Friday, December 23, 2011

Be Merry

…and have a wonderful holiday season!



The Chenaults

Card designed by Chena Design

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Decor

Since we’re spending most of December in Texas or Colorado, we sadly are not doing any holiday decorating this year at our home in Evanston.  I stumbled upon the cutest vintage store, Roost, in Andersonville last week, and one of my finds, serves as our sole holiday decoration shown below.   image

Pretty sad…I’d rather have one of these


image via Lonny

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ski Nerves

In a couple of weeks we’re going to Telluride with Lee’s classmates and their Sig Others as part of Kellogg’s annual ski trip.   As much as I’m looking forward to the trip, the only time I’ve been on the slopes, it was a disaster.  Immediately I fell off the ski lift upon arriving to the top of the mountain creating a horrible ripple effect for the people behind me.  I didn’t wear the right clothes (wool mittens = frozen hands), and I got altitude sickness.  The rescue ski mobile had to take me down the mountain, since there was no way I was going to get on the lift again. 

This time I’m taking some precautions like 1) doing research on what to wear to stay warm and 2) going to ski school for two 1/2 days (this is kind of humiliating since my guess is I will be the oldest student x3).  Ideally I’d like to spend the majority of the time in one of these beautiful ski chalets shown below, sipping a warm drink and enjoying the mountains (from a heated room).  Alas, that is not the Kellogg way, and it’s time to get back on the horse (ironic, because I also have a fear of horses after being bucked off one at the tender age of 8-ish).

Enjoy the pretty pics, and please pray for my well being as well as the other skiers in my vicinity.
Heated pool – so gorg!
images via Vogue and AD

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chena Design Holiday Photo Cards

Hello Blogosphere!

Wow - it's been awhile since my last post. The holidays can be crazy for everyone, and this year is no exception for us.  I hope you had a wonderful, restful Thanksgiving.  We were lucky enough to have both sets of parents to Chicago and managed to eat and drink our way across this great city.

Though I haven't bought a single gift or done any decorating, I’ve taken care of one thing…Our holiday cards, ordered from my lovely and talented sister-in-law.  If you haven't ordered yours yet or want to have something different this year, I highly encourage you to check her out!


To see her entire catalog of offerings, please click here. Here are a couple of samples below.   How cute are they?! 




All images owned by Chena Design

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween Weekend!


Sarah, Lee and Kitty

Halloween 2011 002 Halloween 2011 001

Halloween 2010 008 Halloween 2010 007



Oh La La…

It is often I find a room in shelter publication that I love.  It is rare, I love the whole spread. In the latest edition of Elle Decor, I was blown away by the beautiful, quirky, bright space of photographer, Claiborne Swanson Frank (cool name too, right?)  I would never guess this lovely, lush space is only 1300 square feet. It seems so much bigger!  I like how she uses mostly neutral furniture and brightens the space with pillows, lamps and accessories.


Warm and welcoming…


Feminine touches, but definitely not too girly!

image image

At only 29, the beautiful owner makes me a teensy jealous!


Photographed by Simon Watson all images via

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Taco Soup for the Soul…

There are about 3 things I know how to make without consulting a cookbook including: 1) Fancy breakfast sandwiches, 2) Martha Stewart’s Mediterranean Chicken and 3) Taco Soup – recipe courtesy of my friend Amy, who made the soup every year the temperature dropped in her college town, Lubbock.  This soup may be the easiest thing in the world to make, and it’s always a crowd/husband pleaser.  

I made it last night with the following ingredients (note: creativity is encouraged – I change it up a little every time, adding spices, etc.)

  • 1 can of whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 can roasted tomatoes (I get the fire-roasted kind for more heat)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (feeling crazy?  Pick up Rotel’s ‘Hot’ version)
  • 1 can pinto beans (drained)
  • 1 can chopped green chilies (I usually don’t add this but had it laying around and made a lovely touch!)
  • 1 packet dry taco seasoning
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 2-3 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 1 lb of ground beef or turkey (optional) 
  • Note: If you go the ground turkey route, don’t go too lean or it will cook strangely and is not appetizing. I usually get the 80/20 version.

