Tuesday, April 15, 2014

style: spring wishlist

Yes, I am alive! And truly thankful for your wonderful comments and happy thoughts sent my way during my last "Guess what? I left my job and have been a Lady of Leisure for the past few months" post. After said post, I celebrated my 39th birthday and was hired for a freelance writing gig and a full time communications gig. It's interesting how the universe responds when you put yourself out there. It's been a thrilling few weeks, to say the least, and I'm happy to begin a new professional adventure during a fresh new season.

Speaking of which, happy Spring! In celebration of my employment (and extra pocket money), here are some lovely pieces for warmer weather...

A2235_RD6463A1035_NA6148            
948_3_845                       2490552712_1_1_1
6840064400_1_1_1image1xxl
A3756_KP2635_mLace
DRESS-CAFTAN-CURELEAN-1-5_0

1, 2. Pretty pretty from Madewell. The red number is almost entirely sold out. Dangnabbit.
3, 4. Sigh worthy sandals & fun flats (the kind of shoes I live in during the summer). These are the 'wish' part of my wishlist. Plus, how is it that I found out about Loeffler Randal only recently?
5. Florals always catch my eye. I'm especially digging this Zara bomber, but this blazer is fun, too.
6. Distressed denim. I'm kinda obsessed but have yet to pull the trigger. This pair has been sitting in my shopping bag for much too long.
7. Animal print is my jam. Plus, it's always in style no matter the season.
8, 9. Modern updates to the ubiquitous tshirt from J.Crew and Zara.
10. I have no effing clue where I'd even wear this gorgeous caftan (on a yacht?), but I love it.

Thoughts? What's on your wish list?

Spring can be a challenging time for Alberta ladies. For example, it snowed today (the irony of the timing of this 'spring' post is not lost on me). One minute we're prepping our feet for toe exposing sandals and the next we're cursing ourselves for putting away our snow boots. Here's to ditching our socks and tights once and for all!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

hello! i'm back with a nutella mini donut recipe.




Hello! I'm back from a three month blogging break. And with a mini donut recipe of all things.

A few of you've asked where I've been and how I'm doing. If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you know I'm alive and eating well. What you may not know is that I've spent the last two months doing a lot of soul searching after leaving my job of almost five years. You see, the position didn't quite fit me anymore and so I've spent most of this new year trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. It's been a time of introspection, coupled with many long chats with Scott, my family and my ladyfriends (often over macarons at Duchess). I toyed with the idea of remaining a Lady of Leisure, but that just isn't cutting it anymore. Neither is Lays Dill Pickle Chip Eater, Judge Judy Watcher or Professional Dog Walker. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed my time at home immensely, but I need (and want) to be working -- writing, editing, creating, storytelling, helping and connecting with people. It's time to make way for the new and for the first time since leaving, I'm ready to start looking for opportunities which provide me exactly that. If you know of any such positions in the Edmonton area, let me know! And if you don't, I'd appreciate any positive job search vibes sent my way. Thanks, friends.

Anyway, I've missed you! And I have so much to share now after being off the blogging train for months, holy smokes (including posts on spring fashion, relationship tips, our house refresh and one I'm working on gaining the courage to share). It was great to take a break, but I'm happy to be back. And I'm glad to have you back here, too.

Moving on to the donuts.

I'm a Nutella addict and have been since I was a toddler. In Croatia and Bosnia, we ate Nutella slathered on palačinke (crêpes) for breakfast, on bread at lunch, and as a late night snack. There have been too many sticky chocolatey fingers in my life to mention. These days, our house is never without a jar and I've spread it on just about everything. On any given day you can probably find me in the kitchen eating it with a spoon straight out of the jar. You do that too, right? Well then, this recipe should help us all switch it up a little.

These donuts are ridiculously delicious and have Nutella in the batter and frosting. I made them for a Bachelor Finale party I attended which, by the way, was the most awkward and bananas finale I've ever seen. I'm still trying to make sense of what happened, but that's a whole other blog post. Yikes.

Here's what you need to make them...

Nutella Mini Donut
Yields 30 mini donuts

For donuts:
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Nutella
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For frosting:
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 tablespoons Nutella
1/2 cup powdered sugar

If using an electric donut maker, preheat according to manufacture’s instructions (I have this one & love it). If using donut pans, preheat oven to 350°F and grease donut pans.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together Nutella and sugar. Carefully add egg, milk, and oil; mixing until throughly combined. Then, alternating the flour mixture and milk, combine all ingredients until there are no lumps.

