Wednesday, May 30, 2012

dresses under $100? that'll do, pig.

Don't you love a good day dress? One you roll out of bed, throw on with your hair in a pony and just go? One that can easily transition into the perfect dinner date attire at your favorite local restaurant? I do. But with all these loose-fitting styles available in stores, I have been striking out left and right. Fortunately, I was in Starbucks the other day - per usual - and another gal had on the most darling summery frock. I asked her the source of this tangerine-colored goodness and she mentioned the brand Aqua, available at Bloomingdale's. Naturally, I did some Internet perusing when I got home, and found out these so-called "Aqua" dresses aren't too costly! Most of the short dresses are between $80-100, and their maxi dresses hover just north of that at $108. Not totally unreasonable considering you get an entire outfit out of the solitary piece.

I of course want them all. But if I had to choose, I'd probably go with either of the striped options. The eyelet is darling but not so good for my body type.

Which would you choose?

....and because I can't, for the life of me, stopping quoting this movie. They just don't make em like this anymore, do they?

Friday, May 25, 2012

a lil' bit of pretty. and a lil' bit of bbq-ing.

if i one day had an actual office with a lil' mini fridge, i'd spruce it up with these babies from leif. that's right. they're magnets. aren't they special?

busy weekend ahead of me! i was just talking with paula, and we were laughing how when you run your own business, you don't look at a holiday weekend as having an extra day off... you look at it as an extra day to squeeze work in! the everygirl has some fun cooking and styling features happening this weekend. fortunately i plan on making time for a lil' date night, girls night, and family bbq-ing.

speaking of bbq-ing. 

have any of you ever heard of marbles? as in marbles hardsgrove?

i fell in love with marbles back in college. none of us knew whether this was a real person... or a skit... or an amazing actor...

a few of my favorites:
"if you have not seen this gem, do yourself a favor and see it four or five times."
"robin williams is so good. he's so convincing as a priest... it's mind-blowing."
"randy watches aladdin, um... almost every night."
"no you're never gonna survive... cause i'm gonna eat you."

well, it turns out. it's not only an actor, it's melissa mccarthy! everyone's favorite bridesmaid.

ok, now i'm really out. happy weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

two girls, one apartment. here we go...

two of my good girl friends just got a place together and need some help decorating. the chance to decorate a girls-only city pad? naturally, i jumped on that opportunity. sadly, my best friend has somewhat... how do i put this delicately... masculine taste. she likes grey. and green. and abhors all things girly and considers me a flashy dresser if i pair a colored top with my sparkly necklace. well, rats.

either way, she sent me the couch she likes this morning, and i actually like it a lot! the clean lines and nailhead trim make this a great piece to work off of.
and to my surprise and delight, she started sending along very bright (and feminine!) looking pillows. so i ran with it and immediately hopped over to my favorite pillow cover source, fabricadabra.

i tried to keep the bigger items toned down and cater to her quasi-traditional taste. the coffee table, chevron rug, lamps, and mirror are all basic, neutral pieces that you could really use in any style room. i added in more feminine, glam pieces with the sconces, bookends, beaded hurricane, pillows, and of course, the gold pouf (which i'm aware wouldn't make it into this living room in a gagillion years, but heck, i think it looks awesome).

gosh, i haven't done one of these lil' mock-ups in ages. that was fun.

ok, now back to work.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

word on the street.

as seen in the jayson home and garden parking lot

a brand is only as good as their marketing. i mean seriously. quoting literature in a parking lot? love it.

click here to read other words worth reading

Monday, May 21, 2012


Well, it's official. Come September 1, 2012, I will no longer call this place home.

As I sit here on the sofa trying to stay cool on this steamy Sunday evening, I can't help but feel sad. Sad at how much I'll miss this place. At how much I really don't want to leave it. Like any home, it's crazy to think of all that's happened in these six rooms over the past two and a half years. So many memories that I fear will slowly start to slip away once I'm no longer here. It's as those being in this space grants me instant access to them; like they are somehow swirling around me at all times, and the sounds, smells, and sights of these rooms can take me back to any moment at any time. And I don't want to forget it. Any of it. The laughter, the heartache, the friends, the boyfriends, the long hours in my office, the game nights, the experiments in the kitchen (both successful and not), the sick days where all I wanted was to stay curled up in bed, the New Year's Eve party where I met the great guy I've since fallen for... I've learned and grown and changed so much since moving in here. My first real grown-up place. It's been my refuge. My design playground. The first place other than my childhood home that actually felt like home. But most importantly, this drafty apartment has helped me do exactly what I set out to do when I sat down and started this blog three years. Create myself. Pursue my passions. Build a business.

