Easy, Breezy, Teezy

tshirt dresses Ah, the t-shirt dress. It’s the essence of summer comfort, and perfect for those steaming hot days when you’d really rather not get dressed, but you sort of have to, so really only glorified pajamas will do. Dress it up, dress it down. I want to wear one every single day this summer. (Can you tell I’m also really into stripes? Ha.)

Above are some options I’ve been eyeing lately.

Works Cited: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5



I’m going to Iowa City


I’m going to Iowa City this weekend to participate in a workshop at the Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival, and…I’m nervous. I’ve taken several writing classes locally, but I’ve always felt a bit of “small pond” syndrome. Perhaps I’ve even bred that feeling with my own choices.

This is the first BIG leap I’ve taken in my writing career. New town, new format, and what is likely to be, for lack of a better phrase, an assload of talent. I’m just starting the revising and rewriting process for a short story I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year, and I really think this is the chance to elevate this story to a new level.

It will be just me…holed up in a hotel room with my computer and my thoughts. Here’s to hoping something great comes out of it.

image credit 

Go Gaga or Go Home


Why yes, internet, that is a picture of me breaking my “no leggings as pants” rule for one night only. Only for Gaga, of course. In my defense, they were super comfortable, and there is NO BETTER TIME to experiment with fashion than a Gaga concert.


Friday night I went to the Lady Gaga show at the United Center with my SIL and a couple of her friends.

I wouldn’t consider myself a big fan, and I really only know her singles. But when a free opportunity (another friend dropped out) comes along to parade around in bright pants and sing songs about loving yourself at the top of your lungs–you take it. And you enjoy the heck out of yourself.

That I did.


The show was pure entertainment from start to finish, and she even performed a beautiful acoustic version of “Born This Way”. Girl can sing!


ladygagaThe outfits….oh my, the outfits. They were incredible! Anyone who can wear a headdress like this and make it look bad ass is okay in my book.


Weekly Bibliography: 7.11.14

wine glasses

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have an exciting weekend! I’m going to a Lady GaGa concert tonight (what!?) and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Is coding the new literacy? I’ve got big thoughts on this that I’m still sorting out. Loved the article!

I know I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but I’ve been savoring Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird this week–it’s incredible!

What happens when you put a package in the mail? This super fascinating time-lapse video shows us, with killer music to boot.

Oh, Hobby Lobby. You’ve made it so easy poke fun at you.

Welcome to the internet: an oral history.

Book-scented candles!? Pretty sure I need the Oxford Library one. Love that the Book Cellar candle has “notes of dirt.”

image credit

Simple Gold Statements

simple gold jewelry

I’ve been craving minimalistic gold jewelry like no other lately. Perhaps it’s the inherent simplicity of lazy summer days, perhaps the minimal nature of my new lifestyle, or perhaps it’s the idea that quiet statements are louder than they seem.

Pieces this lovely can be layered every which way, but I often prefer to wear one at a time and let them glimmer in the caught light only every so often.

Above are some pieces I’ve scouted that are definitely going on my wish list.

Works Cited: One / Two / Three / Four / Five 

4th of July Recap

4th of July

I’m a few days late with this post, but how was your 4th of July weekend? Mine was filled with a steady stream of baseball, beers, BBQ, and puppies. We spent a low-key holiday weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan with my in-laws.

We spent Saturday afternoon taste testing everything we could at Perrin Brewing Co. in Comstock Park, MI. Pro tip: get the sweet potato fries–they’re amazing!

Then the whole gang (MIL, FIL, BIL, SIL, Keith, and I) capped off the weekend with a Sunday night Tiger’s game. They lost (boo), but we enjoyed some amazing seats in the third row behind home plate, thanks to a raffle my MIL won, and even got some camera time on ESPN.

Hope you had a great holiday!

Height of Summer


I don’t know about you, but this has been a weird week for me in many ways. The Fourth of July weekend is just around the corner, and I’m itching to grab hold of every summer activity, food, drink, experience, etc. I can get. We’ve reached the pinnacle of the season, and I’m already afraid we’re rounding the corner toward the onset of fall.

