Tag Archives: home

monkeying around.

28 Jul

i’m not sure how it even happened, but along the way in our relationship the boy and i started joking about chimps. thats right, monkeys. it’s totally weird and childlike, i know. but i can’t help it. chimps are cute and playful. they’re fun to joke about.

a trip to the target dollar isle and a recent trip back home, where i scoured through the dust-collecting beanie baby collection circa 1995, found us two new roommates- -chimpster and chimpette.

{chimpster and chimpette}

you’ll notice that chimpette is about 200% larger than chimpster. i love it.

{i often come home to adorable arrangements on the bed courtesy of the boy, cruise ship style}

so you’ll understand then why i was OVER THE TOP when katie gifted me these Betsy Johnson stud earrings for my birthday this week. best friend FTW.

{yes, they are wearing pink bow-ties.}

i am never taking them off. bravo Betsy Johnson! i’ve been paring them with a pair a bright teal button studs. nothing says summer like bold colors and chimps, right?

do you have any childlike tendencies or inside jokes that have manifested into your (supposedly) adult home or style?

god knows i do.


12 Jul

as i navigate through life in my twenties, deciphering the meanings of “adulthood” and “grown-up”, i’m often led to pondering the idea of home. over the past decade i’ve called many places home, from michigan to australia. at some point, moving and adjusting to a new place and a new set of faces became a cyclical process, one to which i’d become accustomed (and eventually, one separate from my family). and today, though i’ve lived on my own in my big girl apartment for three years, the concept of “home” has become especially prevalent. six months ago the boy moved in; it’s a big step for both of us, and one that spiraled me into full-blown homemaking mode.

now, i’m creating what finally feels like a home: for me, for him, for us. this little spot in lakeview, a something of our own. it all feels so adult. and often, with my whimsical childlike antics, i feel anything but adult.

this is totally our apartment:

i’d like to believe, that as i grow-up, i’ll keep with me all the playful and nostalgic bits of the home of my youth– that’ll i’ve never be too old to laugh, to act younger than my age, and to live in the moment.

as our work and responsibilities become more involved and dedicated, i’m creating a decidedly fun and carefree home, for both of us. a little peter pan? maybe so. but who doesn’t need a place to escape? there might not be a ball pit (a la chuck e. cheese), but mischief and games are a guarantee.

in the coming months, i’ll be featuring some posts about the recent updates we’ve made to the apartment and the projects we’ve got on the docket for later this year. you can see below, i’ve been on my way to homemaking since day one.

on my first birthday. fisher price kitchenette set. homemaking in my birthday dress!


2 Jul

happy fourth of july weekend!

i’m rushing around getting ready to host our annual bbq with friends (invitation above!). this year we’re doing a potluck and i’ll be tackling TWO of my summer wish list items: 1) learning how to grill and 2) making an american flag cake.

throughout my entire childhood, my parents would pack up the aerostar (brown beauty as i like to call her) and head to our grandparents’ home in indiana for a weekend of family gathering. there are memories of these special weekends that have stayed with me nearly 20 years later and i can easily assume 20 more.

  • my grandmother’s annual american flag cake, which i’d love to start as a tradition for our gatherings. it’s simple, festive, and seasonal. a trifecta of holiday dining perfection in my opinion.
  • lighting sparklers in my grandparents’ backyard far past my normal bed time.
  • catching lightening bugs with my sister
  • swinging with my grandmother on the old porch swing out back
  • playing tag with my cousins around an enormous (at least it felt like that when i was 5) pine tree
  • watching my grandfather make home made pickles. my favorite!

these are parts of my childhood that i fondly refer to when i’m missing those carefree youthful summers. and while they are memories now destined to live in my past, they inspire me to create traditions of my own as i build a home here in chicago.

this bbq is part of our summer tradition. a gathering of close friends, close enough to be family, to celebrate another year of living together in the city. some other traditions we’re starting this year? a group picnic on the lakefront complete with kite flying, frisbee, and summer tunes.

whether you’re celebrating the traditions you’ve had for years or just beginning some of your own, have a wonderful holiday weekend!

