31 March 2011

my blood bleeds purple and gold

Okay, so it's not exactly spring weather yet, but really I'm not complaining because spring is definitely happening in my closet. My room is a total mess from throwing this outfit together - but who cares, because I LOVE this look. And might I add that palette-wise it's reminiscent of several looks over at Carolyn's blog, one of my fellow Knox alums! In case you didn't know, Knox College's colors are purple and gold - which I find to be completely regal and totally compatible on most people! These colors work in all seasons, and have so many rich hues, it's hard not to fall in love with all things purple and gold.

Anyways, I snagged this snazzy coat from Nordstrom Rack, and might I say - I am offcially in love with shopping the sale rack at the end of every season. This coat is so soft, so warm, and so chic - I just wish I could wear it indoors!And did I mention that I bought it for a fraction of the initial $300 price tag?

Additionally, I am so into this manicure, it's not even funny. I have a such a great collection of polishes by OPI and Essie, that it's hard to just pick one color for my bi-weekly self-pampering manicure. Then I thought, why pick one color when I could go nuts and do many colors?! I'm really pleased with this manicure, and I'm super into the great color combos and patterns floating around the fashion blogosphere, for rils. What colors are you rockin' on your nailz??

PS Would it be a worthy cause to reactivate Ashley and I's old nail blog?

Coat: Free People from Nordstrom Rack; Shirt: Romeo and Juliet from Loehmann's; Skirt: Thrifted; Sweater: Target; Tights: Claire's; Shoes: Tom's; Ring: Vintage Heaven; Bracelet: Tiffany & Co.; Let's Make Out necklace: Need Supply Co.; Tote: The Gap

30 March 2011

Big Star Taco

I finally jumped on the Big Star bandwagon this summer. Whether it's grabbing a late night taco over cool margaritas on their porch seating before hitting Rainbo Club, or lounging over a leisurely brunch of tacos and guacamole before heading to Buffalo Exchange, I am always up for a taco and a marg here. It's got such a great vibe, a really solid, simple, and reasonably priced menu, and some of the most no-nonsense margaritas I have ever had. If you haven't been here and happen to be in Chicago, try the pork shoulder taco! And the fish taco! And their take on a hot dog. Shoot, just try it all! It's all good!


1) Little Windmill Earrings via Archives Chicago: When I saw these listed on the Archives Chicago etsy, I just about lost it. Not only do I love all things miniature, but little windmills are one of my favorite things (I know, I'm a freak). In the blink-182 song All The Small Things, Tom Delonge calls his girlfriend his "my little windmill" and I just love it. So when I saw these, I knew I had to have them. Plus, having them delivered to my desk at the museum was an extra perk! If you haven't already visited Lisa's shop, PLEASE DO! She has a great collection of goods, and I'm all for supporting local stores and vintage sellers. Lisa is currently pursuing her dream of opening her own vintage shop, and I am seriously in awe of her. YOU GO GIRL.

2) Margherita Pizza at Keste Pizzeria, NYC: One of my only requirements on my very loose agenda for NYC was to eat a damn good piece of pizza. By the time I'd reached the eleventh hour of my trip, my tummy still hadn't had the pizza I craved, so Damon of StarscreamNY* offered to take me to Keste Pizzeria since he'd been meaning to try it. The ingredients were really high quality, and you could tell that the focus on having the best and freshest ingredients on this pizza is what made everything so damn delish. Damon got a really rich pizza, with a white cream sauce, squash, and cheese on it - which was delicious, but a little bit much for this Chicago girl. But seriously, if you are in NYC, please try this place. You won't regret it.  (*Sidenote: StarscreamNY was just on the season finale of MTV Skins and they totally brought the house down. WAY TO BE FAMOUS BOYZ!!! If you haven't heard them, please go to their website!)

3) Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures at MOMA: When I read that my trip to NYC was coinciding with the Warhol film exhibition at MOMA I couldn't have been more excited. I wrote my thesis on his experimental films, and went on a grant funded trip to the Warhol Museum to view Horse - so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to view Blow Job, Kiss, Sleep, and the Screen Tests. As we approached the opening, I saw Silver Clouds floating near the ceiling, and a projector screening a 16 mm screen test of Ethel Scull. Blow Job, Sleep, and a short film on the Factory were my first encounter in a small gallery - then I turned the corner entering a giant gallery space with 12 enormous screens depicting 12 different screen tests simultaneously. The lighting in the gallery was soft, and had a silver glow to it - just as Andy would have intended. And then at the end of the rectangular gallery space, was the opening to a theater where Kiss was being screened. My heart couldn't stop fluttering the entire time I was in this exhibition, I'm getting goosebumps writing about it! This might be one of the most memorable exhibitions I have ever visited, and we owe it to Andy, MOMA, and the Warhol Foundation!!

4) Opening Ceremony for Barney's Boots: My trip to NYC also happened to coincide with the Barney's Warehouse Sale - a rare treat for me! I knew I wanted to splurge and get myself a ridiculously fabulous and expensive pair of shoes or a leather bag - and upon walking into the sheer chaos of the warehouse sale, I knew somewhere deep in that mess the perfect item was calling out to me. I dove into the shoe section, at one point carrying 12 single shoes in the basket of my arms, looking for a place to try on my shoes before requesting their mates. I stumbled upon these gorgeous cranberry Opening Ceremony for Barney's boots, and after slipping my right foot in, I was sold. I adore these shoes, and I have to say that pushing and shoving my way through this sale was a fabulous experience and completely worth it.

5) Let's Make Out Necklace from Need Supply Co: I saw this featured on DREAMING OF PALM TREES and sort of fell in love with it. I remember I used to make necklaces and bracelets with the names of boys I had crushes on in high school, hoping that maybe subliminally they'd totally fall for me. This necklace is playful and simple, and can only be read from up close - make-out-distance if you will. I love the thin brass, how quickly it got a bit of a tarnished patina, and the fact that it's a heart shape. Ask anyone, I have been living in this necklace.

6) Uniqlo Boat-neck ShirtAfter I saw this shirt on HeartCharlie, I knew I had to make a trip into Uniqlo. I know I know, everyone has their opinions on stores like Uniqlo, H&M, Zara, etc. - but honestly if I need some basic staples for my wardrobe, I would pick Uniqlo any day. It's such a shame we don't have one in Chicago (yet...). I love the way this shirt fits, how it can be worn with any pant, or skirt, and still keep the look really chic. Plus, I haven't met a person who a boat-neck stripe doesn't look good on. In fact, I liked this shirt so much that I bought it in two colors and even purchased a matching one for my sister. Serious love of this product.

28 March 2011

Casual Saturday Afternoon

So after my morning jaunt at the Farnsworth House, I threw together this outfit for a nice evening in the city with my dad. We popped by the Gruen Galleries to see some art, and so he could introduce me to different people that he worked with to install new work in his apartment. They saw a few of my paintings hanging in his place, and were really eager to talk with me about my work - which was really strange and exciting. I had a really nice conversation with one of the men that worked at the gallery, about different painters working in London in the 60's, and how my simplicity and focus on line, shape, and color really resembles a group of artists in the Chelsea School. He even let me borrow a William Scott book full of colorful plates of still-life paintings! I'm really hoping to get back in to painting, sketching, watercoloring, photographing - I just need to get into the habit. And this positive reinforcement might be just the kind of push I need.

Five Pears, William Scott, 1976, oil on canvas
Bowl, Eggs, and Lemons, William Scott, 1950, oil on canvas
After the gallery visit, we stopped by my dad's place to see the art he'd had installed - and it was pretty surreal to see my work next to my cousin's, next to really great photography by Herb Nolan, and the sculptural paintings by Mike Elsass. After, we talked art, architecture, and jazz over drinks and dinner at the bar at La Sardine. It couldn't have been a better night.

Pants: Levi's; Tee: Loehmann's; Button-Up: Zara; Shoes: Opening Ceremony for Barney's; Bucket Bag: Vintage Heaven; Earrings: Gift from India; Necklace: Need Supply Co.

27 March 2011


I finally started my docent training at the Farnsworth House, and I happened to luck out on attending my training the weekend of Mies' 125th birthday. Granted, it was completely chilly and pretty muddy - there was nothing better than getting out of the city, seeing the daffodil bulbs coming up through the ground, and actually feeling the heat coming up through the travertine floors inside of the house. I'm in love with this place, and I really look forward to seeing how it grows and changes as I build up a relationship with the house, the history, and the people that come from so far to see this special structure.

