Sunday, October 13, 2019

Spring Green // Chicago

 Dress: Green Apple Print Fit & Flare Dress by Unique Vintage x GB (size 5x) via Gwynnie Bee 
Leggings: LuLaRoe (TC2) via eBay 
Sandals: Dansko
Earring: etXarte
Necklace: Wendy Baker
Bracelet: Vintage
Photography: Super Boo, Kate, & Me
Stats: 5'7" 55-50-64
This soft knit fit & flare was easy & comfy to wear. The tiny print is of apples with a bite taken out of them...too dainty for me, I wish they had been larger. The fit was great, but the length was a bit short...I wouldn't have felt comfortable wearing this dress with tights. 
I thought the plaid leggings not only matched...but carried the school theme throughout the outfit. 
Guess where I am? David & I were in Spring Green to see plays at APT...so we went to The Shitty Barn between shows & shot these photos. 
My make-up with this outfit included...Urban Decay eyeliner in Junkie, Bang Bang & Young Love eyeshadow from UD, Sugarpill Cosmetics eyeshadow in Love+, MAC lipstick in Dubonnet Amplified & Russian Red, & A Little Guilt Under the Kilt nail polish by OPI. 
David & I were supposed to see Twelfth Night the previous Saturday, but I changed our tickets the day before because the likelihood of it raining on us was high...so of course it didn't rain. However, I think it worked out marvelously to see Twelfth Night in the afternoon, along with the other play we had tickets for at night. We had just enough time between shows to take pictures & get a quick bite at Culvers...the only fast food restaurant we go to. Those Butter Burgers are tasty. 
Twelfth Night was wonderfully acted & such a delightful comedy...we almost wondered if we should skip our second play, August Wilson's Fences. I am ashamed to admit...I had never heard of August Wilson...now I'm hoping they put on a play of his every year. The story was set in 50s Philadelphia & focuses on a black family...what a beautifully cast play...it was achingly good...David & I were sobbing in the front row. He wrote a lovely letter to APT about it as it was one of those rare plays that will stay with you forever. If it hadn't been closing night...we would have seen it again. 
The next day was the final Elkhorn Vintage Flea Market of the season...we had decided the day before to skip it because of rain & exhaustion...both plays were 3 hours long & we didn't get to bed until 1am...getting up 4 hours later seemed like too much. Plus...Kate & I were driving to Chicago in the afternoon. After we checked into our Airbnb...we had dinner nearby at Cafe Marbella. I usually only write reviews for places that are outstanding...but this paella was so insulting that I had to write a review on Yelp:
Cafe Marbella states that they serve authentic Spanish cuisine, which I adore, so it sounded perfect for dinner. The sautéed mushrooms (Setas Al Ajillo) & crispy pasta with shrimp (Rossejat De Gambas) were delicious...both excellently seasoned & cooked. I might go back for those dishes & try out other tapas, but the rest of our experience was so meh that I doubt I'll be back. First of all, the floor was extremely slippery...like wax. I was happy we were seated right by the door so I didn't have to keep myself from falling for too long. I watched other diners experience the same surprise when they stepped into the restaurant. My sangria was terrible, the taste was overwhelmingly bitter because the rind & pith of the oranges had been soaking in it for too long. The salad we shared had lovely dressing, but was otherwise forgettable. However, what has caused me to write this review was the seafood paella. It was awful. Authentic Spanish cuisine? Has the chef been to Spain? What makes a paella most exquisite is the toasted rice in the bottom of the pan (socarrat). This paella did not have that despite being cooked in a paella pan. This paella tasted like a frozen microwave dinner bought at a grocery store. There was no depth of flavor or anything enticing about this sad excuse for paella. Chicago is full of excellent restaurants. This is not one of them.
Those mushrooms & the shrimp on a bed of crispy angel hair pasta...YUM...but just look at that watery mess of paella. After dinner we headed to Steep Theatre to see a preview performance of their next play, Mosquitoes...for $10! We typically come to Chicago to see touring Broadway shows...but I decided to see what else was going on & the first article I came across was a NYT piece about Chicago's amazing theatre scene. 
Housed in a former small grocery store, this storefront theatre was tiny (50 seats?)...but what a gem this place is...the staff was super friendly & the acting was outstanding...I'm still thinking about the dysfunctional family in the play. 
Such a peaceful stage...& so small that poor Kate's ankle was whacked by passing furniture during a set change. I want to see every play this company does. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Forage & The Harmaleighs

