Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I’m alive!

First off, I am alive! Did ya miss me? No? Aw shucks. Well, I missed you.

I think that is the longest I’ve ever gone without posting… crazy.

Second, the good news is The Everygirl Shop has had a ton of sales! Woop woop holiday season! Alas, that has kept me quite occupied and away from LCY (a dozen or so trips to the post office in the past two weeks coupled with a few snow storms = blurg). I have a few posts up my sleeves for the next few days! Pinky swear.

Lastly, today is the last day to place any orders and receive them by Christmas. We are offering free shipping until Midnight tonight! Use code FREESHIP. They make great inspiring gifts for the women in your life. Prices on prints and iPhone 4 and 5 cases range from $12-35. Get shopping so I can package more boxes! 🙂

See you soooon!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

BIG REVEAL: The Everygirl 2.0 and Shop!

For the past few months, we’ve been working on a “top secret project.” We can be dramatic.

Today – it’s here!

A fully redesigned The Everygirl site and Shop!

We teamed up with a small group of web designers and developers here in Chicago, and we are so thrilled with what they put together for us. There’s a new fancy navigation, sorting by cities, filters, a lot more articles on the homepage, related articles within stories… basically all the practical functionality we never thought to add to the original design seeing as we are not UX experts and just cared about it looking great. Now that’s all fixed! Not to mention it’s FAST FAST FAST! No 5 second load time. 

You can read more of the details on what the new site offers here.

Or click over to The Everygirl Shop to snatch up stocking stuffers for all your loved ones and girlfriends!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Coming Soon: The Everygirl Shop

The Everygirl Shop and product line officially launches tomorrow, Wednesday, November 20th! Prices range from $12-$35, making them the perfect stocking stuffers for the inspiring, kick-ass ladies in your life!

More details here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fashion for Europe: The Only Packing List You’ll Ever Need

Let me adjust my Fashion Blogger cap for a second. Try it on for size… Ahh there we go.

Now, a solid dose of outfit photos from my adventures in Europe.

Save for the pink-elbow patch shirt I bought in Paris, I wore black almost the entire time. Black pants or jeans, black or white v-necks, and a jacket. Mix and match over and over again.

Here are a few of the staples I lived in due to comfort and versatility.

Target jacket (the best $30 I ever spent) | Gerard Deral hat (bought in Paris) | Henry and Belle ankle zip skinnies (as comfy as yoga pants, not even kidding) | Nila Anthony shoulder bag | Two Penny Blue leather trim blazer (i leave it unbuttoned) | Alli Marie booties (never even broke these in and wore them all day long, days at a time)

See the rest of our packing for Europe made easy list over on The Everygirl! Complete with tips and specific product suggestions.

photos by Danielle Moss

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ladyplace: The Kitchen Before & After

So this weekend was crazy productive. I had absolutely nothing planned which felt gloooorious. After being out of town for ten days and with the upcoming holidays and weddings, I knew free weekends would be limited and I wanted to tackle my mountain-high to do list.

A few things I accomplished:

– cleaned entire apartment

– reorganized my front hall closet

– grocery shopped (finally)

– shipped a bunch of packages that had been needing to go out (i avoid the post office like the plague)

– organized dressing room area

– finally got around to hanging art, mirrors, shelves, clock, etc.

– took bridesmaid dresses to the tailor

– took dogs to the groomer

– posted items I’m selling on Craigslist

– and… finally, the big one. I painted the kitchen. FINALLY.

The plan has always been to paint it super light grey, which I got permission to do from my landlord. But because the walls, floor, backsplash, and even my rug are kind of… off-white (not in a good way), any white was just making them look dirty and grimy. I delved into my stockpile of paint and realized I had almost a full can leftover from when I painted my last bedroom black.

Found a little black cabinet inspiration here. And just went got to it!



I can’t stop looking at it. Much like the bathroom in my old place, this is quickly going from my least favorite to most favorite area of the apartment!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ladyplace: To Paint Black or Not? Help me decide!

My beauuuutiful and very WHITE Society Social bar cart arrived-yes, I went with white. Creature of habit to play it safe-and now I realize it just doesn’t work against the all white walls. It gets lost. This whole wall in general is just… meh. So I’m thinking of painting the wall black. Again, creature of habit (office in first apartment, bedroom in second apartment).

