Tuesday, January 31, 2017

5 Tips for Conquering Your To-Do List

Shirt and Vest (a gift from my sweet mother-in-law - she must know me well ;) - J. Crew Factory / Jeans - J. Crew / Booties - TOMS / Bag (similar) - Coach Factory / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - BaubleBar

Do you ever feel like your to-do list is a mile long, and there's no way you could ever get to the end of it? I'm trying to play catch-up from being out of town last week (and honestly, because I wasn't budgeting my time well before I left), and I feel like I've been running and running non-stop with no end in sight. Of course, it doesn't help that I scheduled a couple of dinners for restaurant week and my company is having a big end-of-year party tonight (yes, we recognize that it's January, but it's our end-of-year). I'm not sure how to squeeze it all in, but there are a couple of steps I take when I have a lot on my plate to keep me from feeling overwhelmed/like my head is about to explode: 

1. Take a deep breath. 
Usually when I have a lot on my plate, my mind starts spinning, and the anxiety starts rolling in. It turns into a dangerous spiral, to the point where I'll start thinking there's no possible way I could get anything done. Instead of letting the anxiety take over, take a step back and take a breath. The time it takes to take a breath helps you to clear your head and put things in perspective. Yes, you may have a ton of work to do, but you've done it before and you will do it again.

2. Write it all down. 
For me, there always seems to be so much more to do until I write it all down. Somehow, seeing my to-do list on paper usually makes it look smaller and more manageable. Writing your list down also lets you prioritize, as well as feel accomplished as you check things off of your list. I'm really motivated by crossing things off, so for me just having the list is a good reason to power through. 

3. Conquer something small. 
Because I'm so motivated my crossing things off of my to-do list, I usually start by finding something small that I can quickly accomplish. That way, I get to check something off right away, making me feel like I've done something and leaving me excited to get to that next check mark. Anything to make that list a little shorter! 

4. Stop Multi-tasking.
Okay, okay, okay. I love multi-tasking. I typically find myself constantly flipping back and forth between working, checking email, looking at my phone, picking music, etc. throughout the day, and whenever I'm at home the tv is on in the background. All of the technology in our lives has made our attention spans really short, making multi-tasking the norm. That being said, whenever I stop multi-tasking I notice how much easier and faster it is to get stuff done. If you have a lot on your list, close out of your email tab, turn off the tv, put your phone away, and focus only on the task at hand. You'd be amazed how faster you'll work! 

5. Realize the sky isn't falling. 
Anxiety is often my biggest issue when I'm trying to get a lot done, so sometimes I'll just have to remind myself that if I don't get everything done in the time I allotted myself, the world isn't going to end. Sure, a deadline is a deadline, but I'm not a rocket scientist or anything. If it takes me a day longer than I said it would to turn a project around, nothing terrible is going to happen. There are no lives at stake. I put a lot of pressure on myself, but realizing that you don't have to check off every box on that list always helps! If you can drop something, drop it. If you can push something back, push something back. Just know that the sky isn't falling and that there are less busy days ahead! 

So tell me - how do you deal when there's a ton on your plate? Any tips to help me get through the week??  

Shirt and Vest (a gift from my sweet mother-in-law - she must know me well ;) - J. Crew Factory / Jeans - J. Crew / Booties - TOMS / Bag (similar) - Coach Factory / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - BaubleBar

Previously on KDTI - more layered stripes!!


