Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good Ole' Fashioned BBQ

I can't believe that summer is over. Honestly, that brings a little tear to my eye when I think about all the fun things that the hubs and I do on our free weekends during these warm months. But alas, seasons come and seasons go...

So let's end it with a bang and a good ole' fashioned BBQ! We are in Chicago visiting family this week so we are totally going to have to hijack some one's grill, but I have gathered up some of my fave recipes that we will be bringing to the table!

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Caprese Skewers via Iowagirleats

Mexican Grilled Corn à la Cooks Illustrated
Grilled Mexican Corn- via Dishygoodness

Bobby Flay Throwdowns Green Chile Cheeseburgers
Bobby Flay's Green Chile Burger- via Foodnetwork

Homemade Portillo's Chopped Salad- via Stolenmomentscooking
This is a remake of my all time favorite salad- if you are from Chicago you know how amazing it is!!

Grilled Peaches- via PBS

Hope you have some great things planned for this weekend, and I will see in September!!

XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Clean Slate

We are staying at my parents new house this week, and I am having fun with my mom trying to help her choose what direction she wants to go in with her decor. They are essentially starting with a clean slate in the living room so I put together this inspiration board based on what colors she is looking to incorporate : washed blue/ aqua, red, beige, a darker wood tone, and gold.

Paint Colors:
SW Dover White & SW Rainwashed Blue

The only pieces that are for sure going to be in the room are the sofa (x2), a mahogany secretary, and my grandmother's painting. You saw another one of her paintings a while back when I did my clay flower vase project - isn't she talented?! That lady has skillzzz :)
The new house does not having a formal living room, so my mom wants to go for an "in-between" style; nice enough to have company over for a dinner party, and comfortable enough for everyday lounging and TV watching.
I am sure my mom will change her mind 50 times over, but so far so good!

XOXO Katie
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Button Up

I realized after yesterday's post about my cardi face lift that I took for granted my 15+ years of sewing experience, and didn't show you how to sew on a button! I found this great website with amazing photos of the exact step by step process. So check out for a great tutorial on how to sew on a standard button (4 holes). I swear it is super simple and a quick way to update your old pieces.

Image:Sew a Button Intro.jpg

I actually used a button with a shank (a small loop on the back of the button instead of four holes) so here is a great tutorial from She takes you step by step with close up pictures on how to sew on this style of button.
I would have done the tutorials myself but I am flying back to Chicago today WITH my hubs!! This will be the first trip back home together in 8 months so this is a long time coming. Our extended Labor Day will be full of family, friends, weddings, and BBQs. I can not even express how pumped I am!!

XOXO Katie
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Cardi Face Lift

It still feels wrong that I am starting to sort through my fall sweaters and see what I want to keep and what to give away before the season starts.

I have this pretty simple sweater for American Eagle that is pretty basic, but a great color for this fall- Coral! As I have mentioned before, coral is a great transitional color for this cooler season and I think with a little face lift this sweater will be a great option.


The buttons were a little drab for my taste so I wanted to jazz up up with some bling. I scoured Ebay for gold buttons and I landed on these gold and rhinestone 1" buttons. And at $3.99+shipping the would a steal. If I had gone to Jo Ann's it would have been that price for two, and I got eight for less than $6 total.


I also decided to go with plastic vs. metal because with the sweater being on the lighter side, I was concerned that a heavy metal button would weigh it down. If this were a coat I would have definitely gone for the metal though.

I grabbed my trusty needle and thread and whipped those suckers on in about 10 minutes.

Total upgrade!


I think I can milk at least another 2-3 weeks out of my summer wardrobe if the weather keeps cooperating, but I will be excited to have this "new" cardigan in my arsenal of fall layering pieces.

XOXO Katie
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Friday, August 24, 2012


I'm sorry, but sometimes ya just gotta laugh...
via a friend of mine on facebook (sorry can't find origional source)
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XOXO Katie
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Whoops, Whiteout!

