Happy Weekend

Taking a break from work to have lunch with my guy. I never go to lunch on work days. So excited.
We're cooking and watching a movie tonight. Looking forward to some much needed down time.
Darlene is photographing me for a little Stylemint project this afternoon.
Brunch with my friend Jess & her husband tomorrow.
Expecting a high of 59 tomorrow! Spring is in the air!
Date night tomorrow night. I'm wearing my new dress!
Making paleo waffles Sunday.
I am finally healthy again. Finally.
You can now hover over any image on my blog and pin it. Happy Pinning!
 I love with these Easter eggs.

I really enjoyed BluePrint. I loved the green juice and the cashew milk is a little taste of heaven. The lemonade wasn't my favorite, but I don't love anything spicy. I learned that not eating for 3 days just isn't my thing. I like food. But the best part of the entire experience was that I completely kicked wanting to snack at night. I've learned that when I'm not actually hungry, I don't need to eat. And 'm going to start using my juicer again.

I wasn't seeing any results with PT (which was prescribed by my ortho) so I went back my sports medicine doc & experienced dry needling for the first time. That's 10 needles in my back. I've been on a CrossFit break for 5 weeks and am dying to go back. I can start going 3x a week and if I'm ok for a while, can give 4 a try, but my doctor told me I've been overdoing it by going 5x a week. I went downtown for my second appointment yesterday only to realize my appointment was scheduled for tomorrow. Leave it to me. So I went to Whole Foods and treated myself to some pretty Easter flowers. .

In case you missed it, I shared one of my favorite paleo dishes this week. 

image via

Happy Easter & Passover weekend!


Girl's Best Friend

Last week was pretty rough and I'm still a little congested, but I am finally feeling like myself again. While any extra funds are going toward finishing my place for my upcoming home tour (shooting in the next 2 weeks. eek!), I thought I'd do a little window shopping for something sparkly. Because like most girls, I love a little sparkle.

If you could have any two items off this list, what would you choose? 


In The Kitchen: Paleo Pad Thai

My friend Gina posted an adaptation of Well Fed's paleo pad thai. I made a few changes, but for the most part, followed what G posted on her blog. 

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
a little salt and paper
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400. Season on both sides, and cook for about 30 min. I used my silpat baking mat on a cookie sheet. 

6 Medium zucchinis sliced with a julienne slicer
Sprinkle with a little salt and set aside

2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp coconut aminos
1/4 powdered ginger
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (I use TJs sunbutter)
1/4 cup coconut milk

Mix in food processor.

Stir fry:
2 large eggs
2 tsp coconut aminos (I've only ever seen these at Whole Foods)
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 white onion
1 cup snap peas
1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli
chopped almonds and scallions

Mix 2 large eggs with 1 teaspoon coconut aminos. Cook and set aside
Add 1 tsp coconut oil to the pan.
Saute 1/2 white onion and 1 cup snap peas (cut lengthwise) for 3 min.
Add 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli and cook for a few more minutes.
Add zucchini noodles to the pan and cook for ~ 3 min.
Add sauce and chicken.

Top with a few chopped almonds and enjoy!


Around Here

Thought I was feeling better on Friday so we went to dinner with Gina and the boys.  
Mercadito offers the option to order tacos wrapped in lettuce instead of tortillas. Delicious and paleo!

...and I woke up feeling pretty awful Saturday morning. 
Buddy wasn't feeling so great, either. Poor little peanut.
We spent a lot of time in my cozy living room. He made breakfast Sat & Sun. We watched This is 40.

We did escape my apartment to run a few errands on Saturday. Home tour prep is in full swing.
If you find a guy who will tolerate terrarium shopping with you, hold on to him.
I picked up this gorgeous terrarium at Jayson Home and Garden. Got these glasses for my bar cart, too.

I'm finally on the mend. Taking it easy until I'm feeling better. Happy Monday!


Happy Friday

My gallery wall is finally complete! Look for my complete home tour on The Everygirl next month.
Everything is 25% off at J.Crew, including my new dress & peplum top!
I was sick four the fourth time this year. Blah. Finally feeling a lot better, but still a little stuffy.
Speaking of cold, it's freeeezing in Chicago. It's in the 20s and it's spring. Losing it.
Holly Becker of Decor8 wrote a very sweet post about TEG. Made my week.