Combine all canned ingredients, spices and water in a pot and cook on medium.  Cook the meat separately, and add it after it is fully cooked and the fat has been drained (gross, right?)  Let the soup simmer for an hour at least.  I find the longer it simmers, the more flavors come out.  I like to add avocado, tortilla chips and shredded cheese to garnish.  To make it richer, you can add sour cream. 

Goes great with a glass of cabernet and an episode of RHOBH or something equally mindless.



Monday, October 17, 2011

An Ode to Pumpkin…

For the first time I can remember, I’m actually experiencing a legit Fall – like leaves are already yellow/you have to wear a coat in October/camping sounds fun – Fall.  It’s also left me craving, comfort food like never before (perhaps the body’s way of preparing for the winter?)  Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, apples and anything with cinnamon or pumpkin sounds amazing.  Pumpkin mousse – Yes! Scallops with Pumpkin risotto – why not?  I stumbled upon this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars recipe on Pinterest the other day that left me drooling… Doesn’t it look amazing?  It’s definitely going on the Thanksgiving dessert list.

If you love pumpkin too, check out this hilarious essay – an Open Letter to Pumpkin Flavored Seasonal Treats - describing a woman’s love/hate relationship with the seasonal flavor and it’s tendency to disappear without warning.

image  image




Friday, October 7, 2011

Pain in the Neck…

I’ll be keeping things low key this weekend due to a neck strain (from sleeping on a plane!) and some serious meds.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!



(oh and it’s 6:11 p.m. and OU still sucks!)

Monday, October 3, 2011


Recently I’ve been craving simplicity…Simple Food…Simple Clothes… A Simple Schedule…A Simple Life…

It’s hard enough to balance work, play, family and crazy schedules – thinking about what you’re going to wear for the day (or week in my case since I pack in advance) can be difficult.  I love and appreciate creativity in clothing, but sometimes I’d rather put on the same favorite pieces and feel good…

If I had my choice, I’d wear this outfit every single day – only swapping out the shoes on occasion (I mean – a girl’s gotta have a little variety…)


All sources can be found on my pinterest board.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Inspiration in Images

Hello blogworld!!  I feel like I  have neglected you lately, and for that I’m sorry.  You see, my life’s pace has picked up quite a bit, and I haven’t had a chance to visit you much.  That hasn’t stopped me from being inspired daily by the beautiful images people are posting daily on new found blogs, tumblr and pinterest. 

Here are a few of my faves from the week.  I hope you enjoy.

Blog Image

Happy Browsing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Setting the Bar…

For a long time, I’ve had an obsession with bar carts.  If I had my ideal choice, I’d like something gilded and antique like the little beauty below.  It’s so Mad Men, and I think it’s delightful.



Or something that has been repurposed into a bar cart, like this awesome example:



Instead, I got impatient waiting to find the perfect cart, and I found this little piece at Home Goods at the right price.  To complete the bar, I will be stocking up on fun libations, a crystal whiskey decanter, and a set of paper mache antlers to watch over (and make sure there is no cocktail making before 5:00 p.m.)


And a couple close ups…



Now, come on over and make yourself welcome!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Feeling Quirky

I love these quirky touches in the latest addition of Lonny magazine.  No matter what, they always get it right…

Catch up on your geography in the restroom.


and giggle yourself to sleep with Zoolander quotes



Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Have you heard this term?  I was unfamiliar with it until last weekend when a friend told me about it.  It stands for “Fear of Missing Out,” and is apparently an epidemic for first year students in B-School.  It’s understandable since many students have been in the “real world” for several years and are embarking on a new adventure determined to take full advantage of the experience ... Perhaps, because possibly for the first time, they are funding their education and want to make sure get they get their money’s worth… Perhaps they are worried something AMAZING will happen, and they will only get to hear about it from a firsthand account…Perhaps they saw The Social Network and the repercussions when a member of the group is not physically present…

