Best of Chicago 2012, a love list, with photos

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

West Loop exploring with Emma

Chicago was a fluke decision in my life (yes, a "fluke" is how I describe my choice of college). I still remember bursting into tears of joy/fear in my parent's car while driving down the Dan Ryan, looking at the skyline getting closer. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. Like any good relationship, Chicago and I have had our disagreements over the past eight years. And like any great relationship, I fall more in love with her every day.

Architectural Boat Tour, never gets old

Footprints in the Lurie Garden
Here's a list of places I had fun in 2012.

Whether you live here or you're visiting,
these places are all worth a look.

Opposites Attract
The underside of the el is impossible to NOT photograph, I swear


Belmont Harbor/Skyline
Watching a soccer league in Uptown as the sun goes down


Another boat tour picture, so sue me
Tracks on tracks on tracks

A gazebo

Chicago Architecture Boat Tour
Windy City Soul Club at the Empty Bottle
Soul Summit at Double Door
various massive downtown block parties
shows at the Bridgeport Art Center
Movies in the park, including but not limited to An American in Paris and ET
extended walks in Graceland Cemetery 
picnics in Lurie Garden
crazy fourth of July fireworks in Winnemac Park
Reggae night at Subterranean
the view of downtown from the Shedd Aquarium 

Who doesn't love a dingy el station?

And a few non-Chicago highlights....
The entire island of Kauai, Hawaii
Woodhouse, The Red Lion, Blackbird, in San Francisco
The Standard, Misfits, Varnish in Los Angeles

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you!

Cities & Sequins

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Coat: Anthropologie
Sweater: J Crew
Shirt: Madewell
Skirt: gift, Macy's (thanks Mom)
Tights: HUE
Booties: Anthropologie
Headscarf: Forever 21
Vest: Anthropologie
Ring: gift, Francesca's (thanks Emma)
Nailpolish: Essie "Borrowed & Blue", OPI "Lucky Lucky Lavender"

I wore this to work and out for a drink a couple of weeks ago.

Like many other city gals, I avoid wearing my puffer coat unless absolutely necessary. So on days when it's cooold, but not COLDCOLDCOLD, I resort to wearing ridiculous amounts of layers underneath something more chic. This fur-lined denim vest has been an excellent addition to my layer arsenal.

I tried on and left this sweater at J. Crew a couple of times before I went back and bought it. Words on clothes have always annoyed me, but there was something about it that I liked. I think it might be the font, or the all-caps, or the fact that it has basically every city I'd like to see splashed across it. I've never really been outside the US before (except once on a cruise in high school, and a couple of trips to Canada when I was really little), so I'm drawn to things that stoke my dreams of getting out and seeing the world.

The longer I own this skirt, the more I like it with the most casual things that I own. I guess this is a trend I'm seeing repeated with all the sequins I own...

If I switched out these boots for a pair of high high magenta heels I would even wear this to a holiday party.

Shirt: here, here, here
Skirt: here, here
Boots: here
Headscarfy band: here, here
Vest: here

Why yes, Jay-Z and I do have the same ring, thanks for noticing.

Have you guys done your holiday shopping yet?
Mine all has to happen this week...gulp!
God help us all.

A Room of One's Own Pt. II - Walls

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Welcome to Part II! 

This post is about what I put on my walls, and how I keep them interesting. The one drawback of moving into this apartment was that we weren't allowed to paint it - which sucked because white walls have always driven me nuts. Policy has changed and we're now allowed to paint, but until I find the right colors, the interest on the walls has to be created with whatever I have around.

All these postcards/pictures/photos have strong memories. I have cards from my sisters and parents, some as old as from 1997. I have photos taken by my awesome older sister (check out her stuff here, she's amazing). I have postcards from my friends from all over the world. I have vintage cards and pictures found in thrift stores all over the country. It's a jumble and there's no rhyme or reason to what gets up here - it's a mix of pretty things that I love, or things that remind me of those I love.

Thrifted candle sconces, framed Paris photo from Urban Outfitters, gold frame from my sister Michelle with a photo of my roommates and I from my 23rd birthday, a spiky plastic...thing...made at my store last year, a thrifted painting.

I have a wall of records behind my bed, that act as an extended headboard. All of them were thrifted, in various cities - Ann Arbor, Chicago, New York, Seattle. 

