Let the Decorating Begin

So, I was a little bit of a mess yesterday. So much that I had to call Anne and Alaina for a pep talk before and during the lease signing. Change scares the hell out of me. So many readers have said how strong I am for moving to Chicago. Yes -- it was a bold move, but it wasn't easy. And now I am starting over in a new area in Chicago. New neighborhood. New home. Bigger space. Painting. Money. Possibly having to find a new CrossFit place (I really like RNC). Redecorating. Lots of change.

And then I snapped out of it. Because things are great and I have found the good in all of this. Here's a list of everything good that will come from this move:

1. I will be saving ~ $400 each month and am gaining 200 square feet. These two factors are the reasons that I am making a move in the first place.
2. I'll be in an older/more charming place. Lots of pretty detail. Very me.
3. I can fit 1-2 shelving units (more storage!) and a chair in my living room!
4. I can also finally buy a (small) dining table. Hooray for dinner parties!
5. Great neighborhood.
6. I get to do a little redecorating. And to say I live for interior design would probably not be an understatement. I am getting excited.
7. w/d in the unit! Hooray!

And then there's the redecorating. I took forever to furnish my current place. Fortunately, I already have furniture and just need to get a few pieces/accessories.

So here's what's on the list:

1. New headboard (ordered 2 days ago)!
2. Dining table and chairs
3. 1-2 shelving units
4. New throw pillows for sofa
5. Chair for living room
6. Shower curtain and bathroom rug
7. New coffee table or second Durham Bunching Table 

Change terrifies me, but I figured that if I can handle moving from LA to Chicago, moving 3 miles away from my current location in Chicago should be a piece of cake. So, let the decorating commence!

Let's start with a few favorite shelving units. I am losing some kitchen cabinets and plan on stacking all of my white dishware, kitchenaid mixer, mixing bowls, ceramic canisters etc. on a shelf. And yes -- everything I own is white. I already know which one I'm going with but I wanted to share my top 3 with you. And I may end up purchasing a second unit for my bedroom.

Which one would you choose?


Holy Crap. I'm MOVING.

I signed my lease today! I love my little apartment and the experience of signing a lease was a lot more emotional than I thought it would be. Thank you to Anne, Alaina, and my mom for their support today. My new place is on a pretty street in a great area and I am excited about gaining ~ 200 square feet. Can't wait to do a little redecorating. Ordered a new headboard last night! It's all happening.

Oh. And I move in 2 weeks.

Here we go.

photography via stoffer photography for rue magazine. see the rest of my home here.


Weekend Recap + New Wallet

What an amazing weekend!

Randolph Street Market with Alaina. We arrived early for a media breakfast and were asked to choose our editor's picks. We had lots of fun, did a little shopping, and had a delicious lunch at Antique Taco. My friend Ashley and her husband just opened this amazing restaurant in Wicker Park! Their food is amazing! Looked at another apartment with Alaina (for me) and I really liked it. If I get it, I'll be moving in just a few weeks! Girls night at Feast in Bucktown with Alaina, Taylor, and Shari. Such a fun night!

Relaxed, edited photos, and walked the pup. Headed over to Oak Street Beach to meet my friend Brandon and two of his friends for drinks. And then we all headed to Big Star for 4-5 hours of margarita drinking. 

Lots of relaxing and photo editing. Buddy and I met Gina and her pup for a little walk. A few hours later, Brandon and Marley came over so the pups could play. I wish I had taken a video. Those two are ridiculous together. One of Brandon's latest videos (he's so talented) starring Buddy's BFF Marley. More work, made zucchini "pasta" stir fry with my spiralizer. It doesn't taste like pasta, but it was pretty good!

I've been on the hunt for a new wallet and it looks like I'll be going with Kate Spade. KS wallets are pretty, well made, and I think they're priced very well when compared to other designer wallets.

I am also (finally) updating my drivers license. You'll just need to trust me when I say that my current photo is worse than yours. And now that I find myself two months away from my two year Chicago anniversary, it's time to take the plunge and finally get my Illinois drivers license. And then there's the fact that I lost my CA drivers license and don't really have a choice. Idiot. 

