Alotta Frittata

There is one food if which I had to live without I would probably die. Breakfast and brunch would have no soul, veganism would be the easiest triumph, and the souffle would cease to exist. This food is the incredible, edible egg.

Ah, the egg is alive and well in my refrigerator, and since my birthday cast iron purchases, it has played a frequent supporting role in my life. With frequent trips to the farmers market, frittatas and green smoothies have become necessary. This post is dedicated to the better of the two. Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset

I jokingly started the hashtag #52weeksoffrittata on Instagram, mainly for the alliteration’s sake. All jokes aside, my weekly frittatas have been rather consistent. You too can eat delicious frittatas on a weekly basis without owning a chicken farm! For the very low quantity of 4 eggs a week + whatever produce/cheese/extras you have on hand! Get creative!

Here are the varieties I’ve had so far:

Week 1: sweet & spicy peppers + feta

Week 2: Greek Style (spinach+tomatoes+feta)

Week 3: London Pub Style (wild mushrooms+onions in malt vinegar)

Week 4: Fall Yall! (spicy sage+potatoes+fig&honey goat cheese)

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I’m not going to post a recipe for each frittata individually because if you have a brain and can saute vegetables, you can surely do this without detailed instructions. I use 4 eggs for each one. That’s really all you need to know!

I can’t wait to carry on this new weekly love affair!

Do y’all have any frittata favorites?

 

XOXO

Life Lately | September Musings

Life has been quite the whirlwind since my last blog post. So many things have happened, including but not limited to: starting a new job, getting a haircut, becoming a cat lady, turning 26, etc. Those are all pretty big life moments if you ask me.

The radio silence is coming to an end. As we move into a new season, I sense a re-birth of blogging coming along. Also, the new job leaves me with 20 extra hours a week to mess around in the kitchen, take photos, go on dates (!), and really just time tot throw a pursuing other passions. I have been filling my notebook with content, so hopefully, for you all, that means more blog posts aka pie and recipes and photos of my hair. Until then, here is a look at the current picture.
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Not going to… Apologize for my lack of presence on the internet. As you may be able to infer from the introductory blurb, I was busy and then I had all this free time to, honestly, not spend on blogging. Instead I went kayaking, visited museums, went on hikes, started learning Hebrew, and yeah, maybe I watched an entire series or two on Netflix..

Listening to… Pandora is playing Band or Horses, which is a pretty accurate representation of my momentary musical tastes. Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, and The Lumineers consume my internet radio speakers. Last week I almost overdosed on Neil young in honor of the Harvest Moon. As real bonafide baking weather approaches I feel myself going back to the late greats of vintage country: Waylon, Willie, and the Boys + Patsy, Dolly, and Loretta. Oh yeah, Gene Autry, too.

Loving… Allow me to introduce you to my sister’s new kitten, little miss Nancy. While she technically belongs to my sister, her heart kinda sorta belongs to me. She sleeps with me every night, takes naps on my lap, and de-pots all of my succulents. Maybe it’s because I feed her every morning, or because I let her lick my face, but I consider her my little fur baby. I still love my smelly, old Gypsy, but Nance has very quickly changed my opinion on cats altogether. Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

Eating… So my new job is in the bakery at Whole Foods. It’s pretty great- the people, the culture, the 20% discount. Since living up north, I’ve really let my granola flag fly, but not I can eat organic on a budget. My current obsessions are garden frittatas, General Tso tofu, and all beets everything. Oh yeah, Siggi’s Icelandic style yogurt is my jam. i eat it everyday and will never go Greek again. I bought myself another cast iron skillet for my birthday. It appears that I am starting a #52weeksoffrittatas with the frequency in which I make them. Also, two words for you: DUTCH BABY. Expect a blog post soon. Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

Thinking about… Buying a ukulele to become a youtube sensation, going back to grad school to pursue the degree I should have gone for, forgoing the graduate degree and just getting my ESL cert, moving to a foreign country to teach English, where/when my next move will be. Each year on my birthday I set my New Year resolution. Last year’s was getting the hell outta dodge (Denton|Texas). This year I am dedicating to pursuing what I really want whether it be school, living in a different city, being a full time creative/baker. I’ve also been doing a lot more writing, my comical upbringing being the topic of intrigue. Everything is still a jumble in my head. That’s why I call it the thinking process. And who says I have to choose just one!

Planning… A trip to Texas! My good friend is getting married in October, so down south I will go! I am trying to figure out how to not so evenly divide my time between the DFW and San Antonio. Things that go along with trips include plane tickets. I need to get on that..