Rue La La is obsessed with my dog. Hey, me too! Best little snuggle buddy when I'm sick.
I think I've made at least 39 almond milk lattes this week.
I photographed 12 breakfast recipes for TEG with my friend Kat Levitt, blogger behind A Girl and Her Food.
Shooting some breakfast recipes with the boy (for the blog) this weekend.
Triple date night with Lindsey and Gina tonight! In desperate need of some fun after the week I've had.

And a not so positive update–I tried to go to CrossFit yesterday and it did not go well. The WOD was 10 250m rows with 2 min rest in between each one. I was still a little congested and my back hasn't come close to being completely healed, but considering the fact that I've been 4x in a month when I usually go 4-5x a week, I had to try. I made it through four rounds and was in so much pain that I had to stop. I almost lost it, but managed to hold back any tears, although I felt like I hit a low. It honestly feels as if I'll never feel better. It's been a month and I am seeing very little improvement which is incredibly discouraging. I'm booking some appointments with this sports medicine guy next week. He helped with my neck/shoulder issues and costochondritis, so I'm hoping he can help with this.

 Didn't mean to end on a negative note. Let's focus on the positive–it's FRIDAY!


Poor Me

There are those days and weeks when it all feels like too much, and I'm there right now. I am not looking for pity, but hope that by getting these things off my chest, I'll feel a little better. And maybe someone going through something will read this and know they're not alone. Because it happens to all of us.

I injured my back, so instead of working out 4-5 days a week, I've worked out 5x in the past month. I've gotten sick a total of 4x in 2013. I am way behind on getting all my tax documents organized.

CrossFit is the thing I looked forward to at the end of a long day and I haven't been able to go on a regular basis for a month. This has been very, very difficult for me. I know I've lost a lot of strength and can't wait until my back is better and I'm able to return to my usual routine. I feel like I've lost a little piece of who I am. I need that workout at the end of the day. I miss it.

I'm sick. Again. Congested, exhausted, and just blah. I am so grateful for the fact that I am generally a very healthy person, but this week, my stupid cold feels like a lot to handle.

This may seem superficial to some, but these freezing temps are really starting to get to me. It's the first day of spring and is currently 17 but feels like 3. This feels like a cruel joke, and this California girl needs some warmth and sun. Now.

I haven't stayed on top of keeping all of my records for 2012, and now I have a week and a half to get everything together for my accountant. My own fault, so I suppose I can't complain. I just don't know when/how to get it all done. Taxes are my enemy.

Then there's work for TEG, graphic design projects, finishing my apartment for my upcoming home tour, trying to schedule a trip to LA (which means arranging care for Buddy, being able to borrow my mom's car etc...), and basic day to day things feel impossible right now. Sorry for being such a downer.

I promise I'll be back to my usual mostly positive self in no time. If I could just regain the ability to breathe out of my nose within the next 24 hours, have my back heal completely sometime soon, and receive a sign that winter will end one day, that would be phenomenal.

And it's not all bad. I am fortunate enough that I can work from bed when I'm not feeling so well. Commuting in this cold would likely be the end of me. Looking forward to date night with Gina, Lindsey, and our boys on Friday. And I have a feeling someone might make an especially delicious breakfast for me this weekend. ;)

Things are looking up already.

photo via



In The Kitchen: Paleo Banana Pancakes

Last week, I decided to add a little something to my breakfast and whipped up nom nom paleo's cinnamon and coconut pancakes. I followed her recipe but added a little sunbutter (so good) and this past weekend, added 1/2 a banana. We had banana pancakes on Saturday and Sunday. They're that good.

mug  |  flatware  |  napkins

One might think that pancakes without flour would lack flavor and texture, but these are some of the best pancakes I've ever had. So good that they didn't need any maple syrup or agave. And unlike ordinary calorie dense pancakes which have zero nutritional value, these are actually quite healthy. Eggs have protein and check out the nutritional value of coconut flour. Even if you ate all four (I did this a few mornings last week), that's just two eggs, and 30 calories (4 g carbs) from coconut flour. Not that I count calories or carbs, because I don't. I eat real, healthy food, and watch my (natural) sugar intake. But still–these are pretty healthy.

Makes 4 pancakes

2 eggs
3 tbsp coconut milk
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp (or a pinch) of baking powder
dash of cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 banana

Mix all the ingredients together and add some ghee or coconut oil to a hot skillet. Pour the batter onto the skillet and wait until bubbles start to form (a minute or two) and then flip the pancake over.

