Belle of the Ball [SIA Post]


I would just like to say that I’m looking forward to having more light outside when I get home from work. Maybe then I can actually get more than one outfit photo every two weeks. Man, remember the days when I used to shower and take multiple outfit photos on the weekends?

Anyway! I will definitely want to try and get a picture this week because Jen chose a lovely painting.

This is what Jen had to say about the painting:

I chose the double portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray, once attributed to Johann Zoffany, circa 1779. This was the portrait that inspired the 2013 film, Belle, about the real-life, mixed-race young lady who was born into slavery in the British West Indies and ended up a heiress in London, England. The painting was commissioned by Lord Mansfield (William Murray), and depicts his two great-niece, Dido Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray. The two ladies were second cousins.

I chose this painting because it’s been on my SIA board of possibilities for awhile, because it’s such an intriguing painting, with differing styles of dress and poses and facial expressions that seem to be telling a story (or maybe holding back a story?). Lots of scope here for sartorial inspiration, including different textures, fabrics, colors, and potential props. My upcoming round also spans the end of February and beginning of March, and March is International Women’s Month, so I thought it would be fitting to feature a painting of two women.

You can read more about the painting here at https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/may/27/dido-belle-enigmatic-painting-that-inspired-a-movie , and more about Dido Belle at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dido_Elizabeth_Belle .

Got something pink? Green? Lace? A dress? Or does this painting inspire you to come up with something else?

If so, put on an outfit, snap a photo, and email it to librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com by Tuesday, March 6th so you can be included in the round-up.

Shoe Shines at Shoe Drop


At the end of October I hosted an event with Shoe Drop, the company in Chicago that is working to make getting your shoes repaired and shined easy and simple. They have a retail location at 353 N Clark Street that they nicely opened up for event attendees to get free shoe shines and discounts on shoe repair.


If you’ve never had your shoes shined, let me tell you: it makes a huge difference! And it’s not just for men, either. All of us ladies in attendance got our riding boots shined and polished.


Most of us also dropped off shoes to be repair. I dropped off my red ballet flats that had insoles that were falling apart and cracks that were forming in the leather on the outsides. I picked them up this week and they are beautiful! Yes, if you look closely you can see where they patched the crack, but considering these shoes are over 10 years old and I bought them off the clearance rack, the fact that they were able to fix them at all is amazing.


Those who attended who have picked up their repaired shoes have also said that they look brand new.

While we were getting our shoes shined (and watching the Cubs!) we sipped on wine from Madison Vine Wines and nibbled on appetizers from Siena Tavern. For as many times as I’ve run past Madison Vine Wines or seen their free wine and beer tastings posted on Twitter I still haven’t been. Did you know they are dog friendly? Now that patio weather is over I know where we’re taking Chewie to get more people exposure! screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-8-39-10-pm

Photo from Marzlet. Food courtesy of Siena Tavern.

Martine, the man who works at the 353 N Clark Street location, is very friendly and will remember you by name if you go in often enough. In fact, I stopped by on way home on Tuesday to pick up my ballet flats and get my black riding boots shined and he knew me right away. I LOVE service like that!

And no worries if you’re wearing a dress! They’ll give you a nice cozy blanket to make sure you stay decent while Martine shines your shoes.


Plus, shoe shine are only $8, which includes tip! Seriously, if you’ve never gotten your riding boots or any other shoes shines you HAVE to stop by Shoe Drop. Or, if you can’t make it to their retail location, you can use any of their almost 200 drop-off spots. Additionally, if you have a Pressbox location near you then you can just use that since Pressbox partners with Shoe Drop. You drop off your shoes, you’ll get a text saying they’ve begun work, and when they’re ready you pick them up where you dropped them off. It’s that easy!

Thanks again to Shoe Drop, Madison Vine Wines, and Siena Tavern for putting on this event so I could show off one of my new favorite Chicago-based businesses! If you’re in Chicago I hope you’ll consider using Shoe Drop for your future shoe needs.


Nine Ways to Wear Blush


Blush isn’t a color that I have a lot of in my closet. In fact, I would say I have two blush colored tops and one blush skirt….and one of the tops is on injured reserve.

But, Bri from Work Clothes, I Suppose is trying to add more blush to her closet and looking for ideas on how to wear it. So, I thought I’d share nine ways I’ve worn my blush pieces in the past.


To see all the full outfit posts, click here.

I typically pair blush with neutrals such as navy, gray, white and black but occasionally I throw in pink for a monochromatic look.

