Kate Spade Collaborations to Love

What’s the one thing that Target time and time again excels at? Not counting guaranteeing that you walk out with waaaay more than you came in for, and a lot less money. Facewash, a Vitamin Water and tampons  turns into needing a basket and leaving with three bags. But no, Target continually excels at their collaborations. That’s their thing niche now, and you know what, whoever held up their hand in that original brainstorm had better have been promoted. Because people go friggin’ ga-ga over collaborations.

Collabs are the new thing. I realize that they’ve been happening for awhile, but now it’s bigger, better, who can team up with who to form the ultimate brand product. Everyone is collaborating, in a valiant attempt to bring loyal customer bases across the aisles. I’ll admit, sometimes they reel me in, other times they don’t. But that’s not to say that I don’t love ’em as much as the next girl. Collaborations are something to get excited over. So when I saw that Kate Spade Saturday has not one, but TWO new collaborations, I did a little happy dance.

 

kate spade x new balance

First up, Kate Spade Saturday and New Balance! The two big brands have teamed up to make cross-trainers look goooood. The five (it seems like I can only purchase four of the styles on either brands website right now though) different patterns come in two existing women’s styles; the earlier WX711 and the more recent January release, WX811. They’re all in keeping with Saturday’s playful, colorful, patterned charm, while still managing to emblazon the New Balance signature N, on the side. Each pair will sell for $95, which I would consider a relatively reasonable price for a pair of well-made training shoes that look like these beauties! Bring it on Nike! Ok jk, I love Nike too! Ps, the images below were found on Saturday.com and NewBalance.com, and you can shop the shoes either place.

Kate Spade x New Balance Stripes Kate Spade x New Balance GreyKate Spade x New Balance Yellow

Kate Spade x New Balance Black

kate spade x west elm

Oh hellllllo! Kate Spade Saturday is also expanding their colorful and geometric style to homewares and I for one couldn’t be happier! Now you can enjoy Saturday everyday of the week when you shop West Elm. From rugs and bedding to furniture and accessories, you’re likely to find something that screams from your computer screen, BUY ME! Admit it, a few pops of color is just what everyone needs right now, especially if you’re in Chicago, it’s brown slush citttty! Shop the entire collection here. And if you’re like me and into winning stuff, you can enter to win $2,000 from Kate Spade and West Elm right hurrrr. And hey, telling you about this contest is basically lowering my chances of winning, so you’re welcome!


Kate Spade x West Elm

Kate Spade x West Elm

 

Now you may be wondering to yourself, didn’t this girl just tell me that Kate Spade Saturday was closing its doors? I did, but I wasn’t entirely correct on that front. Turns out, they’re only closing their brick and mortar locations, so Kate Spade Saturday will live solely online now. Which is fine with me since we never even had a Chicago location to begin with!

What’re some of your favorite past brand collaborations? Are you excited about either of these ones? If so, what do you have you eye on? Let me know in the comments below!

L

5 Tips for Apartment Hunting in Chicago

Here I am. I’m alive! I know I’ve been totally MIA this month, but it’s been a crazy past few weeks. I’m not sure how some of the daily bloggers do it, especially mom bloggers! So my hats off to you, hopefully one of these days sometime next century I’ll be able to pull it off, but life just gets in my way! Ok so here’s an update, over the weekend, Max and I signed a lease on a new apartment in the West Loop. We’re both really excited to start the next part of our adventure together in a new neighborhood. The place we found couldn’t be more perfect, granted it took a bit of rockiness to really lock it in, but everything fell into place, despite my assumptions that it would. So pat on the back for that one, got it done!

The only major downfall about the place, which honestly isn’t even a downfall, is that we don’t move in until Oct 1 and our current leases end the 31st of this month. Which, you guessed it, creates a whole “homeless” situation for both of us. Silver lining here is we get a month off of paying rent which is nice, non-silver lining, staying at the parents and training it to work for a month. Woooof. We’ll make it work though, at least it’s September and won’t be crummy weather yet?

But the reason for the blog silence was basically every day this month, I’d get home and just post up on all the rental sites on the interwebs to make sure I was on top of anything that was posted that day. Renting in Chicago is a bitch. And you gotta be real savvy in order to beat the system. So today I want to share a few of my tips with you since this will be my 4th rental since moving down here in 2007.

