Thursday, December 20, 2012

Go do good. #26Acts

I cannot shake all my thoughts and heartache over Friday's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.  I cannot imagine what those teachers, students, and families are going through right now.  I simply can't fathom how someone could do such a terrible thing to innocent children. I remember feeling so safe at school when I was little.  I never worried that something bad would happen at school (outside of forgetting my lunch or my mom forgetting to pick me up).  These children will never be the same. They will be fearful. They will be anxious. And most of all, the way they look at the world will be forever changed.  

Have you heard about the 26 Random Acts of kindness that people are doing to honor the victims?

Thanks to Ann Curry, the #26Acts movement has really taken off. Some people are also doing #27Acts to include the mother of the gunman.

TG and I have decided to participate as well.  Yesterday we dropped off gifts for our angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree. It felt so great to know that we could help make someone's Christmas a little better. 

I'm trying to think of 25 more creative acts of kindness to honor those lost in this senseless tragedy. 

To start, I'm thinking I will buy coffee for people behind me in line, bring hot chocolate to the homeless man I pass everyday on the street, and take christmas goodies (and introduce myself) to our (hall) neighbors. 

I'd love love love some suggestions so please share!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lately

Lately, we have:

Decorated our city apartment sized Christmas tree


Informed folks of the tree rules:

"Chip, this is one tree we most definitely do not pee on."

"Barkley, you have eaten ornaments in the past. Let's not repeat history."




Had a visit from Joz (complete with dinners at Trenchermen & Maude's Liquor Bar)


Read deep thoughts on the Pops for Champagne menu


 Made a trip to the Doughnut Vault


Snapped pictures of Christmas decorations


P.S. I didn't realize when I snapped the picture that the homeless person was standing there.  Oops.  Real Chicago, guys.


Any December activities I'm missing out on this month?

Is it just me or does Christmas seem to be approaching even more quickly than normal this year? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hair Straightener Review

TG always laugh at me about straightening my hair.  I'll say something like "I'm almost ready, I just have to straighten my hair." Without fail, he will yell back from the next room "Your hair IS already straight!"

No sir, it is not.

In order for my hair to look smooth and properly done, it must be straightened.

My current flat iron is 4 years old and starting to be temperamental.  So when Misikko contacted me to review one of their Hana Pro 1" Flat Iron, I was more than happy to do so!

When I opened the package, I was surprised to see they had added some extra goodies for me. (Thank you! It felt kind of like Christmas.)

The flat iron heated up really fast which was a plus.  I think my favorite aspect was the cord. The flat iron has a cord that swivels so that it doesn't get tangled as you straighten your hair.

This flat iron totally beats my other one. My hair looked a ton smoother and much more shiny after using it.  I also found it to be more efficient in that I didn't have to continuously iron the same parts of hair over and over.  I think it will save me a little bit of time in the morning, which is always nice.

Another little bonus is that it comes in a heat proof storage pouch. When I'm traveling, I always hate putting my flat iron back in my bag while it's still hot.

I don't really have any negatives to report.  I can't really say how this product would work for someone with super curly or frizzy hair but it works great for me.  My hair is what some might call naturally "straight".  However, I still use a flat iron daily.  This one is perfect for me as I'm after straight, shiny hair.

*The Hana Pro 1" Flat Iron was sent in exchange for my review.  However, all opinions are truthful and based on my own experience. 

image via 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Anthropologie, you are drunk.

I want to preface this post by saying I love Anthropologie.  I do. I love their clothes and I love their home decor stuffs. But after browsing their site this morning, I'm thinking things are getting a little out of hand over there.

For instance.


I'd really like a copper bicycle ($6,000). Said no one ever.

I'll admit that I do like this Walrus piece. But, it is still a paper walrus. Well, a paper and metal walrus. A $1,250 paper and metal walrus.  (Ok, I like the paper walrus.)

The Branches & Fur Chair ($9,800). 


The iTree Docking Station ($15,000).


Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking book set ($625) This must be some sort of mistake. Did they mean to list the price as $62.50? 


I still love you Anthro. Even though that love comes with some major side-eye. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Good News!


Three Cheers! Jazz Hands! High Fives! Cue the chorus line! All of it.

because...

I secured an internship site for my clinical fieldwork that starts in April!

TG took me out to sushi to celebrate. I think he knows food is my love language.

