Friday, November 14, 2014

HERE YOU GO: 10 WAYS TO SURPRISE YOUR SWEETHEART


I'm just going to jump right into this. I'm romantic, okay? And it's fun. And you can be, too, if you want. Just do any of the following and put your babelicious heart into it.

(Sidenote: this may have something to do with my anniversary, which happened last week.)

1. Draw a bath for them, and that should definitely include something special. Splurge on Lush's "Honey Bee" Bath Bomb, because $6-ish is nothing when wooing your lover.

2. Have trouble writing sappy love letters? Write a love list instead. It could be anything from "Things I Love About You" to "Times You Made Me Laugh." Just get it on paper, hand it over, and make their day.

3. Wake them up with...hot coffee or tea. If I'm being honest, this is typically something that's done for me, but that's only because my girlfriend rules (and I'm usually the last one out of bed). When I am the first one up, though, I make this a priority. Your favorite coffee or tea addict will swoon over this gesture.

4. Cook with them, really. Especially if you have a go-to recipe up your sleeve. And duh, wine and music during! Being a food enthusiast, this is one of my favorite things to do with my girlfriend. It's seriously fun and rewarding. (May I suggest you make this raspberry tofu dish?)

5. Make a mix. Mix-tapes, mix-CDs--mixes are not dead, darlings. Or rather, they don't have to be. Hell, you can even hack into their Rhapsody or Spotify account to leave them a surprise playlist. Especially when you can't find the words yourself, a perfectly curated and thoughtful mix is the coolest thing to give your honey.

6. Pop a bottle. Don't make champagne a stranger to your life. Sure, you don't want to over-do it, but you definitely want it for celebrating things big or small with your sweetheart. They got a raise? Surprise champagne. It's National Hot Dog Day? Pop that bottle.

7. Make their day easier. It's so simple, but it can mean the world. Take out their trash, do their dishes, run their laundry, or sweep the floor. Do anything to help, especially on a day when they are super stressed.

8. Take them to a local art museum. Guys, it's probably been a while. Right? For you and your favorite person. So treat them to a day at an art museum. If you're feeling inspired after, gather a canvas and paints and make abstract artwork together.

9. Dinner and a movie. Or should I say dinner in a movie? Either sneak in Chinese take-out or compile a dinner of buttered popcorn, candy, and soda pop. Pick your poison, and screw the latest rom-com. Go for horror or documentary, okay?

10. Propose a plan. This doesn't have to be marriage and three little ones. It can be a creative project, an adventurous road trip, or a move together. You can learn so much about each other by mapping something out, simple or complicated, and it will surprise the both of you.

That's all I've got for you (for now). I just love this shit.

Friday, November 7, 2014

IT'S ALL HAPPENING

Remember a while back (click here) when I mapped out some cities I'd like to move to? Well, a decision has been made. Michela and I would've never guessed we'd be moving to this part of the country before doing our research, but one thing is for sure--we wanted an adventure. It's good to shake things up and explore a new scene. We are so stoked and basically can't stop talking about a new life in a new city. We won't be making our move until August of next year, and you can find out where after scrolling through some glimpses of our new home below...







1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6

Monday, November 3, 2014

WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO, 11/3


Freaking out about
Planning a move to a new city/daydreaming about life there! (I'll share where later this week...)
The holiday season. Tis the muthafuckin' season, ya'll. I'm totally into it.

Indulging in
Biscuits like crazy. Went to Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits TWICE while in Chicago this last weekend.
Gin and tonics, which lead to...
Lazy Sundays.

Listening to
Audiobooks for the first time, ever. They rule and are perfect during my morning routine.
Entire discographies of favorites, which I'll give you a list of soon.
My girl Billie Holiday. I always come back 'round to her.

Browsing
Reddit. Reddit, Reddit, Reddit. You see, I quit peeking at it over my girlfriend's shoulder and now have an account. My favorite sub-reddit so far is "Explain Like I'm Five" (ELI5) because it answers some of the questions and mysteries that we're all too embarrassed to ask about.
Minimalist style blogs Into Mind and Un-Fancy, and they're so refreshing.


What have you been indulging in lately? Tell me now!

Monday, October 27, 2014

RECIPE: THAI-STYLE BAKED SWEET POTATOES


The sweet potato has basically become my BFF. Roasted, mashed, or baked in foil, its sweetness hits the spot with either a sprinkling of salt or sugar. I often bake one for dinner and top it with greek yogurt, cheese, green onions, and, duh, hot sauce. But recently I thought I'd take things one step further and drop these toppings on their heads. The result: a Thai-inspired sweet potato. It's perfect for that mood where you want to be rocked to sleep by a comfort food and also have a flavor adventure at the exact same time, a mood which apparently strikes me often.

And the fortune cookies pictured? I know they don't usually accompany Thai food. It's just that my girlfriend and I bought fortune cookies in bulk like any cool people would and we ate them with every single meal until they were gone.


THAI-STYLE BAKED SWEET POTATOES

1. Preheat to 375 and bake two sweet potatoes. My favorite way is to poke holes, massage with olive oil, and rub coarse sea salt on 'em. Then just pop on a baking sheet and bake, no foil necessary!

2. Sauté some veg. I like to toss sesame oil, broccoli, shredded carrots, and minced garlic around for a few minutes.

3. Whip up a sauce:

Thai Peanut Sauce (serves two)
Whisk together:
   - 2 tbsp. sesame oil
   - 2 tbsp. peanut butter
   - 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
   - 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
   - 1/2 tsp soy sauce
   - 2 tbsp plum sauce
   - 1 clove garlic, crushed
   - 1/2 tsp. mustard (optional, adds zing)

* This sauce can be so easily altered. I always keep these ingredients on hand and use them in peanut sauce, but on different days I'm craving slightly different flavors. Want it creamier? Go heavy on the coconut milk. Tangy? Add more garlic and the optional mustard. Nice and sweet? Plum sauce is your everything.

4. Slather your two potatoes in peanut sauce, then top with sautéed veggies, plain greek yogurt, and green onions.

AND THAT'S THAT. 
I recommend eating on the couch, in front of an episode of Transparent.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WARDROBE WISHLIST: TIME TO RE-FRESH

You know, for years I've strictly thrifted for everything clothing-wise. Well, pretty much everything material in my life. I love the thrill of the hunt, and sweet jesus am I good at it. After I rifled through my wardrobe and basically cleared out 75% of it for donations, though, I felt in need of a wardrobe re-fresh. With very few dollars to my name, I'm looking toward the inexpensive Forever 21 to inject a little life into my outfits. Here are some things I have my eye on for purchasing or even just thrifting inspiration. You better believe, though, that after picking up a few new items I'll be right back in the musty aisles of rick-rack and old clothes looking for treasures.

Monday, September 29, 2014

VLOG: A SUMMER WEEK

So long, summertime.
I won't miss your heat but I will love on these little moments
I happened to have my camera handy for.