Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Day Look and New Year's Eve Outfit Sneak Peek!

Mike and I spent Christmas day in Ohio with my mom's side of the family. It was ridiculously warm (50s! In Northeast Ohio! On Christmas! Sheesh!), which made me a little distressed about my outfit. I didn't want to overheat! But I definitely wanted to wear a tartan skirt and green sweater! #fashionbloggerprobs I'd purchased the skirt with Christmas in mind, but I also got to wear it to work on "red, white and green" finals spirit week day. LOVE. 

Thus, I opted for a tights-less Christmas, which I don't think I've ever had in my life! It was pretty glorious. 

Gallivanting around with glee because I was sans tights on December 25.
Embellished sweater: (old J.Crew Factory, similar from Express here). 
Skirt: sold out from J. Crew Factory, but here, here, and here are equally fabulous options!).

The weather was warm enough for us to be outside snapping pictures before my cousin and uncle came over! 
Shoes: Tory Burch, old, similar here

These sparkly Tory Burch Reva Ballet Flats are one of my favorite pairs of shoes, ever. They're super comfortable, and I always receive compliments on them. I wear them constantly to school, and my kids get a kick out of the sparkle. These are quite old, a gift to me in 2011, but I have since had them sewn on the back (from sheer overuse), and they're currently being re-insoled! I cannot let these babies go! 

Yes, the Tory flats are pricey-- there is no two ways about it-- but for the amount of mileage these beauties get, it is so worth every cent. I recently helped my friend Scott pick out a pair of Revas for his fiance (and my friend, too!), Lauren. I think I can attest to the fact that she was one happy camper upon receiving the gift! 

Side note: the Tory Burch ballet flats often go on sale. Also, Tory Burch has 30% off sitewide sales quite regularly-- just get on her email list! I have 3 pairs of these ballet flats in different colors and styles, and I have had each for YEARS. They outlast all my other work shoes! Plus, they're gorgeous!

I am in love with embellished sweaters. You can skip a necklace thanks to the detailing. This sweater was a Christmas gift last year, but I have gotten so much use out of it. Check out my current favorite embellished sweaters: 60% off at Ann Taylor60% at Loft, too!
Lipstick: MAC Brave Red

My Kate Spade knot earrings are my go-to gold earrings. My bestie, Mandy, got me these when Mike and I got engaged in 2014! I haven't stopped wearing them since. It was such a thoughtful gift for a newly engaged gal-- for "tying the knot"! A perfect, thoughtful gift if you have any newly engaged gal pals. 

I've talked about my Alex and Ani bracelets before, but I can't get over how much I adore them. I have the Saint Mary's College one, an F, a guardian angel of answers (in honor of my aunt Sue), a Godmother bangle (from Beth and Bryn), and a beautiful feather wrap bracelet (that doesn't hang) from my hubs. These can be stacked and worn all at once (as pictured) or worn individually. My sister has gold and silver bangles and mixes them, which looks super chic. They're a perfect gift and extremely meaningful collection to start for any woman in your life. 

We had the most hilariously fun Christmas with our family. We missed my aunt so very much, but we could tell she was watching over us as we ate Holiday Potatoes, drank Christmas Ales, danced in the family room and cracked up about all our ridiculous family memories. The stories were the best part of the day. We sat in the dining room and talked about our Notre Dame game shenanigans, my timeliness, our shower-hair rituals, and the Sobotka wedding on the bay (LOL).  I love everyone in this picture so much, and I am so thankful to have them in my life.

Auntie Ash and Auntie Mar are going to spoil Baby Boy Connolly so much! So happy for my sister and her husband! I can't wait to meet him in April! 

And now for a little sneak peek of tonight's New Year's Eve ensemble! 

Yesterday, I headed into the city for a shoot of my New Year's Eve outfit with Gabby. However, the weather was NOT in agreement with our plans. We had to cancel because downtown Chicago weather yesterday was not conducive to a photoshoot. Gabby and I were so sad, but we are going to try again soon! She is a FABULOUS photographer and incredibly talented. Check out her website, here
Instead, my BFF, Mandy, came to my rescue and shot a few pics in the burbs. We laughed so hard and got a few great snaps in. Thanks to Mandy for brightening my day! More to come on the NYE look soon!

Here she is! I had to turn the cam on her because she cheered me up so much! Thanks, girl!
Her North Face Thermoball jacket is so amazing. It's unbelievably lightweight but INCREDIBLY warm. I was, of course, obsessed, and ordered myself this one from the Nordstrom's sale! Mandy's is here in Dramatic Plum. Her distressed jeans are Gap (here) and the lace shirt she has on is Ann Taylor (currently 40% off here!).

