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 . . .


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sweet Indulgence

Lookie what I found.  Aren't these the sweetest little cookies?!  And monogrammed with my very own initial.  It's all about me and I think they are just the thing.  You can find them at Sweet Ambs where Amber Spiegel creates some of the prettiest cookies I've ever seen.  As a CIA grad, you can bet Amber makes sure they taste fabulous, too, using her special orange, vanilla bean and cardamom recipe.

Aren't these cameo cookies darling?

How about these dainty hand-painted goodies?

And if you love hearts for Valentine's Day, these will sweep you off your feet.

Get ready for something sweet and buy yourself (or your special Valentine) a treat.  You deserve it!   Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

NYC Here I Come!

Oooh, finally!  I've been missing NYC so much!  I haven't been able to visit in about two years, and that's two years too long.  So this weekend is yet another girls' antiquing weekend, but this time in NYC!  It's Antiques Week in THE city and I'll be hitting the Armory and the Pier Show with my antique-loving buddy.  Also on our hit list are The Market NYC for some up-and-coming designer finds, ABC Carpet & Home for the nest, The Milk Bar for a mid-day sugar high, and a stroll through The Antiques Garage in case we still haven't gotten our fix in.  I've heard Recette is just a lovely dining experience, so maybe a nice dinner there to end the long weekend.

I can't wait!  In keeping with my NYC trip, the photo above was taken during construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.  I'm reading The Great Bridge  by David McCullough for my next book club get-together.  It's a fabulous history of the Brooklyn Bridge.  I recommend it Kichaas!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Pretty Polka Dots

I've had a very busy couple of weeks with not much time for blogging.  This week seems like it will be the same.  Lots of work and travel.  Which got me thinking about zooming in and out of airports and going through security lines.  I think these adorable little flats are just what I need!  They are fun and happy (to weather bad weather delays), easy to slide on and off quickly, comfy while running to catch a connection, and, of course, stylish enough to turn heads.  Perfect!  Find them here.

Hope all you Kichaas had a lovely weekend!


Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm Staring at the Mess I Made

In my hurry to throw out the old and buy some new gadgets, I found myself lost in a tangle of wires and cords this weekend.  I could not distinguish optical cords from video cords, or inputs from outputs and outputs from inputs .  .  . you get the idea.  The result?  Silence.  Complete silence.  A weekend with no TV, no cable, no DVD and -- oops, now FM radio isn't coming in either.  

That leaves my Kindle.  A weekend with nothing to do but read actually sounded perfect. So I tried to leave my frustrations behind and enjoy it.   I read a lovely book for Book Club next week.  However, I just found out it was the wrong book (I read The Bridge.  I was supposed to read The Great Bridge.  There's about a 500 page difference).  Uggh!  Does this ever happen to anyone else??

So my game plan this week is to enjoy some old-fashioned, low-tech entertainment:  have dinner with friends, see the opera, meet someone new, go to the gym, read the right book for Book Club . . . oh, and call the Geek Squad.

What did you do this weekend Kichaas??  I'd love to hear about it!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Kichaa Loves - Beautiful Blahnik

"Mrs. Vreeland told me to concentrate on shoes."
-Manolo Blahnik

I have been flipping through this beautiful book I received for Christmas, Blahnik by Boman, and falling in love.   Sex in the City may be over but who can get over Blahnik?  The photography by Eric Boman is sometimes funny, a little quirky and always breathtaking.  It made me smile.  But shoes almost always make me smile.  Just a little something to start your weekend off right.  


Images Eric Boman, shoes Manolo Blahnik

Thursday, January 5, 2012

And the Oscar Goes To: The Nib and Quill!

As I lawyer, I spend the better part of my days with a legal pad in my hand jotting down arguments, picking apart opponents' briefs, noting case citations and, let's face it -- doodling.   That got me thinking, am I even capable of putting nice, pretty things down on paper?   Instead of arguments, poems.  Instead of case citations, words of gratitude?  To do that, I think I'm going to need nice, pretty paper to inspire me.  Those legal pads are functional but not very inspiring (unless you are a Supreme Court justice, maybe).  So I went on a quest and look what I found.

Isn't it gorgeous?  This beautiful, handmade Coptic journal is the artwork of Kristi Baker at The Nib and Quill.  She actually sews the lovely pages together with waxed linen and places a small envelope on the inside of the front cover to hide a special message.

