Monday, December 31, 2012

Oh-Twelve. My Grades.

2012. What a friggin' year. I have been reading new resolutions and hopes that 2013 is better than 2012 because 2012 sucked in social feeds all morning. I have to say, for me, 2012 was crazy, amazing, trying, unexpected, and just a friggin' roller coaster but in no way did it suck. 

At the beginning of 2012 I wrote some goals for myself and so now, on the last day of oh-twelve as I watch CNN to see if I have to go into the office on Wednesdays this year, here are my grades on my goals.

1. Become a more consistent runner. 
GRADE: C. I have an amazing route when I run, but I have found out that I prefer playing soccer and sports more than just running. That being said, I became a more consistent soccer player this year and since soccer = running, does that count? 

2. Straighten hair more & dress up more. 

SCORE: B-.  After doing the Keratin treatment I thought I would straighten my hair more. It happened for a short bit, but then I realized that I really like the natural curl of my hair. People would give for some texture in their hair. I have a ton of it and I am embracing it. In terms of dressing up more, I did alright. 

3. Watch less TV. 

SCORE: D-. The only reason I don't give myself an F is because I was able to turn off the TV when studying this past month. Other than that, the TV is usually on in my house. Improvement on this goal is still needed. 

4. Read more. 

SCORE:  D. I read a few books but not nearly as many as I had hoped for. Unfortunately with one, maybe two bars in 2013, I don't see this grade changing. 

5. Cuss less. 

SCORE: F. I still cuss a ton. At least I don't do it front of counsel. I do cuss in front of co-workers though... most of them think it's hilarious. Or at least that's what they tell me to my face. 

6. See my faves at least once a month. 

SCORE: D+. Moving across the country put a damper on this goal. I have not seen my faves nearly as much as I wanted or envisioned when I made this goal. Additionally, some of the people I thought of when I made this goal have changed. I have managed to stay in contact with those I love, but I haven't been able to see them. 

7. Never give up but play it smart. 

SCORE: B+. I know this is a vague goal, but to me it meant keeping the faith, but not when it was smart to cut your losses. I have definitely done that with most things in my life. Thankfully I did not have many situations where I had to cut things from my life, but there were a few. I zigged when most people zagged, and through it I kept the faith, followed my heart. In the end, I believe I did the right thing. I never gave up, and I played it smart. 

8. Get a job I love. 

SCORE: A. Never in a million years would I imagine that I would love my job this much! There was a learning curve and a bullying co-worker but I got through both of those. The co-worker is gone and while I continue to learn something new every day, I have learned so much about my job that I now feel more confident in my performance. I have some of the best co-workers and a boss that truly is a mentor and has my back. I don't know how I got so lucky.  

9. Get a new car. 

SCORE: A+. I beat my own goal. I got a whole mass transportation as a replacement for my car. Mass transportation trumps car.  

10. Get my own apartment. 

SCORE: A. I love my apartment. I am still working on some things in it so the full tour of it will probably come next spring, but you can't beat the rent and the location. 

Those that read this and know me know that 2012 brought a ton of changes - some expected, most unexpected. 

I graduated law school - expected, got a job - both expected/hopeful and unexpected, moved to the Midwest - unexpected, by myself - unexpected, didn't take the California bar yet - unexpected, signed up and started studying for the Illinois bar - unexpected, sold my car - expected, didn't buy a replacement car - unexpected, had people step up - unexpected, had some fall away - unexpected. 

Needless to say, never in a million years did I expect to be writing this post from where I am right now. But I am so grateful that I am. 

So, in the end, I have to say...

“I was always fascinated by people who are considered completely normal, because I find them the weirdest of all." - J. Depp

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmahanakwanzika!

So today I spent Christmas by myself thanks to surgery two weeks ago (so today was the first day I was eligible to fly) and bar prep starting tomorrow (goodbye life until March)... It was harder than I thought it was going to be. If there is ever a day to spend with your family, Christmas is it (or whatever winter holiday your religion celebrates).

But Chicago blessed me with my first white day, and boy was the timing perfect! We had a white Christmas :)

So I took a little walk to enjoy the beautiful calmness that occurs on a day when all businesses shut down... Walk with me.

The view from one of my front windows with the Santa that Madre decorated with while I was recovering two weeks ago...

View from my front door. Notice, no foot prints on my front porch. All of my neighbors are gone for the holidays. The building is all mine!

