Tag Archives: Chicago

Halloween 2014

I know I’m a week late on this post- but WHATEVER- the costume creation process struck at the last moment- per usual and after that …well…I needed a time out.

We originally had planned to be something else, but in the end we were: Smokey The Bear and a Forest Fire.

only YOU can prevent forest fires!

only YOU can prevent forest fires!

Do YOU want to do something similar?

Here’s how:

I bought a nude colored corset from the shapewear section at Bloomies for the top , then covered it with leaves I collected from the street- placed like a cool top made from leaves would look…I also added matches on the top section of one bust. I glued everything down with fabric glue- the day before Halloween.

close up of leaves and matches

close up of leaves and matches

photo 2

I also bought a Devil costume from Amazon and used those chaps and hot pants for the “fire part”. Also part of the “fire”: red clip in hair extensions, fake cigs tucked into the corset and red lip liner with orange eye shadow for the eyes and chest.

Now, onto Smokey- BTW- someone let Al know that this is Smokey’s 75th Anniversary so points for being relevant!

photo-16

We actually used a cop costume we bought last year but didn’t use, bought a nose, bear hat and park ranger hat from Amazon- and PRESTO- Smokey the Bear. I added a bit of flair by using black eye liner to trace the *Smokey* on the hat and give it that *ashy* look.

a make your own cookie bar came from JoAnn Fabric, Pillsbury and Oreo Cookies- plus some faux lights from the Dollar Tree

a make your own cookie bar came from JoAnn Fabric, Pillsbury and Oreo Cookies- plus some faux lights from the Dollar Tree

We also threw a pretty impromptu Halloween mini party- and let me tell you- next time you’re hosting anything…hit up a Dollar Tree/Store whatever is in your zip code. I nabbed SO much stuff on Halloween on the cheap.

glow in the dark necklaces, etc make great party fun

glow in the dark necklaces, etc make great party fun

Cost effective and festive? YES PLEASE.

Now, let me start thinking about the 2015 costume…

Falling For The LOB/SHOB

Apparently the “LOB” and “SHOB” and all these other weird ways to say “longer than a bob around the shoulder area” is very “in” for hair right now.

Truth be told, I normally don’t follow the trends and stick to my boring long style…but Al had been begging me for some time to loose the extensions and while we were on Honeymoon,  I did just that.

Left with a mullet, when I got back to Chicago I went to see my girl Nicole at Studio 110 and asked her to clean it up.

Like most women of 2014, I brought a Pintrest page with me , full of examples of what I wanted and didn’t want. But mainly I wanted to look like this Olsen twin:

yes, I have no idea if this is Ashley or Mary Kate and that's fine with me

yes, I have no idea if this is Ashley or Mary Kate and that’s fine with me

Nicole said she was totally down but in order to achieve this look I’d need a few pieces of extension in the front to achieve the uneven length, even though my hair was that long- the pieces would add depth. AND she refused to cut it this short off the bat because she knew there was a possibility I’d freak out going from looong to short.

Smart woman.

Here’s what it looked like post-cut (which she did in less than an hour BTW):

one of the creepiest selfies in history- taken at Exhale after acupuncture

one of the creepiest selfies in history- taken at Exhale after acupuncture

Now, I am aware that I’m in a bathrobe and not 90 lbs, but she did a pretty stellar job- no??

Al LOVED it, and said it was “beautiful and classic” so of course I immediately rushed back to have more cut off the shorter side to “edge it up”.

Then it was time for color so Tina of CM Salon took me a shade lighter, added a few pieces back in and Nicole cleaned it up again…resulting in:

less creepy selifie

less creepy selifie

According to these two- the key to this new style are the blunt ends that keep it looking fashionable and not “boring”.

All three of us were pretty shocked to discover that my hair was actually pretty healthy underneath and I’m hoping that with some daily Biotin pills, it will grow on it’s own…if I don’t give up and go long again first.

If you’re thinking about doing this- I must warn you…it’s more work than you think. The pieces in front need to be stick straight in order to look chic, and that means investing in a good flattening iron (I went with this brand per Nicole’s advice).

When I was in NYC this week , I went to a super cute blow dry bar called BDry and opted to mix it up and go with “beachy waves”.  Not her fault at all- but real bad move on my part. Those flipped up ends made me feel 10 years older and took me right back to my 2010 hair (which makes me cringe so hard I won’t even post a pic).

