Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This pleated maxi skirt from TopShop.  Fall is just around the corner, which means no more skirts and bare legs, which makes me sad.  But with this gorgeous, rich colored skirt, it could feel like Summer just a bit longer!

p.s. The Chicago TopShop is just one week away from opening!! Eeek!


I'm attending a Kentucky Derby themed wedding shower in a few weeks, and instead of going the traditional route with a big fancy hat, I've decided to channel my inner Kate Middleton and get me a big fancy fascinator!

Kate in a fab feather fascinator via Living Livlier
There's so many gorgeous ones out there!  Here's just a few that I like.

From ModCloth
From 2Plus1 via Etsy
A bit out of my price range, but I love this one from ASOS!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chicago Hot Spot: Unabridged Bookstore

My absolute favorite bookstore in the city has to be Unabridged Books.  It's never too crowded and it's always quiet which makes book browsing much more enjoyable.  They also post hand-written notes on some of their favorite books, giving you mini-reviews and recommendations on books right in front of you!  I've actually bought a few books from them just based on those reviews and their "staff favorites."  But the best part of this book store is the sale room.  They have tons of books on sale all the time and for as low as $5.  It's such a great deal, and they are good books!  I just bought Paris in Mind from them over the weekend (on sale!) and I can't wait to dive into it.
Photo via Indie Bound

I highly recommend stopping in this adorable bookstore.  They also give you a bookmark with each book purchased so you can start reading on the way home.  AND there's a delicious gelato shop a few doors down, which is an added bonus!

Shoe Love

These are my new favorite shoes.  They were a pleasant surprise at Marshalls a few weeks ago and I scooped them up at a discount price of just $25!!  I absolutely adore them and feel so glamorous when I have them on.  Thank you Madden Girl!
You can buy them here!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Disney Vogue

I love seeing all the Disney Princesses transformed into such glamorous ladies!  Check out these illustrations of each of them on their on Vogue covers done by Dante.  He even tied in the cover articles to go along with each!

Found via Coco Perez, where you can find even more Princess covers!

Vintage Top

I am absolutely loving this vintage top from Hispaniola's Etsy shop!  Anything this sparkly needs to live permanently in my closet.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vintage Skirt

There's a big vintage store in Chicago that I pass all the time but have never taken the time to explore.  So yesterday it was gorgeous outside and I decided to venture there after work and check it out.  I'm so glad I did!  I didn't spend too much time there, I do plan on returning soon when I have more time to really dig through everything, but I did leave with one gem.  This $8 (!!) leopard print maxi skirt!  So cool, right?!

Wouldn't it look perfect with a white tee tucked in and a chunky gold necklace? I love the look of this one from Etsy!

From the Etsy shop of JerushaRuby

House Warming Gift Ideas

I recently went to visit my sister in Iowa to see her new (and awesome) apartment.  Before I went, I did some searching for the perfect house-warming gift and came up with several ideas (I ended up going with the slate cheese-board which went over quite well!)

1. Vintage-esque picnic basket they can use to explore the parks in their new neighborhood.
2. "Cheers" wine glasses to congratulate them on their new home. 
3. Perforated Napkins which can also be used as placemats or a table runner! Perfect way to add a splash of color to their new kitchen.
4. Slate Cheese Board for when they invite you over for dinner parties.
5. Adorable Wizard of Oz inspired There's No Place Like Home Print to add some whimsy to their place.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I have been looking into options to update the backsplash in our kitchen for some time now.  I've found a lot of great ideas, but I couldn't decide on anything.  Tiling seemed like the most attractive option, but also the most difficult and expensive.  So we decided to just paint.  But then I couldn't decide on a color - too many options!  Then I came across this photo on Apartment Therapy of one reader's bathroom which she stenciled.  It is so gorgeous!

Photo via Apartment Therapy
I decided this was the perfect answer.  So I officially purchased the same stencil today from Royal Design Studio and I'll be heading to Home Depot over the weekend to purchase paint.  We are definitely going with a gray and yellow combo.  Maybe something along the lines of Behr's Chickadee and Martha Stewart's Mushroom.  I'll let you know how it goes...

