1.23.2015

Read & Friday links.

Mmm brown butter. This looks so yummy.

LOVE this coat. 

Remember my valentine to Pete last year? Other great ones.

Really liking this fun piece of art.

Take me back here please. Thanks.

Heading to New Orleans for a work conference on Sunday morning. Never been! Hoping to have time to explore The Big Easy a bit.

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1.22.2015

Read & 2015.

I am not huge into New Years resolutions, but I do like to think about things I'd like to do in the new year. Below is my short list (in no particular order). What do you want for 2015?

Read 30 books. I read 27 books last year and think I can up it to 30! So far I've finished "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler, "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri (favorite so far), "Not That Kind of Girl" by Lena Dunham and "Three Wishes" by Liane Moriarty. I started "A Wild Sheep Chase" by Haruki Murakami this week for Book Club and I really like it so far.

Take a calligraphy class. I have always been into handwriting and I think calligraphy is so cool. Probably would have been better to take this before our wedding for the invitations, ha!, but it's never too late to try something new!

Shred 3x a week. I am obsessed with Shred right now. Awesome treadmill and weight interval classes. I sweat SO much (which, for me, is a sign of a good workout). Would love to get into a routine of going 3x a week. I've been on the right track so far since getting back from vacation. Just got to keep it up!

Host a dinner party. Pete and I love to entertain. We have friends over to our place a lot, but I would love to host an actual three-course dinner party. (Even though people may have to eat on their laps...)

Find a few new brunch spots. Pete and I always struggle with this on the weekends and usually just end up at Toast. Don't get my wrong, we LOVE Toast, but I think we can branch out a bit. We actually headed up to Lula Cafe on Sunday. It was amazing and so fun to check out a new neighborhood!

Along those lines... explore new Chicago neighborhoods. I loved going up to Logan Square with Pete on Sunday and on Monday ventured over to Wicker Park with friends for lunch at Dove's. Though Wicker Park isn't a new neighborhood to me, it was definitely a different adventure to head over there midday on our day off.

Get back to blogging. As you can tell, I go in major spurts of posting. I really, really enjoy it, but a lot of the time I don't feel like I am inspired to post. Not good! Especially the past two weeks when we haven't been able to use our kitchen due to the burst pipe, I have not tried a single new recipe in over a month. Crazy! I am hoping next month brings me some time in the kitchen and therefore some more time here.

2015... here we go!

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1.16.2015

Read & Friday links.

We came home from the most unbelievable sailing vacation to a burst pipe in our apartment. Back to reality. I will spare the details... so here are some links that are keeping my mind off that nightmare right now.

Ha, I think we have all experienced scheduling like this.

I feel like I haven't tried a new restaurant in forever! Gotta check out this list. (Also hitting up Parlor Pizza Bar next Friday which is a new one for me!)

I don't know if it's because of the current state of our apartment or what, but I am in the mood for a little refresh throughout the house. Thinking some new pillows for the office couch and maybe adding a fun one to our bed...

Speaking of... home trends to ditch in 2015.

Happy Friday!

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12.30.2014

Read & a reading update.

My final reading update of 2014!

As of my last update, I have added "The Lowland," "One Last Thing Before I Go" and "Americanah" to my 2014 book list, which brings my total to 27 books. Not too shabby! I think My goal for 2015 will be 30 :) I just started Amy Poehler's "Yes Please" which I think I will breeze through, especially after "Americanah"!

Below is my full list.

Happy reading!

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"A Natural Woman" - Carole King - After seeing Beautiful last Chrsitmas, I began a mild obsession with Carole. Always have loved her songs, but that musical took it to a whole new level. Her life is so interesting and this book was a good one.

"The Storyteller" - Jodi Picoult - Every Jodi Picoult book has a huge twist and this one is no different. Loved this one and couldn't put it down.

"Me Before You" - Jojo Moyes - My favorite book I read this year for sure. Incredible, sad, love. This book started my Jojo kick this year.

"The Goldfinch" - Donna Tartt - People say this one will become a "classic" and I think I agree. Though some parts of the book (it's 784 pages) dragged on a bit, the first third of the book was a definite page turner. I really liked it.

"The Husband's Secret" - Liane Moriarty - Though you find out the husband's secret in the first few pages of the book, it still keeps you guessing.

"The Interestings" - Meg Wolitzer - Follows friends from summer camp through their adult lives. Some parts were great, others boring. It was pretty good.

"The Rosie Project"- Graeme Simsion - This book is SO cute. Easy read.

