View More:, hi friends! Remember that home tour that you were in love with? Well, it’s back & it’s hosting the most beautiful spring lunch we ever did see. Say “hello” to one of our favorite lifestyle bloggers, Katelyn from Katalina Girl, as she shows us how to throw a lovely spring brunch using the items you already have! Prepare to get inspired. – xoxo, LK
katalina_2Hello! Katelyn here from Katalina Girl. There’s nothing like a little spring soirée after a cold winter of hibernating.  The flowers are officially blooming, the birds are chirping and the sun is shining. What better way to welcome this cheerful season than a springtime party? So grab some stationary or shoot your besties an email. It’s time to celebrate the sunshine!View More:’s nothing I love more than a sweet spring tablescape—the bright color palette, vintage décor, a rustic farm table (I made this one with Milk Paint), fresh greenery, beautiful blossoms and of course the crisp light from your kitchen windows. A new season doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to shop for new entertaining pieces.

I threw together a ton of items I already had to create the perfect blend of a mix-to-match table setting. I spent hardly any money on décor, just flowers, food and a few fresh serving ware pieces.

Most items are borrowed from Grandma’s kitchen while others are new from Anthropolgie. It’s the perfect mix of old and new. kataline_1If you don’t have access to your Grandmother’s kitchen I suggest searching for a few must-have entertaining items at Goodwill, flea markets and vintage stores.

 milk vases, jadeite plates or a cake stand, mason jars, patterned bowls, printed plates and tea cups, ornate drinking glasses and silverware.

You’d be surprised how much you’ll end up using those pieces year round. View More: whip up your favorite snacks, pop open the wine and give yourself an excuse for a girl’s night of fun.

Cheers to spring!View More:

Copy by Katelyn Cheek | Photography by Lauren Konrad

PARMESAN & ROSEMARY OVEN FRIES - french fry week -

IMG_2187 - LKFrench Fry week continues! What did you think about yesterdays Pad Thai fry recipe? While the recipe was a little more involved it’s absolutely worth it. Today we thought we would introduce a healthier at-home version – the Parmesan & Rosemary Oven Fry. Healthier because you bake them & can control your level of oil, salt, and cheese, and still delicious because we snuck in an aioli recipe at the bottom. Give it a try & tell us what you think! – xo, LK

Oven fries, you are the best thing that ever happened to potatoes. Listen, I love a classic, perfectly golden fry as much as the next person with tastebuds and an active pulse (who doesn’t love fries, I mean really?). Still, I’d much rather leave the deep-fried version where they belong: as an occasional treat best handled by the pros (I’m batting my eyelashes lovingly at you, restaurant whose name rhymes with Shmake Shmack). When I’m at home and feeling the urge for a heaping pile of crispy french fries, I turn to one of the best & simplest recipes in my arsenal: the oven fry. This version is tossed in olive oil, fresh rosemary and sea salt, and gets a little extra crunchiness from an outer coating of grated Parmesan.IMG_2200 - LK

These are fantastic dipped in ketchup, of course, but a little smear of Lemon Garlic Aioli alongside a plate of these beauties really seals the deal. For just a few extra minutes of effort (this is one of those cheater’s recipes I should really call a ‘faux aioli’, because you’ll start with store-bought mayo), you can dip your golden potato wedges into a pool of pure lemony, garlicky nirvana and bliss out in french fry heaven. Just let that idea wash over you for a second. Now, go roast some garlic!

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1 lb. red potatoes (about 4-5 medium sized potatoes)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon of salt
For Lemon Garlic Aioli:
1 head roasted garlic (do this ahead of time: wrap entire head of garlic loosely in aluminum foil, roast for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, remove & let cool completely)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 teaspoon honey

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  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Scrub the potatoes well (leave peel on), slice each into fat matchstick shapes about 1/2″ thick.
  3. Place potatoes a large bowl and cover with warm water, soak for 10 minutes. Dry potatoes well with paper towels, return them to bowl.
  4. Add olive oil, Parmesan, rosemary & salt to potatoes. Using your hands, toss everything until well coated.
  5. Place in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet.
    Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping potatoes once halfway through, until the fries are nicely golden on the outside.
  6. Cut top off head of roasted garlic, squeeze it (like a tube of toothpaste) over food processor bowl until soft, roasted garlic cloves squoosh out of their skins. Add mayo, lemon juice, parsley and honey, blend into a smooth paste. Serve with Parmesan & Rosemary Oven fries, and enjoy!

