ML - Michigan Avenue

2014 - Issue 1 - Winter

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 51 of 123

TALENT PATROL Emily Belden gained a spot on Today for covering her bedroom floor with pennies. to all 234 square feet of their bedroom floor. "It's just my one thing to count on—that and vodka." At just 27 years old, the Elmhurst native now has plenty to toast with the debut of her memoir, Eightysixed (Pandamoon Publishing; $18), a retelling of her most rollicking experiences as a 20-something living in Chicago. "The story is a comedy of misses," says Belden, who compares the book to a certain female-focused HBO series. "When I saw Girls for the first time, I remember thinking, 'Why is this Sweet spot: "My familiar to me?'" she recalls wryly. "Then fiancé and I love I'm like, 'Oh, because this is my idea.'" The Aberdeen Slated to hit bookstores on February 6, Tap. It's the place we met." Eightysixed is divided into three parts. The Never the bride: first opens with an ill-fated text message "I'm working on that causes the then-23-year-old Belden to a humorous discover the shocking details of an ex-boywedding planfriend's current relationship status, while ning book, and the second part focuses on her ensuing years I'm dissecting 10 myths about of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. "You see me weddings—like, come undone a bit, but it's not a downer. It's 'This is your day.' snarky, fast-paced, and really witty. My inner It's not your day, dialogue is there as well. I am no stranger to trust me." the absurdity of things that are going on; I'm well aware of it all." She is perhaps most proud of the memoir's third and final section, which centers on a chance encounter with Floris, a chef from Holland who, during a weeklong visit to Chicago, introduces Belden to some of the city's most renowned restaurants, among them Schwa and Alinea. "It's not as funny, but so well-written," she says. "You go from the really snarky stuff to a true, emotional pageturner, like, 'Where is this going?'" She first documented this episode on Total E-Bag, where Belden—who works as an advertising copywriter—created Eightysixed. "I started writing the day I got that text," she says of the message that opens the book. "I needed to get that stuff out." Belden is now at work on several other projects. She recently launched Happy Happy Gay Gay, an online WITH HER MEMOIR EIGHTYSIXED, CREATIVE FORCE card store catering to the LGBT community (proceeds benefit The Trevor Project), and she's writing a satirical EMILY BELDEN BARES ALL ABOUT HER YEARS SPENT book about planning weddings, inspired by her upcomIN THE FAST LANE. BY MEG MATHIS ing May nuptials to entrepreneur Ryan Lange, with whom she created "We're still reaping the benefits of having tiled our floor in pennies, so it is riting's the only thing that has never let me down," says South really funny," she says, reflecting on their Today appearance nearly one year Loop resident and Total E-Bag blogger Emily Belden, who ago. "Ryan and I were like, 'We wish we had something to sell!' because it first gained national attention last year on the Today show brought us so much traffic. 'What can we do now?'" Available February 6 at and The Dr. Oz Show when she and her fiancé glued nearly 60,000 pennies Barnes & Noble; MA A Penny for Her Thoughts "W 50 PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATRINA WITTKAMP; MAKEUP BY IZHA ZYLVANNI; HAIR BY ANN-MARIE BAUTISTA INSIGHT MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 050_MA_SP_TP_Emily_Winter_14.indd 50 1/10/14 10:15 AM

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