Anticipating… The arrival of fall. This past weekend showed signs of an early arrival. The temperatures staying in the 50s for the majority of the weekend. Instead of taking advantage of the perfect hiking weather, I spent the day on Lauren’s couch napping and binging on Gilmore Girls and Thai food. Which brings me to my next bullet point of anticipation *Gilmore Girls October 1st!

Wearing… Entirely too much flannel for the late summer, birkenstocks, and my usual all black everything. My wardrobe has also seen a resurgence of denim since jeans have now become a work staple. I won’t even begin to tell you about my new pair of clogs…Hipster Heidi of the Alps called. She want’s her wardrobe back but she aint gonna get it!

Spending… Money on farmers market flowers. Last week I bought a $7 bouquet that was so big I needed both arms to manage it on the short walk home. I felt like I was hugging a tree! See also, Siggi’s yogurt. I am about to purchase a case of that stuff!

Being thankful for… There are so many things on this list. I’ve been very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life, near and far. I love that I have animals to keep me warm as the mercury drops. I have a sister to laugh with. I have flowers to weave into something pretty. I have family planning trips. I have freedom to be doing what I want. So many, many things. These are just a drop in the bucket.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Stay tuned, y’all!

XOXO

Sweet and Savory Corn Fritters

In a very rare moment yesterday, my sweet tooth was really trying to get the better of me. We usually keep a stockpile of cookies from my previous job in the freezer, but my sister likes to eat my favorite double chocolate ones for breakfast…so alas, we were out! Even our refrigerator and cupboard were seriously lacking ingredients to conjure up something sweet. Time to improvise!

It’s funny how some of the random kitchen staples use the word sweet, i.e.- sweet cream butter, sweet yellow corn, sweet clover honey. Yeah, none of those are going to make my double chocolate cookies, but they have the potential to come together and make something amazing. I had to think outside the box and hop a few state lines back to good ol’ Texas. I swear, I draw so much inspiration from my roots. Thus, a sweet and savory dessert found its beginnings.

Think donut + elotes + sopapilla.

I really just meshed  my recipes for corn and flour tortillas and my pie crust together to create something resembling a pastry dough. Once fried up, it was ever so sweet! For this particular recipe, I filled these fritters with a corn and tomato mixture,seasoned more on the savory side. At first my sister complained about the corn filling, but once she took a bite she quickly shut up. In all actuality, these would probably taste just fine without a filling, drizzled with some honey and maybe a sprinkling cinnamon sug. See churros and sopapillas. In the future I’d like to try out different fillings like jalapeno cream cheese, or chorizo and apple/pear (sounds weird but I bet it would be great!). Corn just seemed fitting since I was using maseca and sweet was right there, smack dab on the label. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Sweet & Savory Corn Fritters

For the dough:

1 1/2 cups maseca flour + 1 tbs for rolling

1/2 cup all purpose flour + 1 tbs for rolling

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp granulated sugar

5 tbs butter (sweet cream!) at room temperature

1-1/4 cups warm water

For the filling:

1 can of (sweet yellow!) corn, rinsed and drained

1 large tomato, diced

savory seasoning to taste; I used cumin, s&p, chili powder, and cayenne pepper

vegetable oil for frying

honey for something extra

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the  dry ingredients to make your dough. Using your hands, work the butter into the dry mixture until it takes on a mealy appearance. You should be able to form a ball in your hand. Slowly add the warm water in increments of 1/4 cup. The final product should be slightly firm while slightly sticky. For your dough into 8 equal sized balls. Cover with a damp cloth until it’s time to roll out.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for your filling: corn, diced tomato, and seasonings to taste. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  3. Time to roll these babies out! Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with the leftover dry mixture: equal parts maseca and flour. Roll out a circular shape about 6-7″ in diameter and a thickness a bit more than a 1/4″. You just want to make sure it isn’t too thin, otherwise the filling may leak out! Spoon your filling right into the center!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  4. To fully form your fritter (alliteration!) fold the edges over the top and press down. This is a two hand job. form your fritters into a biscuit like shape. You may have to use some of the dry mix to keep everything in place. Oh yeah, it is totally okay if there are some cracks! Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  5. Heat up your oil in a pan and fry these babies until they are golden on both sides. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and brush each fritter with honey. You can even sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt and sugar. I sure did!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  6. Note: I only baked these fritters for their second half of cooking because I knew ahead of time I did not have enough oil to do the deed. Bake your fritters at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Yeah, that did the trick! Let cool for 5 seconds and then drizzle with more honey if you’re feeling sweet, Cholula if you’re feeling saucy. Pick your poison!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Seriously, who needs a freezer burned cookie when you can have something just as sweet, if not -er and maybe a tiny but healthy? Oh yeah, and it’s got a little bit of spice on the inside! Ha, that kind of sounds like my personality!