 Dress: Printed Color Block Scuba Fit & Flare Dress by Gabby Skye (size 24) via Gwynnie Bee
Teggings: Re/Dress
Sandals: Clarks, thrifted 
Earring: etXarte
Black/Gold Necklace & Bracelet: Vintage
Magnifying Glass Necklace: former Etsy shop
Photography: Super Boo, Kate, & Me
Stats: 5'7" 55-50-64
The pattern on this dress reminded me of Spirograph, so I adored it...& those shades of burgundy were so pretty. The fit & length were spot on, but the armholes were larger than necessary. The skirt had a great flare. Being scuba fabric, it was a tad heavy...I would have preferred to wear this dress on a colder day with a cardigan & tights. 
I have a lot of jewelry, but for some reason...this dress stumped me...so I stuck to basic black & gold. 
I'm in love with my eyeshadow here...
My make-up with this outfit included...NYX eyeliner in Oxblood; Urban Decay eyeshadow in Bang Bang, Drunk Dial, & Young Love; Dubonnet Amplified lipstick from MAC; & Hollywood & Wine nail polish by OPI. 
I wore this dress to have dinner with the girlie on a Monday after work. We ate outside at Forage & it was lovely...their combination salad & grain bowls are delightfully delectable. 
After dinner we headed over to High Noon Saloon to wait for the doors to open...& watched about a dozen people walk by with pool cues in various sorts of cases.
I often polish my nails in the car right before driving somewhere...so they have a chance to dry. I was going to put a coat of this blackened burgundy shade on, but the brush had disappeared! I've never seen this before...so, mismatched orange nails had to stay. However, I did manage to paint them before David & I took pictures of this outfit on another day.
Kate & I were surprised they didn't have tables set up in front of the stage for this show as they often do during the week...so up in the balcony we went. The Harmaleighs were fabulous...I was so worried that the ladies would break up & no more band...but after 6 years of dating...they've kept the band together through their romantic breakup a year ago. Yay! Also, another early show for us as they were the opening band...after their set, we bought their vinyl & went home. 
New Book Book for my new iPhone. After several months of waiting...they've started our concrete project...2 slabs in back for a workshop David is going to build, a backyard patio with a fire pit, & up front...driveway, walkway, & patio. They are working on it right now as I type this...it is soooo beautiful.
Freddie! Along with an amazing drink Angie made with brandy & fresh apple cider that she reduced...& a yummy dinner. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Lowest Pair at Arts + Literature Laboratory

 Dress: Butterfly Print Wrap Dress by Hutch (size 4x) via Gwynnie Bee
Sandals: Croft & Barrow, thrifted
All Jewelry: Vintage
Photography: Super Boo, Kate, & Me
Stats: 5'7" 55-50-64
This dress took my breath away with its gorgeous pattern & amazing colors...I felt like a beautiful butterfly...or as Super Boo called me, The Muffin Monarch. I adored the sleeves & the length was great. However...you know I hate high/low dresses when you can see the wrong side of the fabric & it's white...ugh. I also had issues with the fit...I had to pin the neckline closed & the edges of this wrap dress in front have only been serged (in white) & not fully finished...those tended to show most of the time (see photo of me holding flowers). I would still buy this dress if it shows up in the shop. 
This amazing Monarch Butterfly mural on Mother Fool's Coffee House is by the artist Mike Lroy...a perfect backdrop for this dress...even though the light wasn't ideal at 11am. 
I found this vintage Miriam Haskell necklace on Etsy last year, but this is my first time wearing it. 
My make-up with this outfit included...Urban Decay eyeliner in Perversion, NYX eyeshadow palette in Phoenix, Sugarpill eyeshadow in Love+ & Flamepoint, Habanero lipstick by MAC, & A Red-vival City nail polish from OPI. 
I first wore this dress on a Saturday to market with Kate...(& my new iPhone arrived)...then I went home, put make-up on...
& met the girlie at Arts + Literature Laboratory for a rare early afternoon concert...3pm! Me being me...we got there early & poked around the art gallery.
Then...front row for The Lowest Pair...we had just seen them the month before, but they are so fabulous that it's never enough. 
Why ask Y? After the concert...we met Jason at Ha Long Bay where we waited for an hour to be seated. Typically, I think they're worth it...but not on this day. We all asked for 2 stars for spiciness & got 0, Jason got dripped on the entire time...which I felt particularly bad about because he had to sit next to me instead of Kate because I was too fat for the booth. Kate & I have sat across from each other here before, but this booth had less room.
I discovered the Brazilian jewelry designer, Sobral, through another blogger on Instagram. I immediately dashed over to eBay & made a purchase. Wow! I feel like these were made just for me. Also, a vintage bracelet I've had my eye on for a while came in the mail. Some new make-up curtesy of the one day Ulta sale-50% off Urban Decay eyeliners...& a $10 off coupon...& my Sephora Play! box. 
I have a newly discovered treasure at the Northside Farmers' Market on Sundays...Big Spring Family Farm trout. They sell it whole, filleted, & smoked...the fish have been swimming in the last 24 hours. It is amazing...the most flavorful trout I've ever tasted. I most certainly didn't wear this dress to have dinner with Angie & Freddie...but he's so cute! 
Also, I made a new recipe that I found in the New York Times...Kalpudding, a Swedish meatloaf. I linked to the recipe in Epicurious because NYT doesn't let you see all their recipes unless you subscribe to NYT Cooking. It was tasty comfort food & I'll definitely make it again. 
I'm putting notes here to myself for the next time I make it. Less sweet, add salt & pepper to the meat, more breadcrumbs...also perhaps add: cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh thyme, caramelized onions.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Book of Will // Sequoia

