Love

Meet the Chezs: the Vavoom Edition!

Happy December darlings! At my house we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, so we often compromise by referencing KISSmas. Too perfect right? My Motley Jew was actually the one to put our tree up…well before Thanksgiving!

We sprung into the holiday spirit at one of my favorite places in Chicago, Vavoom Pinups. Dude and I were newly dating 7 years ago when I first experienced the magic of Vavoom. One afternoon chilling on his couch, I was surfing the Vavoom website after hearing a girlfriend rave about her experience, and the images grabbed dudes attention immediately. “You have to do this! I will pay for it!” Side note: I find this story quite amusing as he often claims to have, “played it cool,” in the beginning of our relationship. Keep telling yourself that buddy ūüôā

My love story with Vavoom began with that first shoot…I was hooked. This was pre blog life, so I was not nearly as comfortable in front of the camera. Heather, the photographer and Vavoom mastermind, does an incredible job making her Vavoom “kittens” feel comfortable.

The experience kicks off with a warm greeting and a red silk robe to wear for the glam session. After the pros make all your glam pin-up dreams come true, you head downstairs, where the real magic happens. Racks upon racks of costumes are available to pick from. For my first shoot, I went the iconic pin up girl route. Loved every second of it! A couple of years later I returned for a Valentine’s Day themed shoot, (you can check out that post here.) A year or so later, a few blogger babes joined me back at Vavoom to promote their 80’s style series.¬† Each experience was unique…each experience was a blast!

For my fourth visit I pulled in the big guns…THE HUSBAND! Vavoom is best known for epic pinup photography….but they also offer family shoots, Mommy+Me shoots, furry friends shoots, bachelorette party shoots….the list goes on! In addition to a fabulously fun experience, looking and feeling your very best, the photography is out of this world. I cannot think of a better gift idea!

A couple “behind the scenes” shots! PS…about dudes mustache. He rocked the statement all November in honor of Movember, an annual event involving growing mustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues. It was also inspired by the great Freddie Mercury of Queen…(we have been on a major rock out to Queen kick.) The “stash” is now gone!

The amazing gal behind the camera…Vavoom Queen Heather!¬†

Make a loved one’s Vavoom dreams come true…gift cards are available!

Cheers to the most wonderful time of the year!

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

Fashion, Life

The Magic of Marfa!

Howdy y’all! A couple weeks back, my girlfriends and I traveled to Marfa Texas for a long weekend of desert fun. This was my second time visiting this artist hub, located in the middle of West Texas.¬† Check out my past post, Urban Cowgirls, for a peek into my first visit.¬† My girlfriend Katie’s parents are awesomely artsy, and so wild for the quirky town, they own a vacation home there. My lady loves and I have shared so much Marfa fun, we all jumped at the chance to return. This time we added a twist to the girls trip…my man came along. 4 crazy ladies and one tattooed KISS fan…let the party begin!

With less then 2,000 residents, Marfa is known as a quirky and artistic town…and a great place to escape from hectic city life.¬† Our gang flew into El Paso, and then hopped in our rental to road trip our way to our “off the beaten path” destination.¬† A must stop on the journey is a visit to Prada Marfa…a stand alone store in the middle of the dessert. So weird…so cool.¬† As I just typed that, I realized that description is essentially Marfa…totally weird, and 100% cool.

The vibe of the town is relaxed, quiet, and friendly.  After a couple days of wandering around, you will know dogs by their first name. How rad is that?! Marfa is famous for its many amazing art galleries.  A visit to the Chinati Foundation is a must to admire the work of Donald Judd, a large driver behind the arts community in Marfa.

A fresh new activity for the urban cowgirls, (plus one husband), we added to our Marfa menu this visit…a night stay at El Cosmico. Aka…”glamping.”¬† A night stay in a cozy teepee, on an 18-acre campground under the stars. Our adventure landed on a rainy Marfa night.¬† We had the best of times drinking wine and chatting fireside…but the quality of actual sleep was a bit dicey. The husband summed it up well the next day as we rolled out, (exhausted), in our rental. “I am cranky now ladies. But later, I will be very happy we shared this experience together.”

