Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Where the magic happens...

Sadly, I don't think that's the first time I've used that subject line for a blog before. Anyway, the bedroom. I'm a firm believer that all a bedroom needs is a really comfy bed, super soft sheets and decent curtains or blinds. Probably because I'm a big sleeper.

[I'm serious BIG sleeper, Saturday I woke up at 11, went to a photo shoot for work, went to the gym and then came home at 130 and took a nap til 5pm. Did I mention that I went to bed at 12am the night before? Woops....p.s. I also watched Pitch Perfect 3 times this weekend.]

But of course, there are other things bedrooms need: night stands and lamps, dressers and more. So, over the next 3 days, 3 days, because well, I had A LOT pinned, I'll be sharing bedrooms I love. And without further ado...

Monday, January 28, 2013


Happy Monday, readers! It's been a long weekend mixed with fun and festivities, including pretending it was my 21st birthday all over again, yes I am 24, and productivity and catching up on Zzzs. I EVEN made it to the gym two times this weekend....and stretched. Who am I?

Now, if i only I can continue to make strides throughout the week.

It's also been a cold week in Chicago with last Monday's high of 8 degrees. This week, we're anticipating a mix: including ice storms, rain, sleet and cold on Monday and Tuesday, the highs of 60 on Wednesday quickly followed by 20s and snow Thursday and Friday. Ladies and gentlemen, I dare you not to get sick.

This week...

+ I kicked things off with an 8 am workout this am, hoping that a Monday wake up call with help me not snooze through the rest of the week. Last week's goal of not snoozing was an UTTER FAILURE.

+ I'm loading up on Vitamin C to make sure I don't get sick and Vitamin D cause apparently I'm low in that.

+ I'm hoping to finish up Sense and Sensibility

+ I am going to continue on my weekly meal plans - just after I go to the grocery store was too cold and gross for my usual Sunday adventure to Trader Joe's.

+ I hope to only spend money on my groceries. Last month's credit card bill was rather high, I'm trying to keep this month's in check

+ I plan to book a trip to visit my best friend in NYC for February

+ I am excited because the parents and I are heading down to Florida in March for a few days....and Erics flying us first class. He's the best :)

+ I can't believe February starts

Listening: The Pitch Perfect Soundtrack...if you follow me on twitter, you know that I did watch that movie 3 times this weekend and have developed a pretty hardcore crush on Skylar Astin
Eating: Scrambled Eggs
Drinking: Water with a splash of lemon juice
Feeling: like I should probably tell you: the photo above, is not me. Bet you could figure that out with the dead giveaway on finger number 4.
Wanting: to catch up on GIRLS with the roommie, we haven't watched the new season at all yet and we sure do love Charlie
Needing: the zit on my face to go away, ew
Thinking: about an RFP I'm working on, you know you're excited about a new client when you do research on the weekend
Enjoying: few after work activities this week i.e just one
Wondering: if I can afford new furniture...our couch is a messsss with stains.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Link Love.

It's been awhile since we've had one of these. But without further ado, things I saw and liked this [and last] week.

I enjoyed reading all of these other 101 lists

I fell in love with this home. And LOVE that Bradley gave us the sources.

I replicated this outfit

I loved this video from the perfect Emily Shuman

My heart broke for this little guy who got injured this week

I'm dying to buy this book.

I loved these words from Sabrina.

I'm pretty excited for this series, and love how BA justified my love for looking at weddings.

This guide makes me want to buy allll new pillows, and a clean couch, and redo my entire apartment actually. [Focus Carly: right now, we need a coat rack]

I really like this series, been a fan since it started. Too bad there's no man behind this blog, behinds you Dunkin.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

More pages to turn

For those of you avidly checking my 101 list, I have been making progress. I have a new nightly routine. After relaxing, watching tv, eating dinner, blogging, etc you get the point, I try and get in bed at a reasonable hour and start reading. THEN, I try my hardest not to look at my phone after this point.

Before, I used to get in bed and then spend about an hour playing on facebook, twitter, Instagram and pinterest before turning in. And, I've read being plugged in right before bed, isn't good for sleeping. By the way, update: I have snoozed more than I intended this week i.e. every day so far.

Anyway, so I've been reading more and I'm kind of a stand still. I love Jane Austen, but they aren't exactly quick reads so I'm in the middle of Sense and Sensibility, it's no Pride & Prejudice.

