Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Skinny Buddha

resolutions for tomorrow? i’m sure i will wake every day of 2014 with at least one daily resolution...but what do i want to feel every day? 

i could write a checklist of motivational, inspiring, thought-provoking goals but nah…i just want to feel what my favorite old woman is feeling. she calls herself the ‘old gray mare’. she just recently was moved to a nursing home. on my first visit i quietly sat waiting for her to awaken. this wonderful woman who taught me how special the little things in life were. how silliness can blossom any day with fun and laughter. how important it is to be sentimental. how busy people are happy people. how standing on your head will get you a lot of attention. 

so as i watch this beautiful frail woman sleeping i notice a very weathered pair of slippers by her bed. i think-my gosh I should buy her a new pair of slippers. maybe something prettier to keep her aging feet warmer. she was always so meticulous about what she wore—very grace kelly. very 1975 burberry and brooks brothers button down blouses. always quietly dignified...so she wakes. we talk and giggle. i love my sweet aunt so much. then i ask about her slippers with holes on the inside and on the bottom. they are like cardboard-hardly room for her toes. i volunteer to get her a new pair. no way she says. her husband gave them to her and she doesn’t want them moved from the side of her bed. they are perfectly placed so she can swing her legs over and rest her soles on the tops of them. yes her very soul. a widow for decades and she still wears and cherishes the gift of a simple pair of now old worn out slippers. i wish you could have seen the look on her face. undying adoration. that is a resolution for every day of every year.

the skinny buddha

(picture via the skinny buddha's iphone)

Just Keep Swimming Part 2

to go off s's post from yesterday... it has been an extraordinary year filled with laughter, tears and everything in between. the three of us have had many ups and downs (some have been shared here on #STYS), and as we move into the new year we are choosing to take all these memories with us - learning from those moments that challenged us and looking forward to more of those moments that made us smile bigger, laugh longer, and love more than we ever thought possible. here are a few of c & k's top moments from 2013…

c's moment(s)
the skinny buddha has always taught me to live for those a'ha moments and remain positive through it all (the good/the bad). i think in my 25th year (this year, duh!) i did just that. i learned life is going to really challenge you, you're going to get your heart broken, but life has a way of figuring itself out AND you gotta smile through it all. weekend getaways with my fav people (you know who you are), meeting two guys (2 separate occasions, 2 different cities) who may be geographically undesirable but have changed me for the good (and one continues to), getting my heart (really) broken & realizing it had to in order to see what's ahead for me, accepting a new job (that i love), and moving into my own apartment for the first time. things may have not always gone my way through these moments, but i gotta say this has been one kick ass year of so many moments. #bringit2014 i've got a perma-smile on (and i'm gonna just keep swimming).

k's moment(s)
when the three of us started talking about our favorite moments from 2013, it was difficult to narrow it down to just one. rising to the challenge of a changing work environment, seeing my husband hold his niece for the first time, dancing through the crowds at lollapalooza, but a moment i'll never forget is hiking the pathway of the gods with my husband in the amalfi coast. this hike was truly symbolic of our year - a lot of uphill climbs with incredible reward. through every climb, we kept our heads up because we knew something spectacular was around the corner - and there truly was. there's nothing like rounding the corner in life and realizing what the challenge was all about. whether it was to prove how strong you are (physically/emotionally), challenging how far your can push your limits or just encouraging you to live a little outside your comfort zone. in the end, it's all worth it. so for 2014, i'll continue to take on the uphill climbs with a positive outlook... knowing that i'll be stronger when i come around the bend. 

cheers to everyone and may you have a happy new year!

k & c

(photos taken by k and k's husband)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

oh 2013…you have been a doozy. it's been a year of big changes, new challenges and moments of complete insanity (these moments might actually have been some of my most epic and best times of the year in looking back) so in moving into the new year, i have decided to embrace insanity (new year's resolution #1, check!). 

but in looking back, i can confidently say it's also been a year where i have been completely out of my comfort zone. completely. 

