Link Love

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Girlfriends always make the best Valentines- who else would appreciate a “What Would Beyonce Do” pencil?! (If you’re looking for Vday goodies, Michaels was the jackpot for my little packages I sent- garland, cocktail napkins, cheese-y but fun heart necklaces…and they are always on sale + coupons!)

The Saint Bernard in this list of dogs who have no idea how they got on the counter just killed me!

I am absolutely in agreement with this list of 5 restaurants in Chicago that are perfect for various occasions. (Recognize Erica from 5 Questions With…?)

Speaking of 5 Questions With…if you’re in Vancouver, go to Hearts of Gold on Valentine’s Day. All proceeds go to supporting Megan’s Runser‘s fight against Hodgkin’s. Stateside like me? You can still buy a ticket to make a donation.

“Brave means listening to the still small voice inside and DOING AS IT SAYS.” – this post from Momastery is the best thing I read this week.

I think this tea towel is perfect.

Link Love

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You’re never too old for Christmas jammies.

Grace Atwood and her blog Stripes & Sequins are definitely on Santa’s “nice” list this year- loving the #AsGoodAsGold guest post she did with Megan Runser.

’tis the season for bubbly…and apparently, everything we know about champagne glasses is wrong. Oh.

9 simple, not complicated tips for holiday table settings.

The Tile App is genius. There is nothing more frustrating than losing your keys/purse/etc.

Downtown Chicago during the holidays…I love seeing these old photos.

The last episode of Serial comes out tomorrow and this Funny or Die video cracked me up. Mail Kimp.

Just a Chi Town Girl’s Favorite Things 2014

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Lindsay Letters Christmas

I still miss Oprah’s Favorite Things episode. Since it always aired right before Thanksgiving, I would be home from college so my mom and I would watch it together and it was so much fun to see Oprah scream “You get a robe, you get a robe, everyyyybody gets a robe!” and googling things we had never heard of. To this day, we love Ciao Bella Blood Orange Sorbet because of Oprah.

So this is Just a Chi Town Girl’s Favorite Things…except you won’t magically find a cashmere bodysuit or car delivered to you by my elves or under your seat. Sorry about that. However, these are the things I will be gifting and love myself this holiday season (avert your eyes, BFF) so I hope that it will inspire your own wish list or end up under the tree for someone who has been extra good this year.

1. Lindsay Letters (image above): I am so in love with this shop of lettered goodness. I have been lusting over the “Oh Holy Night” canvas for years and treated myself to it this summer…I am so happy to finally be able to put it up! This Love Is The Only Gold print hangs in my office and her new art prints are so pretty too. Art with an inspiring message- such a great gift.

bb earrings bb necklace


as good as gold

2. BaubleBar’s As Good As Gold Collection: In 5 Questions With…Megan Runser, I told you all about my sweet, wildly talented friend who designed a collaboration with BaubleBar but I don’t think I went on enough about how insanely stunning this line is…or how I got serious FOMO when it came out and practically bought everything. And beyond being gorgeous, all proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I think all of our lives have been touched by cancer way too much and I love that I can support that fight while gifting friends and family with such pretty little baubles. The Draped Niagara Chain Bib, Draped Niagara Studs and As Good As Gold (Megan’s recovery mantra) bracelet are my favorites but every single piece is amazing. And with the As Good As Gold bracelet being only $10, it is showing up in every stocking I am stuffing.


3. K.Hall Designs Candles: I was gifted a K.Hall candle by a co-worker in St. Louis last year who loved this local company for their soft scents and pretty design. The day I burned the last of it, I found out that K.Hall has set up shop in Chicago and ran down to check it out. So many lovely scents to choose from and many have matching body products. Pictured is Fern, my favorite.



4. RMS Raw Coconut Cream: Speaking of Megan, she sent me this little jar o’awesome for my birthday and it has changed my skin in the period of a month. As pure as it gets, this coconut oil is moisturizing, can act as a makeup remover and just all around awesome. It just feels so luxurious which is such a welcome addition to a daily routine.


5. Cuyana Totes: this is the softest leather in the world and such a staple piece. I love their motto of filling your life with fewer, better things. Yes. Their post about the holidays is really beautiful too. Quality over quantity, all around.


6. Nike Roshe Run Sneakerboots: Because winter.


5 Questions With…Megan Runser

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Megan Runser

When I first thought of doing a series where I ask some of the most amazing women I know the same 5 questions, the first person I thought of was Megan Runser. In addition to being one of my dearest friends and a serious contender for the title of funniest person in the world, I knew that sharing anything about her would rock your world because that’s the kind of person she is- quick to make you laugh and even quicker to inspire you. After her Stage IV Hodgkins diagnosis, Megan set out to be “As Good As Gold” again and partnered with BaubleBar to create a line of jewelry under the same moniker. The line is gorgeous and all proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Further, BaubleBar is donating $1 for every post on Twitter or Instagram that shares what gives you strength using the hashtag #AsGoodAsGold. Cool, right? Megan is good AND does good- that’s a winning combo if there ever was one.

So here it is: 5 Questions with…Megan Runser.

1. What is your favorite thing about where you live? Austin, Texas, is my jam for a lot of reasons but namely the fact that I can boogie home to see my family in Houston by hopping in my car for a quick 3 hour car drive instead of the advanced planning required to cruise home via airplane from Chicago and NYC.  Austin also affords an abundant population of active peeps, yoga studios on every corner, insane breakfast taco selections, and a judgment-free “anything goes” casual vibe.  I still hope for a miraculous seasonal climate shift that brings temps down by roughly 30 degrees year round — I’ll let ya know if that happens.

2. Here’s 50 bucks- what are you going to do with it? Hey thanks sugar momma – that $50 would go straight to le bills de MD Anderson(My more fun non-responsible adult answer would be to purchase a bevy of supplies for a lil’ DIY gold foil greeting card action.  I love nothing more than sending friends cards by snail mail, & I’m determined to make them on my own for the sake of economics and creative control, er, freedom!)

3. What’s your favorite holiday and why? Not just because it’s around the corner — but my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because it’s one of usually 2 times a year that my family is in the same room. The morning consists of me dragging reluctant parties out the door by 6am for our town’s annual Turkey Trot where I trot and then meet up with the rest of the crew strolling the family walk.  Late afternoon we refuel with 3rd and 4ths (yep, far surpassing second rounds of helpings at the Runser household) and then play some sort of board game as a family.  It always ends with my brother and I as final contenders, and never fails that we end up in a fight because we both hate to lose.

4. What’s the best trip or vacation you have ever been on? The best trips for me aren’t dictated as much by where I go, but rather who I’m with. My 6 best friends from college and I meet up every year towards the end of summer, and it’s always a weekend where every single second is filled with non-stop smiling, laughing, reminiscing, story-telling, big life update sharing, and a bit of more serious reflecting/advice-giving.  I’m so lucky to have had this group of absolutely incredible women as staples in my life for the past 14+ years — friendships of this caliber are hard to come by and even harder to maintain throughout the years.

5. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Co-host The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. No, really – I would. We’d be a stellar team, I just know it.  It might get a little messy given the fact that he’s married, and my desire to marry him would probably only exponentially escalate once we were bestie coworkers…but I’d be willing to maintain the utmost level of professionalism for the sake of making some comedy magic with him.

Click here to check out Megan’s #AsGoodAsGold line with BaubleBar; click here to donate to her personal medical fundraiser.