Thursday, August 29, 2013

{Vegetarian} Greek Lentil Casserole

greek lentil casserole
I have been expanding my repertoire on Mediterranean dishes so that I can impress my future Greek mother-in-law one day (just need to find the Greek boyfriend first...). Even though it will probably be years before I actually visit Greece myself, I can always wander around Greek Town in Chicago. While it is only comprised of about 3 small intersecting streets, Greek Town is full of restaurants fit for Santorini, baklava bakeries, Greek-good stores, a mysterious religious candles & spells shop, and a Hellenic Museum. I'm sure if I hang out there more often, a nice Greek lady will want me to meet her son (I'll just lie and say my last name is Lonerganopolis to fit in...). 

Anyways, here is the recipe for a 
I more or less did everything her recipe instructed (except: I used green lentils because I already had them and didn't use a bay leaf or oregano) and it came out just wonderful and flavorful. Lentils are especially good for keeping you full for a long time - a perfect lunch to bring to work! 
greek lentil casserole

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mixtape Monday: Bon Voyage, Summer


The end of August will always mark the end of summer to me, even without being in school anymore. I've got an amazing batch of summery music perfect for the nostalgic last few weeks of the season...

1. Elevate - St. Lucia (The newest single from my favorite band without a proper full-lengh album, but fear not, their glittery debut drops in October.)
2. Bon Voyage - Marlene ∞ (This luxurious, summery single inspired this playlist - must watch the video for it above. You'll be hooked.)
3. All I Know - Washed Out (Off their very amazing latest effort, Paracosm, which I wished came out earlier in the summer, only because of it's perfectly lush, chillwave sound.)
4. So Far Away - Charli XCX
5. The Wire - HAIM (cannot wait for their debut album - coming in October as well)
6. End of the Line - Sleigh Bells (love this video)
7. Cool - Gwen Stefani (another great video - summer love at it's best)
8. Think of You - MSMR (This was definitely one of my anthems this summer - "I still think of you, and all the sh*t you put me through, and I know now you were wrong...")
9. Ride - Lana Del Rey (gorgeous video, gorgeous song)
10. Magic Kids - Indians (for fans of: M83 and Lord Huron)
11. No Stranger - Small Black
12. All Over Now - Washed Out
13. It'll Get You There - Rilo Kiley
14. A Great Design - Black Marble (80's on a cassette tape)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Diamond Candles {Giveaway} // CLOSED

diamond candle diamond candle
It's time for another GIVEAWAY! This time I've giving away a free Diamond Candle - an all natural soy candle with a surprise ring hidden inside! Too cool right?
I've been burning my Lavender Lemon Diamond Candle a lot lately in my new apartment, and have been loving it's summer-in-France fresh scent. It was like finding treasure when I burned down to the ring (which is pictured above and below). The rings range from $10 - $5,000, so be sure to bring yours to a specialist to see if it's the real deal...

Check out Diamond Candles on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter to see more of what they are all about!
diamond candle diamond candle
The giveaway will be open now through Sunday September 1st 11:59pm. Once I have randomly chosen a winner, I will send you an email with a code to choose your very own Diamond Candle - the scent is up to you! Good luck!
diamond candle

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kitchen Inspiration {Pinterest}

bookshelf as kitchen storage {pin it / source}
I've been getting my apartment all decorated and set up and have been relying heavily on my Home Inspiration Pinterest Board. It's almost there and I cannot wait to share with you all the final results. Just gotta get a few rugs, hang up more art, and put on the last touches...
above: use liquid starch to attach cute material to your rental kitchen cabinets {pin it / source}
below:  chalkboard paint an old fridge {pin it / source} // wooden pallets as shelves {pin it / source}
Queens Park Interior
above: hanging kitchen herbs {pin it / source} // great idea to display tea tins {pin it / source}
below: the best color for a kitchen {pin it / source}

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mixtape Monday: Alt-Country

Neko Case, the Queen of Alt-Country

My southern roots don't go as far as sweet tea and country music, I'm a little too left-of-center for it, but I do love me some alternative country. It's got all the twang and strums as a typical country song, but is more experimental when it comes to lyrics and voice types. Get out your Moonshine for a Neko Cake Cocktail and make a give this genre a listen, you won't be dissatisfied. 

1. Broken Yolk in Western Sky - Benjamin Gibbard (The Death Cab frontman puts on his finest cowboy hat.)
2. I Was Cruel - Caitlin Rose
3. She Lit A Fire - Lord Huron
4. Goodnight Rose - Ryan Adams (He is probably the grandfather of this genre, being one of the first to pin this genre.)
5. Change is Hard - She & Him
6. One Woman Army - Kate Earl
7. Little Lovin' - Lissie
8. 20 Miles - Deer Tick
9. The Needle Has Landed - Neko Case
10. The One That Got Away - The Civil Wars (This is off their latest sophomore album, which is so so good...)
11. Something Pretty - Patrick Park
12. Cadillac Desert - William Tyler
13. Eavesdrop - The Civil Wars (...seriously get it!)
14. Country Clutter - Dolorean
15. Ashes & Fire - Ryan Adams
16. On the Road- Houndmouth
17. O' Be Joyful - Shovels & Rope