Mix it up.

Warm and fluffy pancakes.

Sad story. I had just done a shoot for The Everygirl and forgot to charge my battery which died after I took this second photo of the finished plate. I also had a hungry guy waiting for me to finish shooting so we could eat together and had to move quickly. The photos aren't as good as I was hoping they'd be, but let's all focus on the fact that a. I am sharing a recipe and b. these are not instagram photos.

Let me know if you end up making these, and if you have any questions about paleo (or a fantastic official alias for "the boy" because I can't think of one), please leave a comment!

Want to learn more about paleo? Check out this post and this one, too.

Happy Monday!

Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo's cinnamon coconut pancakes


Happy Weekend

 Big Star with my friend Kat. I just ate the chicken since those tortillas are not paleo.

We were featured on West Elm's blog this week.
Ordered this frother and can now make (paleo) almond milk lattes! Delicious.  
Finished this blog site, and this one, too. 
Received a beautiful surprise from Brooklyn Thread. This candle holder and agate coasters!
Rowed 4,000 meters yesterday and made it to CrossFit 3x this week. I'm on the mend. 
It's been staying lighter later which is a reminder that one day summer will come.
Cutest little peanut I've ever seen. 
Girls night with my friend Amanda this week. I made Gina's paleo pad thai. Yum!
Photo shoot for The Everygirl with Kat of A Girl & Her Food.
Date night with a very handsome boy tonight.
Making it a goal to take my camera out a bit more once it warms up. This photo should explain why.

What was the highlight of your week? And what are you looking forward to this weekend?

Have a safe & happy St. Patty's!

Photography by me.


Today on The Everygirl

You're probably familiar with Molly Jacques' custom illustration.
She designed the lettering for our one year anniversary party at West Elm.

I heart her.
If she had a fan club, I'd totally join.

Photography via Ashley Slater for The Everygirl


Currently Loving: J.Crew

Well, I'm in some serious trouble. After laying out this feature on spring jackets for The Everygirl, I am more ready for spring (and summer) than ever before. Problem is, it's freezing in Chicago. On a positive note, it's been staying light until 6-7 pm, so there's a little hope for us. I'll continue to pine for another month or two (or maybe even three–ugh!) but am just so ready to enjoy patios, long walks with the pup + the boy, trips to farmer's market etc. I just want to wear a dress! Come on, Chicago. Bring it. And since I'm pining, here's a little spring inspiration from me to you.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

I mentioned that spending hold, but was received a gift card and treated myself to #s 2, 4, and 9. I cannot believe that peplum top hasn't sold out yet because it's perfection. I love the bright dress for spring (got it in neon rose), and that linen t-shirt is the perfect grey tee. The bracelet and skirt are on sale. Just enter GOODNEWS at checkout for an additional 30% off. 

What are your favorite items on this list?


I heart Chicago: Date Spots

Fell off the blogging wagon again, but I have a few really good excuses for doing so. I've had quite a few new clients get on my wait list, so I've been doing a little extra work the past week which has meant late nights. But I'm not complaining–I'm lucky to have a growing wait list. Then there's The Everygirl. And I'm finally back at CrossFit after a two week break which feels pretty amazing.

And there's that boy who has completely taken over my weekends. Not that I'm complaining. We've gone on some really great dates over the past two months, so I thought I'd write about some of the places we've been. I didn't start instagramming photos until I knew he liked me (didn't want to scare him off with my addiction to social media) so I only have a few photos to share. He has become quite used to instagram and has even been known to assist with styling. Like I said–he's a good one. 

 Sunday afternoon drinks at Bluebird in Bucktown.

Embeya: Incredible meal. Favorites–octopus and monk fish.
Piccolo Sogno: Would love to go back when it's warm and sit on the patio.
RPM: One of my favorite spots. The scallops are delicious.
Avec: No reservations, so grab some wine and wait for an hour. The chicken will change your life.
Hash House A Go Go: I ordered eggs, but the pancakes are bigger than your face and looked so good.
Tavern on Rush: One of my favorite brunch spots. 
DMK: Great burgers. Once had a s'mores milkshake. Woah.
Paramount Room: Very laid back. Great spot to sit, talk, and have a drink. Try to get one of the booths in the back. They're pretty cozy.

Balena. It's as if he wore that gingham shirt just for this photo.

