Decking the Halls

Decking the Halls

We’re just 5 days from Christmas (!) and one of the best parts of the holiday is the decorating and entertaining of course. I’ve loved putting in a little extra effort this season to make my house feel in the Christmas spirit.

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Just like furnishing from my apartment from scratch, decorating for a holiday (especially Christmas) can be a massive undertaking. In my option, your home shouldn’t look like a Christmas Pop Up Bar in December. Fun, and easy DIY decorations will do the trick and won’t cost too much either.

My easiest decorative items are no doubt my tree centerpieces. You’ve probably seen these mini sisal trees all over. Michaels, Target, Amazon, you name it, they’re out there. I picked up mine from my favorite Chicago gift shop, Foursided ($2.50-$10 each) in various shades and sizes for dimension. With some fake snow from Michael’s and my glass vases, they turned into the cutest little table decorations. For added glitz, I added a few mini disco ball ornaments!

Don’t have a mantel? No problem! Side tables and tv stands can serve as other places to display stockings, greenery and holiday cards. My round mirror has served as a sweet place to all the cards I’ve received while a holiday candle and mini Christmas tree has temporarily replaced my usual floral arrangements.

Although I wanted a real tree, I opted for faux but always go all out on ornaments and lighting. My favorite lights (to add a old school feel) are from Amazon. This year I added ornaments from West Elm which are now are extremely marked down!

The final touch of any holiday decorations, are the gifts under your tree! This year, my wrapping paper scheme was channeled a monochromatic rainbow. Each gifts paper matched its ribbon and made everything feel classic and sophisticated!

I  hope your holidays (and decorating) have been full of fun and joy thus far! May the final weeks of 2019 and this decade be relaxing as we head into 2020!

-TW

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2019 Holiday Gift Guide

2019 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s December, and not just December 1st it’s like the second week of December, which means we’re only a little over 2 weeks till Christmas. That means…. this year’s almost over, this decade’s almost over and my gift guide for the holidays is really behind! Has anyone else felt like this November and December have felt super rushed? *slowly raises hand*

With a later Thanksgiving on the calendar, my birthday, a trip to New York and work commitments, it’s no surprise I’m late to the gift guide party, but hey, I’ve shown up fashionably late.

This year I’m focusing on some of my favorite pieces and go-to’s for my personal style and home that I think would be perfect gifts. I’ve been loving monochromic looks so much this year, I  decided to wrap them all in shades of rainbow for a chic twist.

For the well groomed

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We’re in the age of skin routines and serums, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Although I’m not the as savvy as most, I  never turn down a good product. Hair products from Jack Henry and Allure by Chanel are my favorite grooming must-haves.

For the stylish shopper

 

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Uniqlo was my go-to for refreshing my wardrobe this year and it’s home to the perfect closet staple, without breaking the bank. Layering this monochromatic pieces will keep them warm all winter.

For the new home owner 

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Coffee table books have always been an easy and affordable way to add easy decor to a new space. Every area of interest or celebrity has a coffee table book now, so it won’t be hard to find the perfect one for your loved one. Some favorites include The Andy Warhol Diaries and Appetizer.

For the entertainer 

 

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As a lover all of things dinner party, charcuterie boards and other serveware pieces are always a welcome present. Stores like World Market and Anthropologie have a wide selection of designs. Don’t forget to add the small knives and cutlery to complete the gift.

For the cozy homebody 

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A candle for Christmas…. groundbreaking I know, but who doesn’t love a candle?! My new favorite sent for the home is Otto by Malin+Goetz. Although a bit of splurge, it’s well worth it to me, and you’ll know it’s a gift they’ll love and use, daily!

The good news is that there’s still time to shop local, online or let’s face it, Amazon Priming your gifts! Hopefully these ideas get you going in the right direction. My advice is to go with something that they’ll use. There are so many gifts out there that will never be used and be sitting in a drawer come January!

Keep out for my holiday posts coming soon!

Happy Holiday Shopping,

TW

Shear(ling) Genius

Shear(ling) Genius

As we know by now, being almost the end of October, fall is in full force. That means everything is coated in pumpkin spice and that we’re just heading closer and closer to the holidays and the new year!

With all of the craziness going on, I finally had a chance to get my annual pumpkin patch trip in and took it as an opportunity to premiere a fall look. Albeit a bit dressy for the suburbs of Illinois, I  couldn’t help myself and decided to debut this shearling bomber that I recently found from Lacoste, via Macy’s.

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I’m the last person on earth who needs another coat, much less a bomber, but this one was too good to leave. The shearling collar gave it an aviator vibe which I love. In order to feature the collar more, I decided to pair it with a brown turtleneck from Uniqlo.

