May 25, 2010

Chicago Staycation - Part 2

The second day my partner and crime and I went around Chicago we went a bit more low key. We visited the Lincoln Park/ Lakeview eateries, shops and sights. One of my many favorite things about Chicago is its claim to metropolitan lifestyle and its counterbalance with small pockets of interesting neighborhoods. Wicker Park, Andersonville, Jefferson Park, Streeterville, Bucktown, Old Town - you name - we got it. Well our day of productivity started with just like any other day...
{clearly we had forgotten about upcoming swimsuit season}

{in case you drooled over the last shot here is a better angle}

We risked a cinnamon roll coma to indulge in Chicago's very own favorite Ann Sather's. When visiting this fine city a stop at this place is a must. The above is one of two side items to your breakfast plate!! The only thing sweeter was our waiter Ella - a little old lady who has worked there 23 years and made me just want to put her in my pocket! Is there any other way to start a day of city stomping?
{apparently not}

Note: that's my friend Jackie....and yes, she's generally a happy person over most things.

May 24, 2010

Chicago Staycation - Part 1

Just recently my friend Jacqueline came over so we could experience Chicago through a vacationer. She had an agenda, list of eateries and a walking path to cover. The woman was on a mission. Jackie lives in Wadsworth, IL and though its a respectable driving distance away the best way to describe this faux Chicago suburb is that it is a stone's throw from Wisconsin. So on our first day through the streets of Chicago we were relentless. We hit up the very best Michigan Avenue had to offer with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Saks, etc. And like any other respectable shopper we ended up in Forever 21. After scoping out the realm of possible frivolous purchases and scarfing down some delicious benets, we took our bright yellow bags home and bought our "splurges" online (eight stores notwithstanding). Jackie professed her love for Louboutins in these fantastic peep toes:

And I went wang-wang crazy for these Alexander Wang nude choked pumps

I think Jackie said it best when she said - "This staycation is costing more than our last vacation!"

May 22, 2010

Glam Wall

Just like any woman that has a fondness for decorative funky jewelry I have amassed a small assortment of chains, rings and bracelets that can only be politely described as a hot mess.
I was really excited when I found a pretty jewelry holder at Urban Outfitters that seemed perfect for my new quest for organization.
After several false starts, a brand new power drill, three (hopefully) inconspicuous holes in the wall, my wall of jewelry looked fine in its wall of glory.

May 17, 2010

Alice & Olivia for Payless

Ever since the Chanels and Chloes debuted it - clogs have been smattering our retail shops with faint reminders of why they ever were 'in' in the first place. I generally find one feature I like about the look and try to replicate it with a less expensive version. Frequently it's the wooden platform my five feet height is drawn to.
When I recently saw these on the Payless website I was instantly intrigued. For one - I am very very into designers creating their looks for more mainstream retail: Zac Posen, Cynthia Vincent, Jean Paul Gaultier all recently had a short line at Target. And now I find that Alice + Olivia - a brand I am frequently drawn to for their subtle feminine message they translate in clothing - has a line with Payless! Now this shoe has a lot going for it. The soft color is very becoming for the summer, the studs counterbalance the pink under soles and the height with the sturdy heel looks doable. I'm hoping that the shoe will be wide enough to be comfortable but narrow from the profile angle so that it doesn't appear clunky on sight alone.....a fallacy of our original more clunky clogs.

May 13, 2010

Good Eats - Long time Friends

Tonight I had dinner with two of my all time favorite dinner companions John and Adam. We have been friends since college and I think its a testament to our relationship how long we remained in contact. As usual we met for dinner and talked about what's been going on in our lives and pigged out on good food. With the soft breeze, warm pre-summer nightfall, and funny antics - what more can you possibly ask for in a Thursday night?

May 12, 2010

Risky Business

The art of dressing for work has always been a balancing act for me. I think it's because of all the restrictions. Things you should wear versus things you shouldn't. Even now, in my current employment of casual dress code, it's still tricky. Perhaps it's because I'm constantly aware that even if the dress code is casual - what you wear carries a message about yourself whether or not you intended it to. So when I found this vest at Forever21 I was ecstatic that it could work as both as day wear as well as night. Encompassing the now hot menswear trend it tapers nicely from the luxe lapels to the one button closure. Its long enough so there are no embarrassing midriff flashes when reaching for a file and still has the attractive appeal of current trends. My favorite being the tabbed shoulders - reminiscent of the military wear dotting the streets these days.

May 10, 2010


Although constantly aware of their influence, this day in particular did once again find me reflecting on all the wisdom and gifts my mother and grandmother have bestowed upon me.

1. Always sit with your legs crossed or clasped.
2. When moving your laundry from one location to another make sure your delicates are folded securely between several layers of clothing.
3. When you've eaten too many fatty foods and have an overwhelming sense of nauseum - have a piece of butterscotch candy. Works everytime.

4. A pair of scissors used to cut hair can never be used to cut fabric and vise versa.
5. To pick out the best most valuable lettuce at the market look for the best color and the heaviest head - it would have the most leaves in it even it its wrapped tightly.
6. Get burned three times while cooking certifies you as a great chef for life.
7. When caught naked - always put your slacks on first. (Disclaimer: this is only if the shirt is not of great length else the answer varies).
8. Smile in greeting - no one ever punched out someone smiling.
9. When washing - clean the light dishes first before moving to the grease laden cookware. Food scents carry. Make sure to rinse the sponge/rag when done
10. Look for beauty in everything.

