Saturday, January 27, 2018

Valentine's Day Gifts for Her

Hello!  Can you believe it's almost February?! We seriously cannot, especially because that means our little guy is coming in 2 months, whether we are ready or not! hahaha!  Valentine's Day falls on a Wednesday this year, and we have a doctor's appointment, so we aren't celebrating until the following weekend, but I wanted to get some ideas out there in case people wanted to start ordering for their wives/girlfriends/besties! Galentine's Day is a real thing, too, you guys!! Who cares if you're single? Celebrate how fabulous you are with your best friends! Or, buy yourself or your mom something from this list! Win/win/win/win!

Okay, here we go!

[1.0] I am obsessed with the "question a day" journals. I have been working through this one for 4 years (my bff Caitlin gave it to her bridesmaids for gifts), and I love seeing how I have grown over time. I fill it out every morning as I eat breakfast. It is so neat to see how I have accomplished a lot of what I set out to do over the past 4 years (get married, buy a home, secure a full-time English teaching position at a school I love so much, buy a car, get dogs (!), make friends in the burbs, etc.). It's so fun to see the milestones! There is also one for couples! I have this one, too, but I wanted to finish my personal one before starting one with Mike hahah #typeA. I just found this kid version, too! You could ask your toddler the questions until he or she began writing!

[2.0] The longitude and latitude/coordinates jewelry is some of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received!  Mike got me a rose gold cuff for Valentine's Day two years ago with the location of our first date-- The Geneva Ale House! (Which, btw, is amazing!!!). Then, I had a coupon and bought myself a gold bar necklace of the coordinates of our first home-- our apartment in downtown Geneva. On the front is the coordinates (longitude and latitude) and on the back, you can inscribe anything! You get $5 off your first order, too! Also, the owners of Lat & Lo. are seriously so kind! I love shopping their site. I have gotten gifts for my girlfriends with the coordinates of where we met (Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, elementary school addresses, etc.).

[3.0] Fun workout leggings!!  No girl wants to spend $100 on workout gear. Seriously. We don't. We love it, and we always save and buy them for ourselves, but $100 for leggings suckssssss. However, you get what you pay for when it comes to workout gear, and the best of the best is going to last for YEARS. I wear Lululemon leggings that I bought in 2012. I am not even exaggerating. Also, who wants their undies to be shown mid-downward dog or plank because your leggings are not thick enough or good enough quality? Not me!!!!! So, we splurge. But, what's better than being treated to something you really want, but you don't want to purchase yourself? Besides, if your gal is anything like me, I wear leggings 90% of the time I am not teaching. LOL. The Alo Goddess leggings are amazing. I have size smalls and mediums from pre-pregnancy. The Moto leggings are my favorites, too, and I have sizes small through large, and the large fit for 30 weeks pregnant.  These are my absolute new obsession. In blush. If you have any questions about sizing, ask me! I can help for sure!

The Align pants from Lululemon are absolutely buttery soft and amazing. Loving this gorgeous new hue! They run big, so size down for your Valentine. They also work over baby bumps because they're high-waisted!

[4.0]  I know some people are opposed to gift cards, but in my opinion, bring them on! I LOVE getting a manicure/pedicure, but it's not a practical use of my money, especially with a baby on the way and a mortgage/all of the billzzzz. However, when I get a gift card for my favorite nail salon, bring it on!!!!  Find a nearby nail place, swing by and pick her up a gift certificate that will cover a pedicure and a no-chip manicure (trust me on that!). My favorite? Pamper Nails in St. Charles with Emily! Follow her on Insta, while you're at it: @emznailedit for nail inspo! Also, is your Valentine into a certain workout regime right now? A gift card to Pure Barre or Orange Theory or the new Club Pilates in St. Charles would be an awesome idea!
^^ My nails after 2 weeks! Still going strong! 

[5.0] Statement earrings are ALWAYS a good idea for a lady in your life! Wearing jewelry that has been given to you as a gift has so much meaning. It's so special! I am a huge fan of Baublebar. They sell BB at Nordies, too, and a less expensive, equally adorable line at Target, called Sugarfix. Obsessed with these pearl stunners for $12.99 and these multicolored fringey beauties for $12.99, too!

