Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I've decided that these are the kind of outfit posts I'll be doing. 1- because I'm incompetent when it comes to taking pictures of myself and I nearly always look like I have drunk eyes in pictures when I'm completely sober and 2- because I don't have anywhere interesting to take them.

  top- Gap
beater- my brother's
shorts- thrifted and slashed
sandals- American Eagle
belt- from a friend
dogtag- gift from NewHouse Bootcamp
rings- F21, Cute Plush

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to school OUTFIT

Minimal accessories for a monochrome outfit... busy shorts and ass kicking boots take care of everything. 

top: Urban Outfitters
shorts: DIY
boots: Dr. Marten
sunglasses: H&M
thigh high socks: F21

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lights will guide you home

On this rainy, hurricaney day in New York, I noticed the lack of soft lighting in my room. I am a huge fan of glowy light and usually line my ceiling perimeter with Christmas lights. My room this year is a bit too big (I love it, I'm not complaining) and the outlets are in really weird, random places. So I began to scour tumblr for ideas...

 ...and then I ended up doing not much with my room and getting really excited for Christmas instead. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CSO @ Ravinia

Bear with me while I completely nerd-out for a moment. Something monumental has happened that my high school mind has been craving since 2003. I attended the Lord of the Rings Symphony at Ravinia, put on by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (get all your laughs out now).

I was a total LOTR geek in high school. I've read the books, have the extended DVDs, and own all the soundtracks. It was those movies that got me interested in film and the film making process in the first place. I owe the kiwis a lot.

Howard Shore doesn't need his Academy Award to tell him that his score is brilliant. Anyone familiar with the LOTR story knows that the entire world that Tolkien created revolves around different cultures. Hobbits are homely and folksy, elves are immortal and ethereal, people from Rohan are centered on their equines and are slightly Anglo-Saxon. Each culture needs their own distinct melodies and “theme music.” Howard Shore gave them a musical identity.

I had some kind of pre-teen fangirly spaz-out when I realized that I was going to be home for this performance. Ravinia itself is always a good time no matter who is playing, as it is one huge evening picnic. The great thing about the place is that many of the people that come usually wouldn't be the type to go into Chicago to sit through a full symphony at a concert hall. The community picnic aspect is what attracts people to bring their children or a group of friends. This show in particular was the marriage of film and classical music, something that would be attractive to an entirely different crowd than usual. No wonder the lawn looked more like Bonnaroo than a crowd in their opera going finest.

  (I think this picture is hilarious beyond words)

You usually drop $10 for lawn seats, plop your blanket somewhere on the 36 acres of wooded lawn space, and bring your Playmate cooler with a as much food as you can stuff in it. Regulars will have mini tables topped with wine, cheese, and fancy finger food. But I've seen people sneak in Chinese take-out or styrofoam containers of fried chicken. My best friend and her boyfriend brought cheeses, hummus, and a shrimp ring. I brought a picnic backpack set that has been dormant in my crawl space for the past 15 years, fruit, French bread, wine, and some awesome scones that I baked that afternoon. Our amount of food coma was perfect for laying back and staring at the night sky while listening to the show.

The actual symphony was not was I was expecting. I thought it was going to be about 3 hours of selections from all 3 movies. Wrong! The theatrical version of Fellowship of the Ring was screened over the orchestra in the pavilion. There was the usual spoken audio and sound effects, but the score was cut and performed live instead. From our blanket on the lawn, we could only see the top half of the movie but we didn't mind. We've seen the movie enough times to know exactly what was going on. And we weren't the only ones. I was amused to see a guy who was on his way to the bathroom with a beer can in hand shout “SARUMAN!” at the exact same moment that an Orc on screen did.

The music was great, of course, as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the top orchestras in the country. The female vocalist who sang the solos was amazing. My only complaint was that the choir as a whole was a little less powerful than in the recorded score. I'm not sure how long the CSO had to rehearse, but I would imagine that learning a new language wouldn't be the easiest thing. Sure, opera singers have to sing in different languages all the time, but the French and Italian languages are actually spoken regularly. You can't say the same thing for the languages Tolkien created. It might have just been a lack of phonetic confidence.

I loved any time that they played the Isengard theme. It is supposed to sound very mechanized and a little bit off, since it is set in 5/4. The percussion section uses some kind of metal instruments to give that industrial sound. I don't mean metal as in the type of rock music. I mean it sounded like they were shaking metal chain links and banging on anvils, which they probably were. We couldn't see the orchestra from our spot on the lawn but I would have loved to see the percussionists in their tuxes whacking away at some grungy, rusty construction equipment. 

Thank you, Ravinia Festival, for fulfilling my mid-teenage mind's dreams! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Studded Shorts DIY

What is better to do on a rainy day than stud a pair of shorts? Obviously nothing. Throw on an Adicts cd and grab your pliers!

