Tuesday, March 30, 2010

cute (reusable) bags

check out these adorable nylon reusable bags by baggu:
i love all the colors! they're totally inexpensive and great for the eco-conscious and fashionable. right now i use a random smattering of bags at the grocery store, but i'm totally in love with these bags and will have to upgrade! they're perfect for groceries, bikram (roommate knows what i'm talking about), or your lunch. love!

spotlight on simon

there's a local new orleanian folk artist named simon (pronunciation: see-moan. i made a huge mistake when i pronounced his name the other way) whose artwork you see literally everywhere: restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, front porches, bathroom doors and everywhere in between. one day a few months ago i stepped into an antique store on jackson and magazine and happened upon simon's outdoor studio:
his style is incredibly distinct, which is why it's recognizable all over the city!
his work, seemingly silly and simple, usually poorly disguises simon's political commentary
and he always gives props to all things new orleans, including the saints
here's simon's most iconic piece:
the story behind its origin is incredible.

the great thing about simon is that he will create literally anything you want. my future roommate becky was recently gifted this beautiful piece. it's already been designated a spot above our entryway!
like i said, literally anything:

Monday, March 29, 2010


the other day i shared with you a few of my favorite iphone pictures from my summer in new orleans. i uploaded another small batch to share and realized that i had had a lot of animal encounters over the summer. apparently i'm not the self-proclaimed "not animal person" i thought i was - but i still can't get down with cats.*
i met this little guy named elvis on a swamp tour. kiki and i hogged holding him, even though there were small children on the tour with us.
this is a real albino alligator! marty and i met him at the audubon zoo
while i was volunteering at treme under the bridge, a monthly artists' market, a local french quarter resident brought over his pet miniature horse. some people brought their dogs, this gentleman brought his domesticated horse. nbd.
some more new friends from the audubon zoo
turtle turtle turtle.
i really wish i didn't have the urge to say that every time i saw one.
especially since i own one.

*even this proclamation is somewhat questionable.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

dad & daughter project

so i'm finally following up on my "big reveal," as promised last weekend. a few days ago i showed you an incredible, eclectic new york studio i was absolutely in love with. i was especially smitten with this little spice cabinet, and decided i had to reproduce it for my dream kitchen:
my other inspiration was this rustic teal armoire. i love the color (obviously), the rusty hinges and handles and the overall distressed look:
i knew my dad had bought this little cabinet forever ago at a flea market and never used it. as it turns out, it was only 75 cents!
so, last weekend, mark and i ran out to menards and picked up some sprucing supplies - rust-oleum semi-gloss paint in "turquoise" ($8), two crappy little paint brushes ($1.76) and pretty new knobs ($2.49 each).
i know it looks like i did nothing, but there really was nothing to our project. we taped up the glass with painter's tape so we could be messy, and sloppily applied two coats of turquoise paint (the sloppier, the better; it let the wood peak through a bit, making the aged, rustic look easier to accomplish).
after the paint was very, very dry (this takes a few days), we gave the cabinet a "distressed" look by sanding parts of the cabinet with sandpaper to re-expose the wood. we screwed on the new knobs, and that was it! now i just need some spices!
here are some close-ups of the sanding:

aren't these the cutest?

thanks for the help, dad!

Friday, March 26, 2010

tank top re-do

i was about to throw out an old tank top when i remembered a diy project i saw on ps i made this, a hand-made headband that called for scraps of material and lace. i changed the materials a bit, using a store-bought plastic headband instead of ribbon:
i wrapped long, thin strips of fabric around the plastic headband, using super glue to attach the fabric to the headband, a few drops every other wraparound. then i used thread to seal the ends. i created the base flower out of a long strip of lace (from the bottom of the obviously outdated tank), sewn together like an accordion

i used different-sized scraps of material to make little rosettes, which i sewed onto the base "flower"
i sewed the base onto the wrapped headband. done!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


remember the other day* when i told you about my dream kitchen full of pink and teal accents (emphasis on the teal)? well check out these images i found on apartment therapy in a post devoted completely to turquoise touches in the kitchen!!!
i would kill for this teal cabinet
... and for this teal stove! swoon.
even when teal takes a backseat, it looks great
a teal door? brilliant!
would it be too much if i took all of these pieces and put them in one kitchen? probs.

*more proof that i am, in fact, a trailblazer

easy veggie soup

i returned home today feeling very manic, so i embarked on a major scrub-down of the kitchen and decided to muss it up immediately thereafter by cooking a hearty veggie soup. here's how it's made:

step 1: don cute apron from spain or tourist spot of your choosing
thanks kiki!
step 2: gather a few staples - carrots, onions and tomatoes
i ended up using half of this huge onion, 1 large carrot and both tomatoes
step three: roughly chop the modified mirepoix and saute in olive oil with some garlic
step 4: once the veggies are soft, toss in some bouillon cubes of your choosing ( i used vegetable) and add water
step 5: try and dig out some frozen vegetables from you freezer
goooood luck with that, if your freezer looks anything like mine:
step 6: once the bouillon-flavored water has come up to a boil, toss in frozen vegetables of your choice. i like blackeyed peas, baby lima beans, and corn. once you toss those in and bring the soup back up to a boil, add frozen collard greens (which are surprisingly hard to find in chicago. we're so northern)
step 7: flavor to taste, and you're done!
here's the finished product...
add a dollop of sour cream, some crusty bread and enjoy!

