Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day Soundtrack

Are you as obsessed with Of Monsters and Men as I am? 

This album is awesome. If you haven't heard it yet go to your itunes and get their album for $7.99 right now. You won't be disappointed. I've been listening to this album since it came out in April and I haven't gotten sick of it yet (which seems like a good sign to me.) It feels like a great album to end the summer this Labor Day weekend. My personal favorite is "King and Lionheart." Good good stuff.

Enjoy your weekend! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Long Before

"Long before any human being saw us, we are seen by God's loving eyes. Long before anyone heard us cry or laugh, we are heard by our God who is all ears for us. Long before any person spoke to us in this world, we are spoken to by the voice of eternal love. Our preciousness, uniqueness, and individuality are not given to us by those who meet us in clock time - our brief chronological existence - but by the one who has chosen us with an everlasting love, a love that existed from all eternity and will last through all eternity." 
- Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved

Grateful for these words this morning.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Twenty Twelve

So many things happened in August. I traveled to California twice, got a new boss, and moved into a new house. Glad this playlist will be a great reminder of all of those fun things.
  1. Hold on Love - Azure Ray
  2. From Above - Ben Folds & Nick Hornby
  3. Day Two - Hanna
  4. All This and Heaven Too - Florence + The Machine
  5. I Speak Because I Can - Laura Marling
  6. We Are Never Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift
  7. Details In The Fabric - Jason Mraz
  8. I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons
  9. No Light, No Light - Florence + The Machine
  10. Koop Island Blues - Koop
  11. Long Ride Home - Patty Griffin
  12. Love Today - Mika
  13. Good Time - Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen
  14. Wolves - Josh Ritter
  15. As Long As You Love Me - Justin Bieber

Monday, August 27, 2012

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.
  1. Sonic Happy Hour is worth a drive. JJ turned twenty five on Friday so it only seemed fitting to head to the closest Sonic (about a 30 minute drive) for happy hour. There's something so satisfying about a fountain diet coke with the little ice cubes in a styrofoam cup (and an ice cream cone.)
  2. Racing horses have the funniest names. My personal favorite from Saturday: She's down with Jim. Too bad her odds were 30-1. Great name, poor racer. 
  3. is a very dangerous website. I want a kitten. Probably an unhealthy amount. Any name suggestions for my potential new kitten?
  4. Cheap Chinese food makes a day significantly better. I'm always in a better mood after eating some sesame chicken. 
  5.  oh, hello friend: you are loved. My new favorite blog. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fashion Before Comfort

Dress: J.Crew. Shoes: Nine West. Hat: J.Crew. 
Necklace: F21. Earrings: H&M. Sunglasses: F21 

One of my good childhood friends and my brother's best friend Kyle got engaged to a wonderful young woman named Sadie a handful of months ago. This weekend we got to celebrate their engagement at Arlington Race Track here in Chicago. I must admit, I am not much of a horse fan or really a gambling fan. But I will tell you, I am a huge fan of the fashion. You want me to wear a cute dress with a big hat? I am in.

 I really do love this outfit a lot. When I got this dress I didn't think I'd get the opportunity to wear it much but thank goodness for weddings, I've been able to wear it to many bridal showers and engagement parties. 

Although I'm a fan of this dress, it was not the most practical for a day at the track. A 90 degree day in fact. I did not even think to look at the temperature when I got dressed in the morning. Oops? As I was dripping with sweat all day (and complaining,) JJ kept teasing me about my high school motto, "fashion before comfort." I instantly regretted sharing that story with him. And you know what, as ridiculous as it may be, I will still stand by it. Even if I am a hot mess of myself at a race track. 

Lesson learned, I need to check the weather first. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.

