I Can't Help Myself

There's just no denying it. Starbuck's pumpkin spice is so good. I get the pumpkin spice chai latte with soy milk (still doing the no-dairy thing over here). It's creamy with a little hint of spice...yum.

Fall Fair Trade Favorites

I don't have a favorite season because I love each one for too many different reasons, but there's always something about fall that gets me extra excited. Bringing out the scarves and ordering hot drinks is probably a big part of it. I thought I'd share some fall products on my radar this year, all ethically made.

I Have Difficulty Eating Vegetables

 Similar to a five year old, I cannot seem to eat vegetables without drenching them in salt or hiding them in something else that tastes better to me. 

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My love is a very healthy eater and he really does inspire me to eat better. I was delighted the other day when I sampled a smoothie at the grocery store that was green but really tasty. When I read the label I was shocked to discover that it was mostly vegetables. I made a smoothie at home that mimics that recipe that I'll share below.

Ingredients :

  • Kale (one piece, only the leafy part)
  • Spinach (about a cup)
  • Ginger (a few shavings, this stuff is strong)
  • Banana (two)
  • Pineapple (either juice or canned, about a cup) 
  • Orange Juice (about a cup)

This recipe makes enough for two people but it's a flexible recipe so switch it up. The taste is really good! 

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We Once Slept For 18 hours Straight...

Once upon a time, Ted and his young wife decided to take a road trip that would require a 2:30 am wake up call.

Their bedtime the previous night happened to be 12:00 am.

Did I mention that that same day they would be making the three hour trip back to Chicago?

It was a wonder that they made it back without one of them falling asleep at the wheel.

Upon arriving home, the newlyweds took no time to burrow under the covers and promptly slept for 18 hours.

They are still recovering. 


Find art here


Art Of The Week

This first month of marriage has strengthened the bond between my husband and I more than I ever expected. I love the way these lovers in the painting below are seemingly one person, you can't tell where one ends and one begins. That's how I feel about Ted. He's an extension of myself. I'm just really glad God created marriage and that He let me marry such a sweet man.

My love and I share a Pinterest, which is where I find most of my art for these posts. I love to see the art that Ted posts because it lets me get a feel for his taste. It always impresses me that he's able to pick out art he knows I'll love. He's right every time by the way. I guess you could say he knows me pretty well by now. This painting, Lovers by Jarek Puczel is amazing. I'd love to get my hands on one. 

The MOCA

We had a lot of fun at the Museum of Contemporary Art yesterday. It was a beautiful, clear day, made even better by the fact that Illinois residents get in free on Tuesdays! 

Contemporary art is really interesting. I used to really dislike it, but I've come to learn that it's supposed to make you think, even if it seems a little strange at first. 

Somehow I had gone my entire life without seeing a Koi pond in real life. So there you go, my first time seeing a Koi pond.

We had as much fun in the gift shop as we did in the actual museum. We'll be back to buy Christmas presents for sure ;) 

Our Little Home

Ted and I just love our first little home, a studio about a 20 minute drive from downtown. We're really proud of it. It's just enough space for the two of us.

We're starting a little gallery wall in our living room. We like to collect art at thrift shops or make it ourselves.

Some fun facts about our apartment :

  1. We can see the L train from our dining room and like to listen to it rumble by. 
  2. We know other people live in this apartment building but we have yet to see anyone, except the sweet lady across the hall. We do hear people, though. Like the guy who likes to vacuum at 7:00 am on a Sunday.
  3. The shower turns really hot and then really cold whenever anyone flushes a toilet in the building.

Our little kitchen. See that spoon rest? One of my most favorite things I've ever bought. 

Chicken

Ted and I are really craving a pet around here. I'll take a pug. He wouldn't mind a duck (and he'll tell you all about it if you ask him, he's cute like that). But at the moment, our tiny studio and plans to move out of the country don't really allow it. So this chicken picture hanging in our dining nook will have to do. 

Fashion Can Change Lives

For quite some time I've been meaning to introduce something to the blog that I'm very passionate about: fair trade and the impact that 'fast fashion' has on the lives of workers in developing countries. 

The bottom line is this: we shouldn't be able to buy clothes as cheaply as we do. Don't worry, I'm guilty of it too. Those $5 t-shirts at Forever 21 are hard to pass up. But the truth is that people are suffering so that we can snatch up a new blouse every other week. In order to sell clothing so cheaply, someone has to lose out. Hint: it's not the multi-million dollar companies. It's the hardworking, poverty stricken factory employees living in already underprivileged and developing countries. Mothers are forced to give up their children. Families live in deplorable conditions. All in the name of fashion. 

To be honest, it's not just the injustice towards these poor people that upset me, although it does on a deep level. It's also the fact that we, in this country, are being fooled into thinking we're saving ourselves money on great pieces of clothing by shopping at these places (H&M, Forever 21, etc.). Truth be told, the fashion industry sells us pieces designed to fulfill the at-the-moment trends, pieces that go out of style before you even have a chance to wear them. And did I mention the quality of these clothes? In reality, those t-shirts aren't even worth the $5. They don't hold their shape. They pill, tear, snag and stretch. Have you ever stared at your overflowing closet and thought, "I have nothing to wear...". Well, you have fast fashion to thank.

So what can we do? I've found two things to be the solution: thrift, and buy fair trade. I'll be posting weekly fair trade fashion suggestions that I think are affordable, ethical, and timeless. And almost everything I wear is from a thrift shop! Let me be a testament to the fact that thrift shops are gold mines for unique, classic pieces to add to your wardrobe. :)

Art Of The Week

I just love this print by Jordan Grace Owens. It's darling. This particular one is sold out, but check out her Etsy shop! 

