Monday, August 30, 2010

Style: In the clear

The clear plastic trend is pretty hot right now. I'm starting to see a few of these things around Milwaukee. Are you seeing it, too?
I like the subtle modern edge it gives things. Check out the clear stuff at Anthropologie (I love the clear drawer handles).

1. Selima Optique for Jcrew clear glasses 2. Kartell Louis Ghost Chair 3. Urban Outfitters clear umbrella 4. Alexis Bittar lucite hinge bracelet 5. PRISM rectangle frame eyeglasses 6. Prada thong sandals 7. La Mer Carpe Diem watch

Sunday, August 29, 2010

TV night! Secrets from a Stylist

I'm definitely DVRing this. I saw a commercial about the winner of HGTV's Design Star Season 4, Emily Henderson. I love her eclectic boho-chic style. She now has her own show called Secrets from a Stylist that premieres tonight. I love the rooms she has done so far!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How Lulu the dog spends her weekend

.....mostly sleeping. She got tired from playing with her toys then fell asleep. If you're wondering why I usually post pictures of my dog sleeping, that's because she sleeps like 18hrs. a day. F'reals.

I got up today and took a trip to the South Shore Farmers market, stopped too get some coffee and the new People magazine so I could go home and read all about Elin Woods and what's gonna happen to Tiger. Important stuff, people. Had brunch and Centraal and bought a sectional sofa. Productivity!

Have you heard that new Cee Lo Green song yet? It's my weekend jam. I heard it on NPR last week (yes, NPR).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cheers! Cucumber Mojito

It's been a long week around here. So amen to the weekend! One of my favorite drinks to celebrate are the Cucumber Mojitos at BYO Studio Lounge in Bay View. It's a perfect cap off to a long, hot summer day (and week!). I made one tonight after getting the drink recipe from Ken at BYO.

Here's the recipe and instructions from Ken.....

BYO Studio's Cucumber Mojito is a simple recipe, but consistency is key. Too much or too little and it will taste flat or watered down. It should taste like "Summer in a Glass". Here is the recipe for our Cucumber Mojitos:

1.5 oz white rum
3/4 oz housemade simple syrup
6-10 Mint leaves
3 lime wedges
2 slices of partially peeled cucumber.

Firmly muddle limes, simple syrup and mint leaves in bottom of glass. Add cucumbers and press firmly, but not overly. Add ice and rum. Shake vigorously. Fill with Club Soda. Pour into shaker and back once. Garnish with mint leaves or cucumber. Drink. Repeat.

BYO Studio Lounge is an art gallery with bar and lounge in Bay View. On Sundays, there are free salsa lessons. They also have rotating exhibits and art classes. See their website here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Milwaukee Faves: Third Ward balcony

Photo: Nathan Guy

I dream about living in a condo downtown with an awesome balcony. Not like I want to move, but sometimes I wish I had a "weekend condo" downtown (don't we all). There are a few buildings that I have always admired, the Soap Works lofts being one of them. I would love to just sit outside, enjoy the view, smell the flowers, get some sun and have a big glass of lemonade. Ah, the life.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Can't stop listening to: Best Coast

This song has been playing in my head all day (not necessarily a bad thing). Best Coast is getting a lot of good PR, so keep them on your radar. If you haven't already heard the new album, you can stream it here for a listen.

Heading out to Chill On the Hill tomorrow night to Humboldt park to see Decibully and Juniper Tar. It's gonna be a fun one!

Friday, August 20, 2010

In the kitchen: Caprese skewers

These delicious-looking plum tomatoes are from our backyard garden. Our two little plants produce at least four or five newly ripe ones every day. So, that leaves me with a lot of tomatoes and only so many salads a girl can make. I found this picture and thought that these skewers are not only be great for party hors d'oeuvres, but a bag lunch. I found out this week that cut tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella slices do not make a pretty pair when piled into a tupperware container. So the skewers would keep the tomatoes and mozzarella separate, just put them into a ziploc bag and carry.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Backyard Discovery: Pastiche Bistro & Wine Bar

photos: Adam Morris

This little place opened up a couple months ago on the way south end of KK. We had walked the dog past the place many times, but last night we finally saw the inside. It's small but really cute. The menu has classic french cuisine; I had the trout with purple peruvian potatoes and french green beans. Dinner was excellent, the chef came around and said hello. Then we trotted a few steps over to the Palm Tavern to have some drinks. To read more about Pastiche, check out the write-up in the Bay View Compass . Pastiche is located on the corner of South Kinnickinnic and Rusk in Bay View.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Movie Review: Eat Pray Love

