Casual Matters

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When it comes to your capsule wardrobe, what are some essentials that are in heavy rotation? A dark pair of skinnies that you resort to, instantaneously making you look 5 pounds lighter? Or a nifty puffer jacket with down-filled inserts that warmly grace you through winter? As for moi, I have a predilection for pieces that are not only perpetually stylish but also appease the “time is of the essence” concern. Especially days when the ticking hand is not on good terms with me.

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Say it’s casual Friday morning and you woke up to your alarm clock setting off, only to realize that you slept through the other two (and they say 3rd time’s the charm…how amusing). With no time to berate yourself for indulging in happy hours (plural) the night before, you’re now battling with the dilemma of “how to prep yourself in 10 minutes”. So what items do you take refuge in? An item that I always seek solace in is a textured shawl.

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And here’s why – not only will it compliment a few of your favorite outfits and stretch your budget further for your Christmas shopping needs, the wearing options are also endless. Say you can 1.) Perch atop your shoulder, 2.) Wind it around your neck to create a natural drape, or 3.) Tie the ends together to create a baggy cardigan. And when you have 2 minutes and counting to pick an add-on that would keep you shiver-free during your commute (option 2) and ward off the chills at the office (option 1), the shawl is a stylish option for all your fashion-conscious folks!

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In my outfit today I brought out a new find, a tri-colored shawl with seamlessly executed textural spots scattered across the board. To stay in tandem with the colors, I wore a pink button-down shirt and black skinnies. A stylish way to add some color to the ensemble? A tribal gold-toned necklace placed under the collar, one whose color scheme is not askew from the main outfit, and a hands-free tote like this Marc Jacobs one. Also my pony hair boots gave all the ease of edge and flair as the buckles and folded texture at the ankle makes it truly a unique pair.

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So tell me, have you jumped on the shawl bandwagon yet, and if so, how do you wear yours? 🙂

XO~ Lena

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Top: Banana Republic // Shawl: H&M// Pants: Paige// Shoes: Via Spiga// Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Photos: Jason J Photography

Holidays on Huron Pop-Up Sale

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With the holidays right around the corner, there’s a reason to be jolly. The luminous Christmas tree taking center stage at your local department store, effervescently lighting your way as you check off your gift list one by one. Christmas carols humming through the hallway as you crank up the oven and turn gingerbread cookies into colorful creations. That merry feeling of spending time with loved ones while counting down the days ’til Christmas is priceless!

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Since Christmas is about loving, giving, and sharing, what better way to enwrap myself in the joyous festivity than to attend a pop of sale in support of local Chicago designers! Last Thursday I was invited by the lovely Kristen of K.Amato Jewelry to attend the “Holidays on Huron” pop of sale, a sip & shop private preview event hosted by K.Amato Jewelry, Henry & Belle Denim, and 84Rockwell. The evening was just as I imagined – a delightful array of the designers’ winter collection, Italian rosé at the bar with delicacies from spicy deviled eggs to salmon canapés, and of course, a swoon-worthy group of fashion insiders.

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As my friend Nancy a.k.a Fancy Nancista and I strolled through the pop of sale, we were thrilled by K.Amato’s coveted jewelry collections. And how can you not when the tagline for the trend-conscious company is “every girl should have one”, distinctively being the driving force behind her reasonably priced line of earrings, necklaces and accessories! Kristen Amato, a Chicago native, started her jewelry collections in 2002 and a mere decade later they’re selling over 300 stores across the globe from London to Tokyo! Having been featured in Vogue and People, she’s garnered a reputable celebrity following from Rachael Ray to Eva Longoria Parker.

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In my outfit today I wore one of her best-sellers – the Reversible Fan Necklace. With an oyster shell on one side and black on the other, this 22K gold plated chain necklace is as divine to the look as it is to the physical touch! Familiar you say? That’s because I gave a sneak preview on my last post, you know, the ombré faux fur jacket with the embellished tuxedo pants!

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And if you’re thinking of what to get your stylish friend this season, check out K.Amato’s holiday collection filled with main jewels to delicate layering pieces like this Leather Stud Bracelet I’m wearing! And from now until 12/17  you can use the code holidaycheer for 30% off the entire websiteCan’t say you won’t find one for yourself to go with that stunning sequined dress you’re dying to wear to your Christmas soirée 😉

Xo~ Lena

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Blazer: Helmut Lang // Top: Zara// Skirt: Vince Camuto// Shoes: Aldo// Bag: F21// Necklace: K. Amato

This post is in collaboration with K.Amato Jewelry. All opinions are my own. 

