7.22.2016

Current Wish List & Nordstrom Sale

Hi there. So life has seriously gotten in the way of writing. And frankly focusing on family, friends, and work while enjoying all the Summer fun has been so great. But I do miss you of course, so I wanted to check in.  

And while I do not like to get political or too personal here, I will say that the news near and far has been incredibly sad. There are some very scary scenarios happening in countries far away and even as close as the city of Chicago. And while I like to keep informed and form opinions of my own, it can sometimes be hard to do so with how we are fed information these days. So I am keeping my ears open and mostly just trying to think compassionately and praying for families that are losing loved ones or living in any type of fear. How terrible to have to face that. Best quote this week was "Turn off the "news", and love your neighbor." I know that is so flower child to say, but that is really where I am at right now.  

In more fun news, I turn 25 next week! ha Actually I am feeling pretty good about 35. It is a good age, right? Smack dab in your thirties, wiser than your 25 year old self (by a lot), and old enough to know that swapping any BS in your life for only the good stuff is the way to go. Here's what is on my wish list. (PS: A lot of this is from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, so much good stuff)

1. Shiny new golf shoes by Nike
2. A delicate diamond necklace by Jennifer Zeuner
3 & 4 & 5. Fell in love with tennis again last week. So this dress, racket, and skirt would outfit me very well. 
6. Bluetooth headphones for running. 
7. Sleek boots from Stuart Weitzman. (on sale)
8. Love this parka for the Winter by Mackage. This one is great too.   (on sale)
9. Love these Rag & Bone booties for Fall.  (on sale)
10. And because Chanel. Always 

There is a lot of great stuff on the Nordstrom Sale. I tend to gravitate towards the coats and shoes because I think you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to the savings. Here are my picks. Hover over and click to link. 





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Current Wish List & Nordstrom Sale

Hi there. So life has seriously gotten in the way of writing. And frankly focusing on family, friends, and work while enjoying all the Summer fun has been so great. But I do miss you of course, so I wanted to check in.  

And while I do not like to get political or too personal here, I will say that the news near and far has been incredibly sad. There are some very scary scenarios happening in countries far away and even as close as the city of Chicago. And while I like to keep informed and form opinions of my own, it can sometimes be hard to do so with how we are fed information these days. So I am keeping my ears open and mostly just trying to think compassionately and praying for families that are losing loved ones or living in any type of fear. How terrible to have to face that. Best quote this week was "Turn off the "news", and love your neighbor." I know that is so flower child to say, but that is really where I am at right now.  

In more fun news, I turn 25 next week! ha Actually I am feeling pretty good about 35. It is a good age, right? Smack dab in your thirties, wiser than your 25 year old self (by a lot), and old enough to know that swapping any BS in your life for only the good stuff is the way to go. Here's what is on my wish list. (PS: A lot of this is from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, so much good stuff)

1. Shiny new golf shoes by Nike
2. A delicate diamond necklace by Jennifer Zeuner
3 & 4 & 5. Fell in love with tennis again last week. So this dress, racket, and skirt would outfit me very well. 
6. Bluetooth headphones for running. 
7. Sleek boots from Stuart Weitzman. (on sale)
8. Love this parka for the Winter by Mackage. This one is great too.   (on sale)
9. Love these Rag & Bone booties for Fall.  (on sale)
10. And because Chanel. Always 

There is a lot of great stuff on the Nordstrom Sale. I tend to gravitate towards the coats and shoes because I think you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to the savings. Here are my picks. 





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6.27.2016

Clean Sweep

As I have proclaimed and you can clearly see from my beauty posts, I have no self control when it comes to skin products. I have had acne most of my adult life, so that, along with aging, is something that I feel I am always "fighting." Well little did I know that what I was really fighting with was all of those products. 

Let me explain. 

I got a weird rash around my nose a few months ago. I chalked it up to a break out and tried all my fancy products and prescriptions to cure it with zero success. And then it started to hurt, so I saw my dermo. Turns out I had Perioral Dermatitis  (this is such a sexy post, right? ha), a rash that is very common but you have no idea how you got it. I had to go bare bones with a plain face wash, lotion, no make up, and sensitive skin sunscreen. No serums, no retinol, no masks, basically nothing that I was currently using. This shows you maybe half of the products that I was using on my face. 
                     