so what does that mean? it means i consistently felt out of my element whether it was at my job, on a first date or for once in my life, not having a plan of some sort. my only plan has been to jump in and just keep swimming.  but it's working. it has kept things exciting, new, and different every day. (continue to remain out of my comfort zone, new year's resolution #2, check!)

you might relate to this…i think we so often get caught up in what we think we should be doing or how we think our lives are supposed to be that we lose sight of the fact that life doesn't and shouldn't work like that. i was reading rework (xmas gift from k's husband) last night and jason fried said it best:

"busting your ass planning something important? feel like you can’t proceed until you have a bulletproof plan in place? replace “plan” with “guess” and take it easy. that’s all plans really are anyway: guesses...there’s nothing wrong with guessing, dreaming, or predicting, but it’s not planning. planning’s too definite a term for most things. we often use planning when we really mean guessing. and what we call it has a lot to do with how we think about it, do about it, and devote to it...so next time call a plan a guess and just get to work." (so here's to replacing "plan" with "guess" and taking it easy, new year's resolution #3, check!)

it's really about the day to day stuff and the amazing people you choose to spend your time with...that is what it's really all about. 

here's to the last monday of 2013! make it a good one, keep guessing, and just keep swimming... 


(picture via our cousin s's insta)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ready for 2014

as we move into the last few days of 2013, we can't help but reflect on this past year, the lessons we have learned and what we want to work on for next year. as you are enjoying your last cup of sunday morning joe in 2013 (hopefully it is a lazy one!), here is some food for thought on "24 Rules for Being a Human Being in 2014"

1. Learn to be okay with not being okay.
2. Learn to have conversations that do not consist of lambasting someone else, especially when that someone is you.
3. Give the most kindness to those who seem like they least deserve it.
4. Learn to define and describe people without initially reaching for their sex or appearance as key adjectives.
5. Realize that perspective determines everything.
6. Understand that when something upsets you, it’s striking a nerve of truth.
7. Understand that when someone upsets you, the best thing to do is understand where they’re coming from.
8. Know that no matter how far you’ve come, there’s no point at which it’s appropriate to remain sedentary.
9. Be radically, sincerely honest. Be shocked at how deeply you can connect with people when you are.
10. Know that if you want to have a conversation about something that upsets you, insulting someone is only the by-product of your own defenses, and will ultimately raise theirs as well, not open lines of understanding and communication.
11. Realize that selflessness is one of the most predominantly wonderful qualities a person can have.
12. Learn to actually feel happy for other people.
13. Go into everything with the knowing that you don’t know it all, and that every experience is valid.
14. Invest in extra linens, donate what you don’t use, and keep extra Tylenol on you because people tend to need it and be without it rather frequently.
15. Call your siblings more.
16. Be present in what’s at hand. You owe it to the people in your life and to the things you’ve built for yourself.
17. Understand that letting go and moving on means very humbly and slowly gesturing in the direction of which you’d like to reach.
18. Get dressed everyday, just for yourself.
19. Give better goodbyes.
20. Carve out time to do nothing but be with yourself.
21. Boldly make yourself your first priority. You’ll do everything better when you do.
22. Stop shaming yourself for doing things that are perfectly, normally human, but happen to be deemed imperfect in society.
23. Read. A lot.
24. Reach out to people, open your heart, and watch how eagerly they jump in and do the same. 
k, s, & c 

(photo via s's inta)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry, Merry

wishing you a very merry christmas filled with…

family and friends
lots of eggnog
xmas cookies
champagne toasts
big red bows
and presents from santa.

k, s, & c

c's sperry boots

5 o'clock somewhere, cheers!

christmas story

gift for k and her hubs

ornament from k

k's hubby made a frittata, yum!

banana and blueberry pancakes

rosemary potatoes

k making a pumpkin pie for christmas dinner

(pictures via s & c's insta)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mistletoe Ready

we love everything about this time of year... with the exception of dry, scaly lips. winter time takes the best of our lips. c & s especially love wearing lipstick on the daily, but this proves to be a bit of a pain in the butt when your lips are so dry even when you are using shea butter or burt's bees all.the.time. well, we found a cure this season thankfully. with a love already for all fresh products (their soy face lotion and rose serum are c's favs)- the fresh sugar lip polish when used 2x a week makes them nourished and gently buffs away the dry flakes. we promise you will be lipstick (and mistletoe) ready when you use this magic scrub. while you're at it, snag up one of these fresh tinted lip treatment colors. the perfect stocking stuffer!

