sweet + spicy.

August 26, 2009


Our daughter tried out for the super-deluxe traveling lacrosse team last weekend. Haven’t heard if she made it, or not {keep your fingers crossed for her}. The tryouts took us to Northbrook, a suburb north of Chicago….

Soooo…we had time to spare while our daughter was trying out, and thought we’d head to Whole Foods. While we were there, we grazed through all of the samples {piggies!!}…and were were lucky enough to meet Carla Kissel, owner of Kissel’s Spiced Jam, who was giving samples of her apricot rosemary jam. She was so enthusiastic and friendly, and popped open another jar for us to try {the second time, we tried blueberry lavender}. They were both so delicious. Seriously. Knock-your-socks-off-good.

I just had to share this fabulous little business with you!

And, from now through December 31, Kissel’s gives $1 per jar sold online to Invisible Children, Inc., “a non-profit organization whose purpose is to raise global awareness of atrocities being committed against the children of Northern Uganda, and to help the people of that region rebuild their educational and economic infrastructure.”

Yummy jam, and a good cause. win-win!

amelia oil.

June 29, 2009

I visited Italy for the first time last summer. We saw incredible sights, endured outrageously hot days, drank lots of wine, and ate some of the most incredible food. One thing I miss since our return to the states is the olive oil. There’s just something about the oil in Italy that is unlike anything I’ve had here.

I was so excited to learn about Amelia Oil a few weeks ago! The business is a Canadian mother-daughter duo who import olive oil from a little Italian town called Amelia. The oil is wonderful, and just like I remember in Italy {my order arrived just last week, and I’ve been savoring it!}. They use only fair trade practices, and sell oil from farmers whom they know personally. The oil is reasonably priced too…for a premium olive oil. I hope you will try it…you can learn more by visiting their site, or their blog!

Do you have a favorite vacation-food that you can’t get where you live? Since I’m asking, you’d better add California fish tacos to my list!

good eats.

October 29, 2008

Clandstino is an underground supper club based in Chicago. The whole thing is put together by Chef Efrain and his wonderful crew. They put together dinner parties in various places around the city.

Here’s how it works: you sign up for their mailing list {it’s a safe one, no worries}. When a new party is planned, the folks at Clandestino let you know what’s on the multi-course menu, and the general area of the city where it will be held. A few days before the event, you are told the location! It’s byob, really casual and has fabulous food. Artists and musicians are featured at each event too {all local indie minded folks}.

Here’s why I love it: First, the food is amazing. Just amazing. I love that the dishes are made with seasonal, locally raised and grown food. I love the eclectic mix of people that attend…and I love supporting a young, talented chef. {the photos above were taken at an event that we hosted. It was amazing.}

Click here to learn more about the process on the Clandestino site. If you aren’t in Chicago, there might be something similar in your neck of the woods Kill the Restaurant has some info about it too.

get hot and heavy.

September 3, 2008

This post isn’t about the cute and girly. It has nothing to do with accessorizing or finding the most adorable things. Nope. This one, people, is about my hubby’s newest business. It’s totally shameless self-promotion.

Chicago Brick Oven is the brainchild of my husband, and our neighbors Bill and Carm. The three of them love to cook {we have the best block parties ever}. A couple of years ago they decided that they wanted to buy wood fired ovens. When they did research, they found almost all of the ovens were manufactured overseas. So, they decided to design and manufacture residential ovens here in the states! Crazy, I know…but let me tell you how yummy the food {especially pizza!!} is when it’s cooked in the oven {I have eaten more pizza in the last year than I care to admit}.

Check out their new website…and pass the word on to your fellow foodie friends!


gain 50 pounds.

June 17, 2008

I’m a food snob. That’s right. I’ll admit it. So, I’m not sure what prompted me to order cupcakes from Bangerang Bake Shop on Etsy of all places. Maybe it was the near-pornographic pictures of each bite of cake and frosting! I love the little cakes packaged in re-useable glass jars. Baked in a fully licensed bake shop (here in Illinois!), without preservatives, and using the best ingredients…these cupcakes are absolutely scrumptious!


About Me

i'm a california girl living in the midwest. my hubby and i lived a slightly nomadic life after college, and wound up in a chicago suburb.... read more

  • ClassiclyAmber: Aw, you will definitely be missed around here! But how exciting for your new adv...
  • ellinor: OMG, I love the leather stuff below. The colours are amazing. Thanks for sharing...
  • Giovanna: This is so cute! I love them :) *´¨) ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) (¸....
  • farragio: Great pieces! The colors are lovely and soothing....