Mini Penny Blog

July in Review

Posted on: Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I can't believe July is already coming to a close. It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting at the airport waiting for Lauren to arrive from Arizona! Either way, it was a pretty killer month, I met lots of new lovely people (and ditched some baggage along the way!), and had lots of fun projects.

Things I Discovered
  • Breaking Bad — I actually hated the first episode, but my Tumblr followers urged me to keep watching. Now it's one of those things that I can't get away from. I'm still catching up via Netflix and I'm glad I stuck with it.
  • Mac OS X Mountain Lion — I updated my MacBook Pro to the newest Apple OS and it's pretty sleek. There aren't a lot of big changes, but the Notifications bar is an awesome adaption from the iOS. And since my MBP is too old to do Airplay Mirroring on my AppleTV, I downloaded a little app called AirParrot to play my laptop screen on my television. So handy!
  • Zammuto — We play this band at work. I sorta love 'em.
  • Astrowifey — She did my statement nails at the CND Shellac event and I'm loving all of her awesome nail designs!

Favorite Posts
Best Friends Week
Warby Parker Jasper in Marine Slate
Recipe // Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Blue iPhone
Exciting Things in My Life
  • I found out my for-sure Philadelphia dates! August 21-23, I'll be in Philly visiting the Urban Outfitters campus. Amazing, right?
  • I took ample time to lay on the beach this month — Everywhere from Chicago to Indiana dunes (and I almost drowned, yikes!).
  • Lauren moved to Chicago!
  • I was reunited with a friend I went to summer camp with at the age of eleven. She sent me a message through Etsy, I recognized her name and asked her if she had gone to the same summer camp. Turns out, she had and we were able to meet back up for the Warby Parker Event! Small world :)

Beloved Weekly #14

Posted on: Monday, July 30, 2012


This article about Jim Henson and his Muppet friends before he landed Sesame Street. Look at that creepy Kermit! I can't believe I missed the Muppet exhibit at MSI a couple years ago — still kicking myself over that one.

Goodbye July Sale!


Now until the end of the month, you can get free shipping on all orders from the Mini Penny Shop. Use the discount code GOODBYEJULY at checkout.

Looks Like Rain

Posted on: Sunday, July 29, 2012

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This week has completely flown by. Luckily I have a three day weekend, but sheesh. I wandered down to the Wicker Park Fest yesterday and to my dismay, my friends had to cancel. There was a lot of people watching to be had, but I didn't want to sit in the sun, so I decided to shop around a little bit instead. See more images after the jump.

Weekstagram // July 28

Posted on: Saturday, July 28, 2012

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Another busy, busy week in the Windy City!
  • Worked on some DIY Shirt ideas for an upcoming event. Stay tuned!
  • Baked vegan chocolate chip cookies and enjoyed them with an iced Hail Mary at New Wave Coffee.
  • Rainy days call for the cutest cat umbrella.
  • Spent many hours queuing up posts for my busy weeks ahead.
  • And in my free time, relaxed with my laptop and some Seinfeld.
  • I met a couple of new cats — Tom and Bosco!
  • But Tom was really only interested in stealing my pizza.
  • Impromptu denim matching day with Matthew at work.
  • And a friend took me to a new (to me) pizza place — Dimo's. I got a slice of vegan nacho pizza (SO DELICIOUS) and a slice of [non-vegan] mac and cheese pizza. I can't even describe...!
Follow Mini Penny on Instagram @Chaplinnn.

Friday Finds // Washi and Paper Tapes

Posted on: Friday, July 27, 2012


Recently while I was at Target, I stumbled upon some colorful and fun tapes that were too cute to pass up. I've always been a fan of the washi tapes and I was pretty surprised to see them at a venue such as Target.

New Etsy Listings and Markdowns!

Posted on: Thursday, July 26, 2012


I have so many new items in the shop today! And a bonus? There are new markdowns as well. Check them out and get them before they're gone.

