Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hump Day Inspirations

Both of these videos came into my life today, and both have made me very happy. You will feel the same, I assure you.


Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Shopping Fever

Ah....I am hesitant to say this, as certainly the tides will turn once I finish typing the words, but Spring has arrived here in Chicago. This time last year we still had snow on the ground and I was proudly rocking my sleeping bag coat. Not this year pretty people! The sun has been out, the temps are a risin', and the people of Chicago are loving it. I have to give it to Chicagoans, we do not mess around when the weather is warm.

With this change of season, I am looking to do a little changing of my own. You see my entire life I have always desired to be a well dressed gal, but I seem to lack the essential skills to put together a decent wardrobe. I think I have good taste, but I don’t really have style.  Does that make sense?  I know what I think looks good, but I don’t know how to put it all together. To me that’s what makes someone a stylish individual: Put Togetherness.  I find myself getting in fashion ruts, wearing the same faded tops over and over again. Standing in my closet every morning just looking at the clothes hanging lifelessly on the hangers.  There have been times when I have just thought “I suppose I will never be a great dresser.”

However if plants that lay dormant for months at a time can bloom once again, I figure it’s never to late for me to try to revamp my look. So here we go!

I am not one to follow trends that will last one minute, but I really couldn’t help getting on the bright colored pants bandwagon. They. Are. Everywhere. On billboards, in magazines, walking down the streets. So this is one trend where I say “If you can’t beat em’! Join em’!”  I am kind of digging the bold colors, and you can find lots of affordable options.

I had originally ordered two pairs from Old Navy, but, as I mentioned a few posts back, when they arrived I found myself unable to button them.

Battered and bruised from that experience I thought I would stay off the trendsetting train, but a few days ago I found myself on the Forever 21 site ordering these two lovelies. 

I have received notice that they have been shipped, and I am already terrified that I will be met with the same fate. Time will tell.

When I set out to begin my new wardrobe rebuild I remembered my super stylish friend Laura imparting upon me that "while accessories may feel like a superflous thing, they can make an outfit." Wise words, Laura, very wise words indeed. Think about it, you could have a closet full of white, grey and back T-shirts, but add different scarves, necklaces, earrings, name it, you have turned your outfit from fab! So I made a promise to myself that anytime I purchased an item of clothing I would purchase an accessory as well. None of these would be expensive, but they will pay off big in the long run. Here are two of my recent finds:

See? What did I tell ya? From Drab to Fab!
I do love a good scarf. 

While I may never have been great at putting entire ensembles together, I have always had a soft spot for a great shoe. I mean what girl doesn't? There are few greater joys than strutting down the street in a new pair of heels/flats/wedges/boots/you-name-it.  The great thing about new footwear is, if taken care of, they can last you for years. I am always willing to shell out a little more for shoes. What can I say? I am a firm believer in taking care of your feet.

Last year I fell in love with Tom's. Everyone at work had them, and while they looked kind of flimsy my colleagues assured me they were so comfortable, so ordered a darling pair of red slip on's to try. It didn't take long for me to drink the Kool-aid. They are deceptively simple looking shoes, but they provide great support. Plus, for every pair you buy Tom's donates a pair to a child in need. It's charity and consumerism rolled into a fashionable ball of happiness.

So today, I just thought I would pop over to the website just to peruse their new offerings, when I came across these beauties:
I wasn't necessarily in the market for a pair of muted animal print ballet flats, but they caught my eye and I couldn't look away! I read somewhere that every woman needs a little animal print in her wardrobe, and while I am not 100% convinced of that theory, this certainly piqued my interest. In the end I was powerless to resist their adorableness and found myself pressing the buy button.

Plus would you check out this amazingness?

I already have the top shoes in Red and Grey (yes I ended up purchasing a second pair this summer) but Olive and Navy would round out my collection quite nicely. Also would you check out those wedges? i mean, could you not just die? They are so cute that I really can't pick out a favorite of these three, nor would I want to.

See, I am a fool for shoes.

In addition to some fun summer flair, I am also creating a list...oh who am I kidding, I have a spreadsheet ok!....of what I would like to call "investment pieces." Classic items which will stand the test of time. While I am no high roller, I would certainly be willing to spend a little more on these items to ensure quality of construction.

