Jul 21, 2014


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Remember how last week I said I was going to go build a house by a waterfall, and you could visit me once I'm settled in and I'll serve you sub-par tea and Jimmy Johns? Well this is the place. I haven't gotten the logistics down on which side of the waterfall to build it on- left or right, left or right?- but the prints are being drafted. 

For a field of daisies I would leave the city without any regret.

And for all my Chicago readers- this state park is called Starved Rock and it's just two hours out of the city. Come visit it and I guarantee you we'll end up neighbors.

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Jul 20, 2014


Ever seen a trend, liked it, but weren't necessarily sure if you could style it in a "you" kind of way? "How We Wore It" will show you how different women braved the trend and played with it until they got it to fit in with their styles- and hopefully that'll inspire us to poke a toe out of our comfort zones and try something new, too! Today's trend will be jumpsuits. Happy creating!


Jul 19, 2014


blueberry-picking SHOP THE ITEMS HERE:
  1. Lucy Blue Vintage denim jumper
  2. Bottle Blonde Vintage fisherman sandals
  3. Forever 21 folk print tunic (only $24!)
  4. Forever 21 somewhere sunny straw fedora (only $10!)


  1. Little Veggie Vintage summer dress (only $20!)
  2. Jessamity wicker handbag (only $20!)
  3. Zara oversize denim jacket (only $30!)
  4. ASOS truffle jelly flatform sandals (only $34!)
  5. Forever 21 straw fedora (only $15!)

  1. Deja Vintage Boutique Gunne sax skirt
  2. eLuxe crochet fringe crop top (only $25!)
  3. Forever 21 gone boho floppy hat (only $9!)
  4. New Old Fashion Vintage ankle booties
  5. Urban Outfitters hammered high/ low necklace
  6. J Crew havana clutch (only $25!)

  1. Little Miss Vintage 3 midi striped skirt (only $35!)
  2. Topshop leaf crop top
  3. Mousevox Vintage woven leather flats (only $30!)
  4. Anthropologie solana clutch
  5. Uniqlo denim shirt (would be worn unbuttoned)

  1. She and Her Vintage 60s caftan dress
  2. Ali Express short sleeve trench coat
  3. ASOS straw fedora hat
  4. Anthropologie golden state clutch
  5. ASOS buckle flat sandals (only $30!)
  6. Sarara Vintage 20s turquoise rings

Jul 18, 2014



Yesterday I was unreasonably happy. Just completely and totally unjustifiably. It was a little excessive, really.

I had no business being happy, but there I was, ignoring all the facts and unable to swallow the smile down. The coffee I brewed tasted like swamp water, my hair was trying to poof out into a Golden Girls type of shape while I wasn't looking, I missed my train back home by a hair, and I still had an obscenely long to-do list waiting for me in my planner. But...I just couldn't be bothered by it. 

The sun was coming down in gold, slow moving boats were making summer sounds in the river that snaked between skyscrapers, I had my favorite shoes on, a Fitzgerald book in my backpack, and Dunkin Donuts was giving coffee away for a dollar. 

In my book, everything was going right. Or at least trying its hardest to. And I, for one, always appreciate the effort.


Also, how perfect is this wide leg + high neck + white sunnies combo? At first I was a little hesitant to put it together because I don't like when colors are so matchy matchy, but as I smoothed down my pants and glanced in the mirror it took my all not to do a happy little wiggle right then and there. Instead I nonchalantly brushed a piece of lint off my shoulder and nodded my head at my reflection. This will do, I told us. Then I did the happy little wiggle.

This gorgeous vintage top is from Mousevox Vintage, and when I saw the collar I knew I had to nab it. It reminded me of something Lauren Bacall would have hanging in her closet, and, let me tell you, if it's good enough for Ms. Bacall it's good enough for me. Mousevox Vintage is all 60's summers and vintage California girl, which makes sense seeing how it's based in Oakland. Rachel, the owner, nabs items with simple lines and clean shapes, and usually gravitates towards floral dresses, shifts, white sandals, and delicate blouses. If you have a simple and elegant style, then I would definitely go check out Mousevox Vintage here!

