Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Too much or just perfect?

I've been dreaming of renovating our little galley kitchen for four years.  Nothing huge - just little things to modernize it and bring some design-love to the outdated space.  Of course, I have been storing up ideas for all these years... here's a new one: Black Tile for the walls.  Hmmm... too dramatic?  I want the kitchen to be all black and white w/ a little grey/green.  What do you think?

by Joe Maer via Desire to Inspire

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'll take one of each

I just discovered Totokaelo.  It's an amazing store, and I wish I could buy everything.  Really!

Friday, November 05, 2010

boozy fruit

This summer was my first time experimenting with booze-infused-fruit preserving (arguably, you could this fruity-booze OR boozy-fruit... there's no right way).  It's really great because it's hard to mess-up and takes like 20 minutes (instead of hours).  I still want to try cranberries (with vodka? gin?) which are just coming into season now.  I wonder if this is possible with like walnuts or hazelnuts... how DO they make those infusions?
Here's a great source for ideas and instructions... Spiking Summer Fruit in Order to Preserve It
image via NY Times article

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Fall is best

Fall is my very favorite season, and this fall has been the best ever in Michigan.  Sunshine nearly everyday, amazing colors, mild cool nights with balmy afternoons...  And today is the first day with the prediction of snow flurries (super delayed from my Michigan experience*), so I am very excited.  I love snow.**
LL Bean Signature's fall collection captures it all so well...  Just lovely.
*My first winter in my current job, I planned an outdoor fashion show for October 3; there was a snow STORM October 3.
**Remind me that I feel this way in March... or in mid-April when  it's STILL snowing in Michigan... but for now I will enjoy the newness of it all!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Simply the best


Oh, it's real.  Hours of entertainment are waiting for you.
(thanks KVGR, who has a special flair for finding amazing websites based on the word "regret")

Friday, October 01, 2010


Me knitting last winter (my hair is WAY longer now! But I'm still working on the same project as then.)
Thursday nights Daniel teaches and I have nothing going on, so they are my one alone evening of each week.  I love walking Conrad, watching TV, knitting, eating a real dinner (sometimes my only real dinner of the week).  So, while my Thursdays are blissfully unsocial, I love these ideas for more social evenings...
Thursdays.  These ladies have recipes paired with crafts for an evening with friends.  And the photos are amazing...
A much sexier knitting photo from Thursdays

I love blue sea

This is the coolest idea.  Sustainable seafood direct... makes sense for a midwest girl who knows it's all being shipped-in anyways. I really want to buy some oysters!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

i don't need these... I don't need these

I really don't need these---- oh, why do I want them so? (need supply co... nice name. very tricky).

Friday, September 24, 2010

what are you doing this weekend?

I'm always super ambitious for my weekends... but here's my list of what I'd love to do (plus a little of what I have to do):
make lavender-honey ice cream (oh my!)
have a fire in the fireplace
read my homework
finish knitting a cashmere scarf (lace pattern)
See the next movie of the trilogy (The Girl Who Played with Fire)
bike ride (if the weather cooperates)
ArtPrize (opening weekend!!!)
brunch at Sarah and Andy's house (pre-artprize brunch)

Think I can do it all?  And SLEEP?  When the weather is teetering between cool and warm, I have to try and get-in as many warm weather activities as I can before it's too cold to move anywhere except between my bed, the hot shower, and place I have to be in order to keep my job.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pour Porter

One of my favorite blogs, Pour Porter's store is simple and creative.  And the new Fall lookbook is amazing!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

tory burch

I want to blog about fashion so much but I just hardly have time to keep up with everything else in my life, much less blog about it!  But it's never too late to start....

My friend, kvgr, found this book, The Thoughtful Dresser, and I just can't stop reading it.  But I want to savor it... there are so few good books on style and clothing.

Check out the Tory Burch collection... LOVE everything. (I've never loved her stuff in the past, so this is surprise).  I'm thinking orange-red is a fun color right now... very optimistic and classic somehow.

Eric Wilson's short commentary on the Isaac Mizrahi "IM Xerox" is thought provoking... In the meantime, did you know that Xerox is trying desperately to rebrand?  I'm wondering how they feel about the title of the collection!

