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Monday, June 28, 2010

Mood Board Monday - 'Bamboo'zle

It's Mood Board Monday!

Today for the first time I'm not featuring a color combo, but a sustainable material instead...bamboo! Also, these are items that I recently featured in my first etsy treasury, if you want to check it out there. (Thanks to Sarah for introducing me to the world of etsy treasuries. They tie in perfectly with my mood boards!)

Kitschicagoan Bamboozle Board


Here are the sources of my inspiration...

Top (from left to right):
1. Modern Baby Clock - Owl, by decoylab, etsy seller
2. Large White Blossom Bamboo Earrings, from theharbingerco, etsy seller
3. handmade bamboo glasses frame, from TAKEMOTO, etsy seller
4. Recycled Skateboard Bamboo Cuff Links, by sevenply, etsy seller
5. laptop stand in bamboo wood, by bbTuna, etsy seller
6. Eco-Retro Desk Clock, by VectorCloud, etsy seller
7. Forest Friends-Bamboo Mobile, from petitcollage, etsy seller
8. Slice Necklaces, by designerica, etsy seller
9. Addison Bamboo Wall Clock, by pilotdesign, etsy seller

Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Limited: Red Hot Sale, Super Cute Dresses

With so many summer weddings, parties and trips on the horizon, it's a good time to stock up on affordable dresses for such occasions. And I'm such a sucker for email marketing that I could resist clicking on this email from The Limited this morning...up to 70% off? Yes, please.


So I snagged FOUR fab dresses for a grand total of $149.20, that is $37.30 each including tax & shipping.
Was: $59.50, now $34.99

Was: $59.50, now $34.99

Was: $69.50, now $39.99

{Printed Flower Dress}
Was: $69.50, now $39.99


I also used promo code "405" for an extra 15% off the already reduced sale prices.

Success!

Monday, June 21, 2010

My New Obsession: American Pickers on History

I spent the weekend at home for Father's Day where my dad introduced me to a great show called, American Pickers on History. All along I thought the History channel was only for war buffs and archeology enthusiasts, but this show totally changed my tune. The show is somewhat reminiscent of an old favorite of mine, Antiques Roadshow on PBS, but about ten times more interesting.

American Pickers features, Mike & Frank, the ultimate drifting duo who forage through forgotten fields and beat-up barns in small towns across the country searching for antique artifacts and Americana that they can spruce up and re-sell.


Sometimes they turn a big profit and sometimes they buy a dud, but the stories they hear & the people they meet along the way make the journey entertaining no matter what kind of profit they turn.

Watching them also reminded me of my journey to Indiana for my library card catalog. The place I arrived at to get my goods, seems like a place that Mike & Frank could of had so much fun rummaging through and they probably would have come home with some things that I would have never known were of any value.

This is the episode that got me hooked, and I was dying to know where in "Northern Illinois" they found that old opera house with all of the cool posters. Any ideas Chicagoans?

New episodes of American Pickers are on Monday nights at 9/8c. Speaking of which, a new episode is on RIGHT NOW so I better let you go :-)

Check it out! Oh, and thanks dad!

Mood Board Monday - Yellow & Grey

It's Mood Board Monday!

Today it's all about yellow and grey. For the first time, every item I am featuring in my montage is from etsy, which means it is all either handmade or vintage, which I love.

Kitschicagoan Yellow & Grey Mood Board

Here are the sources of my inspiration...

Top (from left to right):
1. that moment in yellow . fine art print, by gretchenmist, etsy seller
2. Tiny Dove Grey Suitcase. Citrus Satin Lining., from pinguim, etsy seller
3. Vintage Mid Century Handy Hannah Blow Dryer w/stand, from bluebell, etsy seller
4. Cloudy with a Chance of Sunshine- Bobby Pin Set, by EclecticOrchid, etsy seller
5. Vintage Fabric Applique Leaf Pillow, by RobinsEggBlue, etsy seller
6. Modern Dandelions print, Yellow and Grey, by fancyprints, etsy seller
7. Vintage Plastic Honey Syrup Dispenser Jar Pitcher, from katysjewels, etsy seller
8. Handmade Tomboy Billfold Wallet - Deco Martini Dot (I have the recripocal of this wallet and LOVE it), by BCharmer, etsy seller
9. flapper . hair clip, by themustardseedco, etsy seller

Enjoy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rug: Take Two

Thanks to those of you who gave their opinion on the rug I found last week on overstock. Due to the positive feedback I almost went for it, until I found this rug instead...


...and it ended up being the winner! I thought the colors would allow us more flexibility for future decor, instead of sticking to mostly warm colors like in the other rug. I bought it in a 6X6 square, instead of a 4X6 rectangle, so I'll let you know what it looks like in our place once it arrives.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My First Groupon: Floral Design Class

Today was my first Groupon purchase!


