My Second Chicago Apartment. The "Before" Home Tour.

I thought I'd share the official "before" of my new little home with you. You may remember my first Chicago apartment – a modern high rise located in River North. My new place is a larger and less expensive vintage walk-up. Alaina recently shared her new not-so-little gem on her blog which made me realize that my place should have a name, too. Meet Eleanor, named after Lucy Eleanor Moderatz from While You Were Sleeping. Belle and Elle. I like it.

I was so distracted/overwhelmed the week before I moved in that I did a horrible job taking before photos, but I have a few iPhone shots for you.

The kitchen. Taken the first time I saw my apartment (before I moved in).

The living room. It's bigger than it looks. This was taken pretty close to the back wall. Love the detail! Trying to figure out how to hang my art. Should I stay within the lines? 

Hallway leading to my bathroom and bedroom. And don't worry – these rooms are no longer a terrible creamy yellow color.

The bedroom which has also been repainted. Twice.

The pup lounging on the deck.

And because Alaina is a girl genius, I'm copying her and sharing Eleanor's layout.  She's ~ 800 square feet which is a big change from my last place. I was able to add a chair, dining table, and an additional dresser in my bedroom.

Just need a few months before Eleanor is ready for her big debut!


The Fiddle Leaf Fig

I had a gorgeous plant purchased at Jayson Home and Garden not long after I first moved to Chicago. She lasted for a while and then I think I may or may not have killed her. So here I am with this gorgeous pot (purchased at JH&G) and no plant. Sad, right? I think I'm finally ready to commit to caring for another plant, and I am certain that I really really need said plant to be a fiddle leaf fig.

images via


It's Friday

It's finally Friday. This week started off slow and wasn't easy. I completely hit a wall and was afraid I was getting sick. Took a little nap yesterday (I never nap) and I'm back. Time for some updates.

Really excited about some upcoming projects for The Everygirl. Exciting things are happening.
All five interns are working at my place today. Should be fun!
I had a shoot at Whole Foods for The Everygirl this week. Looking forward to this feature.
We also have Annemarie of Brunch at Saks working on a little something for us.
Revae Schneider of Femme du Coupe shared her story (and three cocktail recipes) with The Everygirl this week.

We met Lindsay from Skirt PR and Nicole Banks of Gilt City Chicago for drinks at Balena last night. John Ross (one of the owners who was so sweet to us) brought out a few appetizers. Then came some of the best pizza I've ever had followed by affogato and cinnamon donuts by pastry chef Amanda Rockman. Not paleo friendly but so worth it. I will be back.

yum. via.

My English roll arm chair arrives this afternoon.
Bought a linen shower curtain at Restoration Hardware but it might feel too masculine.
I might like this shower curtain. Having some trouble finding something. Any suggestions for me?
Pretty sure this needs to happen. It's so classy.
And this bathroom rugPretty.

Going out with my CrossFit people this weekend.
Planning a trip to Ikea with Kat.
Randolph Market is this weekend! I would love to get over there.
Looking forward to not having any set plans this weekend. After last weekend, I need a little down time.
Alaina's new apartment has a basement and she's letting me store my Christmas boxes down there. I love her.

On 7/2 my max rep back squat was 78 lbs. This week, 3 reps at 103 lbs and I came thisclose to 113 lbs.

Happy Weekend!


It's been a LONG time

...since I've had long hair. While going through old photos last night, I realized how much I miss having some length. My hair is currently about halfway between my pixie and shoulders right now. It grew to where it is now in about 5 months.

Photo taken Sept '09.

Would you ever cut all your hair off?


The Year of Color

If you're a reader of my blog, chances are you've seen my home tour. Up until last year, both my home and wardrobe were (mostly) void of any color. I still love neutrals (grey is my favorite color) but I declared 2012 my year of color and I don't mess around. I've purchased a yellow dress and two bright pink dresses. Neon pink tennis shoes. My nails are almost always neon pink, and I've added a few brights to my wardrobe. I'll actually be featuring my new place on two websites as soon as I finish decorating. While I've kept almost all of my furniture, I am looking to mix things up with some new prints, pillows, and other accessories. I have also re-purposed a few pieces. How everygirl of me!

