28 March 2012

Paul Baribeau and Ghost Mice at the Juicer

Flew from Indianapolis to Chicago to Boston. Taking pictures for this GIF somewhere over Indiana. Left Chicago just as the sun was going down. Flying over the buildings downtown and out across Lake Michigan. - gif via Paul Baribeau

As this self-made .gif suggests, Paul Baribeau is headed my way. He and Ghost Mice will be playing at the Juicer on Sunday night!!!

The Juicer
1238 N. Noble Chicago, IL
$7 (for three touring bands)
Come at 7:00, first band at 7:30 sharp (show will be done early!)
As always, no drinking, no drugs, no buffshit. Fo real.

Hope to see you there!!

Short Songs & Short Stories

The Magnetic Fields played a much anticipated two-day set of shows at The Vic on Monday and Tuesday. I had the great pleasure of attending last night's show, and was squealing with giddy delight when I discovered that their merch girl was Emma Straub! Emma's collection of short stories Other People We Married was hands-down my favorite book of 2011, so naturally, I had Emma sign my copy while at the show last night. And her husband took a photo of me getting my book signed! It was one of my first fan-girl moments!!

As for the musical stylings of  Magnetic Fields, the instrumentation of the short songs was sweet and beautiful - the cello added a solemnity to every song, but the dark humor and sheer wit of the band kept things light. I'd never heard their songs with such clarity before. A few of my faves were played, especially the sad and poignant "Come Back from San Francisco" and "Smoke and Mirrors". They also played some new material, and I left the show eager to hit Reckless Records to purchase their latest release "Love at the Bottom of the Sea".

All in all - last night was really wonderful, and I'm so glad my sister could accompany me. Oh, and the $20 we found in the cabride home was a lovely added bonus! ;)
  I'm the girl who had her book autographed by the merch girl/ author Emma Straub at the Magnetic Fields concert

27 March 2012

On the Kindness of Strangers

Last Friday, in a complete haze, I mistakenly left my wallet on the bus home. I went about the rest of my evening, until hours later, I had the realization that I didn't have my wallet and had been driving without a license. I went into a full-on panic, before calling the CTA Lost and Found, cancelling all of my credit cards, and asking my father to loan me some dough to get me through the weekend. I spent Saturday afternoon at the DMV getting a new driver's license. I spent the weekend making a list of the insurance cards, my library card, the countless irreplaceable knick nacks stashed in my wallet, counting my losses and wondering how I had been so darn careless.


And then came Monday.

On Monday I came into work with a fuzzy head and tired eyes. I told my coworkers that I was down on my luck, and so disappointed that my wallet was gone. My red message light was lit, I began to listen to the voice-mail and my heart started to pump more and more quickly as the message relayed that my wallet had been found and kept by a student at UIC. Everything was safe, they located me quite unexpectedly through my LinkedIn profile, and I could pick up my wallet as soon as possible.

I thought and thought - how lucky I am. Against all odds, in such a big place, all it took was the kindness of a stranger to find my wallet and make the effort to find me and reach out to me directly. How unexpected. Just after I'd angrily lost all hope in humanity - people came through. Chicago is a big city of strangers, but we are a community none-the-less. To the one who returned my wallet thank you for your honesty and compassion. You have restored my faith in humanity. I will never forget this.

This is the least I can do for getting my wallet returned!!

To continue my good luck, my department had me purchase a pool of Lotto tickets. The winner is picked tonight, and the prize is (gasp) $360 million!! Wish me luck!

This is what happens when a lost wallet is magically returned to its owner!!

26 March 2012

Andy MacDowell gif created by Paul Baribeau

The last week has been very trying for me. I just need to remember to take deep breaths, and know that in the end, everything is going to be fine. We are going to get through this. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive, helpful, and thoughtful. Couldn't have gotten through this without you.

