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Hi Friends!

So I just realized I never told you about my trip to Chicago for my baby sister’s birthday! I’m holding off on another 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge recap because I have a special dinner guest tonight– well, make that 2 special dinner guests– and I want to show you the meal I prepared for that. So you’ll have to wait until tonight or tomorrow for that. In the meantime, let’s talk about the fun I had with my sisters (minus one)!

As I mentioned, it was our baby sister, Gracie’s, birthday so we had to celebrate in style ūüėČ We¬†bought a bunch of pink decorations and a delicious chocolate cake from Bake N Cakes in Lansing. <—UM, SO GOOD. We wanted to surprise Grace so as soon as we pulled into Chicago, we raced upstairs to drop off our bags and decorate CJ’s place. Luckily, she was a really good sport about it ūüôā

Did I mention we stayed with our friend CJ who has a great apartment right on Michigan Ave? Such great views and very accessible to SHOPPING! Thanks CJ!

Even the lobby was beautiful!

Being in a big city like Chicago made me SOOOO excited for our move to DC!

We dropped off our car at my cousin’s house in Wilmette and took the train to meet up with my sis and her best friend at Loyola. It was my first time seeing her dorm room and the campus since she started school. So cute! It did make me a little sad to think of my baby sister all grown up though ;(. I know, I know I’m a sentimental mushpie (<–word?) but I was¬†really glad to see she’s adjusting well. The city definitely suits her!

We got a quick late dinner as both CJ (my sister, not to be¬†confused with the other CJ with whom we stayed during this trip… stick with me…) and I hadn’t eaten in hours. Two fully tummies (and bellyaches) later we headed back downtown to CJ’s place. We¬†called it an early night because we were all exhausted and wanted to get up bright and early¬†the next day for a full day of shopping and checking out the¬†city! We couldn’t go to bed without some cake¬†though…

The next morning we were up bright and early to hit the stores.¬†Here’s a¬†peek at the spoils of my shopping excursion.

OBSESSED with this blazer. I bought it from the Urban (Outfitters) Surplus store. It’s from their¬†Urban Renewal line. It was already marked¬†down to $9.99– I repeat, $9.99

I noticed a tear in the¬†seam and¬†one of the front buttons was missing so after talking with the manager at the¬†register I scored this for $4.98. Probably one of the best deals I’ve ever gotten on an item!¬†After $10 of tailoring to fix the seam and sew the button back on, it’s good as new! $15 for this blazer altogether, seriously.

I’ll add a side note here…. I LOVE clothes. Like, love love¬†them. I was an apparel¬†design major in college for a bit before realizing the fashion industry wasn’t for me and that¬†I’m¬†more of a fashion hobbiest than professional. BUT I hate buying anything full price. To me,¬†the most exciting part about shopping and fashion is finding the hidden gems, the¬†dirt cheap vintage items, and the diamond in the rough cast-offs that have been over-looked, and making them your own. I really¬†dig that. I have a whole post planned with some new spring looks I’ve put¬†together with some¬†new (to me) items¬†I’ve purchased recently and some items I already have in my closet so stay tuned for that!

Moving along… This little gem was $5 from Belmont Army surplus.¬†I’m thinking this with lots of summer sundresses and black + white + coral/mint/metallic ensembles. Or navy.¬†Yes please!

I also scooped up this adorable vintage apron for $6 at¬†Ragstock. Brace yourselves for another digression… So my oldest little sister, Meg, got me a vintage apron which I absolutely adore for Christmas last year.¬†I love it so much that decided I was going to¬†start collecting vintage aprons!¬†There are so many great ones out there.¬†So this is my newest¬†addition to the collection!¬†(Mind you it is also my second¬†vintage apron, but hey it’s a work in progress here.)

My last purchase¬†of the day was another amazing steal. I’ve been looking for a nice size envelop purse in a high quality fabric– something with a little color that would go with a lot and that could also be used as a neutral. Well, I’m happy¬†to say, my prayers were answered. This gorgeous suede bag was¬†over 50% off and I got it for about $30 from Topshop. It’s beautifully made, has a strap and is large enough to be functional,¬†and has just a little bit of a girly frill. I’m in love.

I also bought one other sweater from Urban which much to my dismay ended up getting snagged in my suitcase on the way home ūüė¶ Oh well. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I’m wearing the shirt in the pic of us at dinner below. SO after all that shopping and a great Mediterranean lunch we were once again starving! We headed out for a pizza dinner with the girls. So good! After that we headed out on the town for a little bit and I got to meet a bunch of my little sister’s friends. It was great to see that she’s found a solid group to hang out with. They were all so nice! Makes this slightly over protective big sis happy. ūüôā

Love my sisters (-one)! Missed you lots Meg!

Have a great night!