Decoratus absurdum.


“Decoratus absurdum”. This is the design mantra behind Foursided boutique. I sat down with co-founder and owner of Foursided boutiques, Gino Pinto and store manager (and artist!), Aidie Janci to find out more about my go to store in the city for gifts, jewelry, cards, the list goes on. My favorite part about shopping at Foursided is that no matter how many times you go in there (and in my case, it’s a lot!), you never know what new, local artist you’re going to discover or what piece of antique dishware is going to pop at you. Gino, Aidie and I chatted and laughed in the quiet, shady spot behind their Lakeview location. Here’s the scoop I got:counter

Tell me about yourself. How did you get started?
The concept began in 2001 when Co-owners and founders Todd Mack and Gino Pinto decided to utilize their different professional backgrounds (Todd in framing, Gino in business), which allowed them to seamlessly and successfully build what was once a simple frame shop into a 3 store (and coming soon: gallery) Chicago staple.

The original location opened on Broadway in Lakeview as a picture framing shop. The second location, (also in Lakeview) on Clark has more of a gifting focus (cards, art, vintage) and is managed by Aidie. The third location, also on Clark St. but in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, combines the two ideas into their largest location.

Pinto and Janci attribute much of the store’s success to social media attention. That and a great relationship with customers. Pinto says the idea for the stores is, “more of an art than a science”. The team wants to provide shoppers with, “things that are accessible. Not high end but not low end. There’s something for everyone!” says Janci.


How would you describe the mood of Foursided?

A recent remodel of the Lakeview Clark Street location has allowed for a more open, airy environment for shoppers and employees. Colors have been updated and the store is easier to move around in, helping the customer feel more comfortable and not like they’re going to knock down a teacup tower with their yoga mat.

There is also an art exhibit space going in next door, scheduled to open this week (a celebratory opening and 10 year anniversary party is happening Friday, July 17th! Go check it out, I’ll be there!) Local artist Ben Holiday’s work will be on display at the event. Pinto also has plans for the new gallery space to function as extra retail space around the holidays. I’m salivating at the thought of an entire space filled with the gorgeous offerings Foursided usually has around the holidays –helloooo vintage Christmas ornaments!

How do you want your shopper to feel when they leave your store?

“We want them to feel excited and inspired” says Janci. She and Pinto want shoppers to get that spark of curiosity that can happen when wandering through a store. They want their customers to get lost –in a good way.


What inspires you?

AJ: “I’m an artist, I’m always making things. I’m inspired by active people. People doing and making things”. GP: “Prints. Learning new things” Currently, he’s taking a print and letterpress class at The Chicago Printmakers Collaborative once a week.

What are some of your favorite pieces at the moment?
Lucky horse press (Gino likes the prints), Methane Studios (Foursided is the only store in Chicago that carries their work), Human Shaped Robot prints (hand screen printed pieces), Star Shaped Press, Love Emily D, Kelly Parsell, Crash Candles (local suburban candlemaker), Snow and Graham, and The Found

emily D

Who are some local artists you work with?

Pinto tries to carry a Chicago artist in every department, and they work with a lot of Chicago printmakers and jewelry makers and carry their pieces in store. Another awesome element is that you can find a lot of employee art in store as well. Just recently, a birthday card was being passed around my office and on the artist on the back was very familiar!
card front

card back


What are some of your favorite vintage shops? Flea Markets?

Janci and Pinto know their way around a vintage shop, which is why I asked them for their sage advice. Some of their favorite hot spots are: Grayslake Antique Market, The Pink Elephant Mall near Springfield, Vintage Garage, Edgewater Antique Market, Renegade Craft Fair, Randolph Street Market and estate sales around the city and suburbs

“We need to treasure the things we have. There’s this idea to edit, edit, edit”, says Pinto. As a very type-A person who loves to edit, edit, edit, its a good reminder to walk into a place like Foursided and get a little lost.


Exciting things are happening!

Hi everyone!

its been a pretty exciting couple of months over here, which is why I’ve been the worst person ever at posting. I’m launching my own business, J Laudadio PR, which I’m super jazzed about. Be sure to like my Facebook page if you haven’t already!

