every thankgiving i've celebrated has been at my house, surrounded by the best family. (except once in eighth grade, we spent that one in new york city!) one tradition that is upheld every year is the act of writing in the thankful journal. we pass around the spiral notebook and the pen and each person writes an excerpt about what they're most thankful for. it's so fun to look back at previous years and laugh at some of the crazy answers. some of the most famous are "my new girlfriend", "my bed", "a worm [warm] house". to share our tradition with the rest of the world, i've created some simple thanksgiving printables that you can set at each place setting + each person at your table can fill out! i've found that it's a bit easier than placecards, and people get to choose where they sit. to get the printable, click here! and have a happy thanksgiving!
i'm constantly dreaming up ways to rearrange my bedroom furniture, incorporate a new plant, or repaint my walls. pinterest doesn't make it any easier, constantly stumbling upon beautiful images of perfectly styled settings. i've rounded up some of my current favorites - what style do you like best?
today, i'm super excited to announce that FLAG FEST is officially opening next week! if you haven't heard about FF, it's been my baby for the past few months. the overall goal is to create quality, handmade products that add a little bit of festivity into the everyday. to celebrate the upcoming launch, i'm hosting a little giveaway on instagram where you can win one of your own custom flags! (valued at a price of 25 bucks friends!) keep scrolling for the giveaway instructions!
image by hailey of household mag - i love how she used her flag!
. to enter the giveaway
i love flowers. having them in the home is such a pick-me-up, and they can totally add festivity to the holiday season. just take a look at those eucalyptus crowns! a quick and easy way to create the perfect holiday centerpiece - enter BloomNation. when i first learned about BloomNation, i was so glad to hear of such an amazing service! if you haven't heard of BloomNation, they are a flower delivery service that supports local florists through their online marketplace. i live in chicago, and when i order through BloomNation, it supports the florists in my community and all around the chicagoland area. it's a truly remarkable service. take a look around at their site, you're surely find the perfect florals for your holidays.
when i was younger, i always wished i needed glasses. during my freshman year of high school, i realized i couldn't see the board very well in my algebra class. my mom took me to the walmart optical - yep. walmart - and my childhood dreams came true. my first pair of glasses was from that sketchy walmart, and when i went back six months later to get my prescription strengthened, i knew i wanted to get new glasses, and i knew where from.
i can't remember exactly where i first heard of warby parker, but i'm really glad i did. i had caught word about their home try-on, and thought it was a really amazing idea! i picked out my five favorite pairs from their site and they were delivered to my house in less than a week! you can see which frames i chose here. (i look so young!)
at about beginning of october, i decided it was time for some new frames. i repeated the home try-on process, and it was just as great as the first time. my sister claire and friend sarah got in on the action too. we headed out to a local cornmaze with my five fave glasses selections in tow and were ready to experience an amazing fall day.
the frames i wear currently are durand in woodland tortise. my fall home try-on consisted of laurel in tea rose fade, percey in scarlet tortise (a part of their 2015 fall collection!), chamberlin in saddle sage, newton in aurelia tortise, and keene in beach glass.
my friend sarah trying on chamberlin in saddle sage
my sister claire wearing keene in beach glass
my boots doubled as a nice glasses holder in between takes. haha!
one of my favorites was newton in aurelia tortise
keene in beach glass
my sweater is from the mens section at urban outfitters + it's on sale right now!
one of the best parts of fall is the ability to get apple cider donuts anywhere + everywhere. so good.
the cornmaze we went to had a little petting zoo and one of the goats wanted in on the action :)
i really love glasses!!!
thanks to warby parker for being amazing and making equally amazing glasses. thanks to fall for being the best season ever. (just kidding i love all seasons equally) thanks to walmart for fulfilling my childhood dream. i'm sure next year, i'll need to choose a different pair, we'll repeat the same process over, and it'll be just as good.
one of my favorite traditions from my childhood summers is going to the fair at my grandmas house. my whole family would make the four-hour drive in the heat of mid-july up to my grandma's in michigan. there, we'd meet up with our cousins and spend a day or two riding rides, eating (too much) funnel cake, and spending quality time with the best family. this past summer, we picked the tradition back up after being too busy the last few years. i documented our time with some photos and a short video! keep scrolling for all the images!
cinnamon rolls are one of those foods that make me happy. not necessarily because of the way they taste, (which is amazing by the way) but it's more the memories that come with them. when i was younger, taking a trip to my grandmas house was the best. you knew there would be an amazing home-cooked meal and family dinner, quality time spent, and memories made. most importantly, you knew there'd be cinnamon rolls, homemade. the smell of my grandparents house would remain in your mind for a long time, the taste of the dessert locked in your head.
i wanted to take my grandma's recipe and add a fall twist. i wasn't sure how they would turn out or if we would severely miss the standards of grandma's baking, and i guess you'll have to keep reading to see what happened!
