Valentine's Day Wishlist

It's the last day of January (Thanks goodness! Spring should be right around the corner, right?). Which means, Valentine's Day is only a couple weeks away.  I'm so excited because Tre made reservations at one of the restaurants I have been wanting to try! I"ll reveal the restaurant after we go. I want to make sure it lives up to its hype.

I usually don't have a wishlist for Valentine's day. However, my obsession with online shopping has increased immensely. So here are some things I have scoped out for my wishlist. Some of these things are helpful for my day to day or I have been eyeing them but never got to it or just because I want it (the most validate reason to buy something, of course).

Valentine's Day Wishlist

1. Valerie Confections: Rose Petal Petits Fours  //  2. J.Crew: Sugar Paper Coasters  //  3. J.Crew: Stationary Clutch  //  4. J.Crew: Well-Kept screen cleansing towelettes  //  5. J.Crew: The Lip Slip by Sara Happ  //  6. Bauble Bar: The Courtney Bib  //  7. Anthropologie: Anemone Mezzo Vase  //  8. J.Crew: Classic Pave Link Bracelet  //  9. Paper-Source: Follow Your Heart Pillow  //  10. Anthropologie: Petale Set  //  11. Laura Mercier: 'Ambre Vanille' Scrub

xo RD

Open Model Calls - 'Mario, Make Me a Model'

Are any of you interested in becoming a model? Do you want a career in modeling? Are you interested in having a modeling contract?

If you said yes to all the above, come out to one of the Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas' open model calls for the 'Mario, Make Me a Model' competition. The winner of this competition will appear in a Fashion Spread and runways all over Chicago. See below for more details.

WHAT:           Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas continues to pave the way for young talent with the sixth “Mario, Make Me a Model” competition.  The 2014 program will launch the careers of five finalists and one winner as they strive for success in the modeling industry.

Since the program’s inception in 2008, more than 2,000 contestants have come to the open model calls; 26 young women and men have gone through the program as finalists; and nearly all of them have secured contracts as working models appearing in spreads in CSMichigan Avenue MagazineChicago Magazine and on runways all over Chicago, as well as in New York, Milan and Paris.

WHO:             Women and men 16 and older who are not currently signed with a modeling agency will come out in droves to FIVE open model calls throughout Chicagoland that will take place Monday February 24 through Wednesday February 26.  Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas Creative Director John Gialluisi and a representative from the Mario Tricoci Creative Color management team will be on site judging all models.  Alongside the Tricoci team will be celebrated Chicago photographer Matt Ferguson and Factor Women Director of Scouting and Development Kasia Koniar.  Fitness Formula Clubs and Chosen Model Management will also serve on the judging panel.


Open Model Calls
February 24
4:00 PM – Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa, 900 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago

February 25
12:00 PM – Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa, Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook
6:00 PM – Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa, 15451 South 94th Ave., Orland Park

February 26
12:00 PM – Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa, 675 Mall Drive, Schaumburg
6:00 PM – Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa, 625 Cog Circle, Crystal Lake

Semi-Finalist Runway Event
Thursday, March 13, 10:00am, Allerton Hotel, 701 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Buckingham Ballroom

Training and Voting
March 17 – May 16

Fashion Show/Grand Finale
Friday, May 16, Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State Street, Chicago
Tickets go on sale April 1, 2014.

About Mario Make Me a Model
“Mario, Make Me a Model” is the Midwest’s preeminent fashion event launching careers; inspiring young people and supporting Chicago’s fashion industry by identifying emerging talent, creating experiences and opening doors to opportunity. The program has launched the careers of young talent who have worked with virtually every Chicago-based periodical as well as New Beauty magazine, Neiman Marcus, Home Shopping Network, Nordstrom, Glossed & Found and Def Jam Records among others.  Several have gone on to agencies in New York, Paris and Milan and still others have appeared in national television commercials including Carson’s and Southwest Airlines. In 2014, Mario, Make Me a Model returns for a sixth year, demonstrating the Company’s continuing emphasis on discovering young talent.  Visit www.mariomakemeamodel.com for more information on contest rules and regulations, to follow the aspiring models and for details on all of the “Mario, Make Me a Model” events.


