Tag Archives: chicago

Una Mae’s

Last week I took a whole afternoon to explore the shops at Wicker Park.  It’s one of those places where you always go to get something good to fill up your  stomach and by the time “shopping’ comes into discussion you’re too full to handle a bargain.

Una Mae’s wasn’t totally unfamiliar to my ears, however I had very little idea of what to expect. First came vintage home goods and scented candles.

Not sure what was going on in my little brain that day, but the guy’s section was just so attractive it took me a while to get the women’s  area. I especially liked a wallet that from what I can recall was very stylish and under 25 bucks.

Since this photo hinted “sale” at me, let’s talk cash. Prices are extremely reasonable at Una Mae’s, and that I didn’t expect. They sell the most charming vintage pocket-watch necklaces, and the owner (whom I can’t recall the name for the life of me) was extremely nice and helpful. We spent quite some time discussing heating solutions for her house  and so on.

The vintage loft, also small but very cozy. My fav part, for sure.

There are a few high pointerthat classify the Wicker Park boutique as a must-at-least-visit-soon spot on my list: inexpensive, eccentric, awesome jewelry, chic, old, new, a complete shopping experience. And I love that.

The verdict: If you have no idea what to get your boo for his birthday, anniversary, valentine’s day or Christmas, come to Una Mae’s and I’m sure you’ll spot something cool to give. For the girls, I’d say the jewelry and the vintage finds at the loft are the main reason to shop at Una Mae’s.

Where? 1528 N Milwaukee Ave (between Damen Ave and North Ave) Chicago, IL 60622



So yeah… I painted my area rug. No, I didn’t use proper paint. Yes, it was very time-consuming. No, I was not in my right mind. Yes, it took way longer than anticipated. No, I wouldn’t do it again if you paid me (well, maybe!) and heck yeah, I love the result. Not because it’s any state of the art piece, but it looks close enough to something I’d spot at the store but with a lower price tag ($39.99 at ikea.) Like that?

I had everything else needed sitting around the house from earlier diy projects, from thin art brushes bought-for but never-used on our stenciled wall to cans of blue and black latex paint and cardboard. Latex paint wasn’t the best idea but I was way too lazy to run to the store and get fabric paint medium.

But just paint and brush wasn’t all I needed. I had to choose a pattern, which I found on Pinterest and looked like this:

that I later  printed and cut to look like this:

I  measured the rug  on both sides and began designing the pattern on the very center (or somewhere close enough).  Gotta work on my measuring skills.

And three hour later the design suddenly started gaining shape. Maybe not so sudden but you get the idea:

Things started getting a little chaotic but that’s how I roll

It took no less than a whole exhausting month to finish this “little project”. Of course I took I several-day breaks along the way, but still a much longer time allowance than budgeted. Here’s how the final piece is complimenting the room:

Lady in Black

I’m wearing: zara dress and tights, topshop blouse, dkny coat, arezzo boots, vintage earrings, chanel sunglasses

There’s a lot more to Chicago living than putting up with deadly wind-sheer and that’s dressing up on regular afternoon without getting judging stares from others. I think most people who live here don’t realize how much freedom they have. There’s not a chance I could go anywhere in Orlando looking like this and not getting confused with the nearest attraction. That’s NOT one of the pluses of residing somewhere close to the sun, where wearing anything other than shorts and flip-flops is a huge fashion statement and people tour for a living. Believe it or not I’m on the edge of excitement while prepping for this winter (although already advised this is just the beginning) and figure: if it gives you an excuse to put more on, how bad can it really be, right? Right?

Vest Like

I’m wearing: urban outfitters sweater, h&m faux fur scarf and cluth, express belt, topshop skirt and tights, boutique 9 boots

In case I haven’t mentioned yet, I’m this close to loosing it because of a fur vest. All of the sudden, I’m seeing them everywhere but they always so damn expensive. My little pocket can only handle so much spending, even though my unfaithful eyes never agree. Temp solution? H&M makes these great faux fur scarfs that can be thrown over any jacket, sweater, dress for under $20 pesos. I threw it over a dark sweater, twisted both sides near my neck,  wrapped it with a belt and look! I’ve got myself faux vest.

Am I Mad Or What?

For someone who grew up wearing nothing on my head but hair elastics, maybe a headband when pushing it,  I’m making huge improvements. Never  in my twenty something years (you didn’t think I was going to reveal my actual age here, did you? I’m a type cast) of life did I think I’d be wearing hats, actual hats on my head. Better yet, vintage hats. This is so exciting. I feel British, I feel mad hatter!

At first I was just trying these on, which quickly became choosing one to go home with. Hey, I deserved it! It was a gift for my unbirthday.

Sorry about the whitish stripe running down my face in nearly every click. I blame the mirror keeper at the shop, whoever that may be. Windex, people! Once in a while.

Holiday Dinner Party

Wearing: topshop blouse, necklace and tights, forever 21 dress, h&m cluth, azezzo orzfords

I have to share a little story about this dress. I got it in 08 during a quick visit to Chicago. That year I took it with me to Brazil as an option to wear for a Christmas dinner party I was hosting. Turns out Betsey Johnson designed a better dress and my best friend got to wear this one for dinner. We took tons of pictures (me wearing Betsey and she wearing 21) and while flipping through them with another friend, I hear: Wow, what an ugly little dress your friend has got herself! I immediately replied: Well, it’s kind of my dress. That day I was in a very good mood and we finished it off with a big laugh. There she was, being so honest about something she probably wouldn’t have said if she knew the dress was mine in first place. But you know what? I appreciated the unintentional honesty (although I clearly didn’t care a bit since here I am wearing it again) This episode makes me think: When is it okay to be completely honest about a friend’s outfit (especially when you know she’s put extra work into it but it still doesn’t look right) Do you not say anything and let her walk out of the house looking weird but happy or do you say something, run the risk of getting a slap in the face or MAYBE a thank you? I don’t know…. I kind of like my face.

Veruca Salt

If only there was a place where I could shop for the most stylish accessories right underneath my building. Wait a second! I think there’s a place where I can shop for the most stylish accessories right underneath my building indeed! The place? Veruca Salt (name taken from that spoiled little brat who wants it all in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

It was definitely not my first visit to the boutique here in River North. And it’s not your first look through here either (remember the photo background of the Aubrey Hepburn inspired Halloween costume ?) I’m always walking by and checking out what’s new, trying without success to ignore the window display every time. But let’s be real: I don’t really want to. They do such a good job dressing the mannequins, providing great eye candy and a breath of fresh air  for anyone that’s walking by. What you see at Veruca Salt you definitely won’t find at department stores. It is in fact a place to get spoiled at.

The location is convenient (for me especially), the clothes are great, prices are on the higher end (with that comes quality, I may point out), but let’s just take a minute to drool over the accessories table? “Dad, I want it NOW!” Necklaces ranged from about $40 to $70 each. Pricey but in all honesty, they can be worn in so many ways and occasions I’d say it’s still a good investment. Besides, these are unique, lowering the chances you will bump into the same beauty embellishing another neck around the corner. Just saying.

As I stopped by to document the shop, the Sun-Times coincidentally had the same idea. Not quite but close. I caught them in action, using Veruca Salt as a set for shooting a look styled by Suzanne Kopulos from garmental.com

The winter accessories table frightens me a bit. To think one has to wear so much knit at once to escape the freezing winter is not a happy thought. Even when they are cute like these knit hats and scarves.

Amber, the boutique owner was very nice and helpful, willing to talk to me even though she had a whole news reporting crew running around in her store.  It really helps when boutique owners and their associates focus on developing a close relationship with customers and Amber’s team does that well. I lost count of how many times I’ve asked/received advice on winter clothing shopping. Good for them because there’s nothing worse than entering a boutique and feeling invisible (just because I don’t look like I lay golden eggs doesn’t mean I can’t afford one).

Due to a very tight budget I had to restrict my spoiling session (for now anyways) to the ridiculously good scented Jonathan Adler tomato candle. What a treat!

If you happen to stop by Veruca Salt during your Black Friday  shopping marathon they are offering 55% off their English Muffin clothing line . Nevermind the candle, THIS  is a real treat.

The verdict: As described above, their clothing selection is great, but what’s is really special and worth checking out at this store are the maxi necklaces and earrings.

Where?  N Kingsbury Chicago, IL 60654