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laurel button


IMG_7621Hello, hello my lovely little leprechauns! Are you all gearing up for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations? Here is Chicago we take St. Patrick’s Day very, very seriously. If you aren’t Irish in Chicago, you are Chi-rish. This weekend is all about parades, parties, and the infamous green beer.

If, on the off chance, you are looking to class-up your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, might we suggest a fun happy hour with friends? The bars & restaurants are always packed, so bring the party home and celebrate from the comfort of your own living room. Not sure how to plan a shamrock-ing party? We can help!

STEP ONE: Get the word out!

Send an email, mass text, write a note, or give your friends a call & put the word out that the real luck of the Irish is at your place this year. If you are nervous about having people over (which, you shouldn’t be, we’ve been over this, your place is amazing!) then ask you friends to bring their favorite beer or libation & that way everyone has a stake in the party.

Think you’ve got it handled (way to go! We are so proud of that party throwing confidence), we’ve got everything you’ll need.


STEP TWO: Booze, baby!

It’s almost sacrilegious to not have a sip of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, but, I prefer to eat my Guinness rather than drink it…more on that later. So, if you guests aren’t big green beer people, it’s nice to have some other festive libations to consume!

Whip up a pot of coffee, throw some Bailey’s in there & voila – Irish Coffee!

Throw some food coloring in with a cup of refined sugar & rim your cocktail glasses in green or gold.

Really, if you whip up a gin & tonic, throw a clover or shamrock in there, you’ve basically warranted the right to re-name it in whatever St. Patrick’s Day saying of your choosing. Here are some of our favorites – the Erin Go Bourbon, Pot of Gold tonic, and Luck of the Irish Margarita. See? Easy!


STEP THREE: Skip the green food!

As cute as green food is, it’s also mostly terrifying. So, let’s just skip it all together & have something that’s still festive, just not dripping with food coloring.

We talked about those of us who would rather eat their Guinness rather than drink it, so for all of my fellow St. Patrick’s Day rule breakers, this Guinness Cheese Dip with Soft Pretzels is so absolutely worth it. Hello, beer dip & warm carbs, what could be better?! Ooh, and did I mention it takes literally 5 minutes to make?

Prefer something a bit sweeter? How about this Chocolate Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting? Everyone loves a good boozy dessert & this one is even better than you could imagine. Pressed for time? Buy an unfrosted cake at the store and whip up the icing at home. Technically, you made part of it, so I think you get full credit for the whole cake. *high five*


STEP FOUR: Set the table up for success

As much as you love running around and serving people, it’s nice to be able to hang out and mingle at your own party. The key to being a happy host is having the table do all the work for you.

When you are setting up your party make sure that you’ve got all the food in a central spot that isn’t difficult to get to and won’t congest the flow of traffic if people linger. People always congregate at the food table (I mean, I always do), so tuck in a room that has a lot of entry & exit points and you’ll be perfect.

Now the actual set-up of the table is key. Grab napkins, silverware, plates, anything someone might need to enjoy your delicious food (that you whipped up all by yourself because you are superwoman), and put in on the table. Do not run back and forth to your kitchen because people need salt or pepper, get all that back and forth business out of the way & have it all out and ready for people to use.

Booze table! I love setting up a bar because it let’s people go at their own pace. Make sure you have lots of cups (depending on the crowd, plastic is a great option), have a bucket full of ice, and extra bottle openers. How come those things are always disappearing?


STEP FIVE: Celebrate!

Step five is key & many people don’t realize it. If you aren’t having fun at your own party, what makes you think anyone else will? Have a glass of wine (or weird green beer if you are into that) while you are setting up, put on your favorite record, and get excited. Who cares if the guest bathroom doesn’t have a candle in it or if you haven’t mopped the floors before your guests arrive. No one cares & neither should you.

You’ve got all your friends in one place, so have a freaking blast! The dishes & clean-up can wait until the morning. Just make sure you talk to your guests, help with refills, and ensure you have enough food & you’ll be hosting St. Patrick’s Day every year!


lauren and sylvia

SIMPLE SPRING MAKEUP so fresh & so dewy

IMG_1629Okay, so it might not be spring-time outside, but that doesn’t mean a girl can’t pretend. We are breaking down another super fun makeup look that is perfect for that dewy skin look that says, “I just spent a week at the spa and my skin is glowing form the inside.” Sadly, that isn’t my life right now, but a gal can dream, right?

Don’t worry, we aren’t talking about 50 shades of contouring or breaking down strobing (because who has time for that, really?) Just three simple steps and maybe a few new tricks to get gorgeous glowing skin in under 5 minutes. Now that is a makeup routine I can get behind!


