Monday, February 29, 2016

Polka Dots on Polka Dots!

On Saturday night of Anna's baby shower weekend, we went out to dinner with our cousins, our parents and our Aunt and Uncle. It was so much fun; Mike and I ate so much pizza so quickly! Haha! I couldn't help myself. It was too good! (Check it out: Spacca Napoli in Chicago).

I had been toying with the idea of mixed metal (silver and gold) polka dots for quite some time, but I didn't have the opportunity to wear it together yet. I am glad I ventured out of my (typically) just gold or just silver accents. Mixing metals is adventurous and fun!

I'm such a sucker for these J. Crew Factory jumpers! I wish I could own one in every color!
J. Crew "perfect" polka dot shirt: similar, here, here (in red!), here and here.
J. Crew Factory jumper: similar, herehere and here (sequins!).

If it's any indication of how much we will spoil our nephew, just take a look at how much we loooove Coop! Haha!

Every time I'm at Anna and Shawn's, I just want to hold Cooper. Like a baby. He probably thinks Auntie and Unkie are cray. LOL!  Mike loves to snuggle with Coop, too! 

Boot socks: from my MIL! She bought me a cream pair and these navy ones! Love these. 

Bling-y J. Crew bracelet: here

Red lips: MAC red.  
Kate Spade knot earrings: thanks to Mandy!

It was so wonderful to see my mom during Anna's shower weekend! 

Frye boots: here (but wait for the Nordstroms half yearly sale! Mine were under $200!)
He's pretty much the best :-) <3

Do you like to mix gold and silver? How about layering polka dots? 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Trending 2.26.16


Just as Banana Republic has been absolutely rocking with their looks lately, Anthropologie is KILLING it, too! I could list 50 pieces I'd love to own from Anthro alone (if money were no option!), but I will try to keep my trending list under 10 :-)

[1.0]  I am absolutely-undeniably-head-over-heels-in-love with this dress from Anthro. It's an online exclusive, and I will watch it like a hawk until it's less than the hefty price tag. But, OH MY! It's the most gorgeous dress I have seen in a VERY long time. I would wear it for Mike's cousin's wedding in July, and I would probably re-wear it for my BFF's rehearsal dinner come August. I would get a lot of use out of this stunning dress! 

[2.0] Much more budget-friendly, this beautiful scalloped dress from J. Crew Factory will welcome spring with a smile! Throw a cardi over this for work, and add Jacks for the summertime. I love the fit and flare design, the color, the fabric/texture and the scallops. To die for! 

[3.0] Anthropologie does it again: how darling is this blouse? Striped, multicolored AND peplum. I love it all! Perfect with tailored navy or red dress pants for work. Versatile enough to wear with skinny jeans and pumps for the weekend. Obsessed! 

[4.0] The lush color of this zip-up cardigan is too good to pass up! I love that it is pale yellow-- a perfect springtime color. It will be absolutely adorable on top of the several mustard colored shirts I already own. 

[5.0] Another peplum top that is appropriate for work or weekend. I love the multicolored gingham of this top! What better way to welcome spring to Illinois than with a lightweight peplum top! Bonus: check out the buttons on the back! Super unique.

[6.0] My sweet friend, Alison, found these stunners from DSW. Right now, the lace up ballet flat is a perfect transition shoe to take you into springtime. These shoes are incredibly flattering and come in taupe and black. Plus: THOSE SCALLOPS THOUGH!  Ah-mazing!

[7.0] I am totally into any Lululemon tops with open backs! This (in black) and this (in cobalt) are my top two contenders for next to be purchased. I had the opportunity to email with one of Lululemon's buyers (a West High graduate!) who lives in Vancouver. I felt like I was emailing a celeb! So cool!  I have to get my Lululemon game on point as Pure Barre Geneva is starting their platform classes! OMG! Also, there's a challenge for March to get in 20 classes in 31 days. Since I'm leaving for Florida on the 26th, I need to get 20 classes in within 26 days! Eek! I am going to go for it! So excited for PLATFORM! (But also terrified!! LOL! Shout out to Lauren K. at PB! Can't wait to take your class, girl!). 

[8.0] Coated leggings! I have been trying to find these since Molly wore them a few weeks ago. Target was completely out of my size, so I have been Googling around to find them elsewhere. My friend and coworker, Lindsay, found these from H&M! They will be perfect with a long tunic or long party top. 