Heading out for a haircut and then into the city for a NYE party with my SMC/ND Chicago besties! I am so excited to be together tonight! How are you ringing in the new year? 

Be safe and have a phenomenal time tonight!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Arbonne Makeover and Banana Republic Scallops

Merry Christmas! I hope you all could enjoy time at home with your families from near and far.  I hope your days off were filled with traditions (new and old) and lots of holiday cheer. I'm blessed enough to have three main families (my dad's, my mom's and my husband's-- see below for some cute group shots), and spending time with my loved ones was something that made Christmas so special.
My dad's side cousins :-)
Congratulations to my cousin Kara (second from the right, front) and her new fiance, Josh (back with sunglasses)! Yay! 
Also, to my cousin Neil (back right) who will be marrying his fiance, Caitlin (far right), in October!

My mom's side of the family :)

And 13 lovely Fremeaus! Or Fremeaux as we named our group text! 

My time at home in Ohio and in Michigan to see Mike's family over the Christmas weekend was so wonderful! So much fun, in fact, that I'll break my postings up into a few different looks and foci.

My mom sells Arbonne products, and she has been gifting them to my sister and me for the past ten years.  No one can believe she's 66 years old, and she always attributes it to her Arbonne skincare products and makeup.

Above: my mom, me and my sister at our wedding on July 11, 2015
Photography by Blossom Lane Photography
Above: my mom and me in Florida (wearing Arbonne sunscreen, of course!) 

I wanted to give you a little run-down of the Arbonne products I use each day, so I did a little before/during/after photo shoot of the makeup.  I'll list my mom's contact information at the bottom of this post, in case anyone is interested in purchasing.  The best part of my mom selling Arbonne products is her monthly newsletter. It's pretty hilarious (and honest!). She will tell you which products and makeup are great and which are not worth the money.

The intelligence line of shampoo and conditioner (far left) is phenomenal. Your hair feels so clean after each use-- there are no heavy residues left over. 
I have always had incredibly sensitive skin, to the point where I cannot use any body washes (except Arbonne products) with scent in them. The Unwind bath gel smells aaaaaa-mazing, and it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin at all. The scent is therapeutic!  
We also love the Pure Vibrance shampoo and conditioner (purple bottles), particularly if you have color-treated hair. It really brings out the natural shine in your hair.
I'm totally obsessed with the Smoothing Facial Cleanser by Arbonne (far right). It removes my makeup so easily, and it leaves my face feeling incredibly refreshed.

The RE line of products from Arbonne is the best skincare I've ever used in 28.9 years of my life! 
I opt for the Restorative Day Creme (with SPF, which is perfect year-round) for my daily moisturizer.  For my body, I love the RE Firming Body Cream. The scents of the RE line products are light enough to not bother someone with uber sensitive skin (like me) but lovely enough to be noticed by others. 

My Arbonne brushes are the best I've ever used. They do NOT shed bristles like other brands I have used. There is nothing worse than a rogue makeup brush hair on your face! 

My no-makeup face! Eek! Shield your eyes! Haha. 
Earrings: Kate Spade 

Mrs. necklace: Kate Spade
Belle necklace: no longer available in stores, but you could create your own through this Etsy shop.  

Scalloped shirt: Banana Republic (thanks to my extremely stylish hubs!)
Pleather tuxedo-stripe leggings: from a boutique in Geneva, but here is an alternative pair. 
(Hint: if you like the idea of pleather/leather leggings but are leery of wearing a fully (p)leather legging, this is a perfect alternative. Just a touch of faux leather detailing to make the look edgy!). 

Another makeup-less shot. Forgive me! 
This Arbonne primer is to-die-for. My makeup stays on for 12+ hours-- seriously! Between school and poms practice, I can leave work at 6:00 pm, and my makeup will still be in place from my 6 am application. 

Just apply a thin coat to your eyelids if you want to start small and test out a primer. 

A closer look 

My mom's Mecca of Arbonne eye shadow! It's so great that she labels these for her Arbonne open houses.  

First, I used Blossom blush. I love this color year round. (Full disclosure: the lighting is good in these shots-- I am NOT tan by any means, but this blush really makes me look like I have a bit of a Florida glow!).
Speaking of GLOW, my lady friends and family members are obsessed with the Arbonne Bronzer. I use it from March to October! It is the best-- absolutely no orange tint-- just adds a little natural sun. 

My base layer is done!

Chocolate is my absolute favorite color of the eye shadows. It has an ever-so-slight sparkle, but it's perfect for a glam-brown smoky eye. 

I use Linen for just beneath my eyebrow. It's light enough to highlight the brow without looking overdone. I can wear this to work OR on the weekends. 

