finding inspiration

I had a friend email me over for weekend for tips on buying new things for her place. I was of course flattered that she likes what I've done my own place, but the key is to always be on the lookout for inspiration.
This weekend I was inspired by Loretta the dog + her owner ramblin_woman. I wish I knew more about Loretta's owner, but so far I've gathered that she's a trapper, owns chickens, + has a phenomenal home.
Once I spent some time stalking her Instagram feed I was sufficiently inspired to make some updates to my own home (more on that tomorrow).
She very much makes this space her own. And those wings above? One of her chickens passed away + she had the wings preserved. So cool.

Does your bedside look like this when you're sick? I wish.


i was there || jon hopkins

Show: Jon Hopkins

Location: Lincoln Hall

Date: 11.23.13

Favorite Song: I honestly don't know the names to many of his songs but I do know I particularly enjoyed "Breathe This Air". Lincoln Hall has a wonderful sound system + the beginning of this song felt a bit like a choir of angels singing. Totally beautiful. But then things got slightly more aggressive. The crowd loved it.

Memorable Moment: So there must have recently been some event at Lincoln Hall because there was a blue helium balloon up in the rafters. About halfway through the show it decided it wanted to join in the fun that the crowd was having + slowly made its way down to the crowd as the helium seeped out of it. It got a few love taps + then bounced right back up to the ceiling. It was one of those things where you probably had to be there but it was beautiful.

Biggest Letdown: I didn't stay to see Clark + I kind of hate myself for that. It had been a long week, a long day + sometimes I just don't have it in me. Hopefully our paths will cross again some day. Also, there were a few Cloverfield-esque moments to the Jon Hopkins show but generally it was pretty perfect.

This Show: was the most lively I've seen Lincoln Hall in a while. I always get a little wary about seeing electronic shows at Lincoln Hall because typically they are weird, but this was not. It was energetic + fun + I bet if I pushed my way to the middle of the crowd I would have felt like I was in a club. I was very impressed by Jon Hopkins. He managed to make the night fun + the music quite pretty. I also feel like the crowd was filled with genuine fans. That is not always the case at shows I go to.


i was there || benoit + sergio

Show: Benoit + Sergio

Location: Smart Bar

Date: 11.22.13

Favorite Song: I'm going to keep trying to hunt down the actual song but there was a song about darker, deeper, etc. Chicago house music. It was a nice little nod to the city.

Memorable Moment: I was in the women's restroom with a nice buzz going on + ran into two super cool french chicks just chatting away. For a brief moment I felt like I was at some club in France + all seemed right in the world. A drunk girl can dream, right?

Biggest Letdown: My first attempt at coat check for the season was a total failure. I even feel like I got there early-ish, but I should have remembered just how tiny that room is. There's nothing worse than being stuck with a winter coat all night when all you want to do is dance.

This Show: was fine, but not my favorite set by the duo. They played Smart Bar almost a year ago + I really enjoyed that performance, this just fell a bit flat. Still good. Just not great. I feel like I must have stayed for most of their set, however I left a bit early + never heard "Everybody". There's nothing quite like hearing that song in a dark club.

i was there || escort + jc brooks + the uptown sound

Show: JC Brooks + the Uptown Sound

Location: Metro

Date: 11.16.13

Favorite Song: There were plenty of good ones but really nothing tops "Cocaine Blues".

Memorable Moment: I've heard plenty about JC Brooks + the Uptown Sound over the years but I don't think I'd ever actually listened to their music until this show.They were fun. I think I'd prefer to hear them live than through my headphones, but they kept the party going for sure.

Biggest Letdown: I always get slightly disappointed in myself when I make shows more about the party + less about the music but then I realize that's silly because I had a fucking blast.

This Show: I needed a fun night out + this show did the trick. People can be flaky, but it's nice to know you can always count on Escort to make things okay.


arcade fire || porno

Every man that you know would have ran at the word go.