I picked up these high waisted black mom jeans from Goodwill for a couple bucks and ordered medium sized cone studs from Studs and Spikes. I was initially going to get English-77 studs, but those aren't the greatest for shorts if you ever plan on sitting down and not getting stabbed in the ass.

I studded one of the back pockets on a diagonal. For the front I had planned on just studding two lines on each side seam, but they're not too visible from the front. So I took out a row and used the rest of my 100 pack on one side. Go big or go home.

Can't wait to wear these with my nearly perfect 14-hole AirWair Docs, also thrifted from Goodwill for $20. Best day shopping in a LONG time! Here are my inspo shots that have been sitting on my desktop for days:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sushi Station

This is my favorite sushi restaurant of... ever. I make a point of going to the location in Rolling Meadows ever time I'm home. The place is one of those revolving sushi bars. You get a couple pieces of maki or nigiri on a plate that are constantly moving past you on a covered conveyor belt. Prices start at $1.25 (lunch special) and go up by a dollar according to the color of the plate.

Just getting about 2 pieces per plate is good for sushi noobs or for the adventurous. If you get a plate of something that you end up not liking, at least you won't have a whole roll of it.

Personally, I prefer maki because I like stuff with my rice and fish. I'm not a big fan of nigiri (clearly I'm not a connoisseur). So I like all the crazy rolls Sushi Station has. For example, my favorite roll EVER is...

I love anything with coconut. And avocado. So. Good!

The Godzilla rolls is my other favorite: crab, salmon, cream cheese, AND it's served warm because the nori is coated in tempura. Melts in your mouth.

As far as sush goes, this place is awesome. There's no fear of a one roll commitment, which I appreciate. If you go during lunch, you can leave completely full for $7. No really, it's possible. Sushi Station opens at 11:30. Get there at 11:29 or else you might have to wait for a seat.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wicker Park, Chi City

One of my main reasons for coming home for the 2 week break during the summer and fall semesters is to go thrifting in Chicago! My first stop on the thrifting circuit today in Wicker Park was Crossroads Trading Co. I've heard that this place is a slight step down from Buffalo Exchange. It did look like they had more items in their store, but tight racks made the sift a little more difficult. Yes, I did see some things that were a couple years ago-seeming style. But that is to be expected at most thrift stores, right?

Crossroads has some brand-new clothes near the front of the store that I didn't even bother looking at. That wasn't what I was there for. They also have a jewelry counter full of new necklaces and rings, which are worth a look.

I purchased only one top/dress (?) here after trying on some long sleeved tops that I decided I would probably never wear. Last time I was at Crossroads, I scored a pair of Oxfords that came through the door with their previous owner about 2 seconds after I did.  

(Sorry about general bad-looking photos. I'm working on it.)

Verdict: There definitely are good pieces to be found at Crossroads. Just not a ton all at once. They're also cheaper than Buffalo Exchange.

With one bag in hand, I gallivanted across the street to Buffalo Exchange, the entire reason I made the trekk into the City in the first place.

This store is top of the pile and I'm totally a fan of their organization. Overall, they have a smaller amount of clothes compared to other thrift stores in the few block stretch on Milwaukee Ave, but they're more selective for a reason. Here you will find pieces that you don't already have in your closet or have seen walking around on the street.

Their shoe selection is great (unless you have size Sasquatch, which I do), as are their blouses and dresses. Ok, pretty much everything is worth picking through.

I picked up 3 tops here, one of which I HAD to get because it looked perfect with the shorts I happened to be wearing at the time. Also picked up a flowy sweater which is made up of a lot more fabric than it looks like. I was thinking ahead for Syracuse winters. I don't have a picture of it as my camera made it look black when it is actually olive. But it has some wicked chains on the shoulders. And now I'm realizing that almost everything I bought is sheer. Thumbs up.

Verdict: Go here fa sho, you will find something. Or too many somethings for your wallet to handle. Most of their pieces are around $20, though t-shirts are less and some dresses tend to be more.

For lunch, I stopped at Two Amigos in Logan Square. My Dad (aka chauffeur for the day) knew the place, since he used to live down the street from it back in the day. Delicious, cheap, authentic Mexican food. The salsa is spicy and full of cilantro and the best I have tasted in a long, long time. It has the consistency of spaghetti sauce, which was a tad off putting at first, but I got over it quickly. It was perfect.  

First Post!

I'm trying this again. I've tampered with blogs over the past months, never fully committing to one idea. And I still can't. I suspect this will be an ongoing, changing project.

Here you will find reviews of artsy things, style posts, inspo, and other things that I feel like sharing. All in my humble opinion, of course.

Thanks for checking out!