Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Flourish by Staci Frenes

Staci Frenes is coming out with a book, 'Flourish'.  I've followed Staci's music over the last few years and have enjoyed her company over a several cups of coffee.  She truly lives a creative life.  How appropriate that she would write a book about cultivating the creativity that resides in each of us.  I'm ready to learn.  

Find Staci on Facebook, iTunes, and www.stacifrenes.com.

Monday, September 29, 2014

On Again, Off Again

Jumpsuit: Bobi, Vest: Big Star, Jewelry, & Hat: Wooden Ships (borrowed) from Sisu
Hoodie: Aero outlet,  Booties: DV Dolce Vita

Remember as a kid, gearing up to play outside in the winter?

Your snow pant bibs go underneath the insulated coat that has not one, but two layered zippers.  Your is scarf tucked perfectly into the collar of your coat.  A hat is placed beneath your jacket hood that has been securely tied assuring cold air cannot reach your ears.  Gloves go on first under your jacket cuffs, leaving room for mittens that go over both glove and cuff so when snow gets stuck in the fabric crevices at your wrists skin will hopefully remain dry.

No matter how many times you go to the bathroom beforehand, as soon as you are tucked and layered to moms satisfaction, you have to go AGAIN.  And this time, it's for real.

It's like wearing this jumpsuit.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Blame Doctor Who

Necklace: Sisu,  Shirt: JCP, Skirt: H&M via Clothes Mentor,  Shoes: DSW

Remember when I used to dress up?  Or at least had something on besides a t-shirt and jeans?  Other than Sundays, I've become a bit of a summer schlump.  I blame Normcore - best fashion trend ever.  I blame a perpetually messy closet.  I blame the extra morning minutes better spent snuggling pugs or canoodling the husband.  I blame the easiness of summer.  I blame Doctor Who - for post title reasons only.

As legit as those excuses are, it's time to reclaim my outfitting.  It's fun and makes me feel good, so I'm simply going to have to make time for it.  Fall is here - the best season for clothes.  I've not slacked in my consumer squirreliness, storing up last year's clearance treasures for the inevitable cool-down.  There is stuff to wear.  It must be worn and documented for proof.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Elizabeth Chronicles

Check out these great graphic tees!  Know where they're from?  New Orleans.  That's still where I am.  Blogging from my cozy hotel bed.  It's 7pm.  And I've been here for hours.  Really pitiful or really great vacation?  I haven't decided yet.

I know of The Elizabeth Chronicles through Sisu.  We carry a small selection including Hustle, Seaux Chic, and I'd Rather be at Fashion Week.  Gotta be quick with these because we never order the same style twice.  

You may be able to tell that this company was started by a couple of bloggers who love fashion.  Psst...hey, Rachel and Katie.  I am ALSO a blogger who loves fashion and MY middle is ALSO Elizabeth.  Coincidence?  I think not.  

Be sure to check out the SALE where I found a couple favorites starting at $8! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cajun Style

Shirt (Minnesota Burrito): MPLS/STP Clothing Co.. via Sisu
Shorts + Belt: Gap,  BagDuluth Pack

Greetings from the Big Easy!  I'm tagging along with the hubby on a work trip.  While Minnesota is experiencing an early cold front, New Orleans is a balmy 90 degrees.  Some pool-side reading is definitely on the agenda.

Today, I shopped the Riverwalk Outlets.  I'm becoming less and less impressed by outlet "deals" and this was no exception.  Even my beloved Gap outlet was a major disappointment.  I'm convinced the best shopping at Riverwalk is at Neiman Marcus - Last Call.  Though there wasn't anything in my price range that I couldn't live without,  it was so fun browsing designer lines like Alexander McQueen and Diane Von Furstenberg.

More notes on my NOLA adventure to come.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have a whole lot of glorious nothing to do.  :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Girlfriends Photo Shoot, Part 2

Part 1, in case you missed it.

Aren't my friends so seriously pretty?  I know.

This was definitely my favorite part of the photo shoot.  There was rain, mud, and mosquitoes, but we made it work.  Keely knew of this great location, 'Hobo Village', where stunning graffiti spans the exterior walls of an abandoned warehouse.  We did not actually see any hobos.  Too bad, they would've loved this.

I have no idea how this tutu madness came together so perfectly with such little planning, but it did.  It helped that we already had the tutus, just looking for the next excuse to wear them.  Elaina made Katie's, Keely's and her own tutu.  I have worn my 'Elaina tutu' (last seen here) to death and it needs some mending.  So I squeezed into the biggest tutu I could find at Teeny Bee, removed the lining from a black tutu I had and layered it over the top.  I love how it all coordinated without being super matchy.  Katie stole the show with her massive, teal tutu - which is exactly what we wanted for her birthday/moving present.