...Don't forget, tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10am. Come join me of the dance floor in your fanciest apparel.


currently naked

My phone that is. Today is my first day with my new iPhone 5s + I'm in need of a protective cover. Here are a few I'm liking:

Getting a new phone is kind of an odd feeling. It feels like a fresh start with everything.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

kanye west || bound 2

It's taken me nearly 5 months but Yeezus has officially grown on me. I'm admittedly not big into hip hop + at first listen this album was a bit too aggressive for my likes. Maybe I've just become more of a badass, but I get this album now. And I like it.

concert commandments

1. Technology is your friend. When you're at a show silence your phone, don't use a flash, + if you're really considerate dim the lights. Go ahead, take a souvenir photo with you, but no more than 3 per show. Don't take any videos because the quality is going to be shit anyways. And definitely no selfies.

2. Know your place. Concerts are social places. Groups come together + often want to chat. That's what the bar is for. Don't you dare ever continuously chat in front of a very attentive patron.

3. Mind your elbows. And your purse. Often times concerts are quite crowded + no one wants to have to experience a show in fear. And when it comes to personal belonging less is often more.

4. Think before you speak. Just because the artist responded to something clever someone in the crowd yelled it doesn't mean they'll response to your lame ass attempt to make the crowd laugh.

5. Use your brain when you break the rules. Sneaking in a flask? Great. Trying to enhance the experience in other ways? Even better. Chances are that plenty of other people are trying to do the same. Let's just pretend like we've done this before + don't be super obvious.

6. Save your singing for the shower. I sing at concerts but always under my breath. Don't belt it out. People are paying to hear the artists, not you.

7. Concerts are a great date option, especially for newer couples. And even better if you're a bit shy. You don't have to talk much but you learn something very important about your date; you get to see how their bodies move. And if the show is right + you're lucky you might even get to do some hands on learning. Just don't spend the whole night getting to know each other verbally + don't make out the whole time. It makes everyone feel awkward. Everyone.

8. Close the gates when you're standing in the crowd. No one wants to be next to the asshole that is letting everyone cut through the crowd. There's only so much we can take. But don't be a dick when the occasional person is trying to pass through. 

9. Venues are for concerts. Bars are for getting hammered. I've confused the two before plenty of times, but generally you should try to not be a completely out of control slob.

10. Respect the system. Respect security. Respect the bartenders. Respect other concert goers. Just because concerts are your time to let loose it doesn't mean you act like an ass. Cooperate + make the experience better for everyone.


i was there || james blake

Show: James Blake
Nosaj Thing

Location: The Riviera

Date: 11.13.13

Favorite Song: On one spectrum it was Joni Mitchell's "Case of You" cover which was slow + beautiful + on the other spectrum it was "Voyeur" which made me wish I was in a dark club somewhere. "Voyeur" is pretty intense live. A new favorite. Also notable was "Retrograde".

Memorable Moment: I had a lot of feeling during this show. I like when performances can do that.

Biggest Letdown: This wasn't the first show I've seen at The Riviera Theater where the sound wasn't great + I have a whole post coming on concert etiquette, but my biggest letdown was that I didn't see more of Nosaj Thing. I should have arrived earlier, although the show did start quite early. I hadn't even realized that Nosaj Thing would be the opener + that was even after listening to the new album earlier in the week. What I saw was great, just wish I had seen more.

This Show: was incredibly dynamic. His songs completely range. Sometimes I wanted to be in a dark club + other times I wanted to be in my bedroom crying. Both good things. I thought he sounded perfect + he did a good job ping ponging between slow + fast.


i was there || disclosure

Show: Disclosure

Location: House of Blues

Date: 10.24.13

Favorite Song: "When a fire starts to burn. Yeah. And it starts to spread..." Really there is no topping that one if you're not a fun hater. "Grab Her" also stood out as a song that's much better live. Every song was perfect though.

Memorable Moment: It still kind of blows my mind just how young these guys are yet they have so much talent. Mercury Prize Nominee talent. (I personally thought they should have won). The crowd was very much into this show + that was a total reflection of all of the great things that were happening on stage. I can't wait for their next album.

