Life in Pictures

Shakespeare Quote

We’ve been saying goodbye to summer in the city by finally getting around to all those things we meant to do during the summer: picnics in the park, walks along the river, actually taking the water taxi all the way down to Chinatown, having a drink with the most interesting man in the world….no, seriously:

And while we’ve already switched our sandals for Steve Madden ankle boots and moved from shades of mint to deep burgundy sweaters, we’re definitely enjoying the last few warm afternoons in our favorite city. 

Belmont Park Picnic

A little illegal smuggling never hurts!  Picnic at Belmont Harbor.

pizza- scoozi

The most amazing thin crust pizza from Scoozi with roasted portabello mushrooms, baby arugula, ricotta and porcini pesto.  Easily enough to feed 4 but sommmmeeehoooww we couldn’t find 2 other friends….

Chicago Fountain

Centennial Fountain, one of my Chicago Unicorns (you believe it exists, you just haven’t seen it yet!) from the inside.

Sangria

Fruity red sangria to help me recover the feeling in my toes after thinking it was a good idea to stand in said fountain.

Chicago Water Taxi

View from the water taxi on the way down to chinatown.

navy pier

The enclosed arboretum at Navy Pier.

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Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake


Sometimes, comfort food is just necessary. Particularly blustery, cold autumn Saturdays.

This was the happy result of some epic I-refuse-to-leave-my-apartment laziness, a strong desire for something cheesy and a recipe last week that called for a whopping four leaves of basil – leaving me with a ton left that I didn’t want to waste. (Why DO they sell basil and cilantro in such huge bunches anyway? Who can possibly eat that much basil if you’re not making pesto? And what on earth do you do with a pile of mountain of cilantro in any circumstance? I digress…)

After throwing some things together and eating two gigantic helpings, I officially declared the comfort food craving satisfied and fell into a carb-induced sleep.

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake

Creamy Basil Sauce:

  • Handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 3/4 C cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Saute the basil and garlic in olive oil over low medium heat for a few minutes – this will flavor the olive oil and make the basil a little bit crispy!

Add in cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir or whisk vigorously until the sauce is totally combined and smooth.

Pasta Bake:

  • 1 C tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 C of your favorite pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 C bread crumbs
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Spray an 8×8 baking dish with canola or olive oil to prevent sticking.

In a large bowl, mix together chopped tomatoes, cooked pasta and basil cream sauce from above recipe.

Add pasta mixture to prepared baking dish, then sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Drizzle olive oil liberally over the top to make sure the crumbs get extra crunchy!

Bake for 30 minutes or until bread crumbs are a golden brown.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes (if you can) then serve and enjoy!


Life Lately

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sunrise over the lake // homemade chicken tortilla soup // teachers strike // super authentic in my new Guinness tee straight from Dublin

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date night outfit // “wig shop” at Untitled // Moscow Mule, fave drink ever

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Wrigley! // coffee in one hand, vino in the other // skyline and el tracks

Happy Friday

 

 

We made it! Happy Friday 🙂 Fall has officially arrived and we’ve decided to face the tragedy of summer’s end head-on by what else? Shopping for sweaters and boots!

Busy but fun weekends on the books for both of us and we’re looking forward to sharing a lot of great posts next week.

This week, we added new pages to the top of the blog to categorize all of our posts so they’re more easily accessible. So much fun to look back on our posts over the past year. What is it about fall that makes us want to be that much more productive?  Left over effects from our school days, most likely! Someone buy us new trapper keepers, please and thanks.

Some reads for your weekend:

 

Jessie, the Design Daredevil with David Bromstad behind the scenes on the White Room Challenge

  • We are BEYOND excited for our blogging buddy, the Design Daredevil.  Jessie will be tearing up HGTV tonight on the White Room Challenge! We already knew that she was gorgeous, talented and hilarious, but this story about her incredible passion for design and the struggles she has gone through to make her dreams happen really seals the deal – we are madly in love. Set your DVRs!
  • We’ll never admit how much time we spent this week watching Bad Lip Reading videos on YouTube, absolutely CRYING laughing. Whatever your political leanings are, these are hilarious. (Thanks, Shai!)
  • Martha Stewart’s Autumn Apple Recipe Guide has us drooling – but how to choose? Cheddar crusted apple pie? Apple butternut squash soup? Quinoa and apple salad with curry dressing? Yes please!
  • Orrrr if you’d prefer a cocktail, check out Huffington Posts’ Top 5 Autumn Apple Cocktails – cheers!
  • We loved this inspirational post over at Story of My Life on following your dreams and sticking with them.
  • We cannot go on without knowing at some point in our lives we can be a Chengdu Pambassador – we share this opportunity begrudgingly. Hug a panda, guys!

