Blog Roundup: Have a Romantic Weekend!

Hope you guys had a wonderful week! I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s already Friday! No Valentine’s plans for me, but I’m actually really looking forward to having a creative weekend: I’m taking a writing workshop, going to the movies, and making a dent in my newest library book.

Here are a few blog-related links and some blogger industry news that’s fascinated me this week. And of course, let me know if there’s anything I missed – I seriously love putting this post together! Enjoy and have a relaxing and joyful weekend!

1. Chiara Ferragni Returns to Harvard

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Chiara Ferragni, the international blogger/street style star/designer/entrepreneur is returning to Harvard with her team to once again lecture in the Luxury Marketing MBA program. From her snaps it sounds like they focused on the ways that new platforms and fan engagement affect luxury commerce and how they transformed The Blonde Salad from a personal fashion blog to a complete fashion empire. She was one of the first really successful bloggers and has her own case study published by Harvard Business School (in case anyone is looking to get me a very unorthodox Valentine’s Day gift 😂).

I would have loved to be in that lecture and seen how they laid out their business plan. I feel like so many bloggers try to hide the fact their blog is also a business and so they don’t share their strategy and policies. This has led to a lot of confusion in the highly-unregulated blogging industry over legality, finances, and transparency, so hopefully the TBS crew can start to open up that can of worms for the benefit of everyone.

2. ‘My Child is Transgender’ on Cup of Jo

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Joanna Goddard’s blog is seriously stepping up! In the last year she has really responded to readers’ call for more diversity and social justice-oriented content. She is doing an great job at writing more inclusive posts amongst her usual style and lifestyle posts. Her voice is so intimate and she lifts up stories that are meaningful and reflect the social justice orientated readership she’s cultivated. Obviously there’s always room to do more, but she’s responding far more than any other blogger I’ve seen and she does it all while remaining authentic to her brand.

I also loved this post featuring children’s books with characters of color and her response to the November election.

3. LIKEtoKNOW.it the App?!

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Okay so this is less of commentary and more of mystery because I legit can’t find anything about this upcoming app! For those who don’t know, LIKEtoKNOW.it is a monetization tool for bloggers where followers can like an image on Instagram and then an email of shopable links is sent to that follower for them to peruse and buy their favorite items.

LIKEtoKNOW.it and RewardStyle, which are run by the Venz Box titans, have completely altered the fashion blogging landscape by giving bloggers a way to monetize their looks and get commission from recommending products. They’re like my heroes so I’m always really excited when they literally do anything – but why can’t I find any info on this app?!

I’m interested to see what the app is because so many brands and bloggers are steering away from the app thing. They’re cumbersome on the backend and require a reader to open an entirely different activity to access content, putting up another barrier to user interaction – especially when content on Instagram would show up without even trying (although that new algorithm is still getting under people’s skin).

But then you have apps like Mary Orton’s Trove, which is another shopping-centric app where you can shop directly from blog posts. So maybe apps are becoming the personal shoppers of the future? It’s obviously too early to tell, but I definitely signed up for first access to the LIKEtoKNOW.it app – I’ll be sharing once I’m in!

A Blog Roundup for the Weekend!

For those who don’t know, I’m a big blog junkie. I love reading blogs, talking about social media, and following my favorite brands wherever the internet takes them. So I’ve decided to round up my favorite things from the blogosphere every week and talk a little bit about them. Anything from editorial photos to influencer business to great articles, I’ll be sharing what caught my eye in the gloriously oversaturated world of digital media.

The Borrower from The Londoner

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Okay, so this is technically from last week, but I really love some of the photos in this post. Great interior shots, cute touch with the FT, and she nicely pulls together the “unisex” selling point of the perfume in a genuine way. I’ve always really admired Rosie for being more adventurous than a lot of other bloggers (unexpected locations, trying new things, showing a little more skin) and I feel like this post is really authentic to her voice: luxurious and sexy, but still a little girl next door. Also, her imagery has been really improving (some of the photos in her ski posts were so editorial!) so I’m really excited to see her keep moving in that direction.

Also, so excited to see her upcoming Austria posts – her instagram photos are insane!

Steps to Snowball by Lakeshore Lady

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Love this outfit post from Chicago’s own Lauren Nolan – it’s classic with a touch of the cut-out trend and seriously gorgeous!

