Mini Penny Blog

July in Review

Posted on: Wednesday, July 31, 2013


July has been... emotional. Between coming to terms that the dude I was seeing was a dolt, dumping him, and then making the drastic decision to leave my job and pursue my dreams in the midwest, I mean. Dang. But I am so, so excited for all of these things to pay off in August. Ya feel me?

Things I Discovered
  • I finished Orange is the New Black in two days. At first I wasn't feelin' it, but now I'm sort of hooked. But I will say that those are some terrible wigs.
  • Apartment shopping is hard from 700 miles away.
  • Best friends rule. Forever.

Favorite Posts






Exciting Happenings in My Life

Chicago Friendcation

Posted on: Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Oh, where to start?


Last week, my good friend Kelley took a Megabus up from Columbus to meet me in Chicago. I haven't seen her in over six months, so we were both pretty stoked to hang out in my old neighborhood. It was lots of fun and partying and good food and good people. I'm so super excited to move back to Chicago that I can barely stand it!



Shirt by Homage (DIYed)

Emporium Arcade Bar
Big Brother Matt and Me at the Empty Bottle
Seriously, the food. THE FOOD. I spoiled myself last week — Philly doesn't have much good Mexican food, so we took advantage of the plethora of yummy tacos.

Antique Taco

Big Star
Cemitas Puebla
The Wormhole
Bang Bang Pie Shop
And of course, I had the WomensForum event on Thursday evening. I took B as my super-babely date and we enjoyed a night downtown on the Mag Mile.



And of course, had to do a bit of shopping as well.
In God We Trust Flask (similar)
Bric-a-Brack Records
Kitty self defense keychain from Belmont Army, Daria ring from Kokorokoko and a cat ring from my handsome friend Matthew.
Chicago, I'm so happy to be coming home to you soon.

"In the twilight, it was a vision of power."

Review // Ion Color Brilliance Brights Hair Color

Posted on: Sunday, July 28, 2013


I've only recently stumbled upon Ion Color Brilliance Brights. For the most part, I'd say they're a good alternative to other hair colors I've used and have a wide range of semi-permanent colors.

When I first started dying my hair purple back in March, I was bouncing between Manic Panic (my old standby) and a temporary hair color conditioner. Someone suggested I give Ion or Pravana a try, so I hopped over to Sally's to take a look at Ion's ingredients.

Note: I'm highly allergic to a compound called para-phenylenediamine that is found in most hair dyes, so I have to be really careful. Ion doesn't use PPD, so after staring at the display for about 45 minutes, I decided to use equal parts titanium (grey) and lavender.

I lighten my roots as much as possible. I have dark brown hair and I'm almost always able to lift them to a bright white. As for the Ion dye, it doesn't smell as nice as many others I've used — but it doesn't stay in my hair. The formula is thick — I push two tubes and should honestly be using three. The directions suggest 20-40 minutes processing time, but I put on a cap and leave it in for two hours.


The end result is a nice, neutral purple with grey undertones. The color fades very slowly (for reference, it was two months since my last touch up).

Overall, I prefer this dye over Manic Panic. I have yet to try Pravana and verify whether or not it uses PPD. Any insights on this?

You've Got Nail // 5

Posted on: Saturday, July 27, 2013


I just wanted something really simple and clean over my last mani. I feel like this was a good compromise! Here's what I used:

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in 04 Petal Pusher
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in 260 Sonic Boom
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish in 20 Blue-ming Fast

Obsessed // Crop Tops

Posted on: Friday, July 26, 2013


I love crop tops. It probably goes somewhat hand-in-hand with my love for high-waited bottom, but hey. It could also have something to do with the fact that my tween/teen years were spent in the 90s/early 2000s. Either way, I'm super stoked on the crop top trend.

Silver Screen Style // Wet Hot American Summer

Posted on: Thursday, July 25, 2013


This movie will perpetually remind me of college. I had a roommate who loved this movie and introduced me to it — and it's brilliant. There's a charmingly ironic retro charm that reminds me of my childhood summer camp days. I mean, it was like my childhood summer camp if you had added drugs, Paul Rudd, and meteors that are about to crash into the earth.