Photos: Jason J Photography

Faux Fur Feeling

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With the cold weather back in full swing, it’s easy to resort to wardrobe essentials that deliver the effect (shivers no more) but not quite the aesthetics. Sure the collegiate dress code filled with mascot-infused sweatshirts and shearling-lined UGG boots ward off the winter chills, but quite frankly it’s lacking the “zing” in trending. So rather than spawning a closet full of workhorse items that have tenets of minimalistic dressing but void in making a fashion statement, it’s notable to invest in one or two investment pieces that take canny heed in style and function. A camel duster coat like this wool belted one is a solid contender, and so is a faux fur jacket – a quintessentially classic piece with an upper echelon flair.

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Whether you want to get your cold weather style wrapped up with vintage-inspired faux fur boleros or shearling-trimmed cover-ups, there are many styles that give you the eclectic flair without compromising duty. To stage that on-trend look, here’s my top 3 styles:

1.) LEOPARD PRINT – technically a neutral when it comes to wardrobe styling, a leopard print coat can be worn with an all-black ensemble to keep the look clean and streamlined (New York style mavens rejoice!) Just make sure there’s a sliver of skin that peeps through; you know what they say, a small flash of flesh is hotter than an eyeful. So think black sweater + ankle length leather pants + slip-ons, or a vintage-inspired LBD with sheer tights and knee high boots. With holiday shopping in full swing, now you can shop NORDSTROM for NYE Dresses starting at $65.

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2.) LONG – the maxi style amongst faux fur coats, this look is for you if you’re an avid follower of the Olsen twins (or you just like your legs covered up during below freezing weather). Team it with knee high boots and a lengthy embroidered dress for a Sunday brunch, and add on some bedazzling jewels when you’re glamorously ready for a night out in town.

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3.) CROPPED – ideal teamed with high-waisted pants and skirts for that slick and polished look, a close fitting cropped jacket can be paired with just about anything – silk button downs with maroon skinnies , tartan under chambray shirts like this Rag and Bone one, and even your oversized shirt dress with stockings! Here I wore my purple cropped faux fur coat with straight-leg ankle pants (sold on the side embellishments) and strappy heels to bring forth a classic, clean silhouette.

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From floor-length styling for extra warmth and appeal, to the “rawr” factor behind leopard prints, what’s your go-to faux fur coat for Winter? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Coat: H&M // Tank: Banana Republic// Pants: H&M// Shoes: Aldo// Bag: Phillip Lim// Necklace: K. Amato

Photos: Jason J Photography

Kobi コビ A Bundle Of Joy

“To witness miracles unfold in your experience, count your blessings and be thankful. Perceived small blessings accumulate to be the most powerful.” – T.F. Hodge

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I’m sure you’ve heard this before, that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Like a favorable gush of wind that sweeps you off your feet, what brings you the utmost delight? Could it be a noteworthy career? Someone to call your one true love? Or the mere pursuit of happiness that reigns supreme in your life?

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As for yours truly, I find enrapturing the little things that make me cherish the passing moments. Quiet time at the coffee shop, snuggled up with a matcha green tea latte in a comfy corner. Striking conversations with total strangers on topics trivial and benign. Though not entirely riding on the back of a fleeting moment, I find it important to live in the now and be content dwelling in the present. To linger in them. To lavish in their glory.

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Thus was my absolute delight this weekend to take a breather from my busy schedule and spend some quality time with Kobi, my Australian Shepherd who coincidently turned 6 months old on Black Friday! As you can imagine, my shopping spree consisted nothing short of rawhide bones and plush toys for this little nugget 🙂

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To stay in tandem with my gleeful state of mind, I kept the colors light-hearted with my favorite camel pea coat from the LookBook Store which for a limited time Lookbook Store Women Clothing Is Up to 80% Off! Given the 3/4th length sleeves, this jacket is ideal worn over a long-sleeved shirt in a varied selection – rich hue, striped patterns, or even baroque prints! Swoon-worthy peek-a-boo effect? Yes you can get that look down pat! For a casual vibeI I resorted to this new fuzzy burgundy sweater and finished the look with dark denims and platform lace-up boots similar to this pair by Opening Ceremony (did I mention frenzied friday entailed shopping for humans too?)

