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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

things i’m loving lately: march/april edition

Here’s a peek at what I’ve been loving in March/early April!
Just a few quick brushes with warmer weather have made me ever so anxious for spring and summer wardrobe updates.  This J.Crew maxi dress was love at first sight/instant purchase for me.  Last summer I bought one maxi dress from Target and I wore it all the time, so I know this will be a staple piece for me very soon.  I bought the navy but am contemplating the red as well.

Not exactly a grown up fashion find, but I have to say that as a parent, the only thing cuter than little kid clothes is little kid PJs.  Hugging my babies in their PJs all snuggly and sleepy are some of my favorite moments of the day.  So, I always get excited about cute little pajamas and when I saw these twin packs of short johns from Mini Boden, they were bound to end up in Caroline’s closet.  Thankfully I had a coupon and found another coupon code online, so I got a good deal, but they are just too cute to pass up.  I bought both the set pictured above as well as the cupcake set, naturally.  They are even more precious in person.

My life isn’t exactly fancy enough to require a clutch purse, well… ever, but a girl can dream right?  Actually rather than dreaming, I prefer to buy as gifts for friends.  I have loved the Etsy shop eclu for several years and have bought a few of these gorgeous items for friends.  Most recently I bought a pink/coral clutch as a birthday gift and it was so lovely and perfect for spring.

Thanks to all of you awesome readers who responded to my last Things I’m Loving post to recommend fast-drying top coats.  I don’t spend enough time researching products to even know such a thing existed but wow – they are fantastic.  I tried a few of the different brands recommended but after all my experiments I have to agree with the majority.  Seche Vite is incredible!  It’s definitely the fastest drying and the longest lasting of everything I tried.  I am sold on this and wish I had known about it oh, 15 years ago.  Please, if there is some other fabulous find you have that I need to know about, send it my way!


Okay, so I’m not much of a perfume person in general and I don’t experiment with different scents much.  I’ve been wearing the same type of body splash for probably a decade and I’m content with it.  But, when Courtney came to visit recently, she used this black currant vanilla lotion and I loved the smell of it.  I’m not typically drawn to the Bath & Body Works scents for daily wear but I do love love love their aromatherapy line.  The next time I was at Bath & Body Works I made sure to stock up and now I have it at home and at work.  I wish they had an actual body splash or perfume of this scent because it would no doubt become my every day fragrance.  Even just wearing the lotion, I have had so many people ask me what the scent is and where I got it, so I know I’m not the only one who agrees this stuff is awesome.

I’ve been on an organization bender since the beginning of this year.  I think the post-holiday putting away of decorations and reorganizing to fit in new toys, etc. always gives me the nesting urge.  I’ve been making big and small improvements in lots of areas of our home but one I am most excited about is using a pant hanger as a ribbon organizer.  I picked up two of these from Target on a recent trip and having wrapped gifts twice in the past week I can attest that this thing has been fab to have.  Just do it.  (I can’t link to the ones I bought from their website and I definitely did not buy a $19 hanger like the one I see online.  I’m pretty sure it was the Threshold brand and was around $8.)

Indy peeps, I am absolutely addicted to Taste Café in Broad Ripple.  A couple of months ago I worked near there for a four week stint and I was constantly finding reasons to go for lunch.  Whenever someone wants to grab lunch now, this is my suggestion.  I just love the huge variety on their menu with so many more options than the typical lunch fare.  I try something new almost every time I go and have never been disappointed but I have to say the roasted salmon sandwich is my current favorite.

I wish I had a fabulous book recommendation for you but unfortunately the book I just finished was only so-so.  But, I have as usual been listening to episode after episode of This American Life.  I have heard numerous episodes recently that have blown my mind, made me cry, made me laugh…I just can’t get enough of it.  There are a couple I have found especially captivating lately.  The one pictured above, Parent Trap, caught me off guard and had tears streaming down my face at the conclusion of each of the two acts.  The first act hit close to home because, similar to the family in the story, my mom left me little letters and notes for me to receive after she had passed away.  Though mine were always positive and never left anything but a feeling of love for me, this story went straight to my core and I could so understand the emotional roller coaster of the main character here.  And the second act…to be honest, it sounded 100% cuckoo to me when it first started and I nearly turned it off, but by the end the story of Lucy the chimp really struck me.

And, the episode The Right to Remain Silent was gripping and jaw-dropping and I just could.not.stop listening.  Amazing stories here.


If you’ve followed for a while, you may have heard me mention my awesome friend and art director for the site, Ryan, from time to time.  What you may not know is that Ryan and his wife Andrea have two of the cutest little girls ever.  Here, his daughter August is blunt the way only a kid can be and tells it like it is: “Worry about yourself.”

  • Lisa Stough

    Wow…August is more mature than half the people I work with, and that’s low-balling. She’s absolutely adorable!

  • Cara

    I too have heard that top coat works wonderfully, but there is a lot of controversy over the chemicals in it being associated with birth defects and being banned in other countries.

  • stacym

    That video is the CUTEST thing EVER!

  • http://www.foodiebride.com/ Shawnda

    Oh my gosh, she is so stinking adorable! And I saw that dress this weekend on someone and it looked great!

  • annieseats

    Yes, it has that warning on the bottle but I’m not pregnant so not worried about that right now :)

  • Caroline L.

