I embrace social media. This is the world we live in + while it blows my mind to think of a world without it I find social media to mostly be a good thing. For me, my favorite part is the discovery. I feel like I'm constantly discovering new music, new people, + new inspiration. One of my favorite go-to's for when I want to be inspired? #MyWestElm on Instagram. I would call myself a brand advocate for West Elm (minus a few customer service snafu's) so I love that I can visit one simple hashtag to get loads of practical inspiration. Including this beauty of a loft above.


disclosure || the mechanism

death to footwear

Every once in a while I find myself wandering into American Eagle when I make a trip to West Elm in Lincoln Park. I was never an avid AE fan but as an adult I've come to learn that they still have some fairly cute clothes + pretty much always have incredible deals. Little did I know that the same applies for their shoes.

I ended up getting targeted with one of their ads + ended up buying the three pairs above for under $200. (Hey guys! My job works sometimes!) A few of these are sold out already but they still have some super cute + affordable shoes on the site. As I was writing this post I just ordered two more sandals for under $60. 

Just wanted to share the knowledge. Living in Chicago I walk everywhere. Which means my shoes die relatively fast. It always pained me to spend $$$ on shoes only for them to be ruined after a season. I haven't bought a new pair of shoes in a very long time so now I'm feeling like I'm set for a while.


i was there || the knife

Show: The Knife

Location: Aragon Ballroom

Date: 4.23.14

Favorite Song: Most of my favorite songs (like "We Share Our Mothers' Health") didn't sound that great in their live versions. They sounded good, just not great. Surprisingly, the two that stood out the most for me were "One Hit" from Silent Shout + "Full of Fire" from Shaking the Habitual. I wouldn't call either of them favorites but they translated really well live + were both very unique + animated.

Memorable Moment: The show started with DEEP (Death Electro Emo Protest) aeorobics with this guy above. I was a little skeptical when I was informed that I would be sweating before The Knife even went on but it ended up being genius. First of all, our "instructor" was awesome. Before we got started he made us repeat "Self consciousness is the illusion that this is only happening to me." DEEP aerobics. We were stretching, yelling, using our wiggly fingers. Guys were shaking their balls. Ladies were jiggling their boobies. Fun was had by all before the real stuff even started.

Biggest Letdown: I had a fairly good spot towards the front of the crowd but I wish I could have seen more of what was going on stage. And not just the dancing. There were so many cool sounds + I wish I knew where they were coming from but the stage was fairly dark. For example, remember that flute type thing at the end of Kill Bill 2? One chick was playing something similar but it took me towards the middle of the show to figure out what it was.

This Show: Reminded me so much of David Byrne's "How Music Works". This was not a concert, it was an experience I never could have imagined. It was exactly what they needed though. The Knife can't just play a concert. There kind of has to be aerobics, dancing, jumpsuits, sexually infused poetry, random techno interludes, etc.


i was there || scuba

Show: Scuba

Location: Spy Bar

Date: 4.19.14

Favorite Song: I didn't stay long enough to catch anything I recognized but overall the music was spot on.

Memorable Moment: Scuba is probably one of the better looking producers out there so that is never a bad thing to stand in the crowd + take in.

Biggest Letdown: I went to Spy Bar totally sober. Big mistake. The crowd wasn't totally awful (minus the dude that stood so close to me when he talked that I could taste his breath. Gross.) but just not an environment I wanted to stay in. I managed to last for about an hour + then made my way back home.

This Show: I was still on west coast time + wide awake so I'm glad I went. I was bummed I missed him when he played Smart Bar about two years ago so I had to make up for it. Unfortunately the venue wasn't so great.


i was there || tycho

Show: Tycho

Location: Concord Music Hall

Date: 4.10.14

Favorite Song: I really love "Montana" from the new album Awake. When those drums kicked in at the concert it was a beautiful thing.

Memorable Moment: This was surprisingly my first visit to Concord Music Hall + I was super impressed (minus the shortage of tonic for my cocktails). The size, layout, vibe, everything was done really really well. It's a great addition for Chicago's music scene. I hope to be back for many more shows. Also, Tycho's drummer is a machine. Very cool to see that.

Biggest Letdown: This was a strange show. They sounded great live but I just didn't want to be there for the whole set. I'm not sure if it was boredom or if I just wasn't in the right mood for Tycho but I left about an hour into their set.

