Do walnuts remove scratches from hardwood? How about using coconut oil to polish wood? Check out my new video series, Home Hacks with Sears Home Services!
Exciting news! I’m teaming up with Sears Home Services in a super fun new home video series where we put life hacks to the test. There’s a million life hacks floating around on the internet, but which ones actually work and are worth using? We’re finding out for you!
In the first installment, I’m testing three hacks to help clean cabinets (but these easy tricks can also be used on wood floors or to help clean up wood furniture around your house).
Check out the video below and let me know what you think! These videos were SO much fun to film and I can’t wait to share them with you!
Winter in Chicago is no joke. These are my picks for the best products for dry skin.
When I moved back to Chicago from Missouri after college, my skin freaked out as soon as it got cold outside. I started testing out new products and moisturizers to readjust to the harsh, dry Chicago winters and smooth out dry patches—and it was a PROCESS.
It took two or three winters to nail down a cold-weather skin-care routine that kept my dry skin hydrated, but these products have help keep my skin smooth, soft and bright year-round. (Your makeup will go on smoother, too!) Bonus: Whether your skin is sensitive, dry or oily, these products work great on most skin types. Let me know what you think and if you’ve tried any of these out!
This 100% pure argan oil was the only thing to help eliminate dry spots and patches on my face and body when I first moved back. It’s good for all skin types (even oily!) and is all-natural, organic and rich in antioxidants. You can use it on your hair, skin and nails to restore moisture wherever needed. I use this almost every night before bed. This is a great moisturizer on its own, but if my skin is feeling extra dry, I’ll let it sink in and follow it up with a moisturizing cream.
2016 was a lot of things. And even though, like most everyone else, I was so ready for it to be over, looking back on this year a lot of pretty great things happened.
I launched the blog back in March, my sister got married on national TV, the Cubs won the World Series, I met and had the chance to interview some really cool people, and I traveled to Vegas and Nashville for the first time. As it turns out, 2016 wasn’t so bad after all—and I think 2017’s going to be even better.
But first, these are the posts that were your favorites this year, from healthy margs and lip kits to Gwyneth and the #TODAYWedding. THANK YOU all for the endless support in this new venture. I can’t wait for another great year!
New year, new me planner. These are a few of my favorite products to get organized for the New Year!
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m just not a very organized person. My computer has 100 tabs open at all times and my desktop is a deep sea of photos and documents. (Even if it looks clean, they’re likely hidden in a separate folder, aptly named “Desktop.”)
To overcome my inherent lack of organization, I’ve become a crazy list person who writes everything down and lives and dies by a to-do list. And I’m determined to become a planner person in 2017. For real this time, unlike last year (my stint with the Passion Planner lasted less than two months).
This year, after an excessive amount of planner research, I picked up the Rifle Paper Co. Planner in Scarlett Birch. As a diehard checklist person with unfortunate handwriting, I love the weekly layout with lines and boxes to keep organized and check things off as you go. It also has sections for contacts, important dates, notes, monthly calendar views with more room to write notes, and a folder in the back with a built-in ruler to tuck away small papers. It’s the perfect size to fit in a work bag, but doesn’t feel too small to keep track of everything. It’s simple and pretty and has a quote on every weekly spread.
Here are a few of my other favorite products, from notepads and pens (the Le Pens are low-key life changing) to weekly journals and calendars, that will help organize and inspire you in 2017.
No matter the time of year, macaroni and cheese is the ULTIMATE comfort food.
I love making this dish year-round, but it’s a favorite among my family for Thanksgiving. My sister and her husband, John, hosted Thanksgiving for their first time as a married couple, and I helped them get the menu ready to make sure we had everything we needed. Kaitlin specially requested this mac and cheese, and even though she claims she hates butternut squash, it’s her favorite dish we make every year.
The butternut squash cuts out some of the high-fat, high-calorie cheese, but the consistency of the squash means you won’t sacrifice any creamy deliciousness. I also swap in soy for whole milk, and use whole-wheat pasta and breadcrumbs, which will keep you satisfied longer. Roasted tomatoes add an extra nutritional punch.
Bonus: This recipe reheats amazingly well thanks to the smooth, creamy consistency of the butternut squash.
Get started on gifting with these gift ideas for friends, sisters, moms, etc. (or just for yourself!).
