Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MKE Style: Tips for Warm Weather

1. Gap Maxi Dress, 2. J.Crew zip cardigan, 3. iPhone case, 4. French Connection Brigette Satchel, 5. Old Navy skinny belt, 6. Aveda Lip Glaze in Ginger Lily, 7. BR Gold Bangles, 8. Tory Burch Emmy sandal

I struggle with knowing how to dress in the heat. I mean, last week it was 40 degrees and yesterday it was 90. My body is having a WTF moment. Suddenly it's summer. That happens in Wisconsin - our weather is fickle. And just as fast as the heat comes, it goes. I also don't want to go out and buy a whole bunch of summer dresses that I'll only wear a month out of the year. So, dressing for hot days is a challenge.

Above are some staple pieces that can easily be transitioned to spring, fall, and winter. Simple dresses with neutral colors can be layered and accessorized into the next season. Also, dressing for summer doesn't always mean changing your wardrobe, let accessories like belts, handbags, iPhone covers, and lip gloss do the job for you. When it's extremely hot and muggy, I skip makeup all together and opt for a bright lip color because everything else will melt off your face. Choose accessories that aren't big and bulky. Even my wrists start to sweat when wearing watches or big chunky bangles (ick!). And just because it's hot for a few hours, it can get chilly in the blink of an eye (thanks Lake Michigan) so pack an extra layer. Linen and short sleeved cardigans are good options. These extra layers also come in handy when you realize your virgin Wisconsin skin is turning into a ferocious sunburn. One good thing about this sort of weather is that because it's only summer a few months out of the year, I don't feel bad buying really nice sandals or a really nice summer bag because that low-usage means it will last multiple seasons. Or, maybe that's just me justifying spending more money. Not sure. Either way, I welcome the warmer weather. Bring it on, Wisconsin!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

On the Road: Holy Toledo

Yesterday afternoon we were in Toledo, Ohio, a short drive from Ann Arbor. Once I realized how interesting this place was, I started taking a few iPhone photos so I could post. Who knew Toledo was actually pretty cool? I didn't. We first made a stop to Stanley's Market, a polish grocery store. It's been sad watching the ethnic corner grocery stores in Milwaukee remodeling and/or moving so that they could be more "modern". So, I was overjoyed to walk into Stanley's. I don't think they've changed a thing since 1960. I love it! Because that's what makes them unique, authentic, and genuine. We stocked up on Kielbasa, using the word "stocked up" literally. (P.S. They ship!)

Then we headed over to the original Tony Packo's on Front St. to get some Hungarian-style comfort food. This combined two of my husband's favorite things: Hungarian food (he's Hungarian) and free soda refills. Hot dog buns signed by celebrities and somewhat celebrities are encased and hung on the wall. Weird? Somewhat, but where else can you find Chicken Paprikas and Cabbage Rolls on the menu?

The highlight of the day for me was seeing the Toledo Art Museum and the Glass Pavillion across the street. The pavillion walls are ALL made of seamless glass, it curves around each individual room. We watched a glass-making demonstration which I found fascinating. It looks like such an intricate skill and an incredibly creative art. The museum was enormous. I couldn't believe I was in a smaller city because it looked and felt like a smaller version of the Philadelphia art museum. It was really impressive.

We tried to go to the Toledo Mudhens game, but the weather was not in full cooperation. If you go, this is no ordinary minor league game. The stadium, the fan store, and the fans are in full-out baseball mode that could rival any major league team. These people mean business.

So, if you're ever near Toledo (sometimes called Holy Toledo due to the large number of churches) or passing through, I would definitely recommend an afternoon of looking around. Who knew I would be raving about Toledo? It was that nice.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Can't Stop Listening to: Representin' Memphis

Oh, hello again! We're in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the long holiday weekend. Today, we even took a side trip to Toledo. Boy, did I like Toledo. There's a museum about glass made entirely of glass! Crazy. Are you guys traveling for the weekend? Wherever you are, I hope you enjoy the nice long warm weekend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Backyard Discovery: Classy Girl Cupcakes

Today I'm sharing those cupcake pictures I was talking 'bout. Cupcakes have been everywhere lately so they aren't as uber-hip as they used to be (cakepops are the new "it" food), but gosh i love 'em. Maybe I just love mini foods; like my mini cans of Coke Zero and mini Luna bars.