Huge flowers made of paper mache, wire, and paint. I am not artistically gifted at ALL - these were made by our display coordinator and we all got to take them home when we were done using them. They're in my living room above my black couch. 


A Room of One's Own Pt. I - Books

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

 This is Pt. I of a three part series about my apartment. I moved into this place a little more than 2 years ago and it'll take a lot to get me to ever leave it. I've lived in 7 different apartments over a span of 8 years in Chicago, so I can safely say that I know a good place when I see one. 

That ^ chair was a scored in an alley after a night of drinking and gabbing with two of my best friends. It is just as heavy as it looks, but that didn't stop us from managing to carry it all the way back to my apartment. Seriously, I have instagram evidence, thanks to Miss Ashley:

Anyway, it lives in my bedroom and holds several books. It always wears a hat, too - the hat changes depending on the season. Right now it's a black felt bucket cap. Over the summer it was a straw fedora. 

I have a 6 shelf bookcase from IKEA in the living room, two shelves of it are dedicated to my sheet music. 

The magazines live in organized stacks in the shelves that frame our faux fireplace. 

Merchandising in my bedroom...can you tell I work at a store?

These all live on the velvet chair in my bedroom because they're the things I read the most before falling asleep. 

I keep all my catalogued old issues of Vogue in magazine holders in my IKEA bookcase. 

I also have a collection of dorky figurines, particularly Star Wars ones. I don't know why I seem to like the random side characters better, maybe they're easier to find than the original characters. They live in front of the books in my IKEA bookcase. 

Stay tuned for a few more decor pictures!

The Thriller

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blazer: Urban Outfitters
Blouse: Therapy, San Francisco
Necklace: Banana Republic
Shorts: Therapy, San Francisco
Tights: HUE
Rings: gift, Ann Taylor (thanks Mom)
Shoes: gift, Clark's (thanks Mom)
Lipstick: Wet n Wild "Coraline"

When I first bought this jacket I thought I'd only wear it on special occasions, but it's too much fun to waste away in my closet waiting for the perfect party.

I wore this out to dinner/drinks a few weeks ago.

I found this top and these shorts on a day roaming around the Mission in San Francisco in August. They're from Therapy, a store I'd never heard of until I walked into it. It was jam packed with goodies and cool salesgals.

I'm not one to shy away from sparkles, clearly. 

On a side note, I just wrote a brief summary of what this blog is, and why I do it. If you're curious about where it started or where it's going, read up right here.

Blazer: here, here, here
Necklace: here, here, here, here
Booties: here

I'm going to spend the rest of this day doing NOTHING,
probably in my pajamas. 
I hope your Sunday is just as lovely.

A girly polar bear

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dress: Anthropologie
Sweater: Anthropologie
Tights: HUE
Shoes: gift, Clark's (thanks Mom)
Necklace: Forever 21
Lipstick: Wet N Wild, "Coraline"

We wet from 63 degrees to 36 degrees in about 14 hours. #Chicago.
Sooo, it's officially bundle up season.

I've worn this outfit at least 10 times. Working, playing, eating, drinking.

There are a few distinct moods to my outfits. 
1 - boyish prep
2 - glamorous grandma
3 - easily excited 12 year old girl
4 - mildly inappropriate drama queen
and then the fifth, 
which this outfit is the prototype of:
5 - snuggly person who doesn't ever want to get out of bed.

So what if the cardigan is an XL? So what if the dress is also 3 sizes too large?

That chair in the foreground was an alley-way find over the summer! I fell so in love that I drunkenly carried it on my back for a mile to get it back to my house. Hilarity followed. (Many apologies to my very patient friends Julia and Ashley, who I roped into helping me.)

Maybe I'll do a decor post in the future and show him off.

How do you guys get pills off of your sweaters? It's clearly time I invest in some little contraption.

These were a birthday gift from my Mom and they're AMAZING. They look right with everything I own. And it looks like I'm not the only lady who likes em! I saw them on Bonnie of Flashes of Style a while ago, too. Have you guys spotted these on any other ladies? Do you have them?? I'm curious to see how other people are wearing them. Get them here.

Sweater: here, here


Happy Black Friday to you! Be nice to the people working, and don't trample each other.