Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheap and easy DIY thanksgiving decorations:
clementines and cloves

fall garland (DIY here)

next year

I want to wrap gifts in candy cane baker's twine (on sale here)
(PS: my cousin found Charlie Brown's Christmas tree on sale
at Walgreens (until 11/29) for $9.99)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Handmade holidays

In my quest to buy handmade gifts for Christmas, I visited the DIY trunk show in Chicago on Saturday. I didn't even know about it until Friday night when I was reading orangebeautiful's blog and saw her new 2009 calendar that she was selling at the craft show. (I added magnets to the back and hung it on my frig - I plan on framing each month to use as decoration throughout the year on my book shelf)
In the end, I didn't buy very many gifts (trust me, my brother-in-law would not want a candle and I didn't see any handmade playstation 3 games )
But I did find:
Yellow Fade Vessel by Up in the air somewhere (I didn't buy this, but I fell in love with this artist and walked by her booth a few times)

(I bought Merry Cookie and the one above, which smells like lily of the valley not tobacco)

"LOVE" print from orangebeautiful
My goal of buying handmade gifts is harder than I imagined, but at least I have started... I did make my first etsy purchase this week! I ordered this print to help me get through the long Chicago winter. (and I did make my own handmade gifts)

Monday, November 24, 2008

for my head:

A functional wool North Face hat for cold Chicago winters.
(my favorite part is that it is lined with fleece)

not functional - but cute feather headband from UO

The Big Apple

(original apple sighting above)

Love it! (the apple by Enzo Mari, orange chairs, Ikea bookcase, and metal industrial cabinet) The big apple hanging in the room of Lisa Mahar's townhome in NYC is the same one in Sarah Jessica Parker's home in the hamptons seen here (and above) on isuwannee.
(for more of the house tour click here)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ebay (on my watch list)

leather passport holder (in pink)
vintage clip ornaments

popcorn Turkey (like my Grandma had)

warm hat to cover my ears

Jcrew maritime cardigan (put in pink and orange)

Holt Howard winking Santa mugs

enamel breadbox

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oprah Round 3

My husband and I attended the last taping (for 2008) of the Oprah show today with Suze Orman. We also found out that Oprah officially canceled her famous "Oprah's Favorite Things" show for 2008. Instead, they filmed a show about how to save money for the holidays. (it airs next week and the Suze Orman show airs in January) Oprah said that the audience kept on asking if they were going to get free stuff - instead they got free ideas.

Suze was wonderful and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to ask my financial question. (which was: What should teachers invest in for retirement? Roth IRA? 403b? Money markets?)

At the end of the "After Show" taping, Oprah pointed to me and said,"You over there, you have had your hand up for awhile"... and then there wasn't enough time! (because some stupid girl asked a question about money and compared investing in the stock market to dieting) I didn't care! I got in the car and screamed, "Oprah looked at me! She saw me and pointed at me." And that was better than getting free kitchen appliances and a big tax bill.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Banners etc.

Since I can remember, my mother would hang the same paper primary color "Happy Birthday" banner every year. This ritual marked the beginning of every birthday party. To continue this tradition, I was looking on etsy and found these 2 that I like from the seller nice:
(this seller will be at the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair on Dec. 6-7 - I already put it in my calendar because I want to see these banners in person)

This one could be doubled for Valentine's Day and for my anniversary:
I found these 2 on sale at Martha Stewart's craft store:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cold weather is here

I have seen these adorable mittens from Kate Spade all over magazines and blogs and I went to check them out online, but they are sold out. I did find this scarf (I gasped out loud from pure delight, which got my husband's attention) and igloo hat.

Holiday/Wedding cards

I ordered our Christmas cards on snapfish last night because I wanted to use a picture from our New Year's Eve wedding to celebrate our 1st Christmas together. (and snapfish had a special so the total was $18.00 for 40 4" x 8" cards - I can't resist a good bargain) My husband didn't understand why I wanted to use a wedding picture (he thought we should take a picture with our dog) and I replied, "When else can we use a wedding picture for a Christmas card?" As we are coming up on our 1st anniversary, I am starting to remember wedding planning like it was yesterday. I don't actually miss that part, but I do want to see the people who were at my wedding, the flowers, and cake again. Is it weird to miss your wedding? or to wish you could do the whole thing over again - exactly how it happened?

