Wednesday, November 21, 2012

happy (Thanksgiving)

image via google

I'm off to my parents' house straight after work today. As I was packing my weekend bag last night, I realized that my clothing choices all had one thing in common: comfort. Think oversized sweaters, jeans with stretch, and walkable boots and flats. A little stretch here and there is absolutely necessary when you're planning on overindulging just a little.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, food, and shopping!

Monday, November 19, 2012

bottom up wit

Revolution Brewing Bottom Up Wit

I had thought about doing a round-up of weekend snapshots, but really, the only snapshot necessary is of my favorite new beer above. Found at Trader Joe's while doing our once-every-six-weeks grocery haul

It's Monday, and all I can think about is drinking one of these when I get home.

To beer, and a great week ahead!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

of vintage golf bags

This bag was a birthday present from James - he picked it out all by himself. I was so touched and so surprised, and I couldn't help but ask him why he picked this bag in particular.

His answer?

"The green and brown reminded me of the vintage golf bags that I have in my parents' basement that I'd like to refurbish someday to hold my wooden golf clubs."

Yes, he really is that nerdy and adorable, and I am one lucky woman.

Friday, November 9, 2012

birthday weekend

birthday wish list

polyvore set here

I am turning 24 on Monday, and this weekend is jam packed with activity. Tonight I'll be eating delicious noodles at Slurping Turtle with my coworkers and then seeing Skyfall with my boyfriend. On Saturday, I'll be heading home to spend a day with my parents and sister, and once James arrives from work, we'll all go out to eat. To round out the weekend, on our way back to Chicago, we'll be stopping off to do some leisurely shopping and checking out holiday displays, and then to a just-the-two-of-us birthday dinner. Bonus: the Bears are on Sunday Night Football!

I've been incredibly lucky and blessed with a good job, good health, a great boyfriend, a wonderful apartment, and lots of loving family and friends. The wish list above would just be icing on an already delicious cake. 

I would also be remiss if I didn't take the time to thank our friend Jesse for cooking a wonderful pre-birthday dinner last night. Any dinner that I didn't have to make would have been great as yesterday was a long day, but he hit it out of the park: asparagus risotto with some fennel and leek (so creamy!), blackened scallops, and shredded brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots. Topped off with several glasses of dry Riesling, I was in culinary heaven.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

holiday dressing (LBD for less)

LBD for less

polyvore set here 

The LBD, at a more democratic price point. Full disclosure: I just bought it.

I would switch out the attached belt or go without one entirely. The devil outfit is in the details. Bring out the red in the statement necklace with a nice, dressy cardigan that can be left open or buttoned and cinched in with a complimentary belt. Add some texture with lace pumps and a classic clutch with a little edge. 

Old Navy dress (apparently now sold out, but similar or try in store)

J. Crew cardigan

J. Crew necklace

House of Harlow 1960 for goop clutch

Zara pumps

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

holiday dressing (LBD)


polyvore set here

There are usually two ways to go about holiday dressing: you either take it literally with sparkles, red/green, bows, etc., or metaphorically with less traditional colors but just as luxurious details. I switch between the two as my mood fits, but I love taking the classic LBD and making it appropriate for any occasion, including the cheer of the holidays. 

The LBD, with the right cut and design, can be as festive and statement-making as its cousin, the little red dress. Play against its simplicity with standout accessories: leopard print pumps, an intricate necklace, and a sleek clutch in cool snakeskin. Finish the look off with a bold red lip and an equally bold attitude. 

Now, this dress (and the shoes and the necklace and the clutch!) is waaaay out of my price range, but one of the best things about fashion is that there are similar options in almost every price point - I'll do a much more affordable version of this collage next. But, a girl can (virtually) dream, right?

Victoria Beckham dress 

J. Crew pumps

Oscar de la Renta necklace

Kotur clutch

Monday, November 5, 2012

weekend snapshots

I can't believe it's November, but I don't mind as it's my favorite month - winter isn't full-blown yet, the leaves are doing their swan song, Thanksgiving is coming up with all its goodness, and oh, yeah, my birthday. :)

It's now Monday, but here are some snapshots of my weekend. 
Here's to everyone having a great week!

 great sweaters in awesome colors at J. Crew

eyeing this sweater and this necklace for my birthday (this, too, in red)

luggage shopping at T. J. Maxx - we ended up picking the smaller one

After the luggage, we then ended up going dinner and then to Revolution Brewing for a friend's birthday. We ended up liking the place a lot - great beers, great atmosphere, great prices.

