Valentine’s Day

Ahhh Valentine’s Day.  The day that couples love, the day that single people hate, and the day that stresses the population out in general because the expectations skyrocket for everyone, no matter what their relationship status is.

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“What do you MEAN you didn’t schedule reservations 24 hours in advance?”

For this particular post however, I don’t JUST want to focus on how I can put together a cute Valentine’s Day themed outfit.  I also want to focus on how we (particularly millennials) can make relationships work in 2017.  In order to make this post more accessible and relatable to you, my readers, I asked my sister Kate and her husband James (one of the best functioning couples I know) to provide some insight on how to be in a relationship and not lose your mind in this day and age.

For the record, Kate and James are not only happily married in Johannesburg, South Africa, but they’re also the minds behind I-Drop Water, an up and coming company that focuses on providing accessible drinking water to the entire continent of Africa (you can watch their Chivas Regal episode regarding their company here: https://vimeo.com/201104402).  The questions and answers are below:

Since you guys have been together, how have your styles meshed? Does it involve a lot of borrowing each other’s clothes?

Kate and James: We both have our own styles, but honestly, we wear what’s stylish, functional and above all, stuff we don’t have to think about.  We both need to look professional almost all the time now, but also need to work with plumbing, electronics, and also travel so things need to be simple and not get in the way.  We are both not afraid to buy the same thing in different colors if it works (although James is basically your worst nightmare in terms of buying clothes).

You both run a successful startup that seems to only flourish more from the both of you collaborating together. What is the secret to being so in sync with each other?

Kate and James: We are very lucky that we can work together and also have amazing times outside of work.  Most people would not try what we’ve done as it does invite potential conflict.  We worked together as students in the MBA (at Oxford University), so we suppose that helped.  We basically have huge respect for each other and understand when the other might be overwhelmed or tired.  Above all, we listen to each other and are patient, and we don’t step on each other’s toes.

As a 23 year old millennial, several of my peers and I have lost a lot of hope in dating, since the late 2010s seem to be the pinnacle of hook up culture. What advice would you give to people in their 20s looking for more than a fling? 

Kate and James: For the young’uns, just be open to meeting people!  Don’t be afraid to reach out and start a relationship, whether as a friend or more.  But never stay with anyone who disrespects or hurts you in any way (emotional or otherwise).  Relationships should be tough as hell in the best way possible while at the same time feeling like the most amazing thing in the world.  You’ll never find that person though if you never take a chance on anyone.

Some may say that it was corny of me to interview a couple for my Valentine’s Day blog post, but I honestly think that when it comes to dating in 2017, every bit of advice always helps.  I’ve been single for over three years now, and while it can get quite frustrating to be in that certain mindset, I always remind myself that I’ll find someone someday, thanks to the love that I see between Kate and James every day.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!  Over and out.

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The Women’s March

I figured that writing about the historical event that happened this past weekend would be the best way to start off my blog for the New Year.  Yes, I’m talking about the Women’s March, which not only took place in Washington D.C. and other notable cities like Chicago and New York, but in fact, happened all over the world!  I was lucky enough to go to the D.C. March and protest along side millions of women and men, and dude, it was absolutely incredible.

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I just had to strike a pose.

The Women’s March proved to be one of the most provocative (and crowded) events of my life.  As I marched through the streets with thousands of people flanking my side, it was hard not to get excited about the fact that so many people had united in one place on one day to voice their concern for the common cause.  However, I didn’t want to pretend that the event belonged solely to the white women at the March – after all, 53% of white women in the country voted for Trump.  Therefore, as well as being there to fight for my rights as a woman, I also wanted to support my sisters of color and remind them that yes, white women can totally be ignorant, but some of us are striving more than ever to place ourselves in their shoes and work alongside them as their allies.  I know I have been guilty of ignorance and whitewashing in the past, so I hoped that participating in the March with so many people from around the world would further open my eyes to different perspectives outside of my usual comfort zone.

With that being said, I’m going to share some awesome photos that my sister snapped during the March. Coming to you from the nation’s capital:

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All of these photos can also be seen on Instagram (@risepartymovement).

I think it’s safe to say that this is the first of many marches to come.  And to that, I say:

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Bring it.

My Letter To 2016

Dear 2016,

You have been one of the most tumultuous years that I, and probably a lot of other people within my generation, have experienced.  Even though you are nothing more than a group of days (and four numbers), you have everyone left and right blaming you for everything that has gone wrong.  From beloved celebrity deaths, to the election of a rotting tangerine to the highest office of the United States, and to countless tragedies as a result of violence all over the world, you had never ceased to make people angry at you.  Which is impressive too, considering that as I mentioned before, you’re just a group of days (and four numbers).