  1. Some people are jerks. I flew to Malibu, CA to visit JJ for the weekend while he was out filming some videos for Pepperdine University. On my flight out there, someone stole my cell phone. Like we tracked it on my iCloud and I watched my phone travel around Inglewood, CA for an hour and a half stolen. I have returned back to Chicago sans iPhone. I'm embarrassed how much it has bugged me.
  2. Surprises really are the best. One of my favorite bands for a long time has been Fun. I fell in love with them (well the lead singer Nate) back when they were The Format. On Friday night JJ surprised me and got us tickets to see Fun. at the Wiltern in LA! I had absolutely no idea they were even in town. And I loved it. Every moment.
  3. My feet are always happiest in the sand. My feet got to meet the Pacific Ocean on Saturday. I hope this is just the beginning to a lovely relationship.
  4. I'm a midwest girl. As JJ and I were driving around Southern California (which is absolutely gorgeous) I couldn't help but be reminded why I love the midwest. I guess I like green grass and neighborhoods more than I realized.
  5. Penny from LOST is just as pretty in real life as she is on the show. Sunday morning we went to Marmalade Cafe in Malibu (I got a delicious mushroom, spinach, goat cheese fritatta - that was for you Gwen) and in walks Penny. I almost died. First and only celebrity spotting and my gosh, well worth it.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beasts of the Southern Wild

I cried at this trailer (all three times I watched it.)
I must see this. 
Yorktown Theater, I'm coming for you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

River to Well

I often feel like I start every post of mine like so... "my friend _______ is so talented." And here's the thing, it's true. So much of my life has been blessed by the talents of people around me.

So here it goes again, my friend Ken is so talented. A handful of years ago he went on a trip to Africa with a couple of his friends. When he was there he was struck by the lack of clean water in so many communities. Once Ken got home he decided he wanted to do something about it. He took one of his passions, photography, and used that as a medium to get clean water to folks halfway across the globe.

With the help of a handful of friends, he started River to Well. River to Well is a photo competition that uses 100% of its proceeds to build wells in Africa.  

It is wonderful.

If you love photography or even if you don't love photography. Take some time to check out their website and see what they're about. The competition is in full swing until September 30th. 

River to Well


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Five Good Things

  1. It's ten in the morning. I'm still in my pajamas. 
  2. Waking up without an alarm. It always feels like a small victory when I don't need anything else to wake me up in the morning.
  3. Skype. Long distance friendships? No problem, I've got the internets.
  4. A new roommate! Our fourth roommate is moving in today. After a month and a half of transition, our house will be complete. 
  5. Ben & Jerry's pint ice creams. Specifically "what a cluster." 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Truly Madly Deeply

Dress: Covet Boutique in San Francisco.
Necklace: Standard Style Boutique in Kansas City. Shoes: Rampage (DSW).
Me with my high school girlfriends Kelly, Gwen, & Alex.
The first kiss!
Here it is, the last San Francisco/Napa Valley post and it's the wedding post! For some reason picking out a dress for this wedding was so difficult for me. Thank goodness San Francisco has great shopping and a cute little boutique on Union Street saved me. (Note: Look! Pink Lipstick too!)

The bride Laura has been a close friend of mine since elementary school. I'm not sure if everyone loved Savage Garden in the late 1990's but gosh we did. You may remember them from their hit "I Want You" when they reference cherry cola. Well anyway, they came out with a song called "Truly Madly Deeply" when Laura and I were in 5th grade. And instantly we were obsessed. Like most preadolescent girls do, we dreamt the boys we had huge crushes on were singing those beautiful lyrics straight to us. I remember on sleepover laying in her older sisters bed  playing that song on repeat, not talking to each other, and dreaming of our 5th grade heart throbs. (Shockingly) those relationships didn't work out for either of us, but a girl can dream, right?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Napa Rappa

Blazer: JCrew. Top: Anthropologie. Shorts: Gap.
Shoes: Nine West (Nordstrom Rack) Earrings: Lia Sophia

I think the only appropriate place to wear a sparkly top is Napa Valley. I've had this top for a while now and there's never been quite the right place to wear it but wine tasting seemed like a great option. Pairing it with pair of denim shorts also seemed to made me feel like less of a disco ball. 

