i’m addicted

black sweater coat

an intervention might be nearing my household. there seems to be a private courier service (UPS) between my home and the shopbop warehouse. the boy tells me once a week that another box has arrived from madison, sorry daddy, sorry credit card…i’m giddy with excitement though because it usually contains something by the designer mara hoffman. for me, everything she designs is love at first sight. i mean, her patterns just kill it! lately, i’ve been wearing the above black sweater coat with the GENIUS tee by TEXTILE elizabeth and james and my black paige demin skinny pants. the sweater is so cozy on a snowy day, and i love that i can wear it open or tied. also, the knit is super tight and completely worth the spend.

mara hoffman sun dress

the mara hoffman obsession kinda started with this dress. seriously, what is not to like here, am i right? it even has pockets! i wore this last summer with bright neon yellow sandals, so cute! looking at it now, i can’t wait for the snow to melt…put me on a beach right now and stick a boozy fruity cocktail in my hand already!

canvas bag

when i put this bag in my shopping cart, i shook my head and asked my computer, “what are you thinking? it is 3 weeks before christmas, geez!” but i just couldn’t help myself. besides it just happened to be an additional 20% off with a shopbop promo code.

when it arrived i knew i had made the right decision, but how to justify it to the boy? easy, it was my new overnight bag. you see, it doesn’t matter if we go to wisconsin for the weekend or spend 2 weeks in hawaii, i bring the same huge honkin’ black roller bag each and every time. this decision made for one very happy hubby when he heard we would not be lugging that thing around on every weekend get away. SUCCESS!

black beaded dress

the laser cut beaded neck maxi dress was the purchase du jour. the boy’s company is sending us to kauai in a few months, and one night will be quite formal. being a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal, this gorg dress will be my ticket to elegance with a twist of boho, tribal funkiness. i’m still unsure what shoe will pair best, but i’m on the hunt already and these might be a contender.

purple lattice swimsuit

and speaking of hawaii, i think i basically lived in this swimsuit for a week last year on our vacation to maui. it even held up surfing, although the lattice work made for a interesting patterned tan line. this suit will definitely be making its way back on our return trip this year. i can hear the ocean waves already and can taste the mai tai on my lips.

T.H.T.K. found

longman & eagle room 55

for our new year’s celebration sans kidlets, the boy and i decided to staycation in logan square. we rented a small room above longman & eagle…which i have to say, this might have been the most hipster hotel i’ve rested my pretty little head at. we stayed in room 55 which happens to be the largest of the 6 rooms available for rent above the one-star michelin restaurant and bar. let me tell you, this place was oozing cool…even the soap was cool! but i guess with a slogan like eat, sleep, whiskey, you kinda have to be too school for school.

interesting details at every glance, i soon found what i thought to be one of their best offerings (besides the chilled split of champagne in the frig) to be a mixtape created by jason lazarus. available for a mere $20, i had to take it home with me. but who was this man who made the mix of christopher cross, rod stewart, carole king and little river band that made my heart sing? taking me back to the days of orthodontia and elementary school.

mixtape created by jason lazarus

after a bit of google stalking (that we shall call research to make myself feel better), i found out he was a chicago-based artist, curator, writer, and educator. he has many interesting projects, but one in particular really stood out to me. stalking more, i also stumbled upon this video showcasing one of his installations.

Jason Lazarus: Too Hard to Keep (Syracuse) from Light Work on Vimeo.

in a nutshell, he initiated a growing archive of photos deemed “too hard to keep.” the project is a place for photographs and objects to exist when they are too difficult to hold on to, yet too meaningful to destroy. upon submission, participants may dictate whether the photographs may be displayed face up or face down to preserve privacy.

after watching the trailer, i couldn’t help but think of all the photos in boxes that i also could submitted to this project; not to mention the many photos i have thrown in the trash because they too were too hard to keep or a memory i chose to no longer want to revisit.

THTK2

neither the blog or the video say just how many photos mr lazarus has received, but i can only imagine it to be enough to fill an airstream trailer. i find each image fascinating while my imagination runs wild with the many possibilities as to why these certain photos were deemed “hard”. my fingers and toes are crossed with the hopes that i might view this curated installation in person one day.

meet you at the barre

mary hellen bowers - ballet beautiful

since little maus was born, i’ve been struggling with my weight…well, i’ve been struggling with it for almost the last 6 years really; let’s get real here. after baby number 1, i was really getting myself back in shape, but that all changed after this last pregnancy. your body is just NOT the same. your arms, your hips, your butt, your boobs…and being over 35, forget about it. i mean, i’m not looking for a thigh gap or anything, i just don’t want to feel like i have to sausage myself into every pair of jeans i own on a daily basis.

i know cardio has to be part of my weekly exercise routine, but man do i hate running. last april, i tried so hard to embrace it by training for a 5K, but my ankles and knees didn’t agree with my mindset. i knew getting my body back in shape would require some pain, but limping and unable to pick up a baby was not going to suffice in this household.

