Monday, April 28, 2014

The bar is open!

Our little kitchen received a welcomed addition two weeks ago with new barstools.  This is one of the reasons I love social media because I put out a cry for help with a few wishlist details for new barstools and the world answered with American Tribute.  Except our new barstools are more than we could have imagined: American made, inspired by oak whiskey barrels, clean design, solid, rustic materials, and an impressive 600lb weight rating (most stools stop at 250lbs and that doesn't work for some of the guys we love to have over). And the tops spin so there's that as well. 

Even before the new stools arrived the hubs and I have been spending as much time possible in our breakfast and bar area. It's so nice to come home from work, take the pups for a walk, and then crack open an adult beverage (or if we're working out then we drink post-work out). The hubs has been making amazing martinis the past few weeks and next week we'll obviously be tossing back a few Mint Juleps. 

I know bar carts/trays are all the rage right now. The hubs isn't quite sold on "sparkly straws" just yet so here are our staples: 

Cheese Slate: unknown (Similar Concrete Coasters: Pop Chart Labs 32oz Growler: unknown (similarWhiskey: Jack Daniels Bourbon: Bullet // Jim Bean Single Barrel // Vodka: Tito's 

Can anyone recommend their favorite gin? Part of me feels like I need to have one of those, but I don't yet.  Finally, if you don't have a 32oz growler yet please go get one. It's the perfect size for two people to enjoy a nice craft beer that is above five percent alcohol by volume. We have quite a few and my hubs usually keeps an empty one in his car just so he can stop on his way home for a fill-up if the mood strikes him. 

To read more about American Tribute check out the "Maker's Series" post on Modestics

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Earth Day Every Day

Yesterday was Earth Day so you're probably thinking, "Heids you're a day late." 

Really? We live on this planet every day of our lives and yet we only give it one day a year to celebrate its awesomeness? And Earth Day wasn't established until 1970 so we've got some catching up to do!

Being green is a touchy subject for some folks. Thankfully I don't live in a recycled glass house, but I'm willing to throw the first stone. Here's my thoughts on "being green." DO WHAT YOU CAN.  If it isn't feasible for you to take mass transit to work, then try to get a more fuel efficient car. If you can't afford a hybrid, then ditch your plastic water bottles (yucky BPA) and get a stainless steel bottle. Buy organic fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy when you can afford to do so. Go to your local farmer's market when they are in season. Shop second hand stores. Decide you don't need 30 tubes of lipgloss. Recycle everything you can and look to buy items that come in recycled material packaging. Buy items that are going to last years rather than weeks. 

Two avenues in my life that I've really focused on being more friendly to Mother Earth is what I put on my skin and what clothes I buy. Thankfully, new eco-friendly options are arriving every day. This list was hard to put together, but these are a few of my favorite things. Each of them is green for a different reason: recycled material packaging, vegan-friendly, recycled material production, sustainable materials, organic cotton, vegetable dyes, donations to water conservation, free of dangerous chemicals, etc., but the one thing they all have in common is that they are proudly made in the USA. 

Buying USA goods has helped me decrease my carbon footprint. It's worth mentioning that some of these things are more expensive than their non-organic/imported options. You know what - that's also green because I have limited funds and that just means I'm consuming less in my life. That's the greenest thing of all. 

What's your favorite eco-friendly fashion item? What's your best tip for living a greener life? 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Pastels

Made in USA: Skirt: Karen Kane // Shoes: Julie Bee's // Necklace: Loren Hope // Shades: Oakley (similar) // Nails: Essie 'Play Date' // Lips: Maybelline Elixir 'Celestial Coral' 

Imported/Unknown: Blouse: gifted & super old Express // Cardigan: old J. Crew 

When I was a stubborn, tomboy, child there was one event I hated every year - finding an Easter dress. Mainly, I hated floral patterns and I despised wearing the same dress as my older sister who happened to love pinks and florals. My mom thought it was adorable to dress us alike for major holidays. Also, high holiday masses tended to run long in my church and there were a few times that I almost passed out because I would get so hot being unhappy in a big, stuffy dress. 

