S.W.A.K.

Happy Valentines Day, lovies! I am back from the dead, wahoo!! I had to take a mini break from the interwebs after the inauguration - my heart just couldn't handle it. I have also deactivated my personal Facebook account for the time being, I feel so much better after having done so. In addition to the mini break, last week I also had the flu - no fun, soooo I am beyond excited to be back in action here today!

To be honest I have been feeling extra lovey dovey lately and had grand ideas for a Valentine's Day series, but I guess they will just have to wait until next year...

Do you have any fun plans for the big day?

Dan and I are hitting up Homeslice - a pizza joint where we had our first date. It's a cute restaurant with an airstream you can sit in out back - their sister location has tire swings to sit on at the bar - pretty fun! We have only been back once since our first date (for our 6 month anniversary), so it holds a special lil place in our heart. In terms of gifts we didn't do anything over the top, a few weekends back we bought each other our vday gifts - jacks bookends and a cold brew press - items for our new home together. Sometimes practical stuff is sexier.

*Warning - tune out now if you hate the mushy gushy stuff*

This is Dan and I's first Valentine's Day - so I get a pass to gush - right? My Valentine couldn't be any sweeter! I try to avoid getting too mushy gushy or sentimental on here, but Dan is my person. When we first met I was pretty skeptical of the whole dating scene, falling in love and giving your heart to another (especially since I had mine stomped all over not too soon before), but I am so glad I took a chance on him. Dan is the kindest and most thoughtful man I have ever known. To be honest, we have never even fought - I know that sounds bad, don't get me wrong, we disagree on things - but I have never felt more on the same page with anyone else. I couldn't imagine my world without him. It's so crazy how some people stumble in to your life and change it so substantially instantly - in this case for the better. I can't wait for all the adventures to come! I couldn't have hoped for a better Valentine if I tried.

Outfit: Dress - Alice + Olivia, Coat - Thrifted, Tights & Shoes - Target.

*End nauseating transmission* 

Whether you are celebrating today with your special someone, best friends, pet - or anti the whole notion of a holiday created specifically to sell cards, candy, and what not - I hope you are having a good day regardless.

While I may not have managed to get a Valentine's Day series up and running as planned - I did manage to get dolled up for the occasion. This dress may be seasons old, but it is one of my personal favorites to wear when I want to wear something romantic with a pop of fun. I waited over a year to score it off of Ebay and it was well worth the wait.

Stay tuned! Wednesday I am going to finally debut the Shyscout365 project. If you follow along on Instagram you already have an idea, but more details are to come. In the mean time, take care  - and stock up on that clearance candy ;)

Feeling Fired Up

Hi all! How's your week going? I wish I had some fun stories to share in terms of my week, but it has been fairly average. At least it is nearly over!! Anyone else dreading tomorrow? I typically refrain from voicing my political views on social media, but I am really nervous (*coughs* terrified...) for what's to come - and honestly, I have been feeling a little fired up about it all - especially today. Our country is so divided - more so now than ever, and it is breaking my heart! I hate that I have to walk on egg shells around people I know who have opposing views simply because people seem too on edge that they can't have a calm discussion about what they think and feel. We are all doomed if we can't calm down, work together, and most importantly listen. I won't get much more in to it than that, but Saturday my family and I will be marching in Chicago's Women's March and I couldn't be more excited to stand in solidarity with people of all religions, color, backgrounds and politics to help protect our basic rights and civil liberties.

Phew! I just had to get that off my chest. I took a Myers - Briggs test earlier this week and found out that I am an INFP - aka a "Mediator." It said that I am an "idealist, always looking for a hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better." And that couldn't be more true - even to a fault! I just wish we could all try harder to work together and get along. I know life doesn't work that way, but it sure doesn't hurt to try. This is another reason why I have been taking the elections outcome - and all the hatred it has stirred up in this country - even more to heart.

