{interview} with Tracy Butler



In order to meet with Tracy Butler, meteorologist at ABC 7,  you need to get up early. Certainly not as early as she gets up. But taking the 6:15 am train is early, it was definitely still dark, it was cold and my hair was still wet, and I didn’t wear gloves. All I could think about was when was I going to be able to drink coffee.

I had the privilege last week of sitting down with Tracy and asking her about her career and more importantly, about her closet and clothing plan. We met in the studio at 7 am. She already had a full day in by then. But by getting there early I could see her in action giving the weather to Chicago.

In the studio the cameras are like robots and are controlled by the producer, who is upstairs. I didn’t imagine that she is basically in a room by herself when you see her on tv. She does “cut ins” (which are the snip-its we see on tv) like, a lot of them. She stands for about 2 1/2 hours in the cold studio, so she keeps a bag with her that has a pair of flats and an electric blanket! 



on the screen--where is that hair and makeup? I look terrible! and an iron, my shirt is a mess!
me on that screen! ugh–where is that hair and makeup dept? I look terrible! and an iron, my shirt is a mess!


Tracy is passionate about weather. She has been at it for 20 years. She believes it’s important to keep you informed and prepared, for and throughout your day. This lady has a crazy upside down schedule. 

What time do you get up? Around 1:30 AM. That’s when I see my husband, he makes me breakfast. 

What time do you go to bed? 7:30 PM. 

When do you do your weather research and preparation? At 2:30 am, when I get here, first thing I go to hair and makeup (which is awesome because I  do not look like this on the weekend, you would not recognize me!) and start working then. There isn’t a lot of chatting around the office, drinking coffee and easing into the day, we hit the ground running. Which can be tough because human nature is to be tired at 2:30 in the morning.

Do you keep track of what you wear? Yes! It started when I worked in Ohio, I received a call from a man that wanted to know where I got my sweater because he wanted to get it for his wife for Christmas. I couldn’t remember what it was but realized that I needed to keep a calendar. So I keep a calendar of what I wear, every single day.

Do you mind that people are paying attention to and commenting on your clothes and hair?  No! Then I know there are people watching!  A month ago people were telling me they loved my new hair color but I didn’t change my color , it was just appearing darker because I haven’t been in the sun golfing or playing tennis!

Do you plan in advance what you are going to wear?  I do it the night before. I have to do it the night before because it would be impossible to do it at 1:30 in the morning!

Is your closet organized? No! Well, it is in that there are dresses in one place, suits in another place, like that. My girlfriend bought me the book “The Art of Tidying  up” and I desperately need to do that . I have clothes in my closet from many trends ago. One thing my mom always said was to stick with the classics then you don’t have to worry about it. So my problem is that I have a lot of classic stuff so it’s harder to get rid of it.

Do you wear colors to match the ABC set or do you just wear colors that you like?  The big trend in local news is solid colors, no prints. Also, standing in front of the green screen limits colors I can wear. I cannot wear green or yellow because you would see maps and words over my body. So that is why you see more frequency of certain colors. 


Tracy Butler

Do you get annoyed when people talk to you about the weather? No! No! That’s my job! I’m glad that people feel comfortable enough to talk to me about it. I definitely welcome that.

My philosophy in presenting weather is to present the weather so that everybody understands it, all ages. State the facts and you take the information and apply it to your life. It’s a very simple formula.

Over the years I have just become so excited about my job. It’s hard to leave and go home!

I’m so blessed, think of the number of people that get to have a job like this! I am very,very grateful for what I have. The core of everything is my family (she has 2 daughters, one in grade school and one in middle school). It’s hard. It’s so hard not being there for the girls, I have that mommy guilt. I am a fanatic about picking them up from school everyday. I want to be there to get them since I am not there when they leave in the morning.

You are such a great role model for them! I hope so! I want them to see that they can rely on themselves to succeed and get ahead and be happy. Your happiness depends on certainly  you and your faith. 

Do your kids like to watch you on tv? Personally, I would prefer that they don’t watch the news! But if something comes on and they see me on a promo they get a little giddy. I am like 2 different people and have 2 different lives. One life is Tracy Butler and the other is mom, and I go by my married name when I am not at work.

When the weather is going to be bad, do you stay in the city? Yes, sometimes, if there is going to be snow. My mother will call from Philadelphia and keep track of where I am going to be! I keep stuff here to be prepared. I hate not going home! I like being in my own bed.

