Friday, February 8, 2013

Fur snoods

Oh hey, Winter, you finally showed up!

After my snowbound adventure home from Chicago last night, wearing my LLBean boots, jeans and a band t-shirt covered by two coats, I thought about how in winter, it's hard to look good. Your skin is all dry, your hair has 10volts of static electricity, and you're constantly covered by fabrics designed for people in Antarctica. I thought a fur snood might be just the solution. What do you think?

source source source source

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Dinner

cutting board, Lobster tails, heart headband, My Life in France, Yours Mine glasses, mini cocotte

Instead of going out to eat, the husband and I are going to cook dinner at home. The hubs has gotten really into cooking over the past year (yessss!) so we're taking it up a notch (baAAM!) and making broiled lobster tails. Don't worry, he's done this before. I'm in charge of desserts. We keep to what we know. If you're in Milwaukee, the St. Paul Fish Co. in the Public Market is a good place to shop for fresh seafood. And if you want to buy desserts, the Milwaukee Cupcake Co. would be a perfect stop.

There's still a little over a week to plan (I hope my heart headband gets here in time). So here are some more ideas for a V-day dinner here and here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Etsy Finds: retro coffee mugs

1., 2., 3., 3., 4.

It has been so cold lately that doing anything besides hiding under several blankets doesn't sound appealing. That, and school started again. So not much going on here in the world of fashion. Just some new wool socks, winter boots and experimenting with different lip balms.

Focus has shifted to drinking lots of tea, hot chocolate, and soup. Is it dry out or what? I've been eyeing up fun colorful mugs to use. I keep going back to 70's retro mugs on Etsy. They're so unique...a little hideous....but fun. They have me tapping into my inner Mary Tyler Moore a bit. Which is good; I need some inspiration around here. Because if Mary could live in cold and blustery Minneapolis and still look fabulous, there's hope.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dressed for: a Bucks game

camel sweater, green pants, phone case , boots tote bag , Bucks hat, boots

When going to a NBA game, you have two sartorial options: dress like you're going to a club or dress like you're at a basketball game. I guess it depends where your seats are as to which way you lean. I like to dress in the middle - dark skinny jeans and a nice top or colored or patterned pants and a warm knit sweater. Fun wedge booties or polished riding boots are nice footwear options because you'll inevitably have to walk outside in January. Instead of doing the traditional graphic tee to support the team, I often look to add subtle details like team earrings, a fun hat to wear into the building, socks, or iphone cases to support the team in a more controlled fanatical manner. After all, I'm not in tryouts for Squad 6 or anything.

Now, let's talk shop. I know the Packers lost last week and that's depressing. It's gonna take a while to shake that off. But it does leave lots of extra time to watch more Bucks games. Wisconsin's pro basketball team has a winning record and a season that goes into April. And if you go to a game, you don't have to wear long underwear. I see this as a win-win.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Year in Beer

I'm down with looking at beer and food all day, everyday for a year. Especially these wonderfully drawn pairings. Artist Heidi Schweigert's Beer and Food calendar is $24 on Etsy. Find it here

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I like: Nomaterra fragrances

When I shop for fragrances, I look for light, clean notes that remind me of a certain time or place - like my discontinued bottle of perfume that I stringently ration because it reminds me of the blossoms on my grandfather's citrus trees. Or the fragrance I bought in Boston that reminds of that trip to Boston and that time in my life.

So I was delighted to hear that nomaterra fragrances, a new brand out of Brooklyn was adhering to my philosophy in fragrance - let it evoke a time and place. They have three fragrances of three cities. Nomaterra sent me three samples to try out on my own and I'm so happy with them. I have been looking high and low for a good new fragrance. Washington, DC is my favorite. It's a classic scent, that smells like you've walked along the tidal basin cherry trees, mixed with an hour in the the musk and tobacco of a senator's office. It really does reminds me of my many work trips to DC. It's a good year round choice. East Hampton is a citrusy and woody scent that wears well in the spring and summer. It smells like a garden close to the ocean. Finally, Miami is more exotic, spicy, and sweet. It kind of reminds me of my trip to Costa Rica. It's probably the ylang-ylang, which I love.

