Sunday, May 8, 2011

Design Time

AKA I watch too much HGTV. And I'm under the age of...55.

As some of ya'll may know, I'll be moving into a new apartment at the beginning of August. I have absolutely no clue where that apartment will be, what it will look like, or what the view might offer. But, I'm determined to make it a grown-up place where I can set some roots down and decorate accordingly.

I have something modern, vintage, classic, and funky in mind. Of course, the canvas with which I have to work will really shape my work (meaning, the apartment that we're able to snag), but I'm not letting that prevent a little pre-planning. I'm hoping to pull of something mid-century that isn't so cold feeling that I can't even get comfy! I found the two below items on Etsy today which I think will be primary inspiration behind my designing...



These two items are both local! The glasses are $10 from cushionchicago and the couch is $650 from backgarage. I'm loving them so much...of course, I am able to do NOTHING with that couch at the moment, but I love the milk glasses and I think will really help me in terms of geometry, color, and style. I recently wrote the seller because I hope to pick them up in person as opposed to having them shipped.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kitty Time

Check out the killer profile of my little dude Monty. He's the sweetest thing since powdered Kool-Aid.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Mangia

Dinner last night at Sushi Para on Diversey. This is the crazy tuna roll. Below that is dessert: a chocolate and salted caramel cupcake from More Cupcakes, a treat van in the city. So moist and perfectly flavored.



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Footwear

On Friday, I went a little overboard on the retail therapy. But oh well because I picked up some great items, including the below pair if sandals. I thought they had a cool southwestern vibe going on mixed with the classic Grecian. Purchased at Akira, made by Report.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Please hurry spring

While on an adventure in Ravenswood Manor, I spotted this sweet little magnolia tree trying for dear life to become a beautiful big magnolia tree. I love these things; their aroma is intoxicating.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fwens.

These are two of my friends from school. We went out together last night at a Celtics bar called Tripoli Bar on Armitage and Racine. Fun night, bad morning


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Flowers!

I just wanted to share some spring flowers with you all to put you in the spirit of warm weather. It's still freezing in Chicago, but that hasn't stopped me from wearing flip flops (inside my apartment only) and sipping on iced coffee (please visit this link sent to me by JP for more on iced coffee weather: isiticedcoffeeweather.com).

What are you most looking forward to once the warm weather arrives? My top three are dinners outside, skirts with no tights, and sun-kissed skin.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Baked Ziti

Err...actually, it's baked rigattoni. With spinach, zucchini, red onion, and lots and lots of garlic. I also used fresh mozzarella. I was inspired after having ziti at my friend Natalie's at game night on Friday. I haven't tasted it yet because I'm waiting for it to cool, but doesn't it look good?! It's quite easy and only requires making a batch of pasta, covering it with cheese, and baking for 25 minutes. Voila!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday's Outfit

I inadvertently met the CEO of my company today wearing this: top and bottoms frim Old Navy, shoes Faconnable, gold acessories from various places, including a bracelet from my French sis Lilou.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hey Y'all !

Remember me? Betcha don't! Dang almighty, it's been a coon's age since I last wrote! Basically, this new job is kickin' my ass...but in the best way possible. I've just been putting in some long, intense hours at the office, and with school starting, I just haven't had much free time to write, nor much fun stuff to write about!

Except that's false. I've been doin' tons of cool stuff lately! Mostly, helped by a slightly larger bank account. Last Friday, I went to Lincoln Hall with a girlfriend of mine to see the Wood Brothers. Ok, where to start? First, Lincoln Hall is a kick-ass venue with great beer (I had a couple glasses of Leffe, my favorite Belgian wheat next to Hoegarden). Second, the Wood Brothers kick ass! They are gritty, sexy, sweet, and totally rockin'. Below is a pick I snapped of the lead singer and below that is a YouTube vid of some of their tunes.




And last night I had an unexpected meal with two friends at Le Petit Paris. Over a bottle of red (don't know what grape), I ate an entire meal of Coq Au Vin. Very succulent and buttery--reminded me of my grandmother's Sunday meals. The decor of the place was odd (think Mafioso Hotel in Witchita), but that didn't stop our meal from being authentic, delicious, and much needed.

Work continues today, school tomorrow, and then a weekend filled with errands, homework, and hopefully catching a game of rugby played by an old friend. What a life!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time time time time

Excuse me, do you have the time?

Latest victim of my obsessive obsessing? Gold "boyfriend" watches.