What's trending in your world right now?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Sister's Baby Shower: Ahoy, It's a Boy!

My mom, Ashley, Jackie, Julie and I threw Anna a baby shower this past weekend! It was nautical themed: "Ahoy, it's a boy!" 

My incredibly talented sis-in-law created our darling invitations, and Julie made "gift bingo" using her designs. 

Anna's sweet MIL got her some amazing teeny-tiny (Irish) clothes for BBC.

Baby Boy Connolly's first pair of Chuck Taylors, thanks to Auntie Ash! 
Ashley's dress, left: similar here
Anna's dress, right: Anthropologie (not maternity)

One of the coolest parts of the shower was when the ladies colored their own block for baby boy. I had "boy colored" permanent markers at the table, and the guests decorated their own plain wooden block. (We just bought enough for every guest to color one-- very inexpensive from Amazon!). These will make a perfect collection for BBC! (Pick up permanent markers at Target or order from Amazon). 

Everyone had fun with the present-bingo! Julie also created cut-out paper anchors for the markers!

Baby boy will always support his mom and aunties' alma mater, even though he cannot attend. :-) 
Saint Mary's College onesie: here

Look how loved Anna and future baby boy are! 

I found this adorable idea on Pinterest when I discovered the block idea. Julie created this. Each guest signed a "balloon" and glued it onto this picture. The theme of BBC's nursery is elephants-- gray and navy-- so this was perfect! Then, I bought a frame from Target so Anna would be able to hang this in her nursery ASAP!

Another shot of the homemade blocks! 

Ladies hard at work coloring their blocks. 

Mommy-to-be just glowing! 

My dad's beautiful girlfriend, Patty, and my beautiful cuzzies and Aunt Leslie! 
Patty's adorable mixed media shirt: here.
Kara and Aunt Leslie similar tunic dresses:  here and here
Caitlin's two-tone sweater: great fringe option, here
Mom and dad-to-be! 

We looooooooove sweet Everly! 

Snuggles with Christina! 

Close up of my block. 

Anchor bags and decor! 

I was pretty stoked to be hosting! 
Boucle sparkly blazer, thanks to Jackie: similar here and here.

KJP bow bracelet: in green, here and polka dots, here
Ann Taylor colorblock dress: old, similar colorblock options here and here with a darling Peter Pan collar.
Monogram necklace: Moon and Lola
My mom and I bought labels from Zazzle for mini champagne bottles, water bottles and popcorn bags. They had Anna's due date on them and "Anna's about to Pop!"

Our lovely friends who came from North Dakota, Michigan and Ohio. Jackie is pregnant, too! Best friends due just days apart! 
Meg's navy fit-and-flare dress: here
Christina's dress: here
Jackie's dress: Asos maternity, here

Zazzle was the best place for stickers! Labels on water bottles, popcorn and champagne. 

The favors! Anchor bags! 
We had such a great time! My mom, sister, cousin and me. I absolutely loved being with my family this weekend! 
Mom's scarf: similar here.

What shower themes have you liked?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

So Much Love- Valentine's Day Looks!

Mike and I had such an amazing Valentine's Day/long weekend together. I am so thankful to God that Mike and I found each other (almost) three years ago because he is truly my soulmate. We went to a fancy dinner Saturday night and had a relaxing day (mass, heart-shaped DQ blizzard cake, heart-shaped Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza and several episodes of Naked and Afraid on Discovery!) Sunday. It's just so nice to be able to sit on the couch with my hubs and not have to go anywhere. I loved the dichotomy of a fancy night on Saturday (another delicious meal at Villa Verone) and the relaxation, pig-out fest of Sunday. Plus, the added Presidents' Day holiday on Monday made for a very special long weekend. 

The glitter Darron pumps are simply stunning. My friend Mandy just bought them in the black and silver glitter. This particular blush color is sold out, but the black and pewter is equally as fierce! Here's another option in gold. 

Bracelets left:
top: Charming Charlie's (old), similar here
Bracelets right:
top: Glitter is My Favorite Color (old Kate Spade), similar here
bottom: Lat and Lo coordinates bracelet from my hubs!

