2.28.2013

Question of the Day // Cutting Back

pink | mint 

As mentioned on The Everygirl, I moved to Chicago with a savings account. I've had to rely on it a few times–when things have been slow and when big things have come up. Things have been crazy and I haven't had the time to take on as many graphic design projects, so I've made less than I am used to making, and I spent a little more of my savings than I would have liked. Ok–a lot more. I still have money put away but need to build it back up.

Here's what I'm doing wrong:
Uber is so convenient, but those cab rides add up.
I love spending time with friends, but those weekly brunches and dinners add up, too.
And then there's everything else. Bills, CrossFit, clothes, health insurance ($$$) etc.
I won't even go into the horrible things I've done at Lululemon the past few months. Oy.
I've done too much shopping at Whole Foods.

And this is what I'm going to do about it.
I was supposed to go to brunch Saturday and Sunday a few weeks ago which would have been at least $15-20 each day, so I made coffee plans instead. Spending one weekend night at home. Between cabbing to/from a restaurant or bar, ordering drinks and food, I figure I'm saving at least $50 per week. Savings of at least $25/week or $100/month. And I just need to not ever cab to CrossFit, because that's at least $12-13 each way. It adds up! I received a Nespresso for Christmas and make my iced Americanos at home. I also usually do my nails myself. I've gotten a lot better. And since I work from home, I always, always make my own lunches.

No shopping! I don't need any more winter clothes and spring/summer are just around the corner. I'll get to pull out all of my dresses again and will gain at least 20 new outfits. When it comes to health, this isn't something I am willing to change. I do buy my meat at Whole Foods, but have started buying everything else at Trader Joes. Buying healthy food is expensive. Period.

I feel like I've learned a lot from The Everygirl's contributing financial editor, Brittney Castro. She's been writing for us since the beginning, and I feel so fortunate to have her on our team. One of my favorites–our how to budget handbook. Good stuff, ladies.

I'm doing my best to really think about each purchase. Do I want or need this? Is there a less expensive version? $15 here or $20 there never feels like much, but it all adds up. And before you know it, you've spent $500.
So tell me–what do you give up when it's time to cut back?

2.27.2013

Black and Gold



While I've brought some color into my wardrobe over the past year or so and have even brought a touch of color into my home, neutrals are and always will be my favorite. I never tire of them. And I just love this color combo–it's simple and a little glam, too.

What are your favorite items on this list?

2.26.2013

Come on, spring. Let's do this.

It may be winter in Chicago, but I am so ready for spring and summer! Brights, dresses, and sandals. Bring. It. On. Spring is definitely in the air at Shopbop, and they're having a big sale! I've put together a roundup of a few of my favorite items. If only Chicago would get a clue and warm up a little bit.

Just enter code SPRINGEVENT at checkout. Offer ends Thursday, February 28, at 11:59pm PT. Spend $250 save $30, spend $500 save $60, spend $750 save $120, spend $1,000 save $200, spend $1,500 save $300.

16 mk miranda tote | 17 tory burch cosmetic case

A magic springtime fairy wants to give you three items off this list. What would you choose?

I'd ask for 5, 12, and 15. And warm weather. And sunshine. And summer. #californiagirl

2.25.2013

Lately


I survived a very stressful/busy week, celebrated the one year anniversary of TEG, and had a wonderful weekend. Sharing my story on The Everygirl wasn't easy, but I am so, so glad I did it. Wouldn't change a thing.

Alaina and I celebrated our one year anniversary with a little soiree at West Elm in Lincoln Park. The turnout was both wonderful and a little surreal, too–so many readers came out to celebrate with us. I realize that most of them will likely never read this, but for the readers who do follow my blog, thank you! This is something I dreamed of for almost two years, so to celebrate being live for a year feels pretty incredible.

I wore this Kate Spade dress. Hair by Blow by Blow and makeup by Marla Del Angel.

