Chicago Sketch Comedy Fest 1.8-1.18

Chicago Sketch Comedy Fest

Chicago Sketch Comedy Fest

Starting just this past week, the Chicago Comedy Sketch Festival is kicking off the New Year with a entertainment for everyone. January 8th marked the beginning of the thirteenth year for the event with it running until January 18th. Over the course of eight days the festival will feature 168 groups and 188 shows, taking over the entire Stage 773 building. Nicknamed Chicago SketchFest, the festival holds the title as the nation’s largest sketch fest.

In case you are new to sketch comedy, which is dissimilar to improv comedy, the show features short, scripted, humorous scenes. Sketch comedy in America originated from The Second City Theater when it opened in the late 1950’s. Since then many have come to learn about this comedy outlet from Mad TV, In Living Color, SCTV, and the famous Saturday Night Live.

The festival began in 2002 when Producer Brian Posen needed to fill a six week spot at the Theatre Building Chicago. After calling a few friend the sketch community an empty spot grew to thirty groups ready to participate at a moment’s notice. Since then shows have evolved to hundreds of performers from Chicago along with troupes from Boston, L.A., New York, Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, Austin, and Denver. Panels of experts within the sketch comedy community, including members from Second City, Late Night with Conan O’Brian, and Saturday Night Live, educate and entertain participants and public with store and advice.

With dozens of groups, tons of performers, and shows going on almost every day, it is clear there is something for everyone. Feel like this is a festival worth trying out? Check out Stage 773 on 1225 W Belmont where all the performances are featured. Tickets for a show is $15 or day passes for $37. You can check out a performance schedule here to find out more.

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Lindsay Grundy– Fashion Contributor,  Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago
Connect with Lindsay @lindsaygrundy or on her website, lindsaygrundy.com.

No Pants Subway Ride….This Is Real Life

No Pants Subway Ride Facebook Event

No Pants Subway Ride Facebook Event

It’s easy to assume that after the past week of literally painful weather the idea of running around Chicago with no pants sounds terrible, but ladies and gentlemen, you can’t avoid it. That’s right, it’s the No Pants Subway Ride this Sunday on January 11th, so get ready to strip down and avoid eye contact. Although not everyone is ready to take the plunge, especially in this weather, it will be quite the event.

The No Pants Subway Ride, originally started in New York by an improv group, has been a tradition for over a decade and has spread all over the globe. The point of the whole experience? Not to raise money or awareness, just to simply have fun by riding the train without pants. While it might cause a stir, luckily it seems that not too many people get offended by seeing some go down to their skivvies.

If the idea of taking off your pants and joining the masses in this chilly weather sounds like a great trip then here’s what you need to know:

  • First, the CTA has been informed about the event. You are legally dressed properly so there’s no need to worry about getting in trouble. Just make sure all of your goods are covered.
  • Riders are expected to meet right before 12 pm at a parking garage at 1210 W. Arthur St. in Rogers Park where participants will be assigned station stops where they will take off their pants.
  • Within half an hour the expected group of 125 to 175 will head to the Loyola Red Line stop where they will ride until their assigned stop, where they are encouraged to then drop trou.

To learn more about the event you can visit the No Pants Subway Ride’s page here. As the organizers have expressed, the goal is to try to act as normal as possible, keeping a straight face during your ride. And the point that cannot be emphasized enough: make sure your private parts are covered. Luckily, the weather is expected to get up to 29 degrees so it will be slightly warmer when you bare it all.

Now the question is, what pair of underwear do you want to show Chicago?

Event is started and organized by Improv Everywhere
Photo Credit taken by Steven Preston

 

Source: RedEye’s Annual No Pants Subway Ride is Sunday

Image Source: No Pants Subway Ride Facebook Event

 

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Lindsay Grundy– Fashion Contributor,  Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago
Connect with Lindsay @lindsaygrundy or on her website, lindsaygrundy.com.

Six Things Every Crazy Dog Owner Needs

Barkbox

Barkbox

I’m not an animal person. However there is a small portion of me that looks at little puppies and my anti-animal, Grinch themed heart melts. No matter what though, I thoroughly enjoy watching dog owners go crazy as if their dog is their next of kin. Seriously though, it’s hilarious how intense they get. So to celebrate crazy dog owners, I found a few products that I know they won’t be resist.

Etsy

Etsy

In fact, I can see many screaming internally and slightly jumping up and down out of pure enjoyment of getting something more for their dog.