Silver Screen Style // Annie Hall


I'm a sucker for Woody Allen and am always struggling to decide which is my favorite film — Annie Hall or Manhattan? Annie Hall was the first Allen movie I watched that really sparked my interest in his writing — plus I have a soft spot for the ultra-relatable storyline. To this day I think Diane Keaton is one of the most beautiful and interesting ladies in Hollywood.



1. New Slack Swing Pants in Khaki (Modcloth) $38
2. The Hillside Polka Dot Tie (Madewell) $98
3. Brompton Waistcoat (AllSaints Spitalfields) £32
4. Knotted Band Wool Fedora (Forever 21) $12
5. Vintage Tennis Racket
6. Sheer Mesh Upper White Shirt (Romwe) $35
7. Liv in Burgunday Fade Sunglasses (Warby Parker) $95



1. London Blazer (NastyGal) $58
2. Blue Flannel Shirt (H&M) $25
3. Thatcher Glasses (Warby Parker) $95
4. Bing Court Cropped Trouser (Farfetch) $193
5. The Denial of Death Paperback (Amazon) $11



1. Silk Gingham Boyshirt (Madewell) $110
2. Shawl Collar Sleeveless Vest (Romwe) $36
3. Cooperative Two-Tone Brogue Skimmer (Urban Outfitters) $29
4. Lightweight Crinkle Scarf (Old Navy) $10
5. Lobster Pendant Necklace (NewLook) £2
6. 35mm Film Camera

Chicago // A Local Tourist's Guide

Posted on: Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I've been very open about my travels to and from Chicago over the past three or four years — and obviously my move here last autumn. I get so many emails and messages from readers asking me what they should do and check out while they're here. It's a bit overwhelming at times, because I want to recommend everything. I love my city. So, finally, I give you this: Mini Penny's favorite Chicago spots. If you have anything you'd like to add, feel free to pop it in the comments! Hopefully this will be a list that grows and changes over the years. Enjoy!

Check 'em out after the jump. (Updated Spring 2014)

Obsessed // Colorful Liquid Liners

Posted on: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Recently I've been falling deeper and deeper into the hole of colored liquid eye liners. For years I've been a huge fan of the Maybelline Lash Stilleto, but I've recently (and happily) have been branching out. Looking for a way to make your makeup pop? Check these shades out.

Image from Making Up the Midwest
I recently picked up (and coincidentally am curently wearing) Boots No. 7 Stay Perfect Liner in Sapphire. I get more compliments on this color than any other. It's under ten bucks and I kid you not — this stuff doesn't budge. I wear it primer free and by the end of the day, I still have to work at it to get it off. The tricky part is the application process. While the formula is very thick, it has a small brush for easy application. With the shape of my eyes, I have to wait patiently while it dries so that I don't get a crease at my corners. I highly recommend this if you're looking to get into colors (and I think it would look amazing on darker skin tones!). It was an easy find for me at Target!

Image from Temptalia
I have the Stila Sparkle Waterproof Eyeliner in Starry (which is a brownish grey color) and it has great staying power. It was part of the June Birchbox! I'd love to try out the Electric shade, which is amore of a sparkly teal. It comes in a wide array of colors and will set you back around $22. See more photos and swatches on the line over at Temptalia!

Image from Style By Cat
I am obsessed with this color! I saw a great winged red liner a couple months ago on Tumblr (I think that's what actually sparked my interest) and this pink by Urban Decay — 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Woodstock — is so close it hurts! Again, at $19, it won't break the bank and the reviews are very good. There are eleven different colors to choose from, including a nice gold that could really spice up your routine.

Image from Fashionising
Fashionising doesn't specify exactly which yellow liner they used for this face, but the most inciting product I've found is W7 Neon Lights in Neon Yellow. It's very affordable, but I'm unable to find any reviews or swatches. Are any of my readers familiar with this brand — or possibly even another bright yellow liquid liner?