So, It's only right that MKE has a cupcake place like Classy Girl Cupcakes. I was really impressed by the variety of cupcakes. I mean geesh, Pear Champagne? Good job, cupcake ladies. I tried the Lemon Pound Cake cupcake (delicious) and brought the Ghiradelli chocolate one home to hubs. Didn't get to taste that one. Guess I'll have to go back again.

They also serve Rishi Tea and Anodyne Coffee to cut the sugar and snap you out of a sugarbuzz.

Classy Girl Cupcakes
825 N. Jefferson St.
Cathedral Square
Milwaukee, WI
Mon - Thurs: 8:00 am-6:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am-7:00 pm
Sat: 11:00 am-4:00 pm
check them out on

If you're ever in the Third Ward, you should also check out . They serve lots of cupcakes, too, but only with cute names inspired by local landmarks like "The Cudahy Tower", with white chocolate and strawberry, and the "Cream City" with vanilla bean and buttercream (I'll take one of those, thank you). I haven't been there yet (soon, Sara, soon), but my reader Rebekah gives this place a thumbs up!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Decorating: a kitchen nook

via elle decor

via apartment therapy

via apartment therapy

via good housekeeping

via decorpad

When we first moved into our house, I HATED the 80's pine kitchen nook/built in that came with the house. I had originally planned to haul the ugly thing to the curb on move in day, but my husband was very attached to this 80's monstrosity. Over the past three years, I may, just may have accepted this thing into our home. But now, I think it needs some pillows and maybe a new table. The old can go in the basement and live. Hey, it's better than the curb.

our... ahem, "lovely" nook

Friday, May 20, 2011

Backyard Discovery: Food Truck Friday

It's Friday! More specifically, Food Truck Friday. A bunch of food trucks serving everything from frites to korean tacos park at Cathedral Square on Friday afternoons. It's delicious. I had the korean bbq tacos. Sorry, those were eaten so fast that no photographic evidence was obtained. Then me and my friend Casey (who is lucky enough to work directly across the street from such an fun event) hopped across the street to Classy Girl Cupcakes. I'll do a post on that one next week:) So, all in all, it was a great Friday!

so here's the deets......

Food Trucks found
- Tigerbite korean style tacos, eggrolls, and sweet potato frites
- Haute Taco mexican tacos (even vegetarian!), guacamole, chorizo quesadillas
- Fast Foodie global tacos (greek, jamaican, italian, thai, etc), belgian frites
- Satellite Crepes sweet crepes (chocolate, nutella, etc) and savory crepes (basil, tomato, cheese, truffle oil)
- Street-Za Pizza by the slice!
- Pita Brothers Pitas served from a cool electric hybrid vehicle
- Ofelia's taco bar
- Cousins Subs sure, you can come along, too

Where am I going?
Cathedral square: NS between wells and kilbourn and EW between Jackson and Jefferson

When? I'm hungry.
11am-3pm, Fridays during the summer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Have a Drink: Limoncello

Lately, I have been missing Italy. bad. We were there last summer, on our honeymoon, riding a Vespa down the coast, stopping at little towns and swimming in the sea. Take me back! So, I have been filling that void with italian food, a few Dean Martin songs here and there, even by watching the show "Mob Wives". Yes, the situation is dire. I need help. Some good things have come out of this, I must say. I bought a bottle of Gioia Luisa Limoncello and after a little experimenting I have found that I really like it. I must warn you that limoncello MUST be served freezing cold and is way too lemony to use more than an ounce. Believe me, I've done the legwork. Basil leaves and some lemon slices really freshen up the flavor.

