Friday, November 28, 2014

Shop 'Til You Drop - Online Shopping Deals (See Jane Shop)

I know a thing or two about online shopping and Black Friday/Cyber Monday always gets my engines revving a bit.  I don't go crazy, BUT I do carefully scour the sales.  Here's a comprehensive list for those interested (and shop some of my favorites below):

Zara (30% off)
Shopbop (up to 25% off)
J Crew fur snood (30% off)
Rag & Bone (extra 25% off sale)
Club Monaco (up to 30% off)
Nordstrom (extra 25% sale)
H&M (up to 70% off)
Gap (50% off)

Zara Mini (30% off)
Baby Boden (30% off)

Any good sales I'm missing?  I know there's a bunch out there.  Let me know!

Friday, November 21, 2014

30 Things I've Learned by 30 (See Jane Turn 30)


Much like the setting of a famous Charles Dickens novel, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  I'll give 29 one thing, though: it forced me to grow up and face a lot of realities.  Today I turn 30 years old and it's been quite a journey so far.  
  1. I can't believe I have a child.  Sometimes I feel like I'm still 16 years old...and babysitting.
  2. On a related note, I'm the youngest of four kids and I've learned it that title carries on with you through life (maybe I feel 16 because I'm still treated like I'm 16...?).
  3. The past five years have been a blur; it's true that the older you get, the faster time flies.
  4. I've really become comfortable in my own skin these past few years (i.e. I think I'm over getting that nose job).
  5. You're never too old to make new friends.  
  6. ...but don't forget about the friends you've had in the past.  It's inevitable that people change and grow apart but you never know when you'll cross paths again.
  7. All wine tastes the same to me.  Is my palette that unrefined?
  8. Hangovers seem to get worse with each passing year.  Maybe it's the cheap wine.
  9. With a demanding job, new baby, family and life, it's become increasingly hard to keep commitments and it's something I try to work on everyday.
  10. I always fancied myself a 'go with the flow' type, but I'm realizing I'm more uptight than I thought.
  11. Learning about people firsthand by engaging with them is so much more interesting than making assumptions from afar.
  12. I thought I'd be organized by now.  Nope, I still lose my phone every two minutes.
  13. I've visited a lot of countries and I haven't even scratched the surface; there are so many places I want to visit.
  14. And if you get the chance, live or study abroad.
  15. I feel extremely fortunate for my family and upbringing.  My parents provided the necessities, expected a lot, but us loved unconditionally.  Most importantly, they didn't spoil us.
  16. Even so, I hated chores growing up and still dread cleaning my house.
  17. If your significant other also hates cleaning, do yourselves a favor and hire a cleaning service.  It could save your relationship.
  18. You're never too old for Disney movies.  When I catch Beauty and the Beast on TV, it's like I'm 8 again.
  19. I felt like I really started to get to know my parents as real people this past decade.  I love hearing stories about them from other people.
  20. Don't be afraid to make a risky career move in your 20s.  I left my well-paying, finance job (and survived the financial crash of 2008!) to sell men's clothing at start-up with 20 employees and questionable wifi.  Three years later, I'm extremely proud of what I've helped build at Trunk Club.
  21. Although it happens very infrequently, nothing beats a lazy day sunbathing (with SPF, of course).
  22. Fashion is no reason to go into debt.  You don't have to break the bank to look awesome. 
  23. Expand your taste in music.  I can safely say that no matter what XM channel I listen to while driving, I will know a song.  (I'd be amazing at 'Name That Tune.')
  24. Learn as much as you can.  Sometimes I think about how awesome it was to go to school everyday and learn something new--while breaking for lunch and recess.  But seriously, how great was that?  Man, we all really took that for granted.
  25. It really does take a village to raise a child.  Having a baby and losing a parent all within months of each other was the hardest time of my life.  I'm eternally grateful for all the helping hands when it came to Harry--my own family and Eric's included.  It wasn't easy adjusting to life as a new parent while losing your own.
  26. Being a working parent is really hard--much more difficult than I anticipated.  And mommy guilt is a real thing.
  27. You have no clue about parenting until you have your own.  Expectations?  Throw those out the window.
  28. Life isn't fair.  Who knows why we're given the hand we're dealt?  I will never understand why my dad's life was cut so short.
  29. Always, always, always tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.  The last meaningful phone conversation I had with my dad (pre-hospital and pre-decline) was brief.  The regret I have is real and it consumes me; I can only hope that he knew how much I love him.
  30. The aforementioned conversation was on my dad's 66th birthday--about a week before he was hospitalized before his imminent decline.  The fact that he won't be calling me today is hard to wrap my head around.  The most important thing I've learned was taught to me by my dad; he'd always say, 'it's ok to feel that way.'  It was somewhat a family motto growing up and has stuck with me throughout the years.  As I forge ahead into my 30s, with a baby in tow but without a father, I am certain I will bring his pearls of wisdom along for the ride.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ode to Leather Leggings (See Jane Wear)