Dog Lover Necklace

Barkbox

For the beauty people there is Birchbox and for drinkers Julibox. But for your dog, there is Barkbox. Every month you can get four or more products for your little one. From toys, bones, treats that all natural, and even gadgets. Another plus is the fact that portions of the profits help dogs in need.

American Apparel

American Apparel

So you are always able to have you dog close to your heart…or at least an obvious place where you can brag about him or her. Although there are a variety of options (just type dog necklace in Etsy), you can get your dog’s name printed on everything from a tag to bone.

American Apparel Dog Hoodie

This should be a standard item for dog owners to buy. I mean, what dog doesn’t look adorable in a little hoodie? And you have to keep your pup warm. When it comes to dressing your dog, you might as well do it in style. Plus it even has the pocket and variety of colors – you can’t say no to it.

Sunbeam

Sunbeam

Gourmet Dog Treat Maker

To be honest, I barely want to cook let alone make treats for a living creature who can’t even speak English. I see how it could be fun, making something, decorating a treat, just for your one and only little pup. Just don’t get it mixed up with your waffle maker.

Meteorlight K-9 LED Ball

Meteorlight Ball

Meteorlight Ball

A LED light up ball? Handy and cool. It’s perfect for those who like to play with their dog when it’s a little darker out, or for those who just want something a little more entertaining than your typical tennis ball. Not to mention if you are at the dog park, the two of you will really be able to put on a show.

Custom Shelter Pup Stuffed Pup

This is by far the cutest but craziest one of them all. In case you need a custom stuffed dog so then yhttps://poorgirlsguidechicago.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit.phpou can always have your dog around, Shelter Pups is the place to go. It bases off pictures you send in, using Merino Wool and handmade in the USA. Although it comes with a hefty $150 price tag, it has a two week turnaround and proceeds go to shelters and rescues. Not to mention, it looks exactly like a mini version of a dog.

Shelter Pups

Shelter Pups

Crazy dog lovers, you can rejoice. I have supplied plenty of entertainment for you until you teach your dog how to finally roll over. Just don’t go crazy over excitement whenever you receive the latest Barkbox for finally get to cuddle with your dog and the stuff version.

 

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Lindsay Grundy– Fashion Contributor,  Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago
Connect with Lindsay @lindsaygrundy or on her website, lindsaygrundy.com.

 

Best Buys For Bags

closet purse organizerAccessories mean everything to me. Shoes, jewelry, and bags are my favorite thing to shop for but I’m always appalled by the price…well, probably more so the small paycheck that doesn’t work with the price. No matter what though, I’ve learned to sling an adorable and stylish bag on my arm and continue on my day as if I make triple digits. Once you learn the basics, it’s actually pretty easy. I can walk through a H&M, Forever 21, even a Target and walk out with a handbag that makes everyone’s eyes pop. But don’t worry, I’ll share my insider knowledge on how to wow everyone without you having to spend an entire paycheck.

Go Faux, Not Fake

It is possible to purchase a good quality fake leather bag. The thing is, you want simulated leather, not fabric that has been printed to look like leather. The same goes for hardware and, if you feel the need, fur. First things first, if it feels cheap it looks cheap. If that isn’t enough evidence, just take a look at the details. Shiny metals look terrible, fabric that has had the leather look emboss on the front, or tacky little details like cheap fur or too many decorations on the front. Your first instinct will tell you if it’s trashy or classy; go with your instincts.

Think Structure

The easiest way to make a bag look expensive is having a structure bag. Good quality leather and canvas bag have a natural stiffness to them. When I’m searching for a bag, I try to mimic the structural effect with lower price bags. If they can stand up easily on their own, usually they look a lot more expensive than they really are, especially compared to slouchy inexpensive bags. Another plus: they hold more, easier to get items out of it, and look incredible on your arm.

Avoid Shabby Stores

Think first about the location you are about to go to. Zara, Forever 21, T J Maxx focuses on current trends. Fashion stores that push a lot of marketing into their fashion sales and focus on trying to showcase the latest trends will try to have a few pieces that are worth your time. There are some places that you should know aren’t worth it – let’s just toss Wal-Mart out there as an example. If the store doesn’t seem to have any focus on the current trends, it’s doubtful you will be able to pick up a bag off the shelf that is stylish and cute.

Wait it Out

I always end up getting the itch…I feel like every bag I own is worthless and suddenly I become desperate for a new one. This clearly is the worst time to shop. If you are trying to find the perfect bag, you need to make sure to do it with the perfect balance of when you want it and when you need it. This way you will avoid scavenging around and picking up the first bag that resembles the idea of a good buy.

