Mini Penny Blog

#FBF // Highschool Was How Long Ago?

Posted on: Friday, May 22, 2015

I was spacing out and thinking about who-knows-what the other day when I realized that this year is my ten-year high school reunion. What the hey? And so then I thought it might be fun to resurrect the old #FBF post for some embarrassing photos of my high school experience. But there's one problem.

I don't really have many.

So when I was a teenager, I had bad acne and I was kind of chubby and as most 15-18 year olds, I was self conscious about it. I hardly have any photos of myself from around that time, especially when I was at my heaviest! In retrospect it really sucks. But also, I was still shooting film cameras until around 2004, so overall my amount of photos is drastically less.

Isn't it strange how much has changed in ten years? Like, when I was in high school, working in social media wasn't even a career because MySpace had barely even become a thing yet. I had a blog in high school and I'm sure it was the sort of whiney-complainy read that you may find on my Twitter feed. Hah! But all jokes aside... click through for the few embarrassing photos I have of my high school experience.

Silver Screen Style // Mad Max: Fury Road

Posted on: Thursday, May 21, 2015

I never thought I'd be putting together a Silver Screen Style post for an action movie. But this weekend I saw Mad Max: Fury Road, and it is probably one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I went in expecting to enjoy it from a special-effects-exploding-stuff sort of way, but came out of it totally amazed. I really had no idea what to expect as the plot before hand and was blown away while watching the storyline of heavy feminism undertones unfold before me. I highly recommend checking it out!

As for the, err, fashion (or anti-fashion?), the story is set in a post-apocolyptic world. There are no wardrobe changes, everyone is dirty, and everyone is blowing things up. Regardless, the costume design is very detailed. The contrast between Furiosa and the 'Wives' was great!

Corset Belt, Miu Miu // Perfect Fit V Neck Tee, J Crew // Harness Boot 12R, Frye // Wyatt Carpenter Pant, Free People

Alice x UO Bibi Midi Dress, Urban Outfitters // Sundaes and Sprinkles Midi Dress, Free People // Flounce Gauze Dress, Forever 21

Did you see this movie? What did you think?

What I Wore // International Fluevog Day

Posted on: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How many times can I say that I love shoes? 'Cause... I love shoes. I was stoked to be asked to host International Fluevog Day at the Chicago location. I've been drooling over metallic oxfords for a long time and look at these. Oh my goodness.

The greatest thing in that taking on this event, I learned so much about the Fluevog brand. I had no idea that all of their shoes are handmade — and I certainly had no knowledge of their long and interesting history. These gold Mariellas I'm wearing were crafted in Peru with Argentinian leathers and Brazilian metallic leather accents. How badass is that? I know these shoes are going to last me a long time and they're extremely comfortable.

So International Fluevog Day happens every year on May 15th. My favorite tidbit is that it's actually John Fluevog's birthday. They have a big sale every year that intense Fluevog fans (respectively called Fluevogians!) wait for. There was a great turn out in Chicago yesterday. We had a live DJ and cupcakes and I kept finding these fun little tin robots all over the store that I couldn't help but make friends with.

Aside from the company itself being cool, I found out some history of the building that houses the Chicago Fluevog location. It used to be an old single-screen movie theatre! It has fantastic fleur de lis tile floors and weird accents all over the place. The location has recently started undergoing new interior design changes and I can't wait to see what they do with the place!

And of course I couldn't leave without another pair of shoes. Check out these Simons! I swear I'm sort of obsessed now. I think the next ones on my list are definitely the Dorothy boot. I tried them on and almost couldn't leave without them!

Big thanks to Fluevog for having me! I can't wait until next year's Fluevog day!

Cape blouse, Nasty Gal [similar]
Crushed Velvet leggings, Forever 21 [similar]
Mariella oxfords in gold, c/o Fluevog

Outside photos taken by Larz. All other photos by me.

May Shop My Closet Sale

Posted on: Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It's that time again! The Shop My Closet sale! If you see something you want, send me an email with your PayPal address plus the item(s) you want and I'll shoot you the invoice. US Shipping is included with all of the prices — let me know if you're international and we'll figure out the shipping fee.