And here are some of my favorite items that they have right now, to give you an idea what they have:



outfit-details copy
PANTS: H&M (similar: here)
SHIRT: Mousevox Vintage
SUNNIES: Seattle boutique

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Jul 16, 2014


I had a fun moment with this dress. I was running down the stairs while my brother was rounding the corner, and just as I got to the landing he did a brief stutter step and pause. With the skirts bundled in my fist and my hand on top of my hat, I stopped and stared back at him as he eyed me semi-cautiously. "Why are...why are we staring at each other?" I asked.

He starts laughing as he shakes his head and smiles. "I just wasn't expecting you to look like that. I feel like you were about to shout out while flying past me 'Oh, going to the garden party at Gatsby's darling, I'll be back late.' You look nice."

Well. I'll take it. And there better be champagne there ;)


This fun patchwork of a dress is from Wayfarer Vintage, and when I first got it I already knew how I wanted to style it: nothing but booties and wide brim hats. I feel like grungy, dark floral dresses just beg for boots and hats, and I'm not one to deny requests. Wayfarer Vintage is an Etsy store that carries festival hippie, grunge revival, and minimalist styles. They have everything from overalls to floral dresses to high waist jeans, and they're currently having a summer sale for this week only! If you're in a shopping mood, pop in and see what they have here.

And here are some of my favorite picks that they currently have:


outfit-details copy
DRESS: c/o Wayfarer Vintage (similar: here, here, here, here)
HAT: Urban Outfitters
BOOTS: Urban Outfitters
NECKLACES: Urban Outfitters & Cocorrina

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Jul 15, 2014


When you live in a place that's basically Winterfell (Chicago = ten months of winter, God help us all) you make the most of your summers. And I have been squeezing mine dry. On Friday I went to a BBQ joint that made you feel like you were eating food straight off the grill in your best friend's back yard, with tables strewn across the grass and fairy lights criss-crossing over themselves to stitch a roof over your head. We shared a tray of waaay too much smoked BBQ, gabbing the way girlfriends do, closing our eyes over queso corn and gesturing enthusiastically with forks over mouthfuls of pulled pork. If I could, I'd move in there while the waiters weren't looking. A plan is being drafted, stay tuned.

Then switching moods, yesterday I decided to make my Monday fancy and go to one of the oldest hotels in downtown Chicago to watch black and white movies over cocktails. Walking into the lobby made me instantly wish I had white silk gloves and some dramatic, draping sash swishing down the side of my dress to the floor. Talk about glamour. It was all chandeliers and mirrored ceilings, white leather couches and callaillies. I felt like I'd see Daisy and Gatsby breeze past me any moment now, their laughter egged on by the pink champagne cocktails they just had at the bar. The movie was House on Haunted Hill, a spooky 1950's movie that made you giggle over its cheesiness as you sipped pretty cocktails with names like Vampire's Delight and Witch's Brew. Watching old movies is fun alone but made extra entertaining when you have a room full of strangers, your eyes meeting and dancing over the rim of your glass as both of you share a laugh over the skeleton that was supposed to be scary but looked like he was just doing the hula. Now I can't wait for the next one- and that'll give me just enough time to find those white silk gloves ;)


Speaking of fancy, let's talk about this look, shall we? Let me introduce to you all my favorite things: the black column dress, the prism necklaces, and this sheer, lacy delight of a skirt. When I put it all together I almost passed out in front of the mirror out of happiness; I had to grab the wall as I weakly fanned my face. 

I found this skirt under a pile of clothes in a super sale in Urban Outfitters and instantly had to have it. I didn't know how to style it or what to do with it, but goddamn it, it was going to be mine. And trying to figure out how to not show my knickers to the world has been fun. So far I've been putting it over solid column dresses, over knee length frocks to show some leg, and I saw a photo of pairing it with a blazer to create a contrast with the delicate fabric and the sturdy jacket. I can't wait to try that one. What do you think- do you have any ideas? I'd love to hear!

outfit-details copy

DRESS: thrifted (similar: here, herehere, here)
SKIRT: Urban Outfitters (similar: here, here)
NECKLACES: Urban Outfitters & Cocorrina

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Jul 12, 2014


arcade-bar-1 SHOP THE ITEMS HERE:
  1. Baxter Vintage heather grey sweater dress (only $26!)
  2. Height of Vintage Ann Taylor boots (only $24!)
  3. Southwest Vintage woven jacket
  4. Urban Outfitters Bailey of Hollywood wide brim hat
  5. Northern Natives geometric prism necklace (only $20!)


  1. Jessamity Vintage blue plaid dress (only $36!)
  2. ASOS whistles kamikaze white platform sandals
  3. ASOS river island black beaded backpack


  1. Whhttt Vintage pleated top
  2. Forever 21 floral print wide leg pants (only $17!)
  3. Bauble Bar corded fiesta collar (only $24!)
  4. Forever 21 woven cowboy booties (only $19!)
  5. Forever 21 envelope crossbody bag (only $16!)


  1. Height of Vintage evening skirt (with pockets!) (only $30!)
  2. Topshop hibiscus crop top
  3. ASOS knot beanie
  4. Topshop Harper flatform


  1. Mousevox Vintage square neck shell blouse (only $24!)
  2. Fight for Flight high waist jeans (only $18!)
  3. Topshop WOLF flatform sandals
  4. Urban Outfitters telescope straw panama hat
  5. Urban Outfitters wrapped crystal necklace

Jul 11, 2014




Jul 10, 2014



Man, boys are stupid. Not too sound too much like a girl that's wallowing in a tub of ice cream, but I am and they are. They just swoop on in there, with their scruffy five o'clock shadows and slow moving smiles. With that sort-of-okay-fine-really-adorable habit of nervously fidgeting with their shirt button. And they make you kind of want to start kind of wondering about them.

And they know what they're doing. Because then they move onto phase two and give you these slow swaying hugs that you're pretty sure out of you can make summer songs. And are specifically designed to make you sigh into their shirt as your face is pressed into their Hanes tee. And those hugs have the most wonderfully annoying habit of always happening just as that sky takes on that bruised purple blue of a summer evening and a warm breeze comes blowing on through, carrying promises smart girls are too smart to listen to. But you're not a smart girl. And then.


Then they don't call. And then. Then all at once you hate the scruff. Who fidgets with buttons, anyway? And, on second thought, your hugs were kind of, well let's just say it,ok?, on the lame side. So wtvr.

I much rather eat ice cream on my deck anyway. So, you know, you just keep on doing that whole not calling me thing. It's not like I'm noticing. 


This frustration with inconsiderate boys is what led me to this ah-mazing sheer box blouse from American Apparel. The discovery of it happened when I was speed walking to the train, politely dancing around slow-ass pedestrians while praying they wouldn't make me miss my ride back home to the suburbs. And as one family decided to link arms and roll down to a crawl in front of me, I was forced to fall back to their pace behind them. That or plow through them like a linebacker, but I just didn't have it in me. The sadness just zapped my usual city-abrasiveness, you know? Which is when I looked to my left. Into the AA store window. And saw this top. And, let me tell you, I'm one to shop while feeling down so I kind of went into the changing room with a vengeance. And when I buttoned this top and glanced in the mirror I was kind of...taken aback. My hair was in tussled curls, my lips were red like berries, and I just looked hot. And all at once, it seemed like I was cured. Who needs a cutie when you're the cutie, amiright? ;)


And do you guys remember this Honeymoon Vintage watercolor skirt? I wore it back in this post with more of a boho feel. I've really been enjoying the slightly-sloppy-but-in-a-hot-way look that's been taking over this summer, so I only tucked in half of the blouse to give me this relaxed air. Honeymoon Muse reminds me of Urban Outfitters just all vintage, and their tagline is, fondly, Cher Horowitz approved. When asked what kind of styles they carry or what kind of girls they keep in mind when curating, they answered: Biker-babe-grunge. Minimalist-pop-art-mod. Goth-raver-disco. Festival-hippie-gypsy. I mean, yes please. If you feel like shopping today I'd definitely go check them out here! And below I shared a few pieces that I have my eye on, to give you an idea what they have:


outfit-details copy
SKIRT: c/o Honeymoon Muse
NECKLACE: Urban Outfitters and Cocorrina
SANDALS: Target (on sale now! ugh.)

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© Messages on a Napkin.Maira Gall.