Hi there, I'm the hero of this blog! I'm a 25 year old girl that lives in Chicago that just had a spur-of-the-moment six month stint in Seattle. While I loved the cloudy weather and the volcano views right outside my kitchen window, Midwest is where my heart is.

I'm an adventurer, poet, and writer, and published my first poetry book this year, entitled Ugly People Beautiful Hearts. I wrote it with you in mind, and it has over 70 poems about moving between the feelings of loving someone, feeling loss, trusting the night sky, losing your light, resolving that hurt is beautiful, and finding compassion in a stranger's smile. While I'm not writing pretty poetry in notebooks and receipt papers, I'm a Fashion Contributor at Bustle, sharing my thoughts on style and finding yourself through your dresses.

 In between afternoons of writing I like to pick up and travel, and I've been tripping my way through Asia these past couple of years. Last year I quit my cubicle job to go exploring through India and hike through the Himalayas, and now that I'm back at home I run this blog as a full time job.  Since I didn't enjoy the fluorescent-light-world of office jobs, I try to dedicate this blog to small businesses and try to introduce my readers to boot-strapped brands I think are really special. I love the idea of us all supporting each other and wanting each of us to succeed, so this here blog is my little space and community where I make that happen.

I'm really glad you found me, and I hope you enjoy my company and thoughts while you're here :)

xo Marlen

(Side note: My name is "marilyn" like the monroe and not "marlin" like the fish. I have foreign parents. I have to deal.)


  1. You're so adorable! And so admirable! I'm always impressed by people who do what they love instead of what everyone thinks a person should be doing. Screw cubicles! Life is better spent on planes to exotic lands.

  2. i am currently at this point in my life, thorn between doing what i love and what everybody else thinks is right and you inspire me x


    1. That's probably the best compliment you can give me :) Don't go with what everybody else thinks is right- in the end, you'll be the one living with your decision, not them! I hope you figure it all out :)

  3. Hi Marlen,

    We love your blog! We are also bloggers in downtown Chicago (who were looking for a creative outlet away from the "fluorescent-light-world of office jobs")! Looking forward to reading more posts and following your blog!

    Xo, K&E

  4. Just came across your blog, and so happy that I did! Would love to hear about your adventures in the Himalayas, lived there for quite some time. Also love the outfits you put together.


  5. Wow! I love what you're all about. Big corporations suck! It's all about the little guys. Thanks for being brave enough to do what you love - its helps others to be brave as well.

  6. Awesome blog! I live in Chicago as well.

  7. Your blog is amazing and your style is captivating! So much talent here in Chicago, happy to call this place home.


  8. Your about me is wonderful, Marlen. I came here first before reading a single post blog and just thought...bloglovin, bloglovin, bloglovin...follow her! You were totally right to quit your office job to do this full time with a talent like this! I can't WAIT to spend an hour this morning trawling (stalking...ahem) through your archives. :) Thank you SO much for leaving a comment on our blog so that we could find you!



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