8.30.2013

my new job



Guess who was hired to style this 3 bed, 2.5 bath, 3 story condo here in Chicago? (insert face and voice of Elle Woods when she finds out she got the internship) ME!!! Don't worryThe Everygirl is still my no. 1 job and I'm still running my design/photography business. I just wasn't busy enough...ha. That's obviously a lie.

This job was just too perfect to pass up, so I'm making it work. It all started when I asked a friend from CrossFit (it always goes back to CrossFit) if he knew a woman in finance that we could feature on The Everygirl. He suggested his boss, sent over her bio, and and we got the ball rolling on her career feature. This woman is awesome. Young, incredibly driven, smart, and successful. And so nice, too! You should all be very excited about this feature. I know I am.

Photo shoot was done a few weeks ago, and last week, my friend asked if I knew someone who might want to help his boss finish her condo. I said I'd be interested in the project, he sent her the links to my home tour, and she emailed me. I stopped by her place on Tuesday expecting to discuss the project and walked out the door with measurements and swatches. She just flipped this place and did a beautiful job, so I have been given a gorgeous blank canvas with a few beautiful key pieces and the rest is up to me. I have never taken on anything this big and was a little nervous at first but those feelings have already passed. Now I'm just excited and I am just so grateful that this connection was made. I owe someone a paleo dessert. I've just had some really unfortunate luck when it comes to baking.

It has only been two days but I am loving this job so much that I stayed up working until midnight on Wednesday. From sourcing furniture, bedding, lighting, and accessories to creating inspiration boards, I am enjoying all of it. And I'll get to design my first nursery! The baby (it's a surprise) is due in just a few weeks! 

8.29.2013

Currently Loving



I love fall and neutrals and touches of gold.
 
 marc jacobs perfume | wisteria mirror | j crew sweater
charles philip flats | gorjana bracelet | essie after school boy blazer


8.27.2013

d gets crafty: pennant banner

I really enjoy crafts but don't have the time or energy to do them. The girls and I threw a little shower for Gina and Tim last weekend, and I spent Saturday baking paleo macaroons and crafting, which spiraled into steam cleaning my apartment and baking/shooting a little something for The Everygirl, too. All showers need a banner and I had planned on buying this Rifle one. But I love G+T and wanted to do something extra special, even though I knew it wouldn't be as pretty. I sort of had a plan, but after walking into Paper Source, plans changed, and I ended up with this.

I bought these pennants, ink, a g stamp for her new last name and this jute cord

 I used a knife to cut slits in the corner of each pennant and strung the cord through. Easy enough.

Stamped a single g and multiple g's on alternating pennants, and voila. 


Nothing fancy, but I made it all by myself. Someone give me one of those gold star stickers.

8.26.2013

Paris is always a good idea


While there are many, many places I'd love to travel, Paris has been at the top of my list for as long as I can remember. Sadly, I've done very little traveling and have never been to Paris or anywhere else in Europe. I made it a goal in 2012 to travel to Paris and London by my 30th, but things didn't work out as planned. Then I made it a new goal to travel before my 31st next month, but that didn't work out, either.

But in 52 days, just one month after my 31st birthday, I'll be traveling to Paris, London, and Rome with Alaina. Our flights were booked last week but it still doesn't feel real to me and probably won't until I'm walking those beautiful city streets. This is something I've dreamed of for as long as I can remember, and I can't believe it's finally happening. I am so excited and so unbelievably grateful for the chance to finally visit Europe. I'm going to Paris, London, and Rome! 

Have you been to any of these places? Any tips? What (aside from the obvious) do I have to see?  

photo via 

8.24.2013

Falling for Fall | Going Dark





watch | earrings | ring | bracelet

All tops and the hat are J. Crew and are on sale through the 26th!
Bought the horse sweatshirt this weekend. Love it!

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

8.23.2013

95

 
Me: Happy Birthday!
Rose: Thank you! Who is this?
Me: Danielle.
Rose: I'm glad you got around to calling. It's my birthday. 

Oh, how I love this lady. Happy 95th, great aunt Rose. 

Falling for Fall: Leather


leather pants / leather leggings / leather top  ...and I think I'm ready for fall.

Happy Friday!

