Cherish the Season

Monday, December 24, 2012

This is the part where I apologize profusely for not being around much this holiday season. I feel badly about it, but decided to take what little time away from work and errands and chores to celebrate the season with my loved ones, and it was so worth it. As I mentioned at Thanksgiving, it's been a year of gratitude and with that, I've cherished so many moments and have tried to really live the meaning of that word.

When we set out to create our Christmas card this year, I hadn't even browsed for templates before we started and after I uploaded the pictures we took on the beach at the end of our street (which I totally cherish), I popped onto Tiny Prints, put a few favorite shots into the site and voila, this one was staring me in the face. I'm so pleased with how it turned out because it really means so much to me on all fronts: being squeezed by my honey, standing in one of our favorite spots, cherishing this life we're lucky enough to live.

From the bottom of my heart I wish the the happiest of holiday seasons, safe journey's, lots of warm hugs, full tummies and memories to cherish a lifetime.

Have a very Merry. See you next year my dears.


P.S. Last year's card, and 2010's, too!

All Of The Lights

Monday, December 24, 2012

Last weekend we took a Holiday Lights Trolley Tour (also, BYOB as you may have noticed on Instagram) in Chicago with some friends. Ugly festive sweaters were involved and though there were four stops along the way, as you'll find below, I took most of the pictures at Zoolights (like I haven't been there six times before). What can I say, it just never gets old.

Festive activities are my favorite. What did y'all get into this season?

Christmas Crib 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

While decorating for Halloween and Thanksgiving might have been new for me this year, theme-ing up for Christmas is an old standard. I used the same pink glitter deer I made last year and added some sparkly poms to use in place of bows, to add some pop to my gallery wall, and string around in various spots. I'm quite pleased with the amount of glitter and shine in my condo this Christmas and the silver pouf and white deer were my two favorite new home additions in 2012.

P.S. Christmas Crib 2011.

Holiday Links

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An outtake from our Christmas card "faux-to" shoot :)
(It's faux because we use a tri-pod and remote, fun stuff.)

Just popping in with a few holidays links for your Wednesday...

The unofficial tour of some the best holiday windows.
Remember my vintage hair moment? Here's another easy peasy tutorial just in time for fab fetes.
This song. (It's my favorite this year.)
Sweet mini wreaths, that I bet would smell divine!
This year I used sparkly poms on strings in place of ribbons and bows.
And a festive frock that's a no fail for New Year's.

How's your season going so far?

Yay for Emerald!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'm super squealing over Emerald being named Pantone's Color of the Year for for 2013. This rich, green hue is one of my favorite colors, especially in jewelry. I don't know about you, but the last two choices (Tangerine Tango and Honeysuckle) have been uninspiring in my opinion. I can't wait for more Emerald products to start popping up, perhaps this necklace is still available?

P.S. Emerald jewels and emerald dresses!

P.P.S. More Pantone/Product pairings.

Of course.

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's the mooost wonderful tiiiiime of the yeeear. And if you work in any form of retail, it's also the most stressful/exhausting time of the year!

My mom e-mailed this print on one of my busiest days last week and it perfectly capture's my career in one sentence. I love this always changing industry, but man is it crazy at Christmas!

It's been wild this week, as will the next one, so I apologize in advance for the disappearing act around here. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely excited and feel beyond blessed to have a busy social calendar, a job that I love in the industry that I love, an entire month of travel plans (more on that later), and the joyous holiday season ahead. But if you're like me and the of fear forgetting something is as real and akin to the fear of say, heights or spiders, then you realize the planning that goes into such situations. My spreadsheets of lists (yes, plural) rival that of the U.S. Constitution in detail. No task left behind!

Hope you're all well and I hope to be back in spurts to spread some holiday cheer. Happy weekend!

P.S. Rules for a successful holiday.

Holiday Hair: Finger Waves

Monday, December 3, 2012

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

I've been trying to do more than a bun with my hair lately... I've done a few braids which I'm really enjoying, and now I'm ready for something a little more dramatic, just in time for the holiday's! The finger wave is such a classic, but the modern twist is a little softer. From dressy to daytime, it's a versatile 'do that looks just as amazing with a sweater as it does with sequins. And did I mention it works on any hair length? I tried this tutorial once and it's actually easier than I thought, the hardest part for me was waiting on it to dry. So I guess, the biggest skill of all is patience. Who'd have thought?

