I’m going going, back back, to Cali Cali

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Last weekend I made the trip back to LA, where I lived for three years, to visit friends. My friend Alex and I went out there to surprise one of our college friends, he had no idea we were coming!

It was such a nice trip. I caught up with friends, (who I missed very much!) ate at all of my old hot spots (M Street Kitchen, Sunny Spot, C & O), tried a few new places (Franklin & Company), went to a James Perse sample sale (DANGER!) and even went on a hike at Runyon Canyon, which I never did when I lived there. But, since I am technically a tourist when I go out there now, I can do things like hike Runyon.

Here are some photos from my trip! A short post today, have to run some errands…enjoy!

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Thursday Things

Well, its Thursday. Which means its time for another installment of Thursday Things! Here are a few things that inspired me this week and are getting me through to the weekend!

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image via the every girl

1. This style post from the Everygirl- getting me very excited for the holidays and festive sweater dressing! Love the mixed prints!

2. Honestly WTF is one of my most favorite blogs to read, and these DIY confetti shoes are one of the many reasons why. Its chock-full of inspiration all the time. I love it.

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image via Honestly WTF

3. Again, this post from Honestly WTF. They find the coolest stuff.

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image via Honestly WTF

4. Make your own photo soap, from A Beautiful Mess. Apparently I’m in a DIY mood today, but how cool would it be to give these as a personalized gift?

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photo via a beautiful mess

That’s it for today! Happy Thursday! xo

Thursday Things

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photo via WhatRUWearing

Hello!

Here’s another installment of Thursday things, hope you enjoy! 🙂

1. Windy City Blogger Collective “Delsholidayshop” fashion recap– Farissa Knox of WhatRUWearing breaks down the fashion trends and highlights at Monday’s WCBC Holiday Soiree.

2. DIY gift wrap- I’m always drawn to gift wrapping that’s beyond the norm. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fun roll of wrapping paper, but I also enjoy the personal touch that DIY adds. You can even use scraps from old rolls of paper that may not be large enough to wrap a whole gift (my mom knew what she was doing, saving all that wrapping paper…). Here is some inspiration I found: here and here.

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photo via Gray Malin

 

3. I am always inspired by photographer Gray Malin and in his latest blog post, he recaps his trip to Antarctica, completing his goal of traveling to all seven continents. I love how he adds a certain unexpected element to his work, like sparkly balloons or a blow up swan raft in the middle of the Antarctic.

4. Blake Lively’s site, Preserve– Especially this post about herbal steams. Whenever I was sick, my mom would give me one of these to clear out my sinuses, and it always worked. Now, I like to do one when I just need to relax, its very soothing. Recently, I was catching up on old issues of Vogue and came across Blake Lively’s interview in the August issue. While I am already in the “I want to hate Blake Lively but I can’t because she’s so darn likable” camp, this interview made me adore her even more and moved me to check out her site, Preserve. While one can help but compare it to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop (which people love to hate on), it is refreshingly different and features actual, attainable things. Check it out for yourself!

Recap: WCBC Holiday Shopping Soiree!

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Monday night I attended a beautiful Holiday Soiree, thrown by the Windy City Blogger Collective and hosted by Del Frisco’s Steakhouse in the Gold Coast. Right when we walked in, my friend, Agnes (its her birthday today! Happy Birthday Aggie!!) and I were immediately greeted by a waiter offering us champagne –which got the night started right! The space was gorgeous: high, architectural ceilings; two-story wine cabinets, warm lighting and inviting chit-chat. It was the perfect place to have a holiday party.

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There were so many things to see and so many fabulous people to mingle with! Guests could shop for anyone on their list with gifts from The Tie Bar, Kalla flowers, Shop 857, DreamDry blowdry bar, Benefit Cosmetics, The Trendy Sparrow and Vo Jewelry (I won one of her pieces from a Windy City Bloggers giveaway a while back, and I absolutely love it!).

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It was a super fun event and a great way to continue to celebrate the holiday season! Thanks Windy City Bloggers!

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Harvest Sparkling Wine Holiday Menu

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I recently wrote about a trip out to the ‘burbs that I took to enjoy a beer tasting menu, given by Pheasant Run Resort’s Harvest restaurant. This holiday season, Harvest is offering another tasting menu, paired with specialty sparkling wines! I really love the different spin that Harvest takes on a traditional tasting menu. Its not just a wine tasting, there’s a unique element to it. This tasting is perfect for those hard-to-plan holiday dinners or a holiday date night!

