Just doing some day dreaming, don't worry 'bout it

When Badger and I really do 'settle down' in that perfect house, I imagine the whole house will have floors like these:

The kitchen will probably look a little bit like this:


And mayhaps we'll have a little entryway just like this:

{via Cococozy}

Just so you know.  In case you wondered, cause I know you did.

Job Searching...ugh.


My oh my.  Searching for a new job, a short-term job, new career prospects, etc. is extremely depressing.  I've been unemployed for 2 months now and I'm starting to feel like I'm completely worthless.  This post isn't supposed to be one where I fish for sweet comments or anything, I just want to publicly express how bad this is making me feel. 

I went to Columbia College Chicago for a journalism degree.  I moved to Chicago to finish school there and to live that 'big city dream' that I had for so long.  I had already finished my gen-ed in Kansas City and was ready to start that career I had always wanted.  Except, having to jump straight into non-stop journalism classes was too overwhelming for me.  It was 2 years of nothing but writing, writing, writing and needless to say I got burnt out big time.  It's not easy to come up with a gazillion article topics in one week for the four different courses I was taking at a time.  It was stressful and not very much fun and when graduation time came, I tried to get a job in the field but truthfully, I was ready to just get a job that paid well and was easy to do.  So that's what I did.  I got a job at a corporate law firm that paid extremely well, I advanced quickly and was comfortable for three years too many.  I got my own apartment so I could kiss the roommate days goodbye, eventually moved in with my boyfriend and supported him while he figured out what he wanted to do with his life.  Keeping that law firm job was too easy of a decision.  I had a great supervisor whom I was good friends with, we often went out for happy hour drinks and I really, really loved that paycheck.  But then I started hating it as I let you all be fully aware of and I had to give it up to keep myself happy and sane.

And now I'm here.  My husband is fully supporting me now while I try and figure out my life, which is hands down the greatest gift he could ever give me.  But I'm struggling.  I'm having a hard time getting over the fact that I don't have a job nor have much career ambition or passion about anything in specific.  You see, as I search for jobs, I'm becoming more and more depressed because that law firm job kind of set me back in a lot of ways.  I don't have proper experience under my belt to just jump back into journalism.  My copy editing skills are rather poor and online courses to freshen up aren't within our budget.  Why did I take that job and get further away from what I paid so much money to learn?  I just feel like I dug myself into this giant hole that's really difficult to climb out of.  I look around and see all of my friends with passion and determination and it makes me really happy for them.  So why haven't I figured out what I want to do? 

So here's the other part of this story.  I do know that I think I'd like to own a store one day.  In my mind, it's off in the future and it takes place somewhere that we move to and settle down.  Somewhere that our home is, with those perfect dark wood floors and giant kitchen and woodsy land and garage are.  Somewhere with sweet people and less competition than Chicago.  Somewhere with an abundance of amazing nature.  Somewhere that's just not here.  But the problem is, I don't make things that you sell at stores.  I just buy things that are sold at stores.  I have an eye for things, I think I could be good at recruiting designers and artists to collaborate with.  But...how do you start?  And when do I start?  There's just so many 'what if's' to this equation that it scares me to even think of trying to pursue it. 

I'm rambling.  I'm sorry. 

I just don't know what to do.  I don't know what kind of job to look for but I feel that I need to do something with my days.  I enjoy being home and I think I'd like the opportunity to work from home.  I think I'm open to new possibilities too, I just don't know what those are.  I have things I want to do with my sacred free time, like learn Spanish and learn to knit and write music, etc.  I don't even know where I'm going with this.  I just want to feel like I'm worth something. And I don't want to wind up with another job that just pushes me even farther away from maybe going back to copy editing or getting closer to opening up a store.  It's just so confusing.  I'm not big into being confused.  And the lack of a job makes it even harder to be able to move forward with my dreams of moving away from Chicago and owning a home with my husband.


Thanks for listening to me rant.  You are all lovely.

Thank you!


