A Royal Wedding

Friday, April 29, 2011

Loved. every. moment.
That is all.

Royal Wedding Fever

Thursday, April 28, 2011

         1. teapot  /  2. gloss & sanitizer  /  3. print  /  4. rug  /  5. printables  /  6. replica ring  /  7. tea towel 

It's official. I'm royally obsessed with all things Royal Wedding. Coverage is everywhere and this girly girl is in high tea heaven! I can't explain the fascination but the suspense is thrilling don't you think?? The dress reveal, the pomp and circumstance, the hoopla, ah! it's the ultimate fairytale. In honor of the celebration, here a few of my favorite wedding inspired items.

I'll be waking up early (3:00am eeeeeps!) to watch it with Brooke and am especially excited after still coming down from our Diana dress viewing high in February. Mimosas and chocolate covered strawberries are on the menu and we're sure to squeal, giggle and shed a few happy tears.  I keep thinking of Kate (actually it's Catherine now) and how she must pinch herself every day to make certain it's not a dream. Not only is she marrying her sweetheart, she's accepting a lifetime job. Smashing!!

What are your plans for the big day? Slumber parties, brunches, couldn't care less??
Comment, tweet me, or take the poll on Facebook!

And for those of you that just can't take it anymore...


Wicked Wicker (Park)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sweater - aerie  /  Top - Zara  /  Pants - American Eagle (seen here
Boots - kelly & katie  /  Sunglasses, Ring -  H&M  /  Bag - Coach

Last weekend, we were privileged to see the sun for about...oh, six hours before starting another week full of rain so we took the opportunity to get outside to explore one of our favorite 'hoods, Wicker Park. There is a wicked hip vibe in this area and every time we visit I feel like I'm walking around in an indie music video. Besides the fabulous people watching, (hellooo street style bloggers dream) the thrift and consignment stores are a goldmine. I scored a gorgeous silk dress for $12 (I'll show it to ya as soon as I won't get drenched or freeze to death) and if anyone is in the market for an amazing vintage olive green velvet couch, it's at the hip store behind me with the fun turquoise trim.  

Spotlight On: Cotton

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

They don't call it the Fabric of our Lives for nothing...
Cotton is the most popular fiber in America today, outselling all man-made fibers combined. Spanning 17 states, the 'Cotton Belt' stretches across the southern US from Virginia to California. Worldwide, China and India are the largest producers. Cotton is a versatile, durable, and comfortable fabric available in a variety of qualities, mediums and price points. Let's take a look...

Cotton quality is determined by fiber length and strength. Though the information is not readily available to consumers, names such as  Pima (aka Supima) and Egyptian Cotton are associated with high quality due to their length/strength properties. Their fibers, about twice as long as other cotton fibers, allows them to be spun into very fine yarns producing soft, lustrous as well strong and durable fabric.  Since all cotton produced in Egypt can be termed Egyptian cotton, look for this logo and a '100% Egyptian Cotton' label to guarantee authenticity. 

  • Inspect the Color - Is it dyed evenly? Does it look rich and saturated?
  • Purity - Is the garment free of nubs, bumps and lumps? Any additional lint or specs?
  • Fiber Quality - How does it feel - smooth and uniform? Sandy or dry?
  • Treatments - Any fabric treatments or washes that will affect life or care of the garment?

Most cotton fabrics can be laundered in the washing machine. They should be washed frequently, since they
tend to absorb moisture and pick up dirt. Cotton can withstand high temperatures but will shrink more in hot water than cold, unless pre-washed/pre-shrunk. Items with detailed stitching, embellishments or internal treatments (like shoulder pads) should be hand washed or dry cleaned.  Steam or iron according to label instructions, cotton can typically withstand 200-400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the fall of 2010, due to decreased demand from the recession as well as damaged crops from flooding and bad weather in China and India, cotton prices soared to a record high. As a result, retailers were forced to respond - some in the form of fabric substitution and scaled down designs, others in the higher retail prices passed on to the customer in the coming seasons. Only time will tell how the market will react, rejecting the higher price points and/or accepting more synthetic fibers.

Though these are just a few highlights of cotton, there is sooo much more I could share but:
A: I didn't want to bore you.
B: I'd love to know what you want to know! My goal is to share facts and opinions for being an informed consumer.  Did I leave something out, are you curious about a certain something? Please comment below and share your thoughts!