(a mouse just ran across the floor of my classroom)

Well, that ruin my moment of reflection. Now to my main point:
As I was reading the blog moderneve, I saw this idea for a 1st Christmas together card... so cute and creative. (and I will be posting pics in honor of my 1st wedding anniversary)

Christmas Decorations

This weekend I decided to put up our skinny Christmas tree - I know this is very early, but I don't want the box sitting out in our condo when people come to look through it. (our condo is for sale and I store big things like a Christmas tree at my in-laws house in the suburbs) I also decided to take a trip to Target on Saturday morning to look for holiday decorations and Christmas gifts. (and I stopped by cb2 on the way)

I bought 2 of the small silver trees and put this snowman in the middle
(if you bring 5 non-perishable food items until the end of November - you can save 15% off your purchase at cb2)

Santa boots - these are actually bigger than they appear and I put them under our Christmas Tree (eventually I want to put them in an entryway by this bench at Crate and Barrel)

I have 2 of these stars sitting on each side of the advent calendar below. I really like the bigger version of this star, but I don't have space for it. My solution is to wait for it to go on clearance, purchase it, and then store it for later use.
(PS: this star will also appear on a shelf in a decorating episode of Oprah with Nate Berkus)

After a long search, I found this advent calendar that I plan to fill with messages, candy, gift certificates, and treats for my husband and dog.
(I am thinking of painting it white or red or waiting until next year)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Restaurant Review

I went out to dinner last night with my husband, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law. We tried to get into River North's Frontera Grill/Topolobampo (which the Obama's love) but were told there was a 2 hour wait. (6pm on a Thursday night) We ended up eating at Mambo Grill on Clark, which was unexpectedly good. (I had never heard of this restaurant) The food was outstanding (I had BBQ citrus salmon topped with a fruit and vegetable salsa) ... but the service was very slow. This area of River North has a ton of restaurants that are off the beaten path of Michigan Ave. The other 2 restaurants I want to try in this area include Rockit Bar and Grill and Hub 51.


I just read this on msn about Lipstick Jungle being canceled. I liked that you could find each character's wardrobe listed on And I was just starting to really like the show. ABC cancelled Men In Trees last year and I am still missing it. I hope Samantha Who? and Privileged don't get kicked to the curb too.

(maybe I will start watching Stylista, like Isuwannee suggested)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Holiday Traditions

Since getting married almost a year ago, I want to start my own holiday traditions with my husband. Here are some new ideas and some that we already started:

1. Eat at the Walnut Room before Thanksgiving (we did that last year and we didn't have to wait in line)
2. Visit Chriskindlmarket in Daley's Plaza (since my new last name is German)
3. Hang and fill Christmas stockings
4. Have Henry's picture taken with Santa at Pet Smart
5. Bake fudge and give it to family and friends (before I eat all of it - I even bought candy bags at
Target (20 for $1.99) for this purpose)
6. Watch Charlie Brown's Christmas, Love Actually, The Family Stone, White Christmas, and every other Christmas movie we own
7. Decorate the Christmas tree and listen to Christmas music (Amy Grant, Mariah Carey, and my old choir CD)
8. Hang fresh mistletoe in a doorway
9. Donate toys to Toys for Tots
10. Exchanging a roll of toilet paper with my Grandma (it is my turn this year)
11. See A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre
12. Visit Christmas Around the World at the Museum of Science and Industry

(pic is from Martha Stewart - I love the lights and glow of the tree)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jennifer confirms she is dating John Mayer!

