Archive | January, 2011


30 Jan

My good friend Allison came to visit on Tuesday as my moral support while I got my tattoo and afterwards we decided to take a few photos. It was a lot of fun shooting a person instead of pets, scenery, neighborhood shots, etc,  as that’s where my passion lies, and I don’t get the chance to do it nearly as much as I’d like. (So, if you know anyone in Chicago who wants a free shoot, you know where to send ’em!)

Alli-6 copy copy

Alli-1copy copy

Alli-7 copy



28 Jan

Hi guys, remember me? I used to blog here before life got crazy and I stopped having time to do anything but hit the pillow on my off hours.

Well, I made a pretty permanent change this week. Completely permanent, in fact: I got a tattoo! It’s my very first tattoo, and I planned it for about two years. The saga was a pretty long and boring one, mostly full of me thinking “ohmygod, do I really want to go through with this?” Somewhere in between all the freakout moments, I contacted the amazingly talented Cynthia of Cynthia Warren Design. She graciously agreed to design my garbled concept of tattoo. I think she did an amazing job, but you can judge for yourself!

So this past week, one of my very best friends was coming to the city to have a consult for her next tattoo. She’s one of those gorgeous, brave people who lets her body be her canvas. I’m not that brave, nor do I trust my fifty-year-old self enough to stay in shape and not fall prey to saggy tattoo syndrome so forearm it is. Anyway, I made an appointment at Deluxe Tattoo with Kit Hall.

She was awesome at putting up with me, the nervous tattoo virgin. I was surprised at how little the actual tattooing hurt, and how quickly it was over. We chatted for about ten minutes and voila, I had a tattoo!

The end result?

The quickest, cheapeast fashion fix. Ever.

18 Jan

Fashion is a fickle thing. It’s easy to love if you have unlimited resources, or if you’re one of those incredibly lucky (P.S., I hate you) girls who walk into a thrift store and are hit over the head with gorgeous vintage pieces in the perfect size and condition.

What, that doesn’t happen to you, either? Guess it’s not just me.

My quick fix when I’m jonesing for a fashion cleanse but my bank account is dangerously low is nail polish. I buy a new shade about once a season, and I don’t exactly play it safe. I adore nail polish because it’s relatively risk-free: you’re not dumping a bunch of money into it, and if you don’t like the color you can just take it off. Unlike an ill-advised dye job, which not only damages your hair but costs a boatload of money to correct.

So let’s start with what I’m wearing – my old classic, Chanel Dragon. I bought this – unopened – off of Ebay (no joke, check it out!) and it’s my favorite shade to wear throughout seasons.

And what I’m coveting is a whole lot of glam (Deborah Lippman):

for something more subdued, I’d love some more Chanel:

Chanel Particulière nail polish, out in January

Do you have a similar fashion go-to when you’re itching to go on a shopping spree?


14 Jan

Do you remember back in the days of 7th Heaven and Full House when it seemed like every TV character in a family would work through the same issue or dilemma in a week, and at the end they would all gather and talk about the lesson they had learned? Making fun of those plotlines is one of my absolute favorite things to do, but I definitely had one of those weeks where the same subject kept popping back up over and over, and by Thursday I really felt the need to sit down and think about it.

Lesson learned? It’s tough to be a good blogger. At least, a good blogger true to yourself.

When you think about it, blogging is fickle in and of itself. Are you writing for yourself or your readers? My guess is your readers, if you’re bothering to publish the post. But how much are you willing to blog for them, and will that really benefit you? We blog, for the most part, about everyday things. Little outings that make good stories, inspiration, daily happenings, vents, frustrations, and celebrations. We create this picture-perfect image of what our lives are like, and only what we want to be read makes the cut.

For me, this means sometimes editing little things out of posts. At other times, it means scrapping posts entirely. It’s tough, as a blogger, to risk alienating your readers. If some leave, will new ones take their place? Will people still like me? It’s like high school all over again! And, of course, there’s the permanence of it all. The magic of Google cache means it’s never really gone, even if you delete it.

I don’t have a clear resolution to this. I’m not sure how much I am ready to share, and what I’d rather keep to myself. But I looked at the blogs I consistently get lost in, the ones I really look forward to, and they’re the ones that are written relatively uncensored. They tend to receive the most criticism, but they also invoke the most emotion. What do you prefer to read? As a blogger, do you struggle with this?


Beat the winter blues – giveaway time!

