Something for Yourself

Now that you’ve survived the “sales of the season” AKA Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday & Cyber Monday, we wanted to share Jeannie’s home-run hits that deliver extreme value, regardless of a sale price.

Not to say that we don’t appreciate a good deal (we do!). However, Jeannie’s highlighting a few personal finds that are so spot-on, they’ve practically paid for themselves based on her proprietary “Cost per Compliment” or “Cost per Wearing” calculation.

These tried-and-true staples will revitalize you and your wardrobe.

Tis the season for conscientious shopping!

  1. Veronica Beard / Fabian Tweed Jacket / $695
    These blazers are definitely investment pieces — I try to find a special one each year. The interchangeable “Dickeys” make them extremely versatile.

  2. Anthropologie / Capri Blue Incandescent Jar Candle (Volcano) / $30

    The gift that keeps on giving! Our studio’s tried-and-true candle scent.

  3. Tees by Tina / Sleeveless Mock Neck (One size fits most) / $46

    Shoutout to my friend Linda V. who turned me on to this brand. I’m addicted to the sleeveless mock neck, which prevents bunched sleeves when worn under a blazer, and yet is perfectly chic on its own.

  4. Giorgio Armani Beauty / Master Corrector (Color 1) / $40

    Kayla at Neiman Marcus-Northbrook Court shared this miracle product with me. Simply draw a soft “V" shape under your eye and lightly blend with your tinted moisturizer for a quick, fresh-faced look.

  5. Uniqlo / Ultra Light Down Compact Jacket (Olive) / $60

    This jacket was sold out in Uniqlo’s Tokyo store during our visit back in April, so I finally made it to their Michigan Avenue location to see what all the hype was about. I have to agree - It’s a fun and functional layering piece that won’t break the bank… Multiple colors purchased ;)

  6. Linea Paolo / Felicia Wedge Bootie (Black Perf Nappa) / $120

    OMG - These shoes are amazing! I can wear them from morning until late in the night. They give a bit of lift and style with the wedge and tons of support thanks to the sneaker sole - They’re the perfect hybrid.

  7. Chantecaille / Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara / $72

    $72 for mascara - Are you kidding…? Nope! Chantecaille took their original Faux Cils mascara formula and enhanced it with lash-lengthening peptides. I really think it works!

  8. Linea Paolo / Felicia Platform Wedge Bootie Sneaker (Camo Net Fabric) / $120

    I know a good thing when I find it, so why not get multiples? This is #6’s hipper younger sister — Even my teenage daughters were impressed when I showed up in these!

  9. Uniqlo / Ultra Light Down Compact Coat (Grey) / $80

    In case you haven’t caught on yet — When I like something, I tend to buy in bulk! For this one, refer to #5 for further details as it’s simply the longer version of the jacket (Yes, I own both!). Make sure to choose the grey colorway, which is “heathered,” because it looks much more expensive. People have literally stopped me on the street to ask me where I got it!


This month we'll be headed to Italy, home to some of our absolute favorite places in the world:

Positano, Capri, and Rome.


Photo via Gray Malin.

Photo via Gray Malin.

I first found Positano in 1994 while studying for my MBA on Loyola University Chicago's Rome campus.  I can vividly remember grabbing a few of my buddies, hopping into our little yellow stick shift convertible we nicknamed "limoncello," and heading south along the Italian coast... I was naive enough to drive this tiny rental car from Rome all the way down to Positano, which totals almost 200 miles and probably 400 hairpin turns.

Photo from our trip back in 2012.

Photo from our trip back in 2012.

I found myself there again in 1997 for my honeymoon -- Doug and I loved exploring this beautiful beach town and surrounding coastal towns like Ravello together.

It was during this trip that we first stumbled upon Ristorante Donna Rosa.  It instantly became a favorite of ours thanks to the amazing family who owns it and their incredible food and hospitality.  When you enter you may hear them singing Neil Diamond.

It was so special that we felt we had to return again 15 years later, this time with our three girls.  We took this sweet photo (below) of all the girls (Mamma Raffaella, her two daughters Erika and Rosida, and our girls Mira, Alexa, and Petrea) doing a "girl power" pose.

Our girls with the ladies of Ristorante Donna Rosa in 2012.

Our girls with the ladies of Ristorante Donna Rosa in 2012.


Sweet Alexa in front of the Blue Grotto back in 2012.

Sweet Alexa in front of the Blue Grotto back in 2012.

During our time on the Amalfi Coast, it was a must to visit Capri and the Blue Grotto on the way.

We loved visiting this sea cave last time because of how stunning it was when the sun pierced through the water, illuminating the entire cavern in a bright blue reflection.


The iconic JK Place Capri.

The iconic JK Place Capri.

During our time on Capri, I'm especially looking forward to visiting the iconic resort hotel - JK Place Capri.

This hotel's decor inspired the entire look, feel, and color palette of one of our most exciting projects to date.  We were chosen to redecorate the ladies' locker room at one of the North Shore's most historic country clubs.

The crisp white interior is balanced with deep navy hues, bright brass accents, and contrasting pops of high-gloss black accessories.  Look for me there enjoying an Aperol spritz (or two)!

An interior shot of JK Place Capri.

An interior shot of JK Place Capri.


One of our very favorite restaurants in Rome - Ristorante Roscioli.

One of our very favorite restaurants in Rome - Ristorante Roscioli.

Since we fly out of Rome, we plan to spend a couple of days eating our way through the city.