STEP ONE: The Base

Start with MAC’s Strobe Cream to add a dewiness to the skin and prep the skin for makeup. Just a little goes a long way, so don’t go overboard!

Next, apply foundation (we used Makeup Forever HD) and conceal where needed. Again, just spot treat.


STEP TWO: Sassy Cheekbones

Next, it’s all about those fabulous cheekbones! Define your cheekbones by brushing Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder and a neutral berry blush (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure) right under the cheekbone going upward.

To highlight, we used (and are obsessed with!) the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop on the cheekbones, brow bone, center of nose, cupid’s bow, center of forehead and center of chin. Highlighting sounds much more complicated than it really is. Don’t think contouring or strobing, just lightly dust the powder on the above areas and see play around with a look that works best!


STEP THREE: The Finishing Touches

Last, but certainly not least, your eyes & lips!

For the eyes, we used the  Viseart Neutral Matte palette with some Champagne Pop in the center of the lids for added light. This is a soft enough color to wear during the day, but moody enough to transition to a fun afterwork activity.

For lips, Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Gel Lipstick in Dusty Rose is the perfect match, as it’s sheer so it can never look too harsh on the lips!

Top it off with a simple three step Dutch braid crown & you are ready for just about anything!


If you are like me & not very savvy with hair or makeup, I more than recommend my gal Mollie at Stylisted. It’s the most amazing service that allows stylists to come to your home & get your hair and makeup ready in no time, plus it’s insanely affordable! Trust me, you’ll love it.

So, think you’ll try it out? Let me know below!IMG_1487

lauren and sylvia

STRAWBERRY WHISKEY COLLINS because everyone needs a little whiskey

IMG_6894You know how we love any excuse to celebrate & the end of a work-week is no exception! You’ve worked hard, kicked some corporate butt, & now it’s time to go out with the gals and celebrate the start to a good weekend. If you are in the mood for something that tastes like warmer weather, sunshine, and being outside, then this Strawberry Whiskey Collins is for you!

We had a couple of days of warmer weather last week  & it made me crave all things spring-time, so in order to curb my fix, we whipped up this beauty. She is fruity & lightly sweet but the smooth taste of the whiskey sasses her up a bit. Even if you aren’t typically a whiskey drinker, this cocktail is definitely worth a try.


3/4 oz of strawberry puree
1 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
Dash of simple syrup
2 oz Michter’s American Whiskey
Sparkling water


1. In a blender or food processor, grab a handful of strawberries (fresh or frozen) and blend until pureed.

2. Combine lemon juice, dash of simple syrup, whiskey, & ice, and shake until cold.

3. Pour a quarter inch of puree into the bottom of a rocks glass, add in the whiskey mixture, & top off with soda water.

4. Serve, sip, repeat!

IMG_6883So, what do you think? Delicious sounding right?! Here is a little insider tip, there are lots of whiskeys out there & if you are just getting into it (like myself), the options are fantastically overwhelming. Luckily, we did a little taste testing for you (more on that later) & found a phenomenal whiskey that will delight even the most seasoned whiskey drinker – Michter’s!

We are in love. It’s smooth, not to overwhelming, and is crazy affordable. While I haven’t graduated to the level of just straight chilling, sipping on some whiskey at the end of a day, I could definitely work up to it with this brand. If you are in the market for a new whiskey or exploring new cocktail combinations, give this a try – I promise, you’ll love it!

lauren and sylviaThis post was sponsored by Chatham Imports. We are obsessed with their products & they are a must-have for our bar carts. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!

BLOOD ORANGE CAKE the perfect cake for a party


Looking for that perfect cake to bring to a get-together, brunch, or shower? Well ladies, step aside, because Elizabeth is flexing her cake decorating skills and showing us how to master the most delicious cake known to mankind – the blood orange cake with honey mascarpone frosting. I mean, it’s pure perfection! 

It’s stunning, delicious, and a total showstopper! Get the skinny from Elizabeth below. Love what you see, tell us your thoughts below! – xoxo, LK



2 1/2 Cups of cake flour

1 1/2 Cups of granulated sugar

1 Teaspoon of course salt

1 Tablespoon of baking powder

5 Large eggs, separated

1/2 Cup of blood orange juice or your favorite citrus juice

1 Tablespoon of blood orange zest

1/2 Cup of vegetable oil 

+ extra flour & non stick baking spray for cake tins



1 Stick of unsalted butter at room temp

8 Oz of mascarpone cheese or cream cheese

1 1/2 Teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

1 Teaspoon of salt

3-4 Tablespoons of honey

4 Cups of powdered sugar

   *milk on an as needed base


*For this recipe I used three 6-inch cake tins, two 8-inch will work as well. Spray cake tins with non stick spray and spread flour thinly on sides and bottom of tins, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl sift cake flour and add in salt and baking powder and set aside.