How much time goes into your portion of the news? I put together all of the graphics, the maps, the statics, us weather people do it ourselves, we don’t have a producer. We go on at 4:30 and I get here at 2:30.

trying it out
trying it out

Do you think the camera adds weight? I don’t know! People have told me when they meet me that I look so much better in person! What does that mean? That I look terrible on tv? {laughing} 

Do you have fans that talk to you when you are out and about? Yes, and I don’t mind at all. I would prefer that people come up and talk to me. I’ve been in the grocery store and hear people whisper “there’s that lady from the news” and I’m thinking just come over, yes, that’s me. I do appreciate it. I like knowing that I make an impact on someone’s day, I take that very seriously and with great responsibility.

However, if you saw my children, you wouldn’t think their mother knew a lick about the weather. I pick them up from school and they don’t have coats! They say “oh mom, we don’t need them”. Please take them so at least your mother looks like she knows what she’s talking about!

Are you more stressed out in the winter because our weather is worse then? No, not really. The biggest stress for me are the hours, quite frankly.  Leaving so early in the morning and then coordinating the schedule at home, I am always looking at the clock! My husband and I hardly see each other during the week. He is a personal trainer and has unusual hours too.

Do you have date night? We have date golf! We both love to golf, we prefer to do something other than go out to dinner. We also spend a lot of time on the tennis court because our girls play tennis.

Where do you like to shop?

I love your boots! I’m a boot fan. I just bought these boots over here. They are Aquazurra, a splurge, but I love them!

Boots and coats are my vices. I will shop anywhere I can get a deal. I am not married to a brand or a store. I have to buy a lot so I like to buy it on sale! I don’t shop online, I like to see and touch the clothes, it’s too hard online.

I am always looking for dresses. Preferably a dress with pockets. Let me know if you find one!

so, wait, where you are pointing is the opposite of what you are looking at?

Then she is grabbing her stuff: “I have to go upstairs now, come with me, I’ll show you around.”

Upstairs she shows us an office where she will do another cut-in in a few minutes. We meet the producer and see behind the scenes of what seemed like thousands of tv monitors . We also ran into Judy Hsu and chatted for a minute. Then back to the office. On this cut-in she gets to sit down.

Tracy is such a professional, we are chatting away about kids and then mid sentence she is like “oh hold on a minute” and then she is immediately talking to the camera, presenting the news without missing a beat.

{photos by Nicole Regan www.cedarandrush.com}

My Thanksgiving Table







All of the sudden I decided I wanted to decorate a “Thanksgiving table” even though I am not technically having it. I wanted to make the table look fall-ish and cozy, and I did not want to break the bank. (I spent less than $150) It was a fun process since I really set out not knowing what I was looking for and it all came together after a trip to Hobby Lobby, Homegoods, Forever21, the grocery store and Target! Yes, I said Forever21. That plaid table cloth is a $15 scarf!



Plaid scarf $15 Forever21

12″ burlap ribbon $5 and 8″ cream woven knit ribbon $10: from Hobby Lobby

black napkins $7.99 for 4,  3 ivory candles $6.29, 2 pillows $20 each: all from Target

silver antler candle holder $34.99: from Homegoods

Flowers from the grocery store $12

Postcards from www.gramr.us


Laced up

just-browsomgI’m not really into lace because I guess I don’t dress frilly. It’s usually something reserved for underwear or a wedding dress. However, I am easily swayed by current fashions. Have you noticed there is a lot of lace popping up? This dress for example: it’s a conservative shirt dress style and unexpectedly lace, nothing frilly about this.





I’m currently in Naples with my mom. My parents winter place here is great, yet my mom is always changing something. Our three nights here was considered a “work trip”. She had a “to do list” for us, the number one job: deciding on a paint color for the main room, entry, kitchen….the majority of the place. 

Don’t even get me started on selecting paint. You would think we were painting the white house. We’ve been to the paint store 3 times to get samples, we go home, paint the samples on the wall, then stare in disbelief at the color because it is a completely different looking than the paint chip. If you stare at it long enough will it morph into the right color?

Then we do it again.

