September 7, 2011

Sweet Magnolia: Home Reno "The Tree" cont.

So remember the little saga about the large tree that would not come down? As it turned out, my dad put the petal to the metal and the next day replaced the errant tree chopping crew with another. The new crew was very professional, timely, knowledgeable and basically took care of business.

Side note: I chose not to pay for the stump removal since removing the stump did not guarantee the removal of all the aged roots. I actually think the aged roots are more damaging to the property. Instead I used the remaining stump as a vessel to carry the stump away solution to all the roots. I'm hoping if I repeat this process enough the stump and roots will become fertilizer

September 6, 2011


In anticipation of the Season 4 premiere of Sons of Anarchy (totally obsessed..totally unashamed..) I decided to break out my new kutte. "Kutte" is the leather bomber vests the MC (motorcycle club) members don as a badge of honor to show their club affiliation, called so due to the cut sleeves. All my friends think its hilarious that I am now this hard core repressed biker chick - but hey, when I'm into something - I really get into it. Plus how gorgeous would the below look with a delicate white eyelet maxi left over from the summer months? Coupled with some slouchy boots I think the look is a perfect transition to the Fall weather that has been teasing the dusk hours.

                                                  {image via Man Repeller;  vest from H &M}

                                                                      {image via Shopbop}

                                                                       {image via Steve Madden}

July 2, 2011


Just recently I discovered I had HBO. Yes discovered. Don't judge.

I also rediscovered my love for Johnny Depp. Don't judge.

I must have watched this scene of Public enemies 50 times.

Yes men - you can behave like a neanderthal. When you look like Johnny Depp that is.

July 1, 2011

Sweet Magnolia: Home Reno "The Tree"

I knew in buying my new place that ALOT of work had to be done. In fact one of the arguments I made for it was that this was the only time in my life that it would make sense to something like this. I am not rushed to move out of the current place and I can put a stamp on some piece of historical property. I have separated the endeavor into a 5 part phase. Each with it's respective budget. I had planning committees, whirlwind of budgetary meetings, sampled the fruits of what is offered in terms of laborers, designers, furniture stores. And like a whirlwind my parents blew it all away. This process is a learning project. I am getting to know all the ins and outs of what it takes to reno a decade old home. But more so I am getting to know a bit more about my parents.
Phase One - Urgent/Must be done ASAP/Not up for a Debate Projects included taking down an old mulberry tree in my backyard. Now I'm all for nature and foliage surround but this tree was not only rotting but It was a LARGE rotting tree in danger of splitting over my garage. It wasn't the top item of Phase One but it shared the spot with two other projects. My parents and I decided to tackle the three as they came along. We had looked into alot of places for tree removal.

  1. The larger the diameter of the tree, the higher the cost
  2. Any obstructions - power lines, narrow alleys (lack of alleys), garage - the higher the cost
  3. Wood is a pretty expensive commodity. If time allows, do you research and see if there are some local places available that will remove the tree for free wood. As you can imagine, Chicago does not have an overall abundance of this.
  4. If it is directly on the path of power lines - your electric company should be able to assess whether they can trim it.
  5. Stump removal? Add another $500 - $1000
Learning all this and having this to contend with:

No small feat. My ever resourceful father *walked by* some workers one day and asked them if they took down trees. He said the methodical way in which they handled the project at the current house they were working on spoke to him. It said - they can take on a this tree project. So one sunny morning at 6 am my loyal General Contractor (aka Dad) took off to meet such diligent workers. They came - trucks, ropes and all. Took one more look at the tree they were to take down and backed out.

This tree that they already quoted us on. This tree that they assured us they could do.

My dad offered them more money. He reasoned that they already came all this way, had the guys there and the trucks - why waste the time....

But sadly, they could not be swayed.....

This saga is to be continued......

*on a side note: alot of my reno stories are going to involve my dad walking by some guys, some place, some area and striking up a conversation...its just the way it is....

June 30, 2011

On Repeat

Ever have one of those deja vu type of moments where you hear a song, smell a scent, feel a breeze and instantly you are transported to a time and place long ago? I used to have those moments all the time. I would be walking and the dampness in the summer air would remind of the times I walked back to my apartment in college from a heavy night of studying. If the biting breeze of a fall gust of wind swept through the collar of my jacket - instantly I thought of trick or treating on a damp October night. Songs do it to me too.

For instance - I have heard this song on repeat - and I always feel like I and prepping for a marathon work day:

And all of the sudden it would be the end of a work week. I walk home in a not rushed, not slovenly pace and with the echos of:

Much of it being the beat, the rhythm , the constitution and a very far second - the words. Maybe it's the day in- day out of the work week. Maybe I simply need to crack that wheel of a INSPIRED..but that's what's on rotation. No need for the calendar to flip to the end or the beginning of the week.

Day Late

I am one of those that are perpetually late. I tend to be so rushed in my day job that when I'm off - I'm really off. I also credit it to my lack of grip on what can actually get jammed into a 24 hour day. Yes 24 - as I do not require sleep.

So when I heard of the Julian Louie X Aldo collection all sizes, all patterns were sold out. This limited edition collaboration celebrates this season's take on tribal inspired footwear.

