Live from my new laptop!

I meant to post on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, too. I really did. But this week has been a little crazier than usual. I've had the Everygirl team working at my place most of the week so between that and the usual stuff (working on blogs for 7 clients, wrapping up photo editing for not one but two shoots, long walks with Buddy, conference calls, organizing my apartment etc.) there hasn't been much time for anything. My one "break" during the day consists of a trip to CrossFit.

Alaina whipped up a fancy new badge for The Everygirl. It's on the top right of our website and I love it.

After dealing with my two very slow computers for quite some time, I am now the so happy I could cry owner of a new Macbook Pro (with super-fancy retina display and solid state hard drive). I already sold my old laptop and am selling my iMac, too. 'll miss my ginormous desktop screen but plan on marveling in the fact that files actually open on this thing. That rainbow circle can suck it.

Decorating has come to a halt this week. I need a dining room rug, nightstands, more bedroom storage, new bedding, a rug for the dining room, new pillows for the sofa, and some artwork. I plan on working on a few decorating posts soon because I am in need of some inspiration. On a very positive note, my dining chairs arrived and I love them. I feel like a real grown up now.

I am thrilled to announce that The Everygirl and Random House have partnered to bring you a TEG/Random House book club! Join us as we kick things off with Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon next month. Will you be joining us? If I can do it, so can you! Details can be found here.

On a "keep it real" note, I feel like I've said this a dozen times, but my life has changed so much the past year and I feel pretty disconnected from everything right now. I don't know if this makes sense, but I am still trying to process that this is my life. I love working on The Everygirl. I love my business partner and our little team. I love being a part of something that inspires people. But balancing everything can be a lot to handle. I am a type A overachiever so when I cannot get it all done I tend to be a little hard on myself.

Any advice for me? What do you do when you feel like you have too much on your plate?


Happy Friday

Photo by me

This has been a BIG week.
My first week alone in my new apartment. I am loving my new neighborhood.
Ordered my dream chair and dining chairs, too! Making progress.
I took the IL written and driving tests and now have an Illinois drivers license. Thanks, Melissa!
One more intern joins The Everygirl today! And then there were six.
Today also marks four months since the launch although we've been working on The Everygirl since August. 
Alaina and I have a shoot for Pyar and Co. tomorrow.

And the biggest thing to happen this week is without question The Everygirl being named one of the 100 best websites for women and 10 best websites for millennial women by FORBES. #crazy

What's new in your world?


Look, Mom. I've made it to FORBES!

I am so honored to tell you that The Everygirl was rated by FORBES one of the 10 best websites for Millennial women and one of the top 100 best websites for women. To have this recognition within four months of launching the site is surreal and wonderful. I never could have imagined being behind something like this. Even after all of our hard work it feels a little surreal.

I am so thankful to our wonderful friends who sent their love and support our way. To my mom for sending an email sharing the news with all of her friends and colleagues. To all of the readers of The Everygirl. To our amazing contributors. To Caitlin, Mary, and Chloe for being so ridiculously fantastic. And to Alaina for taking this huge leap of faith and starting The Everygirl with me.

For a more optimistic personal viewpoint on living la vida Millennial, check out The Everygirl, where friends Alaina Kaczmarski and Danielle Moss tackle Gen Y life from all angles: fashion, career and personal finance all wrapped up in the packaging of great design and breezy, best friend prose. - FORBES

An everything-you-need-know site, The Everygirl inspires career-driven, creative young women to create the stylish, successful lives they’ve always dreamed of through finance, fashion and travel tips. - FORBES

This has been a VERY good week. We're in FORBES!


Dining Room Inspiration

I think this is my 53rd blog post about my dining room and in case you can't tell, I am thrilled to a. have a place for our interns to sit this summer and b. plan on having a dinner party or two in the coming months. This space is quickly coming together (I did move in on Friday, after all), and I have loved making my apartment feel like a little home. I am still in between a few rugs but love this one by Jill Rosenwald who was recently featured on The Everygirl.

Instead of spending money on four chairs, I purchased two and will be using my bench (with a white cushion on top) to a. save money and b. save space. Or that's the plan. Let's hope it works. Art by the talented and lovely Christine of Bijou and Boheme.

For those who have asked, expect to see this apartment in the next 2-3 months. I have some work to do.

shelves / rug / chairs / bench / table (purchased the floor sample 40% off!) / art


So, This is Happening.

In just a few weeks this gorgeous chair will be mine. Isn't she beautiful? Thank you to Serena and Lily for creating this lovely little piece of art. Those arms! I think I'm in love. And yes -- I bought the grey. You know how I love my neutrals.

If you could splurge on a piece of furniture, what would you buy?


Let's have a dinner party

I am mostly moved in and love my new place. I went from a tiny 600 sq foot high-rise to an 800 sq foot walk-up and with this new space comes the ability to buy a dining table. I love the look of this marble top table but it only comfortably seats three. When my mom and I stopped at Crate and Barrel we went upstairs to see this table (just for fun) and saw the floor sample on sale 40% off. The exact size in the exact finish that I wanted. Seriously?! Lucky me. After calling/text messaging Alaina all morning (sometimes I'm a little indecisive and need her thoughts on things), we narrowed it down to two tables and I made my decision. I give you...my new dining table. I feel so grown up.