Thank goodness for those Texan roots and the Mexican food mart in the Strip District. God knows where I’d be if I was unable to find that giant bag of masa mix!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

 

Salute to Basics, Part One

You all know I have an affinity for wearing all black and staying away from trends unless they are black harem pants. For tees, tanks, leggings, and all clothing in between I had to cross my fingers in hopes that my bank account could handle American Apparel and double cross that the  H&M legging supply was still going strong in the summer. A few years ago I discovered Everlane. After signing up for their mailing list, I didn’t give them a thought until I moved to PGH and was in desperate need of comfy yet flattering basic clothing options. They have the science of basics down to the TEE, their U-neck and Ryan being my current favorites.

A recent online shopping splurge ended with a lovely brown package waiting on my doorstep. Black, white, chambray, and rust have wiggled into my late summer/early fall wardrobe. I can do color if its denim or not neon. I’ve been rocking the rust, black, grey combo as of late…….really just dreaming of fall! Consider this post part 1 in a salute to basics- an ode to Everlane!

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Small Space, Dream Space | Styling with Chairish

A few weeks ago I was approached via my blog by a company called Chairish to do some  e-styling. Of course after browsing their online catalog, I was totally down for any sort of collaboration! In case you didn’t know, Chairish (what an adorable, punny play on words!) is an online consignment for vintage furniture. Their site allows for individuals to buy and sell pre-loved decor to one another. Go ahead and visit their website! If you’re anything like me, have a mop handy- I drooled over a Chesterfield sofa and multiple Persian rugs…

For this e-styling venture, I was sent a selection of vintage bar stools and asked to create and style my perfect home bar. My brain automatically thought of two things: 1. Tiffany of Offbeat & Inspired’s cozy DIY cafe corner, and 2. Chicago’s Longman & Eagle’s dining and bar spaces. I absolutely love reclaimed wood combined with, say, vintage glassware and an old rug. Before I could take these ideas and run with them, I had to choose a bar stool. I felt like Tamra from The Real Housewives of OC when she was shopping for a wedding dress. First you have to choose the dress, then you plan your wedding around it. In my case, I had to design a space around a single piece of furniture! I chose a pair of Mid-Century wicker bar stools.

my choice

My ideal bar space is not just for sloshing and slanging drinks all night with friends, family, and cats. I wanted to design a space where I could sit and enjoy my morning coffee or arrange fresh farmers market flowers on a cloudy afternoon. Where mixology meets productivity. I wanted it to be multipurpose space. Add in some elements of Americana and muted yet classic colors, and you will have my dreamy space, which is only a figment of mine and my blog’s imagination at the moment. styling idea 1

I went to brands I knew and brands I love: West Elm, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel,  and Restoration Hardware, to complete the big picture. (For more details, see the end of this post.) I am finally at the point in my life where my personal style has been nailed down. No more purple accent walls and Eiffel Tower posters of the college years. These days I lean more toward natural tones, fibers, and textures and a color palette some call boring. I guess living folk would be the trendy way of describing it.

For the most part, I tried to keep with the common Mid-Century theme. I love the smooth contours seen in most pieces of the time period. I also wanted a palette of mainly primary colors. nothing too flashy. Something I wanted to add but did not have a space was a hanging kitchen herb garden for a wall or window. I loved putting fresh herbs in my drinks, so this is necessary and also adds to the natural vibe I wanted to create. Moscow mules are also the beverage I am currently crushing on. Check out this recipe I found for a blueberry mule here! How good would that be with a few sprigs of basil or rosemary added?

 

Can I just say how grateful I am that I was approached to do this post? Styling is one of those new found passions that manifested from a love of food, vintage, decor, and photography of the mentioned subjects. Thanks for the opportunity Chairish!

 

Cheers!

Vintage Americana

Special Occasion Cupcakes | Simple & Sweet

You guys! I had my first paying baking gig since moving to Pittsburgh! My friend and local business owner approached me about doing cupcakes for her friend’s wedding shower. Now if you would have asked me to decorate a cake or even cupcakes before working full time in a bakery, I would have probably taken a day or two to think it over (and teach myself technique) before agreeing. Well that was not the case this time. I think I agreed before she finished asking the question.

