We No Speak Americano

This short clip is a collaboration preformed by Suzanne Cleary, Peter Harding, and video artist Jonny Reed from  Up & Over It.  They are perfectly synchronized throughout this entire clip – it’s so cool! I tried to follow along and looked absolutely ridiculous. Ha! Check out their website for more videos, theatre, and cabaret shows.

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baked potato

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A baked potato is a great comfort food. The perfect warm indulgence on a crisp fall day. I recommend this balanced and light-bodied sangiovese wine as a nice pairing. It’s a great find at Trader Joe’s for $4.00!

Step 1: 
Preheat oven to 375°. Pierce each russet potato with a sharp knife about 10 times in approximately 1-inch intervals.

Step 2: 
Rub the outside of the (clean) potato with extra virgin olive oil, or butter. Then, roll the potato in coarse sea salt before baking. This adds a great savory flavor to the skin.

Step 3: 
Place potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 1 hour. If you have a convection oven, use it. Or, rotate potatoes after 30 minutes.

Step 4:
When the potatoes have finished baking, carefully slice and add all of your favorite toppings. Mine include: butter, sour cream, chives, bacon*, sharp cheddar cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.

* I generally adhere to a pescatarian diet; however, bacon is a meat I enjoy every once in a while. I recommend the Black Forest Bacon from Whole Foods Market. 

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army green and leather

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leather jacket: ASOS (similar here), shirt: Zara (similar here), boots: Bocage, denim: Zara (similar here), bag: Longchampnecklace: Forever 21, lipstick: YSLChanel 

An army green shirt and leather jacket are great fall transition pieces. I scooped up this leather jacket earlier this year from ASOS.  I wanted something with a little bit of edge but not covered in buckles and rivets. And guess who’s having a great sale?! ASOS: 30% off of new-season awesomeness  Happy shopping!

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BOOM sweatshirt

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sweatshirt: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target, pants: Zara (similar here), shoes: Aldo (similar here), sunglasses: Old Navy (similar here), watch: Emporio Armani, bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

As soon as I saw the preview pieces for the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target collection earlier this summer, this sweatshirt was first on my list. It reminded me of the 1960’s Batman show. I decided to dress it up a bit with some patent leather oxfords and a pair of black pants. A perfect way to transition into the cooler weather. Have a great week!

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fall coats

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Even though the weather has been in a state of constant of flux for the past several weeks in Chicago, we all know it’s going to (unfortunately) get chilly soon.  A great fall coat will once again be an absolute necessity. I find it wise to invest in a neutral color or a bold color that most of your accessories will pair with nicely. Something that can be worn day-to-day, last a few seasons and not feel dated or worn. I was able to grab the hooded wool coat from Zara (#2) and I can’t wait to wear it. I suggest not waiting until the last minute, too. It’s such a bust when you find “the” item of your dreams and it’s sold out in your size, everywhere! Have a great weekend!

1. Esta Melton Mazarine Blue, Acne, $1,150.00

2. Hooded Wool Coat, Zara, $139.00

3. Stadium-Cloth Cocoon Coat, J.Crew, $350.00

4. Wool-Blend Oversize Coat, Mango, $189.99

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leather vest

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vest: vintage, scarf: Zara (similar here), top: Old Navy,  jeans: Zara (similar here), boots: Steven (similar here), bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs, necklace: Son of a Sailor 

Little details like a leather vest, oversized scarf, and subtle gold jewelry, take a simple look to the next level. A red lip always helps, too! I found this great vest a few weeks ago when shopping at Una Mae’s in Wicker Park. It’s going to be such a great layering piece for fall. Have a great Thursday!

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NYFW SS14

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Rachel Zoe

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Seeing a designer’s collection come to life on the runway is such an inspiration. So many different visions and stories are shared at New York Fashion Week. These collections set the theme for the next season of fashion, and over time trends develop from the couture pieces. I have selected a few of my favorite looks, no florals included.

 All images via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 

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neutral embellishments

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sweater: Phillip Lim for Target , jeans: Zara (similar here), shoes: 80%20, bag: Phillip Lim for Target, earrings: Old Navy, watch: Emporio Armani  

A little bit of sparkle gives this cable-knit sweater a nice kick. I typically never wear anything with sparkles, I opt for a graphic print or bold color for a focal point. However, I love the way the sparkles adorn this rounded neckline. It’s the perfect (asymmetrical) balance of shine.

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tiger tee

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sweater: Zara (similar here), tee: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target, pants: Zara (similar here), boots: Bocage, bag: Prada, lipstick: YSL 

In an attempt to add some excitement to this dreary weather, I decided to add a little edge with my new tiger tee. The Phillip Lim for Target Collaboration launched yesterday in-stores and online. This is something I have been looking forward to since the announcement earlier this summer. I was able to find several amazing pieces and survived the chaotic in-store madness! This tiger tee is from the men’s collection and is a favorite, hands down. I paired it with a fun floral jean and slim boots. Have a great week!

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Cheri Lee Charlton

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Cheri Lee Charlton is a Chicago-based artist. She is a traditionally trained painter and currently moonlights as an illustrator, muralist, and college instructor. Most of her undergrad and graduate work was completed in Ohio with a year spent studying in Florence, Italy. While living in Florence, Cheri decided to fully pursue a degree in fine art; gaining inspiration from the art surrounding her and walking down the same cobblestone streets as Renaissance masters Leonardo Da Vinci and Botticelli.

A brief statement from Cheri:
I have a style that is evident throughout all my work, may it be coined fine art or illustration. It’s always described as colorful but I’ve heard it descried as whimsical, strange, naughty, cute, and sometimes humorous.  I am a fan of complex busy compositions that allow the eye to wander through and be rewarded with hidden details. I love using organic graphic outlines that I know are inspired from hours of watching cartoons and Disney films.  The colors I use are inspired from my love of fashion magazines and textiles. When I scan through the pages of Vogue it’s not just for fashion tips I search for color pallets and patterns within those pages. 

I also had parents who exposed me to not only great music from the 1960’s and 70’s but also the psychedelic posters and album art that accompanied it; surely this has acted as an inspiration to my use of organic line and sometimes acid bright color pallets. In addition to Saturday morning cartoons my style and the content of my work has also been inspired by my love of commercial art and illustration from the late 1800’s early 1900’s.  I’m a collector of Victorian valentines and advertisements which I appropriate imagery for a lot of my illustrative work.  My future goals are to write and illustrate a children’s book and continue to cover walls with colorful murals. 

Please find more work, information about current and upcoming exhibitions, and work to purchase for your interior space on her website: Cheri Lee CharltonShe is also on Facebook: Cheri Lee Charlton

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