I've read:
 - The Happiness Project
 - Half of A Place of Yes
 - Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me
 - By Invitation Only
 - City Girl, Country Vet
 - The Jane Austen Marriage Manual
 - Seriously, I'm Kidding
 - Girls in White Dresses
So, far I'd make a compelling argument for The Happiness Project, By Invitation Only and Girls in White Dresses

I also keep a running list of books coming out soon and books I want to read:
- Most of Random House's 20 Books to Read in your 20s: On the Outside Looking Indian, MWF seeking BFF, The Joy Luck Club, Maine, Sisterhood Everlasting
- More Comedian Authors: My Point...and I do have one, The Funny Thing Is, Bossypants, Matt&Ben
- Coming Soon: Wedding Night, Revenge Wears Prada,
- Mrs Queen Takes the Train
- The Jane Austen Book Club

I've also discovered a pretty cool site that finds books you'd like based on your preferences. Do YOU have any book suggestions? I'd love to hear from you! xo

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

On the way to...

The hallway is the room that's on the way to. It's on the way to the bedroom, to the kitchen, to the living room, to everywhere. This is what I'd like my on the way to to look like.

Monday, January 21, 2013

This Week...

Happy Martin Luther King / Inauguration / Mon - Day!

This Week...

+ It's a cold one, expecting a high in the teens today...eek! But also some snow. I have a theory: if it's going to be cold, it better snow!

+ I'm hoping to sneak away to watch some of the television coverage of the inauguration

+ I'll be working out with my trainer 3x AND hopefully on the off days too.

+ and I promised him I'd plan my meals ahead of time. Tomorrow - B: 2 Hardboiled Eggs, Half Avocado, Tomato. L: Trader Joe's Minestrone D: Left over tilapia and salad. Tuesday - B: Cottage Cheese with Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado L: Trader Joe's Lentil Soup D: Curry Marinated Chicken with Salad. Wednesday - B: Scrambled Eggs, L; Sushi at Koi D: Leftover Chicken with Salad. 

Crazy, I know.

+ I'm hitting up one of my client's anniversary dinners.  

+ I'm hoping to convince my father to plan a trip to Florida for me to join them on.

+ I plan on buying tickets to the Northwestern vs. Wisconsin Basketball and also to the Big 10 Championship Games in Chicago.

+ I am going to TRY my hardest not to snooze. Well, just not snooze too much. I'm not so great at that. We'll see how that goes...

+ I would like to start a new book, haven't decided which quite yet. Have any suggestions?

+ but I also have a lot of magazine reading to catch up on.

+ I have no plans for the upcoming weekends and thoroughly ENJOYING it. This past weekend, I confess, I barely left the apartment just a trip to the roommates house in the suburbs and to the movies to see Silver Linings Playbook.


listening: the OC soundtracks, because they never get old and are so so good.
eating: see above.
drinking: my newest tea, Orange Rooibos, from my best friend
feeling: good, it was a nice and relaxing weekend.
wanting: as stated above, a little snow, if it's going to be this cold.
needing: to get air in my back driver's side tire, it's been low for awhile. I've been procrastinating.
thinking: I should start taking #ootd photos again. Hold me accountable: to the right.
enjoying: our clean apartment, Amy and I spent awhile cleaning it yesterday! 
wondering: if there's a secret to dry hands, mine are super dry this time of year.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A word from the wise

I stumbled upon this last week, written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio. I thought it was perfect to share before starting the weekend. The 42 lessons life taught her. 

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it..

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. 

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

10. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

11. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

12. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it...

14 Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

15. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

16. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

17. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

19. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

20. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important sex organ is the brain.

23. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

25. Always choose life.

26. Forgive but don’t forget. 

27. What other people think of you is none of your business. 

28. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does..

31. Believe in miracles.

32. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

33. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

34. Your children get only one childhood.

35. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

36. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

37. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

38. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

39. The best is yet to come...

40. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

41. Yield.

42. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A few thoughts

I apologize, this isn't really a post. More of a journal of sorts, that I'm sharing with all of you. It's sappy. Sue me. Someone who once meant the world to me has been hurting and it got me thinking about a few things.

First - about life
About how it's so stinking short. I feel like every other week something horrible happens and even to good people. And how places and things, and especially people, disappear too soon. 

Second - about time
About how things that at one time seemed so important now seem so small. Like high school relationships, like having the best clothes, like petty fights with friends, like high school grades. But at the time, they seemed so important, like they were the only thing in the world. Like how, someone who once meant the world to me, I can barely know. 

I started trying to figure out how to explain who people from my past were, especially with this someone I've already mentioned. At one point in time, which seemed like years, this someone was everything. Now, those years seem like maybe just a few months in the greater scheme of things. And how these people who seemed so significant during a point in time are not even part of my life today. And how that happens, and how it's sad. But also in a weird way, how it also kind of makes me optimistic, about now and about the future. And that it's okay if we choose to romanticize the past.  

Third - and how it goes on
You may not realize it at the time but it really does.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Laundry Room

I know it may seem weird but I dont think the laundry room should be overlooked. So, we're covering here in this series. Believe it or not.