The day before Laura's wedding we went to a winery handful of different wineries. Our clear favorite was Peju. It really had nothing to do with the wine and everything to do with our new friend Alan. 

Alan was our sommelier (aka the person who served us wine.) At first Alan seemed like a nice older gentleman and then out of no where he started rapping. Yes, rapping. He even coined a new name for himself, the "nappa rappa." By the end of our time there we were his biggest fans. Alan even free styled for Laura & Radley's video. Hopefully you all got to see his skills at the end of Ben's video here. 

He truly was a delight.  

Here he is, the one and only, Alan.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pink Lipstick & Sea Lions

Sweater: F21. Blouse: F21. Pants: JCrew. Shoes: Nine West (Nordstrom Rack.)
Earrings: JCrew. Braclet: H&M. Belt: H&M. Sunglasses: Target.

I've never been a huge make up girl, so the thought of lipstick always scared me. But let me tell you, when I was in San Francisco, I fell in love with lipstick. I know, it seems a bit dramatic but it really does add a whole new element to a simple outfit. Who knows how long this will last for me but for now I'm going to run with it. Pink lipstick with everything. 

For the second half of my week in San Fran, my parents and my best friend from high school Gwen joined me. One day we were the ultimate tourists. We road a trolley car to Fisherman's Warf, saw sea lions on Pier 39, ate sour dough bread, wandered Ghirardelli square, and took a bay boat tour. My camera was an extension of my arm. 

Here are some tourist pictures. Take a bay boat tour, you won't be disappointed. 

My mom and me on the boat.
San Francisco skyline. 
My love Gwen.
And of course, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Come on, love these buddies.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

July Twenty Twelve

It's crazy to me that July is already over. It seems like every summer goes by quicker than the one before. My July playlist is pretty much a lot of my old favorites, and then obviously some new Rihanna.
  1. Old Pine - Ben Howard
  2. Holocene - Bon Iver
  3. Shake It Out - Florence & the Machine
  4. On Your Porch - The Format
  5. Carry On - Fun.
  6. By the Mark - Gillian Welch
  7. O Love That Will Not Let Me Go - Indelible Grace
  8. Honey and the Moon - Joseph Arthur
  9. Ho Hey - The Lumineers
  10. Holding You - Katie Herzig
  11. Big Parade - The Lumineers
  12. Roll Away Your Stone - Mumford & Sons
  13. King and Lionheart - Of Monsters and Men
  14. Lie to Me - Sara Bareilles
  15. Where Have You Been - Rihanna
  16. But for You Who Fear My Name - Welcome Wagon
  17. Rain - Patty Griffin

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

All You Need is Love

My friend Laura (you should read her blog here.) and her phenomenal new husband Radley are such incredible friends to so many. It was absolutely no surprise to me that their wedding was one of the best celebrations I've ever been to. 

One of my close friends Ben put together a collection of video snapshots and pictures of the weekend to give to Laura and Radley. He was able to capture what the day was all about. 

Obviously wanted to share it with you all. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I must admit, I've watched it 7 times already. Oops?

Monday, August 6, 2012

San Francisco, I adore you.

A close childhood friend of mine, Laura, got married this past weekend in Napa Valley. So instead of just taking a quick trip to California, I spent the week leading up to her wedding in San Francisco. I am obsessed. I seriously cannot get enough of the city. 

Sweater: Francesca's. T-shirt: American Apparel. Denim Shorts: Gap. Shoes: Steve Madden
Earrings: Lia Sophia. Necklace: Anthropolgie 

One thing that was a bit of a surprise about San Francisco was the weather. People had mentioned to me that it's a bit chillier than expected, especially for August. It was actually a wonderful treat. After many hot summer days in Chicago, it was refreshing to wear a sweater and feel completely comfortable. 

Fall, I'm ready for you.