Boo!

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I’ve been feeling under the weather the past couple of days, so I’ll be signing off early for the weekend. I’m not one for a full getup of a costume but I would rock this lace mask. I hope you all have a spooky and sexy Halloween! Xx

Midievil Stroll

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This past weekend, Chicago teased us with unseasonably warm weather. We’re talking, like 75 at the end of October. Everyone was out and about, taking full advantage of the final hoorah of warm weather. Considering I’m writing this tonight and it’s back in the 30′s. Petar and I wanted to get out and enjoy a lazy Saturday, so we took a drive up Sheridan Road and on our way, found this beautiful, midievil church.

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We walked around and explored the grounds. The limestone walkways, the plaques with names of those buried there years ago, and the ivy covered walls had an eerie and yet beautiful vibe. I wore one of my favorite Fall dresses from Twelve Layers. I love the string detail, the drop waist and the frill on the bottom of the dress. It also has pockets, which are quite possibly my favorite thing, ever. I paired the dress with over-the-knee boots and made sure to bring along a jacket in case the weather had all been one cruel joke.

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Little Black Dress (Twelve Layers, similar, similar) | Over-the-knee Boots (similar)

Wishing you all a spooky and safe Halloween tomorrow!

Burn and Cleanse

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Lately, it felt as though Petar and I were falling into a monotonous way of life. Around every corner, we were greeted by another obstacle, another responsibility to add to the list. Life has been no walk in the park, nor have we expected such, but lately, we’ve gotten out of breath from constantly trudging uphill. Our dissatisfaction with external factors has piggy-backed and found its way into our home- we’ve gotten cranky and short with one another.

I was angry and apparently have been for quite some time. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything that society requires from you- lose yourself completely in the persona you’ve created for the outside world. It’s draining and exhausting. We were both in need of some clarity and ironically enough, we decided to burn some white sage to lift the fog.

I’ve read about it here and there, not entirely knowing how I felt about the whole process, but completely ready to let go of the negative baggage I’ve been carrying around for way. too. long. We lit that stick of white sage on fire and paraded through every room of our home, not neglecting one corner, and willed the negative vibes to peace out. Literally. I’m sure, this is not the right way of conducting this but I followed my gut and that had to mean something.

Just taking a step towards making a change and allowing myself to be honest about the direction I was headed, made me feel more in control. This morning I woke up and I could still smell the smoke in the air. It reminded me that I am in control of my own life… and being the best version of myself. I can choose happy. And so I have.

While, this was an entirely new experience for me, I’d love to know if you have any special practices or ways to rid of the bad energy in your life.

*Whole Foods or any New Age stores sell sticks of white sage.

Sweet Potato, Feta and Arugula Salad

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This recipe came to be simply because I was hungry and did not feel like cooking. So, I scoured our fridge for leftovers and came up with this delicious sweet potato salad. It was quick enough for a busy day, but hearty enough to keep me full until dinner time. I may have made this two days in a row. Guilty!

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Sweet potatoes are so incredibly healthy and I love their subtle sweetness so much, that I always have 3-4 of these on hand every week. I simply bake them in the oven at 350F until tender and I can put a fork through them easily. Roughly an hour or so. There are so many great recipes you can make with these bad boys. Simply store them in the fridge to toss in salads or make a delicious soup.

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I love onions! Lately, I’ve been making caramelized onions and storing them for the week. They have been great for sandwich toppings or in this case, a sweet addition to my salad. Caramelized onions are super easy but require patience. I generally take two or even three sweet onions, slice them vertically to create long strips and saute them on medium-low heat for roughly an hour. Around the half way mark, I will add red wine and let them absorb the aroma and flavor. Keep on eye on them and stir so they don’t burn, but other than that, it’s a low-maintenance recipe.

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To put the salad together- I took a big handful of peppery arugula for the bottom. Added cut sweet potato, and feta. I sprinkled with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and added freshly ground black pepper, red chili flakes for a kick and sea salt. Some times, I like to add a dollop of salsa verde for an extra layer of flavor. Mix it up, or don’t. Either way, the juxtaposition of flavors are delicious. My mouth does a happy dance just thinking about it!

This recipe can be easily substituted with roasted squash or pumpkin and is perfect for enjoying the Fall harvest!

