Thursday, August 30, 2012

Everybody's Working

I have some good news for this blog: I got a job! A full time with benefits, 9-5, pays me enough to live off of big girl job! I am beyond thrilled, since I thought I would only get some part time seasonal work out of the application and it turned out to be a full fledged entry level job that can lead me to so many other careers. I squealed, then called my mom and she squealed, I put in my two weeks at my food service job and then exhaled deeply for the first time in a long time. My status in Chicago is no longer one big giant question mark and the apartment hunt can begin.

The two more vain developments in my life is that I don't have to wear a uniform, and I can wear nail polish all week long!
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Of course I don't know what dress code is quite yet, but for now I can dream!

P.S. Do you think that peter pan collar tee would run away with me? So gosh darn cute!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Have a Zooper Day!

23. Go to the Zoo with my goddaughter

The entire summer my uncle has been trying to plan a trip to take me to the Brookfield Zoo with my goddaughter so we can see the dolphin show, pet tarantulas and ride the carousel...also in attempts to convince me that it's better than my hometown Columbus Zoo. Hmmmm.... 

We had a really great time building hopping in the rain and getting to see the animals when they were more active. Insider tip: animals are normally awake and moving when it's cool but not too cool, i.e. when it's raining out or early in the morning.

 "We're still number one Uncle Mark" I said. "Yeah, but we're number wombats!" This is a true story. There are wombats out there in the world, and the Brookfield Zoo has them!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Beans

When I read blogs, I feel slightly miffed when the writer goes AWOL only to return with a vague explanation like "I'm fine! Bump in the road but all is well!"

Come on lady, spill the beans! Of course now having had my own "bump" I can understand the hesitation. Suffice to say, I've been having some issues with my employment, which I keep you all constantly updated on, along with the new challenge of looking for an apartment and/or roommate and deciding what I want to do in Chicago next.

The good news is I think things are looking up. Regardless of how this week turns out for jobs, apartments, and such, I'm going to take a deep breath and make another plan. I also had a rather colorful weekend to balance out all the stress and forced me to put things in perspective. Don't you love it when I good weekend does that?

I also managed to complete my first goal on my 24 Before 25 List! Stay tuned for gratuitous pictures and gushing.

Friday, August 24, 2012

All That Glitters

I have the distinct pleasure of going to work every day and seeing tons and people of different income levels and personal tastes wearing fantastic outfits. It's like an anthropological observation session on a daily basis. Yesterday a woman came in wearing a three-finger ring, today a woman came in wearing an audio cable as a delicate necklace, and not too long ago one of my favorite customers came in wearing a wooden ring. "It's too weird for my conservative co-workers, but it's from Africa and I buy jewelry when I travel to remind me of those places."
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As much as I know about clothes, I get completely stumped when it comes to accessories. When I get my way with jewelry I wear sliver chains with a charm or pendant, silver stud earrings, and the same three rings in rotation all week long. Sometimes if I'm feeling funky I'll throw on some vintage pieces my mom picked out for me from an antique store on vacation, but normally my fashion focus is elsewhere.

In the name of research I scrolled through Polyvore and found some pieces that I might be interested in breaking my habits for. Fashion forecast always recommend updating your current wardrobe with new baubles but I'd never really bought in to it until now... 

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The statement necklaces would jazz up almost anything in my wardrobe, the art deco pieces would bring out the romance in any outfit and the knuckle rings? Just plain cool. It turns out that I can have more fun with accessories than I thought! What are you looking forward to updating with this Fall?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Om Nom Nom!

Happy Friday's Eve! If you're having as much trouble as I am making it through your Thursday, I re-present: Puppies Nom Nomming Each Other!

1 / 2 / 34 /

If you need even more, here's the original post here

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I stayed up most of last night with a sore throat and chest pains nibbling on colby jack slices and beefing up my Pinterest for a few hours...until four in the morning to be exact. This sudden inability to sleep was driven by panic, and the panic was being steered by my life which has become out of my control in the past couple weeks. The moment I think that I have something lined up, it's intercepted and I'm back at square one.

