Monday, July 31, 2017

Instagram Outfit Roundup!

Happy Monday, you guys! We had such a nice time with Mike's brother, Brian, and our sister-in-law, Molly, and our nieces Audrey and Charlotte visiting us for the weekend! I just wanted to share three looks that I talked about on Instagram, but I hadn't had the chance to post.   Be sure to follow me on Insta (@BelleOnTrend), haha shameless plug, to see all my Instagram posts and Insta-videos where I do a lot of talking to myself and our dogs. LOL. #pureentertainment

My mom and Gary surprised me by sending this to me on Friday! I totally ruined the surprise for Anna, though, by posting it on my Insta-story. Sooooorrrry, sis!  They bought it for me in Florida on their anniversary trip and sent it up to Geneva. I am obsessed. 

It was the nicest little surprise and truly made my day. Thank you, Mom and Gary!!! It has adjustable straps, too, so I instantly made it a little longer. Love it!
They got it on sale for $54, but it's silk and LOVELY!  I am wearing a small. 
My mom (Lsob as all my friends call her, for Laura Sobotka), loves Lilly, but only buys it on sale. Makes sense!

^^My niece, Audrey, and me outside Grahams Chocolates in Geneva. Apparently this arch is something to do with Harry Potter?! IDK, but I did not like the HP books. Haha, sorry in advance to my bffs from hs, Lauren, Megan and Jamie, who are HP fanatics. LOL- I still love you girls!

^^Just had to share this pic of Mike and his nieces, makin s'mores! Charlotte has the sweat band on from her uncle and aunt's wedding-- isn't that the coolest gift for wedding guests? To keep dry when you're busting a move on the dance floor?

Audrey and I loving on the cukes that our friends Ibby and Evan gave us from their garden. SO good!
Okay, this swimsuit you guys! Such a win! I wanted a one-piece like this Marysia one, but I didn't want to spend $300+; that is just stupe (sorry if you have that one lol). 

I bought a medium, and it was perfect. I did get some major wedgies, but that is to be expected from a $24 swimsuit. LOL! I would definitely buy it again in another color. 

All of us enjoying the Sunset Pool! 

^^ Val on the left (who, by the way was our realtor, and is incredible. Please let me know if you're moving and need a realtor!), and her daughter, Alex, in the middle! We all met at Pure Barre!

This cactus dress is from Copper Fox in Geneva! I was just raving about Copper Fox in this post because it has the most unique, adorable pieces, for the best prices! There were more in store, and it was only $33! This is a medium; I tried on the small, and it would've been fine, but I wanted it to be a little flowier!

Also, you guys know I am obsessed with these Toms. My mom tipped me off to a major sale from Von Maur. You need these in your life! They are the most comfortable heels, ever!

I am obsessed with anything "critter" print, so this cactus dress was right up my alley
 So happy Val and Alex (and a bunch of our friends and family!) could make it out to Mike's show Saturday night. He played at Even Flow, in Geneva, and he was amazing! In case you missed it on my Instastories, Mike is in a band! He plays drums and is incredibly talented. He was soooo happy and enthusiastic through the entire show. I love watching him rock out! Totally in his element :) so proud of Mike! 

My co-teacher, Cat, came, too!!! So nice of her to come to Geneva to support Mike. :) I'm so lucky to have her as my co-teacher. 
How cute is this cactus dress? Apparently critter cacti dresses are IN! haha!

How was your weekend? I am reading We Need to Talk About Kevin from the recommendation of another blogger, and I am loving it so far.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The LWD: Lilly White Dress + Champagne Brunch

One of the coolest parts of our stay at the Maxwell Mansion in Lake Geneva for our anniversary was our champagne brunch on Sunday at the Baker House Hotel. If you stay at the Maxwell Mansion, you get discounted brunch tickets! It was worth every penny. I had homemade biscuits, delicious French toast and bananas foster, champagne, and eggs any way I wanted them. On my second round (!), I had an amazing spinach salad and pesto tortellini that was out of this world. The desserts were incredible, too! Mike had eggs Benedict, a beef stew, crab cakes, salmon and more. We didn't get a single item we weren't raving about!   

For the brunch, I busted out one of my classic Lilly Pulitzer shifts. This LWD, or Little White Dress, or Lilly White dress, has gotten A LOT of wear. I bought it two years ago for my wedding showers.  I wore it in Jamaica for our honeymoon, then I wore it again for subsequent anniversaries and trips! 

