Friday, August 30, 2013

Goodbye Philly!

Tattoo by David Steele at Philadelphia Eddie's Chinatown
You know who you are? Even Steven." — Kramer

Oh, Philly. I'm going to be real with you for a second. I never wanted to come here. I boarded the plane in Chicago in tears but was determined to find something — anything — to love about you. I tried. I ate at restaurants. I went to coffee shops. I dated the men boys. I tried your bar scene. I took a big chance on you. I left everything I love back in Chicago to take an opportunity for myself. And now as I'm on the brink of picking up my U-Haul and clearing out my lovely house, I find comfort.

About a year ago, my pal Matthew pointed out to me that when I'm down in the dumps, something awesome always seems to come along and fill the void. For example, when I was living in Chicago, I was dead broke and struggling to make ends meet. Then I got the offer to take an awesome job out here on the East Coast and took it. I figured, hey, it can't hurt anything. It's an adventure. It was great knowing I had trusted my struggle through those times and had my eyes on the prize. It worked out. Onto the next hurdle.

My time in Philadelphia has been far from "brotherly love." It's has been filled with a lot of deceit from a lot of different angles, a lot of harassing men, and a lot of disappointments. Let's put it this way: It's not for me.

But still, regardless of all of the sour feelings I have towards this place, I'm still breaking even. I tried something new, and even though it didn't live up to my expectations, I know one hundred percent what I want coming out of it. I know that money will never buy happiness — being surrounded by people and places that you love can only do that. Even though I'm probably going to go out of my way to make sure I never have to come back here, I don't regret taking the chance.

And, let's be real. I had some cool shit happen to me. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review // Juniper Box

There are so many subscription boxes to choose from now. Recently I heard about Juniper, a monthly box that focuses on, well, your monthly cycle. Okay, okay. Maybe it's not the topic that we love to talk about, but the concept is slightly brilliant, so I thought I'd check it out.

Juniper tout's itself as "a smarter way to manage your period" — now, I don't have any issues managing my period, but the thought of having treats and tampons (they claim that they will be offering the Diva Cup soon, whew!) delivered to my house is certainly appealing.

I normally buy U by Kotex Click since they're compact and easy to throw in my makeup bag as back-ups (I prefer Diva Cups), but the non-compact Sleek tampons are the ones provided by Juniper. Dang. Either way, for whatever reason I was under the impression that U by Kotex were bleach-free. Upon further searching, I think I was wrong. In my next box I'll be requesting the NatraCare organic tampons.

When you first sign up, you are given the option to add painkillers, pantyliners, etc. I opted out of these, because my mother went through a phase of coupon clipping and bought me approximately nine hundred boxes of pantyliners. This was years ago. I'm still not all the way through 'em. Aren't moms awesome? (answer: yes). But there's also the food pack. This is what roped me in. See my review after the jump.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eastern State Penitentiary

This past weekend I ventured up to check out Philadelphia's own Eastern State Penitentiary. A friend and I were on the topic of abandoned buildings and he mentioned this location. It is similar to a previous visit I did to the Ohio State Reformatory — while the buildings are old and, for a lack of better terms, ruins, preservation groups have come in to save the history of the prison by offering tours. See all the photos after the jump.


Hey guys, just a heads up that this is gonna be a light week of posting — I'm wrapping up packing the house and getting it prepared for the new tenants. In just a few days I'll hit the road back to the place I love! I'm so pumped!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sweet Home Chicago // A Quick Trip

Last week I took a quick trip home to Chicago to shop for apartments (more on that later, whew. Oh BOY do I have a rant...). Even though it was a lot of business, I still managed to squeeze in lots of fun. Check it out.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Silver Screen Style // Manhattan

How? How have I not talked about Manhattan yet? I go back and forth on what my favorite movie ever is — this or Annie Hall. Both have their charms, and Manhattan (I'm not kidding) makes me cry every single time. Every time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I dig patches. A lot. I remember as a teenager, I used to buy them at Hot Topic (Yeah, woof). But nowadays I like finding vintage ones or going to Etsy for fun and unique styles. Here are a few from my collection.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Home Preview // Back Patio

Okay, so I may be on my way out of this house (sad), but I can't bear to not share one of my favorite parts of this house: the back patio. I've spent so much time out here and given the quick life change decision, opted to not do all of the upgrades I originally decided on. Still, I love this little nook and will miss it immensely.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

You've Got Nail // 7

Since I haven't done my nails due to packing, I figured I'd show one of my favorite sets from the past. I did these claws for SXSW and the Spring Breakers premiere I attended in Los Angeles. They were to match my Evil Twin dress and lime Prabal Gurung x Target shoes. Here's what I used:

❖ Butter LONDON Nail Laquer Vernis in Sloane Ranger
❖ Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in 370 Black Out
❖ Milani Neon Nail Laquer in Totally 80s

Friday, August 16, 2013

Obsessed // Motorcycles

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to pick up new wheels. Prior to moving to Philly, I was on the lookout for a moped. And since then, I've been going back and forth on it. Back in March, I went to SXSW — and when I wasn't invited out to dinner with coworkers, I opted to take a motorcycle ride with an old friend around Austin.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Silver Screen Style // The Breakfast Club

Really, what's there to say about The Breakfast Club? It's a classic — I mean, damn, I can't even count how many times I've seen it. Between this and Ferris Bueller, it's basically what I hoped my high school atmosphere would be like. It wasn't, but ya know. Can we just appreciate that Claire brought sushi to detention for lunch?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Urban Exploration

Abandoned Stove Factory, East Cleveland
Disclaimer: Urban exploration can be dangerous. It can often involve trespassing. Mini Penny does not condone breaking and entering or destruction of property of any kind. Please enjoy spaces for what they are. I will not provide geo information for any spots listed here.