 Dress: All the Leaves Maxi Dress by City Chic (size XXL/24)
Sandals: Born
Earring & Bracelet: Wendy Baker
Photography: Super Boo, Kate, & Me
Stats: 5'7" 55-50-64
Gorgeous maxi dress from City Chic...I bought this during one of their sales either at the end of last summer or the one before. This fabric has no stretch to it, so it sometimes sags on the sides & exposes my bra. Otherwise, this dress made me feel like a Goddess & I adored how it showed off my farmers' market tattoo. 
This untattooed arm looks so lonely...
So many pretty colors in this dress...
My make-up with this outfit included...Urban Decay eyeliner in Junkie, Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow in D.D.C., Vinyl & Legend eyeshadow by Kat von D, Flashback lipstick from UD, & China Glaze nail polish in Agro. 
I first wore this dress to Spring Green with Super Boo...where we had dinner at Arthur's Supper Club. I had been wanting to check this place out for years...such a throwback to my youth. They had a salad bar with a cooler for the plates. That Brandy Old Fashioned was the best part of the meal...they make a damn fine drink. 
Our food was alright, nothing special...& soooo salty. We won't go back, but it was a fun experience...& we got to sit by this amazing creation...
After dinner...The Book of Will at American Players Theatre on a lovely fall evening...
Marvelous market flowers that match our kitchen. I also wore this outfit to the office, where I did some rare reading between clients. Then...off to pick up the girlie from work to have dinner at a new restaurant, Sequoia. 
 Well, hello there...
My sushi was passable, but Kate's ramen was delicious...I'd go back in the winter for a comforting bowl of soup.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Marquette to Milwaukee to Madison

 Dress: Surplice Floral Fit & Flare Dress by Eva Rose (size 4x) via Gwynnie Bee
Teggings: Re/Dress
Sandals: Born
Earring: Wendy Baker
Necklace: Etsy 
Bracelets: Vintage
Photography: Super Boo & Me
Stats: 5'7" 55-50-64
I don't know why I keep getting these non-cotton Eva Rose dresses...they never fit right & I feel frumpy in them. So, blah! I had to pin the neckline closed & the sleeves were quite tight. Also, too short. The cotton dresses are a dream though. 
I didn't put a lot of effort into styling this since it didn't make me feel pretty...people really underestimate how important clothing is to your confidence & self-esteem. 
Over a week & my henna is still looking marvelous...
My make-up with this outfit included...Urban Decay eyeliner in Junkie, UD eyeshadow in Lumbre, Lime Crime eyeshadow in Rose Burst, Huda Beauty Coral Obsessions eyeshadow palette, UD lipstick in Ready?, & Magnífico México nail polish from OPI. 
I wore this dress on my last day in the Yoop...after dropping Brian off at work, I drove into Marquette to get a sub at Togo's...they aren't as good as I remember, but they taste like my high school years & remind me of Shane. He used to put a Hershey bar & potato chips on his veggie Togo. Then I visited the St. Vinney's that I bought 1/2 my clothes at as a teen...over 30 years later, they don't have the fabulous vintage clothing that brought me so much glee. Then I began my drive to Milwaukee to pick up David...he'd been visiting his parents in California. Finally, back in Madison where I wore this dress to work & to buy myself flowers from the farmers' market.