A few of these items include:

A classic Jean Jacket. I used to have one and I am not sure where it is now, but I have been feeling the pangs of desire for a replacement. I came across this cutie at Piperlime, and again found myself powerless in it's presence. So I can cross this item off my list. However I think this is a great purchase for Spring and will carry me into the fall for sure (See what I just did there? It's called the "justification of ones frivolity").

Don't you just love a good Trench Coat?  A perfect Fall and Spring staple that can be dressed up and down. I have my eye on one at Banana Republic, but it will be a little while before I can shell out the dough for it. Good to have goals, I say.

A timeless, quilted, quilted, black leather shoulder bag is truly an investment. Luxurious, yet practical.  Simple, yet statement making. I am already considering asking Santa for it (ahem).

There are some other items as well, such as the perfect Nude Pump, a fabulous pair of Dark Washed, Fitted Jeans, and of coure the quintessential Little Black Dress. I feel investment items require patience. You shouldn't jump at the first item you see, but rather wait till the right one comes along.

Do you have any wardrobe must haves? Any new trends you are itching to try?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Facing Death

I am not sure what it is, but as I age (sigh) I seem to become more fearful about meeting my demise in a horrific way. For example, despite my desire for adventure, air travel makes me very uneasy. Take off's, landing and turbulence make my heart race and my stomach flip. It's a strange new development and I only hope that I don't develop agoraphobia in the coming decade.

The newest paranoia I have developed is a fear of elevators, which is problematic considering I work on the 25th floor.  In all fairness, before you are ready to commit me, lots of people in my office are fearful of the lift's in this building. They have a tendency to open their doors before they are fully level with the floor they are letting you out on. Plus the bank I have to travel are express elevators so you shoot up and it makes your ears pop...always slightly unnerving.

Well a few days ago I received a message in my inbox that I had mail on the 24th floor. Normally I would take the stairs to travel such a short distance between floors, however you can't do that in my building for reasons I am unclear of.  So I step into the carrier of death, press the button (side note: I am always embarrassed when I take any elevator only one floor, it makes me feel lazy and like people are judging me), and it's doors shut. There is another guy in the elevator who I do not know (surly he must be judging me) and I fixate my eyes on the green numbers that change with each floor. I see it tick over from 25 to 24 as the carrier starts to slow down and stop. However instead on the doors opening to let me out safely, the door remain shut and then the entire thing drops. How far I am not sure, it was likely only a foot or more but it was enough to make your stomach turn thus causing me to grab the side rail in terror. I turned to look at my fellow passenger and he huffs

"What just happened?"
I squeak back "It didn't stop on the 24th floor."
"That was terrifying" he exhales, "The elevators in this building make me hate all elevators."

I nod in agreement, but my heart is still trembling in fear because I have no choice but to get right back in and travel up another 24 floors.

That night I did the StairMaster at the gym and climbed almost 80 floors.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Least We Can Do

I am issuing a challenge to you all. Please take a half hour out of your day to watch this video. Once you are done please share it in any way that you can

Let's make KONY Famous.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tube Obsessions

For some reason I always seem to be a little behind the eight ball when it comes to discovering fantastic television. Everybody around me, and usually my husband as well, will be on the train while I am out in the station parking lot. Eventually I start to see posts about (fill in the blank with said brilliant TV show) on Facebook and Twitter, then I ask Jürg if he watches the show, in which he usually replies "yes", then I ask if I will like it, in which he usually replies "possibly." Helpful.

I like to compartmentalize as many things in my life as possible. Order and routine, it's what makes my world go round. So when it comes to TV I choose to be very focused about what I will watch at any given time. When I love a show, I really love a show, and I get very invested in the story and characters. I can't spread myself too thin, these people need my full attention.

Since I always appreciate a good recommendation, I am here to share with you some of my recent and current TV obsessions.

I am not sure how I missed the Friday Night Lights train completely, but I didn't even hear about it until after the series finale when everyone and their mother was posting Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose. on their Facebook profiles. After a few more months I finally decided to watch it (perhaps on a Friday, I can't remember) with Jürg to see what it was all about. One episode and I was hooked. Within days I was doing anything I could to fit in an episode or two. I would scream at the television as if I was watching a live football game (and as if I actually cared about football for that matter) and I would find myself saying things like "Man, I wonder how they are gonna do next Friday against (fill in the blank with whatever team they were set to play)." I would become enraged when Coach Taylor was served any sort of injustice, prompting Jürg to remind me on several occasions "Blair, it's a TV show, there needs to be some drama."