The closest side street... So peaceful.

Wrigley covered in white.

The lake through Belmont Harbour Park.

Chicago skyline behind the Harbour. If you look closely you can see the John Hancock Building.

Panorama of the Harbour. My favorite place to walk...

I know I missed my loves today... I hope that you and yours had a peaceful and joyus day!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Things That Will Change Your Life: TJ's Tartar Sauce.

There are products that you try that just change your life. Okay, that may be a bit bold. But I promise, it is not too far off in the case of some products...

I was never a tartar sauce snob until I met...

I am a HUGE seafood fan and this is my go-to when tartar is called for. At first I was hesitant to use it because I am a wimp on the spicy scale. However, it is not too spicy. Pretty mild/medium. 

The sad thing is that only some Trader Joe's (TJs for short in my household) carry the product. They will all carry tartar sauce but not this version... The only complaint I have about TJ's is that their offerings change in different markets. Really friggin' annoying. 

That being said, this is not available in any of the Chicago stores I have been to. It was available in all of the Southern California stores I have shopped at. (This jewel was brought to me by Madre and Papito when they came last week.)

Pair it with: TJ's Crab cakes or Whole Foods' Salmon Burgers, and TJ's 3-minute organic brown rice. Super healthy, yummy, and easy...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's Been A While...

But here is a great giveaway!

I love Jules' product and I love all things monogram... My jewelry and coffee cup collection prove it :)

@shopjules @chicagobognet #CBNGIVES2012

Friday, December 21, 2012


I am not the one to literally laugh out loud at things. I smile a lot and I try to make people laugh but I am a tough crowd when it comes to getting me to crack up.

More importantly, I despise when people write "LOL" in any format.

But this website just KILLED me. I am not sure if it was beers or my tired state. Either way, this shit is classic...

25 Funniest Autocorrects of 2012

So click on the link above and start your holiday weekend right... Hell, odds are you are probably stuck in the airport anyways.

Here's to hoping you enjoy a few adult beverages this holiday weekend and drunk text your loved ones!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Now Is The Time For Change.

We can all sit here and talk about the cause, or the root of the problem. OR... We could start to take action and try to change things.

I think we can all agree that something has to change.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One Week!

I just realized that I posted about surgery yesterday but never told you guys (all 3 of you who may check this blog) what I had surgery for...

One week ago (on the 11th), I had surgery to repair a deviated septum. Truth. It was a deviated septum repair only - no cosmetic stuff performed. (I know a lot of people have deviated septums and come out with a perfect nose - mine is still as large as it was before.)

Want proof that I deviated my septum?

I am the third from the left. See how red the bridge of my nose is? It is not from consuming the large amounts of alcohol in front of me. That did occur later in the night, but was not the cause. (Barristers Ball as 3Ls = vass amounts of adult beverages with good law school friends.)

Earlier in the day, I had played in two soccer games. In the second game, an opposing player decided that my face was the best place to shoot in order to score.

She did not score.

My nose stopped the ball. Good defense on my nose's part. Bad news for any hopes of intaking oxygen through my right nostril.

Madre and Papito (mom and dad for all non-Spanish speakers) made the trek last week from warm SD to cold Chicago to take care of me and did an excellent job. I was working from home two days post-op, and now, one week later, I am able to sleep through the night without pain meds.

I am not 100%, but I am getting there. Looking forward to no more sinus infections and more oxygen...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Music Monday: Christmas Style.

This is going to be my first Christmas on my own, in a new city. (The first day I am eligible to fly post-surgery is Christmas and I have to be back in Chicago the next day for the first day of bar prep... Boo.)

That being said, I am not in a particularly Christmasy mood...

But I will always love this song.

It reminds me of Christmas time spent at best friend Missy's house when we were younger. We would listen to the entire album on repeat.

All I can say is Mariah can sing. She is a trip... but the girl can sing.

Merry one-week-to-Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday = Football.

I am so bummed that I did not get to witness this on my Football Sunday.

Better late than never, right?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Name Is Lauren And I Love Sports.

Tom Boy. Guys' Girl. Whatever you want to call it. I love sports and I am not ashamed of that.

I scream at the TV. In fact, my office learned to leave me alone and ignore the screams from my office during an important USA event at the Olypmics this past summer.

I know all of the NFL referee signals...

No, that is not a new dance. They are (i) Holding; (ii) Illegal Contact; and (iii) Loss of Down.