I love lining my my eyelashes with Blackout. This creates a look just like a liquid eyeliner, but as a shadow, it's so much easier to apply successfully!  The thin, angled eyeliner brush I am using is included in the set linked above. 

The Arbonne "It's a Long Story" mascara is so great due to its brush.  It's long-lasting (through 8 periods, poms practice AND Pure Barre!), and I love the straight shape of the brush and bristles. It separates and elongates my eyelashes.  

Eye shadow and mascara in place!  I then lined my lower rim in Ebony eyeliner. It glides on so smoothly and effortlessly. 

Now to perfect the pout! This lipstick is PHENOMENAL!  I thought I loved MAC, but then I used Arbonne's Peony smoothed over lipstick and fell madly in love. How fun is this color? 

Ta-da! The "after" shot. 

I am telling you, the Chocolate eye shadow is so fabulous for brunettes and blonds alike! 

Cooper liked my look! :-) 
The Banana Republic scalloped blouse can be worn with a tank top underneath (as pictured) or buttoned all the way to the top to accentuate the scalloped details. 

And the best part: my adorable side-kick and photographer! Shout out to Mike (follow him @Fremeauji on Twitter) for being the most patient, supportive and wonderful man I know. 

My beautiful mom. She is also wearing all Arbonne products.
Her lips are Peony, too! 

My shoes:  BCBGeneration

Cooper approved of my look! 

Feel free to contact my mom at for any inquiries about Arbonne. I can help, too! But, she is really the expert. She has taught me all I know!  Her Arbonne website is: 

Have you tried Arbonne before? What did you think? What is your favorite product? 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Date Night Look & Early Christmas Gifts!

If you're anything like my husband and me, your date nights can range from burgers and fries at Beef Shack (yes, it's as amazing as it sounds!) to a fancy restaurant downtown and everything in between.  Some nights we are eating Aurelio's pizza and hitting up the Penrose Brewery in jeans and ND gear, yet other nights you'll find us being fancy at Fiora's in downtown Geneva. With such a dichotomy of date ideas, I sometimes struggle with what to wear on a Friday or Saturday evening with my hubs.  I wanted to share a few "sure-fire" ideas that are both affordable and re-wearable for work, too!

Friday night we tried a new restaurant, The Burger Local, in Geneva.  I love any excuse to wear sequins (duh), so I decided to upcycle a look from last year with my new navy Winnie crops and nude pumps.

Here is a fabulous alternative sequined top (my J. Crew Factory sequined shirt is from 2013 Christmas) from H&M for under $40. 

Underneath the sequins, tame your look a bit with this chambray button-down. You will wear this shirt over and over again-- under jumper dresses, tucked into patterned skirts and standing alone with statement jewelry. Trust me! For $34, you'll get extensive wear out of this shirt. 

I went with the Winnie pant in navy on the bottom, but if you like the H&M sequined top, I would pop the red or pair it with the black Winnies. At $36, I can't express how vital these crops are! They look awesome with pumps, flats and booties. They're slimming and work very well with a flowy top or with a fitted oxford tucked into them. 

My sister and I both own these Corso Como nude pumps. I highly recommend them for a polished finishing touch to your date night outfit. I don't like super high heels, as I am all for comfort, so these are the perfect height! 

After our meal and amazing drinks at The Burger Local, we headed home to have our tradition of opening gifts early. We have done this for the past two Christmases together because we travel to Ohio and Michigan over the holiday, and we like to exchange gifts at our home (besides, we have  A LOT of presents to bring home, so get ready, family!). Mike is an amazing gift giver and got me fabulous surprises! He knew I was obsessed with the BCBGeneration nude and black Darron pumps, so he went out and got the glitter version for me! (PS: they're now only $49!). I am soooo excited to wear these! 

He also surprised me with this cozy Lululemon Scuba hoody! SO essential for the walk to Pure Barre! (Thanks to Lauren K. for wearing this to PB and allowing me to copy her! haha!). Mike picked this up for me and hid it in his closet a few months ago, but here is a similar Scuba hoody! 

(Alex and Ani stackable bracelets: here). 

I surprised Mike with this Penrose Brewery tee shirt. (I think this was his favorite gift from me!). We absolutely love Penrose. If you live anywhere near Geneva, you MUST try it! First of all, the employees are super nice. They're extremely knowledgeable, too (take a tour of the brewery!). Penrose doesn't serve food, but you can BYOF and eat there! There are board games and picnic table style seating. It's easily our favorite local spot! 

We're just 4 short days away from Christmas, and I am getting so excited to travel home to see our families! Where are you spending the holidays and with whom? Safe travels, loyal readers!