Monday, September 30, 2013

Blast From the Past: Matchbook Memories

While I'm away ... some faves (originally posted in April)


I've always picked up matchbooks whenever a restaurant/bar/hotel offers them. At first, I collected the colorful packets to display on my counter, but over the years, they served another purpose, as souvenirs from fun nights out with friends, fantastic vacations, or neighborhood spots I used to frequent. Sure I'll grab one from the jar whenever I light my favorite scented candle, but there are a few that I'll hold onto forever ...

1. La Esquina in Soho, where Steve and I rest our legs and enjoy a tasty margarita when we visit every summer.

2. The Poop Deck in Nassau, Bahamas, where my girlfriends and I had an amazing meal on vacation while in college.

3. The Second City where my family and I took in a show (only one of the two times I've been all my years here in Chicago!)

4. China Poblano in the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas – one of my favorite meals while there for my bachelorette party last year.

5. One of the monogrammed matchbooks my parents gave as a favor at their wedding.

6. The Grand Bahia Principe, Punta Cana, where I vacationed years ago with my boyfriend of the time.

7. Tavern on the Green, where I had brunch with friends years ago in NYC – I'm glad to have enjoyed it before it closed!

8. GT Fish & Oyster, where I celebrated my 30th birthday with my best girlfriends.

9. Tilly's in Lincoln Park was around the corner from where I lived for years, but is now gone.

10. Intercontinental French Polynesia, one of the amazing resorts Steve and I enjoyed on our honeymoon in the South Seas ... and definitely a keeper from the collection.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

La Vacation

au revoir

We're off to Paris today! I can't wait to share all of my fun photos, finds, and fashions when I return in two weeks. Until then, I'll share some of my favorite past posts. 

I'll be sad to miss the following fun events (but you should go!) ... 
• The Denim Lounge is hosting a trunk show for the awesome (local) denim brand, Henry & Belle (score 20% off during the event!)

• I'm really, really, sad to miss amazing blogger Aimee Song's event at Tiffany's Thursday night, celebrating the new Atlas Collection. A chance to meet this beauty, and be surrounded by gorgeous jewels? Yes please.

• The Jayson Home & Garden fall flea market will take place October 4-6. In addition to the amazing vintage home goods, they'll also be servin' up La Colombe coffee and other treats.

Happy fall and au revoir for now!

Photo by Irena S

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Le Packing List

Tomorrow Steve and I jet off to France! (with a little jaunt over to Champagne country on the way to Germany, also). I've come up with a few looks to avoid overpacking (I learned my lesson the hard way last time, leaving very little room for fun new French fashions). I find the easiest thing to do is stick to one or two colors so you can get the most out of each piece. Below are my staple pieces, which can be mixed and matched to create additional monochromatic looks.

Packing for Paris
Clockwise from top:  white blouse  //  classic trench  //  skinny jeans  //  metallic ballet flats  //  crossbody bag (similar one here)

Paris Packing
Clockwise from top right:  Chanel velvet lipstick  //  Chanel jumbo flap bag  //  black strapless tiered maxi  //  stacked heel ankle bootie  //  black leather jacket 

Packing for Paris
 Clockwise from top right:  tiger print tee  //  nude pump  //  black cigarette pants  //  black single-button blazer  //  tan cashmere wrap

Monday, September 23, 2013

Oh My Emmy

Last night's Emmy awards didn't disappoint in the style department. The ladies were out in their gorgeous gowns, in everything from pale blushes to deep jewel tones (loving that rich sapphire hue!). Below are a few of my faves, including a little something for everyone ...

emmys style
Rose Byrne in Calvin Klein Collection - love the peek-a-boo midriff 

emmys dresses
Allison Williams in sapphire Ralph Lauren stunner

emmys style
Kate Mara in an awesome lace and wrap skirt number by J Mendel

emmys style
Michelle Dockery in a Prada gown - color block meets glam

emmys style
Kaley Cuoco in a burgundy bustier gown by Vera Wang

emmys style
Julie Bowen in a dreamy creamy gown by Zac Posen  

Photos courtesy of Huffington Post

Friday, September 20, 2013

Have an Awesome Autumn Weekend!

Fall fashion

It's supposed to be in the mid 60's this weekend, aka, the perfect fall fashion weather. In addition to a leather jacket, I'm loving all of the flannel pieces out there right now. This dress above would be perfect for fun weekend activities, paired with a fun moto or ankle bootie (it's by Hatch, the awesome brand I've wrote about here). 

