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Glamourous Stripes on Stripes

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:: Dress // Glamorous | Heels // Kate Spade | Sunglasses // Anthropologie ::

Dear August, why must be so rainy? Anyone else slight sad by the amount of rain we’ve received already this month. I want at least a few more week of amazing summer weather before we hop into the fall season.

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to figure out how to change the weather but I promise I’m working on it. Since the weather has been slightly unpredictable lately, I’ve start to pull out a few transitional pieces from the back of my closet to combat the hot/cold mood swings Chicago’s weather can present.

Currently I’m loving 3/4 sleeve dresses in light fabrics like this one from one of my favorite brands, Glamorous. The lighter fabrics keep me from man-sweating through the day when it still feels like summer outside, but the longer sleeves keep me cozy during the night time drop in temperature.

On a recent trip to visit Peggy on the west side, I took the opportunity to get matchy-matchy with my outfit. Stripes on stripes are a fun way to play up a relatively simple outfit and no one can wear too many stripes – am I right?

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:: Photography by Peggy Kollias ::

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Meet Me At Cafe Tola

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:: Dress // Greylin| Heels // Kate Spade | Sunglasses // Anthropologie| Lipstick // NARS ::

Has anyone else in Chicago noticed just how bright and colorful this city is becoming? Honestly, this summer I’ve seen at least four new murals go up in bright, bold colors. Chicago street art is having a moment and I’m 100% for it.

Some of my favorite new wall art in the city just so happens to be the next site for one of my favorite food stands in the city. Cafe Tola originally opened up down the street from me about two years ago when I lived in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. This cafe is probably one of the smallest cafes in all of Chicago, actually I’m convinced that it is the smallest cafe in Chicago, that also serves the best empanadas I’ve ever tasted. Now that’s a bold statement given that there are about 6 empanadas restaurants in just a five mile radius of me. Needless to say that I was excited to find out that they were opening a second location in the former Hot Doug’s location in Avondale, brining their funky and colorful vibes to the area.

When life around you is so colorful, you can’t help but smile. It worked out that my dress of the day just so happened to fit in well with the theme. I simple black and white dress with a bold floral lace print helped me stay out against the beautiful wall.

While some of my favorite street murals in the city are all located toward the west side of the city, I’m starting to notice a few pop up closer to my neighborhood. Chicago, I’m loving the vibes and hopefully the bright art will keep me cheerful throughout the long, cold winter that currently predicted for this summer.

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:: Photography by Peggy Kollias ::

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A Rose Knot Dress

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:: Warehouse Belted Dress | J.Crew Sandals (old, love these!) | Anthropologie Sunglasses ::

With summer slowly wrapping up; can anyone believe that Labor Day is only three weekends away! Summer where did you go!! I’m slowly starting to clean out my closet and bring my fall favorites into the for front of my closet.

The sheath dress is my go to dress during the summer and fall months of the year, when I spend most of my days at various college campuses recruiting. You could say that Hillary has her pant suits, I’ve got my sheath dresses. With recruitment season soon to be on its way, I’ve been testing out new ways to wear my favorite dresses this season.

With a  multitude of sheath dresses in my closet, over the years I’ve learned some valuable lessons in quality and cut. However let’s get real, no matter how much we love a dress, it can get boring to put on the same dress over and over again. While accessories can make a huge difference, I’m not that into jewelry – it gets in the way of my over exaggerated style of talking. (hands waving in the air as I’m trying to prove my point). Therefore I tend to rely on belts to make a statement for me.

I recently watched a video that showed me how to rose knot a belt and I’ve been instantly hooked. It’s a super simple way of adding some flair to your look without having to pile on the extra accessories. I recently tried this out with this dress that I picked up from ASOS earlier this week and couldn’t believe how many compliments I received just on my belt. It goes to show that it’s the littlest things in the world that make the biggest difference.

Anyone else have any great styling tips to share?

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:: Photography by Cassie Guba ::

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Wine on a Dime // The Best Wines Under $10

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What can I say, it’s in my humble opinion that wine is the best invention of our time and the one thing that consistently puts a smile on my face. I grew in a family that loves their wine. There were definitely times growing up that I felt like we veered more Italian than Polish when it came down to our alcohol beverage selection. Although don’t get me wrong, my great-grandma could out drink just about anyone I’ve ever known.

With only a few weeks left of the summer, I’m making it a point to savor ever bit of rosé that I can get my hands on before the season ends. When the weather starts to cool off, I tend to gravitate toward more full bodied reds and away from anything light.

With years of drinking under my belt, I like to say that I’m an expert wine drinker at the point of my life,  I’ve come to realize that a higher price point doesn’t necessarily mean a better quality or better tasting wine. Some of my favorite wines in the world have been under $20 a bottle! Amazingly enough though, this summer I’ve discovered that my favorite bottles across the board are even more budget friendly. I’m talking around $10 a pop – yay for deals!

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The Rosés

1.Los Dos Campo de Borja Grenache – Cabernet Sauvignon Rosado // I picked up this wine at Whole Foods last month, and I’ve been back at least twice to grab more bottles. It’s literally that good. Unlike most rosés that I’ve had in the past, this one is light and crisp with more heavier flavor profile than other rosés. I highly recommend this wine with dinner.

2. La Promenade Provence Rosé // This rosés available at most Trader Joe stores is a summer favorite of mine. It’s easy to drink and pairs well with a cheese plate. It’s a great rosé to bring with you on a picnic when you’re not looking for anything fancy.

The Whites 

1. Colimoro Alto Adige Pinot Grigio // I’m not usually a fan of white wine but this pinot grigio is an easy to drink medium bodied white wine. If you plan on ending your summer with a seafood feast, this pinot grigio will pair well.

2. Belle Ambiance Chardonnay // A night in with your best girl friends? You’ll need this Chardonnay chilling in the fridge. A great citrus medium-bodied white wine that is amazing stand alone. Enjoy a few glasses catching up with old friends.

The Reds 

1. Le Pepin Pinot Noir // Another Trader Joe’s favorite of mine is this full bodied red wine. This wine, dubbed the “food wine” pairs well with heavier meals. This French pinot noir is smooth and dry if hints of berry flavor.

2. Albero Organic Monastrell // Looking for a great organic wine? Albero brand wines are all 100% organically made and their speciality wine, a Monastrell is delicious. This is the ideal red wine to pair with your tapas or with a hearty stew.

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Back in a Black Dress

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Colorful dresses in the summer months are usually my go to style, but every once in a while I like to switch things up bring things back to black. Anyone else have that Amy Winehouse song pop into their head at that moment?

My closet is filled with LBD’s, like this 3/4 sleeve dress that it office appropriate and this body-con favorite for those wild and crazy girl’s night out. However over the years, I’ve favored A-lined styles that have the ability to work around the year and to a variety of different events.

A black dress, like this fun crotched style from Topshop can really make a statement. Just as an FYI, this same dress comes in white and is on sale! I recently picked it up at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and have already worn it multiple times out to dinner. It also helps that the bandage-esque fabric keeps me from eating too much. At least for the summer months, I love adding a punch of color with a brightly colored necklace that stands out against the black fabric.

How do you guys wear black in the summer? I’d love though thoughts and ideas on how to style this black dress for the rest of the summer season!

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:: Photography by Cassie Guba ::