Happy Friday!

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Happy, happy Friday, friends! The world didn’t end today! Tis the season to be jolly, indeed.

We have our respective Christmas dinner dates with the manfriends tonight and then we’re heading home to hug our family and immediately put on stretchy pants for the glorious few days ahead.

If you’re new to our blog and have landed here as  part of a rather strange surge in traffic from the term, “Emily Maynard Coral Skirt” — welcome! Nice to meet you :) We don’t talk about Ms. Maynard all that often, but we’re glad you stopped by anyway.

There’s an awful lot of people to keep in our thoughts this holiday season — lots of craziness in the world lately, and we’re definitely counting our blessings. Thanks for reading, and have a very merry Christmas. (or happy holiday, whatever you may celebrate!)

Cheers!

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Christmas-Music

We are LOVING this awesome holiday playlist  that we stumbled across over at hiphipgingin!

 

Rent the Runway Loves Chicago (We Love You Too.)

We had no fun at Chicago Blogger Network’s RTR Party.

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No fun at all.

Actually, we had a total blast. Earlier this month, the beauties and brains over at Chicago Blogger Network teamed up with Rent the Runway to showcase a sampling of winter dresses just in time for cocktail party season! The W CityCenter was totally packed with fashionistas, bloggers, and loyal customers to the brand. It was our first official blogger’s event so we were a little nervous, but we grabbed a few glasses of wine, made some new friends, and drooled over dresses for a few hours. In other words, our dream night.

If you’re not familiar, Rent the Runway is a service that allows you to rent designer dresses for a fraction of what they would cost to buy them retail. They’ll ship you two sizes so there’s no worry about fit, and you can also chat online with a stylist if you’re worried about making the right choice. You can check out photos of real girls in the dresses (sort by your height and body type!), read reviews, and you won’t be fined for those life-happens spills, burns, etc.

We know, it’s genius, right?

We couldn’t snap any decent photos of the dresses because it was pretty dark in there (and fine, our hands were full of wine glasses, thanks again CBN!), so instead we hopped online to pick out New Years Eve outfits from RTR – we’re still working to finalize our plans for the holiday, but if they even REMOTELY qualify as dressy, we’ve got a plan.

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a+l

 

Happy Friday

Holiday Party

This weekend is our family’s annual holiday party.  After taking a brief hiatus last year, the festivities are back in swing and we couldn’t be more excited!  While Mom has a full suite of holiday foodie favorites in the line up, this year Laura and I plan to force our homemade contributions into the fray as well (I think there’s an unspoken, general prayer that Laura doesn’t revisit pumpkin cheesecake underway, but I digress).  Though outfits are yet to be determined, we can promise chicken liver pate, grapes crusted with goat cheese and pistachios and spicy hummus – look for recipes soon.

Have a great weekend

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Lucky Horn

Lucky Horn could be my favorite new Etsy shop – and lucky you, I thought I’d share just in time for the holidays.  With a diverse mix of leathers and metals, the seller has trendy items for both men and women, and the prices are reasonable!  Many of the items are customizable with names, special dates or your favorite little saying.  I picked out a few favorites but trust me when I say it was hard to choose.  Enjoy!

Lucky horn_Wishbone Necklace_

Lucky Horn_Twisted Cable Bracelet_

Lucky Horn_Double Ring Circle Pendent_

Lucky Horn_Leather Wrap Bracelet_

Lucky Horn_Personalized Cuff Bracelet_

Lucky Horn_Square Love Pendant_

Lucky Horn_White metallic leather cord wrap braclet

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“I was going to conquer the world, but got distracted by something sparkly…”

Quote by unknown :)

I saw this photo of Scarlett Johanssen the other day and while I can’t find the source of it for the life of me, I am officially obsessed with the look. I’m thinking a beaded skirt needs to make its way into my closet this holiday season.

Choices, choices…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year come mid-November, do you think, “Oh great, it’s the holidays, work will slow down!”?

And then wonder what on earth you were thinking as you’re scrambling to answer emails, bake, shop, and answer more emails so you can get home to your family?

Us too, thanks for the solidarity. We did, however, manage to find the time (twist our arms) to celebrate one of our dearest friend’s birthday over the weekend, and accomplished the impossible: a photo of us together that neither of us vetoed. Great success.

We’re off to eat way too much with our family, play far too many games of wine-fueled Mexican Train Dominos and wake up obscenely early to take advantage of the ridiculous sales on Friday. Food, family and deals — these are a few of our favorite things! We have much to be thankful for.

Happy, happy Thanksgiving, friends!