[6.0] Fancy S'well water bottles!
Perfect for taking to work because they stay cold for 12 hours. I have two -- both Lilly Pulitzer-- that are just the ideal amount of water for Pure Barre classes. They come in a ton of fun colors and patterns, and they also keep hot bevs hot for 12 hours. Again, fancy water bottles are something we want, but we don't necessarily want to purchase for ourselves.

[7.0] Rose gold tennies! 
You guys: rose gold is THE COLOR right now. Give me allllll of the rose gold. These tennis shoes are so fabulous; they are light weight and comfy, too.

[8.0] Pajamas!
I am obsessed with seasonally appropriate jams. I love to have new pajama pants for each holiday-- haha! But really! And at $15 a pop, this is acceptable.  Old Navy is my go-to. Also, pro-tip: get the holiday pajamas after the season passes (if you aren't buying for your significant other haha), and then they are marked down 75%! 

[9.0] A cozy cardigan.
I am all about the open-cardis these days. This also makes it much easier for getting your gal the perfect fit/size, too, if you are unsure. This blush is my favorite! She can wear it to work or for the weekend, and it will take her through the waning days of winter (wishful thinking) into the spring.

[10.0] A fun or witty graphic tee.
I love this shout out to Pony Boy in The Outsiders-- "Stay Golden". Everfitte is one of my favorite shops for witty tees and tanks. Swoop one up to match your Valentine's personality!

[11.0] A monogrammed necklace or pullover.
Monograms make everything so unique and personalized. I am obsessed with monogramming everything possible! You go the extra mile for someone when you monogram something for her. Remember, a lady's monogram goes first initial, last initial, middle initial, so keep that in mind. Guys' monograms are just in normal order. EX: Michael Thomas Fremeau is MTF, but Mary Margaret Fremeau is MFM!  Marley Lilly and Moon and Lola are my two favorite shops online for monogrammed gifts.  Monogrammed pullovers are huge this season! Especially sherpa ones-- like this one-- on sale!

All acrylic necklaces are 25% off right now at Moon and Lola-- I love my acryllic monogrammed one!

[12.0] A monogrammed bag/tote/clutch.
Mark and Graham is another go-to for leather goods/monogramming. Their pieces are classic and gorgeous and last forever.

What are your Valentine's Day plans? A fancy dinner out? We are going to Villa Verone on Saturday after Valentine's Day! Seriously, the best Italian around here. Pietro, the owner, literally serenaded us when he found out we were expecting! haha! It was so sweet!! My whole family was in town, too. Super cute!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Lululemon Align Leggings-- 3 Ways + a Fleecey Cardigan you NEED!

I am definitely guilty of finding a product/piece of clothing that I love and fits perfectly, and then buying it in various colors. LOL. I do this a lot, but since I know it fits, and I love it, why not? Then, I don't have to even go into a store (which is lovely for being pregnant and less mobile/always tired). 
Enter: the Lululemon Align leggings. I am obsessed. I can't say enough about the comfort of them! They feel like buttah!!! I now have a purple pair (capri length), and then a blue and garnet of the ankle length. Now there is even a full length pair, too! I am 5'6, and the 25 inch pair is very close to being full length on me, FYI. 

Just bought this "Do the Twist" Lululemon tank in the navy color, and I love it. It is currently on sale for $39! I'm in a size 8, and it fits nicely with the bump for Pure Barre class! 
It is great because it's long enough to cover your bootie, too! 

These purple ones are a size 4 from the summer (pre-preggo). I suggest sizing down, as they do run a little big! 

These Aligns are the 25 inch style! My blue and garnet pairs are both size 6. 

And here is the fleecy cardigan I can't stop raving about! My cousin wore her black one to Thanksgiving, and we all got hooked. After that, my mom and sister both bought one. Ashley, my cousin, actually got hers at Costco! But, if you aren't a Costco member, you can find it at Nordstroms on sale for $39! FYI: they do run a little big. Both of mine are mediums!

It comes in 12 colors, and I am not exaggerating when I say it is the coziest piece of clothing I own. The inside is fleece-lined! 

Here are my Sperry Saltwater Duck boots from the above pic-- so warm and keep your feet perfectly dry:

This Lululemon "Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve" top is a base layer I have used for years! I have it in green and pink, too; I have accumulated them since I started shopping at Lulu in 2009. When I ran outside in the winter (lol WHEN being the operative word here) I would wear these, and they would keep me so warm. Nowadays, they are ideal for cold nights at the Barre. PS: check out Bella in this pic hahaha 

My vest is a few years old from J. Crew Factory. Also, I like to wear it under my coats these days when it is super frigid outside. It no longer zips-- haha-- but it is sooo cozy. 
More plaid vest options:

I just threw this cardigan over an LBD for work last Tuesday. I got so many nice compliments about it!

