Ray Civello - Civello Chicago NYE Giveaway

Civello Salons have set up three Chicago locations in the former Michael Anthony salons on North Avenue, Belmont and State Street. To celebrate we are giving away 5 New Years Eve Blow outs (that's right FIVE!) to some lucky ladies. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post (with a way for me to contact you) and follow us on Instagram. The winners will be chosen randomly. Congratulations to all our winners! This contest is now closed.

I first met Ray Civello, CEO/President of Aveda Canada and founder of Civello Salon at a dinner at Soho house and was just mesmerized by his story and charisma. When I heard him speak about building his business and his artistic vision I knew I had to capture him for the blog!


Recipe - Beet and Sweet Potato Chips

I'm on Jessica Murnane's One Part Plant podcast this week talking about life, work and food of course! Part of the deal was that Jessica asked me to share a favorite plant based recipe. So I whipped up a batch of beet and sweet potato chips. See how to make this nutritious, yummy treat below.

3 large beets, peeled
3 large sweet potatos
4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea Salt
Cracked Pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a mandoline, thinly slice beets to a thickness of 1/16". In a large bowl, toss beet slices with oil to coat evenly. On prepared baking sheets, in a single layer, arrange as many slices as will fit without crowding. Bake until crisp, 25-30 minutes, rotating pans once halfway through baking. Really watch the oven because the chips go from crips to burnt in a matter of moments. Cool chips and blot with paper towels to remove any excess oil. Repeat, using a cool prepared baking sheet for each batch, until all beet slices are baked. Toss chips with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. 

The beet and sweet potato slices really shrink down so you have to bake a lot of batches to yield a decent amount of chips.

This recipe is based on one I found on Epicurous

AZEEZA for the Holidays!

I got to hang out with the lovely AZEEZA on an unseasonably warm and rainy December day here in Chicago. She previewed her AZEEZAxWOOLRICH dress that comes out next season and gave me major face. The great news is that for all you procrastinators there are so many beautiful gifts that are $100 and under at the AZEEZA showroom at 900 N. Michigan Ave. from beanies to cuff to embellished headbands. Head over to her store or purchase online.


Corri McFadden and Zelda

Someone just got woken up from their nap and it wasn't Corri :) The Holiday installment of Dose Market was the perfect way to cap of a weekend full of festivities, and running into Mama McFadden and her baby girl Zelda as we were leaving was the icing on the cake. Loving Corri's solid gold lounge wear and baby Zelda's lace patched jeans.

Corri McFadden is the founder of the luxury consignment destination eDrop-Off. Now is the perfect time to shop their holiday edit. Also check out Corri's rad fashion and lifestyle site here


PASSONI by Francesca Passoni

My co-worker at Leo Burnett, Francesca Passoni launched a rad fashion kickstarter for her company PASSONI. They make bespoke tailored shirts for the "sophisticated tomboy" all hand made in Italy. I caught up with her on the street last week sporting one of her unique designs.

There are tons of lovely rewards for backing at all levels. My favorite though is the gift for backing the project for just $30. You get an adorable little neck kerchief known as a "STROZZINO" in Italian, which of course sounds a million times cooler.

This is a photo of the artisanal tailor shop in Lodi Italy, just outside of Milan where the PASSONI line will be crafted. So beautiful.


The Très Awesome 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

It's Cyber Monday today! The perfect time to get all your holiday shopping done, save a ton of money and never leave your couch. I've collected all sorts of cool stuff from around the internetz and almost all of the sellers have a special deal going on today. So without further a do I give you our official holiday gift guide.

1) Kate Spade Toast Flats $228.00
2) Goldie Rox The Burger Ring $210.00
3) Moschino Toy Fragrance $110.00

4) Eugenia Kim Bo Black Felt Cap $228.00
5) Benefit Advent Calendar $100.00
6) Crosley Bermuda Turntable $249.95
7) Jonathan Adler Ceramic Dachshund Menorah $128.00
8) T+J Designs Pop the Champagne Tee $32.00
9) Freaker Doll Face Coozie $11.99
10) AZEEZA Collar Necklace $495.00
11) Clashist James Franco Crush Socks $14.50
12) TOMS Market Place Rose & Fitzgerald Geometric Candle Holders $89.25

13) Emerging Thoughts Totally 90's nail decals $11.00
14) Charlotte Olympia Taco Purse $1295.00
15) Local Ecletic boo + boo factory leather bracelet $22.00
16) Crew and Lu Pink Tassel Moccasin $62.00
17) Rifle Paper Co. Floral Temporary Tattoos $12.75
18) Stack Magazine Membership $190.00
19) CB2 Gold Turtle $64.95
20) Nike Lunarelite Sky Hi Sneakerboot $140.00
21) Storm Drone 4 Flying Platform $359.90


Fullosophie Workshops

I had the pleasure of attending a day of creative learning last Saturday thanks to Fullosophie - a company dedicated to allowing regular folks like you and me a chance to get to know craft makers through intimate, hands-on workshops. In the morning we sipped mimosas and learned all about counters, ascenders and nibs with Jenna Blazevich a talented Calligrapher and teacher. In the afternoon we got to try our hand at wreath making with guidance from the lovely Heidi Joynt and Molly Kobelt of the sustainable flower company Field and Florist.

