27 October 2010

Top 6 Picks: October

I can't believe an entire month has flown by since my first Top 6 Picks post, but I have been keeping myself busy figuring out what it is exactly that I have been trending towards. Here are some things that I really really love right now.
1) Turquoise and Caicos by Essie Nail Color. Last year I was really into this fantastic sky blue nail color by OPI, and I rarely stray from that shade. But with fall here, I thought it'd be nice for a bit of a change. I've found that I've been leaning towards this really pretty seafoam/light turquoise color for a while, and it totally matched my favorite pair of boots. There's something really special about matching one's nail polish to one's shoes, don't you think?

2) Set of two Moleskine Pocket Notebooks in Blue. I love blue &I love Moleskine. I've been writing in books by this brand since senior year of high school, and what I love the most about this new set of notebooks is the size. Small enough to pop into my purse, but bright enough that I can't leave the house without it. Great for grocery lists, addresses, phone numbers, directions, and quick moments of genius. 
3) Japanese Sesame Cookie Crackers by Cisco's. Jennifer has been bringing these into work lately and they sit on my desk, which inevitably leads me to eating all of them. Light, crispy, crunchy, delicious. But they're also kind of hard to find. Looks like I have a trip to Chinatown scheduled in my near future!

4) Urban Belly Chicago. I am in love with this restaurant. I ate here two years ago when I was visiting from school with a horrible cold, and nothing made me feel better than eating a bowl of ramen at Urban Belly. I've eaten here three times in the month of October, and I don't think I plan on stopping anytime soon. Try the wrinkle beans, eggplant, any of the dumplings, and the house ramen. I could slurp and slurp and slurp to my heart's content.
5) McClure's Pickles. I saw these pickles featured on the Food Network show The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and was totally skeptical of a seasoned food critic saying that a jar of pickles was the best thing he ever ate. BUT, I learned on that episode that you can continue to put cucumbers and garlic into the pickle juice and make more pickles right in your fridge. After trying this trick of DIY pickling, I figured this guy must know what he's talking about, and opted to buy a jar of these at Whole Foods. THEY ARE AMAZING. And, once I finish my pickles, I plan on making more pickles. The pickle company is family owned, it's a secret recipe, and I love them. 

6) You + Me Necklace on Elephantine's Etsy. I was initially drawn to these necklaces for their name as it reminded me of Me You and Everyone We Know, but then realized that they were just gorgeous. I saw these featured on Elephantine's blog, and after realizing I could pick my own color of seed beads and get a necklace made for my sister's birthday, I was sold.  My beads are a great seafoam color, and yes, they match my nails. If you're looking for a great gift, or a lovely piece of jewelry, check out her shop!

Apartment Therapy

In the past month I have been seriously excavating the internet for great blogs & sites, and I stumbled upon Apartment Therapy which is quickly becoming a favorite in my GoogleReader. It's a fantastic way to get a peek into other peoples' homes, and see how they are creatively coming up with ways to liven up their interior spaces. In short, read this blog. Also, today someone posted this fantastic and creative way of displaying posters in their living room using pant hangers from Ikea. To learn how they made this amazing display, check it out here.

25 October 2010

Bright Eyes, Bowl of Oranges

Things have been weird and sad in my life lately, and I can't help but gravitate towards this song, this cd, and this band.

I know it's going to be tough for a while, but things will get better. They have to.

19 October 2010

Casual Friday

Embellished Cardigan: Vintage; Striped Tee: Mari's; Jeggings: F21;
Loafers: Cole Haan Outlet; Lincoln/Penny Bracelet: Gift from Kathryn; Necklace: Thrifted
I have tons of items in my wardrobe that I can't bear to part with, but also seldom wear - and one of my  fall goals is to reevaluate the things in my closet.

THE CARDIGAN: I bought this cardigan at an antique mall in Michigan and knew that I couldn't live without it, but after owning it for more than a year, I realized I never wear it. It is pretty loud, thus hard to style, and before I removed the lining it felt too boxy and didn't really slink on my shoulders the right way. I'm really working to style this cardi without it over-powering my look, and I'm pretty happy with the outcome. Any comments or ideas for how else to style this cardigan?

