InstaLife: Halloween 2012

{haunted hayride scarecrows}

 {pretty pumpkins - small & large}

{haunted house at country sun farms - note the goats}

{from left to right: ravenna, trailer trash, amy winehouse, cat woman, cleopatra, hello kitty & trailer trash x2}

{homemade halloween decor by my creative little sister hanna}

 {carved pumpkin & roasted seeds}

{vamp, penny lane & sexy sailor}

{lighting up dorian's eyes with my super evil ravenna powers}


Halloween 2012 Costume Inspiration

In true Amanda Boleman fashion, I have saved figuring out my Halloween costume for the last minute. Of course I've been thinking about it--Halloween is one of my top 2 favorite holidays after all (close tie with Christmas!)--but I've just been so overwhelmed with other things to really hash out a good costume.

Luckily, my roommate is also a huge Halloween advocate and doesn't have homework or midterm papers stunting her costume creativity. After a bit of scrounging around in her closet, Candice pulled out both a fur and feather vest and the juices starting flowing. With her costume ideas set, she helped me come up with two looks to get in the spirit all weekend long. Who wouldn't want to emulate one of these lovely ladies?

 The first thing that came to mind when I saw Candice's high-collared black feather vest was cruel Queen Ravenna from Snow White and the Huntsman. What better way to release my darkness within than on All Hallows' Eve, channeling an evil queen who sucks the beauty and youth from those around her?

Queen Ravenna - Snow White & The Huntsman
get the look: patrizia pepe long evening dress / dolce & gabbana cape / topshop feather jacket / jeffrey campbell black booties / metal dagger / river island tassel earrings / mi lajki claw ring / laveder faye black feather shawl / lostapostle bronze raven pendant // 

Despite being a slutty hippie for several Halloweens, I figured the Penny Lane look would be enough to switch it up and take me out of my slag slump. After recently seeing Almost Famous for the first time in a while, I can see why people tell me I remind them of the care-free, groupie lovechild.

Penny Lane
get the look: h&m fur vest / house of fraser bustier top / alloy crochet top / ray ban metal sunglasses / jeffrey campbell wedge shoes / republic peace sign earrings / monkee genes slim fit jeans // 

Flashing me a long black wig, deep red nails and a hey-you-can-actually-still-wear-this-after-Halloween black leotard and chiffon skirt from American Apparel, Candice announced she was going to be Morticia from the Addams Family. All she needs is some spooky silver and black eyeshadow and cross jewelry to make the look complete.

Morticia Addams
get the look: bliss lau leather bracelet / torrid gemstone ring / illamasqua lip makeup / nars cosmetics silver eyeshadow / nars cosmetics black eyeshadow / nars cosmetics nail polish / john lewis paper roses / vampire girl long black wig //


OhNo!Doom - Belligerent & Numerous

{Prints by Brian Walline}

I've walked by the OhNo!Doom (ON!D) art gallery and collective a bajillion times since I moved into my new apartment and always wondered what on earth goes on inside the large space that boasts shelves of monstrous-looking toys and walls of vibrantly-colored, out-there art.

Last week, I finally took the opportunity to figure it out and went to meet with the ON!D crew to see what they are all about and discuss their latest gallery, "Belligerent & Numerous."

Founded in 2005 in the Logan Square neighborhood, six young creative-types set out to establish a space for art to thrive. Growing quickly, they moved to their Bucktown location three years ago with a team comprised of Joey Potts, Lana Crooks, Andrew Thompson, Max Bare, Joe Call and Matthew RyanSharp.

{From Left to Right: Max Bare, Joey Potts, Lana Crooks, Andrew Thompson, Matthew Ryan Sharp & Joe Call - Courtesy of OhNo!Doom website}

“I personally think a collective is a great idea as we are all working together and we are all on equal ground--there is no hierarchy,” explained Potts. “The gallery is our own place where we are able to work together, bounce ideas off each other, and most importantly display artwork from local, national, and international artists.”

Trying to balance day jobs, individual projects and their gallery and group work, the group sometimes feels as though they work two full-time jobs.

“If not three!” chimed in a couple of the artists, busily typing away at their computers.

Over the years the effort transformed from a hobby to a business, so with that came new obstacles,” said Call.  “It truly is a balancing act, and demands good personal time management and organizational skills, also integrity! We all rely on one another to do what we say we will do to keep things operational and successful.”

Through their busy schedules, the ON!D group curates 10-12 shows a year, featuring the work of established to emerging artists from around the world. This month’s gallery, “Belligerent & Numerous,” is a collection of diverse pieces by Bill Halliar, Britton Walters (Mr. Walters), BrianWalline, James Gilleard and James Liu (Veggiesomething).

Focusing on digital, paper and prints, ON!D collective member and curator Max Bare, organically brought together the five featured artists after establishing relationships with them through various shows and galleries, showcasing a “Belligerent & Numerous” mix of styles, attitudes, ideas and mediums.