For instance, Running Buddy, who was my intended roommate for next year, has decided not to live in Chicago anymore but instead return to our mutual home-base to be closer to her family. I can hardly blame her. Once she explained her intentions I was sobbing on the phone to my own mother: "should I come home?!" I'm sure my dad was jumping up and down enthusiastically in the background, but nonetheless Mom listened patiently while I vented my frustrations about being over-worked, under-paid, and without a plan for the future or a roommate to share it with. Ultimately I know it will be best for my theatre career if I stick it out here, but as of last night the worst of premonitions started creeping in to my head.

What if I can't find a full time job? What if I have to rent a shoe-box studio apartment for premium cash? What if I can't pay rent at all? What if I never make it any farther than I am now in theatre? What if I never define a clear enough path for myself to make goals? What if I never get to do the other wonderful things in life that I want to do?

Even typing this out it doesn't feel freeing. It sits on my shoulders, makes my mind race and my chest bind. I'm no stranger to anxiety but it's uncontrollable, slipping in whenever I try to think about my next move. My life will be full of choices. Will the anxiety ever cease? Or just lessen over time...

Despite my inherent reaction to lay down on the floor, the only course is action. In six months, hopefully, this will only be a memory and everything will be working out in the best possible of ways. Until then, if anyone needs a roommate, a co-worker, a friend, someone to give soothing advice to, a low key Saturday night buddy, or someone who loves to get ice cream and IPAs with: I'm your girl.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fall Picks

Around August when the school supplies are rolling out and summer sundresses start to go on sale, inevitably someone will pipe up and say "I can't wait for Fall!" My knee jerk reaction to this is: "Shut up!"

I love Fall just as much, if not more, than the next woolly sweater wearing, pumpkin carving, apple cider drinking girl on the block, but I spent the whole miserable winter waiting to wear shorts, go to the beach, and couldn't wait to ditch having to take my big heavy coat to the bar. I am going to darn well enjoy every moment of my shaven leg bare armed freedom! Of course last week's Chicago weather hissy-fit started to ease me in to the mind set of chunky knits and waterproof boots. That is why back to school shopping will always exist for me, I need something to ease me in to Fall and the pain of giving up my sundresses and cutoffs.

Fall Picks

Fall Picks 

This Fall is about a mix of lady-like structure and sparkle with tomboy style to edge it out, but that tends to be my aesthetic all the time. I'm particularly loving art-deco and costume jewelry, chunky sweaters, lace up boots and printed pants. Did I mention the faux leather? I have little idea what I would pair those pleather shorts with, but I am going to darn well try. I also incorporated some brogue flats, and used trending color oxblood, although my rendition looks more cranberry. I'm still not letting go of my favorite pair of moccasins that I've wanted for months on end now...maybe next week after the rent is paid I'll treat myself!

Are you excited get in to the Fall mood?

Sunday, August 19, 2012


A week later and the internet has finally been restored! Headache after headache this week. Despite my ability to relocate to a coffee shop, I just couldn't make myself re-connect until this morning.

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It's funny how once life really starts to take a turn for the worst you really don't feel like sharing anything, much less the better parts of what's going on. I had an awakening moment when I realized that I'm not focusing enough on the good things and accomplishments. I'm a strong person and I have the will and drive to get through this 20-something anxiety. I will figure it out. I will keep going.

Enjoy your Beatles Sunday!


Sunday, August 12, 2012


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Horror of horrors, I have no home wireless! It wasn't working yesterday so I decided to go out for a run, hoping for its return when I came back, and low and behold it was not. Some investigation by Roommate uncovered that the rivaling cable company had accidentally snipped our line in an effort to install our neighbor's new system. After a series of very unhelpful phone calls we switched wireless providers and our portal to the world will be installed on Friday. Boo.

So this Sunday I am taking advantage Cinnamon Roll Sundays at my current work space, the Growling Rabbit. Posts may be scarce this week as I will be cafe hopping when I have the opportunity. I feel so much more productive at the moment because of the limited wireless, but I'm sure I'll be going nuts by the end of the week.