Here's the Bobeau fleece cardigan in "Heather Red Mars". Ob-sessed. I made my coworkers feel the inside of it all day, and they can attest to its comfort! 
I have worn this cardigan everywhere: Pure Barre class, mass and even to work. It is going to be a workhorse in my closet. Wanting to get the teal, navy and camel colors next! 

What are your ride or die pieces in your wardrobe? Are you like me, and buy a bunch of colors of the same pieces?  I hope you have a wonderful start to your week! It's been sooooooooo foggy in Chicagoland today!!! But, tomorrow's high is 54-- what?!?!!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Striped J. Crew Sweater Dress (non-maternity!) and Toggle-Button Coat!

I have definitely taken a liking to sweater dresses while I've been pregnant! There's not an easier outfit for the winter than a sweater dress, tights and knee-high boots! This look is no exception-- I wore it to mass on Sunday, then to a family birthday party, and again today to work. The sweater dress is suuuuuuper stretchy and comfy, and it is on MAJOR sale. I got this one for $13 with a $25 gift card from my MIL! I'm wearing a large, but I actually am wishing I had gone for a medium. However, then I can wear this for the next 11 weeks (or as long as it's cold!). I just think it might be a little more flattering if I had sized down. 

This dress also comes in heather gray stripes! 
It's down to $31 with code: saletime! 

Red lip color: Brave Red by MAC

My new favorite Starbucks drink is the Blonde Latte!!! I get Starbucks 1-2x a week as a little treat-- just a tall-- but OMG. It is awesome!!! 

More sweater dresses:

Obsessed with this ruffle shoulder sweater dress-- from J. Crew Factory. I have it in camel and purple! In a size medium for both.

I bought these black riding boots at the beginning of my pregnancy-- I sized up because I knew my feet and ankles would be getting bigger. They have been sooooo comfortable for standing in all day while I teach. I highly recommend them! Arturo Chiang was a designer I hadn't heard of, but I tried on four other pairs of black boots at Von Maur, and these were by far the comfiest! The price point is also super reasonable!

My Burberry scarf means so much to me. My aunt got it for me when I was in high school for Christmas. We are talkin' 2003 or thereabouts. I cherish it even more since she passed away; she meant so much to me and my family, and I think about her every day. I especially think about her when I wear items she bought me. I know she's reading Belle On Trend from Heaven and loving the blog :) but we just miss her so much. 

And, of course a Burberry scarf is an investment. However, I will say it is timeless, unisex and a real heirloom. My coworker, Dave, even has one he inherited from his grandfather that he wears! Burberry isn't going anywhere, so it is worth the investment. One day my kids will wear this scarf. It's a classic beauty, and it's even more special because it's from my Aunt Sue. 

This toggle button coat has saved my life, literally, all winter. My sister let me borrow it, and it is maternity. You should see me trying to fit in my other coats. LOL! My friend Val let me borrow a puffer of hers that was too big for her, and though I can close it, it's basically a midriff. Ha!!! Toggle buttons are so classic-- we just bought baby boy Fremeau his first toggle button coat to match his daddy. #necessary

Baby Boy's toggle button coat: here

More toggle button coats:

This week FLEW BY because of no school on Monday!!! We seriously do not have any plans this weekend, and I cannot wait to just sit and sleep and not move too much ahhaha. Like Bella and Bentley LOLOL! But really, I am so beat! I am looking forward to relaxing big time this weekend and getting some more details of the nursery done. Oh! Would you guys be interested in a little nursery reveal/tour? I did a mini-one on my Instagram stories, but I would love to take pictures and have links to the adorable pieces we have. Let me know in the comments!


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Free People Flowy Top-- 2 Ways! OBSESSED! (Non-maternity)

My sister, Anna, totally gets props for this top. She sent it to me, and I immediately ordered it! Side note: I ordered it from Nordies on Wednesday night, literally at 9 pm, and I received it yesterday as I got home from work around 3:45 pm. I couldn't believe how fast it came! This is seriously going to be a live-in piece for me for the next, I don't know, 5 months? LOL. Definitely until baby boy comes, and then after while it is still cool out. I am obsessed. 

