Winter Wardrobe

Hello! If you live in Chicago you know why today’s post is about my winter wardrobe essentials. For those that don’t live here, it snowed yesterday! This is usually not abnormal for a Chicago winter, but for some reason the weather has been so strange lately- the day before our snow storm it was 50 degrees! So in honor of our first real snow fall I have gathered all of my winter favorites, but first here are my tips on staying warm this winter!

1. Booties & Wedges: These are essential when going out and I am so glad they are in style this year! The booties will protect your ankles when walking around in snow, while the wedges keep your feet high off the ground.

2. Plaid is great for throwing on over a pair of jeans or leggings. Super comfy and warm, plaid is always my go-to for when I’m lounging around the house.

3. Sweaters, Scarves, Hats: These are ideal for layering, which is pretty much all I do in the winter. Most of the time I don’t have enough money to buy a whole new winter wardrobe; so I use scarves, hats, and cardigans to help my summer tanks keep me warm.

Winter Wardrobe

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If I Only Had A Home, or My Own Home…

This past weekend, my friend took me on a trip to West Elm. While it was great helping her find the perfect shower curtain, it made me a little anxious to have my own apartment; so I thought I would remedy this anxiety by posting about my potential new place! I always like to change things up when it comes to decorating. I will buy one thing and then want something else a couple months later. To solve this problem, I like to keep all my expensive, essentials simple with white’s and grey’s. Once all of these items are established, I use little home decorations to liven things up and I try not to spend too much on these items – considering I am probably going to want to change them fairly soon. If I Only Had a Home or My Own Home...

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DIY Sunday: Mason Jars

I have recently formed a new obsession with Mason Jars. While these jars make great vintage-chic drinking glasses, they can also be transformed into fabulous home decorations!

Fabric Covered Mason Jars: Brought to you from the blog Fellow Fellow. 

– What you will need: A pair of scissors, a paint brush, craft glue, a small mason jar, a small cup, and light fabric of your choice!

– Step #1: Measure your jar. Then cut strips of your fabric to fit the jar, 1 cm each should work well.

– Step #2: Pour some of your craft glue into the small cup and dilute with water (do not add too much water, you still want a semi-thick consistency).

– Step #3: Dip your strips of fabric into the small cup of glue. Run your fingers over the fabric to remove excess glue.

– Step #4: Place the strip into the jar, pattern side facing the jar. Use the paintbrush to brush out any air bubbles. Continue until the inside of the jar is covered with your fabric.

– Step #5: Let dry over night and enjoy! ** If you choose to put candles inside the jar I recommend using electric candles, not real ones.

Vintages Votives via Annaboo’s House

– What you will need: Lace of your choice, mason jars, and mod podge.

– Step #1: Cut lace to fit circumference of jar.

– Step #2: Decide where you would like to place the lace. Then apply mod podge to that area.

– Step #3: Once mod podge is applied apply the lace and let dry!

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Revelation From A Cab Driver

In college, the real world seemed so fantastic and simple. I would graduate, find a job, and live my big fabulous life in the city. Well, that plan hasn’t exactly worked out and the road to making it big in the real world is definitely much harder than I anticipated. You interview, you think everything went well and surprise someone has more experience than you or better yet? they’ll do the work for free! To say the least, my road to the real world has been one of tears, loss of self-esteem and constant complaining (sorry family and friends!). With the New Year I decided there needed to be a new me and my cab ride last night only affirmed this resolution. In a nut shell, the driver told me this “If you believe you can do it, it will happen. If you don’t believe you can do it, then you’re going to do everything in your power to make sure it doesn’t happen because if it does happen that means you were wrong – and nobody likes to be wrong.” While many friends and family members have spent time and time again convincing me that I could do things, it is only until I truly start believing in myself that things will start to happen – such a simple concept right?! Not really. I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there with the same feelings of hopelessness that I have felt over the past couple of months and I am here to tell you…. GET OVER IT! Stop wasting time feeling bad for yourself and turn that time into something productive. This is something my boyfriend has consistently drilled into my mind, but for some reason it took a speech from a cab driver for me to finally realize it. So, with a brand new year comes a brand new start and here are some quotes I plan to live by in 2012 (and the rest of my life).

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My Simple Resort Wear Style

Now that the holiday craze is over, a new season is appearing that has me yearning to go back to Tucson, Arizona – Resort Wear Season. At this time last year I was able to indulge in all the bright colors, tank tops, and flip flops hitting the stores, but now that I am permanently in Chicago those items won’t be necessary until June (if I’m lucky). So I am dedicating today’s post to the good old college days of walking to school in shorts and a tank top, laying out next to the glistening pool at my apartment complex, and wearing nothing but a light jacket during the “winter season”. I would love to rock all the bright colors hitting the racks, but I am not that daring; so below you will find my simple version of a bright wardrobe!