23 March 2012

This Weekend: Randolph Street Market

The Randolph Street Market is this weekend! And what a perfect activity to spend on a weekend that is predicting rain. I haven't been to a sale in months, but I'm really looking forward to browsing the racks. Lately, my style has been shifting towards simple pieces, and minimal accessories (if any). I've also been wearing more button-ups, and really enjoy them as an alternative to my go-to cardigans. So I'll be on the look-out for some tame, cozy, timeless pieces.

Stop on by and say hello!

the space maya shopping jewel drawerjewel drawer2        

The Randolph Street Market
1340 W. Washington, Chicago, IL
 Inside Historic Plumbers Hall
 $10 at the gate / $8 with a pre-purchased ticket

Saturday, March 24, 2012 / Noon-6pm
Sunday, March 25, 2012 / 10am-5pm

Remember to bring cash, since a lot of the stalls are cash only!

21 March 2012

Pretty In Pink

While I'll admit to never having seen the movie Pretty In Pink, I couldn't help but snag the film title for this entry. Lately, my main obsession is everything pink. From eating grapefruit regularly, to wearing my Opening Ceremony platform booties daily, painting my nails various shades of pink, and using my new peachy pink Fjallraven knapsack - I seriously can't get enough of this color. So, rather than deny my current obsession, I'm going to embrace it!

Here's a little snippet of some pretty pink things!

via RetroReality
Farmers market
via widthofinspiration
photo (2)
gifs via damnafricawhathappened

via ashuriaimihoshi
via sheepishfish
My nails match my kanken!! @bbbenjamin @daysofdane

California Grub

Green bagels and coffee!
green bagels and coffee
my favorite routine: breakfast and the new yorker
blanching asparagus for risotto
Our change was 69 cents :-p
In N Out Burger with french fries animal style
photo (2)
my new favorite fruit!
Drinking coffee, reading the New Yorking, wearing a NASCAR shirt, listening to country music.
locally brewed coffee from the pannikin and an almond croissant
photo (1)
kumamoto oysters

When asked what my "agenda" was for my trip to California, naturally, the only word that came out of my mouth was "eat". Over the years of traveling to and from Southern California, I've grown to love and crave certain foods that I can only get there, especially In N Out Burger. I was heartbroken to discover that my favorite sandwich shop Soluntos closed months ago, but glad to say I did not go hungry. Between eating my weight in green bagels, and devouring as much fresh produce as possible, I think I did good. I even got some cooking in, having the chance to make my new favorite asparagus and green pea risotto for my family!! It was a hit!

20 March 2012

New Specs!

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting my eye doctor over at Village Eyecare, for what was a much prolonged check-up. I'm not sure if it was my alliance to my current Modo specs, or my ever-present fear of the glaucoma test (I just HATE that puff of air blown into my eyes), but I'd been putting off my annual check-up for far too long. While I waited for my doctor, I was drawn into the amazing selection of eye wear. And after my appointment, I tried on upwards of 20 pairs with my frames consultant!! It was pretty tough to pick just one pair. But since I've opted out of contact lenses this year, I decided it's time for some new frames and a pair of prescription sunglasses to send me stylishly into the summer.

And now I anxiously await the arrival of my frames for 14 business days!! I promise I will take photos as soon as they arrive!

19 March 2012

24th Birthday Wish List

movies wishlist birthday house birthday wishlist fashion birthday wishlist kitchen birthday wishlist  

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

It's hard to believe that I'm turning 24 in less than a month! I have never been this disciplined as far as tracking my wish list... or this lusty. In addition to some things that might be practical, useful, or perfect for me, I've also included a beautiful Hudson Bay blanket and Andy Warhol's Double Elvis heading to the action block in May for a meager $50 million. If you're gonna dream, you might as well dream big, right?

17 March 2012

Gone Fishin' - California

I'm currently away this weekend visiting family in California. Have a lovely weekend!!

16 March 2012


The men in my life photo-6 photo-5 photo spencer1
Spencer and I are ringing in six months today! It's hard to believe how quickly things have moved.