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Stuffed to the rim with delicious Thai food and wind-battered from Black Friday shopping as I may be, this Thanksgiving I am grateful for the precious moments with loved ones that I know will be cherished forever.

What are you thankful for this year? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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**P.s. As for the LookBook Giveaway, I want to thank each and every one of you for your participation as your likes, comments and follows are gratefully accounted for and appreciated! This opportunity has allowed me to learn about your unique sense of writing, style and personality. I enjoy reading each and every one of your blogs and once again thank you for being a part of my blogging journey! Congratulations to Lucy Mitchell you are the winner 🙂

Jacket: LookBook Store// Sweater: H&M// Pants: Paige// Shoes: Zara// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Scarf: Zara

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For The Love Of Roscoe

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Renaissance villa houses circa 1850s. Vast array of multi-cultural cuisines. Family-friendly parks and recreational areas. That was my impression of this exuberant Chicago neighborhood when I first set foot upon the four corners of Damen and Roscoe.

Come walk down memory lane with me as I reminisce on one of my favorite outings this summer in the Windy City – right in the heart of Roscoe Village!  

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Located 5 miles north of the Loop and occupied by a population of 7000, this swanky yet demure neighborhood has overseen urban development since the mid-19th century and is amassed with yuppie restaurants, art deco shops, wine tasting rooms, and antique consignment stores.

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After the Fire of 1871 devastated Chicago and wiped out residential homes and commercial buildings within a 3 mile radius, there was an increase in demand for brick structures, which soon the Chicago River’s North Branch (encompassing Roscoe Village and neighborhoods within its vicinity) began filling up with brickyards and clay pits. One of my favorite architectural designs is the Edwardian houses built in the early 1900s.  Similar to the Mission neighborhood in San Francisco, the industrial craft is marked by masculinity-infused frameworks modeled after Italian facades and rooflines. In the residential area off the main street, Queen Anne homes align the sidewalks basking in the glory of intricate details filled with opulent turrets, bay windows, and embellished post frames.

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Though these well-crafted buildings were a sight for my sore eyes, I was even more amused by the multitude of ethnic cuisines offered within that 6-block radius. From Turkish lamb begendi at Turquoise Cafe to the decadent Ropa Vieja (tender shredded beef cooked in salsa criolla) at 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, the sky is the limit when it comes to filling up the growling tummy. Not to mention the pink, yellow, and blue chairs outside Costello’s (namely known for the iconic “Spicy Roscoe” — who wouldn’t want pepper crusted turkey with capicola and pepper jack cheese on an Italian sub coined after the very street it sits on?) Or how about some kung-pao chicken tacos at Si Fu, where you will be greeted with not just “Xie Xie” or “Gracias”, but also a slew of Confucious men with v-line goatees? If you ever do tumble upon there, make sure you specify which hot sauce you want, especially when tabasco sauce is not within your dietary radar 🙂 

A jovial expedition filled with sight-seeing and feasting for this happy camper calls for a colorful outfit right? Which is why I doled out my colorful sheath with quivering wavelength designs and styled it with a wide brimmed straw hat. Turquoise and yellow, the two main vibrant colors on my dress (and  a tad bit on my bandeau), matched the exuberance and joy I felt when I walked down streets filled with exquisite flower shops, alfresco dining spots, and most importantly, gleeful companies. Happy eyes, happy tummy, happy heart. Now ain’t that a win-win situation 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena

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Credits: Jason J Photography http://www.jason-j-photography.com/

 

Stay Calm & Carry On

“Blooming under a cold moon, we are like fireworks. Rising, shining, and finally scattering and fading. So until that moment comes when we vanish like fireworks, let us sparkle brightly. Always.” – Tite Kubo

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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word  imgres-1?

Is it chasing after an aspiring career? Is it meeting that special someone that makes you love, laugh and cry? Or is it just the mere palpitation of the heart that keeps our corporal engine running? To me, life is not just the physical act of living but also the multi-faceted pursuits and endeavors that make each day impelling, worthwhile, and adventurous.

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However, sometimes life gets a little shaky and “modern” afflictions may cause us stress, dampen our livelihood, and disrupt our inner Zen. So here to introduce to you are a few ways to alleviate stress and improve well-being to pave way for a genuinely happy and healthy life.     

Who says when the going gets tough the tough can’t get going? Step 1-2-3-4 let’s fire that engine!