Image from The Glamourous Gleam
I always seen this brand at CVS and have been hesitant to pick it up because I haven't been a fan of their nail polish consistency (except the glitters). After seeing these swatches however, I'm ready to swoop up the Milani Infinite Liquid Eyeliner in Forever. This bronze-gold color would be amazing for the end of summer and leading into fall! You can pick up any of these liners for under ten dollars at your local drugstore.

Image from Vampy Varnish
I got the purple Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner in my Birchbox and the quality is really fantastic. Since receiving this brand, I'm dying to try it in Olive and Turquoise!

Image from Jangsara
And lastly, a company that I'm not necessarily interested in promoting, but the reviews for their color liners are very good despite the fact that they are a bit shady and disrespectful (I'll leave it up to my readers to decide on your own how you feel about them!). Jangsara reviews and swatches all of the Lime Crime Eyeliner collection and they are honestly very beautiful. I still can't convince myself to buy from them again, but like I said — it's up to you to decide!

Are there any liquid liners that you absolutely love?

Recipe // Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted on: Monday, July 23, 2012


There was just something about tonight that had me dying for either chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes. Lauren got home from work and we started brainstorming — and our new friend Zac (who is vegan) chimed in that he had some ingredients to give us a hand. I altered my mom's recipe to make these vegan and they turned out so delicious! See the recipe after the jump.

The Blue iPhone


I'm sure some of you remember back in March when I mentioned I had broken my iPhone 4. I suffered through four months of a broken front and back panel (which I admittedly almost got used to!) before finally deciding to have my glass replaced last weekend.

Naturally, being a bit of an Apple nerd, I've always admired the Colorware custom phones and computers and have oogled at the DIY kits found on sites like iFixDirect. Heck, when I saw Little Cheif Honeybee's pink version, I fell in love.

So I opted to check out one of those little hole-in-the-wall "We fix your broken phone" type places. I was a bit skeptical at first, for obvious reason. After working for Apple for two years, I've heard some horror stories of third party repairs. The girl working said that it would either be $90 for the front screen, but if I had both sides replaced, it would be $120 and I could choose whichever color I'd like.

SOLD.


It turned out lovely and is getting lots of compliments. The only downside is that now I don't want to put a case on it, which means I'm most likely going to break it again. Who knows. Once a butterfinger, always a butterfinger!

What I Wore // Warby Parker Bocce Social

Posted on: Sunday, July 22, 2012

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Yesterday turned out to be a pretty nice day. The weather was humid, but not unbearable, and Lauren, Priya, and I headed to Wicker Park for the WP Bocce Social.

The event was interesting albiet slightly, well, uneventful. We got to try on some frames (and I found a few that I really wanted), but the actual wait to play bocce ball was around an hour. The one thing that turned me off was the fact that they had absolutely no vegetarian food option. I basically saved my appetite for the event and we ended up spending a good two hours on the Big Star patio to get food. But the beer was free and there were a lot of familiar faces, so I really can't complain.

Weekstagram // July 21

Posted on: Saturday, July 21, 2012

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This week has been pretty hectic and with temperatures still high in Chicago, we spent a lot of time indoors. Whew!
  • Finally got a chance to go see To Rome with Love late Sunday night. I'll follow Woody Allen to the edge of the earth, but admittedly didn't like this film whatsoever. Such a disappointment! :(
  • For whatever reason, I thought it appropriate to wear pants to work this week. Just... no.
  • I passed a huge teddy bear with a crushed Bud Light can on a motorcycle while walking to work. Lincoln Park will be Lincoln Park.
  • I got super organized and planned out blog posts for the next two months! I'm so excited!
  • I fell in love with the Eyeko Skinny Liquid liner.
  • Video chats with Kelley B and her Boston Terrier, Cassie, always make me smile. Love those two!
  • Kyle came over and made Dark 'n' Stormys for Lauren and me.
  • Have you had Rocket Sauce at The Wormhole? Do it.
  • Last night Gedi and I passed a building that was half-demolished — so naturally we climbed over all the bricks and found these two signs. It reminded me of all of my Urban Exploration days with Bob (of Idea Attic) and how badly I wish him and I could go on adventures again!
Follow Mini Penny on Instagram @Chaplinnn