I'm not even mad. (Will Ferrell)

While you yourself have made me quite conflicted and yes, even irrationally angry at some points, I look at you overall as a mixed bag.  Because you see, while so many terrible things happened this year, I also had so many amazing things happen to me as well!

So yes 2016, while we were all inside of you, I got to experience some incredible things.  For starters, I graduated college with a Bachelors Degree in Fashion Business and Acting, and I have never been happier with my pursuits.  I got to go to Turks and Caicos to see my brother fly around on a trapeze and aerial straps – how many people can say that they’ve seen that?  Oh right, and I also got to go to Italy with my best friend and my sister.  Freakin’ Italy!!  And did I mention that I was lucky enough to experience the joy of the Cubs winning the World Series firsthand?

There were some other sweet moments that I’m happy to have experienced.  Due in part to a spontaneous decision on my roommate’s part, I ended up getting my first pet, a little black kitten named Winifred.  I was also lucky enough to be apart of an award winning short film, Silver Screens (and yes, while it was incredibly rough to go through the month of July with my parents mad at me for being partly nude on screen, it was all worth it).  I also had the pleasure of working for two incredible Chicago startup companies (check them out: https://zipfitdenim.com/ and https://www.vosgeschocolate.com/).  And finally, as Kylie Jenner actually predicted, I realized so many things about myself this year that I hadn’t realized before – including the fact that a total of three men had stolen my heart this year in a whirlwind of excitement and young romance.

Of course, I’m not letting you get off the hook for a lot of the other things that you brought upon us, 2016.  I’m still bummed at the fact that we didn’t get our first woman president, despite the fact that she won the popular vote.  I’m also still heartbroken over events such as Orlando and Aleppo, and very much not over the deaths of Alan Rickman, Anton Yelchin, and Carrie Fisher (as well as other beloved celebrities).  However, if there is one thing that I can give you credit for, it is giving a majority of us an excuse to get off of our asses and take action.  Yes, while you have been a year of tumultuous events, you have also been a year of making us realize that if we want change, we have to get up and achieve it ourselves.

So 2016, I will raise a glass to you tonight.  I will raise a glass to all of troubles you’ve brought us, as well as all of the achievements that you have gifted us.

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Here’s to a fantastic 2017.

Signing out,

Maddy Thiers

I Don’t Joke Around With My Pinterest Boards

Some people out in the world (probably people with no creativity whatsoever) have told me themselves that they consider Pinterest a dying art.  Do I believe them?  Certainly not.  Regardless of whatever they happen to believe, I still live in a world where I’m surrounded by artists who use Pinterest for constant motivation and ideas.  Whether it’s a stage manager researching ideas for props and set architecture, or a bride-to-be researching ideas for her big day, Pinterest has remained a stable source of inspiration for anyone who oh so desperately needs it.  And I am one of those people!

Since leaving my teen years, I have limited my profile to four Pinterest boards, my favorite two boards being a fashion board (https://www.pinterest.com/mthiers/i-love-fashion/) and an inspiration board (https://www.pinterest.com/mthiers/my-inspiration-board/).  These boards, which I have just shamelessly shared the links to, hold so many precious and motivating ideas.  Therefore, I see no problem with sharing these ideas furthermore.

I don’t know if anyone truly sees themselves in artwork anymore, so whenever I come across a striking piece of art, I try to see how I can relate to what is being portrayed.  I particularly love Dali…

Woman with a Head of Roses, Salvador Dali, 1935.:

… as well as this fine art anatomy by Nunzio Paci…

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… and because I count couture as art, this fine design by Dior!

Hat couture, Dior, 2009.:

I could go on and on with my inspiration board, so I’ll just transition into how enthusiastic I am about all of the style pins I’ve been seeing lately.  There are way too many good street style pins to pass up, especially from Fashion Week!

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Milan Fashion Week, street style.:

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This post especially goes out to all of the people who have reached out to me, asking about my style and where I get inspiration from.  My style?  Very eclectic.  Lots of layers.  I know I tend to wander around the tomboy, girly, and bohemian realms a lot, I just can’t stick to one particular style.

I suppose that in order to end this post on a fun note, I should really emphasize how I’ve always tended to like weird outfit combinations… therefore, enjoy this photo of the Olsen twins and their Birkenstocks with socks!

Birkenstocks and socks!:

Yes, that is something I would totally wear.

… stop laughing.

On a secondary note, I hope that everyone has a safe and fun holiday season!  See you in 2017!