I'm pretty picky about my fragrances, but I would definitely recommend all three. You can try the same sample trio for $10, which honestly is worth it for TSA travel or to throw in your purse. Bottles are sold with an extra 15ml refill ($110) or you can buy the travel fragrance wipes ($36) which would be perfect for no-mess freshening up when on the go. Order online at And find them on facebook here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Can't stop listening to: Haim

When I first heard the song above I thought it was like a mix of TuneYards and Gloria Estefan and the Miami Soundmachine. I dug it. It's catchy but soft around the edges. You don't have to go too far out on a limb to like it. But the rest of the album is classic indie with more of an 80 soft rock-ness that really mixes well. I'm humming this second song a lot these days.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New year, New shoes

My feet are very excited about 2013. They were in need of some more fashionable, err functional attire (no offense ol' puma sneakers with holes in them). I was pretty dang happy when I opened the boxes on Christmas. Thanks Matt!

These saucony running shoes are simply way too comfortable. And I love how they look. How many outfits can I put together with sneakers? Not that many it turns out. But at least working out is a lot more fun an frequent because I love wearing them.

The snakeskin wedges are from anthropologie but just sold out. They are also very comfortable thanks to that nice inset wedge. A good tip: inset heels support your weight more evenly and don't put as much pressure on the plantar ligaments. The brand is Miss Albright.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Week in Review

I realized something this week. The week of Christmas to New Years is like spring break for working people. It seemed like everyone was off of work. I didn't care what day it was. I could do anything I wanted. And I got some good hangout time in with friends and family. I went to midnight mass at St. Josaphat's Basillica - the most beautiful church in Milwaukee. We hosted Christmas day brunch at our house - The Christmas village buildings were from the Dollar Tree and we figured out quiches are great for feeding a large group. I spent New Years Eve seeing Jim Gaffigan at the Pabst again - it never gets old, he's that good. Then finally New Years day brunch at Cafe Hollander. Brunch played a big part in my Christmas break.....obviously.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Milwaukee Faves: Usinger's at Christmas

Milwaukee is notorious for beer and brats. We know it. Both Miller Valley and Usinger's sausage deck out the halls for Christmas. Usinger's makes all kinds of sausage and still sells it in their Third Street location downtown.

It's really a beautiful building - like stepping back in time. The meat counter is marble, german frescos of their iconic elves working line the walls. In Milwaukee, Elves make Usinger's sausage. For the rest of the world, they make Santa's toys. So it was hard to rationalize as a kid why the sausage elves were made to work two jobs.

Usinger's puts up some great moving window displays and even have a mini Bavarian village in the windows for Christmas. I love going in and looking around....and inevitably walking out with a pound of knackwurst. Around Christmas, the lines are long, but if you're looking for a last minute Milwaukee gift, the gift shop next door to the storefront sells gift baskets with cheese and sausage. Go and check it out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

10 Milwaukee Holiday Gifts

{My Christmas shopping is just about done, but this is truly a first. I was often the lady running in the background of the 5 o'clock news piece on last minute shoppers at the mall. Luckily, I figured out that shopping locally affords you an extra week of procrastination. Hurrah! And it supports Milwaukee, which I'm down for. So here is my 2012 list for great Milwaukee purchases (including where to buy them). For more ideas check out the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Guides.}

- Janelle Gramling Pillow, from the Milwaukee based designer is $58 (see her Facebook page for a 20% off discount code).

- Hugh Bob and the Hustle's latest album is on my top 10 list this year- pick it up at the Exclusive Company or on iTunes, $10.

- Milwaukee Beer Soap, $5. Purchase at Groom, Outpost, The Brass Rooster, or Glorioso's.