Also this weekend ...
• Nothing says fall like an Apple Fest! Head to Logan Square for some tasty treats including honey crisps apples (my fave), hot apple cider, and music.

• Stop by the Warby Parker pop up shop in Wicker Park. Look for the big yellow school bus parked at Division and Hoyne and check out their entire line of eyeglasses and sunglasses. The helpful chicks on board the bus can help you find the best frame for you. 

• Possibly one of the coolest spots in town, The Rebuilding Exchange, is holding their Collectors Bazaar this Saturday. Everything random you can think of, from hardware to vintage materials to props, are for sale at their Lincoln Park store.

Have a great weekend!

Photo courtesy of Hatch

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Date With Angelina

Just one week from now, Steve and I will head back to Paris! (it's taking a lot of restraint to not fill this page with exclamation points). We were last there in 2010 and I love that city so much – everything is just as beautiful as you imagine. It would take a lifetime in Paris to see it all, but one of the spots I definitely want to check out on this trip is Angelina on Rue de Rivoli. 


As a sweet lover, I simply must try their famed hot chocolate L'Africain (apparently the best in the world), and their Mont Blac (a decadent dessert of meringue, whipped cream, chocolate and chestnut). 

Angelina Paris

Angelina Paris

Plan your visit and check out their site here.

Photos courtesy of Pinterest

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Falling for Zara

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... autumn fashions are now in store! Most notable, per usual, is Zara. Every season that store draws me in with their classically clean pieces. Below are just a handful of my faves ...

wool cape  \\  tie back dress  \\  moto boot  \\  chunky knit sweater

tuxedo stripe pants  \\  plaid jacket  \\  cobalt gloves  \\  leather pencil skirt

Pick your faves here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

One and Done

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Style

The goods:
• button down shirt from Gap

• short-alls from American Apparel
• nude wedges from Nine West 
• brass bangles from IGWT, Winifred Grace

I've been spotting short-alls a lot lately – mostly in denim – and wasn't sure how I felt about them. Then I remembered this black pair by American Apparel which have been hiding in my closet for years. The black makes them feel a little more sophisticated, and paired with a black shirt, they make for an interesting layered look, instead of a contrasting piece. A perfect segue into fun fall layering. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Out on a Lim

My friend and I had fun last time we got up early to check out a Target collab, so we thought we'd try it again (if nothing else, it's kind of hilarious to watch the pandemonium that transpires!) 

We arrived at the West Loop Target about ten minutes before doors opened (a wise choice, as the 30 person line was covered by the parking garage on this rainy Sunday). Once inside, it took all of 2 minutes for the handbags to be cleared out ... pretty much by three chicks who decided to hog them all. I actually came to check out this tee and pick up a few things for Steve – a bag was simply a bonus in my book.    

Phillip Lim

Around 8:10, all that was left were the blue dresses, some men's wear and the sleeveless blouses and tanks.


With no sign of replenishing, Target employees even started breaking down the Phillip Lim signage on empty shelves.

We were pretty entertained, watching the space clear out in a matter of minutes, and felt bad when around 8:15, girls walked up asking where the bags were (oh honey, you snooze, you loose). As it turns out, patience pays off, because not long after, girls were pretty much dumping all of the stuff they weren't buying into our cart. At one point, we had a cart full of bags - all different styles. I came away with the bright yellow number I had my eye on, and we gave the rest to the snoozers (even giving up this pretty piece) ... I'm definitely not one to hog and resell on eBay.

Later that afternoon, Steve and I had to run to Target in the suburbs, and wouldn't you know it, they were stocked with goods like the cute trench coat, popular "Boom" sweatshirts, all of the leopard print stuff (even the pajama set), and all of the guys apparel. No bags though ... I mean, that would be a stretch.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Leather-Jacket-Weather Weekend!

kate moss

Fall arrived today! Time to bust out that lovely leather jacket you've been waiting to wear (I was this close to donning mine, but when temps were in the mid 90s, that's just crazy). Just about every shop has a fantastic version of the black leather biker jacket (which Kate always seems to effortlessly add to any look) – Zara has a few of my faves with this one, and this one

Also this weekend ...
• It's not for another week, but Christie's is auctioning art starring the super model of all super models, the amazing Kate Moss. In my book, she can do no wrong (style-speaking, that is), so I'll take any excuse to take a look back at the many looks of Kate the great

• I've been a fan of Jeni's Splendid ice cream for some time. It's been hard to find, but a little grocer nearby carries just a few of the incredible flavors like salty caramel, Riesling poached pear, and wildberry lavender. Now I can get any flavor, any time because Jeni's is opening a Chicago outpost on Southport! There is a preview party tonight ... with free ice cream.