What Makes A Great Team

This November has been quite a crazy month so far.  However, one of the undeniable highlights of this month was definitely the World Series, which will forever mark 2016 as the year the Cubs broke their 108-year-old curse and pulled through with a legendary win.

So how did the Cubs do this?  How did they manage to become one of the best teams in the league over these past few years?  And what exactly makes them a great team?

Believe it or not, I was able to secure that answer from my twin brother Gerry shortly after the World Series ended.  It was all thanks to a hungover phone call I made to him the night after the Cubs won, and he himself expressed his desire to be with me in Chicago for the celebrations.

“You know how the Cubs became such a great team?” He laughed over the phone as my ears perked up with interest. “Well obviously they got a new manager, but this guy they hired is so fun!  He always encourages the Cubs to have fun during press conferences, and you know how they do it?”

My brow furrowed as I sipped water, trying to think of an answer.  I immediately gave up due to my pounding headache. “I don’t know, how?”

“Google it,” Gerry advised. “These guys wear funny suits to their events.  They even wore pajamas once! Isn’t that crazy?”

I had trouble believing Gerry at first, but he insisted that I Google it. “I’m pretty sure that’s how they became a great team.  Their new boss told them that it was okay to not take themselves too seriously!”

Sure enough, Google did not fail me, and when I typed in “Cubs funny suits” or “Cubs pajamas” all of the results I wanted popped up.  The Cubs are certainly challenging the other teams in the MLB with their style!  Fans love everything, from these funky suits…

… to these funky pajamas…

… to even more funky suits!

In fact, I’m just going to post more pictures of the Cubs in their stylish, outlandish suits.

(this one is especially a bonus)

Damn.  I knew I liked the Cubs for a reason!  And not just because I have a tendency to root for the underdogs, or because they got the paparazzi fashion blogger strut down, but because they are truly a team who enjoys having fun.  I still look at these photos sometimes, especially after the other chaotic and depressing events that occurred this past month.  And you know what?  I think life would be a lot better if we all just took some cues from the Cubs.

Many thanks to Gerry for suggesting that I write a blog post about this, and many thanks to the Cubs for making at least one good thing happen this month.  Go Cubs go!

My Perfect Fall Outfit

Fall is all about throwing jeans and sweaters together, as well as browsing through collections of scarves and fabulous boots.  However, I know that I am not the only one with a favorite fall outfit.  I generally draw a lot of inspiration from the 90s with my outfits, so the beauty of seeing everyone’s favorite fall outfits is guessing what decade they draw inspiration from!  I’m sure you will see the 90s influence in my outfit below:

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Can you tell that I was obsessed with Clueless as a kid?  Anyway, it makes total sense that my favorite fall outfit is a dress layered over a button up.  Talk about cliche.

I’d also like to make a shoutout to my roommate Rose for pointing out that layering dresses over button ups is a classic Maddy move.  She really isn’t wrong.

Happy Sunday!

Transitioning Into Fall

Practically everyone I know gets super excited when fall comes around.  Pumpkin flavored goodies are back, Halloween is in the air, and of course, everyone gets hyped about the fashion.  Sweaters, boots, neutral colors… you name it!  Fall is undoubtedly one of the most popular seasons of the year.

What do you do, however, when you want to wear fall looks, but it’s still quite warm outside?  I was able to figure out a system that worked well enough for me, and I thought that I should share it!  Here are my two big tips for transitioning your fashion sense into fall.

1) Start with the colors!

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Isn’t this dress great?  I found it in Milan, and it’s personally become one of my favorite garments.  Anyway, this photo is to demonstrate that if it’s still warm outside, but you want to look like you’re apart of the fall spirit, then start with the color scheme of your outfit.  That way, you will be able to feel festive, or in my case, feel like a stylish pumpkin!

The best fall fashion hack is that you can still use your summer dresses as the weather gets chillier.  When it gets colder, simply layer a blouse or a sweater under your dress!  Pair with tights and weather appropriate shoes, and you’re good to go.

2) Balance out your look!

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Now when the wind starts to pick up, this is when you want to start incorporating the jeans and boots.  However, the sun may still make you feel pretty warm, so while one half of your body in bundled up (in this case, the bottom half), balance out the top by throwing on a summer appropriate shirt!  That way, you can look AND feel comfortable while going about your day.  And the best part is that you still look adorable!

I think those are my main two tips for transitioning into autumn weather.  Soon enough though, the winter coats will be broken out.  Now I don’t know how I feel about that…

Looking Back At Italy

You may have been wondering where I have been for the past few weeks.  Well, a week or so ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Italy with my older sister and my best friend.