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Monday, January 30, 2017

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...Flew back from my week in Cali, which was full of work but also lots of fun restaurants, drinks, and a hockey game with my team! I always wonder why I'm so exhausted after these work trips, but really it's because I go from the gym straight to work straight to drinks straight to dinner straight to more drinks without a break or much sleep. I recouped on Friday with a 6pm dinner with Jeff at Artango (all of the Argentinian steak please!) and falling asleep to a movie by 9. Am I an old person??
...Thought I ordered this super cute dress for Valentine's Day, only to discover I made it to the checkout page without checking out, and now it's sold out in my size. Nooooooo!!! If you're a small or x-small it's still available though, and I will be very jealous of you. I may go for this cold shoulder dress instead because the sleeves are so freaking cute, but I'm most likely going to be too cold and have to wear a sweater, defeating the purpose of the dress. Le sigh.
...Drove out to the burbs for my training for Destination Imagination, the organization I volunteer with every year. Which really was an excuse to gossip with my little sister and eat a lot of snacks. I managed to become addicted to pamplemouse La Croix last week in San Francisco so I may have also consumed what some might consider an extreme number of those in a two hour period.
...Decided we didn't want to really do anything on Saturday night, and spent several hours hanging out with Jeff in the dive bar across the street, where they had Titanic playing on one of the tvs and '80s pop on the jukebox - it was basically my best bar scenario ever.
...Got excited about all of the sales at LOFT right now (40% off regular priced items and extra 60% off sale!) and ordered a bunch of stuff, including this adorable striped sweater that has a lace-up back. Fingers crossed it fits!!
...Saved the best for last, and hosted a Royal Rumble wrestling birthday party for a friend on Sunday night. LOL! All of my friends love wrestling, which is still so weird to me, so they were all super into it. I was super into the guac and tacos, so I think it worked out ;) We made these blood orange margs (ahem, I didn't want to juice any blood oranges myself so they were just regular orange margs) and they were so good. Jeff and I made them previously for an at-home date night and I freaking love them, which is weird because I don't even like tequilla! Really, the girl behind that blog just really knows what she's doing, she's definitely my favorite food blogger!!

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Finds

Happy Friday! It looks like this week we're half headed into the office and half spending the day at the beach haha. We just booked our tickets to Southeast Asia this week so now there's definitely a beach in my future! To say I'm excited is an understatement. We're planning on going to Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam - squeeee!! It's a little scary to go somewhere that's so different than the US, but my brother and his wife live in South Korea and are planning on meeting us in Thailand. We don't get to see them very often since they're a 12+ hour plane ride away, so I'm excited to get in a little sibling time.

Here's the wishlist for this week:

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

How to Wear Plaid After the Holidays

Poncho (sold out but I found the exact same plaid in a blanket scarf) and Bag - Sole Society / Tee - J. Crew Factory / Boots (super similar) - Coach / Necklace - BaubleBar (a present from Jeff!) / Watch - Wristology

I don't know about you, but I maaaaay have gone a little plaid crazy this Christmas. Seriously, I have a whole section in my closet dedicated to plaid button-downs, and there are only three sections in my closet. I fear that my friends and family are going to have to pull out the intervention banner soon.

Now that the holidays are over, all of my plaid doesn't have to hide away until next fall. Just by changing out your accessories, you can make plaid feel less "tis the season" and more everyday. First, avoid pairing plaid with anything red. I know, I know, there are red lines in my poncho and it would look so adorable with red flats, but resist the urge. Second, don't pair with anything that makes you resemble a present. I'm looking at you, adorable bow earrings. Finally, add another element that takes the focus away from the plaid. Here, I added a striped tee, which makes it look more like I'm mixing patterns than trying to get into the holiday spirit. You could also try layering plaid like I did under a sweater so it isn't the main focus of the outfit. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Poncho (sold out but I found the exact same plaid in a blanket scarf) and Bag - Sole Society / Tee - J. Crew Factory / Boots (super similar) - Coach / Necklace - BaubleBar (a present from Jeff!) / Watch - Wristology

Previously on KDTI - plaid poncho:


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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

How to Curl Stick Straight Hair

I've been getting requests for how I curl my hair for a long time now, and it seems I've finally acquiesced to your request. I have super straight, hard-to-curl hair so it really gets some effort to get curls to stay. I shared some tips for curling stick-straight hair a couple of years ago, but I used to use a curling iron and had to pin up my curls while they cooled to get any sort of staying power. Now I've upgraded to a curling wand I can skip that step. I don't know what's so different about a curling wand, but they just work so much better for me! I use the T3 Whirl and I love it, it's super expensive but it actually works. They sell it at Sephora, so I was able to pick it up at a discount during the last VIB sale - score!

I apologize in advance for how long this thing turned out - it turns out I have a lot of thoughts about hair ;) If you don't feel like watching the whole video, just know that my top tips are to use a curling wand like the T3, and to use way more products than you feel comfortable admitting. Here are all of the products I used in the video:

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Are You There Spring?

It's me, Kristina.

