June 27, 2008

burke decor promotion

Ooh! A little birdie told me about a special promotion at Burke Decor ~ get a free Beautea Bar of Soap with any purchase over $50! Just enter "BEAUTEA" at checkout.

You know I love the Beautea Products… I even posted about them here. I’m sure that you’ll love them too.

great grandma's hand

I spent a little time this afternoon scrolling absent-mindedly through Flickr {as I'm prone to do on Fridays} when I saw this. I don't know, maybe I'm just feeling extra sensitive or something, but the moment I saw it, I got tears in my eyes and felt my heart creep up in my throat. The hairs on my arms stood on end, but not in the creepy way... more like the "oh my gosh that is the most beautiful thing I've seen" way. Maybe you’ll feel the same. Maybe not. But for whatever it’s worth, I wanted to say thank you to ToyFoto for capturing this amazing moment and sharing it with all of us.

you call that work?

(This T-shirt was spied in a souvenir shop window; it's also available here.)

I just got back from a three-day work trip to Kennebunkport, Maine. Even though most of my time was spent unpacking musty old boxes in an even mustier old house, I still saw enough of the pretty seaside city to fall in love with it.

A few things I learned in Maine: you can never eat too many lobster rolls * ocean air brings out the best in people * the sound of waves crashing on the shore is louder than the voices in your head telling you to stop running * the perfect end to any meal is a scoop of homemade raspberry swirl ice cream * waiting for your flight is much more comfortable in a rocking chair * and last but not least: always end each day with a phone call home to say “I love you and miss you and can’t wait to see you.”

June 20, 2008

it's friday

Margarita time!
Have a great weekend!

(photo from dotw's flickr photostream)

June 19, 2008

another room to love

I was sitting in on an architectural meeting with a Client yesterday, and she started showing us photos torn from magazines with the type of floors she has in mind for her new house. When I saw this one, I instantly fell in love with the room.

I was at first drawn to the soft yellow damask wall cover, the cool gray trim and the darker honey colored herringbone wood floor. All simple, neutral tones yet when they're placed together they create cohesion and depth. Only after I’d taken all that in did I really start to look at the exquisitely designed space. To me, the hallmark of good design is the blending of different styles. Here it’s done with a traditional button-tufted chesterfield sofa that shares the space with a classic Le Corbusier chaise lounge. A contemporary styled sofa peeks through from the other room. A vintage French pharmacy lamp takes the main stage next to the chesterfield and a pair of glass column table lamps rest on a stone ledge in the room beyond. I especially love the cozy, neutral tones on all of the upholstered pieces. As far as I’m concerned, this deserves an A+!

(I apologize that I don’t know who to credit for this great photograph. I’m not even sure which magazine it came from.)

June 18, 2008

quotable cards

I love greeting cards. Getting them. Sending them. They always bring a smile to my face. Especially "Just Because" cards. They're usually unexpected, always appreciated. When I was out and about last weekend, I picked up a handful of Quotable Cards. Each message is special and inspiring. And though it's nearly impossible to do, I picked some of my favorites here:

(cards for sale online via Proper Topper)

June 16, 2008

recipe to try: ricotta cakes with berry sauce

I picked up a copy of Complete Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes a few weeks ago from the Barnes & Noble bargain section. A real tome with over 300 vegetarian recipes, it's now full of dog-ears, but until last night not a single one was tested {or tasted!}. I'm happy to say that I'm now one for one with this super easy, super tasty dessert.

Juicy, sweet berries and creamy ricotta make this a light, delectable dessert that's just perfect for summer.

For the cakes:
1 generous cup Ricotta cheese
2 egg whites, beaten
4 T honey
1 t vanilla
Dash of cinnamon (optional)

For the fruit sauce:
1 cup each fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries*
1-2 T sugar
1-2 T water
*Can substitute frozen berries. Omit water if using.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 4 ramekins and set aside.

In a large bowl break up Ricotta cheese with a wooden spoon. Add beaten egg whites, honey, vanilla and cinnamon and mix well with an electric mixer, about 2 minutes.

Divide mixture among 4 ramekins and bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown. (If tops don’t brown after 20 minutes, turn on the broiler for 3-5 minutes.) Remove from oven and let cool.

In the meantime, bring berries, sugar and water in a sauce pan to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and gently mash berries with a wooden spoon. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

To serve, turn out ricotta cakes onto plates and top with berry sauce. Enjoy!

