Sunshine Smoothie | @thefauxmartha

I’m Buddy the Elf when it comes to winter. I still shriek sounds of joy at the first snowfall (and every snowfall thereafter). Breathing in the crisp, cold air makes my lungs feel alive. And hikes along the snow-covered banks of the Mississippi etch permanent smile lines into my face. But sometimes, even a good streak of grey days can leave me feeling blue (and leave Hallie feeling like a caged animal).  Read more

Blender Eggnog | @thefauxmartha

I have a lightening quick post today, on all fronts. Yesterday, just hours before the annual neighborhood Christmas party, Lucy (my neighbor) and I got together to concoct what some said is the best eggnog they’ve ever had. Now, I don’t usually care for eggnog, but I care very deeply for this one. We tested several versions until we hit perfection, hiccup. Ella Wang, Diddy, Dumps, Wingnut, Mrs. Thompson, Sweet Alice, and Aunt Cleo provided the eggs. Lucy has a chicken coop and 4 tiny humans that come up with the best names. Now about that blender eggnog. It comes together quick, in a blender. It’s light in texture compared to the thick custardy version you might be used to (mostly due to the raw, uncooked eggs) and not overly sweet. I know the raw eggs will ruffle some chicken feathers. Choose your eggs wisely, wash them well before cracking, and crack on a flat surface (like a counter), says my neighbor Beth. Skip the alcohol if you must, but please don’t skip the freshly grated nutmeg. Clink, cluck, cheers! Read more

How to make good coffee at home | @thefauxmartha

There are more important things that need protecting in this world than my morning coffee routine. But I protect it because there are more important things in this world. Coffee fuels those efforts. Quick and fast are heralded words these days. I like to apply those terms to my weeknight dinners. But with a new day soon to be swept away with 10,000 to-dos, I like to start my mornings slow. With pour over coffee that requires a quiet and steady attention. Hallie now knows our coffee time is sacred time. She pulls out two enamel mugs from the drawer. “Oh, here you go mommy.” We cheers with our pretend coffee while I continue attending to the real coffee. This all started after going to a coffee cupping, much like a wine tasting, during our time in Chicago. I fell in love with the nuances in flavor and the brewing technique. I’ve been making pour over coffee since, 3+ years and counting. Here’s a guide to making really good coffee at home. Read more

Mambo Taxi | @thefauxmartha

If you’ve ever been to Dallas, there’s a good chance you’ve eaten at Mi Cocina. It’s my all-time favorite Mexican restaurant (next to XOCO and Frontera in Chicago). The food is excellent. I ebb and flow between splitting fajitas and hoarding the Rico Salad to myself. But if I’m being honest, it’s their margarita, specifically the Mambo Taxi, that makes this place my favorite. It’s a strong, not-too-sweet margarita wrapped in a sangria swirl. One will leave you dancing and hailing an Uber. Read more

Melon Ball Cocktail | @thefauxmartha

Sun-kissed cheeks. Chalk-laced hands. Overgrown grass. The greenest of greens and the bluest of blues. Grill-charred chicken. Watermelon wedges. Paper plates. Impromptu dinners. Sprinklers. Thunderstorms. Skinned knees. Fireflies. Mosquito bites. Aloe vera. Light-hearted living. Late night sunsets. Water-beaded glasses. Cocktails on the porch. Cheers with your neighbors. Summer, I love you. Read more

Single Serving Margarita | @thefauxmartha

We are settled! In a house that I plan to breathe my last breath in. Just like the last day of high school, college, etc, I thought this day would never come. In the summer of 2008, Kev started graduate school. I started this blog soon thereafter. We lived 4 semi-settled years in Chicago, knowing we’d most likely move come internship time. And that we did. In 2012, we hauled our belongings to the east coast where we spent two years completing his internship and post-doctoral work. We loved our time in Connecticut, but it didn’t quite feel like home. In 2014, we trekked back to the midwest with a cute 9-month in tow and plans to build a house in Minneapolis. We parked ourselves in a tiny apartment just outside the Twin Cities and began the never-ending process of building a house. Like all things, it came to an end. And here we are! Settled, minus all the boxes in the basement and frames lining the walls, with a margarita in hand. Well, one of us is. Read more

Italian Soda Bar | @thefauxmartha

I’ve yet to second guess our decision to move to the Twin Cities. This place has become home fast, even as we live in a temporary apartment, with unpacked boxes lining the closets, 25 minutes away from our forever home (the one I’ve vowed to take my last breath in since we’re never moving again). The Be Crafty Workshop is one of those things that’s made the transition easy. It’s the prettiest craft workshop either side of the Mississippi, which runs right through this town. Amanda and Jessica make magic every time (remember the Holiday Bash?). And this time Leslye flew in to make magic too. Making the food for this event, and getting piggy back on their brilliant ideas, is a dream. On the menu: an Italian Soda Bar and Chalkboard Heart Cookies. Read more

How to Host a Fancy Brunch | @thefauxmartha

Over the holidays, my siblings and siblings-in-law were all in one place for a brief second. You could call it a Christmas miracle. We pounced on the opportunity to have brunch together, a fancy one. I’m a plain white tee and jeans kinda girl, but every once in a blue moon, life calls for a shiny gathering with breakable dishes and real napkins, around a table almost too pretty to sit at. Almost. Here’s how we threw a fancy, picture-worthy brunch (video and bloopers included). Read more