Friday, March 29, 2013

Current Pinsperations

Right now I'm loving everything floral and bright.  Florals?  For spring?  I know, I know, I'm an innovator.

1. / 2. / 3. / 4. / 5. / 6. / 7. / 8. / 9. / 10. 

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ensemble: Day to Night II

Back by popular demand, another installment of day to night!  I wore this to work and then out for drinks with the boy.  Well, drinks and chicken wings, so I probably could have stuck with the day outfit ;)

I decided to pull out my denim jacket after seeing Tasia rock hers - I guess I really should be wearing it year round.

Top - Loft / Jacket - Elle / Pants - Gap / Bag - Audrey Brooke (old, similar here) / Flats - Payless / Necklace - Unknown (similar here) / Watch - Michael Kors

Top - Loft / Pants - Gap / Bag (old, similar here) and Shoes (old, similar here) - Nine West / Bracelet - NY&Co

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easy Homemade Lasagna

I've always had this notion in my head that lasagna was really hard and time consuming to make.  I think I got the idea because whenever my mom made lasagna, she made pasta sauce the same day, so it seemed like she was in the kitchen for hours.

It turns out I was completely wrong.  If you make the sauce ahead of time (see my recipe for meat and veggie sauce) and use no-boil noodles (I hear you can pretend regular noodles are no boil but haven't tested it out) it actually only takes about ten minutes to assemble.

1 15oz package of ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp parsley (fresh is better)
1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 cups of pasta sauce (meat or veggie sauce - my favorite recipe here)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13" pan.  

In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs.  Add ricotta cheese, parsley, and 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese.  

Add a small layer of sauce to the bottom of the pan (this is to ensure the noodles cook correctly).  Put four noodles on top.  Layer on 1/2 of ricotta mixture, 1/3 of sauce, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.  

Add another layer of four noodles and another layer of ricotta, sauce, and mozzarella   Add another four noodles.  Top with remaining sauce, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

This got excellent reviews from the boyfriend.  Now that I know it's actually easy to make, I'm excited to put this recipe into my rotation!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ensemble: Sunday Morning

You know how you know you're getting old?  You wake up on a weekend earlier than you do with your alarm on a weekday.  This past weekend I was up and ready to start accomplishing things before seven on both Saturday and Sunday.  My go-to weekend look?  Leggings and a tunic.

Shirt - Old Navy (old, similar here) / Leggings - Loft / Boots - Bandolino / Bag - Audrey Brooke (old, similar here) / Necklace - Stella & Dot / Bracelet - Michael Kors

Sunday mornings for me right now mean finishing my homework (I mean, no way, I never leave stuff until the last second), having a quick breakfast, and heading to class.  I'm a weirdo and don't like coffee or tea, so I always bring my giant water cup along with me. 

What are your favorite items to wear during the weekend?

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

For me, this weekend included quite a bit of basketball (my bracket is already busted, thanks Gonzaga), but it's also my sister and mom's birthdays this week so I had some birthday prep work to do.  Here are a few snapshots of my weekend:

Totally normal Saturday morning activities: baking a cake and watching Gilmore Girls.  

 Wrapping some presents.  This was before the boyfriend got his hands on them.

Cake decorating, thanks for the idea Pinterest

Driving around with my sister all afternoon with a cake on her lap.

Sometimes Archer is great at pictures.

A pretty find at the thrift store this weekend, perfect for holding some of my favorite jewelry!

Hoping you had a great weekend!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Madness

Do you follow March Madness?  I'm not a sports person, but I still watch the games and fill out a bracket every year.  I especially love the first weekend of March Madness when there are so many games going on at once.  If I had to choose, basketball would definitely be my favorite sport to watch.  Probably because I have a super short attention span, and in basketball they score all of the time.  Or because I grew up in Chicago with Michael Jordan.  Tonight you'll find me in the bars, celebrating finishing a major project at work and watching basketball on repeat.

I hoped I would find a picture of me as a child in a basketball uniform to include with this post, but let's be honest, I never played basketball as a child.  Instead, here's an elephant dunking.  Much better.

Have a happy Friday!

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ensemble: Shades of Blue

I love when I can throw some sequins into my day!  With my trusty chambray they feel super casual.

