Friday, September 28, 2012

What's To Come

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." - C.S. Lewis

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Remember Well: Gratitude

Thankful for a midwestern fall...

For fresh flowers...

For words of encouragement...

and times of solitude.

Everyday I try to take some time and think through things I'm thankful for. 
There are so many things that feel insignificant in the business of daily life 
that really are such blessings when time is taken to acknowledge them. 

I've started to actually write them down... these are just a couple of things that are on it. 
Would love to hear some things that you're thankful for.
Any good stuff going on in your lives?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Church Doors

Blazer: JCrew. Top: Anthropologie. Skirt: Nordstrom
Shoes: Pink (via Lori's Boutique) Necklace: F21. Bracelet: Renegade Art Festival. Purse: Borrowed (from my mom)

Since starting echo grace a couple months ago, I have started to look for different places that could be fun backdrops for pictures. This church is on the way from my office to the train station and have always made a mental note that these doors are great.

Last night JJ and I went out on a fancy little date to celebrate dating for three months (I know, huge milestone.) We were on our way there and got caught in some traffic so we decided to take a different route, right by this church. So guess what I made him do? Obviously take these pictures. 

As I got dressed yesterday I was really excited about this outfit.... I don't love it as much as I was putting together this post. Seems fair not to love every outfit I put together, right?

Here's to next time.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.

  1. There is something so exciting about finishing a journal and starting a new one. Sunday afternoon I started writing in my brand new green moleskin. I'm excited to see what is to come on those pages.
  2. My kitten Clive is a snorer. It's been funny listening to the sweet little thing sleep. It sounds drastically different than a meow or a purr. I like to call him a mouth breather but it's not quite accurate. Where is Clive right now? Sleeping my lap and indeed snoring.
  3. Half Price Books is a wonderful place. I bought C.S. Lewis' "A Grief Observed" for just .75. Come on, it doesn't get much better than that.  
  4. I remembered how much I love awards shows. The Emmy's. I loved them. Specifically the cast of Modern Family. Oh, and all the pretty dresses. 
  5. My town has a farmers market. I have now lived in the same suburb of Chicago for just about two years and just this weekend I went to my first ever farmers market! It was wonderful. What did I buy? Two sweet potatoes. I already ate them both. Oops. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Amber Waves

Need a new song to listen to?
"Amber Waves" by Erin McCarley.
I wasn't quite sure if I liked it but I can't get it out of my head.
Thanks iTunes for making it your free single a couple weeks ago.
If you missed out, totally worth $.99.

Here, have a listen.

Also, here's Clive again :)

Have a good weekend! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All Things Fall

Sweater: JCrew (outlet.) Pants: H&M. Shoes: Nordstrom (Mizz Moo)
Earrings: Urban Outfitters. Sunglasses: Urban Oufitters.
Ring: Banana Republic. Bracelet: Renegade Art Festival. Nail Polish: OPI, "You don't know Jacques."

It's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year!
What's the best thing about the fall?
Orange pants and a cable knit sweater.
Sun and temperature in the 50's.
Homemade chili for dinner (thanks to my roomie Kate)
Fall. I love it. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Things I Learned...

...This weekend.

  1. From the Warren Dunes in Michigan, you can see the Chicago skyline. What! Growing up in the Chicagoland going to the Michigan Dunes wasn't out of the ordinary for me. This past weekend I went with a handful of Young Life leaders from my local community. And to my surprise, as we were were sitting a top a massive dune over looking Lake Michigan, there was the city of Chicago. If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the Sears Tower (excuse me, Willis Tower) and the John Hancock. Crazy!
  2. The XM radio station 90's on 9 is phenomenal. Wilson Phillips? Alanis Morissette? Perfection. It's my dream playlist. 
  3. Gas is way too expensive. $4.25 a gallon, get out of here.
  4. November 8th is going to be a great day. As some of you know, my sweet iphone phone was stolen about a month ago. But on November 8th, I'll be getting the new iphone 5. Thank you Apple.
  5. My favorite season has finally arrived. Hello Fall, I'm so glad that you're here. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekend Soundtrack

I'm heading up to Michigan for the weekend. 
What will I listen to on my drive?
The new Brandi Carlile album of course. 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Renegade Art Festival

Last weekend I met my friend Melissa in Chicago for the Renegade Art Festival. It is set up on Division street in this super cool and trendy area called Wicker Park. (Yes I know you just thought of Josh Hartnett and this movie.) Even without the festival it's a fun place to be.

Here are some snapshots of our day. I loved everything. 
Loved the sunshine, the artists, the company, and the first chance to wear my frye boots. What a gift.

This went on for blocks. City blocks.

Just strollin' selling some ice cream. 
In San Francisco, my mom started taking pictures of signs. Surprise, I now take pictures of signs.
Melissa and I ended up eating at this restaurant. Let's just say, mixed reviews. Great outside tables, poor service. 

I loved the name of this. And of course, taking another picture of a sign. 
My dear friend Melissa. Perfect person to spend the day with.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Be Still, My Heart.

Meet Clive. 
He's the new man to my life! 
I debated waiting until tomorrow to put him up on here 
but I'm just so excited I could not wait. 
I love him.


Shirt: F21. Skirt: Francesca's. Shoes: Nine West (Nordstrom Rack)
Necklace: Lia Sophia. Earrings: H&M. Ring: Lia Sophia. Bracelets: F21. 

Purse: TJ Maxx. Nail Polish: OPI (kiss me on my tulips)

There are a lot of wonderful things about dating JJ. Two of those perks are his phenomenal photography skills/willingness to take my blog pictures and his adorable terrier puppy Flash. 