I love my workouts, but the girls (and guys) I've met have become like family to me. I love these people. I was taking a few smilebooth photos with Alaina and looked over to see my CrossFit girls waiting to take photos with me. In that moment, I felt so lucky to have such a great group of friends.

On 2.22 Alaina and I took our birthday boys to lunch at Chicago Q. If you haven't been you must go.  A and I each ordered the ribs (delicious) and I think the bread & butter pickles may be one of the best things I've ever had. I am going to pick some up this week. You can even order online! 

I spent Friday night relaxing at home. I did absolutely nothing but relax and cuddle with Buddy. Much needed after this busy week and our one year anniversary party.

Took the birthday boy to dinner at Balena. The food was amazing (I even cheated on paleo and had a little pizza). He wore his birthday present!

We had a lazy Sunday and ended up grabbing a late lunch at DMK

...and now it's Monday. Time to get back to work. Have a great week!

2.22.2013

The Everygirl's First Year



Happy first birthday to The Everygirl. To my wonderful friend & business partner. To our incredible team. The past year has been nothing short of amazing, and I feel so lucky to be a part it.

Thank you all for your love and support the past year. Taking the day off the celebrating with my best girl.

Cheers to The Everygirl! 

2.21.2013

Today on The Everygirl

Over the past year, we've had the pleasure of featuring some pretty remarkable women on The Everygirl. Tomorrow marks our one year anniversary, and today, my co-founder Alaina Kaczmarski and I are sharing our stories. What we did post-graduation, how we launched The Everygirl, and what it's been like to work full-time jobs while running a website. Our feature is a little wordy, but that's only because we wanted to be as open and honest as possible.

Being this open about what I've been through brought up a lot of not-so-great memories. It also reminded me of how far I've come. When I found myself feeling lost and unhappy in my early-mid twenties, I held on to the fact that one day I'd be able to share my story with someone and hopefully give them a little hope that things can change. I never imagined I'd share my story in such a public setting, but here I am. While things weren't easy, I am so happy that I went through what I went through. Had I not gotten to a point where I was so miserable that I needed a fresh start, I never would have moved to Chicago, met Alaina, and launched The Everygirl. And we all know how happy I am that I've found CrossFit, too. 

I cannot imagine what my life would be like without this city, my job, and this girl.

Tonight, we'll celebrate the The Everygirl's one year anniversary at West Elm. I can't believe it's been a year.

 We're sharing a little peek at our offices, too. But just a peek, because our home tours are coming to TEG in March! Pretty sure I'm smiling at Buddy in this photo. Love that guy.

If you stop by West Elm tonight, please say hello. I would love to meet you!

Photography via Stoffer Photography

2.20.2013

Birthday Wishes


So there's this guy, and today is his birthday. And since I kind of like him, it only seemed natural that I'd send my birthday wishes via the internet. Because who wouldn't want to start their birthday with a very public happy birthday message and virtual (sugar free) version of their favorite dessert?

Happy birthday! Can't wait to celebrate this weekend. 

image via

2.19.2013

Let's Party!

 
 
Anniversary Week is in full swing on The Everygirl, and our Giveaway Extravaganza is something you will not want to miss! We're giving away not one but thirteen items from some of our favorite brands, including Adobe, Jonathan Adler, West Elm, Ali Ro, Biscuit Home, and Euro Style Lighting to name a few.

We're also celebrating with a little soiree at West Elm this coming Thursday, and would love to see you there. RSVP info can be found on the invite above. Thank you again to the talented Molly Jacques for the beautiful custom lettering.

The next few days are going to be a little insane as we prep for this party and a big feature on Thurs.

Wish me luck!

Making a comeback


You may have noticed that I've been awfully quiet lately. It is no secret that the past year has been a bit of a roller coaster. I've struggled with trying to find balance in my life, and when things get busy, the blog is one of the first things to go. Between running The Everygirl, keeping up with graphic design clients, starting CrossFit 9 months ago, and now a new boy, there is often little time for blogging. And I know I've been slacking, but I miss blogging and feel ready for my comeback. I know it won't be easy, but I'd like to give my blog a little love every week.

