Is it Better to Rent or Buy?

Buying a place is probably one of the single biggest decisions I’ll ever make. And it’s So. Damn. Complicated. Is buying as “good” of an idea now as it was in 2006 or 2011? Is property in my area overvalued? What’s the inventory available now say about the future market? Can HOA fees really push you over the edge? When’s the next property tax hike (inevitably) coming?

It’s hard to tell if the costs of owning—realtor (and lawyer and inspector) fees, mortgage interest, property tax, repairs, etc.—outweigh the financial benefits. Luckily, the New York Times has created a nifty little tool to help shed some light on the gray areas.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.18.55 PM

You fill in the details like home price, how long you plan to live there, closing costs, growth rate, homeowner’s insurance, etc. It even takes into account renting costs, like security deposit and renter’s insurance.

Then you arrive at Your Number: If you can rent a similar home for less than X, then renting is better.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.15.50 PMTurns out for me, it’s definitely a better idea to keep renting. But given that the number one reason why I want to buy is not for financial benefit but to have a new place to decorate… I think it’s pretty clear I’m not ready : )


I Want That Wednesday: Glam Garment Bag

I’m so sad that air travel not longer holds the romantic notion that it once did. I blame yoga pants. Well, and the TSA. Oh, and definitely baggage restrictions. (I booked a flight on Spirit recently, and I’m already regretting the decision…)

Though, for the record, I surely don’t miss smoking on airplanes.

But if you’re wanting to inject a bit of glam into your travel, check out this fab gold garment bag:

GarmentBagIs it completely impractical for this day and age? Yes. Do I want it anyway? Certainly. I don’t travel much for work, but if I did and I needed to keep my Hillary-style pantsuits fresh, I’d be all over this.


Maybe, some day, I can get it for my over-the-top, Kimye-esque destination wedding. Ha, who am I kidding? I wouldn’t be toting around my own dress, duh. Instead—and more likely—it’d make a great bridesmaid’s gift for someone else’s destination wedding.

Stay classy, travelers!

Labyrinth Gold Wayfarer Garment Bag, $128,

(Images: Hudson and Bleecker)

Disclaimer: “I Want That Wednesdays” are a series of posts that, well frankly, are just of things (decor, fashion, food, etc.) I like. The products featured are never sponsored; they’re simply items I’ve come across that I’m crushing on and that I thought you might enjoy as well. Let me know if you love it/ hate it/ can’t get enough of it.


Weekend Rewind: Memorial Day Adventures

Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5 mi - 26,000 participants!

Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5 mi – 26,000 participants!

Chicago at sunset

Chicago at sunset

Clare's Birthday Celebration at Shoe's Pub

Clare’s Birthday Celebration at Shoe’s Pub

Story of my life...

Story of my life…

Frostys with Mimi

Frostys with Mimi

Can we puhlease go to the park?

Can we puhlease go to the park now?



Goose Lake State Prairie

Goose Lake State Prairie

Bridge to Nowhere

Bridge to nowhere

Back to Chi City!

Back to Chi city, my city!

Montrose Harbor

Morning run to Montrose Harbor

Treat yo self!

Treat yo self!

There's only one way to kickoff summer: ice cream!

There’s only one way to kickoff summer: ice cream. Lots of it.

Thank you to those who have served and those who continue to protect our nation! Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day!

Foodie Friday: Jalapeño Lime Hummus

DSC00885Happy Friday, everybody! If you’re looking for an app to bring to a Memorial Day party this weekend, let me suggest this jalapeño lime hummus. It’s a good choice not only because it’s tasty, healthy and easy to make, but because you probably won’t have to worry about someone else bringing hummus given the recall. Score!

1 can chickpeas, drained and deskinned
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp jalapeño, roughly chopped (about 1/2 a jalapeño)
1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water

Combine all ingredients except for olive oil and water in food processor, and blend. With the blade still running, add olive oil and water. Continue to blend until smooth and creamy. Spread on veggies, tortilla chips, pita, etc. Enjoy!


You Pick: Living Room Rug

I’m having a really hard time deciding on a vision for the living room. I’ve never had such a bold wall to contend with! I’m certainly not regretting the paint job, but I feel like a need a colorful rug to bring some fun—and femininity—to the room. It’s a bit Don Draper right now. (Speaking of, anyone watching the current season? Snoozefest!)