As items sell, this post will be updated to reflect which items are no longer available. If it's here, it's for sale! Click through for the full listing and hurry — things go fast!

Beehive In Bloom 2015

Posted on: Monday, May 18, 2015

Last year I had the opportunity to attend the Beehive in Bloom vintage fashion show as a spectator. This year, I was honored to not only be invited as a stylist, but as a model as well.

Last month I went into Beehive Chicago, a great coop here in the city, to pick out a spring-themed ensemble. There were so many amazing choices! It took me a couple hours of searching and trying on all of the wonderful pieces to find the right item. And trust me, when I put it on, I knew it was the one! I had shot some photos of my original run of try-ons, but it seems as though I've misplaced them. D'oh! Just imagine lots of sequins and wonderful leather goodies.

Fast forward to this past weekend when it was time for the show. On Saturday, I showed up early to get in for hair and makeup. They were a little backed up, so I took the opportunity to walk the long runway. It was leaps and bounds bigger than last year! And there were stairs. Oh dear. I was a little worried I might slip and fall on those. Not to spoil the story, but I thankfully did not.

Finally, I got through makeup and hair. The ladies gave me a great look. My hair was curled into an up do — something I didn't even think was possible with my current length. She curled my short undercut (it's been getting much longer than I realized) and pinned the rest onto my crown. It turned out fantastic! The eyes were my favorite part of the makeup — pinks and corals with really dramatic lashes!

We practiced the runway a few times and finally it was time for the show to start. We all lined up, walked, and none of us fell down. Success!

Afterwards we got to mingle with lots of folks, shop vintage, drink mimosas, and eat snacks. Overall, it was a really fantastic way to spend the Saturday. Here are some of my favorite looks from the show.

Aaron Carter of FrisqueBuisness. Jacket, Skirt, boots: Leah Onomatopoeia. 1970s Emilio Pucci shirt: Kaleidoscope Vintage + Ephemera. // Alex. 50s Shirt, 60s Coat, 50s hat: Field. // Gigi. 70s top and palazzo pants: Leah Onomatopoeia.

Meredith. 70s ensemble: Leah Onomatopoeia. // Kayla 60s floral two piece, purse, topper: Kaleidoscope Vintage + Ephemera, Shoes: Leah Onomatopoeia.

Leilani from Thriftaholic. 70s dress: Imaginary Girl Jewelry & Vintage, 40s hat: Kaleidoscope Vintage + Ephemera. Bag and necklace: Poly Golightly Vintage // Nykia. Gown: Take 2 Vintage, Brooch: Poly Golightly Vintage. // Natalie. 50s dress, bag, jewelry: Imaginary Girl Jewelry & Vintage.

Nancy. Two piece outfit, bracelet, clutch, gold platform sandals: Imaginary Girl Jewelry & Vintage. // Amela. Styled by Kaleidoscope Vintage + Ephemera. // Jordan. Maxi skirt, tank, necklaces: Leah Onomatopoeia.

And of course, my look! A Peach 70's jumpsuit and necklace from Leah Onomatopoeia. The metallic silver clutch bag, 80's black patent belt, and 80's black bow cuff bracelet are all available from Imaginary Girl Jewelry & Vintage. Shoes are from my own collection. And look how awesome my hair is! I love it.

Thanks to everyone at Beehive Chicago, all of the wonderful stylists and photographers. I can't wait until next year!

Runway photos by Cassie Scott Photography.
Makeup prep and outfit photos by Justin Benzel.
Photos Hair and portrait by Thriftaholic.

In My World

Posted on: Friday, May 15, 2015

Going to this Free People x Polaroid event was like a little time warp. I arrived, walked through the store, and headed to the event space in the back lot. There was a band set up and food and lots of well-dressed ladies. In short, it reminded me so much of my days working for Urban Outfitters and traveling to our SXSW Showcases. It was all of the fun with none of the responsibility! Hah! And at the end of the day, I do normally prefer Free People's aesthetic over Urban's, so it was very welcoming. Plus, check out these pillows!