It comes in 4 colors, and this is the "pink". I am currently holding "moss" in my cart. I need another! 

The arms are fitted, but the body is flowy. This is a medium, and it will be great for the months to come as I get bigger! 

I would go with your typical size if you aren't pregnant! It fits so nicely! The arms are long and cozy, and it covers your butt! 

Love the shape!  I just paired it with these comfy maternity leggings that my sis let me borrow. Ps: Spanx leggings are life-changing! Preggo or not! 

More legging options for pairing:

I love the length! 

Great scoop neck neckline! 

Long sleeves!! 

Haha! I love Bentley sneaking into this! 
I just threw on some distressed (maternity) skinny jeans, my Toms suede booties and my favorite multi-strand pearl necklace to make this less casual! 

Jeans-- not maternity:


Multistrand pearl necklace: here. On sale for $26!!

There you have it! A versatile, easy, comfy, swingy, flattering shirt for all shapes and sizes. Pregnant or not, you will loooooove this top! I need to get the other colors, now! haha! 

How is everyone's weekends going?! We have gotten major progress done on the nursery today (all thanks to my amazing husband who is currently sanding an Ikea end table that he primed and is now going to paint yellow and green to match the nursery-- how did I find him?!?!!??!), and I posted a little tour of it (so far) on my Insta stories.  Follow me over at @Belleontrend on Instagram for a peek into our little guy's future room! 


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Lilly Pulitzer Year Round and My Birthday!

It is no secret that I am OBSESSED with Lilly Pulitzer. Just to prove it, here are some of my favorite recent Lilly posts on my blog: our gender reveal, holding on to summer in Lilly, the Lilly white dress, another wedding in Lilly, and more summer in Lilly, just to name a few! But, the beauty of Lilly Pulitzer is that her pieces are timeless, classic and can truly be worn all year. I know some people might laugh at me when they see me in a bright patterned dress when it's subzero outside, but it doesn't bother me! haha! Case in point: this Lilly dress with navy tights that I wore for my birthday party. 

This is a small, and it's not maternity-- it only still fits me because it's really flowy at the bottom. The top is getting too tight! LOL.
I am going to link a bunch of similar ones because this was purchased at the last Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale for about $68! 

Watch: Michael Kors

Anna was asking where I got them, and I was like, "Oh! They were free with a Lilly purchase!" And then I was thinking... they were approximately (technically) $200 because you had to spend a certain amount to get them. Oops. But I did get a "free" bracelet with that same transaction! lol! Lilly can be pricey, BUT, it lasts forever, and her sales are out of this world. My first Lilly dress was purchased back in 2010, and I still have it and wear it!I have Lilly dresses that were $40 from TJ Maxx, and I have full-priced Lilly dresses (silk) that were $250. They all wash and wear sooooooooo well. But, they are investments, for sure. I always save up for one full-priced dress a year (typically when I visit my mom and Gary in Florida). Otherwise, I stick to the bi-yearly After Party Sales! Then, I set a budget for myself and stock up! These sales are typically in August and December. 

So many people complimented my hair! I had just gotten it cut by my friend Annalisa at Beautiful You Salon in St. Charles!! Book her! She's amazing. She did my wedding hair, too, and she has been cutting my hair since 2010 when I moved to the burbs from the city. 

Lip color-- super long lasting! Doesn't budge when eating or drinking! Or smoochin'! Perfect for wedding day lips with all the pictures kissing your hubs.

More fun tassel earrings:

Someone wanted to join our photoshoot!!! 

Hi, Bentley!! 

LOVE the back of the Sloane fit and flare dresses. 

I had some friends over for my birthday on Saturday, and it was so nice! 
Olivia, me and Taryn + Bella and Bentley! 
My FFC gals: Mandy, Jenny, Kelly and Sarah. Just missing Andrea! 

Mike got me the MOST AMAZING cake of all time. I am not exaggerating when I say that I've never had a better cake in my life. It was Reese Cup and Oreo!!!!!!!! From Sugar Path. Prepare to let your mouth water all over your screen. 

It was soooooooo delicious!!! We are never getting a cake anywhere else. Literally. 

Drinking water from my Lolita birthday wine glass! LOL! One of my favorite gifts from my MIL a few birthdays ago!

Sweet Mike decided to put 31 candles on my cake. haha! I love him so much!

Would you wear Lilly year-round in colder climates?