You heard it here first! During the afternoon taping of Oprah, Jennifer Aniston finally admitted that she is currently dating John Mayer. (that was the only detail she gave about their relationship) Jennifer also opened up to talking about Angelina's comments about falling in love with Brad during the filming of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. And how all of this seems to have happened "a 100 years ago." (this episode airs tomorrow and by the way, Jennifer is BEAUTIFUL in person - wearing a black tank top and dark long jeans!) We also saw an outstanding performance by Beyonce and her all girl band. Did you notice that I said the afternoon show? Well, we attended the morning show with Nate Berkus redoing a basement. As we were leaving, the audience coordinator asked if anyone wanted to be on stand by for the next show. My husband and I were the last 2 let into the audience!
What I found surprising about my experience:
1. Free coat check
2. All of the staff and friendly and accommodating (bringing water, cough drops, and Kleenex if needed)
3. You don't have to wait outside at all
4. You can bring in food/drink into the audience holding area
5. The audience is not told when to clap or laugh - the staff tells you to have fun and act naturally
6. Oprah talks to the audience during commercial breaks
7. Oprah walks out barefoot (holding her shoes) She puts her shoes on only when she sits down
8. Oprah told us that she had on a white bra under her navy blue top
9. Oprah and Nate both love RL restaurant in Chicago
10. She put her dog to sleep 2 weeks ago :(
We ended the day by visiting the Oprah store and picking up this ornament to add to my Christmas tree. The store also has a section called "Oprah's Closet" full of her actual shoes and clothing. I saw a Gucci mustard sweater vest for $295.00 and black Manolo Blahnik heels size 10 1/2 for $200.00. If you are looking for used/designer/Oprah worn clothing, this would be your spot.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oprah: Round 2

Today, I received a phone call from a lovely young girl from the Oprah show asking if I would be available to be a part of the audience on Wednesday for a taping of the show. I, of course, said yes, dropped all of my belongings, and quickly listened and scribbled down her instructions.

Oprah Show Taping Rules:
1. wear bright colors (no white or beige)
2. no cameras or filming devices
3. no gifts for Oprah
4. only small purses (she said to downsize - I like that! Dave or Jay would say small/no purse - only a woman would use "downsize")
5. arrive at 7am
6. don't be late (like I would be late for Oprah?!)
7. bring a photo ID

I was so excited throughout the phone call that when it came to time give a guest name I stupidly asked, "Can boys come?" I didn't think my sister would be able to get off of work with only a 2 day notice, so I gave my husband's name. (sorry Kim)

I have been googling topics for upcoming shows (Jennifer Aniston filmed today) and it looks like on that the rest of the shows this week were pre-taped. My husband wants free stuff and I just want to see Oprah. (I told him this was like the Bears going to the Superbowl and winning and he had a free ticket to the game)
After the show, I plan on visiting the Oprah shop and trying on a pair of her shoes.
I will post more after the show.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Running in the winter

5 days ago I went running in a t-shirt and capri pants... Yesterday, I went running in pants, hat, mittens, 2 shirts, and a jacket. I thought I would share my running wardrobe:

cotton t-shirts (my husband's)
dry-fit shirts (I like target brand- I find cheap shirts are just as good as name brand)

dry-fit turtleneck (mine is from Target)
Running coat (this is where you should invest in a good jacket - make sure to get a breathable jacket - I tried a north face shell and it didn't breath - let's just say it would be dripping with sweat after I took it off)
hat (I use Pearl Izumi that has a pony tail hole)
gloves/mittens (I use the black cheap gloves from target)
(socks, sports bra, and shoes are the same for all seasons)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Alexander McQueen at Target

It is official... Alexander McQueen will be designing for Target. Thakoon is also going to be available at the end of December. (see images here and also in Lucky Magazine)

As seen on...

Top Design
this cuckoo clock was in Ondine's kids room (see pic below)
on the finale of Top Design

Lipstick Jungle

this cow creamer from Williams-Sonoma in Wendy Healy's kitchen (play by Brooke Shields)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Katie Holmes is starting a trend... (remember my post here?)

Evidence #1:
these jeans at JCrew look very close to hers and I am starting to like the rolled up look...

Evidence #2: SJP wearing them to vote and I like the dark jeans rolled even more...

Chalkboard candle and DIY idea

from here

I really like this DIY from design*sponge

Oprah update and more

I received a phone call from Jason explaining that they would not have enough time to film the segment that I was going to be a part of :( .... but I have not given up on getting tickets. I will continue to check out here (see the bottom right side "Be on the Show") In other news, if you have not seen the Mrs. O blog, you should peek at it. Michelle Obama has great style - and actually dresses like a real working woman/mother. (wearing JCrew on the Tonight show, flats, and cardigans)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dear Santa,

Here are a few ideas for Christmas:

black Hunter boats

Flip Video (at Target or Amazon)

Le Creuset dutch oven (I saw one at Marshall's for $49.99, at WS it is $220.00)

Amazing Grace from Philospohy

Ugg mittens

"Spain: On the Road Again"
Martha Stewart "Cooking School"