1. In a large bowl separate egg yolks and whites into 2 large bowls, reserve the yolks. With a stand or hand mixer fitted with a wire whip, whip egg whites until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Set aside. 

2. With a stand or hand mixer combine sugar and egg yolks. Slowly pour in vegetable oil and blood orange juice and zest, mix. Add flour mixture to wet mixture in three separate segments mixing until just combined after each one. Remove from mixer and gently fold in egg whites until incorporated.

*Whisking your egg whites separately and gently folding them in will ensure a light and airy cake batter. Pour evenly into cake tins and bake for 20-25 mins. Cakes are done when a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool for 30 mins. Take a knife and make a ring around the tin sides, if any of the cake has stuck this will help release it. With a serrated knife edge cut any dome tops off your cakes. 

3. In a large mixing bowl with a stand or hand mixer beat butter, mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, salt and honey until light and fluffy, about 3 mins. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, checking for texture after each addition. Add in one tablespoon of milk as needed to thin frosting.

*Note dryer climates may need more milk for thinning, moister climates may need less. 


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IMG_1932There are always a lot of His & Her’s round ups, gift guides, and the like around Valentine’s Day, and while those never really grab my attention, this pairing is something I can absolutely get behind – His & Her’s Valentine’s Day cocktails!

Something sweet and romantic for the lady & something a bit more bold for the mister. It’s a match made in heaven! So before your VDay plans are complete, make sure you add these lovely libations to the list. Can’t wait to see what you think. xoxo, LK



1 cup fresh squeeze grapefruit juice (trust me, it’s better fresh!)

1 cup sparkling water

4 tablespoons vodka

3 tablespoons St. Germain

Honey or a natural sweetener



1. Add a handful of ice to your cocktail shaker & add in ingredients (wait until you’ve tried your cocktail until adding in the honey or sweetener).

2. Shake until shaker is cold & pour into a fabulous glass!

3. Garnish with a thin slice of grapefruit or another citrus (we used a blood orange from the recipe below!)

4. Serve, sip, repeat!



1 ½ ounces dry gin (we love Farmer’s!)
3 ounces blood orange juice (save the peel)
1 tablespoon thyme simple syrup
4 ounces tonic water
Thyme (for garnish)


1. For simple syrup, bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add thyme sprigs, stir in gently. Allow to cool for 20-25 minutes and remove sprigs before serving.

2. In a low glass, fill it with a few cubes of ice, gin, blood orange juice, and thyme syrup. Top off with tonic & stir gingerly.

2. Cut off a peel from one of your used blood oranges, twist, and add in for garnish. Top cocktail off with a sprig of thyme & serve, sip, repeat!

IMG_1930So what do you say, lovebirds? Are these going to make it on your Valentine’s Day menu?! Since whipping these puppies up, I have to admit, they have been on repeat in our house. The are just so delicious! Anything with blood oranges has me weak at the knees already, but the two as a pair are out of this world.

Can’t wait to hear about your weekend & if you mix these up, let me know! 


lauren buttonsylvia button


IMG_1774Well, happy February friends! ‘Tis the season of love and we decided to celebrate a little early with some festive cocktails. Today’s concoction is the Grapefruit and Thyme Gin & Tonic and my, oh my, is it divine!

Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, a sprig of thyme, and some delicious gin is just what you need to kick off a weekend. So my friends, grab a seat, scroll down, and enjoy!

PS – not a grapefruit fan? Don’t worry, we will have something fabulous & grapefruit free yet still festive & fun for you next week. Stay tuned!

  • 1.5 ounces (or 1 jigger) of gin
  • One grapefruit
  • Tonic
  • Fresh thyme leaves
  • Ice
  • Shaker


1. Cut half of your grapefruit in half & squeeze it into your shaker. Add in a handful of ice & a few springs of thyme.

2. Shake until cold & pour into a your favorite festive glass. I like coupes, cause they make me feel fancy 😉

3. Cut the other half of your grapefruit into wedges, add wedge and sprig of thyme for garnish.

4. Sip, serve, repeat!


lauren buttonsylvia button


DsN7EXRWWYu-o28zB-IuKvN92qb5S8nAXDeHKJvZTJEHello, hello! Misha here & with New Year’s Eve right around the corner we thought it would be fun to put together a fun, relaxed little get-together! If you love to entertain the way I do, you are used to throwing festive parties, and probably have some amazing tips!

