Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year's Eve!

Only one more day of the year (and decade)! It's so wild looking back on what Mini Penny has meant to me over the past 10 years — most of the time I can't believe I'm still doing this and that people are still watching! There's plenty of time for recaps in the next couple of weeks though, so in the meantime let's get dressed up and enjoy the night!

Friday, December 27, 2019

You've Got Nail 94 // December Scratch Box

It's been an entire year since I've made a You've Got Nail post. How is that even possible? I swear that 2019 went by so quickly — and as I'm seeing other bloggers' Best-Of-The-Year roundups, I'm also seeing lots of Best-Of-The-Decade. Mini Penny Blog launched in early 2011 (pre-Instagram!) and it's wild to observe how much has changes since then. Should I post my own Best-Of-The-Decade? I have definitely slowed down on long-form blogging and I have lots of thoughts and feelings on that, but I'm missing this format more and more. For example: nails. They get lost in the endless Instagram stories, but I enjoy these little creations. These snowflake nail wraps are by the always-wonderful Scratch. Did you hear their Monthly Mani Kit is going up in 2020? If you subscribe before the new year, you'll get locked in at the $10 price. Go get yours!

Friday, December 20, 2019


Even though this season has felt busy busy busy, I did get a chance to head downtown for Christkindlmarket! I managed to completely miss it last year. The trick is to go on a weekday during "work hours" — it's much less of a claustrophobic headache! Anyway, it finally feels like our holiday events are finally winding down just before the big week. We're looking forward to relaxing the weeding in preparation for family time! How are you getting ready for the holiday?

Monday, December 16, 2019

Cookie Decorating with Little Goat Diner

Last night we were invited to attend a Cookie Decorating Class with Little Goat Diner and Goat Group Catering! I was really excited for the opportunity to learn some tricks alongside Little Goat Pastry Chef Faith Taheny (and get an insight on how my boyfriend would do if he were on the show Nailed It!). Click through for photos of the evening, plus all of the outfit details and where you can get these fun glittery pants!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

At the Ballet

It's time for holiday traditions! When I was little, my family had a tradition of seeing The Nutcracker ballet in Columbus. Well, it's been years since I've seen it, so it was a treat to restart that tradition this year in Chicago! I love any excuse to get a little dressed up and head out. What are some of your favorite holiday activities?

Friday, November 22, 2019

FabFitFun Winter Box

I'm so pumped to finally be a #FabFitFunPartner! I've been so curious to try this box after hearing so many people rave about it — and it does not disappoint! Have you ever wondered what comes in a box? Click through for the details, as well as a discount code for you to get $10 off your first box, and see what delicious cookies I made after finding the best recipe in the FabFitFun Magazine!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Weekend Makeup

I'm feeling bright oranges lately. Since I started working for myself, I rarely do a "full face" anymore unless it's for a shoot. Today I decided to do it just for fun! I bought the new Birds of Paradise palette by Colourpop and think it's one of my recent favorites.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Snake Rattle and Roll

Jewel tones are here! I picked up this beautiful skirt at Target last week and couldn't wait to pair it with my new ShoeDazzle booties! As a #ShoeDazzlePartner, I've been really excited for their fall Boot Shop and these may be my favorite so far!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Spot On

I'm so picky with my flats, but when I find the perfect ones, it's like heaven. I recently picked these out from ShoeDazzle and I love them. Pair them with simple jeans and a cozy sweater, and you're ready for fall!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Fall Beauty Faves

I don't know about y'all, but fall for me means that I wear slightly more makeup than I do in the summer. Thanks to sweaty, humid Chicago months, I tend to skip the full face and just opt for a mascara and BB cream. But here we are, it's November already, and I have some new fall beauty favorites coming your way.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween

It's finally here! My favorite holiday! This year I really slacked on Halloween — I normally end up with 2-3 costumes for the season. This year, things were so busy after our travels and getting back to work that I just simply did not make enough time. I was, however, able to whip up a last minute Janet look this weekend after a visit to the thrift store. I've recently been re-watching The Good Place and she's totally my favorite character! My boyfriend has his Jianyu/Jason costume ready to go and we'll be putting Janet's unlimited knowledge to good use tonight at trivia! What are you for Halloween this year?