THE BRACELET: This bracelet was a gift from Kathryn and I was really touched by just how thoughtful it was. Growing up in The Land of Lincoln, and longing for my Lincoln-loving alma mater, this bracelet adorned with Lincoln's penny profile is a constant reminder of how much I love Illinois regardless of my location. I usually shy away from bracelets since I'm doing things with my hands most of the day, but I have really been into wearing this one lately. Thank you Kathryn!

14 October 2010

Contemporary Cleopatra

Currently Reading: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer

This dress is one of my weekend finds! It was hanging at the front of a "contemporary vintage" rack in Lenny & Me located in Wicker Park, with the label Adorable Cleopatra Dress and a marked down price tag, and after trying it on only to discover that it had pockets - I just couldn't resist! I love the holly hobby feel of this simple piece, the Egyptian inspired collar being completely composed of gold ribbon that can be found in any local craft store, and the back tying with a simple set of gold tassels. I thought of going all black with black loafers or boots, but lately I have been rocking these boots because they match the Turquoise and Caicos nail polish I have on my hands. 

Cleopatra Dress: Lenny & Me: Cardigan: J.Crew Outlet; Tights: Target;
Boots: Boutique in Florence, Italy; Rings: SFMOMA 

I love the retro yet chic feel to this dress & feel myself inspired by some of my icons Elizabeth Taylor and Edie Sedgwick. Plus, it's an unusual piece that I can dress up for work, but also wear as a casual knocking around town go-to look.

Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra/ Edie Sedgwick

All in all, I think this dress is a winner.

13 October 2010

Things I'm Feeling as of Late

The water cooler at work, Honeycrisp Apples, Turquoise and Caicos by Essie, 
Melt Away Stress Body Wash, Season 2 of The OC, and Knitting

11 October 2010

Pumpkin Butter & Honey Crisp Apples

Currently Listening To: October 10 [Annual Mix, 2010 Edition]
Currently Reading: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

This weekend was really fantastic! Friday night I went to the 50th anniversary screening of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" at The Music Box and it was one of the best things I've done in a long long time. I've never seen "Psycho" before and for being from 1960, it was really scary. Mari was freaking out while simultaneously having a major crush on Norman Bates. We snuck giant slices of pizza in to the theater, and shivered with excitement. It was awesome.

Saturday Mom and I walked up Michigan Avenue to get my haircut at Ulta, and then went to Heaven on Seven for a late lunch. I am obsessed with their gumbo and fried green tomatoes - and I just discovered that they have green river in their soda fountain, so it was a pretty delicious meal all around. We stopped by The Art Institute to see the Jitish Kallat installation on the Grand Staircase, and mourned the absence of the Caillebotte, before walking back home. It was the perfect day to be outside, high 70's and sunny!

After being downtown, we headed to Wicker Park for Vintage Heaven where I found an absolutely darling handmade embellished cardigan, and visited the Archives booth, which had some really great framed photographs and a lot of scarves that I regret not buying - my scarf collection is out of control right now.

Yesterday the family decided that we wanted out of the city because of the overall congestion caused by the Chicago Marathon. We scoped out some apple orchards, piled in the car, drove to Woodstock, Illinois... only to discover that apple picking season ended last week!! But never fear, pecks of honey crisp apples were for sale, as were pumpkins of all shape size and color, so we didn't go home empty handed. And now our house is decked out in fall cheer!

We also found a fantastic antique store where I scored some loot. I think I need to begin photographing the good second hand things I come across, any second opinions??

Dress: Some Store in WV; Boots: Moos [William's Shoes]; Scarf & Necklace: Thrifted
Siblings on a really big chair / Mari and a red Maple

08 October 2010


DIY: Cowl Neck Scarf

For the longest time I have been in search of the perfect scarf. I lived in Italy for a semester and spent countless hours scouring markets looking for pashmina, patterned, and silk scarves - some of which I love love love dearly. I made a trek to the silk section of the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, finding some pretty numbers as well, but nothing that simply was, well, ME. And then I remembered something that I am embarrassed to say I forgot... I KNOW HOW TO KNIT. I taught myself how to knit (and embroider) when I was fifteen and have since become so busy with life-in-general that I honestly filed knitting away as a "phase" I went through. And just recently it dawned on me. Instead of daydreaming about the perfect scarf, why not make it myself. Pick out the yarn, find the pattern I like the most, and just do it. So that's what I'm up to right now.