This is where you come in. Do I want an envelope wallet? Snap or zipper? And would you buy something fun (really loving no. 3), go gold (hello, no. 4) or stick with something classic (no. 1 + 5)? What are your thoughts on these larger wallets? I've never had one but think it will be the best option for me.

1 + 2. tudor city lacy  3. cobble hill stacy  4. mikas pond stacy  5. cobble hill stacy

And today on The Everygirl...
Author Melanie Gideon
Coffee Talk: The Best Advice You've Ever Received


Happy Friday

It's a holiday weekend and it will be in the 80s and 90s (With a few thunderstorms.This is Chicago, after all). I can't wait to get out and have some fun. It's basically summer, and I am loving every moment.

Randolph Street Market
Alaina and I were asked to get to Randolph Street Market early tomorrow morning to select our editor's picks at the market and we're being given Polaroid cameras to snap photos of our favorite items. Fun! The whole being an editor thing is still a little weird to me.  I love it but can't believe how much my life has changed.

CrossFit Update
I finished my two week intro at River North CrossFit and have signed up for my first month. I would have committed to a year but am not sure what area of Chicago I'll be in, so I need to wait on that one. I have done yoga, barre, boxing, spinning, running, rowing etc and nothing has compared to CrossFit. I am hooked. This video will give you a basic idea of what CrossFit is. It looks so much more terrifying than it actually is, although those damn box jumps still freak me out. I am convinced that I'll miss the box and break my face, leg, or something else that I need.

Let's remember that I finished that first workout last in my group two weeks ago. 500 meters of rowing, 40 squats, 10 pull ups, 20 sit ups, 10 push ups, and 5 burpees. Just five workouts later and I took over a minute off of my time. And I didn't finish last. Winning!

The Everygirl + BHLDN
Here's a little peek at today's feature on our BHLDN event. Guess who wrote the copy for today's feature? Thank you to Alaina for pushing me to step outside of my comfort zone. I may be a blogger but I do not fancy myself a writer. Makes me all kinds of nervous. 

And speaking of The Everygirl, I am loving today's This or That: East v. West Coast.

...And we have a shoot with Shari today!

I look like a giant next to Alex, Liz, and Jess (who all wore flats). This is the first time I've been the "tall girl" in a photo. I'm only 5'5''. Love these girls and my new Parker dress

  Treated myself to some peonies this week.

And I just love this little face so much.

What are your plans this weekend? Whatever you do, I hope you have some fun!


Shopbop SALE!

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things from the big Shopbop sale! I have been shopping at this store for years. They have almost every brand under the sun, great customer service, and both free three day shipping & free return shipping! The sale ends tonight, so you've still got some time. Get on it.

My favorite Tory Burch Eddie Flats are on sale!

My favorite Gorjana necklace. I really want one.

Happy Shopping!

What to buy a baby girl

I want to thank you for your sweet comments on yesterday's post. I was pretty miserable for a few hours and then snapped out of it. That nightmare of a woman could have been my landlord! On to better things. I did not love the place I saw this morning, so that's out.

I am seeing a less expensive place with a w/d in the unit on Saturday morning. It looks really charming (hello, crown molding) and is in one of my favorite areas so please think good thoughts for me.

One of my best friends had a baby girl earlier this year, and as "Aunt Danielle" I took it upon my self to send Harper a few very important necessities from some darling little Etsy shops. I love this little peanut! It kills me that I have yet to meet her, but I haven't had a chance to get back to CA since December. My work load has doubled and now that I am slowly finding some balance, I am apartment hunting. Story of my life. I don't think I have ever gone six months without a trip to LA.

First - how cute is baby Harper? I want to squeeze her face. Look at the makings of her wrist fat. This is the one time in life where wrist fat is looked at as a positive. And the belly. it kills me.

The grey mary janes from Bitsy Blossom are so. ridiculously. sweet. I have instructed Jess to save them and let me "borrow" them (this is code for: I want them) when I have a little girl of my own someday. She should really do that with all of Harper's accessories. Obviously.

Zuzii is a sweet little shop with tiny little headbands and shoes. I mean -- how cute are these?! Zuzii is launching a new collection soon, so if you have a little one or need to buy a baby gift, be sure to check back for the new line.