Updated LWDs:

The gardens outside the Maxwell Mansion were just immaculate.  I had major garden envy, but I know a garden is a work in progress, and I have only just begun! 

My dress fits TTS, and this is a 6! It is my typical shift dress size for Lilly. 

My Lilly wedges are now over 5 years old (I always know because we got them to wear to my mom and Gary's wedding on July 20, 2012!). I wear them constantly, you guys, and they still look great. I have worn these to countless weddings, and I even wear them to work to teach. They are so comfy! I did size up a half size for mine.  Here are the updated wedges:

Love the shift dress, but do not want a white one? Have no fear!
Some of my favorite Lilly shifts:

The sitting room was beautiful! Everything was very vintage and antique. 

Look at my handsome date outside the Baker House! It was on the water, and it was pricier than Maxwell Mansion. It did not have a pool, though, so we went for MM!  Maxwell Mansion was just about a 3 minute walk from the Lake!

Gorgeous grounds at the Baker House, too! 

Last week I went to the Lilly Pulitzer store in Oak Brook to do a return, and I tried on a few dresses for my cousin's wedding in August. Here are my findings that I shared out on my Facebook page:
This maxi was an overall fave! If the wedding I'm wearing this for wasn't mid August, I would've bought it! It's a 4, so size down (the top has built in cups & also is stretchy along the back, so you could go without a bra). Talked myself out of it because of the August temps & also it was suuuuper long. 

This was the winner! I am in love. Can't wait to wear it to my cousin's wedding in August! 
It has a zig-zag hem, it's totally loose and flowy (this is an xs for ref), it's silk & it's just downright lovely!!! I came out & the workers were all like OMG! So that sold it for me. Beautiful and twirl-worthy! 

Okay. THOSE POM POMS!!! And beading!!!! Lilly Pulitzer is my spirit animal.
I've admired this dress online for months, and I'm so happy I got a chance to try it on. Also a 6, but slightly shorter than my typical shift dress. Talked myself out of this because I figured Anna would make fun of the Pom poms. Hahaha jk, I actually just thought I might get sick of the pom poms in the coming years. 💁🏻 but they're sooooo cute.

Stunning and TTS with a six pictured. I was like: MARY, you have a navy dress just like this! So I stopped. But not before trying it on and falling even more in love with it. The deets are allll beaded. Amaze. The dress was even better IRL! 

This is a 6, and was bigger than the other sixes, for some strange reason. Talked myself out of it: already have too many shift dresses. BUT it is BEAUTIFUL IF you are IN THE MARKET! The color is stunning in real life! 

Yes, it was another shift. But that blush pink color? How could I pass it up? I ended up putting it back on the hanger because I knew I needed something a little more unique to me. Three of the same dress in different colors is overkill already! But the sparkle! It was gold and silver shimmer detail around the neck and back! 

I, for one, do not want to think about fall at all! It is wayyyyy to gloriously hot out to be thinking about jeans and sweaters. Wear your white all through August! Now's the time to rock white with your tan!
More LWDs at various price points:

How do you wear white? Are you an all-year-round/winter whites? Or do you prefer the Memorial Day to Labor Day timing? :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Striped Tee with Gingham Ruffle Bell Sleeves: Spotlight on Copper Fox!

Happy Wednesday, you guys! I hope this week has been great for you all.

Have you been to Copper Fox in Geneva?  It is this darling little boutique on 3rd Street downtown, and everything is unique. You might remember my NYE dress from Copper Fox or this amazing popsicle dress.  I popped in the other day when we were visiting our aunt at the Art Festival, and I came out with this fabulous top & a critter dress with cacti on it ($33)! Obsessed. I will have pics of that to come. The whole store was buy one get one half off, so this tee was down to $16. Hello!!! I have actually admired the J. Crew version of it for over a year, but it is ALWAYS BACK ORDERED!  Ah! This is red and black (Mike immediately goes, "perfect for the 4th of July!" and I'm like noooooo, it's black, I swear!" haha). Really different than my typical color scheme of pink and more pink, lol.

The gingham is such a fun contrast to the stripes! 

