Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Inspired Tuesday: Closet Confessions

{via Pinterest}

Confession: I loathe cleaning. It's just not very fun. I hate cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, floors, etc. I do it {mostly because I know I should}, and I negotiate the cleaning duties with Hubby {because we really do share the responsibility}.

Confession: I LOVE organizing! According to my co-workers, I've been voted the most organized person in the office. I realize this is lame, but I embrace my inner organizing nerdiness.

Confession: When it comes to organizing my closet, I'm at a loss. Hubby and I share one closet for hanging clothes, one closet for folded clothes, and one dresser for all other clothes.

Confession: I've never actually followed through with the closet clean outs that I so thoroughly enjoy reading about. A few of my favorite blog posts here, here, and here. A few of my favorite book sources here, here, and here.

Sunday night after devouring a few September issues of my favorite magazines, I was inspired to start the closet organization/makeover process. Step One: Inspiration/Style Board. My board is still basic, but it's filled with with prints, patterns, colors, and silhouettes that I like. Note: this part is really fun! As in my-hands-were-hurting-from-holding-the-scissors-for-too-long, fun.

Now I'm in the middle of Step Two: trying on every piece of clothing that I own... For each piece of clothing in my closet I'm going through the following steps:

  1. Try on item (add pants/tank top if necessary)

  2. Ask myself the following questions: Does this fit me? Do I like this color? Can I sit down/walk/breathe while wearing this? When was the last time I wore this/have I ever worn this? Are there any stains/holes/tears that cannot be repaired?

  3. Take a photograph of myself wearing said item. I do this for two reasons: 1) I want to be able to truly see how I look in the item and 2) I want evidence if I ever ask myself why I got rid of the item.

  4. Look at my inspiration board. Does this fit the overall style that I like? Does this make me feel good? Do I already have a few things in my closet I can pair with this?

  5. Decision time: Purge or Keep


It's not nearly as glamorous as I imagined, but I'm finding that it is completely necessary. I've already unearthed many things that I purchased before I developed my true sense of style {read: college years}. So much of my precious space has been filled with ill-fitting items in strange colors that don't fit my style. Like, at all. To the purge pile they go!

On to tackle the rest of my closet ...to be continued.



Thursday, August 25, 2011

What I Wore: Book Signing

Wednesday night Jessica Quirk of What I Wore was downtown for a book signing and shop crawl event. Jessica's blog is one of the first that I started following when diving into the sea of personal style blogs. She seems so sweet and down to earth on her blog, and I'm very happy to report that she's just as sweet in real life as she is on her blog. When she announced a book tour earlier this year I could not wait for her to book a Chicago stop, and I'm so glad that she did! I was impressed that she actually sat down with each person who waited in line and spent time chatting with us one to one. SO sweet. As I waited in line, it was fun to chat with other Chicago ladies who love her just as much as I do!

Because I came straight to the event from work, I just transitioned my dress by removing the cardigan. Easy-peasy. Note: it was 95 degrees yesterday and I was a hot sweaty mess when I arrived.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to spend more time chatting and noshing on the goodies at the event. But I'm so glad that I was able to meet Jessica.



PS: Jessica was also on WGN! Click here to see her remix segment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chicago Air + Water Show

Every year Hubby and I seem to be of town for the Chicago Air + Water Show weekend. This weekend we braved the crowds on Sunday to catch the last few hours of the show which featured the US Air Force Thunderbirds. It was the most perfect day to see the show. A clear blue sky and sunshine set the perfect backdrop for the show. Because my father served in the USAF {and worked as a tech on the planes during his time in the service}, he gets pretty nostalgic thinking about those years. It's always fun to see his face light up when he talks about the Thunderbirds and the pilots.

These are a few snaps from the time that we spent at the show on Sunday. If we're in town next year, I'd love to catch more of the show. It really wasn't as crowded as I expected; because we rode bikes, it was easy to nab a great spot on the beach. It really is a fun {and free} event.

A little historical nugget for you: the first Chicago Air+ Water Show was held in 1959, and is the largest free show of it's kind in the US.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chicago Blogger Meetup

{Me, DelaneBritt via Deliciously Vintage Blog}

This past Saturday I trekked to adorable vintage shop in Pilsen to browse and chat with some fellow Chicago bloggers. It was so much fun! I love meeting new people, but was nervous to meet a bunch of other bloggers. I love that we were all from the City and surrounding suburbs. We chatted about life in the City {and the suburbs}, favorite restaurants, and shops.

I forgot my camera, and didn't snap any photos on my iPhone, but click the link above for a post by Deliciously Vintage, our generous host for the meet up. A huge thanks to Lisa at Archives Vintage for coordinating the event and scoring incredible gift bags {to boot!}.

I already feel so inspired to continue blogging, to add a few things on the blog, and to keep on over-sharing on the world wide web. And I might {just might} throw in an outfit or two for good measure. We'll see.



