All Things Peppermint

I have a thing for peppermint lately.  There is nothing like the fresh, tingly feeling and scent.

Here’s some of my favorites at the moment:

S.W. Basics Peppermint Lip Balm –   Cocoa is so good too, but right now my go-to is peppermint.

Organic Lip Balm

ACURE Argan Oil Castile Liquid Soap-   Great refreshing body wash

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Liquid Soap –   You can use this soap for everything – your body, clothing, cleaning, anything.

Peppermint Castile Liquid Soap - 16 oz.

Sabon Face Polisher in Lemon Mint –  you don’t really smell the lemon, it’s more minty and sooo refreshing!

Deep Steep Foot Cream in Candy Mint –  It’s better when someone else rubs my feet, but I’ll still put it on myself :)

 Wishing you a Mint-tacular Weekend! :)

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A “View” on Open Shelving

Open Shelving in the kitchen is usually a love or hate type of relationship.  I completely understand both sides.  In fact, I would guess most people would say no to open shelving.

NEAT! Max Kim-Bee

You need to be fairly clean and organized to pick open shelving as let’s face it, your stuff is out in the open.  Open shelving looks better when sticking to fewer colors, so if you have more random dishes, you can do it, but it will be tricky to get it to look right.  Your stuff gets dusty on those shelves so be prepared to dust more in the kitchen.  You might go crazy here and there while having open shelving (insert me) until you get your shelves just right.  There is a whole lot more going on in the kitchen with open shelving, so it may or may not drive you crazy.  It can tend to look a bit more like a restaurant/cafe and more industrial especially when using stainless steel as we did.  It adds a lot of character which may or may not be your thing for the kitchen;  you might think of it more as visual clutter.   If you do, please don’t tell me until my shelves are just right otherwise I will think so too. :)

we love the concrete-look wall

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We chose open shelving since our kitchen is in a nook and open shelving just seemed to scream to me on our back wall.  It felt instantly bigger when we took all the old cabinets down;  I wanted it to stay feeling more open.   Although we chose white surrounding cabinets which visually does not take up much space, we gave our kitchen loads more character by doing open shelving instead of white cabinets on the back wall.

photo 1(9) photo 2(11)photo 4(8)We just put up the top shelf yesterday, so my efforts to “decorate” the shelving were fairly fast.  Although we think it looks great, our kitchen is still open to our living area.  I need to make it scream a little less kitchen with vases, pictures, and decor that could be part of our living room.  Take a look at the below example.  Although this is a bar instead of kitchen and we still need our plates and bowls on the shelves, this kind of gives an idea of how you can get your shelves to look a little more inviting to the rest of the home.

oh. so. me.

Good thing I like decorating;  you better like to decorate before you pick open shelving.  I have a lot of work cut out for me, but at least our kitchen is still coming along.

photo 5(6)Wishing you Inspiration! … whether open shelving is your thing or not :)

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Transitioning your Home into Fall

Transitioning your living room into Fall
I feel a tad guilty posting about Fall this Monday morning.  Fall does not start until September 22nd, but I just couldn’t help myself.  It feels like Fall is in the air!
When transitioning your home with the seasons, changing out your pillows and blankets make a big impact.    Instead of the lighter fabrics (linen/cotton), go with the velvet, cable-knit, fur, and heavier cotton pillows.   Pick out the plaids, darker colors, and heavier embroidered pillows.   Swap out your lighter blankets for a heavier fur or knit blanket.
Don’t have the space to swap everything out? No problem!  I have had fur pillows on my couch this whole summer.   While a tad heavy for summer, even if I wasn’t in renovation mode, I would have still kept them since I paired them with lighter white linen pillows.  For fall, I put all the white pillows aside and added a plaid and patterned pillow to the mix.  This is not the end result, but it’s a good start into the changing season.
Happy Pillow Shopping!
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Favorite BYOB’s

BYOB is music to my ears.  “Bring your own booze”  or “Bring your own bottle”   Several Chicago Restaurants are BYOB, which allows you to still eat well without paying for expensive drinks.   You may or may not have to pay for a corkage fee, but either way it’s cheap.   Besides this, I prefer an intimate locally owned restaurant any day over a large chain restaurant.

Here is a list of BYOB’s that Mark and I frequent.

1)  Cozy Noodle

This is a bright lit, fun atmosphere.  It is actually better to go during lunch since I am not a fan of bright light at dinner, but either way it’s the best Thai food I have had in Chicago and super cheap.   You actually feel like you robbed the place,  it’s that cheap.

What we usually order:     Crab Rangoon’s, Cucumber Salad, Seaweed Salad , Green Curry, Pad Khee Mao, Pad Thai

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2) Butterfly Sushi 

This place we takeout from more than ordering in, but either way it’s still a cute BYOB sushi place.  Their Grand Ave location is the one we go to as it is close to us and newly renovated.   I will gladly take more BYOB Sushi Recommendations though.

What we usually order:  It really varies on what we order here.  It’s whatever we feel like at the time – Seaweed Salad, Tom Yum Soup, Spicy Salmon roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Summer Maki, Various Special Maki Rolls, Spicy Crazy Noodles, Green Curry

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3) Rangoli

This is our favorite Indian place.  If you love Indian, do yourself a favor and check it out.

What we usually order:   Gobi Manchurian, Garlic Naan, Chicken Korma,  Madras Lamb Korma, and if we have guests along Chicken Tikka Masala    Dessert – Mango Kulfi  (really good)

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4)  Casbah

I almost feel bad sending you here, since the service is the SLOWEST ever, which Mark and I like but most do not, however, the food is that good.  Go when you’re in the mood to have a 2 hour + dinner and drink a bottle of wine or two.  They want you to relax and talk and nothing is rushed here, I mean nothing.

What we usually get:  Get Chicken with Artichokes or Lamb Brochette (Mark and I both order this since we don’t want to share it – it’s that good)   Mark likes the carrot soup, I like their house salad, and all the appetizers are great.  Baklava is our dessert of choice here.

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5) HB or Home Bistro

It’s a really nice BYOB.  It’s the most expensive of those I listed, but I think we still walk out spending around $75 for two, maybe more if we order another appetizer, but either way it’s a delicious place with a romantic lit restaurant.  I prefer my food by candlelight. :)   Make a reservation for sure.

What we usually order:   The menu is small and it’s whatever they have in season or fresh that day.  Go with an open mind that what you see online may not be available because of this.   As for an appetizer, get the Dates.  I don’t even like dates, and I love these.  Bacon Wrapped of course :)    Mark will get the Sturgeon, Pork Shank or Trout and I usually get the Mussels       (I couldn’t find my latest pictures, but make sure you check HB out)

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 What are your favorite BYOB’s in Chicago?

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A Skirt Made For A Party

This past weekend, Mark and I attended a wedding in Wisconsin.   It was an outdoor wedding with the reception in a cool barn.   The wedding was absolutely gorgeous and the day was beautiful.  I wasn’t sure what to wear to this wedding with still being dressy and comfortable, but this skirt at Glamour Girl was calling my name.

photo 4(6)It was super fun and playful.

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..and I matched my cute brother’s which I didn’t even know until I got there.

photo 5(2)Next time  you need an outfit for an outdoor garden party or wedding, consider a fun tulle skirt!  You can dress it up or down.   I chose a simple gray “ABOUND” tank for the day ($10 at Nordstrom’s Rack), but I could see pairing it with a fun t-shirt for a girls brunch or a black turtleneck for a cocktail party.  The options are endless with a fun skirt like this and it definitely won’t be the last tulle skirt for my closet. :)

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Happy Tulle Skirt Shopping!

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