365 rewind.

1 Jul

we’re fast approaching my favorite weekend. since i was little, i’ve been enchanted by all things 4th of july: sparklers, fireworks, american flag cakes, you name it. I LOVE IT ALL. but this year, i’ve got especially good reason for my excitement, because while watching fireworks is seriously magical, feeling them is even better.

a year ago on the 4th of july, my best friend whom i’d been straight crushing on 5th grade style and whom i’d known for two years, became my boyfriend. something i’d wanted secretly in the back of my mind, but that seemed so distant from reality that i’d pushed it out of comprehension. it’s funny, how one little moment can change so much about life. i remember that day and that night with such clarity and vividness that it seems unreal that it could be a year ago. it was complete chance that the events unfolded as they did–a cocktail of spontaneous, random, and odd decisions all colliding into one perfect blend. even today, it’s all so fresh that i’m still dreamy and googly-eyed over it.

so here we are. one year later. living together and looking back on it all with complete shock at how much time has flown. it’s incredulous to think of how much has been packed into the last 365 days. big life changes for both of us–defining moments of young adulthood. moments that will shape the next 365.

of COURSE i’m looking forward to all my favorite 4th of july festivities. fireworks and bbq planning flood my mind. yet, this weekend there’s a little more magic in the fireworks we’ll watch. and hopefully, if i’m the luckiest girl ever, many many more 4th of july anniversaries to come.

italian quinoa salad.

29 Jun

as i mentioned, we’re trying to keep to our modified elimination diet. it’s proving to be somewhat of a struggle .  a recent household hostess cupcake run solidified the current inability to completely detox. i’ll blame it on work stress…

{cleanse FAIL}

And with 4th of july around the corner, you can bet i love me some bbq’ing and beer. i’ll turn on my catholic guilt and get serious about the elimination diet once the long weekend wraps up and i’m less “party mode leaner”. one probably shouldn’t fantasize about hot dogs and pasta salad when on a non-processed gluten free diet.

one thing we ARE doing right is weekday meals. pats on back! the easiest way for me to stick to the elimination diet for dinners has been to focus on easy & fresh protien and fiber based meals so that I get nutriets and stay full. my hard and fast favorite is to cook a large batch of quinoa and pair it with a mix of veggies and spices/dressing.  if you’re in the same “work till you can’t see straight” phase of your life, then chances are you’re familiar with the concept. [side note that i really enjoy cooking and hope to eventually have more energy post-work to devote to it]

so, here is my most recent creation: an italian quinoa summer salad. if you aren’t familiar with quinoa, it is a light, whole grain packed with protein. i’d put it somewhere between brown rice and cous cous. it is simpler than pasta to make, and much better for you.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces, cooked and rinsed
1/2 lb frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 chopped red pepper
1/2 chopped yellow onion
1/2 lb frozen peas, thawed
1 medium size squash diced
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup prepared italian dressing
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and ground black pepper

serves: approximately 6 servings

preparing the quinoa
rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain.
if using a rice cooker: measure 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water and combine in rice cooker. cook on white rice setting. let cool when cooking is finished.

if using stove top: bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Stir quinoa and a pinch of salt into water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and let cool.

preparing the veggies

{i use a chopper (thanks mom!) for dicing my peskier veggies}

{combine all the chopped veggies into a large bowl. check out those colors.}

{mix it all up}

{voilà! top with italian dressing, mix up, and you’ve got a protein packed meal!}

serve chilled or at room temperature. see, SUPER SIMPLE. i usually keep everything separate, as in the picture above, until right before dining. that way nothing gets soggy and the italian dressing tastes cold and fresh!

fresh friday.

24 Jun

fresh cut flowers are my favorite impulse purchase. on the dining table or in the bedroom, they make me feel like a grown-up and transform the apartment into a more lively and bright space. they’re a treat i never feel guilty for indulging in. and now that summer is finally here, i’m planning to fill our vase frequently.

these fresh beauties are brightening up our dining table.

i picked them up last night while shopping for a party we are throwing tonight!

{love these colors together.}

happy friday!