Tis the Season

Many of us are deep into our Christmas shopping, while others are just getting started.  I, unfortunately, fall moreso into the latter category.  I had a jump start early on, but I've kinda slowed down as of late.  Hopefully I should be wrapping up my shopping within the next week or two, and luckily, to my rescue, two of my favorite sites just posted these fabo online shopping guides:

  1. Fashionista.com
  2. Refinery29

What I loved about both of these guides is that, although they had the usual suspects (ie. net-a-porter, asos, anthropologie), I actually discovered quite a few new online retailers websites to stalk!

Some of my favorites were:

  1. http://www.pixiemarket.com - bohemian, vintage clothing/accessories
  2. http://www.oaknyc.com - dark, edgy designer boutique 
  3. http://www.yoox.com - high-end designer discount boutique
Happy shopping!

Bockin' with Bruno Mars

Sorry I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus, but I've got exciting things brewing in the fashion realm.  Until things materialize a little more, you're all going to have to wait :)

In the meantime, this past Thanksgiving holiday weekend (on 11/27), I went to the Bruno Mars concert with two of my besties, her brother, and their cousin at Bottom Lounge in the West Loop.  Her brother actually scored a pretty sweet meet & greet through Gilt City - we got to meet him before the concert, get a picture, and a signed autograph picture!  On top of that, he was super nice!

I didn't really know what to expect, but I was super excited about this concert because this was going to be held at a relatively small venue - totally surprising given the super star status Bruno has, but I'm not complaining!  All I knew was that I wanted to hear "Somewhere in Brooklyn."

Can I just say that Bruno & his band are quite possibly one of the most amazing live performers I've ever seen!  It's a beautiful thing to see how he comes alive on stage.  One of my favorite parts of the show, besides hearing "Somewhere in Brooklyn" during the encore and the Billy Jean mash-up (video below), is when they did Philip Lawrence's jam called "Bock Wit Me."  They're probably just messing around on stage, but it's catchy!  I swear that could blow up!!

Here's the video of the Bruno Mars Billy Jean/Smells Like Teen Spirit/Seven Nation Army Mash-Up

Here's my photo diary of the concert:
The venue - Bottom Lounge, Chicago

Waiting in line outside.  It's freezing!

Oh, hey there Bruno!

He plays the piano, drums, guitar, and has an amazing voice.  Pure, raw, talent.

Jan swooning right after he sang to her - "My favorite part of the day..."

Hey Bruno!  Can we get a "fake picture" with you?
Oh, and incase you were wondering, I wore this lace, navy blue, long-sleeved, American Apparel dress to the concert (this is what I got using the American Apparel Groupon!).

Til next time, keep bockin!


American Apparel on Groupon!

It's no secret that I have an obsession with all things American Apparel.  Ok, so I haven't showcased this love affair on my blog yet, but all of my close friends are aware that I absolutely LOVE American Apparel's stuff.  It all started with their Cotton Spandex Jersey Bandeau Dress, and it's been going strong ever since.

So, when I saw that Groupon was offering a coupon for American Apparel, I couldn't help but share it!  Here's the link: http://www.groupon.com/deals/american-apparel-chicago?c=dnb&p=3

The coupon is $25 for $50 worth of merchandise, and it can only be used in stores.  How great of a deal is that?!  It looks like the sale is still on for a couple of days, so I suggest you act fast!  I've already got mine :)

If you do get it, what do you plan on using it on?

Playing in the Spicy Chef's Kitchen

Me & The Spicy Chef!
This is my first ever "Playing in a Kitchen" post!

Last week on Thursday, I had the day off of work for Veteran's Day, and I made sure to take full advantage of this.  In fact, I spent the entire morning/afternoon playing in The Spicy Chef's kitchen!  One of my best friend's, Suzy, is currently in culinary school, and she's also starting her own catering/cooking demo business!  I swear I was looking forward to this the whole week!!

