4.30.2013

Two More Days!


In case you missed it, Alaina's home tour went up in early April.
And I am excited to tell you that my home tour goes live on The Everygirl in just two days!

4.29.2013

Hanging in there


I wrote one post last week and a grand total of 10 posts this month. That's less than 1/2 of what I'd typically write in one month's time, and I have to tell you–I really miss blogging. That said, I am giving myself a pass because I refuse to let this blog become a source of stress in my life. I love my little blog, but have come to terms with the fact that posting every day is no longer an option for me. I wrote 358 posts in 2011 and 263 in 2012–the year we launched The Everygirl. I do happen to have a few posts scheduled for the coming week. Exciting stuff.

I know I've seemed very happy lately, and for the most part, I have been. But it's been one hell of a week and a pretty hectic year. I know I'm not the only one, but I constantly feel as if there are not enough hours in the day. It hasn't been all bad, but things are generally pretty hectic. Let's discuss it. Shall we?

I am still struggling to find that magical thing they call "work-life balance" and am learning that I mostly suck at this. You'll see my setup on Thursday when my home tour goes live on The Everygirl (yes–just a few more days!) but I work from home and my office is in my living room, so there is literally never a time that I am physically "at work." I either need to accept that this will always be my life, hope that I'll be able to afford a two bedroom someday and have a separate "office", or learn to leave work at my desk (which is literally 2 feet from my sofa). For those of you who work for yourself from home, how do you separate the two?

After finally finding a great physical therapist, I was able to go to CrossFit 2x a week for two weeks which was the greatest feeling in the world. Unfortunately, I had a setback with my back/neck (not CrossFit related) and have been in constant pain the past week which meant no working out. This has also made sitting at my desk fairly miserable. I realize that I am mostly healthy and am thankful for that, but this has been a struggle for me. Losing CrossFit for a second time was especially painful. I feel weak, and like I've lost a piece of who I am.

I was told I owed $4000 less than I actually did in taxes. Word to the wise for all accountants: maybe don't tell someone what they owe unless you're sure of that number. And I found out the Friday before taxes were due. That wasn't fun.

Thinking about the good things in my life doesn't completely wipe away all my stress, but it always seems to help a little bit. While things have felt fairly impossible for me the past week (and a lot this year in general), I realize how fortunate I am to have this wait list, this website, and some truly wonderful people in my life. I also have the most perfect and exceptional dog that I've ever met. And I know everyone probably feels that way about their dog, but Buddy is actually perfect. I'm leaving town Wednesday - Monday and my home tour goes live Thursday. I am fairly confident that this week will be better than the last. We're expecting highs in the 70s and 80s the next three days, so I plan on taking the pup for a few long walks. I definitely need a reminder that summer will be here soon. I can't wait.

So that's where I've been. I am mostly writing this to document what I'm going through so I can look back and remember these days, when things were crazy and all over the place. Because they will change, and I won't want to forget this. Like this post, this one, this one, this one, and this one, too. Because I went from being terrified to move here to making this city my home. From knowing no one to being surrounded by friends who I love dearly. From feeling lost career wise to launching a second business. And I know I'll find my place this time around, too. 

Hope you all have a very happy Monday.

photo by stoffer photography

4.23.2013

Lately

Oh you guys. I was such a mess last week. As you know, the shoot for Houzz was shot Wednesday morning last week, but by the time John and Maura got to my place it was a dark and gloomy little cave. I'm talking zero natural light / worst possible condition for a photo shoot.Outfits were picked out, place was clean, and most important–it was full of gorgeous flowers from Jayson Home and Garden, and there was nothing we could do. So we rescheduled for Monday and called it a day. I was heartbroken.

Fortunately, I had planned a little weekend trip with my guy and left town Thursday evening. Met an interesting character at the train station. He was heading to NY to meet a girl he met on FB. She was the "overlord" in a FB game that they played together, which is how they met three years ago. He had never seen her photo and was heading across the country to move in with her. He also had a star tattooed on his face.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. I'm good, but I'm not that good.


Dock, sun, and boats coming soon!

 Did a little work on my home tour graphics while driving from the lake to Indy.

We got a room at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. Fantastic hotel. Wonderful staff, delicious flavored water in the lobby, a great bar, restaurants, pool, gym, and of course, Starbucks all within the hotel. The hotel was right in the middle of downtown, near lots of great little bars and restaurants. And the view was just lovely.

Woke up to this gorgeous view at the JW Marriott Indianapolis Saturday morning. Hello, sunshine!

Did a little lounging in a cozy robe on a cozy bed.

 They had orange/strawberry infused water in the lobby. I'll be drinking this all summer long.

The Stoffers returned yesterday, and I am thrilled to tell you that my home has been photographed for both The Everygirl and Apartment Therapy! Jayson Home and Garden came to the rescue with beautiful new flowers and Chicago gave us a beautiful day full of gorgeous natural light.