The adorable "Harper" print is from Metro Line 6 Photography. Jessica has some gorgeous prints available (including a few Paris photographs). I love her work.

I love the little bird print from Points Art! Isn't it precious? Jess loves birds, so this was a must. 

I also sent Harper a little Splendid outfit. I shared a photo on instagram.

She also scored by receiving all the presents I bought for Kate. Who is Kate, you ask? Well, Jess was told that her first was a girl, but she had a boy. And yes. It's rare -- but it does happen.


So. I lost my dream apartment.

The "big news" I wrote about yesterday: I was supposed to see and put a deposit on what I thought was my dream apartment this morning and my mom is going to come visit/help me move. I was told that the place was mine. The awful woman buying this investment property assured me I'd be the first to see it on Monday. Then she moved it to Tuesday. And then she gave it to someone else. I know this is not the end of the world and that I'll find a place, but I had my heart set on this apartment. It had a dining room, fireplace, and subway tile in the bathroom. But it's time to move on. 

My friend Anne reminded me of something:
It's easier to find a killer flat than it is amazing & true friends, a great idea! (The Everygirl), and someone fabulous to share the work and joy with (Alaina). You have lots to be thankful for. :) 
- My wonderful friend Anne.

And she's right. I do have a lot to be thankful for. I also live in a city that I love, work with some really amazing clients, have the greatest dog on the planet, and a family that loves and supports me. So there you have it. I am looking for a new place in Chicago. I'll keep you all posted and can't wait to do a little redecorating! 

This chair from Serena and Lily is at the top of my wish list. Isn't is gorgeous? I have a thing for arms (on men & chairs) and the English roll arm is no exception. It may be one of my favorite things in the whole world. I wrote about them here and here. I also have a thing for tufting. Irresistible.

What's at the top of your wish list & what are you thankful for?

PS. You won't want to miss IFB's first fashion feature on The Everygirl today!


Around Here

What a lovely weekend. The weather was in the 80s and I was able to enjoy a little time outside. Wearing dresses and flip flops was an everyday thing in LA so when I always feel like myself when it's warm enough to break out my dresses.

Saturday: Lunch at Bistrot Margot and drinks at Benchmark with Shari. I went to a little get together with my friend Brandon that night and then met up with a few friends afterward. Sunday: lunch at Prasino (so. good.) with my friend Kirby (one of the first friends I made in Chicago). I did work both days but managed to have some fun, too. Look at me developing a little work life balance! I'm getting there.

A few other things I'm loving:

I had a rough morning Friday but managed to turn my entire day around after a talk with my friend Jess. I have made such good friends in this city and hope that I am as good a friend to them as they are to me.

This finance feature on The Everygirl. I am turning 30 and need to start investing. I plan on taking Brittney's advice and investing $50 per month. 

My glasses c/o Mezzmer + bright pink tulips

My TEG ring by Madison Elizabeth Designs. i. love. this. thing.

New kicks. They really do make working out a lot more fun. And I am LOVING CrossFit.

Buddy and his fancypants dog bowl c/o Doca Pet. It's beauuuutiful! And is he perfect or what?

Fresh flowers and my gold athena tray from Jayson Home and Garden.  I've only posted it 84,297 times.

And finally -- I am excited that my mom will be coming to Chicago in a few weeks to help with a very big project. I will share the news later this week.

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday. 


Well, Hello.

I hope you're all having a lovely week! Things are crazy/busy as usual over here!

After spending the last week working on my site redesign, it's (mostly) done. Still playing with the blog, but really want to tie the two together. I am especially proud of my fancy service buttons (just scroll over them to see what happens!) My entire site is run on blogger, so if you find yourself in need of a portfolio but don't want to spend $$$ on a website, email me!

CrossFit is definitely a challenge, but I'm loving it. I have never felt this way during or after working out. I've learned that I hate squats, and that I have semi-decent jump roping skills. Really excited to finally get to the point where I can do a real push up. It's gonna happen, people.

Buddy is really enjoying his fancy water bowl c/o Doca Pet. I have photos on my camera but haven't had time to upload them. I'll make it happen one of these days!