ps: eat it cold the next day as a lovely spring-y gazpacho!

some summer favorites

i looked through my ever-growing iphone photo album today at the library, since i had neither internet access nor the desire to actually do homework, and found all these awesome gems i took last summer in new orleans:
brad and angie's pad, just around the corner from our apartment in the quarter
on a horse-drawn buggy, taking a tour of treme,
with my ass stuck to the seat because it was so hot,
the oldest african-american neighborhood in the us
oak alley plantation, where i tasted abita strawberry harvest for the first time
and then stole the glass it came in for a souvenir
marty doing tree pose in oak alley
some pretty flowers in the marigny
an as-of-yet unidentified movie set in the quarter, just 2 blocks from our apartment
a period piece, no doubt
why, oh why, couldn't this be the set of green lantern, currently filming in new orleans and starring ryan reynolds!?!?!?!?!
a beautiful remembrance, in the marigny
i'm a law student and i still misspell this word

stay tuned! there's a lot more where those came from, and new orleans needs some more love on this blog!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

i saw the sign

many of you may not know this, but i did not see my amazingly cute, spacious and quirky chicago apartment until the day i moved in. roommates and i decided to move in together months before i left for new orleans for the summer, but given how hard four-bedroom places are to find, we still had nothing when i left. i was left at the mercy of roommates' good taste and similarly empty bank accounts to find us the perfect pad. thankfully none of us had any exuberant demands, so i knew everything would work out in the end.

i was kept abreast of roommates' numerous strike-outs via picture messaging and poorly-lit point-and-shoot photos; as a result, nothing really looked that promising. to make matters worse, marty's lease ended during my stay in new orleans, and the process of finding a huge four bedroom steal was a matter of getting in the car, driving around uptown and pulling over here and there. a lease was signed and we were all moved in in a matter of days. meanwhile, i was still homeless in illinois.

one day in mid-july (our lease was meant to begin in august) i returned to my desk at work to a slew of texts and phone calls from all three roommates. i figured this meant good news. i got another call, which i answered, and heard frantic, out-of-breath cries of "we found it! it's amazing! we love it! IT HAS A ROOFTOP DECK!" and that was i all i needed to hear. 2 weeks later, after what felt like thousands of emails and muffled speaker-phone conference calls, i arrived and saw this:
our adorable little mailbox, with none other than a fleur de lis on it (ignore all the other random crap stuck to the wall and mailbox, please), the venerable symbol of the comeback city of the century, new orleans. this had to be an omen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

i've decided...

...where to have my big, post-graduation dinner. and by big i of course mean me, marty, mark and mary. huge. we're going to town, people. i'll be ordering everything on the menu at carnivale because this meal will mark my last parent-paid-for meal before i enter the real world of lawyering. i'm sure my fear of this inevitable reality will result in word vomit, copious mojito-drinking and of course, gluttony. thankfully i'll be at my favorite restaurant in chicago when this undoubtedly tearful, hot messiness goes down.
my first experience at carnivale, a latin fusion (aka "nuevo latino," apparently) restaurant, was right after i returned from a "i-just-graduated-from-college,-i'm-starting-law-school-and-my-life-is-about-to-end-so-i-better-go-balls-to-the-walls" trip to south america with my friends. needless to say, carnivale, with menu items like sweet plantains covered in braised spicy beef, empanadas and churrasco, reminded me of all those argentinian, uruguayan and brazilian restaurants my lonely planet travel guide suggested we go to but we passed over because of the "$$$$" next to their names.

when i told mark my wish to go here after graduation, i saw those same dollar signs flash in his eyes as he calculated how much a full-blown graduation party would cost here. as much as i would love to have a set up like this:
i'm not really ready to take out another loan in order to pay for a party.
a girl can dream, though.

images via david wittig photography and tripadvisor.com

Monday, March 22, 2010

start wearing purple

i was reading through the chicago magazine that comes to my parents' house for some reason (none of us remembers ordering it. or architectural digest. or better homes and gardens. or time. or newsweek. we just know the source of the victoria's secret catalog). anyways, i was reading through the magazine, which i rarely have the time to do, and i stumbled across a concert listing for a band by the name of gogol bordello. i was intrigued. gogol as in nikolai? eastern european something? this i had to see!
the shirtless wonder in the middle is the lead singer, a ukranian chernobyl refugee and hopefully my future boyfriend

so i did some research on the gypsy punk band (um, that designation is enough to make me want to go see them) and i'm obsessed. check out one of their songs, "start wearing purple*," here. this song also appears on the "everything is illuminated" soundtrack, which just so happens to be one of the best, funniest films ever made. AND the lead singer of gogol bordello (my boyfriend, remember) is in the movie! everything is falling into place.

well i am definitely going to see gogol at the congress theatre next month. considering the last 15 or so concerts i went to were phish shows (well, not exclusively. i did go to see g.love and some others), it's time to see something new!
i will use any excuse to share/gawk at pictures of g. - is it obvious?

*i wore a purple shirt today for the first time ever! i think that is a huge sign, wouldn't you agree?!
ok ok it was purple with blue stripes. or blue with purple stripes. but still.

gogol bordello image via show clix