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WHAT has been going on? WHY hasn’t she been blogging?

you might ask yourself these questions. if so, i have some answers:

is something wrong? no
am i sick? no, everyone is healthy!
did something BIG happen that you don’t know about? nope, same ol’ thing.
am i pregnant? no
did i change jobs? no
am i still designing blogs? yes, about 1 a week! [remember, that's not a full-time gig]
am i busy? yes!
am i happy? YES!

nothing new to report! i just haven't felt compelled to blog lately. i hope you don't mind! you can still get a little dose of my life lately on instagram. who else is thankful that spring is just around the corner?!



i've noticed a recent change in trend: the pendant necklace is coming back! i still love a good, short statement necklace, but i've found that some casual outfits can be bumped up [just a tad, my style] with a long pendant necklace. after seeing these gorgeous agate necklaces last week by poppy style, i decided to make one of my recent forever 21 purchases do double duty.


i love DIY's that don't really involve DOING anything...they're more like, string this pendant on this necklace and you're done. that's exactly what i did. i recently spent a ton of money on a necklace at forever 21, wait…that’s not right…i got it dirt cheap and less than $5. it’s a nice necklace - i’m wearing it here. this weekend i stopped at hobby lobby and scooped up a [faux] agate pendant for $3 [with my 40% off coupon]. because the quality was so awesome, the little pendant hook came out immediately after i removed the packaging [go figure], and being the glass-half-full type, i simply strung the necklace through the hole in the middle. no pliers needed! now i can easily switch pendants whenever i want! it's the little things, y'all.



"an ode to risotto". haha just kidding, kind of. we’ve been eating a lot of risotto in our house lately. between cooking it twice in 2 weeks and ordering it during restaurant week, i'd venture to say we love it [or at least, i do].

a quick google search tells me that you can make risotto healthy just by the ingredients you’re cooking with [mrs. hogan, correct me if i'm wrong]. a combination of chicken stock, white wine, and a lot of patience will deliver a creamy, decadent texture that we all crave so much from comfort food.

shrimp-risotto2image via

now, i've only ventured into the risotto cooking ring twice in my life, but seeing as how it turned out really good both times, i'll call myself an expert. there are a few key ingredients that i've used in both recipes, and i believe that’s what makes it! olive oil, arborio rice, white wine, chicken stock, white/red onion [i’ve used both and it turned out fine], garlic, and parmesan. add your desired mix in at the end [spinach or mushroom], and you’re good to go. the key to a creamy texture [without the cream], is adding the broth a little at a time. pour in 1/4-1/2 cup increments, stir while it evaporates, and repeat until the rice is done!

obviously, i'm kidding when i say i'm an expert. if you have any awesome can't-live-without-em risotto recipes to share, i'd love to have them! i started out with spinach and mushroom [linked above], and they were each amazing [even as leftovers!]

HAPPY [risotto] COOKING!



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earrings  //  t-shirt  //  makeup bag  //  candle  //  comparison print  //  most of all print  //  bee print

so charlotte finally had a snow day! i have to admit, working from my couch with my house shoes on, in front of the fire beats being in the office today. the snow is melting fast, but you can be sure that i'm enjoying this gorgeous scene before it's gone. february 1st is THIS saturday which means valentine's day is right around the corner and with it comes hearts and love and flowers! here are a few things i'm loving lately. some valentine related, some not!



WOO HOO! it's friday! this week has blown by for me. and no, it's not because i had monday off [because i didn't]. it's just been one of those weeks that's been nonstop. regardless, i'm happy to see friday and to have a couple days off to relax. i'm popping in today to link up with some of my favorites [christina, darci, april, & natasha] for five on friday!
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#1 food. this week is charlotte's restaurant week! usually andrew and i will have 2 or 3 reservations throughout the week - gorging ourselves on charlottes finest cuisine. this time, we're hosting some friends on saturday night and decided to treat them to one of our new favorite uptown restaurants, aria. we went there in december when my Nana was in town, and i can't stop daydreaming about their wild mushroom risotto.
#2 healing. andrew unfortunately had to go through some minor oral surgery on tuesday, so i've been playing nurse most of the week. actually, that's a lie. he's pretty self-sufficient. BUT wednesday, i whipped up some of christina’s enchilada soup, and i'm pretty sure that's assisted in his quick recovery!
#3 tv. earlier this week, andrew and i snuggled up and watched the first 2 episodes of hbo's true detective and are hooked! we agreed that it's very "silence of the lambs"esque. adding it to our beloved hbo sunday night lineup.
#4 lists. i just need to make a list. "my brain has too many tabs open" is about how i'm feeling right now. last night, i was a little overwhelmed with thoughts of things i "should" be doing in my life/job/home. sometimes, it's necessary to write it all down, so they're not clogging your brain and taking up that valuable space meant for loved ones and happy times. am i right?
 photo five-on-friday-5_zpsc3cc1f69.jpg babies. i've got a few good friends that have babies in their lives - whether they're expecting one or have been toting one on the hip for a year or so. although andrew and i aren't quite ready to take the plunge into parenthood, it's SO fun living vicariously through them. by fun i mean, nursery d├ęcor and registries, not the scary i'm-raising-a-tiny-human and changing messy diapers stuff... we’ll save that discussion for another day.