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yo mama... is delicious!



this summer, a little frozen yogurt shop opened up in wauwatosa right off of state st. i was so excited when we first tried yo mama out; they had an adorable shop, awesome frozen yogurt, a ton of topping options and great prices! i'm so used to the $7 a cup prices of north florida that i was hooked after only paying around $2.50 a cup at yo mama.

my go-to froyo flavor is generally vanilla (i like to live dangerously). at yo mama however, i always have to get the cake batter. 

pictured above is a combination of strawberry, cake batter and white chocolate macadamia (an impulse flavor im not sure im a fan of...). i topped it off with toasted coconut, kiwi, strawberries and strawberry boba balls. in all honesty, the boba balls will keep me coming back to yo mama all on their own. they're these little fruit flavor juice filled balls that explode in your mouth, they're so strange but so good! if anything, visit yo mama for the boba balls... but be prepared to wait in line, yo mama really knows how to keep their customers coming back.

behind the scenes of a stoneware studio...


cambridge stoneware studio in cambridge, wis. has always been one of my favorite places to be. not only do they design, throw, glaze and fire the pottery right there in the studio, but everything in the store focuses on the art and the beauty of craftsmanship, something a lot of businesses completely miss in this economy. 

owner and artisan jim rowe has created a new line and a new color that he introduced to the public in the fall of 2010. the new candy metal black pottery, although made from clay, look exactly like pewter. the interior of the pots come in a off white glaze, while the exterior is finished in a metallic black satin sheen. the pottery is not only beautiful, but functional (food save, oven safe and dishwasher safe). if you ever get the chance, stop by cambridge stoneware studio on main street in cambridge, you'll feel right at home. 

a perfect kind of morning...


nothing like eating breakfast outside while the sun is coming up...

brooklyn made this amazing scrambled omelette...  egg whites, feta cheese, onions, tomatoes, red pepper and lemon basil... straight from the garden.

now i can get my day started...

daisy cafe in madison...

daisy cafe and cupcakery has been one of my favorites since they opened in may of 2009. it's what i like to call a 'mismatched cafe', meaning the walls are covered in random art, the furniture looks like its been purchased at antique stores and garage sales and the wait staff all have tattoos and piercings. i love these kind of places, it just feels like your having lunch in a 1960's cooperative or in your eccentric great aunts living room.




the grilled chicken sandwich with carmelized onion chutney and chevre cheese on rosemary bread... amazing. everyone at the table had to have a bite and they couldn't stop raving about it. the sharpness of the chevre cheese, although a strange idea, balanced the flavor of the carmelized onion chutney perfectly. i would definitely recommend this option to anyone that loves chevre cheese. don't love chevre cheese? i would probablyyyy stay away from this one then because the flavor of chevre is rather intense to the unsuspecting or unapproving taste buds.

daisy cupcakery...

as we all know, i have what most would call a 'cupcake addiction'. i love anything and everything cupcakes... there's just something wonderful about having a tiny little cake that is all yours, completely uninterupted by a knife or fork. my favorite cupcake flavor is and will always be lemon, but i try to stay outside of my box when it comes to a cupcakery with unique flavor combinations such as the one i visited today.


i was there when daisy cafe and cupcakery opened a few years back and the first cupcake flavor i tried was a jasmine mango combination. it was amazing and im not sure why because it tasted a bit like perfume, but i think the fact that i could smell each and every bite made it my absolute favorite cupcake experience. sadly, daisy did not have that flavor today, but we did decide to try out the white chocolate raspberry and the chocolate malt.
i chose the white chocolate raspberry because to be honest, it was put together so adorably. the combination of raspberry and white chocolate is so typical to me, so the flavor combination had nothing to do with my decision making, but i was blown away! it was so good, and it had a jelly center which was definitely a surprise!




my sister chose the chocolate malt. i'm not a big fan of chocolate so i would have never picked that on my own, but she loved it. it had a vanilla buttercream frosting with a hidden layer of malt frosting on a chocolate cake. it was undeniably an adorable presentation with a straw and malted milk ball on top.

olbrich gardens...






the olbrich gardens in monona are amazingly beautiful. after a hectic work week, i am grateful to have a place like this to just slow down and appreciate what's beautiful about the world.

click here to view more photos from my afternoon at olbrich gardens...

a perfect little saturday...


brooklyn and her oatmeal chocolate and door county cherry scone... delicious would be an understatement.




madison farmers market on the square... a perfect little saturday. 

everything was so fresh and beautiful, farmers and artisans from all over the state showcased their finest. if only we didn't have places to visit after the farmers market, i could have spent way too much money on all the gorgeous fresh produce and flowers... it seems that anything can be beautiful when you see the faces of the people that work so hard to bring that thing to life. grocery stores just seem to take the beauty out of it all. 