For the last two years I have been using one of those super absorbent dish drying pads for my pots and pans that don't fit in my dishwasher. I typically had it out all the time, unless company was coming over and I would put it away because its not the most attractive of kitchen accessories.
Finally, after two years I decided to chuck them and just dry as I go because I got into the bad habit of stacking pants as high as they could possible go. For real, I should have been an engineer because I can build the Leaning Tower of Pisa out of this stuff.  One pin drop could send the whole thing toppling down at any moment.
Here is where the problem comes in. Maybe I am crazy, but do you see where the granite is lighter in the pics below from where the pad was??

Ummm....what?!? I have tried cleaning it with soap and water and Fantastic (all surfaces) and it wont go away. I am praying that its not bleached out, but I just cant figure out how to fix this.
Has anyone out there had this happen?
I Googled it and I am going to head to Home Depot for some granite cleaner this weekend, but I can't really find example photos online to make sure I am buying the right product.
Its really weird actually, when the area is wet it blends in with the rest of the granite. Its just that when it dries it has a white-ish cast to it. Can you get hard water stains (like on a shower head) on granite??
Geezy-pete! This has my OCD raging and all I see in the stain. Joey on the other hand keeps saying, "What are you even talking about, I don't see anything."
Oh Lordy...

XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Oh Jackie

When vintage fashion and home decor combine its like hearing angels sing :)

Eight years ago there was an exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago featuring Jackie Kennedy and what she wore during her time in at the White House. The pieces were stunning yet simple with clean lines and classic cuts.

As my mom and I were heading out I saw this poster in the gift shop and had to nab it up.
It was the perfect combination of vintage femininity with a modern vibe in the photography of the pieces.

Well, after I spent the weekend helping my parents go through our old house I decided that I could not bare to let go of this poster, and that it needed its due respect with a proper frame.

I am trying to decide what kind of frame and matte I should go with, so please help me out!

Here it is with a few different framing options. I am kind of loving it with either the the thin gold one (middle left) or the black one with white matte and back trim (bottom left). But what do you think???

Joey does not love the poster because it is too "girly", but I am thinking that for a powder room or little girl's room it might be perfect. Or for that giant walk-in closet of my dreams...but back to reality!

XOXO Katie
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Its That Time of the Month...

Don't worry- I am not going to go into a rant about Aunt Flo, as I know my millions of male readers (aka Joey and my Dad) would try to slowly back out the door and head for the hills screaming.

In contrast, it is one of my FAVORITE times of the month- magazine week!!

I am still milking the benefits of having had a sister in the publishing world with a sweeeeet hookup on some super cheap (ahemm free for me) subscriptions.  

I was going to save these babies for my upcoming extended Labor Day vacation, but these things are stacking up! And after looking at my plethora of printed love I have discovered a few things:

1. I am officially getting old when I reach for Real Simple instead of Elle.

2. I drool over fashion mags, but its takes me 10 minutes to flip through a 10lb Harper's Bazaar. Yet it takes me a solid 45 minutes to go through a House Beautiful that is a fraction of the size. Clearly, my interests have changed over the last few years.

3. I LOVE food, but who am I kidding?! Will I ever be able to make anything as pretty or yummy as the goodies in Food Network Magazine....nope.

4. Cosmo is just slutty- nuff said.

5. Even at the ripe old age of 28, I am still too young for Good Housekeeping. Do I need to read an entire spread on anti-wrinkle creams and how to look 7 years younger? Yeahhh I'm good, I'm pretty sure if I looked 21 I would get weird looks standing next to my (nearly) 30 year old husband. You can scratch that one off the list, Sis :)

What are you favorite mags?? Do you have a go to read when traveling?

XOXO Katie
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Birfffday Weekend!!

This will be a photo dump post for sure- so get ready! I am just recovering from my busy birthday weekend so I only have about 2 minutes of energy before I crash :)

This last Saturday I turned 28. OMG only 2 years away from 30- yikes!

The hubs had the weekend off so we started it off with a dinner and drinks with friends Friday night (of course I forgot to take pics...lame) and then the weekend just kept getting better!