Hope you enjoy your Sunday!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Adult Choices

A pre-dinner walk turned in to a hike to find the Lake Shore bike path, and before I knew it I was two miles away from the apartment and in need of some distraction from my achy sad feet. I called E and we gabbed about the usual: work, schemes to visit each other, and her brother's upcoming wedding. Houses, marriage, and kids seems weirdly close and yet so far...mostly far as I still work a daytime job that pays minimum wage. "I guess you have to decide what you want." she assessed. I have one job that doesn't feel like work I love it so much, but is it enough for me to put up with another job I hate and being broke all the time? I have other dreams that I want to accomplish.

When I decided to become a theatre major, there was the ultimate choice of "doing what I love every day for little money" or "giving up a career I love to have a comfortable life." It's easy to put off making that choice in college because, dammit, theatre is just the greatest! But once graduation came I was faced with the choice head on and still don't know that right answer for me.

I know a handful of people who graduated and knew instantly that they'd rather make money and live comfortably than make theatre their full time career. In the other camp are those who are perfectly content holding down a flexible yet financially unfulfilling daytime job just to get to do what they love in the evenings. It's not impossible to have a full time career in theatre, but for most of the people I work with a supplemental job is required to pay the rent. I realize that this is obvious to most, but when I moved to Chicago I didn't have a clue.

My hope is that I will work through things as they come and make the right choices for me while still keeping the future in mind. Recently I had to make a very tough decision regarding that future: I had to give up a theatre job. I was scheduled to work with the same fantastic company I'm currently with and I had to turn them down. Luckily they understood my predicament. 'It's a shame that money has to play so much in to this' they remarked.

The goal right this minute is to find a great-paying day job so I can continue to do and see theatre in the evening. I think it would be downright un-spirited to not give Chicago and my theatre career all the hard work and chances that it deserves, but I know I'll be running up against more walls like this in the future where I have to make a tough choice. If it all pans out, who knows? Maybe I can jump right back in to theatre after Christmas time, but for now my daytime job situation needs to be worked on.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


If there's anything that this world wide web of style bloggers has taught me, it's that fashion rules are meant to be bent and then broken to suit our tastes. I know everyone has their hangups about what they will and especially what they WILL NOT wear. But if there's anything I've learned from these sartorial street-fashonistas is that life is just too darn short. Wear two prints at once! Pair a lady like bag with chucks and a pair of cutoffs! To quote a style icon:

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So in the spirit of flirting with the fine lines of fashion, here are some completely doable ideas that you probably already have in your closet...

This might just be me, but I thought pink and red were only for Valentine's Day, but here it makes a punchy summer ensemble.

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White jeans are now a winter staple, which I love because it seems so silly to shove them to the back of the drawer nine months out of the year.

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Don't leave your neon finds waiting for summer, wear them all the time for an instant pick-me-up.

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It's funny how when a trend first comes out I'll say: I'd never try that! And low and behold a few minutes later I'm scouring the internet for a denim top. We've all been formally invited to a Texas Tuxedo prom.

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Anything else you're afraid to try out?

Monday, August 6, 2012


Mom and I take road trips together. We took them mostly when I was in college to visit my relatives in New Orleans. She remembered taking them with her mother and how much fun they had. It's funny how your mom can become your best friend and yet you can still rely on her to parent you and give you advice when you need it.

One of the last times we went on one of these road trips I picked up Tennessee Williams' biography and read it out loud in the car. According to my research, Williams wasn't getting paid what he thought he should for his memoirs, so they often don't make any chronological sense and are subject to tangents where he'll be describing working with Clark Gable and then jump to the time he lived in New Orleans and he and his roommate would take turns getting sailors back to their apartment. Oh my Tennessee Williams. 

