Friday, November 21, 2014

fictional style: rebecca bloomwood.

After a freaking long hiatus, fictional style posts are back! 

This months post is inspired by the hilariously lovely Rebecca Bloomwood in the cinematic masterpiece (kidding...), Confessions of a Shopaholic. Sure, it's a silly chick flick, but daaaaayum, her outfits are off the chain. Talk about a closet I would love to spend a good portion of my life in. Here's one of my favorite looks from the movie remixed with pieces from Shopbop! 

Any other fictional characters who's style you idolize? Let me know! I might have to feature them in next month's feature if I get it together ;) xx

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

chicago's best coffee shops.

Big city living can be pretty darn sweet sometimes – there are new places to explore, people to see, and coffee shops to try. And while the winter starts to set in, there’s no place I’d rather be than a warm, cozy coffee shop sipping on a caramel lattes with friends. And luckily for me, Chicago is full of fabulous places to kick off your heels and enjoy a fresh cup of brew of the coffee variety. Here are a few of my favorite places (and a few fabulous recommendations from a few of my friends too) broken down by neighborhood.

The Loop:
A chicago classic - the perfect blend of hipster and delicious. 

South Loop:
Organic coffee, delicious treats, and all profits benefit charity. Talk about a win-win!

River North:
A delicious restaurant with a fabulous coffee bar. I am a huge fan of late night decaf lattes after a night out on the town. 

An amazing selections of coffees and teas from around the world - yum!

Lincoln Park:
The perfect patio in the spring and summer - and the drinks are delicious! The perfect place to snap pretty Instagrams too. 

A common meeting place with my friend Tomissa, I love the vibe, amazing baristas and delicious drinks & bakery treats. 

Right around the corner from me, and the perfect meeting place for business or pleasure. The coffee is amazing, and the desserts are absolutely divine. 

The perfect place to grab coffee before a morning at the farmer's market, this quaint coffee shop is filled with adorable decor and the best coffee. 

Half bike shop, half coffee shop. This place is my favorite in the neighborhood, and the environment makes it even better. 
La Flornette

New to the list, but I'm excited to give it a try!

Another favorite spot in Chicago, the coffee is no frills, but made with care. I come here on days where I want to read a magazine and enjoy the view. 

The cutest little spot in a few neighborhoods around Chicago. Definitely worth a visit, and then another one too. 

Wicker Park:
Known as one of the best coffee shops in Chicago, many of my favorite bloggers swear that this is the best spot in the city!

Serving up local coffee, and the most eclectic decor (think the best parts of the 80's and 90's) - this place is not only delicious, but always a blast on a date or afternoon with friends. 

Another recommendation I'm dying to try! If you happen to beat me to it, let me know how it is :) 

A gorgeous place to spend the afternoon, Lovely bakery is chock full of the tastiest treats, large caramel lattes and the nicest baristas in the city. It's also the scene of all these photos in this post!

Awarded one of the best coffee's in 2014, many of my favorite shops in the city serve up big 'ole cups of Metropolis coffee. This is a great spot to spend the day studying or working while keeping caffeinated. 

An expresso based bar (sign me up!), this spot is known as one of the hottest shops in Chicago, and also one of the prettiest. Take a gander on their site!

Lincoln Square:
Another coffee shop on my "to do" list, I've only heard great things - check it out if you're in the Lincoln Square area. 

Three little words: Amazing cinnamon rolls. The bread is also divine - and the perfect combo with a big cup of fresh brew. 

A tasty place for breakfast and specialty lattes. I've also heard magical things about their Mexican Hot Chocolate!

A colorful spot for coffee, I've only heard good things from my friends who live in Pilsen!

Rodgers Park:
A hot spot for specialty drinks, the "Summer Thyme Chi" and "The Q" look right up my alley! 

If you have any more to add to the list, please let me know! I’m always down for trying out new places, especially those with caramel lattes :)

Photos via Natalie Probst 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

rainy days.

I’ve always heard that Seattle was the land of grey skies and rainy days, so on my trip last week I made sure to plan accordingly. I stuffed my way too large suitcase with rain jackets, umbrellas and my new Hunter boots that I’d been waiting to test out for a few weeks (Side note: in case you were wondering, I am the last person on the planet to buy Hunter boots. Side note to the side note: they’re totally worth all the hype!). Turns out, we picked the most beautiful, sunny days to visit – so my preparation was all for naught, not that I’m complaining ;)

Since I did pack for what I thought would be an onslaught of showers, I still rocked a few of my favorite rainproof pieces despite the mostly sunny skies. My Hunter boots turned out to be perfect for the Pikes Place Market, and my J.Crew jacket kept the wind at bay while we explored the downtown. While I’m sure Seattle is still pretty gorgeous on a typical rainy day, I’ll always take sunny skies – especially when those can’t be found during the brutal Chicago winters. Let’s just say I’m not a fan of this winter vortex round two, and that I’ve traded in my Hunter Boots for my heavy duty Sorel’s. The Midwest winter struggles are so real.

