Category Archives: Shopping

Topshop comes to the Windy City… My Anticipation

Are you counting down Chicago???? This September the city of Chicago will get the second stateside Topshop store!!! I am so excited, as if H&M and Zara weren’t already super exciting. This will totally round out my summer shopping options. I already browsed the US site to see what’s out and created a nice “set” (new and old items) on Polyvore of the types of items I will be looking for! SecondCityStyle posted images from the preview. I can’t wait!

Topshop Wishlist

Yellow dress
$95 –

TopShop bodycon dress
$95 –

TopShop striped dress
$78 –

TopShop sequin dress
$200 –

TopShop cropped jacket
$100 –

TopShop cropped blazer
$116 –

TopShop pink romper
$75 –

Mini skirt
$80 –

$20 –

TopShop mary jane pumps
$135 –

TopShop red pumps
$110 –

TopShop leather high heels
$124 –

TopShop purple heels
$92 –

TopShop leather shoulder bag
$190 –

Random Post – New Bracelet

Just thought I’d brag about my new bracelet made from bolts! Picked it up at Muse in Oak Park for only $24!

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Current Obsession… Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

I’m searching for a new bedroom set and recently got distracted by a set at Crate and Barrel in Oak Brook. The bed alone breaks my “ideal” budget, but the Del Re furniture collection has been on my mind since the day we met.

The collection is made from “solid, renewable bamboo” (so its kinda good for green-ies). The 2-tone finish features a “rich coffee satin finish” with an “espresso satin finish” for the trim.

While the price isn’t right (the nightstand alone costs more than my entire current bedroom set), the look is ALL ME.

Guess I’ll add it to my “Wish List”…. The search continues….

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Friends with Skills

So my friend Michelle is starting up her own jewelry business in Minnesota and I’m so proud of her! Being the fashionista that I self-proclaim to be, she sent me a pair of her handmade earring to test run. I don’t think I’ve worn another pair in the last month. These earrings are great to dress up or down and they are so lightweight I can barely feel them! She did an awesome job and I can’t wait to share her website with all of you when she finally decides to sell them!!

IMG00007-20101117-2349IMG00008-20101117-2350BLOG COPY IMG_1901 B

As for the item of the day and my newest current obsession, big ups to my girl Maya for putting me up on the Tieks by Gavrieli foldable flats. (See image below from the Tieks by Gavrieli website)

Shop our BouTiek

These handmade flats are butter soft and feel like slippers (read more here), but will last WAY longer than the $10 not-so-foldable flats I used to get from Target and run into the ground after 3 months. I got a pair in black, but I honestly would take a closet full of every color they sell!! Here are some pics of my new “buddies”…

The beautiful packaging:


The pouch for folded flats (shown in the box, next to my iPod Touch for size and inside my purse… you can’t even tell it’s there!!):


The flats – folded….


…and then on my feet (sorry if they are a little ashy – its cold and my feet are bare, LOL!)


As an added “just in case” bonus, they come with this cute foldable tote to put your heels in!


Go grab a pair – I promise you won’t regret it!

Christmas Wish List 2010

Yes people, its that time again… all the things I want but won’t get this Christmas. You know the drill and if not, you can check years 2006 and 2008. So here goes….

For this years Work Holiday Party, it would be great to show up in something as un-engineer-like as possible… you know, really cater to my inner fashionista. The Sunbird silk-gazar dress by ROKSANDA ILINCIC is something I would never get up the courage to buy, but can easily imagine myself walking into a crowded room draped in it. The fluorescent yellow is very unexpected. I love it.

ROKSANDA ILINCIC sunbird dress

For the vacationing girls’ night out, we usually tend to relive our college days through our attire, and this Jenny stretch-cotton mini dress dress by Preen Line is the perfect balance of the “young me” and the classy grown up me. My girls would love it.

preen line jenny cotton

This year I because a fan of TOUS jewelry, especially the teddy bears pendants. While I like many of the options available, I definitely have to include the black diamond Bubble Bear pendant on my wish list!

tous bubble bear black

After my canopy zip-line experience in Mexico, I’m ready to take it a step further and hit the rainforest in Coast Rica. The Rincon de La Vieja Adventure  is right up my alley… of course, that includes getting to Costa Rica, which is a minor major obstacle.

rincon-de-la-vieja-adventure-costa-rica 1 rincon-de-la-vieja-adventure-costa-rica 2

rio saverge

In one of the recent episodes of Giuliana and Bill (one of my fav reality couples) Bill went to Martin Katz to buy Giuliana a nice band… it was gorgeous and inspired me to check out the website. Turns out they have a huge collection of stackable diamond microbands. I’d love a few of these in various colors…. and maybe a couple in the black diamond to match my TOUS bubble bear!

martin katz micro bands

My current HP laptop is holding out very well, but like any gadget geek, I am always ready to upgrade. The new HP ENVY 15 laptop is right up my alley! The HP store only shows the 14 inch (too small) and the 17 inch (a little on the heavy side) so I’m not even sure if the 15” is still an option… but for the right features (i.e. Beats by Dr Dre limited edition 14” or the 3D enhanced 17″) I’d be willing to settle in either direction.

 hp envy 15

For years I’ve said I would love to take cooking classes. Ideally I’d like to take a few months worth of classes in Italy, Spain and/or Mexico!!!!! But until then, the good ol Chicago Metro Area will work just fine. Rest assured, I will still keep my eye open for the specials that occasionally pop up on…. and hopefully I’ll no longer be scared of turkeys (see pic below from Thanksgiving 2008). The Chopping Block

