if you would come back home...

chester and i saw william fitzsimmons last night in chicago. it was a super small venue, and he sounded even better live than he does on his albums. it's so cool to go to a show like this and have the whole audience be completely quiet and captivated by the performance. below is my favorite song of his, i'm so glad he played it last night! enjoy :)

love this video

so this is what happens when i get new music: immediately load it on my computer at home, put it on my ipod and/or iphone, and there it sits for a while. this is unfortunately what happened with the new fleet foxes' album. whoops! anyway, i'm currently loving this song "grown ocean", and this video is gorgeous.


~ steph

my easter sunday in photos

1. my sister got new running shoes this weekend. she told the salesman she didn't want "plain shoes", she wanted "obnoxious" :) and she got 'em. 2. i gave up popcorn, my favorite snack, for lent. this small bowl tasted like heaven today. 3. we played a few games of bingo with the family. no wins for me though :/  4. ha! my cousin tony skillfully filled his wine glass to the brim! it had me cracking up with it, so i wanted a photo :)

hope you all had a great easter weekend!

~ steph

another fun photoshop tutorial

i stumbled upon another great photoshop tutorial the other day (and i really wish i could remember where i saw it linked!) the author provides a step-by-step guide to giving your photos a "cool retro analog effect". the title immediately got my attention and i gave it a try. below is a photo from a few a weekends ago when i was in chicago, shot with my iphone.

pretty neat, right? i've tried it on a few different photos, and it doesn't really work for everything, but i really like how this shot turned out. 

hope you all have a great weekend!

~ steph

sponsor highlight on hellovanny.com

hey everyone! just wanted to let you know that the fabulous vanessa of hellovanny just posted a sponsor highlight post. included are some amazing bloggers and yours truly :) so check it out!

hope you're having a great friday! i'm lucky enough to be off work today, so i'm hoping to catch up on a few blog post ideas and some crafting :)


who killed rosie larsen?

i've mentioned a few times that i watch entirely too much television, and the amount of tv series that i try to keep up with is just ridiculous. (thank goodness a fair amount of them i can watch online, b/c i'm currently without a dvr.) since i'm waiting for a few of my favorites to come back (true blood, boardwalk empire, the walking dead, and the league), i've come across a new obsession: "the killing" on amc. this network has really stepped up their game with their original series. and this new show is so good! it all starts when a teenage girl, rosie larsen, goes missing and is later found dead. i won't butcher the plot here, ha, but you should check it out! it goes way beyond the basic "who done it?" storyline, and the characters are so well done. the first 4 episodes are available to watch online at amc's website.

do it! seriously.

30 photos

i've seen the 30 photo post pop up on quite a few blogs, most recently on srslyliz and blue pea. since i'm kind of a photo nut, i wanted to get in on the fun. it was really hard to choose just one photo for a few of these, so i added some more in a couple spots. here it goes:

1. someone i spend a lot of time with - my friends dana, ryan, and kristin. and chester of course.

2. a picture of myself - taken by kyle lamere of i shoot rockstars!

3. a picture of someone in the family - my cousin ruben, he lives in texas and this was his first time playing in the snow :)

4. a picture of something that makes you happy - my sister sarah when she's goofing off. she makes me laugh so much it almost hurts.

5. an old picture of myself - hanging at edwards in 2006, and then baby steph.

6. a picture of a sibling - my sister sarah.

7. a class photo - couldn't find one :/

8. a random photo of you and your significant other - pocketbooth fun.

9. a picture i've never posted before - hanging out in peru...long before facebook and twitter, or even a digital camera for that matter ;)

10. a relative of mine - well more than one, a few of my cousins on my mom's side.

11. a person i can tell everything to - my mom :)

12. a picture of my everyday life - my little "office" in my room.

13. a picture from a place i love - las vegas baby!

14. a picture that reminds me of old times - hanging out in college, either at my friend's place or at uno's on thursdays.

15. a picture from a great night - there have been so many recently, but i had a blast at dana, tim, and jackie's combo birthday party.

16. an unusual picture - ha, this is VERY unusual because i usually don't dance, let alone dance on a STAGE! haha, this was at a piano bar a few weeks ago...they played "billie jean" for me.

17. a picture of your spare time - i watch too much tv.

18. a picture of people who are closest to me - mi familia :)

19. a picture of someone who is always there - my parents.

20. a picture of a time in life i miss - the college crew! (well, one of them, lol) i miss seeing these people in class and at my campus job.

21. a picture from last summer - a much needed mini vacation to devil's lake with amanda.

22. a picture that makes me sad - my little dog that past away last summer :( i miss her a lot.

23. a picture that i always laugh about - my goofy sister.

24. a crazy picture - not too crazy, but look at those eyes!

25. latest picture of myself - my dad and i last weekend.

26. a picture of my parents at my age - this is actually my parents five years younger than i am now. i love this photo!

27. a picture of the best day of your life - this was another hard one to choose for. and it might seem weird that i'm posting a photo of my friends' wedding, since it was the best day of their lives, but it was such an amazing day and i was so happy to be a part of it.

28.  a picture of my favorite vacation - there were a lot of favorite vacations, but the one to peru was the most memorable.

29. a picture of an accomplishment - having my photo posted on shutter sisters.