Here is a little peek...

Delicious home made breakfast on Saturday morning :)

JP Licks oatmeal cookie frozen yogurt ice cream cake- redonk...

5lb bag of gummy worms sent from my sister- That girl knows me too well :)

Joey chartered a sail boat on Sunday. We launched out of Ogunquit, ME. It's an adorable little beach town about and hour and a half north of Boston.

Captain Jack


 The hubs and I lounging on the deck.

Joey asking, "So, do I look like a Kennedy yet?"
Haha. Of course you do sweetheart...

Gorgie day.

Soakin' up some rays.

After the 2 hour cruise, we made a pit stop for some tasty lobster rolls.

Then we tried to walk it off along the footpaths that trail along the cliffs between the town and the beach.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend and it was all put together by my wonderful husband. I have a feeling 28 is going to be a great year!

XOXO Katie
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Friday, August 17, 2012


I finally got the black Jill Stewart dress that I had ordered from Ebay and loved it! The top was super cute with its strapless, large bow detail.

But the one problem is that I kind of looking like...well...a cupcake going to a funeral :(

The bottom was super poofy and no matter now much I tried to tame the beast it was a losing battle. The tulle that was attached to the lining giving it its body just had to go.

Thankfully, it was a quick fix. I broke out my stitch ripper and went to town removing the tulle stitch by stitch.

It only took 5 minutes and the result was pretty dramatic.

No more cupcake gone wild- This dress is ready to party! For a $30 Ebay purchase I am pretty happy with the end product:)

XOXO Katie
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Made in the USA

I am sure you guys might think that all I do on the weekends is hop from thrift store to thrift store picking up goodies. I have mentioned my finds a few times (here & here), but I swear I am not a hoarder (I think...). I have only picked up something off of the side of the street ONCE- but I resold it for $80 so I have no shame in my quirky ways :)

But I HAVE to tell you about a find that I had recently because I was a total steal, if I do say so myself.

I was in the thrift store on my block that I pop into when I go for my walks. I spotted this amazing contemporary wing back chair in a gray/blue color with brass nail heads and I instantly knew it was a really nice piece. It was marked at just $45. STEAL.

Please note the kitten at the bottom of the screen- she was checking out her new turf:)

After close inspection I confirmed my suspicions- the tag under the seat said it was a Century Furniture chair and it was made in North Carolina. No joke- if you see any furniture with a made in the USA tag, chances are that it is a pretty well made/expensive piece. Most furniture is made overseas (Asia or South America mostly) for significantly less cost, so a USA born piece will instantly be more expensive.

So in the back of my car it went- that baby was mine!  Of course my curiosity was killing me and I went home and Googled the brand to see if I could get an idea of the value.

I found the exact same chair on the website (different fabric, but same design) and the sirens went off when not only was the furniture on the site beautiful, but you had to email them for a quote on everything. O-M-G this must be expensive! Of course, I sent them an email to get the price and this is what they wrote back:

The Century Furniture Living Room Stanford Skirted Chair.  In a grade 18 fabric = $1789.00; in a grade 40 fabric = $2245.00 and in a grade 60 fabric = $2665.00.


The upholstery was in good condition with only one burn mark on the removable seat near a seam. I am pretty confident that I can just take in the seam at home to totally fix that issue. I will also look into getting it cleaned down the road. To professionally clean this size chair is about $40 and the cleaners come to your home and cleans it on the spot. The only issue is that there is a $99 minimum for this service so I am going to hold off until I need a rug cleaned or something to make it worth my while.

Right now this beauty is parked in my bedroom and totally classes up the place. When I first saw it in the store I was temped to just resell it for maybe $200, but once I learned the retail value and construction I decided that it was a keeper. It does work well in my rooms since the colors are blues and aquas, but it would also be a great piece to recover down the line.

All in all this was one of my more high end finds so I was pretty pumped. So the next time you are hunting for furniture, whether its at Goodwill or on CL, just keep an eye out for that "Made in the USA" tag. Because you can hit the jackpot too!

XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Transitional Coral

As I mentioned, I am just recovering from trade show madness. But I was able to sneak in a little time for myself and make good on my new resolution- spoil myself with a manicure or pedicure at least once an month (as I mentioned last week). I spent last Thursday helping to unpack my parents new house and my mom and I snuck out and got mani/pedis as a fun treat.

Let me just say I am obsessed with the color I got on my toes:
Boat House by Essie. IN LOVE.

It inspired me to look into how I can work this coral into my summer-to-fall wardrobe.

XOXO Katie
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Bear With Me

Bear with me while I am neck deep in trade show and travel chaos. I swear I should be back to my regular posting schedule later this week!

But in the mean time, if you need any cute embroidered shorts or bathing suits for you man, or skirts and shorts for yourself, check out Castaway Clothing. Tons of summer items are marked at 25% off  for the end of the season sale :)

OK and now I go back to seaming and hanging samples.... Ugg-a-lugg...

XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Green Bean Salad

It's Wednesday already?! Wow, this week if flying by (not that I'm complaining), but its probably because I am jetting back to Chicago tomorrow for work and a wedding so I am a little scatter brained at the moment.

Knowing that I would not have too many home cooked meals in the next few days, I wanted to make something fresh and on the lighter side for dinner last night. When we were at the Russell Orchard I picked up some cilantro lime vinaigrette and thought it was screaming to be used on a veggie side dish.

So is was my quick and easy...

Green Bean Salad

1lb green beans (cut into 2" pieces)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
3Tlbs. cilantro lime vinaigrette
1tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper

This is a super simple one: Just blanch the green beans (don't worry, I had to look up what "blanch" meant too). All that means is to put the beans in boiling water, then lift them out after the 10 minutes, and cool it off quickly with ice water. That will stop then from overcooking and getting floppy.

Then just combine the beans with the thinly sliced red onion, dressing, feta, red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Stick in the fridge for an hour and it was good to go!

I paired it with my fave AmyLu Chicken Burgers that were topped with balsamic glazes grilled onions.


Now I'm off to pack for my trip- can't wait to spend 6 days in Chicago even if it does include some work!

XOXO Katie
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More Weekend Adventures

In addition to our house hunting adventure in Ipswich this weekend we made some fun pit stops along the way. I must have the best hubs ever (or he is so sleep deprived that he has completely lost his mind) because not only did he find the Crane Estate, he also mapped out some great antique shops on the drive up.

The first shop was Howard's Flying Dragon Antique Shop in Essex.

When Joey was searching for some stores he came across this review by Tess H. on Yelp...

"Filled to the brim with everything from ship wheels to Victorian boots and everything in between, it's not as cheap as a flea market but it's certainly the kind of place you could leave comfortably with a few new treasures to make your day. Plus, there are kitties everywhere! A+"


I regret not getting this sign- it is 100% my truth...

Need a buoy? I think they had a few...

Next stop was the White Elephant Antique Shop.

Notice this sign for "pickers wanted"- I think I have finally figured out what I want to do with my life:)

Brass filigree and crystal chandy- total GLAM.

 This was a bike from the late 1800's. I will be the first one to admit that I can BARELY ride a regular bike, so one that would puts you 5 feet off the ground is a no-go for this girl.

Driving along we came across the Russell Orchard. We will definitely make another trip up there in the fall because the fields were beautiful and you can pick your own berries and apples.

We could not resist getting some goodies which included two fresh apple cider donuts, fresh peaches, squash, and organic cilantro and lime vinaigrette. YUM!

Our final stop of the day was for a late lunch at the Clam Box in Ipswich. The line was a little long, but it was hands-down worth the wait.

After that lunch we had to literally roll home. dinner for me that night!

Such a fun weekend, and I am so happy that I have the best husband ever that takes me to all of these new and special places even when he is exhausted from working his butt off every day!

XOXO Katie
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