Shirt (this one is an almost identical cut, I bought it the other day because stripes!) - LOFT Factory / Sweater - LOFT / Denim (almost identical) - Madewell / Loafers - Michael Kors (a gift from my sweet mama!) / Bag - Sole Society / Earrings - BaubleBar / Watch - Wristology

No seriously though, the weather over the weekend was freaking amazing in Chicago. It hit 60 degrees on Saturday!! Here in Chicago, 60 degrees means you should open up all of the windows, get outside, and possibly even go for a swim. I mean, I didn't jump in Lake Michigan, but I'm sure there were some brave souls down at the lake. I did, however, take the chance to have bare ankles! My brain knows that it's the middle of January and we have at least two solid months of winter left, but walking around on Saturday seriously felt like that first beautiful day of spring.

We celebrated by going for a walk through Lincoln Park and impulse purchasing those pineapple glasses I've wanted for years (and about eighteen pounds of David's Tea - so good!), and then grabbing lunch and drinks at Summer House Santa Monica, where it really feels like summer inside. There are giant skylights so the restaurant is really light and bright inside, and the decor makes you feel like you're out for a day at the beach. Since we were celebrating the warm weather, it obviously turned into a boozy lunch - it's hard to say no to their cocktails. You may have seen on Snapchat that I had one that was topped with pink strawberry foam - yum!! Definitely the right way to enjoy a beautiful day.

It was actually really handy getting a reminder of what 60 degrees feels like, because yesterday I flew out to San Francisco for the week for work. Getting to go to California in the winter for free is definitely something I'd never say no to! We have a lot of plans for the week besides working, including a hockey game with the team on Thursday night - should be super fun! I scheduled out posts for the rest of the week while I'm here, so never fear, your need for the Internets will be satisfied.

Shirt (this one is an almost identical cut, I bought it the other day because stripes!) - LOFT Factory / Sweater - LOFT / Denim (almost identical) - Madewell / Loafers - Michael Kors (a gift from my sweet mama!) / Bag - Sole Society / Earrings - BaubleBar / Watch - Wristology

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Monday, January 23, 2017

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...Went out for a little ladies night with a bunch of girls on Friday night to drink away our Inauguration Day blues, and boy did we go for it! I'm pretty sure we went through about 12 bottles of wine. We went out for dinner at Coast Sushi, and this may be the wine talking but I'm definitely headed back with Jeff at some point - it was so good!! The super fatty tuna was melt-in-your-mouth good, and they had a really good mix of traditional and funky rolls. After that we headed out for a little dancing before realizing we're definitely getting a little too old for this ;)
...I had been thinking I'd try to go to the Women's March in Chicago, but all of that wine kept me on the couch all morning - whoops! I had to live vicariously through the news and all of your Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat posts, and holy crap I'm seriously amazed by what the day turned into. Get it ladies! Oh, and my dad - he texted that he was out marching!! He refused to wear the hats though ;)
...Went for a little lunch date with Jeff to Summer House Santa Monica, and that place seriously never disappoints! We were there around 4pm, and now I know when all of the new parents go out to eat dinner - the place was packed with kids! I saw two babies that had to be under a month old and were so tiny and adorable. Jeff accused me of not paying attention to him because I was too busy craning around looking at all of the miniature humans. I swear I'm not weird.
...Snagged this adorable striped lace-up tee for only thirteen bucks!! It's so cute so I'm really hoping it fits - fingers crossed!!
...Got a bunch of stuff done around the house. It's a little embarrassing but we had a bunch of stuff delivered to help fancy up our bedroom weeks and weeks ago, and we just got around to getting it all set up. I'm most excited about this pretty print, we got a giant size to hang on the wall and I'm seriously in love. It's the perfect balance of girly but still neutral, as I'm trying to trick Jeff into thinking our bedroom isn't a total lady room. It seems to be working so far ;)
...Watched Captain Fantastic, which was such an interesting film and so different from what we usually watch. It's basically about a hippie family that lives out on the wilderness, but have to go on a giant adventure across the country to save their mother. There were a few noticeable plot holes but I still really enjoyed it, the storyline was really unique and it was just interesting to see into the lives of people who are so different from myself.

I hope you had a good one!!

