Thursday, February 23, 2012

Little Aliens

I've been waiting and waiting.  Now it's here and I'm a huge fan!  Karen's Little Aliens have landed at a store near you!   Harvest in pink definitely will be a favorite this season.  Very fun.  But for everyday wear, I'm torn.  Should it be WizardAnytime, or Anywhere?  How's a girl to decide?!
Wizard in Crazy Tortoise

Anytime in Tan
Anywhere in Neutral

XOXO Kichaas!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Is It Spring Yet?

I don't know about you but the lack of snow this winter hasn't made me less itchy for spring.   A recent  trip to So Cal has really made me start thinking about warmer weather and pretty style.  I have fallen in love with this Ted Baker quilted patent bag.  You can do so much with it -- keep it ladylike and classic, even go classically casual with jeans.  But I like it a little edgy and unexpected with this darling Ivana Helsinki dress . . .

Is it spring yet??


Monday, February 20, 2012

View From the Top One Year Later

Not only did this weekend mark my Grandma's birthday, it also marked the 1 year anniversary of my trip up Mt. Kilimanjaro.  In fact, I reached the summit on Grandma's birthday last year.  It got me thinking about all that has happened in the year since.  Apart from my digestive system never being the same again (I must have picked up some strange bug that's still lingering in my innards), the year has been a little less adventuresome and has been more about settling in.  Finding my place, following my heart.  Just getting comfortable with old surroundings and a new situation.  Some of my fellow climbers have had a few more changes since we reached Uhuru together; we all still keep in touch but are spread out all over the world.  Marriage, babies and illness have marked the past year for some of them.

I did make a New Year's resolution to climb another mountain in 2012.  I have another trip planned for November and I'll tell you all about it as it gets closer.

Check out my Kili and Africa posts here, here, here, and here.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Morning at Mom and Dad's

I'm visiting family this week in Southern California and it's a lazy Sunday morning.  Quite a change from chilly Chicago.  It's so nice to feel the sunshine, the warm air and the beautiful water.

It's great to be  home for a change of perspective and to slow down a bit.

There is still a lot to do today to get ready for the Big Event.  Last night was dinner with family; many people have flown in just for the special day.  There are decorations to hang, flowers to pick up, a menu to finalize -- everything needs to be just right.


But right now, it's time for a nice cup of coffee, feeling the morning breeze and kicking back for a while.

Have a lovely Sunday Kichaas!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Orchid Love

Meet the only orchid that has ever loved me.  I have never had good relationships with orchids.   I like fluffy, inviting, happy flowers.  Orchids, to me, have always seemed skinny, fickle, and very unfriendly.  They've always seemed a little too ugly to be as haughty and picky as they are.   I'm sure they have felt the very same about me.  So much so that they usually just up and die on me.

But this one is different.  This one I received as a "thank you" from a colleague.  I didn't give it much hope at first.  I sat it on my desk and waited for it to show the usual signs of disgust and disdain followed by inevitable death.  But this one lived.  It has sat on my desk day after day for over a year, watching me work, listening in on conference calls and apparently it decided somewhere along the way that it loved me and would stay alive.  In fact, it has thrived.  Six new flowers and more on the way!

So while I still feel the same way about orchids generally, I think I love this one.  I never expected to.  It seems beautiful and happy to me.  I think we are a match made in orchid heaven.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy 100th Gram!!

Yes, that's right, today my Grandma hits the century mark!  Everyone is headed home to celebrate the Big Event.  There will be a weekend of gatherings culminating with a huge party on Sunday.  And what's best of all is that Gram is in perfect health, both body and mind, and can participate in it all.

As you can see, she was always a fashionable lady and she still is to this day.  She's picked out her corsage for the Big Event, decided on a cake, and is all excited!

May we all be so lucky!  I'll have to ask her what her secret is and let you know.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Image here

I know, I know.  This day dedicated to romance usually conjures up thoughts of more celebrated and tragic lovers, like Romeo and Juliet,  Antony and Cleopatra or the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  But can I help it if a little ol' bald farmer who would one day be President gets my heart twittering?  Every time Valentine's Day rolls around I think of John and Abigail Adams.  To me, they had the kind of relationship worth celebrating today.  Not always perfect, but totally committed; strong, romantic, respectful.  Their letters to each other were perfect:

My Dearest Friend,

...should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.
I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship as to the days of love and innocence, and, with an indescribable pleasure, I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads with an affection heightened and improved by time, nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my heart.