I just signed-up last night, so it was also the first Groupon that ever appeared in my inbox, yet I'm pretty sure that the fine folks over there were reading my mind. In that case, they would have known that I have been dying to take a floral design class, but that all the ones I found online (here and here) were very expensive and quite a time commitment.

So I'm sure that what happened, is that the nice people at Groupon waited patiently to send out this deal until the very day I decided to join :-) And I'm so happy that they did because now I can affordably test the waters of the new creative outlet that has recently piqued my interest. Today's deal that I snagged is this: $80 for a Floral Design Class at Epoch Floral ($175 Value). That's a 54% discount!


It's good for one year and the current class list is here. I think one of the coolest parts is that we get to take a trip through the flower wholesaler where we will be able to purchase flowers and supplies for our own personal use at the wholesale price. I probably won't be able to cash this in until September or later, since the Saturday classes will coincide with the Saturday photography class I start next month, but it will be something to look forward to as summer comes to an end. Best of all, my friend & colleague also got the Groupon today so we can go and learn together.

By the way do you Groupon? If not, click here to sign up for deals in your city, and you can also click here to learn more about how it works!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mood Board Monday - Pale Pink & Gold

It's Mood Board Monday!

I'm not usually a big pink person, but today I was feeling a little girly so I threw this together. I love the soft, feminine, vintage feel of this combo of pale pink and gold.

Kitschicagoan Pale Pink & Gold Mood Board

Here are the sources of my inspiration...

Top (from left to right):
1. Elexia Flower Doorknobs, Pink, from Anthropologie
2. Gold Capiz Hanging Lamp, from ZGallerie
3. Helianthus Goblet, Amber, from Anthropologie
4. Wide-Eyed Dishtowel, Pink, from Anthropologie
5. Kenneth Jay Lane A Secret Affair Ring, Pink/Gold, from Zappos
6. Vintage Leaf Ceramic Dish - Pink, by moxiethrift, etsy seller
7. Squirnuts- 3 blank note cards, by wonting, etsy seller

Enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rug Survey

Is this rug kitschy-cool in an anthropologie-inspired collage sort of way or does it just have too much going on in a gaudy kind of way? Discuss :-)


Also, the description says it's blue but I think it looks grey. What's your take?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Weekend Randomness

This is one of those random compilation posts, since I was a bit absent from blogging lately due to playing catch-up at work from our vacation. But I do have a few little snippets to feature.

  • This week I have been puppy sitting this beautiful little beast, my dog niece, Monster.
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  • A few weeks ago I received my first piece of "fan mail" for my blog from friend & fellow blogger, Sara. She is one of my creative comrades and receiving this from her was just the thing to brighten my day.
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  • This weekend is the Old Town Art Fair here in Chicago. Today is rather overcast, but if I can pull Dave away from the World Cup coverage then I hope to make our way over there tomorrow.

    It's one of my favorite summer street fairs here in the city and the place I first discovered my favorite local artist, Dolan Geiman, a few years ago.

  • Last, but certainly not least, I finally have a Sunday TV obsession to look forward to again because the third season of True Blood premieres tomorrow night on HBO. Honestly, the first season was much better than the second season, but I hope the third makes up for it.

Mexico: A Week in Review

Our trip to Mexico was exactly what we needed with not much more than some well-deserved R&R with my husband. So on that note I give it a 10 out of 10 :-)


You can see all of our photos on my flickr feed, but here are some highlights. (A full review is below.)

Our visit to Tulum, the Mayan Ruins:

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The resort:

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Our Suite:

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Since I always rely on trip reviews, especially through tripadvisor, to plan the perfect getaway I will let you in on my more extensive review of our all-adult, all-inclusive resort: The Royal Playa del Carmen. If you use trip advisor, you can find my review here.

Otherwise here is is below for your reading pleasure: The Royal Playa del Carmen, "Beautiful grounds & suite, hit or miss food & drinks."

We just returned on June 5th from our 5-night/6 day stay at The Royal Playa del Carmen and were impressed overall. The staff is friendly, always smiling, and although service was often slow it was acceptable for a low-key, relaxing atmosphere.

Check-in however was disappointing and we had to wait two hours for our room, one hour after the first hour they said we would have to wait. Hanging out in a hot lobby and a hot restaurant after a long flight was not ideal.

Once we got into our suite we were happy. The suites are spacious, comfortable and very clean. The bed linens were soft and high thread count. I enjoyed reading in our balcony hammock and we really had no complaints about the room at all. The in room Jacuzzi tub was a nice touch, too.

The location, just steps from 5th Avenue was ideal if you ever plan to go off the resort, and it was just a 15-minute walk to the ferry to Cozumel which is convenient if you plan to visit the island. The pools were large, never overcrowded and the beach is equally gorgeous. You have to rise early to get your ideal pool or beach loungers and cabanas, but even later in the day we never had trouble finding a chair somewhere.

I think the drinks and food is where The Royal fell a bit short of my expectations. If this was a middle-of-the-road resort, I would have been impressed, but for place the touts their food as "gourmet” and ranked #3 in luxury, I think they are over-promising and under-delivering. So I'm going to be a little harsh, largely due to my high expectations.

DRINKS: It took me two days to really find a suitable drink at the pool. And I'm really not that picky. Often I settled for beer. Daiquiris are not fresh at all and are very syrupy. And although top shelf liquor is offered, the same types are not offered at each bar, each time. One day you might get what you ask for and the next day (or even hour) they might say they don't have it there. I asked for a coconut rum & pineapple juice at one bar and he told me that the coconut rum bottle was just full of water and not real rum, and that he didn't have any available. Ok. Vodka tonic it is then. Also, their wines by the glasses were not good at all. And they only offered one white and one red table wine; otherwise you had to upgrade to buy a bottle. For an all inclusive, they should include at least one or two acceptable red and white wines by the glass.

FOOD: Spice and Mediterraneo were just ok, but what do you expect from a buffet style service? Ceviche at Spice for lunch was nice.

Asiana & Maria Marie's (French Mexican fusion) were the shining stars of the resort. Both had great food, with a terrific presentation to match. At Asiana I recommend the Shrimp with Coconut Milk & Vinegar, but skip the sushi rolls. Sashimi was ok, but don't order anything with crab, it was dried out and looked to be imitation. At Maria Marie's the Caesar Salad is TO DIE FOR (and I'm not easily wowed by a salad), along with the crème brulee for dessert.

I also had a wonderful grouper at Pelicano's, where my husband also had a very good flank steak. Tapas & Pintxos had a small selection but was nice for lunch. The fish tacos were stellar and the sangria there was the best drink I had all trip (finally!).

The new Coffee Bar over near the newer, smaller pool was also very nice and a good place to get an iced latte in the morning. You also can dine at the sister resort across the street where we enjoyed Maria's (Mexican) and both ordered enchiladas mole, but did not like Il Pescatore (Italian) at all. Skip it. My other complaint is that every indoor restaurant, with the exception of Asiana, was still very hot inside. Even at night I was sweating at almost every meal, which certainly takes away from a fine dining experience.

Lastly, room service was good...when they got it right. Their coffee and cream was terrific, but we ordered room service breakfast 5 out of 6 mornings and it was only correct twice. They didn't mess it up enough for us to complain or wait 30 minutes for a fix, but a tiny bit annoying none-the-less.

Overall, if you aren't much of a food snob, and want a beautiful place to relax and unwind, I highly recommend this resort. It's clean, comfortable and overall classy. If you are a foodie, just mentally prepare yourself for good (but not great) food and ok drinks and you'll be just fine.

And about Playa del Carmen in general, I will still stand by my word that this area of Mexico has some of the most beautiful water and beaches in the entire Caribbean :-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mood Board Monday - Moss Green & Chocolate Brown

Welcome back to Mood Board Monday!


This combo might be so 2008, since it was in fact my wedding color combo (along with orange) way back then ;-) But I still love the combination of a mossy green and chocolate brown. It's so earthy, retro and modern all at once.

Kitschicagoan Moss Green & Chocolate Brown Mood Board

Here are the sources of my inspiration...

Top (from left to right):
1. Moss Monogram from my wedding, photo by Jon Koch
2. Onesies with a green and brown striped necktie, by SuperSweetCreations, etsy seller
3. Tree at the Chicago Botanic Garden, photo by me, on flickr
4. Missouri, by Frank Chimero, on flickr (I own the Missouri and Illinois print and LOVE them).
5. Geometry 20" Pillow, from Crate & Barrel
6. Tetra Bowl, Scales, from Anthropologie
7. Green Lotus Fabric Note Cards, by Lockette, etsy seller
8. Eat Good Food print, by LuckyBluebirdArt, etsy seller

Enjoy!

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About Me

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I'm a St. Louis native, but I have been living in Chicago since 2005 and am loving every windy minute of it. I enjoy cooking (more-so eating), home decorating and really anything creative. I'm a supporter of DIY & handmade goods, a fledgling foodie and a connoisseur of kitsch. I spend my days filling online shopping carts, emptying them and repeating the process all over again. Most of all I love spending time with my husband, Dave, our first child, Claire and my dog, Louie.

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