And now, without further ado, I give you pictures of one of my favorite places on earth. The Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois.

"Whatever, I'm fabulous! I love being me!"

Sadly I am embarrassingly behind on blogging - but with very good reason! I have had a steady flow of visiting friends, including Lexie and Kathryn, and Devin Mills! I've had such a good/busy last week that it's been impossible to keep up with all of the cool things I've done and all the delicious places I've eaten. 

Last Saturday was one of those days that's a little too perfect. Woke up early, blogged, went to Eleven City Diner for breakfast and bloody marys. Rode the train to Wicker Park for some shopping at Reckless Records where I found a copy of the soundtrack for Storytelling by Belle and Sebastian on vinyl! We stopped by Buffalo Exchange where I found two pairs of shoes, and we also visited the boots I have been lusting after at John Fluevog. We then went to Vintage Heaven where I scored a really great ring and a wonderful vintage bucket bag from Mexico. Didn't you hear? Bucket bags are going to be all the rage this spring and summer!!

After all that shopping, we'd only sort of worked up enough of an appetite to go to Hot Doug's, where we spent two hours waiting in line for our dogs and duck fat fries. I know, waiting in line for two hours in the cold without hats, gloves, or socks sounds pretty miserable, but we kept it real catching up on gossip and life talk. The two hours actually seemed to fly by. And we left Hot Doug's completely stuffed and satisfied. We went to two Zara's to find a dress for Lexie, and then off to the Gap where I found a darling nightgown and became obsessed with the idea of wearing a wireless bra (Note: This is life-changing). Then after all this, we went back home for dark n' stormies, applied makeup and lipstick, and headed out to two birthday parties in Logan Square and Uki Village, only to return home at 2 in the morning. All in all, it was a PERFECT DAY. Thanks Lexie and Kathryn!!!

Brunch at Eleven City Diner

Duck fat fries, cheese sauce, Chicago Style dog, corn dog, and plenty of soda!

19 March 2011

Lexie, Kathryn, Ben, and Some Big Bowls of Ramen

Lexie and Kathryn arrived in Chicago yesterday! After work Ben and I went to my place, freshened up, and we drank some Dark & Stormies as we began to catch up on the last 6-ish months with L and K. Boy there was so much good girl talk between the four of us! After little persuasion we decided to go to Urban Belly for some delicious bowls of Ramen. K and L had both read about my Urban Belly obsession over here on my blog, and it made perfect sense to go there and nosh on the real thing. There was a twenty minute wait when we got there, but knowing that UB is BYOB, we decided to wander around the neighborhood in search of libations, which turned out to be a major fail. But after we were seated and settling into our soups, a friendly guy at our communal table offered us two bottles of his already opened wine!! What a wonderful surprise!

The food was great, the company was even better. We talked blogs, boyz, school, jobs, shopping, basically a little bit of everything. Oh and when we got home, we put on an episode of The OC, and us ladies painted our nails.


Urban Belly House Ramen, Wrinkle Beans, Kim Chi, Coke

PS: To those of you sending me messages, emails, and commenting on here with such amazing feedback, THANK YOU. You have no idea how much it means to me to hear your thoughts, and to know that you are out there READING MY BLOG. I love you all very much. Seriously.

18 March 2011

Cool Chicago Weekend Things

Catherine Deneuve: Portrait of a French Icon at The Music Box Theater

Vintage Heaven at Vintage Heaven

GIGANTIC FULL MOON this Saturday evening

Saint Patrick's Day (and how I have too much holiday spirit)

Having brought in a pie for Pi Day on Monday (3.14) which we tried to eat at 1:59 (3.14159), and being the only one in my office wearing green yesterday, it became apparent that I am the most festive lady, willing to celebrate any holiday at any cost. Last week I forced myself to eat two slices of King Cake on Mardi Gras just so I could have a chance at finding the baby in my slice(s). And on Halloween, I was the only one who tried to incorporate a costume into their business casual look.

In that vain, I thought I'd briefly share my 2011 Saint Patrick's Day look with you all. I debated between wearing a lovely green tank with some slacks or a skirt, but then opted for this wonderful dress which spends far too much time in my closet. To keep it festive, as well as work appropriate, I styled the dress with a cream blouse, and for a final touch of Irish spirit accessorized with these orange dangling earrings. I also decided to pump up my look with a splash of green eyeshadow from Urban Decay - because let's face it, on St. Patrick's Day, it's go green or go home.

