[Top, Old Navy | Pants, Gap (on sale!) | Hat, Old Navy | Shoes, Nine West c/o T.J.Maxx | Bracelets, Charming Charlie]
You know that feeling you get when you step outside on a beautiful day after such a terrible, never-ending winter? It’s hard to describe. The grass is greener than you remember, the sky is bluer than you’ve ever seen it, and you feel free, almost like the sun soaks up every ounce of your troubles, replacing them with good vibes and happy thoughts (cue the Brady Bunch song, “Sunshine Day”). Cheesy, right? But seriously, on a nice day, I feel like nothing can stand in my way. And whatever I was stressed out about during the day suddenly becomes small and insignificant.
Last week, my friend Annie and I wandered around Symmes Park in Loveland. It was nice to get out of the office and stretch my legs (let’s ignore the fact that I just made myself sound like a caged animal). Sitting for eight hours is something I’ll probably never get used to. I’m fidgety by nature and need to stand up every 10-20 minutes.
The purpose of our outing aside from getting a much-needed dose of vitamin D, was to take photos for Annie’s blog, Magical Simplicity. If you haven’t already, you should check it out. Today is its third birthday (they grow up so fast). After a brief period away, Annie is back and has revamped, restyled and rebranded her online space to be better than ever. Seriously, go. There’s cupcakes and balloons. And potentially pictures of me stuffing my face with said cupcakes. They were topped with rock candy, okay? You try saying no.
I know I’ve said this a million times, but I am beyond excited spring is finally here. Although, the warmer weather outside makes sitting indoors increasingly difficult. If you’re still in school, I hope you’re convincing your professors to hold classes outside. And if anyone has any tips for how to transport my desk job outdoors, you know where to find me.
Photography by Jackie Butler
I have this weird infatuation with kale. Its super food powers have worked their magic on me and now I’m hooked. I love it in all its forms – sauteed, raw, chipped, you name it.
Awhile back, I stumbled upon this recipe and was intrigued. Kale and bacon? Yes, please. I decided to experiment with these two ingredients until I eventually came up with my own recipe for a warm kale, bacon and goat cheese salad.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 bunch of kale
1 oz goat cheese
5 slices of bacon (I prefer lower sodium)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Pine nuts or almond slices (optional)
Salt + pepper to taste
1. Chop bacon into cubed pieces and add to pan on medium/high heat. Cook until crispy. When the bacon is done, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel. Save bacon drippings and add into a separate bowl (the juice will be used later). Do not rinse pan.
2. Wash and chop kale. Add olive oil and garlic to the pan and sautee on medium heat. Slowly add in kale, stirring frequently until it becomes wilted.
3. Add in the bacon juice and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add in the cooked bacon.
5. Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Add in salt and pepper and toss until desired flavor is achieved. Garnish with goat cheese and pine nuts.
This is one of my favorite things to make and eat. It’s pretty simple, but high in flavor. It’s the perfect addition to a meal, or just as good on its own.
[Vintage car outside of Rookwood Pottery in OTR]
This past week was pretty eventful. For starters, I played frisbee golf (frolf) for the first time, a sport that even an uncoordinated, clumsy person like myself can play. I finally had the chance to eat at a restaurant I’d been dying to try since it opened, and I accompanied my boyfriend to look at condos in Over-the-Rhine. Here are some of the highlights:[Chips and salsa at Cactus Pear]
[The best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had c/o The Eagle Food and Beer Hall] [Making plans to attend all of CityBeat’s events coming up]
[A gorgeous condo for sale in OTR with exposed brick and the perfect amount of natural light]
[A random patch of flowers I found while frisbee golfing][A wall of candy at Jenco Bros. Candy in Clifton][A breathtaking view of Music Hall from an apartment building’s rooftop deck]
Have a great weekend!
[Coat, vintage | Romper, Top Shop via Nordstrom Rack | Necklace, Francesca’s | Shoes, BCBG]
I’ve always had a fascination with all things vintage. I’m a kid at heart with an old, fashion-obsessed soul. In high school, while most girls wore the quintessential glittery, Cinderella-type ball gowns, I always gravitated to more classic looks. The silky, figure-hugging gowns were more my speed. And I can honestly say I’d wear them all again six years later.
This yellow coat is a very special frock with an interesting story. It came from Henry Harris, which according to my grandma was a high-end women’s clothing store located in the Netherland Plaza Hotel. “It was where all of Cincinnati’s high-class women shopped. They had beautiful things,” she said. She thinks this coat hit store shelves in the 60s. The quality and detail is impeccable and extremely hard to come by today, unless you’re willing to shell out the cash for high-end designer pieces.
I can’t tell you what happened to this coat after it departed Henry Harris wrapped in tissue paper and ribbon, but I can tell you it somehow ended up in my high school’s theater department. I was a freshman in college, and returned to my high school to watch friends in the school play. There it was on stage. Bright yellow and glowing. Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to it, and had to have it. I just couldn’t stop thinking about that yellow coat. My friends knew about my obsession and snatched it for me. A few years later, I was reunited with the yellow coat. It now lives safely tucked away in my closet, patiently waiting for the opportunity to be shown off.
Photography by Jackie Butler
I love this weekly post for several reasons. For one, it forces me to stop and appreciate the little things every day, even if it means being the obnoxious girl who takes pictures of her food. Two, I now make a conscious effort to take more pictures (even if it’s of my food). And on a more practical note, it helps me remember what I did the previous week. People don’t tell you this in college, but I swear my memory has aged about 50 years since entering the real world.
Here are some highlights from the past week:
[Tomato bisque soup + berry goat cheese salad from Coffee Emporium]
[Vintage taxi cab used for filming the movie Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. This was in my parking lot, by the way. My little Hyundai Santa Fe was so starstruck.]
[My living room – a work in progress]
[Saturday brunch with friends]
[Concert Nova event at Rhinegeist Brewery. Beer + good food + music + new friends + the perfect excuse to dress up]
I’m like a mad scientist in the kitchen. On a typical day, you’ll find me crouched over a mixing bowl, spatula in hand, with ingredients flying left and right. My usual routine is 1) figure out what I have to work with 2) get every ingredient and its mother out for use 3) make a mess 4) stare at the mess and wonder how it happened 5) eat.
My mom always said (and still says), “Natalie, you’re like a bull in a china shop.” And Mom, I don’t usually like to admit this, but after 23 years, I’ve finally come to the realization that you may be right. I love cooking and baking, but, no matter how hard I try, I always create the mess of 20 people (or bulls).
My messy nature aside, I love spending time in the kitchen. When I was looking for an apartment, a nice kitchen was my top priority, and a gas stove was a must. Having a gas stove makes me wonder why electric stoves are even a thing. I mean, really.
I love an open, modern kitchen with some added vintage charm. And if I had all of the money in the world, I’d have seven kitchens. You know, one for every day of the week. Although, I’d definitely need to hire a cleaning crew…
images via here, here, here, here, here, here & here