I was all Gabby Douglas last night and kept thinking of her words "The prayers go up and the blessings  come down".  I just feel like things are falling into place. And ya'll, that feels good.

I digress.

This weekend will be for celebrating happy news and finally putting my campaign dresser redo into it's home.  If you thought that had gotten finished a long time ago, you would be wrong. I'm kind of the worst at DIY because of ADD which makes me SAD.  (Too much coffee today, I think).

After this project, I'm pretty sure TG will never drive me to pick up something from Craigslist.

We will be celebrating the engagement of our friends with brunch at Yolk (BYOB FTW).  On Saturday night, we have dinner reservations at Sprout (Top Chef runner-up Dale Levitski's restaurant).  I'm excited to go back to Sprout. It's one of my absolute favorite restaurants in the city so it was a no brainer when I saw a tasting menu deal on Bloomspot.

Also, check out this gift guide by To and From.  It's the best gift guide I've seen. And it's pretty extensive.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gift Guide: Small Shops Edition

Some of my favorite things in my apartment have come from small, Internet-based shops.  Today I'm featuring gifts from some of my favorites. Several of these items are definitely on my Christmas list.

Shop Small

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gift Guide: Target Finds Edition

I've been getting such great gift ideas from the gift guides on other blogs so I thought I'd join in too.  Target has been killing it lately. Without fail, every time I'm in the store I leave with more than just what's on my list. These items are just a sampling of some of the fun gift ideas I've seen on my recent trips to Target.

The earrings below are very similar to a pair that Kate Spade makes. For a whole lot less.  No hard feelings, Kate Spade.

I added a bottle of Essie nail polish just for good measure. Pairing a nail polish with a gift certificate to a nail salon makes a great gift for a girlfriend.  They make good stocking stuffers too.

Target has also recently begun selling La Mer watches. I'm not sure what the difference is but these are almost identical to their more expensive counterparts. I have a La Mer watch I got on sale at Rue La La but now I wish I had waited for the more inexpensive version ; )

All this to say, Target is doing it right these days. I'm excited to see what their Neiman Marcus collaboration has in store. Target for the win.

Gift Guide: Target Edition



Leather flat / Ostrich handbag / La Mer chain jewelry / Post earrings / Fringe scarve / Essie / Threshold Melamine Stag Appetizer Plates Set of 4 Multicolor / Threshold™ Antler Cheese Set of 4 : Target

I'm planning to post a few more gift guides as Christmas approaches. So stay tuned : )

Monday, November 19, 2012

D.C. & a trip home

Whew. I feel like the past week and a half has been a marathon. Or what I'd imagine a marathon feels like.

I flew to D.C. and spent a week with my grad school cohort doing training and stuffs.  Luckily I was able to squeeze in a few nights of hanging out in Georgetown with my good friend, Katie.  We share a mutual love for margaritas and mexican food, so we went to Bandolero one night.  So necessary after long days of training and getting my learn on.

Katie and I lived together in college and her golden retriever, Bailey, is actually Barkley's half sister. They have the same Dad.  I insisted that Bailey put on her Halloween costume.

On Thursday afternoon I took the train from Union Station home to NC.  They had already started decorating for Christmas.

The ride was pretty and flew by thanks to a three-prong outlet by my seat which allowed for movie watching on my computer.  I watched Hysteria and The Lucky One.  Neither movie was particularly life-changing but kept me entertained. Word to the wise: Hysteria is not a movie you want to watch when you have a male seat-partner...or any seat partner really. The guy sitting next to me probably thought I was a weirdo.

The weekend was spent visiting my family in NC. My sweet Grandmama Louise went ahead and made Thanksgiving dinner early so I could partake.  Of course, it was nothing short of delicious.  She's kind of the best.  She puts Paula Deen to shame.

I also received a special delivery from a sweet boy while I was home.

Of course, I also visited my mom's parents which is always entertaining. The older they get, the more hilarious they are. My grandma spoiled me with a piece of l'objet for my collection of grown-up stuff.