From writing LCY, to designing blogs, to drawing logos, to helping launch an online magazine, to guest editing for Chicago Home and Garden Magazine, to landing my first styling projects, to launching The Everygirl; I've done it all from this tiny, 6x9 feet, color-splashed space. I think I'll miss this room the most. My creative haven. My hideaway when everything else in life seemed pear-shaped. Where I've often sat from 8am until midnight, lost in work, with my pups at my feet, singing along to whatever playlist I had on loop at the time, writing and illustrating and emailing away, planning the next big thing... yes. I'll miss this room most.

All of that being said, I have to admit, I am equally so excited for this move. As of right now, it looks like I'll be getting my own place come fall. It will be the first time in (almost) 27 years I'll have my own bathroom. I have no idea what that's like! Danielle says she thinks everyone should live alone at some point. And I agree. Not to mention it means a whole new home to decorate (I'm constantly looking around my apartment deciding what's coming with and what's going on Craigslist)! As for inspiration... let the pinning begin!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Everygirl is looking for summer interns! We promise there will be movie nights and cocktails and occasional meltdowns and girl talk all under a canopy of work, of course.

sometimes we look like this.

and sometimes we feel like this.

but in the end it's always fun and we love what we do.

so why not join in the fun?

Position: Super duper graphics wizard intern
Company: The Everygirl
Location: Chicago, IL
Responsibilities: You’ll get to see the inside workings of the internet’s most recent phenomenon: The Everygirl. Some have even called it the next Facebook of our lady generation. And you get the chance to work with Alaina and Danielle this summer to see how it all comes together!
Or something like that.
Ok, for real. Here’s the deal. We need some help. Those pretty features you see every day don’t appear with a sprinkle of fairy dust, and we want your kick-butt graphics skillz to help make them beauuuutiful!
Compensation: This internship can be applied toward school credit.
Qualifications: Applicants must be proficient in the Adobe Creative Suites—no if’s, and’s, or but’s. We can train you on the editorial side of things. And while graphic design or journalism majors are preferred, neither of us went to school for graphics and both do it for a living, so we will definitely let this slide if you know what you’re doing when we put an iMac in front of you and crack open a window. If you have a knack for wordsmithing, even better. You must be available to come in and work at least three days a week, and we require that—generally speaking—you are a nice person. After all, Everygirls are nice girls.
How to Apply: E-mail your resume, a link to your portfolio, and cover letter about why you want to work with The Everygirl to WITH THE SUBJECT LINE “SUMMER GRAPHICS INTERN.” Applicants without this subject line will not be considered. And pretty please do not attach samples of your work. We need to be able to click over and view your portfolio online (our computers have too many files on them as it is)!
Must Apply By: Saturday, May 26
Start Date: ASAP
Position 2: Social media/writing intern extraordinaire
Company: The Everygirl
Location: Chicago, IL
Responsibilities: Whether it’s features, blog posts, or witty lil’ captions for our social media, we need someone who is passionate about stringing together words and wants to lend a hand. This intern will be largely responsible for managing our daily newsletter, our social media, and jumping in whenever we need someone to put together an intro to a feature the night before it goes up. Oh, the fun world of daily journalism…
Compensation: This internship can be applied toward school credit.
Qualifications: Applicants must be grammar enthusiasts with a good sense of humor. English, creative writing, or journalism majors are preferred, but we’ll look past that if you make us laugh. If you know your way around the Adobe Creative Suites, even better. You must be available to come in and work at least three days a week, and we require that—generally speaking—you are a nice person. After all, Everygirls are nice girls. Experience with Mailchimp is a plus. Oh, and you must have Twitter and know your way around social media in general. Or we might just react like this.
How to Apply: E-mail your resume, a link to your portfolio (can be a blog with noteworthy posts highlighted), a link to your Twitter account, and cover letter about why you want to work with The Everygirl to WITH THE SUBJECT LINE “SUMMER WRITING INTERN.” Applicants without this subject line will not be considered. And pretty please do not attach samples of your work. We need to be able to click over and view your portfolio online (our computers have too many files on them as it is)!
Must Apply By: Saturday, May 26
Start Date: ASAP
Just a heads up, we can only contact those being considered! We really wish that wasn’t the case, and thank you in advance for your interest in working with The Everygirl!
photographs by Smilebooth for The Everygirl

Monday, May 14, 2012

Want to know a secret?

My apartment is going to be in Chicago Home and Garden Magazine!


You may recall the guest market editing I did for them a while back, and I styled Alex Berlin's home which made it to the cover of their April issue! Well now it's my home that will be gracing the pages of one of my favorite city publications.

photography by Andy Barnes for Jayson Home and Garden
As if that's not cool enough... the photographer is Andy Barnes, photographer for Jayson Home and Garden catalogues (most of which I have saved and filed for styling inspiration - each of their catalogues is like a mini magazine work of art). Talk about the cherry on top.

