Required Reading: 11.23.12

By November 23, 2012 Links

Jean-Pacome Dedieu Still Life Photography

If you’re like me, you’ve skipped the Black Friday hoopla, you’re heating up leftovers, watching crappy Reality TV and catching up on your web reading. Here are some cool links to add to your list.

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Love this transformer jacket from stylish blogger Jessie Adore

Urban Romance takes us to school… vintage school that is.

The stage design in Austria is beyond words. Would love to see a play on on these sets.

I loved Justin Timberlake and NSync. This picture is hilarious!

The holidays don’t mean family for everyone. This writer’s case for spending the holidays alone is interesting

Totally looking forward to reading Grace: A Memoir. Even more so after this WSJ article on her. Love her quote:

“The most important part of a fashion photograph is the hair. Hair and shoes. I drive photographers mad because I say, “You’ve got to show the feet.” For me it gives you the character of the person. You can get away with a very ordinary dress if you have interesting shoes.” 

10 Things to do on Black Friday… instead of shopping. I’m fond of #1, #4 and #7

x Eat Up!

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Hi My Name is Windy: My Chicago Whirlwind

By November 20, 2012 Travel
Goodbye Chicago

Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.

~ Frank Lloyd Wright

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I’ve heard a lot about Chicago; some great, some not so great. It’s the home of the Blues, the Cubs, Kanye West, high crime rates, R.Kelly and Obama! When I found out I would be visiting the City of Wind for a work conference, I had lots of interest in getting to know the it firsthand. Was it really as cold as people say? Would I run into Lupe Fiasco? What was all the fuss about that silver bean?

I got into Chicago late Wednesday evening, checked into The James Hotel, which is a very nice hotel in the Magnificent Mile neighborhood and near the Razorfish Chicago office. I grabbed late-night sushi and sake with coworkers and got ready for the next day’s activities.

~ Obligatory Mirror Pic ~ 

Before the sightseeing adventures could begin work had to be attended to. The reason for the visit was a Social Media Summit to discuss the latest and greatest in the practice.

Razorfish Chicago is a pretty outstanding office, my favorite one so far (sorry New York & Philly). Neon walls, bright lights, lots of glass conference rooms. And did I mention… beer on tap. I’m not the biggest beer drinker but you have to admit that’s pretty awesome.

~ Whoop, there it is!  ~ 

Over the next two days there was a ton of exchange, idea sharing and thought leadership. Did I mention I love my job? Well I do. After long days in meetings, it was time for a little Chicago style food sharing. Deep dish pizza, anyone? I now fully understand why Chicagoans are wild about their pie!

~ Delizioso! ~ 

After more meetings, Friday finally winded down and the weekend was set to start. We transferred hotels to the sex-ay W Hotel Lakeshore!  How sparkly is this sign? Very posh!

We headed out on the town and hit up Wicker Park area for scrumptious tacos at Big Star and evening cocktails at Violet Hour, which is a clandestine undercover spot that doesn’t allow cell phone use and has hilarious house rules like: “No O-Bombs. No Jager-Bombs. No bombs of any kind.” and “Please do not bring anyone to The Violet Hour that you wouldn’t bring to your mother’s house for Sunday dinner.”  I love it!

With three cold Chicago nights under our belts, Saturday was officially dubbed the CHICAGO CRAM!

With one full day to sightsee, we decided to see as much of Chicago as we possibly could. I think we accomplished that and more. There must be some sort of award for the most frenzied, yet controlled tourism ever! We’d certainly win.

Dressing for city walking and cold temps is no easy feat. I think I managed well with dark skinnies, black & white striped shirt, leopard blazer (unpictured), bright green scarf, my Shelli Segal coat and comfortable suede boots.

First stop was brunch at the absolutely delectable Yolk, a top rated brunch in the city. It was jumping good!

