Friday, May 31, 2013

ladyporn fridays

1. a day at the beach with him.
2. the perfect pair of shades that are neither black nor tortoise.
3. a sexy strappy sandal for summer date nights.
4. wall jewelry.
5. reminds me of the sex and the city when carrie quotes the way we were: "your girl is lovely, hubbel."
6. my insta feed was spewing peony pics all week. i liked it.
7. lady inspiration for my new digs. haven't you heard? i'm moving again.
8. sex appeal disguised as a bag.

ladyporn fridays: a lil somethin somethin from me to you to get your weekend started off on the right foot.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

color splash + vodka = i'm there

danielle needed me to stand in for a photo shoot she was working on for her blog. the assignment was to dress colorfully and pour vodka drinks. preppy but FUN. done and done.

i had the perfect color-splashed frock–a recent treat from kate spade saturday! i realize it's only a glimpse, but you get the idea of how fun the dress is. maybe there will be a full outfit post coming soon... maaaaybe.

dress | shoes (different color) | bangle (different color

photos by Danielle Moss

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

word on the street

a lovely affirmation from my corner bus stop.

photo via @alainakaz and @theeverygirl_ instagram

Friday, May 24, 2013

summertime = flowertime

earlier this week danielle and i decided to head to a nursery–the roof deck garden at home depot in lincoln park, to be specific. with the intention of buying outdoor flowers. in an attempt to plant them and... pause for shock... keep them alive ALL SUMMER LONG.

of course i love flowers and plants. but as i've discussed before, keeping them alive has never been a strong suit of mine. so we went with the easiest to care for–a miracle gro premium plant sold exclusively here in chicago that, if all goes as promised, should blossom tenfold into a big huge beautiful goliath-sized flowering plant in a matter of weeks. i'm sure these plants usually grow right on schedule, but with me at the helm, this lil' blush pink number i decided on is going to have to work for it.

but i'm going to try my best. i don't own a shovel, but being the scrappy lady that i am, i improvised with a spoon and got my hands dirty. (in white jeans, of course. idiot.) i gave it tons of water during the potting process just like the directions told me to.

then sat and enjoyed a lovely view of the parking lot my deck overlooks. sure the view isn't ideal, but the fresh air and sunshine combined with a hot soy latte and lovely fleurs was just what i needed to get myself energized and feeling good as i head into this long weekend.

tonight's a girls night and then i plan on visiting michigan to see my darling niece, sister, and brother-in-law. fun times, full steam ahead!

any plans for the holiday? anyone doing any gardening and care to share some tips?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

polka dots and neon #mysummeruniform

in the four years since its inception, live creating yourself has never been anyone's go to resource for personal style posts. and let's be honest, even if i tried to make it that, you'd see a lot of the same thing: j.crew, j.crew, a touch of kate spade, with the occasional budget find from target and gap in the mix. needless to say i don't think anna wintour and friends would be knocking down my door for my groundbreaking tips on fashion. that being said, today, i have a style post for all of you! (and yes, it's cholkerbock full of the aforementioned brands.)

i had a very exciting photo shoot last week (details forthcoming) and quickly ran out the day before to pick up some items that i thought would maybe work and represent my personal style, which i've since coined preppy but FUN, [exclamation point]. of course, the stylist put me in something totally different, but that's neither here nor there. after the shoot, i couldn't bring myself to return this polka dot dress (now on sale!). i love it too much and suspect i'll be wearing it all summer long, appreciating how it works for both day and night. ok, i mean, for a fancy day. i don't know about you, but i normally don't run errands all dolled up.

yeah, that's a selfie. but there's a puppy in it so it's okay. and before anyone asks, yes, i was spray-tanned. i'm normally a lovely/pasty shade i like to call brightwhitelikethemoon. if any of you have an event coming up or just want to give spray-tanning a try, i can't recommend benefit enough. sure, you have to get nakey in a closet with a lady who hoses you down w/ sticky orange spray that stinks to high hell, but i've learned it's worth it.


dress | necklace | belt | pumps (similar) | ring | bracelet (similar)

p.s. we are giving away a pair of the daytime espadrilles by jacques levine on the everygirl! so head on over and sign up. ($139 value!)

first and last photo by darlene campos for the everygirl

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Summer Collections are Here!

Just in time for summer, two of my talented, entrepreneurial ladyfriends have launched the second collections of their blossoming companies (and I predict burgeoning empires)!

For all of my fashion-loving readers, be sure to check out the new blazers available at Two Penny Blue! Props to the styling in this shoot. Abundant gold accents = feast for the eyes!

I sported my 2PB blazer the other week in a tropical Skittles-inspired outfit (turquoise, red, and fuschia) and received so many compliments! It's such a great classic, especially with the gold buttons.