This is going to sound incredibly far fetched and cheesy, but I stand behind it: Watching Friday Night Lights actually made me a better person. I'm not joking, this is how deeply the show touched me. I remember before I started the finale episode, I had tears streaming down my face and crying "I'm just not ready to day goodbye." I always knew it was fiction, but the people of Dillion, TX were real to me. That speaks volumes of the acting which took place on the show. If you have ever felt passionately about something, if you have ever been a parent, if you have ever been a teacher or coach, basically if you have ever lived FNL will touch you in some way.

I scoured YouTube for this speech, and this is the only video I could find. Please forgive the quality and the subtitles, but it's just a tiny example of how powerful the show can be.

Over Christmas break I tried to get my parents into the show and I am sad to say they haven't jumped on the bandwagon. According to them they just can't understand why people care so much about football.  I am confused how they can get behind shows where high school science teachers cook crystal meth, where Chicago mayors incriminate their own daughters and abuse their wives, and totally formulaic crime dramas where you can call the ending at the start of every program, and not behind a football team, but c'est la vie.

So basically over Christmas I learned that my parents have no soul. They are soul-less. I feel sad for them.

Speaking of Crystal Meth, despite my snarky comment above, Breaking Bad is actually an incredible show. I finally finished it this past weekend, and while I am eager to see where the show goes after this season, I am glad to have a break. See, Breaking Bad is no feel go program by any means, on the contrary it's very stressful. There were a few times when I had to grab a pillow and scream into it to calm myself down. It's also pretty violent, and I am just not one for fighting, can't we all just get along?  However, despite the high blood pressure inducing storyline, this is again a tremendous display of acting. The work of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul is, dare I say it, genius. Their complex relationship makes the show worth it.

This show affected me to the point where it would invade my dreams. The most memorable dream being the one where I was cooking Crystal Meth with the Duggar Family. What?!?!

I came across this video on, and it made me laugh. If you haven't seen the show it probably won't resonate with you, but I appreciated the levity.

Well we are 34 days away from the much anticipated fifth season of Mad Men (another brilliant AMC program).  I began watching during the third season and found myself so enthralled at the going's on at Sterling-Cooper that I started watching the first three seasons simultaneously, which admittedly was a bit confusing at times but totally worth it.

I love so many things about Mad Men: The fabulous late 1960's early 1970's costumes and decor. Don Draper's charisma in the conference room. Everything Christina Hendricks says and does...the list goes on.  It's a flawless ensemble and I am so intrigued to see where Season 5 picks up.  I wouldn't classify Mad Men as stressful, but it is addictive. Plus it gives you an excuse to make an Old Fashioned and other mid-century era cocktails on a Sunday night, because that's just how they did things back then.

Bring it, March 25th, I am so ready for you.

My current (as of Sunday evening) TV obsession is the deliciously British Downton Abbey.  I am only three episodes in (ssshhh! no spoilers please!) so I suppose I cannot claim fanatic status yet, but anything with Maggie... I'm sorry Dame Maggie... Smith in it will grab my attention for at least one episode.

If you have ever seen the film Gosford Park (if you haven't add it to your Netflix queue right quick!) it's basically the same premise on the small screen. I love the exploration of the waitstaff vs the nobility. I love the costumes, the English countryside and the torrid love affairs that happen behind closed doors. With only seven episodes in a season I imagine I will be caught up in no time.

In honor of the Dame, I present you this video:


Do you have any recent or current TV obsessions?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thoughtful Thursdays

It's a quiet night on the homefront. Just me, a glass of wine and two kitties. Here are some thoughts I would like to share.

1) I am a tad confused as to why this was the panel chosen to testify on women's health considering the somewhat obvious fact that NONE OF THEM ARE WOMEN?!? If we want less abortions in this country should we really be questioning women's ability to receive contraceptives? The stupidity confounds me.

2) On a happier and less oppressive note, Chicago is such a pretty city. I snapped this photo really quickly but it just made my heart swell. Even after ten and half years I still find myself thinking "I live here?"

3) I was excited to receive two pairs of these delightfully colored jeans from Old Navy today, only to try them on and not even be able to button them. It was....humbling? say the least.

4) You should read this article right away. It's so lovely.

5)  Is there a picture more wonderful than this? I think not.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Please Don't Tell


Don't tell Jürg where I hid his Valentines Day present this morning (it's in the Lazy Susan)

We'll see how long it takes him to find it.

It's this book.

In the meantime, have a love filled day everyone!