JJ went to Honduras for 3 months last fall to film a documentary of an incredible story about kids who have grown up on a local trash dump graduating high school (don't worry way more to come about that.) During his time there the house mom's dog had puppies. So of course JJ thought, why not bring home two Honduran puppies! He brought home Radley for his parents and he's a proud papa to Flash. 

Although I'm not ready to commit to my own puppy, it is a delight having a little guy to take on walks and cuddle with. As I was editing these pictures I also realized he is quite the model and made all of these pictures better.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things I Learned...

... this weekend.

  1. If you take the train into the city make sure to check the train schedule so you make it back home. On Saturday I went into the city for the day and didn't want to deal with parking so I took the train. One thing I didn't do was plan my way back. When I arrived at the train station to come home, I had missed a train by 4 minutes and then next one wasn't for another 2 hours. Oops? Good thing JJ is the best and came in and got me. He's pretty good to me.
  2. Just one Christmas carol in September isn't a bad thing. In Church this morning we sang "Joy to the World." It was awesome. Those lyrics are incredible and should be sung more often.
  3. Going on walks by yourself are a great way to clear your head. I'm starting to realize that so much of my life is controlled by my calendar and am not very good at carving out time alone. On Friday I decided I'd go for a walk around the prairie path close to my home minus my phone plus my camera. Freedom.
  4. You don't have to talk to someone everyday to still be a good friend. My old college roommate Cori was in Chicago for the weekend and I had the chance to catch up with her on Friday night. Cori and I haven't seen each other in over two years but it felt like we didn't skip a beat. Grateful for those kinds of friendships.
  5. The Renegade Craft Fair is the best thing ever. If you live in Chicago, Austin, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco or London. You must go. I'm serious, go. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Breakfast Club

Men in the kitchen.

Sauteed veggies awaiting some eggs.

Coffee makes everything better.
Last weekend my best friend from high school Alex (who you met yesterday) and her boyfriend Doug hosted a small Labor Day brunch. Labor Day has always been a mystery to me. It's never felt like a holiday that has any purpose and I'm never quite sure what to do so this brunch was perfect.

Above and below are some snapshots of the morning. The menu was delicious. (Some breakfast potatoes, a nice veggie and chorizo egg scramble and of course, some crispy bacon. Yummmmm.) And the company was great. Couldn't have asked for a better Monday morning.

My beautiful best friend Alex. 
Food coma.

Alex and Doug were really great friends in high school and actually did a lot of projects together. Hanging on their fridge is an English assignment that they turned in together from our junior of high school. Funny to see how the times really haven't changed too much and apparently they were a great pair back then too. 
What a perfect end to a perfect Labor Day weekend. 
I hope you all were able to enjoy a day off and be with the ones you love!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Denim Dresses

Dress: Target. Sweater: Art Effect Boutique (Lincoln Park, IL.) Shoes: Gift.
Necklace: Lia Sophia. Earrings: Michael Chang Jewelry (Etsy.) 

Rings: Right Hand - 5 Green Boxes Boutique (Denver, CO.) Left Hand - Frankfort, MI Art Festival

I'd like to introduce you to my bestie, Alex and my very first "official" guest on echo grace! Alex just moved back to Chicago after a six year hiatus in Oklahoma. I feel like I can speak for the city on this one, Chicago is so glad to have her back.  

Alex and I met in preschool and have remained best friends since. I knew that we were going to be best friends when picture day happened at Pilgrim Preschool. We both happened to show up and be wearing denim dresses (I can feel your judgement eyes, come on! It was 1991) pink tights, and a pink bow in our long brown hair. Generally this is any girls worst nightmare but at 4, it was a clear sign our friendship was meant to be. And today I am confident and proud to tell you that both of our styles have evolved. Thank goodness, right?

As I was looking through these pictures of Alex on the back porch of her apartment, I was struck by the way she even looks classic and put together in a long jersey dress. Talk about effortless beauty.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On a Runway

Shirt: American Apparel. Cardigan: Splendid (via Anthropologie.) Shorts: Gap.
Shoes: Urban Outfitters. Belt: H&M. Bracelets: F21. Earrings: Francesca's. Nail Polish: OPI (Lincoln Park After Dark)

I know you all totally thought I was referring to a fashion runway but alas I am not. (I wish.) The reality is I did get to walk on an actual airplane runway on Friday. I was literally on a runway! I woke up this morning kind of aimless and just threw this on. I actually really like this outfit. It was super comfortable but is a bit more exciting that just shorts and a t-shirt. 

JJ's dad is a pilot and grew up in a neighborhood with airplane hangers and a runway in his back yard. Crazy, right? I was a little bit unsure if these pictures were actually going to look okay and turns out they're great. Even got one of the photographer.

Come, look at that guy. He's the best.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Things I Learned...

... this weekend.
  1. Driving with the windows down makes every song better.
  2. TV marathons are awesome. My personal favorite you ask, Law & Order: SVU. It was on USA all weekend. Team Elliot and Olivia forever. 
  3. Moving is exhausting. On Saturday morning I helped my brother and his fiancee move into their new apartment. No matter how many people you have or how organized you think you are, it's never an easy task.
  4. Breakfast is my favorite meal. My best friend Alex had a Labor Day brunch (more to come in a later post) on Monday, it was wonderful. Sharing the first meal of the day with people you love is a nice way to start any day.
  5. Picking a kitten name is difficult. I cannot imagine what it is like for a child! Eek. If all goes as planned, I'll be a proud mama of a sweet little boy kitten. Any good name suggestions for me?