Weekend Links / / Ohio Bound

Weekend Links / / Ohio Bound

Jordan and I are in one of our favorite cities, Cincinnati, for the weekend! Cincinnati holds a special place in our hearts. While we quickly passed through the city on our way from Toronto in April, it’s been a few years since we had time to explore areas such as Mount Adams. Much of our early dating years were spent taking weekend road trips to this very city. Jordan had recently finished a year program working alongside a local church and the host family he lived with is still very dear to us. They are family. We always enjoy reconnecting!

We lumped this visit with a chance to see Death Cab for Cutie. The last time I saw them in concert I was in high school when they opened for Modest Mouse. I remember being disappointed they only played three songs! I’m sure they will play more songs than that this weekend. Haha.

Onto the links!

Why I No Longer Equate My Time To Dollars / / Daisy’s writing always leaves me thinking — that’s why I include them so often! I was recently listening to the Around The Table Podcast and the hosts had a segment on services to pay for rather than DIY. The majority of the discussion revolved around time; Is it worth the time to invest in learning a new skill? i.e. learning to change your own oil. I enjoy cooking meals from scratch even though they take longer, but I would gladly pay someone to clean my house!

The 5 Big Fall Books / / I’m excited to read these this fall!

Kamiak Butte + Muddy Colors of Harvest / / My dad is from Idaho and we took family trips to Sun Valley, but I’m itching to go back and fully experience the splendor. Natalie’s recent hiking pictures are amazing! I have a hard time enjoying the outdoors when humidity is involved, but the dry heat in the west is my kind of heat!  It’s funny when I first began reading lifestyle blogs, several years ago, everyone seemed to be settled on the east coast. Now, many of those same people have moved west!

Fast Curling Wand Waves / / My best friend, Lauren, is a hair stylist and used a wand on my hair the last time she cut it. Curling my hair has never come naturally to me (the clamps on traditional irons has always gotten in my way!) but I’m obsessed with the ease of wands. I’m planning on purchasing one this fall and hopefully after a little practice I can master the technique.

My Ideal Icelandic Weekend / / Iceland has been our brain lately, which is why I have loved Kiki’s blog. Did you hear about WOW Air, the new airline that is offering crazy cheap tickets to Iceland? They only fly out of limited airports, but I am excited for more competitive flight options and for a potential 2016 trip!

Happy Weekend, all!

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Weekend Links / / Bowls & Spoons


Jordan and I had a busy busy Labor Day/Birthday Weekend. When Tuesday hit, I was not ready for my early mornings again! I’m still trying to write thank you cards, reply to all of the sweet social media comments we received and edit photos from our party.

I had a hard time staying motivated this week mainly because all I really wanted to do was flip through my new cookbook, Bowl + SpoonSprouted Kitchen is one of my favorite food blogs and their cookbooks are beautiful to look at. One of my favorite recipes to bring to a gathering is their mango guacamole — it’s always a huge hit!

What are you weekend plans? Besides working, I’m excited for football and celebrating birthdays with friends.

Onto the links!

Roasted Banana Coconut Ice Cream | Speaking of Sprouted Kitchen, this summer Sara shared an ice cream recipe. I purchased an extra can of coconut cream as an ingredient for our birthday cake and I think it’s screaming to be made into ice cream. Now to find an ice cream maker. If any of my Nashville friends have one, please let me know!

September Challenge: Week 1 | Beth has challenged herself (for the month of September) to eat on $4.50 a day/$31 a week (the average food assistance allowance). Many people in America (and the world) go to bed hungry without really knowing if they have enough food to feed their family. Many bloggers do a 30/30 wardrobe challenge, but I’m kind of curious if I could eat on less than $5.00 a day.

Life is Not Rainbows and Unicorns. | Even people with “glamorous” jobs and lifestyles have difficult days and seasons. Thank you for being so vulnerable, Esther!

7 Steps to Simplify Your Life This Fall. For many of us, September is a chance to regroup after a busy summer. Fall can also be a great time to set new intentions for how the rest of the year will go. Daisy’s practical steps gave me pause on my commitments, goals and priorities.

