New Year’s Eve with Paris312

2016 is finally over! Like many, I celebrated the end of the yearlong dumpster-fire in style. My friend Ben is in town from Boston for the week, and we enjoyed our last day of the year marathoning Top Chef reruns, eating lots of comfort food, and then heading out to Roscoe’s in Boystown for their New Year’s Eve Under the Sea extravaganza! But first, we popped champagne in style with some help from Paris312.

For those who haven’t yet heard of Paris312, it’s an events and decor company for modern, chic partiers in Chicago and beyond. I’ve been following them for about six months now, and I love how beautiful, fun, and French-inspired their products are! So when I saw they were holding a giveaway for the holidays, I entered – and contrary to my own personal belief that I never win anything, I actually won! The team at Paris312 was so kind and sweet in coordinating dropoff for the cake topper I won – they delivered it the same day I sent them my address and included an adorable banner and four confetti push pops I could use on New Year’s Eve!

Our setup for pre-New Year’s Eve! Banner, champagne, cake, and confetti.

The cake toppers, which were what I won, were all separate – you can use them for cake or cupcakes if you’d like! They are on the taller side, and came in a really cute box, as well. The banner was actually navy and gold – it’s hard to see in the photo – which is one of my favorite color combinations, and was simple to hang evenly. The confetti push pops are so easy to use and (thankfully) free of any loud noises, and we had SO much fun popping them and dancing in the falling confetti outside my apartment! To add to the glitz and glam, I followed this tutorial from the Lala and decked out our champagne with lots of glitter.

It was a great night with lots of great party accents, and I can’t wait to go to Paris312 for all my future party needs! Check them out at www.paris312.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. And from me to you, happy 2017!

The Proust Questionnaire

At ages 13 and 20, French writer Marcel Proust took the same questionnaire, comparing his answers later in life and contemplating how he’d changed as a person. The questions he answers have become a standard questionnaire across the globe, and are still used today. So for fun, today I’m answering the original Proust Questionnaire with honesty and insightfulness – maybe I’ll learn something new about myself!

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A cozy apartment in the wintertime, overlooking Lake Michigan, complete with a comfortable couch right in the sunlight, a full bookshelf, hot tea, a big blanket, and puppies or kittens to snuggle.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Dying alone.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I have a tendency to talk over others and interrupt without regard… I’m working on that.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
When they disrespect the differing opinions of others – opinions are opinions and we’re all entitled to differing ones, which makes no one person  “wrong” for their beliefs.
5. Which living person do you most admire?
Grace Coddington, creative director at Vogue and cat lady extraordinaire.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Puppy cuddles on lazy Sundays from my mini goldendoodles.

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Aubrey (left) and Brody, the                   loves of my life.
7. What is your current state of mind?
Focused and calm.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Temperance.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
When people ask if I still watch MTV. (If you ask, I’ll say I don’t.)
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Short, stubby hands and fingers.
11. Which living person do you most despise?
Donald Trump. I find it unbelievably despicable that he treats every minority group (people of color, women, immigrants, etc.) with utter intolerance and disrespect.
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Sweet-natured humor and kindness.
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Self-confidence.
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Actually”, “I know”, and “Already knew that.” I come off as a know-it-all because of these phrases…
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Animals, particularly cats and dogs.
16. When and where were you happiest?

At my college graduation – it was a day I had waited for since being sick.

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17. Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to dance – I could when I was younger, but not so much anymore!
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would think before I speak more often.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Beating cancer at age 20.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Definitely a puppy.
21. Where would you most like to live?
New York City 🙂
22. What is your most treasured possession?
A bear given to me by my boyfriend – we made him together at Build-A-Bear the first time he visited, and his name is Wonka.
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The inability to recognize that there are people around that love and support you.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
Public relations executive or fashion editor.
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
Big eyes and loud, vibrant laugh. It’s a tie between those.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty and support.
27. Who are your favorite writers?
William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and  Neil Gaiman, among many, many others.
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
I’ll always be partial to Alice Liddell of Alice in Wonderland.
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I can’t think of any historical cat ladies…

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30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Diem Brown and my parents.
31. What are your favorite names?
I’m not someone who has favorite names – if a name suits the person, then I like it. But it’s hard to pick an individual favorite without a person attached to it.
32. What is it that you most dislike?
Prejudice.
33. What is your greatest regret?
I never saved the photos I took in high school – even from my trips to Peru and the Middle East – and I wish I still had them.
34. How would you like to die?
Peacefully at a ripe old age, surrounded by love and family.
35. What is your motto?
Fortune favors the bold.
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101 in 1001

I had done a post like this on Chicago Prep, inspired by Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling. The concept is simple- create 101 goals, give yourself 1001 days to complete them, and see what happens. I took a look at my old 101 in 1001, and I was surprised to see how many that I’d either done by accident or didn’t feel applied to my life anymore. Graduating college and getting a job kind of does that to you- it changes things. It was time for a new blog- so it’s time for a new list, too.