My ASOS suede boots are another shade of this burnt brown and definitely are my new favorites for the season. To break it up, and not go with jeans, I  paired it with gray corduroys from Club Monaco. The result: perhaps one of my most fashion forward fall looks yet. Or maybe I’m just thinking that because I  looked so dressy for a pumpkin patch.

This fall I’m really trying to keep most of my looks 1-2 colors. Monochromatic moments usually look a little more stylish and in my opinion, put together. I’m excited to start dressing in more fall looks now that the we’re finally enjoying crisp air and the leaves changing.

Until the next look,

TW

Apartment Budgeting 101

Apartment Budgeting 101

Moving is expensive…. like… really f****g expensive, and I’m learned that very quickly! At the beginning of the year, I laid out my goals for 2019 and budgeting for an apartment move was a the top of the list. (and thank god I did)

Budgeting for a new home is a two step process. The first being the rent itself, but something that’s equally as important, the furniture! Although I’ve loved IKEA since birth, this felt like a time to graduate to other brands. With that said, saving, refurbishing and keeping my eyes peeled on the best deals was very important.  I had to get creative and also embrace that this is a lot harder than just grabbing a top at Zara on sale.

What and How to Buy New:

Based off my space size increase, I did have to buy a large amount of new items. Those big items included an area rug, couch and the bedroom furniture. Although more expensive than I was used to, they are pieces I’ll be using everyday, so it didn’t take long to get over the initial hit to the credit card I had to take.

Websites like Article and Birchlane were both reasonable and easy to find exactly what I was looking for. I also referenced this article, which helped me understand the price points I should be expecting for certain pieces of furniture.

I’d also say that buying new linens, pillows and prints are easy and quick ways to change up your space without totally breaking the bank.

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Where to save:

Just like shopping for clothes, never count out a consignment shop! All of the armchairs I wanted a big box stores were basically double or triple the price of what I found at my favorite antique shop in Chicago. I’ve got a bunch of items, big and small from flea markets and such that have really pulled my place together. There’s a lot of charm to be gained when you mix newer modern pieces with older, more one-of-a kind pieces.

Framing art is another potential money pit that can easily be avoided. A craft store like Michael’s or local framer can charge you hundreds per frame, but never fear, IKEA is always here. For my gridded gallery wall, I picked up these 9×9  frames for $10 each and bought matt board from a craft store and did this myself. This was at least a third the price if I had a professional or online company do it for me.

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Things to keep:

One of the best parts about this move was that I had the chance to look at everything I own, and make sure that it had a purpose if it was taken to a new space. Although I’m not an avid reader, by any stretch, I have a great collection of coffee table books from travels and friends that serve well in a more design sense than they ever would to read. Any cute book has a chance to serve as decor on your table or side board like it does for me.

Those little side tables you got in college, keep them! I almost threw out a $20 black table from IKEA but you never know when you’ll need another surface next to your couch, bathroom, etc. The same goes for picture frames too, as they can easily be repurposed if need be.

The best advice I can give is to think practically when you’re decorating an apartment. You can dream, but you have to be realistic. You know what’s trash, you know what’s overpriced and you know what you need. Only spend the money when it’s something you’re using everyday. Don’t buy the $300 couch and the $70 designer coffee table book! (Even though I’ve probably done the latter before)

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A list of my favorite places to shop for this apartment below:

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At Home

Birch Lane

Crate and Barrel

Edgewater Antique Mall

Foursided

IKEA

Randolph Street Market

West Elm

Old Kid on the Block

Old Kid on the Block

It’s August 1st, as in… summer is already two months in, how did that happen? It’s probably been the fastest summer yet, and my attempts at consistently sharing posts just that a dream unfulfilled at this rate. But no need to dwell, I’m here now and really loving today’s old school look.

It’s been a fairly mild summer here in Chicago, which means I’ve still been able to wear long sleeves and jeans throughout the season. On a cool summer day, this TopMan (Rest in Peace) shirt felt like a must-have. This sweater-esque look has a built in collar and color blocked stripes in the perfect shades for summer.

When I  put this with a simple and classic wash pair of Levi’s, I felt equal parts touristy dad at Disney and Armie Hammer in Call Me by Your Name, a winning combo, right? There’s a 80’s vibe to this look that I can’t help but love.

Sometimes the best looks are the easiest ones. I  think we all know that a white t-shirt and jeans can be just as attractive and stylish as a bomber or printed shirt.

It’s not always about reinventing the wheel in your closet and finding the newest piece, it can be about bringing an old look back.

Hoping to bring back more old looks, and mindsets here, and soon!

Stay tuned,

TW

Bachelorette Recap: Amsterdamnit, Hannah

Alright Bachelor Nation, a LOT has gone down in the past couple of weeks, so I  decided to merge Week 6 and 7’s recaps together for Euro-Trash double feature.

