Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reef Sandals

Reef Fold and Go Sandals, $18

Last night I threw on my thin patent leather flip flops as we rushed out the door to Summerfest to see Hall & Oates. Yes Hall and theOates. If you were there, I'm sure you would have had a good time. It was like every hit they had (there's a lot) crammed into 45 minutes plus two encores just to fit it all. Well, after walking from our car to the stage and standing all that time, my feet were hurting. Not the worst pain, but the "I just stay right here" and "I should have thought this shoe choice through" sort of pain. Blisters were on their way. Luckily, I had my amazing friend Casey along, who offered to trade sandals for the walk back. Oh, thank GOD! She gave me her Reef Sandals and it was like getting a foot massage and then pillow under my feet. Now, I have a similar pair of Tevas, but these had arch support and some real structure. I am browsing online for some new Reefs as we speak. The ones above are foldable sandals you can fit in your purse in case of a long walk or blister emergency. They don't look as comfortable, but they do offer compactability.

Thanks Casey, you made my dreams come true.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

REPOST: Packing for Summerfest

It's really busy around here today with work and grad school, so I leave you with a post from last year on what to wear to Summerfest. That's right, Summerfest kicks off today! And June is almost over. Geesh. I'll be back tomorrow with a real post. Until then, have a great day!

Nicole Sunglass, Modcloth, $11. J Crew caprese tunic, $35. J Crew studded leather belt, $68. REI Platypus, $12.95. GAP jean shorts, $49.50. iPhone 4, $199. Marc by Marc Jacobs cross-body bag, $198. Travel-size Neutrogena Sunblock, $4. Simple Tantan sandals, $85.

Summerfest is in full swing this week. I hope to go sometime this week to hang out and enjoy some summer music (maybe the Hold Steady July 1st??). And in Milwaukee, it seems there is a street festival or ethnic fest on the lakefront every weekend. Sadly, we'll be in Italy during Chicago's Pitchfork festival. But, if you go (or go to any other festival), here's what I suggest you bring.

Here's my game plan:
- Wear comfortable shoes! Preferably black because it's gonna be a dirty mess out there.
- Load up on the water. Especially if you're drinking in the sun, dehydration can set in very fast. Lots of grounds don't allow bottle/can carry-ins, but the platypus can easily roll up in your purse and be filled at the water fountain.
- Pick loose fitting, light colored clothes. Again, it's gonna get hot. And you're gonna sweat.
- Don't bring anything you'll leave in the bathroom. Like clutches, hats, coats, etc. Opt for a crossbody purse and sunglasses that will fit inside.
- A phone with a camera and internet access are great. One less thing to carry. And you can read books or check email when waiting in those long lines waiting for the bands to start. Phone service is often touch and go at big festivals due to all the people trying to call at once, but 3G and 4G work like a charm. So email or text to stay in touch with your group.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Design*Sponge Book out soon

Design Sponge at Home (Official Book Trailer) from The Panic Room Videos on Vimeo.

I have started my birthday wish list early now that Design*Sponge at Home book is now available for pre-order. It hits shelves this September and looks great - lots of home tours, projects, and eye candy all in what looks like a 2 1/2 inch thick hardcover book! Design*Sponge is one of my regular reads and one of the main inspirations for starting my own blog. From reading Grace's blog, I realized that there is a whole world of wonderful art, design, projects, spaces and people out there. And working with Grace for the Design*Sponge Milwaukee City Guide was such an even bigger pleasure. Traffic from her site really made my blog grow and gave me motivation to keep posting and keep blogging. So thank you, Grace, and I cannot wait to sit down and read your labor of love, "Design*Sponge at Home".

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tennis Time

Nike Skort, $65. Polo Wristbands, $21. Sigg water bottle,, $25. Michael Kors ceramic watch, $250.

