lifestyle Archives – A Little Leopard
lifestyle Archives – A Little Leopard

lifestyle Archives – A Little Leopard

I don’t have a bike, but every time I stop into Heritage General Store in Lakeview, I end up wanting one. (It helps that Beyonce loves them…) Luckily, this super charming spot focuses on both bikes and coffee, giving me an excuse to pop in. And the coffee? It’s good.

The spot is run by a husband-wife team, integrating “bike and coffee culture.” But let’s be real – I’m there for the coffee culture, and here, the coffee culture involves homemade lavender syrup. While the coffee now only accounts for 35% of the store’s profits, it’s so popular that they are opening three more coffee-only locations: two in Uptown (one of which is open now) and one in Fulton Market.

Since I don’t have $800+ to drop on a custom bike right now, I’ll have to content myself with the amazing Stumptown coffee and Southport Grocery food served here. (Seriously, guys, have I mentioned the lavender syrup? Lavender-vanilla cold brew might be one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.) Plus… just look at the place! Sure, it’s exactly the sort of spot Socality Barbie would love, but that’s kind of what makes it so great. The seating is limited, but if you visit when it’s nice out, grab a seat on the adorable patio complete with airstream trailer.

Heritage General Store is located at 2959 N Lincoln Ave in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Behr Paint asked top bloggers and influencers to “Color a Memory” –  check out Designlovefest, Cupcakes & Cashmere and Paper Fashion’s posts with their custom colors and memories. (Emily’s is my favorite, surprise surprise.)

There’s also a really cool tool where you can upload your own photo and generate a custom color, which I took as “use your Instagram pictures to define a color scheme/aesthetic.” I pulled a pretty, dusty pale pink from the photo above. If I weren’t super lazy, I think  the resulting color (“Candy Floss”) would be a super cute in a bathroom with some black and white accents, no? You can make your own here (I’d love to see your results in the comments!) … and the chance to win $4500 doesn’t exactly hurt either.

Bit of an oldie, but a goodie – answer a few quick questions and Farfetch will tell you which city is the best style match for you. I got London, which is one of my favorite places on the planet but I’m not sure I’m quite so eccentric as London girls can be. Farfetch describes London style as “Eccentric but well put together, clashing patterns mixed with immaculate tailoring and classic British fabrics. Favourite designers – Simone Rocha, Sibling, Burberry Prorsum, Peter Pilotto, Christopher Raeburn. Style icons – Tinie Tempah, Florence Welch”

I do love a good Burberry trench, but give me a French-girl slocuhy blazer, leather leggings and flats combo any day. Let me know what city you get … and if you agree with your results!

Finally… if you are not yet clued in to the weekly wonder that is Matt Bellassi’s series Whine About It, well, you’re welcome. It is, as Matt explains, “a weekly video series where (he) gets drunk at (his) desk and complain(s) about stuff.” Also, he is my spirit animal and probably yours, too, once you start watching these videos. Also also, who doesn’t want to get drunk at their desk and complain about stuff, especially on a Wednesday?

This week, Matt tackles the worst things about fall which, yes, is my favorite season. Yeah, sure, I do a lot of the things Matt’s complaining about (pumpkin flavored things and apple pie are pretty great okay), but watch it for the squirrel-pastry story alone. And then, go watch the one about being an adult because it’s actually my life.

Happy Friday!

I don’t know where this picture of Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire on the set of Funny Face came from, but it pretty much sums up my feelings about this week. It’s enough to make me start to seriously believe Mercury Retrograde is a thing.

But when Mercury Retrograde ends in October, we’ll be that much closer to my 25th (!!) birthday. I am hardcore quarter-life-crisis-ing. Sometimes things like Garance Dore’s letter to her 20 year old self help snap me out of that.

Other times, things like shopping help snap me out of it. Thisthis and these, please.

On Wednesday, I had one of the most fun nights ever embarking on a totally impromptu West Loop food crawl with my friend Hailey. We hit up The Allis at Soho House Chicago, Expat and finally Au Cheval – where I fell prey to one of the most cliche Chicago foodstagrams you can take. What? It’s the best burger in America, and the ‘gram in question has 71 likes and counting.

I recently did my first apartment DIY, and now I want to DIY all the things. Because who knew IKEA could be so chic?

Finally, I covered NYFW street style recently, and Man Repeller has a brilliant list of fall fashion resolutions inspired by that very thing. Feeling extra over-achiever-y? Check out my own list of fall goals this a way, along with a whole bunch of other bloggers.

Today is the autumn equinox, the first official day of fall (though Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte schedule would have you believe otherwise). How many more posts can I write about fall, you ask? A lot, because it’s my favorite season. Yes, I will miss the days when boozy sno cones were de rigueur, but cozy library bars, bookshops, scarves, etc. more than make up for it.

Even though the leaves are falling, fall feels like a season of beginning – maybe it’s the smell of all those freshly sharpened pencils in the air. So, in the spirit of the season and fall goals, here’s my #FallSyllabus (thanks Warby Parker for the genius hashtag).

Required Reading, Listening, + Projects:

  1. A Cup of Jo has a list of five fall books everyone will be talking about, to which I will add my two most anticipated of the season: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (her first book is flawless) and Tales From the Back Row by Amy Odell, editor of  (who is a total #Girlboss, funny fashion person and very much my career role model)
  2. For all those reading, baking, closet cleaning and goal-planning sessions, you’re going to need some fall tunes. Look no further.
  3. I fully intend on doing a closet purge and refresh this season, especially since fall outfits are some of the most fun to plan. Glitter Guide has some super wearable options here for inspiration.