It’s turned into a little game, har har, I mean a frustrating, hopeless situation that requires a lot of drinking but my mom doesn’t really drink so there-is-nothing-to-drink except a bottle of gifted chardonnay that was probably in her cabinet for 7 years …  Meanwhile outside it’s sunny, 82 degrees, and there’s a pool with not one person near it. {I keep looking out the window like a little kid staring into a candy store with no money}.There is also a Nordstrom Rack that I feel the need to visit because it is very important to me to visit them in all states, but we don’t even have time to shop because we have been to 4 lighting stores and NO, we did not find a light fixture that was “quite right”.

The countdown is on. Leaving tomorrow and my job must be complete before then or my dad will think we are complete failures.  {def not the first time this has crossed his mind..} So guess what? I stole her car keys and headed off to clear my mind with a mani/pedi {not that anyone will be seeing my freshly painted toes at the pool}….and she is stuck at home staring at a patchwork wall of wrong colors. 

Wish me luck.




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At the Farm




My family is in the farming business, meaning my dad and my 2 brothers. No, they do not grow food you get at the farmer’s market, they grow corn, soybeans and cattle. My grandpa was a farmer too. If you are not familiar with farming, it’s quite fascinating, complicated and relevant to all of us on the planet. {kinda like Nordstrom}  


my mom & dad {they are the coolest!}
these are combines picking corn {my dad and my brother are driving the combines and my other brother is driving the tractor with the wagon}


Since my family is in the farming business, they don’t realize how many people have never been on a tractor, on a farm or know anything in general about farming. {KN had never been on a tractor until he met me, the mid-west farmer’s daughter make you feel alright.}

But it isn’t just about cool, massive tractors that can drive themselves with GPS. 

The world corn consumption is approximately 38,232 billion bushels and the world corn production is 38,898 billion bushels. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room there. You probably don’t think this affects you in the least because you don’t eat field corn, right?


Corn is used for a lot of things: Feed, Ethanol, corn syrup, sweeteners, starch, cereals, beverages, seed and other things such as: 

paints plastics candles adhesives fireworks antibiotics drywall textiles

soaps shoe polish sandpaper dyes

rubber tires carpeting fiberglass

Corn is not feed only for cows either. I know you go to Whole Foods and buy grass fed beef but since there is not even enough grass in the world to feed the amount of beef that we consume, cows have to eat corn, and so do chickens and pigs and dairy cows.

There is so much more to say about it. If my dad read this he would say: UGH, How are we even related?  YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING ABOUT FARMING! You forgot to mention about a million crucial facts regarding farming: feeding the world, corn prices, Nasdaq, futures, weather patterns, fuel prices, land prices, fertilizer, corn dryers, crop rotation, nitrogen, farm insurance and overall the terrible season that just happened and how one bad weather season which causes terrible yields and low corn prices are forcing farmer’s out of business every single day. 

whoa. {glad he doesn’t read my fashion blog :\ }

So how about something more important like where did I buy that dress??

DRESS  | BOOTS |scarf| sunglasses

dirty business
dirty business
LOVE this barn!



Red pants {day or night}









{Red pants aren’t just for Christmas!}

I was so excited to have these fun, bright pants to play around with. I feel that they can be serious for work, church –daytime, especially with these menswear inspired double monk strap oxfords I got from Wolverine! Or they can definitely be less serious and playful, dressed up with some sassy heels.








How was your weekend? 

We went to Ikea. KN was an Ikea virgin, so it was fun to see his reaction. He was overwhelmed at the size of the place and the amount of stuff. It’s quite crazy the stuff in that joint,  and like Costco you end up buying random things like plastic straws.  Oh and you eat there too, meatballs and mashed potatoes for $4.99. 

We are finishing our basement and wanted a cabinet to put under the TV. So we bought one, in aisle 21, bin 3, 8, 9, 16…. Now all the pieces are in the garage (with every single thing that was in our basement) awaiting the fun assembly day, which will be the day after the basement is finished. Keep your fingers crossed that it will be sooner than later……because you know what else is in the garage right now? All of my shoes! It’s all very disorganized and quite confusing to get ready. KN hears the door to the garage open and is like “Oh are you ready to go?” And it’s like, “Um no. I’m going to go try and find shoes to go with this outfit and since I don’t know which ones will look the best, I am going to bring in at least 3-4 pair, figure out the situation, and then I am going to leave the rest here in a pile by the door,  that I swear I will put away, in the garage, later, like tomorrow. ”  

It’s a temporary price to pay for what will end up being, listen up: a walk in closet for me, just me, in the basement. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about that. Our house is older and the closets are just not sufficient for any woman. 

