Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wheels of Fire

Remember this skirt?  Yeah, it was so awesome, I couldn't help but get another one.  And look!  I can finally wear yellow!  But that's not the coolest thing I've gotten lately.  This is:

I got a bike!  It's a Schwinn Cream 3 speed.  I didn't totally splurge here.  A couple weeks ago, our old landlord called and reminded me about the security deposit from our old apartment.  I had totally forgotten about that.  So once we got it back, I decided to finally buy myself a bike.  I've wanted one for riding around town pretty much as long as I've lived in Chicago, but just never got around to it.  Fella is currently getting ready for a race with biking, running and an obstacle course, so he just brought his bike out from his parents' house.  So now I can ride with him.

Cream at the Fountain
I just got back from my first ride with Cream.  I was a little shaky at first, since it's been years since I've actually been on a bike (the last bike I owned was a pink 10 speed with spokey dokes). Here she is in the neighborhood square (Rad may recognize this fountain as being near the gelato place and pastry cafe we were at last week).

Cream at the Park
And here she is at the park.  One thing I didn't consider while getting dressed today was the logistics of biking in a skirt.  I don't know how gals like Gracey do it.  I think the entire neighborhood saw my off-brand Spanx this afternoon.  But it's cool, I had fun anyway.

Tank: Target (remixed)
Skirt: Old Navy
Necklace: Gift
Sandals: Chaco
Sunnies: Loft
Bike: Schwinn

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I took the morning off today to head downtown with Fella's mom, aunt and a family friend to watch a live taping of Chicago's new local morning show, Windy City Live. Watching a live TV show was pretty cool!  Fella's mom, a regular TCC reader, offered to snap some outfit photos of me on the set, which I couldn't pass up.

After the show, we went out for a quick lunch and did some browsing at the big Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's) downtown on State Street. Thanks to a surprise express train home, which passed my stop by a few, I enjoyed a long walk home, complete with a stroll through the neighborhood Farmer's Market and a stop for ice cream, on a beautiful summer day.

I love taking actual vacations, but I have to say, when summer rolls around here, I love me a staycation.  Chicago's such a cool city anyway, but we have so many things going on in the summer.  And taking some time to enjoy my city was just what I needed after a pretty busy couple of months.  Moving, packing, unpacking, entertaining (welcome and totally wanted) out-of-town guests, friend's weddings and various parties have kept me busy since the beginning of May.  But finally getting some time to window shop and walk around on a sunny day was awesome.  Do you Staycation?

Cardigan: Target
Dress: Loft Outlet
Sandals: Unisa, via PiperLime
Earrings: Gift
Bag: Coach, gift

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays

A couple weeks ago, on a similarly rainy Monday, I wondered about the appropriateness of maxis in the office.  I got more compliments on that maxi dress at work than I have on, well, pretty much anything I've ever worn, so apparently it was okay.  Or at least cute.  But what about a maxi skirt?  I think the addition of a statement necklace, heels and a belt (which was riding up a bit too high in this shot) make the maxi skirt, which I'd previously only worn to bum around on the weekends, okay for work.

Skirt, top, belt & necklace: New York & Company (they send me tons of coupons in the mail, what can I say?)
Sandals: Aerosoles

Friday, June 24, 2011

In the Garden

It's Friday!  Yay!  We had a pretty big rain storm here on Tuesday night, and ever since, it's been a bit chilly again.  I don't know about having to wear a sweater in June, but more layers do seem to add a bit more interest to my outfits.  Otherwise, I'm just relying on cute shoes and/or jewelry.  But speaking of basic outfits, I disguised one of those on Wednesday with cute pictures of Jude.  I mentioned that he spent most of our photo shoot eating grass.  A-Dubs asked to see Jude's cow impression, and who am I to deny Stylenation that?

In addition to a Rad visit, dizzy spells and crazy weather, I also had a chance to meet the lovely Kristen of Low Fat Dressing this week!  We met up at the Chicago Botanic Garden Wednesday night after work.  If you're in the Chicago area and want to fit in as much of the gardens as you can in 2 hours, Kristen is your gal. She was an awesome tour guide!  And though it was dark and gloomy and kind of chilly, this was a cool time to visit the garden because no one was there.  Of course we didn't get a picture (blogger fail), but I did get a lot of cool garden pictures.

Cardigan: Target
Tank: Loft
Skirt: Old Navy
Sandals: Clarks
Unseen Earrings: Bohm

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Well, We Tried...