Materials Needed: 

  1. Fall flavored drinks: If this isn’t the season to consume copious amounts of festive beverages, then I don’t know what is. Give me all of the pumpkin beer, cider and chai tea, please.
  2. Seasonally-inspired makeup: I am berry excited for deeper fall makeup colors, particularly lipstick and nail polish, as well as the ability to make terrible puns about them. I recently picked up my first berry lip, MAC’s “Diva” with burgundy liner. (Thank goodness my sister is a makeup artist who can pick these colors for me – seriously, check out her YouTube channel if you need help with anything beauty.)
  3. Choice fall accessory: Like a felt hat. Confession: I had never owned a hat-as-accessory before, because I thought I “couldn’t do hats.” That is, until this $20 Target beauty entered my life. Everyone can do hats, you just have to find the right one. They are super chic, and you should totally get one.
  4. New specs: For all the reading and Netflixing you’ll be doing as the weather cools down (see required reading, above). I have loved Warby Parker since I first heard of them a few years ago, and the new fall collection is just calling my name – especially the Simone in tea rose fade. I wear contacts almost exclusively, but with a pair of glasses that cute, that might just change. Plus, for every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker works to provide affordable lenses and eye exams to those in need.

Field Trips:

  1. Any and every coffee shop in Chicago, because they are magical and wonderful. From Heritage Bicycles to Wormhole Coffee, I want to try them all. In fact, I’ve tried both of those and wholeheartedly recommend them. Try anything with lavender syrup at Heritage and the Honey Bear at Wormhole.
  2. The 606 or other parks in Chicago, for that perfect Instagram of leaves changing colors before it gets too cold.
  3. Armitage Avenue for back-to-school shopping, from Paper Source to Shop 857 (so well-curated, I want to get dressed there every morning) to, yes, Warby Parker: I am lucky enough to have a Warby Parker storefront right in my neighborhood, on one of my favorite shopping and dining streets in the whole city, to boot. Luckily, if I were feeling too lazy to even hop on the Brown Line, Warby Parker has a home try-on program where they will send you five frames – for free – so you can decide which looks best on you. (But if you have a store near you…go. They’re adorable and fantastic.)

So – that’s my fall to-do list. Check out what some other fabulous bloggers had to say about their fall goals, below (as part of The B Bar’s wonderful monthly linkup series):

Annie Reeves – 26 and Not Counting – Alyssa J Freitas – Carly Blogs – Feathers and Stripes – Carrie Loves – White Oak Creative – PRBlonde – Sequins & Strawberries – Pieced Together – PreppyPanache – Knowing Kelly – Something Good – Life By Bri – My Beauty Cloud – La Vie Petite – Wealthy in Health – White Cabana – Mrs. on the Move – Life Modifier – Everyday Cuvée – A Little Leopard – Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough – L is for Lucy – Cori’s Corner – Beauty and the Pitch – Dreams and Colour Schemes – Viciloves – Lights Camera Catwalk – Pattern Me Pretty – A Few of My Favorite Things – Chic Glamorous and Splendid – She’s All Smiles – StyledbyKesha – Suzy Speaks – Luv in the Bubble – The Minimalist

And, if so inclined, shop all my “school supply” picks mentioned in this post:

This post was written in collaboration with Warby Parker
All images (c) Warby Parker

Barbie is officially better at Instagram than I am. And maybe you, too.

Over the weekend, two of my friends sent me links to Socality Barbie on Instagram – a Pacific Northwest girl just living her most #authentic life. (Confession: I did not even know what Socality was until this parody account.)

Socality Barbie’s life is a living issue of Kinfolk, meant to poke fun at how homogenous everyone’s #liveauthentic photos are. It’s a parody, and it’s also completely one of those “funny because it’s true” things.

Admit it: you’ve seen (or taken) some of these photos. I know I have, often because I see other bloggers posting them and think, “I love that! I want to do it!” Case it point: the ice-cream mani/wall shot.

The Socality Barbie take:

And my take:

I think the fact that it’s melting on my hand adds total #authentic vibes, don’t you? But in all seriousness, we can learn a thing or two from Socality Barbie and her highly stylized, #liveauthentic Instagram.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of posting something because it’s pretty and you know it will get likes (see: ice cream photo above, flower + shoe shots at the farmer’s market, etc.) Because Instagram is an almost entirely visual medium, developing your aesthetic is key. One way to do that is by looking at what other people are posting and trying it out for yourself. In fact, this is a fantastic way to develop almost any creative skill, from writing to photography to blogging. Trying other styles on for size will eventually lead you to something unique and original to your voice. Wasn’t it Picasso who said, “Good artists copy. Great artists steal”?

So, yeah, Socality Barbie’s flat lay is better than mine. She also has cooler shoes. But I don’t think she’s representative of “everything wrong with social media” (as ABC News put it in their clickbait headline) because I don’t think there’s anything inherently evil in presenting the best, most curated version of our lives on social media. One of the best compliments I ever got was when someone told me I look like a “living Instagram.”

Socality Barbie is fun and funny and, yes, pretty to look at. Because I think, if we’re honest, we’d all much rather look at that in our Instagram feeds than “everyday life.” Maybe just not to the #blessed extreme Socality Barbie takes it to – and that’s precisely what makes it parody.

The Atlantic has another great take on the account, if you want to read more. What are your thoughts on Socality Barbie and the reality (or not) of social media, and Instagram specifically?

Images: Instagram via Socality Barbie, my account.