Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween from Belle On Trend!

Thanks to my mom being somewhat of a hoarder (haha I love you, Mom!), we had the perfect costumes for our friends Jane and Tyler's Halloween party!  The theme was a throwback costume you'd worn in the past. We didn't just recreate ours, my mom had the actual costumes from 1989 in the attic. LOLOLOL. She had made those! So cute, right? We just had to borrow a Mickey Mouse from Finn for the added touch. Happy Halloween! 

Sitting pretty at 2 and 6 years old!

2016: Minnie and my sharkie!

How cute is Anna with her two penguins? Amazing!

Recreated the shot! Fortunately I no longer have that bowl cut, and Anna no longer parts her bangs down the middle. Bahhaa!

What are you going as for Halloween?

Friday, October 28, 2016

What to Wear to a Tailgate + Bestie Reunion

This has been a week of ups and downs. The downs include been prescribed 6 additional days in the back brace + 4 weeks of physical therapy :( I thought I could just jump back into Pure Barre and my regular life, but I found out Tuesday I will be weaning off the brace after my 28th day in it (Friday) for 6 days. I know it could be so much worse, and I am so thankful it is all curable.

The good news... I am very anxious to share! But I want to be sure it all goes through! SO... more to come on that, soon! YAY :-) Sorry, that was totally anticlimactic ahaha. Terrible writing technique. My apologies!

I am throwing it back to a few weekends ago when I reunited with 3 of the most important women in my life. My girls Caitlin, Fran and Courtney are my besties from college. Court and Fran went to Saint Mary's with me (Court did her 5th year at Notre Dame, earning dual degrees because she's friggin' smart!), and Caitlin went to Notre Dame. These women have been through so much with me over the past 10 years! I miss them dearly every day; we have a group text that seriously makes me so happy! I feel like I am with them every day because I get to see so many adorable pics of the baes! (And we talk a lot about food bahahah!). They're amazing; the only thing that sucks is Cait is in Maryland, Fran lives in Indy, and Court lives in Pittsburgh. 

We had an indoor tailgate at Eddy Street Commons to start the day before the Notre Dame vs. Stanford game. 
Here I am with sweet baby Henry!

Courtney looks great with a bae! Theo and Auntie Court!
Court's cute Under Armour shirt: here

We are known for our really cool "act crazy" pics. We always just resort to holding someone's leg. HA! 
My shirt is a vintage one from when Cavanaugh was a men's dorm. My sis-in-law, Lidija, scored this for me in Michigan at a Notre Dame Club event! Best. Shirt. Ever.
Fran's rugby shirt: here
The only jeans you'll ever need.
Converse!!! So necessary for being on your feet all day before a night game. 

The gals: Court, Cait, Mary and Fran.

Girls and their boys! 
Theo (left) and Henry (right).

I was totally fangirling over Melanie's (Cait's lil domer sis) outfit for the game. She rocked the Bean Boots which I have been eyeing for years. 
The L.L. Bean Boots came out in 1912. Isn't that crazy?! No wonder they're always backordered until March! Be forewarned: these duck boots run big. Order 1 size smaller than your usual. They're known for keeping feet warm and dry!  

Also loving her monogrammed sweatshirt. A classic take on supporting her Alma Mater! 
Loving the gingham underneath, too. It makes the look preppy and fabulous! Dressier than a tee or hoodie, you're set for tailgating and dinner to follow the game. 

Totally obsessed with this AEO option (below). Who knew American Eagle sold ND gear?! 

This Tory Burch bag!! Omg! How perfect is that Kelly green?

Hands free cross-body bags are the way to go for football games. It is best to be hands-free while cheering on the Irish!

Just loving these Sperry "Saltwater" Duck Boots, too. I own the Saltwater Duck Boot, and they're AWESOME. I have a plaid pair, and they're perfect to slip on and wear with rolled jeans. 

Every detail is perfect! 