Let me explain the connection here:  Katie and Keely are sisters.  Elaina is their cousin.  My mom and Deb (K's mom) became friends when I was 10.  Their family has been putting up with me ever since.  Not sure when the unspoken pact was made that we would be friends for life, but it's held up through a lot of changes.  I'm so grateful.

Major thanks to Mari for taking time out of her Saturday to make this happen.  And thank you, Deb, for bringing props, snacks, and artistic input.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I finished Outlander last week and had to take a break from reading for a few days.  It was quite a feat.

This crazy journey begins in 1946, post WWII.  It ends up in 1743, as tensions increase between England, France, and Scotland.

Good thing Claire knows a thing or two about this unstable time period, her husband of 1945 being a scholar of Scottish history.  Her experience as a combat nurse also assists her through more than a few barbaric practices of the 18th century.  When I'd be losing my lunch, Claire is all,"fetch me some (insert herb) with a side of whisky".  I appreciate a heroine who is both feminine and bad-ass.

Claire meets Jaime - a hot, young, Scottish warrior and the story unfolds from there.  Though the writing is fantastic, it took me several looooong chapters to really get into it.  Then the conflict and romance rises to make me embrace all 870 pages of small print.

Starz recently premiered the first episode of their Outlander series.  While I don't have much problem reading sex and gore, watching it in TV-MA form is difficult for me.  The book is pretty graphic, so I had little hope of enjoying the show.  Surprisingly, I was able to watch 'Sassenach' without much issue.  The premier followed the book very well.  Even the casting feels impressively accurate.  Jaime is hot (duh), and Claire is beautiful and spirited (though thinner than I imagined - typical).

It can only get more graphic from here, but I'll hold on as long as possible.  As for the book, it's only good if you don't give up - I have Willow Aster to thank for that tip (wink).  I really did fall in love with these characters.  That said, the thought of immediately taking on book 2 is too much.  Moving on, for now.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wilderness Recipes

After my Boundary Waters experience, I cannot fathom how Survivor contestants endure 39 days with minimal food and resources.  There's something about being in the fresh air and the energy exerted with every little task that made me want to eat constantly.  Thankfully, Nick's meal plan for us was hearty and delicious.  Here are a few of the highlights:

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Skewers
I love sea food, cilantro, and citrus, so this was designated my birthday dinner.  We ate it on Thursday because the shrimp had to be kept cold.  It tasted so fresh and satisfying for our first day at camp.

  •  Large, uncooked shrimp, deveined and shelled
  •  Bamboo skewers, soaked in water approx. 20 min.
  •  Limes
  •  Cumin
  •  Salt
  •  Fresh cilantro
Season shrimp with salt and cumin, then squeeze juice of lime over them.  Put on skewers with lime slices.  Grill until pink.  Boil long grain white rice.  Add lime juice, oil, and cilantro.

Breakfast Hash
Warning: it's SPICY!  Perfect for a cool morning around the fire.  Served with Cowboy Coffee, of course.

  • Bulk sage breakfast sausage
  • Jalapeno bacon cut into chunks
  • Hash browns (any style - we had chunks)
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeno
  • Onion
  • Green pepper
  • Fresh eggs
Fry bacon and add to bowl - save grease in pan.  Fry potatoes in bacon grease until crispy brown.  Add potatoes to bowl and fry sausage.  Add sausage to bowl and fry garlic, onion, jalapeno, and pepper in sausage grease.  Crack 2 eggs per person over onion mixture and cook until done.  Mix everything together.  Allow to cool, then package in plastic bags.  Heat over fire in pan.

Blueberry Pancakes
We hoped blueberries would be prime for picking, but we were just a day or two off the mark.  This was my birthday breakfast, so I got what few were available.  The red ones were just a bit tart, which was perfect.

  • Bisquick *just add water* Buttermilk Pancake Mix
  • Fresh-picked, wild blueberries
  • Pure maple syrup
Combine water and batter.  Add blueberries.
Cook in fry pan over fire until light brown and fluffy.  Drizzle maple syrup.

Mmmm...meatlovers.  Nothing tastes better than greasy protein after a couple hours of paddling.

  • Pre-made, original style pizza crust - single size, 1 per camper
  • Squeeze bottle pizza sauce (because glass & cans are not permitted on the campground)
  • Hot dago sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
Fry sausage in skillet until brown.
Apply all pizza toppings.
Cook in reflector oven until golden brown.

Hot Grape Nuts Cereal 

I hadn't had Grape Nuts since I was a kid.  So yummy served hot with fruit!

Per serving:
2 Cups Grape Nuts Cereal
2 Tbsp powdered milk
1 Tbsp sugar
Generous amount of freeze-dried fruit (strawberries are great)

Combine all ingredients in baggy for travel.
Put in mug and pour hot water over to desired consistency.