I still get pretty nervous about using fondant and different decorating tips, but the queezy feeling in my stomach is no more. This happens when you show up to work with a terrible hangover only to find out that the resident decorator is a no call no show and you have to get your shit together and decorate 3 three THREE wedding cakes. Yeah that happened a couple of weeks ago. I now feel pretty invincible.  Thankfully, Dora did not want me to go all Cake Boss at this point and time. For the sake of simplicity, she ordered a vanilla cupcake with a vanilla butter cream icing. You know, simple really is the best. Simple can also be beautiful!

I adapted this recipe from my go-to girl (Martha). Sorry for the lack of photos. I was crunched for time, but- simple is key here.

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Simple Lavender & Vanilla Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1 stick butter, softened

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbs finely chopped lavender (fresh or dried)

For the icing:

2 sticks butter, softened

1 Crisco baking stick

1 tbs vanilla

1 cup milk

12-16 cups powdered sugar

  1. In a large bowl, beat together butter, lavender, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add this mixture to the sugar and eggs.
  3. Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until combined.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake papers halfway and bake for 15-20 minutes. This recipe should yield about 2 dozen cupcakes, more or less.

Butter cream icing is just as easy. If you are like me and do not own a mixer of any sort, I find that a rubber spatula and occasionally a wooden spoon will do the trick.

  1. Cream together your butter, shortening, and vanilla.
  2. Alternate between adding cups of powdered sugar and tablespoons of milk. The final product should be stiff enough to hold its own on top of a cake or cupcake.

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I think they turned out beautifully! Dora and her family and friends also loved them, and that’s all that really matters. The door has since been opened for freelance cake and pastry work. I will also really emphasize…I LOVE BAKING PIE! I can always be contacted via my blog if you have any questions.

Memories For Sale

Last weekend Lauren, Chase, and I ventured to a more remote part of the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Our previous estate sale plans were thwarted by an expired Craigslist posting, so we did the next best thing- antiquing. The more I think about that word as a verb, the more I dislike it. See also- crafting. Due to a lack of money, I wasn’t really looking for anything other than inspiration. It is free after all, but you’ve got to keep your eyes open.

Ohio River Blvd Antique Mall was the place. The purple brick building’s facade resembled something like an auto shop you’d find off East McKinney Street in good ol’ Denton, Texas. Its bright colors draw in business and drive out evil spirits, though being an antique store, the place is probably filled with all sorts of juju.

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As soon as you cross the threshold, you go back decades. Mid-century sofas stacked 3 on 3, glass bottles galore, knickknacks and tchotchkes, and dishes from days long gone fill the rooms. Oh! And there are rooms, not to mention floors! The interior is a Victorian house filled with other peoples’ belongings. Other peoples’ junk? Definitely other peoples’ memories.

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On a different note, there’s nothing like an antique store to reiterate the fact that when you die you leave all your shit behind you. While it is a slightly morbid point of view, it does make me evaluate my tendencies as a consumer. Ever since moving to Pittsburgh, I have really been trying to simplify my life. Antique stores can be a great testament to this. So many of the objects filling the shelves hail from a simpler time, and I get a little inspired to live like they did. This correlation might only make sense to me….Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Consumerism and bank account status aside, I did make a beeline towards the depression glass and handful of insulators.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Besides Ohio Blvd, we also frequented a few other thrift and surplus stores. They all sort of cast a similar shadow on my opinion voiced above.

Out with the new and in with the old!

 

 

I Got Stripes

The Fourth of July is my favorite ‘Merica holiday. It can’t be the only ‘Merica holiday, right? This year, my Fourth was the exact opposite of previous years. For the last 3 back in Tejas, the Pearl House would throw the biggest party in town. Everyone who was anyone in Denton would be there. Well maybe not. But cool people showed up. And we made a vodka melon. Every year.

This year, karaoke was not sung, flags were not “stolen”, and hangovers were not to be had. Instead, I held a piping bag in my hand for 14 hours straight. I decorated everything in sight to make our bakery look like America threw up all over the counter and then some. Carpal tunnel much? My hand is still hurting! All complaints aside, I was ready for a nap, beer, roasted ear of corn, and a hot dog In that specific order).  My sister’s boyfriend held a Fourth of Ju-Luau at his house. Everything but the nap was brought to fruition there.  I even had a vodka melon, though it was disgusting. I should give 4th of July tutorials on how to properly inebriate fruit. It’s not rocket science, B!