We covered three cities in a week, the cities being Milan for two days, Florence for two days, and Venice for the last three days.  The flight over to Europe from O’Hare was quite satisfying, the three of us taking sleeping pills and resting all 8 hours on the plane before having our layover in Copenhagen.  We got a kick out of ordering coffee and eating a Danish Danish.

We then hopped on our direct flight from Copenhagen to Milan, and from the moment our flight ended, our Italian adventure had officially begun.  For those next few days, we were stunned by everything, from the architecture of the Castello Sforzesco…

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… to the Escher exhibit in the city’s central museum…

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… to the staggering amounts of graffiti that we found across the city!

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Milan was truly spectacular, but then it came time to ride the train to Florence.  While Milan was mainly cosmopolitan, Florence had a more historic feel to it.  There were many beautiful sights in Firenze, such as the magical piazzas…

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… to the view from the famous Ponte Vecchio…

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… and did I mention that we saw David??

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After spending two days in Florence, we hopped on a train to our final destination: Venice, the city of romance, gondolas, and canals.  From the moment we first stepped out of the train station, we were dazzled by the old architecture and vaporettos that whirred by.  As we spent the last three days of our trip in Venice, it was hard to get over the sights from the bridges we found…

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… and we also got to live out one of the most coveted dreams in the world and ride on a gondola!

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Venice was truly beautiful, and it was a pity to hop on a water taxi on our last morning in Italy.  Although it turned out to be not much of a pity after all, because we ended up getting one heck of a final view while leaving the city!

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I have to say that overall, after our fantastic trip, our hectic time at the Venice airport, our tiring layover in Stockholm, and finally, our long wait back in the customs line back at O’Hare, everything couldn’t have been more perfect.  Cheers to Italy, and cheers to more traveling ahead!

Looking Back At Turks And Caicos

Last month, I had the absolute pleasure of flying to the Caribbean to visit my circus nut of a brother on the island of Providenciales, one of the four islands of Turks and Caicos.  I may have gone through TSA at three in the morning while drunk, but that’s a whole other story.

Providenciales is an island with the softest, sandiest beaches and crystal clear blue water.  It also had beautifully misshapen palm trees…

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… as well as aesthetically pleasing docks…

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… and I couldn’t get over the bright, bold colors!

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The resort that I stayed at was Club Med Turkoise, one of the many resorts on the island that offered services to tourists flying into Providenciales.  However, the beauty of this resort was that it was an “adults only” resort (I swear it’s not as bad as it sounds).  There were plenty of perks, including its refreshing pool…

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… its lobby tiles that brought out my sister’s shoes…

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… and did I mention that BOTH of my brothers kicked ass in the trapeze show??

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The resort also included perks such as multiple island activities for guests, a gorgeous beach in its backyard, free cocktails at the bar, and of course, astoundingly funny shows every night!

Overall, this trip was one of the best graduation gifts I have ever received, and it was the greatest five days that I had in a long time.  Cheers to Club Med Turkoise for a good time, and cheers to paradise!

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Is There Such A Thing As The Perfect Jumpsuit?

I think that question is one of fashion’s most difficult questions to answer.  However, I know what answer I would give.  Is there such a thing as the perfect jumpsuit?  Well, I think that there is a multitude of jumpsuits that can make you look insanely awesome.

As of right now, I only have two jumpsuits in my closet, both made of very summery knit fabric that yearns to be pulled off of hangers when the heat calls for it.  I know that the jumpsuit market has also expanded into evening wear as well – one of my best friends has a black evening jumpsuit that would give the Bond girls a run for their money!  My advice for finding the ideal jumpsuit would have to be to know your body well, and what silhouette looks best with your shape.  Do you like your jumpsuit slim, or cinched just above the waist?  Do you prefer a wider leg, or a more tapered leg?

And now, a photo of me modeling one of my ideal summer jumpsuits on my back deck:

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I am wearing a patterned summer jumpsuit with T-strap summer sandals and various other accessories.  You see, if you get a jumpsuit that flatters your silhouette and moves well with your body, then your summer wardrobe is majorly upgraded!  Try copying that kind of outfit in the grocery store.

Where are the best places to find jumpsuits?  Believe it or not, I have found my favorite jumpsuits at consignment stores!  I found the one pictured above at Crossroads a few years ago, and I haven’t looked back since.  Therefore, what are you waiting for?  Get out of the house, go shopping, and find your garment that’s the perfect mix between wearing a dress and bathing in comfort.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.