MAY 14–20, 2018

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Monday

May 14, 2018

Bolstered by the success of this skirt last week (Tuesday, May 8, 2018) despite it's more threadbare edges, I wore it again with a black tee and this time with block heel sandals. It still felt summery, easy, but styled. Am considering more seriously the idea of making a pattern from this one. 

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Tuesday

May 15, 2018

Felt really sharp in this one. Rachel Comey lightweight jeans and a fitted black tee. Loving especially the sandals and how they don't attract attention to themselves. I think a neutral shoe that blends with your skintone looks great to balance out the dark blocks above. 

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Wednesday

May 16, 2018

I was up extra early today to catch a ride into the office for my last day at work before my vacation. I wore what was easy and what would endure the rain in the forecast best: patent flats for water repellence, skinnies for ease, and mini-tuck square tee for even further ease. When I'm in a super simple outfit like this, I find it's the small details like a mini-tuck shirt front or cuffed sleeves that make a big impact.

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Thursday

May 17, 2018

And today is the beginning of vacation. I wore this with a denim jacket on the airplane and then was warm enough during the afternoon in Chicago. That evening I swapped to a long-sleeve tee and added a cardigan under the jacket. Then I asked my sister to bring me a sweater when she arrived in the morning.

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Friday

May 18, 2018

Long sleeve tee, cardigan, and denim jacket again today. It's brisk and rainy, but doesn't feel that cold. Then we get to the waterfront and damn, it was pretty bitter. 

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Saturday

May 19, 2018

This morning was deceptive. Logan Square, where we stayed, was dowright warm. But again we were fooled, as we found when we emerged from our Lyft to the cut of cold downtown. I had my cardigan stuffed in my bag and layered it on under my denim jacket for the bike ride we took in the afternoon. Couldn't wait to get back to our place to take a warm shower and layer on some warm leggings.

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Sunday

May 20, 2018

Finally, learning my lesson, I wore the sweater my sister brought. I was pleased with what she'd picked out — something both warm and stylish. It even had tiny, subtle colored yarns throughout the knit material that matched the colors in my scarf. We spent most of the day inside at the Art Institute before heading up to the airport together, where I unceremoniously stripped off the sweater at the departure screen kiosk, returning it to my sister before we all parted ways. Later that night I basked in the balmy Atlanta air. 

 

 

Win: I fit everything for my four-day trip to Chicago into my backpack. 

Lose: I brought all the wrong things, haha.

When I checked the forecast last week, even on Thursday night, it looked pretty decent — highs of 65–68. Of course, as I'd promptly find out, it was a different story if you were anywhere that wasn't in direct sunlight. And then the wind! And it rained part of the time. We didn't have umbrellas. We walked or took transit (and one Lyft) during our stay, so we were pretty exposed to the elements between stops, and we also did a 13 mile bike ride! Our bike tour guide told us this was supposedly the coldest spring they'd had on record since like 1900.

I desperately wish I'd had my leather jacket and some boots instead of the denim and bare ankles I was stuck with. I'd contemplated bringing those very items but thought, how cold could could it be? No one wants to be too hot. 

Thankfully, I had planned on coming to Chicago a day before my sisters, so I found out that the weather might not be as palatable as I expected before my sisters arrived. I asked one of them if she'd mind bringing me a spare sweater, and she obliged. Without that favor I'd have been much worse off.

So lesson learned I guess. Pack for colder weather than you anticipate because then I suppose you can just strip down as necessary and repeat a tee shirt or tank top. I ended up repeating my long sleeve tee anyway, but I was still chilly! I'd have killed for another layer!

A few things I stuffed in my backpack I didn't even end up wearing because they were so unnecessary due to the weather. I had packed my Caron Callahan Ellis pants but never even unfolded them because my ankle were bare enough already in skinny jeans. The last thing I needed was more breeze billowing up my pant legs. I'd even brought my patent flats but couldn't stomach the idea of bare foot-tops so those never left their dustbag. And a spare short sleeve shirt didn't see light of Chicago either since I repeated the long sleeve tee instead.

Overall I think I did a good job bringing as few things as I thought I'd need. It's pretty cool to fit four days of travel packing into a single backpack. There's nothing worse than dragging around a rolling suitcase through the streets of the city. It's both cumbersome and attracts attention to you as a tourist. I prefer to remain more blended into the landscape.

If anything, I can bring even less when I travel next, depending on whether there will be any special garment-specific activities on said trip. This particular trip maintained a steady level of casualness that made it easy to repeat outfits. 

 

 

I hit up a bunch of vintage and thrift shops while I was there on Thursday but had 0 luck finding anything unique or cool enough to call mine, which was a little disappointing. But oh well! Lord knows it takes sifting through thousands of items even online before finding the right thing. Who says brick and mortar should be any different?

Later on I met up with a friend and we went to this neat bar called Estereo. I loved all the design elements there! The drinks were tasty too.

 Bathroom selfie at Estereo. Almost the entire bathroom was covered in disco mirrors.

Bathroom selfie at Estereo. Almost the entire bathroom was covered in disco mirrors.

 I loved the other design touches at Estereo. These are just some of them — the brass bar stools, encaustic tile, unique light fixtures and wood detailing.

I loved the other design touches at Estereo. These are just some of them — the brass bar stools, encaustic tile, unique light fixtures and wood detailing.

 Chicago loves its under-bar hooks for your purse. It was on my very first trip to Chicago at age 21 that I discovered the utility of these hooks! It's such a thing there. I'd never seen something like it in Atlanta. Now a few places here have them, but in Chicago they're ubiquitous. 

Chicago loves its under-bar hooks for your purse. It was on my very first trip to Chicago at age 21 that I discovered the utility of these hooks! It's such a thing there. I'd never seen something like it in Atlanta. Now a few places here have them, but in Chicago they're ubiquitous. 

 The Field Museum had these incredible living plant chandeliers!

The Field Museum had these incredible living plant chandeliers!

 Inspiration for home...

Inspiration for home...

 I love to see these diorama exhibits at natural history museums. The realism of them is incredible, a moment frozen still. This one features 17,000 wax leaves cast from unique plaster molds of real leaves.

I love to see these diorama exhibits at natural history museums. The realism of them is incredible, a moment frozen still. This one features 17,000 wax leaves cast from unique plaster molds of real leaves.

 Bison are some of my favorite animals. They are at once tragic and majestic.

Bison are some of my favorite animals. They are at once tragic and majestic.

 Another bit of a downer exhibit.

Another bit of a downer exhibit.

 After the field museum we walked down the waterfront of Lake Michigan. This is actually the area where my husband proposed to me two years ago! Lovely mini-boulevard between the trees.

After the field museum we walked down the waterfront of Lake Michigan. This is actually the area where my husband proposed to me two years ago! Lovely mini-boulevard between the trees.

 Meanwhile at the Art Institute, they have an entire case devoted to Joseph Cornell, one of my favorite artists ever. This one is a favorite —   Homage to the Romantic Ballet, 1942  . I was highly inspired by Joseph Cornell during my time studying printmaking and book arts so I'm always delighted to see his work in the world.

Meanwhile at the Art Institute, they have an entire case devoted to Joseph Cornell, one of my favorite artists ever. This one is a favorite — Homage to the Romantic Ballet, 1942. I was highly inspired by Joseph Cornell during my time studying printmaking and book arts so I'm always delighted to see his work in the world.

 Inscribed on the inside lid, on black paper in white type: On a moonlight [sic] night in the winter of 1835 the carriage of Marie Taglioni / was halted by a Russian highwayman, and that ethereal creature commanded / to dance for this audience of one upon a panther’s skin spread over the / snow beneath the stars. From this actuality arose the legend that, to keep / alive the memory of this adventure so precious to her, Taglioni formed the / habit of placing a piece of ice in her jewel casket or dressing table draw- / er, where melting among the sparkling stones, there was evoked a hint of / the starlit heavens over the ice-covered landscape.

Inscribed on the inside lid, on black paper in white type: On a moonlight [sic] night in the winter of 1835 the carriage of Marie Taglioni / was halted by a Russian highwayman, and that ethereal creature commanded / to dance for this audience of one upon a panther’s skin spread over the / snow beneath the stars. From this actuality arose the legend that, to keep / alive the memory of this adventure so precious to her, Taglioni formed the / habit of placing a piece of ice in her jewel casket or dressing table draw- / er, where melting among the sparkling stones, there was evoked a hint of / the starlit heavens over the ice-covered landscape.

 Another Joseph Cornell box. This one with birds.

Another Joseph Cornell box. This one with birds.

 Big fan of this terrazzo chair by Max Lamb in the design & architecture exhibit at the Art Institute.

Big fan of this terrazzo chair by Max Lamb in the design & architecture exhibit at the Art Institute.

 How terrazzo is made, top right.

How terrazzo is made, top right.

 And finally — I generally find gift shops depressing but these scarves in the AI shop caught my eye. They're by  Argaman & Defiance . I thought about buying one but held off. I'm still kind of thinking about it, but I didn't want to be sucked into the feeling that I needed to buy something just because I was in Chicago. I wouldn't have probably felt the need to buy this scarf if I'd just seen it somewhere online. They were beautiful though! Hand-painted silk.

And finally — I generally find gift shops depressing but these scarves in the AI shop caught my eye. They're by Argaman & Defiance. I thought about buying one but held off. I'm still kind of thinking about it, but I didn't want to be sucked into the feeling that I needed to buy something just because I was in Chicago. I wouldn't have probably felt the need to buy this scarf if I'd just seen it somewhere online. They were beautiful though! Hand-painted silk.

And thus concludes our journey through Chicago imagery. It's hands down one of my favorite cities and I love to have an excuse to visit. It's the place I've visited most as an adult, I think this was my sixth trip? The city has so much character, is so easy to get around, and has enough variety to not be overwhelming. 

Connecting with my sisters was really special too. We'd never gone on a sisters-only trip and it went really well I think. My mother raised us to be close to one another and for that I am grateful. With the three of us together, we tend to balance each other out. We each took personality tests and talked about how our personality types manifest themselves in our lives. It was oddly helpful for understanding how and why we tend to disagree on certain things. I think we have more patience with each other's respective quirks now than we ever used to growing up. It was sad to say goodbye at the end of the trip when we returned home to our respective spouses, kids, or pets.

Being with my sisters means having permission to be frank in talking about our mom since we all share the same trauma. The most I missed my mom was in a cupcake shop on our bike tour. I was thinking about buttercream icing and how she'd once bought a cake recipe book and made buttermilk icing for a cake from scratch. I think she'd have liked the hummingbird cupcake.

The second-most time I missed her was looking at Renoir paintings. It's the style of painting I most associate with my mom, she had so many random prints of sweet little girls painted in that loose, dreamlike style. She always explained her affinity for those prints by saying that they reminded her of her three girls.

I'm glad to be back home.