On this cloudy Michigan day, these colors are inspiring and refreshing... (via Jak & Jill Blog)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

love love love

These are SO beautiful!  I have a weakness for geodes.  What can I say?

Friday, August 20, 2010

i love living in Michigan

Today I'm going on a much anticipated retreat with my book club ladies (even though I didn't come close to finishing the Brothers K... that's what grad school will do to you, I guess) to enjoy a sunny day at the lake, and cool night by a bonfire.  Michigan can be unbelievably perfect this time of year, or manipulatively grumpy and humid.  But, still, when I see this restaurant on Dwell's website I want to move to California when I read about places like Farmstead Restaurant.  Or, maybe I should open one myself here!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

strawberries, hmmmm

Yesterday Leesh and I went strawberry picking and came back with about 10 lbs each!  for $1.25 a pound, it's hard not to get greedy.  Now for the big question: what next?  I could freeze them, and I LOVE strawberries in smoothies.  But, I want to make JAM! here's the two recipes I'm going to try out....
Ready for this?  Strawberry Basil Jam and Strawberry Provence Jam.  Pretty fancy, eh?  Well, don't count your chickens before they hatch, Erin.  Pectin is a scary thing at times.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

having a blast

Daniel and I are home-bodies who tend to like to lose ourselves in our own little world(s).  We have demanding jobs that ask us to give of ourselves all day, so home is haven of rest for the two of us, and we love it this way.  That said, we also have some amazing friends and people we'd love to be closer to.  Now that it's summer and we don't have to work our normal hours, I find this blog post from one of my favorite daily reads, Giver's Log, so inspiring.  Especially the ideas in the comments section - I can't wait to try a few!!  Like the 24-hour rule party, where you are only allowed to bring what you had in your home at the time you received the email invite 24-hours prior.  So fun and laid-back.
(photo from giverslog)

favorite things about summer....

this is where Daniel and I will go this next week...
so that we can go here to taste Michigan wine
Plus we'll be kayaking, biking along the coastal trails, and resting.  Oh! and can you believe this place...
The Cherry Bowl Drive-in!! 
Our little staycation.
For another person's amazing summer plans and inspiration, check out this blog: Summer Goals

Iceland anyone?

Inspired by Iceland Video from Inspired By Iceland on Vimeo.

Friday, May 14, 2010

sunshine is finally here!

Michigan Mays are always a total gamble.  Last week it got so cold, I could see my breath while walking Conrad.  And my basil, which I foolishly planted in a pot on my back porch, is completely burned to a crisp by the late night frosts.  But I can replant new basil because the sun is out!  And maybe I can plant my garden soon too.  Pepper plants, zucchini seeds, and carrot seeds are waiting in the wings, and soon the farmers market will have heirloom tomato plants.
Right now, I'm dreaming of hosting garden parties with this cart...
And I'd wear this dress...
(sorry, no pic)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Loving and listening

I am:
loving this artist.  She's playing at the Ladies Literary Club this week on Thursday night... if you're in Grand Rapids, please join us!!

wishing to go on a road trip with my girlfriends to Columbus, OH for this ice cream
waiting anxiously to plant my garden for the summer!!  I've already planted sweet peas, but my raised beds need a lot of work.  For inspiration: remodelista

Friday, February 12, 2010

new blog!

This is not just any new blog... this is an instant favorite!  Lulu of LuluDK design is blogging and what a treat.  Feast your eyes on her Trail of Inspiration!

Friday, February 05, 2010

LOVE at first sight

These pitchers are lovely.

a spoonful of sugar

Last night was tax night for me. I like to get it done as soon as I can, and despite the ease that TurboTax brings, I always dread doing my taxes.  Fear of not having all the documents or miss-typing a number creeps in.  So, to make the medicine go down better, I made this amazing recipe: Northern Italian pasta sauce.
(not an actual picture of MY sauce, but it looked just the same)

What's the big deal?  Just pasta sauce, you say?  NO, cries Erin!  This is amazing!!  The trick: simplicity.  This is the easiest sauce ever (put on my radar from my wonderful friend Leesh).  I used my home-canned tomatoes from this summer, butter from Mooville Creamery just outside of GR, and an onion from Hudsonville (via Horrocks Grocery).  Plus, have I told you about our 25-lb. box of linguine?!  About 6 months ago I bought it at our little Italian grocery, Russo's, on clearance for $14 not realizing just how much 25-lbs of pasta IS.  I'll tell you what it is: amazing.  While we try not to dip into it too frequently, D. and I have taken to calling it our everlasting box of pasta.

