1 Cakes & Louie: November 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

If I had a Million Dollars: Holiday Wish List

Tis the season friends! The season of caramel brûlée lattes in red Starbucks cups, having my space heater running all day under my desk, lots of family time, tons of cuddling under warm blankets with the hubs and Buddy Louie, pine scented candles and of course... insane sales and some of the best shopping of the year. While I tend to get a little stressed about finding the perfect gifts for everyone, and also have to force myself not to do the "one for you... one for me" thing on every purchase, I truly do love hunting for Christmas gifts for our families and friends, and this year is no exception. I've got a spreadsheet with links and gift ideas ready to go, and will be getting up extra early tomorrow to be sure I get through all of the Black Friday ads before Thanksgiving family time. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

And in the spirit of magic and wonder and shopping, I put together my yearly wish list - and surprise!! - most everything I want is gold. Shocking, I know. If I'm being totally honest, there are very few things I actually "need" this winter. I am in need of a few good and warm chunky sweaters and a new pair of slippers, but other than that I'm just oogling some goodies here :). 

If you could pick two items from the roundup, which would they be? I would 100% go for the phone case and the pop sugar monthly box - it's a bit of a splurge but holy moly... bananas incredible. Some of the goodies from previous boxes are items I've coveted for ages - imagine them just showing up as a monthly surprise on your doorstep! I imagine it would be like having a really awesome friend who knows you better than you know yourself shopping for you monthly and packaging everything up in a pretty little box for you to open and swoon over. I had a Birchbox subscription for a couple of years but found myself not using many of the monthly beauty samples. I have no doubts every last pop sugar item would get PLENTY of use around these parts!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cheapskate Beauty

Thanks to my Upshot pal Gail's urging a couple years ago, I was introduced to the wonders of not washing my hair every day, and learned the power of a bottle of dry shampoo. To this day, my favorites are super cheap brands like Dove and Suave, but I will be the first to admit that they aren't perfect - they tend to definitely leave some white residue behind, and make my hair feel a little gross. If I remember to spray a big cloud of it over my head before heading to bed at night, it has several hours to kinda soak in and looks decent in the morning, but it could still be better.

Always one for a cheap beauty fix, I saw a post from The Beauty Department via Pinterest a few weeks ago on using stone ground white rice flour in place of dry shampoo... and after finally remembering to grab a bag at the grocery store last night I was pumped to give it a shot. According to the post, when rice comes in contact with the oils from your scalp, it becomes transparent instead of remaining white - many of the more expensive brands of dry shampoo are formulated with rice for this reason alone! So armed with a blush brush I never use, I dabbed the flour along my hairline and my part... and then promptly ran downstairs to rave to the hubs about how well it worked (he totally cared, I swear). Two thumbs up from this girl! I dumped a bunch of the flour in a mason jar to keep under the sink, and expect that this will become a regular part of my day-2-hair routine. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Faux Fur Weekend

And with that, I have found my weekend outfit. Is it Saturday yet?

Inspiration via Pinterest  //  scarf  //  leggings  //  sweater

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Home Dreaming

It's incredible to me how much my style has changed over the course of the five years that the hubs and I have been homeowners together. Thankfully, it's changed for the better, with a newfound love for neutrals with pops of pattern, color and texture... instead of where I started with an overwhelming love for color, color and more color.

As we dream about a new house, I'm quickly getting excited about a clean slate for decorating. (Not to mention getting excited about having all kinds of fun things to blog about again!) I find myself more and more drawn to a palette full of gray, navy, white and gold, and cannot wait for the chance to transform our new living spaces into a home we can see ourselves in for decades to come.

Here's a roundup of some things I'd love to incorporate if the spaces are right -

I've honestly never put a whole lot of time, effort or money into lighting, but I am totally in love with these capiz orbs for over a dining room table or in an entryway, and the industrial pendants are perfect for over a kitchen breakfast bar!   //  We've never needed a media cabinet in our current house, but I'm hoping for a new house where I don't have to mount the TV over the fireplace.  //  These Ikea shelving units have been hacked a million times with gold spray paint, so I'm sure it's no surprise I want one.  //  I've also never put much thought into seating, because our teeny living room houses one small couch and the hubby's recliner, and that's all we have space for. How neat would it be to have a pair of chairs in a family room or one in a bedroom somewhere?? And how about with a funky gold ottoman to kick your feet up on?  //  And oh, that bed. We all know how much I love that bed

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Every year, I try to talk the hubs into a real Christmas tree just like the ones that mesmerized me in my childhood. My dad and my uncle used to take us kids way up north to a Christmas tree farm where we would bundle up, truck through the snow, pick out our own tree, cut it down and then drag it back to the car on a hayride with hot apple cider. Let me tell you, cutting down my own Christmas tree is one of very few times in the winter that I find it totally worth it to be outside in the freezing cold. And I miss it.