I'm definitely having a vintage moment with hair. Have you tried anything new lately?

Holiday Shopping in Chicago

Friday, November 30, 2012

I try to not blog about Chicago specific event too often (so that my plethora of U.S. and international readers won't feel left out ;) but these holiday shopping events were too good not to share!

  • Holiday CRAVE-ings - December 1st -  an exclusive, festive, glam-gal gathering of fun and shopping
  • Vintage Garage December 8th & 9th - the city’s newest venue for buying and selling vintage and antique merchandise
  • HoliDose - December 9th - a Dose of the best in local food and the most delectable in fashion & design

Happy Weekend and happy shopping!

Super Cute Hats & Such

Thursday, November 29, 2012

 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Tonight I'm attending an event at Goorin Bros. Hatmakers in Chicago. Hubby and I are both big fans of the brand as you can always count on finding classic pieces with a hint of trend or splash of excitement. I'll be honest, I wasn't much of a hat person before stumbling into a Goorin store a few years ago. They all just seemed wrong on my head. What I learned - it's less about style, more about fit. (Turns out, heads are not one size fits all, imagine!) Once you nail that down, it's much easier to find a flattering design. Hubby looks super cute in this onethis is one of my fave's (minus the turq ribbon - mine's brown) and sometime's they're even fun with party dresses! I hadn't perused the Goorin site in a while and am delighted at the additions of facinators and headpieces, they're totally dreamy!

Are you a hat person? I don't know if it counts but I can't get enough of beret's like this in the winter time.

Wise Words on Style

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Have a stylish Wednesday! 

The Longest Shortest Road Trip Ever

Monday, November 26, 2012

Having just returned from a business trip to the Big Apple, I got word that we needed to be for back personal business within 3 days. So we loaded up the car, grabbed some snacks and hit the road. We're no strangers to long driving trips and chunks in the car, but this one set a personal record of hours driven in the shortest amount of time. Luckily, we had a few hours to spare in the city (and I do mean few) but we managed to enjoy a lunch on Madison Avenue, snap some non-cell phone pics and were back on our way. Here's a look at #longestshortestroadtripever by the numbers:

57 hours total
32 hours driving
16 hours of sleeping
6 hours in NYC
3 unaccounted for hours (eating?)
 1 kiss in Times Square


Thursday, November 22, 2012

The challenges that have come our way this year have and will change my life dramatically, yet somehow in the midst of it I have learned to live with a grateful heart. To appreciate every moment, not taking for granted that our lives can and do change in an instant and we may never have these moments again, or at least in the same way. So I laugh a little louder, dance a little sillier, and hug my loved ones even tighter at the end of the day. They say that happiness is a journey, not a destination, and I have finally felt it. And for that, I am thankful. Gratitude does, in fact, unlock the fullness of life.

On this day of thanksgiving, let me say thanks to you dear readers, friends and family - for following along with me on this journey of life, and sharing your stories, support and love in return. I wish you the happiest of Thanksgiving's. Love deeply, feel happy and live with an open heart.

P.S. What I was (am still am) thankful for last year, and the year before. Plus, two Thanksgiving's later, I'm still in love with this.

Thanksgiving at Home

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last month, I got in the spirit of seasonal decorating and went all out for Halloween. This month, I switched it up just a bit for a Fall / Thanksgiving feel. (Which basically means I made some pom pom garland to string around in various spots.) Apparently my new favorite thing is to adorn the gallery wall. I think Charles (my deer) appreciates the effort.

Tomorrow's the big day, so I'll be putting on my apron this afternoon to get started in the kitchen. Happy Black Wednesday friends!