Has anyone been watching Wimbledon? I have, and now I'm all motivated to pick up my racket again. I used to play tennis 24/7, racking up varsity letters, and taking year round lessons. I think it's time I get back in the game. So, I've been on the hunt for some good courts to start practicing. Read my post on Inside Milwaukee "Finding a Good Tennis Court" HERE to see what I've found. It turns out my favorite courts are in fact the closest. Humboldt Park tennis courts are topping my list.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Travel Style: India

Have you seen the Emersonmade India Collection that came out today?! It's pretty beautimous. I could definitely see myself wearing one these during my fictional stay at The Baghvan Hotel.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Milwaukee Faves: Cream Puffs

House of Brinson

Ah, the cream puff, the profiterole, the choux à la crème. Once I asked for cream puffs instead of a birthday cake. They're light and airy and flaky and if the cream is really fresh, delicious. In summertime, cream puffs proudly show at every County Fair and reign at the Wisconsin State Fair. The line for the State Fair cream puff stand is a constant hour long. (I found the recipe to the famous Wisconsin State Fair Cream Puffs HERE if you're interested - or not interested in waiting until the Fair). As of recently, it looks like cream puffs will soon be the official state dessert. A bill is moving swiftly though the state legislation (good to know Madison is on top of this). After 25 years of living amongst cream puffs, it occurred to me "maybe cream puffs are a regional thing?". So readers, especially you non-midwesterners, can you find cream puffs where you are?

Recipe by David Schmidt

1 cup water
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 tsp. iodized salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
4 eggs
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. milk
2 cups whipping cream, whipped with vanilla extract and sugar (see below)
Sifted powdered sugar

Made from the ingredients Wisconsin is famous for — milk, cream, butter and eggs — cream puffs were a natural addition to the Wisconsin State Fair. Since their introduction in 1924, cream puffs have grown to be a signature Fair item, selling more than 365,000 annually. The Wisconsin State Fair dairy bakery operates around-the-clock during the Fair to meet the ever-growing insatiable demand.

Some fairgoers wait all year for a chance to indulge in the rich sweetness of a State Fair cream puff, but now you can make them year-round in your own kitchen. The following recipe does not take dozens of employees or tons of whipping cream to make, but the taste is as genuine as the Fair. So, go ahead — indulge and savor the memories.

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour one very large or two small baking sheets, or line with parchment paper.
2. Pour water into heavy saucepan. Cut butter into small pieces and add to water. Add salt. Place saucepan over medium-low heat so butter melts before water boils. Bring water just to boil.
3. Remove pan from heat and add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough forms into a ball and bottom of pan is filmed with flour. Let dough rest 5 minutes.
4. Add whole eggs, beating in one egg at a time. Dough should be stiff but smooth.
5. Immediately drop 1/4 cupfuls of dough 3 inches apart on baking sheet. (Or for a neater appearance, use pastry bag with 3/4-inch plain tip and pipe dough onto baking sheet.)
6. Combine egg yolk and milk in a small bowl. Brush each puff with glaze mixture, taking care not to let liquid drip onto pan.
7. Bake 35 minutes, until puffed, golden brown and firm.
8. Cool puffs on wire racks, pricking each with a cake tester or toothpick to allow steam to escape, or leave them in a turned-off oven with the door propped open for about an hour, until firm. (If baked pastry is filled before cool and firm, it will be soggy and may collapse.) Baked puffs should have hollow, moist interiors and crisp outer shells that are lightly browned.
9. Cut off tops, fill with whipped cream (use pastry bag with star tip or scoop the whipped cream with a large spoon). Replace tops of the puffs and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Serving Size
Makes 12 cream puffs

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Watching The West Wing

I just finished watching the complete West Wing series a few days ago. I had to decompress a little. If you're a West Wing fan, you know how captivating this show can be. If you haven't seen the show, it is incredibly inspiring. It made me want to jump on a plane to DC and intern for the rest of my life. I was a little late to rally on the West Wing bandwagon, but I was immediately hooked after getting the box set last Christmas. The show does has a democratic slant but that's not the whole show. It's really about the political process and life in politics (on either side of the aisle). Plots encompassed everything from tensions in the middle east, the fine print of the Constitution, to the nuanced rules of the White House curator's office. The episodes are pretty fast-paced and witty with well-known guest stars in almost every show. So, if you're at all into politics or fast-paced witty dramas, I really think you should watch a season (or seven) of the West Wing.