Here's what she had planned for the menu:
-Buttermilk biscuits
-Blueberry muffins
-Almond macaroons with raspberry filling
-Risotto w/ sweet peas, shitake mushrooms, shallots, and my favorite part, black truffle pate!
-Chicken Marsala

Since the words don't do it justice - I just so happened to capture most of this with my digi-cam.  Check it out!
All the different types of flour we used!

Me cutting out the biscuits

Our blueberry muffin dough

Me whipping egg whites by hand until they form stiff peaks!  This is a total workout!!!

How do you  know they're done?  If you can hold it over your head and it doesn't drip!

Biscuits are done!
We piped out our macaroons.

Here's our plan for lunch.  On the right-hand side, you'll see our plan for plating our dish (almost as important as the food itself!!)

Muffins are ready!

I even learned how to defabricate a chicken!!

Here's the risotto and the Marsala sauce going.  Did you know you have to constantly stir the risotto in order to get it's creamy consistency?  After stirring this for 20+ minutes, I have a new found appreciation for it!

Adding Sherry to the Marsala sauce.

Risotto's finally done!

So is our Marsala sauce.

Here's the chicken that we defabricated, did a 3-step breading procedure on, pan-fried, and then baked.

Roasted tomatoes are done!  Roasted these for 45 mins!

Look at our beautiful end product!  I swear this was most decadent lunch I've ever had!!!

Last, but not least, the macaroons for dessert.
I apologize if I made you guys hungry, but I had to share!  This was seriously one of the best day's off ever!


A Sigh of Relief

I've been wanting to share this ever since Rachel Zoe included in one of her daily TZR's, but let me introduce you to something that will give your feet a sigh of relief: http://www.footzyrolls.com/

As you can see from the image, these little guys roll up into this perfect little package that you can conveniently store in your purse/clutch.  I'm actually dying to get my hands on a pair so I could give it a try - and for only $20/pair, you don't have much to lose (besides those aching feet!).

Now don't get me wrong, I love my high heeled shoes as much as the next girl, but after a long night of dancing, there's nothing more I'd rather do than take my shoes off, or slip into a pair of flats.

Have any of you guys tried these out?

Trend Alert - Capes

You're probably thinking from the title of this post that capes aren't really something that would warrant a "Trend Alert," but I'm not talking about traditional capes.  I'm talking about people wearing regular blazers/jackets as capes by not putting their arms through the sleeves and just keeping them draped on their shoulders.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm really liking this trend.  Granted some people might take this look to be a bit snobby, but I think if executed properly, you can look tres chic!!

All of the pictures below are by Tommy Ton via style.com:

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H2O Plus - Face Oasis

Face Oasis™ Hydrating Treatment

Many of my friends are aware of my obsession with this little blue jar of amazingness, but what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't share :)

This gel moisturizer single-handedly saves my skin from the harsh Chicago winters.  I recently ran out (trust me, this was a tragedy), and I had revert back to my cream moisturizer, and my skin just isn't having any of it.  The H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment is a god-send.  It rejuvenates your skin unlike any other moisturizer!

The best part is, if you want to go try this out for yourself, tomorrow, H2O Plus is offering 25% off all of their products!  I'm actually going to buy a couple of these so that I don't run out any time soon.  Enter code: 100285 during checkout.  Please note that this discount is only valid on November 4th, so hopefully you see this before then!  Even if you don't - I promise it's worth every penny even at full price.  I once tried a cheaper knock off, and it didn't even come close to H2O Plus.

I'd love to hear what you guys think once you try this stuff!


Fashion's Night In - November 1st

I’m not sure if word is going to spread to the US or not, but it looks like Vogue is throwing a “Fashion’s Night In” on November 1st.  And by “In,” they mean shop online.

I first got word of this through my daily Topshop emails, and after a quick google, I found the official vogue.uk page for Fashion’s Night In: http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashions-night-in/participating-retailers/default.aspx.