Here are the 2012 Semi-Finalist:

Runway Show 2012:

I hope to see you all there!!

xo RD

Chili Rubbed Salmon with Pineapple-Mango Salsa

I love to make this dish. Especially when I am in the mood to make something that looks 'fancy', but not time consuming or difficult. Plus, it is healthy. I usually go for couscous as a side dish. For today, I went for rice pilaf (just to switch things up, of course). However, you can choose any side dish you please.

Also, I want to note that most of the measurements of the ingredients are an estimate. When it comes to cooking, I rarely use exact measurements unless I never made the dish before. I based my measurements on taste. So please adjust each ingredient to your liking!

4 6oz salmon fillets
1 whole mango, diced
1/2c pineapple, diced
1/4c parsley, chopped
1/2 of red onion, finely chopped
1 TBS chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Combine the mango, pineapple, onion, and parsley in a medium size bowl.
3. Combine chili powder and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.  Mix well.
4. Liberally rub the chili-cayenne mixture on each salmon fillet.
5. Cover the baking sheet with foil. This will ensure the salmon will not stick to the pan.
6. Place the salmon in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. The time in the oven will differ depending on the size of each fillet. For instance, my salmons were narrow but thick. Therefore, it took me about 17 minutes. When my salmon was wider but thinner, it took about 15 minutes. You know your salmon is cooked when it is flaky.
7. Once cooked, plate the salmon and place the pineapple-mango salsa on top of the salmon. Ta-da! Dish complete!

If you plan on having a side dish, I suggest to have it started the same time the salmon is placed in the oven. That way all your dishes will be cooked at the same time. 


xo RD

It's A Steal!

Coat: C. Wonder, similar here / / Jeans: Flying Monkey (old), similar here // T-Shirt: J.Crew, similar here // Necklace: Madewell (old), similar here // Sunglasses: O by Oscar de la Renta, similar here // Belt: J.Crew (old), similar here // Shoes: UnionBay (old), similar here

I am still amazed that this whole outfit cost me less than $100... $89 dollars to be exact. I love finding bargains! I live for bargains! The best place to get bargains is at TJ Maxx. Not only are they reasonably priced, they are also name brands. It doesn't get any better. This C. Wonder color block coat was on clearance for $29, and the O by Oscar de la Renta sunglasses was $9.99. Can you say Maxxinista?! The rest of the outfit, I got pretty lucky. I randomly found my jeans when I was in NYC at Century 21. If you haven't been there, the store is very overwhelming. I was losing hope of finding the right jeans and BAM found this one. It is so rare to find great jeans and ahem inexpensive too. My belt and necklace were extra 40% off from J.Crew and Madewell, respectively. Too good to be true. Last but not least, I was eyeing this t-shirt on a mannequin at J.Crew. I really liked it, but I was a little hesitant. I kept thinking to myself, is it really worth buying a t-shirt? Keep in mind, this was during the holidays when I should be buying presents for others and not myself. Then came Christmas morning, and the first present I opened from my sister was this shirt. I was ecstatic! I now wear this tee all the time. It just fits so perfectly. It's loose but not baggy.  Which means I can easily dress it up or dress it down.

Shop my look:

Sale Alert!

Starting 1/27, Take 40% off your purchase at Gap. One day only! Use code GAPFLASH. Ends tonight, 1/27. Restrictions apply. 

xo RD


I hope everyone is having a great weekend! RD's Obsessions has a new URL! I have upgraded to getting my own domain. Going forward please go to www.rdsobsessions.com. Stay warm!

In the meantime, feel free to follow me via Instagram to find out what I have been up to all weekend!
 xo RD

Thrift Shop

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Sweater: H&M, now on sale  // Skirt: Urban Outfitters, similar here // Shoes: UnionBay, similar here //Crossbody bag: thrift store, similar here // Necklace: received as a gift from my sister, similar here

My favorite piece in this outfit is the crossbody bag. I got this purse at a local thrift store for only $5! What a steal! I love going thrifting. I find so many unique and great things for a great price. If you haven't been thrifting, my advice is you have to have the mentality to go thrifting. There is going to be a lot of stuff... a lot of random stuff. You have to have the patience to look through it. Stores like that don't have visual merchandisers that can highlight their goodies. You got to use your imagination and creativity. But that's what makes it fun! Do you go thrifting? What was your favorite purchase?