Free People held the event with Polaroid. They're releasing a new digital-printing "instant" camera and they were playing with it at the event. I'm a huge fan of the Polaroid brand (along with the FujiFilm Instant Cameras), but I'm not convinced with these new Polaroid Socialmatic Cameras. Since they're digital prints, I think they totally lose the charm of the old cameras. Have you all seen these? They're interesting but not groundbreaking. Impossible Project forever!

Besides all that tech hype, I got to see my friend Larz again! I didn't even know she was back in town until I noticed her shooting with FP on her Instagram. She's always such an exciting and positive and energetic person — I love running into her!

I finally wore these white shoes! Thanks so much to Free People for such a fun event with great food, drinks, and music!

Speaking of shoes, don't forget that I'm hosting International Fluevog Day in Wicker Park today! Come by from 5-7pm and hang out with us!

Thea Pale Pink High Low Tee, c/o Blue Vanilla
White Second Skin Denim, Cheap Monday [similar]
Barstow Boots, Jeffrey Campbell
Necklaces, Etsy + c/o Miriam Designs

Photos by Larz.

Silver Screen Style // Legally Blonde

Posted on: Thursday, May 14, 2015

This movie came out when I was in middle school. Granted, at the time I think I passed it off as another one of those teen movies that was surely awful (also, the Photoshop job of Reese Witherspoon on the original movie poster is a travesty!). Lots of time passed before I actually watched it and — hey! — it's actually a pretty great movie.

Now, I don't really shop for pink. I have a few dusty pink items. I think Reese looks really fabulous in hot pink and it's one of the few times I can really get behind this look! Plus, how could you not love seeing Elle tell Warner to GTFO?

Oasis Plunge Neck Dress, ASOS // Studded Kiss Lipstick, Kat Von D // Maya Suede Platform, Kat Maconie // Pom Dot Com Drop Earrings, Nasty Gal

Iridescent Silk Trouser, Karla Spetic // Pink Plunge Bikini Top and Wedding Two Part Wedge Sandals, Topshop // Unreal Fur De-Fur Coat in Dusty Pink, ASOS

Selma Satchel, Michael Kors // How High Pump, Nasty Gal //  Bright Pink Leather-Look A Line Skirt, River Island // Pixi Nail Color in Sweet Strawberry, Target // Melanie Top, Nasty Gal

Legally Blonde is now on Netflix! Go relive 2001 fashion, hah!

Review // Pixi Box

Posted on: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The lovely folks over at Pixi by Petra sent me a little lovely little box with a few products for me to try out and review. And, dang, they must know me well — eyeliners and a brow palette? Right up my alley!

I've been pretty familiar with Pixi products since I first started my Birchbox subscription back in 2010 or 2011. I had gotten one of their eyeshadow sticks and loved it. Since, I always love trying out the products they have at my local Target — namely nail polishes. Hey! Classic Jess!

These are the four items I was sent to try out.

On the left is the swatch of the Endless Silky Eye Intensify Duo (oh my, long name) in the Brown Eye Intensify. The liner is a deep matte cocoa and the highlighter is a glowing golden beige. On the right is the Blue Eye Intensify. The liner is cool slate the the highlighter is an opal-beige. On my nails is the Sweet Strawberry nail polish.

For the polish, I must say that I really love it. I rarely wear reds, but this has a slightly orange color to it that works wonderfully as a stand-alone color. The coverage and finish is fantastic and it dries relatively quickly. I accented the nails with some gold studs.

Here I am wearing the Brown Intensify eyeliner and using the Brow Powder Palette. For the brows, I used the brown that is the next-to-darkest shade. It applies nice and smoothly and is just pigmented enough to not look overdone. I lined the brows with my concealer and highlighted my brow bone with the lightest shade. The Brow palette is night and stays put. I think it's a little harder to work with a powder palette versus my go-to Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Pomade, but is a great alternative for days when I really like wearing lighter makeup.