Also, I just noticed that I never wear it with patterns! I think because the patterned items I have don’t really lend themselves to wearing with blush.

Anyway, the blush top that needs repair has been sitting on my dresser for probably a year at this point. I just need to find someone who can repair the unraveling thread hem on the mesh front yoke. Any takers out there?

In the mean time, I think I’ll look for a replacement. Here are a few I found that I wouldn’t mind adding to my closet.

Let’s have a little fun for Valentine’s Day


We’re not big on Valentine’s Day in our house, but that didn’t stop me from putting on a fun red dress and taking some fun photos with a professional photographer a few weeks ago.


Dress – Express (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)
Hair & Make-up – Georgia HM


similar necklace

I found out about this professional photo event through a blog friend who used to do some modeling. For only $60 we got hair, make-up, and two hours with two different photographers in a really neat venue. I’m still waiting on the photos from the other photographer, but I couldn’t wait to show you these.

Because, I mean, if you want to have some fun for Valentine’s Day what’s better than a sexy red dress?


Stay tuned as I intersperse more professional photos over the next few weeks and tell you more about the event.

Cocktails for Charity [Things to Do in Chicago]


Note: this post is not sponsored although Revae did offer me a bottle of Sirop in exchange for helping her promote her fundraiser. 

A few years ago I attended an awesome mixology class with Femme du Coupe at the home of another blogger. I loved it so much that I ended up hosting one at my house with my friends for my birthday.

Revae came to my apartment fully armed with everything we’d need to make some tasty, tasty drinks. From what I recall, we had a great time and drank some tasty beverages. I even  learned how to mix a drink using the shaker cup and a glass. The secret is in the palm of your hand, literally.


Recently I found out that Revae is training for the Lavaman Triathlon in Hawaii with Team in Training. As a newbie triathlete myself (who also loves booze) I am all for supporting other triathletes! Which is why I wanted to share Revae’s Will Tri for Booze event with you:


All the details here: http://bit.ly/willtri 

Revae is also the force behind the drinks at Bar Siena which is just up the street from me. So OF COURSE I plan to attend her mixology class fundraiser there on March 2nd.

However, if that date doesn’t work for you, she’s got two others plus a cocktail hour coming up. Heck, I might just go to the cocktail hour, too.

Trust me. Revae creates awesome drinks and you will have a great time learning how to make them.


So, who’s joining me??

Let’s pretend it’s almost spring


I don’t religiously follow the runway trends and I’ve never been to a Fashion Week event of any kind, but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally want to incorporate something new into my wardrobe! Except, as you know, I’m trying not to buy clothes right now. So, how can I incorporate at least one hot spring fashion trend, such as lingerie, vintage or off-the-shoulder looks using items I already have?

Well, I certainly don’t plan to show up to work in my bra and underwear, but how about a lace top with a blazer as a nod to the lingerie trend? Add in a silk scarf and you’ve got two lingerie-esque fabrics in one outfit!


Looking at lists of what the upcoming spring trends are going to be, they tend to call them by different names. At least one has said the 90s are coming back, especially slip dresses. So, does that count as vintage, lingerie or just the 90s? Either way, I might not have any more slip dresses but I do have some flannel and leather which were staples of the 90s grunge scene. Or maybe I’ll just pair my faux leather moto jacket with a dress and ankle boots.


Totally should have kept this slip dress from 1994!

As for the whole off-the-shoulder or cold-shoulder trend, I don’ think I own much of anything that fits this trend. Which is why I love Le Tote! Remember the top I wore for my girl’s night out look? Yep, that one fits the bill with its ability to unzip the shoulders. All the trendiness, none of the regret of buying something you’ll only wear once or twice.


So, what do you think? Do you see yourself trying to incorporate any of the upcoming spring trends in your wardrobe? Do you already have items that will work?

Do more than just make a wish list this year: raise money for charity with #WishesDelivered


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPS for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Last night I went to pick up the white vest I ordered that I mentioned in my November Shopping Summary post and our doorman hilariously acted as though he was exhausted from sorting packages. I told him that he’d better get ready because from now until January he was going to be busy with people having things delivered (like me!) and he was going to get to be good friends with our UPS person.


And speaking of UPS, they’re doing a fun campaign this year called #WishesDelivered. Every time you tweet or Instagram a wish for someone else (until December 31st) and use the hashtag #WishesDelivered in the tweet or Instagram caption they will donate $1 to one of their charity partners such as Toys for Tots Literacy Program (up to $100K). Don’t have Twitter or Instagram? You can submit your wish manually on the #WishesDelivered site.