At this point, J Laudadio PR focuses on closet overhauls and wardrobe consulting. So, if your closet is currently bursting at the seams, or you are tired of looking at the same old things in your closet (or both), then I’m your girl! There is a list of services in the About Me page on JLa-Di-Da. Shoot me an email if you want to chat about it ( –I’m all ears!

Other than that, I just got back from Miami which was super fun. Went to an Alligator Farm, a Cubs/Marlins game (they won, go Cubs!) and hung out at the beach –it was definitely a really relaxing trip, besides coming face to face with a HUGE boa constrictor. Don’t worry, I channeled my inner Britney Spears circa the 2001 VMAs: britney-spears-600


Something I should’ve posted weeks ago! :/

tonesHey team!

This post is a long time coming, apologies for my absence!

Here’s a little picture recap of a Windy City Bloggers-sponsored event at Jenny Yoo. It was a bridal-focused event and though I am not getting married any time soon, it was fun to browse the beautiful dresses, sample desserts, take pictures in their photo booth and mingle and meet new friends! Hi, Rick and Jennifer!












white dresses



Last weekend, I traveled to one of the only places where the (actual) forecast read “Sunny and lovely”: Phoenix, Arizona.

I went out there to visit Katie, an ollllllddddd friend of mine (I’m talking, we’ve been friends since before we were born), her husband, Mike and their son, John. Oh, and the promise of sun on my skin definitely didn’t hurt either.

My only goal of the trip was to be outside as much as possible. Mission accomplished. We went on a hike, went swimming, took a trip to the Phoenix zoo, walked around the cute shops in Old Town Scottsdale and noticed all of the preparations being made for this year’s Super Bowl. There were signs everywhere, especially in the airport. Good luck to Katie and Mike who live about 15 minutes from where the Super Bowl is going to take place –its going to be a madhouse.

Anyway, enjoy the pictures from my trip. Such a fun weekend! And thank you to Mike, Katie and John for having me! xo

cactus me









john pearl


kt and john

kt and me



me and john

me and john2

me and john3

me kt john

Thursday Things.


image via pinterest


Hi everyone! Its almost Friday! Welcome to another installment of Thursday Things, enjoy and let me know what you think. Anything you’re excited about this week?

Note: When deciding what photo to use above, I thought, “what would make my readers happy to look at?” The answer (and what I typed into the Pinterest search bar): GLITTER PIÑATA!

1. I loved this article from Windy City Blogger Collective on keeping an editorial calendar to stay organized (if you’re a writer of any kind that needs to meet deadlines). Building a calendar like this is important, to me anyway, and its nice to lay everything out in front of you and see what your blog will offer for the next month.

2. This idea of a “photo an hour” collection from How Sweet It Is is really interesting to me. It would be fun to chronicle an entire day, taking simple photos of what you see in front of you every hour, kind of a photo journal.


image via man repeller

3. Articles like this from Man Repeller always make me LOL. Which one are you guilty of?


image via olsens anonymous

4. Is your vintage tee feeling tired? Wake it back up with these styling tips from Le Fashion!

5. To continue celebrating this year’s awards season, Louise Roe and Refinery29 put together a list of behind-the-scenes facts about you might not know. Check them out!


Winter Inspiration Pinterest Board


What better way to get through the winter in Chicago, than to find things that inspire you.

I recently put together a Pinterest board to continue to inspire me this winter. Its basically just a bunch of pretty things that I like looking at, not really sure what the theme is just yet! But that’s the beauty of Pinterest, you can start pinning things to a board and see where it leads you. After a while, the board starts to curate itself, its really fun!

Let me know what you think, and feel free to check out the rest of my Pinterest page!

“Read a (expletive) book for once!” -Superbad


image via HonestlyWTF, from a collection of photographs by urban landscape photographer, Franck Bohbot, entitled “House of Books”


My cousin once (now famously) said to me, “Stop reading, you always read! “, when we were around 10 years old and she most likely wanted to choreograph a dance routine to the new S Club 7 song. But its true, I really do love to read. I’m not sure where it came from, but when I was younger, I asked my mom to ground me to my room so I could have an excuse to stay up there and delve into whatever “chapter book” I was reading at the time. Sometimes, I would read (no joke) 13 of these chapter books at a time –rotating one after the other, reading one chapter out of each at a time.