“You and I are easily distractible creatures with a need for structure and a desire for purpose. So if we don’t stand firmly for what we love most, we’ll be swept away by the waves of obligation and temptation that come rolling in these next several months.”

Caponata | Each week 2-3 eggplants appear in my CSA and each week I wonder what to do with them. Through experimenting, I’ve discovered eggplants are better when paired with tomatoes. This roasted Italian dip has been an interesting way to use eggplants. I added in bell peppers because I had an abundance in my fridge. We’ve been eating it cold with corn chips as a snack all week!

Five Things: NYC | Gluten-free bakeries, last-minute broadway tickets and make up — sounds like my kind of weekend in New York City!

Happy Weekend, all!

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Weekend Links / / The Start


This week marked a change in our home life. Jordan has joined WELD, a creative community and co-working space in Nashville. For the past three and a half years, he’s exclusively worked from home albeit with the occasional client visit, business lunch or afternoon at a coffee shop. A few months ago, Jordan was presented with the opportunity to join WELD and he began the process of becoming a member.  If there ever was a right time for transition, we both felt like this could be it. I’m excited for Jordan professionally and creatively, but it feels like I’m sending him off to school for the first time. Will he make friends? Did I pack enough snacks? Will he forget about me? Haha.

It’s rather silly, but I’ve grown accustomed to coming home from work, at any time of day, to a happy greeting from my husband. I’ve been spoiled!

There are benefits to our new arrangement, things such as: now I get to greet him when he comes home… and watching anything on Netflix I want without worrying about interrupting a conference call. Did you all know The Baby-sitters Club is on Netflix? I remember watching that show when my family first moved to Chicago in 1993. I was thoroughly obsessed with the books and kept a notebook with every title I read so I could keep on track. This show brings back a flood of lovely memories. Thanks to Katie for pointing it out to me!

On to the links!

/ / BreAnna’s weekly grocery hauls inspire me to grocery shop more efficiently. This week, she shared six budget friendly and healthy snacks. I’m always curious how people snack. I usually stick to three square meals in a day but Jordan loves to snack in between, so I’m continually on the search for healthy and less processed treats to keep in the house. What are you snacking on?

/ / 10 Ways to Inspire Movement. It’s far to easy for me to skip a work out. I’m on my feet at work, only sitting during my breaks. Despite my best intentions to convince myself, I recognize that standing while making lattes isn’t the same as cardio. 😉 I’ve been saving my favorite beauty YouTube videos to watch while on the elliptical as my inspiration.

/ / Six Ways to Simplify Summer. Time in the summer months seem to be on turbo speed compared to February. It’s easy to want to fill up your entire calendar with fun events, but it can also get overwhelming to manage those plans. I love Daisy’s suggestion to protect the blank spaces on your calendar, so to allow for spontaneity.

“Resist the temptation to fill those empty days; leave yourself time to be spontaneous. When that day arrives, do whatever suits your fancy (and the weather), and don’t worry about not accomplishing anything. Sometimes spontaneity leads to an activity we’ve needed all along.”

That’s exactly how I felt about last Saturday.

/ / How to Stay Organized in a Small Space. It hasn’t been easy to whittle our belongings down to fit into an apartment that has one main closet (the other two closets hold our washer/dryer and water heater). We have music and home office equipment that is tucked under beds and couches. Everything (mostly) has a place. It is extremely important to stay neat in a smaller space and thankfully it doesn’t take long to clean our place!

/ / Did you all catch the Gilmore Girls reunion at the ATX festival last weekend? It seemed like all the entertainment news outlets were buzzing about it! EW has a portion of the live panel on their website. It was so fun seeing the cast (minus only a few!) laughing and sharing stories from their time on the set.

Happy Weekend, all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan & Susanna.