I'm secretly so nervous to have him see my home. I know it doesn't compare to most of the high-end homes featured in the magazine, but I hope it's not completely desperate.

Anywho, speaking of Jayson, I popped in there yesterday as it has become my one-stop-shop when it comes to shopping for my mom. And seeing as it was mother's day, I swung by on my way to the burbs.

via The Everygirl's Instagram
I was pleasantly surprised to see a few gold athena feather trays lying around and immediately placed one on the counter to be gift-wrapped. That, along with this darling Rifle Paper Co. card, made Mama Kaz very happy.

How were all of your weekends?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Abby Larson just might be one of my favorite people.

As I said before, our trip to Boston a couple weeks ago was absolutely amazing. While we were there, we rented a car and trekked west to a charming New England town just outside the city where the mega-wedding blog Style Me Pretty is headquartered. Spending the afternoon with the founder Abby Larson was like spending the afternoon with your long-lost childhood best friend. She was so welcoming and genuine and nice. I would usually attribute this to her southern charm (Abby's from Texas), but it was more than that. It was the kind of memorable nice, where you leave scratching your head thinking how the world would be a better place if more people were like that. 

Not only did Abby and team let me rearrange the office however I saw fit (a joy to any stylist), but Abby offered Danielle and I priceless advice about running a site, what to expect, what we need to do, and stuff we shouldn't worry so much about. We sat their like moths to a flame, diligently taking mental notes of every word she said. We couldn't be more grateful for her kindness and support. And on top of that, we got an amazing feature out of the visit! Not only were the offices gorgeous (and pin-worthy!), but Abby's interview is detailed, insightful, and inspired. For example...

What advice would you give to your 23-year-old self?
"Breathe, my friend. You are not old, you are young. You are not a mess, you are normal. Extraordinary, perhaps. In the blink of an eye your life will change. And it will continue to change for decades to come. Enjoy it, embrace it…be grateful for the ride. You are not old, you are young. And faith will get you everywhere. Just you wait." - Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty

Yes. I needed to hear that when I was 23. Heck, that advice applies to anyone! I still need to hear it!

And there's so much more where that came from over on The Everygirl today, including a tour of their very chic offices!

And here's a little behind the scenes look at the shoot! Me, gettin' my styling credit on (with Danielle Moss behind the lens, obvi).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

big life

Not sure if you remember this "word on the street" post, but it quoted Emily Dickinson stating, "Why not have a big life?" Well, this week (and to be honest, the past few months), life feels big. And I couldn't be more grateful. Here are just a few of the wonderful things that have transpired in the past 48 hours...

Danielle, Caitlin, and I were finally all together and had two very late nights getting these wedding fashion features up. It was so great all getting to work in one room instead of remotely from our own homes (in different states!). Lots of laughter and good eating.

Yesterday, a reader, Catherine, informed me that Nina Garcia, fashion director of Marie Claire and Project Runway judge, pinned my home office onto her "interiors" inspiration board. I mean, whoa. And then there's the whole fact that Catherine took the time to tell me. So thoughtful.

I was in the bridal suite dressing room at BHLDN yesterday having a quiet moment, waiting for the other gals to arrive and the event to begin. It was a very surreal "Is this really happening?" moment. We've worked so hard for the past eight months bringing The Everygirl to life and working our patooties off to sustain daily features and last night was such a wonderful way it see it celebrated. From the many female entrepreneurs to women we've featured to readers who said they feel inspired and love the site, it was such a wonderful group who turned out. 

If you were there, thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of this evening. Lots more to say but a full feature and recap will be on The Everygirl soon (with legit photos by the duo that brought you today's bridal and yesterday's bridesmaid wedding fashion feature)!

Tracy Reese dress available here

When I got in my car at the end of the night, exhausted and a lil' bummed I didn't get one of the cute Everygirl cookies Celestial Kitchens created for the event, I was surprised to see one nestled safely on my dashboard. My boyfriend had placed it there for me when he went to feed my meter earlier in the night.

I find it's all the small moments like this that when added together create a big, big life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

my candy-colored everest.

2 photographers. 10 models. 2 hair stylists. 1 make-up artist. 4 assistants. 13 gowns. 14 pairs of shoes. mountains of jewelry. pages of hair and make-up inspiration.  and less than 1 one of month of planning. 

choosing models. choosing dresses. trying to pair the models with the dresses. trying to pairs brides with bridesmaids. realizing a dress doesn't come in someone's size and having to find someone else who will work in that dress. choosing bridesmaid dresses that won't clash in a group photo but offer five different style (garden, beach, princess pink, crystal white, and floor-length black tie attire). finding shoes for all ten looks. again in the models' size. all under certain price points of course - bridal gowns had to be under $1000. bridesmaids under $300. shoes under $250. tricky. tricky.

but so worth it. 

more details and behind-the-scenes photos to come. but be sure to check out today's budget-friendly bridal fashion on the everygirl. part one of two! there are about 50 more photos where that one came from.

styled by me
photography by stoffer photography
location: buckingham id
flowers: hello darling

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wedding Week on The Everygirl: Backyard Bridal Shower

styling by Sarah Tucker Events and photography by Naomi Chokr
for The Everygirl
If you read this blog then I know ya'll know it's Wedding Week on The Everygirl! Today's feature offers detailed advice on throwing a budget-friendly, backyard wedding shower! Boy do I wish I had this as a reference when I was planning my sister's wedding gatherings a few years ago... fortunately, I had my mom to help. Now all of you have The Everygirl!