And my Sundays consist of constantly refreshing my phone to check my fantasy football team, while flipping between many games on my NFL Sunday ticket or scanning the TV screens at Goose Island Brewery (right around the corner).

And when my Chargers (or any of my other teams) lose, I look something like this...

But I also get the most satisfaction from playing sports. I believe that playing team sports as a child instilled many important values in me and taught me vital lessons about teamwork. I feel stronger when I play sports. I am smarter when I am regularly playing sports. I am happier when I am regularly playing sports.

Right now I am unable to play for a month because of a sports injury (par for the course). But these women just made my night and continue to inspire me... As of right now, they are leading China 3-1.


What inspires you? What makes you stronger? Happier?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wishful Wednesday.

Just a few things I wish were in my closet from Swell's most recent catalog...

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

If you agree, you can find more of my coveted items on my Pinterest board...

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

If I Was An Agent.

And back to my regularly snarky self...

If I was an entertainment lawyer, casting agent, or acting agent in LA I would signing this kid ASAP. He totally sells this...

Gets me every time. And since this ad mainly runs during football commercials that means I am guaranteed to laugh every Thursday and many times every Sunday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Politics. It's A Dirty Word.

I know that my usual posts are snarky and shallow.

This isn't going to be the usual post.

On November 7th everyone (well most everyone, save the few that started petitions for their states to secede from the nation) breathed a sigh of relief. Our televisions, news feeds, and social feeds could return to normal. I know I was relieved that I hopefully wouldn't have to "unfriend" anyone else because of their attacks on an opposing view.*

However, we are heading towards another divisive political iceberg. The fiscal cliff. If you don't know what I am talking about, please stop right now and google it. It is too important not too.

Everyone seems to have their two cents about how to solve it. Some believe that we should go over it, some believe that we should make every effort to avoid it. The opinions as to how to ultimately solve it are as diverse as can be.

What we often forget to think about though is how this will affect more than ourselves. We are often quite short-cited when it comes to fiscal matters. This view comes into play on all levels - local, national, and international. Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF and one of the many women I admire, has finally weighed in on the subject.

She spoke of the possible effects of going over the cliff in terms of what it would mean to us as a nation, and what it would mean to international markets on Sunday's CNN show "State of the Union."

The main points from this interview are that the effect would be monumental - at all levels.

Nationally: The tax rate hike would effect everyone receiving a paycheck. It would cause all legit employees to take home less, and ultimately throw our country back into a recession. The cuts to federal spending would cause federal employers and government contractors to shed jobs and cut hours.

Internationally: The markets would lose faith in all things U.S. Why would international investors throw their money into U.S. companies if they were shedding jobs or if the fiscal environment was unpredictable?

Yes, a short term solution is possible. But Lagarde calls for a more comprehensive approach or the uncertainty will cause U.S. growth to be zero, or worse. And how does Lagarde propose that we get to this comprehensive solution? Are you ready...


“The truth of the matter is that the best way out of this would be a balanced solution,” she said. “The best way to go forward is to have a balanced approach that takes into account both increasing the revenue, which means, you know, either raising tax or creating new sources of revenue, and cutting spending as well.”

Crazy, huh? Revolutionary. If we compromise, we might find a solution.

I knew I loved her for a reason...

*Yes, I know I could have blocked such people. However, I have chosen to unfriend those that attack or belittle others because they believe something different. I believe that I get to choose who I want in my life, and that I don't need that in my life. I choose to respect others and will not tolerate those that are disrespectful. In saying that, I respect if you disagree.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Lil Different.

Yes, I am fully aware my style - with clothes, interior design, my career, my life - is a lil different.

When my boss was picking the design of our new office there was a Benjamin Moore paint wheel in his office. We conversed about what color he was leaning towards and what the look of the office would be. A post-it was marking a color that I had just chosen for my bedroom. I wondered if he had picked the same color and I was so excited that I may get the same color in my office - turned out, I was not even close. Our office ended up being warm colors. I am not a fan of warm colors. I am a cool colors kinda girl.

Anyways, the point of my rambling was that we then went over the colors I had just chosen for my house and I informed him that I had just chosen a dark blueish-grey for an accent wall. After informing him what an accent wall was and showing him the color, he called me goth.

I had never been called goth before. But after pondering the thought, I figured I am kinda goth.

