Netflix picks (for winter 2017)

I know this winter has been milder than most so far and I probably shouldn’t complain, but, still. It’s January and I live in the Midwest, so here we are.

I usually start getting a little bit lethargic at this point in the year. While I do really love winter, the dark and the chill just start getting to me after the new year starts. Am I alone in this? December isn’t so bad because everyone is in a good mood anticipating the holidays, but once New Year’s is over, there isn’t really much to look forward to. Everything is just cold and dark, and life slows down. I find myself dreading the thought of going out in the cold. Stilettos and black ice? Curled hair and fleece-lined beanies? Lip liner and runny noses? Yikes. No thank you.

From January to March — and let’s be real, most of April — I am honestly content burying myself in a pile of throw blankets and bingeing on Netflix. Plus, my bank account loves this decision.

I never really got into watching TV when I was in college. My undergrad roommates loved bad reality TV. We actually had our house tagged as “Bad Girls Club 1018” on Instagram, no joke. So while I was more than willing to listen to my roommates talk about the Bachelor during wine Wednesdays or thirsty Thursdays at the bar, I never really joined in on the actual couch binge-athons.

It wasn’t until I finished up grad school that I had time to actually sit down and start really getting into TV shows. My grad school roommate Elise was a huge Netflix fan, and as soon as I ditched my cap and gown, her habits immediately transferred over. Our Netflixing actually ended up being one of my favorite memories from living together. We would pour glasses of wine, make giant bowls of queso and just binge out and laugh together from my graduation up until we moved out.

Sadly, Elise and I live in totally different parts of the country now (boo), but I still keep the cold-weather Netflix habits she instilled in me. Here’s what I’ve been watching lately, and here’s what’s on my list.


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New year, old me, same goals

Happy new year! I know I’m a few minutes late with this kind of post, but work has been keeping me busy (holidays don’t exist for journalists) and (since I’m unfortunately incredibly sick today), this is the first day I’ve had off alllll year.

Those jokes never get old.

Anyway, I’m really not one for New Year’s resolutions. Why wait until a specific day to make a change in your life? I feel like the whole point of life is to constantly work on bettering yourself, so I continually take note of the ways I can improve.

But, given the timing, I figured I’d share a few of my goals that have been in progress for a while now.

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When you watch too much Netflix and start dressing like Rory Gilmore…

Do you ever find yourself binging a TV show, and then suddenly — a few days or weeks later — you realize you’ve been inadvertently borrowing wardrobe tips from said show’s costume department?

I swear, it happens to me all the time.

I spontaneously started sporting headbands after a Gossip Girl binge session a few years back, and I think I unintentionally wore a either a cardigan or polka dots every day during the last season of New Girl.

It’s not really a secret that I cruised through Gilmore Girls reruns in the weeks surrounding the Netflix revival. And — since the release of the revival just so happened to coincide with the biggest shopping weekend of the year — not only was I dressing full-on Rory Gilmore, I was shopping her, too.

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How I Met Armando

One of my all-time favorite shows — with the exception of the horrible ending — is How I Met Your Mother.

As cynical as I can be most times sometimes, I loved spending nine seasons listening to Ted tell his children the story of how he met their mother. I loved watching this fictional being live his life and talk about every minute detail that developed his character and led up to the moment he met the mother of his children.

Deep, deep down, I’m a pretty big romantic. I love listening to people tell the stories about how they met their significant others.

And, of course, if you have a significant other, it’s a story you get to tell quite often as well!

I mention Mando quite a bit around here, so I figured it was about time I tell our story.

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Christmas in Chicago

You guys, Chicago turned into a winter wonderland overnight! It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s been snowing on-and-off all night and day, and I kept taking breaks at work to walk over to the window and watch the flakes fall over Pioneer Court and into the Chicago River. It felt like Tribune Tower was located inside a snow globe today, and I absolutely loved it.

If I had it my way, it would start lightly snowing every Dec. 1, and continue all the way through New Year’s Day. I honestly don’t understand how everyone in the South does it — Christmas season just doesn’t feel complete to me without a soft blanket of snow.

But, even if there’s no snow, the holiday celebrations must go on! I shared my “Christmas bucket list” a few days ago, detailing all the fun holiday activities I try to get to every December.

Mando and I spent this past weekend braving the cold and galavanting through Chicago to celebrate the holidays.

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This is the season of a lifetime passing you by…

…If you haven’t heard that Christmas song (Plain White T’s) — look it up. I can almost guarantee that it’s going to get stuck in your head for the next day or so!

Anyway…

It’s finally Christmas season!

Call me old fashioned, but I firmly believe in celebrating one holiday at a time. For me, Christmas season kicks off on Black Friday. I worked retail in college — before “Black Friday” became “4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day” — so I always started the holidays by heading to the mall and clocking in at about 3 a.m. to begin the season. I absolutely loved it. I don’t work retail anymore, but the tradition stuck. I start my season by Black Friday shopping, and then decorating my apartment while drinking cranberry wine!

To be honest, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started celebrating Christmas as an entire season.

And now, I try to fill the season with as many merry activities as I can.

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Life lately

Is now a good time to drop that super cliche Ferris Bueller line about life moving fast? Because holy crap! I feel like I blinked and then suddenly 2016 ended. It seems like Christmas decorations appeared out of nowhere, and I actually completely forgot that this week is Thanksgiving! It wasn’t until Mando started talking about holiday plans and our work schedules last Friday that I suddenly remembered.

But, I’m not going to complain. I really love staying busy and feeling productive. Work has been occupying a ton of my time lately. First, the Cubs won the World Series. Then, there was that election. And, on top of everything, I’m actually recovering from a brutal cold right now. I thought I kicked it out of my system a week ago, but then it came back in full force this weekend. Yuck. Bring on the green juice, please!evanston-beaches Continue Reading

Most worn this fall – 2016

I have always loved fall. Growing up in Michigan meant that the start of fall signaled a host of my favorite things: color tours, cider mill visits, football tailgates, pumpkin carving, birthday celebrations and — of course — sweater shopping.

Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons to dress and shop for. Cooler temps let you layer, and I feel like you can get way more use of out of your wardrobe when you can pair the same pieces in different ways.

I recently read “The Curated Closet” by Anuschka Rees, and I would definitely recommend it. Anuschka has a lot of great advice about shopping for a collective wardrobe, not just individual pieces. I already do a lot of what she suggested, but it was really nice to have affirmation that I’m forming good shopping habits.

The older I get, the more I find myself knowing exactly what I like, and choosing quality over quantity. It’s not really a secret that I like keeping track of what I wear and how often I wear it. I think it’s really useful to take a step back every so often to analyze what I wear season-to-season. This lets me see what pieces have inadvertently become outfit staples that can — and should — be upgraded to a higher quality.

So, it was cool to look at the pieces I wore the most this fall, and compare them to what I wore last fall.

Heads up: affiliate links below.

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jeans | button-up | watch | sweater (old, similar) | tote | vest
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Repurposing Halloween candy: Snickers dip

Fellow sugar addicts, it’s the best day of the year!

Discount Halloween candy day!

While I am not above shoveling an entire bag of $.49 candy corn into my face in one sitting, sometimes it’s fun to bring a little twist to the same treats that are eaten year after year.

One of my favorite fun size candy-based recipes is this super easy Snickers dip!

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