10 Jan

I’m pretty freaking excited about this post. It’s my first official Lincoln Park on a Lark giveaway!

So let’s get right down to the good stuff – what do you win?

Well, for starters, one of these:

Worth $50 – that’s a lot of morning latte, hot cocoa to warm up, or whatever your poison is!

And, because I love you guys and want to spoil you even more, I’m whipping up a (completely vegan) sinful batch of black and white cookies that I’ll mail along with the gift card.

So what do you have to do to win this winter pick me up? There are three ways, and you enter three times (once each way.)

1) Leave a comment on this entry telling me your name and what you’d buy with the gift card.

2) Follow me on twitter and tweet this:

I entered to win $50 to Starbucks and homemade black & white cookies from @_hellolover -you can too!

3) Write an entry on your blog about the giveaway, featuring the above link back, and leave me a comment here letting me know where I can check it out.

The giveaway will end at midnight on January 31st, and I’ll announce the winner by February 2nd.

Good luck!


9 Jan

Every winter, I get sick of my hair. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve stopped all spending on myself – clothes, haircuts, etc – for at least 3-4 months, or if it’s because it’s so gross outside that I don’t seem to exercise, but it happens every year. And every January or February, I cave and go back to the salon and make at least one drastic change.

This year I’m extra tired of my hairstyle. I have really fine, thin hair, so it gets especially dry and frizzy in the winter. I tend to throw it up in a bun because that’s what’s easiest. Sometimes it looks cute, but when I let it go, it starts to look like… well, this:


See? Blah!

I promise my hair doesn’t always look like this. In fact, when I put effort into I think it actually looks pretty nice:

So I’ve been gathering inspiration photos, for the haircut at the very least. Mostly the bangs. Because right now they’re just plain limp and offensive. Blech.

Being the indecisive person that I am, I could use some help deciding which way to go.

Option #1:

Michelle Williams is so beautiful. Whatever she does to her hair, it looks great. Whatever she wears is always effortlessly chic as well. She’s even graceful in the spotlight, and raising a gorgeous daughter. We have similar coloring so I always look to her for makeup inspiration.


Option #2:

Carey Mulligan is also super cute.These bangs are a little shorter than I usual go, but they look so whimsical.


Option #3:


Marion Cotillard is my girl crush. These bangs are also probably closest to mine now, just shaped a little differently and cleaned up. Still gorgeous.

Any thoughts on which one would look the best? Should I go for a color change as well? What’s your go-to style pick up?


7 Jan


Kitty/Canine Gift Exchange

6 Jan

We adopted our dog, Sunday, in May, so this was her first Christmas with us. Of course, we wanted to make it special, so when I came across Kelly and Hannah’s Kitty/Canine Gift Exchange on Kelly’s blog, I was excited!

Sunday was paired up with the adorable Bodie (and his owner Jessica of Heart on Homestead). Bodie is the most adorable little guy, and we had lots of fun shopping for him! You can see what we picked out here.

For whatever reason, we got the downside of the holiday mail service slog, and Sunday’s gift arrived right before New Year’s. I’m pretty sure that this has something to do with the fact that our USPS/UPS/FedEx carriers all hate courtyard buildings. In ours especially, you have to buzz into the main courtyard, and then another door leading up to each specific set of units. There have been days where I’ve waited at home for an important package, kept my phone by my side, and walked downstairs only to find a “addressee not reachable” notice on the gate. City living has its downsides, I guess!

But Sunday’s gifts came, and I think she likes them just a bit…

(food is her first love. Bodie is clearly after her heart.)


Of course, then she heard the toy squeak. My dog’s not easily distracted at all. She has the focus of a champion, I swear!


(Her nose is more in focus than anything here. You try juggling a toy, a jumping dog, and a DSLR. Harder than it looks, huh?)


I couldn’t be happier with how the gift exchange worked out! I love that I got the chance to “meet” new people online, and it was so fun seeing pictures of Bodie with the toys we picked out for him. We can’t wait until next year’s exchange!

NYE Blast

2 Jan

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s! R & I spent it with a group of friends and rang in the new year with champagne and karaoke.

We don’t usually do much on New Year’s Eve, because when you work for your future mother in law, you’re scheduled every holiday without fail. You can’t say no to family! This year we worked until 8 pm and had a shift starting at 8 am, but we made it through somehow.










I’m so grateful for wonderful friends, nights together, and meeting new people. How did you spend your New Year’s?

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