8.22.2016

Coconut Flour Snickerdoodles

While at the market picking up my usual bag of full-gluten-no-fiber-just-like-your-grandma's-flour I saw a pretty little bag of organic coconut flour. And while I had zero idea what I would do with it, I figured coconuts are delicious so flour from it has got to be good for something. So I got both bags and sort of forgot about it until I found it hiding in the back of the pantry looking sad, since my reg flour was still very much in the spotlight around here. The kids were sick at home and I needed to get them doing something besides watch tv, so baking with coconut flour was happening. I found this recipe on Goop and had all but one of the ingredients, but it being so healthful all my expectations were pretty low. My other forays into "healthy" baking have not been great. But I have to say, these are AMAZING. Seriously, make them and be wowed and pat yourself on the back with alternative flour greatness. Nothing can replace real flour and butter, but these are a great second place.  

                   
Coconut Flour Snickerdoodles
Makes 14 small cookies

1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon flaky salt (use any though if you do not have)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar (I used regular sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. To make the dough, stir together the almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the egg and mix to combine. Add the salt, coconut flour, and baking powder and mix well.
3. Combine the coconut sugar and ground cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Roll the dough into 14 equal balls, then coat each cookie in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Press the cookies down slightly, then pop in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
5. Cool to room temperature before eating.
Enjoy! xo Erin 

8.17.2016

A Mighty Mini


It seems like everyone is sporting a little mini cross body these days. Besides the amazingness that is "hands free," there is a lot to love about these little lovelies. Most of all that most of them double duty as a clutch and it helps you edit down what you really need in life. Sans kids, my current arsenal is mineral sunscreen, credit card, cash, phone, and lip balm. I have been eyeing a few different styles and decided to just do a full round up for you. Because a little bag can make a girl really happy. 

While still an investment, these designer options bring the luxury for slightly less
       
1. Bottega Veneta / 2. YSL / 3. Gucci / 4. Chanel  / 5. Balenciaga (comes in a bunch of colors) / 6. Salvatore Ferragamo (also comes in pink

Loving the bright color options. Wear with jeans and tee, add your favorite sandals and it is the perfect pop. 

A classic saddle bag is effortless and functional
1. Sophie Hulme (beautiful) 2. Oliveve / 3. Madewell / 4. Chloe (comes in a bunch of colors) / 5. Chloe / 6. Alexander Wang / 7. Tory Burch (obsessed) / 8. Chloe / 9. Sophie Hulme (had to repeat, it is that good)

These top handle bags double as a cross body and a tote. Got to love the multi-use 

I also love the shape of a classic envelope
                        
Love a PS1 (pink and navy)

The bucket is still a cool girl favorite 
                         
Bottom: Stella McCartney (not really bucket, but so cute) / Shaffer (love the white and navy)

And this camera bag shape is always a fav
                  
1. Rebecca Minkoff (also in navy) / 2. Gucci / 3. J. Crew (comes in 5 colors) / 4. Gucci / 5.Valentino (also in pink) / 6. Tory Burch

Which one is your favorite? 
xo
Erin 


8.09.2016

Sun Porch Planning

We are still in the early stages of a possible renovation. Which is exciting and stressful. But mostly exciting. One thing our house has been screaming for since we moved in was a screened in porch. Another family space that we can use to chill and eat, but can also be designed for year round use. And while we have not even started, I of course am already plotting out design ideas. Our home is traditional and set in a rustic setting, so I would like to combine those aspects along with a nod to my favorite coastal style. For the living space, something like this would be nice...


Lantern: Gabby Decor / Chairs: Serena & Lily / Rug: Shades of Light / Coffee Table: West Elm  (Or this one) / Sofa: West Elm / Brass side table: West Elm  / White side table: West Elm /  Framed Sailing Photo: Serena & Lily / Abstract Painting: Serena & Lily

The walls will most likely be white and floors a wood tile (radiant heat), so I like the mix of neutrals and navy. A little brass helps warm it up a bit and that big lantern is such a great statement. 

For dining I want to go a little more rustic/farm house. But add in a fun rug to keep it interesting. 


