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Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Vintage Bazaar - a modern, pop-up flea market

I have a nice little Saturday lined up this weekend.

First, I'll meet my sister and our friend Allyson for brunch at Chalkboard in Lincoln Square.

Then we'll make our way to The Vintage Bazaar - a modern, pop-up flea market.


Check out this vendor list. I can't wait to see what treasures we find!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Letterpress Necklace

This weekend, I ordered the sweetest, vintage Letterpress "S" Necklace from etsy seller 'GwenDelicious'...


Check out the rest of her Letter Press Necklace collection here, as well as her vintage Typewriter Key Necklace collection here. If she doesn't have your letter available, just convo her and she'll let you know when she has your letter in stock. (That's what she did for me!)

I think they make a great personalized gift with some lovely vintage charm.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Milkshake Menu

Last night I had my oral surgery to remove all 4 wisdom teeth and I have to say it could have been much worse! I actually feel ok and I believe the worst part will be not being able to eat much solid food for a while. So I'm getting creative with my soft/liquid menu and fixing up a couple of non-traditional milkshakes.


Please note:
*I generally prefer malts so I usually add original Malted Milk to my shakes, but if you don't prefer malts you can simply omit!
**These recipes won't have exact measurements since I just wing it, but you can add & blend to your own taste & texture likings. I think I averaged about 3 scoops of ice cream and a cup or so of skim milk per serving.

Monkey Shake Recipe
This is inspired by my generous colleague, Emily, who gave me a gift bag full of all of the ingredients to make Monkey Shakes prior to my surgery.

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 small Banana
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Shot of brewed coffee or espresso
  • Milk

Vanilla Cupcake Shake
This is inspired by my leftover pink vanilla frosted valentine cupcakes I made which were taunting me, begging to be consumed (if not chewed) last night.

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 whole Frosted & Sprinkled Vanilla Cupcake
  • Milk
  • 2 tablespoons of Original Malted Milk

Cheesecake Milkshake
I have yet to try this one, but it was a suggestion from my friend, Lori, who said these saved her life last year while she had her jaw wired shut.

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Scoop of Philadelphia Ready-To-Eat Cheesecake Filling
  • Milk
  • *maybe Malted Milk...we'll see!

So those are my three, unique milkshake recipes so far. If anyone out there has any other fun recipes to share, please do!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mizzou Professor gets Oprah Make-under!

My college professor, Dr. Cyndi Frisby from the Missouri School of Journalism, was on Oprah today getting a make-under. Courtesy of Carson from Queer Eye none-the-less... and she looks great!

Before:


After:


Watch the clip here. I'm about to watch the replay on TV now since I've only seen the youtube clip :-)

Ouch...oral surgery.

I should have been wise enough to get my wisdom teeth pulled when I was young and resilient.


Instead I spent the better part of last week on a liquid diet due to a severe toothache caused by an infection in the gum surrounding my bottom right wisdom tooth. The antibiotics have made chewing manageable at this point, but now I need to get my wisdom teeth pulled on Thursday so that it doesn't happen again :-(

So go ahead, tell me all the great experiences you all have had with getting yours pulled with little-to-no swelling, bruising or throbbing pain :-)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vintage Luggage Dog Bed Project

My parents have a set of mustard-yellow American Tourister luggage at home that I'm guessing is from the mid-1970's and was probably a wedding gift or purchased early in their marriage. Growing up I thought it was not-so-cute, and after a while it just sat in our storage room while we upgraded to various duffel and roller bags over the years. It looks just like this...

Fast forward 30 years or so, and I am so happy they've kept it around now that vintage luggage is back in vogue (as far as decor goes). Better yet, they said I am more than welcome to take it off their hands! As the saying goes, everything old is new again.

I still need to bring it back from Saint Louis next time I go visit, but that hasn't stopped me from planning exactly what I will do with it! My plan is to make a Vintage Luggage Dog Bed for my Louie-dog. He currently sits/sleeps on an ottoman near our floor to ceiling windows all day, but I think this will make a much cuter hangout.

Here are some of my inspirations pics from etsy seller 'vintagerenaissance' and her suitcase bed collection:

I also did a quick search on where I might be able to find my own mid-century modern legs to attach, and came across this great post on apartment therapy showing very affordable furniture legs from ace hardware.

12-inch legs $4.49 each
Then I would just need our drill and four of these angled leg plates for $2.79 each.
Since the legs are unfinished, I may paint them as well but I'll have to wait and see how it all comes together. Event though I may not be able to reveal this for a month or two since I don't have the suitcases in my possession yet, I still had to share my excitement about this potential new perch for my pup!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vintage Metal Mug Stand

Ever since we added the espresso machine to our kitchen's coffee repertoire, I have been struggling with a way to store all of our supplies without crowding our counters and cabinets. I know every show on HGTV will tell you to only have one appliance on your countertop when you are staging your home, but we aren't staging our home...we are living in it and we need things to be accessible!