Of course, while UPS is delivering all those material goods that we’ve ordered as gifts, it’s probably a good idea to wish for experiences as well. Or, heck, even that everyone has enough to eat for dinner this year. My office building is currently doing a huge food drive for the Chicago Food Depository so my wish is that they collect enough food to feed families for the rest of the year. Having volunteered at the food depository in the past I know what a huge operation it is and how much they depend on our help and donations to meet their goals.

So what will I be tweeting? How about “I hope the @FoodDepository meets their goals and is able to help Chicago families this year! #wishesdelivered”

How about you? What wish will you tweet to raise $1 for charity?

Or maybe you prefer Instagram. If so, you can either take a photo that portrays your wish (full bags of canned goods!) or a photo of you holding a sign that says #wishesdelivered with the hashtag and your wish in the caption.

Want to see what other people have wished for? Visit the UPS #WishesDelivered site and be sure to tell me in the comments what your wish is this year!

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9 Ways to Avoid Wearing Black


Okay, so you know I’m doing this challenge where I don’t wear black for all of January, right? It’s actually easier to avoid wearing black than I thought! In fact, I actually wear a lot of outfits that don’t have any black in them. Which means I thought I’d round up 9 other winter and office-appropriate outfits that will hopefully give you some ideas on how to avoid falling into a black hole. (Ha! I crack myself up.)

9 Ways to Avoid Wearing Black

The key? Have some colors in your closet. Gray, brown and navy are great alternative neutrals. Add some red, purple, or blues in whatever colors you love and you can mix and match all month without resorting to those black pants!

What To Wear With Plaid

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Uncategorized

Stitch Fix Katherine Barclay sweater with plaid pants

Gree sweater, gold polka dot shirt, leopard print watch Stitch Fix Katherine Barclay sweater with plaid pants

Sweater – Katherine Barclay via Stitch Fix (similar) | Shirt – Forever 21 (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Bandolino (similar) | Watch – Groopdealz (similar)

I know, I know, I just wore a sweater over a collared shirt last week. But the look is classic for a reason. It even got chosen as this week’s Inspiration Monday photo:

image Click photo to see full image

And in a case of getting something new and not wanting to wait to wear it, I received this sweater as part of my latest Stitch Fix order (full post to come on Wednesday) and I immediately wanted to pair it with my brown plaid pants.

Would you believe that for years I thought the only colors I could wear with these pants were brown and cream? The first time I wore them with chambray I was so happy. Now that I’ve got this green sweater I’m thinking of even more colors I can pair with them! Navy? Burgundy? Black? So many ideas!

Also, you may have noticed that I did not take something from Friday’s outfit to pass on to today. Nope. I decided that Monday’s are a reset on the Take One, Pass It On challenge for me. Cheating? Maybe. Do I care? Nope!

Stitch Fix Katherine Barclay sweater with plaid pants

An Ode to Orange


Hi! This is Kim, Erin’s not so fashionable friend. But I do know a thing or two about Photoshop and have a love for a certain color…

We have seen a lot of awesome outfit ideas from Loop Looks since Erin launched the site in February. But have you noticed one tiny little missing thing? Don’t worry if you didn’t notice it right away, it took me awhile too…

Sigh. Erin is missing the BEST color in her wardrobe. ORANGE.

You may not have picked up on it. Erin was sneaky with her “Red is Just Orange Without the Yellow” post, but I did some investigation (left a comment) and found out (via her reply) that:

I don’t know if I even look good in orange!! And unless you count my Milwaukee Marathon shirt (and my March Madness Half Marathon shirt that I’ve never worn) then I don’t own anything orange.

Whaaaaa?! This must be fixed! Immediately! Orange is a FABULOUS color! It’s bright, it brings energy to your outfit, and it doesn’t have to make you look (or feel!) like a pumpkin!

I know Erin is not sure if orange will look good on her, so I took the liberty of doing a little Photoshop magic, to show her that it does:

What if she was an orange leopard instead of a blue one (wait! aren’t leopards already orange?!)?

Maybe it could have been “orange all the things” instead of pink?

You know what would have been most unexpected? Orange pants!!!

And the original inspiration for this post… I think you could’ve swung orange, Erin!

What do you think – does Erin need some orange in her wardrobe? I think Erin would look good in a variety of orange shades, and should give the color a try!

Which color appears the least in your wardrobe? And why is that?!