One of the very best gifts my mom gave me was when I was young and we were not very well off. She was working for minimum wage and somehow scrimped and saved to give me a steno notepad (that detectives use) since I HAD to have one. One of the very best gifts my grandmother gave me was talking my parents into letting me go to a overnight camp which my parents had vetoed for months already.

Happy Mother's Day - hope you had a splendid day with your lovelies~

May 7, 2010


If you've had the week I've had than this one's for you too ~

Sing it Blake baby - sing it

May 6, 2010

Hair Today

For the last decade or so I've been abit HDD with my hair. I generally let it grow out for lengths at a time and then I get some form of a bob cut that is really short. Wellll - its gettin' to be that time again and the longer my hair gets the more the usual hair ties seems uncomfortable. Maybe I'm just a wuss but I generally operate on Larger the bun = Larger the headache. Every now and then I like a break from the tug of a hair tie or 'hair thingy' as the general female population likes to refer to it. It was on a whim that I purchased this hair clip from JCrew. Made in France and tortoise in shade I thought it may remedy my black hair tie hate.

I will say though - when I found out it was $12 I distinctly remember thinking - "not unless it came with a side of blueberry pancakes". However the construction and its high quality eventually won me over. And like all other JCrew products - its made to last.

May 5, 2010

Fringe Perspective

Some girls definitively look good with bangs

Some girls definitively do not:

Then there are some that are - eh:

I myself have rocked these tempting tendrils as a preteen and I would say I fell somewhere in the between the "should not" and "eh" category. It just was back then, when one got that kind of a hair cut in junior high you looked like - well you were in junior high. Suffice it to say this hair trend has evolved and the whole look has been rocked by Hollywood, by models and us mere mortals. I was thinking about this tonight and the thoughts brought me back to a time where I was continuously getting my bangs trimmed by my mother. She insisted it be done with "hair clippers" which always looked like regular scissors to me. Well I was way past due my next cut and my mom was constantly too busy to trim them. So one night when I was getting out of the shower, and the bangs once again was dripping annoying droplets of water into my eyes, that I said ENOUGH. I grabbed a regular pair of scissors I had found, carefully combed out my bangs to the front of my forehead, grabbed one side of the piece and figured how hard could this be? All I needed to do was cut a very straight line across. Snip - went the shears. I stood back and took stock of my handiwork. I noticed immediately that I must have had my head on a tilt since the bangs were definitely not straight. In efforts to even them out I started from the middle and snipped across at the longest offenders. I stood back to check the effect. What was this? I looked like Spock!!! I began to worry that my head wasn't level!!
Snip, snip snip away went my regular scissors in my eyes was no longer an issue. And it was that time that I would like to think I had the foresight - the vision if you will, to contribute to this trend:

May 4, 2010

Hopeful Homeless

Its no secret to most that know me that I have been searching for a very long time to buy a place in the city of broad shoulders. I know its a great time to buy, supply is high, interest rates are low yeah yeah yeah. I guess I'm very particular on where I plan on plopping my handbags next and this particularity is driving everyone around me insane. It was this weekend with its quirky weather that I remembered all the things that make my place a home. First and foremost - there is a breeze that comes from my back porch that cannot be topped. I can have the door open and have a direct view of the swaying branches of the trees when I do dishes or fumble around my kitchen. I have been blessed to travel many of places around the world but the sound of the rain hitting the tree branches and the answering song of the cluster of leaves just makes me feel at peace.
I consider myself a connoisseur of sheets. I generally have a list of specs that I check through when purchasing: color, wear and tear, thread count, pattern and ease of matching with bedding. On a pure whim I once purchased the below bedding on sale at Target, which carries the Thomas O' Brien line of bedding, and I was hooked. Somehow this 600 thread count sheet kicked my 1000 thread count sheets arse. Be aware though the color fades a bit quicker but on the flip side the sheets only become softer and softer. Its this bedding that makes my jumpy self know that I am at home and in my bed.
My future home has to be in near locale to eateries. Coming from a family of cooks it has been a long while since I have picked up anything besides a take out menu.
In a similar vein, just as I have always had the convenience of an abundance of selection in cuisine I also always have had the convenience of being in walking distance to the lake. A luxury I am loathe to give up.
Lastly - as a true Chicagoan I have to be close to our CTA transportation system.
Something that will take my tail to work in order to pay for all of these life's little luxuries. Have you any intangibles of your home that you can't part with?

May 3, 2010

Feelin Blue....

I have been searching for quite some time for the perfect shade of azure in a handbag to no avail. I wanted some deep cool blue that conjured images of clear ocean waters---endless skies----something that said clean, airy and summer. Do any of these say Figi H to Oh - to you?

Dolce & Gabana $1160
Hype $165
Burberry $550
Melie Bianco $99
Miu Miu $1180
Aldo $34.98

Forteen year old Leann Rimes said it best when she sang Bluuuuuuuuuuuueeeeeee