Category Archives: Style & Beauty

Weekend Wrap-Up: Shoes, Celebs, & Popcorn Mishaps

Hi loves! How is everyone today?! I am literally FREEZING right now. And if you don’t live in Chicago – just so you’re aware so you can feel sorry for us – we’re having a major cold front move through this week meaning we have temps as low as -3 degrees and a chance of snow every day. BRRRR!!!

Honestly I don’t really mind it until Christmas, because it’s kind of cute like awww Christmas lights and candy canes and snow and Santa yay!

And then it’s like the jig is up, cold, one of us is leaving so either you need to go away or I’m moving to California.

But anyway.

Back to the point of the post.

THIS WEEKEND was amazing, restful, and somehow felt SO long?

Friday night we went to the movies and saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 3D (after a couple of margaritas at Mezcalina, obviously – their Fuego Manzana cocktail is to. die. for.) and you guys… the movie was SO GOOD. I’m not even kidding. I mean, first of all, I have to disclose that I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so I’m into this kind of stuff, but Ben hasn’t seen all the HP movies and still loved it. It honestly doesn’t have anything to do with Harry Potter it’s just a freakin’ good movie. And the effects are really cool, so I would recommend seeing it in 3D.

Sidenote: You guys know how much I LOVE popcorn and so I went to the popcorn counter, ordered it MID-MOVIE (this is a big deal, I mean – that’s EFFORT) and went to the butter stand and literally put SO much faux butter sauce all over it that once I got back to my seat my hands were covered in faux butter slime and it was all I could smell and it really grossed me out and I didn’t eat it. HOW DISAPPOINTING IS THAT. Lol.

Saturday morning we woke up and I dragged brought Ben to try True Foods Kitchen in River North. I have been DYING to try this place – everyone who has been loves it. We ordered the cauliflower starter (DELISH), turkey sausage minestrone soup (one of the best soups I’ve ever had, hands down), and I had the teriyaki quinoa which was delicious and SUPER filling.

So that’s all fine and dandy, I recommend you guys try it, it’s delicious and fresh and blah blah blah. BUT. At one point I caught a glimpse of the table right behind us and thought to myself hmm that guy looks familiar. But for some odd reason, every person in the River North True Foods Kitchen kind of resembles a fitness model, celebrity, or other type of beautiful person, especially on Saturday morning. So anyway, the whole time we were sitting there, Ben & I were watching this tour bus try to back out from behind a hotel, holding up traffic, people were stopping and staring, all that. It was like watching TV, seriously. And we saw this gaggle of tweenies standing outside of the bus, so we’re kind of musing as to who could be inside.

The table behind us gets up and walks out, the bus finally makes it out, I’m not thinking anything of all this.

And then our waiter comes up and casually says – You guys know that was Shawn Mendes sitting behind you?

UMM WHAT?!?!?!

So  yeah, Shawn Mendes and I basically had brunch together.

(I know, I know, I didn’t even recognize him on my own lol)

But still pretty cool.

I’m still just picturing myself in the background of some tween’s Instagram of Shawn with quinoa all over my face and bad posture.

UGH.

Anyway.

So when I went to New York I had this realization that all of my shoes are wildly uncomfortable, and I legit didn’t have any shoes to just wear around when I have to walk a lot. Which prompted me to actually get correctly FITTED for shoes. We stopped at the New Balance store in Lincoln Park (the one off Clark St!) and I finally got fitted for some good shoes.

They basically had me stand on the shoe fitter (you know – the metal one that I literally haven’t stepped foot on since 4th grade, for some unknown reason) and got sized. Then, I stood on this machine that actually read the pressure points on my foot – which basically showed all of my pressure is in my heels. They also said I have a really low arch and flat foot, so I needed a little arch support to keep that bad boy lifted.

Then. You guys. This is a big deal….

They got me on the treadmill. Lol.

Not for long, obviously, I was absolutely unprepared in some stiff jeans.

But then they took a video of my walk on the iPad and actually saw how my feet hit. And it literally looked like my ankles were turning with every step. So no freakin’ wonder my feet hurt so dang bad in NYC!

They gave me a couple of columns of shoes that would support my feet, so I picked the New Balance 990’s because the chances of me using them for actual exercise are a tad slim, so I wanted a casual shoe I could wear with my stiff jeans. Lol.

But it was super easy, super quick, and everyone there was super helpful. They even helped me pick an insole that keeps my feet from turning. Honestly, it feels like a pushup bra in my shoe. HA!