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DATE WRITTEN: February 28, 2016

1001 DAYS FROM NOW: November 25, 2018

  1. Come up with 101 things to complete this list. (February 2016)
  2. Put the finishing touches on this site! (July 2016)
  3. Move into my own apartment. (May 2016)
  4. Adopt a cat.
  5. Travel to a new country.
  6. Read 30 new books. (3/30 – The Woman in Cabin 10, Big Little Lies, The Zookeeper’s Wife)
  7. Volunteer for a cause I support.
  8. Learn to use Photoshop. (February 2017)
  9. Contribute a guest blog post to a site I love.
  10. Run a 5K. (Not walk. Run.)
  11. Go completely unplugged for 24 hours.
  12. Attend a blogging conference. (July 2016)
  13. Visit friends in 3 other states.
  14. Try ten new Chicago restaurants. (7/10 – Barcocina, il Porcellino, Antique Taco, Mahalo, Girl and the Goat, Turquoise, Velvet Taco)
  15. Get professional photos taken.
  16. Take a post-grad course, just for fun.
  17. Complete a 30-day photo challenge.
  18. Watch every movie on the AFI 100 Years list.
  19. Write in a journal every day for a month.
  20. Post three blog entries a week for a month.
  21. Buy a new lens for my DSLR.
  22. Start a blog series. (June 2016)
  23. Submit an op-ed to the New York Times.
  24. Attend Cancer Con.
  25. Go camping.
  26. Join a book club.
  27. Visit a national park.
  28. Register to vote. (June 2016)
  29. Spend a day reading at a bookstore or library.
  30. Buy someone behind me in line their coffee.
  31. Reach 1,000 followers on each social media channel for Love from Lindsay.
  32. Host a blog giveaway.
  33. Ride a bike along Lake Michigan. (July 2016)
  34. Take a spontaneous road trip. (July 2016 – St. Louis)
  35. Watch 5 new documentaries.
  36. Attend a celebrity meet and greet.
  37. Go to a concert or show without my phone or camera. Enjoy the memories. (June 2016, Drag Race)
  38. Take a dance class. (May 2016)
  39. Marathon every Harry Potter movie in one weekend.
  40. Donate to my alma mater (DePaul University!)
  41. Go hiking.
  42. Watch 10 TED Talks.
  43. Try a crazy new recipe from a cooking show.
  44. Send out holiday cards.
  45. Send valentines to everyone in my immediate family.
  46. Learn to rock climb, even if it’s just a wall at a gym.
  47. Join a trivia team league. (July 2016)
  48. Write twenty handwritten notes.
  49. Make ten DIY crafts from Pinterest.
  50. Spend a day running errands and doing favors for my family.
  51. Take my puppies for a mile-long walk (no phones allowed!). (February 2017)
  52. Visit 5 museums in Chicago. (2/5 – Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art)
  53. Sit in the live audience for a TV show taping.
  54. Find the perfect LBD. (June 2016)
  55. Learn calligraphy.
  56. Conquer my fear of heights with a visit to the Skydeck or Hancock Observatory. (May 2016)
  57. Buy something from a local artist at an art festival or show.
  58. Take a cooking class.
  59. Cook dinner for my parents one night (dishwashing included!)
  60. Re-learn how to do a cartwheel.
  61. Do a polar plunge.
  62. Wake up to see the sun rise.
  63. Finish five TV series start-to-finish on my “must watch list”. (April 2017 – Lost, Stranger Things, The Great British Bake-Off, 3%, Broadchurch)
  64. Restart my Etsy shop.
  65. Stop drinking soda.
  66. Design and sew a new dress or skirt for myself.
  67. Throw a surprise party for someone.
  68. Go to a music festival and find a new favorite musician.
  69. Play at an open mic night.
  70. Attend a ballet or opera performance.
  71. Try a new subscription box (and review it for the blog).
  72. Visit Washington, D.C.
  73. Volunteer with my sorority.
  74. Go to a film festival.
  75. Reconnect with my high school friends.
  76. Reconnect with my sorority sisters.
  77. Spend a day with each of my siblings doing their favorite things with them (all their choice!).
  78. Give five small just-because gifts.
  79. Give my parents one day off, and do everything on their to-do lists for them.
  80. Write a “Lindsay Loves” guide to Chicago.
  81. Be a tourist for a day, taking goofy pictures at iconic Chicago tourist spots.
  82. Visit all three of my sisters’ college towns (Atlanta, St. Louis, & Nashville) (1/3 – St. Louis)
  83. Cross-stitch something to hang in my office (June 2016)
  84. Visit 5 new cities. (1/5 – St. Louis)
  85. Join a new blogger network or collective. (July 2016 – Activate by Bloglovin)
  86. Create a computerized font of my own handwriting.
  87. Brush up on my video editing skills
  88. Make 3 YouTube videos.
  89. Host a board game night.
  90. See a movie on an outdoor screen.
  91. Listen to a concert on the lawn at Ravinia Festival.
  92. Go a week without takeout or delivery. (June 2016)
  93. Learn to paint my own nails. (April 2016)
  94. Knit something other than a scarf.
  95. Attend a fashion show.
  96. Get a facial. (July 2016)
  97. Make a coffee-table book of all my completed coloring book pages.
  98. Donate blood. (March 2017)
  99. Go kayaking on the Chicago River.
  100. Love myself.
  101. Start a new 101 in 1001 when I finish this list!
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