1 Cakes & Louie: June 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


For those of you that actually check in on me here on a regular basis, I assume it's become pretty clear by my lack of posting that I'm a bit preoccupied lately. This is largely due to two very exciting events - preparing to start my new job (next Monday!) and the bestie's wedding (THIS Saturday!) To say that I have a lot going on would be an understatement, but I'm not complaining. In fact, I am having a total blast.

While my last day at Upshot was technically last Friday, I got lucky when my boss asked if I could come in Monday to help out with a project, which meant I got to spread my goodbyes over a couple of days. Given that I cried the entire way to work on Friday and burst into tears the second I got to my car at the end of the day on Monday, I'd say it was probably a good thing that I didn't have to do all of my "see you laters!" at once. I feel so incredibly blessed to have spent the last 5 and a half years with people that were so difficult to leave. (A big giant thanks to Rachel for that gentle reminder.)

I spent the last two Friday afternoons shopping like crazy with my mom for what I'm referring to as "big girl clothes" for the new gig. While I'm totally still planning on my standard comfy and casual, I'm excited to take it up a notch with all the new pieces I've snatched up lately. Things like nice, structured dark jeans, a wear-it-with-anything black blazer, skinny black pants, and flowy blouses in fun patterns and colors. I'm pretty certain I'm going to drag my mom with me every single time I go shopping in the future as I not only had a great time with her, but seem to have incredible luck finding exactly what I need when she's there.

Today, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday are 100% dedicated to all the final details for Bridget's wedding, which I am obviously loving. We spent today running errands, gluing programs, making lists, finding my bridesmaid shoes and doing dress fittings (for both of us), and I'm selfishly really excited that I get to spend most of my free time this week with my best friend. I've said it before and I'll say it again - my wedding would not have happened without Bridget, and I'm thrilled that it's finally time for my "payback" to help her with all of the fun details for hers. We've got more than 100 feet of garland to tie in our future tomorrow morning, and I'm an odd bird in the sense that I'm pumped about it.

SO, all of this is to say that I'm sorry my little blog here has fallen to the wayside, but I will be back soon - refreshed and ready for some new DIY projects and lots of meals at home (major plus of the new job - I get to leave at the same time every day... which means planning dinners and spending more evenings with the hubs!)

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Well friends, I've been pretty quiet around here, and now that word is starting to spread I can finally explain why. You see, I have had a LOT on my mind for the last week or so, which resulted in this - I've accepted a new job in the suburbs and my last day at my current job is next Friday. 

Aaaaaand, that's the first time I've "talked" about it without thinking I was going to burst into tears. 

Here's the thing. I pretty much have the coolest job ever. It's super flexible, I could come to work in pajamas if I wanted to and nobody would bat an eye, there's beer in the fridge on a regular basis, there's 150 people here and I genuinely like every single one of them, my boss is awesome and likes shopping and talking as much as I do, the CEO is literally brilliant and I tend to learn more from him in one conversation than I ever did in years of school, we work on world-class brands, we get a mental health day once a month... you get the point. I've got it made.

So why the move? Well, for one, the new gig is out in the suburb that the hubs just so happens to already work in, and it's also where we've talked pretty seriously about moving and raising kids someday. I won't have to commute to the big bad city anymore, which will be SUCH a blessing for my anxiety. It's an incredible opportunity and I have no doubts that I am going to be blown away by how much I learn. It's also a massive raise, which is nice of course. In general though, it's a big GIANT change - the kind of thing which I tend to have panic attacks about - but I'm just as pumped up about it as I am nervous.

It's been a weird feeling around my current office for the last couple of days, knowing that while I'm still here I don't really work here anymore. I have no doubts that I will be a ridiculous blubbering mess next week when I'm leaving at the end of the day for the last time. 

The good news is that the timing worked out perfectly for me to have the entire week leading up to Bridget's wedding off, and I cannot wait to help her crank out last minute projects and get everything ready for the big day. I start my new position on July 1 and am so excited to see what's ahead!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Outdoor Upgrades

Although the weather still seems to be a bit confused, it's summertime in Chicago, and thus begins my yearly petitioning of trying to convince Dan that we need a patio out in the backyard. In true cheapskate form, we would DIY this project, which means we need to find a free weekend to tackle it, but I'm holding out hope!

Thanks to Pinterest, I obviously already have a billion ideas for how I would pretty up our little patio.

A cinder block planter would be a definite must-have -

As would some simple storage -

A strand of twinkle lights, a hula hoop and some chain from the hardware store would make for the perfect DIY lighting -

And I'd probably grab some of the logs from under the stairs and spray paint them a fun color for seating... because... why not? -

Table options are endless. Like making one out of pallets -

Or simply tracking down an old beat up table and adding log-stump stools around the sides -

My favorite is something like this DIY live-edge table WITH A BUILT-IN ICE BUCKET - 

A few funky mismatched tiles make for a wipeable "runner" on any table, which is perfect for outside -

What do you think? Is DIY'ing a patio worth the cost? How about difficulty level? I'm fairly certain we could do this no problem, but that would also not be the first time I've said that ;).

Happy Tuesday friends! It's a big one.

Monday, June 10, 2013

DIY: Chalkboard Greeting Cards

I bought a pack of plain white cards and envelopes at a craft store ages ago, and have used them randomly throughout the years for various occasions. I decided to get a few of them out recently and make them cute but still easily personalized - with chalkboard paint!

I was super excited when chalkboard paint became available at Michael's in the little 99 cent bottles. It's not too heavy so it didn't make the cards warp, and it painted on nice and smooth with a small flat brush.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Little Things: Front Porch Storage

When I posted our front porch makeover reveal, it drove me crazy when I realized how see-through the frosted panels were on our storage cabinet where we keep all of our board games and a bin full of shoes.

While everything is nice and contained, it still looked messy to me because of those panels. So, I found a fun roll of wrapping paper at my mecca (Target) and sweet talked the hubs into helping me measure it all out using the largest straight-edge we could find (I really need to buy a yardstick). After cutting 2 even pieces we just used little squares of double-sided tape to secure the paper to the insides of the doors. I've already had to add a couple new pieces after a humid day, but I'm hoping overall this holds up. I of course did this little project well past my bedtime a few nights ago, so I wasn't about to get out the good camera for a new picture. Instagram to the rescue!

For $4 and less than 20 minutes, I'd say this is one of the simplest projects we've ever done with so much impact. High fives for easy upgrades!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Nothing to Wear

Dear Chicago,
Please make up your mind on what season it is. It is impossible to know what to wear each morning. Is it going to be chilly? Suddenly get hot in the middle of the day? Rain for 5 minutes an hour for days on end? I'd love it if it could just be summer, you know, since it is June and all.

In other news, I love this shirt, which is unfortunately currently sold out. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pretty Things

Last week was rough. So naturally I decided to kick this week off on a lighter note - with a collection of pretty things currently on my wish list. I always find my wish lists to be a little amusing with their mix of items. I may quite possibly be the only person I know that's coveting a scarf with zebras all over it at the same time as fancy salt & pepper grinders. As for the other items - I'm thinking I will finally bite the bullet and use my Bauble Bar points to snatch this necklace up since I can't stop staring at it, and considering I've been looking for a plain white cake stand for ages I just might treat myself to one of these this week. Happy Monday!

scarf  //  salt & pepper grinders  //  notepad  //  tote  //  lip crayon