11 little things

Hi all! Happy Monday. Hope you had a great weekend. I spent my weekend tidying up, running errands, drinking some fancy drinks and taking in a play - all in all, a pretty a-ok weekend!

The drinks below are what my girlfriend and I tried the other night at The Sixth. The perfume bottle spritzed rose water on to your drink, while the drink next to it had smoke filling the bottom bowl so when you lifted the top glass to take a sip you were surrounded by camp fire scent. The rainbow drinks are a Trix cereal flavored concoction that I need to try to replicate at a future cocktail party. Yum :]

Today I thought it may be fun to catch new readers up to speed with a little "About Me" post. 11 random facts (because 11 is my lucky number) - so here it goes...

1. I started out college at Loyola for pre-pharmacy and only lasted a semester. Only ever taking art classes and applying everywhere else to art school should have been a clue. But having dissected cadavers in Anatomy and watching endless episodes of CSI told me that the medical field would be more exciting...except for the fact that I was going to school to count pills. Ha, a lot was wrong with that scenario.

2. I collect vintage kitchenware (see previous post) and designer toys, and hope to open a brick and mortar vintage shop some day.

3. It may take a cocktail or two, but I LOVE to shake my groove thang and boogie oogie oogie until I just can't boogie no more.

4. I am a pescatarian…who also occasionally eats bacon >_<. Everyone has their vices.

5. Oldies are my jams - I have an impossible time keeping up with today's hits.

6. I have generalized anxiety and it has been something I have really struggled with since college and unfortunately didn’t seek help for until recently. 

(Side note - when you are having an episode you know your fears and concerns may be irrational, but you are stuck in a loop of downward thinking - sometimes for weeks on end. Having people tell you to “snap out of it” only makes it worse. If you know someone who has generalized anxiety, please just hug them - or tell them it will be ok and give them a bit of space and time to catch their breath. It is hard to cope with sometimes because I feel like I am alienating those I love - but please be patient. It is also frustrating because half the time I don’t know what set it off or what is causing it - you just sort of have to ride it out.)

7. I talk to my dog on the regular, and sing silly songs to and about her whenever I am happy.

8. I am terrified of heights, and have been contemplating jumping out of a plane recently to get over it. That may or may not make things a million times worse though…

9. I binge watch romantic comedies and may have a distorted view of reality now :-P

10. I am a hopeless romantic^ and I really hope to find my best friend and partner in crime to grow old with. I also really want to be a mom.

11. I hope to end up on the east or west coast some day. I miss the ocean.

Have a good day, everyone!

Mini Kitchen Tour

Hi all! How's it going? I am excited to share today's post with you. If you are new to my blog you may not know that I have a teensy addiction to thrifting, and most importantly - vintage kitchenware. I started thrifting sometime in high school, but started to refine my thrift search some time in college. I found myself drawn to the retro prints and colors found on vintage Pyrex, Catherine Holm, Fire King, etc. Admittedly I wasn't a whiz in the kitchen when I first started collecting (still working on it), but I started hunting down various kitchenware items from the 50's and 60's. I was on a mission to make my retro kitchen dreams come true!

Fast forward to today. For the first time I am living on my own and have free reign on the overall design of my apartment - it's pretty exciting! Obviously, I started with the kitchen.

All of the items were either thrifted, found at estate sales or flea markets - with the exception of most of the Catherine Holm pieces (which my awesome mother has won on eBay and gifted to me over the years.) Catherine Holm is so tricky to find in the wild, especially out here in the midwest. I have only happened upon it twice, both times on the east coast.

I am beyond ready to host a cocktail party! It's just too bad my apartment can only comfortably hold 6 people or so. I removed the cabinet doors on one side of my kitchen in order to show of my collection, I really think it helps liven the place up. Oh, also - some of my toys felt like getting in on the action for this photoshoot. I am still debating whether they will stay put or move elsewhere once I get other areas settled. The kitchen is definitely my favorite spot - so far. I am still working on the rest of it and hope to share that with you all soon.

Have a beautiful weekend lovelies!

Poppin collars

Hi guys! How's it going? Getting back in to blogging has been a bit of a challenge for me - I feel like I am just rambling in to the void, but it has also been nice to write again. I am living on my own for the first time (sans room mates) and it definitely takes some time getting used to it. I also find myself coming up with horrible ways I could possibly injure myself, or ya know, die (such as choking on some zoodles) and not having anyone there to help or know. Yeesh! The life alert seems a lot more sensible now. Haha. It really has been a transition though. My kitchen, living room, bedroom, office and closet are one in the same. College dorm 2.0 over here! All of that aside, it has also been nice to have a personal space to make my own and not have anyone to clean up after, or have to worry about a room mate burning the place down - yeah, that nearly happened >_<

Today I bring you an adorable dress from Capsule Vintage! As soon as I saw the collar and bow I was sold. It is such a cute look and perfect for work. On cold days I can bump up the warmth factor with a petticoat. (Oh, and please excuse the fitbit in these photos - I was in the middle of a challenge this weekend and every step counts!)

