defining your personal style

In I Love Your Style, Amanda Brooks discusses defining your own unique style & owning it. It can be a hard thing to accomplish & I've personally had difficulty with this especially in regards to wardrobe. I have, however, came closer to defining my home decor style & the working title would be "Western Glam."

I can't even begin to tell you how often I fantasize about really settling into my very own apartment. I'm talking painting walls & installing hardware, not this roommate or tiny studio crap that I've experienced for the past several years. I want a space that is 100% me & displays my personal style.

Slowly, but surely, I've been putting together the pieces & identifying a look that I want to one day accomplish. I feel confident that I can make purchases now that will later fit into the whole picture. I've made four somewhat significant furniture purchases in the past few years & I still feel 100% happy about every one of them. Let's take a look...

Some next steps in the immediate future are a headboard, bookshelf & accent chair. I hope to knock those out this year. After that, a sectional sofa, rugs & accent tables are at the top of my list for when I (fingers crossed) move into a one bedroom apartment.
The starting point for me with this whole process was black & white; specifically, black & white photographs. I have always loved these colors & they always seem to look classy. This is my foundation, but I'm not afraid to add pops of color when appropriate. I think black & white is what pushed me towards the more "glam" identity which just seems appropriate for the girly side of me.

More recently, I've thought more & more about actual styling. Filling up shelves or decorating table tops has been somewhat of a struggle to me. Everything feels random & I knew I needed to tie it all together.

In a strange turn of events, I am embracing "western" influences, which tends to capture a rougher (more manlier, if you will) side. I have never extensively traveled in the area, nor do I have Native American ancestors, but I am very attracted to the art & culture of the west. I guess it started with this print, followed by the purchase of this paper machĂȘ skull. More recently, I purchased a naturally shed antler & I dream of this print by Debbie Carlos & a DIY dreamcatcher. (More on that tomorrow).

This whole process has been really fun for me. Does anyone else obsess over this stuff the same way? I know I need to actually start getting photos of the progress up & I promise that one day (hopefully soon) I will.


just the tip

I still have a Groupon to cash in on for feather hair extensions, but lets be honest, than trend is overdone. Could this be the new trend? I'm totally on board!



i was there : the twelves

Show: The Twelves & Junior Boys

Location: The Mid

Date: 8.19.11

Favorite Song: The Twelves poured out an amazing remix of the song "Odessa" by Caribou. It's a great song to begin with, but adding that little bit of disco was phenomenal. I wish I could find a clip to post here.

Memorable Moment: The Twelves sounded a little less like The Twelves to me for some reason. A little toned down, maybe? That's all good & well because when the heavy hitters like "Seven" & "Drop the Tough" come out it doesn't matter anymore.

Biggest Letdown: Seeing someone on the floor of a bar is always a buzz kill.

This Show: Was a guaranteed good time. I will never forget the first time I heard The Twelves during their BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, & well, lets just say it was a good night. There music is so fun & disco just can't help but make you feel good. I would recommend The Twelves to everyone. I think I've blogged about them more than any other artist.

no doubt

"Fall Creek Boy's Choir" - James Blake & Bon Iver

How could this not be a great song? James Blake & Bon Iver were made for each other & "Fall Creek Boy's Choir" is a great display of this. Now can we just work on a joint tour?

we're all no one

"We're All No One" - Nervo (Afrojack, Steve Aoki & Cheyenne Giles remix)

This has been one of my favorite remixes to come out in quite a while. No surprise with the power house line-up. Enjoy!


a strange love affair

I already shared my story about having to sell my Lollapalooza ticket, but that did not prevent me from watching the live stream over Lollapalooza weekend. One of the stand-out acts from the stream was Portugal, the Man. 

In the weeks prior to Lollapalooza I had done a quick run through of their most recent album, In the Mountain, In the Cloud, & I really liked what I heard during that first listen. My interest was piqued when I saw their name in the Lollapalooza live queue. Portugal, the Man rocked the stage despite the threatening clouds that held the promise of a torrential downpour. Their live set was really quite impressive, so much so that I knew I had to see them live, in person. Lucky for me, tickets for their October show at the Metro were on sale. I snatched up a pair right then & there.

In the days following Lollapalooza, Portugal, the Man were all over the news in regards to the weekend. Unfortunately, it was not rave reviews about their set (which the band undoubtedly deserved) -- Their van & trailer containing all of their instruments had been stolen from a Chicago parking lot.

My heart really went out to them. I can only imagine what kind of high they were riding after a colossal performance at Lollapalooza. Not even 24 hours later it was all shattered. Luckily, this story comes to a mostly good ending. The Chicago police, fans & randoms worked together using the power of social media & were able to recover most of their equipment. Portugal, the Man's response was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, it seems like some sentimental pieces are still missing, but I'm glad some things worked out. Below are the missing guitars:

This post is longer than usual for me, but I think Portugal, the Man deserves the praise. Their music is awesome, & well, they seem like pretty cool guys. I hope you check out some of their stuff & maybe even join me at the Metro on October 15th.


addictive personalities

I don't tend to think that I fall under this category, except when it comes to one thing -- books*. Once I start a good one, I become enamored with it & can't put it down. As is the case with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Hence why I didn't do any proper blog posts today. Ooops...
*Oh, & maybe puppies.


a plea for help

Football is somewhat of a new sport to me, but it's a sport I love. I blame my lack of knowledge on attending an all-girl highschool & then going on to DePaul. I finally was given a proper introduction to the sport about 4 years ago & I've kind of loved it ever since. That being said, I'm still a little clueless about things unless there is someone [patient] there to explain things to me. 