Prepare

No, I’m not kidding. Even if you plan on spending less than forty dollars, a true fashionista prepares for the challenge ahead. Look at the trends or current styles to see exactly what you want. After this, it’s time to online window shop. Search around, check out a few sites, and see if there is anything that catches your eye. This way, whenever you actually go shopping for the bag, you have an idea of what you want (just don’t get stuck on a bag you see online)!

Don’t Counterfeit It

I know, we all want to buy Louis Vuitton and Prada bags on a daily basis, but unfortunately that can’t always happen. No matter how much you want the trendiest designer bag, never purchase a counterfeit. Not only is horrible for the fashion industry and involves a lot of unethical labor, it also is just plain tacky. If you can’t afford the label, don’t try pulling off the look.

Shun Online Shopping

When you are trying to shop cheap but look for something nice, viewing a 2×3 picture online is not the right way to execute it. You need to be able to see the bag’s construction, fabric, and overall look. That can only be accomplished in person. For everyone that’s addicted to online shopping, time to head out the door and join the real world. It’s the only way to execute the job and bag the prize (I know, so witty!)

Remember to Splurge

It is always worth saving up to splurge on something you will use all the time. After all, if you use that leather studded bag on a daily basis, shouldn’t you invest in a bag that will last? I wait it out until I find a great sale – Kate Spade has amazing sales on their bags and Nordstrom Rack sometimes features designer bags that are definitely cheaper than if you bought it from the brand. Find your favorite designer brand and stalk them. Sign up for their emails in case they have sales, see which websites they are featured on in case they go on sale there (Hautelook, Gilt, Outnet) and hope that one day that amazing bag appears with a beautiful 50% tag with it.

For those addicted to bags, there’s always a solution. Patience and the desire always leads to owning the best looking purses. Add the tips and tidbits I mentioned and finding the perfect bag will be easier than ever. After all, don’t we all deserve to look a little more fabulous without breaking the bank?

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Lindsay Grundy– Fashion Contributor,  Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago
Connect with Lindsay @lindsaygrundy or on her website, lindsaygrundy.com.

U.S. Apothecary Opens On Southport

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For anyone that has walked down the Southport Corridor, you’ve seen the boutique Cerat. Wedged in between Crosby’s Kitchen, Suvarna Chiropractic, Free People, and Mystic Celt, the store closed down earlier this year leaving an empty store front and everyone wondering what will come next. In merely a couple weeks, the store was transformed into the new shop U.S. Apothecary.

The store, owned by the brand K. Hall Studio, Inc., features home goods and personal care items along with a small selection of clothing and gifts. This is the brand’s first time branching out from St. Louis, Missouri, where its flagship store and other location is. The new store has been given quite the makeover, featuring exposed brick and specially made sections for candles, lotions, soaps, perfumes, and other items. Like the other two locations, U.S. Apothecary is the only place where you are able to find everything. Although K. Hall Studio does wholesale through boutiques across America, including Anthropologie, this will be the only location in the area that will feature all four of the lines that the brand has to offer.

Each product feature simple and straight forward packaging with some even including letter press hangtags. All the fragranced goods are made by K. Hall Studio, with two lines even offering cleaning products (yes – that means you can have body cream that smells the same as your cleaning spray). Right now K. Hall Studio is testing the location in Chicago, featuring it as a pop-up shop through the holidays and continuing on if successful.

U.S. Apothecary opened quietly October 6th at its location on 3451 North Southport Avenue. To find out more you can visit the store or visit the collection online at khalldesigns.com.

 

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Lindsay Grundy– Fashion Contributor,  Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago
Connect with Lindsay @lindsaygrundy or on her website, lindsaygrundy.com.

Guide To: Going Out On A Budget

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m not one to ever have a lot in my wallet. But with taste for good vodka and the need to be a social butterfly, I still manage to out and enjoy myself. And although I have mornings where I wake up and groan when I look at my bank account, it’s happened a lot less since I started being smart about going out. Here are a few tips to get me through the night:

1. Pregame

I know, terrible word to say when you have a college degree. However, for those who prefer a warm-up before they go out, it’s the easiest solution. To avoid feeling like an underage drinker, think of it as a cocktail party. Use nice glasses, make fancy drinks, and most of all, don’t use cheap liquor.

2. Set a budget before you go out

Keep in number in mind of how much you can spend. For some it works better if they have this amount in cash, some keep a running total in their head when using their card. Either way, determine how much you can spend and try your best to stick to it.

