Sunday, October 30, 2011


Looking for something to make with that leftover Halloween candy? I was invited to a friend's last night and wanted to bring a dessert that was quick and no fail. I made these last year during Halloween time and they were a hit. You can throw in any kind of chocolate candy, pretzels, raisins (anything that sounds good crunched up in a cookie). The consistency of these cookies is perfect if you abide by the 12 minute baking time. 

Trick or Treat Cookies (from GOOP)
  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons) at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 to 3 cups candy, chopped (recommended: chocolate bars or chocolate covered anything, caramel anything, chips, pretzels, raisins; just so-so: lollipops, hard candies; not recommended: gum, gummies, pixi stix)
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour with baking soda and salt and set aside. In another medium bowl, cream butter and sugars together with a whisk or wooden spoon until light and fluffy (this takes about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, thoroughly incorporating each, and then add vanilla and milk and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix until incorporated, then fold in chopped candy.
Drop by rounded tablespoons (a mini ice cream scooper is my favorite way to portion them) onto cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie (room to grow). Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


My hubby recently purchased the new iPhone (since he's a total Apple junkie). His old iPhone was dated and had a cracked screen anyway. Rather then toss the old phone, he sold it to Gazelle. This site will buy back your used, old, or broken electronics and send you cash in return. Not a bad deal! Plus, it makes it a bit easier to justify buying a new toy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Polka dots were huge on the FALL 2011 runway. Celebs are taking the look to the streets which inspired me to choose a few of my favorite dotty looks.

Monday, October 24, 2011


One of my favorite places to grab lunch is at Feast in Bucktown. While their menu has lots of options, I have a hard time veering from my favorite thing on the menu- the black bean burger. I've been trying to find a similar recipe and think I've finally come close. You can make 6 of these at one time, cook them, and then freeze them individually for a quick, easy, and healthy meal.

-2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
-2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
-1 shallot, minced
-3/4 c. fresh cilantro, minced
-3/4 c. panko bread crumbs
-2 eggs
-a few grinds of black pepper
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes


Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Combine the panko with 2 tsp. of the olive oil and mix with a fork to blend. Add the mixture to the skillet to toast the panko, stirring frequently until light golden brown. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temp.

Place 2.5 cups of the beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork until mostly smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, 1 Tbsp. of the oil, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes and whisk to blend. Add the egg mixture, toasted panko, the remaining 1/2 cup of beans, bell pepper, cilantro, and shallot to the bowl with the mashed beans. Stir together until evenly combined.

Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, about 1/2 cup each. Lightly pack into 1-inch thick patties. (At this point the patties can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before cooking). Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully lay half of the patties in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, about 8 minutes total.

This is especially delicious served with a few slices of avocado or tomato.

Friday, October 21, 2011


SEE 50/50. I saw this movie tonight and it was incredibly well done. Everyone has someone close to them whose been affected by cancer, yet it's not a common subject in movies (probably because the topic can be so depressing). This movie told a story that blended comedy and the seriousness of cancer. One minute you were laughing and the next minute you were crying. Plus, the cast was absolute perfection. Don't miss this one!

READ Bossypants. I don't know what took me so long to finally read this book but once I started it, I finished it within 24 hours. I've never laughed out-loud this much from a book, which discusses Tina Fey's childhood in Pittsburgh, job at Second City, and success at SNL and 30 Rock. This is perfect to pick up if you've just finished a heavy read.

EAT at Kingsbury Street Cafe (that is if you live in Chicago). I went here with a friend for brunch the other day and I swear I felt like we walked into a cafe in L.A. Aside from everything on the menu being fresh and healthy, the atmosphere was light and cozy. I'm still craving the cheddar herb scone with eggs and potatoes, as well as the breakfast quinoa with walnuts and cranberries. Yum!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie? The one that's soft and chewy on the inside with a bit of crunch on the outside. It seems every baker has techniques they use to get the perfect cookie. I was once told that if you add more sugar and a bit less flour than the recipe calls for, you'll get a crunchier, thinner cookie. Another baker said that she adds more liquid (water, egg, or milk) to the dough which makes the cookies puff up more.

I'm a sucker for any kind of sweet, but I think in the next few weeks I'll try my hand at these chocolate chip cookie recipes. Each claim to be the best. I'll let you know which one I choose!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (I've made these and they are indeed fantastic)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


You may already know about this fun site, but if not, check it out! The Possessionista scours the blogosphere for the fashion from your favorite TV shows. I always watch Gossip Girl and wonder where one of the girls' fabulous outfits is from. This site does the work for you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow are the stars of one of my favorite movies of all time, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. How cute is the picture of them reunited?