I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to Caitlin, the designer behind the new blog banner and the writer/photographer/chef behind Roost: A Simple Life.  Since Mo Pie went and turned a year old on me, I decided that the basic blogger header was no longer satisfactory and that readers deserved a little eye candy each and every time they came to visit this little blog of ours. 

Caitlin has done some great work and I know she will continue to do so in the future.  In fact, I can't wait to see what kind of marvelous stuff she will create!  She was an absolute pleasure to work with and really impressed me with how fast she produced such great work.  So if you're in the market for a new blog banner or logo design, I highly recommend Lark Services!

Art History Lesson!

I wanted to share some images from one of my favorite Art Nouveau/Symbolism artists. So here are some fun facts about Aubrey Beardsley.......

He was born August 21, 1872 in Brighton England.

At the age of 12, he appeared as an "infant musical phenomenon," playing at several London concerts with his older sister, Mabel.

His first published drawings appeared in his school's newspaper.

At the age of 20, he began his formal art education.

He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde.

He said, "I have one aim-- the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing."

He died of Tuberculosis at the age of 25.

I highly recommend doing some googling of your own. You'll find all kinds of images and sources of information about his life. I myself am going to see if I can find a tattoo artist who specializes in this style......

I spy

With my little eye, something different. 

Watch out, baby Hinshaw!

Watch out, baby boy or girl.  Because you are going to be flooded with the cutest of clothes from everyone.  I mean, how could you not be when there are such ADORABLE baby clothes out there? 

Like these onesies from the cutest store :: Oh, Little Rabbit

And this store :: The Wishing Elephant

Last but not least :: My Sweet Muffin

So watch out, sweet baby.  Because you're going to look soooooo cute whether you want to or not!

Skull ring

How adorable is this baby skull ring? I love how teeny it is as well as the fact that it has diamond eyes.  It's not only great for Halloween either, you could wear this beauty all year round.

Check out Michelle Chang's Etsy shop, there are certainly some great finds!

He's back...

Just in time for fall weather to settle in and with Halloween around the corner, my favorite serial killer is back on the silver screen and I couldn't be more excited.  That's right...Dexter is back.

Last night was the season premiere and in true Dexter spirit, we had delicious food and delicious beers with our friend Inna who loves Dex as much as we.  Every episode last season was spent eating good food in her good company and it really made Sunday nights the best night of the week. 

Last night's episode was really good and it makes me excited for what's to come.  The season finale last winter was so intense that the next season felt like eons away.  Do you watch Dexter? 

Have a great weekend!

Friday is here and the weekend is finally upon us!  What are you up to this weekend?  Our friends Lauren and Jonny are moving away next week (sad) so they're throwing one last soiree for everyone to go crazy at.  The air has that fall chill to it so I'm hoping to make some delicious 'fall' kind of baked goods in the next few days.  That is, if Badger is lucky.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Italy, Pt. V

Today's post concludes our honeymoon trip to Italy.  I hope you've enjoyed the posts, and I'm sorry if you were annoyed by the abundance of them!

We ended our amazing trip in Rome, which was beautiful, overwhelming and exhausting.  If I could do it all over again, I would definitely start out in Rome and end in the Cinque Terre but either way I'm thrilled to have visited Rome.

We rented this amazing self-catering apartment conveniently located downtown on a quiet street.  It was recently rehabbed and apparently they've only been renting it out for 2 months.  It was cheaper than a hotel and way more enjoyable.  I highly recommend vacationing this way!  Since we had a kitchen, Badger decided that we should make a meal.  So he made pasta (big surprise) with the weirdest noodles and it was absolutely delicious!  Later that night we went out to our private terrace (which had the nicest patio furniture), drank a bottle of wine and some grappa and just talked for hours.  It was one of my favorite nights even though we weren't out and about.  I love that we had that opportunity!

We did a LOT of walking in Rome.  We dropped our rental car off on the north east side of town and walked our way back to our hotel, stopping to see everything on the way.  Like this:

It really is a marvel, that Pantheon.

