Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday Finds

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fall Colors

Shirt (similar) - Old Navy / Skirt - Target / Shoes (starting to sell out!) - BP / Earrings - c/o Charming Charlie / Bag (currently 20% off with code EOTS17 - what a deal! Also available at Nordstrom) - Tory Burch / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - Stella & Dot

You guys, the fall weather is here! At least through the weekend. Cue me pulling out all of my plaid and flannel and scarves and boots. Not that I ever really put them away, it wasn't until I started blogging that I realized people really switch out their closets for winter/summer. Umm, hello, I live in an apartment, where would I put all of that stuff?! Certainly not down in our storage closet where it could potentially get moldy! (Sidebar: a box of stuff I was storing in my parent's basement was just discovered to be covered in mildew/mold. Byeeee Brownie sash and all of those badges I worked so hard to earn.) I literally have one drawer in my closet for stuff that I'm definitely not wearing this season, and usually that's what ends up in the donate box. 

So anyway, can we talk about how cute this skirt is? I love the little tie front, it's a trend I've been seeing lately and makes things feel oh so '90s in the best possible way. And definitely not at all like Kanye West designed it. RIGHT? Right. A little black mini is one of those things that can go with anything, and I love that the tie gives it a little extra oomph. 

Also, this post has reminded me that I never added this skirt to my budget because I thought I wasn't going to keep it. Whoops. Thanks for keeping me honest, KDTI. I'll sneak it in there next time :)

This week has been a fun one. On Tuesday I realized it was probably the last patio night of the year (of course, I just checked the weather and saw 80's for next week - what?!) and convinced Jeff to abandon his work for the night and head out to Lou Malnati's with me for a little deep dish. I feel like I always hear Chicagoans saying that while they like deep dish pizza, they would usually rather have a thin crust. Umm, not me. If deep dish is an option, that's 100% what I'm getting. 

Tonight we're headed to a fundraiser for alzheimer's research, and while that doesn't sound particularly exciting it actually is usually really fun. We've been the past couple of years - it's held in a sports bar so it's really casual, and there's always a band plus plenty of drinks. And I'll take any excuse to step away from my computer on a weeknight (and to drag Jeff away from his)! 

I hope your week has been fun - but if not, happy Friday's eve ;) 

Shirt (similar) - Old Navy / Skirt - Target / Shoes (starting to sell out!) - BP / Earrings - c/o Charming Charlie / Bag (currently 20% off with code EOTS17 - what a deal! Also available at Nordstrom) - Tory Burch / Watch - Wristology / Necklace - Stella & Dot

Linking up with Friday Fab Favorites.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September Budget

Every month I post about my clothing budget. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some and a little to others, but feels just right for me. You can read my thoughts on my 2016 budget here.

Another month has come and gone, except now I'm in full sweater mode. Thank goodness the weather has finally cooled down to allow for that!

This was another month where I was 100% sure I was going to go over budget, and ended up returning so many things that my Nordstrom card now has a negative $200 balance. I think something about the knowledge that I can return stuff to Nordstrom anytime, and now it's so convenient to go to Nordstrom for returns (just a 10 minute walk from my office!) that I've been ordering a lot of things to try, knowing that they'll likely go back. One of my coworkers jokes now that every time I go into the office I have at least one item to return these days.

So what did I get? Why all of the pretty fall things of course! And I've already ordered next month's budget's worth of more pretty fall things too. In case you haven't been able to tell, this floral dress and this burgundy dress have become fast favorites - I think I've worn both of them at least once a week since I got them. They're both so cute and flow-y, and while they've been a godsend in the 90+ degree temperatures we've had for the past week and a half, they both also layer really well. I also picked up a few things for work and a few basics because, sadly, I gained a few pounds this summer. Stupid turning thirty and that whole metabolism thing shutting down.

So anyways, here's the haul for September:

LOFT Blouse - originally $49.50, on sale $29.70. One of those pieces that's super flattering and really easy to wear. I've been loving it with black leggings!
J. Crew Factory Sweater - originally $64.50, on sale $38.50. This just came in the mail on Monday but I'm so excited to wear it - also perfect for leggings or for layering under a cozy vest. Comes in six colors if millennial pink isn't your thing ;)
Lush Crepe Dress - $46.00. This dress is perfect for so many things (work, or perhaps the weekend) and is starting to sell out - down to just three colors (including this one). Snag it fast!
J. Crew Jeans - originally $125.00, on sale $87.50. I tried J. Crew toothpick jeans a few years ago but remember rejecting them because the inseam was too short even on the talls. I can't tell if the inseams are longer now, or if shorter inseams are just in style, but this is now hands down my favorite pair of jeans - I also own a ripped version. I have this problem where the pockets are always coming out of my jeans, and they did something new where the pocket fabric goes across the whole top of the pants and supposedly slims you down and oh my gosh they are magic.
J. Crew Earrings - originally $24.50, on sale $19.60. I went on a mad hunt for earrings one day and went into every store on Southport. I specifically wanted black or gray statement earrings to wear to my cousin's wedding, and whenever I get something so specific into my head like that I either can't find it, or in this case, find a million options but none of them are "quite right." Thank god J. Crew had these in stock or I might still be looking. I love that these are lightweight, and while they are technically a statement earring they are really easy to wear and go with everything.
BP Striped Peplum Tee (sold out) - $29.00. I mentioned that I've gained a few L.B.s, and I am so no longer into tight fitting shirts. This one is flattering and comfortable, and will look great under all of my cardigans this fall. It sold out really fast, but here's the long sleeve version.
J. Crew Factory Pencil Skirt - originally $79.50, on sale $29.32. I weirdly bought this in a couple of colors but only liked the black. I've owned a few Factory pencil skirts over the years and always love them. This one will come in handy for the infrequent occasions when I need to dress up for work and then realize I still don't own any dress clothes.
LOFT Floral Dress - originally $89.50, on sale $53.70. This dress is the epitome of a wear-anywhere dress, because I've already worn it on a date, to a wedding, on a weekend adventure, and to work, and have worn it with booties, flats, OTK boots, and sandals. Oh, and it's currently on clearance for even less than I paid for it! Win win win win win. That's five wins.