Outfit: Dress - Capsule Vintage, Purse - Vintage Doone y& Burke, Shoes - DSW and Tights - Betsey Johnson.

Do any of you have tips for taking photos indoors? I tried using natural light, but the clouds kept getting in the way so that each photo was different. I also over exposed on these... whoops! Photography is something I definitely want to improve on this year. Yet another thing to add to the to-do list.

I also hope to switch up my wardrobe shots once it gets a bit warmer out, but I am also slightly hesitant to take photos on the streets of Chicago by myself. Hopefully I can bribe a few friends because I have some fun spots planned to shoot at.

Anywho, have a good day everyone!

Mab Graves - Mab Girl

Good morning everyone! Happy Tuesday. I am already counting down to the weekend. I am currently the only designer on staff again, which can be a wee bit stressful at times. Thankfully though, we do have someone coming in at the end of the week and I hope they are permanent - *fingerscrossed.

Let's get back on track though. Today I want to talk about one of my favorite artists, Mab Graves. For those of you unfamiliar with her and her work - Mab is a Contemporary Pop-Surrealist artist who's work is inspired by fairy tales and old classic literature. I first stumbled across her work on my old blogging bud Violet's page - Blythe Ponytail Parades. I was instantly drawn in by her characters big-eyed gazes, their adorable companions (dinos, dachshunds, and yeti's - oh my!),  and the dreamy lands they came from.

Mab also works in a lot of different mediums, which I love. In addition to paintings, drawings, etc. Mab also creates and customizes various toys - Blythe's included. Her Blythe dolls in the dolly world are referred to as "Mab Girls". As soon as I came across one of her Blythe dolls online I fell instantly in love. I am always late to the party though because she had stopped selling her Blythe dolls online some years before.

My Mab Grave's collection (plus two Wandering Misfits, well, wandering.)

Last week I shared my time at Blythecon Chicago, where I managed to purchase my very own Mab Girl - Pansy! These were the last set of Blythe Dolls Mab would unfortunately be creating due to arthritis in her hands, so I knew it would be my only chance at acquiring one. I spent weeks selling things on Ebay and working on freelance projects to buy her, but it was well worth it in the end.

Some people may look at my toy/art collection as throwing money out the window, and it honestly breaks my heart. Since I was a child I have had a strong love/appreciation of art and was always off creating something. In school I took all the art courses I could manage and eventually found my way to art school for a degree in graphic design (after a minor pre-pharmacy hiccup freshman year). Art makes my heart sing - for some people food does - foodies have to get their hands on exotic meats and wine, sports are accompanied by season passes, music has rare release records or instruments, designer dresses and/or hand bags - etc. I am rambling here, but I see collecting art as a beautiful investment.

I haven't purchased a piece since Pansy in October, and honestly don't plan to any time soon...possibly ever *gasp, but priorities change. Life changes. I am currently working on saving for my first home, traveling and ya know, retirement. At some point you pause and know when enough is enough. I am at that point, but I am beyond content with my collection as it stands - it is my little slice of happy in a sometimes dark and difficult world. That's also why I love sharing my collection/favorite artists here with you all.

Artwork by Mab Graves.

Artwork by Mab Graves.

Artwork by Mab Graves.

Tangent aside, I am continually blown away by the beautiful detailing on my Blythe doll Pansy. Her face was meticulously carved and painted, her dress and accessories were all hand made, she even came with an original cameo painting and drawing. She truly is stunning and one of a kind. In an effort to keep this post short I will stop here, but I hope to share more of Mab's work with you down the road.

Have a beautiful day everyone!

Life Lately - Hairspray

Hi all! Happy Monday. I hope your week got off to a good start. I am playing a little bit of catch up over here because I spent the weekend at home, which means little to no internet. However, I did have a fun weekend. Saturday night was the opening night of Hairspray at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. My brother starred as Tracy's love interest - Link Larkin. Hairspray is one of my favorite musicals, and this version definitely did not disappoint (even though I may be slightly biased). If you are in the Chicago-land area I highly recommend checking it out!

Amelia Jo Parish is Tracy Turnblad - See more at: Broadway World

(front trio, from left) Amelia Jo Parish is Tracy Turnblad, Devin DeSantis is Corny Collins and Henry McGinniss plays Link Larkin - See more at: Broadway World

Baltimore TV host Corny Collins (Devin DeSantis, front, right) leads his Corny Collins Council Members in a dance - See more at: Broadway World

Amelia Jo Parish plays Tracy Turnblad and Henry McGinniss is Link Larkin - See more at: Broadway World

It took a lot not to sing along. The costumes and set were also amazing (I would time travel back the 60s in a heartbeat). There was a minor malfunction with a piece of the stage - I had never encountered that before, but they got everything under control and the show went on. Anything can happen in live theatre. Afterward I got to meet the crew. It is always a lot of fun meeting all the stars of the show.

My brother and I after the show.

Aside from the show opening I had a fairly low-key weekend. It was nice to have some down time with the family and my pup sweetpea. I also couldn't resist the urge to bleach my hair blonde at home... thankfully my hair is still intact. Wahoo.

Anywho, see you all soon!