Monday, March 13, 2017

Short Sleeve Bell Sleeve Trend-- How to Wear It

I drooled over this bright pink, buffalo-check shirt for weeks before putting it on my birthday wish list! My mom bought it for me, and I absolutely adore it. I've worn it to work once, and I busted it out again for Saturday night's date night with Mike! We met 4 years ago at the Geneva Ale House on March 12, 2013, so we wanted to go back to where it all began. I am so thankful to God that he came into my life! He emailed me first (on Match.com), and we emailed back and forth before meeting 5 days later. The first time he emailed me, I KNEW he was special and my dream man! And that this would be different! The night we met, we talked for 3 hours and 50 minutes... on a SCHOOL NIGHT! And I left feeling happier than I had ever been. I was on cloud nine all night, and I emailed my besties the next day to tell them to start picking out bridemaids dresses because I had met my future husband!  My sister actually used my email to my girlfriends as her maid of honor speech! LOL! A lot of exclamation points and a lot of, "HE'S CATHOLIC! HE WENT TO NOTRE DAME! HE WAS ON THE DRUMLINE!!!!!!" To this day, the email Mike sent me (to Dancer1687 from DrummingMike84) has changed my life forever!  Ok, sorry! I got carried away! Haha!! SIDE note: he also recreated all our Match.com emails and printed them out and got them bound into a book for our 1st wedding anniversary (it's paper traditionally). It is the best love story I've ever read! :):):):)

Unfortunately this shirt is sold out, but fear not! I have linked tons of short-sleeved bell-sleeved tops below for your enjoyment :) 






^^ A few throwback pics from our engagement photo sesh with Meagan from Blossom Lane Photography (who also photographed our wedding!). She's a photog genius! That's where we met! Shout out to the Geneva Ale House! Amazing food and drinks. 






Here's a skirt version of my top! I am obsessed with the brightness of the pink! It's really beautiful-- even more so in person :)





This bright clutch is my favorite new purchase from Jori & June! It will be so perfect to pair with anything Lilly Pulitzer this summer! 
Loving this blue version from Nordies, too!
And this yellow? HELLO, summer!



Obsessed with these BCBGeneration glittery pumps^^
I have them in black and nude, too! LOL. They are from last fall at DSW, but the black/nude combo is still available. They are SO COMFORTABLE! I wear them to weddings and am completely comfy in them. Don't they look like the Valentino Rock Studs??? 





Here's a practical white version of the bell-sleeved top with a striped edge detail. I love this crisp option for work or in the summer with jean shorts!




^^^ Trying out the basketball hoop the previous owners left in the basement bahahah. #Slamdunk




This is my old monogram (mHm) in gold from my sis for being her maid of honor! I love it too much even if it isn't updated. LOL.


More bell-sleeves below! 


The striped nautical detail contrasting with these gingham ruffle sleeves give this shirt a summer feel! I love it! This would work perfectly with khaki chinos (I have these and LOVE THEM! They run a little smaller than usual, I sized up to a 6 with these) for spring or white jeans this summer.



I am digging these light blue tops from Loft and J. Crew. The flowy sleeves are so in right now! Be sure to pair with skinny denim or a fitted pencil skirt on the bottom-- you don't want to be lost in something flowy on the bottom to make you look boxy.




Even more adorable bell-sleeve short sleeved tops:



I am dying over this chambray one with BOWS ON THE BACK!!!

Okay, this Burberry one is #goals. Jackie, I think you will love that one, too!!!


I hope you had a wonderful start to your week! IT IS SO COLD HERE. AND IT WAS SNOWING TODAY. I. CAN. NOT.

On a lighter note, I am so close to spring break I can taste it! Gotta keep my kiddos focused for 2 more weeks, and then a week of sun, Finny and family!
xxoo
Mary

Monday, March 6, 2017

Ruffle Front Gingham Dress! ON SALE!