After navigating my way through countless blogs and patterns, I stumbled upon this beauty! 
Burberry Inspired Cowl Neck / Pattern Copyrighted by Julianne Smith
Julianne Smith of The Garter Girl saw a scarf similar to this one in Instyle Magazine, selling for $750, and figured that she could make her own version of it for a fraction of the price. After cracking the code on this number, she generously published the pattern online HERE! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Also, a coworker just told me about ravelry.com which is full to the brim of great patterns, photographs, and project ideas for knitting. This pattern is on there, as well as dozens of photos of this scarf that people have made for themselves using different variations of color, yarn, and cabling. AWESOME. 

07 October 2010

Fancy That: Miranda July

For my inaugural Fancy That post, I couldn't help but pick a woman who I find myself inspired by on a daily basis. She's an artist, writer, director, film maker, musician, poet, actress - Jill-of-all-trades.

I was introduced to Miranda July back in 2006 when I saw Me You and Everyone We Know for the first time. The simple cinematography as well as the glimpses into the lives of each character expresses true human emotion in the most honest way. The film holds an autobiographical feel to it, while maintaining moments of pure poetic fiction. The way in which she discusses the issue of emotional disconnect due to advances in technology as well as her thoughts on love and heartbreak are profoundly beautiful and absolutely relatable to our current blogging/tweeting/tumblin/sms-ing generation. Not to mention that she is an artist trying to get her work shown in a museum, and the curator so compelled by her hardworking ethic loses sight of why she's working in a museum housing incredible art. I can't tell you how many times I've seen it, but I can tell you that you will enjoy it.

A side note: my dream tattoo is ))<>((

Click photograph to view video clip.
My best friend Adam urged be to read this work by Miranda July insisting that it would become my new favorite book - and he was pretty much dead on. Quick little short stories capturing those moments that occur when we aren't even paying attention. Quirky and whimsical, each one of these stories stands on its own yet somehow fits perfectly into this anthology of works. Stories from this book also serve as inspiration for some of Kathy's art.

Learning To Love You More is a year long project conceptualized by Miranda July and a group of other artists - but had executed by anyone from anywhere interested in submitting. A series of assignments listed on the website would be carried out by the participants, then documented and submitted the website. This book is a culmination of the projects and assignments completely by contributers around the world, and is one of my favorite possessions. The book is an inspiration and a revelation.

Last fall, Vice Magazine featured photographs of Miranda July inspired by the extras in major motion pictures. She was styled by Vice and photographed by Roe Ethridge. My favorite is the photograph of her as an extra from Grease, she just POPS.

I love this woman.

Fancy That

Inspired by fellow bloggers' weekly & monthly themed posts such as The Style File, Music for Your Monday at Little Boat, and Top Six Picks, I realized that my blog as well as my readers could definitely benefit from some regular features. While brainstorming ideas, I realized that four years of art history, countless more following writers and artists, as well as being a film buff and a foodie leave me with ample material to write about. I wanted to leave my options open, so I'm titling these entries Fancy That, because they're simply about things I fancy!

I hope you enjoy, I know I will!

05 October 2010

Nice Stems

Currently Listening To: Alopecia by Why?
Currently Reading: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

After reading the Wam Bam! Check Out Those Gams! post over at Quintessentially Quirky I couldn't help but find subconscious inspiration by my daily visit to the closet followed by my morning walk to work. Located about three blocks from my house is the fantastic sculpture installation at the south end of Grant Park entitled Agora by the artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. It's a series of 106 nine foot tall iron cast headless leggy sculptures. I have always been partial to this installation, and find myself walking through it sometimes thinking about how isolated and sad they make feel, before pausing to look at the skyline and then continuing on my way. It's a powerful work, and I am very lucky to have it only a few blocks from my front door.

Vintage Sears Button-up: Antique Mall [Galesburg]; Chambray Jumper: Darling Vintage Etsy;
Tights: Zara; Loafers: Cole Haan Outlet Store; Necklace: Thrifted

03 October 2010

One Day In Chicago

Currently Reading: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Currently Listening To: Unbearable by Paul Baribeau

Clay came to visit this weekend, but due to the short notice of his trip & coordinating both of our very busy schedules he was only able to be in Chicago for one day! I spent Friday evening scoping out activities for our weekend so that we wouldn't waste a moment. 