Spencer, thanks so much for working your way into my life, moving across the country to be with me, and being a constant source of entertainment. You inspire me in more ways than you can know, you motivate me to be the best possible version of myself. You are my rock. You are my favorite person and I can't imagine my life without you. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

15 March 2012

Now Entering My "Chorizo-Phase"

Chorizo, queso, guacamole tacos!
Well, it's safe to say that I've officially entered my "chorizo-phase" of my just-moved-out-diet. Kathy would cook it up almost every night and have tacos with fresh onions, cilantro, and lime mayo, but I guess I just didn't see the appeal... why make tacos when you can go around the corner to Los Comales?

On a whim two weeks ago, I picked up chorizo, the cutest little queso fresco package, and corn tortillas at the corner store near my house. After my first bite, I was off and running! I like to fry the chorizo with onion and Mexican oregano, then put it in toasted corn quesadillas, but have found that eating it with a fried egg and toast is an absolutely divine breakfast, and makes the entire house smells like a Mexican kitchen. And you can't beat it for the price! Last night I made homemade guacamole and dined like an absolute queen.

I know I'm not alone in my obsession - my housemate Maya is in love as well. She created a delicious chorizo hash with gnocci (in lieu of potatoes) and asparagus. On Monday night, there were six sticks of chorizo in the fridge! It's official, The Holiday Inn, now known as La Rosa Negra is obsessed with chorizo.

My Muses

AIC Lexie and Kelsey Back in February, I had the pleasure of spending a glorious Saturday afternoon with two of my all-time-favorite ladies, Lexie and Kelsey. We wandered through the galleries at the Art Institute, and I did my very best at giving a tour, though I'm a bit rusty!! And occasionally, it's hard not to let my taste filter into the tour.

See my opinion on Surrealism: "Now we are in surrealism...my least favorite thing EVER!"

But that said, there's something really wonderful about the kinds of conversations that happen in a gallery, and my two guests were not to disappoint. Lexie is a Knox graduate like myself, currently working as a school teacher - and the kinds of questions she asks are unparalleled. I feel proud to be an ambassador of the arts to her classroom! Kelsey is an artist and designer who's commentary reminds me of my days spent in the studio. And our conversation didn't end the galleries! We went for coffee afterward and literally had to peel ourselves from the table because the chatting was just that good.

Like an artist with their muse, I am completely inspired by these ladies. They are strong, independent, intelligent, hard-working women, and I am proud of who they are! Not to mention, they are wonderful friends and incredibly stylish. Thanks for a wonderful day, girls!!

14 March 2012

MINE: Fjällräven Kånken in Peach Pink

My nails match my kanken!! @bbbenjamin @daysofdane

I've been lusting after Dana's Fjällräven Kånken for months now, and Ben was kind enough to pick one up for me on his recent trip to NYC. Thanks so much! I will cherish this darling satchel from now until forever, beginning with my weekend trip to California!

07 March 2012

Titanic and Mies van der Rohe

Staney Tigerman The Titanic, 1978 

According to the Art Institute of Chicago, "Stanley Tigerman’s conceptual collage depicts Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Crown Hall for the Illinois Institute of Technology—which houses the School of Architecture—sinking into Lake Michigan. Tigerman’s work is a critique on the state of architectural pedagogy in Chicago and its environs in the late 1970s. By this time, the Postmodern movement was becoming a viable counterpoint to Mies’s Minimalist aesthetic and was being taught at other schools of architecture in the United States" (via source).

This photomontage perfectly combines my love of  the Titanic, with my love of architecture and Mies van der Rohe. Not to mention clouds, I love clouds. I would love to have a copy of this hanging in my apartment.

06 March 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup, ie the Love of my Life

I have only been in a few long term relationships in my life. They are with: 1) my hair stylist, 8 year; 2) Titanic, 15 years; and 3) tomato soup, my entire life. Over the years, I grew to know, trust, and love all of these things, letting them into a special place in my life. Tomato soup is something that I can always return to, knowing that no matter what, it will always taste good. It may accompany any kind of sandwich and salad, or simply stand alone - yet still be the only food I will want to eat for the rest of my life, forever. Simply put - I love tomato soup.

