Monday, January 31, 2011


He was such a pretty kitty...



And I make Popsicles (or better known as flavored ice on a stick because Popsicle is apparently a brand)!

This was my second attempt at making them with my Zoku and they really are super easy.  This one is Mango juice with a pretty star fruit on either side.  What the star fruit lacks in flavor it makes up with interest because this would be a pretty boring frozen treat without it!  I just used some store bought mango juice (pretty sure we picked it up at Whole Food's but I've also seen it at Target... Bolthouse Farms Amazing Mango) and a pretty star fruit, that was also purchased at WF's.  All I had to do was slice the star fruit, get out my super frozen Zoku and stick the sliced fruit to the sides.  Then you shake up the mango juice and pour it in.  It's seriously that easy.  In minutes it's frozen and ready to eat!

My first attempt at making pop's was when Mom was in town.  We made Raspberry Lime-aid and they were delish!  Super tart... which I'm down with and so pretty!  If you have a Zoku... here's the recipe.

The Zoku makes frozen treats in minutes... it's fantastic!  But maybe not the best thing to be making in the dead of winter... with what is being called the blizzard of a lifetime in our near future.


Friday, January 28, 2011


And I'm a little bit sad (to say the least).  I'm not sad to leave the house anymore... I'm actually quite irritated at it (and some businesses!) because we had to spend so much money in the last couple of weeks to fix her up (doing somethings that I thought were ok and others that I did not agree with).  But I'm sad because it should be a really happy day (being debt free is quite exciting) and I just miss our furry little friend.  Chicago just doesn't feel right, right now.  I do think that Mr. D and I will be going out to celebrate this big occasion (because we must) so I'll have to let you know where we end up!

This is my first awful attempt at taking video.  Just a heads up, it's kind of long (but hey, it was taken for my memory so I wanted to get everything).  This is a video of the very last time we walked through our house.  It was all empty and kind of a sad place to be.  And this is pre-plumbing work so who knows what it looks like now!

This is how we left it and how we (as a family of 3) loved this house.

I'm sad to say that we didn't do this when it was all furnished (uggh!) but you can find some pretty good pictures on the website that our agent put together for the sale of the house.  You can find that here.  I'm hoping to get the pictures from him because I'm sure one day this website will be gone.

We loved you house (and your pretty yellow door)!  We will miss you so...


Thursday, January 27, 2011


I need to get to the gym.  I've taken a little hiatus from working out and well, it's past time for me to get back into the swing of things.

Today I was prepared... I typed the word "I'M GOING TO THE GYM!!!" to Mr. D,  I think they may have even escaped my mouth while talking to my mother, the Nano is all charged... gym clothes on (sports bra and all).  Motivation?  Nowhere in sight.  (I blame it on Bravo's, Million Dollar Listing.  Normally my day consists of no TV until national news at 5:30 but today I made the mistake of turning it on midday.  Hence motivation stuck somewhere beneath the cushions on the couch.  But hey, I'm pretty psyched that MDL is back and if the previews are any indication it will not disappoint! )

Needless to say I did not end up on a treadmill breathing in bleach infested air but am still hopeful that I will do some pilates in the comfort of our home.

But that is yet to be seen...



Really... and I'm not proud of that fact.  In grade school we all had music class... I really have a hard time remembering that far back but I recall playing what I'd call 'faux' instruments, like the triangle (anyone?) or some plastic wind thingy... a mix between a kazoo and a clarinet (remember those?).  I'll just say that lame exposure to music didn't get me excited about it in the least.  Let's not count either of those and go back to saying I've never played a true musical instrument and that fact totally bums me out.  So making music is really cool to me I think because it's so foreign and I am now totally in awe of the good stuff (or what I think is good).

I haven't listened to much of their other music (here is Balmorhea's website... and just a little about them from Wikipedia) but I do love this instrumental piece.  I seem to be going through and instrumental phase right now... and it's not all totally "classical".  It kind of helps me focus with some background sound that is kind of inspiring and uplifting... without you even knowing it.  I'm not sure if that even makes any sense.

So, I'd also like to share this group as well... Black Violin.  I wanted to give them their own post but I feel like this is also a fantastic instrumental piece but uses the classical format in hip-hop fashion.  And I love it!  You can find more info on Black Violin here and read a little about the on Wikipedia too.

So that's what you get from a girl who's never played an instrument.  Hopefully you like them too!  I'll have to follow up with some of my other fav's... pop princess Britney or maybe a little Taylor Swift.  And then you'll say... yeah, she's not so 'musical' after all.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Photos from: Christophe Libert of Paris France (left), John Evans of Winchester UK (right)

I am a loyal Design Mom blog reader.  I think her blog is fun and interesting... even though i'm not a mother myself.  There are lots of things relating to children that she posts about but she also finds some great design inspired posts that I always find interesting.  And the kiddo stuff is pretty awesome too... I have plenty of mama friends that I can send things too so that's an added plus.

