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.



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!


“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.


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


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!




garlic knots



JP wall












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!

Photo Dec 10, 9 25 27 PM

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.


image via Honestly WTF

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


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?


photo via a beautiful mess

That’s it for today! Happy Thursday! xo

Thursday Things


photo via WhatRUWearing


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.


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!

A SERIOUS Holiday Giveaway!


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.


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

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!