Weekend Links / / Sun-Screened Friends


Jordan and I intentionally kept our nights low-key this week. May was a really busy month for us and we needed to wind down a bit. Speaking of being intentional, on Wednesday night, we unintentionally finished the entire series of Friends. Generally, each season is composed of 24 episodes, so when I hit play on episode 18 I didn’t think it was going to be the end. I might have teared up during that last scene. If there is a better sitcom, I can’t think of one.

This week I tried my best to catch up on a few projects, clean up my inbox and actually read a magazine or two — lofty goals! Haha. Generally, after I get home from work and wash the stale coffee off my body and hair, I find it hard to just relax. Whether it be blog projects, Jordan’s business, or general housekeeping there is always more to do! I need to get better at shutting the computer down, especially now that summer is here.

And now for some weekend reads!

/ / Brittany and her husband just bought their first home and are expecting their first child. A lot of fun new changes for them! Several months back, Brittany shared their desire to maintain a minimalists perspective while house hunting. This week she gave an update on the desires they had for their first home vs. what they ended up buying. I’m quite thankful that Jordan and I have been forced to downsize even more in our current place. It’s made me aware of how little one really needs, though double sinks in our bathroom would be nice!

/ / Jordan and I subscribe to Relevant Magazine, but I also enjoy reading the articles published on their website. Wedding season is upon us and whether you are single, engaged, or married for 2 months or 15 years, there are a lot of great points brought up in this article, The 10 Things I Learned in 10 Years of Marriage.

“We are in this marriage for a lifetime, so we can either choose to be joyful or to be miserable.”

/ / 13 Natural Sunscreens to try. I’m on the hunt for a good face sunscreen that won’t cause a breakout. What is your favorite facial sunscreen?

/ / I bought the biggest bag of spinach at Costco this week. Costco is like an adult playground with endless imaginary possibilities. Oh, the trouble I’d get into if I had a deep freezer and a huge pantry. I’d buy all the things. Besides smoothies, Monique’s strawberry mango chopped spinach salad sounds like the perfect way to use some of my fresh produce.

/ / Jordan and I can’t stop listening to Brandon Flowers’ latest album. Have you listened yet? It’s so good!

Happy Weekend, all!

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Incase you missed it:

Reviewed | Hey Natalie Jean

Explore Nashville | Sevier Park

To Remember

/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Holiday Edition


Jordan’s younger brother was with us all week — it was wonderful having a visitor! Our place is small, so once we added the air mattress it basically felt like a giant sleepover. 😉 Jordan and Joshua were busy working on a special project (to be shared at a later date), so I didn’t get to see them a whole lot. We managed to show Josh a few of our favorite neighborhood stops, which included having dinner at Burger Up.

I look forward to another visit soon!

/ / Deb was the first blogger I started following in blogland and her space is still a favorite of mine. Speaking of burgers, this recipe for a fake shake shack burger is what dreams are made. Jordan and I went to Shake Shack while in New York City last summer and OMG they are the best burgers! I hadn’t heard the phrase smash-burger before but now I have a better description for why Shake Shack burgers (and In-N-Out) are so so good. You can eat them without breaking your jaw.

/ / Marc Maron recently interviewed one of my favorite interviewers, Terry Gross the host of Fresh Air. Because I listen to a lot of podcasts, I am often asked for suggestions. Fresh Air is at the top of my list because they discuss a vast range of topics — from science, politics, film, music etc.

/ / Daisy’s five tips for the hobbyist photographer — lighting, lighting and lighting!

/ / This was the first week for our CSA pick-up. Our box was brimming full of organic vegetables and fruit. Delvin Farms sends weekly email recipe suggestion and tips. Did you know that swiss chard stems can be used like celery or asparagus? I didn’t! For my first CSA inspired meal, I adapted this swiss chard & onion frittata recipe and it was so delicious!

/ / 15 Ways to Live Rich. What are the little things that fill your day with an extra dose of joy? Splurging on dark chocolate is one of mine.

/ / Why the library should be your new best friend. I have several books/movies on hold from our library and I can’t wait for them to arrive!