Currently, our laundry "room" is a closet that probably should be a pantry. But, I'd love to someday have a laundry room, a room of its own. With non-stacking machines, a sink for hand washing, places to for clothes to dry. I want a laundry room that's both practical and pretty...

...Especially number 3

Monday, January 14, 2013


This week...


 + I want to start off first and foremost by wishing someone very special a very special happy birthday, my dad! Happy Happy Birthday to the best dad in the whole wide world. I hope your day is filled with either hockey and basketball, or some skiing, too, delicious foods from somewhere fantastic, with a little kick, and nothing sweet, and maybe some Just Jimmies Ice Cream or your delicious caramel cookies. Hugs from Dunkin, no one at work being silly and cups of blueberry coffee with milk and one equal. You deserve it.

+ I then want to thank everyone for making my birthday weekend such a fantastic one. I've never been a birthday person, never really celebrating mine either. But this weekend, I was so happy to be able to go to dinners, Second City, Bottle and Bottega and generally enjoy my friend's companies.

+ I've decided that today marks the back to normal day - no more excessive drinking, spending and eating.

+ But first, I'm treating myself and getting a MUCH needed massage. Have I ever admitted that I don't stretch. I know, it's a bad habit.

+ I'm excited to not have any work events, nothing better than being home at night, being able to relax, make dinner and catch up on TV shows.

+ I may even catch on The Good Wife. I'm currently 3 episodes away from finishing Season 3.

+ I also have a few movies to watch i.e. all the Best Picture Nominations: Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchanged, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour, Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi.


listening: The Pitch Perfect Soundtrack, I'm addicted.
eating: Anything healthy! After this past weekend, I'm going to need it. Back to 3 hours
drinking: water and green tea, necessary
feeling: like I want to feel healthy again
wanting: to get sushi...and Asian soups
needing: to run a few errands: Walgreen's - body lotion, body wash, deodorant, etc
thinking: I need to clean my whole apartment, every surface, every corner 
enjoying: having a schedule again
wondering: what I want for dinner

Friday, January 11, 2013

Come Fly Away // Across the USA

Today, I'm over on elembee talking about my home state of New Hampshire!

When Lisa first posted on twitter that she was looking for a blogger from New Hampshire and explained to me her Let’s Fly Away series, I’ll admit I quickly said yes, but was a little hesitant. Which is why, I’m going to start by telling you the story of how I came to fall in love with New Hampshire.

“Live free or die, baby!” Yes, my parents have been known to say that. You see, I grew up in small town Massachusetts, in a town called Andover, just 25 minutes North of Boston and 15 minutes South of New Hampshire. Andover is home to centuries of history, a adorable little downtown area, a pretty well known prep school and a whole lot of fantastic memories.

Yes, I grew up as your typical New Englander…feel free to insert your own stereotypes here…
 + a fantastic, read: aggressive, driver
 + a wicked Boston Red Sox fan
 + and Tom Brady, too
 + Denali/North Face wearing
 + vacationing on the Cape and the Vineyard
 + and going up North to the mountains on the weekends
So you know, no, I do not have a Boston accent, pronounce my Rs. [It does, however, come out when I am yelling on the word Room, in case you were wondering] and since leaving Massachusetts 7 years ago, I’ve dropped the word wicked from my vocabulary.

However, two years ago, when I moved out for good and transplanted myself in Chicago, my parents dropped this bomb on me, “We’re moving to New Hampshire.” What? They were moving to the place we went to each weekend as a getaway? To the South of the North? The place where we went to escape civilization? Where shopping was scarce? Needless to say, I was resistant. That was until they moved and it occurred to me how fantastic New Hampshire.

You see, New Hampshire is located smack dabbed in the middle of New England.
 + located just North of Massachusetts, laden with both history and metropolis
 + located just East of Vermont, home of the Green Mountains and maple syrup
 + located West of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean, home of lobster and some of the freshest seafood you can find anywhere
This new home of mine was the perfect combination of everything I loved about where I’m from.

New Hampshire is made up of a variety of different regions. There are the Lakes Regions, the Mountains, the Seacoast and more: 
 + the White Mountains with the ski areas that I learned to enjoy the wind at my face and how to maneuver through racing gates and with the sledding hills where I fell off my tube
 + the Lakes Regions, where I attended camp for nine years, where I learned how to sail and get up waterskiing.
 + the Seacoast, where I’ve enjoyed many a fresh lobster and steamers, where I’ve built sandcastles and chased the waves.
And, There is the Merrimack Valley, where my family calls home, where there are shopping malls with no taxes, bike paths with brunch spots along the way, where there are hometown eats from fresh seafood to delicious Bertucci’s pizza and my favorite Fattoush salad and where there are farmers markets and fairs, farm stands and ice cream shops, and fireworks over the water.

New Hampshire is everything you love about vacation and everything you love about home, all rolled into one.

