Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Free Rice: Free Intelligence Test

I'm 100% hooked on Free Rice, a remarkably addicting online game that strengthens your vocabulary, while feeding the hungry.

Here's how it works: For every word you correctly define, you send 20 grains of rice to hungry people around the world. If you're like me and spend hours on the site "trying" to get smart(er), you'll see your numbers skyrocket.

Give it a shot. At the very least, you'll have a new procrastination tool at work.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Campaign for B-I-N-G-O in '08

Call me crazy (again), but I'm campaigning for a Bingo comeback. This set from Restoration Hardware brings a level of sophistication to a game that some (not all) think is boring and for old people. But I stand behind this timeless game and ask all of you for your support in '08.

Who's with me???

It's About Time

My all-time favorite restaurant in the city - Bandera - could easily be a tourist trap, but it's actually a wonderful departure from the crowds along Michigan Avenue. Hands down, I've frequented this cozy spot more often than any other restaurant.

If you want to look like a regular, request a window seat after 7 p.m. near the live trio jazz band and order the skillet cornbread with the Macho Salad as your

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Jewel in West Town

Words can't express how much I love West Town Tavern's food, atmosphere and wine selection.

Next time the parents or friends are in town, check out this West Town jewel and try the grilled pork tenderloin with squash, leeks, bacon and an apple - Riesling sauce. Yum, yum, yum.

Spring Fashion Fever

I must have Spring Fashion Fever, because I'm drawn to everything that's inappropriate for the current weather conditions. Once again, these peep-toe pumps from Frye are just-right...once the temperature hits 60 degrees...in March (I hope).

Friday, December 14, 2007

You Had Me at Pockets

Since it's 30 degrees in Chicago, it's a little early for this Diane von Furstenberg dress, but I think it deserves some preseason attention. I love the color, pleating and of course, the pockets.

Now This is a Leather Jacket

Due to distant memories of bomber jackets with maps inside, I normally shy away from leather jackets, but this fabulous frock from Hayden-Harnett is an exception to that rule.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Feathers and Robins and Coral, Oh My!

Back on the prowl for my apartment, Thomas Paul pillows are my latest find for those stylish finishing touches.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Have a Green Holiday

It seems everything is going green this year and with this heighten way of thinking comes creativity from the best in class. The holiday windows at Barney's are no exception, where you'll find Rudolph the Recycling Reindeer, a display designed by Creative Director Simon Doonan that’s made entirely out of recycled cans.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Manners in a Minute, Just in Time for Holiday Party Madness

Social anxiety got you down this jolly season? Dreading the endless holiday parties with friends, acquaintances and/or strangers? Never fear, Domino magazine has put together this handy "Manners in a Minute" video to calm your nerves and ensure you handle every situation with class...and grace.

Frosty Cold Brewskies, Delivered Fresh, By You

For the guy who has everything and loves to tailgate, the Motorized Cooler from Hammacher Schlemmer is the only gift they need this holiday season. And with a top speed of 14 m.p.h, no party is too far for hauling beer.

Pocket Full of Sunshine Sample

In case you missed The Hills (so called) finale last night, the best thing that came out of the show was definitely Natasha Bedingfield's new song, "Pocket Full of Sunshine." It looks like the album is being released on January 22, so in the meantime, please enjoy the full version, as well as a quick sample of my new favorite song. Pocket Full of Sunshine Pocket Full of Sunshine Pocket Full of Sunshine Pocket Full of Sunshine Lyrics lyrics pocket full of sunshine lyrics

Bringing Back the Stash

The moment my good friend in NYC rocked a mustache last year, I knew they'd be hot (in time). And as today's RedEye reports, it's the "Return of the Mustache" in Hollywood. So men, throw away your razor, cause this trend will hit Chicago in about a year. (Just enough time to grow out that stubble). If you're a faster grower, Chicago's Mustaches for Kids Stash Bash is Monday, Dec. 17 and benefits the Off the Street Club. See you there?

Thanks to the American Mustache Institute for the lovely images.

Now This is How to Spoil Your Pooch

If I had a dog, I can assure you I would never paint the poor thing's nails, but I had to share the latest extension of the Juicy Couture brand - Pooch care and this "Juicy Crittoure" Polished Paws Brown Nail Polish. Another pampering option - Pawtection - Softening Paw Balm.