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I am loving this kaleidoscopic, trippy music video by one of my favorite bands of the moment- CHVRCHES. I think I have featured all their music they have released thus far on various mixtapes, and I cannot wait for their full-length debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, to be out on September 24th.
Enjoy, and have a glorious weekend! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I made these Caramelitas bars as a thank-you gift recently, and I will absolutely be making them again. Crunchy oats, rich milk chocolate, and creamy caramel equal up to the perfect dessert - and hostess gift! So friggin' delicious - just look at them!
Grab the recipe here - Caramelitas by Lulu the Baker

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mixtape Monday: 60's & Sunny

A few years ago I caught The Young Girls of Rochefort on TV, and although it was halfway into the movie, I was still entranced. The 60's, the effortless French quality about it, the pastel colors, the perfectly choreographed scenes that take place in a lazy, sunny beach town. It's all fluff, but it's eye candy that also happens to feature a young Catherine Deneuve. The images and scenes from this film are sort of ingrained into my imaginary inspiration board - and also inspire this week's mixtape: 60's & Sunny. Cutesy, 60's-style, sun-bleached tunes, ready for a choreographed number in the town square.

1. Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura
2. Paris - Kate Nash
3. Delayed Devotion - Duffy
4. I've Got Your Number, Son - She & Him
5. Long Boat Pass - Tennis
6. If She Wants Me - Belle & Sebastian
7. Let's Get Out of this Country - Camera Obscura
8. Distant Dreamer - Duffy
9. Here I Am - Adam Green/Binki Shapiro
10. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me - She & Him
11. Pigeon - Tennis
12. Remember - The Raveonettes
13. If You Find Yourself Caught in Love - Belle & Sebastian
14. The Opposite of Hallelujah - Jens Lekman
15. Most Wanted - Cults
16. Rip Van Winkle - Shannon and The Clams


Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer Snapshots {ATL ~ Asheville}

Finally getting around to posting all my summer pictures - May thru July. May seems like a century ago! A lot happened in my last Southern summer in Georgia...

(I should have organized these in chronological order, but I like organizing them in a more completely out of order, color-grouped, aesthetic way.)
asheville asheville atl childhood
above: colorful street art in Asheville, NC
below: cool reflective building in the heart of Buckhead, ATL / an old letter I wrote to my mom in the car, circa 1997 - enlarge to read, and laugh
^Got to meet up with one of my best friends from college in Asheville. She is working as a raft guide there. We spend a lovely few days together, eating our way through the city.
mother's day anthro anthro french wedding
above: a picture from my birthday, which fell on Mother's Day this year / Anthropologie display
below: Anthro's window display / a french wedding cake!
french wedding french wedding french wedding french weddng
above and below: All these shots are from a French wedding that I helped set up for work. My boss and her husband did an outstanding job, it looked like what I think heaven will be like - cured meats and cheeses.
friends paella asheville catherine!
above: one of my last nights in town, going out with friends / paella dinner at a dear family friends casa
below: all-you-can-eat mussels and fries / old high school friend!
^ice cream is like my family

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mixtape Monday: Dear Chicago

I'm here. I made it. I am in Chicago. 
My parents and I have spent the last few days getting my apartment all set up and home-y and they just left this evening. So many emotions. Mostly, I can'y believe this moment is here, the thing I've talked most about the past 2 years or more. It's here. What now? I know once I find a job and start classes at The Second City - and once my roommate gets here - I'll feel a more comfortable. I know that future friends are here and that I just haven't crossed paths with them yet. My career, what ever that may be, is here. 
My future relies on this place, which is a statement that puts a lot of pressure on myself and my surroundings, but it was what I intended. I want to start my life here. And it's begun already. 
Tomorrow I plan on exploring and getting a feel for what I've gotten myself into (please catch my sarcasm).The thing is, is that I have put myself in this "situation," I've decided to uproot my life and go somewhere that I am a stranger to. This was all something I chose to do, and something I will relish once the loneliness and homesick blues go away. Missing friends and family is part of the deal, when you choose to follow your dreams.
I feel like a college freshman all over again - except I am legal and I got to choose my awesome roommate. Cheers to adventures in Chicago and a brand-spanking new chapter in my life! 
Sorry if this post was cynical/woe-me sounding, not my usual tone, but I feel as though I should document exactly how I am feeling right now. 
Here is a playlist of some Chicago/moving away-themed music that I listened to on the ride here:

1. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens (it's basically my theme song right now)
2. Lake Michigan - Rogue Wave
3. Neu Chicago - Clive Tanaka y su orquesta
4. Heavy Metal Drummer - Wilco (they are from Chicago)
5. Chicago x 12 - Rogue Wave (as is this band)
6. Blue Skies - Noah and the Whale (This song is about moving on to better things, bluer skies are ahead. I get such warm feelings when I hear it.)
7. The Beauty Surrounds - Houses (another band of Chi-town)
8. The Winner Is - Devotchka & Mychael Danna
9. With Arms Outstretched - Rilo Kiley (driving to the "promised land")
10. Dear Chicago - Ryan Adams
11. The First Days of Spring - Noah and the Whale (This song gives me goosebumps every single time I hear it.)
12. Shine On - Jet
13. I Will Be Back One Day - Lord Huron
14. The Giant of Illinois - Andrew Bird (Andrew is from Chicago, and boy, do I hope to bump into him one day.)
15. Come On! Feel the Illinoise!, Pt. I: The World's Columbian Exposition / Pt. II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me In a Dream - Sufjan Stevens
16. I Move On - Chicago the Musical Soundtrack
17. Sweet Jazz Music - Jelly Roll Morton

hear the road trip:
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