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Spotlight On is a weekly series featuring a fabric, design treatment or construction method and sharing facts and ideas for being an informed consumer. For further questions please comment or email.

Chernobyl 25

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"At 1:23am on April 26th, 1986, operators in the control room of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant botched a routine safety test, resulting in an explosion, and a fire that burned for 10 days. The radioactive fallout spread over tens of thousands of square miles, driving more than a quarter of a million people permanently from their homes. It was the world’s worst nuclear disaster to date."      
Gerd Ludwig

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. My husband, born in Ukraine, was 14 years old at the time. Though he has shared stories with me over the years, I admit that I never fully understood the scope of this disaster. With the recent talk of potential nuclear destruction in Japan, I felt compelled to learn more as the anniversary approached. Over the weekend, I watched video's and researched stories through tears and mouth agape.  I asked questions and Alex shared with me a memory of getting caught in a drizzle and returning home with bleach stains on his shirt from the radiation rain. Many were unaware of the danger...it's hard to imagine a time before internet and social media were alerting the world in real time but only  a quarter century ago, these citizens were informed only of what their government wanted them to know. Brave souls perished in attempts to contain the disaster and families have suffered for now decades from the aftereffects.

In my research, I found a few things that I'd like to share with you. The first is a photography project 'The Long Shadow of Chernobyl', by Gerd Ludwig, who recently returned to Chernobyl for extended coverage of the site and the abandoned town of Pripyat. Below is the Kickstarter campaign film, and this video, is the most recent coverage released by BBC News last week.

The second is an overview video. (Please access through link.) It is graphic and heartbreaking but I urge you to watch what you can to fully grasp the affects. My weak stomach could barely handle it but I felt too guilty to turn away.

Finally, I couldn't watch and read without feeling compelled to do something. Maybe my husband's heritage and the thought of our future children was playing on my emotions, but I began to seek out charities directly involved with caring for, supporting and serving the children affected by this still dangerous disaster. The work they do provides treatment, recuperation and volunteer funding. Please consider a donation.

                      Chernobyl Children International                                  Children of Chernobyl Foundation

It has been my privilege to experience just a touch of Ukrainian culture in my life. From friends to festivals, I've learned of a country rich with tradition and have been inspired by everything from music to food to fashion. Each year, we attend a Ukrainian Festival here in Chicago and I've fallen in love with the traditional dance troupe Hromovytsia. Shortly after, I became obsessed with red boots and soon, our friends sent me a traditional blouse which is one of the most meaningful pieces in my closet. Here are a few of my favorite images:

Ukrainian Fest 2008

Ukrainian Fest 2009

I usually like to keep things light around here but the anniversary of a tragedy that is still affecting Ukraine and surrounding areas seemed appropriate to acknowledge. Thank you for reading.

Ruffles, Rainboots & Rewards

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jacket - Express / Pants - AEO / Boots - Filene's / Earrings - Kenneth Cole / Mug - Starbucks

Friday was Earth Day which meant free coffee in your own mug at Starbucks! Conveniently, there's one located not far from my crib but getting there meant braving April Shower Overload. (May owes me some serious flowers.) However, the rewards made it all worth it.

Easter Dress Dreams

Friday, April 22, 2011

Forever 21, Make Up For Ever, Jane Iredale

                   dress / earrings / clutch / blush / eyeliner / shoes / necklace

When I was younger, Easter meant a new dress and the beginning of spring. Nowadays, our church is casual and spring doesn't come around Chicago until say...mid-May.  But if the eggs aligned and allowed me the opportunity, I'd be wearing this.

I wish you a wonderful weekend with family, fellowship and full bellies! 

The Beauty Department

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lauren Conrad & Co. launched The Beauty Department yesterday and this vintage wave tutorial is going be my first project. Excited!

P.S. I actually didn't watch Laguna Beach or The Hills and have only seen a few episodes here and there, what about you guys?? Regardless, I'm an LC fan and super excited about the new site!

Party of Five: Scenes from the Weekend

Monday, April 18, 2011

  // Spring blooms in downtown \\

 // H&M Sale \\

 // Blackhawks Represent! \\

 // New accent pillow for the bedroom \\
(P.S. I made it!)