-Abigail Adams to John Adams

I hope you are celebrating a love like that today.

And if you aren't, I have something perfect for you that I found during my recent NYC trip . . .

Says it all!!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Kichaa Loves: The Weekend

Just a little view of my weekend.   Saturday involved a relaxing day getting buffed and shined at the salon.  I am happy to report that my old winter skin has been scrubbed off and my tootsies are nice and shiny with a new coat of paint.  Went to a fabulous movie theater Saturday night, the kind that serves cocktails and dinner while you watch in your reclining chair (blanket and popcorn provided).  My friend and I saw "My Week with Marilyn".  Michelle Williams is fabulous as Marilyn.  Loved it.

Sunday was a beautiful, sunny day.  So I went to the store and stocked the house with flowers (roses are in for Valentine's Day!).  

While at the store I picked up a few groceries -- you all don't know what a big deal this is -- I NEVER seem to have food in the house!

I also whipped up a batch of Dark Chocolate Brownies with Caramel and Salted Peanuts.  I saw the recipe here and just had to try it.  Alas, my friend who was visiting at the time took the entire pan home before they were cool enough even to cut into!  Nothing says love better than a batch of brownies!

I hung some new artwork.  I love it, by the way.

But I also love my old needlepoint vignette in the hallway upstairs.  A good mix  of old and new.

And since the day was a sunny one, I started contemplating my little garden.  Planning has to start early.  I have four little raised beds and usually keep them full of herbs, tomatoes, and veggies.  Not sure what I'll plant this year but it's fun to start thinking about warmer days and summer bounty.

And as the weekend came to a close, I lit some candles, listened to music, and read until bedtime.  

I hope all of you had a lovely, sunshine-y weekend.  As always, you know I'd love to hear about it!


Image here.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Life has been crazy lately.  Have you had the same experience?  Full of projects, gatherings, errands, preparations.  I'm looking forward to a weekend of total (in reality, probably more like partial) relaxation.  My weekends always involve yoga and climbing, but this weekend also involves a trip to the spa for a much needed tune-up.
In the spirit of peace and calm, don't you love this fabric print by Quotes and Notes?  Simple and sweet.  It made me smile the moment I saw it.  Full of imagination, which is just what should happen when you re-charge that battery, and vintage charm.

So take time to relax this weekend, Kichaas.  Have a lovely time!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You are Greater Than Bacon!

Is this the best Valentine's Day card you have EVER seen?!!  I love it!  There is no greater compliment.  It's from Cotton Flower Press, where they hand press these darling cards using only eco-friendly inks and 100% tree-free papers.   Check out all of their fun and unique cards and invitations here.

I think my heart would soar (and my stomach growl) if I were presented with this on V-Day!   Who will  you be giving it to???


Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend Runway

This weekend I attended a friend's birthday party and had the opportunity to wear another RTR ensemble.  The party required cocktail attire so where else would I go but RTR?!

I chose this Badgley Mischka pink sequined dress -- pretty fabulous, don't you think?  I always worry when I opt for sequins-- you never know how worn the dress will look.  But this one was in perfect condition and looked like new, which has been my happy experience with RTR.  I received two dresses, one in the size I ordered and one in a back-up size (at no extra charge).   I paired it with these bling-y baubles, which I have worn before (I think I should just buy them).   They came on Friday, I wore them on Saturday, popped them in the mailbox on Sunday.  Could not be easier.

It's February in Chicago, so it was a little chilly.  That's why I wrapped it up as the evening wore on in my own J Crew cover in the perfect color.

The party was at The Center for Visual and Performing Arts and included cocktails, dinner and performances by talented guests and the Birthday Boy himself!

I hope all you Kichaas had fun this weekend!  I'd love to hear about it!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kichaa Loves: Going Under Cover

I just love my new iPhone and iPad covers by Iris + Lily!  So fun and pretty.  I have received compliments every time I pull them out.  You can customize fabrics, details, just about anything you want.  And you can cover up all your gadgets -- any smart phone, tablet and kindle.  Iris + Lily also creates lovely custom photo albums and journals, too.