The time has come. My once neutral apartment will now be a mostly neutral apartment. My first real piece of art, from Coco and Hearts is going to POP in my mostly white and grey room and I couldn't be more excited. Pink. Turquoise. Gold. Here's a little peek. Isn't she beautiful?

When it comes to decorating, how do you choose your bigger pieces? Do you stick with classics and neutrals or do you have a little fun and hope that you won't tire of something bright or trendy? Because as much as I would have loved to order this Serena and Lily chair in mist linen, I had to go with grey. But don't be surprised if you see a bright pink pillow somewhere.

I guess you might be a little surprised. This is me we're talking about, after all.


Weekend Recap

Friday night // drinks and a little girl talk with Caitlin

Saturday // CrossFit (went 5x last week. soooo sore!), Warby Parker bocce ball event, interview/dinner/pre-fall fashion show with Lubov Azria (creative director of BCBG) followed by drinks with friends. Splurged and bought my first romper (BCBG, of course) for the event. Attended both events with Alaina, naturally.

Sunday // lunch with Brandon and a few other friends at Citizen followed by Taste of River North with Sarah.

A few other things // 
The Everygirl went live exactly 5 months ago (as of yesterday). Amazing.
Finally finished Homeland.
Spent time with some new friends this weekend. Always love meeting new people.
Thanks for voting on my new rug. I know which one I'm picking and loved hearing what you all think!
Best reaction to winning an award. Watch the beginning and then skip ahead to 1:31.

Not ready to start another work week, but here we go. Happy Monday.


My new rug from Layla Grayce. Pick a color!

I am getting this beauuuuuuuutiful rug from Layla Grayce (for my dining room), and cannot decide if I should go dark or light. Going with a neutral (obviously. have we met?), but this will be right behind my dark grey Serena and Lily chair, so I'm a little torn. I know which one I'm leaning toward but would love your thoughts!

Dark or light? Which one would you choose?

CrossFit and two events today. Brunch tomorrow. Should be fun! Happy Weekend!



When it comes to holidays, the people at Williams-Sonoma don't mess around. It isn't even August and the Halloween shop is up! You know how much I love decorations, treats, and a chance to celebrate something, don't you? And now that I live in the Midwest, throw an authentic Midwest pumpkin patch into the mix (cider, cider donuts, hay rides, and actual fall temps) and I'm pretty much in heaven. Alaina was just discussing how excited she was to go to a pumpkin patch last night, but I'm not quite there. Then I saw the Halloween Shop and I got a little excited. But I do plan on enjoying summer while it's still here! I still need to get to a movie in the park, ride bikes, and enjoy some more time outside!

one of my favorites: pumpkin butter // pumpkin bread

Are you ready for fall? Excited for Halloween? Do you plan on dressing up this year?



I have been going to River North CrossFit for 7.5 weeks. After struggling with trying to find the right workout throughout my 20s I have finally figured it out. And the answer to everything? For me, it's CrossFit. And (mostly) following paleo unless it's the weekend during the summer in Chicago which usually calls for a drink or two.

I have gone to CrossFit a total of 28 times. That's 28 hours that I've given myself to do something for me. To feel better. Stronger. Healthier. Taking time out of my day to push myself has done wonders for my mental health. And actually seeing a change is the best feeling in the world. Then there's the sense of community at RNCF. I can't even begin to describe it, but the support, friendship etc. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced at any gym.

I am so glad Gina hired me to design her blog, that we met for lunch, and that I decided to give CrossFit a try. Just gaining Gina as a friend would have been fantastic, but aside from becoming a good friend, that girl is responsible for introducing me to CrossFit. I am eternally grateful.

It's been an awesome journey and I can't wait to see where I am in another couple of months. I've been feeling pretty run down the past week, and going to CrossFit has not only helped me get out of my head, but it's also given me a sense of control over my life when things feel impossible. We did Sumo Deadlifts yesterday and I did 3 reps of 103 lbs. Triple digits. Go me. I still have a ways to go, but it feels great knowing that I'm on the right path.

I'll conclude with some pics of the CrossFit games. Because they're awesome.


