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best days

lucy gets groomed, tries to run away | also seen here and here in the post
brunch remnants
time to use a gift card | not pictured: our new grill (!)
out running errands; view from the convertible

guys, i loved this weekend.

we got so much done, bought a new grill that we're cooking on tonight, and had a great time hanging out with some good friends.

lots to do this week, but tomorrow is the start of my absolute favorite month, so i'm pumped.

and i hear the weather's shaping up to be awesome this week. can't wait to ditch the jackets.

have a good monday, everyone!

put together

here's the situation: you have to look put together for work every day.* but it gets old and eventually monotony is bound to ensue.

this is where pencil skirts + silk shirts come along to save the day. for me, this combo wins every time. plus, if you can find pencil skirts that aren't so run-of-the-mill, well then that's just fabulous. 

check it out.

when i buy clothes, i try to purchase items that can mix and match easily, and with these tops and bottoms, there are so many possible combinations. 

i just love that.

you can make it more edgy or go totally classic. whatever floats your boat. 

but we can't stop here with just tops and bottoms. oh no.

let's add some fun accessories and shoes to bring the whole look together

pretty awesome, right? 

here's some outfit options for you, too. there are dozens more to be had.

all by couldawouldapica on polyvore

pencil skirts and silk tops make dressing like a professional a breeze, and if you make smart purchases, your wardrobe will become this fun little treasure trove, ready for you to mix and match to perfection.

makes getting dressed for work just a little more fun.

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*well, most of us anyways. not those lucky jerks people who get to work from home.

potw: preview

this week's potw comes from yours truly.

this is my design and it was printed by the fine people at mama's sauce.

i haven't mailed all of them yet, so i'll post the whole thing (we have  a map!) later on.

wee! can't wait to share!

april weekend

headed onto the field!
the boy and lucy
the three of us at the park | my shirt
he feels so much taller in person!
mr. bulldog
lucy takes in the game
pattern in the sky
good for rainy days
maybe even better for rainy days
forty-degree monday morning

i feel accomplished. 

besides taking in pups in the park, the boy and i went on an epic cleaning/organizing spree this weekend. we have two garbage bags full of clothes to take to goodwill. and i just feel so much better. i love getting rid of a bunch of stuff you're not using.

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hope your monday is lovely.

it's about that time

pic by me

i want to wish you all the happiest of happy fridays...and i'm not just blowin smoke up your butt. ;)

have a good one, dudes!

make you better

a can of black beans and a jar of spaghetti sauce.

so boring, right?


the boy and i have been trying to save a little money lately.

and i've found one of the easiest ways to cut back is to make cheap meals at home. and with these two guys, it's super easy to dress em up and make em just a little better.

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let's start with the black beans. 

i got this idea from rachel at heart of light. now i've always liked poached eggs, but until recently, i was too chicken (ha) to try it. but using this method, it's actually not as daunting as you might think.

for this meal--a weekend lunch for us--i chopped up some onion and garlic and sauteed them for a little bit in some olive oil (adding salt and pepper as always). once the onions had softened a bit, i drained and rinsed the can of beans added them into the pan. i also spiced up the beans with a little cumin and tabasco. the beans don't really need to cook, they just need to be warmed up and heated through. so, i left them on low heat while i finished poaching the eggs.

when everything was ready, i served it on some tortillas with an avocado, some chopped tomato, a couple dashes of my trusty sriracha, and some cotija cheese.

i gotta say: this is one of our new faves. 

it's so cheap and super filling. and because you're not using a billion ingredients and it's meat free, splurging on an avocado doesn't feel like a big expense. 

(just remember to drizzle it with lemon after you cut it. it'll enhance the flavor and prevent it from browning.)
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now, onto part two.

everyone has their favorite jarred sauce from the store. or at least one you tend to buy all the time. and i can't think of an easier/cheaper meal than spaghetti. 

but jarred sauce and pasta gets a little...bland. 

the picture up there shows a can of crushed tomatoes. you could use those instead of a jar of sauce*, but i used this guy.

so, to pump up the jarred sauce, i started the same way as i did with the beans: sauteeing garlic and seasoned onions in olive oil. but for this recipe, i also added carrots. gives the sauce a little bite and gives you some extra vitamin goodness.