If using mini donut pans: Carefully fill each donut indention 3/4 full. Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the donut comes out clean. Transfer donuts to a cooling rack and cool completely.

If using an electric mini donut maker: Carefully fill each donut indention 3/4 full. Bake according to manufactures instructions, or until a toothpick inserted in the donut comes out clean. Remove from appliance, transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool completely.

Place wax paper under a wire rack to collect any drippings for an easy clean up. Then, in a small bowl whisk together Nutella and powdered sugar., Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until you get a smooth frosting.

Dip the top of each donut into the frosting and transfer to a wire rack and let set for 5 minutes. Donuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, but are best served fresh.

If you can clear a wee bit of time this week, you should give them a whirl! You'll be thankful you did - and so will everyone else who eats them!

Recipe from Mini Donuts.

Monday, December 16, 2013

style: leopard print coat

 Zara leopard coat 1 Zara leopard coat 5
Zara leopard coat 4 Zara leopard coat 3

My leopard print obsession reached new heights when I ordered this bad boy online last month.

I've owned leopard print scarves, shirts, skirts, cardigans, dresses and even a toque but a coat was kind of a crazy big step for me. Was I ready to be covered in spots from head to, almost, toe? Yep, I sure was!

This coat is teddy bear soft, cozy, warm-ish (I won't be wearing it while walking Lucy in minus 25 weather that`s for dang sure) and most importantly, I feel chic wearing it. Consider me coat-struck, people.

Here it's styled for running errands or reading magazines for free at Chapters, but for a night on the town with my mister, I'd like to give this inspiration ensemble a go.

Hope you're all doing well and aren't too flustered Christmas is only 9 days away! Here's to a fantastic week ahead!
_____________________
Coat: Zara (similar)
Shirt: J.Crew
Jeans: Anthropologie
Lipstick: Mac's All Fired Up

Monday, December 2, 2013

happy birthday, scott!

Birthday

Dear Scotty,

Happy birthday! I love you to pieces, dude. You make me laugh, give spot on advice and make a mean grilled cheese. You're hilarious to gossip with and such a joy to confide in.

Most importantly, you're my favourite pal. Thanks for always making me happy when skies are grey.

Love, Dajo

P.S. Thanks for bringing back the beard (:

Card via Slice of Pie Designs. This one's pretty fab, too.

Monday, November 25, 2013

navigating the roads of friendship





I’ve been struggling with a challenging friendship situation. And while part of me wanted to just continue on with things, without any real resolution, I knew that wasn’t the best way to handle the situation. It didn’t feel right to continue hiding my feelings (I’m not very good at that to begin with since I wear my heart, well, my entire being, on my sleeve).

 Instead, I took the advice of St. Paul who expressed this universal principle beautifully:

Everything is shown up by being exposed to the light, and whatever is exposed to the light itself becomes light. 

Instead of continuing to withdraw from the friendship in order to protect myself or remove myself without any explanation, it was so much better to discuss my feelings and needs with my friend, openly and honestly, without any pretense or bullshit. There was much more to be gained than lost and this was definitely a friendship worth mending.

Now that we’ve talked and I’ve shared my feelings, I no longer have anything to hide, protect, or project. The darkness has disappeared and everything has come into the light.

And you know what? I also feel lighter mentally and physically - a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. No matter how the future unfolds, I know I was authentic and genuine and that feels really good.

Ideally, I’d like all of my relationships to be founded on love, trust and reciprocity. With that being said, it’s important to realize that we’re all human, we all make mistakes and we all need forgiveness and understanding. Myself included.

Have you ever had to navigate through a difficult friendship situation? What did you do to improve things? 

P.S. Can you tell I’ve been reading books by Brené Brown? Highly recommend. And make sure you watch this, too. It’s inspiring and thought-provoking.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

anthropologie giveaway

Anthro 1Anthro 4
Anthro 5Anthro 3

It's my 150th post, friends! And I can’t think of a better way to thank you for your friendship, comments (gosh, do I ever love & appreciate your comments) and support of my consistently inconsistent blogging than with a giveaway.

