It’s fall. The temperature’s dropping, then inexplicably rising for a freakishly warm couple of days, then dropping again–along with our spirits and our poorly-timed plans for “one last al fresco dinner out before it turns cold.”

It’s around this time of year that I get the urge to smell things. Things like pumpkins and cinnamon, cedar and burning leaves. It seems like all of the good smells come out in the fall. Summer is nice and all but steaming garbage bags and body odor are not scents that evoke the same kind of fondness. At least not for me.

So, once fall arrives, so does my quest to find the perfect seasonally-smelling candle. Because if I’m stuck inside, I might as well make it a full sensory experience.

Last week, my search efforts took me to Anthropologie. I find a lot of things take me there, actually. Namely, my addiction to their adorable clothes and lack of will power. (Peter pan collars? Chevron? Polka dots?? I’m only human!)

I learned one thing that day: Anthropologie sells a lot of candles. And it takes approximately 45 minutes to canvass both levels of the State Street store smelling all of them. And then re-smelling my favorites.

The nose bleed was worth it. (Yes, I’m exaggerating. No blood was shed. But I did implement a self-imposed sniffing hiatus for the rest of the day.) In the end, I found a real winner!

The Capri Blue Cracked Ice candle in Citrus Clove:

And it looks almost as pretty as it smells! Major score. I can only hope that it lasts until mid December, when my nose will shift gears towards all things pine, peppermint and gingerbread…

Bag debacle

I could go on and on about all of the benefits of living in a major city like Chicago. I really love it.

But there’s one thing that irks me. (Irks! I’m awarding myself blogging bonus points for using a word I would probably never use in real life.) Since the city is so dense, you can pretty much walk anywhere you need to go. And when it’s nice out, walking is 100% my preferred method of transportation. But this isn’t the thing that irks me–wait for it.

The thing that irks me is that every now that then, my destination requires me to dress up and wear heels. Or sometimes I just want to wear heels because I’m a girl. And then walking becomes a bit more difficult.

I’ve gone the route of walking a mile in heels. That was a poor choice. But when it’s sunny and 75 degrees out with a light and variable breeze off the lake, not walking makes me die a little on the inside.

The solution? Wear flip flops and bring my heels in my purse. The problem with this solution? My cute clutches are not big enough to fit shoes! Whatever is a girl to do?

I’ll tell you what. Go shopping. Not because shopping solves all problems (however, I will not argue against that), but because a cute, versatile bag big enough to fit a pair of shoes has now become a city living necessity. And I believe the definition of “necessity” is that I NEED it.

Enter this vision in black:

Kate Spade shoulder bag

The Kate Spade Gold Coast Georgina. She’s a beaut, ain’t she?

I went through an anti-Kate Spade phase for a few years, but I think it’s safe to say that’s over. Now all I need is to be richer. Sadly, this bag is a bit out of my price range…

What about you other city girls? How do you solve the great bag debacle? What bags work for you? And who wants to buy me this one??

Get on my neck

Here’s a trivial little materialistic post to tide you over for the weekend. (Yes, I realize that description applies to most of my posts.)

Yesterday, I got a promo email from Piperlime (as I do every. single. morning.) and it featured this necklace:

At the moment, I’m super into chunky colorful neck adornment of any sort and this particular necklace (and its reasonable price) spoke to me. I went to the site and immediately bought it.

This is super unlike me – normally, when I make a purchase I like to hem and haw, waffle back and forth, consider pros and cons and generally be completely indecisive.

So basically I’m flying by the seat of my pants here! Throwing caution to the wind! It’s invigorating!

And I better love that necklace or I might never be spontaneous again. EVER.

For the love of Mod


Erin Fetherston

French Connection

MICHAEL Michael Kors

I’ve always had a fascination with everything from the 1960’s. I’m not sure if it’s because of the return of Mad Men, or Zooey Deschanel making “cute, adorkable hipster” a popular look, but right now I’m particulary obsessed with anything Mod.

Dark eyeliner, big lashes, color blocking, mini dresses, bold graphic patterns, peter pan collars, oversized sunglasses – I love it all!

When I got an email from Piperlime highilghting their current Mod-ish looks, I seriously wanted to buy everything.

Now all I need are some fake eyelashes and thicker bangs, and I’ll be swingin’ baby!

Come on – how can you not love this look:

You can’t. You can’t not love it.

Images from here and here.

Flat feet

Lately, I’ve been daydreaming a lot about our upcoming trip to Italy. That, and Giordano’s thin crust pizza. Is it lunchtime yet?

When I imagine myself in Italy, I think about strolling along cobblestone streets, being awed by the cathedrals and ancient ruins, sipping chianti at an outdoor cafe, and gorging myself on gelato and freshly made pasta. It makes me feel happy and relaxed. (And holy cow, I’m soo hungry right now!)

BUT, when I imagine myself packing for the trip I feel STRESS. I am not a light packer. And let’s just say I have some shopping to do. (Will just read that and had a panic attack.)

One thing I absolutely need is a comfortable pair of flats to walk around in. Heels aren’t going to cut it on those cute cobblestone streets. And gym shoes are out of the question – I may be halfway to 60, but I’m not there yet.

Here are some of the flats I’m considering:

(Tom’s Ballet Flats)

(Lucky Brand Emmie Flats)

(Sam Edelman Baxton Flats)

Any opinons/suggestions? For those of you who have recently been to Europe, what shoes did you wear? And don’t worry Mom, I’m bringing my Chucks for the days when we do a LOT of walking.

Ever heard of Everlane?

I just got an email from Everlane letting me know that I’m now a member. (I kind of forgot that I signed up in the first place!)

Everlane is an online retailer that sells designer-quality products, all under $100. Right now they only have t-shirts and tote bags, but they introduce new designs every month.

I must say I’m intrigued. Anyone else a member?

I was just thinking about stocking up on basic tees for spring, and Everlane’s are only $15 – not too shabby. And at $30, the totes are pretty tempting too…

Images from