- Plushzilla are just too cute. Find them on Etsy, Sparrow Collective, or ReThreads for $15-$25

- City Tins, $25, (aka my favorite gift to give) are sold out online but are still available at Outpost and the Public Market. Madison City Tins now available, too!

- Bolzano Meats has salami and other meats available at these these places. Or give the gift of a charcuterie class.

- An annual membership to the Milwaukee Art Museum ranges from $25 to &75 will never disappoint.

- Amerique 1912 Absinthe Rogue from Great Lakes Distillery is $35 and great for a hostess gift or for the cocktail buff.

- Koss Headphones, $79, look sharp but don't cost a fortune. Shop their outlet on Port Washington Rd.

- Milwaukee Lakefront bandana from HANmade is so lovely, $18. Purchase online or at Broadway Paper.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Live Show: Sufjan Stevens Christmas

Ok, well the office title of the show was "The Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long, with Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice", but I digress. If you haven't been spinning the Sufjan Stevens Christmas albums, I highly recommend it. There's only so many times I can listen to "White Christmas"...sorry Bing. So last night, he and the band came to town in a Flaming Lips- meet- Yo Gabba Gabba style interactive experience at Turner Hall. Yes, there was kitsch and ugly Christmas sweaters, but a few very notable sentimental moments as well. I tried to take a few pictures on my iPhone but then I realized that my friend CJ will always, ALWAYS take better pictures than me (um, did you see my post yesterday?). So here are his photos from last night's show.

Sartorial bucket list: Cowboy boots

Cowboy boots have been on the sartorial wish list or bucket list for ....quite....some time now. They're a good thing to have around. Sometimes an outfit just needs a little rockabilly added. That, and for when Taylor Swift comes back to town (we all have vices, folks). I found these Volatile Denver boots in Camel on sale at Ma Jolie at Bayshore Mall for $68. For pleather, they look pretty good. I've been pairing them with black skinnies, tunic tops and my cheetah scarf.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to make a cheese plate

I do love my cheese. So when I discovered on that I come from a long line of cheese makers from Switzerland, so not surprised. I could eat the good stuff all day long. And when I walk into a party and see a well-curated cheese plate, I stop and applaud (slowly like this). This year we're hosting Christmas brunch, and I'll be putting together the ultimate cheese plate for an appetizer. They're easy to do and everyone loves them - a hostesses favorite things. Here are my tips on what makes a really good cheese plate.......
Step One: Pick a board. I like old wooden cutting boards or chopping blocks, but you can also use white trays, slate, or chalkboard.

Step Two: Pick your items. Cheese, of course. For a group of 4-6, I like to pick 3 or 4 cheese with one common denominator (same region / same style / same texture). For larger groups, throw in something unexpected like balsamic marinated mozzarella or brie with honey. Next, choose compliments such as nuts, dried fruit, arugula, currants, salami, or jam.

Step Three: Smaller is better. I don't like overly crowded cheese plates. It's fine to set the cheese onto a bed of cranberries, but just don't let the cheeses touch each other. That's a cheese-mongering faux paus. If you're having a lot of guests, break it up. Set out a couple cheese plates.

Step Four: Figure out the mechanics. Some cheeses are fine to cut and eat by hand, but some, especially soft cheeses like boursin are best with crackers or crostini. I like the idea of putting the bread separate, but a few toasted baguette slices look pretty nice on the plate, too. Set out small knives for slicing or spreading. Utilize ramekins or even shot glasses for separating honey, jam, mustard, or spreads. Even nuts in small bowls looks nice. Labels aren't 100% necessary but can be helpful (and fun)!

Images found via 1., 2., 3., 4., 5.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Christmas List

Dear family,
Since things like a new tile shower, a credit card payment, and textbooks would make a pretty weird Christmas gift, I made a list with more traditional items and posted it HERE on Pinterest!



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