Second round of florals from Jayson Home and Garden

And we're done. 

Now I just need to lay out my home tour once the photos come in, work on the Q&A, catch up on client projects, plan a girls night for Thursday, go to PT so I can get back to normal, and figure out if I'm leaving for LA next week to visit family and friends. The thought of traveling the day before my home tour goes up/amidst all this craziness feels like a lot to process right now. I used to visit every few months, but have only been to LA once since the launch of The Everygirl. Just having one of those days where I'm feeling particularly run down and defeated, but know everything will have a way of working out. At least I hope so!

 Back to work! Is it Friday yet?
 

4.18.2013

Happy Early Weekend

It turns out that the city of Chicago had other plans for my much anticipated photo shoot. Epic rain and thunder turned my apartment into a ridiculously dark little cave, so we rescheduled the shoot for Monday afternoon. Sadly, I don't think my beautiful tulips are going to make it. On a positive note, I wasn't happy with my blow out yesterday and booked an appointment with my favorite girl onMonday. And...I get to see John and Maura again!

Aside from traveling for work and visiting family (love them, but seeing my family couldn't be less of a vacation) I haven't had a getaway in years. And now this LA turned Chicago girl will be spending summer weekends at a lake house in Indiana. It's like I'm from the Midwest! I did not see this one coming, but sometimes the best things in life are the ones you'd least expect.

Thank you to Aunt Gina and Uncle Tim for watching Buddy this weekend. Love you guys!

Back next week! Have a lovely weekend! 

photo via

4.17.2013

Photo Shoot Day!


We're finally shooting my place today! I received the most gorgeous arrangements from Jayson Home & Garden yesterday and love living in a real life greenhouse. Lots of cleaning, ironing, and styling the past few days!

Wrapping up shoot #1 with Cynthia for Houzz, and then shooting with John & Maura for The Everygirl and Apartment Therapy. The first feature will run on TEG in early may, and the other two features are slated for late May and June.

So excited!

4.15.2013

It's That Time Again






If you've been a reader of my blog for a while, there's a chance you've seen my last home tour which was photographed by John and Maura for Rue Magazine last year. I moved out of that apartment almost one year ago, and am having my current home photographed for The Everygirl, Apartment Therapy, and Houzz this coming Wednesday! Yes, three shoots in one day for the girl who just loves (insert sarcasm here) having her photo taken.

We featured Alaina's home a few weeks ago, and we'll be featuring mine the first week of May. Fortunately, The focus will be on my home and not on me. And if I have anything to say about it–on little Buddy who may or may not have gotten himself a gingham bow tie for the big day. I do have to be in some of the photos which is kind of the worst, but I'm be having my hair done that morning, wearing some beautiful baubles from T+J Designs, and, I'll get to hang with two of my favorite photographers for most of the day–John and Maura Stoffer. Love those two!

I'm sure I'll post a few peeks on instagram, and I'll try to get another post up, but don't know that I'll have any time. Lots of styling and cleaning to do. Please excuse the radio silence and wish me luck!

4.12.2013

It's Friday


Please excuse the radio silence this week. I feel like I say this all. the. time. but things have been crazy the past few weeks. I gave my website a fresh look for spring, finally updated my photography portfolio, have been tackling my growing wait list (which has meant working late most nights), dealing with some crazy allergies, working on The Everygirl, going to physical therapy (which is a 45 min commute from my place–because I have time for that), a weekend trip to Indiana with the boy, and I'm prepping for my home to be photographed for The Everygirl, Apartment Therapy, and Houzz on Wednesday. Overwhelmed.

Wearing this top in ice blue for one of my shoots next week. This necklace from t+j designs will be perfect with a chambray shirt. Ordered this sweater and these gold flats c/o Yosi Samra, too.

Finally ordered new bikinis from Sunflower Swimwear. I found this brand at this little shop in LA years ago but haven't seen it anywhere else, so I contacted customer service and was able to place an order through the website! I have the 161 double string triangle and 578 sheared side in black and navy, and whit bottoms, too (I like to mix and match). I ordered peach and mint, and then a yellow top, and white and neon pink bottoms.

For anyone interested in my CrossFit and PT situation, here's an update. After not being able to work out for two months, I hit a wall. I spent the past few weeks feeling hopeless and depressed, but finally listened to my friend Jen and started seeing David Reavy last week. It took 3 PTs, but this one figured it out. My upper body and abs were basically inactive, putting a ton of pressure on my back. I was told that I can definitely get back up to 4-5x a week, and that I'll be stronger than ever. He is working on activating the muscles that I haven't been using, and I've already noticed a huge change. After two sessions I was given the ok to try Cindy (20 min AMRAP of 5 pull-ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats) as long as I came to see him right after the workout. This was my first Rx pull-up WOD back in February, and I did 11 rounds + 8 Rx. I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to do Rx pull-ups yesterday but decided to go for it. I did 9 rounds Rx. It felt so good to be back.