So I believe that was a long way of telling you that’s how we ended up at Ikea. To buy straws and a tv/media cabinet to hold the Xbox. 

My red pants are not from Ikea 😉

Day outfit details here: Pants| blouse| oxfords| coat

Evening outfit details here: Pants| top| shoes (similiar)



Boston Briefly


Acorn Street
{Acorn Street}

I can’t believe I have never been to Boston. It’s the home of Americana! There’s a flag on every corner, beautiful, old, hard to navigate haphazard non- straight- streets, people taking pictures of statues, sidewalks made for breaking your neck, men wearing suits and tons of history.  {We were only there for a minute so don’t ask me any history questions about Boston or anything.}

We stayed at a very, lovely place called XV Beacon street. That’s 15, if you are like me and don’t know roman numerals. Our room was beautiful, it had a fireplace, a sound system and a towel warmer! It was convenient to walk to a lot of good areas  I would totally recommend it. 

{XV Beacon, a flag and a guy in a suit}
{XV Beacon, a flag and a guy in a suit}



We ate dinner at a new spot that had only been open for 3 weeks. I have no idea how we got a reservation since the place is booked for 4 months out. It was a supper club called Yvonne’s. It was like it was supposed to be a secret, you check in at what looks like a hair salon, then you can take your time eating in the dining room, move to the library or the bar and just stay all night. {I can’t stay all night, as my bedtime is usually before 10.}


I don’t always plan my outfit for the location we are taking pictures. In particular, this dress. I just thought it was a pretty, drapey dress and I threw it in my carry on. Before I even was dressed, KN thought it was a good idea to take pictures down by the water. So I get dressed, we take a cab to the waterfront and he says, oh hey that’s a perfect outfit for here, you look like a pirate……arrrggghhh.


Whilest KN worked, I walked all over town sightseeing. I usually am good with directions but I got a little off track and realized I was farther away from the hotel then I thought and had to cab it back so I wasn’t late for our ride to the airport. 

a selfie with my photographer
{a selfie with my photographer}         

Have you been to Boston? What do you recommend?


Faux fur jacket|jeansDress| Boots

Colors of Fall



Have you heard of Pantone’s “color of the year”? The color of 2015 is Marsala ,which is a fancy way of saying burgundy or maroon. But maroon isn’t really a pretty word unless of course you’re talking about Maroon 5, specifically Adam Levine, then that is different.  That is more like “sexiest man alive maroon”. Maybe they had that in 2013?


Anyway, Pantone also has this handy Fall 2015 color chart too. Although this is for printing, paint, advertising and a million things I don’t know about, I do know that it does predict the trends and fashions for the year/season. I put the color chart right up there because I love how it matches the fall flower market. 


My outfit on the other hand, is um, not on the chart. BUT it is definitely rust, which is a fall color from Pantone’s earthy 1970’s collection… That was back when avocado was a color of appliances and cars and not an actual thing people ate.




If you are feeling all up to speed on the fall color chart there, then you can go ahead and get started on spring. The colors have been released and the prediction for color of 2016 is something in the “rose quartz”  family. I think that is actually jewelry related, right? XO

Blouse| Tunic| Jeans| Boots

Steve Madden

Talking about Denim


The ongoing denim conversation. Where do you buy your jeans? What’s in and what’s not? If I spend a lot on jeans will it be worth it? Where did you get those?

I am always open for trying out new denim because I wear it all of the time and  because there are “new” jeans all of the time. I’ll share my opinion on a few recent purchases, like the jeans in the picture above. 

1.) Madewell. I have bought other things at that store but never the denim even though, duh, that is obviously a huge part of their deal. The salesgirl asked if I owned any Madewell jeans, I told her no and she swore I would love them. So I bought these slightly distressed high rise pair, and guess what? She was right! I love them and wear them all-of-the-time. They do not stretch out, I wash and dry them every time and they stay the same size, I love the amount of distressing. The price isn’t cheap ($135) however, I have definitely spent more on jeans than that before. {Madewell  jeans here}


2) Banana Republic. I don’t think I have ever bought jeans here. {At least that I can remember, I mean, do you know I was shopping at BR in the 80’s?} I can’t remember what I bought then but I do remember that it was safari themed… Anyway about these grey numbers. Soft and stretchy but NOT too stretchy, I love the color. I hate jeans that are too stretchy and then feel like they are leggings and not jeans. Just got these when they were having a sale {imagine that….} and they were $77!! YES!! {Banana Republic jeans here}