This Show: Like I mentioned above it was a little strange, but overall music sounded great, I was in good company + I got to check out a really cool new venue. The night was not a loss.

chet faker || cigarettes + chocolate

I'll share more about my trip to San Francisco later but one of my favorite places I visited during that trip was a really awesome wine + beer bar called The Social Study. I had a feeling I'd like the spot as soon as I saw the lofted dj decks + soundproof ceiling.

The wine was good + although the music was a little all over the place I enjoyed that as well. They started a bit more ambient + then moved into Eminem, OutKast, etc. One song stuck out to me so I did some detective work (read: Shazam) + found out it was "Cigarette's + Chocolate" from Chet Faker's 2012 album Thinking in Textures.

I've been listening to his stuff pretty non-stop since then + am a big fan. Conveniently enough he'll be at Lincoln Hall on May 20th so I snagged myself a ticket. Join me!

I'm also a big fan of "1998" from his new album Built on Glass.


peace out

I'm over this snow so it's time for me to head out west to one of my favorite cities for a few days. Catch you all next week.


thoughts from a wuss

I finally did something courageous. Or incredibly stupid. Time will tell, I guess, but as a total wuss I am at least proud of myself for taking a chance to be more me.


kishi bashi || this must be the place (talking heads cover)

Kishi Bashi will be at the Metro on May 31st. I'm debating getting got a ticket but there is not much of a debate. I feel like this will be a really interesting show. Multi-instrumentalists are always intriguing. Anyone want to join me?

The non-covers are good too, but c'mon this is a classic.


at the flea market

One of my favorite Instagrammers, Jennifer Harrison (aka fleamarketfab), was recently featured in a well deserved post on Design*Sponge. I've been admiring her individual Instagrams for a little while but it was nice to see the whole home in one place. I feel like our aesthetics + color palettes are very similar. I just wish I knew how to thrift as well as she does. I also love how she brings color into her home (something I'm scared of) with beautiful rugs.
Coincidentally enough, I had been exchanging emails back + forth with Janelle of All Roads Market to get my very own wall hanging, similar to the one above, but the process was a bit strange + I wasn't totally convinced I wanted to invest that money just yet. I'm going to hold off on the time being.
My other favorite thing about Jennifer's home? It's filled with foster pups! She recently had five at one point (my dream) so clearly she is a personal hero. I'm actually kind of amazed that she can keep her home so put together with that many critters.
See more photos of this beatiful  HERE.

i was there || snowmine + small black

Show: Small Black

Location: Schubas

Date: 4.6.14

Favorite Song: I made an ill-timed bathroom break but did manage to catch a good amount of "Columbus" from Snowmine. That song will be big one day. Get on it people.

Memorable Moment: Snowmine had a great set start to finish. They had a very Local Natives/Grizzly Bear type sound + the lead singer had a crazy good voice. It's not often that I'm super impressed with openers but these guys are good. They'll be headlining in no time.

Biggest Letdown: That awkward moment when the opening act is way better than the headliner. Small Black wasn't bad per se. They were just different + that kind of different started to bore me towards the middle of the show. I will give them points for the lead singer being a phenomenal dancer though. 

This Show: was recommended to me by a new friend. We went together with an old friend I hadn't seen in a while. GOOD new music with new + old friends is my cup of tea. Overall a good feelings kind of night. It inspires me to check out more shows. (As if I'm not already seeing enough).


sentimental fool

I have a family of fisherman, on both sides. Primarily it is the men in my family but we women enjoy it every once in a while too. Any mention of fishing + I do get a bit sentimental. I have a family of wonderful people + I think it's special that we all have a hobby we enjoy together. I haven't gone fishing in years, but I still love all memories on the lake.

I just made the mother of all impulse buys because I am a sentimental fool. India Hicks recently released a beautiful fish hook necklace in her shop + I couldn't help but make it mine. If you remember, one of my goals this year is to get a matching necklace, ring, + earring set by the end of this year. The necklace I had in mind is about $250 more than this one + not nearly as unique or symbolic. I totally should not have made this purchase but I'm kind of thinking about it like it's the personal tattoo I'm too commit-a-phobe to get.