...and for you interior design junkies, Biscuit's new bedding collection is now for sale online, including the Alaina, complete with teensy Eiffel Towers and confetti!

Click here to shop Biscuit's new collection!

Congrats, Marie and Bailey!

Ok now for the fun/difficult part. If I had to choose one from each collection, I'd go with the cambridge blazer in dahlia (can't say no to pink) and the Alaina duvet (duh).

Which blazer and bedding would you want in your life?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Belle Home Tour: Office Before and After

Remember a few weeks ago when I promised you all posts documenting the before, during, and after photos of my apartment makeover? Then I teased you with a great detailed account of my bathroom project and have done nothing but sporadic fashion posts since? Yeah. Sorry about that...

Today we are finally on to the second installment!
My office/bar/sitting area, which as you can see from the photo above, is near the back of the apartment just before the kitchen.

AUGUST/BEFORE MOVE-IN: Given the built-in hutch and proximity to the kitchen, this room was clearly meant to be a formal dining room. But I had no use for a formal dining room and absolutely loved the windows, natural light, beamed ceilings, and openness of the space.

AUGUST/POST-MOVE-IN: So upon moving in, I unloaded all of my office furniture in this room. I really liked this set-up since it was so open but facing the window wasn't an option since it was TOO bright, especially with the afternoon sun.

SEPTEMBER: True story. This is how I lived for a while. I called that big piece of cardboard my window treatment. It was an eyesore but a necessity. Even though my large wooden dining table from Fashion for Home was ordered and due to arrive in December, I needed a place for my interns to work in the interim, so I picked up the extra white table from Ikea with the plan of eventually using it as my desk. (I had pretty much destroyed my Overstock parsons knock-off when I spilled nail polish remover on it. But I ended up getting a new West Elm parsons instead (yippy!).) The dining chairs were a Craigslist DIY project from my last apartment–they have since been thrown out. And note the two small Ikea lack coffee tables off to the right–those were from our Everygirl How to Style a Coffee Table feature.

OCTOBER: You all voted, and the new chairs arrived from Euro Style Lighting. Actually, most of you voted for the white plastic chairs, which I agree probably would look great with my dark wooden table (not shown here), but I've been obsessed with the wishbone style for as long as I can remember. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get them. I clearly tidied up for their arrival.

NOVEMBER: The new table arrived. If I'm being honest, I don't love it for this space at all. It needs a great colorful rug to go under it to break up all the wood. And I hated the row of rectangular tables splitting the room down the middle.

NOVEMBER CONTINUED: Here it is from the other angle, straightened up a bit and styled for fall.

DECEMBER: Truth be told, this room and I were at a stalemate. I had plans for every other room, but wasn't quite sure how to tackle this. And one day, inspiration struck, and I decided I was going to do with it what I do best: recreate my office gallery wall and a splash of pink! This big mess was from shuffling everything around. See there are now two parsons desks in the photo above–my new one from West Elm arrived and I wasn't quite sure what to do with the old one (it's now sitting in my sunroom/storage room). Oh, and I had finally gotten around to hanging some curtains! The rod was $28 from Target and the West Elm cotton canvas curtains were in my living room at my old place.

DEC. CONTINUED: Clean up that mess, rearrange the large dining table so it's more like a work table and less like a conference table in the center of the room, add in another area rug I've had for forever, and the space is finally starting to take shape...

DEC. CONTINUED: Well, almost. This is actually quite sad to look at. Starting with the color on the walls.

DEC. CONTINUED: So the next day I ran out to Home Depot, picked up what I thought would be a lovely shade of blush pink paint, and went to work.

DEC. CONTINUED: Unfortunately, you can barely tell it's pink. See the two wall colors above the kitchen doorway where there's a chunk that's still beige? Yeah, I know. I can hardly see it either.

DEC. CONTINUED: In the soft iridescent glow of evening lamp light, it looked kind of pretty.

DEC. CONTINUED: But overall it was just sad sad sad. Not to mention I didn't even have enough paint to finish the whole room.

FEBRUARY: Still–Behr's Musical Mist was the color the room was for my first photo shoot for our Everygirl career feature! It actually looks kind of nice here, yes? I got that cool arc lamp from Joss and Main using my credits. It perfectly finishes the space, don't you think?

FEBRUARY CONTINUED: But if you looked reeeeally carefully at my career feature, you might have noticed in some of the photos that not all the walls were pink! I told you,  the single gallon of Behr's paint wasn't enough to cover the entire room. Fortunately, it was only the small area behind my desk and bulletin board that were left beige. Hardly noticeable, I think.