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1.) ONE A DAY

Do one thing a day that makes you happy, whether it’d be going to Bikram yoga, moving those feet to a little tune, or finding online deals like saving 70% on Top Brands at Shopbop.comExperts say that stress can elicit cortisol what causes the body to store more fat cells around the waist. The next time stress kicks in and your arm latterly reaches for a cookie, get up and engage in something else. Your body will thank you later for fending off that sugar crash.

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2.) H2O

You know what they say, 6-12 glasses a day keeps the doctors away (some believe it’s apple, but prolonged dehydration would claim otherwise). When your body is dehydrated, you tend to hold on to more water weight, which causes puffiness and bloating. To keep your cells collaterally hydrated and your immune system on par, try to drink at least 70 ounces of water a day. To amp up your taste buds, squeeze in half a lemon as it would aid with healthy digestion. Also when you wake up in the morning drink one glass of water before starting your day – it would help flush out the toxins accumulated from the night before.

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3.) OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Along the line of doing something fun everyday, it’s essential to engage in activities outside the four corners of a wall. Ride a bike, stroll along the lakefront, or run a 2 mile trail. The link between 30 minutes of daily physical movements and improved mental health is irrefutable. Not to mention sunlight therapy, or “heliosis” as the Greeks call them, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure which slashes away stress hormones and anxiety concerns.

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4.) WHOLE FOODS

Not necessarily the organic food chain that charges $15 for a salad, but eating a wholesome diet with multitude of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and fish allows us to steer clear of fat-inducing chemicals found in refined and processed foods. Think of salmon & almonds = omega 3 fats = brain power. Think of fruits & vegetables = Vitamin C, D, E = healthy heart, joint and skin. And cutting back on caffeine can reduce anxiety and panic tendencies. Which is why i kicked the can (literally) and abstained from coffee. So refrain from starchy fast foods and invest in more fresh produce. You’ll feel less lethargic and more healthy!

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So put on those walking shoes, fill up that BPA-free water bottle, and step out to embrace the warmth, energy, and life of your surrounding. Not only will you body feel more robust and energized, but you’re also bound to discover novel things – a trail, a route, or a new friendship!

Xoxo~ Lena

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Bittersweet Wonders

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Chicago in all its enrapturing sights and glory is a sprawling city with so many things to do. Bonafide comedy shows at Second City. Lush promenade walks along Michigan Avenue. Shopping mecca for those deep pocket spenders along Magnificent Mile. As devoted and mesmerized I am with the Beaux-Arts architecture, Praire Style industrial feats, and Euro-centric culinary delights the city has to offer, there are days when I just want to take a breather from all the movements, the noise, the smoldering sights and seek solace in a peaceful place.

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Do you ever want to freeze a moment and lavish in the stillness of time? That the daily iteration of errands to do, goals to meet, and tasks to accomplish have you looking for the “pause” button? As if being swept away on my feet by the illusory painted glory of the Windy City, I decided it was time to set both feet on the ground and travel to somewhere new. To breathe, to clear my head, to start with a clean slate. So off to the Crossroads of America I go. Bye bye Chicago, hello Mishawaka!

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Nicknamed the “the Princess City” of Indiana (strange enough there were no tiaras in sight), the neighborhood we stayed at on Bittersweet and Jefferson had a community spirit and “hometown” feel. Everything from the old-fashioned record player to the s’mores-friendly fire pit was quaint and endearing, not to mention the curated selection of quilted patchwork blankets provided for our stay. As if the cabin itself wasn’t alluring enough, we were blessed with the nature-infused visuals from the backyard. Pristine waterfront. Leafy greens in vibrant Autumn hues. The more I gazed into the clear horizon and took in the ethereal beauty of Mother Nature, the more the hovering cloud above my head began to dissipate.

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To keep my look simple and refined without compromising style and comfort, I wore a lengthy textured sweater over opaque tights. And because we spent a big chunk of our time strolling through the woods, I chose sole support and traction by taking these wedge sneakers out for a spin. The outerwear contenders were fleece jacket or navy coat with wool lapels, so evidently I went with the latter for its chic and edgy flair.

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Trick of the trade with pairing – strut layer upon layer by wearing a long jumper underneath a fitted coat. The peekaboo effect would not only give your outfit that fashionable nod of approval, but also ideal for girls with pear-shaped bodies that want to downplay certain areas (as the dual-layered effect takes the eye away from the hips). Not to mention so on-trend and sartorially astute! To complete this look I wore this tribal necklace to keep dullness at bay. Who likes a monotonous outfit from head to toe without a fun pop of color like this cherry red?

