A little afternoon delight....

Don't you just love a classy, well dressed lady?




Man, I cannot keep up with the lifestyles of a college kid!

I'm sitting here, after an amazing weekend, in my bath robe, watching the Oscar's, thanking my lucky stars that college was only 4 years long.

Friday night Sara and I took the 4 long drive to Iowa just in time for Taco Pizza and a few beers with my favorite pair of twins.

Saturday morning the 4 of us headed into Iowa City and were reunited with our girls Lauren and Jamie. We had our favorite pizza, did some shopping, and watched Sex and the City 2 - prefect day!

All of us had been looking forward to our favorite sushi spot, Formosa. It did not disappoint. I had my all-time favorite Key Lime martini, 2 sushi rolls, and about 4 saki bombs. We bar hopped to all of our favorite spots and even stayed out until bar close.
Then, this morning, we shot out of bed and headed back to reality. It was a really great weekend catching up with all of my "roommates" but I had an amazing realization that I am so happy in where my life is right now. As I drove home, I was happy and okay with what I was leaving behind.

Happy Oscar night, ladies! Enjoy "our" Superbowl!



Right after work, I'm hopping in the car with my girl Sara and we are heading back to the University of Iowa. We're meeting up with our old roomies and all 6 of us will be reunited at last.

We plan to hit up our favorite restaurants - Airliner for pizza, pita pit for....you guessed it, and Formosa for sushi (and $3 martini's - omg, I'm going to have 30!). I cannot wait to just catch up and laugh about old times.

Distance really makes the heart grow fonder and I cannot wait to be in these ladies company again.

Oh....and then on Sunday morning, I need to rush back to the city because I'm hosting an Oscar Party! Nothing like a packed in weekend!

See you Monday - if I'm not asleep by 5pm!

Happy weekend everyone!



Well, I think I can cross a new bag off of my "Spain Fashion To-Do" List.

This was the exact bag I wanted. I love the light brown color, I love the doctor bag style, and I wanted a bag that could hold a substantial amount of shit items.

Then, I stumbled across this beauty.....Score! I mean, this is almost a dead match!
Ohh, and yes....I am wearing my pajamas.....moving on!

Plus, I found it at Franchesca's so it was unbelievably cheap.

I think it should work out just perfectly! Here's hoping for more great finds!




1. Patterned shorts: I am loving these navy & blue paisley shorts from Tory Burch. This summer I plan to collect pattern shorts like they're going outta style - which they won't!

2. Lilly Pulitzer make-up bag. I need a new make-up bag before Spain (please add this to my long list of fashion needs before I leave) and this is the only one I can think about. 

3. Benefit Speed Brow - talk about an instant brow wax. You coat your brows with this brush and it creates an all day shape. This is my new favorite beauty product. I highly recommend it. (it's $16 bucks)

4. Fresh flowers, but specifically Orchids. My Valentine's day flowers are all starting to die, except for the Orchid. So not only do I think it is the prettiest flower, it also lasts the longest! It's basically like the No-Chip manicure for flowers. It's a no brainer.

5. New socks. Gap has the cutest socks and for $12.50 they really can turn around my day.

And most of all this week, I'm loving that I am going back to the University of Iowa on Friday to visit my friends and re-live our college years. I have a feeling we're about to feel realllly old hanging out with the college "kids", but we'll just have to show 'um how it's done.


Happy Hump Day.



My sister Hannah is currently studying abroad in Seville, Spain, and my whole fam is going to visit her at the end of March. I love to travel Europe and can't wait for a little break from work. I do, however, need to get my [fashion] ducks in a row before we hit the road.

Whenever I travel, I try and dress like the city I'm going to.
Cape Cod? Preppy
L.A.? Trendy
NYC? Hip
Mexico? Beachy

.....you get the idea....

When I think of Spain, I think of bright colors, great patterns, lots of layers, and funky pairings. Not exactly my normal style.

While I love the idea of finding some great pieces for the trip, it just isn't in the budget to come up with 12 new outfits.

Since I will be traveling all day long, I plan to bring comfortable, cute clothes that can easily go from day to night.

 What I can afford to do is take basic, cute outfits, like those above, and add some pizazz to them.

I'm hoping with a couple punches like these, I'll look like "me" but with a Spain touch!

For the next 3 weeks, I'm on the hunt for a good pair of boots, cross shoulder bag, sunglasses, and maybe a few fun extras too!


Guest Blogger: EFrantz

I am so excited. For the first time ever, I have a dear friend guest blogging for me. Go check out her blog too...You'll love it!

Hello, everyone! I’m very excited to do my first ever guest post, especially on Tea Time With Tess! As all of you know, Tess is an extremely fun, friendly person with an incredible sense of personal style. And, of course – she’s one of the most genuine and funny people I know. 