My scalloped shorts get SO MUCH wear. Like, I probably wear them a little too much. LOL
Any striped tee, like this Factory version for under $25, would pair perfectly with the scalloped shorts! 

I bought a small in this top from Copper Fox. It's sooooo soft and comfy. They had a bunch left in-store on Saturday, but be sure to hurry over and swoop one up!  Also, you'll love all the staff at Copper Fox. Everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful. The owner is a doll! She opened a boutique in NYC, too! 

^^ Why does it look like I'm hitchhiking? hahaha. 

My peep-toe booties are on sale! SO darn comfy!!!  I have these black suede ones, and then I have a light gray leather pair (that I just had re-soled). I've had both pairs for 3+ years!

This was just such an easy, throw-on-and-go, date-night outfit. We went to Cooper's Hawk in St. Charles. We just became wine club members! Have you been? It's soooooo good. I've never had a bad meal! My recs for apps are: drunken shrimp and the southwest chicken egg rolls. OMG. Recs for main course: Dana's Parmesan-encrusted chicken, the chicken/ranch/avocado sandie with the Asian slaw, and any salad!  Why do I have these items memorized? lololol  

Mike goes, "Smile with your nose!" quoting VeeP in this one- haha! Do you guys watch VeeP?! It is hysterically funny! We are catching up for free on our Amazon Fire Stick. 

Striped tops: 

Bell-sleeve/ruffle sleeve tops: 

Long-sleeved striped options:

What is your go-to date-night look?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Final installment of the #Nsale picks! $100-$200 range!

Hello and happy Monday! I have curated a list of my last installment of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale series (be sure to check out the $50 & under and the $50-$100 from the past few days!), and I am so pumped to share these pieces with you. Let's get to it, ladies and gents!

[1.0] REVITALASH!!!!! This is actually $98, IDK how I missed it before! LOL
You guys, I have been using the Revitalash serum since I partnered with the fabulous Olivia on the blog a few weeks ago, and I swear my lashes are getting longer and thicker. Mike can attest! (Though he might just be saying it to be nice LOL! But I see the difference!). It just requires the tiniest amout before bed, so this does go a LONNNNGGGG way!

[2.0] Designer watches!
Both of my Michael Kors watches (silver and gold) were purchased during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale (one in 2009, the other in 2010). This is the time to buy a designer watch! Here are my favorite 3.

Silver Marc Jacobs- practical and chic for $132.90.

Two-tone Kate Spade with bow on the side- whimsical and matches both silver and gold jewerly. $149.90

Multicolor Marc Jacobs-- my all time fave of the sale watches! $149.90.

As a high school teacher, I am constantly checking my watch to be sure we don't run over or get too close to the bell. I also check it a ton when I am writing passes for kids. Andddd during each chunk of activities, I am constantly making sure we are on time.  Basically, I couldn't survive a day at work without my watch. haha

[3.0] The only winter jacket you need. $169.90
This jacket. I cannot say enough good things about it! I purchased mine two winters ago, thanks to the input of my friend Mandy! It is sooooooo warm, but it is completely packable and light! It is shocking that it weighs close to nothing, but it guards against our -20 degree wind chills and 0 degree days. Seriously! I wrote about Mandy's here. I would literally pay the full price of $230 for this jacket because it's that warm. But, you don't have to!! I bought a medium because it's a little bit of a slimmer fit. You can also tighten it with the bungee cords on the inside. Also, I've washed it in the washing machine a few times with no issues whatsoever. I just hung it to dry!

[4.0] Designer sunglasses for $143.90.
Tory Burch is one of my favorite designers. I have a few bags and pairs of shoes of hers, but everything she makes is of the highest quality and is pure class. A great example? These sunnies! Oversized tortoise shell sunglasses will never go out of style.

[5.0] Angel perfume $120 for a set.
I wish I could put a scratch and sniff button on this blog so you could understand the magic that is ANGEL by Mugler. YOU GUYS!  My friend wore it years ago, and I was obsessed, so I jumped on the Angel board!!! It is THE BEST SCENT!!  And it is usually stupidly expensive. Not that this is cheap, but it is worth every dollar. Truly. Go smell it somewhere nearby, then order it on the Nordies sale!! Let me know what you think. I am obsessed.  MEN: buy this for your women!!!!!!!! Seriously. Perfect gift, and it smells sooooooo delightful. It's a win-win-win; everyone wins because even passersby will get a whiff of your loveliness! Anna, didn't you used to wear this?!  I swear I would steal it from your dresser when we lived together #confessions hahaha

[6.0] A suede, knee-high boot with a sensible heel. $149.90.
Sam Edelman does it RIGHT when it comes to shoes. The comfort of his shoes is on point. These knee-high boots are no different. Be sure to check the width of your calf for these. Also, once you get them, do a suede spray all over! You don't want the salt to get to them. I love that these zip all the way up; that makes it super easy to tuck your skinny jeans into them! Loving the caramel color.