My office is much different than my previous one. Where as I used to be the "young, trendy 20-something," I am now just a mildly stylish minion in a see of fashionable, attractive, and creative young people, the majority of whom have much better stylistic judgment (and presumably deeper pockets) than myself.

But, I'm a manifestor, and go' damnit, I will be stylish if it kills me. There are some great trends I see running around the office. Namely, neutrals (champagnes, sands, cloudy greys), bare nails (light or no polish), tunic dresses, and gold jewelry and accessories. Just picturing all these together sends me into a bliss of spring tones, shapes, and accoutrements...*sigh*

I have been hitting on all of these a little bit, but one that I'm really trying to focus on is the gold accessories, specifically, a gold "boyfriend watch." I love gold on any skin tone, as long as it doesn't turn into a rusted, blueish grey "brassy" color. This can be avoided by either (a) buying expensive shizz or (b) avoiding water and cleaning regularly those of your accessories which might be a little bit "lower brow"...

I found my dream watch courtesy of coquette (a fashion blog), and said dream watch is a Marc by Marc Jacobs "Henry" watch, ranging in price form $175-$225. Sadly, I don't got that kind of green, what with the grad school and the payments for the Mazaratti...

However, I did find these great alternatives via BleuDame.com (a great site for cheap shades, jewelry, leggings, etc) and endless.com (a catch-all site featuring men's and women's shoes):

Henry from Marc Jacobs, $200






"Golden Classic" from endless.com, $23
Menswear inspired from bluedame.com, $16
I think I will be purchasing the model from endless upon pay day (my first one from the new job!)...right after I make a student loan payment and contribute to my measly savings account :(


"Time" by Pink Floyd...

On a tangent, but still equally as important for looking fabulous at the office, have you ever accidentally rubbed your eyes while forgetting that you had eyeshadow on? Not only does it make your eyes look like crap, but it also makes your hands all dirty--yuck! Gosh, I can't wait for Spring and warm weather when I can add a little flair to my look with cropped bottoms, undone hair, and light tops. But for now, shimmery makeup will have to do.

Friday, March 25, 2011

On my way to Iowa

To see many people who are dear to me, including these two little cutie-pa-tooties. Seriously, whenever I'm mad at either of them, I just look at this picture and all bad feelings magically melt away...


Thursday, March 24, 2011

HEAVEN

Welcome to Chicago.

Hennepin Belgian Wheat, Fried Pickles, a burger so mean it would make your grandmother cry, and shoestring-truffle oil fries. Enjoy.



Photos courtesy of me and my Droid. Grub courtesy of Burger Bar on North and Clybourn. Yummm.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Great outfit for under $50

Well I don't know exactly how much my friend's outfitt cost,  but doesn't this approachable Forever 21 dress look amazing on her?! The purse is also from Forever. Its so slimming yet still really trendy. She wore it when we went out to minibar this weekend in Boystown: a great gay bar on Halstead that makes an amazing ginger-infused gimlet. So much fun!!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Southport Grocery

An amazing brunch with friends at Lakeview's Southport Grocery. I had a brie grilled cheese with a side of quinoa butternut squash. Other hilites included cupcake pancakes, bread pudding cupcakes, and finding a $400 North Face jacket at Uncle Dan's for more than half off. Success!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Big BIG things are happening over here in Lexi's little corner of the world.

First off, the job the JOB! Working at a major e-commerce company (if you really don't know already, look at my LinkedIn profile). Things are crazy at the office--people coming in an out, a constant flood of tasks to get done, and the constant hum of people, copy machines, and computers. I love the energy; it makes the day fly by.

Two, one of my best friends got engaged, and today she asked me to be in her wedding! I was so honored, and I'm so excited to be part of such a momentous event in someone's life. And this friend of mine is notorious for throwing a mean party, so I know it's going to be a very festive celebration.

And finally, my sister and I enjoyed an amazing weekend together, one of the first where I got to treat and host her. It was wonderful. We didn't do too much in terms of variety. It was mostly just a lot a lot a lot of shopping. We hit up Armitage (couture consignment shops, LUSH, Beneton), Lincoln Park (Sweet Mandy B's), State St. (TJ Maxx, Macy's and Dylan's Candy Bar, and Forever 21). We also went to the top of the Sears (ok Willis) Tower--beautiful views no doubt, but I'm still debating whether or not it was worth the 2 hour wait, even though I had prepurchased our tickets! We also ate tapas at Cafe Iberico, cinnamon rolls at Ann Sather, sandwiches at Michelin-rated Graham Elliott's Grahamwich, and Mexican at Angela's. Food and wallet hangover for sure...



