Skatepark a go go

Skatepark a go go

Today is Skatepark Hip Hop Day for one lucky seven year old.

We have been working on the party for months…and today we are in full skatepunk mode.

Here are our burning hot favors – vintage childhood games gone miniature and wrapped in colorful tape, tissue, cello and custom labels.

But my favorite favor detail is the custom chocolate skateboards lined up like a skateshop for the kids to choose upon their exit.

Fun, fun, and more fabulous fun.

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

We are jumping just like the nursery rhyme sing song, as we work non-stop producing our next Chicago Public School fundraiser – Over the Moon for Hawthorne Scholastic Academy.

I love the invitations we created with fellow parent Meighan Depke of Depke Design.

The playful date design pairs in a perfect combination with the Over the Moon banner on the front.

The back logo features the school itself tucked among the Chicago skyline – with Sears Tower, Stone Container (dating myself surely with their "vintage" building names) and Hancock silhouettes.

This event is all important – as educational funding is at an all time low – yet continues to be an increasingly necessary, constant focus for our children, our community, our city, our state, and our nation.

We are proud to donate our time and talent to Chicago Public Schools, as well as all of our educational philanthropies.

Additionally we are so grateful to all the community partners that stand together with us to invest their valuable and generous time for this cause. We all know the old adage, "it takes a village". We are blessed indeed with our local Lakeview neighbors.

Our restaurant and catering partners donating "a taste of Hawthorne" the night of the event:

City Provisions
Jin Ju
Julius Meinl
Phoenix Bean
Truffle Truffle

Our venue partner, Architectural Artifacts, who generously helps offset our rental costs to give back to their community.

Our printing partner, Sir Speedy Diversey, who kindly underwrites the ever growing invitation costs.

The children, who continue to help create grassroots projects and also sit side by side with us parents stuffing, stamping, labeling and more week to week.

The student alumni, who even after graduating are coming back to the event to help staff and provide much needed volunteer hands to make the event the success we all need it to be.

And most importantly, all the hundreds of parents who haven’t stopped working with our committee since the school year began last fall.

We all sacrifice our work load, our family time, and our personal needs to prioritize philanthropy, fundraising, giving back, and so much more.

Thank you, thank you, infinity thank yous – to the moon and back.

-Debi Lilly

Debi Lilly,

Bridal Heaven

Quirky name…

Quite the bridal couture.





“to keep” in Dutch.

It is also the new bridal site from Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie.

And it is safe to say, it has something for absolutley everyone from bride, to maid, to mother, to guest.

The site, much like Anthropologie itself, has a vintage quality that plays perfectly to the romance of a wedding day.

Wait just a minute – is that an entire page dedicated to Boleros?

Here is a secret that nobody else knows.  I am completely smitten with darling wraps, capelets, boleros.  Top left and top right are musts.

Frankly, I don’t know how to choose between all of these lovelies.

The bridal gowns start around $1000, and designed to work from chapel to cliffside to caribbean beach.

Names are clever, carefree and charismatic – shown above is Monarch.

Shipping is free.  Returns – yes – you read that correctly – are granted up to 30 days.

Love the headpiece?  Love the shoes?  Love the jewels?  They are also all online, just a click away, and paired (along with the Boleros) for you.

Yum.  Like a perfectly iced cupcake…with a hint of cutesy peek a boo crinoline.

The party dresses – perfect for everyone from bridal party to bridal guest – are also delicious.

Very vintage inspired – which is a surefire hit this season.

Hmmmm…can you tell my favorite color is green?

Happy clicking away…after all…wedding season is just a few short months away.

We are counting down the days…and planning all of our pretty party dresses.

-Debi Lilly

Derek Lam, I am

Derek Lam, I am

This post is so juicy – I almost hate to share my sources.

However – my purpose being inspiration and education – of course I am an open book…errr blog.

So, the countdown is on…WAY on.

Derek Lam’s capsule dress collection for eBay previews March 11th, in three short weeks.

Personally, I already MUST have navy and emerald shown above.

I am also partial to charcoal and white.

All four I can see wearing as my 2011 party dress circuit each and every weekend.

The line was created from an online contest, where voters chose favorites to go onsale May 9th.

Prices are a fraction of his usual: 175 to 275.

Let’s hope this collection lasts a few more hours than Lanvin for H and M.

Couture for one, couture for all.

-Debi Lilly

Debi Lilly,

Inspiring Invite of the Week

Inspiring Invite of the Week

Spring has sprung here in the city.

Well…at least it feels like it this unseasonally warm and sunny week of mid February.

All over the world, the spring season is The Gala Season.

The city’s extraordinary events kick-off in full swing to bring together our important, urban philanthropies and their adoring, generous and thoughtful patrons.

We are lucky enough to work closely with so many incredible clients on both of these compassionate camps.

Our latest work of art, which we shall now share weekly in a dedicated Inspiring Invitation of the Week post, is this simply stunning Save the Date.

Custom designed by our own design guru, the one and only Katie Lewis, this clean, simple and graphic save the date is just perfect in my book.


The date – it jumps right off of the page.
That’s what a save the date’s purpose is.

The theme – Old Shanghai – is shared in multiple elements – via the cherry blossom icon and the asian inspired colors, used here in a vintage, subdued palette of chartreuse, coral and charcoal.

I just love them.

Welcome to spring…from our creative design team right into guest’s mailboxes.

-Debi Lilly

Debi Lilly,

Pump and Circumstance

Pump and Circumstance

I have done so many vintage glamour events in the legandary Pump Room, I couldn’t even count them all.

What I have always loved about this room is how instantly you were transported back in time – to the classic 1940s. I never wanted the nights to end.

It was the most regal sapphire blue and gold decor – and dictated every event color palette from paper to floral to favors – with a rich, elegant, vibrant jewel tone combination.

Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast, among turn of the century brownstones and greystones, and just up the street from Hef’s original Playboy Mansion, it is Chicago’s iconic old Hollywood.

Marilyn Monroe. The Rat Pack. My hometown alum John Belushi.

When ‘ol blue eyes himself was en route, legend goes, he would call and ask how many guests were seated at "his" table. He would promptly pay their entire tab and they would be moved Mr. Sinatra’s booth was ready and waiting. He had the most amazing heavy gold damask drapes installed to close discreetly around his table for privacy.

Now the Pump Room has celebrated its last fete – and everything – and I do mean EVERYTHING is for sale.

Frank’s booth above? Pricetag 4,500.

Oriental ceramic lamps, designed by Chicago artist Frederick Cooper? Pricetags start at 55.

Those famous open back blue leather barstools? 250 each. Quite the deal.

Oil painting, circa mid 1800s of Countess of Faversham? Sold through sealed bid auction…rats.

I have done many weddings and dinners in this gorgeous room, and always sat the bride/groom or VIPs at coveted Booth 1, designed with its own international phone number and fabulous old fashioned phone from 1938, when the restaurant first opened.
It is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to one of our city’s finest.

Farewell, dear Pump.

Debi Lilly,

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