             

Once the antibiotics you take are gone and everything is cleared up (thank goodness it did), you can slowly introduce products one by one every few weeks back into your routine. But I never did because the most surprising part is that my skin had never been clearer (not one pimple in sight), it had never been smoother (wait, I don't need to exfoliate a few times a week?), and it had never been calmer (redness be damned). Not that somehow I have perfect skin now, but going make up free is now the norm and I am not annoyed by my skin at all. So basically I discovered I have sensitive skin and have swept my counter clean to these new standbys. 

           
CeraVe Face Wash & Lotion
Simple Micellar Wash for when I do wear make up
Glossier Soothing Face Mist because it feels awesome and smells lovely
HQRA+ An Rx from my dermo (using just twice a week)

I am only sharing this because I know I am not the only one that fights with their skin and buys every product known to man. I do not know if this could help you, but I will tell you that a 30 day skin product detox can do some good. Now my hard earned dollars can go to better things. Like dresses and shoes. ha 

xo
Erin 
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6.24.2016

Summer Staple: The Embroidered Dress

There are those magic pieces of clothing in your closet that you reach for all summer long. You might wear it so much it does not survive the next year. And that is okay because it means you made a sweet investment. A boho-meets-preppy embroidered dress can absolutely be that work horse piece that takes you from errand running, to the pool, and out for an al fresco dinner. Just add leather sandals for day and your favorite wedges for night. Here are twelve options that I am lusting after. 




9. Michael Kors (on sale) / 10. Ulla Johnson (on sale) / 11. Sea / 12. Rebecca Taylor

Happy Weekend! 
xo
Erin 
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6.22.2016

Shady Business Does Good

Have you ever tried Warby Parker? In a world where your sunglasses can go missing at any moment (cringe face, it happened recently) it is nice to know you can get a chic, quality pair for under $100. Warby Parker takes the middle man of retail out of the sunglasses business and brings you designer quality shades for half the cost or more. They also do prescription eyeglasses. The fun part is that for free they will send you five pairs to try on at home. Then you just send them all back and order the pair you love. They also use USPS, so it is as simple as a trip to your mailbox. I recently needed a new pair of dark shades and picked out the five that I liked best. 

                   
Trying them all on at home made it easy and fun to see what they might look like in real life and not in a well lit department store. 
                          
Styles clockwise from top left: ReillyBanksRaglan, Lowry, Robinson

These are actually a lot different even though they kind of all look the same. ha This go around I went with Reilly, which have always been my go to classics. Although the Banks were a close second. 

I am eyeing so many other shapes and colors too. Like the Raglan in pink and Banks in peach. There are honestly so many great options


Bonus about Warby Parker is that for ever pair they sell, they donate a pair of eyeglasses to someone around that world that needs them (read more about it here). So you look great, but you feel even better knowing you are helping someone see more clearly who needs it.  Feel good fashion is kind of the best. 

And note that this is not a paid ad. I really just love this company so much. 
xo
Erin 

6.10.2016

Meet in the Midi


There is something so fresh and ladylike about a midi length dress. It is a great way to cover up a bit while still showing off a little leg and some gorgeous shoes. They do look best with a heel or wedge and could be your summer staple from weddings to backyard bbqs. 

 1. Wayf $68 (also in coral) / 2. Mara Hoffman $198 / 3. Jill Stuart $271 / 4. Sea $330 / 5. BB Dakota $55 / 6. Love Sam $208 / 7. J. Crew $148 (also in black)

I snatched up that Wayf dress already and it is a huge steal. Fits perfectly. I also am loving that hassled Love Sam so much for the summer! So many cute options. 

xo
Erin 

6.08.2016

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing

This salad is so simple and so unexpected. A nice departure from your usual rotation. If you brought this to your next backyard bbq, you would be judged as someone that clearly knows how to cook. And I promise it is all smoke and mirrors because it is so simple. Just a few ingredients and you have yourself a bright, healthy, nutty salad that took about 10 minutes of work. I roast extra vegetables so I can have it for lunch the next day. And extra dressing is perfect for dipping. So make more than you need, you will thank me. Oh, and tahini. Use the rest of the jar to make hummus or sesame noodles


Roasted Vegetable Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Imperfect Polish 2016
makes 4 side portions or two entree portions

For the dressing: 
Juice of two lemons
1/3 cup of tahini (in Asian/middle eastern food section or in refrigerated section near the hummus usually)
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon honey or agave
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil 
water to thin if needed

For the salad: 
1/2 sweet onion or 1 shallot, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
5 -6 asparagus spears, cut in 2 inch pieces 
1 eggplant, diced 
*Add or subtract and veggies you want! Anything works
olive oil
about 6 cups of greens/lettuce of your choice (use what you love best!)
handful of chopped cilantro or parsley if you have it 
Roasted pumpkin seeds, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients expect the water. Taste and adjust for seasoning and thin with a bit of warm water if it is too thick. Continue to add a bit until it is the consistency you like. The more water you add the more salt and pepper you will need. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to 2 days in advance. 