8.20.2013

The time we made it to Forbes. Again.


I would be lying if I told you I hadn't checked Forbes a few times since June to see if we made the cut. And today, it happened. Forbes listed The Everygirl as a  Top 100 Website for Women for the second year in a row. Video chat notice goes off, cell phone starts ringing (it was Alaina, of course), and we're taken back to all those amazing feelings in '12 when we made it less than four months after launching the site. Still just as exciting. Just as wonderful. Just as rewarding.

I celebrated by running out the door to CrossFit where I PR'd my dead lift, and then celebrated Alaina style with Alaina and some sangria on a patio. I am honored to be listed alongside such incredible sites, beyond grateful for our wonderful team, my lovely business partner, to the amazing women who share their stories with us, and of course, to all of our smart, creative, career-driven readers.  Thank you!

"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."

Yeah it does! Thanks, Forbes.

8.19.2013

Lately

Celebrated Lindsey's birthday at Three Dots and a Dash and Bub City
Finally got my first hand stand push-up!
Worked out a total of 5x last week and I'm feeling great!
Brunch with Gina and Maxine
A little mini Pinkberry treat
Brunch at Paris Club, and yes, those are pretzel croissants
Big Star margaritas with friends
Summer walks with the pup

So there's a story behind these hand stand push ups (HSPUs) and what they mean to me. Not sure if it's a good story or not, but I don't want to forget it. You may recall my mentioning that I started CrossFit with a fitness level of zero. On my first day at RNCF, I watched/stared at in amazement as this girl Elizabeth (who is now a friend of mine) did HSPUs. I had never seen such a thing, didn't know it was a thing people did, and couldn't even almost do a modified version (on a box). In fact, I struggled with those for months, although they eventually became much, much easier. So I added this to my list (along with pull-ups, push-ups, and pretty much everything else) and finally got it. I can't explain how good it feels to do something you never, ever thought you could do and I cannot wait to do an entire WOD on the wall. I spent most of the weekend thinking about it, and can't wait to go back and work on them. Feels so good!

Off to interview interns with Alaina for the next 4 hours!

Happy Monday!

8.16.2013

On Sale at Serena and Lily


All these items are up to 75% off. Which one is your favorite?

Happy Friday


How was your week? Mine started off pretty slowly and then seemed to fly by! It was a very productive week. Scheduled some amazing career features for The Everygirl, tackled a few inboxes full of emails, caught up on my wait list, am trying to get these pre-made templates ready, and of course, there was CrossFit. We have a few calls today and I need to work on some graphic design projects, and then I'm free for a few days!

I'm really loving my apartment now that I've taken my living room back to a completely neutral space. It feels a lot more like me. I've pushed myself to try new things the past few years (weight lifting, paleo, new foods etc) and hope I'll continue to do so. But color in home decor just isn't for me. Anything more than a touch of blue and I'm completely out of my element. I love my light blue duvet but would have gone with grey had it been available at the time.

I'm putting more effort into strengthening weaker areas of my body in an effort to a. be better at everything b. make sure I'm really using my body correctly and c. finally get a dead-hang pull-up. I've been spending a little extra time at RNCF and hope to see (and feel) some changes. Yesterday, I worked out with a girl who was completing her first WOD after the basics program. She told me her fitness level was at zero which is pretty much where I was when I started. I told her how I couldn't do anything back then, and how quickly that all changes. It was really nice to think about how far I've come. I'm only 10 lbs away from getting 100 lbs over my head. It's happening.

I finally finished S1 of Breaking Bad. I started it months ago, forgot about it, and then picked up where I left off a week or so ago. I only half paid attention to the last few episodes of since I was working while watching it.

Two Door Cinema Club and Local Natives are on repeat right now.

It's starting to cool down and while I'm not ready to see summer go, I am (sort of) looking forward to the change in seasons. I also tend to hibernate a bit more in the winter which means I spend less money, so I'm looking forward to that, too. I just wish it didn't go from fall to winter so quickly, and that winter didn't last for half the year. I splurged and bought these booties toward the end of winter last year and cannot wait to break them out this fall!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! x

photo via

8.15.2013

work with me


I have played some serious catch-up and for the first time in forever, my wait list for a custom blog design is ~ 2 weeks. If you have any interest in working with me on your blog, logo, or other graphic design projects, now is the time. Also–finally back to working on my new line of pre-made templates (started them months ago and haven't had time to get them ready to go) for the blogger platform.