Friday Finds // BloodMilk Jewelry

Posted on: Friday, July 20, 2012


In a recent conversation with Lauren, we were discussing our distaste for diamonds. Quite frankly, we're both anti-diamond and somehow got on the topic of engagement rings. Before you jump to conclusions, Lauren and I don't even have boyfriends, let alone fiances who have some sort of pressure to buy us rings that we dub worthy of our anti-bling fingers.

While I mentioned preferring simplistic engagement bands, Lauren went on to tell me about BloodMilk Jewelry. I don't see many of these as never-take-it-off type of rings that would be appropriate for engagements, but oh my goodness they are creepily and uniquely beautiful. Based in Philadelphia,


My favorite has to be the Bear Tooth Engagement Ring. The contrasting tones and black bear tooth cast are based of off Brother's Grimm #161. How awesome is that?


My second favorite is the Conjoined Twin Skull Ring. This piece is rather deep and explores not only the creator's interest in Cephalothoracopagus, but also the myth of the doppelgänger.


Looking to skip the rings? BloodMilk also makes other jewelry. This Ornate Arrow Necklace is absolutely killer. They also have necklaces featuring crow claws, bird skulls, and more.

Be sure to stop by BloodMilk's shop and equally enchanting blog.

Silver Screen Style // Moonrise Kingdom

Posted on: Thursday, July 19, 2012


It's time to welcome a new feature to Mini Penny Blog! Each Thursday I will be featuring a movie with some "steal their style" type product links! I wanted to go ahead and kick this off with a film I saw in theaters recently that I found intriguing both visually and conceptually. If you haven't had a chance to see Wes Anderson's newest film, Moonrise Kingdom, yet, I suggest you get to it!



1. Mod For Fun Dress (Modcloth) $90
2. Baby's breath or other small white flowers
3. Oryany Tivka Shoulder Bag (Piperlime) $158
4. Bass Starlette Saddle Shoe (Free People) $70
5. American Rag Rosebowl Short (Farfetch) $120
6. Vintage 60s Straw Suitcase (Rokit) £55
7. Herschel Supply Co Survey Backpack (Ubiq) $55
8. Faux Fur Coonskin Cap (Village Hat Shop) $10



1. Unisex Wool Peacoat in Valentine (American Apparel) $184
2. Analog 3-Pack Beanies (Swell) $24
3. Fair Isle Convertible Gloves (ASOS) $17
4. Begley Cedar Tortoise Frames (Warby Parker) $95
5. Sporto Dylan Duck Boots (Zappos) $55



1. Band Collar Single Breasted Cape (SheInside) $57
2. Zodiac Rising Shirt (General Pants) $70
3. Cropped Chino Trousers (Uniqlo) £10

Best Friends Week

Posted on: Wednesday, July 18, 2012



"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?" —Gordie, Stand By Me

Stand By Me was always a staple movie for me growing up (that and The Sandlot). I remember being younger and worrying that at age 12 I would hit my peak of friendships because of this quote — mostly because I thought that hitting my highest point of human relationships at such a young age would be a waste plus the fact that I was an awkward pre-teen who didn't necessarily fall in the "popular" crowd.

Fast forward thirteen years later and I realize how Stephen King's writing for the end of this story was total and complete (pardon my language) bullshit.

I've written in the past about my visits from Ms. Kelley B [1] [2] and Lauren [1] [2] (who now lives here!), and last week had the best late-night surprise text message: Kelley was going to pop visit us for a couple of days.

July Birchbox Review

Posted on: Monday, July 16, 2012


So after a year of not being subscribed to Birchbox, my first shipment came today. Part of me was anticipating improvement, while the other part of me was a bit wary considering how dissatisfied I was with my previous boxes.

