Christmas in Chicago

The Fab Five and I have become pretty accustomed to exploring Chicago when we’re in the area in May for Combo Breaker. Once I knew we were going to be staying at Pheasant Run in December, I planned a special Christmas-themed trip into the city, because I really wanted to show the children all of my favorite things about Christmas in the city.

We started at the Museum of Science and Industry, to see the Christmas Around the World exhibit (free for us, using the reciprocity that comes with our St. Louis Science Center membership!). The grand tree was quite a sight!

Speaking of big trees, we also stopped by Millennium Park to see the City of Chicago tree, a 60-foot Norway spruce, and the ice skating rink:

We are used to walking “mile after magnificent mile” in May. When the weather is nice. And my ankle isn’t broken. Imagine if you will, the seven of us parading down the streets of downtown, with me on my knee scooter, and all of us in our winter jackets, dodging raindrops, and occasionally getting caught in sudden downpours. It was definitely a different experience! But we still managed to see one of our favorites…the Art Institute lions, this time bedecked for Christmas!

There was one good thing about the rain…even before it started to get dark, we were able to see all the bright lights of the city:

The biggest thing I wanted to show the children was Chicago’s Christkindlmarket. Unfortunately, that was also the part of our trip downtown that involved the most rain. We still explored a bit, and had a bite to eat, but it wasn’t quite the experience I was hoping for.

The good news was that Marshall Field’s of Blessed Memory (Macy’s, whatever), was just a few blocks away, so we headed there to warm up and dry off…and see the decorations (plus buy Frango mints). I was disappointed to learn that you apparently can no longer view the Walnut Room and its glorious Christmas tree from above on the eighth floor, but we still enjoyed seeing the Tiffany ceiling. Once the rain stopped, we walked around the building to explore the windows and see the iconic horns:

One last look at the lights of the city before it was time to head back to the hotel:

I love Chicago, and Christmas is an extra special time to visit. I’m so glad I finally got to share all of this with the Fab Five!

Marshall Field and Company Building

Another one of my favorite buildings in Chicago is the Marshall Field and Company building, which is now home to Macy’s:




While the clocks outside the building are the first thing you notice, for once, my interest lies with the interior of the building, one of the largest stores in the world. We rode the escalators all the way up to the eighth floor…the children couldn’t believe that there are department stores that big! We saw the beautiful Tiffany mosaic ceiling, the famous Walnut Room, and even a Frango shop (yes, I bought a box of mints)!

We looked out the windows in the furniture department, and admired the view, including  a very cool rooftop garden across the street:


We also took a look in the windows, which always look great (although never as good as they do at Christmastime, in my opinion!):


I really enjoyed being able to show the children this store, and ride the escalators all the way to the top with them like Ryan and I used to when we were in college!

One Jacket, Two Ways–Skirt vs. Jeans

Time for another fashion report. This time, I’m focusing on my favorite Calvin Klein jacket that I bought last year at Macy’s. It’s the most beautiful shade of purple, and it’s a moto jacket, which is new for me. Here I paired it with a solid top and patterned skirt, and then with a patterned top and jeans.

I love wearing it with everything. Dressed up with skirts, dressed down with jeans…it doesn’t matter. I also love adding another pop of color to the outfit, and since the jacket is such a beautiful shade, it doesn’t get drowned out by the accessories. It’s one of my favorite pieces of clothing!

One Outfit, Two Ways–The Striped Skirt, Part Three

Here’s the last look I built around my recent clearance find at Macy’s, a striped, A-line, Calvin Klein skirt. This time, I added a basic black cami, and a beautiful purple faux-leather moto jacket (also Calvin Klein), that I got last year. I can’t decide if I like the more subtle accessories that let the jacket be the highlight of the outfit better, or if I like the extra color the pink gives…either way, I love this look!

Tomorrow I’ll have a totally new look that will fit a “Tutu Tuesday” theme!

One Outfit, Two Ways–The Striped Skirt, Part Two

Here’s the second outfit I built around the Calvin Klein striped skirt I got at Macy’s. This time, I went with black and white on top, too, and let my accessories be the only pop of color. Again, it’s amazing what just changing out accessories can do for a look!

Tomorrow I’ll have one more look for this skirt…stay tuned!

One Outfit, Two Ways–The Striped Skirt, Part One

You may have noticed that I’m trying to post more about fashion. I really do think that I dress well, but I’m usually hesitant to post pictures of myself because, to be honest, I don’t think I have a pretty face. Since I do dress well, however, I’ve decided to get over myself and share some outfit ideas.

This is the first of a three-part series that focuses on a striped, Calvin Klein, A-line skirt I recently purchased from Macy’s. I’ve found many different ways to wear it, starting with today’s outfit, where I paired it with a bright blue twinset.

You can see how switching the accessories out has changed the look of the outfit, even the clothes are the same in both pictures. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing another outfit featuring this skirt, and with another two sets of accessories. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration here to try out this fall!

Another Christmas Tradition

I fulfilled another Christmas tradition this week. Every year at Christmastime, I go to Macy’s and buy a box of Frango mints.



This is a nod to my growing up in suburban Chicago. Frango mints were a Marshall Field’s specialty, and when Macy’s purchased that company, they became the only place to buy them. No matter how much the children beg, though, I only buy them at Christmas. Having to wait all year to eat them makes them even more special!

The Hat

For years, I’ve wanted a hat. Not a baseball cap, not a winter hat, not a sun hat, a real, honest-to-goodness, lady’s hat, suitable for wearing to church and other places. I got pretty close at Easter with a fun fascinator, but it wasn’t quite the same. I always figured that when I did find a hat, it would be a lovely, springy, Easter hat, though.

Until last weekend, that is.

We were out Saturday, gallivanting¬†about (thank you Ryan! for giving me a chance to¬†gallivant), and stopped in at Macy’s so I could look at clothes. And then I saw it. The hat. It was just sitting there, waiting for me.

I tried it on, and fell in love. To be honest, I was somewhat dubious about ever actually finding a hat, much as I wanted one, because I’ve tried a lot of hats on, and for the most part, they looked ridiculous. But this one was just…me. As a matter of fact, someone at church Sunday (because I had to wear it immediately), said that the hat was very me.

I love it. The colors are perfect. The bow and feathers are fun and funky and make it interesting. The shape is perfect for my face and personal style. I love wearing it. I feel old-fashioned and trendy at the same time. Now I just need to find an outfit worthy of it, because the black skirt/white twinset combo just didn’t do it justice!