Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday DO: Celebrate Halloween

13 Odd and Disturbing Vintage Halloween Cards










































Finally, my favorite holiday rolls around once more. Time to hand out candy, carve a pumpkin, watch horror films, and eat waaay too much sugar. I love this time of year. It seems so much less stressful than other holidays. No expectations, just pure fun, plain and simple. No stressful meal preparation, no family to buy for, no bugging of any kind. I love it.

Speaking of Halloween, did you know The History and Psychology of Clowns Being Scary? Crazy stuff there.

Or that the first Jack o Lantern was actually carved in a turnip?

In fact, here are 8 Random Facts about Halloween that you might now have known. I did not know that seeing a spider on Halloween means a loved one is watching you!

What Halloween myths were you unaware of? Are you dressing up? Share in the comments!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Disintegration































What is there to say? I ordered this slip and these boots with my birthday discount from Free People a few months back. I kinda felt bad about it at the time, but now I am in love with the combo. Worth every penny once I remind myself of cost per wear I feel soft and feminine and simple. Such an easy outfit to put together and I use any opportunity to wear my Pashmina scarves that my mom scored out in the Bay.

What about you? Do you ever feel guilty about large purchases? Or do you judge things on a cost per wear basis?* Do you have a favorite splurge item that was worth it's weight in gold? Let me know in the comments!

*If you are not familiar with cost per wear, it's the idea that a $200 pair of shoes is worth it if you wear them frequently and/or for years. For example, my fav Betsey Johnson boots mentioned here have been worn at least 149566565 times, thus paying for themselves.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Creamy Potato Soup



Potato soup is one of my favorite cold weather foods, but that did not used to be the case. Potato soup threatens to be bland much of the time, but with a few simple twists that my roommate showed me in college, my mind was forever changed. This is a hearty, stick to your ribs kinda meal. Creamy yet almost smokey. Just a tiny amount of heat to get the blood pumping. Intense flavor. This is definitely all of those things, and more. Also, trust me on this one: if you have never left the peels on when making potato soup, I highly encourage it. The peeling actually adds flavor to the soup as a whole, so try it just once.


Ingredients


  • 1 12 oz package of bacon
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2 diced stalks of celery
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 russet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste (I find potatoes needs lots of salt)
  • 2 links smoked sausage, cooked and diced
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup shredded cheese


Cook all the bacon until crispy, saving some of the fat for your soup base. I kept about a tablespoon or so. Once the bacon is done, set aside on plate.

With the bacon fat still hot in your soup pan, add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook over medium low heat until all are soft. Add your garlic an saute for 1 minute. Now, here is where it gets really interesting. In order to have a potato soup that bursts with flavor, I add 1/4 teaspoon (or less, if desired) cayenne pepper and the lemon juice and saute everything together for about a minute. Add potatoes a handful at a time, coating them in the mixture.  Pour in chicken broth, adding salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until the potatoes crumble when pierced with a fork. This can take 45 min or so.

Now, you have two choice. You can put the soup in a blender, or use a potato masher. I prefer my soups to have some chunks, so I chose to use the masher. When most of the lumps are gone, add the sausage. Stir in well. Add your half and half 1 cup at a time, stirring well each time. Remove from heat, add your cheese, and top that sucker off with plenty of bacon crumbles! Don't be stingy!

P.S. I have been on a cooking kick lately. I hope you enjoy recipes and I promise not to flood the blog with them!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday DO: Read Age Inappropriate Literature

Available on Amazon






























I have discussed the importance of reading on the blog before, and how much I enjoy doing it. It's like a free escape for the mind. A journey through another world. Many times, we read to expand our mind, or try to delve into complicated subjects, thus innocently ignoring simpler words. Have you ever been enthralled by a book only to realize you are, ahem, quite a bit older than the target audience? Don't lie, you still think Charlotte's Web is a classic and want to reread Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for the 8th time. In fact, there are a lot of great children's books out there that should not be forgotten because we have become stuffy important adults. So instead of running from children's literature, I have decided to embrace quality stories if I feel the need.

A few weeks ago I learned there was a fourth (and final) sequel to The Giver. I loved Lois Lowry as a kid and would have willingly read Son at age 12, had it been around at age 12. At 27, I was still curious about the conclusion. Before I knew it, I had reserved the book from the library and it was in my hands when I stopped and asked if I should be embarrassed to read a book that was, in fact, intended for kids. Was anyone looking at me weird? Should I hide it? I came up with excuses. After all, The Giver was published when I was a very little girl... I couldn't have read the whole series as a child if I wanted to (which I did).* So, screw it, I brought it home, read it pretty quickly, and have absolutely no regrets because now I know, and I knew that I had to know. And no, I am not embarrassed in the slightest. One should never be ashamed to love a good story, for imagination feeds us and stimulates us to be happier, healthier human beings.

This Friday, find something for kids, and enjoy the simplicity of the writing. Linger over the words, reminisce over an old story, or simply enjoy an artist's illustrations. After all, the great C.S. Lewis once said "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." I couldn't agree with this quote more.






*Also, I was too cheap to pay the $1 fee for not picking up a reserved book


P.S. Love to read? Friend me on Goodreads.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

That Sweater Weather








Sweater: 5/8 from Saks off Fifth// Shorts: Free People// Leggings: American Apparel// Socks: Free People// Boots: Betsey Johnson// Hat: Anthropologie

Finally, it's cool enough to wear layers and warm enough to not need a coat. I love this weather, so I have really been trying to enjoy it as much as I can before all my cute outfits are bundled underneath a woolly coat. This was an impromptu shoot; my truck was in the shop and my husband had to pick me up from work and we kinda just fell in love with this fence behind my office. For phone photos, I kinda like the ethereal feel that touched us.

Monday, October 20, 2014

DIY Autumn Garland








Crisp autumn air makes paths for adventure, for creativity. Everything is inspiring - the clear skies, the fall drizzles, the crisp leaves, the green leaves still clinging to life. It's like life has become a plethora of sensations, and it makes me want to change up my living space.

Bringing the outdoors in has always been one of my favorite ways to decorate for the seasons. After browsing various DIYs on Pinterest, I finally found the perfect, simple combination: collect fall leaves and string them up. In the past I have always wanted to gather the beautifully red, orange, and yellow leaves, but I never had any idea just what to do with them. This tutorial, however, gave me one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" moments. I did choose to press the leaves under some heavy books for a few days since I didn't have anything to seal them with. It worked just fine!

What's your favorite way to decorate for fall?











Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday DO: Eat Something Fresh




Most of the time when we think of fresh, clean eating, we think of running out to the local farmer's market or Whole Foods. While these are both wonderful choices that always give my meals an extra special touch, nothing compares to picking something fresh off the plant from which it came. Not only is eating something within a few hours of picking the best way to get the most nutrients possible, there is something so... clean about eating an apple fresh off the tree or making pesto from basil leaves just pulled from the plant. And the taste! Oh, the taste of freshly picked anything is enough for me to crave returning to an apple orchard soon....

This weekend, I hope to pick more fall apples, or maybe even some pie pumpkins to make something unique and new. What fresh eating options do you have lined up for the weekend?