Back to work! 

8.14.2013

Hey. Want to be my business partner?



I'm a day late with this post, but if you know me at all, you know that I'm a bit sentimental when it comes to celebrating milestones, and this one couldn't go unrecognized. On August 13, 2011, I met this Chicago blogger (Alaina Kaczmarski) for coffee to discuss the possibility of working on a project together. We were just acquaintances at the time. Two bloggers who had maybe gotten together 2-3x (with mutual friends), and I had invited Alaina to my Christmas party the year before that. We never really connected enough to start hanging out (weird), but somehow learned that we shared a mission. To help creative, career-driven girls like us.

So I slammed my finger in a door (rendering my right hand useless) and 2 minutes later, met Alaina (ice pack in hand) for coffee. We had a long talk about this site/magazine (so glad it's a website and not a magazine–so glad I listened to Alaina on that one) and we decided to move forward with this project. I am, of course, referring to The Everygirl. Never in a million years would I imagine that we'd be working side-by-side two years later. That I'd have a new best friend. A job I love. I am incredibly grateful and look forward to some very, very exciting things in the months and years to come. Cheers to our first two years, and hopefully, to many, many more.

photography by stoffer photography for the everygirl

8.12.2013

do less


I'm working on relaxing. On doing less. Yes, you read that correctly. I am actually putting effort into this. Strange concept, isn't it? It turns out that all those times I was sick this past year were a cause of stress, so I've been making some changes. I can't completely alter my life, but I have to start somewhere, so every day, I will spend time disconnecting from everything. There's always something to do, and we're always on the go. It's important that we allow ourselves a little time to do less.

Watching TV and reading are great ways to unwind, but I need to truly disconnect. Last night, I listened to Ben Harper and relaxed for 20 minutes. No book, no TV, no computer, no email, no texting, no social media. Nothing. It was really nice, and I felt a lot more calm when those 20 minutes were over. Maybe some of you already give yourself this time every day, but if that's not the case, try giving yourself a little break from everything. 

Do you give yourself time to disconnect from everything? Is this something you need to work on? How do you relax?

photo via

8.10.2013

She's Getting Hitched


It's not often that someone comes along and for the most part, completely changes your life. Someone who instantly becomes one of your best friends, introduces you to a new workout routine, and a new group of friends who, like this friend, you just click with. In May '12, I was hired to design a blog for this girl named Gina. Her blog was called "River North Paleo Girl." She wanted coconuts and berries in her banner, followed this "paleo" diet, and liked to lift weights. I thought she was a little crazy.

I felt compelled to ask her about paleo, she shared a novel with me, somehow talked me into signing up for CrossFit before we ever even met, and that was that. We obviously know how that turned out. We learned that we lived around the corner from one another and decided to get together for lunch one day while she was working from home. Had I just gotten CrossFit out of meeting Gina, I'd be a very happy and lucky person. But I got so, so much more. A best friend who I talk to almost every single day. Who I can count on no matter what. A best pal/lady love for my pup (her pup Minnie). I can't imagine my life without her in it. I'm a lucky girl. 

Gina left for a vacation with Tim the day after we met, and got engaged while she was away. It's been so exciting to be there throughout her engagement, wedding planning, and all the excitement that takes place when two people decide to share their lives together. Today, we'll celebrate Gina's wedding and bachelorette party, and next month, she's getting hitched! I cannot wait to celebrate G+T's big day.

Gina, I love you, and can't wait to celebrate your upcoming wedding today. And Tim, you're basically the luckiest guy ever. Gina is the best! But you knew that already.

Love you, G. Happy bridal shower + bachelorette day! Thank you for being the best friend anyone could ever have. xoxo

8.09.2013

Live Colorfully

 
I took the color out of my living room and brought it into my closet.
Originally $448. On sale for $169. Had to happen. Sale already ended.