I feel behind on everything. Haven't watched half this season of Glee. You know I'm busy when I start missing my TV shows.

Ani's tomato bisque is amazing. One of the best soups I have ever made, and it's crazy healthy. I am enjoying this program and never feel hungry, but miss eating. Looking forward to salads and wraps. Bring on phases two and three!

A few peeks at Mindy's Feature. You won't want to miss this one.



Last week, I finished a design project for fellow Chicago blogger Gina. I am kind of a health nut (but only kind of) so I had to ask her some questions about paleo. Then she brought up CrossFit. And then we met for lunch. She went from barely being able to do a squat to squatting 75 lbs. Or was it 113? Either way -- she's a tiny little peanut with superhuman strength and she's inspired me.

Let me take you back to last night. A room full of people doing pull ups, jumping on and off these crazy high platforms, squatting insane amounts of weight etc. In walks Danielle who can't even do a real push up. Sad but true.

I attended my first CrossFit intro class. If this is the intro, I'm not sure I want to know what a full hour will do to me. I loved it and hated it. Thought I'd be a little more prepared after doing bar method 4-5x a week for a month, but this is a whole other ballgame. If I could afford it, bar method would be my fun/on the side workout, because I do love it. I've done spinning, yoga, rowing, bar method, plain old running, kickboxing, and probably a few other things. Then there's Crossfit. My throat/chest were on fire. I was exhausted. But it was doable. I was never pushed too hard and everyone was very supportive. I finished last in my group of 6 (but only by a few seconds). And in case you do not know this about me, I am a super competitive overachiever. But this was just about doing my best. And I did.

And now I'm motivated. I will nail this. 

Here's what we did:
1000 meters of rowing
intro to pull ups, sit ups, squats, burpees, push ups etc (we each did a few)
500 meters of rowing
15 pull ups (with support bands. obviously)
40 sit ups
40 squats
20 push ups
10 burpees

Might not sound like much, but it was. Just trust me. Now let's hope I can walk tomorrow.

I need to clarify something. I do not want to be super skinny. I just want to be as healthy as possible. Between my mom's parents, we're looking at 4 heart attacks (grandfather), a stroke, diabetes (grandmother) and two pacemakers. I did not grow up in a health conscious home, so I suppose I am just wired this way. The thought of being unhealthy does not work for me. Yes -- I want to look awesome. But more than anything, I want to be healthy. Low body fat. A healthy heart. Muscle tone.

I am also giving raw foods a try. I really enjoy experimenting with different programs, so I started following paleo and eating a little organic free range turkey, but I'm not sure that will last. I needed a little boost so I just started Ani's 15 day fat blast and just ordered a spiralizer, food processor, and dehydrator. I figure that even if I don't stay raw, I'll use all of these things anyway. Zucchini pasta, pesto, and kale chips? I'm all over it.

Has anyone reading this used a dehydrator or spiralizer?


It's Monday

I spent Mother's Day with my friend Anne and her son Jack. Lunch on Southport, apartment hunting (for me), followed by a lovely dinner. While I had a nice day yesterday, I woke up in a not so great mood this morning. I am stressing over my workload, apartment hunting, being in a long distance relationship, finances, and basically anything I can think of.

While I'd like to hide under the covers, I need to face the day (and week). I have a ton of work to do, am resetting my body with a raw cleanse, and start CrossFit tonight.

What do you do when you feel like everything is hitting you at once? Any tips for me? 


Happy Friday

Moving to Chicago was the hardest thing I had ever done. And then came The Everygirl. My life is so different from the way it used to be. I went from being a graphic designer/photographer/blogger to all of that and a editor/co-founder. I am still waiting for the day that it all feels normal. It's been one of those"is this really my life?" kind of weeks.

A little recap:
Wedding Week began on The Everygirl.
I photographed another feature for Glitter Guide and Barneys pinned one of the photos.
A reader left a comment to let me know that Lauren Conrad pinned my living room.
Alaina and I hosted our first event.
 With Caitlin (our editorial assistant). Finally wearing my Parker dress.

 With two of our favorite photographers, John and Maura Stoffer.