5 Tips for Chicago Apartment Hunting

 

1. Keep a close eye on ALL the rental sites.  This includes DOMU, Lovely, PadMapper, HotPads, Zillow and everyone’s favorite, Craigslist. The first one is Chicago-based only, the rest I imagine work as equally efficiently in other cities. I think the first five allow you to set up alerts for your specific criteria and neighborhoods and get emails or mobile alerts (if you download the apps) right when a new listing is added. This is key! They’re all pretty good and work a bit differently in terms of search criteria, so be sure to check all of them out.

2. Pictures aren’t everything. For awhile I always set my search to include pictures because I assumed if there weren’t pictures, it was trash. This, as it turns out, is not the case. I let down my guard on one particular search and came across what sounded like the greatest deal ever, but had no pictures. I reached out anyway and when we ended up seeing the place, it turned out to be everything we wanted and more! Good thing we’re moving in in October! But I will say for some listings, be weary of the pictures. If they’re very blurry or grainy, or have a watermark, there’s a good chance the pictures you’re looking at are NOT of the advertised unit.

3. Speed is everything This may not be the case for everyone, but of the last three places I’ve lived, the reason that I’ve been able to secure them is because I acted fast. You’ve got to respond as fast as you can. And make sure that you make it clear that you’re interested up front. A line I like to use is “I was wondering if your unit was still available and if so,  could we could set up a showing ASAP, I know the good ones go fast!” This let’s them know you’re serious about seeing it, and they definitely take that into consideration.

4. Have your shit together This is key. Make sure you’ve got everything together for what you’ll need to give the landlords. Everyone may want something different, but always make sure you’ve got your checkbook with you when you see a place so that if you love it and the landlord loves you, you can put money down on the spot and secure it. Also, make sure you know your credit score, you can check it at CreditKarma or Quizzle.com for free. Also, when you’re talking to them, whether it be phone, email or text, make sure you continually ask if there is anything else you can do to help yourself, they like people with a serious interest.

5. Ask Questions This is probably the most important one on the list. Make sure you ask all the questions that you could possibly have a question about, because a place may LOOK great, but underneath it’s not as hot as you’d like. Ask about what utilities are included and what your utility bills will generally look like. Check the water pressure. Ask about security and if you’re not familiar with the neighborhood, ask about the overall safety. Ask about neighbors. Ask about parking. Ask about pets, even if you don’t have one, maybe there’s a noisy dog next door.  Just ask everything you can think of!

Do you have any tips for finding rental properties? Share them with me below! Hope this helps if you’re in the market for moving, luckily I wont be dealing with this craziness again for at least two more years! Hooray!

L

Gallery Wall Inspo

I’ve been in my new apartment since September and really haven’t done much in terms of decorating. But over the past few months I’ve really been itching to prettyify this place. I’m actually really lucky because I have a ton of closet space in this lil ol’ one bedroom. But this also means that there isn’t a ton of wall space, especially with a big bay window and a fire place. But ther IS one big empty space right above my TV. And I’m pretty sure it’s calling for me to create a gallery wall around it. And I’m pretty sure it’s right. 

So I’ve decided that this will be my new project. I’m doing it. I’ve already got a couple pieces that I know I want to use like a big canvas of the Chicago skyline that I took while Max and I were sailing on the lake two summers ago. I also have a couple smaller ones that I created myself with cute quotes. I ordered these adorable guys from Etsy a few weeks ago that I think will fit just perfectly. Because you who doesn’t love zoo animals eating noodles? No one, that’s who. I think I’m going to spend a weekend thrifting (which I’ve actually never done – two birds, huh?) looking for unique frames, then once I have those I can figure out what exactly will go in them. Is it so wrong to used the framed and signed photo of Oprah that my ex-roomie left behind two years ago? The answer to that, is yes, yes it is. Which means, Katie, you can have your picture back, I’m sure Ms. Winfrey is just dying to get up on a wall in the nursery and watch over the sweet baby that will be here soon. #creepy

I’ve found some great inspiration that I thought would be worth sharing. I really love the ones that aren’t just photographs. I think it just makes for more of a conversation piece.  If you have any tips or suggestions on creating a gallery wall, please let me know in the comments. 

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