Weekend Rewind: A Photo Essay

Man, what a jam-packed weekend. I had a couple extra days off between the old job and the new one, but no time was wasted! Wandered through the Chicago History Museum, drove home to Morris, visited Kentuckiana, hung out with family, ate way too much, made six stops on the Urban Bourbon Trail (in one night!!!), drove back to Chicago and still made time for homemade chili and football on Sunday. Phew, I need a nap. Here’s a recap:

Shop H&M Home!

My apologies, I must have missed the memo last month: Did you know H&M now sells home goods?! Apparently they’ve had a home line in Europe for some time, but it was just last month that it launched here in the U.S., though it’s only available online (for now anyway).

While I have a love-hate relationship with H&M clothing (I haven’t done much shopping there in a few years), it is nice to have another option for affordable decor, especially for someone like me whose style is still evolving (and so a throw pillow purchase that turns out to be less than perfect 6 months down the road doesn’t hurt as bad when it was only $3.95).

Here are my top five picks from the line for fall:

Moss-knit Blanket, $79.95

Moss-knit Blanket, $79.95

Mug, $5.95

Mug, $5.95

Storage Basket, $14.95

Storage Basket, $14.95

Plate, $6.95

Plate, $6.95

Scented Candle, $7.95

Scented Candle, $7.95

Need to Read: Young House Love

If there’s one thing I’m a huge fan of when it comes to Chicago city services, it’s the new Ventra cards…

I kid. I haven’t even gotten mine in the mail yet, but from everything I hear they’re terrible. I’m certainly not holding my breath for something amazing when it comes to the CTA.

No, what I do love is the Chicago Public Library system, and as nerdy as I am, I’m super excited about my new job being close to the biggest one, Harold Washington Library, so I can visit on my lunch breaks.

But I digress. What I’m trying to get to is that I checked out Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love, and I’m really enjoying reading about all the DIY projects Sherry and John Petersik (they have a blog by the same name) have done over the years and the step-by-step instructions. They cover everything from headboards to IKEA hacks to table runners. One this that I found particularly inspiring was this sidebar:

Stuck? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? That’s par for the DIY course.

Everyone makes mistakes. Look at mistakes as a sign that you’re moving forward, not stagnating. If you’re doing something, even if it turns out to be the wrong something, it’s still teaching you how to get there faster the next time.

Tastes change. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a few things that no longer suit your style. You can always put them on Craigslist or paint them or otherwise adapt them.

Relax; it’s only decorating. Things happen, and sometimes the budget or the time line can get you down, but it’s nice to take a few deep breaths and remember that no one’s life is on the line.

Keep at it. Hang art. Paint. Nearly every design decision can be undone pretty easily. And chances are you’ll like most of what you do, so there’s only a marginal amount of true error in the whole trial-and-error thing.

In the end, it’s all worth it.

Now this is paraphrased, so I recommend you check out (either from your local library, or if you’re too cool for that, it’s on Amazon for only $15) the tome for yourself, but it’s great advice nonetheless!

young-house-love-book(Image: How About Orange)

Weekend Rewind: Goodbyes (Well, Sorta)

I have a really good reason for the hiatus this time, I swear: I got a new job! This is my last week at the old place, and I start as a web editor at a university next Monday. I’m pretty pumped. I think it’ll be a really good work/life balance where I’ll have more time to freelance and blog… and fund more DIY projects! Oh, and go back to school! #winwinwinwin

It is kind of bittersweet, however, because I’ve wanted to work for a magazine since I was 16 years old, and I really like my coworkers, especially these two.

photoWe went to a Cubs game this weekend to celebrate the new job and have one last Old Style (or five). Goodbye to another terrible season, goodbye to my current job—hopefully both me and the Cubs are on the up and up!

I Want That Wednesday

It’s recently come to my attention that I have no fall/winter clothes. OK, I have some things, but hardly anything I actually like and way less options than my summertime wardrobe. Why? I don’t feel inspired by cold-weather clothing. A sweater is a sweater. You eliminate the dress/skirts/shorts option (at least in Chicago anyway). It’s boots or boots for 4-6 months.