Fall Mood

Yes, I am definitely ready for fall to get here. The biggest reason for this is that my love and I have been melting in our tiny studio that, sadly, has no air conditioning. Who would've thought that after such a cold summer, September would be so hot?

I also wouldn't mind a Pumpkin Spice Latte on a chilly fall afternoon...

Labor Day Weekend Fun

Marriage is turning out to be one of the more relaxing seasons of life for Ted and I. We both work part time and prepare for life in Guatemala in between. Besides that though, we have time to actually enjoy life. Imagine that? College didn't seem to give us that opportunity very often. 

We wandered around the city on Saturday. We explored Lincoln Park, which is just lovely. I would love to raise kids there. Slow down Cassandra, no kids yet ;) 

See my skirt? I found it at a thrift shop and I love it. 

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone! 

NYC Mood

I've really wanted to travel to NYC lately.

And by lately I mean the past year or so. I was there last spring on tour, but one day of sight seeing was not enough for me. 'Friends' is mostly responsible for my NYC craving. I want to find a cafe as close to Central Perk as possible. And maybe run in Central Park (even though I'm not a runner). I would't mind seeing Jimmy Fallon live either. And the Garment District sounds so appealing to me, even though I'm not quite sure what it is.  I'll get there, someday. 

My Favorites Parts Of Married Life, So Far

Ted and I have officially been married 27 days! And we both agree that this has been the best month of our lives. 

Here are some of my favorite things about married life :

  • Being able to call my love 'family'. 
  • Introducing myself as Cassandra Fischer. Still getting used to that.
  • Watching 'Friends' before we go to bed.
  • Letting him see me in the ugly moments. While we dated I thought I would hate being so vulnerable with a man. I'm talking no makeup, first thing in the morning vulnerable. But it's solidified my confidence in his love for me. 
  • Dreaming about our future children. 
  • Feeling so much more fulfillment at work because I know I'm helping support not only myself, but my love. 
  • Our little apartment. We love it. 
  • Being able to choose love, everyday. 

Art Of The Week, Plus A Husband Who Would Do Anything To Make Me Feel Better

I still can't get over how much I loved Puerto Rico. A huge part of my love for that place came from the bright and vibrant colors. They paint their buildings the most intriguing shades of pinks, yellows oranges and blues. It's like everyday was a celebration, just because it's so fun to look at the world around you. This painting reminded me of Puerto Rico and the abundance of bright color there. 

Painting by Yosuke Yamaguchi. Image from www.artisticmoods.com.

Painting by Yosuke Yamaguchi. Image from www.artisticmoods.com.

Also, shout out to my husband who is currently at Walgreen's buying me allergy medicine so that I can go more than 5 seconds without sneezing. It's midnight by the way. I picked a good one and I love him so. 

Sunrise Shoot

My love and I did a shoot with our friend Aaron Bean this morning at his new studio in Chicago. We woke up with the sun (actually before the sun, 4 am wake up) and shot on the rooftop. Our friend Johnson Lui, another talented photographer, shot with us. I always jump at the chance to work with guys like these. I just dabble in photography, but these guys are the real deal. 

First let's take a moment to appreciate what a handsome man I married ^^

I had fun, apparently ^^

Can't wait to see the images Aaron and Johnson took!

Honeymoon: Vieques, Puerto Rico

We couldn't have asked for a better place to kick-off our married life than Puerto Rico! I love Chicago, but I've been missing the vibrant colors and beautiful nature that Puerto Rico offers.  

We spent our first night in San Juan, a beautiful city with rich history and amazing food. 

Our first night we ate dinner at a rooftop restaurant in the historic district of San Juan. We had Mofongo, a Puerto Rican dish with shrimp and plantains and other delicious things. It was a pretty surreal moment for me at that first dinner of our honeymoon. I couldn't believe I was in such a beautiful place with my husband.  It felt so adventurous and new to be in a foreign place with no one but my sweet man. 

The rest of our trip was spent on an island just off of Puerto Rico called Vieques. We took a ferry to get there and rented a Jeep to get around. I am now obsessed with Jeeps and desperately want one for myself, but that's a different story.

If I had to describe Vieques in a word, I would use untouched. Although there are two small towns on the island, the plants and wildlife are almost jungle-like. It's a small island but the amount of gorgeous beachfront that's open is hard to beat. 

If we learned anything about ourselves on this trip it was that Ted is fearless and I am not. I always thought of myself as adventurous, but Ted had me beat when it came to cliff diving and snorkeling. I especially had trouble with snorkeling. I couldn't stop scanning the waters for sharks...maybe I'll be less paranoid next time.  

Puerto Rico will always hold a special place in my heart. We'll definitely be back!

Here's a little film I put together of our trip : 


We're Married!

Almost a month has passed since I last blogged, and so much has happened in the mean time! Did I mention I married the love of my life and went on the honeymoon of my dreams? 

The wedding was such a beautiful day with the people we love most and we are still looking back on it with a smile. I'll post so much more on it later, but for now here are some pictures snapped by my sister and other bridesmaids. 

Photo by our friend/photographer,  Aaron Bean . 

Photo by our friend/photographer, Aaron Bean

One of my favorite pictures of the day, a Polaroid of me and my sister/maid of honor.

One of my favorite pictures of the day, a Polaroid of me and my sister/maid of honor.