Thursday, February 28, 2013

Belle: Help me choose art for my living room!

My home tour will be debuting next month on The Everygirl (you already saw most of my office!), but there are just a few finishing touches I need to get done around the apartment. Notably: art. The biggest decision for me in this place was what to hang above my living room couch. It's the focal point of the room, and it was going above my new couch baby (the Carlisle English roll arm sofa from Pottery Barn - my first big furniture investment piece). I've been a longtime fan of Sharon Montrose's Animal Print Shop and was really excited at the thought of having two of her 17x22" photographs hanging there (they fit perfectly in my $25 Ikea frames)!

But have you seen Sharon's work...? There are so many fantastic options!! It's taken me months to decide... Fortunately, the fact that I needed two vertical photos helped narrow it down significantly. So here's what I've come up with...

Who doesn't love a good animated gif? The room is completely neutral, so do I stick with that or throw in a touch of pink w/ those fun flamingos?


baby zebra and baby tiger
two pink flamingos
an ostrich and her egg

Which duo should I have as my new living room art? Vote in the comments!

See the full decorating process of my apartment, Belle, here. Or catch sneak peeks on AlainaKaz Instagram!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chicago Dining Guide: Monarch, Nellcote, q

One of my favorite past times is going out to dinner, and I have been spoiled lately with so many good meals around Chicago. People regularly email asking for tips on what to do, where to go, and what restaurants to eat at in Chicago, so if you are visiting soon or live here and looking for something new, definitely add these to your list.

The Monarch Chicago
Neighborhood: Bucktown
1745 W. North Ave.
773.252.6053
The Monarch is one of Bucktown's newest gastro pubs–ultra delicious food and drinks. We sat at the bar and were so glad we did–Brady, the bartender, was an absolute delight. Service is key when dining out and he made the meal special, offering recommendations, wine pairings, and he even sent out an appetizer he said we couldn't pass up.

 
And thank goodness for that! The entire meal really could have been an assortment of appetizers, shared and enjoyed. We had the fries with truffle mayo, soft pretzels with beer cheese, and the pimento cheese and white cheddar served with crostinis and hot sauce. Definitely recommend mixing the cheese with the hot sauce before digging in.

I ordered the duck confit open-face sandwich because I loooove duck confit. Unfortunately, with the pickles on top, this dish was a bit too salty for my taste. Tasty. But salty... and the shrimp puffs were a tad too shrimpy for me. Now the glazed beef short rib... THAT was to die for. Highly recommend it. I've also heard terrific things about the burger and the salmon, but I haven't had a chance to try either. Definitely next time I go back!

Nellcote
Neighborhood: West Loop
833 W Randolph St.
312.432.0500
Finally made it to Nellcote. Loved everything. Started with the bread order–which was delish. Then split the roasted half chicken and the mashed potatoes. By the time the Sunnyside Up Organic Egg pizza with fontina, mozzarella, arugula (which was bananas good), I had one small piece and took the rest to go I was so full.

Chicago q
Neighborhood: Streeterville
Type of Food: upscale bbq
1160 N. Dearborn Street
312.642.1160
Friday, February 22, was our official one year anniversary of The Everygirl. Danielle and I took the whole day off and it was glooorious! It also happened to be the birthday and post-day-birthday of two special people so the four of us went to Chicago q for a celebratory lunch! (You may remember we featured head chef LeeAnn Whippen on The Everygirl!) Sparkling rose, a great pinot noir, fried shrimp and grits, a half slab of bbq ribs, a bevy of desserts... I left there so so stuffed. Literally went home and took a two hour nap it was that good of a food coma.

I mentioned this in The Everygirl feature but I absolutely love the interior design of q. It's very Nancy Meyers. Kind of has that sophisticated beach housey feel. How cool is this massive back-lit art installation on the wall? LeeAnn has great taste.

Have you ever been to any of these Chicago restaurants? Which are your favorites? Any good ones I should try?

