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.


new kicks on the block

Past experiences have taught me that when getting fitted for running shoes by experts you are probably going to walk away with a somewhat ugly pair. And that's okay, because they will support your foot perfectly. Well ugly shoes know more. The shoe that not only fit me well but also fit the best turned out to be the prettiest too. Now I just need this know to melt so I can test out these blue beauts.


mexico || 2015

I like starting 2015 off with a strong travel game. Mexico isn't anything fancy but it's just about the nicest way to spend a week in February.

We got into Playa Del Carmen pretty late on Saturday so instead of going straight to our all-inclusive resort we decided to save some money by staying at a smaller hotel nearby. Coco Cabana was such an awesome place and totally exceeded my expectations. I would have been completely happy to stay there the whole time. The owners were so helpful. Plus, they have some pretty great wood oven pizza.

It's a bit hard to tell from the photo above but we got to stay in this adorable purple bungalow, palm roof + all. I couldn't get a good photo inside but it was round with a pitched ceiling + looked a bit like a yurt. The bathroom didn't have any doors so that was a bit weird but we only stayed at Coco Cabana for 12 hours before heading nearby to the Platinum Yucatan Princess.

The Platinum Yucatan Princess is an all-inclusive, adults only resort that just opened late last year. They had their shit together for being a newer hotel + there was also the benefit of it not being too crowded. Also, fun fact: adult only resorts mean it is okay to have not one but TWO porn channels. Talk about an upgrade!

Porn aside, it was a comfortable stay. The food was pretty okay but it was more than easy to maintain a piña colada in my hand at all times. The weather was pretty much perfect + we also got to experience the Super Bowl in a theater full of displaced gringos. That was a treat. This leg of the trip was definitely all about relaxation mode + soaking up some sun.

We also spent one evening making a trip to downtown Playa Del Carmen which was surprisingly large. It was one huge strip of souvenir shops, bars, + restaurants. I had a fun time exploring + people watching.

The last leg of our trip took us an hour south to Tulum. Tulum was meant for exploring but unfortunately we were hindered the first day due to a storm that came through. The view above is from our bed though so watching the storm come in was actually really cool + also provided a perfect backdrop for an afternoon nap. Vacations are for siestas, right?

We stayed at a nice little boutique hotel called Blue Sky Hotel. It was a little bit further from the Tulum hub than I anticipated but it was so great to be that close to the water. It had this cool little dock we could walk out on but the guard "dog" up top scared me a little bit.
Day two in Tulum we finally got to do some exploring. We wandered around downtown for breakfast + then made a stop at the Archaeological Site to see the Mayan ruins. Those were pretty neat + filled with iguanas.

After seeing the ruins we climbed down to the public beach to cool off for a bit.The water was so clear + nice here.

The last stop of the day was at the Cenote Dos Ojos where we snorkeled in the water caves. The photos below aren't of the Cenote Dos Ojos, but of Casa Cenote which was near our hotel. The water in these cenotes is so unbelievably pretty. I don't know if it's actually true or not but our guide said that these cenotes were made from meteors.

All + all, Mexico was a great trip + a very necessary escape from the Chicago winters. I would definitely go back + would love to explore parts of Tulum a bit more. One of my favorite parts of the trip was just observing. The colors + scenery were so different than what I typically see in Chicago so it was nice to just take that all in.

father john misty || chateau lobby #4 (in c for two virgins)


i was there || zola jesus

Show: Zola Jesus
Ryley Walker

Location: Athenaeum Theater 

Date: 2.16.25

Favorite Song: "In Your Nature" is the song that hooked me on this lady but "Dangerous Days" was also exceptional.

Memorable Moment: This tiny woman in massive wedges decides that climbing on top of the speakers + jumping off is a good idea. She landed on her booty a little bit but recovered quite gracefully. Thankfully. The trumpet player was pretty cool too.

Biggest Letdown: Love you, Zola, but your stage presence was quite awkward. That's probably the aspect of a show that matters the least but at times I just wanted to close my eyes.

This Show: Zola Jesus has the voice of a fucking angel. You completely hear her range + slight imperfections that actually end up being pretty perfect + help give the songs character. It's nice to not have someone hide behind auto tune or loud instruments.



Generally speaking, I don't think I have much of an "I'm better than you" attitude...except when it comes to fostering. For the second year in a row I spent part of my two week work holiday vacation welcoming a very loving + very deserving PAWS pup into my home. I feel so good for what I have done for these dogs the last two years + I don't care who knows it. 

This time I was paired with Judo + he was the absolute best. Fostering this year was a different experience for me. I grew less attached to Judo but I also feel more inclined to keep him than Rutherford. I spent more time with Rutherford, he was a lab like the dog I grew up with, + I think he needed me more. Judo was a little smaller than I imagined, he came to my home during a somewhat stressful time for me, but he was so good. He has his occasional moments of mischief + craziness but he is still an adolescent (1.5 years). When he really screwed up (like when he peed on my stairs after I took away his bone. ASSHOLE! But also very smart.) he knew it and went straight to his cage no questions asked. He rarely barked, seemed to get along okay with other dogs, + was totally happy to chill with me on the couch. No dog is easy and all dogs take a lot of work but Judo was an easier amount of work.
Judo hasn't been adopted yet + although he is perfect in my opinion it likely will be some time before he is adopted because unfortunately that is the way life works. I've been seriously thinking about fostering him again and just paying for a dog walker while I work but I will have to wait until after my Mexico trip (more on that later). If he still hasn't been adopted or taken into a foster home after that I might take the little guy back for a few weeks (or probably forever knowing me). 

If that doesn't happen this will likely be the last you hear from me on the topic but I do have one last plea. If you are looking to get a dog or are willing to open your home up to one for a few more weeks please consider Judo. He's so great + could really use a break from shelter life. It seems like PAWS is in pretty desperate need for adopters/fosters at the moment so taking any dog or cat would be a huge help...I'm just clearly biased towards Judo. If you can't adopt or foster than please at least send good vibes to this little dude. I have never met a dog more desiring and more deserving of a good home. 


The Crazy Dog Lady