one year

I wasn’t sure that I was going to write anything about this. I felt like I needed to say something so I decided to say thank you.

Thank you Grammy for all the memories. Thank you for magical childhood Christmas eves. Thank you for sitting in the living room until you thought we were all asleep. Thank you for giving us sugary cereal for the long ride home. Thank you for taking us to the zoo. Thank you for teaching me that family is important. Thank you for proving you can be an adult without losing things that you loved as a child: Disney movies, Saturday morning cartoons and even happy meals. You never need to lose what makes you happy.

Even though you aren’t here, I won’t lose what makes me happy. I won’t lose you.




pretty paper

As of late, I’ve really fell in love with pretty paper design. If you follow me on pinterest, you may have noticed that I’m pinning a lot of pretty paper.   It was only a matter of time…I was a student of words, after all.  I love writing and sending thank you notes. I like sending notes for no reason at all. Just last week I put a note full of quotes in the mail for my sister in law because I know she enjoys them.  Typing this up makes me think of people I want to write notes to.  Focus, Jen, focus!

I have been buying Papyrus cards for nearly every occasion for the past few years but I’m starting to branch out and buy from small and local businesses.  I still love and buy papyrus.  I love their decorated envelopes, bright colors and envelope liners.  Who could say no to this??

I’ve been frequenting Paper Source…seriously, I could spend all day in that place but I don’t think the people working there would think that I was a normal person if I did so.  I got this one for one of my best friends for his birthday this year.  He’s not a beer drinker most of the time, only when he goes to a certain German restaurant.  Good memories, so I thought this was perfect.

Onto the local and small shops…

My husband hit this place first and told me that I just had to go because it had me all written over it.  He did a good job.  I totally love Greer.   It’s a small place and the card selection isn’t huge, but what they have is quality that’s for sure.  I bought my brother a cool card from the social type.  Simple, pretty but still masculine and fun.  Here’s one of my favorites (but not the one I bought for my brother):

In the area, I also dig pulp & ink as well as All She Wrote.  (just one of the reasons I like the latter is because the name of the shop reminds me of Murder She Wrote.  I used to watch that with my grandpa all the time.  That and that show where the dad from Happy Days was a priest.  Was that just me?)

We all know and love sugar paper.  With good reason!  Paper Doll, Smitten Boutique & Noteworthy Notes in Chicago all carry them.  Next shops on my list!!

I could go on and on about my love for paper.  Maybe we’ll come back to it another day.  Any designers you love and think I should know about?  Let me know!  I’m obviously always looking for new paper to drool over!

five on friday

I really need to settle on a title for these posts. 🙂

1. I decided it’s finally time to get some new glasses.  I’m still in love with the pair I have, but I want to be able to switch it up.  So I ordered frames from Warby Parker, Rivet & Sway and Fetch Eyewear.  I got the Warby Parker frames yesterday and it was 0/4. I was so bummed.  I like 2 pairs from Rivet & Sway though, so that’s promising!

2. I am in love with Tucker Pup’s.  If you have a dog in Chicago and need some day care, please take them there.  After you drop them off, make sure you swing by Harpo Studios and say hello to Oprah like I did.  (Oprah, I love your next chapter but…I still miss your show.)


3. After you’re done wiping a few tears over the Oprah Winfrey show, head down the street to Little Goat.  They have an entire menu dedicated to bread.  This Polish girl has got to have her bread, so it’s all very exciting.  We’ve gotten a loaf of the tortone bread and liked it a lot.  Who can say no to bread that has mashed potatoes in it?!  (Ok, I know you should say no, but can you?)

4. Have you watched 30 Rock yet?  No spoilers, I promise!  I totally cried though.   My husband (who doesn’t normally watch the show) kept asking me throughout the episode what was going on.  Oh, I will miss you 30 rock. Especially you, Kenneth.

5. Snow is accumulating in Chicago for about the second time this winter.  It’s pretty watching it fall from the inside but Taylor likes it better when we’re outside.

snowy tay

pretty Christmas paper

I’m sure everyone is finished talking about Christmas because it’s really officially over and knowing that just makes most people sad.  I know it makes me sad.  I *love* Christmas. My mom and I were talking about missing the glow around the house.  I’m seriously looking for ways to keep it year around that doesn’t make it look like we live in a dorm so if you see any ideas, please send them my way!

I had plans to make so many cookies that I was determined to give them to some people we knew but weren’t exchanging gifts with.  That’s where my friend, Nic Hance came in to help make those things pretty.  I wanted some tags to put on them but knew I couldn’t do them myself so she generously made some for me!  People, they were awesome and everyone loved them.  Here they are in action on the box of cookies we gave to one of the doormen:

christmas tags

Not only did she make one that said what I wanted on it, she made another with the clever idea my smart husband came up with, Santa’s leftovers.  They even featured the color pink because I love it.  And polar bears!  She really went above and beyond because she really is truly awesome like that. 🙂  I am thankful that the wonders of twitter introduced us to one another.



The quality is great and everyone just loved how cute they were.  If you need anything designed, whether it’s tags, invites or art for your place, I encourage you to check out Nic’s  shop on etsy.  Right now.  Nic is a hard worker and strives to make something great out of everything she is involved in.  You won’t be disappointed, I promise.


friday five

Personally, I’ve always considered 13 a lucky number.  Not that it’s ever brought me luck or anything, so maybe I should say that it’s a favorite number.  Taylor Swift style.