According to my friend, the FOMO attitude tends to subside as people find their niche and get more settled in,  but it got me thinking…should it?  As an admitted homebody, I am usually the first person to head home during a night out, and am perfectly happy to be curled up on my own couch with a book fashion magazine or watching a documentary Bravo (Let’s be honest).  So, has this affinity for the comfy, convenient, and 8 hours of solid sleep a night led me to miss out on epic experiences, new relationships, great ideas, etc.?  I  hate to think so, but the truth hurts…I’ve missed interesting conversations, spontaneous dance parties, even witnessing a car theft during our friend’s holiday after party…

As in all things, there has to be balance, but I think we can also use a little FOMO…


Spotted here

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In honor...

In honor of those that lost their love ones 10 years ago today... New York City and the families and friends of the victims of 9/11, you are on my mind and in my heart.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Tales

Wowza.  I’m in a silly/delirious mood I believe to be caused by the lack of sleep and over consumption of caffeine and sugar today.  Here is a glimpse into the the glamorous life of someone who travels for work if you’ve ever wondered:

  • 3:45 AM – Alarm goes off.  Snooze for 5 minutes.
  • 3:50 AM – Alarm goes off again – feels like cruel joke.  Throw covers (and Kitty) off, stumble to bathroom and scare myself in the mirror.  Make mental note to pick up heavier concealer.
  • 4:00 AM – Receive text from cabbie that he is waiting downstairs.  Consider making smart alec remark back.  Resist.
  • 4:05 AM – Arrive downstairs to meet the cabbie and wonder briefly if I should text family/hubs cab number in case I get abducted (Disclaimer: I have experienced nothing but super nice cabbies in the Chicago area – I just want too much SVU)
  • 5:00 AM – Arrive at airport – share sympathetic glances with fellow passengers. Wonder why I’m there so early – could have slept for another 20 minutes!?!
  • 5:50 AM – Board flight.  Pray I don’t drop suitcase on other passengers’ heads while stowing luggage.  Make mental note to do upper body work outs.
  • 6:10 AM – Depart Midway Airport – fall asleep
  • 6:45 AM – Realize I’ve been sleeping with mouth wide open – embarrassed, but too tired to care. Fall back asleep.
  • 9:30 AM – Arrive to work.  Realize I’ve been awake for almost 6 hours and have accomplished nothing productive except getting from Point A to Point B.   Le sigh…

On a fun note – isn’t this Houston weather fantastic!  Makes me want to dress like this instead of my “Airport Casual” outfit which I’m pretty sure is going to be a weekly staple.

Hope you’re having a good start to your week! 


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My friend Paula (pronounced Pow-la)

…Is 8 years old

…Can do the splits

…Enjoys practicing English

…Likes to swim

…Stands up to boys older than her

…Shares her sandwich and towel

…Has an undeniably contagious sense of energy and a huge heart.





I met her on our Service Day during the Spain Andalucia KWEST trip (S stands for Service).  She was so sweet, fun and unbelievably smart. I’m so glad I got to know her, and I hope our paths cross again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spain Recap #2

One of my favorite activities was visiting The Alhambra in Granada where we took way too many pictures, and I went over heels for the Moorish influence – especially the tiles that still look beautiful and relevant after hundreds and hundreds of years.  They were doing Chevron way before Chevron became cool – I love it.   (I realize this sounds kind of superficial, and I don’t mean to downplay the historical and religious significance of this amazing place).  But let’s be honest,  I was kind of focused on the things that looked really pretty.

Here are some of my favorite pics from one of this gorgeous place! 

Lee looking muy guapo in the garden…


That view!


Love the color pallette in this picture


Those tiles…


I think this would make a beautiful backsplash!


So happy to be there amongst such beauty.