Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

Annnd surprise, it’s December. Did it sneak up on you too? We just had our first snow yesterday in Chicago, and it was a nice little reminder that winter is officially here. Time to revisit my “get through the winter” strategy, because I’m already struggling over here.

It’s been a hectic month for us – I’m relieved the move is all over & done with. If you follow me on Insta, I’m sure you’ve seen some of my recent furniture purchases! I’m not going to lie, it’s been a very stressful few weeks as we’ve been slammed with chores & errands on top of the usual holiday craziness. Both Leo and I are missing the days where we slept in and watched TV all day. I forgot what it’s like to have nothing to do! Hopefully, we’ll be able to enjoy one of the days soon. In the meantime, I’m trying to take things one day at a time and stay sane.

Here are some articles from around the web that have helped me get through the stressful days this month. I hope they help you too!

  1. We can all agree that music helps with stress relief, but there’s a song out there that actually reduces anxiety by up to 65%! This is scientifically proven, people. Check out the song here (inc.com).
  2. I’ve been eating terribly lately and have cut down on my workouts because I’ve just been mentally exhausted. I’m trying to break the bad habits I’ve developed over the last couple of months and get back on track. It takes 66 days for a habit to form, and 66 days to break it. I love how this article breaks down how to break a bad habit for good – the short term goals help make it less overwhelming & more achievable.
  3. 4 easy ways to practice gratitude – believe me, it will make you happier & more appreciative, and you can start today (livehappy.com).
  4. I never realized that Britain was so beautiful. These photos are so calming (bbc.com).
  5. I know that I am my own worst critic, and I often don’t risks or push myself to achieve something because I’m afraid of failure. This post on breaking the self-doubt habit is so inspiring. We so often wait in hopes that we’ll one day have the confidence to try something new – remember that “the actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later” (tinybuddha.com).
Cyber Sales You Can’t Miss

Cyber Sales You Can’t Miss

It’s been a hectic few weeks over here – we managed to move a week before Thanksgiving. Not the greatest timing, but hey, it’s over! It was actually nice in the sense that we had time off for the holidays to get our lives together, and also reflect and appreciate all that we have. We’re on the hunt for house items and have been taking advantage of the latest sales for furniture & other house necessities. I’m so used to spending my disposable income solely on clothing, shoes & accessories, so it’s been strange having to make big furniture purchases when I’d normally be splurging on my wardrobe. However, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been looking to see what’s out there (hardcore window shopping). There are some great sales happening this week…and even though I can’t fully take advantage, you absolutely should! Below are some sales you need to get on ASAP. The deals are just too good.

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How to Design a Room From Scratch

How to Design a Room From Scratch

We finally made it to our new home! Moved in last week, and it’s glorious. I can’t express how relieved I am to have the move over with – I was a high-stress/anxious mess the last few weeks. I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. Now, that we’re unpacked (almost), we’ll be focusing more on the fun stuff…designing our home, room by room.

Leo and I both have an appreciation for the interiors at Soho House. We’ve been to several clubs around the world, and are impressed time and time again by the beautiful, welcoming spaces they create. Leo discovered that Soho House actually has a book, Eat Drink Nap, all about interiors, along with their tips & tricks on designing awesome spaces. We now have the book sitting on our coffee table, and it’s been quite helpful over the last month as we decided paint colors and started thinking about what furniture we wanted to buy for our new home. The book is jam packed with photographs of the gorgeous Soho Houses around the world, along with tips on how to mix old and new furniture, eBay rules for purchasing vintage items, how to purchase the right sofa, how to grow your own herb garden, where to buy art, recipes from the Soho House chef’s & so much more!

The part of the book I want to share with you today is in the very beginning – how to start a room from scratch. The rules are unbelievably simple…

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Velvet Overload

Velvet Overload

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted an outfit! We spent the entire weekend packing up Leo’s place. Officially moving into the new house in 4 days. THANK GOD. I want my life back. I can’t wait to start baking again, and prepping the new house for the holidays. I’ll finally stop ranting about moving, packing and all the stress that comes with it – will hopefully have some great posts to come for the holiday season :). Ahhh – Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK!

You know I’ve been obsessing over velvet & burgundy lately, and this outfit encompasses both trends. I got the Free People catalog in the mail last week, and wanted literally everything in it. These pants particularly caught my eye. The flare is intense, but so unique and fun. They have a high waist, so they’re actually really flattering on. They run a little big, so I recommend going down a size if you’re going to pull the trigger! I’m a big fan of flares + oversized tops, so I resorted to this comfy vintage cashmere sweater. This was a find from Vintage Underground – $20! Amazing deal. I wish I bought 10 of them.

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When in Doubt, Go Burgundy

When in Doubt, Go Burgundy

Burgundy is on FIRE this season. Between that and dusty rose, I’m absolutely loving the color palette of fall. It took some time for this color to grow on me, only because I rocked a burgundy Juicy Couture velour jumpsuit 10 years ago and I’d like to erase those days from my memory. Now, I’ve learned to embrace this beautiful color in a completely different light…one that is Juicy free.