My style can be best described as an eclectic mix of modern, clean lines with vintage, random pieces. The color base is always black and white, with the walls generally lighter and the furniture generally being black.

However, I was just cleaning my apartment when I saw the below set-up...

Who else has a picture of their family next to flowers, next to an architect's lamp, next to a black human skull, all above books from Virgil, Warren Buffet and other books about styling your home and American law and jurisprudence? Only this girl, that's who.

Okay... My style is a lil different. But I love it!

p.s. The ugly brown curtains is the background are going to go away. Those are not my style.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Best Take.

And the award for best take on Jessica Simpson already being preggers with #2 goes to...

*If her last pregnancy is any indication this baby will be born in 2015, maybe 2014 if we are lucky.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

All Things Anthro.

I do not know a girl alive that does not love Anthropologie. I love 99% of their products - clothing, housewares, lingerie. I want it all. However, I don't always want to pay full price for their products. So I cruise the sale racks at their Southport and Loop quite often (aka weekly as both are only a few blocks from home or work).

This past weekend I checked their website to see what kind of Black Friday - Cyber Monday goodness they would be offering and I scored a few items I had been eyeing for a while:

I purchased these knobs for the IKEA dresser I am going to be painting black:

Burnt Horn Knob, $2.22 each w/ discount ($8.00 originally).

And my parents helped me order this rug for my Christmas present. It's perfect for my dining room that I turned into a closet.

Flokati Diamonds Rug, $299 w/ discount ($799 originally).

Those are some HUGE savings! I saved over $50 on the knobs and $500 on the rug. Winner!

And that was the extent of my Black Friday shopping... Sometimes I get more excited about home purchases than clothes or shoes purchases.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

P!nk = Bad Ass.

An amazing performance and yet another reason why I have been a fan since the Missundaztood days. Say what you want, the girl is a bad ass. Even CNN thinks so.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Translation: Kansas City Wedding.

Yeah, I know I am a little late on this outfit translation and it has self-shot in the mirror pics...

It's bad, but it's all I have. The only people I knew at the wedding were in the wedding party and they were occupied all day so I didn't have a chance to take better pics.

Disclaimers aside, I love this dress!!! I received tons of compliments on it, it was comfortable, and it is on trend. Yellow is in this fall and I am embracing it.

The dress is no longer available, unfortunately, but here are some alternatives if you share my fashion sense:

Tibi, Solid Silk Shift Dress in Gold ($277)

Victoria's Secret, Cut-Out Shift Dress in Sunspark Yellow ($49.50)

KAS New York, Fifi Shift Dress ($68 on sale at Neiman)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Music Monday: Nero.

Reasons these are my picks to share with you this week:

1. I am continuing my current obsession with 80s style music (the second video is full 80s flash back and even guest stars Daryl Hannah).
2. I saw a guy in the eL wearing the glasses from the first video - along with silver Docs, tight, studded jeans, a too tight white shirt, and an acid-washed jean jacket. It was stunning.
3. The look of the first video reminds me of Tron and I am obsessed with that movie.
4. Nero is one of my faves. Has been for the past year. Check out "Welcome To Reality." In fact, try listening to it next time you work out. I don't even know how many miles this album has helped me run.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

(Slow Clap)... You Finally Got It Right.

If you know anything about me, know that I LOVE my football. I watch it every Sunday with my phone and/or computer nearby to track my fantasy football team, and I often switch between all games that I have players in.

Now my team is the San Diego Chargers. We aren't playing so hot right now (don't even start me on the turn overs. Ugh.) so I am choosing to focus on the positive...

Undoubtedly the team with the best uniforms in the National Football League. (Yes, I may be a tomboy, but I still love fashion and can recognize a good uniform when I see one.)

At least we are #1 in something.

P.S. You will only get the title of this post if you watch the video.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Mother F&*^ing Quiche.

Jumping on this video's bandwagon. I love the logic so I am paying it forward...

And yes, I know the difference between Hummus and Baba Ganoush* so I expect my man to know that as well.

*But I did have to Google the spelling of Baba Ganoush.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


This guy = Addicting.

One of the worst parts of my week is the feeling when an episode of Dexter is over. A. Whole. Friggin'. Week. That's how long I have until I am satisfied again.

I don't even want to think what it will feel like when season 8 is over. I anticipate it will be something similar to when SATC ended... Yes. I just compared Sex & The City to Dexter.

