Monthly Archives: September 2016


September 28, 2016

Here are the links I’m loving this week, Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

1.  Yes Anthony Bourdain, number 4.

2.  It’s the last of zucchini season and this is practically a health food.

3.  Team NY or Team LA?  This made me laugh…I still would pick LA.

4.  It’s that time of year for apples and apple cider donuts!

5.  Emotional granularity…reduce stress by learning new words for emotional concepts.

6.  Probably the most ethereal hummus on earth, cloud-like, dreamy and creamy.

7.  I adore Kate Middleton and her style.

8.  And, I love Kate’s tall boots.

9.  I always wondered why everyone talks about the Pantone color of the year…now we know.

Fall/Winter 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

September 24, 2016

New project = Capsule Wardrobe Project

Have you guys ever heard of a capsule wardrobe?  If not, I recommend you learn more about this method of planning your outfits.  A capsule wardrobe is collection of about 30 pieces (including pants, tops, jackets, skirts and shoes) that you wear for a defined period of time, for example Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer.  You choose your outfit combinations only from this group of clothes.  And when the season changes, you review what you have and change out a few key pieces to have a fresh wardrobe for next few months.


I challenge you right now to go into your closets and count up how many articles of clothing you have.  Go.  Right now.  I bet it’s a lot more than 30 pieces right?  I bet you have clothes from when you were skinnier.  You have clothes that were for a “one time” event.  You have clothes that were a “trend” 5 years ago.  And let me guess, you stand there more than half the time and think “I have NOTHING to wear!”  Well this capsule wardrobe project might be your solution.

The other things I am hoping this project will do for me is:

  1. Better define a more polished style for myself.
  2. Allow me to think more critically about purchases I make.
  3. Always feel good in everything I wear.
  4. Getting rid of clutter in my closet.
  5. Save myself time, money and heartache.

For me, it’s that last bullet that is key.  I am not really the kind of person who enjoys spending hours on end in a department store shopping and searching for clothes.  Especially if I am not sure what i am looking for.  I don’t have the time for that.  Also, I think this will save me money in the long run allowing me to purchase fewer, but better quality items that will last longer.  And finally, I don’t want to have any more heartache/regrets about owning something that I only wore once because it was a trend, or it “would do for now”.  I feel bad looking at that sad lonely piece in my closet that goes with nothing else.  What was the point of the purchase?  I think with this capsule wardrobe plan, I can be more decisive about the clothing choices I make.  I can make better quality choices and only purchase those items that I love to wear.  And what does that do?  It adds to your joy, and more joy means you feel good.

So what have I chosen?  Let me walk you through some of the things I would like to wear in my everyday life (outside of work) this Fall/Winter Season 2016.  I think it maximizes the possible combinations of outfits because almost everything goes with everything else.  It’s new look every day.


I think a great pair of black jeans, like those up there ^^ are important.  Depending on how you dress them they can look softer or edgier and go from day to night.  Along with black jeans, I also like a classic chambray button down, a red buffalo check button down for that pop of color and of course the classic black and white striped tee.  Very français don’t you think?  Mais oui.  And I really like that black leather moto jacket up there too.  I am feeling like I want to be edgier this season and I think a black leather jacket will work.  Also, it’s a memory of my youth.  The official uniform of Greek people, LOL.  I think every Greek person I know owned or still owns a black leather jacket.  You would think we were a people of Arthur Fonzarellis.


Next, I think a great pair of blue jeans and 2-3 blazers will add to that pulled together feeling this fall.  I like a great tweed professor blazer, maybe with elbow patches.  In this image you can see it paired with that chambray top I mentioned earlier.  It just makes me feel so smart.  I like a classic navy blazer, alà Kate Middleton.  Look at her up there ^^ in the center.  She is wearing jeans, a striped tee AND a navy blazer.  It all works.  And I also like a grey wool or corduroy blazer to wear with jeans and white tee.  It makes this look feel more “finished”.

The Rule of 3 suggests that things that comes in a set of 3 are always more powerful, aesthetically pleasing and memorable.

The Rule of 3 is something every woman should think about when dressing.  This rule is very easy for guys and is more often than not why they can look “complete” let’s say wearing something as plain as khaki pants, a button down and a tie.  It’s 3 pieces.  It’s complete.  I recommend you try it.  Next time you wear that skirt and button down or jeans and plain white tee shirt.  Think about it for a minute.  How do you feel?  I bet you feel it looks like it’s missing something.  It is!  It’s missing that third piece.  Add a chunky necklace to that button down and skirt.  Add a blazer to that white tee and jeans.  You will immediately feel transformed.


Other things I want to add for this capsule: long necklaces and brown booties.  I think long necklaces add some interest and details to a grey or white tee shirt.  It can also help you with that “Rule of 3” rule.  Necklaces are the female equivalent of men’s ties.

I also love brown shoes.  Any shade of brown in fact is A-OK with me.  Beige, tan, honey, butterscotch brown, it’s all good.  I think it adds a softer and more natural look than the austerity of black.  The perfect neutral.  Also important for fall I think is a great greenish khaki utility jacket for tooling around town when you run errands and of course the classic white button down.  You can’t go wrong with that and it goes with almost any pair of pants or skirt, ready to be dressed up with a necklace or blazer…mmm-hmmm.  Rule of 3.


And I can I talk a minute about this woman’s style up there ^^ with the chambray shirt?  Wow.  This is the ultimate in flexibility of a piece and shows you exactly the point of a capsule wardrobe.  So you can take this chambray shirt and “dress down” with a khaki or tan colored skirt, or make it more “professional” with a great pair of trouser pants or “dress it up” with a skirt in a surprise pop of color.  Very unique and stylish.  I like this.  A lot.


Finally, I really love grey jeans or grey cords.  It’s different, a little softer, kind of like a very washed out black jean.  And it’s neutral enough to change up your look when let’s say you are matching it withe other pieces in your capsule, like a white or grey tee shirt.  It can also match well with you blazer and leather jacket.  Love all of these options.  I need a cardigan too.  That cream colored one up there in the center matches some nude heels and works great.

If you are looking to work on a similar project to make your fashion life easier, Caroline Joy from Un-Fancy is the QUEEN of this method.  I recommend going to her website for inspiration and tips.  Also Pinterest is a great resource when trying to scout out different pieces and see how they work with different looks.  That’s how I was able to make the image trios in this post.  If I print out the images and tack them on the inside of my closet I have an immediate reference to how the inventory of clothes I have work together.  I think it’s worth the effort.

So let’s build a Capsule Wardrobe recipe.  Here is what I am looking for this Fall/Winter season of 2016.

What will you include in your capsule wardrobe?  What’s your style?

Tell me in the comments below =)

Fall/Winter 2016 Capsule Wardrobe


  1. Black pants/jeans
  2. Blue jeans
  3. Grey jeans or cords
  4. Tan cords/khakis
  5. Trouser pants
  6. Chambray button down
  7. Buffalo check button down
  8. White button down
  9. Navy button down
  10. Black and white striped tee shirt
  11. White tee shirt
  12. Grey tee shirt
  13. Black tee shirt
  14. Graphic tee shirt
  15. Tweed blazer
  16. Navy blazer
  17. Grey cord blazer
  18. Brown booties
  19. Black wedge booties
  20. Animal print flats
  21. Green chuck tailors
  22. Tan skirt
  23. Bright color or print skirt
  24. Black pencil skirt
  25. Cream fisherman’s sweater
  26. Dark grey fine wool knit sweater
  27. Long beige cardigan
  28. Black moto jacket
  29. Khaki utility jacket
  30. Navy pea coat

Mix, match, combine and enjoy a season of no worry fashion.



September 21, 2016

Here are some of my favorites links this Wednesday, September 21, 2016:

  1. Try some tahini in your salad dressing like this one.
  2. Dolly Parton and I share the same birthday.
  3. Very compelling article about why exercise keeps you young.  Read it!
  4. Just take a vacation already!  It’s for your own good.
  5. I’m sensing a theme here.  Maybe I need some time off.
  6. What does this say about me?  I speak 4 languages…uh oh!
  7. Thai coconut lime dressing…yes please.  I must be trying to hold on to summer.
  8. Did you guys see the moon last weekend?  It was divine.
  9. Are you the most competent person in the room?  Maybe you shouldn’t let on.
  10. What if animals were round?
  11. I love headspace.
  12. Here is one for all you science people.
  13. What would you drink if you were a writer?  Check out Carson McCullers, whoa!
  14. Turns out Italians are like Greeks…this article is so awesome.
  15. Lady Gaga video…great song.


Where Have All the Faeries Gone?

September 18, 2016

Did you see the moon this weekend?  It was a harvest moon and it was HUGE!  It was one of those moons that was big, round and kind of golden with perfectly placed dark clouds passing through it.  You know, a fall moon.  A spooky  moon.  A moon that makes you think of ghosts, goblins and other absurd things.  Ah, the absurd.  My friend T has a favorite expression, “revel in the absurd” and that is exactly what we did this moonlit weekend.


“Chicago Pinup” by artist Jason Brueck of Alter Images (I bought that at the West Loop Art Fair)

My husband had plans to go to the Echo and the Bunnymen concert with his buddies on Saturday, so I called up T and told her to “get her pants on” because we needed to go have a spontaneous adventure.

My first thought was that we needed to find a little place to enjoy a drink and some small snacks.  Maybe at an outdoor patio, so as to take advantage of the warm weather we are still having in September.  Winter is coming and before you know it Chicago will be a city of unrecognizable people in ski masks and big puffer coats.  So we ended up at Scofflaw, where we ordered a couple of cocktails and smothered this burrata cheese topped with olive oil, apples and pistachios all over our faces.


We started talking about movies and that maybe we should go see one later.  But the only movies currently in theaters were of course those halloween-like, slasher films.  Ugh fall season movies, the worst!  We decided that our imaginations were WAY TOO overactive to go see a slasher film.

I mean, remember the movie Signs with Joaquin Phoenix and Mel Gibson?  You know the one about crop circles and aliens?  Yeah, THAT film!  This movie sat with me so much that I thought there we aliens in my home for over a week.  Too much.  Too much.  I can’t.  My brain just has way too overactive an imagination.  I don’t even like sleeping without my arms and legs being tucked in under the covers (because you know, monsters under the bed and all, ha!)

So we decided going to the movies that night, was OUT.  Next stop, ice cream.  The closest ice cream shop was Black Dog Gelato.  I had the olive oil almond and T had toasted coconut.  And about 4 different “tastes” of some other gelato and sorbets.  Did you know cucumber and rosewater makes a divine combination?  It does.  I have to figure that one out at home.


On the heels of our “oh I can’t do a scary movie” conversation, T and I started talking about something else we couldn’t do.  Turns out we both couldn’t tolerate listening to crazy, scary stories about faeries or “neraides” as they are known in Greece.  I like writing “faeries”, it’s so British.

Anyway, back to neraides…they are these supernatural pixie-like creatures that frequent streams, mountain forests or the bottom of trees and can take various forms.  And they are mostly not good.  Okay, never good.  Almost EVERYONE in Greece knows someone or has someone in their family that has dealt with or seen these bizarre woodland nymphs.  And it FREAKS. ME. OUT.  I am not sure what upsets me more, the possibility that these fantastical creatures exist or the fact that there are people who swear up and down that they have dealt with these faeries.


Did you know that faeries apparently are non-smokers?  Let me explain.

My grandfather once told me a story about his close encounter with the spritely kind.  Many, many harvest moons ago, when he was younger, he went to divert some of the village’s well water to his crop of sultana grapes in the middle of the night.  These grapes are specific to making raisins since they are seedless.  What?  I thought you would want to know.  Anyway, on his way back home, a dog wearing a bell was following him.  My grandfather stopped and turned around to look at the dog and it also stopped.  And then it would start following him again.  Stop. Follow.  Stop.  Follow.  Again and again.  So my grandfather suspecting that this was not your regular run of the mill dog, took out a cigarette and lit it.  And POOF, the dog disappeared.  This freaked my grandfather out.  And it FREAKED ME out more when he told me the story.  What on earth?  Thanks pappou, there is no way I am sleeping tonight!

Apparently, a lit cigarette is the super top secret weapon to making these mischievous pixies disappear.  You heard it here first folks.  Now why he had to go “water his sultana grapes” before the butt crack of dawn is beyond me.  My mom claims it’s because farmers would water their fields at night when it was still cool. Watering crops during the day was a no-no.  The sun would make the water too hot and ruin the crops.  Well, that’s great, but when faeries and disappearing dogs are lurking, it seems a bit risky.  Don’t you think?  Forget logic!

Which begs the questions, “Where have all the neraides gone?”  I know you are singing that last sentence to Paul Cole‘s “Where have all the cowboys gone?”  Aren’t you?  That’s okay, I am.

T thought it was a valid question and so we made an attempt to ask a reputable source,  a Greek in Greece, since they are apparently all experts in faeries.  We wanted to know why there weren’t any documented faery encounters in modern times.  Of course, it was the middle of the night in Greece and we would have to wait until the next morning to find out via WhatApp.  Hopefully, our source wasn’t on a middle of the night grape watering project or collecting honey from mountain forests.  Eeek!


The next morning, T and I went to Lula Cafe in Logan Square, because that is what I do every weekend, and she told me that her family had a similar story as my grandfather’s.  Apparently, her grandmother’s brother was walking alone at night, smoking a cigarette and guess what?  A bell wearing dog was following him.  What???  I know crazy.  Is this the national pixie story of Greece?  Does this particular pixie prefer to transform into a dog?   Who can say.  But in this version however, the dog transformed into a more recognizeable faery and told him, “Good thing you have that cigarette.”

Come on!  Stop!  I can’t anymore!

Everyone in Greece acts like these faeries are bad news, but so far it seems that they are all anti-smoking champions.  Well, our Greek source was no help.  They still believed in neraides and wasn’t sure where they were hiding.  I offered that perhaps the faeries had enough of Greece’s #1 past time of cigarette smoking and moved to another country that had tougher anti-smoking laws.  T suspected that they were perhaps in hiding in this modern age because faeries feared being captured in a picture on someone’s phone who would subsequently post it to Instagram.  Well I know I would.


I couldn’t take it anymore.  I wanted an answer to why no one had a modern pixie story.  So I asked my mom.  And her thoughts were that old world peoples, our elders, were much more innocent and kind hearted than people of today.  So only the innocent would be able to see such things as faeries.  And today, society is not so innocent, even evil at times, so the faeries fear us and stay hidden.

I have to say, while I think this whole pixie business is bunk, I think there is some hidden wisdom or symbolism in my mother’s words.  Think about how man has poisoned the streams these faeries are supposed to frequent.  Think about how many trees and forests man has destroyed.  The mystical essence of Mother Nature is continually being damaged.  Am I getting too deep?  Maybe.  But I think you know what I mean.  Maybe there is a message to be found here.

After lunch, T and I met up with another friend of ours E at the West Loop Art Fair.  As we strolled up and down the art exhibits in the blinding sun, we asked her if she had heard any stories about faeries on the Ikarian island where her family is from.  She said, “No sorry.  Ikarians were too Communist to believe in faeries.”

So there you have it folks, neraides are apparently afraid of cigarette smoke and communism.

True story.  Do you have any tales of old world faeries?  Tell me in the comments.

Have a great week everyone.  😉







September 14, 2016

Here are some of the links l liked reading this week, September 14, 2016.


That’s my friend T. up there carrying my watermelon, with a wool shepherd’s bag crossed over her shoulder…and yes, high heels.  Because that makes sense for a farmer’s market…as my wise old aunt Vicki used to say, “Never leave the house without lipstick and high heels, you just never know who you’re going to meet.”  And there you go.


  1. These chocolate chip cookies take 24-36 hours to make…oh New York Times!
  2. Hooray!  Lady Gaga is back.
  3. Save these recipes for winter (when you are in need of a summer fantasy)
  4. I still want this bag.
  5. The secret history of Sophia’s Sauce, aka Thousand Island dressing.
  6. Let’s road trip.  Route 66 turns 90 this year.
  7. Ok, succulents are amazing!  Look.
  8. I think I agree with this…always be prepared.
  9. You guys, fish, hard-boilied eggs and rice…it’s a thing.  It’s kedgeree.  What?  It’s British.