidering my whole train of thought.

After my usual weekly Home Goods run, I stumbled across an olive green and black tray and knew that I needed to find a way to use it. It now holds coffee and tea in our kitchen and I love it! If you’re not on board yet, have a look at some fabulous spaces that incorporate olive green… from small details to entire spaces!

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Mediterranean Avocado Toast

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Avocado toast is no new concept but it is just about the healthiest and tastiest snack/meal you can make in under a few minutes. When I’m working though lunch or need a quick bite that will fill me up without feeling guilty, this is my go to.

There are so many ways that you can adjust this recipe to fit your taste. Since avocado on it’s own has hardly any taste at all but is still buttery and rich, it can be paired with so many different options.

In this version, I used garnishes that I generally stock in my fridge… peppery arugula, feta cheese and fresh lemons. And they just happen to be ingredients close to my roots.

I’ve always been one to enjoy many flavors in one bite- so I used honey wheat toast that has the slightest hint of sweetness.

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I simply pit and dice the avocado in a bowl and use the back of a fork to mash it. Squeeze half a lemon (leave some for garnish) in the bowl and combine it all together. The lemon gives the toast that fresh flavor!

Spread the avocado onto the toast and add a handful of arugula for a nice, and peppery finish.

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Crumble feta on top to add a bit of saltiness and balance out the acidity from the lemon juice.

I garnish my toast with red chili flakes for heat, freshly-ground black pepper and a touch of sea salt.

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To finish, add a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil and you’ve got yourself Mediterranean Avocado Toast!

This couldn’t be an easier or faster meal and I don’t have to be the one to tell you just how healthy those avocados are for you!

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I enjoy my toast with this delicious lemonade from Belvoir- an organic elderflower presse that’s ever so slightly sparkling! Enjoy!

Ingredients
  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red chili flakes
  • 1 cup of arugula
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled
  • 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Pit and dice avcado
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash the avocado with the back of your fork.
  3. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the mixture and combine
  4. Toast a piece of bread of your liking and spread avocado mixture on top
  5. Add arugula
  6. Add crumbled feta
  7. Garnish with salt and pepper and red chili flakes (optional)
  8. Sprinkle 1 tsp of olive oil over toast.
  9. Serve!

You Should Have Put a Cloche On It!

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These glass domes are making such a statement in design and they are practically everywhere you turn! There’s something magical about “capturing” a moment, a flower or even one of your favorite possessions and displaying them under a cloche.  It can take something so simple and add a special element. This is an easy {and inexpensive} way to bring attention to a piece- without taking up too much visual weight. And frankly, you can put just about anything under that darn thing!

Collect something? Group them together and display them! Make a flower arrangement under a cloche for your next dinner party. Take your guest bathroom to the next level by displaying a beautiful candle or soap for your guest. The possibilities are endless and I’m pretty much obsessed. Here are some photos that will make you wish you would have put a cloche on it!

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Weekend Links

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Hello Friday! Fall is officially here (at least weather-wise) and it is here to stay! This week has been so productive and I also received some exciting news that I can’t wait to share with all of you! Let’s just say, it’s going to be fabulous! This weekend I’ll be getting our home, photo-shoot ready for our upcoming tour and hosting brunch for a few friends on Sunday. I’m looking forward to a much-deserved, low-key weekend with the hubs and stocking up on some new Fall pieces. I am freezing! I think it might also be time to swap out the wardrobe…. Would love to know- what are you all up to this weekend?

WEEKEND LINKS

Loft is having a 40% sale off everything (yes, you heard right) with code FALLSTYLE and I plan on picking up quite a few pieces. Like this, this and this! Oh and this!

Can’t get enough of Emily Henderson’s style and her newly-designed kitchen! That lighting and gold grout? Um, yes please!

What’s better than a hot soup to warm you up on a cold day. These recipes from Food 52 are just as delicious as they are soothing!

Have you been following New York Fashion Week? If you missed out on what’s to come for SS15…have a look at some of the best styles!

I love reading the chic blog, Margo & Me, and especially loved seeing her home on Domaine.com this past week. It’s just as fabulous as you would expect!

This article on Better Homes and Garden helps you ask the right questions before buying a home. I wish we have had this prior to starting our search.

 

The Perfect Top for Fall

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I’ve slowly started to add Fall pieces to my wardrobe and while the temps are still warm, I’ve been able to incorporate some of these looks already! I tend to be attracted to plum and wine colors for this time of year and pieces that I can layer and feel cozy while still looking chic.

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When I spotted this henley on Loft.com, I immediately snatched it up. It wasn’t too heavy so it’s a perfect piece to transition into Fall and the colors were spot on. I paired it with a dark-wash skinny jean, a strappy, black sandal and my grandma’s gold locket. Inside is a picture of me when I was little and my mom. I kept my makeup simple and just applied a lip stain in wine for some color.

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I’m loving how these plum colors are popping against the teal background- new color combo? I think so! The black sandals were a recent find and are so basic but I bought them for just that reason. I love that they have a tiny wedge and that the straps around the ankle add some visual weight. They are comfortable and really bring an outfit together without much effort. My kind of style!

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Loft Plaid Henley ($25 off no code needed!) | Skinny Jeans (Loving these) | Black Strappy Sandals (Loving these and these) | Jewelry (vintage)

Thanks for reading!