My advice? Go for it, if you’re ready to put in a touch of work. In the end, you can always clip those bad boys back in or go see Tina for a new weave.

1st World Problem Alert

WARNING: This is a blog post about style- for a charity event.

If you don’t want to punch me in the mouth…then please, read on. 

Charity events in Chicago are like Lulu pants in Lincoln Park- on every block- all the time.

Let’s be honest…unless you’re directly involved with the cause- you probably ignore the invites on Facebook like they are Farmville requests and I get it- I’m right there with you. But one event that I’ve loved for years is: The Green Tie Ball. 

I actually think I’ve blogged about it before (read: too lazy to check) because here’s the deal: it’s fun. Really fun. 

You can eat your face off, dress up for a theme party, dance like half of Chicago is watching and gamble your life away with fake money at the tables. It’s so much fun that you almost forget… it’s for a good cause and you’re not just dumping your $$ into the local field of dreams*. *bar where you meet no one ever

This year’s theme is The Great Green Gatsby. (EYE ROLL, SHUT UP) 

I understand that Carey and Leo are played out…but are they? Who doesn’t love channeling old Hollywood glam? 

A few weeks ago when I was shopping in heaven* (*at Randolph Street Market), I stumbled upon this nasty* (*like Janet) green vintage dress with gold beading for $60. I slipped it on and prayed and it happened to be my size. 

to the left to the left

to the left to the left

BUT I haven’t had the proper place to wear it yet- for some reason dancing around my house in front of my dogs and husband isn’t really cutting it. 

the detail is pretty insane, no?

the detail is pretty insane, no?

NOW, I recently decided (with a STRONG nudging from Al) to cut my hair and drop the weave…so I’m not really feeling crazy hair AND wardrobe. My weave =’s Linus’s blanket and without it- safe style appeals to me way more. 

SO…I’m debating between this LBD and the obvi choice….I can always rock this little ditty at a holiday party.

Thoughts in the comments would be much appreciated. 

love this anything but basic black number

love this anything but basic black number

 

RPM Steak

I hate going out on Saturday nights. It’s crowded, lines are long, people are drunk and I am cranky.

BUT when the Melman family has a restaurant opening- you go or prepare to suffer mad FOMO. I don’t care if it’s Sunday at midnight, I’d be there.

So last night Alex and I got dressed up* for the RPM Steak opening and had our friends Juliet and Gregor Angus over before for some rooftop rose and “Juliet Spritzers”.

*I wore a dress, Alex wore a nicer v neck tee than usual- aka- his version of dressing up

Our poor husbands/photogs had to deal with us.  my dress: For Love & Lemons, Revolve.com

Our poor husbands/photogs had to deal with us.
my dress: For Love & Lemons, Revolve.com

Juliette and I first met in NYC back in 2001 when we were auditioning for an ESPN Reality Show called Beg, Borrow and Deal. I remember thinking she was nuts, and praying that if I made the show, she wasn’t one of the other three teammates that I’d be traveling with from Times Square to Alcatraz Island.

Well, she was. And we won. And I loved her from the morning we stood in Times Square and began filming, and still love her all these years later.

Bubba, me, Juliette and Josh on the roof of Alcatraz with host Rich Eisen after winning BBD

Bubba, me, Juliette and Josh on the roof of Alcatraz with host Rich Eisen after winning BBD

Clearly that show didn’t turn us into A listers (or any listers) but now Juliet is on Bravo’s Ladies of London and she’s a legit reality star. She literally got stopped for photos on the street- obsessed.

She grew up in Chicago and has family here still, which means we were able to catch up and I FINALLY got to meet her husband.

Juliet and Giuliana are old friends as well, so the opening was the perfect excuse for a night out.

The restaurant was packed with Chicago athletes, news anchors and pretty much everyone you’d want to see. It felt massive, and had multiple levels including an upstairs that’s perfect for private parties.

Both the Melmans and their PR team thought of every detail, per usual- the bars were everywhere and the food stations were ridiculous.

I’m glad I got to see it, cause I know getting a reservation will be pretty much impossible for the next…year or five.