a new plan of attack had to be set in motion. if you remember my om zone post, i really did have great intentions of becoming this fitness guru in 2013. and don’t get me wrong, i still go to om zone every monday night at tribalance and also attend their hot yoga and gentle flow classes, but i needed more cardio in my life. cardio, my arch nemesis…grrr.

i’ve been really interested in attending a barre class at the bar method studio near my work. but since the class itself would take up 1-1/2 hours of my 1 hour lunch, it was not going to work in my schedule. enter a morning email from daily candy featuring mary helen bowers and her company ballet beautiful to save the day. her videos are amazing! since this is something i had been wanting to incorporate into my existing workout plan, i chose to purchase a few streaming videos over the monthly subscription. and seriously, how cool is it that i can stream them from any device anywhere!

after viewing the previews, i chose the skyline workout (cardio), the swan arms cardio and the hip & thigh blast. the videos are about 10 mins long each, so for the first time this morning, i kicked and plié’d like an awkward pterodactyl, loving every minute of it. do not let her sweet face fool you, this lady is a true ass kicker. i do tracy anderson, so i figured how much more difficult could this be, am i right? i cursed at her loudly, my butt writhing in pain and my legs and arms felt like lucifer’s flames were burning inside my skin…but that is what cardio is about right? and hey, it’s better than running.

so if you are looking for a low-impact cardio workout you can do from home that doesn’t break the bank, ballet beautiful might just be the ticket.

trial and error — vignettes

front room interior design

if you have been reading this blog, then you will remember a while back i posted some images of our front room…you know that room that has no tv and adults sip coffee and chat room? well, we have one of those rooms, but one will usually find me sipping coffee, sitting quietly in a chair only early sunday mornings. the dude wakes me up while the boy is out hunting. the dude plays on his leap pad while i peruse my email and the local news…okay, really i’m probably instagramming and facebooking.

in that post, i didn’t however show the 2 other pieces of furniture in that room. i suck at composing vignettes and styling in general. you know, those little arrangements of cute knick-knacks on tables and shelves that interior designers set up flawlessly. i finally set out to face my nemesis. take the bull by the horns. i figured since santa would be sending a lot of presents via the postman, a few more packages of vases and little brass objects would not be overly noticeable to the boy. i was bound and determine to conquer the vignette come hell or high water so a shopping i went, and here’s a look at how it turned out.

the opa cabinet topthe opa cabinet bottom

this cabinet, made by the boy’s opa in germany, was shipped to the states and gifted to him by his parents. i knew, even though it was not quite my style, that it was here to stay, and i have learned to love it (quite a lot actually). when i first met the boy it was filled with his steins that he collected from festivals in germany. i had to embrace those. he also loves duck hunting, cooking, and WWII…hmmmm, how do i combine all that into a vignette? well, i stole his books, obviously. i stacked cookbooks and war books together and added in a brass duck and goose. as a nod to the boy’s grandfather, i topped the WWII books with his opa’s hat after his passing to honor him in a special way.

here are a couple closer looks at the compositions on the shelving

goose and camera

the vase is from tooth and nail studio and the golden goose is from vintage urban antiques and design.

beer steins

vase, frame and mouse

the succulent is from waterstone succulents, while the brass orb is from west elm and the brass mouse and frame are from the broadway antique market in chicago.

design books and cookbooks

by grouping the books in coordinating colors, each stacking holds its own space on the shelving. the pug bookend is from yearbook studios.

than came the hairpin table. i purchased this off of craigslist and it has been the revolving door of knick-knacks. i think i’m finally happy with it, but really only time will tell.

hairpin side table tophairpin side table bottom

while i’m still not thrilled with the bottom area, overall, i’m pleased with how this has evolved. eventually i’d like two of these small ottomans below, but since they are quite pricey, i think i have to wait a bit and save my pretty pennies.

the caravan pacific lamp has been my dream lamp for the last 3-4 years. i found them on kickstarter, but at the time was in no position to be spending money on lamps. little did i know, the price would double after achieving their kickstarter goal. this past christmas, the boy surprised me…best husband ever! my dream lamp come true!

caravan pacific lampcaravan pacific lamp

final vignette

this final grouping of books is filled with my favorites. the photobooth book, well, if you read this blog post, it will all make sense. every year, for christmas, i give the boy a new cookbook. this year, he finally received momofuku. he is presently planning an epic food trip to new york. a couple months ago, i stumbled across a blog post about camp wandawega. we will be staying here for a long weekend this coming summer, and i can’t wait! i mean, who can resist a faboosh vintage resort complete with rustic original decor? dream come true, am i right? anyhoo, the book, found, free & flea is written by the owner of camp wandawega. it has become my new go to book for decor ideas…it is packed with goodies. my favorite place to dine back home is a small supper club named ishnala in wisconsin dells. it’s featured on the front cover of the bottom book.

playlist tuesday

i’ve been doing a lot more yoga at home lately and i always like some chill music playing in the background while i’m in my asanas. here are a few of the songs i’ve been listening to in heavy rotation.