I'm Dreaming In Bright Colors: Resort Wear

Victoria’s Secret denim shorts
$50 –

Alice In The Eve mini skirt
$80 –

Tory Burch thong sandals
$225 –

Proenza Schouler leather clutch
$895 –

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Travel Tuesday: Prague, Czech Republic

Happy Travel Tuesday! I haven’t made a post in a while, but I am incredibly excited to announce today’s destination – Prague, Czech Republic. I visited this amazing city last spring and this spring my little sister will be studying abroad there. I cannot wait for her to experience everything Prague has to offer and wanted to share some of my memories with all of you!

John Lennon Wall: Filled with colorful artwork and phrases from Beatles songs, this is a must see when traveling to Prague.





Old Town Square: If you like the Christkindl Market in Daley Plaza, you will LOVE Old Town Square. Watch the Astronomical clock every hour on the hour and then enjoy some traditional Prague cuisine – potatoes, pretzels, meat, corn and everything in between!






Prague Food Highlight: They have sausage/hot dog stands everywhere! Grab some hot muddled wine, a wiener & enjoy! I don’t have any pictures of them, but Prague is also very well known for their clubs – Karlovy Lazne is especially crazy with 7 stories of different themed music.

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Courtney’s Book Club

Someone once told me that “the best way to learn how to write better is to read more”; so as I enter the New Year, I am excited to make the resolution to read more – a lot more!  And in case you had the same resolution, I wanted to share some of my favorite books of 2011 (in no particular order).

1. Jodi Picoult: I put Jodi in her own category because each book I have read (and I’ve read about 8+) has been absolutely phenomenal, heart wrenching, and hooks you right into each and every character. I recommend going to the store or heading online and ordering some of her books ASAP.

2. Thrillers: As an avid Law & Order fan, I am always up for something with suspense, murder, and mystery. Swimsuit by James Patterson and In The Woods by Tana French are two books I read in 2011 that gave me a run for my money. If you’re looking for something to last you a couple hours, I would recommend one of these books because you will not be able to put them down!

3. Romance Novels: James Patterson takes the cake here again. I am not usually one to pick up a romance novel, but I have read these three books again and again. If you’re feeling down, in need of a little hope, an want to escape to someone else’s dream world (which we all know you need to do sometimes), you need Sundays At Tiffany’s, Suzanne’s  Diary For Nicholas, and Sam’s Letters To Jennifer. 

4. Get Off Your Ass Inspiration: We all have those days, when you’re out of confidence, self-esteem, and just feel like nothing is going your way. That is the time you need to pick up Skinny Bitchin’ by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.

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Looks I Love

I have recently become obsessed with Pinterest and I have found some great inspiration for what I would like my new wardrobe to be…Maybe when I have more money my dream of looking like this on a regular basis will come true!

Classy.Chic. Perfect for going from work to a night out.

This I would wear on a first date. Simple & Sexy. I especially love the effortless hair.

This outfit is great for running errands. Casual, comfortable and way better than sweats and ugg boot.s

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Travel Tuesday: Interlaken, Switzerland

A new week, a new destination! Today we are traveling to Interlaken, Switzerland. As a snowboarder I had always dreamed of visiting the Swiss Alps and Interlaken was the first place I visited while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. While incredibly small, words cannot describe the amount of thrill and charm this little town possess.

This is Balmer’s – only the best hostel I stayed at while abroad. Walking distance to the town, complimentary breakfast, quaint feel and did I mention the best “club” in Interlaken is in the basement here? Enough said. 


This is me all harnessed up getting ready to jump into that canyon you see in the picture to the right! The most daring, terrifying, and exciting thing I have EVER done. If you’re a thrill seeker Interlaken is definitely the place for you. Aside from Canyon Jumping, there’s skiing, snowboarding, hang gliding, and night sledding. I highly recommend the night sledding. They take you to the very tops of the Swiss Alps and you sled down the slopes through little towns and finally end with a classic Swiss meal- fondue & beer!

This may look like a rusty old water fountain, but in Switzerland the water coming out of these pipes is actually the best water I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. We actually bought water bottles at the store, only to pour out all the water and fill them with the water coming straight out of a pipe on the outside wall of Balmer’s. 

These are some of the town folk all dressed up for a huge music competition. Check out part of the live music here:

This image does not do any justice. It is truly something you must experience for yourself! 

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If you’re anything like me, with the holidays are fast approaching, you still have no clue what to get for your friends and coworkers. While purchasing a unique gift for everyone would be ideal, I just do not have the time or the money; so I bring you today’s Do It Yourself holiday trick- Chocolate Peppermint Truffles compliments of Bakerita. Wrapped up in a cute holiday cellophane bag or perfectly placed in a holiday box, these treats are sure to please everyone on your list. ENJOY!

Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (16 ounce) box Candy Cane JoJo’s (from Trader Joes) or mint-flavored Oreos
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag of white candy melts
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  • Dark chocolate, melted (optional)

1. In a food process, grind cookies until they are a fine powder. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and oreos until no white streaks of cream cheese remain.

2. Place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. They can be refrigerated up to overnight.

3. Shape into about 40 tablespoon-sized balls. Melt white candy melts and dip truffles. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set.

4. If desired, sprinkle on sprinkles before the outside sets or wait until they are set and drizzle on dark chocolate. Keep refrigerated.

Yields 40 truffles

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