Even if you don't have your own everlasting box of pasta, try the recipe.  You'll be amazed how well it pairs with the dessert of a good tax return!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

mini break

January means interim or J-term at the school where Daniel and I work, and it's tiring and busy and endless.... until now!  It just ended!  Celebration is in order, so off we go to Chicago.  The new semester will start Monday, so we have to live it up while we can...
Generally when we take trips anywhere we try to do a lot while still allowing time for wandering (my favorite thing to do in life, really.  I wander through grocery stores, libraries, bookstores, books, knitting projects, recipes, blogs, my neighborhood, my workday... It's way better than charging through or power walking or stopping all-together).  Here's my list for this time:

  • see brother Edward at his Hyde Park apt.
  • Probably I'll hit TJ's
  • Spend as much time and money as I'm allowed at the Chicago French Market.  Oo la la!  With vendors selling local grass-fed meat, cheeses, truffles, bread, wines... the list goes on! I won't be able to drag myself away.
  • Ikram's annual sample sale... not that I afford anything anyways.  But I have an excuse to take a look!
  • Maybe this movie at this theater.
  • Try Longman and Eagle Gastropub (2657 North Kedzie Ave.) with it's 60 bourbons and daily menu based on local goods.

17 Degrees

17 degrees F is the "high" for today.  When I walked to my lunchtime yoga class all the way across campus, my face started hurting.  The very bright side of this is the sun is out and it's most welcome!  For today, I wish I was wearing these Plush tights...  They are fleece lined and look amazingly warm without being super bulky.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GReat City

I've lived in lots of different cities, and I have say, there's a lot to like about Grand Rapids.  And it just got better.  The lovely and creative Joy'l of Papernest Designs is planning an amazing event called GR Unveiled for this March 11th.  This is a local-artists/businesses wedding show that will be stunning.  I can't wait to go - and not just because my very very favorite Michigan company, Palazzolo's Gelato, will be there with samples.  The vendor list is amazing (and if you are local to Michigan and are interested in joining, please do so here!!), and it's connecting the dots for brides and grooms who want their special day to be rooted in a sense of place and celebration within the community here.

When Daniel and I married in 2006, I would have LOVED to have a resource like this show.  We wanted so much to have a personal wedding reflective of the place we call our home, and I think we did.  It took some work though.  When planning an event like a wedding, the possibilities are not only endless but mind-boggling.  Apart from finances, where do the limits begin?  All these ideas about perfection get thrown around in ways I'd never imagined.  This is why I love the idea of a "locavore" wedding.  Geographically limiting your options can be a great starting point, and imagine if even half the couples celebrating their unity did this this year... Michigan's economy would feel the difference!  Plus, a good place is like a good family: perfect in its imperfections.  Like, while I would have loved to have orchids all over for my flowers, the lavender my neighbor grew and let me buy in bulk was so lovely.  Now, the smell of lavender blooming every summer by my front door reminds me of the warm night air, the glowing lights, and the feel of Daniel's linen suit under my fingers as we danced at our wedding. 

(a VERY blurry picture - sorry!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

New year, new beauties, new mercies

Hi friends. It's been a while since I've blogged. I'm resolved to do this a LOT more. Here's my reason: I love blogs. I cannot tell you how many times a blog has made my day. My favorite blogs remind of the beauty of everyday life and the little tender mercies that await me at every turn. We all live our respective life just focused on what's in front of us... the prison on the urgent. But blogs allow me to see life through someone else's eyes for just a snapshot. So, I am committed to looking for the beautiful in my own life and sharing those finds with you via this space.

To start off...
Lonny Magazine may just begin to fill the Domino Magazine shaped-hole left in my brain... It's online only and WONDERFUL.
Two amazing etsy finds that I want to put on my walls as promises to myself...


And This

The winter blues are hitting hard around here - despite a little break in the cold (it was almost 40 yesterday!).  The grey skies, dark mornings and afternoons, lack of green scenery, cold corners in the house, salty pant-hems, dirty snow... I'm on the hunt for light, warmth, color, brightness, and shorter pants!