Audrey trying on a weird old lady funeral hat at Akira. 
Inside Grahamwich. Modern, yet shabby-chic.
                               
View from the top of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. $15 per person to get to the top. Not sure if the looooong wait was worth it. But definitely glad I can say I seen it.

My pork belly 'wich from Grahamwich. Pricey, but delicious. 
We also order truffle oil popcorn. Heaven.
Cinnamon rolls at Ann Sather on Belmont. Best cream cheese frosting--tangy but not too tangy to be nauseating.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My sister

Here is a picture of my lovely younger sister Audrey with our cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B's in Lincoln Park this Saturday. Audy had the red velvet (cream cheese frosting was WAY better, less sour, than Molly's) and I had a yellow cake with chocolate buttercream. The perfect lunch! More pics to come soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Celebratin'

Hello All.

Yesterday was a very strange day. To those of you who don't know, I quit my job. Well, actually, I found a new one, which necessitated the quitting of the first one. And yesterday was my last day at the old one. It was confusing: part of me was so happy, the other part a little sad. But I think the most confusing sentiment of them all was that I just don't feel old enough to have the skeletal of a Career by which you quit jobs when more appealing ones come along.

Feels really strange to say I have a career, or at least the beginnings of one, and the new position that I will be starting next week is so oddly directed and on-point with what I want to be doing. It's very weird. I can't help but think, "How did that happen?" It's so rare that I feel so targeted when I make a move or a decision. But this one just makes so much sense, and it's so logical and calculated. In essence, it's so unlike the rest of my life!

When I began the interview process, I told myself that if I got the job, I would celebrate by ordering a deep dish pizza for me and my roomies. So, um, that's exactly what I did. I got a spinach and onion pie from Lou Malnati's in Lincoln Park. We opened a couple bottles of wine, and when all that was finished, we hustled to Molly's Cupcakes for some desert (we opted for sweets instead of more booze; a wise decision I think).

Molly's happens to be my preferred Chicago cupcake, but many opt for Sweet Mandy B's. Below are our cupcakes: Red Velvet, Peanut Butter with Nutella frosting (woulda gotten that one, doi, 'cept I don't really like PB), and Cake Batter (mine). Molly's is so much fun: they play great music (last night was Passion Pit; in the past it's been Cutting Crew), there are swings (seriously), and board games. I just think it's a great vibe--a little more "funky" than Mandy B's.


When my friends come to visit in two weekends, we are going to have a taste test and settle the Mandy's versus Molly's score once and for all...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday

So, today is kind of a momentous day in my life, but I'll explain more as to why a little later.

Right now, I just wanted to share this (I think) cute picture of me and one of my great friends Kate. We were able to get together this past Saturday because she and her boyfriend were in town from Des Moines for a going away party in Wicker Park. We hadn't seen each other since Christmas, and we had A LOT to catch up on, and it was great to do all of this over some yummy Hoegarden (easily my favorite beer next to Leffe).

Our group of friends has made some big changes--we've lost some, made others, and have all had major life events happen to us. And really, we've all evolved so much that we're all so so different. Even Kate and I! But something I love about her, and all my great friends, is that I could possibly go 5 years without seeing them, but when I do, I'm met with a big hug, loud laughter, and much love. And beer, which is seriously Kate and my favorite past time--not too many "girlie girls" who love beer :)

 We're at Easy Bar in Wicker Park--a dark but spacious joint with a decent beer list. Great find!
Picture from Kate's Facebook.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Life on Diversey

Life in the Lakeview/Lincoln Park area of Chicago is much different from the Loop. There are coffee shops everywhere, families with children, and morning commutes filled with car-sickness-inducing bus rides. I'm lovin' it...


On my way home from River North, I hopped on the #8 bus. As we came up Lincoln Ave., we passed this La Bamba where my boy told me he loved me for the first time. It was after a Pixies concert and we had just had some burritos that were as big as our head. I love being in a city that's a scrapbook of memories.


This is what I wore today. Black jersey long sleeve tee, LOFT skirt, black tights, and Anne Klein flats. I like the stark contrast of this outfit, but I wish that the skirt was better tailored to fit higher on my waist.


This is so unlike me but I got fast-food tonight for dinner. YUMMY!! Nothin' beats a hamburger...