Don't Mind if I do...

Found via Pinterest

Big Scrabble

An incredibly smart California woman built this big backyard Scrabble in her own backyard! Seriously so cool.  I'd have lawn parties all the time!

Found via Sunset.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rainy Days

It's a rainy Tuesday in Chicago.  It makes me wish I was curled up in bed at home with my book. I don't mind the rain so much, especially when it looks like these pretty pictures.


All images via Pinterest.

Headache Remedies

For some reason, I've been getting really bad headaches now and then lately.  I've tried several different remedies (cold compresses, Excedrin, naps, tea, etc.) but nothing seems to work too well.  I came across this headache oil from 21 drops.  I've never heard of them before, but they seem really awesome.  They make all kinds of therapeutic essential oils for anything from headaches and colds, to hangovers and PMS (I could probably get some use out of all of those!).  I'm very intrigued and I think I might just have to try their Headache Oil.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Even though there is a Zara just a 10 minute walk from my office, I was SO pumped to hear (via Fashionista) that they will soon be offering online shopping in the USA!  Now if only H&M would do the same...

Image via Zara

Umbrella Love

For some reason, I have an obsession with umbrellas.  I think I have at least 5 of them and I always find myself wanting more.  There is nothing better on a gloomy and rainy day than a bright and cheerful umbrella! When I saw this heart-shaped umbrella on Infmetry's website today, I immediately started drooling.  I've never seen a shaped umbrella like this and I think I just might have to have it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Red Jeans

Ever since I heard my girl Kate bought a pair of red jeans, I feel like everyone has started wearing them and I've been dying for a pair of my own.  Her's (and pretty much everyone else's) are J Brand, which, although they are gorgeous, they are a bit out of my desired price range.  But today I was browsing the blog Made By Girl, and she posted a photo of herself in red jeans that looked just like the J Brand ones, only they were from Hot Topic!  Who what have guessed that?!  They are an absolute steal at just $29!! Unfortunately they are down to only size 00 and 1 left on the website, but I'll be checking back periodically to see if they re-stock.  The real question is, when are we finally going to see Kate wearing them?!

Hot Topic's Tripp Red Skinny Jeans
J Brand Skinny Leg Bright Red Jeans

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Road Trip!

I'm taking off tonight for the weekend.  Heading to Des Moines to visit my sister.  On the to-do list: seeing my sister's new apartment, lunch with an old friend, drinks, my sister's cooking, and most importantly - the Iowa State Fair.  The to-do list for the fair is even longer (air brushed t-shirts, foot-long corn dogs, deep fried snickers bars, take my picture in a big tractor, see the Butter Cow, prize-winning farm animals, etc. etc.).  Very much looking forward to it!  But in order to get there, I will be taking a 6 hour bus ride tonight so I'm stocked with all the necessities:

1. Trader Joe's dried mangos for a little evening snack.
2. My fully charged iPod so I can snooze in peace.
3. My infinity scarf, because I can wrap it all around me and you know those big buses get cold!  Mine is a homemade gift from a friend, but this one comes from American Apparel
4. A new read from the library.  Hope it's good!
5. The latest issue of People Magazine so I can keep up to date on all my celeb gossip while I'm away

Project Runway Night!

I don't know how they do it each season, but there's only been 3 episodes and I'm already SO into this season of Project Runway.  My favorite thing ever on the show is when they do the "unconventional" challenges where they have to make looks out of strange materials.  So obviously I was obsessed with the second challenge this season where they raided a pet store for materials for their look. So much fun to watch! I'm just amazed at the things they come up with.  Although I loved the top 3 looks, I had a few other favorites that I didn't think got enough praise.