I’m curious about all the Chicago bloggers going to the same event, the Junior Council’s Snowball. I mean, I’m always glad when influencers use their platform to promote something good, just curious as to what brings them all to that particular charity. Would have been nice to hear a little bit about why it’s close to their heart and a call to action, but I feel like so many bloggers are reticent to get even minutely political…

A Week of Outfits: Brooke Williams on Cup of Jo

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I’ve really liked this series since it launched. Personal style is so fun and visible right now and I feel like Joanna knows so many interesting and stylish women (like how?!). I love Brooke’s quirky style and appreciate that Cup of Jo is featuring diverse women in many ways: women of color, tall women, older women, plus-sized women, etc. Joanna always seems responsive to her readers and with everything going on politically, I think she’s stepped up and takes her platform seriously.

Also, I love how Brooke says the first outfit picture above makes her feel like a “flirty intellectual” 😂 Like this is actually my life goal.

That’s all for this week and if you have any posts that you love, send them my way. I’m always on the prowl for new bloggers that I love! Have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: Packing Up!

Back in Chicago this week, I’m starting to get ready for the big move up to Madison, but also trying to enjoy the time I have left around here. Of course I’ll be back in like three weeks for Thanksgiving and I’m only like 2 and a half hours away anyway… But it still feels like a big move! This week has been filled with the highs and lows of apartment hunting, frequenting my favorite guilty pleasure food spots, and a whole lot of hometown team pride. I’m not a Cubs fan, but it’s pretty fun to see the city light up as they head to the world series next week – historic stuff 🙂

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What I Did This Week

1. Went to my first Blackhawks game of the season! The rest of the city may be cheering on the Cubs, but I’m staying true to my favorite guys in Chicago. They played the Flyers, which I always find funny because my first Hawks game was in Philly and I have never been booed more in my entire life… It turned out to be such an exciting game and, of course, a Hawks win! Hopefully I’ll manage to get out to (and afford 😰) another game sometime soon!

2. My mom and I headed up to Madison to start the apartment hunt and it’s looking pretty good! We managed to find a place right downtown that is available before my start date and isn’t a creepy murder basement, so fingers crossed all the paperwork goes through. I’m soooo excited to start decorating and organizing my own place, finally! Updates on all that to come.

3. Before heading out of town on Saturday my mom and I stopped by the Madison farmer’s market to grab a little breakfast and oh my god was it so overwhelming. When I think farmer’s market I think quaint little booths and chatting with the stallkeepers over coffee, but Madison’s felt more like a trading floor – people bustling around, yelling and crowding stalls, I almost got elbowed in the face a few times… Good to know Wisconsinites get rowdy for their fresh produce.

Culturally Consumed

1. Loved reading the comments of this Cup of Jo post “What Do You Like About Yourself?” I’ve noticed several bloggers starting to engage more directly with their communities and, frankly, I think it’s awesome. Like this is what the internet is for: cultivating great little groups online and then being able to talk about real shit. I’ve always admired that about Joanna’s blog, too; she always manages to be open and honest because she’s created the right context for the kinds of conversations she wants to have. Have always loved her blog and really like the direction its moving in.

2. Have been paging through Grace Bonney’s In the Company of Women over coffee the last few mornings and have discovered it’s a lovely way to start the day. Practical wisdom and reminders that life is hard and wonderful and your dreams are worth fighting for. I’ve always admired women who know exactly who they are and aren’t willing to compromise that and this book of chalk full of them. Would make a great graduation gift.

3. Finally caved and bought these beautiful boots! I’m always nervous about buying clothes online because half the time they don’t fit or I don’t like them, but Lord and Taylor was having their family and friends sale so I finally just went for it. Fingers crossed that they look as beautiful on me as they do in the photos. They would be perfect day-to-night boots for chilly Madison winters.

Coming Up Next

1. A few photos from Boulder that I didn’t manage to get to last week – I know I’ve been behind on everything lately, but hoping that I’ll get back into a routine when I’m a little more settled.

2. Some of my favorite quotes from In the Company of Women. It’s also totally inspired me to start an interview series with influential women in my life here on the blog. I sort of don’t even care if anyone else reads it, I think I would get a lot out of putting something like that together. Grace Bonney must be so wise after interview all these awesome people!

3. Some home decor inspiration that I’m feeling and a few ideas I have for the new apartment! I’ve never had my own place before and I’m out of my mind excited to have complete control over everything. As a child of divorce and an avid traveller, I haven’t had all of my shit in the same place for over a decade so the idea of having all of my clothes in one closet is like completely mind blowing. Stay tuned!