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! What are you up to this weekend? I'm headed to a ladies night with some friends tonight with lots of sushi and lots of wine - yay! Here are some of my finds for this week - apparently I'm ready to head into spring. That bag is really calling my name, I love the pretty pale blue! 

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Black on Black on Black

Shirt - Pleione (I also love this one and this one) / Blazer (super similar) - Ann Taylor / Jeans - Gap / Booties - TOMS / Bag (similar here and here)- Coach Factory / Necklace (similar) - BaubleBar / Watch - Wristology

I'm not usually one for going monochrome, and I rarely wear a ton of black in the first place. I don't know what's happened lately though, because this month I've basically only gone for black, including this cute velvet blazer I found on sale at Ann Taylor for just $30! I couldn't find the exact blazer to link here, but definitely try looking in stores if you're interested, my store had at least ten sitting in the clearance section. Velvet is not a trend I've tried since I owned a couple of pairs of velvet leggings back in 2012, but I was happy to jump back into it - it feels trendy without being over the top. Plus, at thirty bucks it's a trend I'm happy to try!

I also snagged this pretty Pleione shirt at Nordstrom a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't heard of the brand before, but now I basically want everything they make - it's all so pretty and girly! The only thing is, I wouldn't go for anything white. I originally wanted this shirt in white but it was basically completely see through. I tried it with a tank underneath, but that made it super clingy, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a draped top. All of their shirts I saw in stores looked to be made of the same exact fabric, so definitely avoid the white! I really love the top I snagged (and also have this one and this one on my wishlist!), the ruffle/semi peplum detail is so pretty and crazy flattering.

So are you thinking about going monochrome like me? The key is to mix textures. Here, the velvet, denim, and gauzy light fabric all reflect light differently, adding a lot of depth to a look that could easily fall flat. You could also try mixing in over the knee suede boots or faux leather leggings for a similar look! It's easily something I'd already have tried, but sadly my search for OTK boots that actually are long enough for my crazy long legs continues. Le sigh.

So tell me, would you wear all of the black?

Shirt - Pleione (I also love this one and this one) / Blazer (super similar) - Ann Taylor / Jeans - Gap / Booties - TOMS / Bag (similar here and here)- Coach Factory / Necklace (similar) - BaubleBar / Watch - Wristology

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Travel Guide - Las Vegas

Jeff and I went to Vegas twice in 2016, including for New Year's Eve, and have been several times together in the past couple of years too, and it is always a blast. We've stayed in a bunch of different places, once got a friend of a friend to sneak us into a bunch of different pools, have seen a lot of shows, and eaten at some amazing restaurants, so I'm pretty confident in my ability to give recommendations at this point! Here are some of the best places to stay, things to do, and places to eat and drink.


When you're looking for a place to stay, you obviously want to choose the Strip, which is the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that all of the casinos are on. When picking a place to stay, location is definitely key! The strip is really long and the blocks are huge, so even if you're staying one or two blocks off of the strip you may still be quite a walk to all of the casinos. We stayed off the strip once to try to save money, and ended up spending so much on cabs to and from our hotel that it would have been cheaper to just stay in one of the casinos! I've always wanted to stay at Wynn or Encore, but again, they're so far away that you'd spend most of your trip walking or in a cab if you feel like leaving the casino. For location, central strip has always been the best for us - we love Aria and Bellagio for location, and I'd love to stay in the Cosmopolitan at some point!

Also consider if you're going to want to spend a lot of time at the pool. When we went this winter it was too cold for any pool time, but it's generally pool weather from March through October, although be careful with the start and end dates if you're from the South - crazy Chicagoans like myself will go swimming just about anytime it's sunny! I personally love the pools at Mirage and Aria. Mirage is an older casino but has a fun, oasis-themed pool with a lot of alcoves and waterfalls, and gets a good amount of sun. Aria has some really beautiful pools and is mostly full-sun, and we loved the zero-entry option, which let us lounge in the water like we were at the beach. Some of the casinos that have high towers will block the sun at the pools - we especially noticed this at Caesar's Palace!

The pool at Caesar's Palace - you can see that the right side is completely in the shade! 