Anyway, I had a great Fourth. I didn’t think it was a possibility, but when you surround yourself with rad people, good times just happen organically. Here are some photos of me donning Old Faithful. I actually paid for this one. From one of my favorite Dallas vintage stores.

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America’s Bday also rocks because it is the most LDR (Lana Del Rey) of all the holidays. George Washington never saw that one coming!

Papa Don’t Peach (Pie)

Let’s rewind the clock and really even flip the calendar back a month to June. I don’t normally like to go back in time, but pie is involved so I’ll make an exception.

The Monday beginning Fathers Day week I found myself lying in bed not being able to sleep and thinking about food, per usual. I swear, all of my best ideas come to me via delirium. This one also came courtesy of Madonna, an earlier trip to my butcher crush’s establishment, and the onslaught of summer. PEACHES AND BACON – I had the perfect pie any pops would like on their day.

When I shared this bright piedea with friends, theladies were like “that’s a strange combination” and the dudes were like “fuck yeah, bacon”. From their responses I knew I was on the right track. I used the same all butter pie crust recipe I’ve grown accustomed to, with the addition of 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Crust is always my favorite part of the pie so I love making minor adjustments to the recipe in order to bring out the flavor in the filling. As for the peaches, cream, and bacon, I took the local route. I love any excuse to visit my local butcher (I have the biggest crush on that man) and farmers markets are a no brainer.

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Papa Don’t Peach Pie

For the Filling:

8-10 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp vanilla + 1/2 tsp maple syrup

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs + 2 tsp corn starch

1 1/2 tbs tapioca 

pinch kosher salt

  1. Peel and slice peaches and place into a large mixing bowl. make sure your peaches are ripe, otherwise this is a pretty arduous task….it really is the pits. (Ha!) Try brown bagging your fruit for a day or 2 beforehand. Toss in and coat the peaches with the fresh lemon juice, vanilla, and maple syrup.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  2. In a separate smaller bowl, combine all of your (other) dry ingredients. Lightly toss the mixture in with the peaches with a rubber spatula.  This is why I love making fruit pies, so simple! Processed with VSCOcam with e8 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  3. Lightly fry up a few slices of bacon in a skillet. Then dice those babies up. We will dot the filling with bacon instead of butter!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  4. When assembling your pie, a double crust is the way to go. I would recommend either a tight lattice crust or small vent slits. Peaches are more on sensitive side. You don’t want to end up scorching your fruit or hurting anyone’s feelings. I have a love for latticing things, so duh, I went with a fat, tight, and diagonal weave. Before adding the filling, I like to dust the bottom half of the pie shell with a mixture of equal parts sugar and flour. This helps to thicken up any juices during the baking process. Yum! Finally after spooning your peaches into the shell, dot with the little cubes of bacon before starting to weave the top crust layer. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  5. Pop your assembled pie into the freezer for about 30 minutes. This help the crust to maintain its shape during the baking process. No one likes a droopy crust! After freezing, brush the top layer of crust with a mixture of equal parts heavy cream and whole milk. Another trick for the books, this gives you a soft yet flaky and goldenly delicious pie crust. I used local dairy products, too! Happy cows=happy pies, right? Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  6. Bake this baby for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees, rotating every 20 minutes. Let cool for an hour before delving in. I served the pie with homemade coldbrew coffee, but I can only imagine the amazingness of a la mode! Next time, next time.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

 

If and when I finally make that pie shoppe dream come true, this will definitely be on the menu come fathers day. It may have to become a summer staple, because who doesn’t like peach pie? (Answer: weirdos/people who are not my friends)

 

***Because bacon is involved, this also makes a great breakfast choice!***Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Think Pink!

After an unsuccessful search for the perfect dog-friendly apartment with wood floors, high ceilings, and bay windows (I know in my heart that such a place exists), my sister and I decided to give el Murder House another go-round. I can deal with this house another year for the price and sheer location. Since Gare Bear loves me (even more now that he knows I want to be Jewish) he has granted us permission to do whatever we want to the house. First things first: a door that designates our gender!

P I N K

You may know that all black everything dominates my fashion choices, but sometimes I like to add color. Other times I just like to match my house! Besides our new front door, other things I am loving right now are kimonos kimonos kimonos, hats hats hats (duh!), and only washing my hair once a week (see hats) x beachy waves! Throw in some cutoffs, Birks, or even boots and you have my summer wardrobe in a nutshell.

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“Nothing says bitches live here quite like a pink door.” -my sister.