INGREDIENTS for the rolls
seamless crescent dough
brown sugar (to taste)
cinnamon (to taste)
a jar of pumpkin butter (about 12 oz)
SUPPLIES for the rolls
baking sheet or casserole dish
twine, string, or non-flavored dental floss
DIRECTIONS for the rolls
preheat the oven to 375 degrees. start by rolling out your seamless dough and pressing it so it becomes even and flat. take a few spoonfuls of pumpkin butter and evenly spread it around. sprinkle on the brown sugar + cinnamon, and roll it up hot dog style, not hamburger :) take your twine, wrap it around the roll, and slice off two-inch rolls. place them in the casserole dish, and place the rolls in to the oven.
INGREDIENTS for the icing
3 ounces of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk (you can add more or less, depending on your desired consistency)
DIRECTIONS for the icing
combine all the ingredients in a stand mixer, the cream cheese and butter first, the sugar, and then the vanilla and milk. once the cinnamon rolls have cooled completely, pour the icing all over those babies. and enjoy, because they are so good.
i was really pleased when they came out of the oven and tasted amazing! i'm happy to say that my grandmother would have been proud. i think she would have liked them. and i hope you will, too! happy autumn! -m
you guys. i can't even put into words how much i love the city. the drive down, the trains, the boutiques. the amazing donut shops. i love it all. my sister and cousin alicia decided to take a few trips down and document our adventures.
^^^that's alicia. she's awesome. and she writes an awesome blog, here!
stan's is the best place to go for a donut in the city. delicious friends. delicious.
chicago also has the best murals. hot dogs, absinthe, and tom's coffee.
take advantage of your cities. take advantage of the things you love. do them. experience them. have fun. go on an adventure. it's good for the soul. -m
this fourth entry consists of pictures my sister and i took during one of the last few trips to michigan before the summer ended. being at the lake is one of the best feelings in the world. one sunday after church, we decided to walk down and capture a few moments of our fleeting summer.
there's always the prettiest wildflowers by the docks, making the perfect backgrounds or hat toppers.
claire & i have both been a little obsessed with hats lately. this maroon one is from old navy, and it's my fave! it's perfect to transition from summer to fall. which i cannot wait for. the crisp air, the colorful foliage, the apple cider donuts... summer is hard to send off, but fall is easy to welcome. -m
there's never a bad time for ice cream. especially when it's sandwiched between two cookies, brownies, donuts, you name it. even in the winter, i'll never turn down an ice cream offer. towards the end of the summer, i decided to try my hand at making some homemade ice cream sandwiches, and we may have gotten a little crazy... (just kidding, you can never go crazy with ice cream!)
ice cream scoop
a pint of ice cream (i stuck with vanilla)
foods to sandwich your ice cream (mini donuts, cookies, etc)
wax paper (to line surfaces and keep them clean)
a freezer nearby (to keep them from melting too quickly!)
prep your sandwiches by getting out the cookies, donuts, brownies, or the like. take a small to medium scoop of ice cream and use a spoon to place it on to one of the cookies. if you're using brownies or mini donuts, i found that it worked best if you cit them in half. it helps the ice cream not to squeeze out from the sides and allows you made more sandwiches! take the other half or other cookie and place it on top. set in freezer to cool for about 10 minutes and enjoy!
did i just insult you a little with those directions? sorry. i guess it is pretty easy to make an ice cream sandwiches, and the beauty about it is the infinite options you have to choose from. cosmic brownie ice cream sandwiches? yes, please, and thank you. i'm pretty sure no matter what you choose to sandwich your ice cream with, it'll be good.
even though there's a fall chill in the air, it doesn't mean the time for ice cream had come to a close. ice cream is a year round thing friends. even in these insanely harsh chicago winters, i'll always say yes to ice cream. especially when in between a donut. or cookie. or brownie. -m
i'm really excited to bring you the next babe in this business series! meet taylor, of henri rose sleepwear! take a look at their story below!
i met taylor on instagram, and instantly fell in love! the work they're doing to create jobs for trafficked women in cambodia is truly amazing. the outcome is not only beautiful products, but the knowledge that you gave someone a job and saved them from life in a brothel by wearing them. henri rose is still on kickstarter, and is 70% FUNDED! THEY'RE ALMOST THERE! and they need your help! by funding henri rose, you'll be empowering women to live a life they never would have had - while sleeping in the comfiest pj's evah!! you don't want to miss out on this. -m
have i ever proclaimed my love for rollercoasters on here before? i LOVE them! i will never pass up a chance to take a trip to an amusement park. thankfully, we live only about thrity to forty-five minutes away from SFGA, and while my cousin and best friend lauren were in town, we decided to take the drive and spend a day at the park! and as aways, there's a film and lots o' pictures documenting our day!
we made it out of the house and into the car at around 9 a.m, allowing us to get to the park just a little after it opened. our first ride was raging bull, and in my opinion, it's the best roller coaster there! check out that drop!
each area of the park is themed a little differently. frontier land is one of my faves.
i had never ridden the giant drop before, (think tower of terror drop, only once) and i will admit, i was scared. you can check out our ride in the video! (it's around 1:09) it was so fun, we rode it twice!
checking out ride pictures :) ^^^
cousins cousins cousins ^^
after a good eight or so hours, we headed home, slightly dizzy and full of funnel cake. we may or may not have gotten lost on the way home... with the (only) driver being yours truly. we found our way though! and it added a little extra excitement to our already awesome day!
how about you? are you a big fan of roller coasters or do you just head to the park for the games and food? i don't think i'll ever stop loving roller coasters. have a great weekend! -m
am i the only one that gets giddy when i drive into the city? maybe it's because i'm a new(er) driver or a lover of adventures but i can't help it. every time i see the skyline my heart skips a beat. it's a good problem to have i guess.
my cousins were recently in town, and being the spontaneous bodies we are, we decided to hop on a train and explore one of the city's most artsy areas: wicker park. it was 10:45 am and we decided to take the 11:05 train. crazy, but we made it! while on our way, i decided to create a guide to the city i love so much, so that you could feel the love as well! welcome to episode 1 of THE LOLLY PROJECT'S CHICAGO GUIDE, featuring the amazing wicker park!
i've laid out a basic itinerary sharing where we went and what we did, and further in the post i've gone in depth about each spot!
grab an uber (thanks to my cousin wesley's free ride!) and head to antique taco for lunch.
i almost cried tears of joy when we pulled up to this place, just ask my cousins katie or wesley, or my sister claire. after a hasty google search for good lunch restaurants in wicker park, we decided to take a shot at this seemingly cool taco place. and boy am in glad we did. it's the cutest, most artsy, little taco place i've ever seen! they also have an event space above the restaurant! right inside the door, there's a whole wall lined with cute gifts and souvenirs you can buy, like t-shirts and washi tape!
there was a good crowd seated when we arrived, which was at about 12:30. you order before sitting, and we had no wait. after ordering, you move to the opposite wall and fill your own waters in mason jars, grab your own silverware + cloth napkin, and choose a table. (they have outdoor seating too!)
once our food was delivered to the table (and we had taken enough pictures) we dug right in, and were pretty speechless. all four of us had ordered a different type of taco, and they each were amazing. just look at those photos! they have lots of options besides tacos, and the drink selections vary between alcoholic and non. we each ordered a blueberry agua fresca. they were gone in the first five minutes. #noshame. parting was a sweet sorrow. we'll definitely be back.
RR is literally a two-minute walk down the street from antique taco! i had heard of this place a few times before, and when i realized it was so close to antique we had to stop. not only do they have thousands of records, but they also have dvd's, cd's, you name it! it was so fun to thumb through all the albums and find the coolest cover art, song titles, and old records. my sister found one recorded years and years ago in the la scala opera house in milan, where she had just watched an opera two weeks ago! you can purchase and sell records here - it's defiently worth a visit if you're a media lover.
ESKELL GIFTS1509 N milwaukee st.
unfortunately i didn't snap any pictures on the inside (there's some footage in the video), but take my word - it's like anthro meets urban meets city boutique. along with the best gifts, eskell sells really cute clothing, sunnies, and pretty much everything under the chic sun. i sadly didn't buy anything, but tons of stuff caught my eye! i'm making it a priority to stop at eskell and buy at least one thing. you can't go wrong with anything in that store!
let me just give a disclaimer on divvy bikes, lots of people like riding them, but after renting them on our adventure, i'm not a huge fan. (i'll attempt to give an unbiased review) the deal is, you rent a bike for $7 and it basically gives you a 24 hour pass to ride the bike anywhere. but there's a confusing catch - you have to check in the bike at a divvy station every 30 minutes. meaning if you want to take an hour long ride from point a to point b, you have to stop your ride and check in at a divvy station in the middle of your ride and at the end. (did you get that?) there's a lot more explaining on the website!
i'd been longing to try a donut from stan's, and was thrilled when i found out they had a location in wicker park! after returning our bikes, we ordered some donuts and i once again may or may not have shed a tear because THEY WERE SO GOOD. they also have a whole wall of rainbow colored kitchenaid stand mixers. i got a chocolate peanut butter-filled donut, my sister got a shark week donut, my cousin katie got a classic chocolate-with-sprinkles and my cousin wesley got an old fashioned glazed. (not to mention we got a while 1/2 dozen more) not only does stan's have donuts, but they have coffee (intellegensia!!) and gelato. my mouth is watering just thinking about it. so good!
my sister stopped in for a quick minute to grab a cappuccino. it's so cute in there! thy've got the whole coffee shop vibe down, with subtle merchandise displays. the coffee was served right away and it was delicious!
i stepped in to marine layer for a quick peek inside. it's very california-beach-vibes. straight of the coast of miami! they have a trademark of the super-soft tee shirt, and they're very true to their word! all the clothes were super cute and the sales people are very kind!
a little tip i learned from my friend - always drive with uberBLACK. it's a bit safer and granted, slightly more expensive, but you get a private driver that is constantly tracked by the uber headquarters. you can also get great insider city tips from the drivers - their favorite places, the coolest hidden spots, and more!
i hope you enjoyed the first episode of TLP'S chicago guide and are starting to love this city as much as i do. it's pretty great. stay tuned for episode 2! -m
lemon and blueberries. this fruity combo has been my favorite lately - and these popsicles sealed the deal! they're the perfect combo of sweet, sour, and refreshing, making them the best thing for the heat of summer! my siblings couldn't even wait for me to finish shooting the pops, they tasted so good! plus, they're so incredibly easy to make.
one pitcher lemonade (either freshly squeezed or from a mix)
one cup blueberry simple syrup (click here for a simple syrup recipe!)
blueberries for garnish
fill a clean popsicle mold 3/4 of the way with lemonade
use a 1/4 simple syrup to fill the mold the rest of the way (you can switch up the ratios or lemon to blueberry depending on which flavor you'd like to be stronger)
add a few berries to the top
insert the popsicle sticks and freeze for about 4-5 hours
once frozen, run the molds nder hot water, remove the pops, and enjoy!
what combinations are your favorite? almost any can be made into popsicles. one of my all-times faves is chocolate peanut butter.... we may be on to something my friends. we'll see! -m
i'm so excited to introduce kim from hello sunshine soaps as our second biz babe in the series! residing in canada, she creates soaps, bath bombs, and sugar scrubs with the most amazing scents and in the cutest shapes! (aka. donuts) i was lucky enough to receive some samples + test out some of her mini soaps!
yes i am fully aware that today is the 12th of july and that fourth of july was last week. that's why the title says happy belated birthday. we celebrated the fourth for almost an entire week, and it was like a huge extended (really extended) family reunion. plus having no computer access or internet made it a bit harder to share our weekend with all of you! but here i am, and get ready, because there are pictures AND a video. bam!
each year at my lake house, the campground next door always hosts a fourth of july parade where people decorate golf carts, bikes, floats, scooters - if it has wheels, it's there. we decorate two golf carts and not to brag but, we've won three years in a row. yeah, you're dealing with pretty much royalty.
my cousin has the prettiest eyes!
this year we started a new tradition of having a big family picnic on all the big lake holidays (think memorial day, the fourth, labor day, etc.) it's one of the best parts of the holiday.
i'm so lucky to call all these people my family. they are the absolute best.
chocolate sodas date back to my great aunt - and even farther. i'll hopefully snag the recipe to share with you guys soon!
to finish off the night, we set the shutter speed and ISO low, lit some sparklers, and got some amazing pictures! i hope you all had a great independence day weekend, and happy belated birthday america!
i've never experimented with the art of mixology before. being underage, it's a hobby that's just a few years out of reach. mixing up a drink sans alcohol is something i've wanted to try for a while. last christmas, i received a copper moscow mule mug from my aunt and was excited to finally put it to good use. a few weeks ago, a friend and i whipped up a raspberry moscow mule mocktail, which we conveniently dubbed as the mock-scow mule. (witty, i know.)
