Monday, April 19, 2021

Currently #7

(I had a few friends ask and no, this isn't our new house! I just finally started posting again to my Sweet Homes of Chicago Instagram again :) 

Oh hi there! It's been a looooong minute since I was posting regularly, and honestly, I'm not seeing regular posting starting up again any time soon, mainly because... WE'RE MOVING!! Since I stopped posting at the beginning of March, we fixed up our condo to list it, found a buyer, found a new house, and now are engrossed in contract negotiations on both properties and trying to plan for our move. It is freaking exhausting, and I keep singing to Jeff (to the tune of No Sleep Til Brooklyn) "No! Sleep! Til Close Date!" because one or both of us have been up in the middle of the night just about every night stressing for the past month. 

BUT I'm so so excited for everything to work out and for us to move into our new single family home!! We ended up finding a place in Roscoe Village (after coming this close to putting in an offer on a place in the North Shore) which I'm so excited about. Mia will be a stone's throw from her neighborhood elementary school, we're right by a playground and the Roscoe Village downtown, and we're moving into what we hear from friends is a vibrant, fun neighborhood that has a small town feel in the middle of the city. I always hoped we'd be able to be city kids for life, and am psyched that we're managing to do it. 

Before we get to move in though, we'll be staying with Jeff's parents in the suburbs for two months! It turns out early spring is the perfect time to sell a condo in Chicago (particularly one with a roof deck like ours!) but not the perfect time to buy a house in a neighborhood full of families that send their kids to CPS, because Chicago schools don't let out for the summer until the end of June so no one wants to close before then. It took me a little time to accept that we won't get to move straight from one house to another, but now I'm game for two months of having built-in babysitters for Mia (and potentially some date nights?!) which after a year of quarantining sounds amazing. Hello adult time! His parents are also members of a pool, and Jeff's best friends just bought a house nearby with a pool, so I'm hoping for some warm weather so I can pretend we're on a two month vacation ;) Their house is also close enough to downtown that we can keep Mia in her preschool pod (and have an excuse to come into the city every day). 

In case you came here for some of my usual Currently content and not just a 500 word life update, here you go: 


I finished Leave The World Behind a couple of weeks ago, and if you were thinking you wanted to read something that's half dreamy vacation and half disturbing dystopian nightmare, than I found the book for you! I don't want to give the story away, but it's about a family vacation in the Hamptons where things all the sudden take a turn. The writing is very poetic and dreamy and almost made me put it down after the first page because I couldn't tell what was happening, but I ended up getting really into it - it makes you wonder if what you're reading is really happening or not. 


Jeff and I are two episodes in on The Great on Hulu, and I am loving it so much. It's a satire (very) loosely based on Catherine the Great, and was created by one of the writers of The Favourite and so shares a similar vibe. The show is hilarious and dark as it follows Catherine's attempt to murder her husband and become Empress of Russia. 

I also started Ginny & Georgia on Netflix, which I heard described as similar to Gilmore Girls, but only if Lorelei was a criminal. Ginny is a biracial teen who moves to a wealthy white suburb with her hot young mom. She thinks she's studious and conservative, but this new town shows her she might be a lot more like her mom than she thinks. The show has a similar mother-daughter bond to Gilmore Girls, but also lots of sex, drugs, and guns. 


Lots of pretty white bathrooms! Our new house was built in the '90s and parts of it really feel like they were built in the '90s, so we're planning on redoing the primary bedroom / bathroom ASAP when we move in. I've reached out to a few designers and all of them told me to start with a Pinterest board. I managed to nail down exactly what I want for a bathroom in about 30 minutes (contemporary, white, texture, interesting finishes that don't feel so "now" that it'll feel outdated in a few years) but am seriously struggling with what I want for a bedroom. There are really high, vaulted ceilings so I'm thinking some exposed beams and a four poster bed, but I also don't want it to feel too farmhouse. Although the kitchen leans toward farmhouse, so maybe I should just embrace it and put barn doors everywhere? Send help pls. 


All of the Blue Apron meals! I decided when we started freaking out trying to paint and caulk every surface in our condo that something from my schedule had to give, and that something turned out to be meal planning and grocery shopping. We had done a meal kit boxes a few years ago when I had a really long commute but never really loved it and ended up skipping a lot of weeks because there was nothing on the menu I wanted. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Blue Apron has a ton of options to choose from and lets you make swaps in the meals (i.e., chicken instead of shrimp, a better cut of steak, etc.) as well as lets you choose from 2 person or 4 person meals. I don't think we'll be continuing after we move because honestly after 6 weeks I'm starting to miss meal planning, but it's definitely nice for getting out of a cooking rut and for saving time. If you're looking to start Blue Apron, google for promo codes before you sign up. Usually you can get $60 or $80 off your first month. 


A swimsuit (or two) for Mia! Last year I ended up with four or five swimsuits for her (thanks in part to a few grandmas who wanted to buy her gifts - thanks grandmas!) but ended up putting her in the same one every time because it had long sleeves and didn't expose her stomach, which meant a lot less sunscreen time for a wiggly little toddler. Mia seems a lot more amiable to sunscreen application so far this year, but I still wanted a long sleeve suit. I ended up ordering this cute one that's a rashguard and bottoms, but I'm still on the hunt for a cute long sleeved one piece. 