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Incase you missed it:

Styling Opposites

A Life Update

/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Comparison Ladders

Gifts from London

My days off from work fluctuate from week to week. Sometimes my days off run consecutively and sometimes they are split. There are advantages to having week days off, such as scheduling doctor appointments, but it can be difficult to recharge for the upcoming week. I wrote a post about creating your own weekend when your job isn’t M-F. Sometimes I still need a reminder to celebrate and relax even when it’s a Wednesday.

Jordan’s brother will be staying with us for a week starting tomorrow and we’re really excited to show him around town! What are your plans for this weekend?

/ / I was hit with a case of the comparison bug this week. Sometimes it feels like everyone around me is climbing the invisible ladder toward “successful adulthood” while I’m left standing on the second rung. This is just a fleeting feeling though; I know I’m moving! I’m also aware that what I observe of others’ lives is just a glimpse — like this blog is glimpse of my story. Anna reminded me that what we do all have in common is messy lives.

/ / Reading Brittany’s observations on gratitude this week came at just the right time. Like I mentioned above I was in a bit of a funk earlier in the week and this reminder was just what I needed to hear.

“Jumping for joy over the gems we have frees us from needing more.” 

/ / What to keep on hand for impromptu parties. Elsie breaks down what “staples” she keeps stocked to avoid scrambling something together last-minute. I love that she included fancy popcorn. We love popcorn and it’s a great crowd pleasing snack to serve.

/ / I am splitting a CSA box this season with a friend and the first pick-up is next Tuesday. I have been saving different vegetarian based dishes for inspiration. Daisy’s recipe for vegan vegetable wraps will certainly be in rotation once we’re up to our ears in vegetables!

/ / I’ve published 209 blog posts in two years. That is crazy! I enjoy creating new content weekly, but the posts become buried so quickly. I was scrolling through my drafts looking for an old recipe and realized even I had forgotten some posts. Lauren has several great ideas to bring new life to old blog posts and I’m excited to try a few out.

Happy Weekend, all!

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Incase you missed it:

Toronto | Day Two

Netflix | Little Gems (shows you might have missed)

Weekend Links / / We Bought a Dyson


This week was absolutely gorgeous with most days being sunny and in the 70s. My apologies to our family and friends back home in Chicago, who were dumped by another snow storm. 😉 I had been feeling a little overwhelmed the past few weeks, but now that taxes are completely behind us, a huge weight has been lifted. I felt like I could get to other parts of my life that had been ignored for a bit. I finally finished Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman, we purchased a Dyson vacuum, (the true sign of adulthood?) and I got my hair colored!

Spring in Nashville has a great energy and this weekend is already shaping up to be really fun: birthday parties, dinner dates, and a first attempt at gluten-free brownies. Wish me luck!

Oats are a weakness for me and I eat them in many forms. Anna’s recipe for grain-free granola looks so good! I’ll be adding this to my granola arsenal.

Susanna collected a great list for spring date ideas! Our anniversary post from last year was included. Visiting Lincoln Park’s Conservatory was one of my favorite days from 2014.

I love following bloggers in other countries. Reading bits about their life and the food they eat gives me a glimpse into what life outside of the western world really is like. Australian food blogger, Bec, is one of my favorites to follow. Her love for brunch rivals my own. I wouldn’t have thought to make a pot of savory baked beans for Sunday brunch, but this recipe sounds too good to pass on up!

An honest and realistic look into the financial burden placed on women (and potentially their partners) after a miscarriage.

“Miscarriages usually have an emotional cost. But they also have a financial cost as well.  That economic pain can have profound consequences on women’s lives.”

Jana shared her steps to actively beat Social Media comparison. I only want to follow people who exude joy and inspiration, it is perfectly acceptable to unfollow someone if it is causing you distress.

Happy Weekend, all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Golden Statue


Did you watch the Academy Awards on Sunday evening? I know they are essentially a popularity club and don’t really mean much in the long run, but I still enjoy tuning in every year. Last year we attended a viewing party, but after the crazy weather Nashville experienced, Jordan and I ordered Thai food and decided to watch at home.