Thus, I was on the hunt for a cute way to display our new stack of espresso cups and found a clever $6 solution on etsy. This Vintage Metal Mug Stand from etsy seller 'lollipopwater'. Isn't it cute?


I just love the versatility of this treasure from decades past. Also called a "mug tree", I had to stop myself from buying multiple of these stands to use all around the house as jewelry trees, holiday ornament hangers, centerpieces, etc. Maybe one day when I open up my dream boutique they'll be my signature display pieces.

Until then, it will have to make do in my kitchen's coffee corner.

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I've got sunshine, on a snowy day.

After a snowy, slushy walk home from work tonight, I curled up to read my new issue of Real Simple magazine. I didn't make it past the first page, when I was smacked in the face by a Target ad featuring this "frugalista find"... a cute white & yellow striped springtime trench.


Immediately to my online shopping cart it went!

I got sidetracked from my magazine at that point, and started snooping around and found these bright, shiny rainboots. My trouble trying to fit into those pricey Hunter boots has been well-documented over the last year (here, here, here and here), but none fit. So for almost 1/6 of the price, I think I'll try to fit these cute little boots over my calves.



And while I'm on my yellow kick...

This summer vacation will be spent with Dave's family at the lake, so I'll need a modest yet flattering swimsuit to wear around the in-laws. It might look a little matronly at first, but I like the throw-back vibe.



Plus, I think the model is missing a few of the necessary curves, or outright thickness needed to make this style look right. No worries here though ;-)

So there you have it! My impulse dashes of yellow I will soon be adding to my wardrobe courtesy of Target and inspired by Real Simple. And all for under $100!

Hurry-up spring, I'm ready for you!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunday Supper: Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken w/ Spinach & Pine Nut Orzo

Last night we had a terrific Sunday Supper of stuffed chicken and orzo. I forgot to take photos, but I will still post the recipes for anyone who may be interested.

Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breast
Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup white wine, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Directions
In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot add the onions and saute until translucent. Stir in the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the salt, pepper and garlic. When the garlic begins to lightly brown, deglaze with 1/4 cup of the white wine. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter, allow it to melt, then toss in the Parmesan and parsley.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool before stuffing the chicken breast.

Rinse, trim and pound out chicken breasts to about 1/4-inch thick. Do not over-pound as holes in the chicken will make it difficult for the chicken to retain the stuffing.

Put 1/4 of the stuffing mixture at 1 end of a chicken breast. Gentle roll the chicken breast folding the ends in to help keep the stuffing from coming out during the cooking process. Secure the chicken roll with 2 toothpicks. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts and
stuffing.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a medium saute pan over high heat. Add the chicken breasts, with the secured side of the chicken first, to insure the roll with stay together. Brown the chicken on all sides, add remaining butter, and deglaze with remaining white wine.

Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and discard the toothpicks. Slice each breast on a bias into 5 pieces and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with remaining pan drippings, garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan and serve.

Orzo with Spinach, Grape Tomatoes & Pine Nuts
my adaptation from a a few recipes; Serves about 6

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package frozen, organic spinach; partially or fully defrosted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 package grape tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 lb of dried orzo pasta
  • 26 oz container of chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock if vegetarian)
Directions
Heat a large covered skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and when it is hot, add the partially defrosted spinach and break apart as it heats. Stir in a pinch each of salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach to a strainer set over a bowl and drain. When cool enough to handle, press down on the spinach to extract as much liquid as possible and reserve the juice for later

In a large heavy skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly golden. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until the garlic gives off its aroma. Add in the cooked spinach and remove from the heat.

In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Cook the orzo, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for about 9 minutes or until tender. Once most of the stock is absorbed and orzo is tender stir in the spinach mixture, then stir in the uncooked grape tomato halves. Lastly, add remaining spinach juice to taste.

These two recipes were delicious together and the orzo reheated nicely tonight for dinner :-)

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About Me

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I'm a St. Louis native, but I have been living in Chicago since 2005 and am loving every windy minute of it. I enjoy cooking (more-so eating), home decorating and really anything creative. I'm a supporter of DIY & handmade goods, a fledgling foodie and a connoisseur of kitsch. I spend my days filling online shopping carts, emptying them and repeating the process all over again. Most of all I love spending time with my husband, Dave, our first child, Claire and my dog, Louie.

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