Chicago Snow

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Every winter it snows in Chicago, but every time feels like the first. At the opening downpour of the season, we take a snow stroll around our neighborhood, reveling in the quiet that a fresh blanket of white brings. We make a pit stop at our local Starbucks before walking the few blocks to the beach, where we freeze our faces off while trying to take pictures of the place where so much of our summer is spent. It's a ritual I adore and coming home to a warm pot of tea in our Christmas condo makes it even sweeter.

Christmas Crib 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Things are looking Christmas-y around the condo! 

Just GIF-ing Around.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Popping in with a GIF from our Christmas card outtakes, just because. 
Stay tuned to see which photo made the cut. 

Hope your holiday's have been happy so far! 

Nice to meet you, Radiant Orchid.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I'll always love emerald, but am making room in my life for Pantone's new color of the year, Radiant Orchid. Going to predict this purple-y mauve as THE mani color for spring 2014. 

Bonus: The enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health - raise your hand if you want more of that!

P.S. More Pantone love

The Art of a Thankful Heart

Thursday, November 28, 2013

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With everyone showing appreciation and sharing gratefulness, it's easy to be thankful on a day like Thanksgiving. It's the other 364 days in a year that can be tough. And what I'm most thankful for this year, is that I'm finally finding a way to live Thanksgiving every day. I've learned that the quote above as absolute truth.

To backtrack a bit, this year has had it's share of downs and bad news. The challenges that have come our way have and will change my life dramatically. Without getting into detail about the specifics, because the real point is the outcome, it is true what they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. While the struggles of the current situation aren't over, my outlook is positive. Excited, even. And I feel happier, love deeper and live with an open heart. I've learned so much about myself over the last few months and more than ever before, I appreciate every moment, not taking for granted for a second 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. In a way it makes things feel bittersweet, but on the flipside it makes me laugh a little louder, dance a little sillier, and hug my loved ones a little tighter when the day is over. I'm starting to feel like an expert on making the best of a bad situation, and that's something to be proud of.  They say that happiness is a journey, not a destination, and I have finally felt that. Life is not perfect, but it's still amazing. My daily happiness and thankful heart come from finding joy in even the simplest things. So how do I do it? Perspective and Faith.

Maybe you've got this life thing figured out already (kudos!) but if you feel the need for a little support and thoughts of gratefulness through tough times here are some of the tools that helped me on this journey:
  • Choose your response. Try not to immediately react, but try a different thought first. It can be as simple as being grateful that you are healthy enough to walk and stand for a little while longer instead of being annoyed at the long line in front of you.
  • Say yes to things you want, and no to things you don't. "Busy" is often an overused excuse. If you feel aren't feeling fulfilled with your current commitments, change it, stop it. Do the most of what makes you the happiest. It's ok to say no.
These are just a start but I do hope they're useful for you. And now would be the perfect time for me to say thanks to you dear reader - for following along with me on this journey of life, and sharing your stories in return. I wish you the happiest of Thanksgiving's! 

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.

Angelina will make you cry.

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Nothing will mean anything, if you don't live a life of use to others."

Say what you want about Angelina, (haters gonna hate) but this speech is brilliant and she's done amazing things for others in this life. I haven't traveled or accomplished a sliver of what she has, but I will always remember last January, upon returning to my lavish resort accommodations after an emotional day spent in poor, rural Cambodia and the tears just flowing as I questioned why I was born into such fortunate means, when across the world kind, beautiful people were struggling for the basic necessities I take for granted every day.

Travel is an eye opener, and that's the main reason I enjoy it so much. Different cultures, different surroundings, different struggles. It brings an awareness to what's really important like nothing else can.

"I don't know why this is my life, and that's theirs. ...but I will do the best I can with this life, to be of use." Powerful stuff.


