I took a cue from my favorite blogger, Daniel of Manhattan Nest, + got a little OCD last night. Or maybe I was just horribly embarrassed that my mother sent me out into the real world ten years ago with spices from the DOLLAR STORE. Talk about trauma. That woman loves the dollar store.

Fun Fact: These $3 spice jars from The Container Store cost me more money than my mom spent on the actual spices. Worth it.


i was there || maya jane coles

Show: Maya Jane Coles
Alex Arnout

Location: Spy Bar

Date: 4.3.15

Memorable Moment: Alex Arnout's face will stick with me forever. I wasn't familiar with him going into the night but he put on a pretty good set. Definitely a good complement to MJC. Almost made up for the fact that she went on so late.

Biggest Letdown: This was my second show for the night so by the time I left Father John Misty + made it to Spy Bar I was in rare from (Spy Bar also does that to me). I might have accidentally/on-purpose poured my drink on a guy that was being a jerk. I wish MJC had gone on earlier so I could have put myself to bed sooner.

This Show: Was pretty much what I expected. MJC is nothing if not consistent. I can probably say the same for Spy Bar too but on the opposite spectrum of goodness. I do find it personally important to support women in music + I am happy to do so for Maya.


i was there || father john misty

Show: Father John Misty

Location: The Vic

Date: 4.3.15

Favorite Song: There is a line in "Nothing Good Ever Happens At the Goddamn Thirsty Crow" that I kind of love that goes "I know its hard to believe a good-hearted woman could have a body that make your daddy cry" + it sounded pretty stellar live. I love "When Your're Smiling + Astride Me" too.

Memorable Moment: We didn't get to The Vic that early but managed to snag a great spot right up front stage left. I had a pretty perfect view all night.

Biggest Letdown: I was expecting to fall madly in love with Mr. Tillman after this show but he tried so damn hard. It was over the top + not very cool. Let this be a lesson, gentlemen -- luscious locks + naughty-yet-romantic lyrics can't make up for a questionable personality.

This Show: Definitely had a country twang to it which can be surprising to some. I typically am not a fan of country music but I do love me some country-inspired rock + roll a la Ryan Adams. Overall this show sounded great.



Last week I partaked in one of the strangest online shopping experiences of my life. I bought my first Mansur Gavriel mini bucket bag. I assume the hype + excitement of this event might have been similar to the launch of new Jordan's in the 1990's. People went crazy. There were most definitely tears.

I am newer to the Mansur Gavriel brand, but really the brand itself is pretty new. It is the lovechild of Rachel Mansur + Floriana Gavriel. These two met in 2010 at an XX concert (my favorite part of the story) and launched the brand in early 2013. They were very deserving but totally lucked out when Steven Alan gave the two of them his stamp of approval. Ever since their bags have been the hottest item on the market.

They restock their inventory every few months with the last two restocks selling out within the hour. They don't announce the exact time so last Thursday was a constant round of refresh, refresh, refresh for me. I totally lucked out. I refreshed about ten minutes before the email newsletter went out. If you didn't move right away the item you wanted probably sold out. I managed to snag a highly coveted black mini bucket bag with a ballerina interior. It arrived yesterday + it so beautiful. 

Selling out within a matter of minutes when customers have a one item maximum purchase oder is pretty amazing feat but the real craziness occurred on social media. It was a total cluster of happiness for those select few that snagged the bag of their dreams, the many few that had been waiting months to purchase but didn't make it to the site in time, + then of course there were what I like ot refer to as "the shady motherfuckers" who just wanted to make a quick buck. The already pricey handbags were going for almost double their actual price.

That part was sad. Mansur + Gavriel had such a huge day that seeing some of the comments + re-selling had to be a bit of a bummer. People were demanding better processes, more inventory, etc but keep in mind, this brand is TWO YEARS OLD. It is a baby. It is learning. But luckily the designs are getting better. 

The next re-stock is in May. I might try to snag one of their new + less pricey clutches but I've really got my eye on their Fall collection which includes what they are calling the "Lady Bag", It's almost a backpack, but not quite. I'd love something like this to haul my laptop around. I'm not so sure I will get as lucky next time around but for now I am a #happygirlhappybag.

Here's some of the ridiculousness first hand:



paxton gate

On my most recent trip to San Francisco my friend introduced me to the wonderful world of the Mission District. We enjoyed a nice brunch at Laszlo (which shares a kitchen with a much more crowded Foreign Cinema next door) + topped off our meal with a few cocktails at the ever eclectic  Lolo. Once we were sufficiently tipsy we hit the shops.

Shopping in the Mission is my jam. The store are almost all a mix of clothing, jewelry, + home decor so no matter your mood you can find something that tickles your fancy. Everything is just so my style too which made the day a bit painful as I tried to restrain myself from not buying everything. One of my absolute favorite shops was Paxton Gate.

Paxton Gate is a little slice of heaven in my mind. It is filled to the brim with plants, taxidermy, crystals, curiosities, + all things weird. It reminded me a bit of Asrai Garden, my absolute favorite shop in Chicago, but way more nutty. I nabbed myself an adorable goldfish plant that unbeknownst to me will bloom with little orange buds as well as some match boxes. They have an online shop too + most items are pretty affordable. While you're at it, check out their kids' shop, Curiosities for Kids.



I have been on a seriously sandal kick lately. It may be because I am willing spring to come as hard as I goddamn can or it might just be because I have spending issues. I even bought my first pair of Birkenstocks! Birkenstocks aside, I also have a beautiful pair of handmade grecian sandals coming my way from the Sandelles Etsy shop in Cyprus.