I also think this would make an EXCELLENT hostess gift. Note how cheap and easy it would be to make. There are a lot of limoncello recipes out there, and they're all basically the same, but I would rather trust my gal, Martha. For bottling, you can use an old white wine bottle (with twist off cap) or grab some of these SLOM bottles from IKEA. Just add a little tag with storing instructions or a drink recipe and BAAM, good - to - go.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bags and more Bags

image via NYmag

I know I have enough bags/totes/purses but these Baggu bags look QUITE practical. Especially for biking/scootering/walking around this summer. And they're under $40. So with that said, can you realllllly have too many bags??

images via baggu

Monday, May 16, 2011

Making of a Mural

Photos via Faythe Levine

After watching Exit Through the Gift Shop last week, a documentary about artful graffiti and other unsanctioned art, my eyes have been on the lookout for street art in Milwaukee. The storefront wall of Sky High features a rotating mural every few months with the latest mural (shown above) by Makeal Flammini & Ella Dwyer. I really love this idea; creating something beautiful and poignant and accessible. And it's neat to see a part of the creative process. This type of creativity not only adds to the Bay View neighborhood's character but keeps it alive. The mural will be up facing Howell Ave. from May to July 2011 for everyone to see.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Inspiration: Weekend Flea Market

Confetti Lucite Bracelet
Cucumber photograph
Rustic Laundry Cart
Dahlias Farmers Market Photograph
Apothecary Collection
Tapestry Coin Clutch
Vintage Jumper Dress
Set of Flower Glasses

The Elkhorn Antique Flea Market is this Sunday!!! I am uber excited and can't wait to see what I find. I'll be there, as always, at 7am with a thermos of home-brewed Alterra coffee in hand. Bright and early on a Sunday IS an oxymoron. I never know what I'm going to find, but I do come with a plan. I have a few specific buildings, dealers, or rows that I hit up first, so I jet out like a madwoman (hence the need for caffeine).

Some tips:
Early buyer fee is $25, gets you in Saturday 1pm or Sunday 5am.
Free maps can be picked up in the main office
The best coffee is at the Turkey Leg stand near the front gate
Some rows can be quite muddy and the grounds is huge so wear good shoes
Parking is free, but some nearby houses have cheap closer parking for about $5.
I always grab my vegetables/flowers/herbs from Cindy's Greenhouse (right next to the front gate) on my way out
My favorite food is the barbeque stand by the North Hall
Bring smaller bills, banks aren't open on Sunday so ATMS and small change goes FAST.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stylish Helmet Heads

On Monday, there was a fatal scooter accident just a few blocks from our house. A SUV pulled in front of a 29 year man riding his scooter home from work and they collided. Unfortunately, he was not wearing his helmet. So let me just say that I, too, have ridden short distances on our Vespa without my helmet. It's a horrible mistake. My husband was involved in a very similar accident sans helmet last summer but luckily the only damage was a busted up hand. So now, my husband rides home every day on his Vespa wearing his helmet faithfully. After his accident and especially after the accident on Monday, I strongly believe in wearing your helmet whether you're on a bike, motorcycle, or scooter.

Look, helmet head is pretty cool.......

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Essie on my nails

top: super bossa nova, absolutely shore bottom: brazilliant, too too hot

I'm really feelin' these new summer colors from Essie. I have always opted for the neutrals and "classy" (aka safe) colors until my friend Alison turned me onto the brighter and bolder side of nail colors palettes. I'm in desperate need of a pedicure with super bossa nova......ASAP.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Beer Flights

Sara's Beer Flight

1st: Fox Barrel Pear Cider: a great crisp clean taste like a D'Anjou pear, similar to a Reisling wine, only a beer.

2nd: Crispin Cider Desert Noir: Another cider ale with sweet prickly pear and agave flavors, a little woodiness from the oak barrel aging.

3rd: Anderson Valley Summer Solstice: Like a not-too-sweet cream soda in your nut brown ale.

4th: North Coast Brother Thelonious: A perfect dark belgian-style abbey ale. Dark and rich, not heavy.