I had my makeup done for the first time in 12 years. Must learn to apply eyeliner properly.
We featured Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty.
A photo from our fashion feature made it to Kate Spade's tumblr.
We were invited to an event at Lily Kanter's (of Serena and Lily) home. ba.na.nas.
Worked until at least 1:00 am every. single. night. 
And last but not least, we are featuring my incredibly talented friend Anne Book on The Everygirl today.

Photography by yours truly

I am working on revamping my site in the coming weeks.
It's supposed to be in the 70s-80s next week. Summer is almost here!
I start my first month of CrossFit on Sunday. Let's hope I survive.
Also, my hair needs to be two inches longer or I need to cut it off again. Or maybe I'll grow it another two inches and then cut it off. I'm so mysterious and maybe a little indecisive.

Happy Friday!


On the Brink

Sept '83. Yes. I looked like a boy and my head was ginormous.

I love talking to great aunt rose and couldn't not post the most ridiculous "conversation" we have ever had.

Me: I'm at the bank.
Rose: you're on the brink?
Me: I'm at the bank
Rose: The brink of what? What's wrong?
Me: I'll call you back.

New call... 

Me: Hi. Sorry, I was at the bank.
Rose: What's wrong?
Me: Nothing.
Rose: But you said you're on the brink.
Me: The bank. I was at the bank.
Rose: (silence)
Me: I was at the bank. I said it 40 times.
Rose: You lost 40 pounds?
Me: No. I was at the bank. Where people take their money. And I said it 40 times.
Rose: I have another call.

The time we featured Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty

While in Boston, Alaina and I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Abby Larson, the founder of Style Me Pretty. Heard of it? It's only the biggest wedding blog in the world. And since it's Wedding Week, I am thrilled to share her feature with you today. Not only did Abby take time out of her busy schedule (she runs SMP and has two adorable little ones!) for this shoot, but she offered lots of advice and told us to use her as a resource. One of the most successful bloggers in the world offering advice...to us. She is truly one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Ever.

 Photography by me for The Everygirl

Abby emailed her answers to us almost two weeks ago, and I read them as I walked home from the grocery store, smiling like an idiot. She inspired me. She made me want to do everything and most important -- she made me believe that anything is possible. Because it is.

I'll close with my favorite quote from Abby's feature, but before I do, if you are a girl trying to figure it all out, I urge you to take a few minutes to read her feature on The Everygirl. You will not regret it.  

Know what you do and do it really, really well. Don't try to be everyone. Don't try to be everything. Simply know what you do and kick ass doing it.  ~ ABBY LARSON, STYLE ME PRETTY


The Everygirl / BHLDN Event Recap

We had our event for The Everygirl at BHLDN last night. Sprinkles Cupcakes, cocktails (I had three or four drinks. Shhhh), friends, readers, cookies, smilebooth, beautiful flowers, our editorial assistant, and our favorite photographers. I have never hosted an event before and would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous, but everything went so well. Expect a full recap on The Everygirl next week.

Our logo. On a cookie. Thank you, Celestial Kitchens.

There was one girl in particular who made my entire evening. I knew I recognized her face from her profile photo and found her blog as soon as I got home. Susan came up to me to tell her what The Everygirl has meant to her. These stories make all the hard work so worth it. They are why we work late nights and weekends. They are why we started this site in the first place.

And then there's Caitlin. She has been such an amazing editorial assistant, and I am so thrilled that she was able to make it to Chicago for the event. She is even sweeter than I thought she'd be, and we can't wait for her to return for the summer in a few weeks!

I had my makeup done for the first time since prom. My eyes practically exploded off my face and I now understand why celebrities have their hair and makeup done on a daily basis. Here's a little peek. Must learn to properly apply eyeliner.

What I wouldn't give to look like this every time I left the house. Minus the crazy hair.

But look how long it's getting!

PS. When I take photos of myself and smile, I end up looking like Chandler Bing. Not so cute. I just need to focus and make this face. Just know that I am not trying to pose or take myself too seriously. That is not my thing.

Oh, and today on The Everygirl:

 You won't want to miss this one.

Can my girl Alaina style a shoot or what?! And lucky me. I get to work with her every day. My business partner selecting skills are pretty awesome.


Photo Shoot: Alex Berlin for Glitter Guide

I photographed Alaina for Glitter Guide last year, and a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing Alex Berlin. Her feature went up today and I couldn't be happier with it. Alex & her home & her pup all look so beautiful -- or handsome, in Maverick's case.

And I know it's wrong to pick favorites, but John and Maura Stoffer (the photographers who photographed my home for Rue & our contributors photos for The Everygirl) did an amazing job on today's fashion feature. Part 2 goes up tomorrow.

Excited for our event tonight! Having my hair & makeup done today. Fancy.


Wedding Week is Here!

It's the first day of Wedding Week on The Everygirl and we're kicking things off with Sarah Tucker Events, Naomi Chokr Photography, and The Short Giraffe. We will be featuring a different Everygirls' wedding every day this week, and we have some great Coffee Talk and This or That posts for you. All Wedding Week friendly, of course. 

I have always had this dream of getting married on a beach with my non existent fiancé. But then I see bridal showers like this one, beautiful wedding photos full of gorgeous florals, tables, dresses etc, and I cannot help but reconsider. I may change my story after Wedding Week.

Maybe I have that bride gene, after all. 

PS: I am very aware of the fact that most of my posts are about The Everygirl, but my entire life is about The Everygirl right now. Still finding that balance. Thanks for hanging in there!

Happy Monday!



I miss Kitty and can't believe she's gone. I have had a ton of work to do which has kept me somewhat distracted, but I can't stop thinking about her. Your sweet comments and emails mean so much to me. Thank you.

On to the good things, because I have been a total downer this week. My apologies. 

Wedding Week begins on The Everygirl this Monday. We will be featuring Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty, Mindy Weiss, Sarah Tucker, Camille Styles, and Cassandra Lavalle among others. Click here for a full list! And here is a little peek at one of our shoots by John and Maura Stoffer. Bananas. We have buttons you can grab on The Everygirl.

Buddy has a  fancy new dog bowl c/o doca pet. I have been meaning to take photos but between The Everygirl, my ever-growing wait list for graphic design projects, and working out, I do not have time for anything. I feel so behind on life. Taking an hour out of each day to work out has kept me (somewhat) sane.

Now that it's warming up, I am back to using this stuff. I swear by it.

I said I'd wear color this year and I don't mess around. And my first color choice? Pink. First, there was the Parker dress. Then the crazy neon pink/coral shoes. And now this Splendid dress.

Caitlin has been the best editorial assistant two girls could ask for. I am beyond excited that she will be in town next week to attend our event at BHLDN. Cannot wait to finally meet her!

I really love thunderstorms.

It's my sister's birthday on Saturday. Happy Birthday, Jess! You're getting up there!

I'll be working on The Everygirl with Alaina tomorrow in preparation for WEDDING WEEK and hope to enjoy a little much needed down time on Sunday.

Have a wonderful weekend. xo


Broken Heart

Kitty has been our girl for almost a decade and sadly, she was put to sleep today. She's been our family, and now she's gone. I didn't even get to say goodbye. I am heartbroken.

Rest in peace, sweet girl.
We'll always love you.


When I Have My Dream Kitchen

Victoria of vmac + cheese is back with Part 2 of our Kitchen Essentials for The Everygirl. We've also asked Everygirls to tell us about their favorite kitchen gadgets and would love to know what you would love to have in your kitchen. This got me thinking about all the super fancy kitchen gadgets that I dream of.

#1 on the list. Anything and everything Staub, in grey, of course. You've seen my home, so this should not come as a surprise to you.

#2. Gorgeous copper cookware. I think I'd be afraid to get it dirty.

#3 Fancy espresso maker. Pretty. And fancy.

#4. I think I'd like a pie maker. The ability to whip up pretty little mini-pies would be lovely and a little dangerous.

And let's not forget that one of my goals for 2012 is to take a pastry decorating course. So I'll take one of everything here. I want to work with fondant and make pretty desserts.

Join us for Coffee Talk and tell us what item you want in your kitchen!