Where have I been?

Wow, I have really been slacking off on this blog – my apologies. But, I have to say that “slacking off” is in no way a global description of what I have been doing these past 4 weeks or so. I have in fact been getting my s*** together – let me explain. Sometime around New Years, I promised myself that I would rededicate myself to getting fit – this pretty much happens every year. And translation, what it actually means is I need to lose 5 or 10 lbs, which I usually succeed in doing. I also subsequently succeed at gaining back 5 or 10 lbs and … repeat cycle. I’m always super impatient and quite upset that after two weeks of working out I haven’t lost 5 lbs – goals lofty much? In general I’m pretty impatient, and I am even more so when it comes to losing weight. Anyway, back to the explanation…

About a month or so ago, I decided to get on my usual journey of weight loss – just before the summer. And the very same thing happened, I worked out like crazy for two weeks and nothing happened. So what did I do – complain to my boyfriend. Now, I will spare you and not tell you how many times this has happened. He is always kind and supportive, and always tells me the same thing – weight loss is slow and it may take months. For some odd reason, I actually listened to what he told me this time and ,in the process, changed my entire mindset about weight-loss and fitness. Ask him and he will tell you this never happens – hence my shock. So yeah, I’ve finally realized that fitness is truly a journey and a full time commitment and ,although I’m just starting, I’m loving it!

So, what does this all mean for my blog? Well I haven’t really figured that part out yet. I love sweets, especially when it takes the form of sugar and bread – yumm. As a kid I perfected many ways to sneak extra sugar into my food – sorry Mom. My best work was filling the bottom of my cereal bowl with sugar before I poured in the cereal – pretty sure no one ever knew. But I digress, I love to bake and I love to eat what I bake, but I do want my blog to represent how I’m living life. That means cutting back on the sweets and learning to appreciate foods that make me feel good and make my body feel even better. So that’s where I am. As always thanks for tagging along and stay tuned for some healthier creations :)

Avocado Hummus


So it feels like forever since I last shared anything with you. My mom was in town for a while and I thought it was a good time to take a step back and reflect on my blog. Since I’ve started I’ve gone in multiple directions – I and my blog have been evolving. So anyway I wanted to give some thought to what I really wanted this to be and find out what things were important to me and what things were not so important. So here is what I’ve decided – to make a long story short I like to eat lol and I’m really good at it. I also love taking pictures, but I’m only so so at that. So I hope to share with you in my adventures in baking, cooking, eating, and finding my place behind the camera. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I’m not the most comfortable at being less than great at something. So I hope my continued blogging will be a lesson in patience and self acceptance. I have loved sharing with you these last few months and I look forward to continuing on that journey while remembering to take a step back to be present in my journey. So let’s get back to it :)

I grew up in a small town in the south and until I moved up north there were soooo many foods that I had never heard of and certainly never had the chance to try. When I met my M nearly 10 years ago – where has the time gone – he expanded my mind in so many ways and because of him I am willing to try so many more things – one of the many reasons why I love him so much. One of the most tangible examples of that would definitely be food.

Years ago I had hummus for the first time – I wish I had a cute or funny story about it but I don’t :) Anyways I love hummus, its simple and easy, and really who doesn’t love hummus. But, even though its so simple, I have never made it. So I decided to give it a try. From time to time I catch Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network so I thought I would share my adapted version of her Avocado Hummus Recipe. Let’s get into it.


This post was added to Easy to Cook Meals blog, please join us there or Cunning Lady Friday Party.


  • 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large or 2 small avocados, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 packed cup of arugula
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil


  1. Combine beans, avocado, parsley, lemon juice, arugula, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until combined.
  2. Add in olive oil and pulse to combine.

Returning to my former glory


On Thanksgiving in 2011 – post pig out – I decided that in 2012 I was going to run an Iron Girl Triathlon. Honestly I have no idea where the idea came from, I think I must have been feeling guilty from all the food I had just eaten. So anyway, over the next 9 months or so I dedicated myself to training. Let me just say, it was a lot of hard work and crazy expensive, but well more than worth it. I wish I was a great enough writer to explain to you how amazing the entire experience was – sadly I’m not – but lets just say I have never felt more amazing in my 27 years than I did on that day. Crossing the finish line was a rush, and a moment that will always remain vivid in my mind.

Before Iron Girl, I struggled with my weight –  though it might be more accurate to say that my real struggle has always revolved around me being way to hard on myself about the way I look. I wish I could say that becoming an Iron Girl cured me of my negative talk habit, but it didn’t. But what I did take away from the experience, is learning to love my body not just for the way it looks, but – more importantly –  for the things it can do. Ironically, on that day I was definitely not at my preferred weight, but I never felt more comfortable in my own skin or more proud of my body. Everyday it becomes more evident how much life is dominated by perception. But I digress – rambling is my speciality.