Enter my favorite of the collection:

Ahhh - the still my heart.

Sold out everywhere.


May 11, 2011

I bought a house!

Anyone who knows me well..and those that may not even know me knows that I have been searching for a new domicile for some time. I credit my lack of jump at the market boom to my cautious and picky nature and I could not have been more grateful to had avoided that peak. For the longest time I wanted a traditional Chicago style 2 flat since that was what I always imagined myself buying. However I widened my search to townhomes, single family homes and row homes as well. I ended up with something I never in a million years would think I would end up buying and yet somehow the thought of me living there becomes more and more real each time I enter the place.

A HOUSE. A single family house none-the-less. I mean..ME...who would have thunk it?

The place has it's fair share of work that needs to be done. And then some. But it has the proverbial good bones and I can't wait to put my stamp on it. The summer should be interesting if nothing else.

OMG...I'm an adult.

April 28, 2011

Curb the Urge: Espadrilles

Seriously - I hesitated for sometime before posting the below. Its almost criminal how similar the two are.

Stuart Weitzman Women's Alex Espadrille - $365

Steve Madden Fantasik - $79 - $59.25 via Macy's Friends and Family

Earth Day: Conscious Collection

On the sennight of Earth Day I read up on H&M's new endeavor towards more sustainable organic products. Launching the Conscious Collection, H&M new pursuit helps promote a more sustainable environment through the materials they have chosen to use. Very appropriate for it to launch in the Spring/Summer outlook since I personally think the summer practically begs for organic cottons in shades of blush. Below are a few items I managed to snag:

And what I was on the lookout for but sadly this top was sold out:

*all images via H&M website

March 11, 2011

I want to be her!

I am  totally, completely, irrevocably in love with this site! Andre Linett is currently the Creative Director of ebay fashion and with the help of her very talented illustrator slash friend, Anne Johnston Albert, has tapped into one of the everyday woman's deep dark secret. We are an envious nature by breed. However the site celebrates this facet of women and highlights what may be misconstrued as envy, to be what truly is admiration. With this the site there lies links to either the same exact item that you can quest your inner yearnings with or something very very similar. Many of times I have clicked on such links and have found the item to be an exact replica of what was shown or more impressively what was drawn. Somehow, in a clear concise manner, these ladies manage to celebrate what we inherently think everyday, feel, and react to in just an image and a few short clicks. It is a highly recommended click away!!

Time on my hands....

I used to never be very good at being idle. I always had to find something to get myself in trouble with. Lately though it seems any amount of down time I have I want to do nothing. I mean nothing....lay like broccoli.

I happened upon this image/caption and I couldn't wait to post it. I mean a real life size knitted Ferrari!! I mean what will people come up with next?

I know!! - crochet a smart car!!!

................I can barely sew a straight seam.....

*image via craftzine

February 28, 2011

Topshop comes to Chicago!

My love for Topshop rivals others such as Zara, Anthropologie and Madewell (their aesthetics are completely different but I liken them for the price range levels). So when I randomly came upon this screen on the Topshop homepage I literally had to bite back my excitement. Having a subtle British influence this online apparel, footwear and accessories shop has found  me happily handling my hard earned dollars on more than one occasion. My only hesitation has been the sizing and its difficulty in returning for exchanges. But problem no more as I anxiously await the flagship store to land on its helipad of excitement that would surely greet on Michigan Avenue. A finer home it could not ask for.

One for the money...

                                                             {Burberry $3595}

This jacket encompasses everything I think a leather moto should. It bubbles when it should, buckles when you least expect it, gives the broad shouldered effect in a tapered manner and cinches in my inflated imagination that I am in any position to afford something like this. But a girl can dream. And this money item is definitely worth dreaming of.

February 21, 2011

Fashion Conundrum

Are these back in and I just not get the memo? Picture it - you're out in the school play lot, hair partially pulled back in only what can be described as a bad Madonna reincarnated side ponytail. Not wispy and romantic a la A Cup of Jo...

{image via A Cup of Jo}

....but rather the type that seen from the back you know the chic has some smeared hideous lip gloss on names will be identified.
I always embrace the cycle of fashion because one:
      1. Secretly (or not so secretly) I am literally a closet hoarder
      2. Said cycle further drives home a larger cycle - the cycle of life
But man - oh man - I can safely say no hoarding, no embracing here - be gone bike shorts with girly lace seaming. We were never truly friends.

A new day

I don't believe in New Year resolutions. I believe if you want or know something should change a mere day in the year should not dictate it. You should. So the timing of this is rather a coincidence. However, I recently vowed to live more in the moment. I read somewhere (some editor of a NY mag, mother of 3, goddess like mother - you know the type - someone to hate) that said editor managed it all by focusing on being the best she had to be that moment. If she was with her kids - she was on total mom rockstar mode. If she was doing yoga - she promised it would be the best yoga workout she got. It got me thinking of how much my mind races where ever I'm at. And it rarely is racing on what I was currently on. How could I possibly gain from that moment what I intended? How could it be all that it could be?

So I want for every moment to be the best moment there is to have.

image via WeHeartIt