Sure, I’m generalizing, but this is, well, generally how I feel. And so what have I concluded? Wintertime is about the accessories. As long as you have the basics (cardigans, boots, leggings, etc.), standout jewelry is where you should invest!

Enter Ke Aloha Jewelry (from Hawaii where they don’t have bundle up, ever). I stumbled across them via Pinterest, and I’ve been drooling over their stunning earrings (and lots of other pieces!) since:

il_570xN.485802449_2y01I really have a thing for gray (grey? whatever) jewelry lately, and I think it’s the perfect color to accessorize my (lack of) fall wardrobe! There seems to be a trip to the outlet mall in my future to stock up on those so-called basics…

(Image: Etsy)

Repost: 16 Signs Your Living In An Adult Apartment

“We all have those friends. You know, the ones that seem to have it magically all together, all the time. They’re constantly dressed to the nines, with nary a hair out of place, and never have to scamper to catch a train. Nowhere is a person’s togetherness more evident than the second you set foot in his or her apartment. Upon entering, the sheer beauty of the place takes your breath away. There are no clothes strewn across the floor. There is actually a hook to hang your jacket. The focal point of the room isn’t a tie-dye, Grateful Dead poster. When you see this heavenly space, you just know: You’ve entered an adult’s apartment.”

couch-not-futon-photographed-by-dominique-ferroI like to think I’m that friend that Refinery 29 is describing, but the truth is I put way more effort into my apartment than I do my wardrobe! And while I agree with their criteria, there’s a few I still can’t claim. My favs:

2. You actually have a fruit bowl. But if your fruit is merely decorative, and not edible, your apartment might be too adult. [Guilty. I totally have fake lemons from Target…]

9. Your windows are covered properly — and not by a tie-dye tapestry. [This one I’m still working on… curtains are a questionable investment when you’re renting!]

11. You can get off on both sides of the bed. [Hallelujah! This is literally one of my favorite things about my bedroom, even though I only get off on one side anyway.]

13. Your booze is stored properly in a bar area or rack. Subsequently, you don’t store your empties on top of the fridge or cabinets. [You know I can’t get enough of my mid-century bar!]

15. Laundry baskets aren’t made out of nylon sacks, and are used for dirty clothes, not random storage. [Busted… I really need to mark this one off The Home Improvement List—and fast.]

Do you live in an adult apartment? Read about all 16 signs here.

(Image: Refinery 29, photographed by Dominique Fierro)

Weekend Rewind: Renegade Craft Fair

Hey there, hope everyone had a great weekend and is staying cool in this heat wave! I went to the beach today and only lasted one hour it was so flipping hot. The great thing about the beach after Labor Day (oh, and on a week day… ) is that no one is there!

My apologies for the sporadic posts the last week or so. Not only have I been dealing with a bad modem via RCN (luckily they’re coming out tomorrow to check it out), I’ve also been nursing a brutal cold. But I did manage to get out to the Renegade Craft Fair yesterday. I saw so many great things—and maybe even bought a few! If you missed it, not to worry, here’s five of my favorites:

il_570xN.412591020_ts2dBDJ Craft Works, Austin
Large American Cherry Vase, $150

il_570xN.211552340Sadly Harmless, Bloomington, Ind.
Sail Close to the Wind Print, $22

Nourishing Notes, Chicago
Floursack Towels, $15/each

Voz Collective, Orange, Calif.
Voz Deco Dagger Earrings and Janelle Skinny Bangle Set, $18 and $30

il_570xN.449921750_cwusMilkhaus Design, Madison, Wisc.
Fold Over Cross Body Bag with Removable Strap, $78

Or if you’re not a fan of my picks, then you have one more opportunity to see the indie craft and design showcase this year—and just in time for Christmas gifts!—at the Winter Market on Dec. 7 and 8 at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse.