Little Girl, Big World

Calling all Ladies!! A Little Black Dress Party!!

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

What are you doing next Thursday night? Nothing as fun as this!!

Gather your girlfriends and join us for a night of Dresses & Drinks.
Benefiting the Chicago Fashion Foundation, it's a great excuse to pull out that black beauty in your closet and enjoy the Chicago summer in style!

Hurry, hurry!! Tickets available here.

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For more information please visit Chicago Fashion Foundation

Hope to see you there!


Pssstt.....are you a member yet?  Join CFF and get the scoop on all the events! Details here.



Angie's Kettle Corn

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!



Confession: I'm a snacker.

I love crunchy, salty, sweet. Texture is important, taste is essential. Little bites of goodness to enjoy mid afternoon at work, picnicking at the beach or chilling on the balcony. I'm always searching for healthy snacks because realistically, I'm not the type to plan ahead and have fresh snacks prepared. Naturally, I was thrilled when I received samples of Angie's Kettle Corn in the mail. But I have to admit, I'm not usually a fan of bagged popcorn. I usually find it too chewy, lacking that just popped crunch. However, my taste buds were delighted - this stuff is absolutely delicious and the real deal. And by real deal I mean actually real. No artificial flavors, no words you can't prouncounce. Only four natural ingredients: Popcorn, Corn Oil, Cane Sugar, and Sea Salt.

I'm not a nutrition label freak but I've read enough to know that is a good label!  Angie's Kettle Corn has no cholesterol, trans-fats, or preservatives and only 150 calories per serving. Those on special or restricted diets will appreciate that it's Kosher certified and gluten-free. And it's YUMMY!! I've been a kettle corn eater for years now.  Since I was introduced to it I've never returned to plain or buttered. Something about the salty/sweet combination was the heaven for my taste buds. And the fact that Angie's is natural and delicious - I love it!

You know what else I love? The story. Angie is an actual person, a nurse practitioner, and she started making kettle corn with her husband back in 2001 as a small outdoor vendor operation. Today, Angie's is the official kettle corn of the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Twins, can be found in 35 states and you can buy it online!

I'm so excited about this product - it's yummy, it's easy to transport (no popping required), and it's a much healthier alternative to my current salty/sweet solution (I won't name names but it rhymes with Kickers....:)

Chicagoan's - check out Angie's Facebook page for the scoop on where you can score a sample around town this weekend! The rest of you, run out and buy some. Your taste buds will thank you! Be sure to come back and tell me what you think!

Until you get your hands on this kettle corn awesomeness - what's your current favorite snack??

Stereomood Radio

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

I love me some Pandora, but I like new things too.
Stereomood is that new thing.

Pick a playlist based on your mood. Called 'emotional internet radio', stations like Dressing Up, Spring Cleaning and Sunday Morning will be the perfect soundtrack for whatever your activity.



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I've been listening to the 'Work' station. It's the perfect mix of peppy and mellow. Do you listen to music while you work? I can't listen to songs I know because I get distracted by singing along!




Pom(Wonderful) Party

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!



What do we do when PomWonderful sends us samples to taste test? We throw a Pom Party! And with juice this healthy - there's reason to celebrate!

It starts with an invitation...


I usually like to design my own invitations but when I stumbled upon this free template version it couldn't have been more perfect. Why mess with a good thing? So I formatted it with my wording and printed it on cream textured 8.5 x 11 inch cardstock. To give it a handmade feel I made tiny tissue paper poms following a Martha Stewart tutorial and attached name tags to a band made from the same card stock. I hand delivered them so as not to squish the pom.


Add some Tissue Paper Pom's...



Using the same tissue paper pom tutorial as the invitations, I made these in larger, varying sizes and colors to hang from the ceiling. Sort of a heightened centerpiece... Attaching gift wrap ribbon to the center, we used straight pins to attach with minimal commitment to the placement.


And some Pretty Peonies...


Can't take any credit here, picked these up from a local store ;)



Feed your Friends...

(Pom flavored food of course!)



In keeping with the Pom theme, the menu featured items to highlight the pomegranate flavor.  Except for cheese and crackers of course.... what's a good party without it?