“The ‘Numerous’ came from the many pieces by Brit,” said Bare, describing the plethora of daily drawings by Mr. Walters as part of his "4x6x366/12" installation.

 {Mr. Walter's "4x6x366/12" installation}

 “And the rest are just belligerent,” joked Crooks.

Despite the joke, some of the works do have a sort of aggressive, in-your-face quality, jumping off the walls with their vibrant colors and sometimes-fierce messages.

Colossal beasts and a struggling hero exemplify this antagonism in Gilleard’s Shadow of the Colossus series, based on the action-adventure game of the same name.
{Gilleard's Shadow of the Colossus series}

“The whole idea for my part of the show was to have 20 or so images that work as one piece,” said Gilleard. “I was excited to show the series as a whole and hopefully convey the narrative or experience of the game through these prints.”

Halliar, on the other hand, veers more towards grimness than belligerence in works that he describes as, “colorful, horror-fueled comic pessimism.”
{Top: Cutlet Left: Church Right: Yeller - Bill Halliar}

“It’s October and I’ve got a lot of spookiness inside me even at the best of times,” he said. “This close to Halloween I cant keep it in at all. It spills out into everything.”

For Veggiesomething, forcefulness comes from his use of “bold, clean, clear and concise” characters—some who may need to be treated for sugar addiction with taglines like “Sugar high” and “Did you say cupcakes?”

{Prints by Veggiesomething}

“Belligerent & Numerous” runs now through Nov. 3. 

1800 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago IL 60647
(773) 698.8348
Hours: Thursday & Friday: 5-10 pm
Saturday: 12-7pm 


Color Me... Navy

Color Me... Navy
Color Me... Navy by amanda-boleman

Because sometimes you're stuck singing the blues...

shop: anthony vaccarello zipper dress / motel printed crop top / navy wool coat / otte high low skirt / ash tall suede boots / oliver bonas navy satchel / oliver bonas bow bracelet //


2012 Chicago Marathon - Owned Chicago.

{"Did you ever think you would run 26 miles?" - Brad}

26.2 to be exact. Marathon: Check that one off the Bucket List! 

After a night of tossing and turning with dreams of my bones breaking through my legs and every other thought of what could possibly go wrong, I awoke for the marathon at 5:30 am feeling anxious and underprepared. 

For months I promised I would finally buckle down and discipline myself, strictly sticking to my training schedule and turning down nights out with friends in exchange for sleep and early morning runs. When that didn't quite happen as often as it should have, I had major feelings of self-doubt and almost felt like I didn't deserve to finish the race. 

Funny how doubt and fear can play games with your head.

When Brad and I finally reached the starting line after freezing the morning away waiting for Wave 2 to begin, we were more than ready to JUST DO IT.

Dodging the piles of clothes that people had stripped off just before the race started, we found our stride and weaved our way in and out of the massive crowd of bobbing heads and determined racers.

Through the first few miles my stomach was feeling uneasy, most likely the result of pending nerves and hunger from my inability to eat anything more than a cup of peach yogurt with granola and a few bites of a bagel topped with peanut butter and bananas earlier that morning.

With the help of some Gu, multiple Gatorade/H20 breaks and our awesome 2-man cheering squad (shout out to Mom and Will!) following us around the course, we held a steady pace and didn't stop to walk until we hit Mile 17.

{Brad starting to feel the pain at Mile 17}

Thanks to the slanted road and throngs of runners that never really thinned out throughout the entire race, Brad started to experience a lot of pain in his knee. We ran miles 17-22 much slower than our original pace, but with the thousands of people cheering us on, stopping never seemed like an option.

By the time we hit 22.5, Brad looked at me and told me to go on. The pain was getting to be too much and he knew he couldn't keep up with the half-shuffle run we had going. Strangely, it hurt way more for me to walk than it did to run, so we split up for the first time with the promise to meet back at Mile 25 where Will and my mom were waiting.

Hitting the 20 mark, there was no question as to whether or not I was going to finish. The worst was still to come, but after making it that far, there was no way I wouldn't push through the final 6 miles.

23-24 was probably my fastest mile of the whole race. The course had finally opened up a bit so I wasn't constantly zig-zagging throughout the crowd and I was so determined to reach the familiar faces waiting for me for that extra push of motivation that is all so necessary in those times of mental and physical trial.

A wave of emotion sent tears to my eyes when I passed a sign saying, "You just owned Chicago." The physical pain combined with the mental weight of what I had just accomplished set in and I couldn't believe how strong I felt after feeling like I had prepared too little. 

Far under my expected time of 5:30, I reached Mile 25 at 4:16. Waiting with my mom and Will, my heart sank when Brad hobbled up with tears in his eyes about 15 minutes later. I knew the pain had to be deep to break my strong step dad.