Here are some classic West Wing scenes.

If you're a West Wing fan please comment, I'm going through some withdrawal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Minkoff Pouches

I got a kick out of these Rebecca Minkoff pouches. The 'unemployed' one was especially humorous since these little bitties are $55 and the size of a coin purse. So, enjoy the contradiction. However, I do love the idea of having a special little purse just for lunch money or shopping money. Right now, I use the Lumi coin purse for parking meter coins. Don't worry, I got it on sale. Better than having to dig around in the seat cushions, I must say.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I want to go to there: Baghvan Hotel, India

I came across this photo a couple years ago and saved it in a folder on my desktop (pre-Pinterest days). I loved the colors, the taupe brown and the palest of turquoise. It just looked so peaceful, serene - I can close my eyes and imagine it right now. I open the photo on my computer every once in a while and just stare. It's like yoga for the mind, I guess. So this my friends is the ultimate "I want to go to there".

The Baghvan Hotel is in central India, the Madhya Pradesh, right on the edge of the Pench National Forest. Baghvan means bengal tiger and the Pench was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book". The medieval Hindu temples, the Khajuraho are also in this provence, although kind of a hike from the hotel. Bottom line, this place combines all of my favorites when it comes to travel: exotic location, great decor/design, history, adventure, and a pool. This place is just amazing. Look at the pictures below.

the breakfast room

open air guest lobby

guest bathroom

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pint In Hand: Goose Island Matilda

Goose Island Matilda is one of my favorites. Not only does it have one of the most sophisticated and polished product styling I've seen on a beer bottle, but it tastes really, really good. It's a Belgian Strong Pale Ale (similar to a true Abbey Ale). It's a very smooth and drinkable beer with some fruity sourness and yeast flavors. The scent has some clove/spice and hop aroma - very pleasant. If you don't usually like beer, you may like this one.

****If you're excited about the South Shore Farmers' Market this Saturday, then you should read my post on InsideMilwaukee entitled Farmers' Markets: locally chic.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

MKE Locals: Otille's Closet

I'm loving the recent clothing designs from Otille's Closet, a newly launched online shop from Milwaukee's Midwest Needles co-owner, Kate Mau.

I asked Kate about the mixture of vintage and knit materials she uses. "I find the scarves mostly at thrift stores and from a stash I've had for awhile. I'm always amazed at how girly my designs end up being since I'm much more of a bohemian in my personal style", she said. As for the intricate needlework, "I don't think there is anything more time consuming than knitting a garment as opposed to sewing. With knitting I'm literally making the fabric as I go". For the fall, keep your eye out for "more neutral colors and pops of bright pink or orange". Kate says the collection will be much more cohesive and a bit more bohemian...with a few sweaters and a bag.

That sounds lovely. Keep up the beautiful work, Kate!
Visit Otille's Closet HERE.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

(Milwaukee) Summer Bucket List

Today I am contributing to Cornflake Dreams's Summer Bucket List linkup with my very own bucket list. Jillian (a former Milwaukeean and fellow MU alum I might add) lives in Chicago and blogs about design, fashion and now planning a wedding. It's one of my regular reads. Head on over to Jillian's blog to check out the other bucket lists.

I always say it and will say it again, summer flies by. I could plan out every day and still feel like those short, sweet months (in Wisconsin) slip by so fast. So, this year I am going to tackle my bucket list by multi-tasking. Yep, I multi-task fun now. For example, I think I'm going to take my grad school books to the beach to read (along with some politico books - I have a flair for Washingtonian style). I really want to sample some new belgian beers (table bottles beers instead of bottles of wine), so I'll just pack them along when I go to Chill on the Hill (or buy beer at Jazz in the Park). And when I need to get downtown, I'll just hop on my bike and take the Oak Leaf Trail for a little longer leisurely ride. In theory, I will plan ahead and leave the house early to take this route. Again, in theory. Lastly, I have never been to Polish Fest and I haven't ridden the sky-glider in over a decade. I hear the skyline views from the sky-glider (shown in the f2 photo) are memorable. So, I will grab a kielbasa and take in some sky high views.