Moving on to what I do best…FASHION. One of my favorite activities in Marfa is ironically my favorite pastime, shopping.¬† Not just because the local boutique owners are so friendly….but also because I adore all the gems I have scored in this town.¬† Straight away, I knew my cowboy needed a hat.¬† We found his perfect hat at one of my favorite Marfa shops, Communitie.¬† Dude rocked it all weekend, and it was wildly well received.¬† I purchased these little pink glasses at Ashley Rowe, and took them off basically just to sleep during the whole trip. Love! Not that this girl ever needs an excuse to shop, but I do love a piece associated with a great memory. I know these glasses will be a regular in my rotation, and I know they will always remind me of this amazing trip.

Also from the fabulous Communitie shop, this gorgeous slip dress by Organic By John Patrick. I love the fact that the material is meant to be wrinkled, making it a perfect travel piece. Another fun fact: the owner informed me AFTER I purchased the dress, that Beyonce, Rihanna, and Scarlett Johansson own the same number! Styled again with the groovy pink shades from Ashley Rowe, that I lived in all weekend.

Moving along to my favorite Marfa purchase of this trip, this bombshell jumpsuit by Garbo. Love at first sight. I stumbled into her one day shopping with the ladies, but didn’t pull the trigger. I knew I would be back. Luckily my man was a few drinks in, when I tried it on for him later that day. Mine! The overused “obsessed” expression has never felt so spot on. And in true Marfa form, I stumbled into the actual DESIGNER the very next day cruising around before dinner. Be still my Marfa fashion heart!

As much as I adore Marfa shopping, I of course had to come prepared with some stylish Western wear. Show me Your Mumu is one of my longtime favorite designers, and oozes the chic cowgirl vibes I was going for. This “Howdy” sweater is so cute and cozy. My flare pants are also by Mumu. They make the best bells in the biz!

The air B&B we shacked up at had a pool…so a new suit was naturally in order. This leopard one piece, also by Show me Your Mumu, is so chic and comfortable. Bonus: the beauty doubles as a great bodysuit styled with denim.

Akira is another one of my longtime favorite shopping destinations. I stumbled upon these boots a couple of weeks before our trip, and had to have them. So good…so unique…and they look great with just about everything. If you follow my blog, you know I am a loyal Akira jean short fan. Denim shorts seem like a simple situation…but the fit can be so tricky! I find most styles to be either too baggy, (or as the husband says, dumpy), or way too short and bootylicious. Akira simply nails the fit. Their styles are super cool, and their price tags are legit.

Wrapping up this Marfa love story with some random fun photos. First up, Joe Davis. My girl Katie’s uber talented and off the charts cool Dad. Featured behind us, his one of a kind kick a** art.

My boo Erin, and her goat friend.

My very favorite crazy cat lady, my husband.

Marfa sunsets, so dreamy.

Until next time…

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Beauty

My Latest Greatest Beauty Secret: Vitahl Medical Aesthetics

The search for the latest and greatest beauty secrets never ends. There are so many amazing products available that can be used in the comfort of home…but sometimes a gal needs to call in the big guns. AKA…a MED SPA! The world of lasers, injectables, and fat reducing treatments can be quite daunting. A blogger duty I take very seriously, is researching the services I believe to be worth every penny.¬† I have been paying regular visits to Vitahl Medical Aesthetics over the past few months…and it was love at first laser genesis.

Vitahl is located on Madison Street in the West Loop. The interior is sleek, and decorated with super groovy artwork. The staff is small, which I love. Having someone poke needles into your face is a bit personal…being able to build a relationship with the technicians you are working with is so comforting.

The first service I tried at Vitahl, which hooked me straight away, is the Laser Genesis facial.¬†This procedure is a favorite among many Hollywood A-listers…yes please! The laser works by mildly heating the upper dermis of your skin to stimulate the growth and production of collagen. The laser also targets facial capillaries which helps to diminish redness, wrinkles, fine lines, uneven texture, enlarged pores, and more icky stuff.¬† The process is quick and pain free. Below you can find me getting the royal treatment done by Vitahl’s laser master, Fred. Fred is the best to chat with, he makes you feel so comfortable.¬† He also has flawless skin, which I always find comforting from a skincare professional!¬† Bonus: there is no downtime after this treatment.

Vitahl offers TruSculptID treatment, which uses radio frequency to heat and permanently destroy fat cells…in 15 flipping minutes! A series of 2 is recommended to achieve the best results possible.¬† I did one treatment, to be able to share the experience.¬† When it comes to dealing with pain, I royally suck.¬† It is slightly uncomfortable as the treatment heats up, but those moments are short, and again the jig is up in 15 minutes! Over 90% of Vitahl clients who treat one area of their body sign up for another. So yes indeed, it works!

