Beach Bound – A Girls Trip!

Bikini GirlsI am excited to say that the Siesta Key girls trip is here! Kate and I wave goodbye as we head south for eleven days of sand, sun, and surf. I will not be able to post while I’m down there, but I plan on writing a great deal.

Enjoy the last few moments of August. I cannot wait to share our adventures with you when we get back to the midwest.

Image copyright 1960, Cole of California.

A Leap Of Faith

Just Go For It!So let me start this by saying that I am a perfectionist and a planner to a flaw. Seriously. I am so hard on myself and so when points in my life don’t go the way they should, I kinda don’t know how to handle it, because remember, that’s not how it was supposed to happen. Does anyone relate to this? After a few huge parts of my life going this way, I’ve semi taught myself to work hard and control what I can, but after that, sit back and let things work themselves out.

My dad once told me “Everything always works out”. I shrugged him off at the time, but he couldn’t be more dead on.

Taking a leap of faith is hard for someone who would normally measure how many feet that leap is and then calculate the probability of actually making it. But I am trying to stop my mind and take the jump!

I was asked a week ago to give a presentation in front of 50 people about email marketing. I love email marketing, but anyone who knows me knows that to me, public speaking is worse than a death sentence. After a week of telling myself not to freak out and then consequently freaking out, I gave the presentation tonight, and I felt like a rockstar. I know this subject like the back of my hand, so why was I even nervous to begin with?! It’s funny, I was dreading it for a whole week, and I ended up getting a rush off of it.

At the end of the day, the joke is on me, but I was reminded that taking a leap of faith pays off sometimes. It forces you to grow when you didn’t think you were ready to. I think that we’re always ready, we just don’t realize it.

Image courtesy of Favim.com. Photographer unknown.

The Simple Things

patio-reading

A few weeks ago, I posted about making a conscious effort to stop and enjoy the little things in life.  Although it is hard for all of us multi-taskers, it’s time we pause and take a little time each day for ourselves. To catch our thoughts and relax.

Since we’ve had beautiful sunny weather in Chicago lately, I forced myself to put down the task list and enjoy an ice cold cocktail and a book out in my mini patio garden.

Oh and the book? It’s a recommendation from my very fashionable and culinarily gifted sister. A must read for anyone trying to make their lives a little more effortless and minimal. Stay tuned on the book review later on the blog, or pick up a copy for yourself!

A Moment In Time: Bruno’s Sign

vintagetypeFew things in life inspire me more than vintage type and design. I’m guessing I’m not alone here, so as I stumble upon these treasures, I’m posting them in my new column, A Moment In Time, for a dose of inspiration.

I just love that this sign has stood the test of time, and someone finds it beautiful enough to keep and maintain it. It looks like the bubbles might light up too, so I’d love to see it at night!

Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes

carThere are few things in life I enjoy more than a great country drive in the Summer. Since I had the perfect opportunity after the bachelorette party, I opted to actually go the speed limit and just enjoy it. With the windows down, I think I did more reflecting and looking back than l did looking forward.

After a great girls weekend and an amazing last road trip in that car, I returned home to get a new car, a clean slate, and to start looking forward…

Time may change me, but I can’t trace time.

P.S. If you did not pick up on the reference, this link is for you.

Slow Living: Lake Life

IMG_1206This Summer has been transitional, which is a naively upbeat way of saying tumultuous. I always look so forward to Summer because of the slower pace and the sense of re-centering yourself, but I’ve had nothing but the opposite of that, until now.

I was at Lake Geneva this past weekend for a bachelorette party and all the girls had gone for a run together. I took the opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet and just allow myself to be still.

lakeAfter a walk down to the docks, I sit on the screened porch writing. As a visual person, I am always tuned into the sights of places, but this morning I am oddly only tuned into the sounds. The hissing of the cicadas, the songs of the birds, the chirps of insects, the crashing of the water on the shore, the bounce, bounce, plop of acorns dropping from the trees on the roof, the popping of the coffee maker and the creaking of wood floors over 90 years old.

acornI am enchanted by the history of this place. Years and years of people escaping the city to reconnect here. Years of memories with my family at our lake house are flooding back to me in a way I cannot ignore, forcing me to recognize how deeply in love with the Midwest I truly am. No matter how hard I run from it, I know that it truly captivates my heart. It’s as if the harder I try to escape, the stronger the magnetic pull back is.

Out On The Town: Gap & Design Love Fest Party

Gap & Design Love Fest Party PostcardGosh this week is a hectic one! I’m headed to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for this bachelorette party this weekend. But before a lazy weekend at the lake with the girls, I’m headed into the city tomorrow for the Gap & Design Love Fest Lollapalooza event. I could not be more excited! I’m going with my partner in crime, Kate, and we’re making a girls night out of it with dinner and drinks some place fun afterwards. I absolutely adore DLF so I’m excited to meet Bri, enjoy some live music, and browse the clothing temptation we call Gap. Hopefully I remember to snap some shots, stay posted for those!

Invitation Image from the DLF blog.

Fresh Picks: Lemon Tree Grocer

Lemon Tree Grocer CrateThe weather here in Chicago has been unusually mild, almost Autumn like. Weird for July end. It’s part of my weekly routine Monday nights after work to hit the grocery store and then cook my meals for the rest of the week. It’s a relaxing way to unwind after the first day back at work, and it makes it so much easier the rest of the week if I don’t need to cook! Since Monday was so nice out, I decided to mix things up and head down to quaint downers grove and absorb the energy of everyone basking in these unusually mild days. I headed towards a great little spot called Lemon Tree Grocer.

fruitIt’s a tiny spot, so it’s best for picking up a few things or simple recipes with just a handful of ingredients. Or, if you want to try something different, this is a great stop to pick up unique beers and cheese. And really, who doesn’t want to indulge in that?!

I was making tomato basil bruschetta last night, so my first stop was to pick up a loaf of french bread. I just love that they carry bread from Red Hen Bread, a small, local bakery located in Chicago.

breadThe atmosphere is great with the way they incorporate textures through the concrete floors and the wood crates. It keeps things streamlined and modern while also feeling cozy and intimate through the dim lighting and the tiny little store. There’s also a spot to grab lunch or dinner here with an outdoor patio. I’ve made a mental note to definitely come back for a mid-afternoon glass of wine on the patio on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

salsaAnd to leave you craving, check out all those homemade salsas and guacamoles! I’ll snag a bottle of wine and all of those dips. Yum!

Pattern Passion: Pineapple

Pattern Passion: PineappleWhat would Summer be without Pineapple? Not only is the fruit the perfect refresher for a hot day, but a pineapple cocktail is festive for the evening. The fruit itself has such a beautiful shape filled with complex, organic lines. Keep things fresh in your wardrobe and at your next party with these fun pineapple themed finds.

T-Shirt, J. Crew :: Clutch, Kate Spade :: Wooden Serving Tray, NestParty :: Georges Briard Pineapple Pot, SchoolOfVintage :: Glass, Ikea :: Oven Mitt, Mod Cloth.