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Ingredients
  • Arugula
  • Sweet Potato (substitute with squash or pumpkin)
  • Onions, caramelized
  • Feta
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Arrange handful of arugula on the bottom of plate to create a ‘bed’.
  2. Cut baked sweet potato into pieces and arrange on top.
  3. Add cut or crumbled feta.
  4. Sprinkle olive oil
  5. Squeeze half a lemon
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Serve and enjoy!

For Sweet Potatoes

  1. Bake at 350F until tender and can pierce with fork effortlessly. This will take 1- 1.5 hours, depending on potato size.

For Caramelized Onions

  1. Slice 2-3 sweet onions vertically.
  2. Add olive oil and 1 tsp of butter to pan. Let melt.
  3. Add onions and saute on medium to low heat, stirring so they won’t burn.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of red wine around the 30 minute mark and continue to stir.
  5. Turn down heat and continue to cook. They should be tender and ready to serve after another 30 minutes.

 

Ideas For Halloween Entertaining

A few years ago I threw my own spooky Halloween Fête and loved coming up with all the spooky and mysterious details. Since I’ve already decorated for Christmas for the Home Depot Holiday Style Challenge, I’ve skipped over poor Hallow’s Eve, but I’ve found some serious inspiration. Makes me excited about next year. I’ve picked my three favorite table scapes and ideas for entertaining at home for Halloween…

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One of my favorites to date is this table scape by Justina Blakeney. I absolutely love how moody yet chic it is and how it all comes together. She mentions in the full post, here, that she thrifted the majority of pieces all for under $100!

Whenever I throw a party I always make sure to make a stop at a Goodwill or thrift store to pick up some accessories and decor. it’s a great place to buy pieces you may not use again and won’t break the bank. You can also spray paint or alter pieces to give them new life so that they can fit your decor perfectly, like the cats in this table scape!

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This table scape by Coco & Kelley is an oldie but a goodie. The concept is still dark and moody but takes on an Edwardian feel with lush ferns, lace masks and antiqued silver. Garden statues that stand the test of time join you at the dinner table, black taper candles are the only light and curiosities, like the claw foot candle holder all add a surreal vibe.

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And finally, this fun and fresh take on dinner with the Adams family by Camille Styles. Black decor with golden hues, coupettes filled with syrupy concoctions, and vintage silver dinnerware bring the table together.

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You can pick a theme and build on it from there or you can simply see what’s available at stores and create a concept from your recent finds. Don’t be afraid to search your own home for pieces, like antique silver, vintage dinnerware and the like, to create your own spooky soiree!

Weekend Links

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This week flew by entirely but I’m never disappointed to welcome the weekend! I wrapped up my Holiday Style Challenge this past weekend with Home Depot and I think you guys will love how it turned out. I shared a few photos on Instagram and on the blog. I have so much free time now, I don’t know what to do with myself! Not true by the least- I’m still hitting the pavement with new ideas and collaborations. Oh, and NoMad Luxuries will be getting a little work done, ahem. I’ll tell you more about that another time. I skipped Halloween and went straight to Christmas, but don’t you fret….next week, we’ll be chatting some Halloween-inspired ideas to get back on track!

Any big plans for the weekend? You can find me curled up on that chair for a movie night tonight and then running around as usual the rest of the weekend! Don’t forget to check out the links for some light weekend reading! Xx

WEEKEND LINKS

Who doesn’t love a good before and after? And this bathroom falls nothing short of a-mazing! That tub!

Who are the 50 most-connected women in America? I’d love to know, too!

This recipe for roasted pumpkin, feta and honey salad sounds like the perfect {and easy} afternoon lunch! I love the combination of flavors!

Saddened by the news of Oscar de la Renta passing away this week. This article honored his legacy with his 100 best red carpet looks. A true style icon!

I love wearing all black, and this article shows you all black pieces that still make a statement. Can I get an amen?

Tuula always gives me serious wanderlust and her recent post on her time in Cappadocia, Turkey is nothing short of breathtaking!

Room To Outfit | Moody Bohemian

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After sifting through so many different spaces and inspiration for interiors, I will come across a handful that I know would translate into an amazing outfit. Just like this space! The dark-washed walls, the peacock chair, the fur bed throw and pops of colorful flowers adorning the mantel. Even the crocodile wallpaper is screaming out to me. The room is dark, moody and über sexy! A perfect Fall outfit, in my opinion!