I posted on Instagram asking people what they thought and a lot suggested a deep navy, (Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy in particular, which is awesome) but I am just not sure how that would work since the rest of the room is neutral greys, blacks, beiges, and whites. Thoughts?

Others are suggesting deep charcoal.

Or… what about bright pink?! Inspired by this and this.

Some say high gloss.

What say you?!

And for the record, 9 times out of 10 I kind of hate accent walls. But because this apartment is so small, it’s more its own section of the room – the bar/library, if you will. It would hardly even be photographed with the “office” or the “living room” parts, both of which kind of have their own looks going on.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Giveaway: Elva Fields Decade Necklace

In celebration of jewelry designer Elva Fields’ 10th year of business, the brand is giving away this beautiful gold Decade Necklace to an LCY reader! I love the simplistic elegance of this design; a stark difference from her usual bold, colorful statement pieces. You may remember we featured the Kentucky designer behind the brand, Emily Maynard, on The Everygirl earlier this year. It was so fun getting to see inside her workshop.

To enter: 

Like Elva Fields on Facebook or follow Elva Fields on Instagram, then leave a comment on this post letting me know you did! Make sure to include your email so I can get a hold of you.

U.S. entries only.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I wish…

… it’s not another six years before I make it back to Europe. I can’t express how happy that continent makes me. All of it. European culture, the architecture, the food, the history, and the languages… it is my happy place (with Paris at the epicenter of said happiness).

We will be doing full recaps of our travels on The Everygirl sometime within the next two weeks so stay tuned for those. I’ll be sure to post links as soon as it happens. Danielle took so many insanely beautiful photos with her fancy camera; I did my best with my baby Nikon. I keep telling her she ought to sell some of her photos as prints. Fingers crossed I can convince her. I know I want some for my own place. Just wait and see!

So we are back from Europe, jetlagged, with a mountain of work to do. Sorry for the silence the past ten days! My laptop died the first day I was there and my charger blew the fuse, killing the charger altogether.

In other news: Biscuit has a sale going on to celebrate their one year anniversary – 20% off site-wide! Congrats to Bailey and the team! And here on Live Creating Yourself, I have an exciting giveaway tomorrow!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I’m currently on cloud nine in Paris. And just spent three days in London – boy, did I miss that city. Danielle and I are concocting plans where I’ll live in Paris for a month and learn the language, she’ll live in London, we’ll each spend a weekend at one anothers’ apartments. Good plan.

Follow along on Instagram – TheEverygirl_, AlainaKaz, and DanielleMoss_

Thanks for all your kind thoughts and words about 28 so far. Clearly things are looking up!

Monday, October 14, 2013


Nine days ago, on October 5th, I turned 28. It was a Saturday and I was in Michigan attending a friend’s wedding, having a grand old time, dancing too much, laughing in the rain, and enjoying too many vodka sodas with lime. I had so much fun that I lost my voice, slept too little, and felt the onset of illness 24 hours later, when I was enjoying birthday desserts at my moms (she watched the dogs while I was in Michigan). Pretty much everyone I knew had suffered from a head cold in the past week or two, and it usually wouldn’t concern me, but I had another trip planned for the upcoming weekend. Unfortunately, that little cold turned into a serious sinus infection rendering me all but useless for much of the week and forcing me to miss one of my childhood best friend’s bachelorette weekends in Vegas (what was to be my one and only trip to Las Vegas in my lifetime. Now at least I’ll be able to die happily saying I never set foot there.) To give you an example of just how useless my week was, here’s what my living room looked like going into the weekend… 

Tucker’s not impressed.

