August 30, 2013

Fall Forward

And just like that, one of the last official weekends of summer is upon us. Not only am I desperately looking forward to a long holiday weekend, but I also can’t wait to embrace some of my favorite late summer/early autumn activities in the coming month. Among my goals for September:
  • Incorporate a few favorite fall trends into my look, including camouflage, dark green nails and deep berry lips
  • Tidy up one room each night so that I don’t have to do anything cleaning-related during the weekend
  • Use a long forgotten Chicago ArchitectureFoundation gift card that I recently found in a drawer to rediscover a part of the City
  • Set aside time to enjoy a few local chocolate and beer pairings
  • Continue to use regular HGTV watching as an impetus to save for a future home, complete with personalized improvements
  • Visit the new Trader Joes in my neighborhood frequently to sample all of their specialty goods that I’ve been without for so long
  • Whip up a batch of homemade granola to scent the house and put one of my Weck canisters to work
  • Organize all of my favorite blogs on Feedly
  • Go for runs under falling leaves in the parks along Lake Michigan
  • Attend a fall festival up in Lake Country with my sister

I hope that you have a restful holiday weekend too, and I’ll look forward to seeing you around here in the new month!

August 29, 2013

Cincinnati Crosleys

I’ve always wanted an excuse to buy a portable Crosley turntable, both because the name itself conjures up images of Crosley field and my Cincinnati heritage and because they seem to instantly up the cool factor of any room in which they sit. 

When we moved my boyfriend’s remaining things out of his parents house this past weekend and we inherited his record collection that I didn’t even know existed, my immediate next step was to run out and get one. Even though we still don’t know where it will live in our 800 sq. ft. condo, I’ll be inspired by a few of sfgirlbybay’s images as I begin to spin records all around the house.

images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

August 28, 2013

Lake Lounging

On the dock with a captivating book that I highly recommend

We’re back from a few days at the cabin up north, and as usual, I’m feeling notably refreshed. Time away from computers, cell phones and TV can do wonders for state of mind. The weather was perfect, the meals that my boyfriend’s mom prepared were excellent, and the fish were biting like crazy. In other words, it was business as usual in the Northwoods.

Big lazy clouds floated overhead all weekend long
We never strayed too far from the cooler of ice cold New Glarus
Each evening ended with a paddle around the lake
The picturesque barn at Blue Vista Orchards
Just a sampling of the ten pounds of blueberries that we picked one sunny afternoon
We were greeted with a view of Lake Superior at the end of a hidden hike through the Red Cliff Reservation
We made a pit stop in Cornucopia for some fresh fish to fry
My dream shed, tucked behind Siskiwit Bay Coffee & Curiosities

August 23, 2013


Our first pints, set against a backdrop of live music and trad dancing

Within moments of landing at the Shannon airport, it was evident that many of the Irish stereotypes are true. From what we could tell, these were some of the most lively, friendly people that we came across during our travels, and Ireland itself is like one big, lush, cow-studded garden. It wasn’t long before we were swept up in a conversation with a local about JFK over a huge plate of fish and chips and a pint of Guinness.
My sister’s Irish friend later joined us for a road trip to the Cliffs of Moher, and then we drove from our base in Galway over to Dublin, where we wrapped up the last few days of our trip wandering around, sampling a few Anthony Bourdain-approved restaurants, and visiting a few of the farther flung spiritual sites like Glendalough and the Newgrange.

Peeking over the Cliffs of Moher
Cliffside cows
6,000 year old portal tomb in the Burren 
Kevin's Tower in lovely Glendalough
 The start to a noteworthy meal at Chophouse 
A deeply intense and eye-opening morning tour of the Boyne Valley
Well manicured gardens and puffy clouds in St. Stephen's Green
The act of getting here was a loooooong and memorable story

August 22, 2013


Gorgeous hike to the top of Arthur's Seat
Scotland is so much more than the land of Loch Ness, Braveheart and Harry Potter. It’s one of the most mystical and rugged places that I’ve ever had the opportunity to visit. Though I was prepared for an enjoyable time, I think that the sheer beauty of the country and its many faces caught me a bit by surprise.
We spent a few days in Edinburgh—one completely cloudless and sunny, the other more characteristically dreary. It only rained once during the day throughout our entire trip, and I’m glad that it happened in Edinburgh. The steam coming off of the cobblestone streets at dusk created the perfect mood for our evening ghost tour.
Next, we rented a car (aside from the Tube, the only other source of anxiety during the whole trip, which also turned out to be no big deal thanks to my boyfriend’s trusty driving skills) and headed up to the Scottish Highlands. We stayed in Glencoe, at an inn that served as the social hub for the entire area and, as our photographs can attest, the most picturesque place to have a post-hike beer.
One of the hidden closes on the Royal Mile

Upper and Lower Bow Street in downtown Edinburgh
The creepy cool Witchery
Misty morning on the way to Oban
Oban's catch of the day 
Must-see roadside stop: Castle Stalker
Crystal clear waters and a glimpse of Glencoe at Loch Leven
Stirling Castle, atop a landscape that made me want to head home and watch Braveheart