Shop my look:

xo RD

Winter Chic

The cold is back. Ugh. Cold = bundle up. Sometimes it is difficult to dress well because all you can think about is "I'm cold, I'm cold, I'm cold". While riding the train this morning, I couldn't help but notice the coat, purse, and shoes some people wore. I remember thinking, "wow I love what she's wearing".  Then a lightbulb lit up. You can definitely look chic in the winter without compromising warmth. The 3 elements in winter chic are: wool coat, purse, and booties. Wool coats and booties not only keep you warm, but they come in so many different styles. The purse ties everything together. Here is my winter chic wish list.

Winter Chic

1. J.Crew/Double-Cloth Metro Coat with Thinsulate
2. J.Crew/Coloblock Funnelneck Coat
3. J.Crew/Petite Stadium-Cloth Boulevard Trench

1. Danielle Nicole/'Jaida' Satchel
2. Michael Kors/'Hamilton-East/West' Leather Satchel
3. Danielle Nicole/'Alex-Mini' Crossbody Bag

1. Shoemint/Jane
2. DV by Dolce Vita/'Gino' Bootie
3. Shoemint/Sutton

xo RD

Feeling blue

Coat: Zara (old, similar here)
White Shirt: Calvin Klein
Sweater: Madewell (old, similar here)
Pants: Target (old, similar here)
Shoes: Zara (old, similar here)
Necklace: H&M (old, similar here)
Ring: J.Crew

Is it summer yet? All this snow reminded me that it will be a while until we get warm weather. Blah. I decided I needed something with color to cheer me up. What's your outfit of choice to cheer you up? I immediately grabbed my cobalt blue jeans. Cobalt blue is the best color to color block. Bright but not overwhelming. It always seem like it can go with any color.  We can't forget about polka dots... polka dots always seem to cheer me up. Oh and of course Gap having 50% off over 500 styles. A sale can definitely put me in a good mood.

Shop my look:

Sale Alert
 Starting 1/19, up to 60% off over 500 styles at Gap! Ends tomorrow, 1/20. Restrictions apply.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

xo RD

Penne Alla Vodka

Food. Something about food makes me feel welcome. It can either take me back to a childhood memory, a way to mingle with people, or comfort me. Food has always been a big part of my life. I always crave to try the latest craze in the food industry or find the most eccentric meal. I live by the motto 'Try before you judge'. I have found the most incredible meals just by trying before judging the meal. Not only do I like to go out and try new restaurants, I also like to cook. I may not be the best, but it still brings me joy to be in the kitchen.

Pasta is always the best meal to make. It is quick, simple, and delicious. I encountered a Penne Alla Vodka recipe through theKitchn. This pasta dish is so good that it has become my boyfriend's favorite meal. This dish has chunky tomato sauce, which he despised. Somehow this meal got to him. It's that good.

Need some kitchen appliances to get started? Here are some gadgets that will come in handy in making this meal:

2 Tbs olive oil
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, finally chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 Tbs tomato paste
3-4 garlic gloves, pressed
1 28-oz  canned diced tomato
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3c vodka
1/2c heavy cream
1lb (16 oz) penne pasta
parmesan cheese, for serving
Chopped parsley, optional for garnish

When cooking, you can always play up the recipe based on your taste. For instance, in this dish I made mine much spicier by adding more red pepper flakes since I love spicy food. Don't be afraid to play with your food!

Courtesy of theKitchn, here are the steps:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onions and cook until softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic, stirring to combine, and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  3. Stir the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, sugar, and salt into the onion mixure. Stir in the vodka and increase heat back to medium-high. Briskly simmer for 8 - 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the alcohol flavor has cooked off. Reduce heat to low and whisk in heavy cream.
  4. While making the vodka sauce, bring a large stockpot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water before draining. Gently fold the cooked penne and reserved prosciutto into the vodka sauce and continue cooking on low heat for another couple of minutes. (I actually use a little less than one pound of pasta because I like mine very saucy, but it is easier to just cook the pound and add it to the sauce to taste.) Toss with a bit of pasta water if sauce is too thick.
  5. Season with additional salt and red pepper flakes if desired, and serve with fresh Parmesan and chopped parsley.