When I made my first $100 cash from Belle On Trend (actually, when I was close, and knew it was coming #Icouldntwait) [author's note: I still actually haven't been paid YET, but I will by March 20 bahahhaa], I ordered this dress I had been eyeing for a few weeks. It was PERFECT, and it was exactly what I wanted to spend my first blog cash on.  When I put it on- Mike can attest to this- I literally was standing in my closet screaming with joy! hahaha! I know that sounds insane to actually type out, but OMG, you guys, this dress was made for a ruffle/gingham/bow lover.

It comes in 2 colors, but I already had the blue and white pin-striped Edie shirt. I blogged about it in the fall, and I love that shirt SO MUCH. The fit was absolutely perfect, so I felt confident ordering the same size (4) online in a dress version.

This is the kind of dress you put on, and you're immediately just SO HAPPY!!!! That ruffle! The little ribbon belt! The pockets! And it's currently 50% off $69, which is $30-something! haha! Use code: SALEFUN

All pictures by Andrea at Swofford Photography. Hire her, you guys! She is incredible!

^^ Fresh new haircut thanks to Annalisa at Beautiful You Salon! She has been cutting my hair since 2011!  She's amazing. I haven't colored my hair since 2012, but I am thinking about some balayage this summer! Any suggestions? 





I love everything about this dress. The grosgrain belt can be worn with it, or you could swap out a different belt for a pop of color! Use this link for the sale dresses. For some reason the Nordies ones aren't coming up as on sale, but they definitely are! 



That bow! 

One of my bffs, Cheng, bought me this lightweight Kate Spade blanket scarf a few years ago when we were roommates in Chicago. I've grown up with Cheng; I forced him to be friends with me when he moved to Boardman in 5th grade. LOL. I remember being a totally bratty 11 year old with a bowl cut, and even though I had a HUGE digital watch on, I would never tell him what time it was. hahaha! But thank God he saw past my adolescent ways, and he remains like family to us!  And, hello, this scarf? How amazing is that? He picked it out himself! 

It was A LOT colder than the sun makes it look! But these pics were worth it!
Here's a similar Kate Spade lightweight scarf. It's perfect for the not-too-cold but not-too-hot days!
OMG, these tassels! Check out the other lightweight scarves below! SO many cute options! 





My red bag was my first "public school teacher job" purchase in 2011. (I was not buying Kate Spade bags for myself at my Catholic school teaching job haha). 
It's long gone by now, but here are some similar options. 


Also, the bag for if I go big with the blog... bahahha. The Chloe Marcie in tulip red... I die! A gal can dream, right? 






If you like this Edie style dress, check out these Edie shirts:
How did everyone's weeks start?
I got Starbucks this AM, grande cold brew sweet cream-- my sis got me hooked! I think that's going to be a treat for me on Mondays. I usually only do Starbucks once a week as a treat on Fridays (we have a Keurig), but why not start the week with a fab drink?
xxoo
Mary

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trending: 2.26.17

The top ten pieces your closet needs this instant!

[1.0] This tassel clutch!
It's monogrammable and SO fab. I love the studded version (below) (and it's on sale!). I am always looking for fancy clutches for weddings or weekend nights out; I have my big cross body bags, but that won't do for dainty wedding wear, will it? Also, loving this scalloped bag, too!



[2.0]  This long-sleeved mesh peplum top.
How chic is this for work and weekend? The back zipper is another detail that I love. I want to bring lighter colors into my wardrobe for the approaching spring months, so the white version of this is exactly what I need!





[3.0] This LC Lauren Conrad dress!
For the next wedding you attend, how fabulous is this? I was just drooling over these BHLDN dresses, but why not save $200 and get the LC version?! Hellooooo!!! Thanks to Krista for the best Kohl's finds, ever! Also, ladies, if you are engaged, how beautiful would your bmaids look in these gowns?! The color palette is super similar to what we did for our wedding. I love the blush shades!