3. Factor in the odds

Do you always end up buying a round with friends? Feel a little better when you take a cab home? Always prefer at least one top shelf martini? Don’t forget to factor in the little things before you determine how much you spend.

4. Always remember to tip!

No matter how broke you are, remember a tip is just as important as paying for your drink! Plan on always giving a 20% tip on every bill. If you can’t afford that – you can’t afford to go out.

5. Look around for deals

Chicago bars always have drink deals going on. Dollar beers here, wristband deals there…there’s always something. Look online and ask around to see if there’s a good deal at a favorite bar.

6. Mix the good with the bad

I like a dive bar just as much as I like going a nice bar. Sometimes you meet an array of people at both places and it leads to a good night. If you bar hop a lot, opt to go to a dive bar in between nicer bars. You never know what you will come across and your bar tab will be a little cheaper.

7. Think before you drink

Do you always have to have that $14 scotch? Do you really need that last drink? Know when it’s time to take a step down from your drinking pedestal. Whether it means going for a well compared to top shelf or just cutting yourself off completely, realize that sometimes it’s just not worth it.

Some of these might be tips or tricks you use every day, some might be brand new to you, but in order to go out without feeling guilty, they are all ideas you should keep in mind before you take the city out for a spin.

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Lindsay Grundy– Fashion Contributor,  Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago
Connect with Lindsay @lindsaygrundy or on her website, lindsaygrundy.com.

A Love, Hate, Love Relationship Tale Featuring Forever 21

Fall 2014 Forever 21

Fall 2014 Forever 21

Alright, I’m not the most excited to admit this, but I shop at Forever 21. A lot. However, most people don’t realize it. A store like this isn’t my first pick to walk into, however when a gal is on a budget and has a shopping addiction, choices must be made. Although at some point I hope to be able to shop at Barney’s and Kate Spade on a daily basis, I think now I have cheaper points of life down.

That’s right ladies and even gentlemen, it is possible to purchase something that is worthwhile at Forever 21. I’m not saying it’s like a walk down the aisle at Bloomingdale’s, however with a few things kept in mind you can make the trip into the store worthwhile. Here’s what helps me:

1. Go for the basics

I live in their $2.80 tanks. And their knit pencil skirts are perfect to throw on before work and are comfortable. Basics here are perfect because you wear them out quicker compared to your other clothes.

  1. Try it onThis one I hate to do, but it’s true. Most of the brands Forever 21 buys from are fitted from a designer or their assistants – not a stand fit model. Plus with cheaper manufacturing you never know how it will look until you put it on.3. One stop trend shop

    Dying for that trendy crop top that you know you probably won’t wear next year? If you feel like trying a trend however you don’t know how long it will last, don’t bother with a higher priced store. Forever 21 is great on offering pieces for every trend and style. It hard not to find that latest style you’ve been wondering about.

    4. Think of the personal value

    If it’s the leather jacket you’ve wanted since your teens, Forever 21 probably isn’t the place to buy it. However if you don’t plan on keeping it forever then what’s the point of spending a lot on it?

    5. Don’t get attached

    Speaking of not keeping it for the rest of your life, never forget where you purchase those jeans for $9.95 or that handbag for $34.95. To shop here you have to accept the inevitable – something with break, something will tear, something will easily get ruined. Once you accept the fact you get what you paid for you will not only be a little less angry for buying that jean shirt, but you will also think twice before you purchase those printed leggings.

    6. Make outfits before a purchase

    To avoid wasting your money, try to come up with at least a few ways you could wear to garment. Sometimes you let something waste away because it was inexpensive. Or you buy it in impulse and realize the mistake you made later. If you figure out multiple ways to wear it before you buy it, the more likely you are to actually wear it.

    7. Look at the content

    Do a little fabric study. Depending on the weave and what it’s made out of will determine how long it will last. Some materials are more likely to tear or pill easily while other fabrics will last a lot longer than you think. Study up and become a better consumer here.

    8. Remember: Cheap is cheap

    I’m smart about what I pull off the rack at Forever 21. At the end of the day, not matter if it looks good from afar or it’s that piece I’ve been looking for, if it looks or feels cheap, it’s not worth it.

    With these tips you can now be put in the right frame of mind to indulge in your guilty pleasure. Now run along beauties, and when they ask you where that adorable skirt came from, give a sly grin and act like the name slipped your mind. Hopefully if you are smart and savy enough, they’ll never know.

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Lindsay Grundy– Fashion Contributor,  Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago
Connect with Lindsay @lindsaygrundy or on her website, lindsaygrundy.com.