Inspired Tuesday: 30 Day Shred


Working out is so much easier when I have a plan to follow {or a routine}. When I started training for my first 5K last September, I loved working out because all of the workouts were on a schedule. Since then, I haven't gotten my workout groove back. I still jog, lift on machines, and do an occasional set of push ups, but it just hasn't been the same. After reading an Archives Vintage post {here}, I was inspired to start up a routine again. Instead of jumping into something crazy like this {which I really do want to try}, I opted for a Jillian Michaels dvd. So, I started supplementing my workouts with the 30 Day Shred dvd for my workouts.

Jillian Michaels is amazing: she kicks butt, yells, and ultimately motivates all of her participants to keep going even though you want to die. It's awesome. And really hard. And sometimes I yell at Jillian. I haven't worked out this hard in years {since I had a personal trainer for 12 weeks}. I love it!

Let's see how long this lasts!



Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: I'm Overwhelmed

{via Pinterest}

These last two weeks have been filled with great conversations with my best girl friends, long walks along the lakeshore, sunshine days at the beach, extra time with Hubby, and catching up on rest. To top it off, last week I was offered a job that has {literally} been a career goal for the last five years. Come September {the 19th to be exact}, I will be a social worker at Children's Memorial Hospital!

These last few weeks have been filled with so many good things {and in all honesty} I feel completely overwhelmed. Have you ever hoped {and hoped} and prayed {and prayed} and crossed fingers {and toes} for something, and then gotten it? It's almost as if I don't know what to do with myself; I'm so happy and blessed and grateful.




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bike Light v Manhole

True story: Yesterday I dropped my bike light down a manhole. I was so upset (because I really like my bike light) that Hubby rode his bike home, grabbed some wire hangers and a flashlight and attempted a rescue. He saved my bike light (which we promptly sanitized)! I called him "my hero" for the rest of the evening.




Grand Rapids Visit

We spent the weekend in Grand Rapids sleeping in, brunching, browsing (not shopping) and spending time with my sister and brother in law.

We visited Wolfgang's for brunch, Founders for drinks and grub, walked by the venue that Hubby and I went to for our first show together, and ended the trip with a late lunch at Marie Catrib's. Overall, it was so relaxing to get out of the city and spend the weekend in our old town.

Here are the iPhone/Instagram photos that made the cut.

{my sister and i}

{brothers in law}

{hubby and i}

{incredibly delicious hummus at founder's}

{i loved their menu ... and this guy apparently wrote it all on the board}

{in front of the venue where hubby and i saw our first show together}

{hubby at marie catrib's}

{silly photos posing with the flowers}

{delicious raspberry chocolate cake for dessert}

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eastown Antiques

{I love this couch}

{Cool coffee table}

{Love this dresser}

{Me with our fan find}

One of my favorite places to stop when we're in Grand Rapids is Eastown Antiques. It's an adorable antique shop across the street from one of my favorite places to eat, so it works out perfectly when we need to wait for a table!

Eastown Antiques has an excellent selection of furniture, decor, books, etc. And the prices ... I'm always amazed to see how much cheaper the prices are in Michigan. I love to play the "How much do you think this would cost in Chicago?" game with Hubby. Our find of the day was this vintage fan (one that we've loved for a long time). The owners are really cool, and we talked to them for a while about how much we love their shop.

Do you have a favorite antique shop? What are your favorite things to look for?

Visit from Betsy

This past weekend my dear friend Betsy stopped by on her cross country Vespa trip. I'll tell you what: this girl is amazing. You can read all about her adventures on her blog An Ocean of Trees.

Betsy scooted into the city on Friday, and we spent the afternoon on Friday walking along the lakeshore and catching up. Friday night we went to dinner at Pho and I (one of our favorite local spots), and celebrated the good things happening in our lives right now. Life is just so much sweeter when in the company of good friends. We wandered around the lakeshore again on Friday night and stopped to watch Chicago nature at it's best: rats/mice eating a dead fish carcass at the doggie beach (gross).

Saturday Hubby and I were leaving for Michigan, and Betsy was headed to another friends' house for the evening, so after a lazy morning we departed.



Saturday, August 06, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: 29th Edition

{celebrating Hubby's acceptance letter}

It's been a full week over here ... there are so many things for me to be thankful for!

  • Hubby was accepted to the MSN program at Rush University! I'm so proud of him!

  • Quality time at a friends' BBQ celebrating his birthday.

  • Impromptu drinks with friends to celebrate Hubby's news. I'm so thankful for people in our lives that help make these things special.

  • Modern Family on DVD for the stormy evenings. Laughter makes everything better. And MoFa sure makes me laugh a lot.

  • Supportive family that listens and encourages me when I'm feeling discouraged.

  • And ... finally, seeing Paul McCartney was an experience of a lifetime, and it was so perfect to be able to be there with my love.



Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Paul McCartney Show

Monday night Hubby and I celebrated my birthday by seeing Paul McCartney play Wrigley Field. This may be a bit dramatic but, it was a concert of a lifetime. Say what you will about Paul, the man is an incredibly talented musician. He played an incredible show with most of my favorite songs. It was an incredible show, and I'm so thankful that I was able to go. These are just a few photos of our evening. I will definitely remember this for the rest of my life!