Last night after seeing Lydia's pictures with her dog Chloe over on Chic on the Cheap (and subsequently, Miles to Style), I thought to myself that obviously Jude and I could do that.  We can't.  We so can't.

We tried some pictures in the backyard after Jude's morning walk, which is so out of the normal routine that he was too confused to pose with me.  I have like 12 pictures of only one of us looking at the camera, and a few of Jude eating grass in the background.  We'll work on it.

New location
Then I noticed that the sun coming up in the background was adding a misty halo, so I moved to another spot in the yard.  Exciting.

Oh, is the timer still on?
The last shot, although not terribly flattering, is amusing.  This is me not realizing there was still another shot left on my camera's timer, walking to pick up said camera, and looking upstairs to make sure my neighbors weren't watching and thinking I'm weird for taking pictures of myself.  Duh, I'm taking pictures of myself and my dog.

Dress: Target
Tank & Necklace: New York & Company
Sandals: Born, via Zappo's

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rad Visit, a Wedding and More Condo Pictures

I'm home sick with some serious vertigo today (has anyone ever had this?  do I need to go see a doctor?), so no outfit post.  But I do have lots of pictures from the weekend!  We've had Rad and her blokey staying with us since Friday, which has been tons of fun.

Anne & Rad, pre-beach
On Saturday, Rad, Fella and I took Jude to the beach.  Rad and I didn't plan to wear matching dresses to the beach.  We're just that in-tune style-wise.

Anne's Dress: Target
Rad's Dress: H&M

Jude at the beach
Jude LOVES going to the beach.

Surprisingly, Rad and I didn't think to take any blog-like photos together at the wedding on Saturday night.  But here we are with the bride, our friend C. (photo courtesy of our friend M.)

Anne's Dress: New York & Company
Necklace: Satellite Paris, birthday gift from Fella (via hazel)

Fella & Anne
And if you wondered what Fella ended up wearing after all of your input, he went with the checked shirt and the blue tie.  So everyone won.

And as promised, here's the rest of our condo.  This is the master bedroom, which is clearly Jude's bedroom. I'd like to get a little art on the walls in here eventually, but you get the picture.  There's also a sun porch off the bedroom, but it's currently full of all the things we still need to unpack, so I'll spare you the picture.

Guest room
This is our guest bedroom, which I got cleaned out just in time for Rad and blokey's visit.  Our apartment had 2 bedrooms, but this is the first time we've actually had a functioning guest room.

Living Room
Last but not least is the living room.  Fella and I are both huge fans of the floor-to-ceiling windows in here.  It gets so much light, and the windows let in a lot of the breeze too, which is great during the summer.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Shoe Malfunctions and Father Figures


Yesterday after I had been in the office for about 2 hours, I noticed that the strap on my sandals had come loose and started fraying.  I don't really care, since they were only $10, but I didn't want to walk around with a broken shoe all day.  Being silver sandals, duct tape seemed like the obvious solution.  I went to ask the head of my department if he had any, since he always has stuff like that on hand.  He didn't, but he grabbed my shoe and stapled it back together for me.  This goes way above and beyond his normal responsibilities.  I remember having a similar shoe issue when I first started at my job, and he happened to have electrical tape in his desk to repair them with.  These are small gestures, and obviously I could have stapled my shoe back together myself, but it reminds me how fortunate I am to work on such a small, close-knit team (there's only 5 of us). When not acting as my cobbler, my co-worker has given me tons of advice about gardening, car repair, and home maintenance.  He reminds me of my dad in this way.  And living a 4 hour drive from my dad, it's nice to have a stand-in sometimes.


All of this to say, this Father's Day, remember to tell the fathers in your life thanks for all the cool things they do.  My dad was seriously my favorite person while I was growing up.  We spent summers going on bike rides and listening to Ernie Harwell call Tigers games on the radio (while, of course, watching it on TV with the sound muted). I was my dad's helper when he was fixing things around the house, and it was my dad who taught me everything I know about rock & roll.  Seriously, how many 8 year old kids know lyrics to Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and Springsteen?

My first ballet recital, 1986

No one appreciates a good (bad) pun quite like my dad, and he's always in a good mood and laughing about something.  He loves hearing about my job, and is one of the only people who even kind of understands what I do for a living. I can thank my dad for my sense of humor, slightly awkward social skills, sweet tooth, nerdiness, freckles, love of music and baseball and general fixing skills.

