What I'm loving on Saturday - DIY Hidden Jewelry Box on Design Sponge

DIY Hidden Jewelry Box (via Design Sponge)

I'm loyal to a handful of different blogs. These blogs are all across the board, from crafting to fitness & nutrition to web comics and music blogs - I am an eclectic lady in my tastes, obviously. However, there is one that sits atop my list of must-visits: Design Sponge. I have gotten so many inspirations from this blog when it comes to apartment decorating, rehabbing old materials into perfectly posh pieces and more. They update really frequently (we're talking a few times a day), and I adore nearly every post I see.

Today, I came across this tutorial for making a hidden jewelry box behind a hanging painting and I was floored - what a GREAT idea! As a pack rat (no, not a budding hoarder, as my boyfriend would say....), I've got a lot of junk treasures lying around, waiting to be stored in an organized manner. I've got a jewelry stand sitting on my dresser, which I rather like, but I love the idea of keeping jewelry out of sight. I'm the kind of person who likes hanging art in the bathroom, and I think this is a perfect place to incorporate the hidden jewelry box.

I'm going to add this to the list of crafts I've got on my plate. Will it get done? I hope so.... but we'll see (still working on the same apron I started sewing two weeks ago). If anyone else tries their hand on it, show me pictures! I'd love to see it in action!


What I'm loving on Wednesday - The Unwich

[I am not aware what kind of sub this is. It is not the Beach Club,
and therefore, I cannot recommend this product. But you get the idea]

The Unwich

The Dead Sea Scrolls are currently at the Milwaukee Public Museum and I went there to see them recently. They're super old and most people can't read anything on them, but luckily I am a scholar of ancient Hebrew documents and therefore managed to make out one passage. It had to do with the time of Creation, and here is my (rough) translation: "On the seventh day, God rested... right after he created the #12 Beach Club at Jimmy John's. And it was goooooood."

Possibly one of God's finest creations, aside from celebrity chef Curtis Stone, is the #12 Beach Club at Jimmy John's. It's got turkey. It's got sprouts. It's got avacado. It's got a bunch of other stuff on there but the amalgamation of all these products results in one delicious feast for the senses. Another thing it's got, however, is a hefty amount of calories for anyone who's trying to lose weight (729.35 calories and 30.67 grams of fat... Which isn't terrible, compared to a Big Mac and large fries, but it's at least 300 calories away from my lunchtime comfort zone).

This is where the Unwich comes in. Sure, it may be sacrelige to forego the tasty, chewy, perfectly soft Jimmy John's french bread (I can't be certain; I didn't get to that part in the Scrolls), but if you're willing to make the sacrifice, your waistline and your tastebuds will not suffer. The Unwich is Jimmy John's way of offering you any of their delicious subs without the bread and instead wrapped in a big ol' lettuce leaf. They warn you to "NEVER unwrap it" and for Please sake, DON'T. Keep it wrapped in the handy paper wrapping and tear it down as you make your way through the tasty interior. Though it may be a little more messy and a little more work, it's still quite scrumptious, and, if you hold the mayo like me, it comes in at only 199 calories and 9.78 grams of fat (mostly from the provolone cheese).

BAM! A tasty meal from one of my favorite quick lunch stops, and under 200 calories. Treat yourself to some Jimmy's Skinny Chips and you've still got a mostly-healthy meal. Because of the deli-style turkey, it's got a bit more sodium than I'd normally like to intake (759.47 mg), but I'm not eating this every day... so... whatever. Don't make it an every-day meal.

BUT it's a great alternative to a boring knife-and-fork salad. Swap the Unwich for the bread-style-sub three out of four times (cause sometimes you just gotta get your fix of the "good" stuff) and you're still on track to being healthy while still keeping satisfied.


What I'm Loving on Sunday - Rain


I am the kind of lady whose mood greatly reflects the state of the weather conditions outside; spry and bubbly in the sunshine and dark and bleak in stormy times. Today, however, it's a drizzly, gray January day, and I couldn't be happier. You see, I am a master napper on Sundays, especially during football season when the Bengals aren't on TV (which, in Wisconsin, is hardly ever), and today's dreary weather couldn't make for better napping conditions. I'm shooting for a marathon snooze today, hoping for something near two to three hours of solid napness. Just enough to get me out of cleaning the apartment, but not too much to where I feel like I missed my Sunday off completely. For once, the rain is really making my day. 

Here's to everyone's naps today. May they be steady and snoreful.


What I'm Loving on Monday - The Day Off

The Day Off

It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and luckily I work for a company that commemorates this day by giving its employees a holiday. There's something about a work-holiday that makes it feel a little more special than a weekend day. I feel like there are 42 hours in the day, and I want to pack as much "me" time as I can into it. I planned on sleeping in about half hour later today, but actually woke up a half hour earlier than I normally do. I felt completely rested, so that was fine with me. I've already had my Multi-Grain Cheerios, coffee and also worked in a really invigorating Power Pilates workout - and it's not even 9 a.m.! 

I'm going to take advantage of the rest of my free day by doing some sewing (I've got a really cute apron pattern to get going), walking to Brady Street to grab some lunch and then HOPEFULLY getting some shopping done! I've got Christmas gift cards that are just burning in my wallet. I feel so energized - this long weekend was definitely needed!

I'm not foreseeing a drive around the city in my dad's sports car, or a Beatles-sing-a-long parade down Wisconsin Avenue, but while Rachel's Day Off may not be John Hughes' idea of a dream holiday, I'm going to enjoy my free time like a teenager on ditch day.

I'd also like to address why some of us are fortunate to have the day off; obviously, it is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. While we enjoy this day off of work or school, take some time to meditate on the extraordinary man this day is in remembrance of. He work tirelessly for equal rights when racial tension was high in the country. His life was cut short, but his message lives on. 