If you haven't taken a Myers - Briggs personality exam I highly recommend it! It is very spot on. I had a few friends and family give it a go - and we were all amazed at how accurately it seemed to describe them. It is good to revaluate yourself from time to time and reflect on both your strengths and weaknesses. Thank you Mona from Curls & Cakes for suggesting taking the survey.

Off topic - but how neat is this pin? I have become quite the pin junkie lately.

Outfit: Dress - Belle Poque, Cardigan - Modcloth, Tights - Target, Shoes - Mel Shoes, Pin - Tigersheep Friends.

I thought this red dress helped visualize my firey feelings as of late. Isn't this dress cute? My dad knows I love all things vintage/vintage inspired and picked this dress out all by himself for my Christmas present - I think he did a great job! I love the scalloped neckline, and the skirt length is just right for twirling. A girls got to twirl!

Until next time - take care!

A little about me...

Hi all! I hope your week is running smoothly. Today I thought I would shake things up a bit and share a mini vlog with you all in order to help re-introduce myself, give you some background on how and why I started blogging in the first place, and fill you in on where I see this blog headed. (Plus, I always think it is fun to hear how blogger friends sound. I usually am pretty far off in guessing.) I haven't vlogged since 2012, so please bear with me...

A brief run down of the video if you don't have time:
My name is Allison and I am a graphic designer from Chicago. The name Shyscout came from my college roommate Angela who thought it fit my shy personality - as soon as she said it, it stuck. I began blogging at the end of college in 2011 to document myself navigating the real world, finding a new job - etc. - in addition to wanting to meet new people. Fast forward a year - I found my first job, was coping with my first true heart break and was looking to move to the city - I had wayyyy too much on my plate at the time to keep blogging consistently, so I put it on the back burner.

Fast forward (through a few more years of ups and downs - shake ups and break ups)... and here we are today! I feel like I have finally found some stable ground and am able to start back up where I left off - and I am excited to share it all with you here.


My goals for 2017:

I know I am a few weeks behind in sharing goals for this year, but better late than never - right?

Be kind to myself - body and mind. I want to work on improving my overall health in terms of being mindful of what I consume in order to properly nourish my body and become more active overall. In addition need to work equally hard on my mental health and well being. I am my worst critic sometimes and I need to actively work on calming those negative thoughts and feelings through meditation, relaxation - etc. Working to improve oneself is great, but if you're not kind to yourself along the way - any bumps you encounter will really derail you. 

Learn new skills - become handy around the house. This year I want to learn how to tile a bathroom floor, fix the kitchen sink - etc. Dan and I are purchasing our first condo together and we have been excitedly pinning diy projects to help make the new place our home. Instead of hiring someone to fix or update the small things, I want to take the time to learn how it is done and do it myself so that I can teach or help out family and friends down the road.

Be more creative - completing my 365 project. I have always loved photography, and this year I want to push myself creatively. I plan to take a photo(s) every day for an entire year. This will be a fun way to document the day to day as well as improving my skills in the process - and hopefully help open myself up to being more creative in other areas of my life as well. Stay tuned - this project will start in February! I also plan to share it on instagram, so feel free to follow along!

Quality over quantity - cutting the *ahem* crap. My blogger friend, Rowena - aka Rolala Loves -  wrote a lovely post a few weeks back about quality over quantity and it really resonated with me. I have been striving for awhile to make more mindful decisions about what I consume as well as create. Our society seems to have a "more is more" mentality, and I definitely have found myself caught up in it - but this year I want to be more mindful and selective in all aspects of my life. Eating cleaner, decluttering my home, creating more thoughtful blog posts, improving design aesthetic, purchasing higher quality items that last...

Pause - be in the moment. I feel that everything really ties in with my quality over quantity goal, but especially this one. I need to be more mindful of the moments I share with others - unplug and tune in to what is happening around me and soak it all in. It is so easy to get caught up in documenting events, but it is important to pause and just revel in the moment before it is gone for good.