Me, Myself & I

Green and all about me! I love this Henri Bendel notebook in metallic green.

Monday, December 3, 2007

D&G Masterpiece

I'm digging the new Dolce & Gabbana Jewels ad. The song is fierce and the models are well, hot, of course.

Wrap in Style

Looking for a unique way to wrap my Christmas presents this year? Check out this super cool wrapping paper from Happy Merry Whatever. This aluminum foil option is cheap/chic all wrapped up in one. Dang that was good...

Glide-On Lip Color

I'm heading to Sephora TODAY to pick up NARS' silky smooth Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Marina. Let's just hope it's at Sephora, cause it's too cold to be running around looking for lipstick.

Fabulously Stunning Coat

How stunning is this Erin Fetherston coat? Really, how cute would it be for all of my holiday party grand entrances?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bringing Sassy Back

I know anklets are typically reserved for strippers and the occasional high-class prostitute, but for some reason, I've ALWAYS wanted to wear one (and well). And no, I'm not talking about anything like this snazzy cell phone holster. Something subtle, sophisticated and sexy, which after a few too many minutes searching online, believe does not exist.

In case you didn't know I was a nerd...

If you've played it once with me, you've played it 100 times (sometimes for fear of your life). I'm such a nerd, I know, but I love the board/card game, Sequence. It really is an exciting game of strategy!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Your love, your love is 7 feet deep"

While I've been a fan of Citizen Cope for quite some time, I thought it was about time I share my love with all of you. If nothing else, on his latest album, "Every Waking Moment," check out "107 Degrees." Love, love, love it.

Citizen, if you're listening, please come to Chicago. Please?

Must See: No Country for Old Men

Run (like you just stole $2 million from a creepy lunitic), don't walk, to see No Country for Old Men and when you're back, let's talk about Javier Bardem’s voice...and hairdo. Oh, and the soundtrack...

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's that time of year...

This one's for my Christmas Carol lovers and Robert, of course.

Well, really, what else is there to celebrate?

When a dear friend reminds you that Christmas is really about you, whatdaya gonna do? Well, you better pick up these splendid greeting cards from Alternative Gifts, right? Right.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Spice Up Your Space

If you're looking for a way to spice up stark, standard issue white walls, Creative Wallcovering offers a beautiful, temporary solution with stunning patterns and captivating murals for any taste or style. Think wallpaper, without the glue. And, it's affordable too!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Check In to Haute Chocolate

Hotel Chocolat is basically the Kiki de Montparnasse of chocolate. With sensuous packaging, that European mystic and most importantly, an incredibly scrumptious selection of delectables, Hotel Chocolat is truly fabulous and trumps Godiva tenfold. (And that's saying something, because Godiva is GOOD.)

You must try Carry-Me-Home, a pint-sized collection of their amazing chocolate slabs. Umm-umm-umm!

"I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert."

Lately, I've had this crazy sweet tooth - and thankfully - I've also had the pleasure of chowing down on some amazing desserts. First and foremost, Landmark Grill + Lounge has the best donut/ice cream concoction EVER. No question, you'll love it.

At China Grill, try the Banana Box
. It's a little intimidating at first, but just dive in for caramel-cinnamon-banana goodness.

(I mean, I'm not saying I'm skinny or anything, but it's a wonder I'm not a complete house at this point.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Back By Popular Demand

Oldie, But Goody - How Not To Act On J-Date

Have you ever heard the story about the relationship that started on J-Date and ended abruptly after the guy went loony toons when the girl refused to pay half their first date dinner bill - weeks later? It's the kind of story that makes you cringe in embarrassment, while anxiously awaiting the next nonsensical move this lunatic makes. Take a few minutes and check out this great recap, "complete with audio!"

Monday, November 5, 2007

Now this is a cocktail ring...

I've had my eye on everything Kenneth Jay Lane has to offer this season and this ring is definitely a front runner. Net-A-Porter also has a beautiful collection of KJL's signature panther, snake, insect and peanut goodies.

A Shady Obsession

Have you ever fallen in love with a pair of sunglasses?