After reading some of the reviews, I didn't have very high expectations for Eat Pray Love, because it's true: when is the movie ever better than the book? Then I was totally shocked, stunned, thrilled with one little scene. In the movie, Liz's "Rome apartment" is the building across from Hotel Portoghesi, the place we stayed last month!!! Here are a few pictures I took from the street and of the rooftop balcony. They were doing renovations on "Liz's apartment" last month. The building itself is pretty blah. Hotel Portoghesi, on the other hand, is absolutely wonderful. Good luck finding it amidst the endless alleys, but once you do, it's in a central location, has comfy rooms, and an awesome rooftop breakfast terrace. I just loved it there.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

{Dog Days of Summer} Cool clothes

LA Made Fawn Dress, $63

I hate shopping in early fall. It's so freaking hot and the last thing I want to wear is a chunky wool sweater with dark jeans. So when shopping this time of year, I look for pieces that I can LAYER. Layering is the best. And in the unpredictable Wisconsin climate, it's essential. Tonight we were out back, grilling out. One minute I was putting on sunscreen and sweating, an hour later, it was cold and windy and we were heading inside. I really like these tunic-style dresses. In the fall, I wear them with skinny dark pants, in the winter, add a scoopneck black long-sleeve tee or a black blazer. It can be dressed up or down. Think flip-flops to ankle boots or scarfs to jewelry.

Alternative Apparel Pocket Tee Shirt Dress, $48. BDG Plaid Double Cloth Dress, $58.

Friday, August 13, 2010

{Dog Days of Summer} Fair

Last night at the Wisconsin State Fair, we ate fried food on a stick, drank some beers, and saw some cows. It took me back to my childhood, living less than a mile from the Walworth County Fair. I forgot how much I love watching the draft horse shows and eating cream puffs.

If you haven't been to a county fair or state fair in the midwest, you should know a few things. Food-on-a-stick is the only way to eat. There are whole buildings dedicated to serving cream puffs. You can buy some very strange things at a fair. Carnies are a breed of their own.

For a list of all the Wisconsin Fairs, go HERE

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

{Dog Days of Summer} Mosquito Invasion

After all the rain we had, the resulting mosquito infestation is now out of control! I thought living in a big city meant you didn't have to deal with dozens of bites every summer. Well, I am not happy about these little buggers, so this means war. Because the last thing I want when it's 90 degrees and hella humid is a mosquito mob coming at me. Fortunately, for the community, my idea of war means following a few smart tips and wearing a lot of DEET.

To fight off mosquitoes, you have to think like a mosquito. They breed in shallow standing water. So immediately after the rain, get out and do a clean sweep. Mosquitos "see" you by sensing CO2 (your exhalations), your body heat, and lactic acid. So working out, doing heavy gardening, is going to get you noticed. Wearing dark colors makes you warmer, so go for white. Also note, a high protein diet will lead to increased emission of lactic acid.

Some of these natural products do work, but have minimal or shortened effectiveness. I usually combine a few of these at the same time and have found it fairly effective. If I get more than a couple bites, I then add the DEET bug spray.
- Citronella: works in a small area, dependent on wind direction and oil concentration of candle
- Lemon Eucalyptus oil: apply the essential oil directly to the skin.
- Lemongrass oil: same as above
- Marigolds and chrysanthemums: The insecticides thymol, ocimene or pyrethrin are very effective against many garden insects, but not proven for mosquitoes.

Yes, I grab the DEET bug spray. Personally, after having had malaria (3 times when I lived in Kenya), I would much rather have something that has proven effectiveness. Here is the full text insect repellent efficacy study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. There are pros and cons, but read it and then decide. I will only apply it to my clothes, not my skin. And keep the spray away from your sunglass, because DEET can corrode some plastics.

Good luck out there. It's a jungle!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

{Dog Days of Summer} Poolside

I don't think we could fit a swimming pool in our backyard, but I sometimes daydream about having one. You know, sipping pina coladas, reading some magazines, and getting a tan. Ahhhhhh the life.

{photos top to bottom: elle decor, elle decor, elle decor, coastal living, costal living, costal living, twelve apostles hotel south africa, hyatt hotel bangkok}

Sunday, August 8, 2010

{Dog Days of Summer} Sunburn care

Today kicks off the Dog Days of Summer, a week of posts revolving around those achingly long, hot, and humid days of summer. I'm not complaining (it's nice to have summer for at least 3 months out of the year), but us city "sconnies" sometimes aren't used to it (we're more used to 30 degree weather). At least for me, I forget how strong that darn sun is, and then I get totally burnt. So here are the basics for preventing sunburn and caring for sunburns at home. I'm switching the gears and going into my nursing mode.