I have a handful more goals, but these are the highlights. I am so excited to see what this year has in store and I look forward to learning new lessons (and repeating some) along the way. What are you looking forward to most this year?

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Until next time, take care!

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Winter Hours

Hi all - happy Wednesday! I hope your week is off to a good start. Mine has been slowly dragging on unfortunately. These gray winter days are endless and it really starts to weigh on you. I am impatiently counting down the days until spring. I miss the green grass and sundress weather!

I know most of my fellow midwest bloggers probably sound like a broken record when it comes to the cold - but c'mon - it's rough! Haha, anywho... I thought today I would shake things up a bit on here. I typically only post dresses in my outfit posts - my wardrobe consists 85% of them - but during these cold months I tend to gravitate towards jeans and baggy sweaters. Today I give you the typical Monday through Friday winter hours Allison. To the ladies who can stand to wear dresses in 30 degrees and blow - hats off to you! I just can't do it, so instead I rely on loose layers.

Isn't this bag cute? It pretty much sums me up and what it is like living with generalized anxiety, something I think is important to be open about. Also, the cardigan and watch were stolen from Dan's wardrobe - he is such a sport and also helped me take these photos (oh the joys of dating a blogger, haha).

Outfit: Top - Anthropologie, Cardigan - Banana Republic, Jeans - Urban Outfitters, Shoes - Swedish Hasbeens, Bag - Stay at Home Club, Had - Goorin Bothers.

I am also feverishly counting down the days to spring because Dan and I are moving in together! Before we met he had decided that once his lease was up he was going to buy a place. This will be his first time owning a home, which is pretty darn exciting. I am so glad I can share this journey with him. We are in the process of finding a realtor as we speak! We have also been pinning ideas to our "future home" board on Pinterest for months. I can't wait to make a place ours and possibly tile a bathroom (or two) :]

I will keep you all posted as that draws near. In the mean time I will be bundled up binge watching Netflix.

Any fun plans in store for you this year? I'd love to hear about them!

Museum of Contemporary Art

Morning everyone! How has your weekend been? It is beyond cold out here in Chicago! I recently purchased a North Face coat that could double as a sleeping bag (it goes down to my ankles) which has been perfect for this weather, however, after about 10 minutes of walking regardless of what I am wearing my legs go numb and feel slushie like - ugh! I honestly don't know why people put up with this cold. Some day I will live in Sedona and sell aura photos to tourists (or some other crazy gig - maybe geodes - to pay the bills), and never freeze again...

Anywho... yesterday Dan and I headed over to the MCA in order to catch the Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination installation, which unfortunately ends today. The colorful images above (in the middle two rows) are from this show. The show consisted of a "series of immersive film and video installations that push the limit of these media to imagine animal experiences in natural habitats." The installations were beautiful. It was neat being surrounded by multiple projectors as the artwork surrounds you. It felt as though you were a part of the the scene and for a moment forgot where you were. For more information about the artist and the artwork please check out the show's gallery brochure.

After spending the afternoon at the museum we quickly headed home to get out of the cold. However, being the nut that I am - I had Dan snap a few outfit photos for me on the roof deck. We lasted all of 5 minutes - but the city skyline sure looked pretty last night.

Outfit: Dress - Eva Franco, Frames and Fortune - ModCloth, Cardigan - Charter School Cardigan - ModCloth, Purse - Kate Spade - Nordstrom's Rack, Tights - Target, Boots - Madden Girl - Carson Pirie Scott.

I have been a bit lax with my wardrobe this winter. Lately I have just thrown on some jeans and a sweater of some sort and call it a day. I am so ready for spring to get here! Yesterday, however, I decided to get dolled up, so I felt the need to document the occasion. This Eva Franco dress is one of my  all-time favorites. I have owned it for a few years now, and it is still one of go-to's for a dressier look with a pop of fun. What are some of your go-to items in your wardrobe?

Welp, I am off to design some logos. Hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend! Stay warm!!