Life Lately: Spring

Life Lately Spring Collage

Friends! Has it really been over a month since my last post? I knew things were a little hectic with my job, in addition to spending lots of quality time with a toddler, but I didn’t think it was that long. I started to miss it. And when John shared this article from Crain’s Chicago Business featuring some Chicago bloggers, I knew I needed to get back on the horse. To ease back into this whole blogging thing, I thought I would share a little bit about what’s going on:

The end of winter/start of spring in Chicago has been a bit backwards. It was in the 60’s about two ago and I was able to wear my new floral dress from eShakti (currently out of stock). With flats! And bare legs! Then it snowed twice this week….really?!!

The weather hasn’t stopped Monica from wanted to spend an inordinate amount of time outside. 6:15am when it’s still dark and 30 degrees?? Girlfriend is going to try with all her might to go outside! And yes, there have been a few meltdowns when it’s time to go in for dinner or go to bed. Except for this random snow, the weather has been nice enough out spend countless hours outside, going down slides, and swinging. We even took a trip to the local ice cream shop for a milkshake :)

In addition to being outside, Monica is really enjoying reading lately. This includes us reading a dozen books to her before bed (with her occassionally “reading” along with us) or simply flipping through her favorite books on the couch. Sometimes we have to read her books twice in a row, and there are others that have to be read in a certain order.

Other current favorites include trips to the grocery store, playing with Play-Doh, and her play piano purchased for a song at a local rummage sale :)

Finally, here’s a quick update on becoming a registered investment advisor. We’re still working through the registration process, so I can’t do any marketing activity until that’s complete. On the positive side, I’ve finalized my logo and branding and it’s goooood!

In conjunction with launching, I’m starting to close down my Etsy shop. Operation: Move that Inventory is coming along, but I still have a ways to go. Anyone interested in fabric or possibly zippers?

I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend!

My Recent Favorites

It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything style-related around here, so I wanted to share some of my favorite recent purchases/things I received for Christmas. Many of these things are upgrades of items that have worn out. Obviously this costs a little more, but hopefully these purchases will last longer.

february 2015 favorites

Warby Parker Curtis sunglasses in Bourbon Tortoise

I had a pair of sunglasses from Target for the longest time. I’m pretty sure Monica broke them, but they were probably about to break on their own anyways. Then I wore a pair of cheap Michelob Ultra freebie sunglasses from a half marathon. Then Monica broke those shortly before Christmas. (I hope this isn’t a trend!) John’s parents gifted me these sunglasses for Christmas and I’m being extra careful with them by keeping them out of Monica’s reach.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Natasha Mini cross-body

I was in the market for a new purse, particularly a cross-body bag because it’s difficult to wrestle a toddler and anything else at the same time. Yes, on the weekends I generally just carry the diaper bag with my wallet/phone/keys thrown in. And sure, it’s a slightly smaller purse, but in the hopes of simplifying, I’m forced to keep the junk out. This was a Christmas gift strategically purchased from Piperlime on Cyber Monday for 30% off :)

Saucony Jazz Low Pro sneakers

My silver Gola’s (first shared in this post) were looking really sad and I was due for a new pair of kicks. My running shoes are Saucony’s so I knew those would fit right. My sister thinks they’re old school, but I think they’re pretty fabulous. John thought suggested something a little more colorful (there are lots of snazzy colors available!), but I already have my pink shoes and wanted something a little more neutral.

Bobeau Fleece Wrap Cardigan (!)

Do you remember the movie “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” with the magic jeans that fit each friend perfectly? That’s how I feel about this sweater! My sister-in-law told me about the Bobeau over Christmas and shared this blog post written by her friend! It seems like this is universally loved cardigan. I’ve worn it to work, but usually wear it to lounge around the house or run errands on the weekends. Even though it feels like a blanket (especially on these frigid winter days!), I feel much more put together wearing this sweater than wearing a high school college hoodie. I have it in gray and am considering buying another color (maybe pink?) because this lovely is only $40!!

