Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Three Years, Boise!

On July 8, three years ago, I moved to Boise - wide eyed, bushy tailed, and literally following my heart. So much has happened in these three years – from moving in with Jeff and experiencing all of the discomfort and joy of first time cohabitation, to getting engaged and planning a wedding and getting married, to starting my own life here, making friends and building my career, to buying our house and settling down. I’ve always thought that the first few years out of college were the biggest catalysts for change. You’re out there in the world, umbilical cord cut, trying to make it. Those years were incredible for me, but there was always a little something missing, a weight that comes with being a sensitive and emotional young person in a life that’s moving a mile a minute and in a city that’s filled with pressure and opportunity and noise. Those were the years that shaped my path and gave me all the tools to be successful and driven, but these past three years have helped to identify who I am, what I want, and how to be happy, by no one’s standards but my own. Lately, I’ve been startled multiple times by the fact that I am watching myself grow up. I feel older, more mature and less worried, more confident about the choices I’ve made and less concerned with what I haven’t done. In the age of Instagram and Facebook, where you can compare your life, your travels, your beauty, your happiness, to someone else’s by the refreshing of the feed, it’s easy to be preoccupied with what could be instead of focusing on what is. I still get caught up and I don't always choose to listen, but I feel like I'm moving more comfortably in my late 20's and I have a growing self awareness of what really matters. 

This anniversary also means more than the two that came before it because I lived in New York City for three years. To have now been here for the same amount of time is bittersweet - I love being the girl from the big city, having those life experiences that you can only get from a few special and scary places in the world. My New York years had a profound impact on me and part of me misses the intensity and passion of the city, being surrounded by people with so much motivation and enthusiasm. However, the world is so full and I know that there's plenty more to see and learn. The transition to small city girl has been tumultuous at times, but ultimately a very positive one. I'm proud to have made that crazy leap, landed on my feet, and taken off running. I love my life and that makes me love Boise just a little more ;) Happy July 8th!



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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sunwear Season with Karlie Kloss x Warby Parker

The eyewear gurus at Warby Parker have made a few splashes in their history. First, they created stylish prescription glasses at affordable prices. Then they allowed us the store experience of trying on our selections from the comfort of the couch. Best of all, they inspired us with the concept of making an impact - for every pair of glasses we buy, they work with non-profits to provide a pair to someone in need. Up next? The debut of their newest collection, a collaboration with fashion magnet and ultimate cool girl Karlie Kloss. 
Karlie's sunglasses are delicate, feminine, and wearable, from the park to the patio, the farmer's market to the music festival. Available in three frame styles and multiple lens colors, there is a pair for every girl and every sunny occasion. Summer is upon us and I think the Clara frame would be perfect for an outdoor concert, brunch with the girls, or wherever Saturday takes you. And Warby Parker isn't letting the sunnies speak for themselves - a portion of each sale will benefit Edible Schoolyard NYC, an organization close to Karlie's heart that provides kitchens and gardens to low-income public schools, giving students the tools to develop lifelong healthy habits.
Here are two looks that I think will perfectly complement these new frames...
Warby Parker


Information and materials provided by Warby Parker, all opinions are my own.


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Monday, June 2, 2014

Favorite Things

The weather has been just gorgeous lately, warm and breezy and perfect for slow weekends lounging around with a great book and nowhere to be. I've been taking full advantage of the amazing screen porch and serene backyard at our new house, alternating between the couch and the cool grass. This is the best time of year - when the warm air is wafting in and everyone feels a little more optimistic. To me, this weather means grilling, cold drinks, fresh fruit, sweet smells, and long, sunny days.
Here are a few of my favorite things...