I also am allllllll about the cute spring dresses right now and just ordered this pretty white eyelet dress - hoping it will be similar to a shirtdress I wore on our honeymoon in Italy! I also ordered this dress in mint, I had it in white last summer and loved how comfy and easy it was. 

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Monday, April 12, 2021

March Budget

I share my clothing budget here every month. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some people or a little to others, but for me feels just right. I include all of my clothes, coats, shoes, and accessories in that budget, but not athletic gear, pajamas, or intimates.

Better late than never on this post, amiright?! I apparently did one LOFT order in March, and purchased nothing else. This is the time of year when we have one warm day I'm like "GAH NEED ALL THE SPRING CLOTHES" which is exactly what happened here. We had a few days in the 70's and 80's so I got to wear a few of these, and my fav is definitely the black dress - it's so easy and fun to wear! 

Here's what I bought in March: 

LOFT Peplum Tee (sold out noooo - here are one, two, three similar tops) - originally $59.50, on sale $35.70. It's a little breezy for Chicago weather, but super cute! I somehow got a stain on it immediately when wearing it the first time so I'm currently crossing my fingers it comes out in the wash! 
LOFT Black Shirtdress - originally $89.50, on sale $44.75. This is my favorite cut of dress from LOFT from last summer so I was excited to see it again. It's very light and breezy, perfect for hot hot summer days. The only funny thing about it is that the buttons are all functional, and I did look in the mirror while wearing it and realized one of the middle buttons had come undone - whoops! 
LOFT Everyday Sweater - originally $49.50, on sale $24.75. Actually I'm not sure why I said the black dress was my favorite because I have definitely been reaching for this sweater every time it comes out of the wash. It's a great lightweight sweater for spring, but the fabric is still really soft, not scratchy like a lot of lightweight sweaters can be. I might need it in another color or two...
LOFT V-Neck Shell - originally $44.50, on sale $22.25. I always want to wear cute little camis under sweaters and blazers, but they look terrible with my bras when I inevitably get too hot and take the top layer off. I love that this has the feel of a cami but with the ability to hide thicker straps. 

Total spent: $127.45

In April I'm trying really hard not to buy anything because... we're moving!! More details to come, but we are spending this month packing so I probably don't need to buy anything more to pack up... right? Right. Right? 

We'll see in a month ;)

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Friday, March 5, 2021

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! This weekend we're celebrating Mia's birthday again, with Jeff's family this time. Nothing like three parties for one little girl! Of course, you don't have to twist my arm to get me to eat another piece of cake ;)

Here are my finds for the week: 

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Mia's 2nd Birthday Party

Two year old birthday party decoration ideas

My baby girl is TWO today!!! I can barely remember her as a tiny baby anymore - instead I see a boisterous little girl who loves giving big hugs, running fast, reading books, eating any produce she can find, and generally creating chaos. She makes me laugh every day with her elephant impression and when she requests "blueberry tummy" and "strawberry tummy" after I blow raspberries on her tummy. I love that little girl to pieces!

After our giant birthday party for Mia last year (it was the last time we had people to our house!) I tamed it down a little, you know, mainly because of the pandemic. We celebrated over the weekend with just my parents and my sister's family, and a whole lot of balloons. I didn't go for a theme this time, and instead had the theme just be "pink birthday." 

Pink streamers and balloons

For decor, I found this balloon kit on Amazon. I keep complaining about the effort we put into it, but really it probably took Jeff and I an hour and a half to put it together, and that includes manually blowing up all of the balloons because I didn't realize until too late that the package said you should definitely use a pump ;) And the impact is real! It looks so good in photos, and is still looking pretty good several days later because I told Jeff we had to leave it up until Mia's actual birthday. The kit included balloon tape (a long ribbon with holes) that you insert the balloons into, which made things really easy. It also had glue dots for filling in gaps, which worked amazingly well! 

Decorations for a toddler girl's birthday party, blush pink and gold balloon arch and streamers

I also bought the matching streamer kit off of Etsy. The balloon kit and streamer kit are made in the UK and I don't know what the deal is, but there were a ton of vendors on Etsy from the UK just straight up selling these kits they didn't make. Not sure how that's allowed, but if you see one with pictures that look like this, chances are it's the exact same thing. I bought two of the streamer kits and I definitely recommend that to get a full look if you're covering a space more than six feet wide. The streamer kits were way more frustrating for me to put up than the balloons even though they look simple (partially because Mia was refusing to nap while I was working on them and just screaming into the monitor). The problem is that the string they provide in the kit is stretchy, so it slowly drooped as I added more and more streamers to it. I definitely recommend using regular fishing wire instead! 

Cricut banner sign ideas

The only other decoration we had this year was the Happy Birthday sign - I made it on my Cricut! That thing has honestly saved me so much money just in banners that it's going to pay itself off soon ;) I used this paper for it.