Here's what we munched on:

Roasted Pomegranate Chicken - made with white wine and cinnamon this dish lent an ethnic flavor to the menu. I skipped the de-seeding of whole pomegranates and went with PomWonderful pomegranate juice. Quick and easy!

Roasted Red Pepper and Pomegranate Dip - using juice instead of molasses and skipping the walnuts altered this dish from it's original recipe but didn't decrease the yummy-ness!

Pomegranate Sauce with Angel Food Cake - we sweetened things up a bit with this flavorful dipping sauce. It would also make a great topping for ice cream or pancakes.

The pomegranate seeds didn't make it into this guacamole but it sure sounds yummy!

And for cocktail concoctions...

Pomrita's and Pomojito's!


Do a Demonstration...


This is the good stuff. The nitty gritty, the down and dirty. The part where we discuss why PomWonderful is just so wonderful!   If I'm going to throw a party in it's honor - it better be the real deal right? You betcha! Here's the real truth - POM is the only brand that can guarantee 100% authentic pomegranate. How? Because they're the only company that grows, juices and bottles it's pomegranates. Why is this important? Because other brands have added sugars, colorants or filler juices. Why does that matter? Well let me explain...


PomWonderful pomegranate juice contains superior antioxidants. Anti-whatie you say? Antioxidants neutralize free radicals - the harmful molecules that damage our skin and cause harmful diseases and come in the form of pollution, sunlight, smoking, even stress.  There's a lot of science - $34 million dollars worth to be exact - but basically here's what you need to know:

POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice has demonstrated a superior ability to neutralize harmful free radicals

-A 2005 study showed improved blood flow to the heart in patients drinking 8oz daily of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice for 3 months.

-One study tested 45 men with recurrent prostate cancer who drank 8 oz of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice daily for two years. Results indicated slower disease progression time from 15 months to 54 months.   

-A 2007 study examined 61 males with erectile dysfunction. Those drinking 8oz of PomWonderful daily for 4 weeks were 50% more likely to experience improved erections. 

What else? Ah yes...beauty!! Free radicals play a huge part in the aging process. Antioxidants prevent cellular degeneration and the production of chemicals that cause further damage. (That's a fancy way of saying fewer wrinkles.) Beauty starts from within people - drink up! 

So what have we learned? From my point of view, if you can do one healthy thing a day this should be it. Sure it might cost a little more than that generic sugary apple juice you usually buy but what's a few extra bucks when it comes to your health?  


Oh yeah, what's it like?? Well....

Have a Taste Test...


Personally, I was pleasantly surprised at the taste. I'm not sure why I expected it to be strong and somewhat bitter but it was neither. It's flavorful and refreshing, maybe slightly tart but it could just be my palate. Nothing to deter drinking 8 ounces per day.  I'm also mixing into my morning smoothie and blending with apples or blueberries.

Other taste test reactions included:

"Mmm, not what I expected."

"It's better than I thought it would be, I actually like it."

"That's pretty tasty!" 

(Mojito wasn't a fan but he's really picky...)


Clean up is an important part of the process...


Thank you PomWonderful - I'm definitely a Fan! 


*Sources - PomWonderful and Dr. Perricone

Corporate Jargon

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!


Image via Perpetual Kid


Comma Happy's mention of Corporate Flashcards reminded me how amusing corporate vernacular can be. A few co-workers at one job kept a shared file of all the common buzz words - I think it topped out around 30!

Low-hanging fruit, Circle back, SPOC (aka single point of contact), and Deep Dive are just a few examples...Thinking of recent graduates, maybe flashcards would be a good gift to break them in!

For the rest of us stumped for professional sounding phrases, it's a good thing sites like this and this exist to help us out!

Street Boners - A Book for the Opposite of Fashion Snobs

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

Sometimes I get really tired of stumbling upon blog after blog of 'outfit posts'. You know the kind...people who photograph their outfit nearly every day and post it for the all world to see. Granted, some are better than others, waaay better than others...but maybe I'm just envious of their closets and gobs of free time to actually accomplish such a task. (Do you know how long it takes me to download, edit, and upload my photos?? Sheesh!)

It made me smirkily smile today to stumble upon the announcement of a new book, Street Boners, a collection of fashion critiques from the sidewalk. It's one part snarky, two parts hilarious.  Like this one:

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"These two are about to make some really gorgeous and stupid babies."