I even wore them out of the store. Literally can’t remember the last time I did that.

YOU GUYS: Use code #NewBalanceChi10 at checkout for $10 off any New Balance order! Expires 12/31. I linked some of my favorite New Balance styles at the bottom of this post! ALSO – there’s a GIVEAWAY happening. You can win a $50 gift card & a free pair of shoes! So be sure to enter here!

OH – and I found the coolest freakin’ wall! It’s at the intersection of Clark & Arlington. It’s super cute, so if you’re a blogger or just love to find cool walls to take pics, this one is a new fave!

Saturday night, we binge watched Fargo (Season 1 – SO good!) until about 9, and then we went to Diversey River Bowl for some glow bowling with some friends. I wore my UGGs and got called out. lol. I’M A FRAUD!!!! But actually it was just super snowy and I didn’t want to lose my new Sorels, ok!?!

Sunday we literally hibernated ALL. DAY.

We ate Chipotle, napped, watched a lot of football and Fixer Upper, and then at night we BLASTED some Christmas music, lit some Christmas candles, ordered Thai food and decorated for Christmas (with a little help from Taffy!)

Overall it was SUCH a perfect weekend.

So tell me… What did you do this weekend? Anything fun?! Do you have any ideas for stuff to do during cold & snowy weekend days?! Tell me everything! I’ll be back in a couple of days with a GIVEAWAY for you guys!!!! It’s so good and I can’t WAIT! Xo.

-TWB

P.S. A portion of this post was sponsored by New Balance Chicago, but I promise all opinions are my own! I swear I really needed some sneaks! Lol. Xo.

Weekend Wrap-Up: NYC

Y’all. Not only am I super excited for this post in general because the obsession for NYC is SO real. BUT – it’s my 200th post today! Woo!!! I have SO much fun content coming up for you guys in the next few weeks… I’m going to host another giveaway with some of my FAVORITE products, I’m coming up with delish Whole 30 recipes to kick off the new year, and I’m going to be featuring some healthy Chicago eating spots to help keep those New Years’ resolutions on track.

I can’t wait.

Super pumped.

Yes, I’ve had some coffee.

Anyway.

This past weekend I went to New York City with 4 of my besties from college just for a little weekend getaway. Our best friend Brooke lives in Soho and works in store design for a top designer (literal DREAM LIFE), so we went to go see her!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Yeah, idk about that little hair situation going on. Whoops!

I love visiting Brooke no matter what (I’m weirdly obsessed with her, I copy her style, and I’ve been trying to write a post about this for months but she’s too cool for photoshoots) but I love to be able to just stay at her apartment, be in Soho, and see what she does on a regular day.

Processed with VSCO with g1 preset

So we started our morning off at Two Hands, which is the CUTEST little healthy breakfast spot in Soho. Think: fresh juices (we each got one, I got watermelon because I knew we were about to sweat our booties off at our next stop and watermelon juice is SUPER hydrating), acai bowls, and avocado toast with lemon.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

After breakfast we literally SPRINTED to Y7 Yoga because we were running late, per usual.

chaos, always
chaos, always

But you guys. I have to stop here.

Because Y7 Yoga is SO FREAKIN’ COOL.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

It’s hot, candlelit yoga, which – I could stop right there. I know they have that basically everywhere now but I’ve never done it so I was amazed that they could make a room pitch black with only candles flickering at 10 AM in NYC. It smelled like sage and it was so quiet. Super cool vibes.

Processed with VSCO with f1 preset

Then once we started, HOLY COW. It was so hard, but felt so good, and if you’re familiar with yoga, they basically teach you one flow, and then BLARE rap music and let you freestyle – you can do the flow you learned, you can do your own thing, you can lay there in child’s pose if you want (cough I did this cough) because it’s so dark in there nobody cares what anyone else is doing. And I loved it because even though I’m all about a relaxing yoga sesh, it was super energizing and empowering and I felt really cool.

So that’s my Y7 rant. But seriously if you’re ever in NYC I highly recommend!

views from the studio!
views from the studio!

The next day we woke up, hung around the house (aka watched Gilmore Girls for hours in bed snuggling and eating bagels and drinking coffee) and walked to Rosemary’s in West Village. (P.S. You can see Brooke’s soho apartment tour here!)

This is where I need to pause and inform you this consumed the next 5 hours of our day.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Yes, we literally brunched for 5 hours.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed?

