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.
Halloween Pumpkin

Halloween How To Do It Cheap & Right

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Pumpkin Decorating

Consider decorating a fake pumpkin so your hard work can be displayed year after year. Use special sharpies, fake diamonds, glitter, and ribbon to create a flashier decoration. If you feel like carving, opt use the grocery instead of a pumpkin patch where prices are typically cheaper. Also, avoid placing the pumpkins outside. It will just lead to your hard work getting smashed by someone or rotting by your front door which no one finds entertaining.

Dry Ice

A friend went to an ice company and for less than ten dollars picked up a huge box of dry ice. Although it’s not the easiest to find, she put it in her sink, random cups filled with water or drinks, and it was the perfect icing to the cake. It’s cheap and definitely gives off an eerie feeling. You can place it throughout your house, or if you are running around town, add it to your goblet for the full effect.

Candles & Wine Bottles

No Halloween is complete without candles – what will the witches use when casting their spells? The best way to present candles is using tapered candle sticks and placing them in an empty wine bottle. Be sure to take the labels off the bottles and avoid the drip-less candles (cheap ones work the best). Once you stick it in a light the candle, it will drip down looking creepy but still good.

Chalk Boards

Maybe it’s the fact that they are old school or maybe it is because of the black and white look, but you can use chalk boards to decorate your apartment for Halloween and if you are having a party, relay info about what’s going on. Start off at a dollar store, where you can typically find a cheap chalk board and chalk, then find cute ribbon to hang it up or use a side table. If you need inspiration for what to say on it, Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration on what to say on it, and you can even find templates for the words.

Halloween Night

Costume

I’m not much for creating my own costume – the idea of cardboard and glitter glue hung on my body does not sound like the greatest idea, however creating my own outfit sounds great. If nothing works to for your idea, head to Boystown. Hollywood Mirror, Ragstock, and my favorite for costume pieces, Beatnix is a great place to find costume pieces really cheap. My preference is to search Pinterest and blogs for easy and original ideas and use my closet to create my look. Cheap and I always look cute.

Drinks

Cocktails are always easy to make, however consider making your own spiked cider. It’s easy, tastes better, and will make your apartment smell delicious. Or you can opt for something simple, such as pumpkin flavored beer or simply spike your drink with flavored color syrup. Don’t forget to accessorize your concoctions – use skull glasses and fake worms to make it look as beautiful as it tastes. Find out more Halloween-themed drink ideas on the blog called The Bar.

Food

Even if cooking isn’t your thing, there are plenty of ways to dress up your food and make it look great. Go beyond your typical candy corn and gummy worms. The Food Network features a ton of Halloween-themed food, from a pumpkin cheese ball to new spins on carmel apples. And for those who need it laid out simple, the Cooking Channel labels everything by how easy it is along with total time to make it.

Party Time

There’s always something to do for Halloween that takes you beyond just stopping by the bar down the street. Northalsted Street has their annual Halloween Parade at 8 pm and there are multiple pub crawls going on. River North features A Nightmare on Hubbard Street and other pub crawls, featured on Pubcrawls.com, from Navy Pier to Wrigleyville. If you are in a movie mood, Music Box Theater will be offering midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Also, take a look a look around your favorite bars. Many of them will feature costume contests and feature drink deals. If none of this seems fitting, join your friends for a Halloween house party.

 

Links:

 

 

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

“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”

The great Oscar de la Renta once said this. It was one of the many inspirational quotes he has said over his career. Over his eighty-two year old life span, over fifty of this time spent designing clothes, the designer has become known for quite a few accomplishments. No matter how much someone is interested in clothing, at the end of the day, Oscar de la Renta created quite the impact on the fashion industry that has effected women everywhere. From TV to the office, the famous designer has created clothes that has stuck in everyone’s mind.

tumblr_ndrvfmNpM71qb3c9io1_500

The Couture Gowns

Sex And The City

Sex And The City

There wasn’t a moment where Oscar de la Renta created anything with the greatest innovation or revolutionary work however he has managed to stick in everyone’s mind. While other American designers was working to build up a label, pushing ads out and trying to become a commonly used household name, Oscar de la Renta went a different path. Dressing Hollywood, filling the red carpet with silk and frills, he worked with high-profile cases and even dressing the First lady starting with Jackie Kennedy. Oscar de la Renta admired the feminine, proper, and dignified gowns made a name for himself unlike many designers.