If you are new to hosting though, (perhaps you just bought your first house) and want to know a few guidelines on entertaining with ease, here is some quick party advice!


Make sure to invite people way ahead of time. Evites can definitely work, but I have found that they sometimes get lost in the dreaded Spam box. You can pick some party invitations up at the store, or from certain online retailers.


Once you picked an invite out, find a theme to match it. Remember, cohesion is key! I personally find that a neutral color palette is easiest to play around with. It helps me to re-use decorations again, for more than just one occasion during any given year.

qKEvktxKi-aWwB6xtAvDDzt6a1SPxC5bbHNLS8z6BFMSTEP THREE:

Do not crowd the table. Beautiful table decor really takes the party up a notch! But going overboard makes for a very cramped mealtime. Try simply adding some beautiful candles, flowers, greenery, or vibrant fruit to your party tablescape. Sometimes, less is more. Only pick out a few statement pieces!

nye party 1STEP FOUR:

Think about the type of food you are going to serve. Make sure you have food to accommodate your various house guests. I always make sure to have a vegetable dish, and gluten free dish, due to common food allergies.

nye party 3STEP FIVE:

This is totally unnecessary, but I love sending my guests off with a little something special, particularly around the holidays! A cute ornament, candle, or hand soaps really make a lasting impression.

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Cheers to celebrating!

Creative Direction & Styling: Misha West 
Photography: Fawn DeViney
Paper goods: TinyPrints



Hello, hello my fabulous holiday babes! How are you all surviving the holiday season? I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but here in Chicago it is unseasonably warm. Now, it just doesn’t truly feel like Christmas without snow on the ground, so we decided to get into the holiday spirit in the only way we know how – throw a party!

If you are an LK regular, you know we love a good party but don’t have much time for all the hype and stress that usually comes along with hosting a get-together. That is why we decided to host a last minute holiday cocktail party with some of our closest friends. Think mimosas & cheese boards for days! All the fun without any of the stress, what could be better?
IMG_7521jville_2Thanks to our friends at Johnsonville, our cheese board was a massive hit & took less than 5 minutes to put together! Want to know the secrets for putting together the perfect board with equal parts sweet, savory, and delicious? Well, keep scrolling my friends because we are sharing the dirty little secret to mastering everyone’s favorite appetizer below!


– Your favorite cheese board

– Several varieties of cheese – we recommend getting several as you never know what could be a hit (brie, gouda, goat, and asiago tend to be our favorites)

– Fruit (think grapes, pears, figs, berries)

– Crackers (grab a variety!)

Johnsonville summer sausage

– Spreads (jams, jellies, marmalades, etc.)

– Nuts (party mixes are great, just make sure it’s got some flavor)



Okay friends, grab that fabulous board and let’s get started! If you don’t have a traditional cheese board, feel free to use a cutting board or a piece of slate – whatever you have that is flat serving piece is perfect!

I think the perfect board is equally weighed on both sides. Meaning, both ends of the board have similar components. That way your guests aren’t reaching all over the board to build themselves the perfect snack.

Start off by putting your olives, nuts, fruit, and other side goodies on the outskirts of the board – rembering to have both sides be equal. Next, add in the cheese! I like to get five blocks – two for each side & one for the middle. From there, add in crackers and thinly sliced sausage. I love using Johnsonville’s summer sausage because the flavor is already there! Just slice, serve, and sit back while your guests think you are a total pro!

From there, add in the jams, jellies, and other spreads you may have. Put these jars throughout the board as you never know what flavor pairings people may come up with! Encourage your guests to get creative and try something new. Some of our favorite flavor combos have started from a cheese board.

Once it’s all built, grab the appropriate utensils (butter knife, cheese knives, etc.) and place them near or on the board. Now your guests have everything they need to dive right in!


And there you have it my friends, the perfect, fool-proof recipe for hosting the ideal holiday cocktail party. No muss, no fuss, and freakishly little clean up! What could be better?! We can’t wait to see your holiday inspired get-togethers, so make sure you tag us in them! 
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Photos by This Girl Sylvia

Special thanks to White Elephant Design for the amazing custom champagne flutes & animal stir stickslauren kelp author button

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville . The opinions and text are all mine.