September 2015 – A Little Leopard
September 2015 – A Little Leopard

September 2015 – A Little Leopard

As I approach my twenty-fifth birthday, I often need reminders that it is okay to be completely and utterly confused by this stage of life. Things like Garance Dore’s letter to her 20-year-old self (seriously beautiful and worth reading its entirety) reassure me that a billion other women have been here before me, and they all got through it in one piece. Heck, I made it through that horrible stage of life knowns as adolescence, so surely I can make it through this, right?

Even Hillary Clinton had this to say about her 20s, in an interview for the very first issue of Lena Dunham’s fab newsletter Lenny (which is also great and you should probably subscribe):

I don’t trust anybody who says that they didn’t have some questions in their 20s. That’s a period of such exploration and often torment in people’s lives.

Regardless of your politics, I think most of us can agree and say to that: “Preach, Hillz.” Millennials are growing up, we’ve got the world and our lives ahead of us, and sometimes it’s exhilarating and sometimes it’s – excuse my French – fucking terrifying.

There are life lessons to be learned, big and small. I turn to the memoirs of the women who came before me – a la Not That Kind of Girl – for reassurance on the big stuff. But sometimes, it’s lists of the little lessons that help me realize oh, hey, maybe I’ve got this life and “adulting” business a little more figured out than I thought I did.

One such list of little lessons comes from Who What Wear co-founder Hillary Kerr, who shares “23 Things I Wish I’d Known at 23.”  I agree with many of them, still have to learn/apply some of them, and some are unique to Hillary (see: #6). I’ve shared five of my favorites from Hillary’s list below, with one additional of my own added:

  1. You can be smart and like fashion. Duh.
  2. You teach people how to treat you.
  3. Be your own advocate.
  4. Happiness is having champagne in the house. 
  5. Comparison is the death of happiness.
  6. And my own, to use as kind of a mantra heading into my 25th year: “It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You just gotta fight your way through.” (Ira Glass said that, and he seems like a pretty smart dude.)

It’ll work out, I know it will – and not to get all High School Musical on you, but we’re all in this together. Being a twentysomething is a wild ride. We need all the help we can get, yeah?

There were two thoughts that crossed my mind when I first saw the trailer for The Intern, rom-com queen Nancy Meyer’s new movie starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro:

  1. Wait, Anne Hathaway seems pretty okay in this. I actually want to see it. Wonder if it will help her get over all that Hatha-hate
  2. I want to live inside this movie.

It’s no surprise, really. From the English charm and California cool of The Holiday to, well, the English charm and California cool of The Parent Trap, Meyers is known as much for her set and production design as she is for her plots and characters.

Plus, for The Intern, Meyers used Pinterest as a source of inspiration, and it’s abundantly clear in the set photos. Based on the trailer, fashion-startup CEO Jules (Hathaway) is exactly the type of #girlboss I’d like to be, with the Park Slope brownstone and sweet office to match (her wardrobe doesn’t look too shabby, either).

I’m a huge fan of the loft vibes of Jules’s startup office, based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. How amazing is all that glass and exposed brick?

Jules’s Park Slope brownstone was allegedly inspired by Jenna Lyons’s (now former) townhouse, and you can totally tell – especially in this dark-walled master bedroom. (See Jenna’s Park Slope digs here.)

That light fixture! Those built-ins! The super-pinnable juxtaposition of rustic woods, traditional bones and modern touches!

Mmm, yep, I would very much like to move in here, please.

This kitchen is also super pinnable, from the subway tile to the open shelving.

Right now, you can purchase actual props from the set of the film on One Kings Lane (um, yes please). However, lots of items are sold out and – well – they’re pretty pricey. Luckily, the look isn’t terribly difficult to recreate for less, especially since The Intern mixes lots of currently trendy styles that you can find at places like Target, World Market, etc. Shop Intern-inspired pieces below:

All images: Architectural Digest

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

I recently read an article about the best nail polish colors to transition from summer to fall, and it got me thinking: who says colors have to be so seasonally-limited? Sure, neons might seem more summer appropriate while darks belong in winter, but I’ve been known to wear my favorite shades (ahem, Lincoln Park After Dark) all year round.

There are certain colors that are timeless and work across seasons, from the most classic of reds to more modern takes, like pastels and metallics. Below, eight nail polish colors you can wear whenever you damn well feel like it:

(clockwise from top left)

  1. Essie Penny Talk: Metallics are here to stay, and Essie’s versions are some of the best. As a fan of rose gold and coppery tones, I’m partial to Penny Talk, but any metallic shade by Essie is a winner.
  2. Deborah Lippmann Naked: I mean, it’s right in the name – this is the perfect nude polish and apparently works with almost all skin tones. At $18, it’s one of the pricer polishes on this list, but a good nude is worth the splurge.
  3. Essie Ballet Slippers: This polish is perfect for more conservative job interviews or meet-the-parents situations, thanks to its neutral base with a whisper of sweet pink.
  4. Revlon Red: On the other end of the price spectrum, we’ve got this $5 beauty. It’s been around since the 1930s, so clearly they did something right.
  5. Essie Chinchilly: Traditionally thought of as a more “fall” color, this gorgeous grey adds a touch of luxe to whatever you’re wearing, whenever you’re wearing it.
  6. Butter London Molly Coddled: Or the pastel polish of your choice. Easter-y shades, particularly lilacs and lavenders, can brighten up an outfit even in fall and winter.
  7. Essie Midnight Cami: Navy is a new neutral, and like Lincoln Park After Dark (below), this inky color can work all year round. If it seems too dramatic for the summer, dark polishes are perfect for pedicures too.
  8. OPI Lincoln Park After Dark: I will be buried in this nail polish. My life utterly changed in 2005 when OPI introduced the Chicago collection, and Lincoln Park After Dark has been a constant in my life since then. It’s the perfect deep purple and goes with everything, ever, anytime.