After spending countless hours looking for, talking about, reflecting upon, analyzing, purchasing and in the end, returning sunglasses with a dear, lost friend, I realize that I'm fortunate to have a pair of shades I just can’t live without. So, thank you MaxMara. The day I lose/break these shades will be a sad one for all those who know and love me.

Frizz is IN

Walking down the streets of NYC, we spotted a trend that I insist upon bringing back to Chicago.

The Look:
Frizzy, poofy, uncontrolled hair. (Basically, it’s the look I rocked during my "awkward" phase / 3rd - 12th grade).

Get It: Sorry girls, this look is for those blessed with (disturbed by) naturally curly hair. To create it, start with towel dried hair and next – the unthinkable – brush it out and don’t you dare touch that gel or hair serum. Pick up your favorite volumizing mouse and blow dry, while continuously brushing...Trust me, this process worked like a charm during my above mentioned "awkward" decade.

Bottom Line: For this look, you must walk out the door with your head up high, confident that frizz is in. And, trust me, “it’s totally high fashion.”

Warning: According to this week's NYT Style section, the opposite look is in - straight and smooth - but I contend, frizz is in!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Must See Scene

I finally had the opportunity to stop by the much-discussed Hudson Hotel and for once, something has truly lived up to the hype. I can't even talk about the lobby. Live ivy climbing a brick wall? The most fabulous chandelier I've ever seen? It's just too much.

And the Library - filled with hundreds of books and even more fabulous people - is definitely a place to see and be seen. Just make sure you take the scene with a grain of salt and don't forget a wad of cash. Those drinks are pricey!

Purple Passion

ABC Carpet is by far one of the most fascinating home stores on the planet and a great place to spend an afternoon in New York. On every floor, I fell in love with something - a mirrored nightstand, a lacquer tray table, and this...a Labrazel crystal bath accessory set in a color I've decided is "the epitome of me." When the tissue box cover will cost ya $675, don't call it purple, you must call it a violet alexandrite.

The Evolution of Style

Never in my life would I imagine myself being the person to walk by a store called Evolution - stop - acknowledge the presence of skeletons in the window and proclaim, "Ooh! We must check out their natural coral and ostrich eggs!" However, since I began my never-ending search for perfect, stylish living room decor, I'll stop at nothing to find a unique piece, no matter how freaky the journey.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Best Pens

Whether it's taking diligent notes at work (read: doodling) or writing prompt thank you notes for your much appreciated birthday presents (they're in the mail!), Le Pen makes the best pens because they are inexpensive, smudge proof and best of all, come in fun colors.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Every glass needs it's day.

Again, no one "needs" these mini decals from Sprout Home, but how much fun would it be to decorate the unexpected with birds, leaves and zoo animals (I will never go to the zoo in real life, so I must experience it somehow.)?

To splurge or not to splurge. Was that the question?

As I constantly search for the perfect coffee table and/or media center, I've found more impractical "needs" than anyone expected. At the top of the list, anything John Derian designs. This pink hyacinth cache pot is so beautiful...but really, do I need it? Yes, yes I do.

Carrots aren't just for rabbots...

Can you imagine...hundreds of beautiful stationary options, all in just one place?! It sounds like a superstore, I know, but you must check out Carrot & Stick Press' amazing selection, with the cutest variety of patterns - apples, lobsters, pigs, palm trees - you name it, I love it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Skinny Dipping for Your Skin

A sucker for packaging, I'm heading to Barney's tomorrow to snag Nude's lip balm (gotta start out somewhere, right?). It's originally from Europe, making its way to the states to please organic ingredient/biodegradable packaging lovers. Per the NYT, it also has Bono's official backing, which makes it all the better.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Great Place to Celebrate

After Pops for Champagne moved from it's unassuming neighborhood location in Lakeview, I was skeptical to try the new location in trendy Rivernorth. While it has a totally different look and feel, the tasty drinks, live jazz music and therefore, appeal remain the same.

A Bag for Day and Night

Hobo's clutches are as practical as they are stylish and can take you from daytime wallet to nighttime purse. I love this one in gunmetal metallic leather, with a beautiful paisley lining.