A few updates:
Celebrating Gina's bridal shower and bachelorette tomorrow!
 Doctor said I'm ok but need to work on stress levels. PT said I'm doing great, too.
I'm on another paleo challenge (not through RNCF–on my own).
There's so much going on. G's wedding, mom is coming to town, events to plan...
...and there are some very exciting things happening. Will update soon.

Happy Friday!

8.07.2013

lollapalooza 2013

 My first Lollapalooza experience was epic.

Went to Gilt City's rooftop party. MS MR was performing live but I had to head to lolla for this...

 
Made it just in time.

 Yeah, that's Ben Howard. I love him.

I missed MS MR at Gilt, but that didn't matter anymore, because this happened.

And then this happened.

...and then this happened! I'm a band aid!

And...Mumford! They were i n c r e d i b l e.
And how about some video? Because it's all about the music.





Convinced that this is what happens when Mumford arrives anywhere.
And no, that isn't me screaming.

Such a surreal and awesome experience. And I found some great new bands and heard a few favorites, too!

On repeat:
Ben Howard
MS MR
Hot Chip
Wild Belle
Local Natives
Two Door Cinema Club
Foals
Vampire Weekend
Lumineers
Mumford

Random thoughts on Lolla:
  1. I'm bringing my 7D next time so I'll have better photos. Don't know what I was thinking.
  2. Futtare gave out frozen treats, cell chargers shades, and SPF, too! They saved my phone. #itsallgood
  3. Wear flip flops or wellies on days when it might rain. 
  4. Don't bother trying to text anyone. Your phone won't have any service.
  5. Don't ever go off on your own or you'll get stuck wandering around by yourself for an hour.
It's been such a great summer! Haven't had much time for posting but expect that will change when it's cold again. 

8.02.2013

i dig music // lollapalooza

first it was pearl jam and then jt/jay-z
the next 3 days, you'll find me at lolla with my everygirl co-founder
although you probably can't find me, because it looks a little like this

follow us on instagram + twitter

it's. all. happening.

8.01.2013

Three Years in Chicago


First, I wrote about my journey to Chicago. Time passed by rather quickly, and before I knew it, I was writing about my first year in Chicago. And then my second. And now, another year and come and gone, marking three years in Chicago. Three. Years. There are still days I can't believe I live here and that this is my life. I live in Chicago. Chicago.

People always ask why I left LA for Chicago. They want to know how I handle the winter and why I chose Chicago of all places. I had never been through a real winter, and once the holidays are over, I don't think I handle it very well at all. But I love Chicago, and I deal with it. I wasn't moving for work, and I didn't know anyone let alone have a love interest in this city. There wasn't one "rational" reason that brought me here. In November 2010, I spent two days in Chicago. I got off the train in Lincoln Park decided that I should move here. My car lease was up just a few months later, and I didn't need a car in Chicago. It just made sense at the time.

For those of you who don't know the story, there was a defining moment when I knew I was moving. After two days in Chicago with my blog friend turned real life friend Kelsey, we drove back to Indiana. I went to church with her and the pastor asked everyone to close their eyes and raise their hand if there was something they felt that God was calling them to do. That if we were afraid, we should have faith and take the leap. That was it. We all opened our eyes, and I started crying. It wasn't easy, and I didn't want to move halfway across the country by myself, but I knew I had to do it.

The past three years have been wonderful. Scary, lonely at times, but three of the best years of my life. I went from not knowing anyone to having friends who have become like my family. From calling my mom because I was so excited that I found Trader Joe's without a map (terrible sense of direction–don't judge) to telling cab drivers how to get from point a to point b. From not riding any public transportation for at least a year and a half to taking the bus almost every day. From being in a strange new city to living in a place that feels like home.

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been going through a lot lately. But at the end of the day, I am happy. It's been a roller coaster, but I realize how incredibly blessed I am, and I am so grateful. Had I not taken this leap of faith, I wouldn't have some of the best friends I could have ever hoped for, I doubt that I would have found CrossFit, and I never would have met Alaina and started The Everygirl. This past year has been one of the best years of my life. I don't know that I'll be here forever, but I know that Chicago will always hold a piece of my heart. It's where my life began. Every time I walk Buddy to the lake and see that skyline, I can't help but smile. I'm home.

Happy three years, Chicago.