On another note, we made it back from our road trip. Thanks to everyone who followed along via Instagram! If you missed the fun you can find all the pics and stories at #LongestShortestRoadTripEver :)

Home again, for a minute.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The week in NYC was great, and it's lovely to be home. Yet, in a crazy turn of events, I'll be leaving town once again on Sunday, so I'll be taking a few more days off of the blog. This break away includes a road trip though, with some potentially fun instagram action if you care to follow along. And when we return early next week, it's nearly Thanksgiving! So much excitement, so little me. :)

As for this weekend, we've got a movie (oh, how beyond elated I am), a wine tasting, and a birthday party at an arcade bar on the books. Sadly, I'm missing a Chicago blogger buddy get together but travel duty calls. What's up for your weekend? Have a happy one!

See you next Wednesday!

P.S. A great road trip playlist if you like a little mix of everything, familiar pillows, and a conversation about traveling alone.

Strength after Sandy

Monday, November 12, 2012

I'll be traveling to New York City for the next few days so posting will be a little quiet this week.

I've been wanting to share my thoughts on hurricane Sandy and offer my love to those affected by the storm but it's been hard to capture the right sentiment. And though New York City is a place so saturated in my industry, it's been difficult to prepare for upcoming meetings, dwell on the trends for an upcoming season or make fabric choices while co-workers from my SoHo office are still struggling without power and enduring hours of daily commutes. Sadly, that's the least of it, as cities and towns nearby are just beginning to clean up the damage. That being said, the strong American spirit is to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and carry on, so while it feels right to proceed with business as best we can, it would be wrong to forget our northerly neighbors unable to do the same.

If you haven't had the opportunity yet, here are some helpful links to donate supplies, money, or send a prayer and words of encouragement.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

11/15/12 Update: support by shopping!

Could it be, the perfect LBD?

Friday, November 9, 2012

There are many, many, LBD's to choose from in this world but with the flowy peplum silhouette, deep V neckline, hint of sparkle, sweet little fishtail hem and a $35.00 price tag - this here is a top choice!
Stylish and classy - can't be beat.

Happy Weekend loves! We've got two birthday parties, a trip to pack for and hopefully some time to test out a few new recipes. What's on your agenda?

Book Worm

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Last week the hubby gifted me with a Kindle. I really appreciated the gesture but have to admit, at first I was a little more new books with the fresh scent of ink, and crisp, perfect pages? I've held off on the e-reading this far, am I really missing out? Then came the what to read dilemma...when the world's at your fingertips what do you choose? I searched the popular section and The Hunger Games caught my eye. Everyone seemed obsessed with it over the last year, might as well give it a shot. What I'd heard about it didn't appeal to me in the least, my only curiosity was to see what the fuss was about. Besides, I was even into the soundtrack over summer, although I'd never seen the movie either. Fast forward a few days: Hunger Games book one complete, movie rented and watched (and loved!), twenty percent into book two.

Suffice it to say, I'm usually late to the book club meeting and I'm ok with that. The movie's usually out by the time I catch up so it's nice to make a quick comparison. (I'm kind of nutso about making myself read the book first.) And while I never thought I'd say it, the Kindle is the greatest thing on earth. How else would I have immediately moved on to Catching Fire without a trip to the bookstore, or a weeks wait from Amazon? Within a few chapters, I had completely forgotten about it. And as for missing a real book, turns out the only thing I'll miss is cute, theme-y little bookmarks.

Hi, my name is Ashleigh. I'm a Hunger Games fanatic, and a Kindle lover. Let's be friends.

So, whatcha reading these days? I'm going to need something to look forward to after I finish this trilogy, which, at this rate, could by next week... Throw out some rec's!

P.S. Do you read on a tablet or Kindle? How do you feel about it?

P.P.S. Did you read The Hunger Games Trilogy? Don't spoil it, but tell me if you loved it. Or not, I guess. I'll try not to judge. ;)

P.P.P.S. I totally want this shirt.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Amen, Jane

The line for early voting in my neighborhood was three to four hours long on Saturday. 
What a dedicated America we are! I'll be testing my luck today. See you on the flipside!

Black Cat Crazy

Monday, November 5, 2012

I fully admit that my appreciation for typically unlucky icons and superstitions might be a bit unique.  And while I never set out to be a mother of two black cats, (somehow pets end up finding you), it's obvious why they're one of my favorite items on that list.