Part of the fun of the day was getting to spend time The Barkers gorgeous production studio where the workshops were held. Thanks Fullosophie for a wonderful and enriching day. You can still sign up for Fullosophie's second calligraphy workshop this Thursday December 4th which is being held in another great space at Heritage Littles, 2868 N. Lincoln Ave. Click here for tickets.


Advanced Style Documentary Premiere Party

This past friday No Small Plans Productions hosted the opening night and premiere of the Advanced Style documentary at Gene Siskel Film Center.

The event drew fashionable folks of all ages including some women who have been featured on the Advanced Style blog and quite a few of mother daughter duos, including April Francis and her Mama and Isa Giallorenzo of the street style blog Chicago Looks.

Style expert Amy Tara Koch did a Q and A session with Ari Seth Cohen, the producer of the film and founder of Advanced Style,  and the director  Lina Plioplyte (Who've I've actually photographed on the street before, see her portrait here) via Skype after the show. It was great to be able to hear Ari speak about the Advanced Style project and his larger goal of bringing attention to these vibrant, wise, stylish older folk who are routinely ignored and pushed aside for the young.

Kristin Kaza of No Small Plans Productions and future Advanced Style subject getting pumped for the film outside the theater. Check out all the fabulous style of the attendees on the red carpet on facebook.

I cannot reccomend this film strongly enough, and you can catch it all next week at Gene Siskel Film Center! Check the schedule right here.


Wide Legged Jeans on Leandra Medine

The title of this post rhymes, in case you didn't notice. Also wide legged jeans are back as proven by The Man Repeller herself. Don't go throwing out your skinnies yet, but there are now officially options :)


Ready, Set, Target Style Event Recap

Last Thursday I got a real taste of what it's like to be on a show like Project Runway.  I, along with bloggers Yanira Garza and Dana Weiss of the Possesionista were issued style challenges around the classic white button down shirt using the Target Fall Style collection. We didn't know what the challenges were before hand which added to the drama and frankly nervousness before the show. But despite all that,  we all had a great time, and I won! Which is crazy because I never win anything.

To add to the pressure the looks were judged by Marie Claire editor Zanna Roberts Rassi, editorial director of Paper Magazine Mickey Boardman, style expert Mary Alice Stephenson, and Ikram Goldman owner of the fabulous Ikram.

The set and format of the event felt very much like a reality show (without the wine throwing and backstabbing). The way it worked was we had 3 minutes to choose an outfit and 3 minutes to get our models dressed backstage. I had the great fortune of having the amazing Azeeza Khan and Jessie Kalin as my muses. I have to admit it was a little intimidating dressing women with such amazing personal style, but they couldn't have been more laid back. Here they are in their looks.

The first challenge which I styled Azeeza in was an outfit that could carry her from a brunch in Bucktown to an afternoon of Tailgating at Soldier Field (never mind that I could not in a million years see Azeeza hanging out in a parking lot drinking beer). The judges loved this look and gave me the winning score! The second challenge was based off of an object they assigned us, and I got a master lock pad lock. I took inspiration from the black and white color pallete of the lock and the tried to make her look ultra-luxurious, like something that needed be kept under lock and key. Both outfits looks sophisticated, cool and expensive (but they are not!) and can be found this very minute at Target.

Here we are revealing Azeeza's "Tailgating" outfit. I'm not sure what I'm doing with my hand here.

Here are the fabulous judges. They were all so cool and encouraging. When Ikram Goldman and Mary Alice Stephenson give you a compliment on your styling, that's HUGE!!!

Also did I mention the event was PACKED?  Guests enjoyed bites, drinks, Pixi mini makeovers and GIF photo-booth. Here the crowd is using the little Target paddles to vote on the final look between me and Yanira.

Here are all the looks that were styled. The bottom line is there is TONS of cute stuff at Target now ladies. I mean who doesn't want that black lace top that Jess is wearing or those boots on Azeeza?

All the stylists together, how cute are Yanira and Dana?! Answer: VERY.

The talented makeup artist Shanon O'Brien did little makeup tutorials on the winning looks to show how to elevate the style through a lip or dramatic eye. All with the Petra Pixi label available at Target.

Another shot of my ladies.

Here's the whole crew after the show. Also my darling husband brought my daughter Adeline. It was so fun having her at the event.

I'm so grateful to have been included in such a fabulous event, thanks for everything Target!

All images are from the talented Kristyna Archer
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