In the end, I'd say I'm split on this box. I love the themed concept (they teamed up with Glamour) of the  give senses — but I'm still divided on my opinion of the products themselves.

Weekstagram // July 14

Posted on: Saturday, July 14, 2012

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I can't believe it's already Saturday again! These Chicago summers fly by. There really is no such thing as too many friends and too much fun!
  • I finally got to try Antique Taco in Wicker Park. I was really disappointed that they had so few vegetarian options, but the Corn off the Cobb Salad and Horchata milkshake were absolutely delightful. It doesn't hurt that the space was cozy and cute. They have really excellent branding in my opinion.
  • After about four months of owning a shattered iPhone, I spoiled myself and got both my front and back glass replaced. Instead of going for the classic black phone, I had it replaced with a really nice blueish-tealish color! Now I can finally use my front facing camera and flash (and see my screen properly!)
  • Did you take advantage of 7-11 day? Free Slurpees!
  • Nice hand-painted type on a metal box at the beach
  • This goofy and adorable pug hung out with me at work just before the start of my long weekend. I have no idea what his name was (he belonged to a customer), but I nicknamed him Smooshie.
  • Tuesday was beach day! 
  • We went to Wicker Park and watched ET: The Extra Terrestrial for Chicago's Movies in the Park series. Such a great night.
  • Returned to my favorite restaurant for the best sandwich on earth — a veggie cemita from Cemitas Puebla!
  • I was so excited to get a late-night phone call from my best pal, Kelley, earlier this week letting me know that she spontaneously bought a bus ticket to Chicago. She was here for just a couple nights and we had a great time hanging out. I have lots of pictures to share — but that's for a totally separate post!
Follow me on Instagram @Chaplinnn

Jouer Cosmetics at Public Hotel

The incredible view from breakfast at the top patio of PUBLIC Hotel
When I used to subscribe to Birchbox in mid-2011, I found very few products that I was excited about. One of the products I received in my September box — Jouer Lip Enhancer — stood out to me as a keeper. This past Thursday I was privileged enough to enjoy breakfast (and an incredible view of the city) with Christina Zilber, founder and creative director for Jouer, and her team at the PUBLIC hotel.

Chicago CND Shellac Event

Posted on: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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I was recently invited to an event for CND Shellac. It wasn't up until I arrived at the event that I realized what I was in for. Most of you know that I almost always have long nails, so strolling into the Waldorf Astoria with bare fingers was a bit nerve racking for me.

Weekstagram // July 7

Posted on: Sunday, July 8, 2012

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Heat wave! Here's how I kept my cool this week with record high temperatures
  • Lauren moved to Chicago from Arizona! BFFs!
  • Gedi gifted me some incredible Acne Papers last weekend. This boy just keeps getting more and more impressive.
  • Coral + cream trimmed platform sandals. So comfy!
  • The Art Institute of Chicago is free the first and second Wednesday of every month! Lauren and I went on the Fourth of July.
  • We snapped some cute Polaroids on the beach before fireworks.
  • Iced soy chai and air conditioning at The Wormhole.
  • Gedi and I hit up the Indiana Dunes yesterday. Little did we know there were rip tide warnings and I have the bruises to prove it. I basically got pummeled by a wave and smashed into the shore. Ow. Otherwise, awesome day.
  • I found my dream home. It's pink.
  • Easily the best thing I've seen all week! "SLOW CAT XING" sign in Indiana. Give it to me!
Follow me on Instagram @Chaplinnn

Criss-Crossed

Posted on: Friday, July 6, 2012

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I can't even fake it — it's been so miserably hot out the past few days. It seems like everyone is scouring their closets for the lightest and breeziest pieces here in Chicago. When I left for work this morning (at 8am), it was already 90°. EESH.

But I did manage to pick up this adorable Urban Renewal dress the other day and it's a strange shade somewhere between grey and purple. Plus it's light enough to get me through the day better than most garments. The news keeps saying that the heat is going to break — let's keep our fingers crossed!

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