Years ago, my mom stumbled upon a recipe that has since found it's way into my heart, stomach, and memory. I can whip it up without even thinking, and every time it tastes like liquid perfection. I've made it with Roma tomatoes and fresh basil in Italy and with heirloom tomatoes from my own backyard, relishing each bite. I like to slow roast the tomatoes with garlic, which makes my house smell heavenly, and serve it up with crunchy gooey grilled cheese sandwiches. But anyway you eat it will result in a warm full tummy, I promise.

And now, with a watering mouth, I give you, Roasted Tomato Soup:
tomato soup
This soup was served up in my White Star Line replica china. Combining two loves: Titanic AND soup.

From Gourmet, 2003
Makes about 8 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 ¾ hour

Using plum tomatoes for this recipe will yield an intensely flavored soup — good for the chilly fall months — while other tomatoes make for a refreshingly lighter, more delicately flavored soup that is perfect for warm weather. The soups are equally delicious.

4 lb tomatoes, halved lengthwise

6 garlic cloves, left unpeeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
(you can substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian soup)
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Fresh basil and goat cheese to taste

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F.
  2. Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, layer in a large shallow baking pan and add garlic to pan. Drizzle tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes and garlic 1 hour, then cool in pan on a rack. Peel garlic. 
  3. Cook onion, oregano, and sugar in butter in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, and stock and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. 
  4. Purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids), then force through a sieve into cleaned pot, discarding solids. Stir in cream and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with your favorite cheese if you wish. Lately, I've been stirring in crumbled goat cheese!

05 March 2012

Artist Crush: Melissa Ann Pinney

I find that working in an art museum, being friends with artists, and dating an artist, result in me having a lot of crushes on artists (see: Miranda July, Curtis Mann, Ken Fandell, Spencer Sharp, etc.) What's more cumbersome than having this many crushes is keeping track of the work that I come across. It seems that every single day I'm discovering another person's work, changing my desktop background, and fantasizing about how I would furnish my dream home with work by so many amazing people. Yes, I would definitely hang a Jeff Wall in my living room, and hang a Warhol in my bathroom.

Bat Mitzvah Dance, Knickerbocker Hotel, (1991/2003)

Lately, I've really been crushing on the work of local photographer Melissa Ann Pinney. I stumbled upon her photographs when looking for images in our database having to do with the search terms "party" & "celebration". Don't ask, it's a long story. I was initially taken with Pinney's work for the color and time period. The film quality and color, as well as the attire of her subjects act as signifiers that date the work, correlating them within a time period that I relate to; the early 90's to present day. Pictures of people at parties and costume contests wearing big glasses and lots of blush not only look fun and fabulous, but give me a personal sense of nostalgia that sets me at ease.

cellar door series

Of the work that I've seen by Pinney, my favorite is a series which spans over a decade, of photographs of her daughter Emma standing perching upon the cellar of their home, titled the Cellar Door Series. I initially like these works for the composition, color and form - but upon discovering that they were serial, I couldn't help but love them more. These photographs are presented as a candid documentation of a girl becoming a woman, coming to terms with her identity through tropes such as style, posture, and pose. There is something so forward and incredibly stunning about these, watching a child mature with each click of the shutter.
Emma at Nine (Cellar Door), 2004 via source
Emma at Ten (Cellar Door), 2005 via source

Melissa Ann Pinney recently compiled and published a book of photographs that was released last month, titled Girl Ascending. Find it here!

Just in Case

I've had an iPhone since last July, and spent the last 8 months protecting it with a re-purposed wood skin by the company Recover. I received many compliments on it, and never even considered getting a new cover. But suddenly, it occured to me that one of the neat things about having an iPhone is the ability to constantly personalize it and change it - whether it be the surface appearance or the unique mixture of apps that one can utilize. So this past weekend, I peeled my skin off, and ordered a new cover that is refreshing!

iPhone 4 cover via Society6