Which brings us to Saturday night. I was kind of feeling better, well enough to get to the store to pick up ingredients and make my mom’s homemade chili. I showered, even put on a little make-up (the first time in a week), popped a Sudafed, and ventured to the grocery store around 5:30pm. By 8pm, I was enjoying a big bowl of chili and lounging in pj’s, queuing up the first three episodes of The Blacklist (do you watch it? I love, I repeat, I love James Spader. Here’s an older snapshot for those who don’t “get it.”) Eventually midnight rolls around and I decide to head to bed, taking another Sudafed, forgetting I took one of the 12-hour dosages just seven hours earlier. This might not seem like a big deal. But two hours later I knew something was wrong. My head was pounding, my heart felt like it was racing (it wasn’t according to my heart rate), I was beyond energized, I was nauseous, my body was alternating between chills and sweats, I felt slightly lightheaded, and I was having weird delusional thoughts(/dreams?) any time I closed my eyes to try and sleep (something about my shipments to the Chinese being intercepted by the government… whaaaat?). Needless to say I realized what I did with the medication, and I was concerned. I started Googling side effects, and this definitely seemed on the extreme/OD side of things. By 2:30am I’m sitting in my bathroom calling an emergency health care hotline. The nurse on the line said that based on my symptoms, I should seek medical attention immediately. Umm ok… now I was really panicking. Next step? Do I call 911? No. I call Mom. She calmed me down a bit; said I sounded rational and fine and that it didn’t seem like two pills seven hours apart should warrant too much concern but if I really needed to, I should just go to the hospital. Step three. Wake up my boyfriend. Who I then made sit and watch me in my crazed state for thirty or so minutes to make sure I didn’t die or pass out (have you caught on yet that I’m a slight hypochondriac?) Eventually I was starting to feel a bit better and I sent him back to sleep. I set up Friday Night Lights on my laptop in the living room and hunkered down with my pups since it was now 3am or so and I was still wide awake. Eventually I slept three hours. Other than a few random all-nighters in my wild youth, I’ve never only slept three hours (I’m a 7-10 hrs girl-have been since I was born). Sunday was rough. I looked like shit. Felt like shit. And was still sick with a cold/sinus infection but threw away the Sudafed. Devil pills. Turns out the pills I had, the ones that are kept behind the pharmacy counter that you have to show your ID to purchase, is the stuff Breaking Bad type folks use to make meth. Short for methamphetamine. AKA definitely an upper. Why does no one tell you that? Have crazy side effects ever happened to any of you?

Sunday was a detox day. Get all the medication out of my system. Steamy bath. Lots of tea, water with lemon, and bland food. I watched some football then tried taking a nap midday. Enter crisis two. Shortly after I laid down, my dog Fiona, who was laying at the foot of the bed, seemed to lurch forward. I thought there was a bug or something she was trying to catch. The next thing I knew, her little furry body started twitching repeatedly. She laid on her side, and I got up to see her jaw was locked shut, she wasn’t breathing, her legs seemed to not work, and her body was just twitching and spasming violently, repeatedly. I screamed for my boyfriend to come in the room. Having never seen a seizure before, I thought she was randomly having a stroke or her body was spontaneously giving out. I thought she was dying right in front of me. I was just petting her saying her name softly while yelling for him to call a vet; she seemed to be conscious and scared, her little eyes darting back and forth. Whether she was or not, I don’t know. After a minute or two, she the spasms stopped and she laid there still, awake and alert. Danny rushed to get the car while I stayed with her. After another minute or so, I tried to help her get up, but she couldn’t. And then her little legs seemed to give out again and she shook. I scooped her up and ran out the door, leaving my other dog Tucker panicked and alone. We rushed to the animal ER; she seemed fine in my lap in the car, except for releasing her anal glands and shedding a pound of fur all over me. Three hours later, her blood work came back normal. Now it’s just a waiting game to see if and how often these seizures occur. If it becomes several a month, she’ll have to be medicated daily for the rest of her life; she’s only five. Breaks my heart.

And now it’s Monday, almost midnight.

As you can see, so far 28 hasn’t been off to a great start. But looking back at last year’s birthday post and reading how wonderful and sparkly everything was when I turned 27, then remembering how quickly things turned to shit, it’s made me realize I am not going to make anything of it. I am not taking it as a bad sign or writing off 28 just yet. Sure I have more and more random white? grey? strands plucking through my scalp every day; and I’m not 100% sold the eye cream I started using this past year is even working (those are definitely lines on my temples!), but work is great…

Heck, I leave for Europe on Friday! I’ve thought about Europe-Paris, in particular-every day since I returned home from my semester abroad six and a half years ago. Daydreaming, wishing, wondering when I would go back. And now it’s happening. I can’t believe it. And to be honest, with so much to do between now and then, I don’t think it will seem real until I’m there. Danielle and I haven’t even had time to plan anything. Anything at all! I think it will be a very “relax and take it all in” experience. We’ll be working of course. But it will be relaxing and fun. And we’ll drink boatloads of wine and eat warm fluffy bread and put butter on everything and wear all black and feel fabulous.