Now, don’t get it twisted –when forced to read The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby in high school, I most certainly resisted. That’s what SparkNotes was for. Though I did go back and read both of these later in my adult life.

I think my love of reading comes from the memories I have of going to the library and picking out new books. I absolutely loved going to the library when I was little. My mom would enroll me and my brother in summer reading contests, where we very often came out victorious. She made it a fun event for us –we would all go together, and have a blast picking out new books to read and often spending hours at the library, reading a few before we left. It was an escape, it allowed our minds to wander, and I think this feeling continues today and its why I enjoy reading so much. So, thanks Mom.

I wanted to share my current reading list with you, dear readers, and see if you have any additions for me. It has been one of my New Years Resolutions for the last two years to finish said book list, and I have failed. But I’m wondering if that’s really a bad thing? I’m not in any hurry, because once I’m done with this list, where else will I escape? Its really a fun social experiment. I add things to the list when friends and family recommend them, when I read about them in magazines. And sometimes I forget where I heard of a book in the first place. Its kind of fun to see what struck my interest as far back as three years ago when I began this list.

Happy reading!

JLa-Di-Da’s ever-expanding book list 2015:

1. Wake Me When It’s Funny, Garry Marshall. Love his work, think I love this book.

2. A Piece of Cake: A Memoir, Cupcake Brown. Heard this was a bit of a life-ruiner, just started it.

3. Happy Money, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. I need to learn how to spend smarter.

4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith. One of my favorite books of all time. Its magical. I just want to read it again.

5. Lord of the Flies, William Golding. The only book I read in high school. I remember liking it. Want to see if I still do.

6. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt. Another one of my favorites. Just want to read it again. Its heartwarming and heart wrenching at the same time.

7. The Dinner, Herman Koch. Reading this now, almost finished. Not really that excited about it.

8. See Now Then, Jamaica Kinkaid. I think I heard about this from an NPR book list

9. A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, Dina Nayeri. Read about it in Vogue.

10. Leadership, Rudy Giuliani. Saw an interview with him a while back, he has a pretty interesting story.

11. Drift, Rachel Maddow. She seems like a real bad ass.

12. United States of Paranoia, Jesse Walker. Explores historical American conspiracy theories. I love stuff like this.

13. One Summer, Bill Bryson. My grandpa bought me a Bill Bryson book years ago and I loved it. He’s a very smart writer.

14. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk. About advertising in the modern world.

15. This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper. Recently a movie was based on it, which I liked. About family relations.

16. Do More, Spend Less, Brad Wilson. Because couldn’t we all benefit from doing this?

17. The Defining Decade, Meg Jay. I feel like I need to read this at this point in my life. Life. Lessons.

18. Stringer, Anjan Sundaram. Jon Stewart interviewed this guy and told his viewers to read the book. So obvi I’m going to listen to whatever Jon Stewart tells me to do.

19. A Nice Little Place on the North Side, George Will. Wrigley Field, duh.

20. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck. Because its a classic and I’ve never read it.

21. Fashion is Spinach, Elizabeth Hawes. One of the first, true American Fashion Designers. I first heard about this book in Vogue, I think.

22. When Corruption was King, Robert Cooley. About the mob era in Chicago. LOVE IT.

23. Any book on Alexander the Great. I was in a museum in Rome this summer and realized I don’t know much about him, so I want to learn more.

24. Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton. I’m not sure why this is on here. But I’m leaving it.

25. Jazz, Tony Morrison. See #24

26. So, Anyway, John Cleese. Because its John Cleese.

27. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris. Because its David Sedaris.

28. The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore. Heard about it on NPR.

29. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, Genevieve Valentine. See #28.

30. Yes Please, Amy Poehler. Heard this was amazing. And she’s freaking hilarious.

31. A Paris Apartment, Michelle Gable. Because I want a Paris apartment.