A rug is a real commitment since it’s generally a pricey piece, but I think it’ll really set the tone for the room. I’d hate to make the wrong choice, so I’m enlisting your help!

For a refresher, here’s the living room:

The living room and dining room feed right into each other, so I’d like there to be some cohesion, but it doesn’t have to be matchy-matchy. Here’s the dining room:

Originally, I wanted to go with a cream shag or flokati rug, but this is a high traffic area, and honestly I don’t think it’d stand a chance. The cat’s always in there. We eat in front of the TV all the time (though I’d really like to break this habit). This is where people hangout when they come over. I’d give it six months tops. Same goes with one of those super popular Beni Ourain-style rugs. Plus, I think I might fall out of love with it after awhile.

I want something fun but somewhat timeless (I hope to still like it in five years). Something bright since there’s already so much dark. Something with a hint of elegance but nothing traditional. And hopefully something that won’t break the bank but is quality (no Dhurries, please!). Is all that possible?

I’ve cobbled together some ideas. Which rug do you like? Or do you have a suggestion? Please, I’m all ears!

rugs1. Martha Stewart Chevron Leaves | 2. Surya Frontier 918 | 3. Safavieh Cambridge | 4. West Elm Ikat Links | 5. Savanna Ikat VE01 | 6. Savanna Ikat VE03 |
7. Surya Scion | 8. Martha Stewart Poppy Field

I Want That Wednesday: Colorful Wooden Dinnerware

You guys. It’s 82 degrees outside right now. FINALLY. After this winter, I honestly wouldn’t care if it was 115 degrees. All I want to do is get out there and play!

But alas, I’m stuck in the office daydreaming of alfresco dining with these…


Goodbye, reds and purples—hello, turquoise and hot pink! Ah, how I’ve missing having color in my life. Not to mention eating outside. These fun wooden bowls and plates would go pretty perfectly with my summer bucket list item to grill more often.

For those of you who are crafty, I’m sure you could paint plain wooden bowls and plates (like the dipped wooden spoons) and save a few bucks, but I’m going to leave this one to the pros.

Wooden Bowl Set, Serving Bowls, Plate Set, $45/each, RedEnvelope

(Images: RedEnvelope)

Disclaimer: “I Want That Wednesdays” are a series of posts that, well frankly, are just of things (decor, fashion, food, etc.) I like. The products featured are never sponsored; they’re simply items I’ve come across that I’m crushing on and that I thought you might enjoy as well. Let me know if you love it/ hate it/ can’t get enough of it.

Weekend Rewind: Gallery Wall Reversal

Monday’s are the worst, and since I’m taking a grad class that meets on Monday nights, they’re even more agonizing. So I apologize for my lack of Monday posts lately—there’s just not enough time in the day!

That’s what it felt like this weekend too. Run, bridal shower, bachelorette party, training, open houses, cleaning, reading… I packed A LOT in.

I’d never been to a bachelorette party before. Luckily, there were no strippers, penis straws or tiaras, and it was generally a low-key affair. I wish I had taken pics of our food at Quartino’s, where we started the night. Pizzas, bacon-wrapped dates, caprese salad, fondue… YUM. We ordered pasta, but we cancelled that part of the order because it was coming out last, and we were all already so full. The place is packed and loud (not somewhere to take Grandma), but I’d definitely go back. The prices were reasonable too, especially for River North.

Outside of all that other stuff, I also managed to fit in a few household projects. I still haven’t completely “recovered” from painting the living and dining rooms, but I did get a handful of things back up on the walls.

Before painting, I knew the gallery wall just wasn’t working for me. As much as I love all those beautiful mixed-and-matched gallery walls on Pinterest, mine just had too many colors, mediums, frame styles, etc. And this is after I’d already taken a few things down…

IMG_1111So I decided to get back to the basics. Five photographs. Five matching frames. Done.

DSC00870I think it’s a huge improvement. It’s just so much cleaner. Do I wish the images were a little bigger? Sure. But I think it works… for now : )

Speaking of, I used those 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips, and while I love that I don’t have to put nails into my freshly painted wall, I’m not sure I’m crazy about them. Hopefully they hold! Have you used these products? Love ’em, loathe ’em?