The boy has some serious allergies. And then there's Buddy Louie, who's a curious little thing and also suffers from some pretty bad seasonal allergies himself. So bringing a live TREE into the house might not be our smartest move. That being said, we have no idea if either of them is actually allergic to pine, and we'll never know unless we try, right? :)

This year, I'm thinking the holidays might be a little crazy considering we're busy trying to get our house ready to sell, trying to save extra and looking at things like storage units and moving companies... so I might push my yearly petition for a real tree to next year, when we will hopefully be in a beautiful new home with lots more space and the perfect little fireplace to put a real live tree next to. If I could have majored in daydreaming in college, I would have been the star of the class.

Oh and speaking of moving, we made the amateur mistake of going to look at a couple of houses last night, despite the fact that our current house isn't listed yet, and just as I expected, we fell head over heels in love with one. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did because it's *just* short of a bunch of the things I want - technically 4 bedrooms... but one is on the first floor, the potential for a finished basement... but not finished yet, a garage that's attached to the house... but you still have to go outside through a little alcove to get to it, the perfect side yard for a dog run for the Buddy... but not fenced in yet. But I fell in love. Hard. I realized how exciting that "almost but not quite" actually is to me. This house COULD be everything that Dan and I have ever wanted. We would raise our family there - no question, and it would be a beautiful thing to watch how we grow with a house like this over the years. I thought I wanted a house that I could just move into, paint a few rooms and call it a day. Who was I kidding? I want a house that is beautiful and amazing and perfect for us, with boatloads of charm and tons of potential for projects and lots of love down the line. 

And did I mention that we met the owner, who was nothing short of absolutely amazing? She alone makes me want to buy the house just so we can have her over for dinner in the years to come. She spent nearly a half hour talking to Dan and I, asking about our jobs, telling stories about her grandchildren and showing us around her lovely home talking about how she raised five kids there. To say we were both smitten with her AND her house would be the understatement of the century.

So while I watch my email like a hawk just waiting for the dreaded day that this dream house sells and it's not to us, I'll picture Dan and I, with Louie and our freshly chopped down Christmas tree, walking into our new home excited to decorate it for the holidays.  

Here's to Wednesday and lots of daydreaming!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Falling for Fall

I mentioned to the hubs this weekend that I feel like this is the most "real" Fall we've had in Chicago in ages. We've had WEEKS, not days, of weather that calls for sweaters and vests, a latte and a lightweight blanket. Generally, I'm not a huge fan of Fall, but I've decided that's because I can't really remember a time when we had one that was long enough to really enjoy before the frigid temperatures hit and there's a foot of snow on the ground. I'm kind of loving it this year.

Here's a little recap of how we've been enjoying the last few weeks.

Clockwise from top left -
We spent an early morning cuddling on the beach when we had our photos taken for Christmas cards by the ever-talented Caili Helsper. I've seen a few sneak peeks and cannot WAIT to see more!   //  We hosted the 2nd annual Friendsgiving with our nearest and dearest - I painted mini pumpkins gold for place cards and made my 2nd successful turkey, lots and lots of wine was consumed, and we played an entire game of pictionary without any heated arguments (guys against girls can get pretty intense you know). Success!  //  My mom and I spent Saturday evening in the city with a rave-worthy dinner at Frasca (definitely a new favorite!) and sundaes at Jeni's on Southport. To. Die. For.  //  We took Buddy Louie to Thatcher Woods for a nice long walk with lots of colorful leaves. I think we missed the REALLY pretty colors by about a week, but it was still beautiful and a nice change of pace from our usual Saturday mornings.  //  I got a bar cart! Finally! And I promptly styled it only to be told by our realtor about 2 weeks later that any decorative object larger than a bowling ball needs to go before pictures and showings of our house happen. I'm leaving it until the very last possible minute, but then this beautiful guy will be headed to storage until I have a shiny new house to display it in.

Happy Monday!