I tried a little something with the above collage. I searched Flickr Creative Commons images under “summer”…just “summer”…to see what I would come up with. I find it helpful sometimes to give myself these sorts of constraints, and I’m pretty happy with the results.

Yes, looks like summer to me.

image credits: 1 / 2 /  3 / 4 / 5 / 6

5 Podcasts I Can’t Stop Listening To


Raise your hand if you love podcasts! I can’t get enough of them lately. I’ve even preferred them to music as a way to pass the time while I’m on the train, walking Sadie, making my lunch, getting lost on Pinterest, etc. Sometimes I tune in and out, other times I’m fully engrossed in the conversation, but either way I always end up absorbing something special to take with me the rest of the day.

So here you have them, in no particular order, the 5 podcasts I can’t stop listening to:

1.  After the Jump by Grace Bonney of Design Sponge

Don’t mind me while I fangirl it out for a second, but I could listen to this podcast all day. From productivity tips, lessons on running a business, to interviews with designers, makers, and artists from around the country–this show has got it all. If you’re at all interested in design and creating community, this should be on your podcast repertoire.

2.  The Lively Show by Jess Lively

Every episode feels like a burst of positivity, and showcases inspirational interviews on how others are cultivating mindfulness in the various facets of their lives.

3.  Stuff You Should Know

I’ll be honest, I didn’t love this podcast at first. My husband, Keith, is a huge fan and turned me on to them a couple years ago. We marathoned our way through episodes during a road trip once, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Where else can you learn about the ins and outs of bitcoins, the ACLU, and natural selection all in the same place?

4. How to Hold a Pencil

As a lifelong learner, this podcast is right up my alley. Host Reuben Ingber takes us through the stories of self-taught web professionals and entrepreneurs. I’ve found dozens of interesting people and resources through listening to this podcast.

5. This American Life

I feel like no podcast favorites list would be complete without the quintessential This American Life. Did anyone else listen to episdoe 523: Death and Taxes? Nancy Updike’s segment on caring for her ailing stepfather was bone-chillingly poignant.

Image credit

Weekend Adventures: Starved Rock State Park

I’ve been feeling a bit restless in the city lately, so Keith and I went on a little adventure Saturday to Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, IL, just 2 hours southwest of Chicago.

I have to admit, I’ve been fairly disappointed with the couple Illinois outdoor adventures we’ve taken compared to places in Wisconsin, Michigan, or other states. Specifically, I’m referring to a river tubing trip that wasn’t (we got there and the river had dried up!). I much prefer woods and mountains to prairies and corn fields, but we gave it a shot. And Starved Rock did not disappoint.


We spent a lovely couple of hours hiking LaSalle Canyon. Pro tip: do NOT start your hike from the main visitor’s center–way too crowded! I suggest parking in one of the other lots either south or north, and start your hike from there.


Sadie looking happy as can be, while Keith looks a bit sullen. The humidity was a beast that day.



I look tiny compared to the rock formations!


A trickling waterfall greeted us at the end of the route.

LaSalle Canyon

I certainly don’t think “canyons” when I think of Illinois landscape, but this place made a believer out of me. A definite must-do day trip for Chicagoans craving a decent hike.

A Lovely Thanksgiving

Have you recovered yet from Turkey Fest 2k13? Nope, me neither. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! Here are some snapshots from my weekend.

Keith and I drove up to the upper peninsula of Michigan on Wednesday afternoon. Keith’s parents own a cabin near Rapid River, MI with a few of their friends (sort of like a self-organized timeshare) and we spent the holiday there with his parents, sister, and brother-in-law.

The cabin is fairly remote. We only had a couple TV channels, no internet, or cell service. There was lots of reading, chatting, and listening to Christmas music happening. It was really nice to be forced to unplug for a few days.

cabin interior

The interior of the cabin is cozy and rustic–just what the doctor ordered for a relaxing winter weekend!

Keith and I just before dinner

Keith and I just before Thanksgiving dinner.

snowy woods

I got to enjoy my first white Thanksgiving.

snow covered trees

It was truly a winter wonderland. That tiny spot of orange is Keith wearing his “hunter’s orange” hat.

Keith walking through snow

We went on a Christmas tree hunting excursion on Saturday.