Life so far has been pretty good to me. I'm tired as all hell, but I really don't have much room to complain. I live in an amazing city and have great friends and family and I have a goal. So excited to see what turns up this spring...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sylvia

Hi All.

So it's been a busy past couple of days. I had school on Friday AND Saturday (and Friday night I had a teeny bit too much fun, so Saturday was rough) and then I moved on Sunday with the help of two great friends (who shall remain nameless--you know who you are!!). But, unfortunately, these exciting and tiring things don't compare to what my family experienced today: the loss of our kitty Sylvia.

I always hate when people talk about their pets like they're humans or like their pets are so unique. I mean, I get it, the dog/cat is cute, but so is every stinkin' pet out there that is well-loved by a family! And so I'm gonna refrain from telling you that kind of mundane crap about Sylvia like how she would lick everyone's face 'til her heart's content or that she would go ballistic when my dad would cook salmon because the smell was so intoxicating or where her sweet-spot for being petted was (on the side of her under-chin and cheek).

I guess if anything, I just want to take a moment to think about how lucky we all are to have those pets, people, or experiences in our lives that kind of hold your family together. For my clan, Sylvia was our glue, our common denominator, that we all had. We could be pissed at each other, contemplating running away, or lying to get out of family functions, but we all always loved Sylvia and had her love in return; we always had her in common when we all seemed to be so different from each other. She didn't care about our dramas; all she wanted to do was to love us and be loved in return.

So thanks Sylvie. You were the best dern kitty a gal, or a family, could ask for. I'm sorry for all those times I would hold you upside down and then drop you to see if you'd land on your feet. You usually did. And I'll see ya soon, baby girl.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So I'm beginning to realize that posting pictures of yourself, in your non-expensive or even that interesting outfits, can get very mundane, nor is it relevant. However, I want to reemphasize something that I brought up in a previous post:

I read a lot of fashion and clothing blogs. Like, a lot. I also read a lot of fashion journalism. Like, a lot. And these reads include super hi-end stuff and really lo-end stuff. Neither of which really appeals to me. See, I'm not all about droppin' mad bills for a piece of cloth, buuuut, I also like to look fresh, contemporary, and, um, clean (aka, I never been into that dirty hipster/hippie thing). 

So, where does that leave a girl like me who wants to find inspiration and encouragement from some online reads? 

Seriously, nothing seems to fit in with me--either style or budget. And so that's why I have started to document my outfits, I guess more as proof to myself that it can be done. I hope that if others know of good sites that appeal to us middle-of-the-road folks (I do know of Uber Chic for Cheap which is a great cheapo but stylish shopping blog), please, let me in on them!!


Marc Jacobs blazer--$40 at Loehman's (so sad that the one on State St. closed)
Oversized jersey Target tee--$2 (not kidding--sale rack!)
Grey layering AA tee--$22
Grey corduroy's from Old Navy--$18
Grey flats with trinkets a la Calvin Klein--$45
Grey flower in my hair that you cannot see but that was purchased at Forever 21--$4

So easy! Can you tell I like grey?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sprinkle of Pixie Dust


 'Tis the season for me to be itchin' for a new 'do! My hair is long long long and I am tired tired tired of it. With graduation approaching, along with some other exciting plans and tricks up my sleeve, I'm really looking to start fresh this summer. It going to be a time for me to really do away with the old way of doing, being, thinking and to move forward into the unknown. So what better way to start the journey than with a new haircut?!

Sick of the cliche bobs, I'm thinking about a pixie cut. Look at these pictures of beautiful women I found with beautiful haircuts! Some other famous pixies include Halle Berry, Mia Farrow, and Rhianna. But the ones I've included here are ones that I am thinking about for myself. And for the record, I will be donating said hair that is cut to Locks of Love



All pictures found on google...go find more!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Singin' in the Rain

 So, as some of you may know, for the past 5 days, I've had an unhealthy obsession with tracking down a trench coat. I located a very cute one at TJ Maxx (Jones New York) with a detachable hood and pretty tortoise details, but I just couldn't justify the $60. Sooo...as you know from reading this amazing blog, I went to Goodwill yesterday and look what I found! A J.Crew trench circa 2000 for Ten Buckaroos! Amazing!



I feel oddly grown up and old when I wear it. This is reflected in my awkward stances while taking these pix. So I'm not a model! Sue me!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Explorin'

 Today is Sunday, a really dumb day in my books. Your Saturday was either awesome or not awesome and now you've only got one day--14 hours of awake time--to either live up to your weekend or to improve it drastically. Plus, tomorrow is Monday. LAME.