So excited we have leftovers! Hope you will enjoy this dish as much as we did :) 
xo RD

Best Skincare

For years,  I have had difficulty finding the right skincare product(s). Either it makes my face oily or dry or irritated. Sometimes, some products only work great in winter and awful in the summer, vice versa. Finally, I have found some face products that I love and works great in all seasons.

Here are my favorites:

Best Skincare

1. Purity by Philosophy. Why I love it? This face wash is great for all skin types: dry, oily, or both. It leaves my face feeling clean and moisturized, yet very gentle. It also works great removing makeup! There is no need for a makeup remover - which in my opinion they make my skin feel dry anyways.

2. Witch Hazel Toner by Dickson. Why I love it? This toner does a great job removing dirt while minimizing pores and locking in moisture. After using this toner after a week, I recognize a difference with my pores. Also, some bottles have tags attached to the cap. Fill it out! It is 100% rebate. Not only does this toner work, it is practically free. Who doesn't love free stuff?

3. Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel by Bliss. Why I love it? Reduces bags and puffy eyes. No one would be able to know you had no sleep the night before. You can significantly see the difference with yours eyes just by putting this on. If you're like me and your eye lids get dry in the winter, this eye gel solves that.

4. Hope In a Jar by Philosophy. Why I love it? This is my favorite moisturizer! It's great for all skin type and leaves my skin feeling smooth. Just one day, your skin is much smoother than it was. Here's a tip: If you find your skin to be very oily, do not skip out on moisturizing. This is a sign your skin is thirsty. The oil is your body trying to moisturize itself.

5. Turbo Booster C Powder by Philosophy. Why I love it? It is vitamins for your skin! It protects your skin from 'environmental attack' and easy to use. You just sprinkle it on anything you put on your face. So you can sprinkle it on your face wash or make up. I usually add this with my moisturizer. It also adds a little radiance to my skin.

6. Help Me by Philosophy. Why I love it? This is a night time moisturizer. It repairs any skin damage that may have happened during the day. I wake up the next morning with my skin looking better than the day before.

xo RD

Bye Polar Vortex


Coat: Zara
Dress: H&M
Ear warmers: J.Crew
Sunglasses: Marc New York
Necklace: Jewelmint
Bangle: J.Crew
Boots: Vince Camuto
Polar Vortex is over!! 30 degrees feels like a heatwave... seriously. I was walking to work and I was thinking to myself, do I really need to wear a coat? Mother nature decided to give us a break, phew!

I am in love with this Zara coat. The hood is what makes the coat and can dress up any outfit. The hood is so larger than you can roll it up and use it as a collar or you can wrap it around your shoulder so it can be an off shoulder coat. Another favorite piece of mine is the whistle necklace by Jewelmint. I wear this necklace with almost anything I wear. It is simple, but makes a statement. If you haven't heard of Jewelmint, I recommend you check it out. They select Jewelry pieces for you based on your personality (hint hint you will take a short quiz when signing up).

Can't find this outfit online? Here's a smilier set that are currently on sale!

Dolce Vita Boots · J.Crew Girls' Jewelry · Forever 21 Necklaces

Have any of you been to Judy Maxwell's in Old Town? This is my new favorite store!  The store has random knick knacks that screams cuteness! You can find anything from jewelry to home decor to a large baby elephant statue.  Due to the 'heatwave' I decided to take a stroll and visit the store.   I couldn't believe the set of glasses I have been eyeing on were marked down! It was waiting for me patiently at the 50% off table :) I can't wait to use them!!

 xo RD

7 Winter Essentials

7 winter essentials

Sweater: Top Shop
Parka: Nelly
Jeans: Ted Baker
Boot Socks: Target
Boots: Sorel
Scarf: J.Crew

Boy it's cold out! No exaggeration at all. I don't want to step outside at all. However, if you absolutely have to step out, here are 7 winter essentials:

Parka, Boots, Boot socks, comfortable pants, chunky sweater, gloves, and scarf

I would also recommend wearing thin tights underneath your pants/jeans. Trust me, you will thank me when its -30 degrees out (like today). I usually use those nude tights I mistakenly bought and can't return anymore. In the box they look like my skin color. Oops!

Bluefly currently marked down some of their winter wear (music to my ears). I definitely recommend checking them out. Below are some of my favorites.

xo RD

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