After sipping a quality microbrew, it's hard to pick up a Miller Lite again. When Sugar Maple, a craft beer mecca, opened near our house a few years ago, I rejoiced. Sixty taps of revolving hard-to-find microbrews line the bar. So, if you don't recognize the breweries or the brewing styles, the best way to tackle the taps it to order a beer flight, similar to a wine flight. You pick any four 6 oz beers from their menu and start tasting. I usually try to order from lightest to darkest or sweet to bitter - the bartenders are really good for suggestions. Some microbrews are really strong, smoky, or spicy, or so bitter you spit it out, so getting the smaller sample size is a safer bet then laying your finger down and hoping it lands on something good.

If you don't have a Sugar Maple type of bar nearby or a bar that offers beer flights, some stores offer single bottles of microbrew or table bottles. With a group of friends, or dinner party, make your own beer flights and see what everyone likes.

P.S. You know I like my cheese, but cheese pairs beautifully with beer.

sandal weather

I cannot wait to go home today and put some sandals on. I found these Gigi sandals from Sam Edelman that would be real cute. The Kardashians can back me up on that.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tour de Mil: Milwaukee Food Tours

I've been on a lot of tours in Milwaukee, but I can't wait to add this one to the list: the Milwaukee Food Tours. We have family visiting Milwaukee this summer and this would be perfect for them. If you're in town for only a few days and want to get the most out of your visit, this would be the thing to do. The tours highlight a special neighborhood and its restaurants, sampling the good pub-crawl-style, from one establishment to the next all while Milwaukee history and stories are told by your tour guide. I emailed Theresa Nemetz from Milwaukee Food Tours to find out some more......

This year they've added two new great tours, a Milwaukee Pizza Tour and a Historic Cedarburg Tour! That would be in addition to their Beer, Brats and Bowling Tour, Bloody Mary Brunch Tour, Third Ward Tour, and Brady Street Tour (just to name a few). I asked if there was a list of restaurants/places they visit, but each tour varies a little. So it's a surprise! If you're a Milwaukeean and been around the block, seen it all, I think the surprise factor can make even the hard and fast locals feel like a tourist in a new town. I also asked about having dietary restrictions/picky-eaters in tow. Just notify Milwaukee Food Tours ahead of time and Theresa will work it out with the restaurants and stops. And my biggest question: Where's Theresa's favorite tour spot? There's favorites on each tour route, of course, but the Brady Street tour ranks pretty high on her list (perhaps because of Theresa's Sicilian roots). She writes, "many of our local attendees haven't been to these locations before and also don't know the amazing stories behind the buildings and the immigrants that started the businesses 40+ years ago - but they also are fascinated by the new businesses on the street too". Some items on the Brady Street Tour include thin-crust pizza, olives, salami, cannoli, duck tacos, and a visit to Lakefront Brewery. And don't forget, it's not just food, Theresa points out the architecture, history and stories from the neighborhood, "...we point out things for our guests that they have never noticed before, such as the 88 amazing etchings in the sidewalk along Brady Street telling the story of the community".

Visit the Milwaukee Food Tours website here
Buy your tickets online HERE
You can even buy ahead of time for a birthday gift. Mother's Day is coming up and this would be a great gift, too.

{P.S. Thanks to my lovely readers, I have located a copy of the Rolling Stone issue I was looking for! I am a very proud wife and can't wait to show it to everyone I know. Thanks readers!}

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Margarita Cupcakes

I couldn't resist posting this today: Margarita Cupcakes (click for recipe) from Brown Eyed Baker. Gosh I love anything with lime in it. Headed off to Riviera Maya to enjoy a margarita (the best if you're in Milwaukee). Enjoy Cinco de Mayo!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pabst Theater in Rolling Stone

images via rolling stone magazine

I JUST saw this Milwaukee shout out in Rolling Stone from last month's issue. They asked artists to name their music industry favorites as part of the "Best of Rock 2011" article. Justin Vernon from Bon Iver gave a gracious nod to Matt Beringer (aka hubs) and Gary Witt who run the show at the Pabst Theater, Riverside, and Turner Hall. Justin has played the venues about five or six times and will be here again in June (sold out).

SO, if anyone has a copy of this issue (I searched high and low but the new issue is already in stands) I would love to put it on our coffee table, open to that page for oh, like, the next 2 years. Email me if you have it and are willing to part! creamcityandsugar@gmail.com Thanks (big kiss, too)


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