I'll share an actual photo once it arrives. The one unknown I have right now is size + scale but I can always return if it doesn't work out. India Hicks always shares beautiful mini stories about her pieces. I kinda love this one:

"Dawn breaks, a couple of Sandpiper's take flight above my head the first rays of sun turn from burnt orange to pink. I look down + in the small rockpool at my feet something glistens. I pick it up + see its a tiny lonely fishing hook. And I realize what my next collection of jewelry will include."

I guess this necklace could also always symbolize me being "a catch" so there is that too. Only joking.

Ps. Here's a great photo of my dad in his element.


a lesson in history + community

This week was plagued with sadness for many. The Godfather of House, Frankie Knuckles, passed away at the age of 59. Frankie Knuckles first performed at Smart Bar four years before I was born so I'm not going to even pretend that I was shook to the core this past week by this news like so many were. Although his death didn't hit me personally the ripple effects during this past week have been astounding.

Frankie's passing has opened my eyes to a whole new history of Chicago. Of course house music originated in Chicago. Most everyone knows that. What I didn't know was some of the details surrounding those first warehouse parties -- Who was attending? Where were the held? Did they really not serve alcohol? I've read a few really interesting articles this week about the 1980's house music heyday. I've even heard one of his sets from Chicago in 1986, the year I was born. You would get me moving to this on any modern day dance floor. I come from a long line of history nerds so seeing this side of Chicago + the house music scene is so cool to me. It really was a revolutionary period which is pretty crazy to wrap your head around.

The second thing that has really blown me away is the sense of community that forms following the passing of a great man. I saw two amazing communities form -- the various producers/DJs who honored a legend + Chicago's music lovers who lost one of their own. I got about halfway though a book called "A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster" this past year. Essentially, this book focuses on the strength + societies that form following a natural disaster but the same concept is relevant here. Not to get too philosophical, but real life can be isolating. Especially in a big city, especially with this digital focused lives we live. It was under unfortunate circumstances but Chicago came together this past week. Hearing about his last birthday at Smart Bar was just about the coolest thing ever. It is all so incredible + heartwarming to see. I'm sure something similar would happen with any other community but I really think there is something special about music lovers. I'm biased though, I know.

Sometimes something bad happens + it results in something great. This phenomenon blows my mind every time.

future islands || a dream of you + me

"This is a song about standing out by the ocean wrestling with a question."

- Future Islands

Ps. They still always remind me of the Dracula Song.



One of the things I've been trying to figure our with my apartment is how to balance the new pieces with a bit of an older, vintage look. I hate using the word "vintage" to describe home decor but that's essentially what I want. Anthony D'Argenzio's one-bedroom East Village apartment has that perfect balance I'm looking for.

We have similar color palettes too. What I love most and what makes his small space appear much bigger than it actually is are the amazing + ornate mirrors that adorn his walls. I need to find me some of those.


i was there || warpaint

Show: Warpaint

Location: Metro

Date: 3.29.14

Favorite Song: I don't know if it necessarily is my favorite Warpaint song but I did love the way "Billie Holiday" sounded live. I'm familiar with most all of their songs but there really wans't one song I was hoping to hear live. This one stood out among the rest. They also described it as "sweet + stalkery" which is pretty much me to a T, so no wonder I liked it.

Memorable Moment: One of the members was getting a bit sassy with the sound guy. It didn't seem too serious but some of the faces + gestures made me laugh a bit.

Biggest Letdown: No real letdowns. If anything I wish I had been listening to them much longer than I have. They're still a newer-to-me band but right up my alley.

This Show: I mean I pretty much turn lesbo for a couple hours every time I see an all chick band. Not quite, but I think it's just about the coolest thing ever. Maybe in my next life I'll play the bass or drums...

pretty lights

Pretty, right?

Ready for the unexpected part? These are available at Anthropologie of all places. Not quite what I expect from those guys, but fun none the less!


sophie || bipp

If you have thirty minutes I recommend checking out Pitchfork's Podcast on "The Cult of Anonymity." This guy (?) falls into that cult + he's pretty good. Essentially, the thought is that by being anonymous you make it all about the music but in order to be able to be anonymous you have to make really fucking good music. I'm sure there are many other reasons why people remain anonymous but I find the concept fascinating.