London Calling

Everything is Lovely in London!

If there is one thing you should know by now it is my obsession with London.  Ever since my roomie and I traveled there for spring break 2010 it stole my heart!  The culture, my love for The Beatles, the style, the history, the cute men with british accents and of course the SHOPPING! London seems to be as diverse as you can get with retailers offering customers specific niches in bookshops, boutiques, bakeries, vintage finds and everything in-between. Well have no fear because Shopikon just launched a London ultimate shopping guide! With this hand selected guide of the best boutiques and independent retailers you can browse photos and reviews, share your favorite shops with friends and print your very own custom shopping map!

If I had a custom shopping map here’s how it would go: 1st place to visit would be the Colombia Road Flower Market.  I can imagine the oasis of flowers blooming, sweet aroma and vivacious colors now.  Is there anything more lovely than fresh-flowers…really?  Sometimes you just need a pop of color and sweet scent to not only look romantic but to brighten your day.

My 2nd place to visit would be Ally Capellino bags.  Providing minimalist luxury with spot-on craftsmanship is a hard duo to find  and these bags have both. Inspired by the designers love of cycling her collection offers modern-yet timeless silhouettes in rich leathers  that scream functionality.

My last stop (the list could go on and on) would be After Noah Antiques for knick-knacks and small treasures.  Some times to gain inspiration it’s important to look at your past.  Retro finds from traditional classic children’s games and furniture restoration offers you vintage lifestyle at a one-stop shop!

Easy app right at your fingertips

Personalized Map

(Phone snapshots via SHOPIKON)

Download the new app or check out their website to see where your custom shopping map would take you!  CHEERS!

XOXO

Hales

Back from hibernation

I’M BACK! Here is my official apology for my lack of posts (cough…hiatus) for my blog.  My life has been a crazy whirlwind lately and I am finally getting back to having some time to breathe and catching some z’s!  So, here is my update:

Has anybody seen dance moms the tv show? That is basically my life from Wednesday-Monday in all different cities in the US.  I have been working for 2 national dance competitions with AH-MAY-ZING talented dancers since January setting up their “pop up” shops as a visual merchandiser.  Although it is CRAZY hours ( hence my lack of posts) and hard work…I’ve been able to travel all over the country meeting new people, trying their special cuisine, checking out shopping and events/nightlife.  They all seem to blur together now but from Florida-Minnesota-Colorad0-New York-Missouri-South Carolina-Louisiana-Texas…+ some– and so on, I’ve racked up my miles + jet lag but have had a GREAT time! I finally have a little break where I can enjoy actually living in my apartment and enjoying summer-time in Chi! Bring on the open patios, cubs games, Lake Michigan and Lollapalooza!

I mean…how cute are these kids?

Inspiration lining the hallway

cha cha cha

A staple in costuming!

A lovely way to end the night…in my makeshift home at our hotels

14 Days of LOVE

It is officially February! I Know you either Love or hate it…or are just over the “month of love” but this year I have decided to embrace it!  It’s traditionally a day where you express your love towards your special someone by taking them out, buying chocolates and flowers.  Or go the other route where you get together with a bunch of girlfriends + anything  chocolate and LOTS of wine!

Either way, I am going to celebrate 14 days worth of everything LOVELY up until Valentines day!

NUMBER 1 – Re-living my study abroad adventures in Firenze, Italy by cooking Italian style

If there is 1 thing Italian’s know how to do…it is cooking.  It is hard to find time to actually cook a real meal and enjoy it.  So, I bought myself an Italian cookbook and plan to try every recipe at least once.  Invite some friends over (the more the merrier) open some vino and let the good times roll!

*Some pictures from Italy below