[7.0] Tory Burch flats $164.90.
I bought my first TB flats on the Nordstrom Anniversary sale back in 2009! I JUST sold them on eBay about a year ago, and I still got half their value even 7 years later! They are such high quality! I can wear these all day to teach in. I have a glittery gold pair, a striped blue and red pair and a teal pair. I want the black ones! Just for a sensible shoe to wear all the time.  I just looked to see what size mine were to order the black ones, and I have 8.5 in mine. I am usually a 7.5, so they do run small! The leather stretches with wear, too, which makes them uber comfy. I just had my glittery gold ones re-soled last winter!

[8.0] This suede saddle bag for $164.90.
This looks identical to the Chloe bag of my dreams! The Chloe bag, like many of my "lust items", is absurdly expensive. But, man is it a beauty. This is EVEN PRETTIER!  And a fraction of the price. I love that mulberry color for fall. A cross body bag is so necessary for me these days.  Also, even as a dupe of the Chloe, this bag is legit. The size is perfect, too!

[9.0] A high-waisted designer denim-- $131.90.
I am ordering these! I have been hemming and hawing about the perfect designer skinny jeans, and these fit all my criteria. I need a high waist, and I wanted them to be an ankle length for ballet flats. Done and done. I'll report back with fit, but I am ordering the 28/6 (typical for me).

[10.0] The only rainboot you'll ever need-- $129.90.
I own two pairs of Hunters, and they are AWESOME. I wear them when it rains (obvi), but I also wear them with boot socks in the snow. If you live anywhere near me in Northern IL, you get a LOT OF SNOW.  So much so, that a typical ankle height snow boot won't cut it! Grab some boot socks, and use these all year long. I love them with skirts and dresses, too. It *almost* makes me love the rain!

All right, you guys! Now is the time to get shopping. What have you bought so far? What's in your shopping bag? Some items are backordered, but do not worry-- they ship incredibly fast! 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks part 2- $50-$100 Finds

So, I have officially placed my first #Nsale order! Yippeee!!!  I am going to do it chunk by chunk, so it's less shock to the credit card. bahaha. Now time to gear up for my second order! LOL. Here are my $50-$100 picks! PS: if you see something you love, but it is sold out in your size, just call Nordies! They can find it at a store and have it shipped to you for free! That was a great pro-tip my sis gave me! She has the Nordstrom's credit card (whyyyyy do I not have this?! I need one, ASAP), so she started shopping last week.

[1.0] Nike tennis shoes.

These Nike Frees are the most comfortable tennies I have ever owned. I have had two colors, and in both, I ordered up a half size (tennis shoes can be weird like that, ya know?). They feel like you're just wearing socks. They're amazing! They are $89.90.  These are perfect for casual walking, running errands, going to the gym for elliptical/weights, or wearing on dress down Fridays, like I do!

Here is the running version with a little more support. $89.90 down from $120!

[2.0] Updated Sperry Saltwater Duck Boots $84.90 from $129.95!
I am obsessed with my Saltwater Duck Boots. I have the original plaid ones, but I am LOVING the tie on the side of these. Also, the height is a little more reminiscent of the L.L. Bean Boots. Love the gray and ivory a lot. Roll up your jeans with these, and you have a totally cute & warm/dry look!

[3.0] This wedding-guest-dress for $84.90! 
Do you have any fall weddings to attend? This would be perfect and sooooo easy. The colors are vibrant and lovely! I love that it isn't a fitted dress, so you could easily eat all the desserts you want at the wedding. LOL  Isn't that what everyone looks for in a wedding guest dress?! ;-)

[4.0] These Chloe scalloped ballet flat dupes! $79.90
I have a few "lust" items in the back of my head that I always swoon over and daydream about owning one day when I am rich and famous (lol). In that category, are the Chloe scalloped ballet flats. They are stupid expensive. But they look like you'd be walking on leather butter.