 // Cinnamon Creme Cake from Corner Bakery \\

-- Bonus --

// Being {this close} to Vince Vaughn on Michigan Ave. \\


Friday, April 15, 2011

{This is me, writing a big 'ol Thank You note to each of you.}

Dear Wonderful People,
You've all been sooo supportive lately and I wanted to take this day to say a big Thank You to each of my loyal readers and offer a warm hello to my newest followers and visitors! I enjoy our interactions so much and appreciate each and every comment, email, Facebook message and Tweet from you! I know I can't make it around each day and I feel bad about that, but when I do I love digging into the past few days of your life all at once to catch up. You are truly an amazing, inspiring group of people and if we lived nearby I just know we'd all be best friends in real life :)

Lately, I shared a few outfit ensembles with you and your comments have been exceptionally sweet and supportive. I'm dipping my toes into it and was/am very hesitant to go down the outfit path if for no other reason than fear. Initially, all those childish insecurities run through my head..."Will they like it?", "Will they laugh at me?" and I really appreciate you welcoming a little more of that here as I integrate a bit more fashion related musings. The fashion industry holds a huge place in my heart and I recently (finally) finished an About Page and FAQ section if you'd like to learn more.

I believe blogs are living and breathing and deserve to grow as their owner grows. While I love sharing new products, wishlists and photos with you I'm excited to begin a new chapter of sharing and discussing things like Fabrics, Apparel Quality and Care. It won't be boring I promise :) And don't worry, the usual stuff will still pop up - it's not like a total makeover, more like adding a few new accessories.

I also wanted to let you know that the "It's the Little Things Series" has officially moved to Facebook. It seemed like the perfect format to share and be inspired by others. If you'd like to contribute just upload a 'Little Thing' you love with a caption explaining why and tag 'Little Girl, Big World'. (You must have 'Liked' the page in order to tag it.)  If any of you have Pages please share them below and I will seek you out!

Thank you all again so so much. Your support and kind words mean the world to me!


Green Bean Salad

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I don't particularly enjoy cooking so I'm always on the lookout for super easy, quick and delicious healthy recipes. This is one of my favorites and I thought you might enjoy it as well. The ingredients are simple and prep is a cinch!

You'll need:
A bag of Green Beans - in the produce section like this, not frozen
3-4  Radishes
3 Tbs. Cilantro
8-10 Cherry Tomatoes
3 Tbs. Feta Cheese

2 tsp. Olive Oil
Dash of Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper


Happy 13th!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Photo print by Full Circle Images

Word of the Day: Triskaidekaphobia
 (It means 'fear of the number 13'.)

I'm always perplexed in hotel elevators when the numbers skip from 12 to 14 - how can humanity omit a number just like that... What if we went around leaving out letters of the alphabet? I know some Monograms that would be preeetty unhappy.

Thirteen is my lucky number, therefore my lucky day ;)  Hope you have a fabulous one!!
How about you, any superstitions or good luck charms?

(More 13 love here.)

Petal Pusher

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You know when an idea starts with one thought (my latest manicure) and more just start flowing until it's inspiration on top of inspiration on top of... you get the point.  There used to be a hilarious segment on a radio station here called "One Minute Inside a Woman's Head" in which you observed a female begin with one thought and bounce between 13 more and somehow back again in less than a minute.

This outfit went exactly like that.
The punchy nails called for spring-y top. I remembered this fave from last year and the layered ruffle neckline screamed for an updo. The twisty buns felt all 1950's so I cuffed the jeans like James Dean minus the leather plus patent bow stiletto's. Which felt all June Cleaver perfect housewife so a TV mom skinny belt was added to cinch the cardigan. At that point, I gave it my all and topped everything off with retro shades.

Just doing my part to brighten dull alley's in this world...

Cardigan: Martin & Osa *tears* /  Floral Top: Liberty of London for Target (sooo last year)
Jeans: Forever 21  /  Belt: J.Crew  /  Ring: Forever 21  /  Earrings: H&M  
Shoes: Chinese Laundry  /  Nail Polish: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri #13 (of course) & #15

P.S. Little Girl, Big World is now on Facebook! Click here or that handy little box in the sidebar!