Yesterday while at school, I scoped out the city's Goodwill locations and found out that there wasn't one too far from me--on West Washington Blvd in the West Loop. I've driven through the W-L a couple of times but hadn't done much exploring beyond Greek Town. Sunday was going to be prime time for me to do some thriftin' and explorin' in the ole West Loop.

Except that it was raining! Grr...but, grey skies are ideal shootin' conditions (shooting pictures, that is) so I took the rain with a grain of salt. Here's what I found:




In the top left-hand corner, you'll find the studios of HARPO, where the Oprah Winfrey Show is tape. Hai Girl!! (imagine me saying this in that guttural, maniacal Oprah holler)
In the top right-hand corner is a pizza place. I didn't stop here, but I liked the logo and the name.
In the bottom-left you'll find Girl and the Goat. I had no idea it was so close to me! Mark really wants to check this place out--maybe for his graduation?
In the bottom-right you'll find a dope mural I found. 'Nuff said.


Even though it was dreary, I was happy to be out. The West Loop reminds me a lot of Cologne, Germany. Lots of old abandoned brick with a lot of grey condos. And the rain certainly added to the ambiance I was sentimentalizing. I really like the mural picture--I think I want to make a card out of this.

So, um, Monday tomorrow? Gross. At least I have school on Friday which means it's a four day week for me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ranunculus

I really love these flowers. I wanted to share them with you on this beautiful Friday. Have a great weekend everyone! Talk to you soon!

Courtesy of: http://engagemental.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/favorite-flower-ranunculus/
The beautiful weather in Chicago is continuing. And I couldn't be happier to have sunny skies this February Friday. I'm at work today (every other Friday...the other Fridays being in Evanston for school). I always look forward to Friday because it's Casual Day which means that I can (a) wear jeans and (b) I can have a little more fun with my outfit than I might normally (granted, I've never been one to be "politically/office-ly correct" with clothing and I always try to have as much as possible with clothes).

So today, I opted for my 501 jeans that I got for $25 (originally $80) at the Levis store, an American Apparel black v-neck tee that I got for $20, my new Gap sweater with Art Deco detailing (hard to see in the pic) for $17 (originally $55), gold Gap socks (X-mas stocking stuffer from 9th grade), black Steve Madden oxfords for $50 that I bought Senior year, and a fun grey feathered necklace that was a gift from one of my bff-ies Kate during her time at J.Crew (she now works at Dwolla, Des Moines' very own start-up).




One side note, I am including prices of things not to boast, but simply to show that great clothes that are tailored, fresh, current, and relevant (not that I buy things that are so "relevant") can be bought/found/reused for years at reasonable prices. Ha and all photos are taken with my smarta** (not dumba**) phone. My regular camera is in a box somewhere...

So ya, point being, you don't have to be a millionaire to have fun with clothes, but you should also take pride in finding stuff that fits, looks fresh, and is appropriate to wear to the office, the grocery store, or out with friends. Multi-functionality is key!!

WuT rU up2 dIs WkND?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

UGH effing finally Valentine's Day is over and Guess What?! It's 60 degrees and humid outside! No joke. Like, I actually got hot last night while sleeping. And my face wasn't all achy and dry when I got out of the shower because it's practically a stormy July day here in the Midwest. It's so awesome. Love it. Love love love. Keep it up, Momma Nature.

So last night I had to trek all the way up to North Michigan to God' inferno otherwise known as J.Crew. Love the clothes, hate the people who shop there. Suburban moms and their daughters who are way too pretty for their own good. Anyways, yes, I had to go there to return a belt that I bought for Mark because apparently J.Crew doesn't make belts big enough for MEN. Just kidding, I bought the wrong size. And they were really helpful about it. I just felt like raggin' on J.Brew.

Long story short, I walked home, passed Gap, and stopped in. FASHION SAVINGS ALERT: all their sale stuff is an additional 40% off so I picked up a blouse, cute art deco sweater in pale pink, and a nice pair of trousers. I suggest y'all sceddadle over there stat. Here's my outfit for the day:


Navy linen blouse: Gap: $12
Cream knit cluottes: St. Johns by way of Buffalo Trading: $25
Cowboy Belt: Allison in the 4th A in Paris: 12 euros
Tights: From my personal TJ Maxx shopper Audrey Baker: Free
Silver flats with accoutrements: Calvin Klein at Macys: $45
Lookin' good an feelin' good: PRICELESS!

Peace y'all!