But we honestly had SO MUCH FUN, drank so much red wine, ate so much pasta, and laughed so hard. We stayed for so long I needed a snack at one point because I was already hungry again (shocker) so I opted for warm olives and nobody will ever let me live that down.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

In all seriousness though, Rosemary’s is so cute for brunch and I would highly, highly recommend for your next trip! Or if you live there. You should go right now. Seriously. Leave work. And do it.

Other highlights from the trip? Sweet Chick for some fried chicken sandwiches, Local 138 for $4 Stella Artois and our own room to be loud in, Pulqueria for some freakin’ amazing tacos & jalapeño margaritas, Fat Cat for some table games & our friend Abbie’s birthday party (sidenote: Abbie is an amazing photographer – check her out on Instagram @abbieroden), and we went and saw the tree at Rockefeller Plaza which was SO FREAKING COOL and I was smiling like a goon the whole time.

Oh, and a LOT of walking.

Processed with VSCO with g1 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with f1 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
idk who this guy is, sir if you’re reading this thank you for modeling

So tell me… have you been to NYC? Do you prefer to do the “local” stuff, or are you a tourist at heart? What are your favorite things to do there? Tell me everything!!! I will be back Thursday for a new coffee talk! See you then. Xo.

-TWB

Mini Monday: I Can’t Do The UGG Thing

Hi friends! How was everyone’s weekend?! I actually spent the weekend in New York with 4 of my best friends and we had a freakin’ amazing time. I can’t wait to share what we did, where we went, and all 10 of the pictures I took (lol) which should be up tomorrow!

BUT.

I just wanted to share a quick little post because I literally came home to a winter wonderland yesterday in Chicago and I had to share my recent purchase. But first I need to explain something.

Here’s the thing.

I’m not really an UGG-boot girl. Don’t get me wrong, I have a pair, they’re warm AF, I obviously have thrown them on with leggings and gone to Starbucks and walked around in all of my basic white-girl glory. DUH. But it took me about 5 years to break down and actually ask for a pair for Christmas because to be honest I just don’t really like them. I literally wore Bearpaw brand for $40 from DSW for YEARS and my friends all gave me so much crap. Idk. I just couldn’t get down with the UGG.

And I’m talking like shearling-lined, suede, moon-boot, classic UGGs. I actually have a pair of duck-boots from UGG (linked below) and I love them and wear them all the time. The classic UGGs just aren’t my style and they get SO wet in the snow it drives me nuts!

So if you’re like me and can’t do the classic UGGs for one more season, I’m here to help.

I snagged these boots on Black Friday on a whim and I am so obsessed.

t
t

I thought maybe I pulled the trigger a little early on these but after 6 inches of snow out of nowhere I’m SO glad I invested now!

I linked some of my favorite boots below – whether you live in the South and just need a short boot or you have some intense winters like we do, these are all so freakin’ comfy and perfect to throw on with some jeans or leggings!

Like I said, I’ll be back tomorrow to share all of our New York adventures! Until then… Xo.

-TWB

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Outfit For My Fellow Procrastinators

You guys. It’s Thanksgiving week. What. The. Heck. Like how did we get here so quickly? And why is it so cold now? I have so many questions??? Honestly, I’m a total scrooge when it comes to most holidays – Halloween, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day (seriously) – but not when it comes to Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is my IDEAL holiday.

It literally consists of doing absolutely nothing except eating, hanging out with your fam squad, and staring mindlessly at the TV. I mean. Can it get any better?

Here’s the thing though. Thanksgiving always tends to sneak up on me a little bit. As do most things – like birthdays, events, and major deadlines. And that’s because… well… I’m a procrastinator. I talk about this quite a bit. You guys know I love waiting to do things the last minute.

This year that also included my Thanksgiving outfit.

And you might think to yourself – what Thanksgiving outfit? Don’t you just wear pj’s TWB?

Honestly, I feel like Thanksgiving, even when at home, deserves a little bit of an extra oomph, you know? I just don’t feel right rolling out of bed disheveled and sitting down for a nice meal and spilling stuffing on my precious pajamas. Picking the perfect outfit can be tough, though. I want to be cute, but I still want my outfit to leave plenty of room for a full turkey belly.

Ya feel me!?

So to all of my other procrastinators out there – fear not. Because I have found the perfect, comfy, Thanksgiving-y look that’s chic, cheap, and still takes into account the fact that you probz won’t wash your hair after your Black Wednesday Night Out.