"One More Thing" by B.J. Novak - I wanted to like this so much more than I did! I love B.J. but for some reason I didn't find this book that great. Some funny stories, but overall, sadly, ehh.

"Orphan Train" - Christina Baker Kline - I love reading stories that are set in two different time periods. I think its interesting to go back and forth between the times and put pieces of the puzzle together. This is one of those books.

"The Girl You Left Behind" - Jojo Moyes- Loved this! Huge twists, which are my favorite. "Me Before You" still takes the cake when it comes to Jojo Moyes, but this is a close second.

"The Silver Star" - Jeannette Walls - I liked this one. A story of two sisters who end up at their uncle's after their mother deserts them.

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows - Weird title, I know, but I loved this book. Written in a series of letters, it was a fun read.

"The Last Letter From Your Lover" - Jojo Moyes - Another great one from Jojo. I really enjoy her writing - always some sort of twist.

"The Pink Suit" - Nicole Kelby - This was a book club book that I definitely could have done without. I thought I would like it since it "involved" the Kennedys, but it really didn't. Very boring... would not recommend.

"City of Thieves" - David Benioff - Really good book. Pretty graphic at some points, but overall really interesting WWII story.

"Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls" - David Sedaris - This was a nice change from all the novels I had been reading. Funny short stories.

"One Plus One" - Jojo Moyes - Surprisingly didn't really like this one. I have loved every other Jojo Moyes book I have read (I have read 3 others), and this one just wasn't on par with the others. I was pretty disappointed because her other books have been amaaaazing.

"The Vacationers" - Emma Straub - This was a book club book that I thought I would like more than I did. Definitely a beach read because I feel like nothing really "happened"... still an ok book if you need a break.

"This is Where I Leave You" - Jonathan Tropper - LOVED this. One of the best books I've read this year for sure. Still need to see the movie.

"We Were Liars" - E. Lockhart - About cousins and a friend at their summer house. Easy read. Huge twist. Really liked it.

"What Alice Forgot" - Liane Moriarty - This was a good one. A woman falls off her spin bike and can't remember what has happened for the past ten years (she's had three kids, separated from her husband, ...).

"Big Little Lies" - Liane Moriarty - A murder in the first scene of the book keeps you guessing for a while.

"I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You" - Courtney Maum - The book was interesting, but it was sad! A husband cheats on his wife, gets hung up on his mistress, but then realizes he wants his wife back.

"All The Light We Cannot See" - Anthony Doerr - Amazing. This was our last book club book and I loved it. Two stories of life during WWII intertwined into one. 

"The Lowland" - Jhumpa Lahiri - This was a Book Club book. I liked it, but kept waiting for something to happen. It was also pretty sad.

"One Last Thing Before I Go" - Jonathan Tropper - I just love his writing.

"Americanah" - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Book Club. I went back and forth liking this book while I was reading it. I am way over-simplifying this - a young Nigerian couple leave Nigeria - one for America and one for London, with the hopes of reuniting soon. Ifemelu (who went to America) starts a blog on race. I loved the parts of the book about relationships and when things actually happened with the characters, but didn't love reading her blog posts throughout the book. A lot of the time it felt like I was reading a book for a class...

12.19.2014

Read & Friday links.

A round up of Kardashian Christmas cards. I mean, they spelled Khloe's name wrong on one...

Whiskey wedge is a cool alternative to the king cubes that Pete uses!

If only I carried around / used my business cards... this would be so cute.

New favorite sweater. (Do I say that every week? #sweaterlady)

Busy busy weekend! Butch's for Christmas cheer after work tonight, Pete's cousin's engagement party tomorrow, brunch on Sunday, fitting in a Shred class... 'Tis the season!!

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12.18.2014

Read & holiday frocks.

It feels like every night there is something to get dressed up for around the holidays. I love it (duh), but it also kinda stresses me out. I've rounded up some ideas for holiday fêtes this season.


{Great alternative to a dress. Trina Turk.}



 {Love a good drop-waist shift. Cynthia Rowley.} 



{Full midi skirt. Tibi.} 



{With a festive bow in the back. Kate Spade.}


Happy shopping!

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12.12.2014

Read & Friday links.

Would you rather... horrible.

My book club finished The Lowland recently, so we decided to meet at an Indian restaurant to discuss. We went to Cumin and it was so good. I forgot how yummy Indian food is. (Next up on our list is Americanah.)

Do you wrap your presents this way?

I love book lists.

Headed home tonight for my friend Julia's wedding AND I get to see Callie!!!

Happy weekend!

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