Weekend Recap

Such a fun/busy/exhausting weekend. It all started on Friday afternoon when my headboard arrived from Ballard Designs. I now live in a 3 story walk-up so I carried the headboard up 3 flights of stairs by myself. So glad I started CrossFit seven weeks ago! I was then surprised by a flower delivery from the Skirt PR team. They sent us each a gorgeous floral arrangement as a thank you for their feature on The Everygirl. How thoughtful and what a wonderful way to kick off the weekend.

On Friday night I met my friend Michelle for dinner at Topo Gigio in Old Town. I ordered a grilled chicken salad (dressing on the side, of course). I really liked the patio and the food was delicious. I'd definitely recommend it. After dinner we went to Benchmark and Old Town Social (two of my favorite spots) for drinks.

On Saturday morning I met Amber Venz and (and Meg and Madison from the rewardStyle team) for breakfast at Hub51. You know Amber as the President and co-founder of rewardStyle as well as one of our first features on The Everygirl. It was so wonderful getting to meet her. Unfortunately, Alaina was hosting a baby shower and was unable to join us. She was definitely missed.

Bracelets and iPhone cases thanks to rewardStyle and Tory Burch!

Fun and fancy sushi. Further proof that I should become a chef.

Can't say enough good things about this sweet, smart, and beautiful girl.

After breakfast we walked over to Union Sushi for the Top 25 rewardStyle Chicago blogger event. I wish I had taken some more photos, but I was too busy making sushi & drinks (SO fun) and talking to all the girls at the event. I saw Sarah, Audrey, Anna, Jen, and met some great new girls, too. I'd link to everyone but I don't have all their links yet.

Saturday night I went to the rooftop at Market to celebrate my friend Gina's birthday! Such a fun/crazy/LATE night. I am way too old to get home at 3:00 am. Totally worth it, but I was a little sluggish on Sunday.

Dress: Theory (old),  Shoes: Dolce Vita (old), Clutch c/o Blair Ritchey, scar on my leg c/o box jumps. ha.

I woke up six hours later to get ready to head back to Market for Blogger Blitz, a fun event thrown by my Sun Savvy co-founder Alison of Long Distance Loving. We met some great girls but I am way too tired to type out all their links right now since it's after 1:00 am. Alaina and I got a table downstairs after the event for a little meeting. So much to do!

 With AV and AK. My hair color is so much warmer! Love it. Thanks again, Maxine Salon!
Top: Splendid (old), Shorts: J. Crew, Glasses: Kate Spade, Necklace: Brooklyn Thread

I stopped by Anne's house to see her newly decorated office on the way home. She was working on organizing everything with her intern and they were about to head out to run errands. I was just planning on sitting at home so I offered to take her son Jack for a few hours. We took Buddy for a walk and then we went to the zoo.

Jack is such a GREAT kid. He told me all about how we used to live on Pluto but it got too small and exploded so God gave us earth. I love this kid.

And this is what you see when you leave the zoo in Chicago. I can't believe I live here.

I walked to Trader Joe's and spent the rest of my night sitting on the couch. I watched the first three episodes of Homeland (I never watch TV anymore!) and really liked it. Bracing myself for another long and crazy week. Here we go.


Because it's Friday

The past few work weeks have been especially difficult and my dog hurt his leg this week which meant an emergency trip to the vet. Not the added stress I was hoping for, but what can you do? I was feeling particularly drained and anxious most of the week but as of Thursday things began to look up.

I received an email from Ballard. My tufted headboard shipped! My Serena and Lily chair also shipped on the same day! I have been dreaming of owning an English roll arm and an upholstered headboard for a few years and am so ridiculously excited for both items to arrive. And yes, both are grey. Shocking, I'm sure. I like to keep all the larger items neutral because I never tire of neutrals. That's how I roll. Lots of work to do before I am ready to feature my new place this fall!

I have made an exception to my normally neutral palette and will be adding some legit color to my apartment a la Jen Ramos of Coco and Hearts.

I had my hair colored and cut c/o Maxine Salon. Robert did an amazing job with the color and Adrianne finally gave my awkward length a real style. I paid to have my hair cut at another salon a few weeks ago and nothing was done. What would you do in this situation? I am tempted to call and speak to the manager. I had tons of split ends and it looked like I cut it myself.  I'll post an after photo soon, but here's a little peek during the dying process. I LOVE it. THANK YOU Maxine Salon! I'll be back soon!