(P.S. You can shop my whole look at the bottom of the post!)

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Just a little sidenote: right now, I am all about the monochromatic coat-and-sweater look. No, this is not on the Paris runways, it’s just a TWB special that I like right now. Very Michael Kors in Aspen.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Oh and my sweater is from Old Navy. Seriously! Old Freakin Navy. It’s SO soft and comfy and most importantly SUPER cheap and you can pick it up in 5 minutes on your way home from work. Plus, it looks way more expensive than it actually is. Just throw it on with some comfy jeans and call it a day.

(P.S. It comes in multiple colors, I also got the camel color and I’m def eyeing the gray!)

(P.S.S. I sized up one size for extra coziness, so after din I can just throw on my fave pj shorts and call it a night)

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

For my hair, I literally just took my 2nd day unwashed hair, freshened up my curls with a 1 1/2 in curling iron (I use this one, again just super cheap lol), sprayed a generous amount of texturizing spray (you can find this one at the drugstore), and threw it in a parted ponytail with some pieces pulled down and curled in front (always curl away from your face!).

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset  

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

So tell me… what’s your Thanksgiving look?! Do you opt for a little dressed-up look or are you full-blown PJ’s?! Tell me everything! I’ll be back Thursday with a coffee talk…. I bet you’ll NEVER be able to guess the topic! (hehe…) Xo. -TWB

SHOP THE LOOK!

sweatercoatjeansbootstotesunglasses  texturizing spray lip color (Matte Mehr)

Friday Finds

You guys!! Happy Freakin’ Friday!!!

My Life Lately post was such a hit I wanted to share some more of my faves! I feel like each of these could probably be their own posts because I love them so much but I have SO many faves I wanted to share that this just isn’t realistic. So I’m sharing a few of my finds today, and I’ll make this a thing, you know? Friday Faves is so overdone I’m going to be SO different and call it Friday Finds.

I know, right? I’m such a pioneer.

Jogger Shorts

So I posted these on my Insta-story and one person a ton of people asked about them! The backstory on these – I was ordering a sweater on Madewell and I was like SO close to the minimum needed to get a 20% discount. And basically their marketing trick worked on me and I threw these bad boys in my bag. But I am obsessed and I throw them on every night when I get home from work! So comfy. (Oh and P.S. they’re on sale!!!)

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

MY NEW LENS!

Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t but you guys – I GOT A NEW LENS. And I am SO pumped. I want to share more about photography and my camera, but to keep it short & sweet – I have a Canon Rebel T5 and for almost a year I have been using the lens it came with. After doing some research, I basically realized that was no bueno and it was time to invest in a new lens. So I finally found the perfect fit and now I’m the proud owner of a Canon 35 mm f2. It makes SUCH a huge difference in my pictures! If you’re thinking about investing in a camera, I found out a TON of helpful information from this article and I would definitely suggest a read!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

New Moisturizer

Ok so my skin can be kind of crazy. You know – like breaking out but at the same time flaky dry. And winter is the WORST because I literally look like I just ate a powdered donut 24/7. So my dermatologist noticed and recommended this moisturizer and it is seriously freakin’ amazing. It’s made for acne-prone skin, so even though it’s super hydrating, it doesn’t cause breakouts. Oh and it’s good for sensitive skin, too!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

My Himalayan Salt Lamp

I’m just going to shoot you straight on this. It was 100% a Whole Foods impulse buy. BUT I LOVE IT. I feel so Spencer Pratt circa The Hills because it feels like a giant crystal in my home. All jokes aside, though, there are a lot of health benefits to having himalayan salt lamps in the home – such as purifying the air, reducing allergy symptoms, increasing energy, improving sleep quality, reducing static (MAJOR for winter hair) – all because they naturally absorb negative ions in the air.

And I know you’re all wondering has it worked for you, TWB?

Honestly I can tell a difference in the air – it feels like we have fresher air and I haven’t been sneezing all over myself every 5 minutes like I usually do. But either way, even if it did absolutely nothing, I just think it looks cool LOL! (P.S. You can buy one for just $19 here!)

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

So let’s make this a TGIF date. I’ll be back next Friday with more faves!

Next week I will talk about my teeth whitening, the best shampoo to keep my hair that ashy-cool color, and my thoughts on Starbucks’ new almond milk! I’ll see you then! Xo.

-TWB