Cover 1 or 2 large baking sheets with foil depending on how much vegetables you have. place the vegetables in one single payer on the sheet(s), drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss with clean hands until well covered and spread out again. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, tossing once half way, until veggies are cooked and a bit golden brown. Place the cooked veggies on a plate or platter and let come to room temperature (the freezer or fridge helps move this along if needed). Can be made one day in advance. 

To assemble the salad, use a large bowl. Place the greens on the bottom, veggies on top, and dress with desired amount of dressing to taste. Sprinkle the chopped herbs and pumpkin seeds on top if using. 

Enjoy! 
xo
Erin 






6.03.2016

Chandelier Shopping

I have been talking about giving our dining room a refresh for quite some time. And I am starting to feel motivated for some reason. It is hilarious how you can live somewhere for years and put things off for so long. But I always tell clients, better to really live somewhere for a bit before you dive into projects. So I guess I am taking my own advice. This is the dining room currently. Boring. ha


All the furniture was Matt's great grandmother's (chairs new, buffet and breakfront not pictured) and those random things all over the mantel were from the holidays (old photo). All this place needs is a bit of paint (dark navy above chair rail), some additional moldings (under chair rail all painted white), a new light fixture, a great mirror for above the fireplace, and a big piece of art for over the buffet. Lighting is probably my least favorite thing to choose because like rugs, I torture myself with the decision. I actually love the fixture we have, but it does not go with the style of our home or the furniture (If interested in buying lmk). I have narrowed down the field for a replacement and thought you might be looking as well, so here are the options...


Some simple, but pretty pieces...
1. Really loving the lines of this Thomas O'Brien $735 (four finish options) 
2. Just enough curve on this one by Barbara Berry $945 
3. Simple but such a statement maker Anthropologie $1750

 Some more feminine, but not too ornate options...
1. Really love the rope like feel of this E.F. Chapman $895 
2. This is such a classic shape and I love the star One Kings Lane $1195
3. Not sure I want to do a shade again, but this is pretty. Bloomingdales $1170
4. The scrolling is so pretty One Kings Lane $1155

 And some other shapes that I love...
1.Such a unique shape, a little modern, but cool One Kings Lane $1399
2. This is the lantern everyone wants, always a good choice One Kings Lane $629
3. The round shape and shades feel very grown up One Kings Lane $1155

Clearly this is an investment, so I want to choose correctly. I will keep you posted when something gets put up. As for paint, that might have to wait until this Fall. Some fun projects to come that I cannot wait to share. 

xo
Erin 









6.01.2016

Weeknight Dinner: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Corn & Green Beans

I make this pork all of the time. The marinade tenderizes the meat and gives it this great tangy flavor. You can serve it with any sides you like, but the corn is looking really good at the market and green beans are always a hit with the kids. This pork is great for company too, so add it in to the men for your next BBQ. 


             
Honey Mustard Grilled Pork Tenderloin
serves 4-6

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
a few chopped herbs if you have them. Like Rosemary or Thyme 
2 lbs pork tenderloin

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together all the ingredients expect the pork. Add in some salt and pepper. Place the pork in a plastic bag, pour marinade over, seal bag, then massage into the meat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before cooking and up to the morning of. 

Heat grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Grill pork on all sides for about 3 minutes each, depending on thickness. 15-20 minutes should be all you need. You want the meat to feel a bit firm, but not too much. Pull meat off grill and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. 


Classic Green Beans
make as much as you want

Enough green beans to feed your crowd
olive oil
garlic, smashed or sliced
butter

Trim green beans and keep whole or cut into pieces. Place in a pot and cover with just enough water to cover. Add a good slug of olive oil, salt, and the garlic. Place the pot on the stove over high heat. once boiling, turn heat down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Green beans should be just tender. Drain well and return back to the pot. Toss with a bit of butter and season with salt and pepper. 