Ha Ha Ha
See more here.
About the book to be released on May 27, here.



City Gardening Essentials

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

This week's pretty weather has me thinking of gardens and blooms. Don't have a yard? A balcony or windowsill will do! Here are some essentials:

Come In / Go Away Rug
Lavender Grow Kit

Gallery sneak peek (7 images):

View the gallery...

Yellow is the New Neutral

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!


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Granted it's only been summer in Chicago for one day (thank you Sunday for being gorgeous!) but I'm already declaring these my new neutral sandal this year. So far I'm wearing them with eve-ry-thing. At $24.99, you should too! 

Grilled Cheese Party!

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

It happened and it was cheesy!!

Last month, we held our 1st annual Grilled Cheese Party in celebration of April's National Grilled Cheese Month. 

Dinner at the 44th Ward - Chicago's own grilled cheese funhouse - provided the perfect setting.  The sandwiches were yummy, the company was great and the cheese was flowing. 

Here's how it went down:








Cheesy, right?

April is National Grilled Cheese Month!

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

(I know I'm a little late but we still have 18 days to celebrate!)

At one point in my life I survived solely grilled cheese sandwiches and apple juice. Thankfully, my palette has matured slightly since then and eating habits have improved but I still love a good gooey sandwich on occasion.  In recent years, the grilled cheese has gone gourmet. Check out these fancy, dancy sandwiches! 

I'll be getting my grilled cheese party on later this month at The 44th Ward.

Gallery sneak peek (9 images):

View the gallery...

One Day Without Shoes

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

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Can you imagine a life without shoes? As I try to fathom it I'm reminded of the times I've justified a purchase because I 'need' them. The reality is, I don't need anything. But there are plenty of people who do. It's good to know there are companies out there doing great things in the world - like Tom's shoes. Did you know that for every pair of Tom's purchased a pair is given to a child in need?

Tom's shoes has declared April 8th 'One Day Without Shoes' to spread awareness that most children in developing countries grow up without shoes. Tom's is asking people to go the day, part of the day or even just a few minutes, barefoot, to experience a life without shoes first-hand, and inspire others at the same time.

Across the country, groups on campus, at headquarters and within communities will be going shoeless for walks and events. I'll be kicking my shoes off under my desk today as well as going virtually shoeless. I hope you'll do the same.

Spread the word. And feel free to use the picture below on your blog, twitter, or facebook today.


Spring photos to lift the Spirit

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

Last week the weather was beautiful, this week the weather is putting me in a funk.

Hopefully you're not feeling the same but if you are here are a few spring photos we took over Easter weekend. Maybe they'll remind us of warmer days to come!

Gallery sneak peek (8 images):

View the gallery...
Continue reading...

Crazy Peeps!

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

Peeps love their Peeps!

 

Check out this gallery of crazy things people do with Peeps!


Happy Easter Peeps!


 

Gallery sneak peek (25 images):

View the gallery...

Marriage is Bliss. A little seminar & wine help too.

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

 

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Photo via Voque Italia

 

Recently, Alex and I attended a marriage seminar. Not due to any issue in particular but rather some routine maintenance. After nearly 7 years of marriage is was time for a tune up!  Luckily we both enjoy self-help and equate our marriage with landing the dream job. If you've worked hard enough and were lucky enough to achieve it, isn't it your responsibility to attend trainings and further your knowledge through research and development? After all, marriage doesn't come with a manual!

 

This seminar didn't disappoint and though there were many tips and thought provoking stories, one stood out to me that I thought could benefit any relationship. Whether it's family and friends, or managers and co-workers, communication is critical. However, communication isn't measured in quantity (think Chatty Cathy or Clammed up Charlie) but rather quality. And quality comes from understanding not only what the person is trying to say but also why they're saying it that way. The easiest way to understand this is the principle of believing that Weaknesses are Overextended Strengths. Isn't that great??