If you are looking to dramatically improve your skin, Secret RF is the answer.¬† Secret RF combines micro needling and radio frequency to efficiently treat fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, acne scarring, and more!¬† I tested this treatment out on a Friday afternoon. The staff prepped me to schedule on a day where I could head straight home after, as my skin would be red.¬† Side note: the warm staff at Vitahl are wonderful at providing all the details on every treatment, so you know exactly what to expect. I was not in any pain afterwards, but I was indeed a not so sexy shade of red. However, by that evening, the redness was miraculously gone.¬† The photo below was taken the very next day. My skin felt so fresh…and so good!

I once promised myself that if I ever tried Botox, I would never post about it on my blog. Because duh, my mom reads my blog, and she would kill me. Don’t stop loving me Mom! Here’s the dish on Botox: when used properly, it does not change your appearance. It simply softens any unwanted crows feet or lines. And guess what Ma…what I had done is not technically Botox! The Vitahl pros recommended¬† Neurotoxin. AKA, the new tox on the block. We have all seen those crazy looking ladies that overdid something. I do not advise letting someone like that near your precious face! Caroline is the Vitahl Nurse Practioner. Caroline is feminine, natural, and lovely. She told me herself that she is committed to never over doing any treatment. No one noticed I had Jeuveau except me…and that is how it should be! Same you…just a little bit better:)

That is just a sprinkling of the many innovative treatments available at Vitahl. I can’t recommend this place enough! Mention my blog for the extra VIP treatment. Treat yourself babes…you deserve it!

Glow-Getter (noun):  A driven busy gal who strives to achieve her goals in life while attaining a beautiful glow both inside and out.

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Fashion, Life

A Divot Stomping Dream Come True!

I am back today with another edition of summer fun catch up! If you follow me on Instagram, chances are you caught plenty of action from the adventures I am sharing today.  However, the photos are simply too fun to not also be worthy an official blog post. Welcome to my first ever polo match!

Ever since I saw Julia Roberts divot stomp in style in Pretty Women, I have dreamed of attending a Polo Event. Dressed up glam sipping champs in the company of beautiful horses and fancy cars? Yes please! A group of my favorite blogger buddies and I participated in a photoshoot at the Arranmore Farm Polo Club a few weeks back, to promote a big upcoming match.  It was so magical!

The fashion: My polka dot number is by For Love and Lemons. The bombshell blonde next to me, is in a gorgeous green gown is by Akira.

As a thank you for participating in the promotional shoot, we were all invited to attend the match with our significant other.  I managed to get my man out of his standard KISS tee and jeans, and into THIS! What a treat! My slip tank and matching skirt are both by Alice and Olivia, boots by Rebecca Minkoff.

Little ol’ me was invited to start the match off by tossing the first ball. Thanks to the Internet, I learned this role is formally described as a chucker, and is traditionally offered to a “distinguished guest.” What a hoot! I was so nervous! But all went smoothly, and was great fun.

Click the link below to witness the ridiculousness!

polochucker

“I want the Fairy Tale.”~Pretty Woman

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Life

Be As Bubbly As Your Drink: Sharing my love for Empress 1908 Gin!

Summer sadly, yet happily, flew by this year.  I was presented with many great opportunities via XOXO, and had a hard time not saying YES to most! Modern day problems:) I have been so consumed with events, I have been slacking on actually blogging about them! I am playing catch up this week, and sharing the shenanigans.

First up to bat, I am pleased to introduce y’all to a fantastic cocktail. Empress 1908 Gin is the original, all-natural, color-changing gin.¬† It is infused with natural botanicals, and its gorgeous deep purple shade transforms to a soft pink when mixers are added.¬† I never cared for gin until I was introduced to Empress 1908.¬† The flavor is floral and rich, but not at all strong and boozy.¬† Added bonus: there is no denying it makes a beautiful cocktail to serve guests!

A fellow rock wife/friend of mine, JoBeth Harrison, works for team Empress. JoBeth and I joined forces and planned an event together, to help spread the good Empress word among my influencer friends. A group of¬† blogger babes gathered together one evening at my home, and JoBeth served up delicious drinks. The favorite of the evening: The Empress 75. Fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and Empress gin shaken over ice, strained into a champagne flute and topped with Brut sparkling wine. So refreshing and tasty. If you are like the old me and think gin is not your drink, I challenge you to give this cocktail a try! You can find Empress 1908 in many stores that sell premium spirits, including Binny’s and trusty Target.