Yes, the bible taught me that Jesus survived temptation upon temptation in the hot desert for 40 days and yet I could barely hold myself together for a 90 minute service. This is why Jesus is called God by billions and I was called a brat by almost everyone in my family for my childhood antics from time to time.  Trust me, I'm much more patient as an adult, although I do always have a bottle of water on me because I'm still prone to overheating. 

Thankfully in 2002 my sweet grandmother sent me a sleeveless mint blouse for Easter. Online shopping was still odd to her at the time and she worried that while I was away at college, and without a car, that I wouldn't be able to get an outfit for Easter Sunday. And you know what - I've worn this shirt every Easter Sunday since then. Usually I pack it away and save it only for Easter, but this year I've really been digging pastels, and missing my grandmother, hence why this shirt has been seeing more action than it ever has before.

What's your go-to Easter outfit: pastels or florals? And for those of you who don't celebrate Easter, I understand and mean no disrespect to your beliefs with this post.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rainy Day Essentials

Spring has officially sprung! And with that means lots of April Showers. 

Now, you all know I'm a massive fan of my Hunter Boots because they've made more than one appearance on the blog (and more frequently in my life). I will say that when I bought them in 2012 I was a tad bit disappointed that the iconic British rain boots were now made in China. Honestly, I thought when the description said, "imported" it meant they would come from the UK.  Oh how I was mistaken. 

And, I have found myself stuck on warmer rainy days with the dilemma - Hunters or no Hunters? Keep my legs dry from the rain, but potentially risk sweating like a crazy person because it's 70+ degrees outside and 90+ humidity? I'm heading out for work next week and it looks like rain is in the forecast and I can't justify taking my massive boots with me on the chance it rains. That's way too much prime real estate taken up in my carryon suitcase for just one pair of shoes. 

Enter Oka-B flats. Made in the USA, in more colors to count, and with added embellishments if you're so inclined, dishwasher safe (yeah, you read that correctly) and recyclable.  The reason I don't own a pair yet is because I can't make a decision on a color. #firstworldproblems 

What's your go-to rainy day attire?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Burgers & Brews

Made in USA: Gingham Top: Tradlands // Tee: American Apparel // Jeans: James Jeans (on super sale!)// Belt: c/o Chicago Belt Company // Shoes: Julie Bee's // Necklace: Loren Hope (on sale!) // Shades: Oakley (similar) // Watch: La Mer Collections // Nails: Essie 'Marathin' // Purse:  old Luciana Verde (similar)

It isn't much of a surprise, but in case you haven't picked up on it I kind of like beer. As in I avoid gluten as much as possible just so I can indulge in a beer or two and keep my mainly gluten-free lifestyle in tact. Yes, I love me some hard apple cider/vodka/whiskey, but there is just something about beer that I can't give up, nor do I want to give it up. 

I know wine may have that fancy street cred, but there's just something about a good craft beer that feels more natural to me. Although I've certainly met my fair share of pretentious beer peeps in my life who can go on and on about hops the way some folks can go on and on about grapes. Whatever, the more they're talking, the less they're drinking and then that means there's more booze for me to consume. 

However, this past weekend it was my turn to act as the responsible adult and play the role of  designated driver for the Heavy Seas Burgers and Brews festival. It was my fault, I was the one who signed up for a 10 mile race the next morning. So dearest hubs, you're on deck to be the designated driver for the next beer festival that rolls into town. 

But the festival was not a total loss, I made it through 7 of the 12 available  gourmet sliders to sample. I didn't have the nickname, "Heidi Cheese Burger" for nothing growing up!  I stayed away from the beer infused ice cream and fries just so I could chow down on more burgers.  I sported a serious food belly the rest of the day, but don't worry I'm certain I burned it off the next morning. At least that's what I tell myself.

I milked the daylights out of my one tasting! Thanks to Heavy Seas for offering free water and soda throughout the event.  Here's to the upcoming festival season. May you have fun, avoid sunburn, make ever lasting memories, indulge in some good food, and enjoy even better company, but please always remember to designate a responsible driver.