Look for the ingredient zinc oxide, it protects against a broad spectrum of UVA and UVB rays without being absorbed into the skin (those with sensitive skin will appreciate that). Go to UCSF dermatology website for a nice little brief on SPF numbers. I love a good tan, but really, any tan is actually skin damage. To minimize the skin damage or depth of the damage, apply sunscreen often and liberally (shotglass amount), but opt for the SPF 30 and try to limit yourself to small, but multiple intervals in the sun. After tanning/burning/being outside, you can minimize an emerging burn by taking an NSAID (tylenol, ibuprofen, etc). Studies show that it helps stop the ensuing swelling and sunburn pain. Fortunately, big floppy hats are "in" this year. I always have a scarf on hand to block the sun if I start getting too pink. If I'm at the beach, I put my sandals upside down or under a towel while I'm hanging so I don't burn my feet when I get up and put them on. (image: Fit Sugar)



Burns happen. Don't I know it. When we were in Italy, I completely burned my entire back. There's no quick fix for sunburn care but somethings do really help. These are the 3 keys goals with sunburn care. (image: Martha Stewart)

- The tannins in tea has an analgesic effect when applied topically. As an astringent, it constricts tissue to stop swelling. Pour cool brewed black tea onto the affected area or draw a bath using the tea, lavender, and mint.
- Taking an NSAID will also decrease the swelling after a burn has set in. The swelling and stretching of the skin is ultimately what is causing all that pain. Benadryl will help with the itching that comes when skin is regrowing.
- Cool it: Remember, ice may feel good, but your damaged skin can't always tell you if it's too cold. Don't add frostbite to your list of problems.

- Aloe vera: it's rich in hydration and anti-oxidants. I like using the actual plant because then I know what I'm getting. You can buy it but it's not regulated by the FDA. I cut the aloe length-wise and scoop out the gooey green gel. I then apply it like a salve. It's cooling at first and seems to cut a little bit of the pain. I grow my aloe in bright, bright sun and keep the soil dry to the touch.
- Drink, Drink, Drink: but not alcohol, caffeine, or sugary drinks. These are diuretics and will not get you any further to hydrating yourself.
- Milk it: Soak clean papertowels (lighter and smoother = less pain) in milk and cool water mixture. Reapply several applications. The proteins in milk are very soothing on burns, the coolness will help aleviate the pain.

- Keep it clean: Burned skin no longer its protective properties so it's vulnerable to infection. Opening any blisters or "heat rash bumps will also leave your skin open to possible infection. Lavender, aloe, and coconut have antiseptic qualities that will help keep the area clean.
- Let it "breathe": Most first-aid ointments (neosporin, desitin, etc) are thick because of petroleum jelly or barrier agents. After an initial burn, a barrier will trap the heat inside the skin, often making the burn deeper and more damaging. The heat needs to escape at least for 24 hrs. When the redness and swelling has subsided, it is OK to apply a barrier cream.
- Feed your skin: Skin needs water to regrow, so increase your water intake. Watermelon and cucumbers are packed with water and are good substitutes for drinking straight-up water. L-Cysteine is an amino acid that your body uses to produce keratin, or skin. A supplement or an increase in protein-rich food will ensure that you have plenty in your system for when your body goes into healing mode.


- Rubbing alcohol baths
- Petroleum jelly
- Ice
- Ignoring heatstroke: the signs and symptoms of heatstroke can be very vague, but it's easier to get hyperthermia than hypothermia. Bottom line: if you feel like you suddenly have the flu after being in the sun, drink some fluids and head to the doctor.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Milwaukee Style: Rockerbox chic

Today is Rockerbox, y'all. We'll be heading up to the Riverwest, gritty-punk rock motorcycle and scooter street festival in a little bit. I'm excited to see some uber-vintage Harleys and Vespas. The people watching is pretty awesome, too. People aren't dressed as classy as these peeps in the Sartorialist photos below, but trust me, add a scooter or motorcycle to your style and you are one chic Milwaukeean.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Live Show: The National

Wednesday night was The National show at the Riverside theater. Oh, what a good show. They brought their A game. I saw a lot of twitter and facebook feeds talking about the show. So, if you were one of the 2,500 in that sold out theater, did you hear that reference about "Matt Beringer", made by Matt Berninger, the lead singer. I thought that was cute. My husband thought it was cute, too :)

...and for one gem of a concert photo taken by CJ Foeckler, go HERE

Ok, now I'm off to Fish Fry and a Flick. Have a good weekend!


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