You're in Vegas, so definitely check out the casinos! I'm super risk adverse so I don't like to gamble a lot, but I always love checking out the craps table and the slots, and this past trip I got really into blackjack. If you don't want to spend a ton of money, come up with an amount you're okay with losing over the trip, and don't go over that amount! I usually stick with a limit of $100 per day, and once I hit that limit I'm not allowed to spend any more. I also like to look for casinos that have lower-priced tables so I can get a little more bang for my buck. We usually have luck finding cheaper tables at Mirage and Planet Hollywood. Generally the fancier a casino is, the more expensive it will be to gamble there!

If you're visiting Vegas for the first time, definitely take a walk along the strip. It's a little crazy, but you can grab an adult beverage (there are no open container laws in Vegas) and do some great people watching. It's also fun to wander from casino to casino, most of them have some form of entertainment right on the strip to try to draw you in, like a volcano that explodes in front of Mirage and a pirate show in front of Treasure Island.

While you're wandering the strip, you have to do in Vegas are to see the fountains at the Bellagio and the interior of the Venetian. You've probably seen the Bellagio fountains in a movie at some point, but they are absolutely beautiful in person! The fountains go off every half hour, and have a show that coordinates with music. On New Year's Eve, they had the fountains going off every fifteen minutes and played more modern music (including Bruno Mars!) which was really fun to see. If you want a really good view, plan your visit out ahead of time as people will line up around the fountain fifteen or twenty minutes in advance! You also have to see the Venetian - the inside is decorated to look like Venice, complete with a canal and gondolas you can take a ride in! It is really beautiful, and of course, there's also a bit of shopping to do while you're inside ;)

I rarely shop when I go to Vegas, since most of the stores are the same I see in downtown Chicago, but if you don't live and work in what's basically a gigantic mall then I definitely recommend checking it out! For higher end stores like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc, check out the shops at Bellagio as well as The Shops at Crystals, which is the mall connected to Aria. For more affordable shopping, definitely check out the shops at Caesar's Palace or Planet Hollywood.

I had a little spa day this past time I was there, and I definitely recommend checking that out if you have the time! We stayed at the Bellagio so it was a bit pricy, but once you pay for a service (I got a hot stone massage, mmmmmmm) you get access to the spa for the whole day, which lets you into the hot tubs, sauna, and steam room, as well as access to their showers, fancy hair products and tools, and makeup mirrors. I didn't quite know what to expect, and I literally spent all day in there!

If you're there in the winter, check out the roof of the Cosmopolitan - they turn one of their pools into an ice skating rink! We didn't skate because someone is a scaredy-cat (hint: it's not me ;), but it is such a cute set-up, plus there are great views of the strip, yummy wintery cocktails, and even little fire pits you can rent out and roast s'mores over!

I'm not that into the Vegas shows, but we saw Britney when we were there over the summer and it was amazing - definitely go if that's your scene!

Eat and Drink

Eggslut - A favorite from Los Angeles, this is a fast-casual breakfast spot in the Cosmopolitan with freaking amazing breakfast sandwiches. We tried the Fairfax and the Gaucho, and they were both so good!! There is always a huge line, but it moves pretty fast - we made it through the line and got our food in about thirty minutes on a busy Saturday morning.

Herringbone - We went for brunch here once, and they have lounge seating right next to the pool that's really fun. I loved the cocktails, and we really liked sharing a bunch of their small plates, and of course the chilaquiles!

Yellowtail - I eat here almost every time we come to Vegas, partially because I have that rice portion of my stomach that always needs to be filled, but mostly because they have amazingly fresh sushi! Like, I rarely eat sashimi or non-rolled sushi, but I do eat it here - so good!

The Chandelier - a bar in Cosmo that's built to look like you're inside a giant chandelier! It's so beautiful I make Jeff stop by for a drink every time we're in Vegas. The drinks aren't bad either ;)

Lago - I thought the food here was really good (Italian small plates), but the drinks were what really shined! They have really beautiful presentation - one of the cocktails I had came with a gold sugar "nest" and a gold raspberry on the top, and they're also really good! Jeff actually spent a good amount of time sampling the cocktail menu while I was off spa-ing on our last trip ;)

LVB Burgers - Giant burgers and boozy milkshakes. Need I say more?

Mesa Grill - In case you're feeling some tacos (we always are!) this place is great for lunch or brunch!

So there you have it, my guide to Las Vegas! What are your favorite places in Vegas? Anything I missed?

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