    What a hilarious little girl! :) And I need to try out that fast-drying top coat & check out the J.Crew maxi-dress collection – I’ve been searching everything maxi for a couple of weeks now!

  • annieseats

    It’s on sale right now and also it’s an additional 30% off today so…just sayin’ :) I already took advantage of the coupon with some spring clothes for the kids!

  • http://christenexpecting.blogspot.com ChristenExpecting

    So cute! Would you mind sharing the coupon code? I can’t find online! :(

  • annieseats

    It should be right at the top of the page – SUNSHINE. :)

  • Angela

    Yea! I love these posts! Long live maxi dresses in the summer!

  • Karen

    I love the ribbon organizer, and decided I must have one. I have never heard of a paint hanger though, and when I went to Target looking for one, had no luck. Maybe Home Depot next, but I can’t find one online either. Hmmm, looks great for you, but I’ll have to fashion some other solution. Love organization! If you have a good one for wrapping paper, feel free to share. :)

  • Katie Golczynski

    Dude that kid is hilarious! I need to start telling my 2 yo son to worry about himself just so that I can hear him say it to me!

  • Katie Golczynski

    I’ve always been curious about the ‘shrinkage’ effect with seche vite. I’ve heard it can be pretty bad. I really like Sally Hansen Insta Dri top coat. It’s cheaper than the seche and I only start getting the shrinkage at the tips of my nails when I’m at the end of a bottle and it’s started to get thick.

  • http://twitter.com/HBHarvest HalfBakedHarvest

    I love that maxi dress! Perfect for warm weather!

  • Molly Snyder

    That is THE BEST video I’ve ever seen. We are right in the thick of that stage right now.

  • annieseats

    It did shrink a little but nothing major. I tried a few Sally Hansen products and I preferred the Seche Vite.

  • Patti

    That video is hilarious.

  • Anna

    LOVED that video! The honesty and sincerity of a two year old is refreshing. J Crew dresses made out of the super soft cotton are one of the best parts of summer. I let myself get one or two a year and they become my summer wardrobe. When I was pregnant I found one with an empire waist that I was able to wear up to 35 weeks, which was amazing.

  • http://www.discoveringmykismet.com/ Corinne

    Oh my gosh that video was hilarious! Thank you for sharing it!

  • Steph in Lex

    “Worry about yourself” absolutely cracks me up. I love when little kids start picking up more adult phrases that they’ve obviously heard several times over…

  • Liz N.

    Annie, I just purchased the maxi dress in Dark Papaya! Using the code was a great savings! I can’t wait to get this and try it on. It will be my first maxi dress ever! I have admired the look on others but have never been brave enough to try it myself. You gave me just the nudge. Thanks!

  • Jenny

    I LOVE that video! I have a bossy little girl myself and totally relate. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1258204402 Christy Yoder

    Thank you SO MUCH for the ribbon-hanger idea. I make flower headbands and have quite a stash of ribbon that does not have a good home. These look perfect for my craft room. :)

  • Flora

    I can’t stop watching that video! My kids and I are cracking up! Her parents have raised her with such impressive manners. “Worry about yo’ self!” I love this!!!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/k.r.1231 K M

    What an adorable little girl!! I don’t know how Ryan lasted so long without absolutely cracking up – too cute, and so funny!

  • Michelle Palin

    That video had me laughing out loud! That girl has got personality!! Love it!
    P.S. Love that maxi dress and am totally thinking about ordering one too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lakeisha.bing Lakeisha Bing

    Love the video, SOOO FUNNY and cute. Thanks for sharing Annie, I just ordered the top coat polish and praying it works because my nails are chipped right now – lol…….nothing seems to work and I can’t wait to get this top coat. I love when you post these suggestions…..I had a hanger with spools of ribbon and I thought I was a genius when I did it :))) glad to see that great minds think alike. Thanks for the inspiration Annie! I also love that you’re knitting, it’s one of the most relaxing and gratifying things in the world. When I see my daughters wearing the cowls I knit and my nieces wearing the cardigans it warms my heart like nothing else.

  • Rahaf

    Hey Karen! For the ribbon hanger and other organization things, if there isn’t a Target Superstore near you,you might want to try Ikea. I recently found some pretty great organization goodies there :)

  • http://twitter.com/WaveeeyB Waverly

    bahahaha omg what a cutie pie, loved that “you drive” :)

  • Louann Zundel

    Annie, thanks for brightening my day! I don’t have little ones around anymore and it was nice to be reminded just how adorable they can be.

  • Kensey Gosch

    That video was hilarious!!

  • Rachel Carns

    Hey Annie,

    Just wondering if you remember where you bought the two bright aqua ribbon spools? I love them!

  • http://profiles.google.com/janeweston19 Jane Weston

    That is the sweetest video…isn’t she a well spoken little girl!

  • annieseats

    All my ribbon comes from various craft stores, but I don’t really remember any specifics beyond that. Sorry!

  • adailydoseoffit

    Love me some Seche Vite! The stuff is literally, totally amazing. I work at a gym, and it withstands the test of hand weights and other un-manicure-friendly items and/or activities.

  • Helena

    Annie,
    Just thought I should let you know that they featured a snippet of Ryan’s daughter on Global BC news today! :)

  • annieseats

    I know, she’s become big time overnight! Friday he was called by Good Morning America, The Today Show, and a handful of others. So funny!