To Get The Look:I wanted to bring in all of those textures and elements from the space into a cozy and fun outfit. This moody floral skirt from Topshop started everything off. Pairing it with a chunky sweater will not only be perfect for layering but will also balance the bare legs on the bottom. Adding a faux fur vest and a magenta gemstone pendant will bring out the color in the skirt and give that bohemian vibe. The croc purse is a perfect across the body bag so you can have your hands free for latte sipping and make sure to have those digits painted in this metallic nail color from Essie. Biker boots with gold buckles add a necessary roughness to the floral skirt and the Nars lip pencil will add the perfect pop of color to your pout. The floppy hat is completely optional but would be a great way to polish off the outfit!

Now if I could find a way to wear this outfit in that room…all would be right in the world!

Shop The Post

Faux Fur Vest   //  Floppy Hat  //  Dark Floral Skirt  //  Chunky Knit Sweater  //  Biker Boots  //  Essie Nail polish  //   Crocodile Purse {on sale!} //  Gemstone Pendant  //  Nars Lip Pencil   //  Antler Trio Art

 

Trending | Moody Spaces

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My version of scary is equivalent to watching Hocus Pocus. I’m not much for horror flicks, haunted houses or even corn mazes. Call me boring, but I don’t want to pay for a dose of anxiety. That being said, moody spaces is definitely something I can get behind. And what better time to check out these dark and moody palettes with Halloween around the corner.

While I love natural light in my own home, there’s something about these charcoal and slate colors that completely envelops you and immediately makes a space feel cozy and inviting. You might never want to leave! Add fur throws, supple fabrics and textured pillows, pops of color with fresh flowers and you’ve got yourself a mysterious and sexy space to call home. Who ever knew that spooky could look so good? If you’re still hesitant to give your walls a dark coat of paint, have a peek {a boo} at some of my favorite dark and moody spaces!

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In Good Taste Magazine | Recipe Inspiration

Every Tuesday I like to share a new recipe with you all… but what about how I find recipes and where I get inspired. There are tons of websites out there and recently I keep going back to In Good Taste Magazine. Not only is In Good Taste Magazine locally based {Chicago love}, but it also has amazing food and drink recipes along with entertaining tips. Yes, please!

Which brings me to today’s recipe: baked goat cheese marinara dip!

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{via Leigh Loftus}

 This recipe had me at goat cheese! I knew it was a recipe I needed to bookmark. In just 30 minutes, you can have a great appetizer for entertaining or quite frankly, a meal for one. You can check out the full recipe, here.

Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Baguette of bread, sliced
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 cup marinara or pasta sauce
  • Basil leaves (optional garnish)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine minced garlic and olive oil in a small bowl and brush it over the bread slices. Spread slices facing up on a baking sheet.
  2. Spoon goat cheese into a in shallow baking dish by the tablespoon. Ladle tomato sauce into dish until cheese is just barely covered. Bake until sauce begins to bubble around the edges and cheese is hot, but not completely melted, about 25 minutes.
  3. During last 10 minutes of baking, toast bread until it achieves golden brown color. Garnish with basil if desired. Serve hot.

I’ve also bookmarked these recipes that I’ve been dying to try; especially this fig, blue cheese and caramelized onion pizza, apple cider donuts before the harvest is over, and this vanilla chai smoothie for mornings that I’m running out the door!

Cooking doesn’t have to be hard or a chore- if you look at it as a way to learn something new, experiment and have fun then you will enjoy in a delicious meal each and every time!

That’s A Wrap!

As you all know, I’ve been busy with the Home Depot Holiday Style Challenge and this past weekend we finally wrapped it up. After a month of planning, hunting for holiday inspiration and decorating, I’m happy to say that it was a huge success. To celebrate we had family and friends over for a delicious ‘Christmas meal’ and Jennifer took about 500 photos. Seriously. It will be hard to narrow it down because they all are that good!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you would have seen the sneak peeks I posted. For those of you who don’t, I’ll share with you one of my favorite shots of the night!

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Our home is literally decked out for the Holidays and I may just leave it up until Christmas…I mean, it is almost November. I can’t wait to share it with all of you in November!

Hope you have a great start to the week!