 Hot pink peonies are blooming in my garden

Rosé with every meal, especially in sangria

 A perfect one piece with a little sass

A refreshing anytime appetizer

Daydreaming of a beachy vacation


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Savory Shrimp and Mashed Potatoes

After months and months of cooking for cold weather, I'm having a hard time transitioning from the oven to the barbecue. Being out of practice means that I can't remember my favorite spring and summer meals, so soup and casserole are still at the top of my mind. The other night, when I needed to cook what I had - shrimp, Yukon Gold potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach - I improvised and the result was the kind of meal that's teetering on the edge of both hot and cold weather food. Juicy shrimp in a tangy tomato sauce, light and creamy mashed potatoes, a bed of sauteed spinach. Perfect on the patio or curled up by the fire. The temperatures are rising steadily this week, and I'm looking forward to recreating this meal one more time before I stop using the stove entirely!


Recipe:
(Makes 4 large servings)

For the shrimp, adapted from Jo Cooks:
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon onion powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 31-40 count)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large deep pan, combine all of the ingredients except for the shrimp. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer until cooked down and tomatoes are soft. Add shrimp and toss to coat with sauce. Cook until shrimp are pink and serve immediately.

For the potatoes:
1 pound (4-6) medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Quarter potatoes and place in a large pot. Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until tender (15 minutes). Drain and return to pot.
Add milk. Mash potatoes with a potato masher until fluffy with few lumps. Fold in yogurt and continue to mash until your desired texture is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the spinach:
16 ounce bag or 12 cups of fresh spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Steam spinach in a pan with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.

To serve, plate a quarter of the spinach, a scoop of mashed potatoes, and a quarter of the shrimp and tomatoes. Drizzle with pan sauce. Enjoy!

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Friday, May 2, 2014

The Good Life



The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of packing, moving, unpacking, spending money, cleaning, organizing, trying to remember where I put things, and loving everything about our new home and being homeowners. There are nights that I lay awake in bed worrying about things breaking, but ultimately, the feeling of having something that is all ours and that we’ll fill with great memories is amazing. I am so happy and proud that we own this home, and forever grateful to our families for helping us and giving us the confidence to take this step. 

Having this experience, making an adult and life changing decision with my partner, has given me a lot of peace and encouraged me to reprioritize. Yes, I want the house to be perfect, but I’m learning how to live with a little bit of chaos while everything works itself out. While I would love for our home to look like a Restoration Hardware ad, I’m content with what we have and with allowing things to come together naturally. This is a big step for me, and I was reflecting the other day about how strange it is to notice yourself maturing and changing. I find myself gradually growing out of my materialism, not needing to have more money, and enjoying the little things in life. 

There are so many elements in the modern world that work against us feeling like we can live simply and happily and sometimes blogs and Pinterest and social media are just too much. I recently heard a blogger say “If we’re not sharing it, if we’re just keeping it private, why are we experiencing it?” It would take me a long time to answer this person’s question, and I know it may have been taken out of context, but it reminded me how important it is to live your life in a way that brings you joy. For you, not for anyone else. The littlest things have been making me happy lately and I’m so glad.

Have a wonderful weekend! xo 


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Big News!

If you're my social media friend, you may know that after a quick and crazy few weeks, we bought our first house! The day that I wrote this post, we went to see three homes - one that I liked, one that Jeff liked, and one that our realtor tacked on because she's a genius house whisperer. The first house was too big, the second was too small, and when I walked into the third and saw that the kitchen and living space were not only two different areas but also actual, large rooms, I fell in love. It had everything we need to live now and to expand our family later, there were funky additions like a big screen porch in the back, lots of room for Bear to play, and the house was in impeccable condition. Before I knew it, we were telling our realtor that we wanted to put in an offer, and then spending the next day and a half in a frantic haze waiting to hear the big news. After many anxious and impatient hours, we found out that our offer had been accepted (5 total offers - this market is nuts!). Over the past few weeks, we've been signing our names a thousand times, packing boxes, and making plans. We moved in on Saturday and while there's still so much to do, we are pinching ourselves that we get to start our next adventure in this amazing house.

Jeff and I have made lots of decisions together in our relationship, from me moving across the country to getting married, but this one felt the most monumental in a practical sense, but also positive and easy. We are so excited for the changes and memories that will be shared in this home over the years. I'll be back with lots of DIYs and room reveals - stay tuned!



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