2 Minute Corn on Cob
make as much as you want

Get as much corn as you need, shuck and clean it. Wrap each cob with plastic wrap and place in the microwave. Cook on high for 1 minute. Check if done. Corn will be tender and turn a bright yellow when it is done cooking. If not there yet, add 30 seconds and repeat until done. So easy right? 

xo
Erin 

5.31.2016

Channeling Capri

Many years ago, in a lifetime far away, Matt and I spent 5 glorious days in Capri. It was the last leg of our honeymoon. We lounged on our terrace overlooking the Med, ate three course meals at least twice a day, roamed the cobble stone streets while eating gelato, and took breezy salt aired boat rides. 
Heaven. 
And frankly does not even sound real now as I sip cold coffee and watch it drizzle outside. We will go back one day we always say. Which I believe and will of course look forward to. Even if it is a decade or more from now. 
I remember we shopped a bit while we were there, but I only really treasure one piece from that trip. A pair of handmade sandals I bought from the sweetest little Italian man who also gave us great advice on where to eat lunch that day. I have not worn them much in the last few years, but simple leather sandals are having a moment right now and they have come out of hiding. 


I even found a very similar pair on Shopbop. I did some more browsing and found some other options that I am loving. A clean modern sandal that will stand the test of time. They look great with summer dresses and cuffed jeans. It makes skipping heels (which I do more often then not these days) a much easier decision and elevates errand running and pool trips. 

5. Vince

xo
Erin 

5.26.2016

Cold Shouldering

 I could tell from my last posts that included off shoulder looks that you were all into it. And frankly, so am I. Exposing a little shoulder is chic, sexy, and an easy way to show some skin for any age and shape. Details like ruffles, stripes, and embroidery make these looks unique. Happy cold shouldering...

Some dresses...
1. A modern take on the trend by by Likely
2. This Joie would be a great investment piece for summer and travel.
3. I love this sweet print. Asks 
4. Worship this perfect striped dress by Derek Lam
5. A great smocked dress with sweet details by Pepin Sylvie .

Rompers...
1. A denim ruffled romper for $39? Yes, please. Asks
2. Love that this embroidered Parker looks like two pieces. 
3. The perfect soft romper to wear every day by Ella Moss

Tops...
1. Love the breezy shape and print. Lucky
2. A satin and sporty version from Asos. LOVE
3. The perfect shape and color by Asos
4. The eyelet and front tie are so sweet. Madewell
5. Love the pink gingham on this Club Monaco top. 
6. A gauzy ruffled Rebecca Minkoff

xo
Erin 

5.24.2016

Weeknight Dinner: Chicken Burgers & Lemony Kale Salad

This is my favorite dinner right now. You can prep it in advance, but it also can come together in 20 minutes and you have a fresh, healthy dinner that is beyond satisfying. I have written abut this salad before, but it is good enough for a repeat. The kids are not into salad, (weird I know) so I just give them some fruit and extra rice dressed with olive oil, salt, and pepper on the side. Anything with lemon feels like Summer, and I think it is actually happening. So cheers to that and I hope you like this one! Ingredients are in bold to help with your grocery list. 
              


Chicken Burgers & Lemony Kale Salad
Serves 4


Step 1, make the burgers: 
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 egg
1/2 Tablespoon Worchestire sauce
1.5 lbs ground chicken (turkey would be fine too)

In a large bowl, mix together the first 4 ingredients with some salt and pepper. Add the chicken and combine softly, but well, with a fork. Form into patties (they will seem really wet, this is ok) and stick in the fridge to set for a few minutes or up to day before. 

Step 2, make the salad dressing: 
juice of one lemon
salt & pepper
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons light mayo (leave out if you are not into it)
2 tablespoons olive oil (4 if not using the mayo)

Whisk all the ingredients except the oil together in a small bowl, then stream the oil in and whisk to combine well. Taste and adjust for seasoning. If you have a really juicy lemon, you may need more oil/mayo. Set aside in fridge hours or even days ahead. 

Step 3, prep the salad: 
6 cups chopped kale, I like to slice thin, but any way is fine
2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled (I cheat and buy the pouches of it, perfect every time)
handful of chopped almondsMarcona are the best, but any are fine

Combine all three ingredients in a large bowl and set in the fridge. 

Step 4, cook burgers: 
Heat a skillet over medium high heat on the stove or heat your grill up. Cook burgers for a few minutes on each side. Depending on the thickness, it should be about 3-5 minutes per side. When it is firm, it is done. 
      

Step 5, plate: 
While the burgers are cooking, dress the salad with the vinaigrette to desired taste and toss until well combined. Place a big mound on each plate. Then add the burgers to the plate and enjoy! 

xo
Erin 


5.06.2016

Happy Mothers Day



I have a written a few different types of Mother's Day posts over the years. Tributes to my lovely mother, acknowledging how hard motherhood is, and lists of what I want (ha). They all have their place and all are a bit of a reflection of where I was at during that particular stage of actually being a mother or not. 

