Was it just me, or did January feel as though it was never-ending?
It’s hard to believe all of those New Year’s Eve celebrations were only a month ago! It’s pretty crazy when you sit down and think about it. In my own life, so much has changed since that ball dropped. In a good way, of course! I’m finally starting to feel settled into the new house and we’re getting our new routines in place. I’ve been sharing little snippets of our rooms and decor on INSTAGRAM, but as you know, photos are pretty deceiving as there is still a ton of work to do to get the house decorated and us feeling fully “moved in.”
There are still many (SO many) cardboard boxes to break down… ugh… those boxes!
In addition to garbage management, I’ve got a few more fun things on my weekend agenda beginning with this week’s Friday Link Love reads. Hope you enjoy!
Winter in Cleveland can be brutal… but you probably already knew that if you’ve followed me long enough.
What makes all of those grey months of icy, deep-freeze worthwhile is the summer payoff — blue skies, warm sunshine and cool breezes off the lake. It’s like the city comes to life again after a long hibernation. These first few weeks of June are moments to savor before they get all too familiar and we start looking forward to whatever comes next.
I kind of think February is the worst. It’s cold, it’s dark and everyone living in a temperate climate is probably sick of the whole unfortunate, winter-schtick. Spring is so close, yet still so far away as I’m reminded when I look out my window and see snow on the ground.
But there IS a silver lining…
Spring Break is on its way and I know many of us are visualizing the soft sand, ocean waves and sunshine to get us through this month. I know I am. For better or worse, swimsuits are definitely on my mind too, so stay tuned for some beach inspired posting in the upcoming days. Nothing like a little bathing suit shopping to boost your fitness/health+wellness motivation!
In the meantime, here are some of the best Friday Link Love internet reads of the week to keep you focused and inspired…
What I’m Reading:
• Not to be too literal or anything, but I’ve been reading A LOT. That’s 100% due in part to Kevin Kwan and his book, CRAZY RICH ASIANS. I couldn’t put it down. As soon as I was finished, I started in on CHINA RICH GIRLFRIEND (the follow-up) which is as equally binge-read worthy.
• What is the MOST FASHIONABLE AGE FOR WOMEN according to science!? Sorry, fine, young and unwrinkled ladies in your 20’s… you’ve been beat! (brit.co)
1. One of my favorite ways to easily up the glam factor of any beauty look is with false eyelashes. Easier said than done, right? Here’s an EASY-TO-FOLLOW TUTORIAL for getting the prettiest lashes in town. (fashionista.com)
5. Have you guys used a spiralizer yet? I’ve recently fallen head-over-heels with this quirky kitchen gadget (FYI: the spiralized crisp zucchini noodle salad at TOWNHALL is TO. DIE. FOR.) and might finally pull the trigger on the purchase. Once you see these 8-LIFE CHANGING WAYS TO USE A SPIRALIZER, you will too! (pinchofyum.com)
Another summer month in the books… August here we come!
I’ll be running my final last-minute errands today before heading to NY for my final summer hurrah. It will be a few weeks of soaking up sun, fun and refined carbohydrates in the form of the best pizza and bagels on earth. What more could a girl ask for? You can follow along with me over on INSTAGRAM + TWITTER— I guarantee some city skylines, Long Island shores and most definitely, food porn. No worries, there will be regular blog content as well. I’m good like that.
Have a great weekend! See you back here on Monday.
I am going to do something here that I never thought I would: give a “head-to-toe sweats” ensemble my glowing endorsement. As you saw HERE, my life runs on casual (and a whole lot of caffeine) 80% of the time. Rather, than just give up and succumb to my stretchy yoga pants, I’ve learned to embrace “casual.” Casual does NOT have to equate to frumpy. Casual can look just as cool and stylish as any of the fancy-pants designer outfits of the day (#OOTD). My one caveat: casual needs to be done RIGHT.
The Heart’s Delight Three-Commandments of Casual:
1) FITTED – no sloppy, baggy sweatshirts that you’ve had since college. We ALL have them… don’t deny.
2) LAYERED – a sweatshirt on its own looks, well, boring. Like you put no thought into your attire… tsk, tsk. Layer up pieces to give the outfit some visual interest and make a simple sweatshirt look way more cool than it is.
3) PROPORTIONED – If you’re going to be wearing a more boxy cut on top, try to keep the bottom half slim and tapered (and vice-versa).
Just take a look at the image in the header above (via Intermix). Casual perfection. Here is our chance to prove to the world that the world of sweatpants can be “le chic.” Don’t let me down.
2) Made a New Year resolution to work up a sweat more in 2014? Well, check out this guilty pleasure workout playlist… it may not make the trip to the gym any easier, but it will definitely get your toes tapping. Toe tapping burns calories, right? (vanityfair.com)
3) With all of last month’s gift giving/receiving, you may have a few thank-you notes to write. Before you start texting your gratitude, get a brief lesson in thank-you note etiquette from a pro. Oh, and put down that cell phone. (elledecor.com)
4) All my pregnant ladies, this one is for YOU!!! Let me introduce you to a new line of maternity wear called, Storq. Designed to be sold in coordinated “bundles” and fit comfortably through all 3 trimesters, you won’t be disappointed. Practical, comfortable and stylish?! Why, yes. Yes, it is. (racked.com)
5) Have a ton of Instagram photos that you don’t know what to do with? I probably have a food porn photo for each day of the year. That would make a perfect desk calendar, you say?! Well, why not. Printstagram to the rescue. (printstagram.com)
The summer sun is finally out, the air is crisp and dry and everyone seems to be in a much better mood! What a nice way to end the week. As the weekend kicks off, here are a few things that I’ll be checking out:
1) Summer Sale Bonanza–
We’ve hit mid July and what does that mean? SALES. Retailers are starting to bring in their Fall merchandise and move out their Summer stock. To be honest, I can’t even think about Fall yet. That’s OK- there are a ton of Summer wares on sale to hold my attention.
Here are some of the items waiting for me in assorted virtual shopping carts:
I just discovered Aimee from Song of Style and her ridiculously easy DIY project. Now why didn’t I think of that!?
3) Mini Pancake Stacks-
Sunday mornings in my house mean only one thing- PANCAKES. My kids (and husband) do love them some homemade pancakes. I may switch up varieties- peanut butter, lemon-ricotta, blueberry, chocolate chip, but you can be guaranteed that the griddle is out and the pancakes are on. C’mon, who doesn’t love pancakes? My belief is that pancakes should not be relegated to early morning meals in pajamas (although there is nothing wrong with that!), and instead should be celebrated. I’m thinking an adult brunch, bridal shower, baby shower, cocktail party, etc. I’m thinking mini-stacks on a serving pick passed as hor dourves. I’m thinking assorted dipping syrups and sauces. I’m thinking DELICIOUS. I’m thinking you should scroll down for my basic fool-proof pancake and berry syrup recipe!
STELLA’S NO-FAIL PANCAKES
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Whisk together all ingredients until just combined.
Heat a griddle over medium heat until hot and lightly brush with additional oil (I spray with butter flavored PAM). Working in batches, use a mini ice cream scoop (for mini pancakes) or full size scoop (for standard sized pancakes) onto griddle. If you decide to add chips, blueberries etc., now is the time to sprinkle each pancake with about 1 1/2 teaspoons. Cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden-brown, about 1 minute. Flip with a spatula and cook other side, about 1 minute more. (Lightly oil griddle between batches.)