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They say that Mother Nature is always speaking. She speaks in a language understood within the peaceful mind of the sincere observer. And at peace was I after this mini getaway — refreshed, re-livened, and ready to take on the coils and fans of the bustling city again! Like the beauty we see around us, it was priceless 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Top: BCBG Generation// Tights: Forever 21// Jacket: TopShop// Shoes: Puma// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Necklace: Boutique in Bangkok// Shades: Prada

Photos: Jason J Photography

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The Coveteur x Peace Love Shea

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When it comes to thriving in this high-content digital niche we call “fashion and lifestyle blogging”, little do we know someone with a canny flair in pulling off so many roles. Editor. Fashion Designer. Jet-setting Stylist. That’s an impressive array of titles under her belt (a Isabel Marant one to be exact), and Shea Marie of Peace Love Shea is one to get them all down pat, from catalog shoots to MOD style to high fashion!

Peace Love Shea, Peace Love Shea for Steve Madden, Steve Madden x Peace Love Shea, fall shoes, fall fashion, Steve Madden boots, Steve Madden shoes, Steve Madden footwear, Steve Madden, Steve Madden loafers, Steve Madden women's shoes,

Photos: Peace Love Shea

With over 623,000 Instagram followers avidly subscribed to her personal lookbook (heavily influenced by SoCal boho chic vibes and sophisticated staples), I am one to be captivated by her effortlessly cool and edgy style! Not to mention her recent collaboration with Steve Madden conjured up a posh set of heels from croc-embossed loafers to corset-inspired lace-up boots. So you can image my excitement when the lovely Janet Lee Mandell of Fashionaholic invited me to attend The Coveteur x Peace Love Shea event hosted by Diesel. Nonetheless, I was in the twilight zone!

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Inside the upscale Gold Coast boutique was a selection of Nicola Formichetti’s well-curated designs for the Italian lifestyle brand. From studded moto jackets to patchwork-embossed denim wear, every artistic creation was unique in design (like the “Think Once Dream Twice” emblem on the denim jacket) and devout to fine Italian craftmanship.

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The event started off with a networking social whereby the exchange of Instagram accounts amongst Chicago bloggers was in full rotation. And so was my inquisitive mind. Excuse me maam, where did you get that awesome crop jacket?

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An hour and 2 rounds of Moscow Mule later (splendid paired with mini BLT burgers and lobster tacos), the session began with a brief introduction by Stephanie Mark (the creative mind behind The Coveteur) where she talked about the website’s recent collaboration with Diesel featuring highly coveted pieces modeled by Shea Marie.

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The two delightful ladies shared a great dose of behind-the-scene stories in the course of many projects together, from their cake-infused fashion shoot at Shea’s apartment (it was, according to the leading lady, from a crème de la crème bakery in Beverly Hills) to their globe-trotting travel tips (it’s all about downsizing and never rule out sweatpants).

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The event came to a delightful halt when Shea Marie told us about her dream to one day design her own clothes. With her impressive resume of working in trend consulting prior to starting her sartorial blog, to her style-setting repertoire parallel to that of Olivia Palermo and Alexa Chung, we can clearly anticipate that highly coveted array of designs in the near future! Feline Creatures’ comment regarding her designer role? @Peaceloveshea – “Congrats to your new role. You did it again!”

Xo~ Lena

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Dress: Maggie London// Shoes: BP// Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs// Accessories: Forever 21

Photos: Jason J Photography

Think Pink

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Fundraising for cancer research + designer runway show  = haute couture with a side of philanthropy!

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That’s the Think Pink Fundraising event that I had the pleasure and privilege of attending last night at the Four Seasons. The 3rd annual fundraiser was held in honor of the Lynn Sage Foundation, a research-funding platform founded by sisters Laura and Halee Sage in search of breast cancer cure upon the passing of their mother Lynn.

Not only did the event prompt attendees to join forces in rendering a positive social service, it was also visually gratifying to watch Chicago bloggers walk the runway show dressed in Nicole Miller’s Fall/Winter collection!

The Vogue-gracing designer is best known for modern aesthetics imbued with bright prints and patterns. Her signature looks for this season? Black and white River Stone pattern. Metal beading over solid black mesh. Edgy. Modern. Chic.

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So what would be the best way to showcase her design and support her philanthropic endeavors other than having Chicago’s finest bloggers walk the runway show! I was so thrilled to finally meet Vanessa Lambert, the brain and beauty behind What Would V Wear. Also it was my absolute honor to meet the host and stylist for the show –  Janet Lee Mandell of Fashionaholic!

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Here I had the pleasure of interviewing the fashion enthusiast and lifestyle blogger on how she began her journey. Read more about Janet’s story and thoughts on starting a blog, staying connected with readers, and collaborating with designers:

Q: Can you tell me about your blog and what motivated you to start it?

A: My blog is about my passion for fashion and how I portray that in my day to day life. I also offer travel and lifestyle content. I started Fashionaholic because I wanted to showcase my personal style and blogging was the perfect fit.

Q: How would you describe your own personal style?

A: Modern and edgy with high and low fashion.

Q: You have amazing ensembles! Where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?

A: I love checking Instagram for inspiration, but honestly most of my inspiration comes from experimenting with different pieces in my own closet. Everything I wear on the blog I styled myself.

Q. You have a lot of followers to your blog and on facebook. How do you do this? Was there ever a time when you had say only one follower?

A: I worked hard at it over time, two years to be exact. It did not happen overnight! I also post consistently, use hashtags and creatively style my outfits to always keep my readers entertained.

Q: Once you’ve got the followers how do you keep them?

A: Keep posting! Once you’ve got a solid base of followers they will start to look forward to new content and check back regularly.

Q: What’s the biggest tip you have for anyone wanting to start a fashion blog?

A: Have your own style and voice, don’t be afraid to try new things and don’t get discouraged. I’m sure every blogger has had moments where they want to give up.

Q: What is the biggest challenge about fashion blogging?

A: Lack of time. I have a full time job and two kids, so it’s hard to juggle it all.

Q: How did your styling collaboration with Nicole Miller come about?

A: I had a contact at the company, but it never hurts to email designers you want to collaborate with. It’s worked for me in the past with getting into fashion week shows and collaborating on events.

Q. What advice do you have for fashion bloggers regarding blog collaboration with designers and boutiques?

A: Don’t be afraid to contact them! They want to work with fresh faces to reach new audiences and markets.

Think Pink. Dream Big. Achieve Wonders. A lesson not typically learned on a Thursday night now is it? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Dress: Alexander Wang// Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo// Clutch: Tory Burch// Accessories: Topshop

Photos: Jason J Photography

The Flower Veil

Cultural festivals in Chicago. The merrymaking events that bring people together for a like-minded purpose. Whether it’d be a traditional fête or a tummy-rubbing food gala showcasing diverse ethnic cuisines in the Windy City, there’s an event for everyone to partake in. And when there’s a Japanese Festival featuring delectable cuisines and state-of-the-art jewelry designs, it was no brainer that I’d jump on that joyous bandwagon!

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Scrumptious Tonkotsu Ramen, Japanese Caligraphy, Taiko (Japanese Drums) and Minyo (Japanese Folk Dance) performances. Need I say more? My favorite moments were spent strolling through the Japanese market and lauding the impeccable artworks chaperoned by high-fire stoneware, ceramics and glazed potteries.

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The minutes I waited eagerly for the “準備できてる”! that the chef announces when the ramen is fully cooked and ready. The times I stood in front of the elaborate Japanese artworks in delight of the amazing origami and ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

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With all the delectable food, culturally-educating shows and performances that brought out the Japanese cultural flair, I wanted to be in tandem with occasion and bring to light my floral kimono cardigan. Kudos to my talented photographer Jason J whose creative hands put together this “Flower Veil” outfit!

The style not only resonates with the “blossoming” trend this season (as reminiscent of Gucci’s 1964 luxuriant floral patterns), but also pairs well with just about anything!

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Match it with a pair of mint shorts and wedge heels as I did and Voilà! You have yourself a nifty outfit from warm summery BBQs to breezy evening soirées! For any occasion incognizant to setting or dress code, a sheer floral cardigan can dress up a casual attire especially worn over a lacy bralette or a low-cut maxi dress.

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Sprucing up to a graceful and elegant take of a kimono, and thanks to the flowy effect that doesn’t require a form-fitting tie, I am able to indulge in a few post-ramen delectables like kakigōri and wagashi. Can someone say OISHII!

Xoxo~ Lena

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Kimono Cardigan: H&M//  Top: Ann Taylor// Shorts: H&M// Shoes: Nine West// Hat: Forever 21// Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Photos: Jason J