When Halloween happens there's an influx of black cat merchandise and decor available and it's fun to see "my babies" all over the place during the month of October (and on sale in November!) I'm always on the lookout for little items to add to our collection. (Their current water bowl is a black cat candy dish.) While this post was meant to be a round up of some puuurfect black cat items, in my research I discovered some interesting and somewhat surprising data, for instance, did you know that black cats are only half as likely to be adopted as cats of other colors? The thought breaks my heart! While I can't imagine life without our sweet Pete and Mojito, I'm always surprised by humans who somewhat believe that black cats are bad luck or wouldn't trust having them around. A former landlord wouldn't step foot in our apartment because of them - an interesting security measure nonetheless.

Luckily, there are some people and organizations working hard to find loving homes for these beautiful babies:

Black Cat Rescue Boston
10 Reasons to Adopt a Black Cat 
If you're around Cleveland, 6 shelters are offering free black cats on November 6th!
And speaking of cats, this is just funny.

Soo...what's your favorite animal indulgence? I'm addicted to #cats_of_instagram!

Thrift Shop Song

Friday, November 2, 2012

Last weekend I scored a gorgeous vintage sweater at an antique market. I mean, a mint condition, 100% cashmere, lace lined, removable mink collar, rhinestone closure and button cuffs - the works, for $12. Seriously. (See it in action here.) I was bragging about mentioning my marvelous score and love of vintage/thrift shopping on Facebook and a friend sent over this gem. I don't usually post video's because I know it's not always convenient to watch then (ahem, I'm talking to you reading this at work) but I'm making an exception for this one. If you enjoy thrifting in the least you will get it a kick out of this. If you can't watch now, come back later when you can turn up the volume. It's worth it. 

Happy Friday loves! Halloween is over, next up - Turkey Day! 

It's beginning to sound a lot like...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's November 1st, and you know what that means...  time to bust out the Christmas music! You better believe I've already started my holiday playlist on Spotify and intend to take full advantage of it on my long commutes.(It's a work in progress but feel free to subscribe below!) I know, it's a little early, but something about the passing of Halloween just signals jingle bells and carols to me. Don't worry though, it's only Christmas in my car, the tree and decorations don't go up until December. What am I, crazy? ;)

Happy almost holiday's everyone!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wishing you a spooky one!

A Halloween Recap

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

 Little Edie + Dracula

When I watched the remake of Grey Garden's in early summer, I knew then who I was going to to be for Halloween. A fashion icon in her own very unique way, something about Little Edie just captivated me. I was fascinated by the story (and Drew Barrymore's performance) and started thinking of ways to pull it off.

One piece bathing suits as layers, constant head adornment, and skirts that you can "always remove and use as a cape" were my inspiration. I borrowed a scarf from Mom, found a gorgeous mink and cashmere sweater at an antique shop and pulled out the nude pantyhose from the very back corner of my drawer. "I have to think these things up. You understand." (The original film cover served as my final inspiration.)

I'm a big fan of creating costumes inspired by items in my own closet. For some reason, I use Halloween as some sort of creative validation for myself, if my final judgement will include anything about costumes!  And though I have no idea where it stemmed from, other than not wanting tons of extra crap laying around my house, I'm very anti-costume in a box. I just enjoy the process of making do mostly with what I've got - it's good fun and cheaper that way, too.

Even though only a total of about five people recognized the character, (and that pretty much includes on Instagram, too) I still loved it and and it felt so appropriate to celebrate at the Merchandise Mart as it was Kennedy owned for quite some time. (Obviously, it was "the best costume for the day".) Plus, the guesses were totally amusing. Little Red Riding Hood? No. A homeless person with nice stuff? Sort of?

Halloween is my favorite!
What were/are your costumes this year??

Halloween at Home

Monday, October 29, 2012

As much as I love Halloween, I've never actually decorated our house for it. I guess the focus has always just been on crafting a costume? But for some reason, this year, I wanted to go all out so I scoured a few dollar stores for supplies and got busy stringing spider web. It was so much fun, I can tell you that I'll never not decorate for it again!

My hubby likes to play tricks on me with confetti spiders, the toilet seat is his favorite spot. 
Gets me every time!

A fabulous feather wreath and a sinister little rat. 

Do you decorate for Halloween? Stay tuned tomorrow for... costumes!