(if you're making spaghetti, now would also be a good time to start cooking the pasta in salted boiling water. i also add olive oil to my water so the noodles don't get all clumpy.)

once those have cooked down a bit, pour in the whole jar of sauce and just let it mellow a little bit on low heat. you can add fresh herbs or some dried oregano here but i didn't this time.

once the sauce has had time to simmer a bit, that's it. 

you're done.

now just drain your noodles and add them to the saucepan. i'd also recommend this fancy little trick:

before draining the noodles, save about a cup of the starchy pasta water and add it slowly, just a little at a time to the cooked noodles and sauce. this helps everything get all mixed together real nice and it helps the sauce stick to the noodles.


and there you have it! 

two ways to take sad old jars and cans and really make a special, hearty meal out of it.


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*if you're going to use a can of crushed tomatoes instead of a jar of sauce, i'd add a little more garlic and definitely incorporate some fresh herbs (basil, parsley) and/or a splash of good red wine.

potw: blind side

i'm a fan of simplicity. 

why make something more complicated than necessary? 

in the world of letterpress printing, blind debossing kinda takes the cake for simple but stunning. it's like a regular letterpress job with no ink. so you get all that yummy texture but no color added.

have a peek:

via felt & wire by farmwood press
via pink orchid press
via aloha letterpress
via dolce press
via liquorice press
via letterpress junkie
via trip print press
via moontree letterpress

all of the above examples are white on white. i like that look. but blind debossing can also be used on color. and it looks pretty awesome. 

via plenty of colour by james prunean

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the thank you cards i made back in october had this look. so did these really cool invitations.

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three cheers for keeping things simple.

wknd bits

lucy, waiting to go back inside
roses from the bush in our front yard that we totally thought was dead
lucy, waiting for the boy to return
this week's wedding list

this weekend feels like it didn't even happen. it went by in a flash. and i feel like i got nothing done.

we did get to celebrate the first birthday of our nephew on sunday though. he's too sweet.
_ _ _

this week, i'm excited for the return of parks. and i'm much more excited about that show's triumphant return than getting temporary liquor license applications notarized. sounds fun, right?

here's to the next five days...


no posts today but i hope you all have a nice weekend.


modern art print by craig damrauer | buy here

this one goes out to my dad. 
the man who utters this phase -- i think -- every time i've been to a museum with him.

love you, pops!

come away with me

it's still april, but that's right next to may. and may has memorial day weekend which is always my unofficial start to summer.

that's how my summer-lovin mind works anyways.

i guess what i'm trying to say is that lazy days at the beach are in our sights, people.

in our sights!

and those bags up there are some of my favorite ways to carry all those summertime essentials. 

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with that in mind, here's two equally adorable beach day looks for two very different ladies. 

via polyvore

here we have headwear (straw hat, silk scarf) to keep your hair in place, headphones for jamming out, fun sunglasses, lip coverage with spf, and some lazy day reading materials. 

down the middle is the stuff that everyone needs, regardless of personal style: spf lotion for your face and body. muy importante. also, a comb and some wavy hair spritz to keep your luscious locks free from tangles won't hurt.

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personally, i can't wait to get to the beach next month. i don't care if the ocean's gonna be freezing, there's nothing better than chilling out with a good book and some beachy tunes. add in some people you love and a splash or three of alcohol and that's even better.

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see you guys out there!

caps lock

a little cap toe can make all the difference in dressing up a boring shoe. in my opinion, it's a little vixen-y too.

and whether you live in flats or can't pass up high heels, there's something out there just for you.

take a peek:

i have two shoes on here twice. i never do that. but i just couldn't decide which version i liked better. 

cork + hot pink


cork + gold?

nope. can't chose. so i'm showing both.

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i have these little guys here.

pic by me | sold-out flats by old navy

a very thoughtful and unexpected gift from my sister. been wearin them with my grey jeans a lot.

i also like the way these variations are looking:

via dorothy perkins

via office uk

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or hey. if you have some tan/beige or any other solid color shoe that's laying around just begging for a facelift, you could always try...

...this totally easy DIY from green wedding shoes right here.

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have fun!