[4.0] This amazing off the shoulder top-- necessary for welcoming spring!
This peach, floral, off-the-shoulder, bell-sleeved top is just gorgeous! I am obsessed with the floral print and classiness. It would be a perfect weekend top with skinny jeans and wedges.





[5.0] This ruffled dress for the next wedding you attend.
I am dying over the open back, the ruffles and the color! Also loving this J. Crew version, that comes in 6 gorgeous colors. I adore the green and the blush!




[6.0] This J. Crew cardigan sums up my entire style: sequins, bright colors and work-appropriate.
I am IN LOVE! Now the biggest dilemma: yellow?! blue?! Both!?




[7.0] These glittery Jack Rogers.
Thanks to my darling friend, Melissa, for finding these! Here's a link for the sale version!


[8.0] This yellow striped flutter-sleeve top.
Everything about this screams preppy Spring! I love an easy top, and this is just that. Throw it on with jeans and Jacks for the weekend, or wear it with tailored khakis or navy crops for work.





[9.0] This dress has it all: polka dots, gorgeous details and bell sleeves.
I love both colors; the white would be perfect for spring break in Florida!  The navy is classic and ideal for springtime teaching.



[10.0] This scalloped work shirt.
Lilac is such a lovely color to pull us out of the February doldrums. This is a tailored work shirt, updated with the scalloped details. It really spruces up your typical collared shirt.





What is on your wish list right now??
xxoo
Mary

Monday, February 20, 2017

Blush Lace Pants

We had an awesome weekend (still happening because I'm off today for Presidents' Day!). We had our Chicago pals over for a housewarming party on Saturday, and it was sooo fun to host them! We tried to recruit them all to move out of the city and into Geneva :) lol! Then 8 of them spent the night, and we did a Sunday Funday brunch yesterday.  We got to sit outside at Stockholm's -- on the patio! In February! In Northern IL! Amazing. I also fell asleep in an Adirondack in the backyard and got a little sunburn (sorry, mom! I swear I will wear sunscreen from this day forward). Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. My friends made the trip from Chicago out to the burbs which meant the world to us. We are so lucky to have made so many lifelong friends at Saint Mary's and Notre Dame. 

Now, on to the outfit! I laughed so hard because I was like, "Mike, what are you wearing to the housewarming?!?!?!" And he's like, "umm jeans and a gray tee shirt?!" bahaha. I landed on these blush lace pants from J. Crew Factory that Mike actually bought me for Valentine's Day! 




The pants are soooo comfy. You feel like you're in pajamas! Size down if you're in between sizes, as they do run a little bigger. These are a 4, and they fit perfectly. They're pull-on, and just have an elastic waist band. Perfect for the amount of food I ate this weekend. LOL.


This shimmering tee is also J. Crew, and it was a gift from my bff, Courtney! 






The best part about these pants is all you need is a plain top with them. I tried to do a full lace outfit with a magenta peplum lace top, but I literally looked like a Valentine's Day doilie (thanks to Anna for the comparison).  See below for a good laugh. Also, I had just taken a shower (hence the towel on my head hahah).  Note to readers: too much lace can be a bad thing. #thosedancemovestho

It was not good. So I settled on fancy shoes and a plainer tee. 





It felt soooo good to have temperatures in the 60s this weekend! I went on a run outside for the first time in months; it felt SO GOOD to be warm!  (Not the run itself! hahaha I am rusty). 


These are my favorite shoes! I got them on super sale from J. Crew with two gift cards, so essentially they were free. haha! They're no longer available, but these are super similar! Also, I've linked a bunch below in all styles and price points. 

I am all about the bangle stack. These are all Kate Spade and glittery. My earrings are also glittery Kate, too! How amazing is this bangle? And on super sale, too!  Here are some similar options:



Can we take a moment to look at this beauty? I am putting this on my wish list. OMG!





Anna bought us the yellow adirondack!!!! I LOVE adirondacks so much. Mike bought me the green and blue for my bday. 