Weekend Roundup: The Wild West

This week I got the chance to go out to Boulder, Colorado and visit my dad and stepmom who are in the process of moving out there. I’ve been hearing about Boulder for years and I finally get what all the hubbub is about – beautiful scenery, great downtown filled with restaurants and shops, and you’re never further than 10 minutes from an amazing hike. Although it was a relatively short visit, it was so fun to see what they’re up to and let me say, it certainly doesn’t suck. I’m back in Chicago now and here’s a little bit more about my week…

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What I Did This Week

1. Before I left for Colorado, I spent an excellent Saturday afternoon with my family at the Lagunitas Brewing Company’s Tap Room here in Chicago. Crisp beer, decadent nachos, and a band with a washboard player made for a pretty awesome day. It was a little bit impossible to find (hint: the entrance is next to the parking lot – go figure), but the trek made the beer taste that much better. Fun for both the brewery inclined and the professional beer drinker 🙂

2. On my first day in Colorado, my dad drove us out to Denver for the Dweezil Zappa concert. Him and my brother are huge fans and even though I didn’t know much of the music, it was clear that these guys are unreal musicians. Fun, weird, and filled with hippie dads, the whole thing was certainly an experience. Plus, you can’t go wrong when the tour is named “Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever the F@%k He Wants”.

3. Yesterday was my beautiful mom’s birthday. We spent the day brunching, drinking mimosas, shopping, and eating – so just another average day, right? We even got a dose of lacrosse in there seeing my brother’s team make it into the championship finals game! We had appetizers and drinks and a glorious steak dinner at Wildfire before heading back into the city. Cheers to you, mama! I love you!

Culturally Consumed

1. I picked up this book by my favorite Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, at the spiritual bookstore in Boulder (because of course they have one of those). This time in my life is bringing a lot of change and, along with that, a lot of uncertainty and fear. I have so many of his books already, but I felt like it was time to read this one – will let you know how it goes!

2. Visited the Saks Off 5th store on State Street in Chicago this week and oh man is it good. I highly recommend it for investment pieces like cashmere sweaters and winter coats because they seem to carry a lot of those right now. I walked out with this cashmere sweater in navy for half off and these cole haan sneakers for 50 bucks!

3. Late night Maddie + trolling Twitter = me buying Repeal the 8th art for my future apartment. Bought this beautiful print through the Someone You Love campaign and cannot wait to frame it and put it up for all eternity. I’ve been looking for a piece of art from Ireland forever, but nothing felt personal until I saw this baby. Feminist, colorful, and I think it will compliment my other pieces beautifully. Definitely check out the rest of the pieces in their online shop – a great gift for the Irish feminist in your life!

4. Speaking of other things I don’t need for an apartment I don’t have, my mom gifted me the most amazing salt and pepper shaker on this earth. Guys, I’m completely obsessed. It’s beautiful, hilarious, and practical! I also think this totally shows my priorities – art and kitschy home goods over furniture and kitchen ware. I like this about myself.

Coming Up Next

1. I’ve got BIG news coming up this week! I’m waiting till everything is finalized, but I’ll definitely be sharing a huge life update very soon!

2. I’ll be sharing some photos and journals from my trip out west – think snowy mountains, yellow and red leaves, and some wildlife up close and personal. I’ll also let you know what my favorite spots out in Boulder were and things I was super thankful I packed.

3. I’m on the prowl for some new fall boots (both over the knee and booties) so I’ll be sharing a round up of the ones I’ve been eyeing. It also seems like there are a million sales going on right now so I’ll be sure to include some discounted options. Till then!

Weekend Roundup: Sweet Home Chicago

It feels really good to be home. The last several weeks have been crazy to say the least, but no matter where I go in the world there’s nothing like coming back to familiar places and loving people. I’m honestly just starting to feel settled back into the US and a big part of me still feels like its in Ireland, but having some down time to write, run, and catch up with my favorite people has been really centering. Here’s a little recap of what I’ve been doing, reading, and loving this week…

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What I Did This Week

1. Got dragged to a visiting artist lecture at the School of the Art Institute by my mother, a former student, and actually completely loved the whole talk. The artist, Tal R, is this sweet, silly painter from Copenhagen who preaches being “irresponsible” with art, something I totally resonated with after years of being told to be diligent and thorough while making theater.

2. Sat in on a rehearsal of my friend Kevin’s contemporary choir at Northwestern and heard a preview of their super interesting piece “Consent” by Ted Hearne. The text of the piece is a combination of love letters, marriage rituals, and text messages from the Steubenville rape case and explores the ways we use language of ownership and sexual violence to express romantic relationships. Haunting and fascinating. Looking forward to seeing more of his upcoming concerts!