3) Rag & Bone. I had to have these just so that I could say that I owned something “Rag & Bone”. Their clothes are very expensive and the jeans are too but it doesn’t seem too extreme to buy a pair of jeans for $200 whereas buying a regular old shirt for $200, does seem unnecessary. So I thought they must be magic. Unfortunately, they are not. I had them on the other day and KN asked if I was losing weight. I was like ” oh right honey, you saw me polish off that large sausage pizza! You are so sweet but no, it’s just THESE stupid jeans!” After about one hour in I start the good old fashioned belt loop hike. Now this is just one type of jeans they make, so I am not speaking for all of them, just this particular stretchy pair, I don’t recommend. {Rag & Bone jeans here} 


4) Current Elliot. I like these jeans because I like the color, the distressing and the length. I think these were possibly my first distressed jeans.  These need to be washed each time to maintain the shape, they do kind of stretch out but not too bad. I also have a similiar white pair. They are expensive, but I have worn them so much that it was worth it. {Current Elliott jeans here}



5) Zara. Super duper distressed. Obvs majorly trendy so did not want to break the bank because the minute distressed jeans are out of style these will be gonners. I would recommend Zara denim in general because it is priced under $100. {Zara jeans here}


old navy

6.) Old Navy. Nothing wrong with a pair of jeans that are $32 on sale! I don’t have anything bad to say about these jeans, as a matter of fact, I liked them so much that I cut them off into shorts this summer!

{Old Navy jeans here}

Shot with DxO ONE

7) Free People. These wide leg flares are just totally fun! Completely opposite of all of my other jeans, not distressed, lighter in color and wide legs. Free People, the brand, are not known for denim but this pair was unique! They are currently on sale! {Free people jeans here}

What jeans styles should you have?

I believe for the fall/winter season you should have a darker pair and a lighter pair of skinny jeans, a distressed pair of jeans (even just a little distressing, it doesn’t have to be giant holes like number 5) and a pair of jeans in black or grey. I don’t think that boyfriend jeans look good on anyone older than 18, the look gets confusing, like “are those jeans too big on her or is she heavier than I remember?” I think mid rise jeans are the greatest invention and it makes all jeans extremely more comfortable. A pair of flare jeans are nice for a change and look great dressed up with heels.( and make you legs look really long ). 

We are all looking for tips and recommendations so give us your comments below! 

{And if you haven’t subscribed yet, you should. I mean do you want to miss out on any of this goodness????}


French Connection (US)

Local Fall Fashion Event!


{sweater cape from Kie & Kate, amazing photography by Nicole of Cedar & Rush}
{vest & hat from Kie & Kate}

Like this faux fur vest?  And how about a cozy sweater cape? 

These “sleeveless” jackets, trenches, moto jackets, vests, are happening for fall. Add one of these to the infamous layering situation that we all start to configure in the fall. {cold in the morning…warm at noon…cold again….}

I found these gems at a local boutique, Kie & Kate. Most times I shoot over to the well known stores at the mall but this cute, cozy and friendly store has caught my attention. The girls that work there are helpful, honest and sweet.  The clothes are affordable and current and there is stuff for all ages. They will help you find an outfit or a gift, wrap it up and send you smiling on your way.

You should really check it out. As a matter of fact, come check it out tomorrow night! Myself, Nicole of Cedar & Rush, Ashley Markgraf of The Style Effect and Brittany Bull of DressMe will all be on hand to help you find something to add to your fall wardrobe! There will be drinks and treats and a lot of girl talk. Come on over and see for yourself what a great, local boutique Kie & Kate is!


buffalo plaid jacket @ Kie & Kate
buffalo plaid jacket @ Kie & Kate


Fall cravings: {Things I want!}

fall jackets-2


    1. cognac leather jacket (I mean everyone has black already, right?)
    2. Fall color pillows to spruce up the couch
    3. Boudeaux suede boots (Pow!)
    4. Flannel shirt (staple)
    5. Giant sweater (no coat needed)
    6. Colorful hat  (for bad hair days)
    7. Round sunglasses  (kinda stuck on the squarish variety)
    8. Fringe purse (adds movement to any outfit!)
    9. Lumberjack plaid plates (@ Target!!)
    10. Cozy faux fur blanket (for movie night in)

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