And this:

The ancient ruins are breathtaking.  They're several feet below modern street level, so cats really enjoy hanging out in them.  We passed by some ruins and saw HUNDREDS of kitties just hanging out, living the dream.  It was pretty hilarious!

On our last day, we ventured out again and walked across town to Vatican City.  I never expected to go there in my life.  I'm not the least bit Catholic and I knew that Badger didn't want to go but we ended up trusting Francesca, the owner of our apartment.  She was right, that place is something you have to see.  I'm glad we devoted our afternoon to it because it is so massive that you need a looooong time there.  We started out at St. Peter's Basilica and then headed over to the Vatican museum and the Sistene Chapel.  I can't get over the work by Michelangelo and Raphael.  It's so amazing how an artist can making something seem so real.  The colors in that place are incredibly vivid and realistic that it just blows your mind!  It really was a crazy experience that I'm glad to have had.  It might not have been the most romantic but it sure was impressive.

After visiting the Vatican, we did some shopping (our poor dogs were barking so loud at this point) and picked up some gourmet cooking supplies, like a 12-year balsamic, fine olive oil and some rather large pasta shells so I can try and recreate my grandmother's delicious mac-and-cheese that she used to make for me whenever I came over.  I ended our trip with some pistachio gelato because I hadn't had enough of it and we had a fabulous dinner that night at a random restaurant that included a guitarist and singer serenading the diners.  It was pretty awesome to say the least.

Now that we're back, neither one of us will be itching for a vacation for quite awhile.  In fact, flying to Kansas for the holidays sounds unappealing right now - the airplane part, that is.  I'm tempted to suggest we made the 12-hour drive just because I don't want to board a plane for a long time.  Two two-week vacations in two consecutive months is kind of draining, but definitely something I will never take for granted or ever forget.  If I was still at my old job, I wouldn't have been able to do this and for that I'm eternally grateful.

So now it's all over, no more wedding or honeymoon plans in the future.  But that's totally okay.  Now we just get to be married and enjoy being a family!  And I get to start looking for a job.

Italy, pt. IV

After leaving Venice, we sped on down to Florence to spend a night and fully embrace ourselves in some fine art.  Driving to Florence is not fun, let me tell you.  But we managed somehow to find a free parking spot close enough to the Duomo and somehow miraculously made our way in, ate some DELICIOUS apple and sage gnocchi at the Accademia restaurant (it was Sunday and we honestly thought everything might be closed because we didn't see anything open for the longest time) and promptly went to go see David before the museum closed.  After walking around the Accademia, we moseyed over to the leather market and then through the rest of the city center.  Once again, I had some gelato (this time, fresh fig) and tried again to buy something but to no avail.

Florence has such amazing artwork and architecture.  While it definitely wasn't my favorite, I enjoyed its beauty.  There was certainly a lot to see every direction we turned.  Perhaps if we had more than one day in Florence to enjoy everything we would have felt differently.  But we were too excited to have found time to pass through Tuscany.  And I won't even go into the horrors of trying to find our hotel, but we had to stop for a drink because it got that frustrating.

The next morning, we packed up and hit the road and quickly got off to enter Chianti.  It was so exciting!  We weren't really sure where to go, and we needed to be in Rome later that day but we just wanted to stop somewhere and enjoy the beauty and tasty wine.  We did!  We stopped at Badia a Coltibuono and had a delicious lunch paired with very delicious Chianti and Sangiovese.  The view was spectacular and the staff were so friendly.  I was sad to have to leave so soon but at least a storm was rolling in and we had Rome to look forward to.

There I am, immensely enjoying the exquisite albeit expensive wine...

Ah, Tuscany.  I do love you. 

* Today I fell in love with Picnik, as you may have noticed by the difference in the pictures.  I'll never not use it now. 

Lusting for...




