Style Me, Please

Just picked up this navy polkadot shirtdress from Target for a wedding shower and/or Easter this weekend, but can't figure out how to style it without looking total country club.

I had planned on nude espadrille wedges, a mustard yellow skinny belt and white cardigan... but it feels so dowdy/preppy/obvious.

Any ideas?


Lazy Girl's Craft Project: Ombre-Dyed Easter Egg

When we dyed eggs last weekend, I tried out this ombre egg design I'd seen on Pinterest. It was so easy and turned out great! And this coming from the least crafty person ever.

You'll need:

  • Hard-boiled eggs, as many as you choose. (You can also hollow out your eggs by poking a hole in the bottom but that is way to advance for me.)
  • Cup large enough to submerge the egg. I used a rocks glass. 
  • Food coloring. (You can use the dye packets in the kits too, but I just used plain ole blue food coloring! About 10 drops.)
  • White vinegar. 
  • Water, in an easy-to-pour container. 
  • Egg holder or whisk.
  • Cookie or drying rack with newspaper underneath. 

This is literally the easiest process ever. Fill the glass with a little bit of vinegar, water and 10 or so drops of the food coloring. You need to use very little so that only the bottom of the egg is submerged.

Place the egg in the cup. This is when the egg holder (I think they usually come with the kits) or a whisk (just stick the egg inside) comes in handy. You don't want to just plop the egg down in there, because you want to keep the dye line clean. Place it in the cup very gently.... and walk away.

Seriously. Don't touch it. Don't move it around. Just let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

After some time has passed, carefully pour a little more water in the cup to raise the dye line. Let that sit for a few minutes and, you guess it, repeat again.

For the first line, I waited probably close to 10 minutes, but I didn't take as much time between the others. Usually more like 5 minutes, or when it got down to the end, it was closer to 2 minutes or just 30 seconds for the top.

Remove your egg very carefully and place on a drying rack. If you place directly in the carton or on the table, the colors are more likely to run and you'll get a little spot mark from where it was sitting.

Easter Egg Dying Party!

On Saturday, I had some of my family over to my house for an Easter Egg Dying Party! We've had a few gatherings in our house since we moved in last October (girls night and a holiday party) but this was the first time any family outside of our parents and siblings had come over. 

We decorated with Easter garland, spring flowers and Easter candy (in the bowls Kristin and Chris got me from Ben and Jerry's in Vermont!). Little ones got Easter baskets with candy, bubbles and pinwheels, and we all donned bunny ears. 

We decorated eggs with some of the traditional kits, glitter, crayons and watercolors. I even made an awesome ombre egg! My proud and joy. 


St. Louis Fish Fry Season 2013: St. Pius V on Grand

Pius is always one of my favorite fish fries and this year, it did not disappoint. In fact, as Joe and I were sitting there in silence, scarfing down our delcisious food and listening to the Irish music, I was thinking about how great it was and Joe interrupted me with "This is the best food we've had all year." 

And it's probably true. I'll share my 2013 superlatives with you soon - best cod, best variety, best service, best desserts etc - but for future reference, the deets on St. Pius. 

For $8 you get a choice of fish - fried or baked cod, catfish - and THREE sides. I choose applesauce, coleslaw and potato salad (after being impressed by them last year - see, these reviews come in handy!). Joe had the mac n cheese and said it was pretty good too. I had the cod and it was okay. Enjoyable, but the crust was kind of tough. I needed a knife to cut it. Joe really loved his catfish. The dessert selection was awesome - I mean, LOOK at that cake. nom nom nom. 

The band was excellent as always, and this year they sang a special song called, 'We're having a fish fry' and it was hilarious. Any song that uses the word 'delish' to describe fried, battered cod is a win in my book. 

This was my last fish fry this year and I think I'm in denial. 

See other 2013 reviews:

And see past reviews:

Surprise Snow!, Take II

Apparently St. Louis missed the memo that it is supposed to be spring. We got quite a snowstorm on Saturday night - a foot of snow in some areas! At least there was no ice and it was pretty fluffy. Easy to knock off our cars in the morning. 

Sure, it's pretty.... but I'm so over it. Here's hoping warmer weather comes soon and melts this all away so I don't have to shovel the front steps. 


Easter Inspiration

Every year, I get together with some of my aunts and cousins to dye Easter eggs. It's fun for the little ones and I never miss a chance to prove just how not crafty I am. 

This year, I offered to host the egg dying at my house... a decision I may regret come Saturday morning. I've got a lot of cleaning and egg boiling ahead of me, but getting inspired by these sweet finds on Pinterest
123 and 4

St. Louis Fish Fry Season 2013: St. Gabriel and St. Stephen Protomartyr

St. Gabriel
St. Gabriel is consistently one of my favorite fish fries. What's not to love about getting free beer in line, real cod, great sides and great service?

Yes, the line may be long - but like I said, they walk around giving you free beer! There are generally a few fish items to choose from - jack salmon, cod, catfish, and shrimp were among the options this year I believe. The cod here is my favorite in St. Louis. It is seasoned so nicely. And so many good sides! I opted for fries (I can't resist) and slaw (to keep it fresh). Although you are allowed two sides with each dinner, they gave my boyfriend three as a thanks for waiting. So nice!

I can be tough to find places to sit in the cafeteria, so travel in a smaller group (I recommend that for most fish fries though). And if you're really smart - do carry out and just sneak over to the dining room! The carry out line is always considerably shorter. 

St. Stephen Protomartyr
I may have gone overboard with the fried food at this one. 

