[ playing at Alice + Olivia in SoHo 12.31.14 / jacket: Topshop [ sold out ] // jeans: Madewell // sneakers: Nike ]
I’ll admit I use the word obsessed a lot. What can I say, I get really involved & I have strong feelings about pretty much everything. Instead of obsessed, I think the word smitten may more accurately capture how I feel in a less aggressive way & a more hey-I-really-like-this-hint-hint way. Do you agree?
Here’s what’s currently got me smitten
1) Warmbeverages - Yes, it is cold in Chicago & yes, I have visions of beaches nearly obscuring my vision as I fight through bitingly cold winds on my way to work. Aside from the obvious coffee addiction, I’ve been warming up with YOGI SKIN DETOX tea [ in my FAVORITEMUG, of course ]. It has a mildly sweet, floral taste & has the added bonus of literally making your skin glow at a time when dry skin & other winter skin woes tend to occur. Because this tea has caffeine, at night I hop on the bandwagon [ see HERE ] & sip on BONE BROTH. Equally satisfying & full of health benefits [ proteins, minerals & vitamins for a healthy gut / collagen & keratin for healthy skin ], I was instantly hooked on this “liquid gold.” I have been using PACIFIC FOODS CHICKEN BONE BROTH [ 9g protein/1 cup! ], but have slowly been saving up enough chicken bones from my weekly roasted chicken to make my own homemade in the crock pot. I will be posting a recipe soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that in the upcoming weeks.
2) Smooth lips - Keeping lips from drying out & becoming flaky is tough during this time of year, but luckily I discovered BITE BEAUTY’S AGAVE LIP MASK. Throw it on before bed & in the morning lips are soft & smooth. If you want something for daytime, grab one with a hint of color [ HERE, HERE ]. While I haven’t tried it yet, I think the perfect combo would be to use the SCRUB followed by the mask for the ultimate rejuvenation. THIS caught my eye too [ anyone tried it? ].
3) Awards season- Since I can remember, the excitement of the Globes, the Grammys & the Oscars & has always sucked me in. I love the dresses, the movies, the speeches…everything! The past few years I haven’t paid much attention to the nominations, just who wins & what they wear, but this time around I’ve been really trying to see a majority of the movies. I started with Boyhood which I 110% recommend – there was something so touching in its simple yet groundbreaking portrayal of growing up. I was surprised at how emotional it made me. Others on my list include Wild, Birdman, The Imitation Game & American Sniper.
4) Athleisure [ hint: above picture is totally athleisure ] - Sweats as pants beyond the comforts of your room are a thing now – & I’m not mad about it. I love mixing a more casual piece with something dressier – it makes life more fun. I’ve fully embraced the athleisure trend with varying colors & styles of sneakers, but by far my favorite are the ROSHE RUN sneakers by Nike. I don’t know what it is, but they are the perfect casual shoe that instantly make your look ultra athleisure-ly. Side-but-important note: these are NOT workout shoes!
5) Toasty blankets - After a long day, there is nothing more perfect than cozying up into bed with a HEATED BLANKET. There really isn’t much more to say on this besides they are completely necessary for the brutally cold winter nights. Mood booster.
Thank you all for your words of encouragement & thoughtfulness regarding yesterday’s post [ see HERE ]. Clearly, I’m not the only one who has gone through something like this & it’s always nice to stay connected on not only the fun & amazing parts of blogging but the less than stellar stresses & road blocks that arise periodically – trust me, the good parts outweigh the bad!
Anyway, since my music selections each month were always a popular feature & one of my favorite things to put together being a music fanatic & all, I knew I’d bring my monthly playlists back for 2015; but, this time it’s in a slightly updated format. You can still listen to my ENTIRE PLAYLIST via Spotify, but I want to start highlighting select tunes each month that I can’t seem to turn off.
You Make Me Feel Good // Satin Jackets: for a dance party [ with friends or solo ]
Talking Body // Tove Lo: for the commute
Add Me In // Chris Brown: for Saturday night [ & if you really like math equations… ]
Ridin’ High // Lee Stevens: for getting over the Wednesday hump [ or Monday, or Tuesday… ]
Manhattan // Kings of Leon: for cleaning out your closet [ literally or figuratively ]
Stuck in a Second // Wildhart: for Sunday afternoon
While I could go into details, excuses & explanations, there’s really only two words that sum up my absence this past month: life happened.
I started this blog with the intention of sharing my life in a creative way as a means to inspire myself & [ hopefully ] others along the way, so how can life happened possibly be a valid reason for my absence when life happening is exactly what my blog sets out to explore? What it really comes down to is that my life collided in December, scattering in a million different directions – some of it good, some of it bad, some of it exactly what I had dreamed of. I had to reassess my priorities, my values & my purpose – at least for the time being. At the end of it all, there was no time left for the blog. Sure, I had extra hours, but I wasn’t invigorated or energized by the prospect of blogging as I had been before. It all just seemed…overwhelming.