Special thanks to my travel companion and friend Jen for snapping these pretty pictures! See more of her amazing work at Blush SkyPhotography (and say hello while you’re at it too!)

Shop similar pieces below! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

think pink.

First off, I just want to say thank you for all the kind words, emails, comments and texts after last weeks post - your kind words made my hard times a little bit sweeter. I am so appreciative of everything, and I'm sure there will be many more hard days to come. I'm hoping to keep sending good vibes out to the universe, and share a little bit about myself along the way. 

Now, onto my usual Monday morning programing! 
Hello, hello! It’s been a little bit quiet over on my corner of the Internet over the last week, but I’m finally getting back into the swing of things around here after a whirlwind trip to Vancouver, Whistler and Seattle. I had the most wonderful time finally meeting my blogging bestie, Jen (who’s now one of my favorite ladies in real life too!) and adventuring around some pretty new places. Who knew that two once random strangers could find each other through blogging and go on a cross-country road trip together - and have it be totally normal and fabulous? The power of the interwebz right there :) 

Not only did I get to explore the city with one of the loveliest ladies I know, but I also got my own personal photographer to document our adventures along the way. I know - it’s like I hit the blogger jackpot!

At the tail-end of our trip, we spent a few days in Seattle. It was my first time in the Pacific Northwest, and I absolutely loved everything about it. From the gorgeous mountains, to the sunny winter weather, I was smitten as soon as I landed. Seattle had everything I love in a city – fresh air, a year-round farmer’s market, open sea, and amazing places to explore. It also had some killer shopping I might add, and I managed to snag this pretty Kate Spade coat at Nordstrom Rack – hot pink is always a good idea, right? This Zara tote was another impulse buy, and I can’t say I’m too mad about it. Pink, red, and black is always a feminine and chic color combo I can get behind!

Special thanks to Jen for making me look good, and always putting up with my request to snap some photos so nicely :)  If you’re looking for some seriously gorgeous photos, make sure to check our her Blush Sky Photography website!

Shop a similar look below:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

work hard and be nice to people.

While I usually try to keep things pretty charming over here, parts of my life haven’t been quite so lovely as of late. And while I usually keep pretty quiet when things are less than fabulous, I realize that I’m not always being the most authentic when I don’t share the less than charming parts of my life too. So if you’re not down for getting a little personal, feel free to skip this post – but if you are, I hope you can find part of this you can relate to as well.

My motto in life has always been, “work hard and be nice to people”, and I always thought that if you had those two things, life would be smooth sailing. Be kind to everyone, work your butt off, instant good karma, sweet vibes, good times only, and on and on and on. Really, I thought everything else would fall into place. And like most good mottos, they work most of the time – but I’m coming to learn that they don’t quite work all of the time. And sometimes life is just really freaking hard, and there aren’t too many good vibes to be found.

I always love reading those articles where celebrities and successful people share what they’d tell their 20-something year old self, knowing what they know now. And I can’t help but wonder what my 30-something self is going to tell my 25-year-old self too. I hope she tells me that what’s meant to be will be, that the big things that are scary and sad right now won’t be such big things after all. And I hope she tells me that life is going to get really freaking glorious in a few years – I just have to wait it out for a little while and keep working hard and being nice to people. If she told me that I also won the lottery and finally got a mini-horse, I’d definitely be cool with that too.

I guess what I’m trying to say (in a round about way) is that things aren’t always what they appear. Life isn’t always sunshine and roses – or the pretty things on your Instagram feed, and I think it’s silly that we always try to pretend that it is. Keeping up appearances can be really dumb sometimes, and when we all pretend that things are lovely we make other people feel like they need to pretend life is lovely too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about privacy (thus the very vague blog post), but it’s okay to be having a really crap time, and letting people know that you’re having a really crap time too. So, I’m breaking up with pretending that everything’s charming when it’s not, and I’m going to try to keep it a little real when things get real – because they always inevitably do.

So if you’re having a crap time, I hope things get better – and I hope you don’t feel like you have to pretend that life is great in your corner of the world when it’s not. And most importantly, I’m giving you a big virtual hug – because we could always use a lot more of those. Xx
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