But what i'm really here to talk about is about their new adventure... I'm totally envious! As you are aware, we recently moved to Chicago... that should be enough excitement right? Well, Design Mom and her husband are moving their family of 8 (maybe it's more effective if I spell it out and add exclamations) eight!!!! (six children just blows my mind) to France. Just up and moving for a year to France.  They are two of those lucky people who can work anywhere and have made the decision to spend a year in another country.  I just think that is so cool.  And what a great experience for their children.

I heart France... and nearly everything about it.  They have the most beautiful language, the country side is insanely picturesque and when I had the pleasure of visiting the country I ate the most delicious sweet treat that i've ever had (but those cinni rolls are a serious contender)... a sugar covered waffle (that I wish I could recreate in some way but have no idea how to... must track down the the food cart in Paris at some point in my life). Mr. D and I would be quite funny in France.  I have a feeling our lack of speaking the French language and our dry humor wouldn't get us very far but we would adapt and love to explore a new country.  So hopefully a little language barrier wouldn't stop us!

If you were to go travel abroad for an extended period of time, where would you want to live?  In the country side or in the city?  That's hard for me to answer... both are so lovely in their own ways.  But I'm pretty sure we'd end up living in the city and taking weekend trips to the country now and again (at least that's what I've dreamt so far)!

Here is where Design Mom and her family will be calling home soon... how exciting!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Today I'm wishing we had a little warmth and sunshine in Chicago... or maybe that we lived somewhere that was nice and warm year round.  Either way I'm also picturing myself jumping into this fantastic pool (with a cocktail and a chip and dip platter resting somewhere on that beautiful wood plank deck).

If you'd like to see more of this fantastic pool and house you can go here... or here (but it's definitely in Spanish!).  Designed by Andres Remy Architects.  Photo credits to Andres Remy Architects.


Monday, January 24, 2011


Well, my mother helped me find my appetite.  I'm not sure how it came up but during her last day here in Chicago cinnamon rolls were put on the menu and hello sweet tooth! They have all been devoured and I must admit that I was the one that ate them all!  (That is not usually the case in this house.)

We made the dough the night before and let it all settle in and absorb all the flavors overnight (covered in the refrigerator).  Here they are... the smell of the dough and cinnamon just filled the condo with the most delicious smells!

Here they are post-bake and smelling up the house even more on Saturday morning.

While they were baking we made the frosting... which I must have with my rolls (Mr. D prefers his frosting-less... huh?)!  It's a little butter, a lot of powder sugar and a splash of milk and vanilla.  So easy and so sugary.  And this is what you end up with.

This was something that I'd never made before and am really surprised how easy it was.  I'm glad to know how simple it was because those will be on the menu more often now.  Mr. D mentioned monkey bread so that might be the next sweet treat to tackle. This looks like a great monkey bread recipe to start from.

Leave it up to your mama to help you get your appetite back!


**Recipe Update --

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I just wanted to say that I'm talking a little break for the rest of the week.  We lost our dear Coach yesterday and we are just sick with sadness.  With all of the change that is happening in our life right now this was the last thing that we expected and it is just so overwhelming.

He was only 6 and he was the most beautiful animal.  He wasn't the most friendly cat that you'd ever met but he loved Mr. D and I and he showed it everyday.  We miss him so much and just need a little time to heal our heavy hearts.

I love you Coach... and I will miss your furry little face every single day.

Coach (March 2004 - January 18, 2011)


Monday, January 17, 2011


This weekend we cleaned out the entire St. Louis house in preparation for the new owners.  Today I did a major push to organize the condo a bit more because we just keep bringing more and more stuff into the space and we have NOWHERE to put it.

The question I keep asking myself is, "You sold your wedding dress... do you really need to keep that picnic basket that you have used once (replace object with any item, replace once with never)?"


Friday, January 14, 2011


I really don't know... I suppose it's up to you to decide.  But I feel like it's worth a listen...

It's 20 minutes, but it's interesting.  Jamie does a great job of keeping your attention and emotionalizes the US's obesity problem with faces of children.  Even if you don't believe it all... it should at least make you think. And that's a good thing in my opinion!

There are so many other videos on this website... TED is about getting ideas out there, what ever they may be.  I watched a few videos, some I like, some I didn't...


Thursday, January 13, 2011


Well... let it snow once we get back from St. Louis...

Since our new home is cold and snowy for nearly half of the year I think it's about time that I embrace the beauty of winter.  To begin my new seasonal love affair I've decided that I needed a fun winter activity.  So I went up the the roof and built myself an mini snow man. He is photographed against the beautiful skyline that is Chicago.