Total Spent: $333.32
Total Saved: $174.18

So what am I shopping for in October? All of the fall clothes of course! I'd love to find another field jacket as mine is from Forever 21 from years ago and has faux leather on the shoulders that sticks to my body if I wear it with a tank. And also a serious winter coat for when it get's seriously cold. I already tried one that looked promising, but as per the usual, it was too short in the arms and too narrow in the shoulders. Sigh. The search continues.

So tell me, did you budget in September? What did you get?

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hiking in the Flatirons

Top (similar) - Old Navy / Jacket - J. Crew Factory / Leggings (exact are sold out, I also love this pair with a mesh bottomthis pink color-blocked pair, and this moto-inspired pair) - Zella / Hat (currently on sale!) - Urban Outfitters / Sneakers (similar) - Nike / Earrings (similar) - Charming Charlie

Isn't that background stunning?! We took these photos in Boulder last week when we went out to hike in the Flatirons, which are right next to town. They're kind of crazy looking, these giant rocks jutting out of the mountainside. We went up into the hills three times over the weekend, and I somehow managed to forget how beautiful the views were and was taken aback every time. 

I honestly thought I was going to hate hiking, but really I loved it. I'm not ready to go on a six hour summit climb or anything, but a walk through nature? Just my style. As long as it's mostly flat ;) 

What's also just my style are these leggings - how fun are they?! I've long been a fan of Zella leggings, but they've really stepped up their game lately. This exact pair is sold out, but I'm seriously loving this pair with a mesh bottom, this pink color-blocked pair, and this moto-inspired pair. They're fun to wear for working out (or, ahem "hiking" in this case) but are so cute they're fun to wear around town too - three cheers for athleisure! My cousin said they were "leggings of the future" and my grandma didn't say anything but snapped the fabric on my leg, so I think she liked them too. 

More Zella Leggings

What the trip really showed me though is that I need to work on my sneaker game! I currently own two pairs and one gives me blisters on my little toes if I sweat too much. The pair I'm wearing here is fun because they're hot pink, but also they're hot pink so they really don't work with most outfits. I came home and immediately ordered two new pairs of sneakers that I'm still waiting to get in the mail. I can wear sneakers to work, so I may turn into an all sneakers, all the time kind of girl.

Top (similar) - Old Navy / Jacket - J. Crew Factory / Leggings (exact are sold out, I also love this pair with a mesh bottomthis pink color-blocked pair, and this moto-inspired pair) - Zella / Hat (currently on sale!) - Urban Outfitters / Sneakers (similar) - Nike / Earrings (similar) - Charming Charlie

Linking up with Style Me Wednesday.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...Went out with Jeff for date night at Due Lire in Lincoln Square. It was hot all weekend, but we still decided to sit out on their little patio because it's so cute. I never used to want to go out for Italian food, I think because it didn't seem exciting enough and I was poor and made a lot of spaghetti at home, but now I love it for dates. Really, I'm not sure what was wrong with younger Kristina, because really, is there anything better than a glass of wine and some fresh pasta?! 
...Put some serious hours into reading A Little Life, which honestly is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's a novel about the lives of four friends from college, and it's really real and raw and emotional - so much better than all of the summer fluff novels I've been reading recently. Just know that the read time on my Kindle said 15 hours (!) so it's really a commitment.
...Had a few friends over with the intention of grilling and hanging out on the roof, but it was so hot out we ended up hiding inside and watching football until the sun went down! Seriously, I know it's only 90 degrees, but after a couple of weeks of fall weather I cannot handle the heat anymore. We still grilled, I've been working all summer on perfecting my barbecue chicken (I use this recipe) and I have to say, it's so good - especially now that I figured out how to stop setting the chicken on fire during the sear haha. I'm also a fantastic hostess because I forgot to plan for anything besides snacks and the chicken, but ended up making this zoodle recipe I've been having for lunch a lot recently and then a box of Kraft mac and cheese at the request of the guys!
...Put in a big order with J.Crew Factory for fall - super excited for this dress, this scarf and this flannel shirt to come in the mail! Oh and the 40 other things I ordered ;)

I hope you had a good one!!