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Pumpkin Spiced

Everyone likes to make fun of pumpkin spice being "basic," but you know what? I love pumpkin spice! I actually great up in a very small town that celebrated mid-October by shutting down the town and hosting the Circleville Pumpkin Show. So, yeah — I have a soft spot for all of that orange, cinnamon, tasty goodness. What's your favorite fall flavor?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Bucket List

I often hear people talking about bucket lists. And honestly, I've never really thought of mine! Do you? My big things were always: I want to get a dog (check!), I want to tattoo (check!), I want to move to California, and travel more. Japan and Korea are at the very top of my must-visit list. What about you? What are you big goals, short term and long term?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Here For the Boo-ts

Can you believe we're already nearing the end of October? Fall days like these make me so happy — it's cool enough for a cozy sweater and boots, but during the daytime I can get away with a cute skirt. I love my neighborhood this time of year — lots of pumpkins and skeletons and Halloween decor! I couldn't wait to wear my new ShoeDazzle Kaytlyn Faux Fur Booties to take Opal on walk. As a #ShoeDazzlePartner, I picked these boots for their comfort and cute style. You can become a ShoeDazzle VIP and get styles starting at $39.95. Don't miss their new selection for the season!

Goodbye San Diego

After spending so much time in California, it was difficult to say goodbye! We filled our last day with a trip to the zoo, and following that with good food and ice cream. A last evening of family time before re-packing for the morning flight. I love California more each time I visit, and this was no exception! Hopefully we'll be back very soon to see more of you.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


What were you favorite concerts and shows you attended this year? I think my biggest and most exciting were the two days of BTS — but I've gotta say that the Lizzo show a couple months ago was amazing! I wanted an excuse to wear neon neon NEON and this was the best excuse to do so!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Down the Coast

The last leg of our trip was to another one of my favorite cities: San Diego! Along with all of the wonderful excitement that comes with this paradise, the biggest thing was being able to see my brother and his family which we were there. I don't get to see my family often enough, so being able to stay with them was a wonderful way to end this trip.

Sunday, October 20, 2019


On a whim we decided to visit Disneyland! I kind of had the idea in the back of my mind, but brushed it off, thinking we wouldn't be able to squeeze it in. I'm so glad that we did because we had a blast!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Brunch at Z Bar

Happy weekend! Nothing makes for a good start to your Saturday like brunch. We were invited to try the new Z Bar brunch menu and (as you can tell by the look on my face), I was pretty excited about it.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Squash Goals

Each year I carve out (no pun intended) time to visit one farm or orchard during the fall season. The past couple of years, I've chosen a pumpkin patch! This one in particular is a soft spot for me because of their goat petting zoo and other adorable baby animals, as well as the kitschy, roadside feel of their "haunted house" and other attractions.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Comfort Food at urbanbelly

It's comfort food season. When urbanbelly invited me to come try their fall menu, I couldn't say no — ramen and pho are easily some of my favorite warm-me-up foods! To make it even more appealing, the katsu on their lineup caught my eye. Click through for more — and let me know what your favorite comfort foods are in the comments!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Los Angeles

Back to our California trip! We ended up spending quite a few days in Los Angeles — surprisingly one of my favorite cities! Have you been to LA? When I was in high school, I wasn't a fan. But as I spent more time here, I really fell for it. Now I love it for all of the food options, shopping, and all around weirdness.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Introducing Sephora HAIR

I'm so happy to be partnering with Sephora Collection and their new Sephora HAIR line! My hair has been part of my identity for most of my life, so I'm always welcoming products to make my routine easier while making my hair look better! Click through for more details or check out my recent Instagram post and stories about my experience!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Joshua Tree

After we left Palm Springs in the evening, we headed to our AirBNB just north of Yucca Valley. When searching for a place to stay, we found lots of beautiful, modern, open-style homes on hillsides that really hit me right in my heart. They were beautiful. I was ready to pull the trigger when I found an odd, vintage, small camper off an isolated dirt road. Was this the perfect stay for our desert night? Yes, yes it was.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Palm Springs

I love Palm Springs. It's been a few years since I've been here, but I'm so excited that we started our vacation on this note. We flew into Palm Springs so that we could spend our first day exploring this dreamy little city — I am in love with the architecture, plants, and all-around vintage vibes.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Hotel Monaco // #StayHuman

Earlier this week, we were offered a stay at the new #StayHuman suite at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Downtown Chicago. It was a wonderful stay and a truly unique type of room that aimed to connect guests through writing notes and taking photos.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Chicago Botanic Garden

Oh boy, I have so many posts to catch up on. The boyfriend and I had really extended ourselves for the last bit of summer. Between taking a month off of work, travel, and exploring things while we still have sunshine, we have been busy. Now that fall is here and things are slowing down (sort of!) and I can finally get some looks queued up! Let's start with this wonderfully 70s-orange look that is almost entirely Madewell. We visited the Chicago Botanical Garden— a first for me!

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