 Reclaimed Dining Table: West Elm / White chairs: Serena & Lily / Rug: Serena & Lily

My hope is to do a built in bench on one side, but those details are not quite there. Hopefully things will be underway soon so I can share fun design ideas on here and instagram. Are we snap chatting now too? If so, I can add that in for you. ha

Anyone else add on a porch recently? Would love to hear ideas, things to do, things not to do! 
xo
Erin 





8.04.2016

Let's Go West For A Cause

Everyone loves going cowgirl once in awhile. Especially for a good cause. Next month is the Barn Dance benefitting Advocate Good Shepard Hospital hosted by the Shepard's Circle. You can buy tickets here, and be prepared for a fun night of drinks, food, games, and dancing. Here are some looks I put together, just add a hat...

LOVE this suede dress. Paired with a long turquoise necklace and shiny western inspired boots

A super soft plaid shirt dress, paired with an oversized denim jacket and the cutest monogram boots

For a slightly edgier look, this chambray tunic and distressed denim would look killer with these fringed sandals and braided clutch

Love these Rails shirts year round and paired with classic 501 cut offs, a bib necklace, and these fun (cozy looking too) fringed moccasins rounds out such a cute look for the event. 

And if you want to help the cause even more, Heads Up Boutique is having a shopping event tonight, Thursday August 4th, from 5:30-8pm. 


As if you needed an excuse to go shop there. 
Yee-haw! 
xo
Erin 


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7.29.2016

Friday Favorites

Aaannnnndddd, it's the weekend. Thank goodness. I am off with my high school friends to celebrate a very special bride to be for the weekend. There will be a lot of wine spritzers, 90s hip hop, and laughing until our face hurts. Cannot wait. I hope you are up to something fun too. Here are my current favorites from the week...

1. I have been without a LBD for sometime, so when I stumble upon this Helmet Lang one it was fate. Thick scuba fabric that does not cling or wrinkle, and can easily be dressed up or down. 
2. Mary and I have been sporting our new Käärmi bands every day. 
3. Loving this in shower body lotion. Nice to not have to be cold out of the shower, then put cold lotion on. Works great too. 
4. Loving the look of steel shower doors. Gearing up for a remodel and hoping we can execute it. Anyone have them? Would love to hear your thoughts. 
5. Found the perfect not really red, not really pink shade of lip gloss that can be layered for less or more impact. 
6. Went a bit off my usual sunglasses style with these Marc Jacobs aviators, for sure my most complimented pair to date. 
7. Still love walking into the family room and seeing this giant ottoman from Minda Home.  And those Caitlin Wilson pillows
8. I was gifted this pouch set by Roberta Roller Rabbit and have been using them every day since. They are waterproof and perfect for wet bathing suits and sunscreen. 
9. I have been living in this super soft romper all summer. I wish I had it in five colors. 

Happy Weekend! 
xo
Erin 

7.28.2016

From the Archives: Roasted Cod with Caponata

Have you evert tried caponata? My obsession runs deep from 2010 when I first started trying to make it at home. Imagine lots of veggies, rich tomatoes, and briney capers all melted together into sweet and salty perfection. Caponata is a great thing to make a pot of and use over the course of a week. Great for dipping bread in, tossed with pasta, grilled meats, or topped on your favorite white fish like this recipe. I like to use cod or halibut when I make this because it is a firm fish that can stand up to the strong caponata. This is the perfect recipe for even the harshest of fish critics, everyone wins. 


Roasted Cod with Caponata
forks & amusement 2010
serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large celery stalks, large chop
2 baby eggplant, large chop
2 red bell peppers, large chop
1 onion, large chop
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon of oregano
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons capers
salt & pepper
1 large cod filet (about 1.25-1.5 lb), you can use an firm white fish that you love as well, halibut would be great too

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the celery to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the eggplant to the pan and cook for 2 minutes with the celery. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and add the peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, adding the garlic for the last minute. Pour in the tomatoes with their juices and the oregano. Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste. Change heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and vegetables have softened. Add the vinegar, sugar and capers. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. (this can be made in advance and stored for a few days in the fridge. Make extra and enjoy all week with bread, my fave)

Place fish on a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the caponata over the fish and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until fish is cooked through and firm to the touch. 

Serve in pieces, topped with caponata. 

xo
Erin 

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 

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