Steve Jobs changed everything.

October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs made design matter. The way he has shaped my career … my path in life … would be so very different if he had never existed.

Steve made things pretty and useful and functional. He loved the Beatles, the font Myriad. He loved color. He made design important.

And he will be greatly missed.



May 18, 2011

Tulips are sprinkled everywhere around town this Spring, especially in the Loop. I swear the sway back and forth to the sounds of the city. It’s quite lovely.

pink tulips, Chicago Loop,


May 13, 2011

Suddenly it’s a million degrees outside. Okay, maybe not a million, but it has gotten into the upper 80s, which ain’t so cool when you don’t have central air.

As much as I complain about the lack of a thermostat in my abode, truth be told, I actually prefer it. We have FREE heat (yes, you read that right!) in the apartment through the radiators, but have to supply the cool air through the eye-sore that is a window unit. But free heat and window units make for teeny tiny energy bills, so no complaints here.

Well, except for the kitchen. I refuse to purchase a window unit for the kitchen because I don’t spend enough time in there to justify the cost, so last summer I had a little desk-sized fan going most of the time. But it’s time to upgrade. Because as small as that little fan it, it sounds like a commercial-grade fan whenever it’s on.

OK, enough with the chit chat. These are some of the options I’m looking into getting. High marks if it oscillates.

vintage table fan

clockwise: 1. Retro Fan 2. Hunter Fan Classic Table Fan 3. Minka Aire F300-RD 4. Vornado VF20 60th Anniversay Classic Table Fan

The Vornado is almost $300, so it’s a total splurge. Pretty on the eyes, but if you’ve learned anything from this post, it’s that I’m cheap. Moving on … it’s either a toss-up between the Minka-Aire and the Hunter.

French snob

May 11, 2011

Yes, I’m a totally a French snobby snob when it comes to French Onion Soup.

Winberie’s, French Onion Soup, Oak Park

I happened to find myself in Oak Park last week for a meeting that ended right at lunch time, so I made a pit stop at Winberie’s before I caught the Green Line back to the city. It’s a cozy place that’s great to eat solo.

Oh, and I had the BEST French Onion Soup of my life. That completely made the hour and half train ride worth it.

mixed well: summer sounds

April 26, 2011

Hey now, I think it’s about time for a new Mixed Well. The theme this go around is spring-summer tunes. Original, I know.

I don’t know about you, but I find that I listen to moodier and slower music in the winter and faster or more upbeat stuff in the summer. I suppose this is as much of a pop mix as you’re going to get.

Oh! And I got all sorts of nerdy and created the playlist on YouTube to pleasure your ears. Enjoy the super lame videos that everyone creates. My favorite parts are usually the poor fonts choices, but I digress …

1. Beachside Properties • Modest Mouse
2. Deadbeat Summer • Neon Indian (Shout out to Denton, Texas y’all!!)
3. Pool Swimmers • Real Estate
4. Knife • Grizzly Bear
5. Golden Age • TV on the Radio
6. L.E.S. Artistes • Santigold
7. Zero • Yeah Yeah Yeahs
8. Fables • The Dodos
9. Summer Song • The Decemberists
10. The Ark • Dr. Dog

Want more Mixed Well? Check the archives here.


April 22, 2011

My little Oliver turns six years old today! That’s 42 in puppy years, if you’re keeping track.

We’ve gone from having a little tornado that destroyed countless pairs of shoes to a snuggler who makes lots of old man noises now. My heart swell with love when I look at you, Smaliver.

(I call him Smaliver because he’s both small and named Oliver. Other random nicknames include Lazy Face, Poopie and Oli, of course.)

Look how he licks those lips when he sees the bone! He goes on a hiding frenzy whenever he gets “Extra-Special Bone!”


These are some of my favorite snapshots of him:

{In my parent’s backyard}

{Showing off his kick-ass beard}

{Super furry and blending in with the rest of his toys}

{Another awesome beard shot}

{Mr. Close-up}

Coffee Filter Light Fixture

April 17, 2011

Hello free stuff! I literally saw my neighbor throwing out an old floor lamp and grabbed the yucky shade as soon as her back door shut. I realize that this points out the obvious, that I have no life. Sigh …

When I brought it in, I knew I wanted to use it in the bedroom, where we’ve been staring at a bare bulb on the ceiling forever. I’ve seen the whole coffee filter light fixtures floating around online and decided to go that direction, instead of recovering it in amother fabric. My logic? I thought this would be easier.