If I were given a thousand dollars to spend on clothes and shoes, I would definitely buy these items from Creatures of Comfort.  This new-to-me store is pretty awesome, but I hate when I fall in love with a boutique that I could never afford.  That dress and skirt scream fall to me and make me want to roll around in a pile of leaves and sip hot chocolate (with rum of course) after.  Those Rachel Comey clogs are every bit of perfection. I tried to find a pair of clogs or oxfords or something along these lines in Italy but nothing measured up to my supposedly high expectations.  But now that I'm back in the states and don't have the excuse of splurging on some Italian shoe or piece of clothing, I'm just back to lusting for and thought you should all be aware.

I fall for you every time, Autumn


Autumn is officially here and I'm pretty happy about it.  I love summer, especially living somewhere cold.  But there's something I can't resist about fall.  I get so excited to wear warmer clothes.  I love gray/rainy days.  I don't even mind football, heck, sometimes I even like it (when the Bears do good).  But I love fall food and I looooooove Halloween.  So I'm pretty stoked that today is the first day of fall. 

I went for a jog this afternoon and couldn't help but notice how drastically the trees and the air has changed around my neighborhood.  There were leaves rustling and yellow trees in abundance.  The air has a slight chill to it even though it's feeling like an Indian Summer kind of day.  Aaaaah, I like it.

Italy, Pt. III

I'm still trying to decide what my favorite portion of the trip was.  I really think I'm going to say it was Venice but I'll probably back peddle on that and say it was Rome or Cinque Terre or Tuscany.  But I think it was the feeling of Venice and the things we did that made it my favorite.

After we left the Cinque Terre, we drove to Venice which made for yet another long day.  But it was fun driving on the Autostrada and seeing Italy from a different point of view. We were even able to stop outside of Parma and pick up some appropriate cheese.  Once we arrived to Venice, we boarded the ferry and headed to the Rialto where our hotel was awaiting us.  After being in the Cinque Terre, I was ready for the Italy I remembered.  Don't get me wrong - the Cinque Terre was everything I had hoped it would be and more, I truly loved it.  But I wanted to show Dave the reason I wanted to bring him to Italy in the first place. 

We arrived and freshened up/took a power nap and then made our way out to the maze of alleyways.  Needless to say, we were both enamored.  There's just something about Venice that screams romance, we couldn't get enough of it.  I know it's super touristy but Piazza San Marco really took our breath away - and I've even been there before.  But you can't help but fall in love with it when a) you're there on your honeymoon, b) you're being serenaded by not just one but at least 4 sextets playing Sinatra and Vivaldi, etc. and c) there is so much astounding architecture and d) all those pigeons, they're gross and don't give a damn about you but there's something slightly appealing about them in Venice (no where else though, esp. not here in Chicago). 

We walked around for hours upon hours.  We ate delicious food and drank delicious wine and grappa and limoncello.  We had more gelato and loved every slurp of it. 

The next day, we ventured off to Teatro La Fenice and bought the remaining tickets to the matinee perforance of Verdi's La Traviata.  I'm so happy that he was OK with splurging on this (the remaining seats were in the royal box seat section) because as some of my friends know, going to the opera in Italy is on my list of things to do before I kick the bucket.  It was so incredibly amazing that I don't even know how to describe it.  I was brought to tears when it began.  Everything on the stage was so lovely and vivid, and Violetta had the most beautiful voice.  Alfredo was incredibly handsome and even though the story was in Italian and the subtitles were too, we still understood most of the story (there were a few things that made us go, OH, so THAT'S what she/he was doing) and appreciated it entirely.  This was definitely the highlight of our entire trip in my opinion.  Thank you honey for treating me to one of the most amazing experiences in my life.

After the opera, we had some vino and strolled over to the other parts of town where we had not set foot.  The streets were a little wider and less crowded and we ate some food at a jazz house and strolled aimlessly through the wonder of Venizia until the late hours.

Even though we were only there for two nights, it was the perfect stay.  I think having had more time there might have been too much, although it would have been fun to check out the Guggenheim museum there.  We were able to just stroll in and out of places at our leisure.  There was a really awesome book store we wandered into that had some really amazing vintage books on art and architecture that we debated over buying, even if they were in Italian.  Aw, I'm feeling nostalgic now...


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