Jean-ealogy

Jean-ealogy

Denim is a wardrobe staple no doubt, but mastering the art of pairing it together is not always an easy task! For someone who used to loathe the idea of wearing a pair of jeans, I tend to wear the “Canadian Tuxedo” trend more than you’d think. To refresh your memory, that’s when you wear a jacket and pants both made of denim. Sound like a bit much? That’s because it can be if you’re not choosing the right denim.

CallieCraigWAS102017-44

The best advice is making sure that the washes are working together, not clashing. Would you ever pair your darkest pair of jeans with a light wash jacket, or vice vera? I don’t think so. On the other hand, you don’t want to do a wash that’s too similar. This isn’t a denim suit or toddler’s ensemble. Stick somewhere in the middle. I’m wearing a denim jacket, from Levi’s, that’s a medium wash with lighter patches and undertones. With J.Crew denim that’s more of a true blue color, it’s similar but different enough to show some contrast.

IMG_3054

These jeans could easily go well with a darker jacket too, an item I’m in desperate need of purchasing. The jacket could go with a more distressed pair too. Even though it’s not my style per say, gray and black denim usually work well together too! Another thing to think about it, is what your pairing with the denim. Neutral sweaters, tops, and shoes are always best. It helps the eye visually accept that you’re wearing two denims.

All this denim talk is making me want to shop! New outfit posts and some special partnerships are coming soon! Happy Friday!

-TW

Photos: Callie Craig

 

Yes to November

Yes to November

First of all, Happy Halloween everyone! I didn’t love that Halloween landed on a Tuesday this year, but I still got to celebrate last week. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because not only can I dress up and eat candy corn by the gallon, it means I’m one step closer to my favorite month, November!

November is my favorite month for so many reasons, it’s both my birthday month and Thanksgiving. Both days are important for me to reflect on my year and think about everything that I’m grateful for and everything I’ve accomplished over the past twelve months. I’m feeling really good about some of the steps I’ve been taking and I’m embracing November as much as possible to keep the good vibes coming.

I’ve found a lot of creativity in a new business venture, I’ve gotten really disciplined with my diet and exercise (something that is always a challenge for me), and lastly, I’ve been able to devote time to this website and I love seeing the results of my hard work. I think a lot of these victories have to do with taking on a “yes” and “can do” approach to new opportunities. I’ve realized that inner confidence is the best tool when it comes to finding and doing what you enjoy.

To celebrate this exciting time and the fact that I’ll be turning 24 this month, I’m heading to New York over the Thanksgiving holiday. I haven’t been in the city in a while so I’m excited to see what’s changed and explore with good friends. Any suggestions are welcome too!

Travel updates, gift guides and more are coming your way! Thank you again for the continuous support and kind words. It’s not going unnoticed. Enjoy the final moments of October and let’s say YES to November and whatever is coming our way, shall we?

-TW

Photography: Callie Craig 

 

Dark Times

Dark Times

Can you believe how quickly this month, let alone, this year has flown by? I blinked my eyes and it’s practically November! It’s safe to say I’ve fallen on dark times. Don’t be alarmed though, I’m only referring to the fact that I’ve changed my hair.

Perhaps it’s my affinity for Riverdale or just the need to change things up but I’ve crossed over to the “dark side” as they say. I’ve always loved the power of a new look and this hair color is the perfect way to transition into fall. It’s making me more eager to break out the boots and sweaters.

CallieCraigWAS102017-28

To usher in this darker era, I’m wearing one of my favorite H&M sweaters from last year. The graphic camel colored stripes are a great pop and blended in perfectly with this Lincoln Park backdrop. I’m so excited to start working with photographer Callie Craig, who captured some amazing shots of my new look.

I’m still getting used to the darker locks but it’s a great change that I’m excited to style and work with! Check out more of Callie’s work on her website. You’ll be able to see more of her shots here shortly. Another post coming later on in the week!

-TW

 

Harvest & Entertain

Harvest & Entertain

It’s been established that fall is indeed in the air and I decided that the change in season needed to be celebrated with a proper dinner party. There is no better feeling than being able to get good company together over delicious food and a great cocktail, especially for festive occasions. The idea of hosting a quick pregame is one thing, it’s another beast entirely to think about producing an entire dinner party. I’ve broken down this fall party with my own tips and tricks.

Inspiration: Every great party needs to have a purpose and inspiration. The changing leaves, sweater weather and general charm of fall inspired this get-together. Inspiration  can be found everywhere. Pinterest, magazines, or Instagram are great places to start. I personally love to window-shop to find ideas for decorations and the menu.

Decoration: During that “pre-shop,” I stopped dead in my tracks over this wood server. It really brings the outdoors in, and will work perfectly moving into winter too. For this party, it’s a charcuterie board, (I’m starting to hoard them) but it’d be a great to hold candles or serve as a tray. I picked up these incredibly affordable oversized leaf-shaped placemats too just for a pop of color.

I believe all parties should have always blend high and low, or natural and handmade elements. Various shaped pumpkins from the pumpkin patch (a local grocery store will have them too) mixed with leaf garland are the perfect combination! The glitter garland is from my favorite local gift shop while the paper garland I made myself. Free decorations are sometimes the best! (scrapbook paper, black thread and craft glue) It doesn’t hurt to have some bragging rights with something handmade, especially if you’re like me and can’t guarantee you’re making every dish yourself.