And I have two of my best friends getting married this year! I’ll be a bridesmaid in both. I have the greatest niece and nephew in the world who get cuter by the day. And a wonderful, supportive family (who answers my calls at 2:30 am!), friends (who don’t get mad when I miss their bachelorette party), and a not-so-new-to-my-Instagram-followers-but-new-to-you-hearing-about-him-on-the-blog, sweet-as-can-be boyfriend. You can thank all of them for the lovely florals sprinkled throughout this crazy post (my birthday gifts).

So here’s to 28. And things only getting better.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tuck, Tuck, My Awkward Pup

I just happened upon this photo series of my cockapoo Tucker. It’s from last year at my old place. We were shooting a feature for Fizz56 and The Everygirl, and our talented photogs, John and Maura Stoffer love him so they kept taking his picture. Isn’t he the best? Albeit a bit awkward. I can’t believe I’ve had him for six years now. He’s truly my best friend, the most loyal companion. Who gets sad when I leave and ecstatic when I come back. Who lives for a cuddle or a moment of my attention. He sure knows how to make a girl feel special.

Do you have a furry friend? When did you get them?

Are they cool and normal or decently awkward like my Tuck?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Help Me Choose a Society Social Bar Cart: White or Teal?

Help! I am getting a bar cart from the queen of bar carts: Roxy at Society Social. I’ve decided on the style: The Worth. But now I can’t choose a color! Go with the super fun teal and add some color to my VERY neutral living space? Or play it safe and go with classic white (which will probably last me much longer down the road…) I can easily style it up with color, adding art, stripey straws, and pretty bottles and glassware. But the teal is so fun!

It will replace this burlapped piece of furniture in between the bookshelves.

What do you think?! White or teal?!

Keep in mind my Christmas tree will likely be going next to it (yes – I’ve been stressing over the spot for a tree since I moved into this tiny abode).

In other news – does anyone know why Blogger is messing up my photos? That image has a pure white background but it’s showing up all shadowy? Help again!

UPDATE: It was the auto-enhance option in Google+ that had been selected. I turned it off and voila! Thank you, thank you, Jackie!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

to do

This morning I packed up my things and headed to the nearby Starbucks. I hope that getting out of the house will aid in the productivity necessary to tackle today’s to do list…

1. finalize graphics for decorBase

2. outreach emails for decorBase

3. design ad for Biscuit

4. web graphics for Biscuit

5. plan for panel tomorrow afternoon w/ Starwood Hotels

6. meet with web programmers

7. finalize Fizz56/Everygirl dream room design #1

8. finalize Fizz56/Everygirl dream room design #2

9. call and schedule Chicago restaurants to review

10. secret Everygirl project #1

11. secret Everygirl project #2

12. write and layout Thursday’s feature

13. walk, feed, play with dogs

14. stop by AT&T to set up new phone

15. cook and eat meals somewhere in there?

16. online shopping and planning for next weekend’s Vegas Bachelorette Party

17. see Langhorne Slim tonight at Lincoln Hall

Unfortunately, I didn’t check the forecast so I dressed for fall. It’s supposed to be 82 today.

sweater, Lilla P // jeans, Henry & Belle ankle zip // bag, Nila Anthony ($80!) // shoes, Cole Haan

Thursday, September 26, 2013

new acquisitions for the ladyplace

Shiny copper and a wall clock for the kitchen and coral for my bedroom – thanks to a few great sales currently going on at Joss and Main! Check out the Old Dutch and the Arcadian Accents sales. The wall clock was only $38, and the quatrefoil jar was called Alayna! I didn’t have a choice really…

Monday, September 23, 2013


my favorite season has arrived. 

i picked up this $3 “filler” flower (pink baby’s breath? is that a thing?) and mini white pumpkin at the grocery store on friday. i went to see notre dame vs michigan state on saturday. and i ate chili while watching the bears win last night. woke up to 55 degree breeze streaming through the window. brrr.

i also sliced my hand pretty badly washing dishes (it can get violent), but hey – it’s fall! silver lining, people. how did you celebrate the return of the greatest season of all seasons?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tarjetas de Bizzness

Thanks to the talented Shayna, letterpress artist and founder of Steel Petal Press here in Chicago, Danielle and I finally have some respectable business cards. Since we printed our first cards in November 2011 (for our NYC trip), we’ve always gone to Kinko’s for a quick fix before we had to travel or attend an event. But those cards bent, smeared, and this that or the other. 

