Chicago Home Tour

Between brunch and my appointment with the eye doctor yesterday, I spent a glorious two hours in Starbucks doing absolutely nothing but drinking mint green tea and browsing Chicago Magazine Home + Garden on my iPad. In retrospect, I should have continued with that lovely afternoon instead of heading on to the optometrist; I got talked into getting my eyes dilated and spent the afternoon looking like a shark and trying desperately to read work emails without going cross eyed. I decided it was a sign and spent the evening watching HGTV and The Client List  on demand… I am ashamed to admit just how much the latter.

I digress.

I saved some of my favorite photos from my virtual home tour to share with you. Chicago is known for its gorgeous architecture and I love that it’s just as beautiful inside as it is out. I hope you enjoy too!

Happy Friday!

you know those things you always want to do?

via Pinterest

Sometimes the simplest advice is the best.

We’re looking forward to a productive weekend – making some updates to our little blog, dinners out, a Bulls game (!) and maybe a cocktail here and there 🙂 We hope yours is as crazy fun or relaxing as you’d like it to be.

Some weekend reads:

Happy weekend!

Spicy Sesame Dressing

I clicked over to this recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s hilarious food blog, So Delushious, a few weeks back and have been pretty happy with that decision lately. I haven’t had much time to cook recently so my dinners have been less than exciting – and less than blog-worthy. Popcorn, anyone?

I sat on the bus home from work drooling over the recipe for spicy sesame noodles and was inspired to make a salad dressing with similar ingredients. It’s pretty similar to the way she prepares the noodles, but I added my favorite chili garlic sauce and peanut butter and omitted the extra oil. I made a kale salad with this dressing and topped it with grilled chicken for dinner tonight… easy and so, so good. Please make this, as soon as possible.

Spicy Sesame Dressing

  • 4 Tb Tahini paste
  • 3 Tb reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tb rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tb peanut butter
  • 1 Tb minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 2 Tb chili garlic sauce
  • 2 Tb water
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  1. Combine tahini paste, vinegar, soy sauce and peanut butter, mixing until incorporated. It will be a very thick paste, don’t be alarmed. 🙂
  2. Slowly add water a bit at a time and mix until the dressing is the desired consistency.
  3. Mix in chili garlic sauce, chopped garlic (again – optional!) and sesame seeds.
  4. Dress your favorite greens!

Summer Cocktail Heaven

Though the weather here in Chicago has settle back to it’s normal, “seasonable” unpredictability, I’m still looking forward to the summer months quickly heading our way.  Sadly enough for a Monday, I’m also thinking about the cocktails that may be coming my way this evening as well.  Who needs summer anyway?


Blood Orange Margarita

  • 3 oz fresh Blood Orange Juice
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • splash of agave nectar (syrup)

Rub the rim of an old fashioned glass (or whatever similar vessel you prefer)with an edge of a blood orange slice. Swirl the rim through a small pile of kosher or sea salt to salt the rim.  Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake for 15 seconds.  Put a few cubes of ice in your glass. Strain the cocktail into the glass and enjoy.


Honey Citrus Cocktail

  • 4 ounces Skyy Infused Dragon Fruit vodka
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 4 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Sugar rim

Add the honey, vodka, grapefruit juice and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10 seconds and set aside. Wet the rim of the goblet with an orange or grapefruit wedge. Dip the glass, upside down, in a plate of sugar to coat the entire rim evenly. Pour the cocktail into the goblet and add ice. Garnish with a fresh flower and enjoy!


The Sarasota:

  • 1 large bottle of moscato wine
  • 1 can of raspberry lemonade concentrate
  • a splash of sprite
  • crushed raspberries

Simply mix the ingredients together and serve over ice.  Garnish with fresh raspberries, lemon pinwheels or a sprig of basil.  Suggestion:  while I love the moscato suggestion from this recipe, I use a totally different varietal – try it with a crisp vinho verde for a less sweet cocktail.  If you’re being a good girl, use Sprite Zero and a raspberry lemonade Crystal Light.


Coconut Mango Mojito

This recipe from HowSweetEats, I saved for last – it’s so fun and different that it clearly deserved special billing.

  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 1/2 ounces of mint simple syrup
  • 1 ounce of coconut rum
  • 1 1/2 ounces of club soda
  • 1-2 ounces of mango puree
  • the juice of one lime

To make the mango puree, combine 1 peeled + chopped, ripe mango in a food processor (or high speed blender) with the juice of 1 lime, and process until smooth (or at least almost smooth).

In the bottom of a glass, add 1 ounce of simple syrupand the mint leaves. Muddle with a muddler or use the clean bottom of something blunt, like a screwdriver! Add ice to the glass, and pour rum, syrup, mango puree, lime juice and club soda over top. Mix with a long spoon or knife and serve with an additional sprig of mint.




I went to the optometrist today for a long overdue eye exam – it turns out that staring at a computer screen all day actually isn’t great for your eyes.  Who knew?  Anyway, it turns out trying on glasses is fun – lots of fun!  With a stock of frames by Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Tom Ford and Fendi, it’s easy to understand how I’m still on a spectacles high…







Weekend Girl Crush – Lara Spencer

I am a Good Morning America fanatic. I watch it every. single. morning while I’m getting ready and drinking coffee. It’s not exactly hard-hitting news, but I just love all of the hosts – even tiny little George Stephanopoulos! But my absolute favorite is Lara Spencer. She’s stunning, articulate, and hilarious and frankly, it’s upsetting that she’s not my friend. (Yet.)

So imagine my surprise when she outed herself on GMA this week; she has a second life as… an interior decorator! She recently authored a book on her love of finding and redoing second-hand pieces. Since I have about four books going on my Kindle right now, I’m holding off on purchasing I Brake For Yard Sales but I dug around to find some of her design work and I’m so glad I did! There are no yard sales in Chicago, but tomorrow Ali and I are going to shop around some of the second hand stores to see what we can find, and I’m so excited.  I’m particularly obsessed with the red and white graphic sign in the last picture… how amazing is that?

Happy Friday


We hope you had a great week! Here are some weekend reads: