December 29, 2010

Clearly, I was a good girl this year...

...because Santa (aka hubby) brought me a new camera!! Not just any camera, but the Sony NEX I've been wanting for months...literally since the moment Dana, from The Art of Accessories, mentioned it on her blog!

Needless to say, I've been testing out my new baby (I'm still thinking of a name for him/her) by snapping an insane amount of random photos over the past few days. It's amazing how beautiful the cans of Arizona Iced Tea look through the eyes of an HD camera. lol!

Anywho, I'm excited about the quality of photos I will now be able to post on this blog. It really is time for an upgrade, don't you think?

I must take this time to say Happy Holidays to you all! I thank you for your continued support, comments and awesome feedback. It is YOU that helps ChiTown Fashionista flourish and my hope is that all of your wishes will be granted in the new year. CHEERS!

December 28, 2010

Mobile Shopping Chronicles: Missoni (courtesy of K&G)

I immediately stopped in my tracks when I spotted the signature Missoni print in K&G. Priced at $250 - $375, the dresses were well under their retail prices of $1000+.

The Designer Spotlight section (which really only consisted of one rack of clothes and one rack of shoes) also had a great selection of items by designers such as DvF, Prada, Emilio Pucci and See by Chloe.

It's definitely worth a trip to the 'burbs.

*spotted at K&G in Orland Park, IL
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December 27, 2010

Mobile Shopping Chronicles: Kate Spade (courtesy of TJ Maxx)

This lovely, ladylike leather (try saying that 3 times fast) Kate Spade bag is available at 70% off retail. Craaaazinesss!

*spotted today at TJ Maxx in Tinley Park, IL
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December 23, 2010

Bloggers + (Manicures, Cupcakes & Wine) = Fun Times

When I met Lisa of Fantabulously Frugal a few weeks ago, she informed me that American Express wanted to partner with her to host  a Manicures, Cupcakes and Wine event for some of Chicago's top bloggers.  I was excited by just the thought of getting pampered and hanging out with my fellow bloggers.  So, when she asked for my help with the guest list, I enthusiastically obliged!

Held at CiCi Nails (3323 N. Lincoln Ave), the private event was the perfect opportunity to relax and socialize. We took turns getting manis, which meant there was ample time to indulge in wine and More Cupcakes. Lisa also provided us with a brief summary of the new AMEX Zync card that is targeted towards younger adults and available in a variety of "packs".

The packs include a Music Pack (early access to ticket sales and rewards on concert tickets), Art Pack (access to private and pre-sale art events), Spa Pack (spa deals and discounts) and my personal favorite,  Style Pack (bonus points for shopping and private sales). Click HERE to learn more about the card and to see all of the packs available.

We all had a wonderful time chatting about beauty, fashion and life. As if the manis, wine and cupcakes weren't enough, there also were USB cards disguised as ZYNC card lookalikes (LOVE!) plus a handbag giveaway...that DeeDee (aka The Sassy Peach) ended up winning. The CiCi Nails staff was very accommodating. They even took the time to snap pictures of us with the ridiculous amount of cameras in the room - you know how bloggers roll.

Check out some of the pics...

Clockwise from left: Lisa, DeeDee, Jess,Rachel

Clockwise from top left: Patrice, Brandy, Aiseneya, DeeDee, Raijean

Nicole (umm..I need her Kate Spade Owl bag in my life!!)

It was a pleasure being in the company of so many great women. Thanks to Lisa, AMEX and CiCi Nails for such an amazing event!

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December 17, 2010

Mobile Shopping Chronicles: Zanotti and MAXSTUDIO (courtesy of TJMaxx)

Zanotti sandals (left) and MAXSTUDIO leopard pumps (right)

Gotta love the great designer finds at TJ Maxx...especially when they're at a discounted price!

*spotted at TJ Maxx Wheaton
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December 16, 2010

Toe to Toe: Poetic Licence 'Egyptian Princess' Peep Toe Pump

Festive shoes with art-deco inspired details. But which color do you like more? Black with gold? Or bronze with emerald? Decisions, decisions...

Black and Bronze available at Lori's Shoes for $122.


December 14, 2010

Find Out How to Win a Treesje Handbag!

I just got wind of a great Treesje handbag giveaway! If you're not familiar with the brand, check out where you'll get a glimpse of the trendy, high-quality leather bags they have to offer.

Below are the details to enter.  Good Luck!! And remember, if you win, you have to let me borrow the handbag at least twice. Mkay?!



1. Upload a photo to the Treesje Facebook Page of your current "distressed" handbag along with a few lines on why YOU deserve a brand new Treesje Bag this year!

2. Suggest your photo to your friends so they can "like" your photo.

3. The post with the most "likes" by Christmas will win a free Treesje Bag!

It's almost Christmas,
Time to begin,
Throw out your old handbag,
A new one you'll win!

Don't forget to check out Treesje's blog at

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December 13, 2010

'Tis the Season: ChiTown Fashionista and Violet Revolution 2010 Holiday Gift Guide for Men

Violet Revolution and I are back with Part 2 of our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide!

Our first gift guide was all about the ladies.  But, of course we couldn't leave out the guys...especially since they tend to be the hardest ones to shop for. Check out our Top 10 Gifts for Men!

Hats and Caps by Goorin Bros ($25 and up): From the dapper gentleman to the cool kid, Goorin Brothers got you covered. With a wide variety of hats and caps, you're sure to find one that perfectly matches the personality of the recipient. Regardless of whether he's into hats, it's difficult to not appreciate the attention to detail that goes beyond just the exterior of the hat and spills over into the interior. You can order online but I suggest you visit them locally to check out the selection in person.

"Get Off Your High Horse" Shirt by Enstrumental ($80): You can always count on Enstrumental to design high-quality, creative shirts. And the "Get Off Your High Horse" (Ego Trip Edition) polo is no exception! Created as a spoof on a certain designer brand's polo, this shirt will definitely garner attention. But, it's also meant to make a statement with a logo that screams "I'm grounded"...literally. It's a limited edition so make sure you grab one before it's too late.

Frames at LabrabbitOptics ($75 and up): Whether he's into one-of-a-kind sunglasses or enjoys rocking the "geek chic" look, there really is no other place to find so many unique frames in one location. The owner, Coyote, is more of a curator - selecting frames that will spark an immediate emotional attachment. The leather shades and vintage designer specs are my favorites for the guys. Locals can visit LabRabbit in Wicker Park. Don't fret if you're not in Chicago, the online shop is well-stocked and organized. Just make sure you don't end up buying a pair or two for yourself.

Reveal Watch by Daniel Will-Harris ($100): If he seems to have EVERYTHING, this is the perfect gift. With a unique display that fades the numbers in and out as time passes, it would be especially intriguing to a Techie. On the flip side, its sleek and understated design would also compliment a businessman's wardrobe while still allowing him to show-off to his friends. And we all know how much men love to do that...

Cufflinks on Etsy ($20-$50): Can a man ever have too many cufflinks? Absolutely not. And the Southernliving26 Etsy Shop gets that. From bar codes to Transformers to logos of entities such as the NBA and Apple, these cufflinks appeal to a man's "cheeky" side. They are great gifts for a man who doesn't take himself too seriously. With prices starting at $20, you can buy multiple pairs - which is great since you won't be able to narrow down your choice to only one.

Shaving Kit ($50):  Does your man travel a lot? Or are you planning a winter getaway soon? How about this shaving carry on kit from The Art of Shaving? They are located at The Shops at Northbridge at 520 N. Michigan Ave. or you can shop online. All the sizes meet airport requirements and come in a plastic carrier.

Fun And Creative Date Guides ($10): How's your dating life been lately? If your answer is pathetic or non-existent, and your guy won't have a bruised ego about this gift, maybe it's time to drop a few hints with a Fun and Creative Date Guide. Whether you're married or dating, these ideas will certainly give your relationship a boost (plus, you might get a fabulous V-Day date out of it in a few months). This could also be a clever gift for your brother, especially if he's younger and just starting to take girls out on dates, or if he just has no skills at planning (a girl can only go to the movies so many times).

Haindpainted Drinking Glasses ($120 for 6): Whether you know a man that likes mixed drinks or has graduated to scotch on the rocks; he can now enjoy his drinks in this set of colorful, handpainted double old fashioned glasses. These are great for a guy who just moved into a new place or is just out of college and looking to add a whole new level of sophistication to his image.

Tretorn Winter Boots ($55-$140): Poor guys. When it's cold and snowy outside, what are they to do? They don't have Uggs or Hunter boots to choose from. In fact, I don't ever recall seeing men's cold weather boots in stores. Help a guy stay fashionable and warm this winter with Tretorn boots (boots pictured are $60) which can be found at HIS Stuff Chicago.

Crossword Puzzle Baseball ($20): What man doesn't love baseball? Test his knowledge with this crossword puzzle baseball from the New York Times. Your man will learn even more baseball trivia to impress his friends! This is ideal for a stocking stuffer, for dad, or even for a male boss or co-worker.

What do you think of our top gift ideas for men? Can you think of any other great gifts for the men in our lives?

P.S. Follow my buddy, Violet Revolution, on Facebook and Twitter.

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December 9, 2010

Toe to Toe: Dolce Vita 'Tatum'

Who wins?!

I've been eyeing these for a few weeks. I stumbled upon the caramel-colored pair and instantly fell in love. THEN, I discovered that they came in black (and only at Bloomingdales). I think the black is more chic. I'm already envisioning them paired with my #1 winter staple - black tights.

What do you think? Brown or Black?

Natural available at Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Lori's Shoes (best price).
Black only available at Bloomingdales.


December 6, 2010

'Tis the Season: ChiTown Fashionista and Violet Revolution 2010 Holiday Gift Guide for Women

What better way to celebrate the holidays than to present to you a Holiday Gift Guide with fellow fashion and shopping blogger, Nancy of Violet Revolution!!

In this two-part comprehensive guide, we will list our Top 10 Gifts for women AND men. So, let's get to it!

First up, gifts for the ladies...

The Scent of Anna Dello Russo  ($25): The self-titled, newly released (on December 3, 2010) fragrance from the Fashion Director of Vogue Nippon and all-around fashion goddess, Anna Dello Russo. Even if you're not into fashion, a vanilla and almond scent that is housed in a lovely gold shoe is bound to please any woman who loves all things pretty.

Shirts from Out of Print (under $40): From t-shirts to the newly-added long sleeve fleeces (as pictured), Out of Print clothing offers the perfect gift for bookworms or those that simply love the nostalgia of revisiting some of their childhood favorites. Plus, every purchase provides a book to a community in need. My current favorite is the Catcher in the Rye fleece!

Bracelets by RLT Collection ($35 and up): From wooden beads to semiprecious gemstones to pearls, the RLT Collection consists of bracelets handmade by the Emmy Award Winning AIDS Activist (and friend) Rae Lewis-Thornton. With so much variety, there is something for every woman AND budget. The ones completed with a fireball center will add just enough bling to your favorite girl's wrist.

Customized Le Pliage Bag by Longchamp ($45 and up): The iconic lightweight and foldable carryall can be completely customized! Available options include bag size, handle length, main color, stripe color, hardware finish plus embossing and/or embroidery. Here's a little formula to give you an idea of the number of possibilities: 6 models + 225 color combos + 2 handle sizes = 6750 creations. These can take up to 3 weeks for delivery, so hop to it!

Fashion Plates by Ben Morris ($8 each and up): Adorned with images sketched by SCAD professor, Ben Morris, these plates are perfect for any fashionista! Will they eat off of them? Who cares?! The only questions you should ask are "black and white images on round plates"? OR "colored images on square plates"? Decisions, decisions.

Kimono Robe by Plum Pretty Sugar ($70):  If you know a mom, whether it's your mom or a friend who's a mom; you know that moms like to be pampered, but that doesn’t happen too often in reality. Make her feel special everyday with this delicate Plum Pretty Sugar Kimono Style Robe. Ankle Length. Darling Jardin Bleu. Whenever I see robes in a department store, they're always either grandma style or these black satin ones meant for a night of oh la la. This one is practical enough for every day. So if baby spits up, the soft cotton can be washed easily; but is also feminine and sheer enough to make a girl feel sexy.

iPod Cozy by DashingEtc ($20): OMG, I want this! How cute is this felt floral iPhone/iPod carrier? It has a velcro top, so you can clip it on your belt and still look fashionable, plus it even has a little credit card/ID pocket hidden in back. This is great for working out or if you walk to work or take the el.

Leg Warmers by Hue ($16): For the fashionista in your life, get her some trendy legwarmers. No longer do you have to shelf your pumps for winter. These chunky knit ones by Hue can be worn over tights with a skirt (as shown) or over jeans/leggings. You can also wear them slouched down (as shown), pulled up the calf, or under tall boots so just the top peeks through. (Click the link to see other images.) Plus they come in a variety of styles -- I've seen some with fur trim on Etsy or even in chunkier and cable knits.

Candles by Et Al Designs: I know it's probably cliché or impersonal to give candles as a gift, but if you know a woman who loves to entertain, she probably loves setting out candles everywhere to make her home cozy and inviting. I'm not a big candle person myself, but I couldn't resist these modern, handmade ones by Et Al Designs. They come in all these fun, unusual patterns -- like mine are black tapers with little rhinestone swirls all over them, which I found at Elevenzees in Wicker Park.

Betsey Johnson Houndstooth Wallet ($59): Do you have a friend or sister that's a little preppy and a little rock 'n roll? Get her this studded metallic teal houndstooth wallet by Betsey Johnson. Sounds kind of odd, but I like that you could be carrying around this black bag and then pull out this unexpected pop of

And that's our 2010 Top Ten Gift Guide for Women!! Click HERE for the Men's gift guide. You know we couldn't leave them out.

P.S. You can follow my buddy, Violet Revolution, on Facebook and Twitter.

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