Thursday, October 6, 2011


My sister, Liza, had a blog long before me...

She knows more about fashion than anyone I know and is always ahead of the ball on every trend, designer, and style. We decided to switch posts for today and each share our favorite fall fashion picks on one another's blogs. Here are Liza's fall favorites!

1. Wendy Nichol Bullet Bag, $575. I adore this bag. It kind of reminds me of the Alexander Wang Diego Bucket bag minus the studs... and not everyone is gonna have it!

2. Current/Elliott Stiletto Plaid Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans, $190. These are beyond fun for fall. Love them paired with my Isabel Marant booties and an oversized t-shirt.

3. To Be Adored Velvet Kate Dress, $180. This dress is the perfect holiday frock if you ask me. And for under $200? Done!

4. Dannijo Aram Necklace, $158. I am loving the whole collar trend, so this necklace had me sold the second I saw it. Definitely spices up a plain tee or dress.

5. Shakuhachi Stretch Lace Bodysuit, $220. I wear leotards and bodysuits all the time and this Shakuhachi one is perfect. Love it paired with the skirt or even dark jeans!

6. Pendelton Classic Weekender Bag, $236. If your constantly the go (I'm always going back and forth to and from my man's place), then this is just the bag.

7. Karen Walker Number One Sunglasses, $180. This shape is so much fun! These need to be added to my collection asap.

8. Miu Miu T- Strap Wedge, $630. These shoes are my current obsession. The deep wine color is gorgeous and the little peep toe would look amazing with a little black dress and some fun patterned tights.

Here are mine!

1. Everyone needs a little leopard in their wardrobe. These booties would spice up any outfit.
Plomo Juana High Heel Laceup Bootie $372

2. The most darling LBD. Love the trim!
Woodford & Co Tuscan Mini Dress $301

3. I own these Gap cords and swear they fit just like the J Brand ones for a third of the price.
Gap Women's Cords $59.95

4. The perfect, cozy sweater for a fall day.
Splendid Fair Isle Toggle Sweater Coat $228

5. Love the color of this cable-knit sweater. It'd look great paired with higher waist jeans.
Marc by Marc Jacobs $248

6. This jacket is so dreamy. The boucle fabric and leather trim are divine and the zipper as opposed to buttons makes it youthful and hip.
Isabel Marant Leather Trim Jacket $428

7. The buckle on this leather and suede bootie makes the shoe a bit more edgy.
Sam Edelman Lou Side Buckle Platform Booties $200

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


There's nothing better than getting constricting clothes off at the end of the day and slipping into something totally cozy and comfortable. These are my current lounge-wear muzz-haves.

1. A cute, girly cami and short set. $48 and $38
2. Butter makes THE softest sweatpants ever. They have become by absolute favorites! $59.50
3. Who wouldn't love being bundled up in this luxurious, cable-knit robe by Juicy Couture? $178
4. Steven Alan boxer shorts are comfy yet a bit sexy. $39
5. You can't go wrong with these silky basics- Calvin Klein modal lounge pants. $49
6. Love the stripes on this pair of cotton pants from J. Crew. $45
7. A sweater than you can pair with leggings while lounging or jeans for a casual night out. $188
8. Gap Body has lovely lounge-wear at reasonable prices. $39.95

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Ever since I saw the striking Fornasetti plates decoratively displayed in Grace Adler's living room (that's Grace of Will and Grace), I've lusted after the Italian decor. My small collection consists of three plates, currently hanging on my bedroom wall. (In my opinion, these are too beautiful and pricey to eat off of). My dream is to eventually have a display like Grace's.

Italian artist, Piero Fornasetti, took one image and reinvented it in multiple ways. The most famous of Fornasetti's works was his interpretation of opera singer, Lina Cavalieri. Upon seeing her picture in a 19th century French magazine, Cavalieri became Fornasetti's muse and inspiration. Today, there are 350 variations of Cavalieri's face in Fornasetti's work, making it hard to choose which one is my favorite. More Fornasetti, here and here.

 The inspiration (a still from Will and Grace below)

Fornasetti in my bedroom

A gorgeous kitchen, featured in Elements of Style.

Fornasetti in the kitchen on Design-Crisis.