Well that’s where I was wrong.

I just dove straight in with no directions. About a third of the way through, I saw my errors, but there was little I could do about it at that point. To make a long story shorter, I should have placed the filters much, much closer together. But after spending hours getting high off of Mod Podge gluing around 200 filters onto the shade, I called it quits. I hung the whole thing up with a clip on bulb adapter.

I figure if I really, really care (and right now I soooooo don’t) I can go back and add about another 200 filters and make it look really fancy and full like this awesome one. And probably a light diffuser, if I’m to be completely honest.

It’s giant, boyfriend approved and peeks out at you anytime you pass the door way. Me loves.

Artizone illustrations and flow chart

April 12, 2011

Excuse me while I type without my left pointer finger. I chopped off a huge amount of my nail while peeling potatoes last night. Meow.

Anywho, as promised I’m really excited to show you the custom illustrations and flow chart banner I designed for one of my newest clients, Artizone.


Artizone, for all of you non-Dallas folk, is a gourmet food delivery service. Genius! They deliver goods from the butcher or cheese shop or the bakery (getting the picture?) straight to your door. You can literally be eating La Duni’s famous Cuatro Leches Cake in your pajamas with a click of a few buttons.

Dangerous, I know.


They launched a full redesign of their website yesterday, so that it’s iPhone and iPad friendly. It’s all about ordering on the go. They hired me to create a flow chart that visually explains, well … how their works.


If you are living in the Dallas area, you really need to get on board and use their gourmet delivery service. They have a million other yummies and even a foodie blog filled with some salivating recipes.

Now if only we had Artizone here in Chicago. Then I’d probably still have that nail right now.


April 11, 2011

Well hello, Monday. You came a lot faster than I expected.

This weekend was mucho random. First, I worked quite a bit. I can’t wait to show you’ve what I’ve been doing. As soon as it goes live, you’ll be the first to see!

Second, I’d like to point out that we found ourselves in the burbs at a Chili’s. Yes, Chili’s.

I’d like to pretend that we were trying to be ironic, while sipping on an El Presidente, but I’d be lying. It was more like poor planning and it was right next to the theater we were going to. And hey, the parking’s free. That’s kind of a big deal here.

Can I just say this, before we move on to the pretty pictures? I don’t think I’ve eaten at the mega-chain shaped like a giant pepper in (at minimum) two years. Maybe three … and there’s reason why. I feel like I’m still detoxing the next day from all of the salt added in their food. Seriously, don’t expect me to be ordering an Oldtimer anytime soon. OK, maybe if I’m stuck in an airport for more than four hours. But that’s the only exception.

OK, now for the best part. Ready?

We went to the beach.

I know, I know … it’s just a beach. But that’s where you’re wrong. It was a taste of freedom. A small bite of what the spring and summer will be like here. Not having to wear a uniform of super-thick coat, snow boots and a puffy vest.

Flip-flops! T-shirts and shorts! Glorious sun! Freedom!

So here’s what Foster Avenue Beach looked like yesterday. Expect me here every weekend.

foster avenue beach


April 7, 2011

In between freelance projects and trying to get outside to enjoy the post-freezing weather, I’ve been rearranging the living room layout once again. If memory serves, this will be the fourth arrangement we’ve had in the last eight months.

Expedit bookshelf, Corona sofa, green sofa, vintage Chicago apartment

There are so many open doorways and not enough wall space. Believe me, I long for a solid wall to put the sofa against and (gasp!) have end tables with lamps and everything. But that’s just not the case here because it we did that, the TV would be non-viewable and let’s be honest, that’s what we do in the living TV room.

Here’s what it looked like back during the holidays:

Christmas tree, mini schnauzer, green sofa, Corona sofa, vintage Chicago apartment

As you can see, I’ve switched out a bunch of accessories to brighten the place up during summer. The Expedit serves as a console table and it topped with a few of my favorite things.

Now we can actually look at the fireplace, faux or not. The small changes really make it feel like a whole new place, huh?

PS: Oh yes, that is Godzilla on the floor. He’s part of the security system.