I can only hope Dexter goes the way of SATC. A movie or two, a prequel series, and countless syndications?!?!

Hey, a girl can dream.


Guess what this house used to be?

Any clue? It used to be a concrete factory in Barcelona. It is still in Barcelona, but now it is an amazing house. Architect Ricardo Bofill bought it in 1973 and performed one of the ultimate flips.

The house maintains some of the concrete equipment and juxtaposes hard industrial with natural materials. Two design elements things that I love.

Inspires me to just buy a historic "shell" and make it my own. When it comes time to buy of course... Which will be around 2050. Law school loans people.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That.

Catchy little tune... Ain't that the truth?

p.s. I believe that I was born to be friends with Sweet Brown. Especially after watching Tosh.0 redeem her. Besties.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Child Of The 80s.

I am a child of the 80s. Not the sorority take on the 80s....

But the actual 80s.

Born in '82. My older brothers listened to 80s hair bands and early rap. That being said, I love me some 80s and the new music that is coming out that feels like it is from the 80s (i.e. includes awesome synthesizers).

Example A: Chad Valley... Awesome shit.

Example B: Lemonade... Even more awesome shit.

Example C: Silver Swans... Awesome shit from San Fran.

Anyone else appreciate the revival?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Best Thing About 11.06.12.

Best thing to come out of this way too divisive day...

A conversation between females on both side of the political divide coming together to compare the elections to the NFL. No male comments and references to replacement refs included.

America... there is hope.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


It’s all about the dash. I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone, from the beginning…to the end. …He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth. And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own, the cars…the house…the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. So, think about this long and hard. Are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged. If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real and always try to understand the way other people feel. And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash… would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent YOUR dash?
-Linda Ellis

I have a family friend (my mother's friend's daughter) who is younger than me. She just got married and had a baby. She was also recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is losing her battle. Every time I think about it... I just can't. This can't be happening to her, her new family. She is the quintessential girl next door - adorable, seems to do everything right, wholesome. How does this happen to someone so good? So young? I just don't get it. 

I am not close with her. In fact I haven't seen her since we were little. But that doesn't change the fact that this shouldn't be happening. I don't have to be close with her to see this. 

People - Love your dash. Live your dash. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

KC Wedding Inspiration.

I will be spending part of this long weekend in Kansas City, MO for one of college roomies' wedding (Congrats Jess and Luke!). I was wondering what I would wear until I received an email this morning... 40% off one full-price item at Banana Republic. Score.

I looked with the thought that I need some more work items. However, that objective fell by the wayside when I came across this beautiful yellow dress.

After visiting three BR stores on Michigan Avenue, I finally found it! (Yes, there are 3 BR stores within 3 blocks of Michigan Avenue. Ridiculous store planning Gap Brands - move one of those suckers to the Loop, where your target market works. I know I can't be the only girl that shops on her work lunch break...)

Here is what I have put together so far:

Kansas City Wedding Inspiration
Kansas City Wedding Inspiration by hargrove

Banana Republic yellow dress / Le Silla black pumps / Foldover clutch

Only thing is that I am missing a black statement necklace. If only I would have received this email earlier I would have ordered one of Jill from Classy With A Kick's lace necklaces. How perfect would the below necklace have been in black?

Better late than never... For only $20, I just ordered mine in black and the yellow above. Double score.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Am I the only person in this world that snacks on grape tomatoes and ranch in a bowl?

What can I say? I'm a California girl at heart and put ranch on EVERYTHING!

Every true Californian loves ranch. Every one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Polka Dot.

Printed jeans are everywhere. The lace print, the leopard print, etc. I am not a huge fan. However, one print has definitely stood out from the rest and has me reconsidering my negative view of printed jeans - the polka dot.

Abercrombie & Fitch jeans

From top to bottom: Paige Denim - Polka Dot Verdugo Skinny Jeans, $190 (via shopbop); [blanknyc] - Printed Skinny Jeans, $110 (via Madewell); AG - Stevie Polka Dot Ankle, $99.95 (via Anthropologie); A&F - Super Skinny Ankle Jeans, $39 on sale! (via Abercrombie & Fitch)

I mean how friggin' cute are these? I might just have to test drive the A&F pair before spending on a trend I was initially against. I haven't purchased anything from A&F since college (without quantifying - that was a long time ago!), so this should be interesting. I will let you know how it goes...