Loving these ND studs.
Similar non-ND studs here and here

My besties and their amazing husbands!
Mark, Tom, Mike, and Marty

In other news, who are you cheering for in the World Series? 
Go Cubs GO! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Faux Leather Pleated Skirt

I admired this skirt all last school year. My friend, Courtney, and I watched it like hawks, until it suddenly disappeared from the ether! We were heartbroken. We both wished we had pounced on it, but it seemed it was too late. WRONG! Fast forward to summertime when I was in downtown Naperville, shopping for back to school clothes. I found the skirt, in store, in this luscious burgundy color.  At that time, I talked myself out of it. "Where would I wear it?" "Is it too risque?" "I don't need another skirt." 
Well, I am pleased to say I was easily able to talk myself back into it when it went on sale for 30% off! hahaha!! I am not too hard to convince to buy clothes, as you can probably tell. LOL.

The length is NOT "lady-of-the-night" style; I will be wearing this skirt to work with black tights and black closed-toe booties come winter. I got a 6 for reference; I am about 5'6, and even with heels, I didn't feel like this made me look inappropriate. 

The fall foliage in downtown Geneva has been ON POINT! I loved the backdrops for these photos. 

I chose to pair the skirt with this shirt. It comes in several different colors; they're all adorable! FYI: it runs pretty large. This is a 4, but I think the next color I'll buy will be a 2. It's now on sale for $39! The back of it and the ruffle make it a 10/10 in my eyes :)

Earrings: old Stella and Dot. Similar here in emerald or here

Toms Booties: here

Update your peep-toe booties this winter for closed-toe ones here and here

Do you love fall? The colors are just stunning around downtown Geneva. 

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." -L.M. Montgomery


Monday, October 17, 2016

Dress Down Fridays

As a teacher, I am lucky enough to be able to dress down on Fridays, while supporting my school with its colors (navy and white!). I put together this comfy ensemble for last Friday, and I got so many nice compliments on it! I was super cozy, but still reppin' my Wildcat Pride! My new obsession is these navy and white Chucks. I wore them for the Notre Dame game, too; they are going to be on heavy rotation for my casual looks! I totally have to give credit where credit is due, though; Mike bought a royal blue pair and a black pair (he loves to wear them while drumming!), and I actually copied his style. Haha!

I wear this Lilly popover so often. It's just the comfiest, softest half zip.
I love wearing it to airports or traveling. Mike actually bought it for me for our honeymoon traveling!
It works great with a layer underneath, too! I have been very self-conscious of my back brace, but I definitely think the extra room in the popover hid it well :)

This J. Crew Factory buffalo plaid puffer vest is another one of my favorite fall/winter transitional pieces. I bought it two falls ago, but they continue to bring out similar ones each year.
I love wearing it over my chambray collared shirts or other plaid button ups!

These are my skinny Loft jeans from a few seasons ago. I love the style and fit; plus, mine were $29 when I bought them. You can't beat that price! I can't do any destroyed denim at school on Fridays, so I like that these are a classier wash, too! I usually do two rolls at the bottom (more on that, soon, thanks to my good friend Julie's idea!) for the warmer months.

It is my favorite! I have the large monogram in mirrored gold. 
Also, how fun is that nautical zipper detail on the Lilly P. popover? Obsessed. 

New specs: Fendi from Third Street Eyecare. Shout out to Amy for the help! 

What's your dress-down look? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bow Back Kate Spade Dress + Neil and Caitlin's Wedding!

I had admired this dress for years, since I first laid eyes on it on the Kate Spade website. The original price was $450, and GOD knows I wouldn't pay $450 for anything other than a car part. LOL (Which, by the way, was the exact price of this Monday morning's alternator disaster. I went to leave for work, and my car made such an awful sound that I thought it was a radio commercial for a haunted house. Then the battery light came on. Fast forward a smidge, and I take Mike's car to work, he works from home and brings it to the shop down the street. The mechanic said he was genuinely shocked that it didn't die on us on the highway when we were heading to or from Caitlin and Neil's wedding. We DEFINITELY have to be grateful for that and for our guardian angel. Need to keep things in perspective!).