Carrie’s “The Date with the Russian” Dress

Oscar de la Renta became a pop-culture icon with his work on movies and TV, especially with the designer’s involvement with Sex and the City. After this episode it’s safe to say everyone questioned what they wore to McDonald’s. The pink, classic dress was forever embed in our hearts as a classic. From the quote “You call him Oscar?” to the feeding of the French fry, no one can deny that Oscar de la Renta can be worn anywhere, anytime.

De la Renta in the White House

Jackie Kennedy was the first of many to bare the designs of Oscar de la Renta. The 1980’s was a stretch of Nancy Reagan wearing tomato-red and shoulder-padded gowns to dinners and events. During the 1990’s, not only did he dress Hillary Clinton, but convinced Anna Wintour to feature the First lady on the December 1998 issue of Vogue. It was the first time a first lady was ever featured on the cover.

Vogue Hillary Clinton 1998

Vogue Hillary Clinton 1998

Boy Scouts’ Classic Look

According to Scouting Magazine, Oscar de la Renta took what was once constricting military style uniforms and after a two year redesign, the classic look was achieved. The Boy Scouts were given new pants, shirts, the classic neckerchiefs. The designer told the magazine in 1980 “It should be suitable for strenuous activity; it should be made from an easy care fabric; and at the time the wearer should still look like a Scout.” Since the 1980’s boys, girls, and adults have the stylish attire due to Oscar de la Renta.

The Holy Grail of Fashion Awards

To say one knows anything about fashion, the Council of Fashion Designers of America should be one of the first things someone learns about. Between 1973 to 1976, and 1986 to 1988 Oscar de la Renta was president of the CFDA. Due to his work with the organization, the CFDA Awards came about. The awards, which de la Renta has been the recipient of many of them over the years, provides some of the ultimate honors in the fashion community.

Hillary Clinton De La Renta 1997 Inaguration

Hillary Clinton De La Renta 1997 Inaguration

Of course, many of us will never get the opportunity to wear Oscar de la Renta, however the label and the designer has created quite the effect on the fashion community. From the runway to the red carpet, year after year he has managed to amaze us. Although the name Oscar de la Renta name lives on, the work that has been produced by this creative gentleman will not be forgotten anytime soon.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/21/oscar-de-la-renta-facts_n_6022020.html

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2014/oct/21/oscar-de-la-renta-sarah-jessica-parker-amal-alamuddin-jackie-kennedy-michelle-obama-oscars

http://www.vogue.co.uk/spy/biographies/oscar-de-la-renta-biography

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

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Reduced Cost Or Free Resources For The Girls

Let’s talk breasts. With it being October, pink month, aka Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s time to start thinking about taking care of yourself. Luckily there are plenty of tools and health centers that can make sure that you have all of your bases covered. No matter the budget, there are plenty of locations around Chicago that can assist you in making sure that your best friends aren’t causing any problems for you.

First things first: early detection. Your doctor only checks up on you once a year, so the other 364 days it’s up to you to make sure everything is going smooth. Or in this case, feeling smooth. The good thing is with technology, there is literally an app for that. EarlyDetectionPlan.org offers a free website and app that provides information about mammograms, doctors, and locations based off of your age and health history. It not only can create a schedule for you throughout the year, but it can send you an alert to remind you to check yourself every month and you can schedule your clinical breast exams through the organization. Easy and fancy, all for your girls.

When it comes to locations, there are plenty of places that offer reduced cost or even free mammograms. You can check for a location near you on multiple websites including Chicago Breast Cancer, City of Chicago, and National Breast Cancer. Also, the Chicago Breast Cancer website features information about organizations that can assist with mammograms and more (check it out here). Another note, ask your current doctor if there is anything they can do to assist you with getting a mammogram. Some might be able to help with price or know another location that can help.

Most importantly, read up. Being aware of the signs, knowing the details, and using prevention methods will only help. You can check out any cancer organization’s website, including National Breast Cancer, to find out all the details to protect yourself. After all, not only is it important to stay safe, but no one can deny it’s great to have breasts. Do your part to protect them.

 

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