Have a great weekend!

Thankful Thursday

I promise we’re not turning this into a self help blog. But, when I saw this clip this morning on my beloved Good Morning America, I knew I really wanted to share it. I absolutely love everything about Robin Roberts – she’s hilarious, self-deprecating and totally gorgeous but above all, incredibly strong and incredibly inspirational. Her positive ‘tude through her many trials and tribulations never seems to waver.

I was particularly moved by her message that we should all “Change the way you think to change the way you feel.” If she can maintain that kind of perspective from the position she’s in right now, I’m sure going to make this day a great day and remind myself to do the same every day.

Happy Thursday 🙂

Bridge House Tavern

We’ve certainly confessed our love for Bridge House Tavern before.  What’s not to like about river-front brunch and $5 mimosas, you silly thing?  This past weekend I was in full mustenjoylastmomentsofsummer mode and dragged my tired behind to Bridge House early on Saturday morning.

Knowing that I was coming, obviously, the head chef must have made an executive decision to include an entire section of the menu dedicated to me, and called it the “Hangover Helper” section.  It included such delicate delicacies as Chicken and Waffles (which includes, for the record, not just chicken and waffles as the vague title implies, but also bacon, eggs and house made sausage gravy), Corned Beef Hash and my order, Huevos Rancheros.

Stuffed with chorizo and spilling out delicious corn and black bean morsels from it’s crispy tostada hat, this creation was to die for.  3 mimosas, 17 architecture tour envious stares and an eventful water taxi ride later, and I was back in action.

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-Alison

Monday Motivation

That Eleanor was a smart cookie.

I love this quote and thought her sage words of wisdom might be worth looking at a few thousand times a day, so I made this little background for my laptop. Feel free to save and use as your own!

Hope you had a great weekend 🙂

 

NYC in Pictures

One week later, I’m finally ready to wear heels again, the extreme bloating from Cuban food/rose/halal cart/bagels/more rose/the BEST DINNER EVER at Bell Book & Candle/vodka sodas/late night pizza/mimosamimosamimosas has gone down, and I’m safely above water on the work front.

Totally. Worth. It.

I am so very sad it’s over.

I am finally posting my pictures from last weekend! Three things I’d like to call out:

1. I should have taken many, many more photos, and preferably with a real camera.

2. It was three thousand degrees and nine million percent humidity – so I have a whopping two pictures that I allowed myself in and only one with Shai, which is particularly sad.

3. If you’re looking for a real peak into NYFW, I’m going to point you over to DrunkOnShoes just as soooon as she gets her pictures up. She’ll do it much more justice.  She really experienced NYFW as you’d imagine it – the shows, the celebs, etc.

So enjoy, in no particular order. Click to enlarge!

Slutty Brownies

Happy Saturday!

The Londoner is basically a genius with the best hair ever. I love all of her posts and recipes, but I’ve had her Slutty Brownies bookmarked for a long time to make for my baby bro. He’s away at college, studying hard at nuclear engineering (proud sister alert!) and I thought today would be the perfect day to whip up a batch. Nothing like a triple dose of sugar to fuel his late night cram sessions studying, um, whatever it is that nuclear engineers do.

His incredible metabolism annoyingly balances out his incredible sweet tooth quite nicely, and I’m grateful that I have somewhere to send these off to so that I don’t eat them all by myself. I did taste test just one (swear) and oh my goodness.

These are ridiculously easy, hence the name. I followed her recipe to a T, springing for the Double-Stuf version AND Ghirardelli brownie mix – nothing but the best for you, bro!

Tuesday Tunes: Imagine Dragons

Image via Icon vs. Icon 

If you do one thing today, check out Imagine Dragons’ new full-length album, Night Visions. I’ve been listening to the EP for months and eagerly awaiting the additional tracks, and they definitely do not disappoint.

They’re a four piece band out of Vegas, reminiscent of OneRepublic’s anthemic sound on a lot of the tracks (Bleeding Out), but channeling the Killers with an edgier sound on some of their tracks (Radioactive).

I can listen to the whole album straight through without any desire to skip a song, but my favorite tracks are It’s Time, Bleeding Out, On Top of the World and Cha-Ching.

Fun fact: I’ve always found their name kind of bizarre, but then I read on Wikipedia that their name is an anagram of their original band name – to date, they have not revealed the original name. WHAT IS IT?! These kind of puzzles make me crazy. If you’re heading to Google “anagram” now, here you go 🙂

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