I just love my MFM monogrammed necklace.
My sister chose the mirrored gold for my birthday gift.
Check out Moon and Lola for your perfect monogram! 
Earrings: Kate Spade

Mike got me the most thoughtful Valentine's Day gift. It's a coordinates (longitude and latitude) bracelet! The coordinates he chose are for Geneva Ale House: where we went on our first date (and met in person!). 
Inside, he had inscribed: love at first kiss

The Geneva Ale House will always hold a special place in our hearts. We had a 3 hour and 50 minute first date (and meeting!) there! On a SCHOOL night! We met on, and emailed a few times (he sent me the most adorable first email!), and then decided to meet on a Tuesday (March 12, 2013, to be exact!) to meet in person. We chose the Geneva Ale House and sat and had a couple drinks and talked for hours. I fell in love with him immediately! 
One of my favorite engagement pics, thanks to the incredible Blossom Lane Photography

Mike chose the rose gold filled cuff bracelet for me. It's the most thoughtful gift! I will always cherish it. Lat and Lo. is adorable-- their packaging was decorated with anchors, and read, "where are you anchored?" I love it!

My lip color is Stila (from my wedding) in Amalfi. It's the BEST pink for long-lasting color. 
Coincidentally, without even knowing this was my wedding lip color, my girl, Jackie, bought me the same color for my birthday! I'm so excited to have back up! I wear it constantly!

Okay, now I get to brag about my Valentine! 

How cute is he? I am a lucky gal. 

I love when we get all fancy, and Mike busts out the Notre Dame helmet cuff-links I bought him last year for his birthday.  They are made out of real ND helmets that were actually worn in games. Mike wore these for our wedding day.
Funny story about the cuff links. Tokens and Icons did an amazing job with these, but unfortunately, I hadn't gotten them on time for Mike's birthday. I had ordered them plenty early, but there was a snafu with shipping. The men at Tokens and Icons were outstanding and over-nighted them for me after I explained that Mike's birthday was quickly approaching. However, we use a PO box for our mail (just easier/more secure). The cuff-links were being held hostage at the PO box on Mike's birthday, but I was at the dentist getting my front tooth fixed. Well, it was approaching the time that the post office would be closing, and I couldn't NOT have a gift for him to open on his birthday. So, I left the dentist's office (with no front tooth!) and picked up the package! HAHAHA!!! Oh my gosh. What a story that was. I was praying I wouldn't get picked up for speeding because I would terrify the officer, having a nub for a front tooth and all. That is love, my friends. Our post man and woman laughed for about 5 minutes when I revealed that I was missing a front tooth. LOL.

My dapper husband. 

The full look!
This coral and scalloped Loft dress is from last year (I wore it to my friend Leah's wedding). 
My squad! Beautiful girlfriends!

My better half.

 I just added black tights (and a black blazer for dinner-- it was cold!), and closed-toe shoes for a February wearing of this dress. 

But here (those ruffles!), here (those lazer cuts!) and here (that back!) are great coral options. Coral is a versatile color for year-round wear.
Here is a great scalloped option in Kelly green or purple. 

We LOVE the book letters. I got these at Cocoon in Geneva! They are fantastic birthday gifts, too! They come in two sizes-- excellent for creating your monogram to display! 

The Bouqs were phenomenal with their flowers! Mike had these delivered to me on Saturday. They were absolutely stunning! 
Kate Spade vase: (thanks to Mandy!) here
Pride and Prejudice book clutch: Bookarelli from Etsy. She's incredibly talented and sweet! 
Champagne change purse: Kate Spade

Super similar dress here. Such a steal for $16.99! 

Thanks to Maria for this adorable change purse! It's ideal for your cash, ID and credit cards, especially when you're wearing a smaller clutch for a night out-- a clutch that wouldn't fit your typical wallet. 

The back of this dress is the best part! 
It's connected, but it looks like it's separate. Here (splurge), here and here (steal) are options. 

Burberry scarf: here
Cobalt J. Crew Factory coat: remember this?
Red velvet DQ blizzard cake! LOL! We traveled to Batavia in a blizzard (real, not ice-cream) for this! WORTH IT! 

You cannot beat the Lou Malnati's heart-shaped pizza. 
Ready for our Valentine's Day meal! 

This is sheer happiness in one photograph: MTF and a heart-shaped blizzard cake! 

How did you spend Valentine's Day?