I went with the tan option above. My only word of warning is that because these ship from Cyprus, these aren't for the impatient which is why I suggest ordering them while snow is still on the ground.


living room two point oh

I have alluded to this before, but I spend entirely too much time dreaming about my future home decor + how my current pieces are going to fit into the mix. I also already have had a scheme in mind of what I want this living room to look like but now I feel like it's actually starting to take form...take form very very prematurely. 

I already own seven of the items above. Five of which are incorporated into my current apartment, two of which (the rug and pillows) were bought for one day use. It is a bit delusional, I know. Tastes change but I really do feel like when the day finally comes to do a full living room re-haul I will still very much want the same (or similar) look. I still love my current look, it's just a bit dark so I know that I will want something lighter, like this, next. These pieces have legs though. I'm sure most of them will make it to version 3.0 too.


i was there || caribou

Show: Caribou

Location: The Fillmore, San Francisco

Date: 3.1.15

Favorite Song: God damn. This is a hard one. There was not a bad song in the set. He played all songs from Our Love + Swim but I think the stands outs for me were "Bowls," "Silver," "Back Home," "Hannibal," + of course "Odessa" did an excellent job getting the dance party started. More than anything, the whole show just flowed so perfectly. Each song was right where it needed to be.

Memorable Moment: I went to this show with an old friend who has great taste in music but wasn't quite familiar with Caribou. A few songs in I just saw that look on her face of "HOLY SHIT" + for some reason that felt so satisfying. I can nerd out for hours on music but when you see someone else that into it it is a beautiful thing. Also, the drummer was pretty good at his job.

Biggest Letdown: I wish I had caught a bit more of Koreless. Actually, I wish Koreless played the after show in a more intimate venue. I would love to see him for real sometime.

This Show: Was easily one of the top three shows I have ever been to + quite possibly the very best. What I love about Caribou is the mixture of both live instruments + electronic sounds + that came together so perfectly live. The show was absolutely entrancing. I knew when those big moments in the song were coming yet I still found myself at the edge of my (hypothetical) seat. The lighting, venue, crowd, everything was perfect. It was so cool to see the show in such a historic venue like The Fillmore. I need to travel for more shows but I'm also really thankful I get to see these guys twice more in Chicago.

i was there || slow magic

Show: Slow Magic
Lindsey Lowend

Location: 1014 Folsom

Date: 2.27.15

Memorable Moment: Noise Pop Festival was conveniently taking place during my time in San Francisco. Most of the good shows were sold out by the time I figured this out but I decided it was a good opportunity to check out another venue beside The Fillmore while I was there. 1014 Folsom is literally one block away from where I was staying + Slow Magic seemed like a show I could enjoy. 

Biggest Letdown: The loser that I am only stayed for one Slow Magic song. I mostly saw Lindsey Lowend who was okay. West Coast time caught up to me + I couldn't bring myself to stay out until 2am (or 4am my time).

This Show: Was a good chance to explore the music seen in another city. I have long confessed my love for SF but now I can really confirm that I would be happy there with their music scene. Like Chicago, most artists travel through San Francisco + I didn't encounter any assholes. The vibe was very my speed.


back to basics

In the last couple of months there has been a shift in my life. I was so gung ho on getting my home perfect that I spent next to no time/money on items to wear. Now I'm starting to notice how worn (+ boring) my wardrobe has become. My focus now is on the basics + knowing what to invest in + what not to.

sandals | bracelet | purse | ring

Living in Chicago it is pretty silly to spend much money on shoes. I walk everywhere which I love but my shoes don't. Aside from snow boots + sneakers I really try not to spend much money on shoes. Those sandals above were under $20, fit like a glove, + look almost identical to options that cost 10x as much.

Jewelry is one of those mid-tier purchase items for me. I don't dress very flashy so I like my style to shine through in my jewelry. It's nice to treat yourself every once in a while but typically you can find unique pieces without breaking the bank. I couldn't pass up on these two items above. They are so  me. Bagatiba is another good option for cute, affordable jewelry that I just stumbled upon.

Now to the good stuff. I am so not a handbag girl. I have been using the same two bags for the last 2+ years. One was about $50 + the other was a gift card purchase so clearly this isn't an area I want to spend my money on. Maybe it's a recent promotion talking but now I'm starting to understand the value of a nicely made handbag. This is an item that gets so much use but doesn't wear down as easily. This bag is number one on my wishlist + I'm hoping to snag one next month when they restock.

As for clothes themselves, I still feel a bit stuck on that. So often I shop + I rarely see items I like but I think my focus should be fewer/better. I am definitely in that in between time. As Britney would say, "not a girl, not yet a woman". I blame that for this uncertainty.


oh my cenote

One of my favorite parts of Mexico was our trip to the cenote. For obvious reasons (it is an under water cave) I didn't have my camera with me so all I have have are my memories from that day. But thanks to the interwebs I can give you a bit of a peek at our visit to Cenote Dos Ojos.
One of the main reasons I wanted to make a stop in Tulum was so I could visit a cenote. What I didn't know was that there were so many to choose from. After asking a few people for recommendations Cenote Dos Ojos seemed to be the obvious front runner. We went the snorkel route but I'm sure scuba diving would have been amazing too. The whole thing took about two hours but it was a nice way to shake things up after days of laying by the pool/beach.