I wish I remembered to take a photo because they are as pretty as they are tasty. You'll just have to make them and find out for yourself!

summer lovin'

A mini spree at Anthropologie this weekend. Say hello to my new favorites:

chicago fave: chocolate grape

A wine and chocolate cafe in Wicker Park.

I only have two questions after reading about this adorably hip place: why haven't I been here and how soon can I go?

I wanted to lick the screen after reading the menu of mouthwatering dishes. Like the Wrapped Cantaloupe - "Fresh tantalizing Cantaloupe, wrapped in Prosciutto de-Parma and Pecorino, glazed with Honey Suckle Mango Cilantro." Or this, the Signature Grape Salad - "Peppery Field Greens, imported and domestic juicy large Grapes, Candied Almonds, enhanced with a Peach White Chocolate Vinaigrette and Herb Infused Goat Cheese." I'm sorry, did you say chocolate vinaigrette? {Cue the lip smacking.}

And then there's the desserts {like I didn't check these out first!}. A flight of Mini Cupcakes - "Six served, each with its own Dipping Sauce" and the Mini Petit Fours - "Choco decadence, mini cheesecake, tiramisu, choco torte, orange chiffon cake, mini fruit tarts, and raspberry linzer." And truffles and candies and wine, oh my!

I think next weekend is going to include a stop in at the Chocolate Grape. Maybe it'll be on Sunday for Crepe Mornings. If it's as good as it sounds, I may never leave!

June 13, 2008

time to start the weekend

Last one in is a rotten egg!
Have a good one!

(Summer Fun from MyGigi on Flickr)

June 9, 2008

chicago fave - The White Attic

When I first started this blog, I knew that I wanted to post from time to time about my favorite stops for home décor shopping in Chicago. I’m always happy to pass along resources to my friends and it feels good to applaud the very deserving and hard-working shop owners who keep me coming back for more, so I decided this was the perfect way to do both. I've written about a couple here and here, and I’ve still got lots to go, but I wanted to take a few minutes today to talk about The White Attic. No list of Chicago favorites would be complete without it.

Now, I ruefully admit that it has been a while since I’ve stopped in at the amazing little Andersonville furniture shop, and so I don’t even know what lovely one-of-a-kind pieces you’d find right now, but I can guarantee that if you love the idea of taking something old and making it beautiful again, then you won’t be disappointed with The White Attic. Full of vintage (a lot of 70’s era) furnishings that have been given a new lease on life through a shiny coat of paint (in classic hues like black and white, but also pink, blue and green) and eye-catching hardware. I like to call this "loving up." Each piece is unique and has that special home-made feel. And there are also great accessories sprinkled throughout the shop, including Votivo candles, my favorite.

If you're in the Andersonville neighborhood, I highly recommend stopping in to The White Attic. While you're there, say hello to Terry, owner-extraordinaire.

June 8, 2008

a not-so-typical weekend

If you're like me you fill your weekends up with to-dos: Clean the house. Pick up dry cleaning. Grocery shop. The weekend tasks are always there, always keeping me busy, and always using up too many precious "free time" minutes. Sometimes once Sunday night rolls in, I don't feel like I've had any break at all.

Wade left last Thursday for a golf trip with friends, and so it was just me and Lulu this weekend. I started worrying about how I was going to handle being a "single mom" and still do all the things I usually do on my Saturdays and Sundays. When he's around I can just come and go, and I know that he'll be home to take care of her, but (gasp!) how was I possibly going to deal with her on my own? How could I leave the house to run errands for hours at a time, lots of times, knowing that Lulu would be home all alone? And if I do stay home with her, how am I supposed to get everything taken care of? What about Dad's Father's Day gift and Wade's suit that needs to be dropped off at the cleaners? What will I do if these things don't get done?

You know what? Nothing got done, and it was fine. It was better than fine. I had a great weekend. And the best part? Was all that "nothing" that I did. I didn't run all over town checking off each errand one by one or take time to clean the house from top to bottom (even though it REALLY needs it!). Nope, this weekend I spent the time taking lots of long walks with The Lewster and then even longer naps on the sofa. I read all the issues of "Domino" that had been piling up, and the only errand I ran was to Trader Joe's to get ingredients for strawberry smoothies (an essential on 90+ degree days!) and a bouquet of gorgeous peonies.

Ahh... what a wonderful weekend. I could (and should!) get used to this (except that I'd want Wade around, too!)

June 6, 2008


Have a wonderful weekend full of fun and sun!
(It's gonna be a hot one!)
Sorry that I have done zero posting the last week or so.
I'll try my best to get back on track next week.

(Photo from KansasExplorer on Flickr.)