I know that many of you are in different stages of motherhood. 
Some are seasoned vets and may even have a grand child or two, some are held deep in the midst of teenage wrath, others might be half watching their toddlers just miss the edge of the coffee table as they jumped off the couch while you were reading this, one also might be reading this blurred eyed in the middle of the night with a newborn cradled in your arms, some might be anticipating their bump to become their child, and others may be experiencing the heartbreak of fertility issues.  

Regardless where we are, we are all in it together. I mean really no one is doing this alone. Through the ups and downs of the whole damn experience! And I am saying this only four years into it. 
I get it. 
I know you do too. 

Internet trolls may be commenting with extreme judgement on that Facebook Mom group you belong to, but I know you are rolling your eyes. 
And I know you are also telling your friend who just called balling because she just CAN'T breastfeed anymore, but she wants to, and she feels guilty, that you are so awesome for making it this far (1 day even!) and you will go get the formula for her. 
I also know you are the friend deflecting an annoying stranger who is telling your friend (who secretly has been trying for years to have a child) she shouldn't wait ANY longer to have a baby.
 I also know that you're the Mom who tells the gossipy moms watching XYZ sporting event that they need to get a life when they will not stop making comments about someone else's kid. 

I know you are all of these people and I love you. And I want to wish you a Happy Mother's Day. Because you are awesome and because I/we need you in our lives. 
Everywhere. All the time. 
xo
Erin 



5.04.2016

Outdoor Toys Round Up

It is almost that time of year when it is time to kick the kids outside for a good chunk of the day. Which of course is exciting, but there is some prep involved. We live out in the country and the kids get a kick out of exploring, digging in the dirt, and playing on the swing set. But, other distraction is always needed at some point. I dug through Amazon to come up with  options for us all so maybe we can kick back a bit while they entertain themselves. 

I wish that I loved bubbles as much as my kids. Never gets old. 
1. This bubble robot roams around and blows bubbles for you. 
1. I love these little sticks and again, someone is doing the blowing for you. Am I the laziest or what? 
3. I always get a huge jug of bubbles to have in stock. 
4. This is a little intense, but I feel like this machine won'e blow away and will go the distance. 

 Anything that moves usually gets a lot of play...
1. They have these swings at Maggie Daley Park (GO if you have not been) and they are so fun. The new tire swing I think. 
2. We have this roller coaster and even bring it inside in the winter. 
3. These little swivel cars look so fun (lots of colors). 
4. A classic car that gets years of play. 
5. The kids have been begging for a scooter. This one is good for the little ones (other colors) and this one for the bigger kids. 

 The kids love a little hang out...
1. This little play house is so charming. And apparently easy to put together. 
2. We have this classic little table. Great for eating, painting, play doh, everything. 
3. I am kind of into a tent this year. We tried putting our teepee outside, but was I would get annoyed having to bring it in. A tent could handle a rain storm or four. 

For the curious little one...
1. A little science experiment kit to keep them curious all Summer. 
2. Nice to switch up the usual sidewalk chalk with chalk paint
3. When you are expecting a crowd of kids, having a box of flying saucers around would be a good distraction. 
4. A sweet little gardening kit so they can help you. 

Sports fun and beyond...
1. Functional and cute, love this catch and throw set.
2. Because every kids loves a catapult of some variety.  
4. A great way to get your little baseball player started.  
5. A fun set to get little ones to learn to play catch. 

A bigger investment, but hours can be spent on these tramps and bounce houses...
1. This tramp is on the smaller side, but big enough for a few kids. 
2. Great tramp for the little ones.
3. A classic sized tramp with a great net and good price.  
4. We have a similar bounce house in our basement. The kids still play in it every day even two years later. 
5. A total kids fantasy. Bounce house and Tramp in one. 
6. This combines water, a slide, and a bounce house. Killer. 

 And finally, all things water for those hot days...
1. I love a splash pad instead of a pool. They are so cold and a pain. This one would get a lot of play from toddlers. 
2. Whoever invented the water table is a straight up genius. All the water fun with no danger of drowning. 
3. This sprinkler looks fun and shoots balls out of the top. 
4. If you are going to have a pool, then go with one with a roof
5. This little sprinkler is great for the little ones. 
6. And this slip and slide is down right perfect for hot summer days. 

Would love to know your favorite outdoor toys! I hope this helps you out. My prime is filled up with a lot of these. Cannot wait until it is actually warm! 
xo
Erin 

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