It was a short trip but made me crave the upcoming Christmas season. I can't wait to be home for a whole week.  Good stuff.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Closet confessions

I have a really tough time dressing myself in the winter.  (Seriously, I have such respect for fashion bloggers who pull together different and gorgeous outfits together every single day.)  I live in the J.Crew minnie pants.  No joke, I have 5 pairs. Pants and bottoms aren't really the problem though.  I feel like my closet is seriously lacking in the winter tops department.  And I'm finding that the older I get, the more versatile I need my clothing to be.  You know, things for everyday.  In a perfect world, I would just buy equipment silk button downs in every color of the rainbow and call it a day. But that is not my world so I'm thinking a few of these my need to come live with me.






one: J.Crew classic popover
two: J.Crew gingham button-down (always need more gingham)
three: J.Crew tissue turtleneck
four: Splendid always shirting pocket tunic

I recently bought these Frye boots so I'm kind of living in them.  So comfy and they have a bit of a heel that my 5'1 self needs.

I wanted a more casual pair of booties for the fall/winter so I got these as well. I got them on sale for like $60 and really love them with skinny pants.
What are your everyday go-tos?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Mish-Mash

I'm so excited for this weekend. TG's sweet mom gets into Chicago this evening.  We don't really have set plans except for a dinner tonight at Ada St.  I'm always on board to try a new restaurant. 

Can I be totally selfish for a second?

I applied for a job that I really (really) want. If you could spare some prayers, good vibes, & happy thoughts on my behalf, I'd really appreciate it! 

I've gotten a few e-mails about Chicago restaurant recommendations and ideas for fun stuff to do in the city.  I'm working on a few different Chicago-related posts that will be up in the near future.  I haven't forgotten : ) Blogging has just taken a back burner the past couple months while I actually juggle real-life.  

I voted yesterday.  I'm so ready for the election to be over.  I'd much rather see the details of weddings, pregnancy news, and what someone ate for dinner than see another political piece of nonsense on my Facebook feed.  Keep it light, you know?  

I think we're going to have a few people over on election night.  In other words, I saw lots of red, white, and blue food on Pinterest and wanted an excuse to make some. 



How adorable are those cake pops? They look pretty challenging though so I probably will stick to the cupcakes!
images via one, two, three 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lately

Every time I write the post title "Lately", I start singing in my head (have I told you I love you...lately...) Just me?

Let's catch up.

I stopped by Target on Sunday to check out the Nate Berkus collection.

I couldn't help myself and grabbed the small chevron ginger jar (Target calls it an urn.) I'm still trying to find the perfect spot for it but it will likely end up holding my k-cups and sitting next to the Keurig. I kind of want the picture frame too.  I saw the bedding and have to admit I wasn't impressed. It just looked sort of cheap to me. (But I still love you, Nate)


I saw these Halloween pajamas for dogs too. Unfortunately, they were all out of the XL's I needed for Chip and Barkley.

I also spotted this tartan plaid scarf. It stayed at Target though. I do have a little self-control.


Last Friday, we had people over for dinner and I made this. It was such an easy appetizer and everyone loved it. Toasted baguette topped with brie, strawberries, basil, and drizzled with honey.


I know cold temperatures are on their way so I've been soaking up the blissful fall weather with lots of walks with the pups.

What's new with you?
It sorta seems quiet around the blog world lately. Is anyone else feeling like that?
Maybe instagram is taking over ; )



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weekend Update

This past weekend was one of the best.  TG's dad ended up having an extra Ryder Cup ticket after all.  We headed out of the city to Medinah Country Club early on Saturday morning. 

I decided I've been watching golf all wrong all of these years. Tent passes are the way to go--yummy food and free booze? Sign me up! The weather was absolutely perfect (around 75 degrees with a breeze).  I spent the day drinking mimosas and following some of my favorite golfers around from hole to hole. 




(Upclose with the master cheater golfer himself)

I have to admit, I couldn't help but wish my Dad was there too. I played golf growing up and he was always my biggest cheerleader.  I really want to start playing again but life (looking at you, grad school & cold Chicago fall/winter) keeps getting in the way. I'm going to have to work on changing that.  I called him later and spilled all the details of watching my favorites (Rory, Webb, and Bubba). 

Sunday was pretty standard: cleaning and errands.  It was a friend's birthday so we went back to Girl and the Goat for a fun dinner.  I think our second visit was even better than our first.  The only repeat dish we got was the ever-popular Pig Face.  If you're ever in Chicago, go to Girl and the Goat! You definitely have to make a reservation 3-4 months in advance though as it stays booked.


(Pork, why can't I quit you?)