~ Jaimie loves Yolk! ~ 

Next stop, the TOP of the WORLD! Well the top of Chicago at least! We hit up the John Hancock building and got a view of Chicago from the 96th floor. Insider tip, hit up the ladies’ restroom in lieu of going to the observatory. Backdoor tricks FTW! (Thanks Deanna) 

It was so surreal to see all of the immaculate buildings from so high up. Chicago truly has beautiful architecture and many throwbacks to a classier, jazzier age.

We came down from our high and decided to take an old school horse & carriage ride to get a quicker view of the Chi. Chicago has lots of luxury shopping, traditional hotels, cathedrals and amazing signage. Every storefront has its own unique flair. There was even a cow on the front of a building!

~ Say Cheese ~ 

Next we shot across town to Millennium Park. I didn’t know what to expect of the giant Cloud Gate sculpture except that it seemed pretty cool. Cool is an understatement! Millennium Park is beautiful, has so many different sections, great sculptures and lots of energy. There were about 3 different wedding parties taking pictures!

You’d think we’d be exhausted at this point but we kept the party going and headed to do an Architecture Boat Tour on Lake Michigan. As we rushed through throngs of people (the annual Lighting Parade coincided with our trip – what fate!) we prayed we wouldn’t miss our boat.

And guess what…. WE DID!  Bye Bye Boat.

All was not lost. With the lighting parade came a fireworks display and a later boat ride that ended with seeing the fireworks. On. The. Water. SCORE!

For me, the boat tour was the highlight of the trip. Coasting on Lake Michigan, learning all about the buildings, the companies that inhabit them and the history of the city. Chicago is truly lovely at night.

We parked on the lake and watched the fireworks. It was the cherry on the Chicago sundae. Dinner at the famous Ditka’s (the food was superb) for Jaimie’s birthday dinner and eventually the night ended at the legendary Wiener Circle. I couldn’t get good video because I was laughing entirely too much at the crazy characters behind the counter! But this clip from Conan will show you what WC is all about.

I played a hilarious game and won a T-shirt. Wiener Circle is truly hilarious place and a must visit when you’re in Chicago.

Exhausted from a long day, I conked out ready to head home.

Sunday with only a few hours to spare, we trekked to the Navy Pier, the top tourist attraction in Chicago. The Navy Pier has a giant Ferris Wheel and lots of arcade games.

~ We’re Mad for Chicago ~ 

All in all, Chicago is a pretty spectacular city. It’s like a modern day Pleasantville: clean streets, beautiful buildings and lots to do. Seeing the glorious facade of Chicago makes me want to delve deeper into the parts unseen. 

~ It’s safe to say I’m smitten with the Windy City ~

x Until next time, Summertime Chi!

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Required Reading: 11.16.12

By November 16, 2012 Links
Vintage chicago

Chicago Theater. 1941

Deep dish pizza & mobsters, Chicago is a cool town and SUPER clean! I’m in the Chi for a social media summit and a lots sightseeing! I plan to take lots of photos and eats lots of Chicago’s famous food. Stay tuned for my adventures! Now onto the links!

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Coming back to blogging after a hiatus? IFB has a good article on easing back into blogging.

Every lass needs a lingerie drawer. XOJane writer Emily shows you how to stock your wardrobe.

Women aren’t given their seat up for pregnant women. Read this writer’s experience

Need to get serious about your craft or business. Check out Marie Forleo’s interview with Steven Pressfield.

I LOVE Love Actually. And this article is pretty cool too

10 Lessons from one year of being an entrepreneur 

Vintage Chicago photos. I hope I see all these places in modern day!

Susan Miller’s daughter Chrissie has a YouTube show. And it’s pretty cool

Rihanna’s SNL performance caused waves in the Seapunk community. They’ve released an official statement

If you’re a bibliophile, you’ll love this book 

Love Denzel Washington’s advice to his daughter 

“I tell my daughter – she’s at NYU – I say: ‘You’re black, you’re a woman, and you’re dark-skinned at that. So you have to be a triple/quadruple threat.”

