Orange Old Fashioned


It was a beautiful Spring Saturday and that called for bourbon. Because. BOURBON.

DSC_0312This past weekend I seriously couldn’t believe the weather. I woke up Saturday morning, walked to the window, rubbed my eyes and did a double-take. It was SUNNY. And warm. And WARM. Ahhhhhh. Seriously. Heaven.

So of course, this calls for a celebration with something refreshing. What’s more refreshing that bourbon and fresh squeezed orange juice you ask?

The answer would be – nothing!


So let’s get straight into the easy cocktail. I got my inspiration from the amazing Adrianna over at A Cozy Kitchen. She created this Grapefruit Old Fashioned that LITERALLY made my mouth water. Sheesh! I wasn’t interested in the tart of the grapefruit, but orange definitely sounded tasty.


2 oranges
Angostura Aromatic bitters
Bourbon of choice (I used Jim Bean)
Sparkling water


  1. Juice the ranges juice into a measuring cup.
  2. Add all of the orange juice to shaker, along with two to three dashes of the Angostura Aromatic bitters, 2 shots of bourbon, a splash of sparkling water and ice.
  3. Shake, pour and enjoy. Garnish with an orange slice.


Viva la Spring!

Wednesday “Wows”


1. I totally just jumped out of my chair, Jazmine Sullivan is back!!!

2. On those, ” I don’t feel cute” days- Fear not!

3. Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

4. “You are 300 Sandwiches away from an engagement ring – better start cooking!”

5. Saul Williams will star in Broadway’s new musical inspired but the work of Tupac Shakur. CAN YOU SAY EPIC?!

6. Coffee Caramelized Croissant French Toast Sticks. Lord….help me. *drool*

7. Of course I want to learn how to draw a Cherry (Harry Potter) Pinup Cartoon. Of. Course.

8. Spring makes me want to plant things! This is gorgeous!


9. Yep. Pretty much love every single pair of their glasses. GIMME!

10. I need ALL of these skirts to survive. Too dramatic? But…I wants them!

11. Why am I not drinking this Fresh Mint Iced Coffee RIGHT NOW? OMG. Jessica makes the most amazing recipes.





Brand new video alert! Fun tutorial showing you how to apply Henna for healthy hair!


Wednesday “Wows”

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1. Do you still believe in magic?

2. Fascinated with the transformation of this chair. DIY rules!!


4. CRRRRRRRRRYYYYYIN laughing from this story. And currently looking up a Chicken Biryani recipe.

4. Hakuna Matata.

5. Chargaux. You’re welcome.

6. If you’re ever in North Hollywood – stop here. Their Pineapple Cake is to DIE for.


7. These DIY Clipboards give us LIFE.

8. *drools* There’s something about gnocchi that makes us happy – and really hungry.

9. If these don’t make you crave summer, we don’t know what else would.

10. What’s a statement better than fried onions? Nothing. That’s what.


11. Love every single one of these septums rings. And MsTBennett just bought this one. Squeeeeee!

12. Toccara Renee would stuff her whole face into everything on this menu.

13. MsTBennett can’t be the only one that puts on her makeup like this…..right??


Photo Shoot and Yarn Twists

Yarn Twists -Chuckstr Photography

I had the ultimate pleasure of working with the talented and amazing Chuckstr. He’s a Chicago based photographer! He shoots portraits, lifestyle, beauty, places, weddings and food. So if you’re on the search for a photographer – trust me. He’s your man.

Despite being terribly nervous (c’mon, no model here) he made me feel comfortable, laugh and I had such a fun time! I would seriously, without a doubt or question, recommend him to anyone and everyone I know.

Interested in working with Chuck? Contact him here! You won’t regret it :D

Also, if you’re interested in learning more about my yarn twists, you can find my post on them here.

Wednesday “Wows”


We are so excited to start a new weekly feature here on We’ll be sharing some of our favorite websites, recipes, articles, videos, and pictures that inspire us to get our hands dirty in the kitchen, create from a place of love and dream outside the box <3

Join us here EVERY Wednesday for our Wednesday “Wows”!

Without further ado, here is our first set:

1. Pretty sure we could eat this Raw Raspberry Jam for days…

2. MsTBennett couldn’t be more excited about the Mastering Your DSLR course she’s taking with A Beautiful Mess!

3. Two words – Pistachio Butter. And sea bass?! OMG.

ALL of Diss and Dat 1

4. *drool* Can this Chunk Chocolate Buckwheat Granola look anymore amazing?!

5. Totally want these Reversible Instagram Coasters on our tables. ASAP.

6. Yes please to this Brussels Sprout & Avocado Salad.

7. Where is spring?! This lime green DIY Statement Necklace is calling our name!

8. Get in touch with your inner Latina with this DIY Sofrito Recipe, Que Rico!

9. ToccaraRenee has found her Wedding Dress, next on the list: husband shopping! :-)


10.  These Ombre Nails are just in time for spring!

11. Flower Crowns are where we hide our magical powers. Shhh, don’t tell anyone!

12.  So you mean to tell me,  I can have a 5 minute Brownie and not feel guilty? Where do I sign up?!

13.  Nesting with the Sparrows, sounds like heaven!

14. #followhim

Craving Spring


Every day that I still have to wear my full winter coat, I die a little on the inside.

Okay, okay. Again, that was overly dramatic. But still – where is Spring and why is it not here yet? In an effort to bring a little more green into my life, I took a trip to the Home Depot Nursery while I was visiting my family in St. Louis this past weekend. The weather there was actually AMAZING, and I only had to wear a sweater to keep warm.

