Time after Time

Time after Time

The holiday season might not be kicking into high gear for a few more weeks, but I’ve already got them on the brain. No, I’m not just thinking of my wish list or my busy travel plans, I’ve been thinking about the lessons that the holidays teaches us. If you’ve been keeping up with my posts regularly, you know I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. It recently came to me that my newest revelation reminds me of the classic tale, A Christmas Carol.

As you know, Scrooge experiences scenarios of the past, present and future all highlighting that his behavior needed a drastic overhaul. I’m not comparing myself to Scrooge but I’m realizing the value of each time of life. I’ve been so preoccupied with both the past and the future, that I’ve fallen victim to forgetting to live in the present.

The past is indeed a part of what makes us, us, but it’s not everything. My new outlook is to take the past at face value. It’s set in stone, and I have to accept that. It’s easy for me to say “everything happens for reason” (because I believe that) but it’s harder for me to not spiral into wishing I made a different decision. The best solution to looking at the past in a better way, is to embrace the present.

My greatest challenge has always been just being in the now. I’m seeing however that the challenge can be overcome when I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. I know that resetting and just slowing down has greatly improved overcoming that obstacle. I’m getting better, but it’s not easy. It’s improving the way I  think about the future too.

Where it’s been hard for me to think about the present, it’s almost been too easy for me to think about the future. The big picture should be considered, but like the past, it’s shouldn’t take over your entire way of thinking. The future can seem scary, look bright, but mostly, it’s unknown. I continue to remind myself of that in times of worry. This isn’t That’s So Raven, I can’t predict the future or read minds, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I used to feel a perpetual need to set a deadline (in work, in dating, in general) and I’ve realized those kind of expectations come with too much pressure and disappointment.

Finding a place of peace in accepting the past, living in the present and taking deliberate small steps forward the future is what time should be about. I hope that putting time into this perceptive makes the holidays more enjoyable and less overwhelming, as we finish out 2017 and begin again in only a few short months. It’s time we think about time more productively!

Best,

TW

 

A need for knits

A need for knits

If you’re in Chicago, you’re well aware the weather hasn’t been too kind lately. The bitter wind chill is making layering a necessity at this point. Although not always ideal, it’s time to embrace it. I’ve struggled in the past with figuring out how to go from summer t-shirt to a parka. This season, I’ve found a great solution, knitted tops. Part casual top, part knit the Banana Republic polo I’m wearing is a great go-to in these chillier months as long as it’s layered.

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I  love this outlet find because it’s got a lot of detail compared to a regular polo. The shoulders and sides have a ribbed quality and it’s also got a little more weight to it, given in a light sweater feel. It’s been coming in handy as a first layer as the temperature drops.

Knits like this are great because they are a little more unique than the classic pique polo. Adding a textured element to a look adds dimension, especially when you’re trying to differentiate the look from something you’d wear in a warmer season. In olive green, it’s a great fall piece, mimicking the changing foliage and pairs perfectly with dark browns, navy, or gray. CallieCraigWAS102017-32

Sure, sweaters and pullovers are always great, but try mixing it up once in while! My top is no longer available on line, but try something like this instead. The devil is really in the details, and this polo has plenty! This is becoming one of my favorite throw-on pieces in the fall because it’s looks polished but doesn’t really requite much extra effort.

You’ll be seeing more sweaters and coats posted soon, as the mild fall days are numbered. Have a fantastic rest of your Monday!

-TW

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.

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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.

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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.

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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