Top Must Sees:
1.     Fall Foliage
2.     The White Mountains
3.     The Ocean
4.     Nature, [yes, I swear I’m a city girl but nothing’s better than a good hike to a great view or one of New Hampshire’s waterfalls]

Top Must Dos:
1.     Indulge in Fresh Lobster & Steamers at Markey’s Lobster Pool or Brown’s Lobster Pound in Seabrook, NH…and get the whole belly fried clams
2.     Visit Zeb’s General Store in North Conway, NH
3.     Take advantage of tax-free everyday and hit the shops
4.     Be adventurous! New Hampshire is the perfect place to ski, snowboard, snowmobile, bike, bike and swim, sail, boat, kayak, waterski and more

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Bathroom

You know, I think the bathroom may be the one room in the house that's often over looked. BUT: I dont think that should be the case. I love bathrooms that are beautiful and playful. Classy and fun. Like all of these below.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

24 things to do before 25

25 always sounds like a big number, a quarter life, and turning 24 makes me only 1 year away from turning the big two five. So I better get down to business and start doing all those things I've been putting off for a rainy day.

  1. Learn to say "No" to myself, and not feel guilty for it
  2. ...and say "yes" to things out of my comfort zone
  3. Become a real person, explained last week, getting up on time, drinking water, eating, and cooking, regular meals, etc. etc.
  4. Remember: Just because it fit at one point, doesn't mean it fits now: old jeans, old clothes, old boyfriends
  5. Re-design this blog, maybe even buy a domain
  6. Buy more off etsy and other small shops
  7. Learn to be okay with "I'm sorry"
  8. Disconnect from the world
  9. Find a doctor in Chicago
  10. Meet someone to get excited about
  11. ...and because I have too many weddings in 2014, get a boyfriend 
  12. Join the Wisconsin Alumni Association
  13. Clean through my wardrobe with a fine tooth comb
  14. ...and find new ways to mix it up in new outfits
  15. Read more
  16. Learn a new skill: calligraphy, photoshop, etc.
  17. Make an address book with birthdays
  18. Take and print photos
  19. Stop comparing myself
  20. Recognize my own freedom and independence
  21. Stay current: on music, gossip, news, technology, politics, economy, etc.
  22. Go on a real vacation
  23. Learn to buy myself the big presents
  24. Celebrate my 25th Birthday somewhere fantastic!

Monday, January 7, 2013

This Week {Birthday Edition}

It's is going to be a busy one. There's a lot going on and I'm okay with that. I want to preface by saying this, I'm not a huge birthday person, heck, I'm not a birthday person at all. [I do, however, like presents, a lot.] I used to cry when people sung to me. I just never liked the attention....and where do you look when they're all staring at you singing? 

This week...

 + Television is BACK! Revenge, The Good Wife, Scandal, Downtown Abbey, yay!

 + I will enjoy leftovers. Amy and I made a delicious turkey chili over the weekend.

 + I'm going to jump out of bed every morning, we have a lot to do so I'm going to need the jump start

+ I want to start a new book, and finish another Jane Austen. I'm thinking I want to read my way through this list. (7 down, 13 to go)

 + I'm doing a cleanse. Yes, I know I've done one in the past and had negative experience. But I'm doing it as research for a client. Originally, I signed up to pick up the juices on Tuesday, thinking I could cleanse Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. HOWEVER, I learned yesterday morning that my juice pick up is not available until the afternoon. Color me annoyed

+ we're going to a Bulls game!

+ I'm going on a friend's Grouper. Have you heard of it? And yes, I signed up a few weeks ago and have yet to be approved or matched. Am I really that difficult?

+ I'm going to be spending money like it's my job: a Mexican vacation, tickets to Second City, Book of Morman and a Northwestern vs Wisconsin Basketball Game, new sneakers and more! I'm also thinking I'd like to treat myself to a massage.

+ I'll be celebrating my birthday with dinner at Sunda and Second City friday, potential brunch outing, ice skating in Millenium Park, homemade dinner and party Saturday and a rooomate's surprise on Sunday. Any guesses? All I know is I'm busy from 4:30 - 8:30.

+ I'm going to eat cake.


listening: Ronan Keating - When you say nothing at all
eating: scrambled eggs for breakfast, turkey chili for lunch, michael's salad for dinner
drinking: water, and lots of it
feeling: excited about the week
wanting: as stated above, a good massage
needing: a birthday outfit, maybe
thinking: how gross it is that my roommate and I sat yesterday surrounded by our apple products: laptops, iphones and ipads
enjoying: how this January's been going, I had a good feeling about it
wondering: if you've seen my boyfriend yet? He's been staying with me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

It's Friday!

This week was an odd one. As my co-workers and I tried to explain it, was like Sunday Friday, Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday. Very confusing. Neverless, I'm excited I've made it here. Now, go and enjoy it :)