From now until next Wednesday, enter to win a $50 Anthropologie gift certificate & a box of my favourite Croatian chocolates!

Interested? 

Here's how to enter:

1. Like all kinds of lovely on Facebook.
2. For additional entries, follow all kinds of lovely on Instagram or Twitter.
3. Please leave a comment below for each entry (and tell me what you're currently coveting at Anthro). Don't forget to leave a way to contact you via Facebook, Twitter, your blog or email. 
4. Cross your fingers and check back next week to see if you've won. I'll also announce the winner on Facebook and Twitter.

Yep. It's just that easy. Best of luck!

Update: The winner has been contacted. Thanks to everyone who entered and commented! 


Friday, October 25, 2013

style: the perfect black mini

Prairie chic 1
Joe Fresh Camouflage Sweater Joe Fresh Ponte Pleat Skirt 1

These two pieces from Joe Fresh are rockin' my boat lately. The black mini skirt is a bit shorter than I would normally wear, but I figure that when worn with tights it's not as scandalous. Did I mention it has pockets? It truly is the ultimate staple -- suitable for almost any occasion, super chic and dare I say, sexy even. I've been wearing it with my ankle booties almost every weekend since I bought it. And the sweater? What's not to love about a soft and comfy camoanimal print (try saying that ten times).

This picture was taken at a random farm outside of the city. I desperately needed a change of scenery a few weeks ago, so Scott and I went for a spontaneous drive in the country. We stopped and trespassed through a farmer's field to get near the hay bales, but only for a few minutes because I was scared we'd get caught. My idea of living on the edge. Well that, and wearing a hat in public.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
________________
Sweater: Joe Fresh
Skirt: Joe Fresh (on major sale, btw I'm wearing a small)
Jacket: Zara (last season)
Tights: Hue
Boots: Aldo
Hat: Target
Purse: Similar
Necklace: Anthropologie (last season)

Monday, October 14, 2013

grateful...

Fall 2013

the way is long. let us go together. 

Today, I'm grateful for the people who love me, for those I love and for all of life's experiences -- even the more challenging ones. I'm also grateful to those of you who commented and sent love and prayers after reading my last blog post. This may sound hokey, but I truly believe your positive thoughts and prayers helped bring my brother home from the hospital just in time for Thanksgiving. And for that, I'm thankful.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, friends!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

sometimes life can be overwhelming...

OK BANNER

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed these past few weeks. Sometimes it's hard being a grown-up, especially an anxious one. 

It all started about three weeks ago when I received a phone call at work letting me know that my brother Ivi had been in a serious motorcycle accident. Since then, my heart has been perpetually stuck in my throat. And most recently, as if we didn't have enough on our plates, Scott and I had our cars vandalized, our garage broken into and a bunch of items stolen. 

I was feeling like I couldn't take one more piece of bad news and then I read this woman's advice on Humans of New York, which I follow fervently. It speaks so beautifully to the strength we carry with us.

"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?"
"When a wave comes, go deep."
"I think I’m going to need an explanation for that one."
"There’s three things you can do when life sends a wave at you. You can run from it, but then it’s going to catch up and knock you down. You can also fall back on your ego and try to stand your ground, but then it’s still going to clobber you. Or you can use it as an opportunity to go deep, and transform yourself to match the circumstances. And that’s how you get through the wave.”
So that's what I'm concentrating my energy on these days -- going deep -- while still trying to keep things in perspective.

How are you feeling lately--good, bad, ok? Does this advice resonate with you as much as it did with me?

P.S. After two surgeries, my brother, although still in the hospital, is on the path to recovery. As for the break in? Although it was completely and utterly unnerving, everything can be fixed or replaced. Upwards & onwards, I say!

Top photo from Secret Holiday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

my city is featured on design*sponge



Seeing Edmonton featured on Design*Sponge's City Guides today made me giddy. 

You can check out the comments section for some extra suggestions from me. I love this city so damn much I just had to get my two cents in. 

Not familiar with the City Guides? They're a super starting off point when researching travel destinations. I found the Charleston guide really helpful while planning our anniversary trip back in June. Now I need one for my trip to the motherland next summer!

Once you've read the Edmonton guide, I hope you'll consider visiting. We can hang out! 
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