Photos by Jennifer Coffey Photography

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Frutti di Bosco Sauce

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This recipe is a combination of two and they just so happen to work perfectly together! I’ve never had a big sweet tooth- they used to force me to eat my birthday cake when I was a child – but I do enjoy a sweet and tart treat every so often.

This no-bake cheesecake is not only easy to make but also great for entertaining since it can be made up to two days in advance. In this version, I made my own graham cracker crust, but you can always use a store-bought one, as well.

I used this recipe and modified the sauce portion. While I love pomegranate, the syrup was a bit too sticky for my taste.

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If you prefer to make your own crust, simply combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter (slightly cooled) and sugar with fingers and then pack into the bottom of a greased pan. This should help the cheesecake crust from not sticking and making it easy to serve.

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The filling couldn’t be easier to make! This recipe calls for gelatin so that it will keep the cheesecake together. Put your gelatin into cold water and let sit so that it can soften.

In the meantime, you simply combine your ingredients of cream cheese, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar and lemon juice in a mixer. Add a touch of salt to bring out the sweetness and tartness of the mixture. While the ingredients combine, create a water bath and let gelatin dissolve before mixing it into the cheesecake mixture.

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To make, in my opinion, the best part of the recipe…the frutti di bosco sauce. You will need a pint of blueberries, 1/2 pint of raspberries, lemon juice and sugar.

In a saucepan, squeeze lemon juice from 2 lemons and add your blueberries. Let the blueberries burst, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in sugar and simmer until it coats the back of a spoon. I also throw in a tsp of corn starch to thicken up the sauce. Stir in fresh raspberries and a few sprigs of thyme at the very end. The raspberries keep their shape and the thyme adds that extra citrus note.

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Pour filling into the pan and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Once the sauce cools, it can be served. I would recommend serving the sauce as a garnish on the side. There are a few steps to this recipe but they are all so very simple and easy. The hardest part is waiting for the 6 hours before you can dig in!

Crust Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs t
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Crust Instructions

  1. Coat bottom and sides of pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with a parchment-paper round. Using your fingertips, mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl until mixture holds together when pinched tightly. Pack onto bottom of pan in an even layer (using the bottom of a flat measuring cup works well). Chill until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling Instructions

  1. Place gelatin and 1 1/2 tablespoon cold water in a heatproof bowl. Let stand until softened, 5-10 minutes.
  2. Pulse cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a food processor, scraping down sides as needed, until completely smooth.
  3. Pour water to a depth of 1/2-inch into a small skillet over medium heat. Place bowl with gelatin in skillet; stir until gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from skillet.
  4. With processor running, drizzle gelatin into cream cheese mixture; mix until well blended. Pour into prepared crust. Tap pan firmly on the counter to break up any big air bubbles. Smooth top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours before serving. DO AHEAD Cheesecake can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Frutti di Bosco Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 pint raspberries

Frutti di Bosco Sauce Instructions

  1. Heat blueberries, lemon juice and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Let blueberries burst, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in sugar and let simmer.
  4. Stir often and let sauce thicken.
  5. Add tsp of corn starch, stirring often.
  6. Take off heat and stir in raspberries and sprigs of thyme

Engineering Prints | The Basics

Engineering prints are an easy way to make a big impact for a very small cost. I’ve been thinking of adding some large art to our dining room and think this might be the perfect way to get the look! Let’s discuss some of the basics, shall we?

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{Little Green Notebook}

What are engineering prints, any way?

They are a black and white print that are printed onto thin paper- generally used for blueprints. The quality is generally lower than that of a photograph, a bit more grain-y. I would compare it to that of a photocopy.

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{Smitten Studio}

 Where do you get these printed?

Fedex, Kinkos, Photojojo. You can submit your photo online to most of these places and have them ready within a couple of hours.

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{House Tweaking}

How much will these cost me?

Most will come under $10 and you might even be able to get a print for $4. All depending on the size.

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{The Band Wife}

Where do I find prints to use?

You can use anything from an old photograph, to a print in a magazine to an online source. Generally, high quality photos will offer a better print; however scans have been used and turned out just fine. Here are a few sites that have some great postcards and photography.

Post Card Gallery

Library of Congress

Debbie Carlos Etsy Shop– her prints are already blown up and simply need to be ordered!

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{Project Palermo}

Fall Bucket List

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Fall is just a few weeks away and while the temps are still warm and leaves haven’t changed color just yet, you can feel a shift in the air. There’s something so cozy about this time of year; scents of freshly baked pumpkin bread, hot drinks, crackling fires and sweaters…cozy evenings spent indoors with people you love. I only wish Fall was a bit longer here in Chicago, but I plan on making the most out of it. Here’s a list of things I’m planning on doing this year to take full advantage of one of my favorite seasons.

1. Host a s’mores and board game night

2. Find the perfect fall throw

3. Go to a paint and wine night here.

4. Take a scenic drive when the leaves start changing

5. Master a few Fall recipes I have my eye on…this, this and this!

6. Organize all of our closets and donate anything we don’t need

7. Wake up extra early and go for walks by the lake

8. Take a drive out to here and stock up on the best apple cider donuts and apple cider!

9. Finish the office space so that I can have an organized and creative space to work in

10. Schedule and style photos for our holiday cards

I would love to know – what’s on your to-do list this fall? Check out my past bucket lists here and here.