So this is where you come in.

While I do write this blog for myself, the fact is that you're reading my blog and I'm writing for you as well. That said, what do you want to see from me? What types of posts are your favorite? Why are you here?

Whether there's something you want to see or a question you've been wanting to ask, I want to hear all about it.

image via andi hatch for the everygirl

2.18.2013

Lately + Anniversary Week



We've been prepping for the one year anniversary of The Everygirl and will celebrate at West Elm in Lincoln Park on 2.21. We're even taking our actual anniversary (2.22) off! I still can't believe it's been an entire year.

A beautiful floral arrangement and sweet note arrived at my door the morning of Valentine's Day. So there's no confusion, yes, I am dating someone. And I really like him.

Had my hair done at Blow by Blow for our photo shoot with John and Maura and it's never looked better. I can't wait to go back this week and any time I have an event. If you're in Chicago, you must go.

I baked paleo sunbutter chocolate chip cookies for my friend Maxine's Valentine's Day party and will share the recipe in the coming weeks. I also tried making cinnamon cookies but need to perfect that recipe before I can share it.

I've been very, very run down/a little sick the past week but managed to make it to CrossFit twice and did my 2nd Rx pull-up WOD on Saturday. It felt awful not going 4-5x like I'm used to, but my body clearly needed some down time.

Speaking of down time, I started season 1 of Girls on Friday and am really enjoying it. So much that by Saturday night, I had watched all of season 1 and caught up on season 2 as well. It is rare that I'll sit down and watch TV anymore, so that says a lot about this show. Highly recommend it.

I had coffee with Shari after CrossFit on Saturday and relaxed the rest of the day. Met my friend Jen for coffee on Sunday, relaxed, and did a little work. Operation save money and just schedule coffee instead of brunch because I only order eggs and can make those at home is in full swing.

Happy Monday!

2.16.2013

Currently Loving // Booties


I've been searching for the perfect pair of booties. Which ones are your favorite?

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Happy Weekend! x

2.15.2013

Step into My Office

Had a little photo shoot at my place yesterday. Until I reveal my full home tour on The Everygirl next month, here's a peek at some of the things that make up my home office. Lots of white with a little chalkboard, lacquer, and of course, touches of gold.


1. russell + hazel tape dispenser  2. jonathan adler phone dock  3. anthropologie chalkboard spice jar
4. anthropologie monogrammed mug  5. pottery barn barclay arc table lamp  6. west elm parsons desk
7. west elm lacquer tray

Happy Friday! 

2.14.2013

Be Mine


I have never been one to go crazy over Valentine's Day. I prefer gummy candy to chocolate and will take peonies, tulips, and hydrangea to roses any day. And I'd rather go on a great date on a night when everyone else isn't doing it because they're supposed to. But I cannot not like a day that is all about love.

Wishing all of you and my Valentine a very happy V-day.

xoxo

image via

2.10.2013

Lately


I woke up last Monday at 7:00 am, almost fainted, and spend the next 24 hours in bed. Fortunately, I had gotten ahead on the features I was in charge of for The Everygirl, and my graphic design clients were pretty understanding of the fact that I was not feeling well. I have the best clients! Speaking of graphic design, my new pre-made blog templates should be up in the next few weeks.

My first Rx pull-up WOD! 
My friend Jen and I did "Cindy" Rx on Sunday morning. 20 min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats. I made it through 11 rounds + 8 reps for a grand total of 60 Rx pull-ups. I did my first pull-up on December 16, so to do my first Rx WOD less than two months later feels pretty incredible! I've been working on my HSPUs (handstand push-ups) and want to have those down by the time I am one year into CrossFit this coming May!