Executive Chef Tiffany Tooker put together a really interesting menu, with so many great winter flavors. Course one features an artisan cheese selection. 3 words: Gouda and basil pesto. Course two is a grilled baby caesar salad and course three is seared Alaskan halibut with baby leeks and yellow squash. Oh, dessert? Yeah, its a baked fall apple cobbler with a butter crumb topping, served with dark chocolate accented vanilla bean ice cream. WHAT.

As if that menu didn’t sound appetizing enough, how about the fact that its paired with four different sparkling wines, from national and regional wineries?

Info is below:

Harvest Restaurant

Pheasant Run Resort

4051 West Main Street

St. Charles, IL 60174

For reservations, call: 630-584-6300

The tasting costs $35 per plate excluding tax and gratuity

Seatings available December 11th and 18th, call and make a reservation today!

Thursday Things

Hello!

I’ve decided I’m going to try a new installment on the blog, called Thursday Things. Just a quick little list of a few things I’m excited about for the week. So here goes:

1. NPR book list– This is a list of NPR’s staff and critics favorites from 2014. I can almost hear my book list getting longer…

2. This Chanel video- Karl Lagerfeld (the creative director of Chanel) dreamed up this gorgeous short film, starring model Cara Delevingne and Pharrell, called Reincarnation. The story centers around the evolution of the iconic Chanel jacket. Its really fun and fashion-y. Watch!

3. WCBC Holiday Shopping Soiree!- Next Monday, December 8th, is the Windy City Blogger Collective holiday shopping soiree. Its 100% free to attend and everyone is invited. The party is being held at Del Frisco’s and guests are invited to shop gifts from tons of awesome sponsors like: DreamDry, Benefit and The Tie Bar. I’m super psyched to go and find some gifts for a few people on my list. Or myself. Either way.

Be sure to RSVP to events@zapwater.com if you’d like to attend! See you there! Details below:

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4. Pantone 2015 color of the year is…..Marsala! What is Marsala you ask? Pantone describes it as an “naturally robust and earthy wine red” color. I know, I immediately thought of Chicken Marsala too. Its different. I can definitely see this color popping up on a Pottery Barn couch or two next year. I like the depth and warmth of the color and how its almost a neutral. I do love a good neutral.
5. Serial Podcast– Guys. Serial. Be about it. Its fascinating. Its an NPR podcast told in weekly, hour long installments, from the creators of This American Life. Sadly, Ira Glass does not narrate this one, but holy smokes is it addicting.
Happy weekend everyone! Headed to Minneapolis tomorrow to start looking for apartments –hope I find my dream home 😉

A SERIOUS Holiday Giveaway!

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Hi team! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday! As a special kick off for the holidays, I’m excited to announce that I’m a part of a really awesome holiday giveaway with some other amazing Chicago bloggers.

We’ve compiled some srsly covetable gifts and get this: you have three chances to win one of these crammed-full-of-goodness holiday baskets!

All of the girls involved in the giveaway were invited to find something special to contribute. First, I decided to gift a TOMS for Target notebook set. I love that Target is partnering with TOMS for the holiday season. Why not get a gift for someone that also gives back to someone in need? Second, I  found a cute hand-painted wishbone ornament from Twosided boutique in Lakeview. I absolutely love that store. Its the perfect place to get gifts, seriously. One stop shopping over there.

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Here is a complete list of everything you can win in the “Social Butterfly” basket –the one that my gift is featured in:

Gift Basket #2 [ retail $250 ] // For the Social Butterfly

Zara light blue scarf from Fancy Nancista

DIY Terrarium Kit from Fancykins

Vans infinity scarf from Style by Joules

Kate Spade bow stud earrings from Rachelle Smiles

RuME Shop Crossbody Tab bag from Erica Finds

$25 gift card to Crossroads Trading Company from Belle Meets World

Adult Hed Banz gameJazz and ’90s CD & party invitations from Debbie Donato

Sephora glossy lip pencils set from 101 Things I Love

Toms for Target notebook set & wishbone ornament [ via Twosided Boutique ] from JLa-Di-Da

Garance Doré 2015 Les Femmes Calendar from B Chic B Glamorous

Enter the giveaway here!: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What’s in the other two baskets you ask? Hop on over to any of the blogs below to check out the other amazing gifts and be sure to enter to win! GOOD LUCK!