MARCH: To my complete delight, Farrow and Ball came to my rescue, sending me a gallon of their Middleton Pink paint, which I do declare is the most perfect pink in the world. Here is my office restyled for my home tour which went live on The Everygirl. The large wooden table was technically there for the first photo shoot, but we moved it out of the way since I didn't want to reveal too much. So when our photographers Maura and John Stoffer came back over to shoot, they stepped farther back, getting more details into the shot to show a better perspective. You can also see that a little Ikea ektorp loveseat was added in on the right below the gallery wall. My roommate, who many of you probably know, Caitlin Brown, moved in in January and brought it with her. It works perfectly against that wall, as you'll see.

Here's the intern station. The framed photo is a shot I took of my own feet at our Kate Spade event. The colors worked perfectly. The neon pink candles are from A New Leaf and the candleholders are from Ikea. I really like the two shades of wood, but like I said, I would prefer to see this combination on an area rug. Unfortunately, adding a THIRD rug would be just a bit too much.

Bulletin board which I DIYed years ago and still love atop my Ikea expedit shelves (everyone asks where I got the peg legs it sits atop–they are also from Ikea but I had to drill holes into the shelves). I switched my mint and white lamps around so the white one is now here and the mint one is against the gallery wall wall.

Got a new rug from Lulu and Georgia which I layered on top of my pink geometric rug from RugsUSA. You might remember seeing it in our How to Style a Parsons Desk feature! I regularly use most of my belongings for my styling projects.

I didn't want to overstyle my bookshelves w/ perfectly matched everythings. There's usually a bit more clutter on the top, but for the most part this is what they look like. So this is what you get. Wooden storage bins are from Ikea. Magazine files are from Container Store. Binders are from Russell and Hazel.

My pinboard. Or Pinterest in 3D, as I like to call it. Makes me feel 16 again, complete with a photo booth reel of Danielle and me. Most of the items on this board are actually letters from Everygirl readers or women we've worked with. Still, it inspires me.

The office bar.

Wish it had a great rug in front of it, but I own enough rugs as it is.

And there's the gallery wall. Amazing how the Caitlin Wilson Textile pillows transformed this shot, bringing all the colors together. Again, the rug is the Sabine from Lulu and Georgia.

One last shot of my gallery wall. Let's see if I can name all this stuff starting with the Vogue print and going clockwise...

1. Vogue print on canvas from Bed, Bath and Beyond
2. Rue Royale street sign bought in New Orleans
3. print of Paris buildings I bought on Etsy
4. oil painting purchased for $40 in a thrift store in Richmond, VA
5. LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE letterpress print from Heartfish Press
6. photo of Danielle and me at our Kate Spade event
7. the grey ballet flats in the black frame is a tearout from a J.Crew catalogue
8. I FEEL YOU print on canvas from Birdaria
9. yellow flowers is an Alicia Bock photograph that I received as a gift
10. the little photo in the grey frame is also a tearout from a J.Crew catalogue
11. the oil painting in the top left I purchased from an artist in Montmartre in Paris
12. wall clock from Joss and Main
13. wooden A I bought at JoAnn Fabrics and painted gold
14. letterpress print of Sears Tower from West Elm
15. random photo someone emailed me of a spool of pink thread–I actually meant to change that out for the shoot but forgot.

And because everyone always asks where that fabulous seafoam green lamp is from... I purchased it when I was 19. The lighting department at the local Macy's Home store was closing and all lighting was 90% off. So I bought a $270 lamp for $27. I had absolutely no use for it since I was in college, but I loved it and knew I had to have it, so I stored it at my mom's for years until I graduated.

This room is definitely an homage to younger Alaina, full of pastels, pinboards, and pictures. And I love it.

WALL PAINT COLOR: Middleton Pink by Farrow and Ball

Any questions? Ask 'em in the comments!

See the BEFORE/AFTER of my bathroom here!

all the pretty photos are by Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl

Thursday, May 2, 2013


This morning I attended a faaaabulous event with fellow Chicago bloggers at Coach to check out their new spring and summer footwear. Amelia of The CHIcago Life Blog showed up wearing these show-stopping neon trousers (see photo here) which I expected to be some uber fancy-pants designer from Barney's. Wrong. They're the one and only J.Crew, and they're on sale!

Fast forward one hour later. You'll find me at my desk adding them to my online shopping cart...

pink and lime

Also picked up these razzmatazz pink goodies. You should too! Why? Because all items are currently 25% off w/ the code springfest! Winning.

In other news... Danielle's lovely one bedroom apartment is finally revealed on The Everygirl today! Yep. I get to hang out in all that pink, gold, and white prettiness whenever I want. #luckyme


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