Extra thick weight, coral painted edges, simple design. 

It’s like a freshly baked chocolate cookie served up paper style.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ladyplace: Plans for the Entryway

I love that my teensy apartment has a formal entryway. I find the separation of rooms charming, and I want to make a Wow! impact for guests when they arrive (and to put a smile on my own face when I walk through the door). Wallpaper is out of the budget and the question, because let’s be honest, who knows how long I’ll even live here… but I’m thinking stripes are a perfectly suitable alternative!

Behold: the inspiration

I definitely want to do vertical since it’s a small space and no single wall is especially long. And I want slightly wider stripes (like the powder room shot above) – I’m worried thinner stripes will feel like a jail cell.

My entryway has been nothing special at all since moving in. Mostly a holding area for my old coffee table, shoes, and dog paraphernalia.

Until FINALLY, I was able to get a perfect entryway table. It was difficult finding the right size because it  couldn’t be too deep, and I definitely wanted it to offer some kind of storage. I knew I wanted a light color since I was going to put black on the walls. 

This white wooden 3-drawered option from Overstock works perfectly!
It’s also available in grey and a washed mint, both of which I was considering. But ultimately, I knew I wanted LIGHT and BRIGHT.

As you can see, that door straight ahead leads to my bedroom, but I’ve decided to leave it permanently closed since it’s the only wall space in the bedroom that fits my dresser. (As you can see in my full apartment tour before I moved in, the bedroom has two entryways.)

You can also see I’m finally getting my letterpress European series framed properly thanks to affordable custom framing at Framed and Matted! Those will be hung here in the entry. But more on that later.

Still lusting after this French gilt mirror from Wisteria (which is conveniently out of stock). 

Not sure what I’ll do about the rug. The jute one I got off Joss and Main simply isn’t the right size and the door gets caught on it. Fooey. Maybe a flatweave from Dash and Albert. Don’t know… we shall see. This is a heavy traffic area and the rug will get very dirty. But now I’d be hesitant to put dark or a pattern on the ground since I’m going striped walls.

Help! What do you all think?!

UPDATE: per reader Annie’s suggestion, I moved some things around and instagrammed the new arrangement. LOVE it. The door looks like a great architectural accent instead of a secret, unused door. Thanks, Emily!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ladyplace: Living Room Details

Today I thought I’d share with you some of the details to my wee lil living room.

Sofa is Pottery Barn Carlisle, rug is from Joss and Main, brass curtain rod and curtain are West Elm.

My Paris-inspired gallery wall complete with my own letterpress print of the Eiffel Tower.

You can purchase here.

The pillows on the sofa. Per everyone’s suggestion, I removed the pink one, and am left with:

grey trellis from Serena and Lily , black and white spotted from Furbish Studio,
and gold polka dots from Caitlin Wilson Textiles.

Styling the new coffee table is a bit trickier with the different layers and round shape. I’ve included some of my favorite magazines, a vintage sterling silver tray I picked up at the Brown Elephant for $5 – I use it to store photo booth and polaroid photos (got this idea from my friend Caitlin Flemming), the marbled box is from Furbish Studio, and that beautiful white and gold candle is from a boutique in Charleston.

When I downsized, the only two pieces of furniture I was able to bring with me included the couch and the bed – the two pieces I never wanted my dogs on. So it was time to finally get them a bed they’d actually like. Unfortunately, the styles at Costco and Petco just weren’t cutting it. Thanks to Harry Barker for this stylish black and white toile bed. It’s the medium size so it’s large enough for both of my 25-lb furfriends. They love it. And I’m happy.

This will inevitably change, but for now the $30 brass end table I got in Craigslist is showcasing a few decorative pieces from my old place. The milk glass lamp, the faux topiary (I can’t keep real plants alive), a candle, some coasters, and my favorite porcelain horns that are Jonathan Adler but I got from Furbish Studio.

photos by Alaina Kaczmarski