2 year old girl pink birthday cake with sprinkles

The cake was by my friend Laura at Butter Cream Flour. Her cakes are actually the best I've ever tasted and they're so beautiful too! She ends up booked solid some months so definitely reach out a few weeks early if you're interested! 

Birthday party gift bags

And then I decided to put together a couple of little gift bags for my sister's kids and then for Mia to bring to her preschool pod buddies at school today. I made the little birthday cupcake cutouts on my Cricut (using this free SVG), and also wrote the names on the tags using the Cricut pen (note - the pen tool outlines fonts when it draws them, so I just colored in the insides of the letters by hand). 

And now get ready, because here are a few more  photos from the day: 

What to wear when you and your daughter share a birthday, matching pink outfit ideas

party balloon decorations

pink birthday party ideas

toddler girl birthday party

Blush pink and gold party backdrop for a girl's birthday party

Pink party decoration ideas

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Monday, March 1, 2021

February Budget

I share my clothing budget here every month. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some people or a little to others, but for me feels just right. I include all of my clothes, coats, shoes, and accessories in that budget, but not athletic gear, pajamas, or intimates.

We did a little shopping this month, and for non-pajamas/loungewear/athleisure too! I even shopped IN A STORE. I TRIED THINGS ON IN THE DRESSING ROOM. I mean, I didn't buy those things, but still! It's been literally a whole year since I've been in a dressing room. And then a woman peered in at me through the crack of the door and tried to come in (she somehow thought the room was empty?) and I will not be going into a dressing room again for a while.

I've now swung hard the other way from my pajama rut of January and February. Now that we've seen 50 degree weather in Chicago in the past week, I'm all about getting dressed again, and I want to get dressed in something pretty. Bring me some lacy, frilly, floral spring blouses. I'm all in. 

Here's what I bought in February: 

J.Crew White Skinny Jeans - originally $110.00, on sale $54.50. I went to put on my white skinny jeans from last year and they looked terrible - all stretched out and covered in stains! So it was definitely time for a new pair. I've tried J.Crew's white toothpick jeans in the past and didn't like the fit around the knee / ankle, but this year they somehow work for me. They're great because they're stretchy enough but aren't skintight and aren't see-through. Win win win. 
J.Crew Blue Floral Ruffle Blouse - originally $89.50 on sale $39.50. Love love love this. It's one of those tops that can be dressed up or down really easily. There's really pretty lace detail at the neckline and at the hem, and I love the little ruffle details at the shoulder. I wore it here.
J.Crew Ruffle Button Down - originally $118.00 on sale $82.50 used rewards $72.50. This blouse is so beautiful in person!!! The ruffle details on the sleeves and collar are so fun and well done, and the whole shirt just feels really well put together. I wore it here.
Madewell Light Wash Skinny Jeans - originally $128.00, on sale $77.40. I saw light wash jeans with an 8 inch rise and I pounced! Most jeans on the market these days seem to have a 10 inch rise, and I can't wear them because as a short-torsoed individual, they basically go up to my bra-line. These are thick, don't stretch out, and the talls are the perfect length for me. 

Total Spent: $253.90

I also ordered these flats but they did not work on me, the tiny bit of canvas around the top rubbed really bad. I also ordered this pretty blouse and am still waiting for it to show up! Besides the blouse, I'm also on the hunt for some pretty spring dresses! 

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Outfits Lately

Where are you in your pandemic clothing choices? I've mostly been defaulting to loungewear and pajamas since the new year, mainly because pandemic winter is the actual worst. Every now and then I will put in a little more effort, and every time I make it at least two thirds of the way through the day before I switch back to sweatpants. It's the little things, you know. 

Sweatshirt / Leggings / Socks (Bombas are the actual best, literally the only socks I wear!)

Similar Sweater / Similar Jeans / Fleece Socks (also the best but in a very different way - apparently I'm a sock influencer now ;)

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Monday, February 22, 2021

Mia's Spring Wardrobe

As soon as you have your kids figured out, something changes, am I right? Mia's growth had been slow and steady, and she was changing sizes every 6 months or so. She even somehow managed to always change clothing sizes with the seasons to make things easy for me, starting from when she was an infant! And then, since right before Christmas, she somehow went from wearing 18-24 month clothes, to 3T clothes. Someone send help. 

(Except, I have to say, for cardigans and vests. What is up with baby cardigans and vests? I can't get her into tee shirts I bought in December, but she still fits into a 6-12 month vest and her cardigans from last fall. Someone, pls let me know what's up with baby vest sizing.) 

On the downside, bye money! But on the upside, I am never upset to shop for a whole new toddler wardrobe. I get most of Mia's clothes from H&M kids (I shop in both the toddler and girls sections right now), with stuff from Monica & Andy, Nordstrom, Crew Cuts, Old Navy, and Baby Gap thrown in too. While I went for earthier colors in the fall, for spring I decided to go all in on pink. She just looks so darn cute in it! 

(I recognize there are only two pairs of pants in this collage. Mia has more than two pairs of pants. They just are mostly these or these basic leggings that aren't very exciting.)

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