merry, merry!

k, s, & c

(pictures via sephora, pinterest)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Little Cook In The Big City

happy saturday to all! so i have been lucky enough to know the she told you so ladies for almost 15 years now (which makes me feel old). i started a cooking blog this year and feel like they have been some of my biggest supporters. when they asked me to do a guest blog post, i couldn't have jumped on it faster!

december has always been my favorite time of year. i was born on christmas day (i was due in february - imagine my parent's surprise!) so it's an especially important time for me. it's also the time of year when the food is the best - time to eat sweet treats while sitting around a fire in your pajamas. to maximize stretchy pants time, here are a few extremely fast but insanely delicious treats that will be sure to impress your taste buds as well as anyone around who may be lucky enough to share the holidays with you.

peppermint bark with a twist
1. melt 1 cup of milk chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals
2. spread onto a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and put into freezer
3. meanwhile, melt 1 cup of hershey kiss candy cane chocolate kisses
4. spread on top of milk chocolate, and put back in freezer
5. chop up 1/2 c. peppermint candy
6. sprinkle with remaining peppermint and let sit in freezer for at least 30 min
7. remove and break into chunks by hand

white chocolate raspberries
1. take clean raspberries. pop one white chocolate chip into each raspberry. repeat. keep in fridge until served. easy enough!

salted rolo toasted pecan pretzel bites
1. heat oven to 350 degrees
2. line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with criss crossed pretzels
3. top each pretzel with one rolo candy
4. take 1 cup of pecans, spread on another baking sheet, and toast in oven for 7 minutes
5. put pretzels and rolos in oven for 4 minutes
6. remove and immediately press pecan in chocolate
7. sprinkle with sea salt

happy holidays!

little cook in the big city

want more?! little cook in the big city

Friday, December 20, 2013

Three To Cozy Up To

the snow is falling, the trees are trimmed and last minute shopping begins tomorrow. but at some point this weekend, we'll for sure be cozying up on the couch with some eggnog and netflix. when you party hop through the holidays like the three of us do... there's nothing better than taking advantage of a relaxing night in before the madness begins. and what better way to get in the holiday spirit than watching a movie like christmas vacation, elf, a christmas story, miracle on 34th street or it's a wonderful life? all of these are on our list, but here's what we're watching first...

k's pick - love actually

c's pick - the holiday

ps. don't forget the eggnog! here's a recipe to try.

k, s, & c

(photos via imdb)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pizza, Pizza!

one of our favorite dinners is homemade pizza. not to be mistaken with homemade pizza co. (which is also fabulous). what i'm talking about is rolling up our sleeves, rollin' out the dough and topping it with just about anything.

we've made everything from pizza margherita to caramelized onion & goat cheese and on the sweeter side... apple & fontina with rosemary. just last week we cooked up a mushroom pizza in honor of my new found love of mushrooms. thank you navona notte! (one of our favorite restaurants in rome, which has a mushroom pizza that is out of this world).

because we like to keep this dinner easy & fun, we typically buy the whole foods pizza dough and some sort of tomato sauce (we most recently tried cucina antica and it was perfect - nice and light so it doesn't overpower the toppings you select). here are a couple of items in the kitchen to get you started:

1. rolling pin
2. pizza slice & serve board
3. pizza stone
4. parchment paper
5. pizza cutter

for recipes, check out pizza, calzone & focaccia by maxine clark. we received this book from friends as a wedding gift (along with the slice & serve board) and it inspired us! thanks LP & MC! :)

other ingredients to always have on-hand when making pizza... flour, olive oil, salt/pepper, fresh mozzarella, garlic, basil, fresh tomatoes. oh, and a great bottle of wine (or two)!

next time we'll be creating our own version of balena's brussels sprout pizza. it may take a while to get it right, but we'll sure have fun tryin'! and, in the meantime, we'll venture down the street for the real thing. balena (1633 n halsted street, chicago)