Ready for a low key weekend. Need to organize and finish styling my place, dinner with Shari, workout with Gina, brunch with friends, and enjoy some much needed down time. Will likely catch up on a little work, too.

Also, if it could not rain all of next week, that would be wonderful. Happy Weekend!

4.08.2013

StyleMint Style For Your City Contest

When the people at StyleMint asked me to be a part of Style For Your City, I had to say yes. I sort of hate being photographed, but the past two years have been about trying new things, so I went for it.  Darlene Campos (one of our amazing interns over at The Everygirl) rocked this shoot. Thanks again, Darlene!

So here's how it works. Show us an outfit that shows how you style represents your city. 10 participating bloggers (see the full list below) will pick the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. 1st place gets 5 StyleMint credits. 2nd and 3rd get 1 StyleMint credit. Readers enter in through their Facebook App and use the hashtag #styleforyourcity.

New York: Fashion Hash // Chicago: Me! // Los Angeles: Oh Joy // San Francisco: Gal Meets Glam // Austin: Camille Styles // Santa Barbara: Could I Have That // Salt Lake City: Pink Peonies // Washington DC: Julip Made // Berkeley: Inspirafashion // San Diego: Kailani's Korner


Outfit 1: J Brand Jeans // Sam Edelman Flats // Lo and Sons brookline bag // StyleMint top // J. Crew bracelet // Michael Kors watch // 2 Penny Blue necklace // Ali Ro Anorak // Oliver Peoples sunglasses // Color Club Jackie Oh polish




Outfit 2: Levis Denim jacket // StyleMint dress // ShoeMint flats // Kate Spade bag // Kendra Scott necklace // Maya Brenner necklace // Kate Spade cuff // Kate Spade sunglasses // Michael Kors watch // world's greatest dog

4.04.2013

That's My Girl!


So proud of this girl in so many ways, but today, my business partner/best friend/other half Alaina Kaczmarski is featuring her home tour on The Everygirl. You do not want to miss this one.

And...I'm next. Shooting with John and Maura in less than two weeks and featuring my place end of April or early May.

Get excited.

4.03.2013

In The Kitchen: Paleo Southwestern Sweet Potato Hash


I am always looking for new breakfast ideas. I tend to keep it very, very, simple–one or two eggs and some turkey sausage or bacon, and maybe some strawberries or blackberries. Nothing fancy. But this fancy breakfast has become one of my favorites.


Ingredients:
Medium sized head of cauliflower
Medium/large sweet potato
1/2 to 3/4 of sweet (or red) onion
4 to 5 cloves(?) of garlic
1 can of hatch green chilies


Directions:
Thinly slice the cauliflower
Coarsely grate sweet potato
Chop onion & garlic (preferably in food processor for ease)
Mix potato/onion/garlic/chilies in a bowl w/ 3/4 tblsp of both cumin & chili powder, salt (sparingly), black & cayane pepper (to taste), 2tblsp olive oil
Heat 2.5 tblsp extra virgin olive oil over medium
Add cauliflower to large sautee pan & cook until golden brown/caramelized on all sides
If cauliflower is too firm, add 1 to 2 tbsp water into pan, cover & let steam for 2min
Transfer cauliflower to bowl & cover to trap heat
Add potato/onion/garlic/chilie mix to pan, sautee intil cooked through (i.e. onions are translucent)
Dump cauliflower back into pan & mix all vegetables
Take off heat, serve w/scrambled eggs

4.01.2013

Lately

 New table and lamp from Lulu and Georgia. Love my little hallway!

Worked on a little something for StyleMint. TEG intern Darlene Campos of Glitterary was the one behind the lens. How much do you love her bow flats?


 New kitchen rug from Dash & Albert. Buddy approves.

We stayed in Friday night. I made paleo orange chicken and "lo mein".  I mostly followed this recipe but added organic broccoli slaw from TJs and a little paleo pad thai sauce. The orange chicken turned out so, so well. It's a new favorite. Used my new Williams-Sonoma runner and napkins!

Saturday morning we went to breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Lively. Headed over to their place to hang out for a bit afterward, and spent a little time with this handsome devil. Oh, Franklin. You are so cute.

Oh, look. It's the Easter Buddy! Ha.

We picked up a few Easter treats for a friend's lunch on Sat. Yum.

It's warming up! I've retired my snow boots and have broken out the flats. Can't wait for summer!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. I really enjoyed the down-time, but the reality of everything that needs to happen this week (and next) has officially sunk in. I'm off to finish organizing all my tax files for my accountant, then to work on TEG, graphic design, and apartment stuff. Home tour is being shot in the next two weeks. So much to do!

Happy Monday.