Best Winter Soups

best winter soups

As soon as chilly weather hits I start to crave soups of all kinds. Stovetop, crockpot, bisque or chicken broth, I try it all. I hate to admit it, but in years past I bought a ton of canned soup because it was so easy. This year, though, I made a point to find more soup recipes on Pinterest and try them for myself. Part of it was fueled by a wedding gift, a Ninja blender, which made it so easy to blend the creamy soups. Other times the soups I made were to satisfy cravings, like the deconstructed cabbage roll soup above. Now that we’re several months into that cold Chicago winter, and likely will experience several more weeks of cold weather, I’m sharing a few of the best winter soups I’ve found recipes for over the last few months.

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Category: Recipe


Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day

It’s no secret that this Valentine’s Day I’ll be celebrating my love for Steve and our first few months of marriage. And we certainly recognized that with a great dinner at Monteverde. (We sure have come a long way from our KFC dinners…though I’d gladly have a fried chicken wing any day with Steve.) While in my food coma from dinner out, I was reading other bloggers’ Valentine’s Day themed posts and really enjoyed Shauna’s take on the holiday. She shared 14 random things she loves. My friends and mom have dubbed me a “lover of little things” (hence this blog’s tagline), so today I thought I’d also share in a stream of consciousness things I love beyond Steve and special people in my life. Without further ado…

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My Blue Valentine

velvet varsity jacketvelvet varsity jacket | frayed skinny cropped jean | crossbody bag | similar bow hair tie

Do you ever have one of those weekends that’s nothing extraordinary happens, but it’s still just the best weekend? I had one recently and it left me so happy. It included tapas on Friday with college friends, brunch with Sarah and her husband, clothes shopping with the husband (which I can’t always convince him to do), an unexpected trip to a brewery, alone time Saturday night, and the Super Bowl. I guess the key component there was quality time with the hubby and great conversation over good food (and drinks). I feel like so many times Steve and I feel like we need to be doing something special or unique to make it a weekend to remember, but as I get older and even busier I find it’s low key weekends doing the things I actually enjoy that really stand out. Obviously, because I’m still talking about it two weeks later. Ha. Speaking of standing out, what do you think of this royal blue velvet varsity jacket?

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Category: Style


Strong Women: Know Them, Be Them

As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t use my blog or social media to be particularly outspoken on social or political issues. There are certainly times I feel compelled to share my opinions or thoughts on matters. But overall, I like to keep this little corner of the Internet as a happy place for me to use trivial topics to stay away from the headlines we’re plagued with daily. And of course, it’s not just headlines. It’s going into an autobody shop and having a man your age refer to you as “sweetie” and “honey” repeatedly with a smarmy grin. Or trying to educate your own husband about your uneasiness when faced with daily occurrences like being in an elevator alone with a man.

When these things happen, I try to find the good in the world – and despite how it might appear on the blog, not just burying my head in makeup or clothes. So today I thought I’d share some recent pop culture that inspired me and reminded me that there are strong women of all time periods and generations (both fictional and real) whose tenacity and wit made a difference in their own lives or the lives of thousands.

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Wedding Wednesday: DIY Seating Chart

DIY wedding seating chart

Happy Wedding Wednesday! I wanted to pop over today and share one of the many DIY projects from my wedding. I always knew I wanted to make a lot of my own details because I love to save a buck and find crafting therapeutic. I ended up creating a lot of my wedding details, from the Save the Date to floral centerpieces. My mom and dad also helped in making some of my DIY dreams come to live. In fact, my mom is waaaay more meticulous than me when it comes to crafting, so when she offered to create a DIY wedding seating chart I was more than happy for her to do so! She assembled pieces of the project in Florida, where she lives, and drove it all the way to Ohio, where the wedding was. Want to hear how the final seating chart came together? Keep reading for supplies needed and steps for finalizing it. Continue reading




Five (or More) Things About Me

If you follow bloggers on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a trend on Instagram Stories where users are sharing five things you may not know about them. Then, they tag other people to continue the chain. Usually I hate these social media trends and pass right over them. But this one has actually been fun for me! I loved learning things that might be less than perfectly curated or blogerific about my favorite influencers.