"Let's do this together," I said, taking his arm and deflecting any comments that he was sorry for slowing me down. I didn't sign up for this race to beat a record or get the fastest time. There was no way I could have gotten through this experience without him and crossing the finish line together made all the pain and doubt worth it.

{Showered & clean--but definitely still sore! Photo by Candice}

Photos by Mom and Brad


MayaWorks - Fair Trade Month

In honor of Fair Trade Month, I teamed up with Polly to support MayaWorks in modeling their beautifully unique handcrafted products and jewelry for their first-ever Lookbook.

Besides being instantly drawn to doing anything that involves playing dress-up and hanging out at the beach with a good friend, I immediately agreed to do this project when I learned more about MayaWorks and their mission to empower Maya women through their own art and crafts, providing them with the resources and training that they need to function as confident, contributing members of their society.

The hippie in me fell in love with MayaWorks' intricately-beaded bracelets and silky hand-woven scarves that could be worn as a boho bandeau while splashing around in the water or wrapped around for warmth as we head into colder months.

To ensure the sustainability of our Earth, we need to focus more on protecting our environment and investing in the well-being of people of all nations--we are all part of the same world after all. Fair trade promotes higher environmental and social standards in terms of business and trade, fostering relations with other countries and offering opportunities to the developing world. It's not about greed or how much money you can make--it's simply about FAIR TRADE. You get a great product in exchange for bettering the life of a fellow human being.

Check out the MayaWorks Facebook page and blog all month for updates on products and new shots from the lookbook, featuring yours truly all this week! See something you like? All proceeds benefit the Mayaworks' mission and the Cakchiquel and Tz'utujil Maya.

Photos by Polly Cannella


Marathon Training: The Day After

This is what the day after a marathon should look like: 

Absolutely nothing.

...and lots and lots of carbs! 


Marathon Training: Discipline

I will run this track in 3 days. Holy shit.

As I was showing my friends the "everything you need to know" guide to the marathon yesterday, I started getting extremely nervous. 26 fucking miles

Admittedly, my longest run has only been 15 miles. Tried to make 20 happen and it just didn't get there. I've told that to a few runners and they look at me with that, "Ooooh, well I'm sure you'll be okay..." judgmental face and all my confidence goes out the window. 

This got me thinking about discipline. Have I not tried hard enough? Would I be nervous if I had stuck exactly to the plan? 

I've never been the most disciplined person. I knew that would be my biggest struggle in completing this marathon, but I was determined to work hard and maybe, finally be an organized, put together and all-around "better" person.

Turns out I'm still kind of a hot mess. Well, a little better than that, but definitely still a work in progress. Not just in running, but kind of in life in general. I always feel like I could be doing better, that I should be disciplining myself more and constantly working towards being that perfectly-balanced person I, oh so badly, want to become.

Said person, do you even exist? 

But I always seem to give into those little indulgences. As hard as I've tried to condition my life to fit in all of these things that I think I'm supposed to do, I always seem to give into the impulses and temptations that surround me every day. There's always some justification--"I have a lot of work to do today; I'll just run extra long tomorrow," or "I mean [random friend] only turns 23 once, I suppose I can go out for a drink and finish this assignment after"--that leads me away from the written out plan I like to call my to-do list. 

Some people question how I manage to do everything I do. How do I fit in so much? 

So why do I never feel like I'm doing enough? Always my own toughest critic. 

To keep myself positive these next few days, I need to stay focused on the reason why I decided to do this in the first place. 

Working at the finish line for the 2011 marathon, I saw people in every shape, color and size cross that line. Blind people; disabled people; even people with no legs at all. 

It was one of the single most inspirational things I have ever seen and apparently it turned me into a  crazy person because it was that day that I decided I'm going to cross that finish line too. 

Images via 1, 2, 3, 4


Color Me... Emerald

Color Me... Emerald

Color Me... Emerald by amanda-boleman

As we get deeper into Autumn, it's time to bring out the deep jewel tones--especially in a  rich green that we'll miss when the barren winter covers it in a blanket of snow. 

shop: mary katrantzou cocktail dress / burberry lace coat / mink pink sequin mini skirt / h&m knee length skirt / bakers platform wedge heels / modcloth shoulder bag / elvira sazesh emerald green jewelry /  american apparel sunglasses //


Date Night in Stripes

{Akira Leather Jacket, Akira Dress, Alex and Ani bracelet, Stella McCartney for Adidas purse, Steve Madden combat boots}

Living in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area has not only opened up countless possibilities for exploring, but it has also pushed me to try out different styles with no reservations.

Hence mixing and matching a club-worthy backless dress with tough leather elements and throwing in a sporty Stella McCartney for Adidas bag to infuse a bit of the athletic-inspired trend. 

On a particularly warm September night, this look made me feel sexy, scrappy and sporty all at once while taking in a tantalizing Thai dinner at Silom 12.

Or maybe I was just feeling hot from the red pepper curry?