It’s officially that time of year! Aside from all of the great sales and deals, my favorite part of Black Friday every year is seeing everyone’s holiday gift guides. I’ve been making my holiday wish list for quite some time now, so I wanted to share my picks (both things I’ve already picked up this season and what I’ll be asking Santa for) to help make holiday shopping a little easier.
You can’t go wrong with a new winter coat or cozy scarf (the Free People scarf comes in nine colors and I’ve been wearing it nonstop), and I love this oversized sweater (get it on sale today!) and wrap choker. Beauty buys always make great gifts, too. The Beachwaver’s been on my list for a while now, and I use this Tarte palette and blush in the shade Exposed every single day. I love Tarte products because they last all day and are super wearable and cruelty-free. The water bottle and candle are great for anyone on your list and also make the perfect hostess or secret Santa gifts. And for something techy, a DSLR camera has been on my Christmas list forever, so I finally splurged this year. I’ve been absolutely LOVING this camera so far and would highly recommend it!
This recipe for Zucchini and Leek Soup from Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cookbook, It’s All Easy, is the perfect September soup.
September’s a weird month in Chicago. It’s gotten up to almost 95 degrees this week (!), but next week will be down to the mid-60s. While it’s not quite soup season yet, this vegan Zucchini and Leek Soup from It’s All Easy (published by goop press) is super light and creamy and can be served either hot or cold — perfect for summer and fall months.
It’s vegan, gluten-free and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Plus, it only has seven ingredients. This soup will definitely be a staple healthy/detox recipe of mine going into fall.
(Check out Gwyneth’s cookbook if you haven’t already! There are more than 130 recipes that make for quick, easy and healthy weeknight lunches or dinners.)
Revival Food Hall is about to become your new go-to lunch spot.
Last week I tagged along with my friend Carly Hurwitz from Fork This America to the preview of Revival Food Hall (125 S. Clark St.), a new 24,000-square-foot marketplace with 15 fast-casual restaurants. It’s basically a giant, amazing food court in the middle of the Loop.
Each stall was sampling a few popular menu items and cocktails in celebration of the opening, so Carly and I did some tough research trying everything (literally everything—except the ramen, which we’re still upset about). We also checked out Curbside Splendor, the super cute pop-up shop with a small curated selection of books and records from Chicago artists—very cool and conveniently located next to the bar.
(Photo courtesy of Revival Food Hall)
Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find at Revival, which officially opens today, along with some of our favorite foods. I’ll definitely be back for lunch (and maybe even breakfast!) soon.
Call me basic, but the Kylie Lip Kits are my new obsession. Here’s what I think of Candy K, Posie K, 22 and Literally!
My newfound obsession with the Kylie Lip Kits is so real, you guys. I initially ordered two of the most popular shades, Candy K and Posie K, just to see what all the hype is about, and now I’m up to four orders this summer. Someone send help.
The formula of all of her lip products is so pigmented and so, so long lasting. They go on smooth, don’t dry out your lips, and come in so many amazing shades.
My go-to since I’ve ordered a few has been Candy K, a “warm pinky nude.” I wore this one to the Taste of Randolph, a Chicago food festival in the West Loop, where I ate all the food and drank all the drinks and it seriously lasted the ENTIRE night. It also made it through Lollapalooza without budging (or having to reapply). It stays put through any eating and drinking no problem and lasts longer than any lip product I’ve ever used.
Relive the weekend with my Lollapalooza 2016 playlist.
One of the most fun weekends of summer in Chicago, Lollapalooza, was this weekend!
I wasn’t actually even planning on going this year, but of course when Friday rolled around I had major FOMO and decided to get a last-minute Sunday pass.
The headliners this year were Radiohead, Lana Del Ray, LCD Soundsystem, Red Hot Chile Peppers, J. Cole, Major Lazer, Disclosure and Ellie Goulding, who I saw on Sunday. There was such a good mix of old throwbacks (Third Eye Blind), cool indie girl groups (MUNA and HAIM) and dance-worthy electronic music (Flume was one of my favorites!).
Photo by Greg Noire
If you’re anything like me, you’re still listening to all of your favorites from the weekend on Spotify. I made a playlist with all of my favorite songs from the bands we saw on Sunday and have been playing it nonstop since the shows ended.