 

Here's how it works: Each of our 'weaknesses' are actually the result of a 'strength' stretched too far. For example, if someone is impatient it's likely because they're a very decisive person. They make decisions quick and don't understand why others don't. This is EYE OPENING people! Now, if the husband gets impatient with me for taking to long to decide, I know it's because he's a super decisive person and not because he doesn't like me or wants to be a jerk. Therefore, keeping me from reacting with my usual 'what the %!*$' attitude and actually learning to appreciate him more because being impatient isn't a fault, it's a Turbo2000 strength.  After all, being decisive has it's advantages and I'm lucky enough to be married to someone who possess this quality x1,000!

 

 

Here are some other examples:

 

Indecisive (that's me!) = an analytic/thoughtful person (why, thank you!)

 

Overly talkative = a good communicator, loves people and wants them to feel comfortable

 

Disorganized = creative/flexbile

 

Critical = discernment, acuteness of judgment and understanding, good perception and insight

 

Demanding = motivated/challenged

 

 

See the pattern? I love this concept! It will also come in handy for job interviews...

Here's a good source to assess your own strengths and super-strengths ;) You can also search it, there are tons of examples. 

 

What are your secrets of a successful marriage??

 

Cheeky-Cheeky Boom Boom!

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

 

 

Tomorrow evening, Cheeky Chicago is hosting a spring fashion show at Saks on Michigan Avenue from 6-8pm. Fashion, munchies, beverages plus an after party? Sounds like a great way to start winding down the week!

Highlights include:

- A preview of the freshest Spring trends modeled by six Chicago style-makers

- Meet designer Rebecca Minkoff and preview her Spring 2010 Collection

- Hors d'oeuvres, beverages provided by Vitamin Water & MGD

- Music by DJ Mister Wolf

 

Get more scoop here. I'll be looking for ya!

 

 

New music : Pomplamoose covers Aerosmith

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

Since I was home sick and couldn't attend the Chicago Now meetup (sadness!) I stayed in and watched American Idol. Cute little Aaron Kelly gave an incredible performance of Aerosmith's 'Don't Wanna Miss a Thing' which reminded me of a You Tube video by Pomplamoose I'd seen over the weekend. Here's the scoop according to Pomplamoose

This cover is a VideoSong, a new medium with 2 rules: 

1. What you see is what you hear (no lip-syncing for instruments or voice).

2. If you hear it, at some point you see it (no hidden sounds). 

Very cool concept, check it out!    



P.S. There are many more Pomplamoose songs waiting to be heard, go have a listen here.

Dancing with the Stars : A recap of the 1st show of 2010

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!


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image via abc


ooooh Dancing with the Stars is back!! Since I have no professional dance experience but lots of reality tv watching experience, I think I'm qualified to give a viewer recap. These are my thoughts on the 1st show of Season 10!


Brooke Burke has replaced Samantha Harris, thank goodness. I feel really bad saying it but something about Samantha just annoyed me. I'm sorry!


There's a new set, as well as new score revelation format including a see through celebrity holding room. It all seemed a little unorganized tonight with celebrities and their partners shuffling in and out after each performance but hopefully that will improve. 



As for the dances/dancers, here's what stood out to me:

  • Chad Ochocinco + Cheryl = engergetic, fun to watch, lots of potential
  • Shannon Doherty + Mark = she was so nervous! but she danced better than expected. I liked seeing the emotional side of her personality
  • Niecy Nash + Louis = loving her!  so funny, so genuine and the girl can shake that booty!
  • Nicole Scherzinger + Derrick = beautiful. the people and the dance
  • Kate Gosselin + Tony = happy she put herself out there, not the best dancer but very endearing
  • Pamela Anderson + Damien = Pam, I'm going to need you to stop trying so hard. 
  • Jake Pavelka + Chelsie = I was much more impressed than I thought I'd be. Too bad we can't get away from Vienna...it's the Samantha affect, something is just annoying...
  • Evan Lysacek + Anna = graceful as expected. Anna is my favorite! (I remember Evan being cuter on the Olympics?)
  • Erin Andrews + Max = why do the tall, pretty girls usually disappoint? I want them to be so good and they just aren't :(  (Minus Brooke Burke & Joanna Krupa)
  • Buzz Alrin + Ashly = I'm smitten with this 'ol cutie. What can I say, I have a thing for the eldery. He's 80!!


So there it is, my quick and easy recap. Did I miss anything? What were your thoughts?? 