We first met as college dorm-mates at the University of Iowa. I transferred to Wisconsin after my freshman year (always missing the great girls I’d met in the dorms), but luckily ran into Tess again while working in the Tribune building in Chicago. As I would have suspected, we quickly reunited and became great friends over lunch-time shopping trips and a few delicious after-work dinners. It was like not a second had passed. We’d even discussed a mutual love for the lifestyle blog community, but never realized we were both active bloggers! I’m already a big fan of all she’s done here and am thrilled to share some of my own style inspirations with you, too. 

Here’s a little background on me: I created my blog efrantz. in 2009 while interning for Teen Vogue and House Beautiful in New York City. Since then I’ve moved back to the Midwest, but continued to share my musings on interior design, shopping, wedding planning and life in the windy city. Please feel free to stop by E.Frantz for more info.

Tess, thank you so much for having me! This was such a fun and creative project, looking forward to our next blogger collaboration 

Q: What most inspires you?

A: Flowers! I’ve always wanted to open my own flower shop, even when I was little. I love the way colors and texture combine in arrangements, and the colors I love in flowers (peonies & hydrangeas, tulips) are always the colors my eye is drawn to when it comes to fashion and interior design.

Q: Who is your style icon & why?

A: I have a couple. For hair, I always look to Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle. She had the most beautiful hair in that movie. Long, natural – and honestly I love those wispy eighties bangs (don’t tell!)

Number two is Ali McGraw in The Love Story. She’s the queen of camel wool coats, black turtlenecks and nautical stripes. They called her pioneering style ‘Preppy Chic’ in the 70s. And she reminds me of the photos I’ve seen of my mom in college – they had very similar looks. I ended up with the blonde hair and blue eyes from my dad, but am forever jealous of her classic all-American look.


Q: What combination of colors are you most drawn to?

A:I love neutrals, with the occasional bright accessory thrown in. My closet is full of navy, white, taupe and charcoal gray. And hunter green! I do wear some green occasionally. I find that if I purchase items that are all in the naturals family, everything goes together when I’m getting dressed in the morning! I also have my eye on a pair of red hunter boots ...
Q: Where would you most like to travel?

A: In high school I went on a trip to Europe with some classmates and didn’t appreciate it the way I should. I would enjoy it much more now than I did at 16 since I’ve discovered a love for art history (this started with a Visual Arts & Culture class at Iowa). I’d love to return to Florence and see all the places I studied and fell in love with during lecture. I’d also love to go to Norway and explore the small fijord village my family is from.  

Q: What is on your bookmark list?

A: Right now: Coco + Kelly, This is Glamorous, NTY Home and Garden, Net-a-porter, JCrew, and Corepower Yoga.
Q What is your favorite place to shop?

A: I love to walk into Anthropologie and stay for hours. I like to imagine what I would buy if I had my dream kitchen, closet etc. And I love JCrew, of course – and Whole Foods on Saturday mornings.

My Top Ten:

  1. Barbara Berry designs the most beautiful interiors, fabrics, and wallpapers. This pillow is definitively Barbara, and one I’d love to bring it home.
  2. I wear J Brand jeans, and love them dearly. The 35’’ in seam is wonderful for tall gals like me!
  3. Oak trees surrounded my house growing up in Wisconsin. I have a few leaves framed in my room at home.  
  4. I wear Crabtree and Evelyn’s Lilly of the Valley every day. Such a clean and fresh scent.
  5. Tory Burch can do no wrong in my book.
  6. Like I mentioned before, I love peonies. They’re by far my favorite flower.
  7. Roberto Coin makes very delicate jewelry. I wear this necklace (from my mom for my high school graduation) every single day.
  8. La Source hand cream from Crabtree and Evelyn saves my hands in the wintertime.
  9. I love bright impressionism, and this particular shot comes from the wonderful Lilly Pulitzer.  How can you not be happy looking at it?
  10. OPI’s Bubble Bath, Second Honeymoon, and Shorts Story are wearable and feminine. Short Story is always on my toes, Bubble Bath and Second Honeymoon for my fingers.

Liz, thank you so much for taking the time to hang out with me here. You were the perfect person for my first-ever Guest Blogger. I hope to have more in the future, but they definitely have big shoes to fill!

I hope everyone is enjoying those last few minutes of the weekend. Back to reality tomorrow. 


You don't know

Every week in US Weekly a new celebrity is featured in "25 things you don't know about me" . It's actually one of my favorite sections in the magazine and some of the facts are seriously fascisinating. I've often thought about what I would stick on a list of 25 things about myself, and then realized...I have my platform...may as well go for it!