It looks like they’re following the success of Fashion’s Night Out, and are now doing a promotion encouraging people to shop online.  And, a portion of the proceeds generated will go to a non-profit called Kid's Company.

You don’t have to tell me twice to shop online!!

Fall Lust List

Now that fall is upon us - I've actually had to pull out my heavy winter coat already - I thought I'd go through the styles/pieces I'm lusting after this season.

1. Shorts with Tights - the funny thing about this style is that I don't even wear shorts in the summer, but there's something about wearing them with tights and ankle boots that looks so amazing to me.  As demonstrated by the ever-chic Nicole Richie, the best part about this is that it's a great way to seamlessly transition your summer wardrobe into a more fall-friendly look.

2. Crop Tops w/ High-Waisted Skirts - I love, love, love this look!  I started noticing the crop top revival last spring, but it's definitely continued into the fall.  I especially love the boxier, jersey variations on the crop top.  And then, if you wear it with a high waisted skirt, or pant, there's no need to bare any midriff.

3. Knee-Length, Jersey Pencil Skirts - I've done the mini a lot, but there's something so elegant yet sexy about a fitted knee length (or even longer) pencil skirt.  Many people may be scared of this length, but I assure you, if you give it a try, you'll be getting tons of compliments!

4. Lace-Up, Army-Inspired Ankle Booties - A very hot item right now.  I also think it's quite versatile.  In fact, combine these with the shorts/tights look in #1, or the crop top/high waisted looks in #2 & 3 and you've got a fierce look!

5.  Camel Coats - Seen all over the FW 2010 fashion shows, this is a definite wardrobe must have.  I'm still looking to add this to my coat rotation.

6.  Flared Jeans - During the most recent season of Entourage, I saw Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui), wearing a pair of destroyed, flared jeans, and I just could not get this out of my head!  I mean the last time I truly wore flared jeans (not the tamed boot-cut ladies), was in the 7th grade.  For the past few years, I've stayed true to my skinny jeans/jeggings, but I'm actually pretty excited to try the extreme flare out again!

That's it for my lust-list.  Do you agree, or do you all have others?  I'd love to hear about them!


Jersey Girl

No, I'm not talking about New Jersey, I'm talking about cotton jersey material!  Lately, I feel like every time I'm out shopping, I come back with some variation of a cotton, jersey basic.  Case in point, one of my more recent purchases, a black, jersey, racer-back tank dress from H&M.  When I got it, I had no idea how versatile it was!  

Here's what I got when I played in my closet:

Just the dress
H&M dress. Seychelles pumps.

These next two are my "Going out" looks:

H&M dress. Kelsi Dagger shoes. Crop top from LF. Rado Watch.
H&M dress. Nine West gladiators. F21 top. Coach bracelets.
And finally, a more casual look:
H&M dress. Steve Madden flats. All Saints cardigan.
The funny thing is, I almost didn't get this!  Seeing how it's helped pull together other items I already had, I've got no regrets!

Friends & Family Discount @ Sephora

Here's my first ever post about Playing with Beauty Products!  I just found out that Sephora is having their annual 20% off Friends & Family discount through Nov 3rd.  Use the code: FF2010 during checkout to receive your discount.

Here are a few things I'm eyeing:
  • Restocking my Bare Escentuals Foundation
  • Smashbox' Camera Ready Full Coverage Concealer
  • Urban Decay's 24/7 Eyeglide Pencils
How's that for encouraging people to play!?

The British Are Coming...

...but this time, you're going to want to run towards them.  Or actually, run into them with credit cards in hand.

I'm very excited to share that Chicago is getting the 2nd ever Topshop to hit Stateside - with the first being in none other than the amazing shopping haven that is SoHo in NYC.  News broke late last month that the shop would take over the lot currently occupied by Borders at 830 N. Michigan Ave. by May of 2011.

As if this wasn't enough excitement, also joining fellow Brit Topshop on the Mag Mile, will be the edgy AllSaints.

First Zara, now Topshop and AllSaints?!  Who said Chicago isn't fashionable??