• Sunday is thee day ... the 3.1 Phillip Lim X Target collab launches at 8am sharp. See you there!

Have a super weekend!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mlle. C

Carine Roitfeld

The always chic Carine Roitfeld is, by all accounts, a fashion master. As if her decade stint as editor-in-chief at French Vogue wasn't enough, she's now launched her own high-end glossy ... and has a documentary out following the inaugural issue. Mademoiselle C introduces us to the real woman behind those dreamy designer outfits that adorn her perfectly Parisian frame. gives us a fun little interview with Ms. R here, and check out the trailer here until you see it in it's entirety. 

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Raising the Bar

You know how over time, hair ties stretch out and really don't do their job any more? Instead of throwing out the perfectly good gold accented one shown below, I just snipped the hair band, slid it off and onto a long gold chain. Voila! A simple stunner. I love the simplicity of bar necklaces (which are popping up everywhere), they add a little hint of shine to any look. 

DIY Jewelry



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Dash of Sequins

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Style

The goods:
• top from French Connection, available here

• sequin skirt from Forever21, similar one here
• patent sling backs from Zara
• DIY necklace
• bangles from Winifred Grace, IGWT

For a night out last week, Steve and I decided to do it up a little more than usual, so I took this sequin mini out of hiding. I kept the look simple with a black cap sleeved tee and a nude heel. I also kept the jewelry to a minimum with this long simple gold bar necklace (more on that tomorrow) and my gold bangles. A simple look, but souped up with a little sparkle.   

Monday, September 9, 2013

To Market, To Market

We've both been to NYC numerous times, but always try to do new things (I mean, we could easily enjoy margaritas with friends all day, but there's far too many good places to try!) So after strolling the High Line Saturday morning, we popped into the Chelsea Market to peruse all of the artisan food vendors, cute shops, and craft booths. I was like a moth to flame when I found Cynthia Rybakoff's jewels. Her pieces are vintage inspired, some crafted with antique elements or gorgeous gems, mostly in brass settings. Her booth was chock full of everything my jewelry dreams are made of, so choosing what I would take home with me was hard. When I asked Steve which of two rings I should get, he said they were 'both cool, definitely both' (man after my own heart, gotta love him). 

See below for a few snaps from her collection at the Chelsea Market (where she's stationed til December), and check out her site here.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

New York State of Mind


I'm starting the weekend a little early and booked a last minute trip to the big apple. Steve has some biz and I plan to stroll the city, hopefully take in some fashionable sights during NYFW.  

Also this weekend ...
• One of my fave fests is this Saturday – The Guinness Oyster Fest! I can't get enough of the tasty little treats, and I love washing them down with a crisp stout. 

• If you're not fested-out, head to Lincoln Square for the German American fest – grab a big stein and brat and celebrate all things German. Prost!  

• Snag some crafty goods at the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park this weekend. You can find some great gifts (or just some sweet stuff for yourself!).

Have a great weekend!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On Top of the Trends

It's hard to stay in the summer style mind frame when all of the shop windows are full of fetching fall clothes. Of course, it's easy to get overwhelmed and wonder what fall trends are worth investing in and what you can live without. Stop by Topshop tonight to hear a few local style experts (including Kait from Hunter Style) dish on their picks for fall, and treat yourself to a little manicure and tasty beverage while you take in all of fall's finest fashions. I'm looking forward to trying on these fun Topshop finds below ...       


Clockwise from top:  the perfect biker jacket  //  chic two-toned heels  //  a perfect versatile statement necklace  //  bold animal print dress  //  seriously cool biker boot

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In the Buff

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Style

The goods:
• chambray shirt from Forever21

• skirt from BCBG
• shoes from Lori's Shoes
• vintage silver chain necklace 

One of my favorite pieces is also one of the trickiest ... this nude bandage skirt. But this skin-tight number is surprisingly versatile – it works with a cropped blouse and heels, or can go cozy casual with a tunic sweater and boots. You can find a similar one here, then snag a knit piece like this (pair with black tights and ankle booties and you're set for fall!