Pinterest Recipes I've Tried and Loved

if i'm being honest, most of my time spent on Pinterest is looking for new recipes and meal ideas. it mostly occurs when i'm hungry and have nothing in my pantry. ya know, just virtually eating all the perfectly plated dishes with the freshest ingredients that 'only take 10 minutes'. yeah. right. 

i would be the worst prep chef in america. it takes me about 7 minutes just to chop a pepper, so making soups, casseroles, or really anything with many ingredients is something that i don't do often because it takes me half a day. however, i've recently dedicated Mondays to be 'cooking days'. i typically run out of food over the weekend (imma go ahead and blame my boyfriend for that one. he will eat anything and everything in sight, if not closely monitored.) so i need to run to the grocery store to buy food for the week. i've been venturing out of my typical pasta, caesar salad, or frozen pizza options and have found some great recipes on the world wide web. 

if you're like me and don't want to risk a week's worth of groceries on a not-that-good new dish, try some of these. they're all delicious and relatively simple.

*this dressing recipe is my new go-to. so easy, so delicious.
**i realize that frosting is, in fact, not a meal. however, i would make an exception for this frosting. i used it on cupcakes a couple weeks ago and it is the best frosting i've ever had. i consider myself somewhat of a frosting connoisseur, so you should take that to mean whatever you'd like. 

much of my motivation for cooking new things comes from my desire to fill up my new Rifle Paper Co. recipe box that i picked up last week at Anthropologie. i've wanted it for months and finally caved. so, i figure i need to test out recipes to make sure that they're box-worthy. 
she's a beauty, right?

if you've tried recipes that you found on Pinterest and had success, feel free to share them in the comments below! i'd love to try some more!

City Floral

happy monday, folks! 

i hope you all had a restful and blessed Easter weekend. it was absolutely gorgeous in the city yesterday. in fact, i was a little toasty while walking to church with Mike. for the first time in many months, i actually felt uncomfortably warm while outside. i've made a pact with myself that i will not complain about the heat this summer, though, after the brutal winter we've had. we'll see how it goes...i'm pretty well known for my complaining, especially about the weather.

Mike and i attended the Easter service at the church we go to in the city and then had a little basket hunt in my apartment. my mom shipped him and i baskets and insisted that we hide them for each other before opening them. so, we did. but we both quickly gave up and asked for the 'hot or cold' hints within about 30 seconds. for the record, i found mine first! 

after enjoying some of our treats, we headed out to Elly's for a little brunch. we were both so hungry that we made slightly irrational choices while ordering food, which included an extra side of pancakes and a pile of fries, in addition to our entrees. Mike and i are a good eating pair because i never eat all of the food on my plate and he always wants more food. in fact, he factors my leftovers into his order but he usually regrets it later. yesterday was one of those 'one meal' days.

in totally separate news, Otis now prefers Mike's lap to mine. i tiny part of me died yesterday when we realized it. 

floral top | Anthropologie
blouse | H&M (similar)
jeans | Madewell (similar)
heels | TJ Maxx (similar)
necklace | J.Crew Factory
purse | Olivia & Joy

toe nails | Fifth Avenue by Essie

High Five for Friday

friday, friday, we meet again. this week has been less than stellar, i.e. fighting another cold and the government stealing all my money (read: taxes). however, it's almost the weekend and it's sorta warm outside so all is good in my small world. 

let's take a look back at five of my favorite moments:
1. i discovered (seems that i'm late to the game!) Revlon's Colorburst Balms and am pretty hooked. they go on so smooth and have just the right amount of color. (this one is called 'showy flamboyant')

2. i'm excited to celebrate Easter this weekend. it's one of my favorite days of the year because of what it represents and i always enjoy attending church to reflect on it.

3. Mike and i went on date night to one of our favorite spots in the city, Las Fuentes. not only is it some of the best Mexican i've had, but they finally opened their patio so we were able to sit outside and enjoy the warmth. it was pretty glorious. i officially know what we'll be doing many weekend nights this summer.

4. don't let my 24 years of life fool you, i am still very much a kid. my mom graciously shipped me an Easter basket after i not so subtly asked for you ;) what can i say?! i love a good Easter basket. it's currently torturing me in the taped shipping box, just begging to be ripped open on Sunday.