Recently Viking has been doing his own research because his grad school thesis role is a Tennessee Williams play. Viking's research says that while Williams was in grad school at the University of Iowa, he wrote two plays every month. His assignment was to write a short play based on a headline and turn it in after two weeks. That's how he got the idea for the play Viking is performing in this winter. I can attest to this since my honor's thesis was a play based off of a short scene I had written for a class. What better way to hop back on the playwriting wagon then to challenge myself to write two plays every month?

Here are some good ones I want to start with:

Things to do before summer ends

Fried chicken and marriage

Battles rage, a heroine suffers, under stormy skies at Santa Fe

Sunday, August 5, 2012


A strange weekend indeed. Running Buddy moved in to her own place closer to work after staying on the futon for a month and I miss her terribly. Roommate has gone on a family vacation, so Friday night I didn't know what to do with myself. I went out for a walk in Wrigleyville. Then came the realization that my friend and college roommate who's lived in Chicago since right out of undergrad is moving to St. Louis for grad school this week. So I wandered around Lincoln Park yesterday and tried to convince myself not to buy embroidery thread to make friendship bracelets all day. When life gets sticky, apparently I like to wander.

This morning I'll wander to Andersonville for bellinis and goodbye hugs. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend! 


Friday, August 3, 2012


Lolla traffic has been coming through work all day long, and it's easy to tell who's going because most of the girls are dressed like this:

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I obviously love dressing for a theme (if I were going those high waist denim shorts would be getting a work-out) but why go to a place where you're going to be sweaty, dancing, and gross and have to worry about a $125 Free People crop top getting dirty? Not to mention the really weird brag session going on on the el: "I haven't eaten all day! I'm gonna look killer in these aztec print booty shorts!" Killer as in passing out from over-heating/lack of nutrients and getting trampled to death by blazed up Black Sabbath fans? Nice gurl. Just eat a hot dog. No one is going to be looking at your tuchas in a mosh pit.

My favorite aside of the day occurred when a girl rolled in wearing crisp clean cutoffs, a pristine white lace top, and a shiny gold boho headband on her forehead with barely broken in moto boots. "I feel like shit" she confessed to her shorts and a tee friend: "Yeah well you look like shit." Shock and horror: "I thought you said it looked great!"

"I lied."

My laughter was barely contained.

Truth be told I was a wee bit jealous. Everyone that was wearing a cool 3-day band I made them stop and brag about it to me. It would have been nice: first Lollapalooza and I would have had a place to crash that wasn't a sleeping bag on someone's floor. But for now I have the people watching, the Lollapalloza Youtube Chanel, and next month's rent money.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Work Wear: Fantasy Edition

Despite the fact that I've temporarily hung up my set of interview outfits, I still have a fondness for blazers and have been on the hunt for a classic black blazer and pink or red blazer for quite some time. I dug up this gem of a post that I apparently created in January and never posted:

(I don't have any pictures of me wearing anything more professional than a Wizard of Oz costume from when I taught children's theatre. This is what I wore on mine and Viking's 3rd Anniversary so it will have to suffice.)

First up, nothing says I am classic, professional, and you can trust me not to embarrass you or your company with my style choices quite like the single button black jacket. It's a staple in everyones wardrobe and you can use it to show your personality off in a number of ways including a "fun" colored light blue top or maybe jazz it up with kitten heels and nude lipstick. If you want to get really wild, show them your fun side by adding pin stripes!
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If you really want to stand out from the crowd and highlight your managerial skillz, why not try red? It's flattering, unique, and the boyfriend style are guaranteed not to make you look like a door man OR a cast member of 9-5. If they truly hate it, claim that your color blind. Your imperfection will make you that much more relatable and endearing.

UO - Photo Via

"But Kiley!" you say: "Some of us have different aspirations than entering the corporate work force!" So for those like me who are currently seeking part time work at a trendy coffee shop, a bakery that only locals know about, or a book store so far off the beat and path that it may as well be Diagon Alley, I have your wardrobe choice. So ironic it's hip and will pair perfectly with your cats eye glasses and blue lipstick. P.S. it has cats on it. Cats are the new owls. Or are owls the new cats?