The best thing about this table is that I can bring my Ballard bench up to the table and seat a total of SIX people. Once I find those dining chairs, I'll be ready for my first dinner party. Alex suggested these windsor chairs from West Elm (I love this chair in white. I'd love black chairs but think white might soften the space. We'll see!), but bentwood chairs would cost less. Any suggestions for me? I'm feeling a little stuck.

I have had a great few days with my mom and am so sad to see her go but I suppose I'm ready to get into a routine in my new home! After taking a few days off of work, I have some serious catching up to do. Ready for one last day of fun with mom.

Happy Monday!


Moving Day!

I am moving into my new apartment today! My mom has arrived so we're going to do some unpacking, organizing, and furniture shopping (still on the hunt for that dining table). I will be taking a short break from my mom on Saturday to interview one of my favorite bloggers/graphic designers for a feature on The Everygirl. Just a little excited.

And I've got some not so great news. I had it my bedroom painted last week but the color that was supposed to be a pretty green/blue looks like a sea foam green baby's nursery. I thought I might be able to work until Alaina walked in and started laughing. Here is how it all went down: I wasn't going to paint the bedroom but decided to just get it over with. I happened to be at Home Depot so I grabbed a color that seemed pretty. Big mistake. This is what I get for not going with Farrow & Ball's Cabbage White which happens to be one of the most beautiful and perfect colors that I've ever seen. My living room is Farrow & Ball's Cornforth White and I absolutely love it.

Here is that gorgeous Cabbage White I'm talking about. See? It's beauuuuuutiful.

photo via lonny

Note to self: stick with Farrow & Ball.  


Thank You, Erin Gates

I had the pleasure of photographing the home and office of Erin Gates during our trip to Boston. Getting to feature these spaces was exciting enough, so getting to be the ones behind the lens made it that much more exicting. Erin and Andrew are two of the loveliest people you could ever meet. After the shoot, the four of us ventured to Stella (our first travel feature on TEG) for cocktails, lots of wine, and one of the most delicious meals I have ever had.

You can see the rest of Erin's home tour and her office/career feature on The Everygirl.

I've got a question for you. You can tour the home or office of a woman that you admire. Who would you choose?

I Need a Nap and a Personal Assistant

I meant to post sooner, but I've been distracted by my photo shoot for Brooklyn Thread, editing photos of our trip to Boston for The Everygirl (did you see our first travel feature??), priming my current entry, graphic design projects, packing, taking things to the new place with Kat and Melissa (thanks, girls!), an attempt to get a new ID (that sucked), and more packing. I also re-photographed my current apartment before tearing it apart and added the photos to my website. I have worked/packed until 3:00 am every night this week and came pretty close to a nervous breakdown a couple of times. I am so ready for this move to be over.

On a positive note, my apartment has been transformed by a few coats of paint and I have slowly fallen for my new little home. I also met my neighbor (we share a deck) and she a. is very sweet and b. loves dogs. c. she's a nurse. So if I choke on something or injure myself cooking, she can save my life. Good to know.

My mom arrives tonight! I haven't seen her since early December. Looking forward to having her in Chicago for a few days and I am really looking forward to having her take over the move. Gina is going to let Buddy hang with his new best pal/girlfriend Minnie while the movers load the truck. And I'm not sure what I'd do without Mary, Caitlin, Chloe, and of course, Alaina. The Everygirl team has been so supportive as I've lost my mind / prepared for this move.

 Here's a little peek at my new mint bedroom. This is going to be fun.

My first CrossFit injury. It was only a matter of time before I fell while doing box jumps. Ouch!
Shoes: Nike Free Run

 One of the necklaces I photographed for Brooklyn Thread.

Back to work + packing + photo editing.  Remind me to never move again. Ever.  


A Table for Four

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I did lots of organizing and packing, went to CrossFit, ran errands, and spent some time with Anne. Buddy even squeezed in a playdate with Gina and his new girlfriend Minnie. My living room and bedroom have been painted and I chose paint for the hall and living room. I am starting to really love my new place! I can't believe I move this week! I still have so much packing to do.

I need to order a dining table and four chairs ASAP and I don't know what I want. Everything is so expensive and while I've found some budget friendly options, I am feeling stuck. Wishbone chairs? Bentwood chairs? The only table I am seeing that I like is a pedestal table. Black or white? Leaning toward black but as you know...I love all things white.

The table I love is a larger version of the one on the left. 

all images via lonny

Know of any great dining tables I might like? Help me.


Friday Favorites

It's been forever since I've put together a little roundup of my favorite things! This took forever! Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! I'm off to CrossFit and have tons of packing and work ahead of me this weekend! 

1. Corso Como Sandals $39.95 (sale!) // 2. Kate Spade Aviators $128 // 3. Kate Spade watch $250 // 4. Madewell Shorts $59 //  5. Kate Spade wallet $128 // 6. J. Crew lace top $77 // 7. Serena and Lily lantern $28 // 8. J. Crew scarf $45 // 9. Baggu eco friendly tote $8 // 10. Nike Free Run $100 // 11. Jonathan Adler positano glass $9 // 12. Dolce Vita Archer Flats $69 // 13. Jill Rosenwald pillow $62+

Happy Friday! xo


Life Changer

I started blogging back in 2007.
Wanted to redesign my blog and bought a copy of Photoshop Elements.
After a few months, others came to me for graphic design projects.
A few years later, I launched my graphic design studio.
Bought a rebel to take better photos to post on the blog.
Upgraded to CS3 & most recently, CS5.
Visited a few bloggers across the country in November 2009. That trip included a 2 day stop in Chicago.
Decided that I would move to Chicago, where I knew no one.
Packed my belongings and arrived on August 1, 2010.
Upgraded to a 7D and started booking photo shoots.
Made some amazing friends through blogging.
Invited Alaina to my Christmas party in 2010 where we met for the first time.
Photographed Alaina for Glitter Guide.
Alaina and I met for coffee to discuss a possible project in August 2011. Yes, I'm talking about The Everygirl.
We traveled to NYC in November, 2011.
My apartment was featured in Rue Magazine in January 2012. 
We launched The Everygirl on February 22, 2012.
Did another shoot for Glitter Guide.
Traveled to Boston for the first time a few photo shoots including the home and office of Erin Gates.
(her home tour goes up next week)

How has blogging changed your life?

First holiday card shoot. 11.10. Taken with my rebel.

 First engagement shoot. 6.11 Taken with my 7D.

First newborn shoot. 6.11

 Touring Chicago with my sis. 6.11

NYC with Alaina for The Everygirl. 11.11

Buddy the Christmas pup made it to People Magazine 12.11

My home tour in the January issue of Rue Magazine photographed by Stoffer Photography. 1.12

Photographing Erin Gates' office in Boston for The Everygirl. 4.12 

I've been in Chicago almost two years, and move to my new apartment next week. I've met people I never would have met, launched a new business, and have had some of the most wonderful experiences in my life the past few years.

All because I started a blog.


See Jane on The Everygirl

Anna Jane of See Jane is on The Everygirl today. She did an amazing job styling these three looks which were photographed by the talented Cecilia Austin.

Need a little fashion help? Check out Anna Jane's feature on The Everygirl!

Get. It. Done.

It's time to come clean and tell you that I have been a mess the past few weeks. One minute I can't wait to redecorate and the next I convince myself that this move is a colossal mistake. I am trying to be positive but there are those moments where my doubts get the best of me. Throughout my almost two years in Chicago, I have had many moments where I've looked out the window and wondered how I ended up two thousand miles away from the city I always called home. I have questioned this move countless times. And while I love Chicago, there are still moments when I wonder what I'm doing here.

I wanted to share this with you because I've had a few readers tell me how brave I am, and it is so important to me that you all know that I am no more brave than any of you. Was my move a big decision? Yes. Was it bold? I suppose it was. But please do not sell yourself short. If you are thinking of taking that leap of faith, go for it. If I've learned one thing in my 20s (which will be over in three months) it's that now is the time to live.

I have grown so much and wouldn't be the person that I am today had I not moved to Chicago. I can't imagine my life without the friends I've made. Without The Everygirl. Without my best girl/business partner. And while I am just moving a few miles away, I am going to miss my little home. Fortunately, my mom will be here next week and I have some of the most supportive friends a girl could ask for. And Buddy. He's handsome and perfect and I don't know what I'd do without my little roommate.

Here's what's on my to do list before the move:
CrossFit! Can't give that up. I am loving it!  
Lots of graphic design projects
The Everygirl
A photography project for Brooklyn Thread
Lots of photos to edit for TEG
Trip to the DMV for a new ID (ugh) 
Change billing address, set up electric, schedule internet installation etc...
Packing! No fun.
An event tonight and plans tomorrow night (last plans I'll be making for a while)
Work with our three interns (Chloe and Caitlin are already here and Mary arrives next week!).
Buy primer and paint over my dark grey wall in the entry
Need to sell/donate a few things
Have apartment painted
A visit from my mom next week
...and I'm moving!

How do you reduce stress when your to do list piles up and how do you cope with big changes in your life?


My Home Tour / Entryway

My entryway never made it into my Rue feature and since we used the space in our How to Style an Entryway feature on The Everygirl, I held off on sharing the photos on my blog. As it has for most of 2012, time got away from me and I forgot to post these photos. Since my apartment was featured 5 months ago and I move in less than two weeks, so today seemed like a great day to (finally) share my entryway.

Books / Perfectly Imperfect Home, Kelly Hoppen Home, An Eye for Design
Taper holder / Anthropologie

Table / Wisteria 
Lamp / Ballard Designs
Plate / Z Gallerie
Candle / Volluspa
Mirror / Thrift store find
Paint / Benjamin Moore Black Horizon

Photos by Stoffer Photography for Rue Magazine

Time to work on my next place!