Gregor, Juliette, Giuliana , Bill , me and Alex

Gregor, Juliette, Giuliana , Bill , me and Alex

Cheers *clinks spritzers*

 

 

 

How To: Act Like You’ve Been Here Before

This post is dedicated to CelebTV’s newest rockstar: 20 year-old Jordan Chollette.

JC and me post interview.  *BTW- hey OITNB...you all casting crazy eyes part two? this is my audition pic

JC and me post interview.
*BTW- hey OITNB…you all casting crazy eyes part two? this is my audition pic

What makes this intern so fab you ask? Well, let’s just rewind to last night.

Jordan offered to come work the Glamorama red carpet even though- it was a Friday night and he makes $0 an hour.

Upon arrival he was on time and ready to shoot. It didn’t even dawn on me that this was his FIRST RED CARPET EVER.

But know what’s crazy? When I did finally realize that this was his first rodeo, I felt no panic. None.

Mind you, I still get nervous with photogs who’ve been in the game longer than I have, trust me-  it’s warranted.

But Jordan acted like he knew exactly what was happening, and when he didn’t he watched with a stealth eye. He didn’t try and ask celebs for an autograph, or block another outlet’s shot. And when he made a last second decision to switch lenses, he did it with swift perfection.

On the walk home I got to thinking and realized that this is a rare quality in our industry ESPECIALLY from someone who can’t even legally drink in this country yet.

Ok, I’m done with the lecture, I’m just saying that the new generations are always asking for advice on how to get a gig in media…and this is one key way to make it happen.

As for Derulo…once I showed him a photo from the wedding, something clicked and he realized that he had performed a few weeks earlier. He gave me a gigantic hug, looked at JC’s camera and proceeded to ask if “our viewers” knew what kind of crazy surprise Alex had planned.

Jordan even has a smile on his face while filming!

Jordan even has a smile on his face while filming!

I asked; as far as weddings go, if he thought ours was ok and if he wanted a similar style if/when he gets married someday.

That media savvy kid slyly dodged question 2, and said that he could feel the love at our party and loved that everyone was having such a blast. (and yes,I realized he was a paid performer…BUT trust me- this dude was genuine) (I have video to prove it!) (If JC was actually rolling…i kid)

JD and JC- they just get it.

How to: Host Guests in Chicago (and actually enjoy yourself)

My Dad surprised my Mom with a trip to Chicago for her Birthday and we had FUN.

So I thought I’d share some activities that don’t include; The Bean, Navy Pier, The Ledge, Architectural Tour, Wrigley Field, Blue Man Group or a Segway Tour.

Divvy Bikes. Ever sit in a cab during rush hour in the Chicago heat? Me too- that’s why I avoid doing that at all costs.

Divvy Bikes are everywhere- literally- a station is near almost anything you’d want to do in downtown Chicago and a bike costs $7.00 for 24 hours.

My parents and I decided to Divvy  home from Museum Campus tour back to River North, and while the ride was full of team building obstacles*, at the end when we parked those bikes- we exchanged high-fives.

*carrying heavy bikes up and down lakefront stairs, stations with no/broken bikes, my brutal sense of direction.

Riding up and down the lake front is not only mega efficient, but it also is truly stunning. Even people who hate riding in traffic can enjoy this ride- where the biggest threat is a wanna be Lance Armstrong* who zips past and gives you some kind of signal that translates to “GET OFF MY PATH TOURIST”. But this only happens once or twice, and it’s honestly kinda funny.

*when Lance was real good and using the strong stuff

There are so many bikes lanes in place now that even if you have to hit the streets- riding to and from a destination isn’t as daunting as it used to be.

Once we all recovered from Tour de Wind, we went to River Roast, the newest al fresco spot along the Chicago River.

photo 4

Me and Alex at River Roast- the view really stinks..no?!

Chef Tony Mantuano had just crushed our wedding and Chef John Hogan and I were old co-workers* when he ran Keefer’s.

*we worked in the same building. I was never in the kitchen- fear not- your food was safe.

The menu was…different. But a 2 Chainz kind of different- “good” different.

Think: less B.S. options and more – trust us- we got this- kind of menu.

Don’t be afraid of: creative apps, starters and sides. They are delicious. (Example: whipped parsnips. If you’re not into food….you may think that sounds weird and wrong. In truth – they are unlike anything you’ve ever had and from that moment forward you’ll call mashed potatoes “basic”).