Black Gap 1969 legging jeans

We can now wear jeans everyday in the office. That means my dress pants have been gathering dust and my jeans have been working overtime. I live in my Gap legging jeans and wanted something other than a standard blue jean that could be dressed up or down. These black jeans are a little stretchy and perfect (especially since I got them for 40% off!). You’re in luck because Gap is offering 30% off everything through February 21, 2015 using coupon code “MAJOR”.

Magna-Tiles

OK, the Magna-Tiles were technically a Christmas gift for Monica, but John and I love playing with them too! We asked Monica’s teachers for Christmas gift suggestions and this is one of the items they recommended. At this point, Monica would rather knock down whatever we build (she’s 20 months old), but she’s starting to play with them more on her own.

I just realized I wore/used/played with every item on this list today! What are your current favorites you’d love to share?

Valentine’s Day Craft Ideas

This post is contributed by Chun Nguyen.

It’s February and love is in the air once again! Of course, if you have a special someone you’d like to show your affections to this season, you might have to spend a little extra for something, right? Whether it’s a romantic dinner or a bunch of flowers, or a special Valentine’s Day gift, you’re probably prepared to spend more than a pretty penny, especially since high demand for romantic gifts makes their production more difficult, thereby increasing their price.

But there are many ways for you to save during the season of love, and often these ways can seem more heartfelt than just any old store-bought gift. If you decide to make something for your Valentine, but don’t want to spend on materials, or don’t have the luxury of time, here are some crafts you might want to consider:

Knot Bracelets

friendship bracelets

If you have some good quality string lying around your house, this is the perfect project for you. Remarkably Domestic, among other blog posts and YouTube videos, has some great tutorials. Make two bracelets so you and your loved one can have matching love bracelets. If you’ve never shown a creative, crafty side before, your partner is sure to love this.

Bingo Valentine’s Cards

Bingo Valentine's Day card

Does your partner enjoy all things vintage? Try making a Valentine for them by using an old bingo card as a base. Information supplied by Free Bingo Hunter shows that bingo has all but lost its appeal, drawing hundreds of thousands of players to online bingo portals in the UK alone. There are all sorts of variants of bingo nowadays, and you can put your own twist on the bingo card by turning it into a Valentine with your own choice of vintage elements.

Crayon Hearts

Crayon hearts

If you’d like to add a little love to your decor, you can try Martha Stewart’s crayon hearts – a beautiful, elegant, yet unexpectedly simple craft that involves nothing more than shaving crayons and melting them into the perfect shape. Considering how many snow days there have been this season, this could be a fun project to combat cabin fever with the kids. You could hang these from the door as a mobile or against a window to give a room a more romantic ambience as the sun filters through the crayon hearts.

Got any other ideas for crafts for Valentine’s Day? Let us know!

And if you’re looking for last minute Valentine’s Day gifts, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Ever since she successfully repurposed several old pairs of jeans into everything from headbands to placemats, Chun Nguyen has been on a quest to transform things she has lying around into something more. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and for Chun Nguyen, she occasionally finds that her own trash also holds her own undiscovered treasure!

Marimekko remnants and yardage

A Quick Update

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2015 Super Bowl desserts - Seattle coffee desserts

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Chocolate Stout Brown Sugar Bacon Cupcakes

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Christmas Ale bacon

Christmas Ale Bacon

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new years eve with rent the runway

Celebrate in Style with Rent the Runway

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December Collage

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pirate ship

Are you ready to become a Pirate of Financial Freedom?

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Christmas picture outfit

Christmas Cards and Matching Outfits

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my favorite marriage tip

My New Favorite Piece of Marriage Advice

Back in September, I heard a great interview with Mary DeTurris Poust on Relevant Radio. In it, she talked about marriage and the Catholic faith. Seeing as it’s the date of our anniversary (our anniversary is September 13) I want to share this wonderful piece of advice with you, as expanded up in her blog post Marriage: It’s…

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