This weekend should be a good one. I'm meeting the rewardStyle girls for breakfast before Top 25 rewardStyle Chicago blogger lunch on Saturday. That night I'll be celebrating my friend Gina's birthday and on Sunday I'll be attending Blogger Blitz!

There's a Hanky Panky giveaway courtesy of Bloomspot on The Everygirl! Click here to enter!

CrossFit update: 

CrossFit has been amazing and gives me something positive to focus on when things feel impossible. This is the end of my 7th week and I've made lots of progress. I have never done any type of exercise 4x a week for 7 weeks. I tire of things easily and lose motivation, but even with a 30 minute commute each way I have found myself going on a regular basis.

Quite a few new PRs this week.
Rowed 5000 meters in 26.22 min! I had never done more than 2000 meters
Shoulder press: 1 rep 58 lbs
Push press: 3 reps 63 lbs
During workout: dead lift 73 lbs

Earlier this summer I bought 3 pairs of size 2 shorts. They were tight two weeks ago but fit perfectly now and my "skinny" white AND black pants both fit again, too. I still have a ways to go (lots of toning I'd like to do) but it's nice to know that all this hard work is paying off. While I am mostly following Paleo, I splurged way more than normal last weekend (think french toast, half a milkshake, and fries, and a few drinks both Friday and Saturday) but I still saw a change.

Enjoy your weekend! 


Oh, Buddy

Buddy Buddy Handsomeface. I love you. But limping around my apartment for no reason / scaring the hell out of me yesterday was not cool. I rushed Buddy to the vet and $75 later (huge sigh of relief as I was expecting to spend hundreds), the pup found himself on anti-inflammatory meds and is not allowed to play or go on walks for a week. My regular vet will be making a house call Thursday with a refill on his allergy medicine. Seems he has a skin allergy, too.

He really is the PERFECT dog minus his leg problems which will likely continue to haunt us in the years to come. I am a worrier so I think about this all the time. Buddy had grade 4 patella luxation which was repaired in one of his legs, but the other back leg has some degree of it so he may or may not need another surgery at some point. But I love my little pup and I wouldn't trade him for nothin'. You can read his full story here.

The 4,726th time I've shared this photo. I can't help myself. 

Do you have a dog or plans to get one soon? Tell me about your pup. Name, age, breed? Is your dog a rescue like Buddy?

PS. I'm taking part in Jess Constable's Design Your Life series Makeunder My Life today.


Fatigue is the best pillow

Benjamin Franklin said Fatigue is the best pillow. I'm fairly certain this was before the existence of Jonathan Adler. 

Which one is your favorite?

CrossFit Update
New PR (personal record) at River North CrossFit yesterday. My max rep front squat was 83 lbs and I did 3 reps of 78! It's amazing how much your #s can go up in a few weeks. I went from working out with 35 lbs to 50. I also have legit muscles forming and can't wait to see where I am in another 6 weeks. I cannot stress this enough: I never ever would have thought I'd actually LIKE CrossFit, but I love it. You should give it a try!


Guess who took the whole weekend off?

Aside from answering a few emails, I took the whole weekend off and it was magical. Game night, shopping, painting, bars, brunch, a long walk, and dinner with a friend. One of the best weekends I've had in a long time. Let's talk about it.

It started with game night at Alaina's apartment followed by pool and shuffleboard at a bar.

Spent a little time online while I had my bedroom repainted. Here's a peek at my new office. I love the view.

Farrow and Ball's Cabbage White. Isn't it beauuuutiful?! Goodbye sea foam/nursery green. That was an epic fail. 

Shopping with Lauren. Sales are fun. Spent $50. Saved over $100.

Cheated on Paleo at Hub 51. So worth it. Annnnd...I'll be going to CrossFit every day this week.

Stopped into Nordstrom for my favorite moisturizer and picked up this Cosmic Raspberry lipstick
Nail polish - Color Club Jackie Oh! Thank you, Katia!

Walking and talking with my friend Jess Constable.

Can I just take a minute to say how lucky I am to have Jess as a friend? She is one of the sweetest and most genuine people I know, and she happens to be one of my favorite people to talk to. Best advice giver ever.  I love that girl. And are you seeing this view? I love Chicago and can't believe I live here. 

And let us not forget that I have an IL license, so it's official. I'm practically from Chicago now.