Order: the fish for two or chicken for two. The entree section is small: fish , chicken, meat. And I understand why…that kind of magic takes time to perfect.

Our fish was, well, this isn’t an NSFW blog so I’ll just say it was delish, as were the potatoes it came with.

The chicken looked like it was trying to steal my beer can chicken thunder* , and the boys loved..and I mean…LOVED it.

*I made beer can chicken that was so good, Alex actually married me. And no, I still don’t eat chicken.

Let’s talk about the Chicago River..yes it’s dirty, you’ve seen the buildings on a boat*, and you are over it….but I’m here to change your mind.

Yacht* life with the birthday girl.  *pontoon boat on the river...Diddy did not show up.

Yacht* life with the birthday girl.
*pontoon boat on the river…Diddy did not show up.

*arch tour with an annoying Vince Vaughn wanna be guide and tourists with fanny packs (which are cool BTW).

Props to Living Social or Groupon (forgive me for forgetting) for offering a boat rental for a great deal.   We cruised the river on our time, in a pontoon boat (driven by my dad) for two hours and it was really really fun. And for the record- we brought only waters and Vita Coco on the boat- imagine if Fireball was in play!!!

The Captain pointing at his next location

The Captain pointing at his next location

How cute are my parents?!

How cute are my parents?!

Afterwards we stopped by Snarf’s Sandwiches before my parents hopped on the train back to Ann Arbor and they agreed those sandwiches were the best they’d ever had. I have to also give honorable mention to Taco Joint, a River North spot that my parents said they wouldn’t have stopped in on their own- but I vouched for the food and after eating there they said:

“And that’s why you trust a local”. 

My point? Those deals on-line sites are actually pretty cool and fun…you may not want to go on a date or with a posse*, but with family it’s perfection.

*I actually begged Alex to organize a river cruise night soon after today

Ahoy people and please, don’t hate on the coupons.

Lollapalooza 2014 in Photos

This is Brad- aka- Opie. We've been friends since '07 & every year he helps us score amazing passes

This is Brad- aka- Opie. We’ve been friends since ’07 & every year he helps us score amazing passes and he is one of the best humans you will ever meet. Also, he has that hat in pretty much every color. Pics from- ’14, ’13, ’12 and ’11

Thursday is "Day Zero" & I joined the annual boat trip for my first voyage

Thursday is “Day Zero” & I joined the annual boat trip for my first voyage

 

A couple years ago, a friend of mine was dating a music dude. This year he performed at the fest and I went to check out Cash Cash and say hello. Take me hooooommme

A couple years ago, a friend of mine was dating a music dude. This year he performed at the fest and I went to check out Cash Cash and say hello. Take me hooooommme

Another Day Zero photo with the legendary Pride Grinn

Another Day Zero photo with the legendary Pride Grinn

Saluting Opie

Saluting Opie. Day One Outfit: vintage Pucci dress, vintage Carlos Falchi fanny pack, Pink Nike Sky Highs

The view for Outkast

The view for Outkast from some secret platform that we sit at each year

The Mad Merch guys - these men are the BEST and were so nice to Alex

The Mad Merch guys – these men are the BEST and were so nice to Alex

Saturday we went to the Gilt party at EnV- it was a blast per usual. Lots of good eats & drinks & media friends

Saturday we went to the Gilt party at EnV- it was a blast per usual. Lots of good eats & drinks & media friends. Day 2 Outfit: vintage Gucci bathing suit, vintage skirt, tons of Flash Tats and Rose Gold Nike Sky High Dunks

Al is obsessed with "I got You" by Duke Dumont. We got to watch him DJ side stage on Saturday at Perry's. I learned that kids like inflatable animals by watching the crowd

Al is obsessed with “I got You” by Duke Dumont. We got to watch him DJ side stage on Saturday at Perry’s. I learned that kids like inflatable animals by watching the crowd

Sunday it rained but Erin and I didn't care and Lexi took photos of us dancing and posing in the rain

Sunday it rained but Erin and I didn’t care and Lexi took photos of us dancing and posing in the rain. Day 3 Outfit: my Mom’s top from the 60’s that I wore as a dress, white bodysuit from American Apparel, Blue Ray Bans

My favorite show of the weekend was Foster The People- we danced like crazy

My favorite show of the weekend was Foster The People- we danced like crazy

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