"C'mon Dad!" Crossing Lakeshore Drive during my first ever trip to Chicago, 1986

Millennium Park, Chicago, 2005 or so
Tank: Old Navy
Pants: Loft Outlet
Sandals: Aerosoles
Watch: Fossil
Earrings: Macy's
Sunglasses: Loft

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is it Friday Yet?

This week seems to be dragging on, so I don't have a lot to say today.  I'm trying to not shop very much right now, but I couldn't pass up this skirt.  I mean, look at it!  It's a comfy knit, yet heavy enough that it provides good coverage, it's not pencil-shaped, and it goes past my knees.  It's seriously everything I've ever looked for in a skirt.  Add in a cute, neutral chevron pattern, and it's perfect for summer.  This outfit is a little bit outside of my normal range of work outfits.  The skirt feels like it's got good casual outfit potential, but adding a sweater, metallic sandals and jewelry seems to make it office appropriate.

But enough about me...  Fella and I are headed to our friend C's wedding this weekend (with Rad - yay!), and Fella needs help deciding between two shirts.  I'm between an all black cocktail dress and a black and gray dress myself (it's downtown, so black feels appropriate), but I'll get that all sorted out.  Keeping in mind that there won't be any tags hanging off, and Fella won't be wearing jeans, what do you guys think?  And doesn't Fella need a man style blog?



Cardigan & sandals: Loft
Tank & Skirt: Old Navy
Necklace: Randolph Street Market
Watch: Fossil

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When it Rains and Shines, It's Just a State of Mind

We're having yet another string of rainy days here in Chicago, but it's not quite as cold as it was last week, so I can deal. Despite the rainy, 5:30am walk, I finally got myself back to the gym this morning. It felt so good to get back to exercising, and much to my surprise, I'm not nearly as out of shape as I worried I'd be. I'm guessing all of the trips up and down 3 flights of stairs while moving things the past couple of weeks helped.

I kept my accessorizing pretty simple today - just going with a leather flower belt and a small pair of red earrings (which I didn't get a picture of - woops). Sometimes less is more.

Dress & Cardigan: Target
Belt: New York & Company
Earrings: Macy's
Shoes: Kohl's

Monday, June 13, 2011

Office Maxi?

So you know earlier this spring it was a big deal for me to try out a maxi dress for the first time in several years. Seriously, it's the biggest thing that's happened in my world lately. Anyway, today I took that daring sense of sartorial adventure one step further by *gasp* wearing a maxi dress to work! No one at the office actually cares what I wear, but the style still feels a little casual for an office setting. But I didn't have much of a choice. It's still a little chilly here today, so my knee-length skirts and dresses seemed not quite weather-appropriate. And I have yet to locate a pair of dress pants that fits. I'm sure there's a pair somewhere among all the boxes, but all of the pants that I packed in my "summer clothes" box are a bit snug. I'll blame that on a steady diet of eating out, snacking and beer coupled with not exercising over the past couple of months. I plan to finally get back to the gym tomorrow now that things have settled down a bit at home, so hopefully that pants thing will work itself out soon. Surprisingly, I feel just fine about the way I look now, but I'm always a bit annoyed at myself for working hard on diet and exercise, and then just totally throwing it all away, like I don't know how that will end up.

print & beading detail:
But I digress. How was your weekend? My parents visited from Ohio over the weekend. Although my mom and I did plant some flowers and I did a little bit more unpacking, it was nice to slow down and just relax after the past few weeks.

Dress: New York & Company (remixed)
Sweater: Ann Taylor
Flats: Born (or flat - where did my left foot go?)
Necklace: Target

Friday, June 10, 2011

More of the Same

Well, when you find a formula that works, why not stick to it?  We finally got our internet up and running last night (YAY!) so I'm working from home today.  Yesterday I rocked navy and white stripes with a green necklace accent, jeans and sandals.  And look, I'm doing the same today!  But it's comfy, and it works.

Cardigan: Target (remixed)
Tank: Loft Outlet (remixed)
Capris: Loft Outlet (remixed)
Necklace: Hazel (remixed)
Sandals: Privo (remixed)

To make up for the boringness of this, I'm including a few pictures of the new condo.  I'll get the rest of it up once we get all unpacked (or once I can get enough boxes out of pictures!).