I am participating in my first ever fantasy league this year that consists of mostly guys. I know that it's foolish of me to believe that I will get very far, but I'm competitive & I want to win & I want your help. So this is my plea -- I'm looking for any advice I can get that will help me kick ass in my league. If you have any tips, big or small, I would be so appreciative if you could leave a little comment for me.



til death do us part


Wouldn't be my first choice, but these two have scored instant "awesome" points!



smiling down from heaven

I called my mom the other day & we talked about the usual -- family, life, work. As I told her about work she goes:

"Grandpa must be smiling down from heaven at you. He loved his whiskey. Every year for Christmas he would buy himself a bottle of Jim Beam, wrap it & put it under the Christmas tree with a card that said, "To: Martin, From: Martin."

I kind of loved that story & it did make me feel pretty special to be working on the account I do. My grandfather was a pretty poor farmer, so a bottle of Beam was certainly a treat. How is that for tradition?


last night a dj saved my life

"Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" - The Twelves remix

A good prelude into The Twelves this weekend...

miike snow the person

It always makes me giggle when people confuse a band with a single person or vice versa. Miike Snow if often referred to as a "him," just like "Girl Talk" is often labeled as a "them." I admit, some might be confusing, especially if it is just two people that sound like one. But bands, really? I would be amazingly impressed if one person could make all that noise while singing on top of it!

midnight in the city

"Midnight City" - M83 (Christian Strobe remix)

"Midnight City" by M83 has quickly become one of my favorite songs. So much so that it encouraged me to get a ticket for their show at Lincoln Hall in November. Will anyone else be going?


proof of love

"This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon when things were still good between us and she embraced me, and we were so happy. It did happen. She did love me. Look see for yourself!"

-Duane Michals, 1974


love is...

L O V E, no matter the pair...
On July 24th, 300 gay couples got legally married at City Hall in New York City. Spencer Heyfron with New York Magazine was there to take photos.


stab victims

Apartment unpacking & organization is still chugging along, but I tackled a big one on Sunday night -- jewelry organization. 

I've always been pretty messy with my jewelry, especially in regards to my earrings.  typically throw them into a big where finding a match becomes a 15 minute process. As a result, I'm more of a necklace, rings & bracelet kind of girl. 
The image above hardly looks like it's organized, but it's a major improvement from my old system, plus it was cheap & easy!

I took my pre-existing drawer dividers & cut a piece of styrofoam to fit perfectly in the bottom. I then stabbed all of the earrings into the foam so that each pair stays put next to each other. It's an easy system & also one that I think I can keep up with.


It pains me to say this, but Fall has been showing it's temperate little head around Chicago lately. I've said it before, but I just can't get on board with Fall. Give me sunlight. Give me beaches. Give me drinks on the rooftop. I do not need some precursor to hell aka Chicago winters.

Every year there is only one thing I accept about the season & that is the style. I do love me some layers & Free People captured some perfect Fall inspired outfits this past weekend at Outside Lands in San Francisco. These are my favorites...


it's gonna be worth it

"Hurricane Jane" - The Black Kids (The Twelves remix)

Don't forget the Friday dance party at The Mid with The Twelves & Junior Boys! This is going to be a fun one...

hands to hold onto

"Baby's Arms" - Kurt Vile & the Violators

One of the best things to happen to me so far this year was discovering Kurt Vile at Pitchfork (thanks to my friends). In the last few months, I've been listening to Smoke Ring For My Halo on repeat. I feel like my sentiments towards him are somewhat comparable to my feelings towards Ryan Adams. They both seem to hit that special spot for me. I'm still discovering some of Vile's older stuff, but for now, Smoke Ring Fo My Halo is a must listen.



oh no

Oh no -- My newest obsessions come in the form of kimonos!

I've had some kimono-inspired pieces catching my eye lately & I even bought one over the weekend. They are so slight & versatile through the seasons & that cinching at the waist can be quite flattering. 
What do you think? Are kimonos your thing? I think their biggest drawback is the price tags.


One of my favorite photographers of all time, Sharon Montrose, had a sale this weekend to celebrate the one year anniversary of her Animal Print Shop. She was offering four prints for the price of three & I could not resist. 

I already have one of her prints...
...& call it excessive, but I really wanted the other pair to the white tiger cub (I kinda like tigers)...
...I had three left to choose & was instantly drawn to this...
...This one frightens me a bit, but I loved the color against the white...
...One left & I couldn't pass up this little guy (plus, my nickname as a baby was "spider monkey" because of a sick mohawk I used to rock)...
How'd I do? Sharon's shop is so fabulous that it really was hard to narrow down. I'm squatting on a gift certificate for 20x200 & I want to purchase a bigger print, but I'm hoping some new critters might get added to that site first.

Which ones are your favorite?


death to the hipster

"One day I will write about how the hipster stereotype is 1) boring humor, 2) too broad and applies to everybody, and 3) stifling of creativity because everyone is scared of seeming pretentious" - Tavi

Thank you, Tavi. Now can we put this stupid stereotype to bed?

(via a movie I will never see)

a little bird told me : july