And I'm not the only one to fall in love with The Nib and Quill.  These beautiful books are about to take a trip down the red carpet.  Kristi was selected to have her journals featured at the GBK Celebrity Gift Lounge for the 2012 Academy Awards!!  Ginnifer Goodwin will be receiving one of Kristi's journals in her Celebrity gift bag courtesy of the Artisan Group.  How terrific is that?!  Now I really am inspired.

Good luck Kristi (visit her blog here and her Etsy shop here)!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New Scent

I'm one of those girls who likes to wear perfume on a daily basis.  I feel naked when I walk out the door without it.  One of the things I do at the beginning of each year is go through all the perfume bottles on my dresser and decide what to keep and what to toss.  What's going to say (or smell) "me" in the New Year?

There are two scents that never get tossed.  Both are by CB I Hate Perfume.  I discovered them while wandering around Portland, Maine, on vacation one year.  He may hate perfume, but I absolutely LOVE this perfumer.  He is passionate about scent, how it's made and what experiences it evokes.   I own two of his fragrances:  In the Summer Kitchen ("fresh summer vegetables and herbs on a clear summer evening with a touch of smoked old wooden rafters") and Gathering Apples ("thousands of ripe red Mackintosh apples and a bit of old weathered wood from the bushel baskets").  This year, I'm feeling a little older, a little wiser, so maybe I'll add In the Library to my collection ("a blend of English novel, Russian and Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish").  All are made without alcohol.

So what could say (or smell) "you" in the New Year?  Walking in the Air?  To See a Flower?  You should definitely check these out.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Another Runway Success!

I hope all of you darling Kichaas had a wonderful first day of 2012!  I spent the day with my best friend and her husband at a grand open house.   It was held in a lovely twelve story building downtown.  The whole point of the party was to start at the top floor and eat your way to the bottom.  Food, drink and music on every floor!  How about it?!!  Is that a great idea or what?!  It took me exactly five hours to eat myself silly from top to bottom.

It was a glitzy gathering and another opportunity for me to waltz around in a designer dress courtesy of Rent-the-Runway (they also sent me the cute hat above).  Today's pick was the sequined Badgley Mischka dress below.

It was to-die-for!  I can't tell you how many compliments I received on this dress!  Rent-the-Runway sent me this dress in two sizes (at no extra charge), just in case.  I was glad they did because the bigger back-up size actually fit my bigger backside the best.

If all this glitter was not enough (and it wasn't), I also rented these ear baubles...

And funked it up with these shoes (courtesy of my closet)...

Here's the result (sorry, good shots at the event were not possible so the model had to also stand in as the photographer -- Ta da!!!)...

You get the idea.

Now all I have to do is stuff everything in the pre-paid mailing envelope they provided (no cleaning necessary) and drop it in a mailbox tomorrow.  Love it.

No work for me tomorrow Kichaas but then it's back to the old grind in a new year.  Hope your celebrations were wonderful!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Good morning and happy 2012!  We made it!!  Maybe for some of you it was a bumpy ride last night.  So if you are nursing a hangover this morning, get the coffee pot brewing and check out a tried and true hangover cure here.

Just in time for some New Year resolutions.  Since 2011 was such a BIG, AWESOME year for me, I'm going to keep this year's resolutions small, do-able, and valuable (to me at least).   So . . . this year I resolve to . . .

Throw more dinner parties
Have flowers in my office every week
Make (and stick to) a budget
Be generous
Climb one mountain and a couple of buildings.

For those of you starting the year in the giving spirit, I would be remiss if I didn't mention my two pet charities for 2012.  Friends of the Chicago River is a wonderful organization dedicated to advocating for a cleaner Chicago River.  If any of my darling Kichaas are local Chicagoans, check it out and give it some support.  The Kilimanjaro Guide Scholarship Foundation is another great charity.  It provides scholarship opportunities for the guides and porters that climb Kilimanjaro for a living.  Most of these hard-working men and women have limited education and job opportunities.  You literally can change some one's life by giving something small, like your monthly Starbucks' budget -- instead of drinking it!

I hope all of you have a lovely New Year's Day filled with friends, family, peace and hope.