Easy Weeknight Meals
  • March 8, 2017
  • Life
  • I’ve mentioned to friends a few of our favorite weeknight meals and they’ve asked for the recipes, so today I’m doing a round up of meals we’ve been trying and loving lately. If you’re like Brett and I, coming up with dinner ideas can sometimes be a struggle so it’s nice to have a few go-to meals on hand that we both like.easy weeknight meals

    Pesto Cream Zucchini Noodles 
    This is actually a meal I make almost every time Brett is either out of town, or has a business dinner. I’ve made it with both shrimp and salmon, and I’m sure will taste great with chicken. (And yes I realize I said I would be sharing recipes we both like, but this one is too good not to share!)

    Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce
    I made this for the first time on Sunday night and Brett and I both liked it. I used homemade spinach noodles and added Italian sausage. Brett doesn’t really like feta, but the feta taste isn’t too strong here, so he didn’t mind it.

    Quick and Easy Paella
    My uncle makes an amazing paella, so naturally Brett and I have pretty high expectations any time we have paella. This paella doesn’t live up to my uncle’s (and we weren’t expecting it to), but we both thought it was good enough for a weeknight meal. Paella has always intimidated me, but I would say this recipe really was both quick and easy.

    Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Meat Sauce
    The first time I made this, both Brett and I commented on how we didn’t even miss the traditional lasagna noodles. This does take a little more time, but it makes enough to put half the lasagna in the freezer for another meal. I also freeze the extra meat sauce and serve with spaghetti noodles when we need a really easy dinner.

    Best Clam Chowder
    We both agree that nothing comes close to the clam chowder at Fahlstrom’s in Lakeview, but when we want to make our own this is the recipe we use. I’ll be making it this Friday night with homemade bread bowls.

    Looking for more dinner inspiration? Follow me on Pinterest!

    After Dark At The Art Institute
  • March 2, 2017
  • Life · Out & About
  • This past Friday I had the opportunity to attend a special “After Dark” event at the Art Institute hosted by the Evening Associates of The Art Institute. This is the type of event I wouldn’t normally seek out to attend on my own, but I am so thankful for the opportunity. I sometimes forget about all the great cultural experiences Chicago has to offer and it’s motivated to seek out more events like this.

    The evening started with Os Mutantes  leader Sérgio Dias in conversation with Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, hosts of Sound Opinions. Later we had the opportunity to tour the exhibition Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium, and a performance by Os Mutantes. I was not familiar with Os Mutantes or Hélio Oiticica prior to Friday, but listening to Sérgio Dias speak beforehand provided enough background that I could really appreciate the art and music to follow.

    The Evening Associates host After Dark events throughout the year on select Friday nights in the Modern Wing. You can learn more about upcoming events here.After Dark After Dark After Dark After Dark After Dark After Dark After Dark

    Shining On Design: Kitchen and Living Room Interior Design
  • February 28, 2017
  • Life
  • This post is long overdue, being that we’ve been in our house for over a year now, but I’m finally sharing the before and after pictures of our kitchen and living room. We loved our house, (you can read more about our home buying experience here), but there were definitely some things we knew we wanted to change right away (more on that later).

    One of the first things I did after our offer was accepted was reach out to Samantha Regan of Shining On Design. I knew of Samantha through her sister-in-law Nicole and loved her eye for design, but hadn’t had a chance to meet in person. We planned to have her come out to the house the day we got the keys because I was that excited to get started. In hindsight, we probably could have waited until we had moved in to meet with Sam, but she did save us from making some rookie design mistakes right away. We had wanted to put in a built-in cabinet and shelving to the right of our fireplace, but Sam quickly explained it would throw off the balance of the room. She recommended a bookcase in its place, and I can now see how the built-in would not have worked!

    After sharing the vision I had for the room and the color palette we wanted, within a few weeks Samantha had provided us with a design plan for the space that we loved. It took us quite a bit longer to pull everything together once we had a plan though, hence the delay in this post. Better late than never, right?

    As I mentioned we knew there were some things we wanted to change about the house, so we worked with a contractor on these projects. In the kitchen we added a backsplash, replaced the porcelain sink with a deeper stainless steel sink, added open shelving to the end of our cabinets and installed a pot rack above the sink. If you’re dealing with minimal cabinet space in your kitchen, a pot rack is a fairly inexpensive way to save space.

    In the dining room we built a mantle, added wood work around the fireplace and installed overhead lighting. We also put in crown moulding throughout the entire first floor and stained the existing hardwood floors a darker shade.

    Brett and I loved working with Samantha and highly recommend her to anyone looking for interior design services! I’ve tried to link all the products from both rooms below, but if you can’t find something you’re interested in email me and I will try and help you out!

    Before:

    After:shining on design Shining On Design Shining On Design Shining On Design Shining On Design Shining On Design Shining On Design Shining On Design Shining On Design Shining On Design Shining On Design

    more home posts:

    guest bedroom / master bathroom / Lincoln Park apartment

    Shopbop Spring Sale
  • February 27, 2017
  • Style
  • There’s nothing better than a surprise sale to brighten up your Monday, especially when the sale is the Shopbop Spring Sale. Now through 3/5 the more you buy, the more you save with the code GOBIG17. You can get up to 25% off both full-price and sale items. Shopbop Spring Sale

    A few of my favorites:

    A cozy cardigan for transitioning to spring/summer.

    The perfect gift for a coffee-loving bride-to-be.

    A wear now/wear later suede dress.

    I need a beach vacay in my life so I can bring this rose gold flamingo float.

    Speaking of flamingos, how cute are these flamingo ice trays, highball glasses and pitcher? They would be perfect for a summer cocktail party!

    It’s always a good idea to have a few hostess gifts stashed away for last minute dinner party invites. I plan on stocking up on the Sugarfina bento boxes for just this reason.

    A basic striped tee for weekends on the go.

    A gingham shirt dress for under $100.

    The bow on this dress is perfect.

    If I can’t get to the beach, this coffee table book is the next best thing.

    These white sneakers are insanely comfortable. I wear them all the time in the summer!