I got tagged to share five things about me that my followers might not know, and I had so much fun going back into my memory to come up with statements that were semi-interesting (I hope). In fact, I had so much fun, I kept going past the five! As a way to re-introduce myself here, I thought I’d share some facts about myself that you probably don’t know. Get ready, there are some throwback pics to accompany them.

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Velvet Crush

velvet clothing

When the velvet trend first came back around I immediately thought of the 90s – and cringed! Synthetic fabrics, unflattering cuts – ick! But, after I saw more and more velvet clothing it grew on me, and suddenly I remembered all of the things that were actually good in velvet. Baby doll dresses, headbands, even blazers. So, so good! I eased myself into the trend with a headband, graduated to a velvet skirt, then bought a velvet jumpsuit for this past Christmas season. I realized it was just as good as comfortable sleepwear as it was for the day! You can’t beat it: a stretchy waistband, soft velvet, plus it’s also an amazing price, less than $25. So I guess you can say I’ve got a pretty big CRUSH on velvet. If you feel the same way I do, I’m rounding up affordable velvet clothing options after the jump.

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Category: Style


Sincerely, Reading: Recommendations

book recommendationsAs you can see, I’ve always loved reading!

I really enjoyed seeing how other bloggers use Instagram Stories to crowd source and then share responses with their followers. I get most excited to see when they’ve compiled a list of book recommendations – I’m always looking for something new to add to my “to-read” shelf on Goodreads! The best part of IG Stories is that you can screenshot these lists, so even if I’m viewing the stories in passing, I’ll save lists for later.

Seeing how other people use Stories inspired me to share my own list of books that I read in 2017, and rank them by favorite to least liked. I also copied all of the books on my “for later” shelf and shared that list in case anyone else needs a good book. While you might have seen the list on my Instagram Stories (follow me if you don’t already), I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share the book recommendations again on the blog. In case you didn’t screenshot that list on Instagram, here’s another one that won’t disappear in 24 hours. Click through to find your next great read!

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2018 Goals

beret

SheIn – oversized sweater| Spanx – faux leather leggings | Amazon – beret hat

Man, I was really ready to take on 2018. I ended 2017 on a good note – feeling rested and newly excited by workouts again. I came back to work after the New Year feeling slow and disinterested. What was wrong with me, I thought? Then I got my answer. A tickle started in my throat, and the next morning I had a full blown cold. I slept 12 hours the first day of my sickness because I was so worn down. The gym back I’d packed hasn’t been used in the four days I’ve been alternating between sleeping in my bed and resting on the couch. Of course, a little sickness isn’t the worst way to start the year. But it certainty does help me feel ready to grab 2018 by the … well, you know.

I’m trying to keep my momentum going by thinking about everything I’ll do once I’m not sick. Everything I’ll do immediately and for the rest of the year. Which yes, includes trying new trends like wearing a beret. While I’m not one for “resolutions” in the traditional sense of choosing a change to make or add, I have thought about several goals I have for myself this year. Can’t wait until I’m recovered to see them through!

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Category: Style


Trend I’m Continuing in 2018

tassel jewelry trend

There are a few trends I hope will be left in 2017, such as lucite shoes. But something I’m bringing with me into the new year is the tassel jewelry trend – seen above in the Rocksbox earrings I’m wearing. I’ve been gravitating toward tassels more and more and I think it’s a trend that should stay! In fact, I’m not just here for the tassel jewelry trend. I like seeing tassels the many ways they’ve been incorporated into fashion, including on dresses and shoes. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite tassel-accented items as well as inspiration from fellow tassel-wearing bloggers. Check it out!

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Category: Style