As soon as his body was built it dawned on me that I had no accessories for him (next time I will be more prepared!).  But photoshop quickly and easily clothed him and now he's ready for winter...

I'm thinking I'll build a whole family next time... animals and all!



For my song of the week I've got two videos for you.  It's the same song... the first, is the original artist, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  I like a lot about this song... the whistling, the lyrics, the music... it's all good.  It kind of sounds folksy with the way the lyrics are sung in a kind of jumpy fashion but it's also new and fresh.  It's got lots of energy and makes me happy!

But I have to say I was first introduced to this song by a father/daughter team.  And their cover of Home is fantastic.  Really, he's got a beautiful voice and she is adorable (I'm really impressed with her focus)!  I hope you enjoy...

You can find out more about this father and his two girls on his Facebook page.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I cannot tell you how many times I've repeated the last line today... over and over and over again.

Selling the house is quite possibly one of the most unpleasant things I've had to deal with. The likely hood of us even thinking of buying another home is shrinking by the minute. This has easily over taken the heart wrenching moment I paid UPS to have my wedding dress shipped to another bride!

Tomorrow I'm hoping for a more uplifting post!  I'm off to watch a video that can make me smile... you can find it here.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Photo from The Look for Less Blog, DIY Lace Manicure
These nail are insane!  Typically I'm a keep 'em short, paint 'em pink kind of gal but these nails are fierce!  I like the black lace but think another color could be fun too... yellow maybe!?

You can find out all about how to style up your nails on The Looks for Less blog's Manicure Mondays posts. She is something of a nail expert i'd say!


Monday, January 10, 2011


What do you do with your discarded toilet paper rolls?  We recycle them... Anastasia Elias (an artist based in Paris) makes these wonderful little scenes inside of them.  You can find more of her paper cuts here and more about her here!  

Below is a sampling of some of my favorites.  From left to right... Far North Reindeer, Fishing, Zoo: Giraffes, Football.

Anastasia Elias - Paper Cuts (Images found here)

Friday, January 7, 2011


For the most part I try not to buy bottled water... seems a bit wasteful for everyday kinds of use.  But today I feel in love with a freaking bottle of water!  They have designed the most elegant packaging out there.  I'm not even sure where I can purchase it (or how much my water would cost) but I will be on the look out.  I love the simplicity of the type that is used.

Picture taken from 1 Litre website.
This would be perfect on the guest bedroom night stand for your guests.  It comes with it's own little cup... I heart!



Can't get enough of this song right now...

I love how it starts of really slow, simple music, and then his voice comes in and the song picks up and it so soothing.   And then it's slow again... and the energy picks back up with that voice. It just never gets old to me!



Photo by Omar Omar - Flickr
Beginning on December 23rd, 2009  Mr. D and I decided (after me reading too much about the fast food industry) that we would try to go without eating any 'fast food' for 1 year.  He didn't think that we could do it and at first we agreed that we should do a test run for a month.  A month flew by so quickly... and easily and then it was our challenge!  Month after month we were so proud.  And to this day, January 7th, 2011, we still haven't given in. 

Although, the other night I had a very vivid dream of a certain fast food chain.  What I remember to be particularly funny is that Mr. D didn't know I was there... I was totally hiding my visit to Mickey D's from my anti-fast food accomplice!  I ordered chicken McNuggets and fries (my childhood and adult favorite fast food meal) and ate it all...

I just find this terribly funny.  After our challenge was up we talked about where to go from here.  And we've decided that some places that we'd banned for the year will go back in our, lets get something quick and cheap list but McDonalds isn't one of them!  

I guess I will just have to keep on dreaming 'cause nuggets are no longer on the menu!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

HAPPY 2011!

I've got high hopes for this year!  I see great things happening in 2011.  Hopefully you all have made your new years resolutions and have been sticking to them.  I have not... well I've made a couple of little resolutions that I think I can stick with, but so far... no good!

Today I came across this post on National Geographic's website (if you ever need to take a brain vacation I suggest you go to their website and look at some of the photos... pure beauty), 20 Best Trips of 2011.  Ideally I'd visit all of the locations on their list but from just looking at the images and scanning their descriptions... I must add the Fjord region of Norway to our list.  The image they have posted is just breathtaking and who's up for glacier walking!?  Sounds exhilarating!  

Fjord region of Norway - Image from National Geographic 20 Best Trips of 2011
Photograph by Peter Adams, JAI/Aurora
Unfortunately, our big 2011 destination was not listed!  But no worries, there are plenty of beautiful images to keep me interested and excited to plan the trip.

I hope you have some wonderful things to look forward to in 2011.  What ever it may be, starting something new, adding to your family or vacationing I wish you all the best!