Flav’our Cooking School

Chez Madelaine

Cooking Fools


For about 5 years now I have been obsessed with this gold Roberto Cavalli snake watch. It has seemingly NEVER gone on sale (yes, I check a few times each year) but someday I may have to just go for it. I can already picture it on my wrist….

roberto cavalli snake watch

…and while we’re talking watches, the new Movado Bold watches are a great fun take on the classic style! I love the black and white styles equally!

movado bold chrono watchmovado bold blackmovado bold white

While in Nassau recently, I caught a glimpse of the “Mad Summer” yacht, docked near the cruise ships. I don’t really need a yacht of my own, but I’d love a year, or even a week, on this one – with my family along, of course! See it in all its glory here:


Saving the best wish for last…

…my greatest wish would be the health and safety of all of my loved ones as we go into 2011!


A break from real life…

This fall I had the chance, TWICE, to get away from the work world for a few days and enjoy some sun, water, warm weather and good food! I will spare you to hundreds of photos and share a few that stand out from each trip. Up first – My stepmom planned a girls’ trip to Nassau… The islands were not ready, heck, neither was I?? See below for my photo headings and pictures… 

Dinner on Night #1 was at Twin Brothers (recommended by a LOT of the locals we talked to) included conch salad (being prepared in the center photo below) along with cracked lobster (MY FAV), cracked shrimp, rice and peas, and plantains.


We found a bar that was having a Karaoke night so my cousin and I did a world class performance of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”.


Me hanging out with the captain of the Booze Cruise… The girls were lining up to take pictures with this guy… and  will say, he was pretty HOT!


Our booze cruise advertised a portion of the day spent on a” “secluded island”… which was actually a small, deserted, dangerous, rocky piece of land. One of the highlights was the starfish in the pic…. I was so fascinated by it. The semi-shelter in the second pic became a prop for a few folks who decided it was a great place for some drunken, not-so-sexy photo shoots… pure comedy!


We stayed at the world class Atlantis resort…. In the center of the pic on the left you can see an archway which contains the “Bridge Suite” also referred to as the “Michael Jackson Suite”. All yours for somewhere between $25,000-$34,000 per night (4 night minimum). We would have stayed there but it wasn’t available the week we were there Winking smile


We had a great time!!!

For the item of the day, I saw this BCBG RUNWAY GEOMETRIC WRAP DRESS in Macy’s the other day. Its not on sale in the store (Orig. $348), but it is discounted at ($208.80). Its absolutely BEAUTIFUL and the flowy silk is extremely soft!!! I love the belt shown in the runway pic below, although it is sold separately.


Daydreaming of Ball Gowns…

So I have a gala coming up soon and as much as I’d like to buy a new dress, after returning from a week long vacation I’m going to have to zip up my Botkier handbag and visit my trust old closet… Stay tuned. There is no telling what I might find in there!

But before I go, I’ll share a few of my “ideal gowns” for this weekend’s gala… Too bad BCBG doesn’t rent their gowns, because these price tags are UP THERE!  😦

This black BCBG tulle gown would look awesome on my “fresh off a Mexican vacation” tanned body!

bcbg tulle gownbcbg tulle gown back

This tulle one-shoulder gown is fun and gives a bit of a romantic, ballerina feel… cute!

bcbg tulle one shoulderbcbg tulle one shoulder 2

I don’t think I’m daring enough to wear this but it would definitely stand out, which is a REALLY good thing…

bcbg strapless organza gownbcbg strapless organza gown 2

And if I really wanted to take over the room and sparkle (literally)… this would be a no brain! The beautiful sequin gown by Rachel Gilbert, available at, is the best way to capture every eye and every ray of light in the room!

rachel gilbert sequin gownrachel gilbert sequin gown 2

I LOVE my Coach "Gillian" Sandals

So after a year with a pair in a nice beige color called “Sand”, I didn’t think twice to purchase a pair at more than half off in black. I absolutely love these and the leather is so soft! Here’s a pic from my latest trip to the laundromat…

I purchased from for the first time and the experience was good! Shipping was fast and I found a coupon on

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Great Boutique – She Bang

Found this awesome, super-soft Mini Convertible Hobo purse by 49 Miles at SheBang in Bucktown/Wicker Park (Chicago)… Love the green color!!! Adding it to my summer wish list!

I managed to snag this adorable 5 strand crystal headband by Deepa Gurnani along with a pair of delicate silver flower stud earrings.

This boutique definitely makes my Top 10 List for Chicago!!

“Designer Dossier”

I ran across an article in Marie Claire titled “designer dossier” which talked about the Spanish designer Rosa Tous. One of the items featured is the Tous Bubble Bear – a carefully crafted teddy bear that is amazingly designed in such a small size. I absolutely love this pendant! It brings out the child inside without hiding the sophisticated fashionista that exists today. I’ll take one in every metal/stone!

tous bubble bear

$1.069.00 – 18kt white gold  TOUS Bubble Bear pendant with diamonds. Total carat weight 0,33qt.  Size: 0,04”

tous bubble bear black

$905.00 – 18kt white gold  Tous Bubble Bear pendant with black diamonds. Total carat weight 0,34qt. Size: 0,04″

tous bubble bear silver

$69.00 – Sterling silver Tous Bubble Bear pendant with sterling silver choker 17 11/16″. Size: 0,04″.

As a bonus… this ring is awesome! I may have to add this to the collection soon 🙂

glacee ring