(photos taken by k)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'Twas A Very Cheeky Holiday Brunch

we had so much fun celebrating the holiday cheeky style at chop shop this past sunday. there was nothing not to love about this brunch. it was nothing short of a pinterest dream board... floral by debi lilly, bloody marys, bailey's vanilla cinnamon cocktails AND pancakes, hair & makeup by goldplaited, edith hart, and a killer goodie bag... voluspa inscense anyone? above all else, it was the ladies at this brunch. kick booty entrepreneurs that inspire you within minutes of talking to them... kind hearts, passionate and like we said kick booty at what they do. that's what cheeky chicago is all about. it's a website that brings like minded ladies together. you can't ask for much more in our minds than being inspired by one another and being challenged by empowering minds. thank you to the cheeky team for such a wonderful holiday celebration... we'll be dreaming of those bailey's pancakes...

k, s, & c

(photos via cheeky chicago

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Friends Or Favorite Couple?

ok, ok they are just my favorite couple, but last night i was stopped in my tracks at the thompson hotel when i caught a glimpse of the stylish, striking couple. nate berkus and jeremiah brent are a duo to be reckoned with. it's not just their head to toe stylish ensembles or insanely ridiculous good looks that make them worthy of a second glance but they truly are creative interior geniuses. berkus told harper's bazaar how despite their unique tastes, they really are on the same page & see eye to eye on interior design now, "we fight about pizza. not lamps." now the hunt continues for me to find my brent or berkus (straight of course) who sees eye to eye career wise, challenges me, and is stylish (in a straight way of course). do you just swoon over the photos of these two in their los angeles humble abode? i sure do <3 here's to hoping i have another run in with these two (a girl can dream).

(pictures via harper's bazaar)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winifred Grace

while at holi-dose market yesterday, c stumbled on these ^ necklaces by winifred grace. c has one similar that she was gifted back in the day when she graduated from high school. it's timeless, personalized, and easy to wear or stack with a necklace like this one. the price point on these are spot on and it was so fun watching winifred's team custom stamp them right then & there at the market. we're always looking for necklaces that can be worn on the daily, but will be timeless and personalized. these monogram necklaces are the perfect memento for your special somebody (whether a sister, best friend, new mother, ect.) who will hold onto it for a lifetime... nothin' better in our minds and jewelry boxes.

k, s, & c

(pictures via winifred grace)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Three To Be Merry

we are getting in the holiday spirit...going to kick off the weekend with hot toddies and jello shots at s's apartment (every great party always has both), followed by xmas shopping tomorrow and a night out on the town with our family. the best part of the holidays really is making new memories and being surrounded by family and friends over great food and cocktails. here are our three picks to be merry!

k's pick- 
any kind of cookie

 s's pick- 

c's pick(s)-
winter mason jars (and eggnog kits)

k, s, & c

(pictures via pinterest)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Don't Mind If We Do

it's truffle season folks. for do rite doughnuts on randolph, this means $20 white truffle doughnuts. yes, we said it white truffle doughnuts. since none of us no longer are hopping in bikinis any time soon, we're ready to place a do rite delivery order right now. the doughnuts will be on sale until the second week of january which marks the end of truffle season. we suggest to get there before it's too late... three grams of italian white truffle shaved on each doughnut? uh huh, ya, that's what we're talking about...

k, s, & c
(pictures via DNAinfo Chicago)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sharing the Sunshine

so k, s, & c have been completely MIA for almost a week now (our apologies!)...we ended up having to stay another night in florida...boohoo us right?!? another day away from the cold, snow, and windchill in chicago, no complaints here! as promised last week, we wanted to share a little of the sunshine with you from our trip to miami (we think we all need it this time of year) so put on macklemore white walls, grab a breezy, and pretend you are on a boat as you scroll down (next best thing). hopefully it brings you a smile or inspires you to book your ticket today. ...i’m rollin' out, roof off, letting in sky, i shine, the city never looked so bright....

until next time...

k, s, & c

(pictures via k's iphone)