Balena: I've loved everything I have ever ordered at Balena. We had pizza, chicken, and even a little pasta. One of my favorite spots in Chicago.
Le Colonial: Everything was great, but I did not love my chicken entree.
Mon Ami Gabi: Steak, scallops, and whipped cauliflower. Incredible. And love the ambiance.
Pump Room: Took forever to get food and was overpriced for what it was, but still a pretty spot.
Chicago Q: Holy hell. Best BBQ ever. And the pickles? OMG.
Hub 51: Great spot for afternoon drinks, brunch, or din.

This past Sunday, we headed to Bluebird for a glass of wine. I really loved this bar. We ended up ordering a few drinks and talking for hours. While walking down the street to find a cab, he suggested we stop by Violet Hour. I had always wanted to go, but had never gotten around to it. By the time we finished up it was pretty late and we hadn't had dinner, so we crossed the street and ordered some tacos at Big Star.

Bluebird: Great little wine bar in bucktown. Loved the chicken wings.
Violet Hour: Best date spot ever. Loved everything about it.
Big Star: Dangerously delicious margaritas. The tacos are pretty awesome, too.

Breaking rule #1 at Violet Hour

What are some of your favorite things to do on a date?


It's Friday

Started PT this week. Operation get my back back to normal is on.
Finally returned to CrossFit after a 10 day break! I missed it so much!
We took a Dailey Method class with founder Jill Dailey on Thursday. I loved it! 
Looking forward to date night tonight. 
Huge snow storm hit Chicago on Tuesday. I can't wait for summer.
Girls night with my friend Jen tomorrow!
This may be the greatest video I have ever seen. Laughing crying. Amazing. I want a goat.

I love having someone to spend my weekends with. He makes breakfast, we cook, relax, take trips to Whole Foods, etc. All the little things have become so much more fun. After having lots of time to myself, it has been a very, very welcome change!

My favorite show returns this April for its fourth and final season. If you haven't started The Big C, I recommend that you rent season 1 or watch it on On Demand if you have Showtime. Here's the season 1 trailer. Good stuff.

image via


It's on the Wall

I am finishing my apartment and plan to have it photographed for my home tour on The Everygirl by the end of the month! There are a few finishing touches left. I need a runner for my kitchen, to repaint what was a gallery wall (made a few holes, tried to patch and paint over them–it's a bit of a mess), and finally, frame a few final prints.

 1 | 2 | 3

Here are a few of my favorite prints. 2 & 3 are rather large, and large white frames do. not. exist. It's such a pain. I'll be ordering some custom frames from wholesale poster frames. Prices are very reasonable, and I can get exactly what I'm looking for.

And let's face it. I'm pretty particular.


My Love List #sharethelove

I've teamed up with Diet Pepsi to share my love list with you. Diet Pepsi wants you to #sharethelove by tweeting things that make you happy to @dietpepsi with the hashtag #sharethelove. When it comes to things to do, there are quite a few things that made the list. Dinner and drinks with the girls, splurging on something I've been wanting, a little pampering–nails and massages, and finally, a pastry decorating course with the girls or cooking class with the guy.

images via here & here

Would you choose a lady date, shopping, pampering, or cooking class? And what would be on your love list?

This post was sponsored by Diet Pepsi.


A few of my favorite things on SALE

I know I'm on a spending hold right now so I am going to skip this sale, but that doesn't mean you need to miss out! My favorite tee, tank, and shorts are on sale at J. Crew. I usually wear the 3 inch chino short but if that's a little short for you, I also really like the 4 in. chino short as well. I think these polka dots are pretty cute, too.

And I love these. Happy shopping. And happy Monday.


Happy Weekend

I've been thinking about summer multiple times a day and it's only March 1.
Did you see this article about The Everygirl on The Huffington Post? Yep. That happened.
I am usually very private with this part of my life, but I instagrammed another photo with the new boy.
Love this Chicago studio.
Saw the orthopedist for a back issue. On steroids for a week and need 6 weeks of PT.
This video made my day. This one, too.
Need a good cry? Watch this.  
Made these cauliflower mashed potatoes this week. d e l i c i o u s!
Date night in tonight. I'm making dinner and we're watching this movie.  
Celebrating a friend's birthday tomorrow night. Happy birthday, Quico!

In case you missed it, it's March 1. How did that happen?
Can it just be summer now?

image via