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When I was little, my house was filled with flowers. The garden was overflowing with strawberries and tomatoes. My Momma really has a green thumb – I mean a SERIOUS green thumb. She touches it and it grows. Viola! So, hoping her affinity for plants would rub off on me, I carted her off with me to the nursery to give me some guidance on purchasing the right plants for my apartment. Thankfully my place is a pretty great size, so I had the opportunity to buy a larger plant ( the dumb cane) and about 4 or five smaller ones (two succulents and some herb plants).

Totally will be purchasing more succulents in the near future. They’re just so darn cute!!

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The Home Depot actually had a ton of options, though my Momma said some were a little bit more expensive than she thought they should be. I seriously had my eye on a Chinese Evergreen, but was told to hold off for a lower price. Boo. I really liked their selection of pots! I probably would have purchased terracotta pots exclusively, but was told that I would need to soak them in water for a full day (as they pull moisture into the pot). Sadly, I didn’t have time to do that.

photo 2(4)It was a beautiful day. I peppered my Momma with questions, made my selections and got to spend the evening having her teach my how to pot them and take care of them back in Chicago. There’s nothing better than Momma/Daughter time <3

I’ll keep you updated on their progress, and show you my final choices in an upcoming post!

Tell me – how do you get ready for spring? Thinking of planting anything?

Baked Brown Sugar Chili Chicken Wings

Sometimes, life just comes together.

And if you didn’t appreciate how dramatic that was, you probably would have winced at the shriek of joy I made when I dipped one of those wings into that sauce. It. Changed. My. Life. I await moments like that – when good food rivals a day at the beach. *deep sigh* Since obviously, its going to be winter here in Chicago. Forever.

I have some choice words to say to Mother Nature. And her bastard son, Winter.

Despite that, after work yesterday I decided to trapeze through the woods near my job. No, that doesn’t make any sense. Yes. I still did it. I’ve been wanting to take some photographs of the woods with fresh snow all winter. Thanks to Spring Forward, I was given a little extra light time and that made it all possible. In the picture of the trees, and what looks like a path, you can see the deer tracks I followed deep into the woods. I’m happy to have noticed them. I saw the deer off to the side, but they scuttled as soon as they heard me.

Snowy Woods  Snowy Woods

What does this have to do with chicken wings and spicy sauces you ask? Well, when I finally left, as the sun started to set – I felt invigorated. Renewed. And freezing. It was worth it. But I was also STARVING! In pops the idea of chicken wings, which I’ve been craving for a couple of weeks now. But, I seriously couldn’t pull myself to make them (didn’t want the fried grease smell throughout my apartment). Damn you fried foods and your tastiness! *shakes fist*

Luckily, there are these wings and that SAUCE. They taste amazing. Only thing I missed was the crunch of a fried wing. Other than that? These will be happening again. In hopes of a crispier outside, I parboiled them first for 8 minutes, then baked them for 25-30. A little crispier, but not quite a crunch. Maybe next time I’ll parboil them a little longer.

Baked Brown Sugar Chili Chicken Wings 2 With Slaw

I adapted this recipe from Damn Delicious.


    • 2 pounds chicken wings
    • 1 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 3 tablespoon smoked paprika ( I love paprika)
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • Soulard Spice Shop Seasoning Salt, to taste (or sea salt)
For the Roasted Red Pepper/ Chipotle Cream Sauce
  • 1/3 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • Chipotle (adobo) to taste – depends on how spicy you want it
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Sea Salt, to taste

For the Red Cabbage Slaw

  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • 3-4 tablespoons Marzetti Original Coleslaw Dressing


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Clean chicken wings.
  3. Boil water in a pot and parboil wings for 7-8 minutes. Remove wings and pat dry thoroughly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine wings, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Place wings onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, using metal tongs to turn at halftime.

To make red cabbage slow, cut cabbage into long or short slices. Add Marzetti Original Coleslaw Dressing and mix. Refrigerate.

To make the dipping sauce, combine roasted red pepper, chipotles, goat cheese, sour cream and salt in the bowl of a food processor until emulsified; set aside.

Serve wings immediately with dipping sauce.

Baked Brown Sugar Chili Chicken Wings

Baked Brown Sugar Chili Chicken Wings With Slaw

Toccara 2

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to share my experience as a professional athlete, caring for natural coils.  Thank you to the wonderful naturalista’s at for sharing my hair-story with curly girls worldwide!

Click the link below to read the full article:

Chocolate Cravings


Let’s talk chocolate.

And not just ANY chocolate, my friend – we’re speaking of the one, the only, the mighty, DARK chocolate. The kind of chocolate that saves galaxies and creates world peace. The kind of chocolate that puts you into a chocolate coma and you don’t even care.

So there I was, driving home from work, and considering what it would be like to swan dive into a lake of chocolate syrup. Guys – I was craving chocolate. BAD. I could have gone to the grocery store and grabbed a Hershey bar. I could have even grabbed some cake from the bakery section. But I was feeling adventurous. So I quickly Google’d (cause ya know, Google knows EVERYTHING) “the perfect chocolate cake.”

Low and behold, the very first link is from And guys. This recipe is the TRUTH. Thank you Robyn for sharing it with us all!

Cake 3

Now I bake for fun guys – I am not a professional! But this recipe was super easy to follow and it turned out AMAZING. The only thing I didn’t use was the expresso powder, as I couldn’t find it at my local grocery store.

You can find the full recipe HERE.

Cake 2
Cake 4

The cake was AMAZING. As I don’t plan on being 200 pounds anytime soon, I took it to work. SO many compliments! They loved it!! Pretty sure it disappeared in 3.6 seconds.

She also has the best white cake ever recipe….and my birthday is coming up next week *smile* Let’s just say that I have plans. Bwahahahahahaha.

Anyways, talk to you guys soon! And do let me know if you try the recipe!

What’s your favorite kind of chocolate?


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