It’s not super intuitive to style burgundy because it is a unique color – does it clash with other neutrals? How much burgundy is too much? Should you do leather, velvet, knits, lipstick? I’ve pulled together my fav burgundy street style looks to help you address these important questions. Also, shop my burgundy wish list below!

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Chic Cases For Your New iPhone 7

Chic Cases For Your New iPhone 7

After months of dealing with my constantly dying iPhone 6 (not to mention the constant “low on storage” warning), I finally pulled the trigger and bought the iPhone 7 Plus – yup, I even upgraded the size of my screen! I can’t tell you how many times my iPhone 6 battery gave out on me during critical moments – i.e. while my Uber was on the way to pick me up #firstworldproblems. With all that said, you can imagine how excited I was to finally get a bigger screen, better battery life & an incredible camera!

One thing I have yet to purchase is a phone case. I HATE that phone cases take away from the beauty of the iPhone – I mean, the hardware is just too pretty to hide – but they are so necessary. I’ve cracked my old phone’s screen one too many times, and now that I have a new shiny device, I feel like I should attempt to take better care of it. Here are some stylish cases I’ve been eying lately – shop via the links below (I clearly have a thing for marble – ha)!

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Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

Lately, I feel like I’m just going through the motions. Between preparing the new house for the move (UGH, nope…still hasn’t happened yet), packing up final things, and ramping up the busiest time of year at work, I nearly forgot about my birthday.

I turned 29 on Saturday. For some reason, this is the first year it’s hit me that 30 is RIGHT around the corner. I find myself looking back on my early twenties and thinking about how much things have changed. It’s funny how we automatically associate change with negative. I’ve caught myself romanticizing the past, remembering only the highs & not the lows. After doing some reflecting this weekend, I realized how much I’ve grown the last few years. That’s a positive, isn’t it?! I need to embrace what comes with stage of life. It’s amazing in so many ways, particularly the self awareness & confidence element that was non-existent at age 22. I’ve also learned to appreciate that there is a time and a place for everything…the people I’ve crossed paths with, decisions I’ve made, things I prioritized at different points in my life. They all happened for a reason. I know that sounds SUPER cheesy, but I truly believe it. Bottom line is, I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin, and that is definitely a perk that comes with getting older & wiser :).

Here are a few nuggets from across the web that have recently inspired & motivated me to be more present in this beautiful thing we call life.

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Trend Shop: The Velvet Bootie

Trend Shop: The Velvet Bootie

Velvet is having a MAJOR moment right now. We saw it everywhere during fashion month, from dresses, skirts, blazers to my ultimate favorite…booties.

I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t too hot on this trend initially, particularly the velvet bootie. I struggled with how I’d wear them – what do you wear them with, when are they appropriate to wear? After doing some thorough research on Pinterest & other fashion blogs, the answer is you can wear them with anything, anywhere. I’m officially sold on this trend, and pulled the trigger on these bad boys last week. Unfortunately, they’re now sold out, so I’ve pulled together a list of other velvet boots I love. I’ve curated my favorites below – click on the black boxes to shop!

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Lucky Vintage Find

Lucky Vintage Find

Leo and I have been more selective with where we’re eating out as of late, as we’re trying to eat healthier. Once the holidays approach, it’s game over, so might as well try to squeeze in some healthy eating now! Believe me, sometimes we are so not in the mood to make dinner, but we stick with it. The outcome has been positive – we feel better for one thing, AND we appreciate our dinners out more than ever. A few weeks back, we planned dinner out at Giant in Logan Square.

We haven’t been to Logan since the end of the summer, so we thought we’d head over early & have drinks before dinner. On our way to the restaurant, I stopped at Tusk, as small boutique just a few shops down from our dinner spot. I was immediately drawn to to the unique items on display & the artsy vibe. They have a mix of local designers, vintage pieces and objects created by various artists. I was lucky to find this beautiful oversized vintage blouse in my brief visit. I can’t wait to go back for more!

Oversized anything is up my alley, and I really love how oversized sweaters & shirts look over flares. I tucked the blouse in on one side and topped it off with an edgy necklace. Shop the look below!

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The Perfect Holiday Cookie

The Perfect Holiday Cookie

Every Sunday, I try to drive up to the burbs and spend the afternoon at my mom’s. Usually, she’s in the kitchen cooking away, and I’ll sit at the counter and vent about my week while treating myself (aka stuffing my face) to all of the amazing food within arm’s reach. This Sunday, I walked in and was invited by the delicious smell of these beautiful cookies.

My mom was sitting at the bar in the kitchen, jamming up these tasty little things. They’re incredibly easy to make…don’t let their beauty make you think otherwise. I’ve shared the cookie recipe with you before, when I posted these Christmas cookies last year. The only difference here is that you replace the frosting with jam, and make a cookie sandwich.

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