My favorite Pinup Photographer has a new website. Check out the gallery, you might see someone familiar!

x And they say Chi City!


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Falling (Back) In Love with Fashion

By November 12, 2012 Fashion

Like so many young women I’ve always loved fashion; the fancy of dressing up, trying on new clothes… the promise of a new dress… a new self….

When I was a kid I remember playing in my mother’s scarves, shoes and kohl eyeliner. Spending ridiculous amounts of time circling things in catalogs and using my little brother as a dress-up mannequin.

Boy was he glad when he was old enough to meet my dress-up games with well-placed nuggies and his specialty: atomic wedgies.

Sibling torture aside, over the years my love affair with fashion has traipsed every trend, every celeb-u-tante Editor-In-Chief, every fashion bible and every designer. In high school, when kids were into labels; Iceberg, Guess, Sergio Valente, I proclaimed my allegiance to no-name brands and thrift store finds.

When college came around and the casual style of dress: flip flops, cutoffs, t-shirts, was the standard I went left, opting for a funkier collegiate style and ultimately solidified my lasting love of fashion.

What was this obsession with style and using it as a barometer for myself?

I vividly remember sitting in the back of my 9am Geography class, under the dim lights of the auditorium. Ignoring the stalagmite projections, I would read my VOGUE magazines, imagining a world where people pranced around wearing McQueen dresses and Yves Saint Laurent shoes. A world far away from mine.

Lately I’ve been reconnecting with the self that drooled over and fretted over her fashion mags.

And while I’m a long way from that 20 year old girl, even further from the kid who used to torture her little brother, the pulse is the same. And the joy that I derive from seeing a stunning dress or an embroidered shoe, that promises gold with every step, is still here.

Some things, like our first love or a clandestine memory, never leave us. They simply get pushed to the back of our minds (or closets) waiting to be unearthed and ready to wear for a new occasion. And love, ah love, like a hand-me-down dress or an old pair of heels, always fits us just right.

When did you fall in love with fashion?

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Required Reading: 11.9.12

By November 9, 2012 Links
Sade Adu

The Lovely Sade Adu

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- Love this piece on Self-Love. Read through and do the mantra exercise. 

- Launching a digital product can be tough. Heed Gala Darling’s lessons she’s learned from Love & Sequins

The best way to get unstuck from a man who’s written 11 books

- W’s article on Diane Von Furstenburg is fascinating and makes me love DVF even more!

Do you have a hipster apartment? 

- This piece in the Paris Review is super timely: The Human Centipede or How to Move to New York

- Would you attend a female masturbation class? Well this writer from The Cut did.

- Deeply in love with this woman’s style  

 x Stylishly Yours!

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By November 6, 2012 News
Women's Suffrage

No matter what you believe or who you support, please exercise your right to have a say.

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Required Reading: 11.2.12

By November 2, 2012 Links

Solo in Prints Giving Tribal Realness

x Stay Classy!

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Go See: Middle of Nowhere

By October 26, 2012 Film School
Middle of Nowhere

Sometimes we are caught between two selves; an old, comfortable self that wants so desperately to hold on and an alive, but scared new us waiting to burst out.

The other night I went to see the highly praised (Sundance awarded, Oprah approved) Middle of Nowhere from director Ava DuVernay. Shot through a lush palette of rose colored scenes, DuVernay tells the story of Ruby, a woman married to a man in prison and caught between the life she has on pause and pressing play.

Watching Middle of Nowhere is like taking a walk in someone else’s shoes. Wearing Ruby’s determined and loving shoes we learn, as she does, that while the destination may not be clear, sometimes we have to finish the journey all by ourselves. Ruby vacillates between loyalty to her husband and the loneliness of reality and ultimately chooses a path of her own making.

Captivating and emotional, you will be brought into Ruby’s world, one that is rife with the complications of love, life and the unknown.

Go see Middle of Nowhere, open in select cities now. I highly recommend it.

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