What I'm Loving on Sunday - Organ Piper Pizza

Organ Piper Pizza

Last night, I ventured out to a Milwaukee-area institution I'd never been to before, but had heard great things about: Organ Piper Pizza. Located in Greenfield, this unique, astoundingly family-friendly restaurant is a treat for all the senses. Their thin-crust pizza (we chose the Milwaukee special - sausage, onion and mushrooms) is delicious - crispy, cracker-thin crust adorned with generous toppings. But the showcase for this venue is the Mighty Wurlitzer, a MASSIVE organ system with "30 ranks or sets of pipes" displayed behind a large picture window for all patrons to see. They've got a rigged percussion section set up near the picture window (which we were so thankfully seating directly under...), as well as a xylophone, also rigged up to the organ. My ultimate favorite, though, was the gauntlet of wooden ducks lining one of the walls; they never failed to make me laugh. As each instrument is featured, a spotlight shines to direct the patrons' attention to their show.

There is a rotation of organists each night. We were hoping to see Dean Rosco, who is the official organist for the Milwaukee Brewers (and also, as we learned, plays nationally at roller skating competitions...), but he plays only on Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. However, we were impressed by the 22-year old organ PHENOM from Lake Geneva, by the name of Zach. Another featured organist is one of my favorites, Ralph Conn, whose organ playing is the reason I show up 20 minutes early to Saturday-night movies at the Oriental Theater on Farwell. 

Sure, we were essentially the only people there who either weren't over 60 or chaperoning a group of children (well.. technically; Our friend is currently five months pregnant, so there's a little kid somewhere inside there), but it was definitely a treat. My inner-child crept out as my wide eyes sparkled in the twinkling lights, signaling the finale of each song (I was especially tickled with the Disney montage). I laughed uproariously at the flat quacks of the duck flock. I cheered along as a Raggedy Ann doll magically flipped over a hanging metal bar. I spilled beer all over my leg!

It was a fun night and a fully unique experience. The kind of place a kid would consider a playground and my parents would think is just "so neat." If you're looking for a night full of good eats, fun kitsch and musical classics, check out Organ Piper Pizza. Just don't pick the table under the drum set.


What I'm Loving on Friday - The Party Dress

[Ok, I know you didn't really want a baby's butt shoved in your face today.... but come on - kind of adorable.]

The Party Dress (ThePartyDress.net)

I'm a party girl through and through. It began with overblown slumber/birthday parties where I invited my entire class (and always fell asleep first). Everything had to be perfect, from the favors to the games to the cake. I was a Prima Donna party princess to the core. Once I hit college, my idea of the perfect party devolved into "How many kegs are gonna be there?" but I still appreciated any kind of decoration/theme, which would inevitably be soaked in beer/shredded to bits by the end of the night.

In the past few months I've really gotten into party planning/dreaming about party planning. I love the idea of transforming an everyday space into something whimsical, fun and all tied-together. Unfortunately I have a lack of both funds and events to plan (both necessary objects), so I basically just spend my time browsing event-planning web sites. Fortunately, I have an amazing friend, Jillian (who also has a major passion for party planning) who steered me in the direction of ThePartyDress.net.

One look and I was hooked. From children's parties to bridal showers to family reunions, weddings and more, this site is a party-planner's Disneyland. Inspiration abounds on every page, and I'm eating up everything like a wedding guest at a candy buffet (yeah... they've got those too).

The site makes me want to have a child just so I can throw a birthday party for it. (And then hand it off to somebody else immediately after....)

Browse, enjoy, salivate.... and just try to get through the first few pages before wanting to host a perfectly-pitched get together of your own.


What I'm loving on Thursday - Studio Mela

Studio Mela

As someone who has recently gotten into crafting (SO many projects are lined up for me this weekend), I'm an appreciator of all things handmade and well-designed. Add a splash of "super cute" into the mix and you got me - I'm yours.

Today, I am totally, 100% all-in on Studio Mela. I stumbled across a couple of her designs while browsing through Etsy and instantly fell head-over-heels for her cheery, doodle-style, adorable prints. I've got my eye on pretty much everything she's designed, but am especially smitten with the So Very Happy print (to be hung in my bedroom, near my brand-new sewing machine) and "Wee Town". I am obsessing over her whimsical drawings and fabulous use of color and mix-and-match fonts. Check out her web site as well as her Etsy shop, and just bask in the sea of warm fuzzies. 


What I'm loving on Saturday

The Cincinnati Bengals

Football is not my favorite sport. It's probably not even in my top three. I was raised in a baseball-worshipping household where football season was just a distraction, tiding us over, holding a warm place on the TV until spring training began. However, we did always root, root, root for our "home" team, our lovable losers: the Cincinnati Bengals. Being a Bengals fan is not always the easiest thing to do, but somebody's gotta do it; and if you hail from Southwest Ohio, it might as well be you (cause it's not gonna be anybody else).

The Bengals have surprised everyone this season by not only SWEEPING the Pittsburgh Douchebags Steelers, but also taking their place in the AFC playoffs (suck it, Roethlisberger), and I couldn't be more ecstatic. This afternoon they play the New York Jets and, though they got absolutely WALLOPED by them last Sunday, I'm not too nervous. It's a big game for us, one of the biggest in the last 20 years, but I'm confident the boys can handle it, and the offense will bring up their game. 

Now that I no longer reside in Ohio, it's rare to be able to catch a Bengals game at home. I've missed seeing most of their season play out, but there's no chance in hell I'd miss today's game. It's hard being a lonely Bengals fan in the land where hearts bleed Green and Gold, but this afternoon I'm not ashamed to scream "WHO DEY" at the top of my lungs, for all of Milwaukee to hear.



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