The Cat's Meow - Taking Better Photo's of your Pet

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

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Petey - aka 'Sweet Pete'

I'm an animal person - dogs, birds, bunnies, giraffes...I love them all. But being the proud mom of 2 beautiful, black, short haired felines (I think I've mentioned my love of black cats as part of my 'unlucky charms' obsession) cats are one of my favorites. We're always trying to capture our cats on camera so when I came across this interview with tips on how to take great photos of your cat I got excited. Even more so when I realized the photographer was Chicago based Ingrid Nevinger of 9 Lives Photography.  In addition to specializing in cat photography, she volunteers with several cat charity organizations, including putting together a book, Faces of Felines Inc., with a sampling of photos taken at this Chicago no-kill shelter. She also runs Cat Nipped, a blog consisting of reader submitted photos including mini interviews with cats & their owners. 

I came across Ingrid's interview via Modern Cat, a nifty little website chock full of all things feline for the most modern of kitties.  A must have source for modern cat lovers! 

Being the victim of many failed feline photos, I was super impressed with Ingrid's ability to capture so much personality in the faces of these pretty kitties.

Here a few of my favorite Ingrid photos as well as some from her readers:
(Ingrid's photos are 1-6. 7-14 are submissions to her blog from her readers)

Gallery sneak peek (14 images):

View the gallery...

Happy Weekend!

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

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image via little brown pen

I hope you enjoyed the spring-y weather this week. Too bad Sunday will feel like winter again... If you're running in the Shamrock Shuffle, follow these tips from The Fit List for a comfortable run. 

Our weekend plans include a marriage conference with friends in Wheeling. (No, we don't have issues, just doing some maintenance) No shame in it!

After putting it off for what feels like forever, I joined Twitter this week, which reminds me of this post - Is social media better than sex?

What's up with infidelity lately? Poor Sandra and Elizabeth

Ooops, Ryan!

An Alice inspired Fashion Show!

Turqouise is Pantone's color of the year. Judging by this pretty chair I would have to agree.

A cute idea that I'll never have time to do...

The lovely ladies at Benefit-Evanston informed me that this pretty blush is sold out nationally, get it while you still can!

Happy Weekend!

*almost* over being green

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

Bagpipers on the radio, a Celtic icon on Google's homepage, 23 shades of green in the office? It must be St. Patrick's Day! I'm Irish'ed out after Saturday so here's an Irish proverb 'cuz I got nothin'!

 

Three best to have in plenty - sunshine, wisdom and generosity.
Irish Triad

 

Hope you're enjoying this beautiful day in the city. Here are some equally beautiful green theme photos from around the web.

 

 

Photo sources: Etsy, Flickr, Our Labor of Love

Gallery sneak peek (13 images):

View the gallery...

I'rish you a happy weekend!

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

The Green River is one of my  favorite Chicago traditions. But we're not the only city that likes green. Lets take a look at some other cities that enjoy celebrating the shamrock:

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In 2009, the north White House fountain was dyed green in celebration of Saint Patrick's Day

 

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Savannah, Georgia celebrates with green fountains as well.

 

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Indianapolis dyes its main canal green.

 

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More fun facts:

-Montreal has the longest running St. Patrick's Day parade - since 1824!

-Missouri University of Science and Technology - St Pat's Board Alumni paint 12 city blocks kelly green with mops before the annual parade

- The original color associated with SPD was blue. Glad that changed, Green is much more fun & obnoxious J

 

Have a fantastic weekend - Get your Green on!

 

Sources: Wikipedia

Images: Wikipedia, Flickr

 

Weekend Recap: Exploring Andersonville, a Brewery Tour and Mood Enhancing Sunshine

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! The sun was out, the jackets were shed and we all felt the tease of spring. This is the time of year I usually get spring envy. Growing up, March meant cold weather is over.  Family & friends in the south will begin to talk about their 60 degree days, spring blooms and outdoor Easter egg hunts. But I'm happy to report I feel content with weather this year. I handled February like a pro. (It's about time.) No SAD, cabin fever, frozen to the bone. And Saturday,  I traded my jacket for a sweater and it was only 42.  Is this the point I can call myself a true Chicagoan??