All in all, a pretty solid weekend if I do say so myself.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trenchermen and a Thundershirt on a Thursday

Last night's dinner at the Trenchermen was pretty good. I ordered the Hairy Buffalo (weird, I know) cocktail and it was delish. It was carbonated tequila, watermelon, and some kind of spicy-ness.  I really wanted another one but didn't want to be the only lush at our table.  For dinner, I had the heirloom tomato dish (heirloom tomatoes, pickled peppers, white balsamic ice cream, herbs, apricot pits). It was really interesting and I love love loved the ice cream, but I probably wouldn't order it again.  I ordered the pork belly (pork belly, bubble gum, early apples, green beans, coconut) as my entree.  It was such a great dish with tons of unique flavors. (I mean, hello, bubble gum.)  The restaurant itself is really cool and filled with quirky decor that reminds me a little of Harry Potter.  Think oversized test tube shaped terrariums, lights made of pipes, and a wall of drawers labeled things like cannabis, sparkles, van gogh's ear, etc.  I'm thinking I'll have to make another trip with TG so he can try it.

Alas, I am not getting to go to the Ryder Cup with TG this weekend. His work has tent tickets and he couldn't find an extra.

I was a little sad until I remembered that I will have our condo all to myself all day Saturday. I'm planning the perfect saturday. I'm thinking I will workout, have a grande coffee, shop a little, and then spend the rest of the day with the couch and my furry friends.  I will also be watching all of my DVR'd shows without judgment or commentary from a certain mister. (Although, I must admit, TG is usually a good sport while I watch my shows and on Monday he even commented about how crazy Ramona is.)

Speaking of furry friends, Chip is the proud new owner of a Thundershirt. I keep calling it a thundercoat for some reason and TG keeps correcting me that it is, indeed, a shirt. Pot-ay-to-Pa-tah-to.

After receiving a very mean note from our neighbor about his barking during the day, we have resorted to the thundershirt. I read on amazon that it helps so we shall see.  What's really weird is that this woman obviously wrote a raging note but I've seen her twice since then and she acts like nothing happened.  She smiles and says hello.

Chip doesn't bark all day long, but does bark when someone walks down the hall.  The crazy part is that her dog barks even more frequently than Chip.  (It is worth noting that Barkley, despite his name, only barks 2 or 3 times per year.) We also have a collar on Chip that vibrates when he starts to bark which is supposed to deter barking.   Do you guys have any tips for combating the barking issue?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Fall Weekend in September

As sad as I was to see summer go, I've really been enjoying the fall temperatures, activities, and candle scents.  Over the weekend, we headed back up to the lake house with some friends.  It was the perfect getaway.  As much as I love living in a big city, sometimes the quiet and calm of a different scene is just what I need.  The dogs certainly love these lake weekend getaways.

Wet hair and puppy kisses

Sunny skies/Squinty eyes



Fire pit (not pictured: s'mores)

Barkley in his happy place

Plenty o' pumpkins

I have more pictures but haven't gotten them off the other camera yet.

The weekend also included a stop at an apple orchard for some apple picking. (Fall activities for the win!)

I should also mention that I've spent the past month in a pretty constant state of worry and discouragement.  I'm having a hard time finding an internship that aligns with my needs (timing-wise) and will likely have to wait until the summer to begin my internship.  To most people, this would just be a tad annoying but to me (type-A, planner, nut job), well, it's been discouraging and sort of unnerved me.  So if you have any prayers to spare, I could use them as I learn to um, adjust my sails...and go with the flow.

On the sunny side, I'm looking forward to a girl's dinner tonight at The Trenchermen.  TG is spending Saturday at the Ryder Cup so I may join him if he scores an extra ticket.  Otherwise, I will be forced to indulge in brunch and shopping on Saturday. Kind of win-win, yes?

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

This weekend...

This weekend was spent at Lake Geneva. Just me and TG (and two furry friends).
It was a weekend for soaking up the last drops of summer...

For accidentally matching in his and her gingham shirts


 For getting in touch with my redneck side. You can't tell but that hat says Mossy Oak in rhinestones. And that would be pink tie-dye, ya'll.

And for plenty of snuggles with this sweet boy. 


Other not-pictured fun: petting a pig hog, picking up goodies at the farmers market, walking around Lake Geneva's cute downtown, drinking skinny girl white cranberry cosmo (even better than the margs, I think!), enjoying cooler fall temperatures, and plenty of music compromises (one grateful dead song, one beyonce song).

Hope your weekend was just as swell.