Food and Drinks: Now for perhaps the most important part. I, like everyone I know, am a huge fan of charcuterie and cheese boards. Grab your favorite cheeses and try a couple new ones! I grabbed a truffle salami to add to my usual spread along with a pumpkin cranberry crisp cracker to keep in theme. Trader Joe’s will never not be my savior when it comes to a dinner party. Easy, affordable and great taste. For a main dish, gnocchi with their Autumn Harvest sauce, because… basic, why not? Au Gratin butternut squash and plenty of bread make up the rest. Consult a cocktail book for the perfect drink, I chose a Trader Joe’s recipe instead and it did not disappoint.

Advice:

Have guests bring something– Even though I hate giving up control, let someone help. Ask guests to bring wine or a dessert. Put out an ice bucket so they can easily drop of their contribution when they walk in. Your wallet will thank you.

Invest in the essentials: A solid cheese board, great glassware and a nice tablecloth are key party staples that never go out of style.

Have fun: Sit back and revel in your hard work! You’ve cleaned, cooked, and served it all up, you deserve that glass of wine!

At the end of the day, the little details will pay off and you’ll be able to make new memories around a table you set yourself! Happy party planning!

Cheers,

TW

Falling Back into Action

Falling Back into Action

I know what you’re thinking, another person that’s telling me that fall is the best season…. groundbreaking. But honestly, now that the heat has burned off, and if you’re in Chicago, the rain clouds have parted, it’s started to actually look and feel like Autumn is upon us.

Fall is not just dedicated to infusing every food we know and love with pumpkin spice, although it should be!  It’s much more than that. I always appreciate that “back to school” attitude that fall comes with. As mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been working to reset and this season is as good a time as any.

Now that leaves are changing, so should we! I believe that after a crazy year like 2017, it’s important to start thinking about how to make the absolute most of the last three months of this year. Taking inventory of not only your scarf collection or that impending wish list for Santa, but of some goals you want to achieve. Whether it’s about getting active, making the most of family time for the holidays, or thinking ahead for 2018, start now! It’s never too early to start thinking of what direction you want to take next.

Realizing that most of this year has felt a little bit like being in a rat race, I’ve decided to stop running and slow down. I can already tell it’s paying off. So stop and smell the roses  pumpkin spice. While you’re at, you might as well get in that classic fall trip to the pumpkin patch and have your make shift photoshoot, like I did.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more fall favorites, travel guides and looks as we approach Halloween.

-TW

 

 

Turning Tables

Turning Tables

Over the past few years, Instagram has grown leaps and bounds in terms of its popularity! Whether scrolling on my own, or working in the field, I’ve started to realize that just about everyone has an account…. or two…. or three.

Instagram accounts fall under many categories.

We all have a personal account, sure, but what about your second account? It’s not enough to just have one! We’re either sharing unedited selfies on our “finsta” (fake instas), speaking in the voice of our dog on a pet account, or trying to become the next “girlwithnojob” ”with a meme account. Honestly, it’s a lot of work, but of course I’m in on the action too.

My second account is what I deem my hobby account. I can see why having a couple of accounts is fun. It’s a way to tap into another subculture or secret passion, whether that’s pretending you’re a french bulldog or in my case, party planner.

@TheTableRunner is my way to share on of my favorite pastimes, entertaining friends. I love dinner parties, holiday events and any excuse to have good food. Whether it’s Christmas or the start of The Bachelor, I try to create a table spread worth sharing on Instagram.

I hope to share more details about certain parties and tablescapes here since space and dedication is limited on running the Instagram account. So if you’re into charcuterie boards, themed cocktails and pretty tableware, @thetablerunner would love your follow!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I’ve sprinkled in some highlights from the account here, and will be doing a feature on a fall table spread here shortly!

What’s your second instagram account? I love seeing what my friends are coming up with on their other accounts. Share them below!

Happy double tapping,

TW

Changing Course

Changing Course

Earlier this week, I mentioned that my visit to Los Angeles was a huge success. Not only was it sunny and relaxing, but it represented a new path that I’m setting myself on. It’s a path I’d already been working on over the last couple of months, and getting back to blogging was a part of it.

I came back to writing and blogging to fill a void that I felt was desperately missing. As the first year in the real world had flown by, I realized that the pace of work and trying to just “keep up” was hindering other avenues of my life. Creativity, relationships and most importantly, purpose, seemed to be at all time lows. I had to ask myself, how can I hit pause, reset, and then hit play again on my own life? I decided that in order to rediscover purpose, I had to take inventory of everything. There came a point where some tough decisions had to be made.

I asked myself questions like:

  • What do I actually have passion for?
  • Who and what is bringing joy to my life?
  • What are the risks of taking a leap of faith, or playing it safe?
  • How do my daily decisions relate to larger ones down the road?

As a perfectionist who puts a lot of pressure on himself, getting to those answers wasn’t easy. Facing my reality and then answering those tough questions has been a challenge. But if I want to be a successful adult, I had to.

Once I got those answers and leaned on supportive friends and family, I knew that in order to get to a better place, I needed to fully devote myself to the cause and change courses. That has meant that in relationships, I want to find quality and honesty. In my day to day, it’s about taking what life throws at me and appreciating the challenges. Lastly, in my career, it’s about passion and purpose. I recently decided to devote myself fully to searching for my next job and although it’s perhaps one of my riskier moves, I deem it one of my best. Embracing the risk I’m taking is the only way I can develop and grow stronger.

Meeting new friends and having the support of old ones who have experienced similar situations has been such a wonderful way to get through this change. I’ve always been a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason” and I continue to repeat that as I step further into adulthood. Change is a thing you can count on. Now it’s time to count on myself too.

-TW