INGREDIENTS (makes one mule)
1 ½ cup raspberries + extra for garnish
¾ cup sugar
handfull of ice cubes
a few mint leaves
moscow mule mug
spoon or cocktail mixer
DIRECTIONS for raspberry simple syrup (for about 2 mules)
place your raspberries and sugar into a small pot and simmer over medium heat.
once it comes to a boil, remove from the heat, let cool, and strain into a small bowl or dish.
you're done and ready to add it to your mules!
DIRECTIONS for the mules
fill your mug halfway/all the way with ice.
add your ginger ale so the mug is about ¾ of the way full.
cut one lime in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the mug.
fill the mug to the top with the raspberry simple syrup and mix. (you could also use a shaker... that'd be a cool idea!)
garnish with the left over limes and raspberries and drink up!
for a mocktail, i'd say it tasted really good! not that i have anything to compare it to... it also allows you to celebrate 5 o'clock any time of the day, with out regrets. :) i will definitely keep experimenting with cocktails and mixology. in a few years, who knows, maybe i'll become a bad ass, shaker wielding mixologist. it's possible. -m
as we're moving out of the graduation season and into summer, i thought it would be a great idea to share one of my favorite party DIY's that is always super simple and an awesome addition to any gathering! (if you couldn't already tell from the title, it's a photobooth!) my younger sister just had her graduation and party last week, so to add a different dynamic, we created this super easy layered photobooth!
plastic tablecloths in two or more colors (we got ours from the dollar store!)
scotch blue tape
step one: remove all tablecloths from their packaging and lay them out on a clean, flat surface.
step two: the folds created by the packaging should be visible when the tablecloths are laid out. cut along those folds, creating three to four strips, each around one and a half feet wide.
step three: using the scotch tape, attach each strip of tablecloth to your backdrop basis. (eg. a flat wall) start from the bottom and work your way up, alternating colors as you go. this step is the most time consuming; you may want take a spontaneous dance break half way through.
step four: set up the camera, hang some lights, and get posing!
it's finally summer. the sun is out, the pool is open, but my clothes are seriously lackin. anyone with me? (insert sassy hand raise emoji here) i don't think i've actually been to a mall in three months because i've been so busy. yikes, right? enter shopathome.com - the lovechild of saving time/money and stylish shopping - where after signing up for free, you have access to coupons and deals to more than 1,000 of your favorite stores (j.crew, nordstrom, target, urban outfitters, you name it!). and after saving enough money and earning enough cash back, THEY'LL SEND YOU A CHECK. IN THE MAIL. WITH MONETARY VALUE. seriously people, why wait to sign up to a site that saves you money and PAYS YOU FOR SHOPPING? not to mention, you don't even have to get up from the couch. i've picked a few of my faves from UO that i can definitely see myself wearing this summer season, all with benefits from shopathome.com! how amazing is that embellished blue tank? heart eyes all around. -m
here we go! the second and final installment of our arizona trip recap! if you missed part one, it can be found here. the last half of the trip was so great! warm weather, good food, and lots of photos. and, as promised, a video!
there was never a day we weren't at the pool - the weather was just too beautiful. and it was vacation, what else was there to do?
the bougainvillea made for a great instax background. ^^^
on our fourth night, we headed to the tortilla factory. no words people. only the coolest outdoor mexican restaurant i've been to ever. you can see more in the video around 5:17.
after dinner that night, we drove around through downtown scottsdale, only to discover that it was their arts night. there were live paintings, murals, music, and lots of celebrating. it was kinda like taste of chicago meets small town AZ.
on our last full day, we came across the cutest wild flower bush/adobe wall while walking to dinner. an obligatory photoshoot was mandatory.
after, we returned to the hotel for a live, traditional native american dance ceremony. it was definetly something worth seeing!
^^^ the lights made the cacti look like colored underwater coral.
our last day was short - the whole vacation was. and it was so great, we're planning a family reunion there next thanksgiving! stay tuned for that little adventure! and thanks for following both parts of our spring break in AZ! -m