Neil Patrick Harris’ opening number with Anna Kendrick and Jack Black was amazing. I’m a bit miffed that Birdman beat Boyhood for best picture, but I’m biased towards Richard Linklater. As a viewing experience, I actually did enjoy Birdman but not quite as much as Linklater’s film. I was really happy Patricia Arquette won; her performance in Boyhood made that movie. Can we talk about how amazing Lady Gaga was during the Sound of Music tribute? I had chills. Jordan and I immediately ordered the 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition.

Quick fashion recap: I would like one of everything in the color of Anna’s dress. How did Lupita sit down while wearing all those intricate pearls? And I contemplated chopping my hair off to resemble Naomi’s perfect lob. Mark Seliger teamed with Vanity Fair and Instagram again for after party photos.

Onto this weeks links!

Megan and Mike’s entrepeneur’s guide towards tax season couldn’t have come at a better time. We pay our taxes quarterly, but still file the year-end documents with the help of our CPA. We continue to learn something new every year and always leave our session with better organizational tips. I didn’t take a class on how to run a small business, so I soak up any advice I come across!

What is culture’s big lie about marriage? Marriage is about achieving happiness. What is/was the big misconception you thought about marriage? I agree with this:

“At the end of the day, marriage is not about me, it’s about we. It’s about learning to choose another person over ourselves—because by choosing them, we are choosing to become greater in humility, strength, forgiveness and love. Marriage isn’t about becoming happier. It’s about becoming better. But ironically, in becoming better, we often find that we’ve also become happier.”

Anna shared 10 commandments of airplane travel. I learned my lesson the hard way about the importance of having a selection of basics in my carry-on after our luggage was stuck on the plane for a day (yes, STUCK!) in California. What are you travel commandments?

Happy Weekend, all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / January Days


It’s been rather cold and gloomy in Nashville this week, but my weather app is showing signs of 50º F in the next few days! I’m still not accustomed to the idea that winter here ends in February. Are you all feeling settled into January? I still feel a bit jostled from the bustle of holiday season, but hopefully a new routine will fall into place soon! I’ve been spending time planning out our calendar and goals for the year. It’s also been nice to be able to catch up with a couple girlfriends this week.

/ / After watching the Golden Globes on Sunday and reading the Oscar nominations, I am ready for Rebecca’s Oscars Movie Challenge. I am a bit bitter about The Lego Movie’s Oscar snub, but I’m excited to follow a long and watch the 2014 movies I missed.

/ / Jordan is adamant on protecting our shoes for winter. As soon as brand new shoe box is opened, he immediately layers them with a weather resistant spray. A Beautiful Mess explains how to properly maintain the shoes we prepped for rain/snow. Now that we live in Nashville, it’s been really nice to come home without a thin layer of salt on all of my shoes!

/ / My repertoire of pasta dishes went extinct when I gave up gluten, but my soup collection has expanded! Bev compiled her favorite soup dishes from last year and I already made the White Bean, Kale and Italian Sausage Soup and bought ingredients for the Slow Cooker Smoky White Bean Soup.

/ / Each week Lisa interviews infertility survivors. She compiled 21 poignant quotes from recent conversations. This one from Audra really spoke to me, “I was given this life for a reason and although I may not have a complete peace with it now, I am certain that God will get me through it and that His plan is better than mine.”

/ / I share something from Minimalist Baker almost every week, but I can’t help it, they just know what they are doing! Besides easy and healthy recipes, Dana and John have a plethora of blogging resources on their site. They created a “how-to” for an editorial calendar and it was extremely helpful. I found it reassuring when Dana mentioned it takes her 8-10 hours per post. I’ve seen bloggers write that they can churn out a weeks worth of content in one day and that is just not me!

/ / Chelsea just celebrated her two-year blogging anniversary (yay!) and shared why you should start a blog. This really rang true for me, “There are only so many common things you can blog about … A normal work day turns into a chance to find some blog content, and suddenly, you’re looking at things through a much more creative lens.”

Happy Weekend!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.