click here for more photos from my morning at the farmers market...

merchant grocery chocolate...


oversized chocolate from merchant grocery on pinckney

marigold kitchen...



today, i got iced coffee from marigold kitchen in madison - 118 s. pinckney st. - such a cute new place and awesome lattes! (perfect place for a strongggggg coffee, i promise)

a perfect kind of night...

last night we went to barnacle buds in milwaukee for dinner. i used to go there when i was younger with my dad on our boat and i have such great memories of eating cheese fries out of a basket on the back of our boat... i never thought id say i have great memories of cheese fries. 

after barnacle buds, we stopped by public market in the third ward, which is mine and kat's go to lunchtime favorite- i had never noticed until last night that thief wine has these amazing chandeliers hanging from the ceiling!

cork handbags...


one of the best places to find unique items and decor is at museums. i found this awesome cork handbag from the Art Institute of Chicago and though i would probably never be able to pull something like this off, you can't deny that it's a piece of artwork in itself!

cafe benelux in the third ward...

Cafe Benelux Portobello Sandwich

kat and i went to cafe benelux for lunch today and i was rather impressed. they just recently opened up in the third ward right on the corner of broadway and st paul so we really wanted to try it out. our rooftop seating was amazing and the service was great - i had the portobello sandwich with the benelux side salad (pictured above) and kat had the asiago chicken sandwich... though both sandwiches were a bit hard to eat, they were amazing, very light but very filling. i would absolutely recommend cafe benelux in milwaukee!

grilled caprese pizza with proscuitto...


how amazing does this look? caprese salad is definitely my go to menu choice whenever i'm out so i would absolutely love to see something like this come to milwaukee! 

a little humor taken from Mod Meals on Mendenhall... "This pizza was a combination of everything we had left over at our grilling pizza extravaganza. Pesto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and prosciutto. It turned out to be Jamey’s favorite pizza that night. I’m such a believer in skipping recipes when you can. But that doesn’t mean you should stop reading this blog."

red velvet brownies...


how amazing do these look? i got the recipe from Smells Like Home and definitely plan on trying these out this weekend... or next... depending on how ambitious i feel.


Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting... 
adapted from How Sweet It Is

  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 oz red food coloring (this is one small bottle or a scant 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt


For the white chocolate buttercream frosting...

  • 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 oz good-quality white chocolate (not chips), melted – I recommend Callebaut
  • 1 – 2 tbsp heavy cream

Preparation

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8″x8″ baking pan.
-In a small bowl, slowly stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla into a thick paste until no lumps of cocoa remain. Set aside.
-In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla. With the mixer off, add in the cocoa mixture, then turn the mixer to medium and beat the two mixtures together until they are one uniform color. Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed, just until combined. Do not overmix.
-Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl. You’ll want one uniformly colored (red) batter.
-Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies. Allow brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack, about 45-60 minutes. Frost brownies in the pan, cut into 12 bars, and serve, or remove the entire batch from the pan to a cutting board, cut into 12 bars, frost, and serve.


For frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until soft and fluffy then beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time; allow the sugar to mix in before adding the next 1/2 cup. Once all of the sugar has been added, beat on medium speed for 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the melted white chocolate and beat on medium speed until incorporated. With the mixer on low, add in heavy cream 1 tbsp at a time and beat at medium speed until the frosting has reached your desired consistency.

how cute are these little gift tags from Astonishing

bearded collie pups...


my next door neighbors recently brought home a bearded collie puppy... his name is Duffy and i see him every morning. nothing like starting out your day with a real live stuffed animal

recycled literature?


beautiful print from Winterberry Cottage

recycled soda bottle glasses from YAVA glass...


i'm big on glassware lately... these are adorably vintage

there is nothing better than drinking out of a mason jar...


i can honestly say that there is nothing better than drinking out of a mason jar. well, maybe drinking out of a copper mug.

a perfect kind of life...


July 2011 has been a very hard month for me…. it just seemed like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. So after an emotional breakdown to my friends, I’ve decided to simplify.
As technology advances, real life human interaction becomes a thing of the past. It’s amazing how little I ACTUALLY talk to the people in my life anymore. When my friends and I meet for dinners… it seems that we give more eye contact to our cell phones than we do to the people that are actually present and accountable. We go about our every day lives thinking in terms of Facebook statuses or Twitter updates, why? Who cares? Because if you think that all 986 Facebook friends of yours actually even know where you work, who your best friend is or even care what you have to say via the social media world… you’re wrong.
I created this blog because I want to genuinely care about the things I actually care about… not just let them slide past me while I’m busy sending a 110 character message to my 132 followers. There’s so much beauty in what is simple… I want my life to be beautiful again!