Until I am rich, I will stick to more reasonably priced dupes, like these! No one would be the wiser! Also, Born shoes are the most ridiculously comfortable shoes (these are $59.90), and they come in perfect fall hues! Also, there are suede versions, too!

[5.0] THE Majorca Peep Toe Booties that I never shut up about!!! $72.90
I tell everyone who I encounter about these shoes. I have two pairs, and they are perfect to teach in all day. I swear, I would rather teach and stand all day in these than flats. They're amazing!

For a lower-heeled perforated bootie, try these for $69.90!!

How about a sensible waterproof bootie?  Loving the black leather for all winter long. $99.90.

Some amazing color options in this low bootie. $79.90 and I LOVE Franco Sarto. Very comfortable shoes.

[6.0] These adorable gingham-ish Adidas sneaks. $59.90
I am a sucker for a comfortable tennis shoe to wear to and from Pure Barre, to work on Fridays, and just on weekends/casual dates. These fit the bill. Plus, that purple color is so different from what I typically have in tennies! I love the pattern, too!

[7.0] Your new favorite pair of workout leggings! $67.90 
So, I have these, and I purchased them for full price, but I don't even regret it because they're THAT GOOD!!!! I wear them constantly to Pure Barre, and I always get compliments. They lift your ledge and flatten your tummy so much. I wear a small OR medium in Alo leggings. I think I'm like a small and a half or a smedium, if that makes sense. LOL! In pants, I'm a pretty consistent 6, and the small is FINE, and the medium is just a little roomier. I hope my description didn't just confuse you more. LOL! Heck, it's free shipping, get both and return what doesn't fit! #treatyoself #yolo hahaha

I am sooooo pro-Alo leggings. They are pricey, but they stay put and they FLATTER your bod. Try these airbrushed leggings, too!

[8.0] Put a pearl or gem on anything, and you have my attention. Add it to a pair of mules, and I am sold.  Case in point: these beauties.
Wear to work or out on the weekend. I am in love!!!!!! $59.90. Can you imagine wearing those to a Christmas party or winter wedding?! I can!

[9.0] Wear-to-work dresses -- all under $100.

This is soooo classic and adorable-- very Audrey Hepburn meets Kate Spade. LOVE. $98.90

This is a power dress. Wear it for a presentation at work or when you're being observed for teaching! $65.90

This will be adorable with tights and high boots in the fall and winter. Cozy plus! $85.90

[10.0] Joe's skinny jeans-- designer denim. $99.90
Also, these ankle jeans, raw hemmed. $99.90
Okay, I was always anti-designer denim. I figured I loved my $35 Loft jeans, so why spend so much? THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE! I promise. My Joe's are my most beloved jeans. Any opportunity to swoop up Joe's under $100 is VERY EXCITING! I wear a 28 for ref. Did you know that Nordstrom does free alterations?! Epic. (Joe's can run long, just FYI. That's why I love an ankle style because they are basically a normal height person's full length jean).

[11.0] The sweetest blush pink blazer, ever. $89.90
I am OBSESSED with the back peplum/ruffle detailing. Perfect for work! The gray is super practical, too.

[12.0] Chic sunnies. $79.90
Obsessed with the tortoise coloring. Also, I love how oversized they are. They remind me of the Celine sunglasses, but way more affordable!

[13.0] Wear-to-work tops
This might be my favorite top on the whole sale!!!

Lightweight and flowy, plus in a pretty green!

Both could be easily paired with black pants or a pencil skirt.

[14.0] My favorite skirt I own.
I hemmed and hawed about this skirt for months (actually probably closer to two years! LOL) before purchasing it. I could not be happier with a skirt. This is navy-- mine is black, but I LOVE this skirt so much. I have a 6, and I tuck everything from fancy tanks to collared shirts into it. It's so flattering, too. Remember this post?

[15.0] Two last fun dresses!!
This lace tie back one (perfect wedding guest dress- in black, of course!) and this tulle hem one (perfect with the pearl and jeweled mules from above)! Love, love, and more love.

Let me know in the comments below what you've ordered so far from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! 
Remember, it only happens until August 6, and sizes/colors go quickly. Act fast, fashionistas!