Visit the Shaks

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  • LoanShak
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  • Shak & Jill
  • Animal Shak
  • Love Shak, Baby. Everything to do with your (baby's) shak.
  • Shak & Jill

    Join Jill for savvy Real Estate discussion.
    visit the shak!

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  • Sprucing up the living room? A fireplace adds approximately 12% value to a home.
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    May 1, 2015
    Cats Enough for Now

    You’ve gotta love Fred Flare, they make the cutest, wittiest home goods. And kudos to ModCloth for the seriously punny product rename - Cats Enough for Now wine stopper, $12.

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    April 22, 2015
    Let Them Eat Cake

    I love this vintage-inspired cake carrier from World Market. Bonus points for the owl pun. $25

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    March 30, 2015
    Test Kitchen: Josey Baker’s Adventure Bread

    I’m always on the hunt for a breakfast option that fills me up. I’m just not an eggs-for-breakfast girl, but I try to stay away from sweet, starchy options. That’s why I was excited to try this Adventure Bread recipe from Josey Baker. It’s made with oatmeal, nuts, seeds and psyllium husks (a natural binder) – no eggs, no dairy, no gluten. It’s very lightly sweetened with maple syrup. The recipe involves a trip to the bulk isle of your local health food store, some nut toasting and not much else. I was really happy with the way it turned out. It’s best served toasted and I like to top mine with a little of Justin’s hazelnut chocolate spread. Recipe via David Lebovitz.

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    March 9, 2015
    Be Square

    Aandersson Design Shapes 2 Mug from Urban Outfitters, $38.

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    March 6, 2015
    Weekend Test Kitchen: Easy Sourdough Bread

    Artisan baking at home is really taking off and a lot of my friends have been baking sourdough at home from a starter. If you’ve never made, seen or smelled a sourdough starter, it’s not pretty. It’s basically a bowl of flour, yeast and milk (though there are several ways to make it) left to ferment on your counter or in your fridge and kept alive with weekly feedings. Instead of leavening your bread with packaged yeast, you use the starter. But, if all that sounds like something you really, really don’t want to do, this may be the recipe for you.

    This easy sourdough bread from Averie Cooks uses a starter that takes only hours to create. The workaround is replacing the milk in the starter with cultured yogurt and sour cream. A friend of my brother’s used this recipe a few months ago and they raved about the results. Can’t wait to try it this weekend.

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    February 20, 2015
    On the Grid

    As a person with a massive collection of grid notebooks in her office cube, I really dig these SAIC origin cuatro platters from CB2′s Design Collab. They were created by School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Allison Rokusek, who based her design on – you got it –  grids. $3.50-$21.95.

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    February 18, 2015
    Animal Instincts

    I was browsing the new arrivals section of the Anthropologie web site and ran across two fantastic animal-shaped home decor items – one whimsical and one more realistic. Above, the adorably goofy Domesticated Trinket Dishes, $22 each. Below, the strange and elegant Archipelago Serveware, $168 for the set.

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    February 17, 2015
    Good Morning To You, Too

    This mug is perfect for those mornings when you just can’t even. A.K.A. from 7 AM – 10 AM every morning. $14 at Fish Eddy.

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    January 30, 2015
    Can’t Wait to get Cooking

    German food gets a bad wrap. I think that, aside from British/Irish/Scottish cuisine, it is probably the most reviled. That’s why I was so happy to see this updated take on German food from Jeremy & Jessica Nolan. I got this in the mail earlier this week and can’t wait to try a few recipes this weekend. I’m especially impressed with the selection of vegetable recipes that definitely defy the old “potatoes and kraut” stereotype.

    New German Cooking, $25.80 at Amazon.

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    December 19, 2014
    Get into the Holiday Spirits

    The holiday season is the perfect time to break out the cocktail shaker. Here are a few holiday-inspired cocktail recipes to try out this season. Above, the Mint Merrymaker.

    Continuing with the mint theme, a Peppermint White Russian.

    When I was growing up, my parents had a friend who made his own Irish Cream. It was amazing. Here’s the how-to if you’re feeling DIY-inclined.

    On the fruitier side of holiday flavors, an Orange-Cranberry Gin and Tonic.


    For a twist on the New Year’s Eve toast, try this Sparkling Pear Sangria.

    Cheers to the holidays!


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