 

To enjoy the nice weather  we spent the afternoon in Andersonville - so many discoveries! We frequent Andersonville often for brunch and dinner but it had been a while since we strolled in and out of shops. With the sun shine warming up the air it was the perfect setting. I'm embarrassed to admit how many new places I was unaware of!  Here's a little recap:

 

Are you mad for plaid? Then Brimfield is the store for you. Brimfield = Anthropologie + Woolrich.  I was so enamored with everything to look and feel I ended up behind the register without realizing it. Ooops! Filled with comfy furniture, plaid pillows, vintage jackets & cowboy boots, it's easy to get lost in patternwork.

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Photo via Strangeclosets

 

Next stop, Andersonville Galleria. How have I never been here?!  It's like Etsy in person! I.will.be.back.  Open daily, it's a 3 floor marketplace where business owners set up shop in a carved out space. Imagine an upscale modern day flea market. Patrons move from shop to shop with ease and most had no staff on site, so you browse freely and make all purchases in one location. Shops include art, photography, organic clothing, jewelry, home furnishings, vintage goods, even food items including 'Terry's Toffee' where we met Terry himself! Offering a tasting of the 'Academy Mix' which included a yummy Vanilla Lavender blend, Terry enlightened us on his 7 year old local business and their inclusion in the Oscars goodie bag each year. I love local stories!

 

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Photo via Chicago Home + Garden

 

 

When I was finally ready to move on, a stop in White Attic produced an appreciation for the artwork rather than furniture. (Although I did love a tiffany blue chest of drawers.) One particular painting features the skyline made up of words. I'm not sure what the story is but I would love to find out...Unfortunately, I lost my note with the artist's name - 'doh!

 

A quick peep into Paper Trail confirmed my prediction that Russian Matroyskha dolls were about to be huge. Stationery sets, coasters, and notecards had me ooohing and ahhing.

 

In preparation for St. Patrick's Day attire, we headed into The T-shirt Deli which is a hilariously, genius idea. Set up like a deli, you select your tee, graphics and lettering and create away. Popular with bridal partys, greek life, and artistic types, this place has a little bit for everyone.  Pricing is reasonable and if you're more of DIY-er, you can email your own designs for print. (I love that the size stickers are deli price tags!)  

 

For dinner, we tried a new (to us) Mediterranean Restaurant and Wine Bar, Ropa in Rogers Park. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the service, reasonable prices and delicious food. There are plenty of vegetarian options (that's me) and the husband loved the lamb. We enjoying talking with the owner about the menu, recipes, and his inspiration. (I love meeting nice business owners, it means so much when they take the time to chat with customers.) We'll definitely return, you should check it out! 

 

On Sunday, we took a tour of Half Acre Brewery and tasted some yummy beer. What else is there to do on a rainy afternoon? You should sign up for one - they're free!

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What did you get in to??


When everything's not coming up roses...

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

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Photo by the fabulous Jamie

 

Recently at my company we learned of some organizational changes that will greatly affect some of us in the coming months. While I can't share too much here, the news has inspired some to reevaluate their current situations. As we know, change is not always welcomed. The fear of the unknown is well, scary.  

 

But an awesomely inspiring co-worker shared this quote and since many of you may be in similar situations I thought I would share.

 

"The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible."
-Arthur C. Clarke

 

Keep it in perspective people...we're alive, we're free and we're able.

Through the unknown and uncertain, remember that nothing is permanent.  

 

*hugs*

 

 Do you have a favorite inspiring quote? I would love to hear it!

 

 

 

A transit map of the human body

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

 Some people are so creative...this human transit map is awesome!

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  Underskin by Sam Lomen, via Gizmodo
 

A Zoolander Sequel - Finally!

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

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This weekend Alex and I celebrated our 8 year dating anniversary. (Yes we still acknowledge them - any excuse for a celebration!) Sometimes we relive events that took place during our 1st weeks of dating and this year was no exception. In honor of our 1st movie together we watched Zoolander for the 1st time in years. What a ridiculously hilarious film!  I love how it pokes fun at an industry that sometimes takes itself much too seriously. There are so many hysterical lines we use to this day that I had forgotten originated from that movie. ("Who cares? It's only fashion.") Imagine my excitement when I read in the Saturday RedEye that a sequel is in the works! We'll be 1st in line :)

 

Oh, Canada...I'm not finished with you yet!

