If A Picture Paints a Thousand Words...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts & commenting this week, currently my free time is being spent preparing for the Chicago Fashion Foundation event. (Hope to see you!) In the meantime, enjoy these fabulous Fashion Week pictures from Jamie Beck. They might be the coolest ever. Who am I kidding, they're most definitely the coolest ever - capturing exactly what fascinates me with the fashion industry - the glitz, the glam and the energy!

NYC Photographer Jamie Beck

NYC Photographer Jamie Beck

NYC Photographer Jamie Beck

NYC Photographer Jamie Beck

P.S. We're getting more snow tonight and I hear San Fran & LA may see flurries too... lucky you ;)

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Winter to Spring to Winter

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Just what I needed to see on this cold, gray, fourth week of February.

In addition to being a beautiful collection of time and nature, this video is also a lovely metaphor for life. In the midst of a storm, it's nice to know that better days are are ahead. For each blustery day, a spring bloom waits around the corner. Behind every cloud, a sun.  Watch and learn :)

J.Killing Me.

Monday, February 21, 2011

J.Crew's Spring 2011 Look Book is rocking my socks off. How can a girl resist the juicy colors (hellooo yellow satin shorts!), orange lips and messy side pony's - I want it all!! Joanna posted a tutuorial for the messy ponytail, now we just need one for the faux bob and we're all set! (Well, that and a bigger clothing budget.)

P.S. Don't forget about the Chicago Fashion Foundation's 4th Annual Scholarship Event on March 3rd, you can now RSVP on Facebook! Runway shows, goodie bags and more - you won't want to miss it!

Chinese New Year 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

In early February we attended the Chinese New Year celebration in Chinatown. The experience was amazingly colorful and exciting. I love a good parade and thought I'd share some of my favorite photo's from the day. 

It's the year of the Rabbit so I wore Mom's vintage rabbit fur coat. See more of it here.

According to Chinese tradition, "the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. It is a time for negotiation. Don't try to force issues, because if you do you will ultimately fail. To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise. The easygoing bunny is a welcome replacement for the restless, aggressive tiger, which ruled an erratic year." Amen to that!

Sources: here & here

A Sweet Sole

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Seriously j'adoring these shoes.  They'll be available on Asos in March, which means I have a month to re-work the budget and try to squeeze them in. {Heeey, Ashleigh! Remember your 2011 goals?? We're right here if you need a reminder.} The sweet pink & peach color block remind me of Benefit's Sugarbomb blush in shoe form. Add gunmetal hardware and a two-tone gray heel - wowza!

Note: platform sandals aren't nearly as hard to walk in as they appear, I've actually found some to be quite comfortable. The thick heels provide a sturdiness that keeps you from wobbling in your new, higher altitude :)

Via Refinery29

Diana: A Celebration

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Photo by Mario Testino

On Sunday, Brooke & I drove to Grand Rapids, Michigan to view the Diana: A Celebration exhibit. We knew it would be amazing but we didn't realize how honored we would feel just to witness it.

Viewing THE wedding dress, all 25 feet of it, was surreal. Our eyes darted back and forth from footage to the dress, not believing we were in its presence. It was truly a sight to behold. As you wind through the memento's of her childhood, thank you letters from charities and gallery of gowns, you can't help but be overcome with emotion at such a tragic loss. Suddenly, we were within the funeral portion and bawling like babies. What would she be passionate about today? Who would be her favored designers? Why was such a wonderful person taken so soon?

Reading portions of her diary, listening to snippets from friends, family and favorite designers, you realize how incredibly humble and kind she truly was. A few things I enjoyed learning:

- The wedding gown - with the longest train in royal wedding history, 25 feet - and bridesmaids dresses cost $1,900. The designers, Elizabeth and David Emanuel, left false trails to throw off the snooping media including faux sketches and colored threads.

- She was thoughtful in her wardrobe selection depending on the situation. For visits with children, she wore bright colors with larger adornments or jewelry to keep their attention. For babies, she wore a long chain to entertain them. Her designers were also creative with the functions of garments, such as adding weights into hemlines to keep them from blowing in the wind.

- At one time, Diana worked with over 100 charities and organizations. A letter expressing her decline of benefit offers was so moving and heartfelt, you felt her pain at the desire to help without the proper time to do so.

- Being a handwritten note enthusiast myself, one of the highlights for me was a letter she sent to a benefit director expressing disappointment in herself for not being in 'top form' at a recent function. She mentioned her exhausting travels - it was not uncommon for her to travel over 150 days per year - and apologized for seeming 'off'. I am curious to know if anyone other than herself actually noticed that day and was so struck by her thoughtfulness to reach out in that way.