5. i can't get over this picture of Milo. he's not a snuggler at all, unless i sit or lay (lie?) on my bed during the day. suddenly, he becomes my small spoon and we share a few precious minutes together. the rest of the time, he sleeps like this.

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!

have a wonderful Easter weekend! 

The Dirty Bun

if i'm being honest, i've become pretty lazy when it comes to getting ready for the day. being that i work from home, i can get away with sweats and bed head every day, minus a few judgmental looks from my cats. during the winter months, i wouldn't leave my apartment unless absolutely necessary, so there was even less motivation to style my hair and put on my 'full face'. 

during those months, i started getting more creative with my hair and trying new styles that would work on second (or third) day hair. i'm typically a down and curled or half-up girl, but i've gotten in the groove of putting my hair back. that will be essential this summer seeing as i've basically turned into Rapunzel overnight. okay, my hair's not that long, but it's sometime unruly and just needs to be out of my face. 

i've always envied women with hair that they could just throw back into a bun and it would look perfect. i am not one of those women, so i had to figure out a way to create an effortless look...with a bit of effort. what i like best about this dirty bun is that it's actually easier to do with dirty hair, so ya know, less motivation to actually wash my hair every day. 

1. roll out of bed. 
2. spray dry shampoo onto roots and/or areas that need it. 
3. rub dry shampoo into scalp and work it into your hair.
4. look like slightly less of a mess. makeup helps. 
5. if you're a teaser, do it. my hair needs a little extra life in it, so i tease at the crown and the top.
6. look like more of a mess, soon to be fixed.
7. smooth out your teasing with a comb or your fingers. 
8. mess fixed. your hair should have some good lift and volume to it now.
9. grab your hairspray and lock in your volume. 
10. pick up your trusty hair tie that's been around for far too many months and is on the brink of snapping at any point. or a new one. whatever suits you best. 
11. put your hair in a low, loose ponytail. if necessary, loosen it a bit more at the crown and sides for an easy look.
12. i like to pull a few pieces out to frame my face and create that easy look. if you want, you could stop here! but keep going. 
13. time for another tiny elastic. i recommend using the clear elastics so that they don't show.
14. twist your ponytail from the hair tie to the end.
15. start to wrap the twist around the existing hair tie. since you twisted your hair first, it should start naturally wrapping around the tie.
16. go all the way around until the end if tucked into the twist.
17. wrap your clear elastic around the bun. i can get mine around twice. if you can only do it once, add another elastic and/or bobby pins for security.
18. check yourself out and rearrange any pieces that stick out or that you don't like.
19. i like to loosen it up again by gently pulling from the bun and at my crown. 
20. you're finished! 

what i really like about this hairstyle is that it can be sophisticated or casual. i've worn my hair like this with both collared blouses and casual tees. for a little extra something, add your favorite statement earrings and a bold lip to finish!

if you're like me and always struggled with getting the perfect bun, i hope this tutorial is successful for you! 

dry shampoo | tresemme fresh start
hairspray | kenra 25
tee | madewell
earrings | elisabeth ashlie
lip color | revlon colorburst balm in showy flamboyante

Spring Style

hope you all survived tax day yesterday! i was the genius that decided to leave my taxes down to just about the last minute, so yesterday was sweet relief for me. note to self: do your taxes early. always. 

depending on where you live, the weather has maybe been just as crazy as it has been in chicago. one day it's in the 70's, the next it's snowing. not exactly what i had in mind for spring, but ya know, that's cool. i find myself wanting to only shop and dress for spring and summer, but still stuck in my winter sweaters and boots. 

based on what i've already purchased/had for the coming months, i have a pretty good idea of what my preferences will be for spring and summer:

distressed and boyfriend jeans are coming back with a vengeance...and i love it. i like pairing them with heels and a dressy top for something a bit different. most days, my style is casual and easy - solid v-necks, skinny jeans, light scarves, you get the picture. this certainly isn't changing for spring and summer. however, i'm adding some more colors and prints that i wouldn't necessarily have picked last year, so i'm excited to branch out a bit.

what is your spring/summer style?
one | old navy
two | kate spade  
three | revlon 
four | forever 21 
five | sole society
seven | anthropologie
eight | fossil
nine | j.crew
eleven | zara