Anya's Pet Store Look

Kimberly's Pet Store Look

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School

Everywhere I go lately there are back to school specials out.  It reminds me of when I was little. Shopping for school supplies in August was one of my favorite things to do.  Although I wasn't a huge fan of actually going back to school, there was something about picking out the most colorful folders and pencils and other supplies that was too much fun.  Over on the blog One Charming Party, they give the most incredible ideas for throwing a Back to School Party!  I would have been wayyy more into the idea of going back to school if I got to attend one of these!  I love the colorful pencil erasers you can scoop out of the jar, but the pencil cake has to be the coolest thing here!  Wouldn't that be the best teacher gift ever?!?

See all of her Back to School Party ideas here!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chicago Hot Spot: Pret a Manger

I was SO excited when Pret a Manger opened in Chicago last year, but unfortunately it's not all that close to my office so I often forget about it.  I know I talk about it a lot, but I haven't actually gotten to eat it in a while.  But when I was out running errands on my lunch break today, I spotted those red and white stars from afar and ran towards them as fast as the crowded sidewalks would allow.  Their baguette sandwiches are to die for.  And although the smart side of my brain told me to get the mini baguette, I sprung for the big size complete with a side of potato chips.  Quite an indulgent lunch, but worth every calorie.
My ham and cheese baguette.  No, I don't share.

Racket Mirrors

I adore these gorgeous mirrors made out of vintage tennis rackets from Velvet Ribbon, an online boutique from the UK. I'm not much of a sports person, especially when it comes to decor, but these I could get on board with!  I think they would look perfect in an entry hallway.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Found via mlkshk
I came across this post on The Tangential recently about How to be an Awkward Female and it had me seriously LOL-ing in my chair. I myself can be quite awkward at times.  I think numbers 2, 3 and 5 I can immediately check off the list.  Been there, done that.  But my favorite has to be number 6: Point out obvious or socially unacceptable things at loud decibel levels.  Her example: “YOU REMIND ME OF MY UNCLE. HE HAD AN AFFAIR WITH A LADY HE MET ON THE INTERNET”...priceless!

Floppy Hats

I know summer is almost over (sad!) but I'm thinking about purchasing a big floppy beach hat.  It's one of those things I try on every time I see them in stores, but I've never actually buy one.  I've been thinking about them all summer and I think it's time I finally purchase one.  I came across this one from Alloy for only $20 that I think I might get.  It's simple, cute and just the right amount of floppy-ness. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mmmmm Egg Mayo

Is it wrong that I'm a sucker for egg salad?  I could eat hard-boiled eggs pretty much any time of day.  When I was in London, they actually sold what they quite cleverly called, "Egg Mayonnaise,"  in plastic tubs, ready to eat.  Some of my favorite nights were when I stopped at the store after work, picked up a tub of egg mayo and a baguette, sat on the couch and watched the same 4 episodes of Friends 3 times in a row (it was one of the only American shows and few channels we got) and ripped off the baguette piece by piece and scooped up the egg mayo goodness.

Mmmmmm Sainsbury's Egg Mayo Deli Filler.  Delish!
If I was feeling especially fancy, I'd stop by Pret a Manger during lunch and pick up a pre-made egg mayo sandwich.  Oh, and of course a Love Bar for dessert :)

My absolute favorite egg mayo sando came from this AMAZING deli/bakery near my office on Praed Street in London.  It was called Bonne Bouche.  After I started thinking about it, I spent about a half hour desperately googling it, looking for a website or a menu so that I could reminisce about all my favorite sandwiches and hazelnut cookie bars I used to get from there, but unfortunately they don't have a website.  Not all of the money I blew in London was on clothes, a lot of it went to this wonderful place.

Seriously, if you go to London, go here.
This extremely long blog post devoted to egg mayonnaise was inspired by this recipe I found on Real Simple's website.  I made some egg salad last night to eat with saltines for dinner and I decided it was time to spice it up.  When it comes to my egg salad, I'm very British about it - just egg and mayo.  But I decided to add some more flavor the next time.  I think this recipe - Curried Egg Salad might be just right. Although, I think I might skip out on the pumpernickel bread. I'm quite satisfied with my saltines.

Curried Egg Salad Sandwich from Real Simple.