To be clear, I started this blog during what was a lot of downtime for me – no real job & not much of a direction. As life has continued on [ & the need for a solid income ], I’ve explored my next moves & feel like I’ve found something very promising. Now that I’m in a bit more of a stable place, I’m ready to re-commit myself to Adrian James & to my readers. I’ve felt an enormous amount of guilt this past month for leaving everyone hanging without a peep & that guilt has only grown as I’ve let the days go by. Finally, I can say “I’m still here!”
I hope everyone understands my reason for taking a break. The last thing I want to do is to blog for blogging’s sake. As I started my blog & as I want to continue my blog, I strive for a purpose…it needs to feel authentically me…which, brings me to my next admission…I’ve struggled for the past year to make Adrian James feel authentically me. I know I have something unique to offer, but I don’t want to be generic…I want to be me…ideas, clothes, shoes, beauty, inspiration, food, health & all.
I wanted to let everyone know I’m still around – still inspired everyday by the idea of bringing my perspective & vision to Adrian James. This means I have to restructure my life & probably spend a little less time thinking & a lot more time doing. All I ask for is a little time to figure it all out. I’m working on balancing my life & while it gets there, my blog may go through some growing pains.
I may change my posting schedule to 3 x / week instead of 5, or something to that nature. I don’t want to pressure myself or make promises to myself that I cannot keep. Not only that, but I’m working on fresh new content & consistent features for Adrian James…I want more real life & less perfect life.
Can you guys relate? Any ideas of what you want to see or don’t want to see, please comment below as I take these next few weeks to plan out the future of the blog.
Moms can be tough to buy for. What do you get the woman who says she wants nothing yet totally deserves something special? I’ve brought together a list of a few ideas that I think would be perfect. You can never go wrong with something luxurious like CASHMERE or a nice LEATHER BAG. A little something to PAMPER her never hurt, either. If your mom is super stylish, get her this CAPE JACKET or BOOTS for a warm winter. Enjoy!
And the 2014 Holiday Gifting continues with a guide for those glam girls in your life who love chic silhouettes, glam accessories & a little [ faux ] fur. Black takes over the majority of their wardrobe but they aren’t afraid of a pop of color now & again – oxblood lip, anyone? Happy shopping!
This entire week will be dedicated to gifts, gifts, gifts so stay tuned for more guides to come!
A guide for the fitness fanatic was a no-brainer since fitness to street apparel is a huge trend right now. From URBAN OUTFITTERS [ the pattern! the print! ] to FOREVER 21 & ZELLA for NORDSTROM to the more obvious LULULEMON, ATHLETA, & NIKE, stores are definitely stepping up their game. This makes me very happy because if I can hop from barre to cocktails & still look cute, well, that’s a big win in my book.
The NEW ARRIVALS at Lululemon are so fun [ sequins anyone? ]. It just wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t include a BKR bottle & my fave QUEST bars [ helloooo S’Mores ]. How insanely gorgeous are these YOGA MATS? If you know a fitness fanatic in your life, this list has everything. Happy shopping!
To kick off the holidays, myself & some fellow bloggers joined forces to bring you our favorite items to gift & be given. We divided the items into three different baskets chock full of everything you’ll need this season to stay fashionable, host a party & most importantly, have fun. Without all of you, blogging wouldn’t really be much fun would it? Consider it our way of saying thanks.
When deciding what to contribute as my gift, I wanted my item [ ok, items…I couldn’t pick ] to be something I truly love & use. My BKR BOTTLE is basically attached to my hand, so this was an easy choice. Staying hydrated is important to me. Remember THIS? Plus, these glass bottles are eco-friendly & pretty to carry around. To top it off, no holiday season is complete without a bold red lip [ don’t forget to exfoliate first…dry Chicago winters can do a number on the pout ] & it’s no secret that BITE BEAUTY is an OBSESSION of mine. So lovely readers, as my contribution, I will be giving away:
Yay! It’s the biggest sale of the year. The best part? You don’t have to move from your bed. Cozy up with my guide for the best sales & steals around the web. Stay tuned later this week for more gift guides right here too. Oh, and need some tunes to get you in the mood?Check out my December PLAYLIST. Let’s get shopping!
Normally I don’t post on Saturdays, but I had to let you all know about a special event that I’ll be participating in next week. Consider this your formal invitation from me to you for the LINCOLN PARK SHOP HOP on Thursday, December 4th.
All of your favorite Chicago bloggers will be stationed across stores in Lincoln Park to help you with your holiday shopping. Oh, and there will be discounts, giveaways, food & beverages.
I’ll be at LULULEMON on Halsted & Dickens with food from STELLA BARRA plus my favorite cold weather workout wear will be on display with a raffle at a time TBD [ will announce here & on social media, so stay tuned ] where you can win one of the outfits styled by me!
What better way to kick off the holiday season? Grab your friends & join me & all of the bloggers below for fun, food, fashion & fitness.