Thursday, March 31, 2011


CMD-SHFT-DANCE*, Chicagoist's DJ counterpart to their live band CTRL-ALT-ROCK series, debuts tonight at Beauty Bar. They've got Only Children, Lady Foursquare and Sparkletone kicking off the monthly DJ series brought to life by Mister @jakeguidry.

It's free before 11pm (doors @ 10), plus they have drink specials. 1444 W Chicago.

*Gotta hand it to Benjy for such a great name, including the Apple nod to electronic audiophiles.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Couch Potato

My new sofa was delivered a couple of weeks ago, and as excited as I was to write about it the day that it came, I couldn't decide just which angle I wanted to take since there were so many hurdles that make this couch so much more than just a couch. I wanted to take the "adventures in sofa shopping" angle (store after store after store--what style do we want?--what color do we want?--that one costs HOW much?!--hey look at this disco-mirror deer head), but now that it sits in my living room, it's a lot heavier than that. Tankboy wrote about how it helps our house become a home; here's my version.

After living in my roomie's condo (that he owned) for a couple of years, and then living temporarily in Tankboy's apartment for many months (we literally used one bedroom to store most of our stuff while we shopped for "our" place), I grew tired and frustrated living in a state of limbo for so long. I was excited to finally get into a place that I could put my own stamp on. But we've been in that place for over a year.

At the same time all of this was going on, I was getting my debt and finances in order, so money for decorating was more than tight. Making that shift in thinking and budgeting is hard enough, so saving and waiting to be able to afford a new sofa was tough, especially when the couch we did have was, while cool looking, less than comfy. But, the waiting gave me lots of time to plan. Everything I've done in the house is intentional, and with some things, I'm glad I mulled it over instead of making impulsive choices (which is ironically a lot of what got me into such debt in the first place).

So this sofa represents a lot of things; I guess it represents becoming an adult.

Now all the other pieces (literally and figuratively) can fall right into place. When I'm finished painting the living room, I'll have more decorating adventures--including some before and after photos--to post here. And who knows, maybe one day I will tell the "adventures in couch shopping" story--including my lengthly prep for it's arrival!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Paul's Boutique

I just learned that there's a Paul's Boutique that doesn't have anything to do with the Beastie Boys.
Pretty badass bag though.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I need a garage.

Jim: did you see this?
This April, Foo Fighters will be playing songs from Wasting Light, the new album they recorded in Dave Grohl's garage, in the garages of eight lucky fans in eight North American cities.
me: I need a garage.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Properly Fitted

Properly Warned: Gentlemen, this is a post about bras. Feel free to read on, but this is some of the most informative and least sexy talk about boobs you’ll ever hear.

Alright ladies, it’s time to talk about bras. That’s right: brasseries, over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders, tit slings (?!)--whatever you call them, the one you’re wearing right now is probably the wrong size. At least that’s what all the sales people are trying to tell us, and you know what? They’re probably right. I recently went in for a fitting at Intimacy, an upscale retailer that boasts life-changing bra fit makeovers (Sorry, but those haphazard fittings at Victoria’s Secret just don't cut it). I had saved up and was willing to spend a lot of money on a new bra or two that fit properly, because being the base of what you wear every day, I knew wearing the correct size would make me more comfortable and improve how i felt each day.

Intimacy specializes in holistic fittings, which means no measuring tapes. Be skeptical if you will, but I ended up feeling more comfortable in a bra than I have for most of my life. Here’s the key: the band is supposed to be really tight, tighter than you probably think it should be. Not so tight that it’s cutting off circulation to your head, but tight enough that the straps don’t pull the back band up. The band should be level all the way across. The idea is to support the girls in the front, not let them pull everything else down (duh). Here’s the best part, when you get yourself into a smaller band size, you’ll likely also wear a larger cup size (yay!). *

The fittings at Intimacy are free, and unluckily (or luckily) for me, they didn't have anything in stock in the style, lift, and color that I was interested in, so I was sent on my way with nothing but a number and a letter. I took that new information straight over to Macy’s and dove right in to their intimates department, and left with three new Calvin Klein bras for a fraction of the price that I would have spent at Intimacy.

Three bras is a great start, and I say start because obviously the more bras you own and wear, the longer they will last. Another good tip from my “bra fit stylist” is to rotate your stock--don’t wear the same bra day after day. You’ve got to give them a break, they work hard for you all day long! But, remember, they don’t last forever. Whether your size changes or not, once the straps start pulling up that back band, it’s time to retire it.

Now that I’ve got the basics covered with a few “boring” bras that look great under clothes, I can head to any store armed with my new size and buy any fun style or color I want, cheap or expensive, to expand my arsenal.

* * *

Daily Candy has a great video on finding your bra size (using that measuring tape) that demonstrates the smaller-band, bigger-cup phenomenon I talked about, plus lots of other great tips for a perfect fit (One big one that will extend the life of your bra, and save you money, is that you should start with the last hook and work into the tightest one over time as the band inevitably stretches with wear).

*But don’t think this means that the cup of one letter is the same size across every band size. As Charlotte points out on Swelegant Style Shopping, “a 32 DD and a 36 C are superficially the same size bra - in that they will accommodate the same sized boobs - but the back size is massively different.”

Shopping ASOS

A friend recently intoduced me to ASOS, an online apparel retailer with free shipping and free returns. I've been hooked ever since to their reasonable prices, massive selection, quick turnover, and of course, style that is right up my alley. I've been fiscally well behaved though--I've only ordered a couple of things (most of which I returned for various reasons), but yesterday I continued my endless search for tall black boots by ordering these KATE Boots. I ordered two different sizes to make sure they fit (with free shipping and returns, why not?!). They're part of ASOS's current 30% off shoe sale, putting them under $100. Real leather boots (that aren't totally ugly) for under $100? That's a deal this wallet-minded shopper can get behind.

Friday, March 4, 2011