August 31, 2012

Dog Days

It seems that we haven't even unpacked, yet we're already loading up the car for another extended weekend adventure. Oh, how I love this time of year.

Have a great weekend and a very happy Labor Day!

August 30, 2012

Trail Blazer III

All of this talk about the outdoors these last few days has reminded me that it’s time to update my ipod and hit the trail. Here are a few songs that will be accompanying me along the way:

  1. Gotye (featuring Kimbra): Somebody that I Used to Know (Tiesto Remix)
  2. Lykke Li: Get Some
  3. Chiddy Bang (featuring Icona Pop): Mind Your Manners
  4. Justin Bieber (featuring Nicki Minaj): Beauty and a Beat
  5. Black Keys: Gold on the Ceiling
  6. Jack White: Sixteen Saltines
  7. Deadmau5 (featuring Chris James): The Veldt (Tommy Trash Remix)
  8. Avicii: Levels
  9. David Guetta and Sia: Titanium
  10. Afrojack and Steve Aoki (featuring Miss Palmer): No Beef

August 29, 2012

Bayfield Berries

While in Bayfield, we made a pit stop at Rocky Acres Berry Farm, where we spent a few hours painstakingly picking blackberries that my boyfriend’s mom later turned into a delicious crisp. She was kind enough to save a few pints for me, and her dessert was so good, that I’ve been inspired to try my own. More on that later…..

August 28, 2012

Beautiful Bayfield

We usually manage to squeeze a morning excursion to Bayfield in when we’re up north, and this past trip was no exception. The rows of quaint shops and restaurants, picturesque scenes of sailboats and flower-covered rocks set against the backdrop of the Apostle Islands, and fresh Lake Superior air make it a must-see destination. The nearby berry patches and apple orchards, well, more on that tomorrow….

No trip is complete without spending a few minutes, or hours, browsing here...
....stopping to grab a few unbelievably delicious Cold Fusions at Big Water Coffee...
...before heading down to the harbor to take in views like this....
...and this.

August 27, 2012


We’ve returned from the wilds of northern Wisconsin, and even though we had to scale back our annual weeklong trip to just a few days, the lack of phones, Internet, cable TV and city noise left us feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. If you ask me, endless hours of talking, reading, hiking, fishing, picture taking, and drinking Old Fashioneds represent the perfect way to spend the last few days of a great midwestern summer….

Sunrise over the fog-covered lake
Crystal clear waters alongside the dock
Endless trees beneath miles of cloudless blue skies
The long climb back up to civilization
Day trip to a nearby trail
Hiking beneath webs of pine tree needles
Dainty lilac daisies underfoot along the way
The final destination: a remote, lily pad-covered pond
Watching the sunset on the deck, listening to frogs, cocktails in hand

August 15, 2012

Northwoods Bound

Off to Wisconsin for a few days of much-needed rest and relaxation....

See you next week!

August 14, 2012

About Face

Jerry Hall

On a recent lazy afternoon, I had finally had the chance to sit down and watch the HBO documentary About Face. I’ve always been captivated by the world of fashion and modeling, but I’ve had to get my media fix from sources such as The Making of the Swimsuit Issue and the early years of America’s Next Top Model. I’ve never been able to bring myself to watch any of the recent reality shows on the topic. 

Luckily, in the last few years, there has been a number of sophisticated films offering a peak into the exclusive industry including: Bill Cunningham New York, The September Issue, and Valentino: The Last Emperor. It seems that About Face can now be added to the list. The models interviewed are timeless and, while watching Jerry Hall throw her head back and laugh, I found myself wishing that I could have been around in their respective heydays.

Carmen Dell'Orefice
Isabella Rossellini
Carol Alt
China Machado
Christie Brinkley

August 13, 2012

Windy City Weekend

Love Birds Taking Their Chances with Record Waves

My cousin and his very fun girlfriend stayed with us over the weekend to experience all that Chicago and its little neighbor to the north, Evanston, have to offer. I always enjoy showing adventurous visitors around town as it encourages me to rediscover local favorites (namely Lou Maltnati’s, Wrigley Field and nearby watering holes such as Murphy’s Bleachers and Dark Horse Tap and Grille) and explore my own quaint little neighborhood (at new late night spots like Taco Diablo). As evidenced in the few pictures that we managed to take, the weather was the perfect backdrop to a few nonstop days of family-filled festivities. 

A nod to my hometown heroes and, might I add, the winners of the game
Amid throngs of tourists gaping up at the legendary marquee
A view from our seats of a surprising sea of red shirts, captured in between bites of a world-famous Vienna Beef
A sweet ending to the weekend (inspired by this) and beginning of Shark Week

August 8, 2012

Jewel Boxes

Summer is still in full swing, but that hasn’t stopped retailers from rolling out next season's goods. I haven’t even had a chance to wear out my neon yellow clutch, and I’m already coveting next season’s rich jewel-toned bags. 

August 7, 2012

Zucchini Bread

Now that the garden plot is at its peak, I’ve had an abundance of zucchini that I’ve been happy to put to use in my mom’s zucchini bread recipe. She adapted it from an old parish cookbook, and because it was a late summer staple in our house as I was growing up, it tastes just like August to me.


1 cup  vegetable  oil
2  eggs,  slightly  beaten
2  cups  sugar
2  cups  grated  raw  zucchini
1  cup  grated  raw  carrots
2  teaspoons vanilla  extract (I love this)
3  cups  all  purpose  flour
1  teaspoon  baking  soda
1/4  teaspoon baking  powder
1  teaspoon  salt
3  teaspoons  ground  cinnamon
1  teaspoon  ground  nutmeg
1  cup  chopped nuts (I usually go with walnuts)
1  cup  raisins or dried cranberries (I went with the latter)

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Combine raw and wet ingredients in a large bowl, stirring by hand 
  • Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl
  • Slowly mix wet and dry ingredients together
  • Fold nuts and dried fruit into the batter, stirring gently without beating
  • Spoon  batter  into 2 buttered  8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans or unlined, buttered muffin tins
  • Bake for 1 1/2 hours (slightly less if baking muffins)
  • Let cool, put on a pretty plate, pour a glass of milk (preferably into one of these) and enjoy!

August 6, 2012

Suburban Sojourn

We attended the birthday party of our friends' very cute little 2-year old this past weekend, and we used the trip into the suburbs as an excuse to have breakfast at a new favorite spot (with bottomless mason jars of peach iced tea!) and visit the Bristol Renaissance Faire for a few hours (which was plenty, as I had forgotten the intensity of the experience). Even though it was unbearably hot, nothing could stop me from wearing my new, very event-appropriate leather booties. They almost made me look forward to Autumn. 

August 2, 2012

Glowing Glass

After reading this post, I immediately became jealous of a best friend in Seattle who can easily visit the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Space Needle. Because I won’t be able to check it out with her, I revisited some of my personal photos from past shows in Phoenix and Columbus. If you're also not able to visit Chihuly's latest installation in person any time soon, I hope you enjoy my memories of the artist’s amazing, ornate glass tucked in among the landscapes of other locales….