The weather on St. Paddy's Day in Chicago was absolutely gorgeous, with highs near 70! I barely needed this jacket, AND I was able to eat outside for the first time this year. Eating a yummy packed lunch facing the Crown Fountain and Michigan Avenue was the perfect way to spend my lunch break. And after work, I went home to clean my room, and prepare for Lexie and Kathryn's arrival. Opting to stay in and watch John and Mary, rather than drinking green beer and doing karaoke was probably the best decision I've made in a long while!

How did you spend your Paddy's Day? And what did you wear?
Jacket: Target Blouse: H&M; Dress: Top Shop; Leggings: UO; Shoes: Chinatown; Earrings: Gift from sister; Eye Shadow: Urban Decay

17 March 2011

Plaid for All Seasons

So I know a post on my strange trip to Milwaukee is in order, but I thought I'd share with you one of the best thrift store finds I have lucked out on in a while. In Milwaukee my cousin and I had a very simple agenda: take pictures of cool things, and go to a thrift store. I saw that there was a giant Value Village right outside of downtown, and having heard so many amazing things about this chain of thrift stores, I thought I'd have no problem finding some goods.

Boy was I WRONG. The place was totally over-picked, there was almost nothing of value in the store, which was ironic given the name, no? I scoured the coats, and found a pretty sweet rain slicker with plaid flannel lining, I stumbled upon some weird mugs, and snagged a cheesy leopard print skirt (I'm CLASSY). And then I found this amazing skirt. A gorgeous vintage rainbow plaid wool, handmade, and from what I'm assuming is Hong Kong based on the Chinese lettering on the inside of the skirt. I normally get turned off by dresses and skirts that are longer given my small stature, but seeing Clare from Between Laundry Days really work the maxi dress and the long skirt, I thought, what the hell? Why no try this look out?

And I couldn't be happier with the way this look came together. Sticking with black kept the outfit in check, while the funny barrette and weird Chinese slip-ons kept it whimsical, and very "me". Not to mention if you get close enough to read my heart charm, it says "let's make out", which is very me as well.

I felt chic and fabulous in this outfit. I suggest taking fashion risks more regularly, because when it works, it really works, and it feels like a million bucks.

Skirt: Thrifted; Shirt: Petite Bandeau; Leggings and Belt: UO; let's make out Necklace: Need Supply Co; Shoes: Chinatown
So today is Saint Patrick's Day! What are you wearing? And do you have any big plans? I'm going to a bar in Pilsen to do karaoke and drink green beer. A fun way to kill time as I anxiously await the arrival of Lexie and Kathryn tomorrow for a fun fashion, art, and food-filled girls weekend in the city!!

15 March 2011

A Casual Afternoon with Coach

Sweater: Boutique in Florence; Dress; American Apparel; Leggings: Target; Mary Janes: Chinatown; Earrings: India; Tiffany Bracelet: Bat Mitzvah gift; Scarab Ring: H&M; Shades: Claire's; Vintage Coach Purse: My mom's; Scarf: Found on ground in Whole Foods Parking Lot
Shortly after I snapped photos of my last outfit, a friend sporadically enticed me with a trip to Chinatown. A fan of strange cheap things, bizarre candies, and lo mein, I naturally responded with a yes! But what to wear for a casual afternoon wandering around Chicago's quaint Chinatown? Though spring is just around the corner, I'm not quite ready to give up my blacks and browns (thanks Leandra!!), but by throwing in a pop of color, this look really warms up. I'm really feeling pink these days, and taking inspiration from All This Happiness, I found that a nice magenta lip stain can totally amplify an outfit, taking it from comfy to chic, because let's face it, I'm just wearing leggings and a little cotton dress.

In the area of all things pink, I painted my nails two shades of it (pale and magenta). I whipped out my tattered pink canvas Mary Janes, and threw on my gigantic conversation-piece scarab ring. And to add one more touch of class, my mom's old Coach bag and my Tiffany bracelet make this look feel complete. Now the major obstacle - not getting lipstick on my face and teeth! Any tips for keeping your outfits classy and chic?