30. a picture i am satisfied with.

even though this post took a while to create, it was a lot of fun. want to join in? leave a link if you do post the 30 photos :)


a couple of fun things...

the fabulous becky of strumpets crumpets is hosting another craft swap. as soon as a saw her post, i made sure to sign up. anyone can participate, so you should definitely look into it if you're interested :) i've found that doing these kinds of craft swaps expose you to great people that you wouldn't "meet" otherwise. i can't wait to find out about my partner.

my friend mig tweeted about this site today and it is hilarious! just type in your twitter name and hit "get your next tweet" to see some hilarious combinations using your previous tweets. 

these are my favorites that i saw from my friends today. lol, i love how it included "cowbell" in my tweet. so good.

my weekend in photos

the last few weekends have been pretty damn amazing, and this weekend was no different :) saturday the family and i drove up to milwaukee for the cubs vs. brewers game. my parents and sister went to a game opening weekend, but this was my first cubs game of the season and i was excited. one thing i really like about miller park is that you can tailgate! and we did :) i felt like i ate my weight in pasta salad and brats, lol. one of my dad's vendors has amazing season tickets, right behind the visitors' dugout, and he's been generous enough to give us the tickets to a few cubs games. it's pretty cool to be able to yell at the players as they come in from the outfield and know that they can hear you.

unfortunately, the cubs lost (didn't even make a run), and ended up losing the series, too :( hopefully they'll get it together for the next series. one cool thing though, the kelly clan made it on tv! pretty awesome!

today (sunday), we were up bright and early for the shamrock shuffle downtown. my mom, my sister sarah, and sarah's boyfriend bradley ran the race...and my dad, sarah's roommate, and myself came out to support them. we were able to see them start the race, then bummed around the bean for a bit before meeting up with them at the buckingham fountain. it was a hot day in the mid 80s, which is pretty warm for chicago this time of year. it felt weird wearing a tank top, shorts and flip flops...but it was definitely a good idea. as always, i was snapping quite a few photos :) i can never resist photos of the buildings downtown, or of the bean. i always look like a tourist.

after the race, we all headed back to sarah's condo, freshened up, and headed out to bucktown for a late lunch at belly shack. my sister found this little gem a few years back and it is unbelievable! i recommend the korean bbq beef and the chocolate chip bacon icecream!

ha, and as always, i underestimated the power of the sun. didn't think i needed any sunscreen today, and now i'm nursing a sweet sunburn :/ yikes. lots of aloe in my future. hopefully it won't hurt too bad tomorrow.

hope you all had a fabulous weekend as well! what did you do? :)


for any new readers out there...

i just wanted to say hello to any new readers and thanks for stopping by! i just recently finished my about me page, but thought it would be fun to include some other facts about me.

  1. i LOVE steak, bacon-wrapped filets are my fav.
  2. when i was little i wanted to be an animator at Disney.
  3. my top 3 favorite movies are "Jaws", "Man on Fire", and "The Dark Knight".
  4. my go-to movie (that i could watch ANYTIME) is "The Dark Knight".
  5. my guilty pleasure movie is "Practical Magic".
  6. i really like denzel washington and bradley cooper.
  7. i watch waaay to much t.v., and have about 5 favorite t.v. shows at a time (currently "The Chicago Code", "Law & Order: SVU", "Modern Family", "Grey's Anatomy", and "Jersey Shore". i'm exited for "True Blood", "Boardwalk Empire" and "The League" to come back, too).
  8. i can get pretty emotional sometimes, and cry more often than i'd like to admit.
  9. i'm a packrat.
  10. i love to crochet and sew.
  11. i love all kinds of music, and a few of my favorite musicians are: John Mayer, Ingrid Michaelson, Michael Jackson, Stars, The Beatles, and Bill Ricchini.
  12. my favorite song is "Billie Jean".
  13. i'm a tshirt-and-jeans kind of girl, and own a ton of Threadless shirts.
  14. i have bizarre phobias, like not finding parking in a congested city environment.
  15. i like to gamble. roulette is my favorite so far...i always play 20 & 23.
  16. my family is extremely tight knit, and i love it.
  17. my friends are like my second family, and i'm so lucky to have them.
  18. i've been out of the country once, to peru with my spanish class in high school.
  19. i've lived in illinois all my life.
  20. i currently live with my two good friends from college, jon and jeremy.
  21. i'm definitely a "mac".
  22. my favorite animal is a great white shark.
  23. i'm very protective of my loved ones.
  24. popcorn and (anything) chocolate are my favorite snacks.
  25. i still can't believe anyone actually reads these posts, haha. despite my blogger stats ;)

i'm pretty excited for this weekend since i'll be spending it with my family. my dad got amazing tickets to the cubs vs. brewers game tomorrow in milwaukee (2nd row, right by the visitors' dugout!) there will probably be another image heavy "my weekend in photos" post coming up, too. haha.

in other news, i just signed up for a  30 day premium membership over at pugly pixel, and scored some sweet downloads! i'm excited to use it in the new posts. it's really a steal, so be sure to check it out. she also has some great freebies as well.
(hopefully it doesn't feel like i overuse katrina's clip art on this blog :/ it's all gorgeous so it's hard not to spruce up a post with it.)

hope you all have a great weekend!


sponsor spotlight on pixie mama

the wonderful polly recently posted a sponsor spotlight post including ashley of after nine to five and yours truly. be sure to check it out here. and keep an eye out for some sweet giveaways over on polly's blog this month :)

my weekend in photos

my sister sarah won a happy hour party at howl at the moon, a dueling piano bar, in chicago. they were so good! they played "billie jean" (my favorite song) at my sister's request, and i was so kindly pressured on stage for it. ha! there were a few other parties there, but sarah had the most people attend her party, so she won a bucket of booze! she was pretty excited :)

we headed back to river north on saturday for my friend kyle's 25th birthday at bull and bear. another fun night in the cit-ay!

hope you all had a fabulous weekend as well!


april blog love

i'm excited to be sponsoring 3 amazing blogs this month! these ladies are very inspirational, and have super cute blogs. be sure to check them out :)

and be sure to follow my blog with bloglovin! happy friday everyone!