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Finds

Yay, Happy Friday!! We flew back from Colorado in the wee hours of Tuesday morning so it was a short week for me, but still packed. Between catching up with work, blogging, and freelancing, I managed to squeeze in a happy hour at Joy District (which seriously has the best rooftop if you've never been before) and a dinner at Roka Akor. We went with some of Jeff's family and decided to go family style, which meant we got to try lots of stuff on the menu - my favorite way to try a restaurant. I loved everything but especially the black cod and the tuna tataki - yum!!

Here are my finds for the week - really I want to add a pair of leggings and wear this whole outfit out this weekend (you know, if the weather in Chicago would cooperate).

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Weekend in Boulder

Get ready for a photo overload!! We were in Boulder for a long weekend for my cousin's wedding, and it was seriously one of the best weekends ever.

Part of that was that we were staying at Chautauqua, a hundred year old resort full of the cutest little cabins. Each had a cute screened porch (some of them bigger than others) where we all sat out with my extended family every night, eating massive amounts of cheese and sipping on wine (or Keystone Light in the case of my 21 year old cousins) and laughing so loud that we continuously got in trouble for noise. I don't know when the last time we spent so much time together - maybe a trip to the beach 10+ years ago - and really it didn't matter what we were doing.

Our cabin - number 409! Ours was one of the original old cabins on the property. 

Over the summer I met Kristin from Cupcakes and the Cosmos, and she said that Chautauqua was a really fun location because it was at the base of the hiking trails in Boulder. I literally asked her what else there was to do, because I'm not that into hiking. Well, I definitely ate my words, because I think I went out hiking more than anyone in our group! There are a couple of trails that leave right out of the resort, some of them are really challenging (my parents and I accidentally went on a really tough climb - should have realized if the trail was marked "no horses" it should have meant "no Kristina's" also) but some were easy enough to take a stroll with my two year old niece. I tried to take some photos of her out in the mountains, but she got excited that I was squatting down and decided she needed to squat down too. 

The mountains closest to Boulder are called the Flatirons because, I mean, well, just take a look. Aren't they beautiful?! It was sunny for most of our trip, but one morning when we went out it was really foggy and spooky.

Oh, and of course, there was the whole reason we went to Boulder - my cousin's wedding of course!! Hope got married out at Milston Well Farm, and it was one of the coolest wedding venues we've ever been to. They had their ceremony out in front of a old farm house that had a cool archway growing in front of the door, their cocktail hour in a restored barn next to a pen full of animals, their dinner at one long table in a grove of trees, and dancing under a giant teepee. Yes, a giant teepee. Oh, and they closed out the night with an ice cream truck, which, frankly, you didn't have to ask me twice to visit.

Someone told me to show off my accessories ;) 

Dress (currently on sale!) / Jacket / Bag / Boots

What else did we get down to in Boulder? Eat and drink and eat and drink of course! We mostly visited Pearl Street, which is a cute little walkable downtown area full of bars and restaurants and shops. Jeff and I actually walked there from Chautauqua which was a pretty little walk past the prettiest houses. It's about a 300 foot change in elevation though, so I would not recommend walking back!!

Some of the places we went were:

The Med - a restaurant specializing in foods from around the Mediterranean, including tapas, pasta, pizza, paella, and even tagine. My favorite thing here was the special cantaloupe and burrata toast. I've never understood melon and mozzarella before, but I seriously get it now - so freaking good! And this place was great for large groups. We had fourteen people, and I saw a couple of other really big tables while we were there too.

Bohemian Biergarten - German beers, sausages, picnic tables, and big tvs - perfect for watching football on Sunday afternoon! I mean, Jeff watched football, I Instagrammed ;)

Cured - An amazing cheese and meat shop. My uncle bought all of the charcuterie for the rehearsal party from here, and Jeff and I love some charcuterie so we had to go visit the next day for some Italian sandwiches - so good! Word on the street is they make a mean breakfast sandwich too. 

Alpine Modern Cafe - I really wanted to go here to try all of the toasts (oh, excuse me hipsters, tartines) but we only managed to stop in for coffee. Let me tell you, they had two kinds of chai lattes (I got the sweet - yum!) and the inside was so cute and perfect.

Tahona Tequila Bistro - We ducked in here for happy hour, and they had infused-tequilla margaritas. Yaaaaasssss why doesn't everyone make these?! Instead of having a too-sweet fruit margarita, just have a hint of pineapple or strawberry or watermelon and mint. Plus, the happy hour specials were on point.

Next Door - Next Door is, in fact, next door to The Kitchen, the restaurant where my cousin Hope met her now husband!! There is also a bar upstairs called, ironically, Upstairs ;) I got one of the burgers here and it was delicious and amazing and everything I could hope for in a burger. Plus live music and outdoor seating.

If you made it this far, I'm proud of you. Now, take me back to Boulder please!

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