And remember there is an accompanying Backyard Bridal Shower Handbook with recipes, planning checklists, and styling tips for the wedding shower!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wardrobe Change

Stop the presses!

This just in!

Looks like I'll have the honor of wearing a BHLDN dress to Tuesday's Everygirl + BHLDN (+ Sprinkles + Smilebooth + Femme du Coup + Celestial Kitchens + Hello Darling) soiree! Here are a few I'm excited to try on...


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spread the Word: Wedding Week Starts Monday!

You know the rare occasion when you actually have something to look forward to on a Monday versus the usual dreading of the start of the work week? Well that's happening NEXT week. Why? Because Monday, May 7 marks the beginning of Wedding Week on The Everygirl!

Wedding Week on The Everygirl will bring you:
  • the how-to on hosting a budget-friendly backyard bridal shower by Ms. Sarah Tucker and friends (remember our No-Fuss Dinner Party guide? same gals. in other words, awesomesauce.)
  • wedding tabletop decor three ways by talented stylists Anne BookCassandra LaValle, and Camille Styles (check out their respective inspiration boards herehere, and here)
  • career profile on Style Me Pretty founder Abby Larson. She only began what has grown to be one of the world’s largest wedding blog. No big deal. [averts eyes and pulls out iPhone prepped for diligent note-taking]
  • career profile on Chicago-based boutique pastry caterer Celeste Dolan (whose sugary confections you’ll see repeatedly throughout the week)
  • career profiles on two uber wedding planners extraordinaire: Lisa Vorce (the bigger the better for this talented lady) and Mindy Weiss (celebrity wedding guru—Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, and Ellen DeGeneres are just three of her A-list clients)
  • sparkling soiree to kick it all off at the BHLDN boutique here in Chicago
  • and one ginormous wedding fashion shoot with very budget-friendly caps on price-points (we wouldn’t have it any other way)
Danielle and I, as well as these talented ladies around the country (plus stylists, photographers, florists, etc.), have been working our patooties off to bring you top-notch features and now that photos have started coming in... well, let me just say, holy hell. They are even better than we could have imagined!

We'd be positively giddy if you'd help spread the word. We made these darling little buttons (styled by yours truly, photography by the talented husband-wide duo that is Stoffer Photography, shot at the white-washed showroom of interior designer Julia Edelmann) that you can grab and put up on your site or blog if you’d feel so inclined. Or share on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #weddingweek (our version of shark week, but prettier and with less death). Or better yet—pop them onto Pinterest. We know everyone and their uncle has a Pinterest account. And be sure to check out The Everygirl on Monday! (Well, ideally every day, but Monday works too.)

160 x 600 px

200 x 200 px

300 x 250 px

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

the everygirl + bhldn = i need something to wear!

not sure if you heard. the everygirl is hosting wedding week starting monday! we're doing it up right. from wedding fashion to tabletop decor to affordable bridal shower ideas to some top-notch career features... it is a VERY exciting week.

to celebrate, danielle and i are hosting an event at the new bhldn store here in chicago! if you're signed up for the list serve, you received the invitation last night. we so hope to see you there! sprinkles cupcakes, custom-decorated cookies, cocktails by femme du coupe, and a smilebooth. does it get much better?!

but we all know what this means. i need something to wear!

this flowery frock from the crew


one of these feminine wonders by my go-to guy, rolando santana
who ive decided might make the most perfect dresses for ladies
(the ruffle dress would come in blush pink)

thoughts? suggestions?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

kitchen dreams

I am constantly all over the place with what I'd consider a dream kitchen. One day I love the rustic look, the next I want French country, and still the next I love a more industrial style. But time and time again, I come back to the all white kitchen. It's rooms like this one that remind me how clean and simple white on white topped with carrera marble and backed with subway tile creates the best environment for getting creative with colorful foods and rich flavors. Really the only change I'd make is switching out the overly feminine chandelier for something a bit more contemporary. Otherwise I'd say this room is picture perfect, right down to the blush pink plates in the dish rack.

To find your dream kitchen for your home check out Better Kitchens.
Make sure to stop on by The Everygirl as we've featured another round-up of Kitchen Essentials!

images via


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