The Goooooods........

Shelter sunscreen
'And The Pursuit of Happiness' book
'Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy' book
Sondra Roberts Tote

CB2 woven throw
Unibroue Blanche de Chambly belgian beer

Public D3 bike

Dolce Vita Sandal
Sky Glider photo
Kate Spade wave bangles
Twist-back tee

New Stuff: Sondra Roberts Raffia Tote

I picked up this Sondra Roberts Raffia Tassel tote yesterday at Five Hearts boutique in the third ward. I have mentally switched into summer mode with this bag. I can see bloody mary's on Trocadero's patio and sunning at Bradford Beach on the horizon.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Decorating: Howl Street Recordings

This amazing studio decor is part of Howl Street Recordings in Milwaukee. It only makes sense that recording studios should look "inspiring" and "comortable", not like a lab or interrogation room. It's a place to be creative and make some great music. The tree bark walls really kick that theory up a notchy. Well done.

Wine totes by Maptote

I've been eyeing up these totes for some time, but haven't been able to choose just one. One to two to keep? One or two to give away. Can't decide. I also think there needs to be a Milwaukee one (obviously).

Tonight is the first Jazz in the Park. Anyone going? I still can't believe they have an "official" no carry-in policy. What a shame because these totes would have been perfect.

*Chill on the Hill in Bay View's Humboldt Park does not have any such policy. So downtown, I will take my Maptote Winetone elsewhere, thank you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Inside Milwaukee: Grilling Out with Local Flavors

Check it out - some true blue Milwaukee prodcuts for your next cookout.

'Grilling Out with Local Flavors' article

Chill On the Hill

Bay View Neighborhood Assoc.

I caught the tail end of the first Chill on the Hill last night. And Jazz In The Park starts tomorrow. I can't wait to pack a picnic and a bottle of wine and sit outside this summer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Milwaukee Faves: Downtown Dining Week

(too busy eating to take a picture of Tulip's food. this one is c/o The Shepherd)

I really love going to new restaurants. This doesn't make me unique, but it does make me very happy. So, when Downtown Dining Week rolls around, I get reeeeeal happy. Why? Because there are about two dozen new and interesting restaurants all offering $20-$30 three course dinners and $10 lunches. Eat that Applebee's. Friday night, I checked out Tulip with my friend and fellow blogger, Katie. She and two other gals write Haute Apple Pie, a fantastic blog here in Milwaukee. I ordered the Almond Pomegranate salad, the Sultan's Delight (beef medallions on baba ghanoush, and Kataifi dessert. The meal was good and I tried new things! Sometimes epicuriosity doesn't always lead to amazing and delicious food that's off the charts, but that's the fun. I tried it. I now feel safe to say that after trying it a few times, I don't really care for baba ghanoush (pureed eggplant).

Hopefully this week, I'll get out to a couple more restaurants on the Downtown Dining List. On my short list are: Sake Tumi (the hubs had the lunch and raved/bragged about it), Hinterland (I've only been there once! can you believe it), and Zaafaran.

Which restaurants looked good to you? Have you been to any this week? (tell me! tell me!)

If you're curious about some of the restaurants, check out other Milwaukee Restaurant/Food Blogs:

Eating Milwaukee
Hungry In Milwaukee
Milwaukee Food
Milwaukee Brunch Reviews

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Weekend

The first firepit of the year. Dreams really do come true.

Downtown Dining Week has started. A whole list of restaurants participate and offer a three course meal at $20 (some are $30). So it's a great way to get out and sample some new restaurants. I'm headed out to Tulip, a turkish and mediterranean restaurant in the third ward tonight.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I want to go to there: backyard firepit


Lonny Magazine

pine to prairie

Dreaming of sitting outside on a beautiful patio and watching the fire.....
a pool would be nice, too (just throwin' that in there)

Do you guys have a backyard fire pit? Tell me more!


Related Posts with Thumbnails