3. Headed up to Concord Music Hall to catch Kaytranada with my brother and our friends. Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, it ended up being a fun night of DJs and dancing. I loved one of the openers, I think a local female DJ, but didn’t catch her name – if anyone knows, would love to hear more of her!

Culturally Consumed

1. Finally got around to reading Animal Farm after all these years. Such a quick read, but I see why its required reading in high schools around the country: political commentary, easy to grasp and specific metaphors, and it’s actually engaging – I read the whole thing in like 2 hours. Feels good to start reading for pleasure again!

2. This ultra-brief gem from one of my very favorites, David Sedaris, on this election. Just when I think things can’t get worse too…

3. Love this new series that Cup of Jo is doing. I’ve always been fascinated by personal style and its so fun to hear people talk about why they wear what they wear. Especially obsessed with her use of the phrase “bitchy accessory” to describe a structured, see-through bag. Like I resonate with that term soooo much – definitely need more bitchy accessories (and clothes and shoes) in my life.

4. Also, I know that Stranger Things has already had its moment in the sun, but I would like to take a moment of silence for Barb. She was the real MVP.

Coming Up Next

1. Heading out West on Sunday for a little bit so stayed tuned for some picturesque views and me pretending to be outdoorsy.

2. A HUGE guide to all things Dublin that has actually taken me a century to put together, but I’m super excited to share.

3. A to-do list for all things fall! Fall has always been a huge time of change for me (and this fall is no exception) so I often feel this time of year the way I imagine people feel about new years. Time to get into new habits, shed harmful and distracting practices, and open myself up to saying yes more. I know it all sounds so cheesy, but we all need some inspirational cheeseballs when we’re going through shit, am I right? Stay tuned!

Weekend Roundup: Party Time

How was your weekend? We had a couple of birthday/house parties on tap and I have to say it was kind of glorious sleeping in and ordering late night dirty takeout. Would love to get a few pages of my dissertation done this evening, but let’s be honest… I do really need to buckle down this week, though, so I’m mentally preparing for long days in the library and too many cups of coffee. Wish me luck (I’m gonna need it)!

If you’re not quite ready to start your week, yet, here are a few procrastination friendly links…

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Would love to see an entire play made up of scenes like this.

If you’re in Dublin, everyone’s favorite hangover cure, Deliveroo, is offering free delivery for the next two weeks. Too tempting.

Literally something I’ve always wondered this but was too embarrassed to ask.

This Lisa Frank clothing line is what my 3rd grade dreams were made of.

Have you been following the Kimye v. Taylor drama? I’ve always found T-Swift pretty disingenuous so I’ve been lapping up everyone’s hilarious twitter shade.

Putting so many of these YA books on my (ever growing) post-dissertation reading list.

Eyeing these Vince Camuto boots for fall – will be putting up my favorite Nordstrom Sale pieces up this week (even though shipping to Ireland is ridic 😭). Keep yo eyes peeled.

(Photo from my instagram. The Barge is always in full swing on sunny days.)

Weekend Roundup: Summer Vibes

I have to say, this weekend felt extra sweet: I turned in 5000 words of my dissertation on Friday, finished my internship and the bulk of my shop work at Bow & Pearl, and it 100% feels like summer here in Dublin for once! It’s just one of those days where I feel like I can actually unwind and be in the moment. I topped off the weekend with a few drinks at the Barge and the best fish & chips in Dublin with my favorite guy. Not too shabby.

Here are a few links from around the web, if you’re looking for some procrastination today…

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Donald Trump’s ultimate running mate (that isn’t Mike Pence)…

Loved Reese Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde 15th anniversary throwback! This movie was one of my first girl power moments so it was so fun to see everyone’s favorite moments. Mine are: Elle’s study/kick ass montage after Warner says she isn’t smart, Elle’s entire law school wardrobe, and Jennifer Coolidge all around. Major love.

Two ingredient cocktails that look delicious (so fascinated to try the Kalimotxo…).

Really resonating with this sentiment.

Cannot wait to read this book. I’m not usually one for biographies, but this one looks so interesting. The perfect mix of family gossip, old world glamour, and soul-baring honesty.

This quiz made me laugh and is actually so hard!

Growing up next the town with the most churches per capita, I’ve always loved me a funny church sign.

And keep your eyes peeled for some good stuff on the blog this week! I’ve got a journal from Longitude on its way and a guide that just might save you a few bucks around Dublin. Stay tuned!