A must-visit while dining in the city is Roscioli - This unconventional restaurant is home to a salumeria/deli, restaurant, and wine bar all in one.  Upon entering, you'll be enchanted by the secluded spaces available to dine in.  It's quite romantic and wildly delicious!  This hidden little gem wows us and every friend we send there every time!!

Our family in 2012 before a plate of bolognese was dropped on Doug.

Our family in 2012 before a plate of bolognese was dropped on Doug.

Have any recommendations for Positano, Rome, or Capri?!  I'd love to know them so be sure to leave a comment below!!


A North Shore Summer

Summer is finally in full-swing on Chicago's North Shore!

And since we only have a few short months to soak it in, we're mapping out all of the events that offer lots of fun and (weather permitting) lots of sun, all summer long !!


With the fun offered weekly, it's easy to find time to attend these events.

Music on the Esplanade
Tuesdays @ 6-8PM
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe

Wednesdays in the Woods
Wednesdays @ 6-8:30PM
Hubbard Woods Park, Winnetka

Family Fun Night Karaoke
Fridays @ 6:30-9PM
Rock House, Wilmette

Glencoe French Market
Saturdays @ 8AM-1PM
Wyman Green, Glencoe

Winnetka Farmer's Market
Saturdays @ 7:30AM-12:30PM
Village Hall East Parking Lot, Winnetka

Wilmette French Market
Saturdays @ 8AM-1PM
Wilmette Village Center


Events that only happen once throughout the summer!

Art in the Village
June 23-24 @ 10AM-5PM
Hubbard Woods Park, Winnetka

Gillison Beach Campout
June 23 & July 27 @ 7:30PM
Gillson Beach, Wilmette

Glencoe Sidewalk Sale
June 29-30 @ 10AM
Downtown Glencoe

Cardboard Regatta
July 7 @ 4-5PM
Glencoe Beach

Winnetka Sidewalk Sale
July 13-14 @ 9AM-5PM
Downtown Winnetka

Water Carnival
July 14 @ 10AM-12:30PM
Tower Road Beach, Winnetka

Wilmette Summerfest & Sidewalk Sale
July 20-21
Downtown Wilmette

Glencoe Festival of Art
July 28-29 @ 6-7PM
Downtown Glencoe

Kite Festival
August 11-12 @ 10AM-3PM
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe

Superhero Dash
Sept 8 @ 9-11AM
Sheridan Road, Winnetka

Know of an event we missed?  Be sure to include details in the comments below!

Happy summer solstice, Chicago crew!

- Jeannie Balsam Interiors

Father's Day Gift GUIDE

Father's Day is practically here!

And whether the father figure in your life is a kid at heart, true outdoorsman, trendy fella, or a traditional guy, we've pulled together a gift guide to help you think outside the box and give a gift that he'll love -- While also making you look like a creative gift-giving rockstar!!



one // Amazon Echo // $99
(Currently on sale for $79 with an Amazon Prime membership!)

two // Highline Shorts // $54

three // Cube Tracker // $25

four // Herschel Supply Co. "Novel" Duffel Bag // $85

five // Coyuchi Organic Linen Terry Robe // $120
(Currently on sale at HuckBerry - Originally $150!)

six // Cole Haan ZeroGrand Stitchlite Wingtip Shoes // $180

seven // Top Chef Barbecue Tool Set // $59

eight // Ray Ban Classic Clubmaster Sunglasses // $153

nine // Master & Dynamic Wireless Leather Headphones // $385
(Currently on sale at Nordstrom - Originally $550!)

ten // Spike Ball // $59

eleven // Nest Learning Thermostat // $249

twelve // Ember Warming Mug // $80

Additional ideas include setting up a round of golf for him and a few of his best buds or planning a date night (without the kids!) at his favorite restaurant.

Have another Father's Day gift idea?  Share it with us in the comments below!

Patriotic Recipes Perfect for Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us!

Since Mother Nature has finally agreed to Summer weather -- Let's fire up the grill, call some friends and soak up some vitamin D!

If you're needing a little dessert inspiration, see below for three of our favorite patriotic recipes.

We hope these treats help you celebrate both in style and in taste!

For the busy:


These individual fruit pizzas couldn't be easier or quicker to prepare!  Simply purchase a dozen freshly baked sugar cookies, 1-2 cream cheese frosting containers, and a few cartons of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

Let the kids have fun making their own fruit pizzas and save yourself the hassle of making a dessert.  It's a win-win in our book!

For the health conscious:

Is anyone else thankful that fruit comes in patriotic colors?

Pick up some wooden skewers, fresh blueberries, strawberries, and bananas, and get stacking!  Make sure to make extras as these easy and healthy fruit skewers will be a fan favorite.  Find exact instructions here.

For the baker:

Though we haven't personally made this fresh berry tart before, it sure looks delicious - Doesn't it?!  Tangy and sweet with its mascarpone cream, fresh fruit, apricot jam, and buttery light crust... This dessert sounds like a decadent dream.  Find the recipe here.

Read further:

In keeping with the patriotic theme, did you catch our previous blog post about the latest color trend?  Hint: It's either red, white or blue!  Be sure to check it out here.

And be sure to let us know if you end up using one (or all!) of these patriotic recipes for your Memorial Day barbecue.

Have a fun and relaxing holiday weekend, friends!

I'll be keeping Kleenex in business since Mira is graduating (Loyola Academy - Class of 2018) on Saturday afternoon and my niece is getting married Saturday night.