Fall Getaway to Lake Geneva

Thursday, November 14, 2013

October was a beast of a month and lately I've been feeling the urge to just get away.  Fall is such a great season, and I tend to crave a pretty day or so among the changing leaves at least once or twice. This year, we picked Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. And even though the decision to drive north instead of south meant we missed the bulk of beautiful colors, I'm really just grateful for a husband who when I say, "Get me out of here!", he says, "Where to?". Between catching up for a few hours in the car, a bottle of happy hour wine, and sleeping late, I felt really refreshed. Also, is there anything greater than waking up and walking straight to breakfast downstairs? Ok, maybe room service, that's pretty great.

Happy fall y'all!

Also, a few fall posts you might have missed: cozy weather dressing, a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece idea, and gratitude is the attitude.

French Fête for the Females - #TargetWedding

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Like many of you, my obsession with all things French dates back to my early teens. From my Paris themed bedroom in high school, to language classes in college, and now, Pinterest boards full of books, style and food, my devotion hasn't waned. Wedding trends have changed a lot since I tied the knot (10 years ago!) but if we had it to do over today, I like to think I'd host my own ladies lunch for maybe my maids or closets female friends. French style, of course, because we know I love a good theme party. Using the picture above as inspiration here's how I would cultivate elegant simplicity with a few items from Target.

A silver tray for the champagne, served in Reidel flutes to "guide bubbly to the part of the palate that appreciates the creamy texture" yum!  A beaded tray for stacking macarons, and pretty plates for tiny bites. Plus, sweet stationery for handwritten personal  "merci's" to each guest. Throw in a beautiful pastel hued bouquet et voila! a lovely fête for the ladies.

Here's something else lovely...Target was kind enough to offer a $25 gift card to one lucky Little Girl, Big World reader! In order to enter, simply visit the Target Wedding Catalog, then come back and leave a comment below with the item you would use or gift at a similar wedding festivity. Include a valid email so I can contact the winner! (And obviously, if you're planning a wedding in the near future, be sure to sign up for the Target Wedding Registry!) Entry ends Monday, November 11th at 12:00pm. Winner will be selected at random and announced on Tuesday, November 12th.

Follow all the fun from fellow bloggers at #TargetWedding on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Disclosure: I received product or compensation in return for this post, however, my opinions are my own, based on my experience and interaction with the brand or products. As always, if I don’t love it, I don’t tell you about it. Read my official (i.e. “wordy”) disclosure here.

11/12/13 - Update!

The winner of the $25 Target gift card is Lesa! Thanks to everyone who entered! 

White Gatsby

Monday, October 21, 2013

This year for our annual white party (which happened in early September... I know, forever ago) we chose a Gatsby theme and participation was swell. Even though I'm only featuring a few faces (privacy in action) on the blog, there were nearly 50 people in the usual party spot to celebrate summer's end. The sun was setting, the champagne was flowing, and we danced until the wee hours. I know it's becoming redundant, but theme parties are my favorite.

More white love in 20112012, at dinner, and in winter.

Celebration in the Sky

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Over our eight years in Chicago we've pretty much covered every tourist destination, local hotspot, and random thing in between.  All but one biggie that is - The Sears Tower (officially "Willis", yuck.) Somehow, through all the downtown days and Loop walks I'd never even stepped foot in the building until recently. To celebrate the hubby's birthday we booked a romantic dinner sixty-seven floors above our home city. As we dined we spent a couple of hours overlooking the town where we've spent a third of our lives, sharing stories from when we first moved here from Tennessee, discussing how much we've learned and all the knowledge we'd like to pass on when we ever leave. (For example, we have the best secrets to the cheapest/free downtown parking in the city if you ever need them.) Once fully stuffed on wine and extra dessert we paid a visit to the 103rd floor Sky Deck and after taking a deep breath, (the first step is a bit daunting) walked onto the clear ledge to gaze at the twinkling city below. It's magical!

Birthday Boy, still safely on the ground.  

Views like this keep me madly in love with architecture. 

Soaking up our pretty city. 

 Obligatory feet shot from the ledge!

I insisted we take the money maker photo, you know, the official one that costs $24 and comes in a souvenir "frame" made out of paper. Turns out, at closing time on a random week night, they're willing to negotiate and/or might offer it for free if you ask nicely. ;) This one's a framer, baby.