This weekend during a trip to the Shedd Aquarium, I was struck by stunning visual similarities between a cluster of sea anemones and the peonies I had photographed just days before. Though one is rooted in earth and the other in water, one undulates with sea currents and the other on spring breezes, they share an astonishing sensual beauty.
all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante
Just when we thought Spring would never arrive in Chicago, it dropped in for a surprise visit yesterday afternoon. The Chicago Botanic Garden, one of our favorite places to explore during any season, is bursting with buds and flowers right now. I took these photos on a path winding through the Japanese Garden just as the sky shifted from overcast to this glorious blue.
Life lesson: When a man who has sailed trans-Atlantic several times subtly suggests that you reschedule your deep sea fishing trip due to weather conditions, you should probably listen.
“There are 5 to 7 foot waves out there, and 25 knot winds…sounds a little pukey,” said my father.
“We’ll be fine! Hannah and I never get sea sick!” I replied with a smile.
So the three of us set out for our afternoon adventure on the Atlantic. Hannah told the guides she wanted to catch something big and something for dinner. We succeeded on both counts, though felt admittedly “a little off” for about half the trip. (My father, of course, was completely fine.)
As you can see in the photo above, our “something big” turned out to be really big – we caught a brown shark. What a thrill!
Our “something for dinner” was this beautiful little Wahoo.
Our pelican greeting committee, below:
Hannah filled their hungry beaks with our leftover bait fish. It was pure comedy.
Tell me he does not remind you of Billy Idol.
We devoured the wahoo (one of the best tasting fish we’ve ever had), then fell into bed exhausted with the boat’s rocking motion still lingering in our minds.
A huge thank you to our guides Tripp and Eric for giving us everything we asked for and making it so fun.
all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante
I am desperately craving everything spring. Crocuses. Tulips. Daffodils. Longer days. Cool breezes. Light layers. Skin-warming sunshine. Open windows. Digging in the dirt. Green. I want green.
Is anyone else sick to death of wearing heavy knits and of boots as the only option for your feet? Sadly, it is going to be awhile before we can pack them away here on the Third Coast (the Weather Channel is pushing a winter weather advisory as I type), but there are ways to bring elements of spring into our lives and wardrobes now.
A high impact/low cost must is to grab a bunch of spring flowers from the market. I bought the above bouquet at Trader Joe’s for a mere six dollars. The fragrance was amazing and they lasted for an entire week!
The next easy way to get a spring fix is to inject color into your wardrobe. Almost every shade of colored denim (above pair available here) looks fabulous with grey, black, or winter white, so wear your spring hued jeans with a chunky neutral sweater (don’t you think the above outfit is crying for an oversized grey cardigan?) and throw on a pair of ankle boots. Done. I’d add a messy updo and a thick chain link bracelet but that’s just me.
Bold black and white was a heavy hitter on the Spring 2013 runways. This body skimming number (here) is a great transitional piece. Wear it now with tights, booties and a jacket, then bare your arms and legs as the mercury rises.
This soft and flowy iris print blouse (available here) will look perfect peeking out from under a blazer and paired with rolled up boyfriend jeans.
I was thrilled to see ultra-feminine lace return as a spring trend. This dress (available here) would look chic with a loose blazer or a hip length jacket now.
Spring stripes and pastel button downs are a breath of fresh air for men and women. This cotton cashmere sweater (available here) will transition beautifully through the next three seasons.
I’m crazy over this silk tie with its pale pink back ground and graphic chain-link print (available here). Justify it as an Easter Sunday splurge and wear it all spring and summer.
Let’s ignore the fact that the above model looks like an extra from Less Than Zero and focus on the fabulous floral prints from the Prabal Gurung for Target collection. Run, don’t walk – it’s flying off the shelves (see the entire lookbook here). If you’re on the fence about investing in florals, this ultra-reasonable line would be a good place to start.
J. Crew’s spring collaboration with Liberty of London showcases the latter company’s famous floral prints on everything from the above collared shirt to shoes, pajamas, swimsuits and pocket mirrors.
A spring inspired pedicure will make you smile every time you glimpse your toes. Mint green polish (above available here) is on every beauty editor’s hit list for spring, but I say choose whatever cotton candy color makes you happiest.
My daughter has this light purple on her fingers right now and I am a little jealous. Must copy.
Uniqlo is finally available online, and this ultralight down jacket (available in several colors here) is a steal at $69.90.
Leather is another huge trend this spring, and this muted metallic cap-sleeved top from Skaist Taylor (available here), while definitely not a steal, would be a fabulous layering piece now and an absolute stand out when the weather breaks. It truly makes me weak in the knees.
So from now until sunshine coaxes the first crocuses through the snow, I will plan my gardens (finally getting to the landscaping this year), watch spring training games on mlb.tv (the Cubs, of course) and shop like it’s already here. You?
I am ready to close the proverbial door on 2012. Anyone with me? It has been a year of great highs and lows both personally and globally, but glass half-full kind of girl that I am, I prefer to reflect on the moments worth celebrating.
One of the highlights of my year was launching this tiny little blog in January. Talk about a learning curve! Starting with the retelling of a crazy adventure that was too good to keep to myself, I dove head first into the blogosphere intending to share my, well, my love of life I suppose. I leave the year much more tech savvy than I entered it and with a clearer sense of where I want the blog to go. The new format (which I hope you have noticed today!) is part of that focus, and I look forward to bringing you more original images and content that take advantage of this clean, wide, streamlined layout.
Beautiful and unexpected weather visited Chicago in March, bringing runners and revelers to Lake Michigan months early.
A visit to The Museum of Science and Industry on the last Saturday in April taught our family a lesson about Perseverance.
In May I counted celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom as one of my greatest blessings.
I also leaked her closely guarded carrot cake recipe.
Ah, June. My first triathlon was a great high and horrible low all at once, and because of that I walked away with tremendous gratitude. And exhaustion. Thank goodness my little sister sharpied our favorite expression on my arm before the race because I almost sank and think it may have saved me!
A trip to Kiawah Island in July brought us close to creatures big and small. Witnessing the journey from shell to sea for a group of loggerhead turtles is something I will never forget.
September brought autumn’s arrival.
And October, a trip to the apple orchard in Wisconsin.
And my 40th. Yes I’m fussing with my candles.
Fashion blogger and photographer Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist came to Chicago for a book signing in November.
All images via the aesthete and the dilettante