The last time we were together, Hannah almost threw the deuces up on this whole experience, mainly because everyone still hates Luke and is petty. (I  can relate) Hannah resets in Latvia by stripping down to nothing and bungee jumping off a cable car with Garrett, because that seems like the most logical way to get your head back in the game.

The date is a major success, in part to the fact that the second Luke hears about it, he starts to lose it. Ready to interrogate Hannah and Garrett at every turn about how this naked rendezvous went down. Here’s a hint Luke, producers love to piss you off.

Luke Externally

Luke Internally

While the group date is all about Hannah eating cheese and playing nice with everyone, things start to heat up with Peter the pilot. Honestly, every time they’re on screen, the sexual chemistry is like watching 7th graders playing spin the bottle. I’ve seen it on a pool table, we’re seeing it a steam room, we get it and I’m not into it. Regardless, she is and he gets a rose.

This arm placement is killing me

To no surprise, the random leftovers who never got air time, Dustin and Dylan, finally were kicked off so now it’s down to Luke and a bunch of his haters. With only serious options left, we enter Week 7 and we’ve headed to the Netherlands.

Hannah grazes in some TEEEWWW-LIPSSS, as she pronounces them, and then grabs Jed for another one-on-one. He’s only had two, but it feels like he’s had 200. It’s probably that cheesy song he sang her in bed the week before, and the fact he wins every group date rose.

I can’t even look at my darling Jed anymore without replaying all the People.com articles about his girlfriend, his admission of trying to be famous, etc, etc. To no surprise though, he advances once again and then we’re shown that Mike gets a one one one, and Luke, Garret, Colin and Peter Pilot have to duke it out on a 4 on one.

For baby faced Colin, who I  think we all kinda forget was there, can’t stand for this and abruptly leaves. (for Paradise maybe?)

Over it…or Yawning?

Tyler and Hannah get a one on one where they deep throat some nasty fish delacacies and it’s enough to ensure the second spot in the final 4. Our dear Mike doesn’t fare as well and is quickly let go on his dinner date, after Hannah cries at the art during her little Night at the Museum moment.

So with one date left and 2 spots needing to be filled for hometowns, it’s game on for Peter, Luke and Garrett. Within a matter of seconds, it turns into a standoff between Luke and Garrett, which opens the floor for Peter to get a rose.

After an iconic dismantling of a charcuterie board by Luke, it turns into a tit for tat school yard fight.

I hated Luke before, but I  really hated him incorrectly calling Salami, Bologna

At dinner, both men profess their feelings for Hannah, Garrett even saying he’s in love, but it’s still not as strong as her attraction to the dark one, and he’s sent home.

So with four guys left, and a preview of Luke’s demise around the corner, we’re getting to the good stuff.

Rose: I’m starting to actually root for Tyler, who reminds me of Channing Tatum in Magic Mike. He seems to actually like her and not want fame… a concept I’m not familiar with.

Throne: Whoever is charge of wardrobe, because if I  see one more henley worn in a European Church, I’m going to lose what’s left of my mind

I can’t wait to document all things hometowns and report back on whatever (incorrect) decision Hannah makes!

Until then,

TW

 

Simon(on) Says…

Simon(on) Says…

It only took 2 months, but it’s starting to finally feel like summer in Chicago! With that being said, dressing for the office sometimes poses as a problem because the days of sweaters and light jackets are dwindling but I’ve still got to look professional.

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I  was recently introduced to Beckett Simonon, a beautiful leather shoe company that makes quality leather dress shoes, boots and sneakers that can be worn year round. I    put together a summer work outfit that references summer but with a workplace twist.

I  love how the much detail was put into the shoes with the stitching and design that I  thought they’d be perfect with a khaki suit pant and then for a little pop, this tropical brown and purple floral print shirt. To make this more “summery” a matching bandana I  found in Atlanta pulled it all together. Classic on bottom, less traditional on top.

In terms of the shoes, they are seriously STUNNING. Even though some dress shoes scare me, for fear of me ruining them, they’ve been holding up and are extremely durable. For added comfort, an insole was included.

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I’m wearing the Yates Oxford Broques which can be found on their site here.

I’m excited to wear these throughout summer and fall and can’t wait to check out what Beckett Simonon has in terms of boots later this year!

Hope everyone has a very happy Friday,

TW Baker

 

 

 

Striped for Summer

Striped for Summer

Can we even classify this season as Summer when it’s barely cracked 75 degrees? Probably not, but in a city like Chicago, you’re gonna have to fake it till you make it.

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I’m not going to let a dreary summer sky dampen my seasonal wardrobe. I was inspired by June being Pride Month when putting together this look. The look is built around this striped top from Bonobos that I love for summer! In different shades of sherbet, this rainbow print reminds me of a fashionable Pride flag. Seersucker is one of my favorite materials for summer because it’s lightweight and breathable.