“She had a cocktail in her hand and confetti in her hair.”~ Kate Spade

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Life

An All American Blogger Dream Come True

I recently struck gold and was presented an opportunity with one of my long time favorite restaurants…McDonald’s!¬† There is something so nostalgic and all American about those glorious golden arches.¬† The feeling brings me right back to my childhood.¬† Summer days were spent swimming at my Momo and Papo’s swimming pool, and Papo was notorious for slipping me cash for McDonald’s ice cream cones on the way home.¬† On family vacations it was our go-to restaurant on the road, that everyone was always happy with.¬† I can still hear my mom’s joyful voice ordering up her Big Mac, every time declaring…”I only treat myself to this on vacation, y’all!” To this day, if I am treating myself to fast food, Micky D’s is the only way to go.

A group of my blogger buddies and I, were asked to meet at Chicago’s newest (beautiful!) McDonald’s to sample their new frozen beverages.¬† Who doesn’t love a cold slushie on a hot summer day? Three fun fizzy flavors are offered- frozen Coca-Cola, Fanta Blue Raspberry, and my personal favorite, Wild Cherry.¬† Each drink is only 190 calories.¬† I am proud to say I did not regret one of those calories!

McDonald’s holds an extra special place in my heart because of an extra special person, my Grandpa Bud. Bud Frankel and his amazing wife, Mimi Frankel, were two of my very first personal training clients when I moved to Chicago 12 years ago.¬† In no time, Bud became much more than my client, he became my Grandpa Bud.¬† Bud founded a marketing business in the 60’s, Frankel and Co.; whose promotions included introducing the world to the McDonalds’s Happy Meal. He was a pioneer in the industry, and was known by his hundreds of employees, as the most genuinely kind person in the world.¬† I lost my Grandpa Bud on May 14th. He lived an incredible 89 years, as a wildly successful business man, a devoted and loving family man, a passionate philanthropist, and wonderful friend to many.¬† I had the good fortune of chatting with Budman the day before he passed.¬† Within the first 5 minutes of our conversation he asked, “How’s the blog? Send me the latest post!” Even though I primarily post about women’s fashion and beauty, Bud was one of my biggest XO fans.¬† My topics may not have been relevant to him, but he was so proud of me for creating something on my own.¬† I miss him every day…and gosh darn it, I wish I could share this post with him!¬† Here are a couple of shots of Bud and I from this past holiday season, when he and Mimi threw an epic bash for hundreds of his former employees. The theme was plaid, Grandpa Bud rocked these babies for over 60 years! The first shot my husband sneaked is one of my forever favorites.¬† Bud always appreciated my love of fashion. I can still hear his sweet voice exclaiming…”You look GREAT!”

This ones for you Budman! Who knew the Happy Meal makes for a crazy cute clutch bag!

My husband is a total foodie. He knows food better than anyone I know, and has majorly broadened my Midwestern palette. My foodie of a husband is also a huge fan of¬† Micky D’s. Of all the many apps on his phone, I am confident the McDonald’s app, which notifies you with their daily deals, is his favorite.¬† He regularly informs me, with great pride, how inexpensive his delicious Big Mac lunch was.¬† You can place an order online via the handy McDonald’s app, rock your car up to one of their spots dedicated to online orders, and a server will deliver to the goodness directly to your car window.¬† My man especially loves utilizing this service on the weekends to scoop up our beloved Egg McMuffins, usually still in his bathrobe.

Last but not least, the fashion.¬† I love a good theme, so I naturally rolled with the classic McDonald’s red and yellow color palette. Nice work Ronald, I am so into this color combination! My dress is an oldie but goodie by Akira.¬† My heels are Valentino, a special treat from the Hubs.¬† Shades and french fry earrings are Randolph Street flea market scores! On the beauty front, a bold red lip and a giant Big Mac are a tricky combination.¬† I am wearing my go-to crazy long lasting, perfect fire engine red lip stain by Stila, shade Beso.

“Life is short. Wear red lipstick, and eat the Big Mac…with fries”~ME

XOXO,

Julz Chez