My favorite house guest... Finny!

So happy Mandy and her bf, Mark, and their kids could join us Saturday!! It was like a mini wedding-party reunion! 

OH! and the new addition to the back patio. Mike is a saint; he put these all together! While I napped in the sun. LOL


Did you have today off? It was our first long weekend of the year at my school (we started much later because of our new renovations to the math and science wings), and it was glorious!
xxoo
Mary

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day Recap and Embroidered Details!

How was everyone's Valentine's DAYS!!?? Mike and I went to dinner on Friday night to Villa Verone, and it was SO GOOD. We didn't leave a morsel uneaten. I really thought I'd have some leftovers, but NOPE. Omg, get the Rotolo Mama Carmela (also, do the Prezzo Fisso! It's such a great deal-- an app, 2 entrees, a bottle of wine, a dessert-- all for $99!). 

I have this dress ^^ in 2 colors! Best $98 I've ever spent on a dress. 


On Saturday, we showered our girl Kelly with baby shower love, and then Mike and I headed to the city to babysit our other Valentine, Finn, so Anna and Shawn could have some Vday time alone! 

FFC Gals! Friends until 95 and beyond!



We had an absolute blast with Finn. The love I have for Finn is soooooo huge. I can't even imagine how it is going to feel to love our own child one day! 

Smiles for Unkie and Auntie!

Licking his lips for Unkie's Starbucks sandie!

Pleeeease, Unkie Mike!

No, Cooper! I want that sandwich!

Honestly, he is the cutest baby on earth. He makes me soooo happy!!! 


On Sunday, Mike was the BEST trooper/hubs/man ever and came to the Bring on the Men night at Pure Barre!! We I had a blast. LOL, poor Mike. I owe him big time.


On actual Valentine's Day, Mike made homemade pad Thai from the Thug Kitchen cookbook (best gift ever from his brother and SIL! It is vegan, but we add chicken in place of all the tofu- haha), and gifted me these AMAZING PANTS and fully sequined shirt (which is currently $14!). (Size down for the lace pants! They run a little roomy! THEY'RE $25 CURRENTLY! The black is great, too!).  I linked some similar sequined tops below, that are equally adorbs, but get the J. Crew Factory one ^^ because it's AMAZING and so inexpensive right now (but won't link to ShopStyle... hmmmm)! 


Okay, enough of my rambles! Now to talk EMBROIDERED deets! The pics below are all compliments of the ridiculously talented, Andrea Swofford of Swofford Photography

The details on this super comfy scoop-neck top are everything. The sleeves billow slightly to emphasize the gorgeous embroidery. The shirt can be worn off-the-shoulder, and it's slightly cropped. It's also feather-light and gauzy; it would pair perfectly with a pair of cut off jean shorts in the summer! These pieces are brand new at Jori & June-- and the Baggu clutch featured is ON SALE!  Yahoo! 

Here's the direct link to Jori & June's website to order directly from the store (even if you're reading from far away)! 
I am obsessed with the romper version of this top, too.
And the shorts! Hello, tropical vacation! 



How great is the wash on this denim
This pair is super stretchy, high-waisted and flattering. 





The Baggu clutches at Jori & June are also available (on sale!) from the website
The green Baggu clutch is gorgeous. I love the soft leather. It is the perfect size for a night out! 
More fun colors:




I never thought I could fall back in love with chokers! I am not kidding you-- I wore a choker a day from years 1993-2005. I think I overdid the choker trend, but I am for sure coming back around! How gorgeous is this one? It's delicate and less rocker-chic than some of the chokers out there. I love the drop down triangle. Pick this beauty up in-store at Jori & June! 
More delicate chokers:



It was snowing! ^^^ brrrr


Get this fab hat ^^ and the black/silver version of the choker at Jori & June, too! 

More embroidered details for all budgets:




How has your week been so far? I am loving seeing the sunshine! I also love seeing the sun on my drive to work!
Mary