Monday, February 25, 2013

pretty pretty princesses

so apparently dressing over-the-top girly is my new thing. bailey texted me after seeing my instagrams from last thursday night's anniversary party that i looked like a pretty pretty princess (my post-margarita haze triggered images of my little pony instead of the game pretty pretty princess but i took it as a compliment anyway. after all i was donning a bright pink dress and sparkly bows galore)–and apparently it's just the style i'm into these days! all three of my favorite looks from last night's oscars were variations of ball gowns in uber feminine colors and fabrics. well done amy adams, jennifer lawrence, and jennifer aniston! exactly as it should be on the oscar red carpet. who wore your favorite look last night?

i also finally saw silver linings playbook yesterday–so good. all of the acting, and of course the story, was really brilliant. nice seeing bradley cooper in such a different role!

on a final note–the everygirl anniversary party at west elm was a huge success! over 300 guests came out–the gift bags were gone in the first 5 minutes! haha a lot more details and photos will be on the everygirl later this week so stay tuned!

how was your weekend?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our Career Feature and My New Office Tour on The Everygirl


There's a whole lot more where those came from. Details about how we launched The Everygirl, built the brand, and snippets from our lives after college. Spoiler alert: we were both very lost.

Read it now!

gorgeous photos by Stoffer Photography

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

party planning, giveaways, graphic design, and other fun stuff!

i am so sorry for the radio silence the past WEEK! and i was doing so good too... but haven't you heard? it's the everygirl's one year anniversary on friday (can't believe it.) and we are celebrating anniversary week over on the site! and we have an amazing event happening at west elm in lincoln park this thursday night - cocktails, desserts, smilebooth, music, giveaways, and of course 15% off shopping at west elm. we'd love for all of you to come! and please do say hello if you make it! rsvp details in the invite above. note the gorgeous hand lettering is by the talented molly jacques.

in other words, i've been working around the clock. SO much work goes into planning events it's shocking...

i've also been diligently emailing all of my favorite brands trying to get them on board for what might be the GREATEST giveaway ever! it went live on the everygirl today - you seriously need to check it out. as a way to thank our readers for supporting the site in our first year, we are offering the chance to win 13 highly covetable items. here are just five of the 13 giveaways going on...


p.s. i love/miss graphic design. i had so much fun laying these out.

well what are you waiting for? go sign up to win!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

SAVE THE DATE: The Everygirl Turns One!


there's a party happenin' up in here! if you're in chicago the evening of the 21st, mark your calendars, invite your friends, and come ready to partay! details to follow - make sure you've subscribed to the everygirl for the formal invite!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

seriously awesome rugs for under $400

i have a weird obsession with rugs (literally have more rugs than i have floor space), and there is an insane sale on joss and main today - it's called Pattern Perfect - and all of these styles and more are available in a number of sizes, the largest sizes selling for under $400! if you're in the market, check it out stat!

Monday, February 4, 2013

oops!... she did it again

behold, the houston home of bailey and pete mccarthy, my dear friends and business partner, who moved to texas from chicago almost two years ago. their new houston home was just featured in matchbook magazine's february issue (the magazine's two-year anniversary issue–congrats katie and jane!), and let me tell you - i feel how all of you did when their chicago home was in rue. i want more!!! every room, every angle.

emily johnston anderson, everygirl contributing photog who we worked with to shoot b&p's chicago home, did this one, as well, and as always, did a rock star job.

i told bailey she should specialize in bathrooms and kitchens as i could look at those images in particular for hours... if you are currently remodeling either - think brass!!!

see the full home tour here!

photos by emily johnston anderson for matchbook magazine
interior design and styling by bailey mccarthy of peppermint bliss
bedding by biscuit home

Friday, February 1, 2013

ladyporn fridays


1. hey there, brad. nice hairs. oh, i'm sorry. bradley.
2. lovely scent squared.
3. happy feet.
4. i want to go to there.
5. sit... good pig.
6. much like the mint-colored mixer from last week, i'm pretty sure this would get me in the kitchen more!

may your weekends be filled with bundles of ladyporn.

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