ASOS camel coat, Zara white button down, Theory leather leggings, H&M plaid scarf (similar/great price), J Crew heels (Aquazurra lookalikes!)
Oh, leather leggings, how I missed thee.

I've had these Theory leather leggings for over two years now and I can safely say they were a sound investment.  Eric doubted me when I tried to justify purchasing them but even he can't deny how often I wear them and how well they've held up (cost per wear, everyone--it's a real thing).

Thanks for being a part of my closet, leather leggings.  I look forward to many more years with you.  (Need more ideas on how to wear them? Look here.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chicago Beauty Guide (See Jane Pamper)

Let me preface by saying I am not a beauty expert.  I'm not that great at makeup and I lack creativity when styling my hair--BUT I love to be pampered.  In the seven years I've lived in Chicago, I've had my fair share of spa treatments, haircuts, color and all things that help my exterior, so hopefully this helps a few of you.  Any favorites of yours that I'm missing?  Let me know!

Hair stylist: Michelle at George the Salon
Runner up hair stylist: Jimmy at Buzz Salon (Eric goes to him as do many of my female friends)
Hair colorist:  Terra at Circle Salon
Blowout: Dry Bar Lincoln Park
Facial: Arcona Facial at Ruby Room
Runner-up facial: Daniela's Facial Studio (good for problem skin)
Massage: The Peninsula Spa
Prenatal massage: Urban Oasis
Neighborhood nail salon: Nail Boutique or Juko Nail + Skin Rescue (Wicker Park)
Eyelash extensions: Stella's Haven
Eyebrow wax/shape: Benefit Brow Bar (several locations)
Brazilian/bikini wax: Cleise Spa
Acupuncturist: Core Chiropractic

Be sure to check out my Best of Chicago restaurant guides here and here!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Camel + Wine (See Jane Wear)

ASOS coat, ASOS sweater (similar), Zara skirt (similar), vintage Frye boots (similar),
Chanel bag, Ray Ban mirrored aviators
Remember knee-high boots?  Not over the knee or ankle, but good old knee-high boots?  I do, but it's been awhile since I've worn them.  This particular pair are my mom's from the 70s; I love the burgundy hue on them and the walkable heel height.  And best of all?  They're a little unpredictable--at least when it comes to my own boot-wearing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Brussel Sprout + Kale Salad (See Jane Eat)

Remember when I used to post recipes?  (favorites here, here and here)  I actually still cook--and often, at that.  When I would post recipes, I'd take pictures along as I cooked and baked.  Nowadays, when I get home from work I'm in such a rush that I just don't think to snap photos.  I'll figure something out, but for now, this kale + brussel sprout salad is a recent favorite in my book.  I'm on a quest to eat healthier; turns out, those last five pounds of baby weight won't melt away.

The savory toasted almonds paired with crunchy greens and a citrusy vinaigrette (don't forget a sprinkling of salty parmesan)--ah, it's heaven, really.  I added a couple sliced strawberries to my own bowl (Eric opted out).  Get the recipe here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sandy (See Jane Wear)

JOA crop top, Zara leather jacket, rag & bone high waist jeans, Manolo Blahnik heeles, Chanel bag
Who can believe it's November?  I turn 30 in a couple weeks and I can't believe I'm about to enter a new decade.  Also, if you told me I'd be wearing a semi-crop top at 30, I wouldn't have believed you, but here I am, belly baring and all.

PS. If I dressed up for Halloween, I would've been the sexy Sandy from Grease--and I would've worn this.  Would've gone great with my little (cowardly) lion, don't you think?