I couldn't stop twirling and smiling once I put on this dress! Of course the smiling was mainly due to celebrating my cousin Neil and my new cousin, Caitlin, but I just felt so happy and fancy in my Kate Spade dress! The fit and flare is so flattering for women of my shape (small on top + booty!), but the creme de la creme was the OPEN BOW BACK! #babygotback

We were walking around in downtown Cincinnati before the wedding, snapping some pics along the way, and so many girls stopped me to tell me they loved my dress. But they had only seen the front! I believe my words to one lady were, "GIRL, you gotta see the back!" Mike laughed pretty hard at that.

There is no price to put on feeling your best in a girly dress you adore, but this one came at a $116 price tag at the Kate Spade Outlet in Aurora, Illinois. I have seen this dress in multiple colors every time I've been at the outlet.  I can't explain to you how many times I have tried this very dress on, and then talked myself out of it. In fact, I have almost rented it several times, too, on Rent the Runway! But now I own it! My seamstress is amazing-- she took it in (I got a size 6 for reference, but I needed it taken in. A five would have been perfect, had it existed haha!) and sewed in cups. Please let me know if you ever need a seamstress in the Chicago suburbs. Charice is incredible! She works out of her home in Bartlett.

The jewels^^
Anna made fun of me and said I was doing "wedding shots" of my deets. Haha. Touche. 

I just felt so fancy all night! 

^^ seconds before disaster struck and the winds blew all that water onto me and into my hair! hahaha! Major fashionblogger fail. 
Good news: the dress was fine and dried perfectly without a trace of the fountain attack!

More deets! Bows on bows on bows.
Left bow bracelets: top, middle, bottom-- all Kate Spade. 
Right side bracelet: my wedding bracelet from Ann Taylor, old, but similar here.  

My wedding shoes! I wear these so often! They were on clearance for $90 from J. Crew in the summer of 2014.

Old J. Crew, similar here

That bow. It just makes me smile! 

omg, so windy. LOL ^^

I loved the thickness of this dress. It was structured and did not wrinkle all night, despite sitting through dinner and the ceremony.  I didn't have to get any length taken off. If you're a taller gal, you might just need the hem undone. SIDE NOTE: it has pockets!!!!!!!!!!

I can't even begin to give this dress's comfort justice. Just believe me when I say I could eat as much cake and delish food as I wanted to with no discomfort. Ha!

Lsob and Gar 

Shawn and Finny! 

Finn's first experience in shoes. How cute is this seersucker suit?!

Waiting outside the Monastery with mom. That was honestly the most gorgeous wedding venue I had ever seen! 


My wedding earrings from our wedding! Old Ann Taylor, similar here

The ceiling of the venue. Beautiful shades of teal! 

I cannot handle how cute Finn is! 

In between the ceremony and reception, overlooking the city. 

Neil and Caitlin's ADORABLE (and delish) wedding cake! Neil is a big time car guy, and he races, too! Their cake topper was PERFECTLY them!

My sister couldn't look prettier. How did she just birth a kid?! 
Her dress is from Rent the Runway

I love you, forever wedding date!

Now to the important pictures: my cousin Neil and his gorgeous wife, Caitlin! My new cuzzie! And her stunning bridesmaids!). 
I've known Neil since I was 10 days old (I'm 10 days older, haha!). Here's a great pic of us as baes. Also, Mike says I still make that face (I'm in acid wash in the front, Anna is in the middle!). 

These robes! 

Caitlin's bridesmaids are some of the sweetest women I've met! They just were all so welcoming to me at the shower and wedding. I love them! It just goes to show what a wonderful person Caitlin is because her friends are all so kind. 

^^^ does that dress back drop look familiar? hehehe!

Mandy Paige was their photographer, and she did an unbelievable job! 

I think this is my all-time fave pic of the bride. Showing off her fabulous Michael Kors pumps and breathtaking gown. 

The cuzzies! 
Shawn and Anna, Josh and Kara, myself, Neil, Caitlin and Mike!

Dancing with dad during the fathers-daughters dance!

Tell me about the last fab wedding you went to!