Friday night we went to the new theater near my house, The Showplace Icon, to see The Social Network. I was pumped for this movie for a few reasons 1) Jesse Eisenburg, 2) Justin Timberlake, 3) FACEBOOK, 4) Secret Societies at Harvard, 5)I love going to the movies - not to mention all of the guys in this movie are dorky hot. Also, the little boy from Jurassic Park was in this all grown up, and it was kind of a relief because I've been quite concerned about the child actors from that movie. Looks like he's doing fine. The movie was hilarious, fun to watch, informative, and just plain awesome. If you're thinking of seeing it GO SEE IT.

We were out pretty late Friday night, so sleeping in was on our agenda Saturday. I can't remember the last time I slept in past 11 AM. Weird.

We got breakfast at Heaven on Seven in the Garland Building, and I definitely overate. Gumbo, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Onion Rings - I was in heaven. Not to mention the lunch was paid for with a gift card from my Mom (thanks Mom!). 

After lunch we headed north to The Music Box to catch the 3:00 screening of Howl. Clay just read Howl in one of his Lit classes, and was pretty pumped to see the filmic rendition of the poem, I was excited to see James Franco do Ginsburg and was pleasantly surprised by a wonderful appearance from John Hamm. I was surprised by the animated segments, but found Franco's performance fantastic and the telling of the story in good fashion. The costumes were great, and I found myself lusting over the interior decor of Ginsburg's apartment - cozy, kitschy, vintage. That's exactly what I picture my own future apartment looking like.

After Howl, Clay and I stopped by Guthrie's Tavern in Wrigleyville for a couple of beers and some good old fashioned game playing. If you're looking for a bar in Chicago that isn't full of bros in backwards caps and blasting Lady Gaga - this is your place. Dim lights, a floor to ceiling rack of games, delicious beers on tap, and a gigantic binder of takeout menus. Ben and I went there after The Cremaster Cycle and had baked potatoes delivered to our table. I love this bar. 
Jacket: EDC [Rinascente, Firenze]; Oatmeal Pullover: Uniqlo [NYC], Pillowcase Dress: American Apparel,
Tights: Zara [Firenze], Boots: Thrifted, Silk Scarf: Thailand, Beret: Gap, Necklace/Earrings: Thrifted
Yesterday was pretty chilly, with a biting wind and spurts of rain and drizzle, which makes perfect weather for a bowl of ramen at Urban Belly. We got in right before it got busy, shared a bowl of the house ramen with pork belly, wrinkle beans, and an order of Chinese eggplant that blew our minds. And after dinner we met up with Grace at The Rainbo Club for a night of cheap PBR's, photoboothing, and listening to the best music from high school. I love a bar that will play Radiohead, Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips and Neutral Milk Hotel all night long - not to mention that those are the bands that Clay and I were listening to when we began to fall in love. It was a rainy, cold, and all around perfect day. Thanks for sharing it with me boo!

02 October 2010

The Social Network

Currently Listening To: People Who Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People In the World by Andrew Jackson Jihad
Currently Reading: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

So work has been going well. This past week had moments when I didn't really feel all that busy, but Friday was nuts. A group of the interns from this summer came and joined me for lunch at The Garden Cafe at AIC, and Mary H. started her first official day in the office with Development!! It's so nice to know that there's someone I know right downstairs from me once a week! Plus, this weekly institution of get-togethers has been something to look forward to! I also had to put together this shipment of gifts that are being UPSed to London over the weekend, and it was quite a process. Customs forms are confusing! And brown packing tape is really weird and cool. And rolling a heavy dolly full of books through the office is so ridiculous!

I'm still looking for something more permanent, but as of right now I'm pretty content with AIC. It's a really interesting place to work regardless of the department - and everyone I've met has been really cool, welcoming, and funny. I actually think I understand what water-cooler-banter is all about now. The Donor Initiatives water cooler is really popular.

Okay enough about work. The weather has been warm/cool/warm/cool/HOT/cool so dressing is always an adventure. I realized that I've been banishing color from my wardrobe, so to institute a pop of color here and there, I've been opting to accessorize with bright scarves and brightly colored hand bags. 

Clay is in town this weekend, so I should hopefully have some nice pictures other than what I'm wearing. Have a fantastic weekend everyone. Oh, and go see "The Social Network". It was really interesting and funny!
Jacket: Thrifted [The Children's Place shhhh!]; Blouse: Gift [Old Navy];
Dress: A Random Store in WV; Leggings: Target,
Scarf: Thrifted; Key Necklace: Gift from Mom [Tiffany& Co.]; Flats: Cottonon [HK]