If you'd like to learn a bit more and experience what we were privileged to view in person take a peek at this video coverage from the Today show.

Post exhibit, I'm inspired by love and understanding. Her dedication to charity work and helping others in addition to her personal persona provide an excellent example of grace and class.  Though tomorrow is the final day at the Grand Rapids Art Museum it will move to Kansas City until June. I absolutely recommend it, our 6 hour road trip was worth every mile. It is a moving and emotional experience you will never forget.

Valentine's Means Love

Friday, February 11, 2011

Regardless of what Cupid says, I believe Valentine's should be about all kinds of love, not just the romantic kind. It's a chance to tell the people in your life who mean the most that you care and appreciate them. I often send handmade cards to friends and family and my Dad never fails to call on the day asking me to be his Valentine. The idea of Anti-valentine's parties make me sad, the world needs more love, why stop with couples? Whether you have a sweetheart or not, I hope you'll reach out to someone this year and express a little extra love - call your Grandpa, hug your best friend, write a sweet note to a child, give your boss a cupcake. Share the love people.

A few of my favorite Valentine projects this year:

Polaroid photo wall image via Little Blue Deer

A hidden heart cake!
Picture and tutorial by i am baker via alkeemi

Kevin Sharkey created a 'Sweet Dreams' package for friends using a flannel pillowcase, compilation of lullabies and a sleep mask.

Stitched Heart card by moi, tutorial here.

Mwwwwaah to all of you! I love love love reading about your lives and discovering wonderful sources through your blogs. And welcome to my newest readers and followers, I look forward to getting to know you!

Have a lovely weekend!

P.S. More thoughts on Valentine's Day and love.

White Out!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

When Carrie threw out the White Denim in Winter outfit challenge I couldn't resist. Though not afraid of the concept, I've always refrained from wearing white bottoms after Labor Day for no other reason than that rule was always just stuck in my head. My eye would skip right past the bright white in my stack of jeans and I somewhat worried how this would come together..."How can I made a pair of white pants look wintery?" I thought over and over, especially when Snowtorious B.I.G dropped nearly 2 feet of snow outside. I think I solved the dilemma with with texture and layers, adding my Mom's (now mine) beloved vintage rabbit fur jacket to the mix - isn't it amaaaazing?! (It was a gift to her from my Dad before I was even a tiny thought and wearing it feels like a constant hug :) And to keep it fun I threw on some polka dot tights.

P.S.  To be festive, I wore the top half of this outfit to the Chinese New Year parade on Sunday - it is the year of the Rabbit after all!  (White jeans were removed due to tons of dirty, slushy snow!)

The details:
Black Rabbit Fur Jacket - Vintage Mom's
Denim Shirt - American Eagle
Grey Thermal - Aerie
White Denim - American Eagle
Metal/Pearl Necklace - Macy's
Black Elastic/Leather Belt - Vintage Mom's
Polka Dot Tights - Hue
Black Platform Slingbacks - Carlos (also seen here)

Be sure to check out my fellow posters today for more awesome white denim inspiration and see the full lot at Carrie's blog.

Kai - All Kinds of Complicated
Lisa - In Dramatic Fashion
Higgenbottom - Dressing the Higgenbottom
Kara - Sprinkles in Springs

This is my first official outfit post and I quite enjoyed it, thanks for the challenge Carrie, keep 'em coming!!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Snowly cow, I could give you a million reason why I haven't had a post since last Wednesday but how about I just share some Blizzaster pictures instead?

It's hard to believe that last week at this time the term 'Thundersnow' wasn't even a part of my vocabulary. The best thing about this storm was the awesomely hilarious names we lovingly referred to it as....

Snowpacolypse - Snowmaggedon 2011 - SnObama - Blizzaster
And my personal fave...Snowprah Wintery

We hunkered down for 2 days without internet or cable (it was actually a nice break but it put me waaaay behind), made big, country breakfasts and took long, exploratory walks in the neighborhood. Sure, it's Chicago and we're used to snow, but so much at once (21 inches!) provided a temporary shut down that the southerner in me just loved :)

I am usually much shorter than the top of the fence.

 And my head is typically nowhere near the top of the door frame.

 Hubs laying in the center of one of the busiest (and I think scariest)
streets in Chicago - Sheridan Rd. for once, completely deserted.

 The buildings looked liked they'd been hit with what I
referred to as 'snow bombs'.

 Snow. The ultimate footstool.

 Who needs a pillow?

 In the summer, the lake begins at the end of that pier.

 Snow way!

The drift in our courtyard.

The streets post plow. I love that people wrote messages on their cars, it reminded me of SOS signals, but more fun!

  It's cool - he's 21. Degree's that is.