Seriously, if it were appropriate at my age to have a big 13 on my hand in magic marker, I probably would have a faded one on my hand right now.

I just feel like ’13 is going to be a good one.  Not just for me, but for all of us.  For America.  For everywhere in the world.  I’m not an optimist by an stretch either.  I just have a good feeling.

1. My brother was just in Florida to visit a friend and he brought back some belated Christmas gifts for me.  Anyone knows that you can find the super nerdy stuff you need down in FLA!  (Between Walt Disney World and Universal which houses superheroes & Harry Potter, it’s just nerd heaven.)  So what did my brother bring back for me?

Not Ron Weasley, but his wand.  I’m not ashamed to admit that it makes me happier than it probably should.  (oh well!!)

2.  Speaking of my brother, it’s becoming more of a reality that he’s going to be moving to Florida so that makes me a tad bit depressed.  I asked RP to get me a cupcake from my favorite cupcake place in Chicago, Molly’s, on Wednesday and the yumminess that followed just ensured this place is the best cupcake place anywhere.  Anywhere.  If you live in Chicago or are visiting, run don’t walk to Molly’s.  Seriously.  Once you get there, you’ll understand, believe me. (ps, how cute is their logo?!)

3. I’ve been thinking about this lately and I’m wondering if you’ve noticed the rise in popularity in British men?  Seriously.  I can’t turn around without hearing about how amazing  Sherlock is (which I started watching with RP a few nights ago…it is pretty awesome).  Ladies fighting over which Doctor is the hottest (um, 10. no contest.).  Not that I mind though…have you seen Tom Hiddleston?!

4. So while I’m pondering the popularity of British men, RP will be celebrating the end of the NHL lock out by spending as much time as possible with Pavel, Henrik, Dan, Valtteri, Johan, Todd, Jimmy, etc.  (aka the red wings. GO DETROIT!)

May this be the year for both of our teams, RP! 🙂

5.  In case you’re wondering how I’m doing on my home goals for 2013, so far I’ve gone through one of our closets.  I’m currently obsessing about the bathroom now because I decided I don’t want our toothbrushes hanging out in the old cabinet so of course a new toothbrush holder means I need to finally get a shower curtain up and maybe put some art in the room.  New toothbrush holders always mean overhaul on the entire bathroom.

happy 2013!

I saw this free printable of goals for the home on the inspired room.  Good idea, right?  Maybe if I admit these to others, it will hold me to my goals for our home this year and help me reach them.  Well, here’s hoping!

One word for my home in 2013


The room I want to focus on most this year

all of them? If I have to choose, I’d say the living room or the hallway/dining area.

4 projects I’d like to work on

1. gallery wall

2. dining area curtains

3. organizing/styling the desk (and area around it)

4. adding furniture to living room to finally get rid of those last boxes

4 areas I’d like to organize

1. bedroom

2. desk area

3. closets (all 3 of them!)

4. bathroom

Traditions or memories I want to make in our home

I’d like to have more people over, that’s for sure.  I’d love to host a laid back holiday here with a few people.  Hmm.

The one project I will complete this year

gallery wall.

What are your goals this year, for your home or otherwise?


























Anne Marie.




Friday five

This Friday five is coming at you from my new iPad! I’m just so darned excited! Before we go any further, please let me know some of you’re favorite apps. I need to stop geeking out over family feud and food network. (I have restaurants lined up to visit for vacations we don’t plan on taking for at least 2 years.)

1. iPad, iPad, iPad. I’m totally obsessed. It even made RP leave later than usual for work today…because he was setting reminders for me. (Thank you.)

2. We are finally almost done Christmas shopping! I finally found some darned pink yoga pants.  I had to make a trip to the mall to find that I should have done so all along because there was just a wall dedicated to what I needed to buy.  Regular length small is totally impossible to find online, unless you don’t care that they won’t be shipped until March.  I don’t think that counts as a Christmas gift if it’s received in March.


3.  Speaking of gifts, now comes the hard part: wrapping.  Neither of us are really good at it, but I’m good with ribbon, so I try to fix it up that way.  As much as I’d love to have a lovely and perfectly wrapped present to give, let’s be honest: they’re tearing off the paper anyway, right?  Now, if we’re talking about using empty boxes for decor…well, then I just need my mom.

4.  So, the end of the world is next week…how are you guys spending it?  I’m going to my parents house with RP & Taylor to spend some time with them and then my friends and I are having our gift exchange.  End of the world=presents!!!!!  (obviously.)

5.  Speaking of cute puppy Taylor, she’s made our Christmas card a huge hit!  Yesterday we even received a card addressed to us and her!  We tried to explain but she didn’t really understand. 🙂

taylor card

the list: home

I won’t lie, this post is inspired by Oprah’s last favorite things.  Inspiration is everywhere!  I wish that I had the means to give out these gifts to an audience because believe me, I’d do it.  Giving is the best.  Hopefully, you find something for that someone who you just don’t know what to buy for.  Or yourself!  Tis the season to give and that means giving to yourself sometimes, too.

home list

Lauren Ralph Lauren Cable Knit Throw, macy’s//whale tissue holder, etsy//boom box match strike, johnathan adler//pashmina pillow, zara home//foiled dot napkins, anthropologie//wood gallery single opening frames, pottery barn