When I lived in Ohio, my pal Bob and I would go on these wonderful little exploration trips to run-down small towns across the state. Abandoned sites were most prevalent in these small towns since the economic downturn of the last few two decades has caused factories, schools, and other businesses to close. This was an ongoing project with Bob and myself — photographing the spaces quickly and leaving. We saw a lot of beautiful, rotting buildings that can be interpreted as both wastes or opportunities.

Recently I was discussing urban exploration with a friend and started digging through old photos. It's rare that I share my work from my past photographer life, but these are literally sitting on an external hard drive getting no love. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dollars to Donuts

I can't even explain how excited I am about these photos. I mean, donuts. DONUTS. When I saw this crop top on Etsy, I had to have it. Lou suggested getting some donuts, which I am always down for. So yeah, fun photos, fun colors, and at the end of it all... I got to eat a donut.

Monday, August 12, 2013

VSCO Film 04 // Slide

So I'm obviously pretty stoked on VSCO — and last week they announced the release of their newest Film 04 Slide. I figure I'd give it a shot on some images I have lying around on an external drive. I can say that this is probably my favorite VSCO Film pack so far. Rollover images for the before (directly from camera) shots. Above image used Fuji Velvia 100F. More after the jump.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekstagram // August 11

  • Sunday Breaking Bad marathon!
  • Lou and I hit up Grindcore House for some vegan cake.
  • And I was finally able to give him his gift — I picked up these Empire Strikes Back glasses at Bric-A-Brac in Chicago and had to get 'em for him.
  • New patch for the collection. More on that later.
  • My pal Ian and I went to see Blue Jasmine on the Philly opening night. We accidentally dressed alike. Whoops.
  • The stoop sale was a huge success! Thanks for comin' out!

Follow Mini Penny on Instagram @Chaplinnn.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

C'est le ton qui fait la chanson

Happy weekend. I'm wrapping up loose ends before the move and hopefully going to be enjoying a drink on a patio soon. Woo.

Friday, August 9, 2013


I was in search of some specific photos for a later post and ended up recovering a lot of images from my childhood. Remember how fucking awesome it was to be a kid? Don't get me wrong, I love the [implied] freedom of being an adult and all, but as a kid we could just be total jerks and roll around in the grass and no one really gave a damn? Because hey, kids will be kids. Ruin a family photo? Well, then, yeah, you are a total jerk. Because film wasn't the cheapest thing. So what we shot was what we got. Take a peek.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Silver Screen Style // Billy Madison

Billy Madison is easily one of my favorite movies. And in terms of school-related flicks, it sits at the top. I'm not sure how many times I've exclaimed "I am the smartest man alive!" when accomplishing something (anything, really). But yes. This. Cherish it, stay here for as long as you can.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Piece of Cake

Finally, finally, we're creeping a bit closer to September (aka moving day!). Yesterday I ran some errands with Lou, including picking up nearly the last remainder of my mail from my old job (...almost ...there!) and shooting some photos. We stopped by Grindcore House for some coffee and vegan cake, basically solving the cake craving I've been havin' lately.

Monday, August 5, 2013

You've Got Nail // 6

I've been really into these minimalist nails lately. Here's what I used:

Essie Nail Laquer in Topless and Barefoot
Essie Nail Laquer in First Timer
Essie Nail Laquer in Little Brown Dress

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekstagram // August 4

  • I made a little praying mantis friend while weeding the garden!
  • Not working a 9-5 means that I've totally jacked my sleep schedule. I'm always up late writing and planning for the move!
  • And it's official! Kelley is moving to Chicago with me!
  • Army had a half day.
Follow Mini Penny on Instagram @chaplinnn

Friday, August 2, 2013

Obsessed // Iced Coffee

People think I'm crazy. Not right now, you see, but give it a few months — I do this thing where I drink iced coffee year-round. I just can't with hot beverages. Maybe I am crazy. I had never actually had coffee until I moved to Chicago in 2011. There was just something about that place that lured me into shops and the 4am work mornings that begged for caffeine. Anyway, I'm no connoisseur by any means — I dig diner coffee, snobby coffee, homemade coffee, Dunkin Donuts. Whatever. But here are some of my favorite iced coffee variations for home and elsewhere.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Silver Screen Style // The Lost Boys

I remember being in elementary school and this girl I was friends with, Mallory, brought over a VHS of The Lost Boys and Creepshow. Because of that little slumber party, I will always associate those two movies with the end of summer — and Kiefer Sutherland as an 80s mullet-totin' vampire isn't so bad either, am I right?

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