I had the fish tacos last year, and while good - too spicy for me. I stuck with the cod (fried) this year. I'm traditional. The fish comes with hush puppies  (fried), and for sides I went with the much-raved about mac n cheese bites (fried) and sweet potato fries (fried). Whoa. The fries were great and I'd definitely get those again, but I wasn't a fan of the mac n cheese bites. I wish I had gotten some coleslaw. Something 'fresh.'

Favorite dessert variety of the year! In true St. Paddy's tradition, I went with this chocolate/mint cake and Joe had some sort of chocolate chip gooey butter cake that looked awesome. It was the first time this year that there was more than one thing on the dessert table that I wanted. Kudos, St. Stephen!

See other 2013 reviews:

And see past reviews:


French Style

Next week, my sister is going to France. For free. Granted - she's chaperoning a bunch of high schoolers while she's there, but still... It's France!

The real question - What do I want as my souvenir?


I dropped a dog off at HSMO tonight.

And I shouldn't be this bent out of shape about it. I know HSMO is great. I know she's a sweet, friendly dog and will probably find a home in no time.

But she trusted me.

She came running to me as I got out of my car after work. She came when I called 'here girl' and 'here pup' even though I didn't know her name. When I brought those treats out, I was her best friend. When I put that makeshift leash on her, she stayed right by my side and didn't pull one bit.

She jumped right into the car and sat nicely in the front seat the whole time. Didn't bark at passing dogs. Didn't panic.

And when we got to the 24 hr drop off at HSMO, she gleefully walked beside me. If only she knew...

She didn't want to go in the cage. She resisted. I didn't want to pick up an unfamiliar dog, so I begged, I pleaded with her. I called her sweetheart. And then, once she obeyed me and got up in the little cage, I shut the door behind her.

My heart broke as soon as I did it.

I stood there filling out the intake form (note to others - do this BEFORE you lock them up and spare yourself some heartache) and listened to her cry. Circle. Scratch at the door.

I know she'll find a good home. I know I couldn't take her right now. I know I did the right thing.

But it still hurts to think of how eagerly she looked at me in the car as I got lost trying to find my way to Macklind. It still hurts to think I betrayed her trust. It still hurts to think that while I'm laying here, cozy in bed with Maverick by my side, she's alone in that cage. And she's been there for hours.

It breaks my heart. And I can't tell if its me bring irrational and over emotional, or human.

Weekend in New Orleans

A couple of weeks ago, I was in New Orleans for a few days for work. Fact: New Orleans is one of my favorite places. I love the architecture, the history, and of course, the culture that revolves around food and drink and good times.
Our trip was much too short and I'm already planning my next trip back (Jazz Fest 2014 anyone?). Meanwhile, a few recommendations for other NOLA travelers:
On Bourbon: My Bar 365 had the best hurricanes and good live music. Great cover bands and atmosphere at The Swamp (and it's outside patio with a mechanical bull) and Razzoo. They are right across the street from each other. Pat O'Brien's is known for their hurricanes, too. I didn't make it there this time around. Don't be afraid of hurricanes - even if you're a beer drinker like me. They are pretty much like fruit punch. But be careful... consuming more than 1 or 2 might knock you on your feet. Trust me.
Somewhere off Bourbon Street is a weird little shop, Reverend Zombie's Voodoo Shop. You can't take pictures inside but it's a trip. Some stuff that isn't even for sale... like a stuffed cougar head.
Off the beaten path, or at least I think so....: Avenue Pub on St. Charles closer to the Garden District. Great beer menu, cool atmosphere, nice upstairs patio if the weather is nice. Frenchman's Street was recommended to us by a local as 'the locals' Bourbon Street.' We didn't make it there but he said there was great live music. The Chart Room is in the French Quarter, a little dive bar. Coop's Place. A little bar/restaurant in the French Quarter with amazing, traditional food! We did the sampler platter for a little bit of everything, also had the duck quesadilla which sounds weird but was delicious.
The classics, or at least I think so....Cafe Maspero, Mother's and NOLA Good Eats for sandwiches. Cochon or Cochon Butchery. We didn't make it here (which I'm very sad about). I think the Butchery is more lunch-ish and Cochon is better for dinner (I think). Cafe Du Monde for cafe au lait and beignets, of course. Ruby Slipper for breakfast. The eggs cochon was like eggs benedict with pulled pork! The eggs blackstone was eggs benedict on a grilled tomato - really good and surprisingly light.
Was also recommended to me to explore Magazine St. And to have a picnic in Audubon Park.

For more NOLA inspiration, check out my New Orleans Pinterest board.

Side note, we stayed in a house about 5 miles from the French Quarter down St. Charles (in the Garden District maybe?) that we booked via VRBO and it was great! Click here to see where we stayed and click here to read about my other travel experiences using VRBO and airbnb


Headed to The Big Easy!

Headed to New Orleans this weekend for a little healthcare conference. 30,000 people. This is gonna be.... crowded.

I'll be busy with meetings, work and visiting with clients, but still hoping to have a little fun while we're there. I love the vibe of New Orleans, the people, the architecture. Looking forward to 60 degree weather, strolls through the French Quarter and lots of beignets.
images 1, 2, 3 + 4

See more NOLA inspiration on my Pinterest.

St Petersburg, Florida in November

Long overdue photos/recap from our November trip to St. Petersburg, Florida...
Got to spend some time with my BFF Karen, who lives in Orlando! 
No trip to Florida is complete without a day at the beach. 
Homemade steak dinner and red wine on our boat. #winning 
Stone crabs! I have never heard of/seen these before, but apparently they are really popular in this area of Florida and the season had just started when we were there in November. They are literally like stone. It was like trying to crack open a coffee mug. 
Ceviche turned out to be our favorite spot for tapas, sangria and late night drinks/music.  
We also went deep sea fishing at Hubbard's Marina at Johns Pass and you don't want to miss the pictures from that trip. Click here!

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