 awesome tin ceiling and light fixture

 $5 in-house beers

I ended up with the Bottom Up Wit - my new favorite beer! crisp, clean, refreshing

coffee + dutch apple pie with whipped cream + a good read + football (Bears win!) = great Sunday

Friday, November 2, 2012

sweater love (tippi)

Tippi Sweater

polyvore set here

It seems like everyone has that one thing they go specifically to J.Crew for. For my blessedly tall friends, it's for their extended lengths on jeans; for my boyfriend, it's for their retro sneakers through their In Good Company branding. For me, it's for their sweaters. The sweater to end all sweaters for me is the Tippi.

It shouldn't be a holy grail item, right? It's a basic crewneck, a style that every retailer at every price point carries. But isn't it true that sometimes the most basic perfect items are the hardest to find? Sometimes the cut is right but the quality's lacking. Other times, the quality's there but there's one detail that's off - you don't like where the shoulder placement is, the way the sides flare, or the type of buttons (or lack thereof). I am very short (4'11") and very busty (38DD), so for me, finding tops that fit right is all sorts of impossible. If the chest area fits me fine, my waistline is swimming. Everything else could be perfect except for the sleeves that are completely covering up my hands because of my very short arms. And so on and so on. I passed by the Tippi numerous times over my visits into J.Crew. I don't usually do crewnecks as they tend to make me look more busty than I already am, but a month ago, I picked up a few to try on on my way to the dressing room since I was tired of v-necks, as flattering as they may be.

It was love at first fitting. I love the soft but durable merino, the classic crewneck that's not too high, the ribbed hems, the 3/4 sleeves. Bonus: it comes in every color under the sun, in cashmere and in merino. I now own 8 of them: 1 polka dot, 1 cashmere, 6 solids. They are relatively pricey ($79.50 regular price), but I was able to scoop them up when they were marked down and an extra 25% off of all sweaters and I used my student discount on top of that. I bought seven of the eight sweaters for no more than $28 apiece.

I've regretted countless other purchases, but I haven't regretted these one bit. They have become staples in my wardrobe, as they can be dressed up or down, worn on their own or as a layering piece. I'm eyeing the dark poppy and garland (pine green) ones above.

Have you tried the Tippi sweater? Do you also share in Tippi love?

P.S. I recently discovered the oversized merino pocket sweater, also from J.Crew, as I mentioned in this post. A slouchy but still polished uber-comfy v-neck sweater in merino wool with pockets? Yes, please.  It's the exact opposite in terms of fit from the Tippi, but equally as versatile.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

obsessed with...

lip balms

polyvore set here

When the weather gets cold and the wind starts biting, my skin quickly takes a beating. I'll talk about my other winter essentials for skin, fluids, etc. in upcoming posts, but first things first: lip care. 

Some of my favorites:

Softlips are my favorite drugstore brand of lip balm. They come in a handful of varieties and scents (vanilla is my favorite), have SPF, and I like the sleek packaging (even though I lose these immediately it seems perhaps because of it - I just buy them in packs!). 

I also really love Jack Black Intense Therapy lip balm. These also have SPF and come in several different scents/flavors, but I exclusively use the natural mint & shea butter. Bonus: my boyfriend appreciates the masculine packaging. Jack Black also makes a whole line of men's grooming products. My boyfriend has tried the after shave and liked it. The balm and other products are readily available at Sephora. 

I discovered Korres lip butter and the Korres line in general when I was looking for sensitive skin-friendly makeup for my sister. She loved their eyeliner and eyeshadow that didn't break her out, and I loved their lip butter. I get it in "jasmine" (pictured). I don't think the scent necessarily reminds me of the flower, but I appreciate the subtle scent, creamy texture, and how it can also double as a gloss since it has a little bit of a sheen. 

Every night before I go to sleep, I use Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy. I love the whole Fresh Sugar line in general, but the Advanced Therapy works wonders on my lips when they're really banged up. I put some on my lips at night, and I see a huge improvement in the morning. The lemon scent is also a plus for me, but it's strong, so not everyone may like it. I've also heard good things about their lip scrub, but I haven't tried it out. I left out mentioning a lip scrub because I haven't found a favorite yet . 

Any suggestions for good lip scrubs? What are some of your favorite lip balms? How do you take care of your lips?