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!