This shirt could really work with anything, white jeans, dark denim or khakis. I  thought instead to try a more neutral green to let the shirt pop more. These chinos from Banana Republic Factory are my favorite fitting casual pant. They give a lot of shape and don’t have to be tailored, AMEN!

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On top, a year round must-have, is this Levi Denim jacket. I  recently purchased this one because the wash is the most neutral and my other denim jacket is too oversized for summer, where let’s face it, fit is crucial. A rope belt and grey loafers are easy accessories to make a little more casual yet cool.

It’s been a while since I’ve put up an outfit post partly due to scheduling and finding motivation, so if you’re reading, thanks for sticking with me 🙂

More summer looks to come, stay tuned!

TW

 

 

Bachelorette Recap: Luke Warm

In the words of one of the worst humans this show has given us, I’m VERY confused right now! We’re at the half way point in the season and we are. still.talking.about.Luke.P.

We’re welcomed back to Hannah telling him he’s got to go, so Luke leaves and then literally turns right back around from the dark forest to say that he really wants to stay. So Hannah lets him last another night and just when the guys are braiding their hair and having a slumber party to celebrate, he walks right back in.

Me and the other guys:

The following night, we go straight to the cocktail party. It becomes pretty obvious that the cocktail party is used as a pseudo Salem Witch Trial of everyone vs. Luke and it goes over just as well as you’d expect, horribly.

After what feels like hours upon hours of bitching and moaning, Hannah loses her sh*t and tells everyone, including Luke, to STFU. Hannah’s decided she’s going to have to fuck up on her own, the peanut gallery is going to have to be put on mute.

Me with this whole show:

Everyone walks into Hogwarts sound stage the rose ceremony and prays to GOD that Luke is out, and of course… he’s not. She’s going to learn the hard way that he is the devil.

Chris Harrison then sits Hannah down for a very unnecessary recap for an hour, which I   honestly could not sit through. Shoutout to everyone who told me to save my time.

Rose: Garrett for being so relentless on his path to call out Luke for being a horrible human being.

Thorn: Whoever let L*** P. on this show, because he is single handedly ruining this show.

In other news, Jed is basically a cheater (we can’t even trust the hot ones anymore) and the new cast of Paradise is a walking Fab Fit Fun Box endorsement deal. I’m loving this trashy new cast.

Bottoms up to surviving another week and hopefully making it through another!

Cheers,

TW

Bachelorette: Celtic Chaos

Me currently because my past recaps and stories  have been stalled due to an extremely busy schedule, but also me because we start Week 5 and we are STILL talking about Luke. Once again, one of my biggest issues with The Bachelor/Bachelorette format is that we spend the first half of each season focused on hating the villain and in our case, we’re still in deep with Luke P.

We pick up with Luke S. and Luke P. exchanging dirty looks before Hannah cuts the cocktail party short and wants to start eliminating. Before she can even finish her sentence, Luke S. decides to bow out and tells her to watch out for Luke P. 

It was nice knowing you Nick Viall Jr.

After a hellish time in Rhode Island, they head to Scotland and Hannah is determined to reset with a one-on-one with Mike. Honestly, Mike is so genuine and actually likes her, I  almost forgot that those kind of people exist in this land of famewhores.

The other guys are excited because they get a group date without the threat of Luke P. trying to kill them, and the men compete in a Braveheart-esque physical battle. Although they all suck at axe throwing and keeping milk in a bucket, Jed gives us this moment, so we’ll allow it.

Hannah spends the rest of the date doing a quality check on all the furniture’s durability by making out with Jed on a bench, Ryan on a pool table, and Tyler on the bed. Jed wins another group date rose and I’m starting to get a front runner vibe.

Back at the house, Mike and Luke continue to hate each other and we can only pray that Hannah decides to send the little meathead home. Hannah and Luke sit on cliff (that I  hope he falls off) to talk about how shitty the past few weeks has been.

It’s pretty apparent that Luke only tells Hannah what he thinks she wants to hear, and she wants to know about the important stuff… like…. does he like macaroni and cheese?….. *record scratch** yep, you read that right.

At dinner, he kinda starts to get it, but then resorts back to his old ways of perfectionism and saying everyone loves him.

Hannah:

Luke:

(what are feelings?)

So in the end, like seriously, the last 4 seconds, she picks up the rose and says she can’t give it to Luke. THANK THE LORD JED, we are done with this psychopath….until next week’s preview of him praying in church.

Rose: Mike is still probably the realist of the bunch for calling out Luke at every turn, and actually seeming to like Hannah for Hannah. Not sure why… but at least it’s genuine.

Thorn: All the guys for letting Luke get to them, don’t they know that feeding the monster more attention only makes him stronger?

Next week it looks like a straight up mess, Hannah is on the verge of quitting (but won’t let’s be honest) and Luke is still in Scotland, trying to find his strength to stay.

Let’s all try to find our strength to keep watching!

Until then,

TW