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

As much as I loved watching the Olympics, some of my favorite parts were the highlights of Canada. The breathtaking countryside, snowcapped mountains and roaming moose...what a beautiful country! I could almost smell fresh air through the screen. The coverage of Canada may have ended but the inspiration is just beginning...
 
 
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image via flickr


Some Canada inspired links for you...
 
Toughen up a pretty dress with this moose antler necklace 
 
This yummy Ice wine may help shake off the last bit of winter. (I've tried this one & it's dee-lish!)
 
Canadians love Hush Puppies shoes, (yes Hush Puppies). And why wouldn't they? Known to be super comfortable and long-lasting, they come with a 12 month waterproof guarantee. Just what they need for the rigourous winter. These are so cute and on sale now!
 
This adorable site is full of Montreal designers. Love this tulip skirt for spring (Not everything is fur & flaps!)
 
How do you take your tea? With a pretty honey stir stick please...
 
An obvious but cool Canadian item, the Roots Canada leather bag
 
Harricana takes old fur coats & recycles them into updated versions as well as hats & wraps.
 
Love what this feather fringe necklace does for a plain tee
 
Bonus: 
Olympics on ebay? Get it while you can

 

Stop missing Domino & start reading Lonny

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

Were you as devastated as me when Domino magazine folded last year?  Domino and I were like *this* and I was crushed when it shuttered with the March 2009 issue. Each month, a new copy would arrive and I would begin to plan what I like to call "the reading". You see, with a magazine this fabulous "the reading" had to special. You don't just pick this one up and leisurely finger through it. No ma'am. Time was dedicated, chores went undone. Most of my "readings" took place on our balcony (weather permitting) with a cold drink nearby and the warm sun glistening off the pages. The husband knew a Domino in hand meant DO NOT DISTURB and eventually was wonderful enough to "present" it to me if I wasn't the lucky one to fetch the mail that day. Oh, sweet memories. Point is, I've missed it so much and while I'm not convinced anything can top it, there's a new mag in town that's darn close...ladies and gents, meet Lonny

Full of beautiful photos and a clean pages, the online only magazine is in infancy (the 3rd issue was released this month) but I'm already swooning. It took a little while to get used to reading the web format but it gets easier and more comfortable with each look. Plus, as you roll over items on the page product links pop up. (Hmm, this may be a bonus for a little 9 to 5 browsing...) I do still miss having a glossy copy to save forever fold down the corners of favorite pages. Maybe someday! 

Until then, I give you Lonny:
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Look closer, those books aren't books. They're wallpaper!
 
 
 
Dear Hubby, can we stripe our entryway?
 
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 That's enough of my favorites, now go find your own!


One year in 120 seconds

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

What a thoughtful and creative video, I love that you can 'hear' the seasons.

If only we could fast forward through the rest of winter... 




One year in 120 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

A snowman family surprise

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

A sweet little snowman family greeted me in our courtyard last night. Thank you neighbors, it brightened my evening!
 
See the little snow dog??
 

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Continue reading...

How was your weekend?

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Ashleigh

I'm a southern girl in the big city. A fashion professional, paper enthusiast and lover of 'unlucky' things. I post things I like including fashion, photos, funny jokes & classy quotes. I hope you like them too! Thanks for stopping by, please say hello!

image via photobucket

We started ours off with dinner at the spicy CafĂ© 28. On Saturday we decided on a last minute road trip to Centralia Illinois to see our friend Natasha perform. What a trip!  Centralia is a small town but what they lack in size, they make up for in friendliness. We met so many interesting people including a blind man whose love of music prompted him to lease an old high school gym to use for concerts. The highlight of the the trip was when Natasha sang my favorite, a Russian folk song. Her voice melts my heart! We're working on getting her to Chicago and when that happens I'll be sure to let you know!


Some things to start the week:

A pretty spring pouter

Sweet bibs for sweet babies! How cute is that piggy?!

A Gaga inspired fashion show!

Modern Silhouettes

Lovely Lavender kit

Be prepared for spring showers!

5 minute desk stretches
 

Have a wonderful week!

 


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