Weekend Roundup: Happy Memorial Day!

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{Photo of Ashley Graham by The Coveteur}

With my friends heading home and the boyfriend over in Jordan, I’ve been hanging alone for the better part of a week now. I’ve gone through all the stages of having the apartment to myself: giddiness, the crushing realization that I am indeed alone, wine, netflix, and acceptance. I celebrated my glorious ‘me time’ by doing things Ian would pretty much hate: baking, watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and going to bed before the sun goes down (which in my defense is like 10:30 here). It is kind of comforting to know that my natural state is that of an alcoholic grandmother…

Other than frozen pizza and reruns of That 70s Show, I had an afternoon of working in the shop today and actually visited a new church this morning for the first time in a while. The jury is still out on whether or not I’ll be a regular (mostly for scheduling reasons), but it was nice to try something new after being in Dublin for so long. I’ll be continuing to buckle down with my dissertation reading these next few days, but here are a few bits and bobs for a little procrastination inspiration…

If you’ve seen Ex Machina, this is hilarious.

Skeptical, but so curious to try these.

Yaaaasssssss 🙌

Made these last week with a veggie friend and was shocked at how tasty they were!

Too real, guys…

Interesting conversation on Irish twitter about the authenticity of bloggers. Positive space or lying to get free stuff?

I wonder what my aura tastes like.

I am about this life! Having space from work should be protected!

Excited to be attending this event tomorrow night – will report back.

That’s all for now, but I’m excited to have one of my besties visiting this week, as well as a ball to attend. Stay tuned!

Weekend Roundup: Happy Earth Day!

This week has been totally crazy cause I’m in training for my new job (which I talked a little bit about earlier) – I’m learning many marketable skills such as hanging up sparkly dresses and strategic ways to stand above objects while I photograph them. It’s unexpectedly exhausting though, so I have been minimally productive in other regards (aka my essays due in like a week and a half 😳). Planning on holing up at Bailey Bar’s outdoor patio this weekend with a glass of white wine and about 5 books on French existentialism… Hit me up for good times.

In other news, happy Earth Day! We were #blessed with beautiful weather today and I took a lovely walk home from work in celebration. Keep up the good work, pretty lady!

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And here are a few gems from around the interwebs, if you’re looking for a little procrastination…

The best tribute to Prince yet. (Also, Kiss is on repeat this weekend 😭)

When you explain ‘goals’ to a grammar guru

These illustrations are totally my vibe… even if they are just for candles lol

You know you’re a goddess when Zac Posen designs your showgirl costumes and you can get away with naming your burlesque show Strip Strip Hooray! 

Rocking out/getting v nostalgic for high school thanks to this cover. (This whole album is hilarious.)

That’s all from me for now – have a great weekend, chickadees!

Weekend Roundup: Paddy’s Day Edition

I gotta say this last week has bit a of a wash in terms of productivity – between my birthday and St. Patrick’s Day not a whole lot got accomplished. But we certainly had a great time! Ian took me to our favorite spot, The Winding Stair, for dinner on my birthday where I ate way too much steak and flipped through an Irish novel someone used as a journal from 1933 (complete with Rugby scores).

For Paddy’s Day we grabbed a few pints of Guinness to prime ourselves for the madness that was the Dublin City Center. I thought after Lollapalooza I could never see more drunk 15 year olds in one place, but I guess I was wrong… Other highlights of the day were watching tourists vomit on historical monuments, getting hustled for money by a South African man with a strangely Irish sounding accent, and discovering the existence of nursing homes for nuns. I would count the parade as a highlight, but we couldn’t really see much of it – shout out to those dedicated patrons who climbed virtually every vertical object in town to catch a glimpse, though.

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The city is slowly draining itself of tourists and I’m hunkering down for a few weeks of reading, essay writing, and dissertation work. If anyone has some good YA fiction recommendations about female sexuality and technology, let me know… In the meantime, here are few links from the interwebs for your lovely Sunday!

・Finally found sweet potatoes in Ireland, so I’ve got potato skins on the brain.

・Read Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home for class last week and totally loved it – thinking Are You My Mother? is next on my list.

・Went to see Hail, Caesar! on Friday- have you seen it? The Coen Brothers have really grown on me.

・Looking for classic white sneakers for spring: should I go adidas, converse, or leather?

・The things that women still endure in the work place is unreal…

Hope you all have a wonderful week and look out for some changes on the blog – playing around with a new look. Let me know what you like!