Tee - Gap / Chambray - Target / Jeans - Gap / Booties - Steve Madden / Necklace - Baublebar (similar here)

Remember those booties I needed and couldn't make an outfit without?  I went into store after store, scoured the internets, and bought and returned several pairs before I finally found a pair to my liking.  I think they were worth the wait ;)

Things tall people get irrationally excited about: when pants are actually a tinge too long!  I remember being in middle school when my mom would only buy me new uniform pants at the beginning of the school year - by summer my khakis would be three or four inches too short!  Super embarrassing for an eleven-year-old.  That middle schooler inside of me is doing cartwheels over that extra quarter inch in these photos.  Of course, it's an imaginary middle schooler inside of me, because I've never been able to do a cartwheel.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Words

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."
-Vince Lombardi

I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed by everything, so this has become my new mantra.  It will all be worthwhile in the end.  

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Taco Tuesday

The other day my boyfriend told me his favorite meal is tacos.  I'm pretty sure I've never made him tacos the whole time we've been dating, so clearly it was about time.  

Lately there's been a lot of stuff going around on Pinterest about making your own taco seasoning.  They tout the health and wallet benefits - you can control your sodium intake and make sure you know exactly what you're eating, and you save a lot of money.  Those reasons are good, but I make my own seasoning because it just tastes better.  

There are a lot of recipes out there, but the basic ingredients are chili powder, ground cumin, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Since I mix it up fresh each time, I usually use an actual diced onion and minced garlic, but if you're making this ahead of time you can use powders and make a big batch.  I also add cayenne pepper for a little spice.  

Homemade Taco Seasoning 
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Homemade Taco Seasoning (Powder Version)
2 parts chili powder
1 part ground cumin
1 part onion powder
1 part garlic powder
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt to taste

I can't believe it took the boyfriend two years to tell me tacos are his favorite.  I smell a lot of Taco Tuesdays in our future.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Ensemble: Polka Dots & Mint

Happy Monday!  If you're curious, I did hit the streets on Saturday in my shamrock shutter shades but made it in home and into bed by about 9:30pm.  Guess I'm getting old!

This outfit was a total copycat of Andrea Everyday.  I've had this shirt for a while but hadn't really worn it, I couldn't find the right thing to match the gray.  Duh, of course colored jeans were the answer!

Shirt - Target / Jeans - Loft / Booties - F21 / Necklace - H&M / Bag - Michael Kors / Watch - NY&Co / Glasses - Firmoo 

This was the first time I've been able to get out onto our balcony in almost a month, we were having weekly blizzards for a while.  Sunny weather has me hoping that it'll start to warm up here!

These booties are my new favorite.  I usually can't buy shoes from stores like F21 because my feet are a silly size (10.5) but these magically fit.  Best day ever.  

Have a great week!

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Le Weekend

Have a great weekend everyone!  I'm going to a Shabbat dinner tonight and then hitting the town for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow.  Hopefully the day doesn't end like this again:

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ensemble: Stripes & Florals

Last week I tweeted that I went into Loft to return some things and then had to restrain myself from buying everything in their spring collection.  Seriously, everything is so adorable.  Luckily they had a sale later that week so I was able to snag a couple of things, including this striped top.  I love stripes, so duh, this was a no brainer, but what really got me is how thick the fabric is, it makes the shirt super flattering.

And, of course, as I've been commenting all over the place, I've been dying to try my hand at mixing prints with stripes and florals.  I've actually had this skirt for a couple of years now, it was something I was dying for and then amazingly went on clearance only in my size.  Huzzah!*

 Shirt - Loft / Skirt - Daisy Fuentes (similar here) / Belt - Old Navy / Bag - F21 (similar here) / Booties - Kelly & Katie (similar here) / Bracelet - Michael Kors

This necklace was a birthday gift from my brother and almost sister-in-law.  It's an old CTA token, cool right?!  It's made by a local Chicago artist, but unfortunately I lost the card that came with the necklace so I'm not sure where it's from.  It's funny to think that people used to have to carry these around to ride the bus!  The boyfriend joked that in twenty years they'll be making Chicago Card necklaces.

I wore this last week to meet my boyfriend and his co-workers out for happy hour and then to go to dinner at The Girl & The Goat.  Yes, I know I'm about three years late, but I finally made it!  Totally worth the hype, the pig face (yes, you read that correctly) was one of the top five things I've ever had!

*Whenever I say "Huzzah!" I'm specifically referencing an old episode of Gilmore Girls where Luke goes to live with the carnies.  I think 90% of the things I say are actually references to tv shows/movies that no one will ever realize I'm referencing.  It's a problem, unless I'm talking to one of my siblings since they understand immediately.  Huzzah!

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