Check it out and look good under cover!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Fascinating Fascinators

These past couple of weeks have been incredibly busy at work.  Back-to-back meetings and calls.   On the home-front, I'm getting ready to take a trip to California soon to celebrate a very special event.  So, I've been thinking about what I'll be wearing and dressing up a bit.  That's when I came across these lovely creations by Arturo Rios, a fabulous young hat designer in L.A.  My short pixie haircut would look great under one of these beauties!  I just love them!   Don't you agree?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's February!

"When I saw you, I was afraid to meet you . . . When I met you, I was afraid to kiss you . . . When I kissed you, I was afraid to love you . . . Now that I love you, I'm afraid to lose you."

Oh, it's February! That month that has a holiday devoted only to celebrating love (it also has one devoted to celebrating groundhogs, which I kind of prefer). We are having unusually lovely weather for February. So enjoy the sunny, warm start to this LOVE-ly month!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012


"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."
-Lao Tzu

Image here

Monday, January 30, 2012

My *&#@! Yoga Class

For two years now I have faithfully attended yoga classes on the weekends.  Don't get me wrong, I love yoga.   But I have a confession to make:  I've never been able to meditate.   Not even for a minute.  I always have a million thoughts going through my head.  Try as I might, I can never clear them out to make way for those "zen-like" feelings or the "white light" to come flooding in.  Am I the only one with this problem?

Worse yet, I tend to push myself.   So, I am often frustrated and sweating as I fall on my head while trying to balance in crane pose, or when my legs are flailing around as I try unsuccessfully (over and over again) to kick up into a headstand.  Today was the worst yet.  As I slid out of an attempt at side crane and landed on my forehead, I blurted out a big f-bomb on the way down.

Well, I can't help but think that one should not swear while practicing yoga.  It has to be counter-productive, not to mention embarrassing as everyone else in the class slowly slides their mat away from you.  So a friend has recommended a book to me called The Power of Now.  He said it could help my yoga potty-mouth.  Has anyone out there read it?  I'm not much for those New Age books and neither is my friend.  So I'm taking his recommendation to heart.  He said the point of the book is learning to step back and observe your thinking.  When you do that, a lot of the noise in your head stops.  Okay . . . umm, well I guess I can try it.

I hope all you Kichaas had lovely, peaceful weekends!  Now it's *&#@! Monday.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kichaa Loves: Winter Vision

Love at first sight.  There is just something about this dress.  It had me the minute I saw it.  Beautiful, warm, inviting.  Perfect.  From Muza's Workshop, it's made with love from Russia and sold here.   Muza's is all about hand-knitted and crochet fashion, bags and totes and home textile accessories.  

But there is something about this dress.  I like white, but you don't have to.  Muza's will make it custom to your order.  Pretty. Very pretty.  


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To You With Love

"Every breath is an opportunity to receive and let go. I receive love and I let go of pain."
~Brenda MacIntyre

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Back from the Big Apple

I'm just back from my girls' weekend in NYC.  We were there to catch the end of Antiques Week and, of course, catch a show or two and eat constantly.   Here's how it went .  .  .

First stop, the flower shop because . . . well, who needs a reason?  Just because.

Next up, Antiques at the ArmoryAmericana and Antiques at the Pier, and,  the big daddy of them all, the Winter Antiques Show.  So many lovely things! Tractor seats.  Yes, tractor seats.  Thought these were works of art.  They would look lovely on the wall.

Picked up a huge old pinball game top and shipped it home for a friend.

Hit up Fat Witch for a brownie break.

Saw a couple of shows.  Jersey Boys was FABULOUS (Can't believe I avoided seeing it for so long)!  Follies, not so much (All about infidelity. In the end I think I was the one who got cheated.).

Cupcakes at Magnolia . . .

And pretty macaroons in SoHo.

A little bit of street art.

Dinner at Recette, where we caught the chef's delicious five-course tasting menu and listened to Nirvana.

And finally, our very yummy, but very last  meal in NYC at Cornelia Street Cafe.

It was home on a late flight to chilly Chicago and back to work today.  Miss it already.

Until next time Kichaas . . .