Biggest Letdown: I wasn't thrilled to hear this show was going to be at House of Blues after my last experience + was even less so when I saw how ridiculous security was being. No chapstick? Really? Thankfully the bar area was pretty empty + I was able to snag a good spot in close vicinity to some much needed alcohol.

This Show: was perfect. I'm a bit biased since Settle is one of my top albums of the year, but the performance was truly great. I think the only thing I might change up is having "Help Me Lose My Mind" + "Latch" more in the middle of the set as opposed to the encore. They're a bit slower + I always like when shows end with a bit of energy. Everything was spot on though.


seeking something meaningful

My mother told me not to come home for Christmas. Not because she doesn't love me, but because it's probably not worth it. Between a recent trip home high school friends' wedding + a new niece on the way I will be seeing my parents plenty over the next couple of months. On top of that, my mom will be saving lives like a rock star on Christmas Eve + Christmas day.

So why does this concern you?

I'm crowd sourcing. I need help.
I'm in a unique position where for the first time in a very long time I'm going to have quite a bit of free time on my hands. I have almost two weeks off work during the holidays with no travel plans + I want to make that time meaningful.

I'm not sure if that means taking on a seasonal holiday job, volunteering, or maybe just packing my bags + going on a solo trip somewhere. But regardless, want to make it count. Very open to any suggestions.
Here's the list I've started on things I'd like to accomplish:

write | organize my concert tickets | DIY mood board | Ikea trip | redo my bookshelf | build a mini bar | visit the world's fair + creatures of light exhibit at the Field Museum | workout every day | network | take a belly dance lesson | DIY alphabet magnets | finish a book or two | print my photos with Artifact Uprising | spend a day snapping photos | help someone who needs it

1 | 2 | 3


my first apartment

My first apartment did not look like this.
I hate to make assumptions but I'm going to take a wild guess + assume that this chick has a bit more disposable income on her hands than I did a year or more ago. Although my first apartment didn't quite look like this, my second one is coming along quite nicely.
I actually feel like there are quite a few similarities between both of our aesthetics + I find this apartment to be very inspiring.
 One of the most noticeable differences between our two places is that her furniture appears to be a bit more vintage + rustic which I love. I very much have gone the West Elm-esque route, which is nice + convenient but does have a little less character than some of these vintage pieces. I'm trying to mix the two a bit more, however it would be much simpler if I had a car + could go hunting for these unique, older pieces.
 And what about her new job? Working with J.Crew + Madewell must be a fantasy life. Can we take a peek inside her closet too?



arcade fire || afterlife

Bold statement, but after many listens I think Reflektor might just be my favorite Arcade Fire album. Listen to it loud with headphones + you'll hear all of the different layers.

"Afterlife" is my current front runner, partially because this song + video combination is pure P E R F E C T I O N


i was there || lee²

Show: Lee Foss + Lee Curtiss

Location: Spy Bar

Date: 10.19.13

Favorite Song: Not sure what my favorite song was, but my body was moving so that's about all that really matters.

Memorable Moment: While Spy Bar is far from my favorite venue I hadn't been in a while + honestly it's nice to mix things up once in a while. I got to take a friend there for the first time that night too. New experiences are good.

Biggest Letdown: I wish I had done a better job really listening to the music. I enjoyed myself but one of those night where it was all a bit of a blur. I'm not familiar enough with either of their sounds so the night would have been a good learning experience.

This Show: was weird in many ways. I blame is on Spy Bar always feeling like some strange alternate universe. Also maybe the liquor + nearly naked dancer gyrating in my face. I ran into a lot of random people from my past + even had a nice Minnesota girl hit on me. I think. Not a typical night for me but definitely an interesting one.

benoit + sergio || bridge so far

I got a nice little surprise when I learned that this two will be back at Smart Bar on November 22nd. It's been almost a year since they were last at Smart Bar + that was certainly a memorable show.