concert in millennium park and what i wore

rae's days park outfit

(Outfit posts seem super silly after a week like this one, no? But in rough times you’ve got to make good art, and, well, right now this is my art.)

I work very close to Millennium Park, and every Monday this summer they had a free concert as part of Downtown Sound. I was able to go this week and have a great picnic dinner and listen to some cool music from Russian Circles and Colin Stetson. What a great summer activity! I wish I had been able to go to more shows.

For this show, I wore shorts from the Loft, a shirt from Francesca’s Closet, and a necklace from Target. (I think.)

millenium park concert

a selfmade dress and what i wore

rae's days handmade dress

I have been thinking a long time about sewing a dress or outfit but it took me a long time to pull the trigger. It sounded intimidating–I have sewn a little bit but not really any clothes. Patterns and fabric seemed expensive and difficult to try out if I wasn’t sure it would turn out.

But then I saw Corinne’s tunic on the Purl Bee. It looked just simple enough that maybe I could do it. And it looked so cute on their Facebook page. (And it only needs 2 yards of fabric!)

rae's days sewing a dress

So I picked up a few yards of a light gray cotton from JoAnn’s and got to sewing! I don’t have instructions because the Purl Bee already has all that covered. It took a few hours, and ripping out a few seams, but I think it was a great, simple dress for a beginning project.

And the best part is, now I’m ready to sew a lot more!

rae's days self made dress

errands and what i wore

rae's days casual outfit

Sometimes you just need to get things done. I am getting ready for another trip and I prioritized function over from with my Mizzou gym shorts and trusty dinosaur sweatshirt from Topshop (thanks polar vortex in July).

I’m so excited to be heading back to Michigan, but right now there’s a pretty big to-do list between me and the pool. Once I get there, though, I’m hoping to keep reading the Preacher and keep practicing drawing (you can follow along on instagram). Alright, gotta get back to it–

rae's days casual outfit

new outfit: getting ready for the fourth

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Happy almost Fourth of July! After some crazy storms this week it’s been a little cooler here in Chicago so I’m wearing jeans from the Gap, sandals from Target, a bag from H&M, and a top from Liz Claiborne.

There was obviously no podcast this week–we are taking a break for the Fourth. But we’ll be back at it for the next one. I am having friends come into town this weekend, and #fatcat and I couldn’t be more excited. At least, I think he’s excited.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

easy outfit friday: summer dress

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It’s summertime! I know, it felt like it would never come. We have casual Fridays in my new office. It was easy to be casual when the temperatures were crisp–I’d just wear jeans and a nice top. Now that it’s getting hot, I’ve been turning to some bright summer dresses. The light flowiness of this dress makes it casual, and the blazer makes it still ok for work. (Work casual is a little turned up from every day casual, you know?)

Dress is from Express, blazer from Marshall’s, sandals from the Loft, bag from Target. All from at least last year, I think.

Happy Friday!

what’s in your beach bag?

beach bag from target

I am still recovering from Memorial Day weekend. I went to Michigan and spent some glorious time by the lake and pool. My beach bag is from Target, and it’s sort of a rubbery material that’s very easy to clean. But the best part of a beach bag (besides going to the beach) is what’s inside.

what's in your beach bag

I have a water bottle (gotta stay hydrated!), my sunglasses case, my kindle for some heavy reading and comic books for light reading, my nerd pouch (it’s filled with chapstick, money, my phone, and any other small things I might need), my cool microfiber cloth that cleans my glasses, an extra hair elastic, and of course, sunscreen.

What do you keep in your beach bag? Am I missing anything? It’s too bad I didn’t remember to take these pictures while I was at the beach. Guess I’ll have to go back.

 

my small cool space 2014

rae's small cool space #smallcool

As I did last year and in 2011, I entered Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Spaces Contest. I think I’ve stepped up my game this year, and I’m so glad it’s ready to show off. If you have a minute, step over to the contest page and vote for me! (You know, if you feel like it.) I believe you have to register for Apartment Therapy, but it is free.

This is one of my favorite times of the year on the Internet. It’s so fun to see all these different homes and how they are designed. I really really enjoy checking it out. And I also enjoy sharing my own home.

living room #smallcool

This is the other side of the living room, across from the couch. I love having my pictures framed and on the wall. Each year I try to make my apartment a bit more grown up, and having things framed and properly on the wall definitely was a step in that direction for me. Things can absolutely look sophisticated and nice without a frame–I just couldn’t figure how to do that in this space.

I am also pretty excited about this big fake tree I have in the corner. I think it looks pretty good and not too fake, and it’s safer for #fatcat because he tends to eat real plants.

craft space #smallcool

This is my sewing area, which you’ve seen before. I added an embroidery, and of course you can see the lamp and pictures on the wall next to it. It leads to my kitchen and dining area.

dining room #smallcool

Which I love. It of course has the table and chairs that I redid and the mirror that I spray painted. I like the bright primary colors, it’s just a happy space. But my favorite detail might be the shark coming out of the kitchen table. (It’s a piggy bank I got from Target. To put money in, you have to reach into the shark’s mouth.)

bedroom #smallcool

I really like my bedroom in this apartment. It’s got great windows and a ceiling fan. I have a new headboard, which also feels more grown up to me. And I really like having the shutters and mirrors on the side of the bed.

bedroom #smallcool

There’s room for a few dressers, and the jewelry rack I made by painting another one of those wooden racks–the same kind you see in the sewing area.

There’s still projects that I want to do, but I’m really excited for my apartment. I like spending time here, and I can’t wait to have people over. It makes me really proud to come home to something that I love and a space I created (with lots of help, of course). Don’t forget to stop by the Small Cool Contest!

the zoo and what i wore

a casual summer outfit

Over the weekend I had a wonderful time at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The weather was perfect and all the animals were out and doing something adorable and interesting.

My casual summer adventure outfit is a cotton dress from H&M; shoes, bag, and sunglasses from Target; and chambray from … shoot I can’t remember.

After the zoo we walked to the lake to take a look at the skyline. It was a lovely day.

Also, it was super cool to be featured as the Chicago Tribune’s reader of the week! Check it out!

a lion at the zoo

a group of flamingoes

a gorilla

the chicago skyline

new outfit: gloomy monday

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It is a gloomy and rainy monday in Chicago, so I countered by wearing some bright flowers and taking a picture where it was warm and dry inside. Skirt from Banana Republic; top, shoes, and bag from Target; flower wrap from this super cute store in my neighborhood called Francesca’s Collection.

We did so much work on the apartment this weekend that I am really excited to show you guys. If you follow me on Instagram (@raenudson) you may have seen some sneak peeks. Huge thanks to Michael for all his help painting.

To keep away the Monday blues, here’s a picture of #fatcat from his least flattering angle.

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a cubs game and what i wore

cubs game

My welcome to Chicago continued with a Cubs game last night. It was so nice out (but yes, a little chilly), and we had so much fun. Wrigley is a quick walk from my apartment, which made a weeknight game really easy to get to and enjoy. The Cubs lost by one to the Pirates, but *I* won because I had a blast. This is what I wore.

what I wore to a cubs game

Shoes from Target, jeans from…somewhere?, sweatshirt is a DIY (one of my favorites), blazer from Marshals, and scarf from the Gap. (Don’t worry, I also had another jacket and a hat stashed in my tote.)