We leave you with this hilarious (Potato Budz, bitches!) and handy infographic courtesy of Chow – in all honesty, we’d probably be hopping off the road at “irresponsible adult”, but we’re now contemplating contributing vegan bean loaf, just for a fun and politically-fueled break from Mexican Train. Just kidding, Mom!

 

Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection

Never have I been as interested in the commercials as I am in my beloved Revenge, but I was definitely loving Target’s mini-series campaign, “The Gift of Revenge” that debuted on this week’s episode. Target is collaborating with Neiman Marcus for a collection that leaves the holiday lover in me and the deal lover in me jumping for joy, singing Christmas carols and calling my sissy to brag about my awesome deal all at once.

Premiering just in time for your holiday shopping and party season on December 1st, the collection is packed with lots of unique gifts and some seriously gorgeous party dresses and sparkly tops.  Tis the season!

Recipe: Lightened Up Quiche with Ham, Cheddar and Onion

Our family is big on tradition. Or at least Ali and I are, and “traditions” are therefore foisted on to our other family members when we glom on to something we love.

One of the most beloved traditions is our mom’s Christmas eve quiche. She makes two different mouth-watering varieties and everyone digs in at their leisure as various family members stop by throughout the day.

When I was pestering her the other day about contributing to Thanksgiving, she gracefully handed me the day-after breakfast duties (I may have been banned from helping on the actual day-of after a melting pumpkin cheesecake that required a midday oven cleaning last year…) and my mind immediately went to quiche.

But traditions are traditions, and tradition says the holiday quiche must be mama’s and must wait until Christmas eve. Stay tuned for my Thanksgiving breakfast menu, but I apparently had quiche on the brain this morning and walked to the store to pick up a few extra ingredients for a nice brunch in for JB and I.

Maybe Sunday morning quiche will be our own little tradition, because that sucker was pretty darn good. I swapped out a few of the heavier elements that quiche typically calls for to make it slightly lighter. Here’s what went into this fairly traditional (buh dun dun) quiche.


Lightened Up Quiche with Ham, Cheddar and Onion

  • One store-bought pie crust (unless you’re feeling particularly adventurous and want to make your own, then go nuts and may God be with you)
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 C shredded reduced-fat cheddar
  • 1 C chopped ham
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (the KEY secret ingredient!)
  1. Prepare pie crust according to directions, set aside to let cool completely
  2. Set oven to 375
  3. Whisk eggs, egg whites and skim milk with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  4. Mix ham, cheddar and chopped onion into egg mixture and stir well
  5. Pour egg mixture into pie crust, then set the quiche on a cookie tray
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until egg is completely set and crust is golden brown
  7. Let cool for at least 5 minutes, then feast :)

Life Lately

 Life lately has been prettyyyy good. I’m going on record saying this will be the Best Summer Ever, so stay tuned. Though I’m pretty sure this heat wave is heralding the end of the world (the Aztecs were right!), we’re determined to make the most of every day in the sun. Here’s what I’ve been up to the past few weeks…

Giant flag on the side of the Wrigley Building… America!

Birthday roses

Balance personified in my seastar – talked Ali into meeting me for a glass of wine after the gym!

Trapeze Chicago rig at night

Farmer’s Market loot

 

My awesome score from Nordstrom Rack – currant candle

If it’s a tiny bottle it doesn’t count – birthday celebrations

Sunset over the lake

Ingredient prep for Jamie Deen’s Charred Corn Salad for a July 3 BBQ tonight

Lazy days in the pool with my partner in crime

Life Lately

There’s a very obvious theme to these photos: 1. food/drinks 2. run outside. I have just recently gotten to that elusive place where I don’t totally HATE running, but its unlikely that I’ll ever love it. That being said, looking back at all of this FOOD, maybe I’ll run a litttleeee bit farther tonight…

Oh, except its going to be 95+ the next three days. Madness!

 

The best bloody mary’s have a tiny beer with them – at Milwaukee Ale House for a weekend trip for J’s birthday!

Pirate bar crawl by boat – when I took a picture he said, “Don’t twitter me timbers!” Then he handed out jello shots. Amazing.

The burger that almost did me in at Cafe Benelux – so ridiculously good!

Smoked salmon benedict at Kil@wat (dumb name, awesome food)

Back in Chicago, sailboats on Lake Michigan

Belmont Harbor, my favorite place in the world

Key lime tarts for our favorite guy in the world, about to be baked

Wine on the patio for my early birthday dinner/Father’s Day celebration with the fam

Personal sauteed mushroom appetizer – this is the only photo I got of my glorious dinner (the lobster on the grill was gone way too fast!)

Lazy Sunday reading on the beach at Fullerton