So I decided to share this experience for one because it was one of , if not the most profound experience of my life, but also because it’s relevant to my immediate hopes for the future. Earlier today I went to the gym, for the first time in months. A combination of legitimate reasons and excuses have made it difficult for me to make fitness a priority in my life. So in the spirit of New Years, I am being extremely cliche and making a new commitment to fitness. But, arguably that’s the easy part because returning to my former glory is more than me getting into shape. I’m also making a new commitment to loving, accepting, and celebrating my body no matter where I exist on my weight continuum. Wish me luck!




To the future

I love the spirit of New Years,  there’s something renewing and inspiring about witnessing the arrival of another year. Life moves so quickly, and there seem to be few moments that encourage us to slow down and reflect. But, every year around this time, most of us think about our lives in retrospect and become inspired to be better versions of ourselves – I love that about New Years. So in the spirit of reflection, I have to say this has been a good year. I feel more connected to the people I love, and at 27 I finally feel like I am learning what it means to really value and appreciate life. As I think about the coming year I hope for a few great things: to become a better version of myself, to get more out of life, and to love greater.

Happy New Year!!

The southerner in me

Being a southerner is one of the strongest regional identities someone can have in the US. I’m not saying it has the global notoriety of ,say, being a “New Yorker,”  but when someone says “I’m from the south,” people’s wheels immediately begin turning – there are a million southern stereotypes. We’ve all heard people say stuff like “everyone in the south is so nice,” or “there are a lot of rednecks down south.” Here’s one I get: “oh you’re from the south, I know you can cook. ” How about “people from the south are kind of dumb” – that one gets thrown around a lot, especially when people reference southern politics, but I digress. You get the point, like I said, there are many many stereotypes, and like most stereotypes these contain a little bit of truth and a little bit of embellishment. So, where am I going with this, by the time you finish reading this you will probably say this was way too much of a lead up, but it’s more fun this way. Just ask my man, who listens to me ramble on a daily.

When people find out I’m from South Carolina, without fail they say “ You’re from the south? Where’s your accent.” Sometimes I wonder the answer to that question myself, and actually I think if you met me there would be very little detectable southerner in me. Completely unintentional on my part, but I think that’s why I have never really identified as a southerner, I don’t even really feel like one. But there are these random times when it sneaks up on me. Like last night for instance, out of nowhere I had a craving for a fried bologna sandwich – none of that all-beef highbrow bologna either, I’m talking about some thick sliced all-meat bologna. So you know what I did today… I had a fried bologna sandwich. Check it out:


A lot of lead up for a bologna sandwich, I apologize. But I guess, I just wanted a creative, light, way to make an important point – You should feed even the quietest parts of your soul :) Happy Thursday!

Follow me @cutesthetic

Why I love this time of year

Okay, it seems that with every post my blog is changing, but I’ve decided that I’m just going to go with it. So, is it me or does every blog seem to have a top – fill in the blank – list? In light, of my ever evolving blog I’m definitely jumping on that band wagon. Maybe it makes me more official? Anyways lets get it.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve absolutely loved the Fall. So, if I was ever going to do a top – fill in the blank – list Fall would , without question, be the subject. Anyway, here is my self-indulgent top 8 reasons why I love this time of year. Enjoy !

1. It’s legit for me to listen to Christmas Music 


But lets be real, for any of you who know me well, I love me some Christmas. So I’ll basically listen to holiday tunes whenever I feel like it – I’m listening to some right now. Patience and moderation are definitely not my strong suits.

2. Coming in out of the cold 

I grew up in South Carolina, so I never appreciated this until I moved to the Northeast.

3. Ideal temperature for cuddling 

I know it’s sappy, but so am I – I had to include it.

4. The leaves change color 


To me, leaves are much more beautiful in the Fall, even though they are dying. I guess it’s true what they say – there’s beauty in most things.

5. Hot drinks


Okay so this is a little like the Christmas music. I can drink hot chocolate year round, and I pretty much do. My man is not a fan of warm drinks, so I think I have taken on the task of drinking enough for both of us.

6. It’s perfectly acceptable to indulge 


Like I’m doing by writing this list :)

7. Baking sweets


I love to bake, and this is the time of year when I really run with it. Sweet potato pie is my personal favorite – recipe to come soon :)

8. Christmas and anything remotely related 


We all know it’s the best holiday :)

Follow me on Twitter –  @cutesthetic

Modern love

Since leaving college I have lived in 3 different apartments – all had 3 very distinct looks. My love for design and the process that goes along with it means I buy new things every time I move – yes this is incredibly expensive lol.  But it’s  allowed me to evolve my style and see the growth and evolution of my personal taste and ability to put together a space. I secretly – or not so secretly according to my man – love moving because it means a new opportunity to do something I truly love to do.

My current place is my favorite for many reasons, but primarily because I think it represents me and my current design potential. I have become less and less dependent on Ikea over the years and that’s allowed my imagination to expand. As my imagination has been wandering I have developed a genuine love and appreciation for mid-century design and architecture – I’d like to think it has nothing to do with my love of Madmen. Needless to say I’m excited for my next move. Luckily I have an amazing man in my life that notices my obsessions and encourages me to not just be a casual lover, but a knowledgeable one. Check out my recent birthday haul. The two on top are from my big brother :) Looking forward to exploring/using each of them.

birthday books