1. I was born with my hips dislocated
2. I'm lactose intolerant
3. If someone starts to cry when accepting an award, I will automatically cry too
4. I would love to spend a month a year living in a hotel
5. If I could quit my job tomorrow and turn into a stay at home mom, I would
6. Salmon sashimi is my favorite food
7. I eat way too much peanut butter during the day
8. I can talk very clearly with my mouth closed (camp trick)
9. I have a vacation house in Mexico
10. People think I look a lot like Jenna Bush
11. I go to bed before 10pm on work nights
12. I have 3 or 4 La Croix's a day (sparking water)
13. I am an 50% homebody 50% party girl
14. Martha's Vineyard is probably my most ideal place to be on any given day
15. I hate getting manicures because I have a hard time sitting still for that long
16. I am a reality tv junkie
17. I strongly believe the Law of Attraction
18. I only see movies that will make me laugh and smile. I don't need the extra drama.
19. I love to crack people's knuckle's and backs
20. I love to travel, and hate to fly
21. I am a big, big fan of red wine and champagne
22. I have a lot of road rage
23. My first job was a hostess
24. I talk to my mom every single day
25. I can't leave my house unless all of my couch pillows are perfectly arranged


We are half way through the week and I LOVE that!

I am loving chocolate. I am always loving chocolate, to be honest, but since Monday, I have been obsessed. I cannot even tell you how many pieces I had yesterday, mainly because it was in the double digits and I really don't want you to full on judge me. Right now, my favorite is Resse's peanut butter hearts, but really, I'm not very picky. I gotta cool this new little obsession....immediatley.

I am loving the book I'm reading. The sequel to "A Total Waste of Makeup" this book makes me literally laugh out loud. I see a lot of myself in the main character Charlie so I'm rooting for a very happy ending.
I am loving truffle oil. Lately, anything and everything that has truffle oil in it is my new favorite food. Pizza, Mac & Cheese, Fries, you name it. If there is truffle oil on it, I want it.

I sound realllllly healthy and realllllly skinny right now, don't I?

I love these Steve Madden boots. I have lusted after them all winter. Three of my co-workers have them so I didn't want to join their club and wear matching shoes to work all the time, but now with my trip to Spain on the horizon they seem like they would be the perfect traveling boot.

I am loving all things Jonathon Adler. I am on the hunt for new pillows for my bedroom and keep getting drawn to these beauties. I first became obsessed when I noticed them at Bill & Guiliana's house last season and now, its all I can imagine. Don't you hate when you get stuck on an idea and can't look past it?!?!

I hope you were able to find some things that you have loved about your week too.




Within that last year or so, Gwyneth Paltrow has become my idol. She has all of sudden gone from this ultra skinny, uptight snob, to a relaxed, preppy, down-to-earth, girl next door --- with a voice to boot!

Needless to say, I love her! Everything she does and wears seems so effortless.

She is even a blogger! She started Goop a few years back and posts on fashion, food, and travel.



Valentine's Day

Joel and I decided way back in December that we wouldn't exchange any gifts for Valentine's day but instead spend the night at famed restaurant Table 52.

Since Joel dinner was going to be Joel's treat, I wanted to find something special to give to him. Since we both love wine, I thought a private tasting at our favorite wine shop would be the perfect present.

We have become good friends with Que Syrah owner Don, and he set up this amazing little feast just for the two of us
Joel was really surprised and appreciative and couldn't believe I pulled one over on him.We ended up opening a bottle of pressco and a big red as well.

my handsome date
We spent the first 2 hours of our date sharing wine and cheese, chatting with Don, and enjoying the special-ness of Valentine's Day.

My mom was in town during the morning and treated me to a little shopping spree at Anthropologie. I love this dress (and belt) - it was super comfortable too. Gotta love when momma comes to visit!

Then, we headed to Art Smith's Table 52. Which was such an experience.

The ambiance alone stands far above most restaurants in Chicago. It's a very fancy restaurant, however, right upon entering you feel like you are dining in someone's home. It's chic but incredibly comfortable - lots of classy, Southern touches.

Joel had 2 glasses of bubbly waiting for us when we walked in.

As we sat down at our table our waiter brought out their famous dinner rolls (which I cannot even begin to describe, you really just have to try them) and the best deviled eggs I've ever had in my life.

For dinner, I ordered a crusted halibut and Joel ordered the cat fish. Both were phenomenal.

As a side we got truffle mac & cheese - which literally - is to die for.
Last meal on earth kind of good.

It was an absolutley amazing night.


Easiest party dip ever

For the super bowl party I made my most favorite party dip in the world. Best part about it, besides its delectable taste, is the ease of it!

I have to share:

1. Gather up your ingredients *I leave out onions and walnutes
2. Roughly chop the crab into small pieces
3. Combine

4. Stick in the oven at 375 for 25 minutes (or until lightly browned on top) and serve with crackers

*this pic was taken before it was baked
**it was eaten up before I got a chance to take an after shot!