As for the eyeliner, it stays put. I used a nude eyeshadow and my ELF eyeshadow primer, then lined the inner part of my eye with the highlighter. Using the dark brown, I lined the edges and blended them out with a smudge stick. Finally, I finished off the look with Milani liquid eye liner.

This is the Blue Eye Intensify liner. I love the cool slate liner. I think it's such a great alternative to my normal black liquid liner. The opal tone doesn't show up well on my skin and in photos, but I think the cool slate makes up for it. I lined with the dark tone and then used a small brush to pull the color out into a cat eye. I cleaned up the edges with some concealer and am ready to go!

Overall, I love the liners. My one major issue with them, though, is the very small quantity of product you get. They don't twist up or sharpen, so one you get through the small nub, that's it. That fact makes the $15 price point really steep in my opinion — especially if this is a look you're planning to do every day. You'd have to buy a new pencil every week! Bogus. Edit: I was wrong on this one! The folks over at Pixi emailed me to let me know that you can sharpen them! Just throw them in the freezer for a little bit to harden them and sharpen them just like you would a pencil. Wha-la!


Have you tried Pixi by Petra products? Which is your favorite?

Disclosure: Products were a gift from Pixi by Petra. I was not compensated for the post and all opinions are mine.

Reasons to Love Mondays

Posted on: Monday, May 11, 2015

Can a person be an advocate for something as silly as loving Mondays? If so, I am. The beginning of the week is so exciting for me. On Mondays I get to plan and layout the upcoming calendar. I find organizing to be very therapeutic — especially now that I have blog responsibility and job responsibilities.

There are plenty of reasons for everyone to love Mondays. Mondays mean fresh starts. It's a new chapter. If you're a weekend warrior, Mondays can mean a few days of relaxing. Snuggle up, cook good food, and watch a movie. Ride your bicycle to the office if you have the privilege to do so — it's a great way to stay healthy and green. We can enjoy Mancrush Mondays. I even look forward to Instagram announcing their selections for their Weekend Hashtag projects. New episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Veep and Silicon Valley hit HBOGo on Mondays. The stores are less crowded, so I find that Mondays are the best days to hit the grocery, the laundromat, the thrift stores, and the boutiques.

And of course, storytelling.


On Mondays you can catch up with everywhere — what did your friends and coworkers do this weekend? Maybe they went somewhere new or tried a new restaurant. There might be that one person in your office who has the key info to the best patios in your city. That means that you could have one new place to try the coming weekend!

This past weekend was a little different for me. On Saturday I walked in a vintage fashion show (!!!) and met a lot of new ladies. Isn't that a great feeling? I love meeting new people. I can't wait to share images of the fashion show with you all in a few days.

And speaking of meeting new people, on Friday I was flattered (well, beyond) to be selected as an Instagram Suggested User. Many of my inspiring friends who are great photographers have been featured and I'm so blown away to be a part of that list. Over the course of a few days, I've gained thousands of followers – both daunting and exciting! I hope to live up to the honor!

Isn't it weird that a little iPhone app that sort of changed my life? I was one of the early adopters for Instagram, downloading it just three days after its release. My Instagram presence existed before this blog and was certainly a catalyst for Mini Penny. So I owe Instagram a big thanks!


With that being said, how did y'all spend yours? Next week we start the Farmer's Market in my neighborhood, so my Sunday will be filled with fresh veggies and fruits and flowers and familiar faces. I also have my International Fluevog Day event this Friday — hope all of you Chicago friends can make it!

Join Me For International Fluevog Day!

Posted on: Thursday, May 7, 2015

I love how much the calendar fills up come spring and summer time. I'm pretty pumped to be hosting an event at Fluevog Chicago to celebrate International Fluevog Day!

Join me Friday May, 15th for treats and music and shopping at 1539 North Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. I'll be there from 5-7pm, but all day you can enjoy 15% off all regular price items at every John Fluevog store in the world! Refreshments will be provided by Sweet Cakes Bakery.

I hope to see you there!

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