Dining Room
This is the dining room.  It's fancy chandelier pretty much sold me on the place.  It's probably Jude's favorite room. He loves lying under the dining room table, and it's especially nice on hot days since there's a huge and powerful air conditioner in the window in here. Fella's not a fan of the curtains (they came with the place, and I don't mind them), and we plan on painting this room eventually, but you get the idea.

Obviously, this is the bathroom. Oddly enough, it was the room I was most excited about decorating. I guess because it's small and easy to fill up, but also because I've had a blue bathroom for the last 7 years, so I was excited for a change. The bathroom is the first room I painted last week, and the color is called Scotland Isle, though I'd describe more as pea soup. In a good way.

And here's the kitchen, which I'm pretty excited about. The color is called Lemon Pound Cake, and it's a bit brighter than it looks in photos. Fella and I picked this color in the course of 2 minutes before heading to Home Depot to buy paint. I think I was just in the mood for lemon cake. But it works.

This nifty pan rack came with the place, and it's a huge help since there's not a ton of cabinet space. But our worn old pans look kind of silly here, so shoot, we'll have to get a new set sometime soon.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rainy Day Woman

What is hiding in this flower pot that Jude seems to like so much?  Hmmm.

I'm going to apologize now for the quality of these pictures. It's been storming pretty much non-stop since last night, so the lighting is a bit off. I couldn't find an appropriate camera setting for a dark porch with a motion-light that won't turn off, so I'll have to work on that. Or hope for less rainy days this summer. The good news is that it finally cooled off a bit, so cleaning the old apartment tonight (the keys need to be handed in on Saturday) won't be nearly as awful as it's been in 95+ degree weather.

06/09/11 close-up
Today is my fourth office day in a row! If I could work from home today, I totally would have to avoid going out in the rain. If nothing else, but to avoid my hair totally falling flat, frizzing up and flipping out. Seriously, it lasted for about 5 seconds once I started walking. I don't know why I bother with the blow dryer on days like this. But I got to see some pretty sweet lightning while waiting for my train, so that's not all bad.

Cardigan: Target (remixed)
Tank: Loft
Jeans: Gap (Long & Lean)
Sandals: Unisa (remixed)
Necklace: Randolph Street Market (remixed)
Watch: Fossil (worn a LOT)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We're Having a Heat Wave

I'm not exaggerating when I say it is HOT here. Yesterday it was 98, with a heat index over 100, and today is looking like it'll be just as hot. This is the hottest weather we've had here in Chicago since August of 2006, and it's only been this hot in June six times since 1870 (uh yeah, I'm a bit of a weather nerd). But, being Chicago, it's going to rain tonight and the temperature will drop 30 or so degrees, which will be a nice break. Unpacking is a pain when it's this hot!

I've actually been in the office everyday this week, which is probably the first time that's happened in a few years, since I typically work from home two days a week. I don't mind coming in, but having to get dressed and be presentable everyday is tricky! I don't know how normal people do this all the time :)

Skirt, tank & cardigan: Target (wow!)
Shoes: Born
Necklace: New York & Company

Monday, June 6, 2011

Now and Then

Happy Monday! I'm finally back to the office after a nearly 2 week hiatus and honestly, after all of the work I did over the weekend to clean, pack, unpack, etc., it's a welcome break. I wouldn't say I've missed the fluorescent lights, but spending a few hours in my comfy ergonomic desk chair isn't all bad. I have a little catching up to do from being off last week, but nothing too major. And since we don't have internet at the new condo just yet, I have a lot of catching up to do on your blogs! How was your weekend?

We're slowly getting settled in at the new place. If you wondered, Jude seems to be adapting really well. He's already figured out which building and yard is ours when we go for walks, and he seems to like his new home. Phew! We had a chance to meet our new neighbors yesterday, and they're very nice, which is always good. In fact, the flowers that Jude is sniffing above are a gift from said neighbors.

old chicago
On a personal note, today marks 7 years since I moved to Chicago - my Chicagoversary! It's hard to believe it's already been that long, but I guess time flies when you're having fun. The picture above was taken by the Chicago River, about 3 weeks before I officially moved here. Chicago is the longest relationship I've ever had, and like all relationships, we've had our ups and downs, but it's safe to say that moving here was the smartest thing I've ever done.

Dress: Target
Cami: New York & Company
Sandals: Aerosoles
Necklace: Randolph Street Market