My Weekend
Drinks at Bub City with Gina, brunch at Hash House a Go Go, mdrinks at State, and dinner at Avec

And on to the photos
1. A little coffee table styling. New gold urchin and box from Furbish. 
2. Sick day Buddy. Best cuddle pup ever.
3. Ladies WOD! Walking to Stout with the girls afterward.
4. Gold & lacquer desk accessories from Russell + Hazel.
5. Found a dress at Kate Spade for The Everygirl's one year anniversary! It is perfect!
6. Made paleo orange chicken and cauliflower fried rice. I added a little honey to the chicken and recommend using chicken breasts instead of thighs.

Hope you had a great weekend! Have a wonderful week!

2.07.2013

Feel the Love


I'll bet you didn't see it coming! A real blog post from yours truly. I was reminded of how much I've missed blogging after having dinner with Alaina, Liz, and Alex last night. I met these girls because of this blog, and I really don't want to give it up. Life has just been so busy lately, and I promise to eventually update everyone with what's going on. The next two weeks are going to be crazy prepping for our one year anniversary party, so I'll do my best to stay in touch.

I've put together a simple roundup of a few items for v-day. Whether I'm single or in a relationship, I don't really care about Valentine's Day. I'll take peonies, tulips, and hydrangea over red roses (not a fan) and don't really eat chocolate. So commercially, the day has never appealed to me. I do love that it's a day to celebrate love. And who doesn't love love? And hearts. I love hearts.


And check out this v-day soiree on The Everygirl. Pretty stuff. 

A magical v-day fairy appears in front of you and offers you two items off this list. What would you choose?

2.05.2013

Save The Date! The Everygirl is Turning One!


I'll never forget the night of 2.21.12. I hopped in a cab with a bottle of wine and headed to Alaina's apartment. The Everygirl was live just before midnight on 2.21, and officially launched on 2.22.12. We've partnered with one of our favorite brands to celebrate our 1st anniversary on Feb 21! Subscribe to The Everygirl's newsletter to receive the invite! Hope to see you there!

Thank you all for your love & support over the past year. It's been a crazy ride, but I am so thankful for each and every moment. Cannot wait to see what the next year brings! xo

2.04.2013

Radio Silence


So sorry for the radio silence the past few weeks. I miss my blog. There was a time when I posted every single day, and once upon a time, I actually read other people's blogs. And pinterest! I miss Pinterest. Fortunately, I'm still making time for Instagram. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't post at least a few photos of Buddy every week.

I'm not going to write a long post about how busy I've been because it's the same stuff. I will tell you that things are going very, very well and I just wanted to say hello and I miss you. I really hope to get a post or two together soon. More soon!

radio via 

2.01.2013

It's been three years

I love any reason to celebrate and have quite a few milestones that I like to keep track of each year. I do not necessarily "celebrate" each one, but love looking back at how things have changed as the years go by. The first of which just so happens to be today! Let's review my yearly celebrations.

2.1.10 The first time I moved to Chicago. I wanted (ok–needed) to see if I liked the city enough to live here and decided to sublet a place for a month. This day also marks exactly 2.5 years in Chicago. Amazing.

First trip to the bean

2.22.12 The day Alaina and I launched The Everygirl. Our one year anniversary is coming up, and West Elm is throwing a little one year anniversary soiree for us. What a year it's been.

At our TEG/Kate Spade event. Photo via Stoffer Photography

5.14.12 The day I started CrossFit. Can't believe I'm 4.5 months away from a year! I've said this before but I had never stuck to a workout routine for a month, so the fact that I've been doing this 4-5 days a week for 8.5 months still blows me away. CrossFit has completely changed my life. I love it!

toes to bar & burpees

8.1.10 The day I officially moved to Chicago. Can't believe it'll be three years this August. And I really cannot believe how much my life has changed because of this move. It is the best thing I ever did for myself. I love this city.

My first Chicago apartment. Photo via Stoffer Photography for Rue Magazine

 9.17.82 My birthday. Duh.

Little me with great aunt rose. 

12.16.08  The day I rescued my sweet little pup.


What milestones do you celebrate?