1. Retro Knee High Tube Socks, American Apparel
2. Wood Bead Necklace, Urban Outfitters
3. Running Shorts, Nordstrom
4. Mango Striped Cotton Tee, John Lewis
5. T by Alexander Wang Hooded Sweater, Zoe



1. Vintage 50s Madras Top, Penny Dreadful Vintage
2. Michael Van Clark Volumizing Mousse, Bloomingdales
3. Paisley Shorts, Les Nouvelles
4. Yellow Fred Perry Twin Tipped Polo, End Clothing
5. Dotty Headband, Nordstrom



1. Ruffled Sleeve Baseball Tee, Forever21
2. Vintage Smith Bay Camp Tee, Free People
3. Origin Paisley Scarf, Swell
4. Cropped Blue Tank, Topshop
5. Ray-Ban Gold Aviator, Saks

And I'll leave you with this GIF, because it's amazing:

Review // West Third Brand

Posted on: Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I've been a fan of West Third Brand for quite some time. Way back when I lived in Chicago, I had found these scents first at Rudy's Roundup and later at Una Mae's.

Home Preview // Closet

Posted on: Tuesday, July 23, 2013


So. I have an entire bedroom as a closet. The thing with a lot of South Philly houses is that a lot don't have very big closets or even closets at all. My house was built in 1912 and has none. But, I solved this by turning my middle bedroom into a giant walk-in.

American Roadside

Posted on: Monday, July 22, 2013

Image via Flickr
Well, I'm almost all set on my little summer vacation — it's not a road trip with quirky attractions, but a vacation nonetheless. I've always been drawn to the kitsch of American roadsides, so while I'm on a plane Wednesday morning, I'll be daydreaming about all of these little spots. Check them out after the jump.

South Philly Stoop Sale

Posted on: Sunday, July 21, 2013


Edit // Due to weather, this has been post-poned until August 10th.

Hoo-ray!

So in preparation for my move, I'm having a big stoop sale! If you're in Philly, stop by on Saturday, August 3. I have tons of stuff — clothes, furniture, cameras, iPods, books, home items, vintage, new, used, ya know. Event info (and please share with your friends!).

So pumped!

Weekstagram // July 21


This has easily been one of the best weeks for a long, long time.

  • These beauties. Seriously. From Shoedazzle.
  • I figured out how to fishtail braid and that I actually like hats.
  • My last hoorah at the URBN Summer Party with my faves.
  • And Ian appointed me as his life coach. Deal.

Follow Mini Penny on Instagram @chaplinnn

Open Doors

Posted on: Friday, July 19, 2013


"My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud." - Henry Rollins

I write this with shaking hands. I don't shake out of fear nor sadness, but out of pure and total excitement. Excitement for adventure and the unknown. Excitement to finally have myself back.

For the past three years, I have worked with a lot of fantastic people at Urban Outfitters. I've made a lot of a friends. Since moving to Philly, though, my heart has been missing something: home.

I have a bittersweet announcement: today was my last day with UO.

I started this blog shortly after I started working in the Columbus, Ohio, store. I was rather inspired by the company and gained a lot of confidence in how I dressed and carried myself. Mini Penny was born out of this confidence. And now I have the opportunity to continue on and make my heart whole again.

In a few weeks I will be moving back to Chicago.

There were tears shed — some because I really do work with some fantastic people. There are people in that office who have more talent than I could dream of having. People who work with their hands and people who work with people and people who work with fabric. I've learned a lot and I've lost a lot.

My time here has not been the easiest and yet every day I find a shred of optimism to keep me going. I had a very inspiring brunch last weekend and know in my heart of hearts that I'm going the right places and doing the right things.

Many months ago I took a chance. I tried something new and went out of my comfort zone. Way out. I left everything and everyone I loved to move to a city of strangers. And I'm better for it. I know myself much, much deeper.



So if you're in Philly, let's get a coffee before I pack this house up. Let's go get a beer. Let's give me something to come back for.

White tank, ?
Pin up shorts, Urban Outfitters
Red vest, URBN Sample Sale
Jewelry, various
Londyn Boots, Shoedazzle


Photos by Lou Caltabiano

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