Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tulip + Stripes

The cold weather snap over the weekend was a little confusing (the high in Chicago on Saturday was only 66!) but I actually enjoyed the chance to wear long sleeves and this new tulip skirt from Target.  I wore this out to get some barbecue with the boyfriend's parents in the suburbs, which gave me the chance to snap some pics with lots of green in them for once.

Tee - JCrew Factory / Skirt - Target / Shoes - Shoe Mint / Necklace - Michelle Starbuck Designs / Belt - Target (really old) / Bracelet - Michael Kors / Earrings - JCrew Factory

This belt was my favorite back in high school and college, I wore it alllllllmost every day (once I got over wearing white belts with star cutouts/studs every day).  It's a bit too big for me now, but I'm glad I held onto it because it definitely still works tied like this.

While I prefer warm weather during the summer, a cold snap every once and a while is fine by me!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Spain and a Giveaway

I looked at the calendar and realized the boyfriend and I leave for our trip to Spain in Morocco in just a month! We've been talking about it for so long, it seemed like the trip would never actually come. We finalized the lineup, and will be making stops in Barcelona, Sevilla, Marrakech, and Casablanca.  I'm getting really excited to eat lots of tapas, see a bullfight, explore the markets of Morocco (& do a bit of shopping!), and hopefully have dinner in an old Moroccan palace.

Whenever I go on a trip, it seems to be an excuse to go shopping ;) It's probably going to be really hot while we're they're, so I've been stocking up on lightweight tops and dresses as well as some maxi dresses and skirts for Morocco.

On my wishlist:
Dress - F21

If anyone is interested in guest posting while I'm gone, shoot me an email at

And now a little giveaway through The Darling Prepster.  The items up for grabs are below.  The giveaway will be open until August 3rd at 12 AM PST.  

Caroline from The Caro Diaries is giving away 60 days of ad space!

Jessie from JPerry Fitness is giving away a Shakeology sample, Shakeology Shaker Cup, and Shawn T's Fast & Furious Insanity DVD! 

Kristina from Kristina Does the Internet is giving away $15 Sephora E-Giftcard!

Alicia from River City Chic is giving away a $10 Target Giftcard!

Ashliegh from The Darling Prepster is giving away 1 month of ad space!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Laying Around

This weekend, for the first time since May, I don't have to go anywhere.  The boyfriend and I planned a dinner or two, but I'm looking forward to getting a chance to just relax and lay around.  I hope you have a great weekend!

P.S. Today I'm being featured on Simple Easy Style

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Maxi + Vest

This little denim vest has been going everywhere with me lately.  I think the boyfriend is mostly confused by it, he references a different grunge singer from the early '90s every time I wear it.  He would probably be even more confused if I told him I actually found this maxi in the maternity section at Target, so shhh, don't tell him.

Dress - Target (old) / Vest - Gap / Necklaces - Baublebar and Stella & Dot / Earrings - c/o Shopbevel

These little elephant studs were sent to me by the lovely people at Shopbevel.  I basically love anything with an animal on it, so these little guys were right up my alley.  

Have a happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Current Pinsperations

A lot of color and a little bit of sparkle has been drawing my eye on Pinterest lately.

1. / 2. / 3. / 4. / 5. / 6. / 7. / 8. 

What's been inspiring you?

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Neon and White

What can I say, I just can't stay away from neon.  With white jeans, it seems perfectly summery.  Thank goodness for the break in the heat this week, I like being able to break out a pair of jeans every now and then.

Top - Loft / Jeans - Old Navy / Necklace - JCrew Factory / Bracelet - F21 (old, similar here) / Heels - Charles by Charles David

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Monday, July 22, 2013

5 Secrets to Soft and Shiny Hair

I often get comments about how shiny and soft my hair is, but I've got a secret for you - I work hard to get it that way.  Don't tell my sister, as I'd like to keep her convinced I just have good genes.  Here are five of my secrets to getting really soft and shiny hair.

  1. Leave conditioner in your hair as long as possible.  I wash and condition my hair first thing when I get in the shower, and leave the conditioner in until I'm ready to get out.  I also use deep conditioner ever two to three times I wash my hair to repair damage from coloring and styling.
  2. After washing and conditioning your hair, rinse your hair in cold water, which helps to seal the cuticle.  It isn't always fun (especially in the winter!) but makes a big difference with my hair.
  3. Comb your hair twice when getting out of the shower.  I go through first with a wide tooth comb to get the tangles out, and then with a fine tooth comb to smooth everything out.  This helps to cut down on flyaways and smooths everything out to make my hair really shiny.
  4. Use the right products when you get out of the shower.  I swear by Kerastase's leave in conditioner and Elixer.  The conditioner should go in first, throughout all of your hair.  For the elixer, squeeze one pump into your hand, then gather your hair in a loose ponytail and spread only from mid-shaft to the ends.
  5. Try to avoid heat styling whenever you can.  In the summer, I'll only blowdry my hair if I'm getting really dressed up.  In the winter, I dry it on a lower heat just enough so that it doesn't freeze during my walk to work.  

Let me know if any of these tips work for you!

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Wedding Weekend (again!)

Between class, trying to hang out with my brother before he leaves the country, and all of the traveling I've been doing lately, I almost managed to forget that A. I'm going to another wedding this weekend and B. I'll, you know, have to wear something.  This wedding is outdoors in central Illinois and it's supposed to be in the 90s and sunny.  I'm thinking I might rock this look again, but with flats or wedges:

Or, when at the outlet mall over the weekend "buying clothes for the boyfriend" (ahem) I picked up a similar dress to this little beauty from JCrew Factory which may make an appearance:

One thing is for sure: if it's going to be 95 and sunny, I'm definitely putting my hair up and wearing lots of sunscreen.

I hope you have a great weekend!

P.S. I'm being featured on Simple Easy Style today, check it out here.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Whites

Something about summer makes me want to dress up a little more for work.  I know, I know, shouldn't I want to just hang out in shorts and a tank top?  We have a casual dress code in my office, so in cold weather I tend to wear jeans and flat boots, day in and day out.  As soon as it gets warm, I get excited to break out my fancy skirts and dresses and heels.

Top - Loft / Skirt - JCrew Factory / Shoes - Sole Society / Bracelet - Baublebar

I may have been wearing this white pencil skirt a tinge too much, I want to break it out every day.  Something about it just screams summer to me.  You know, like the color.

I took these pictures early in the morning, and now I know that before work I look really tired and my hair retains some "natural wave" from rolling around in my sleep.  You win some, you lose some.

Linking up with Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Camarones al Mojo de Ayo

A couple of weeks ago I tried Camarones al Mojo de Ayo for the first time.  It was one of those meals where I tried it and knew I had to try to make it myself.  It's basically shrimp tacos cooked in a garlic/oil/butter sauce, and garlic/oil/butter are three words I like to hear.  Plus, it's a one pan meal that was ready in about 20 minutes (with some help from the boyfriend of course).  Since moving in together, the boyfriend and I have determined we have very different cooking styles.  I'll just throw stuff in a pan until it starts to resemble a meal, whereas the boyfriend follows directions to the t - if a recipe calls for vegetables to be cut into strips, he is definitely cutting strips.  

For two people, you'll need:
3/4 pound of shrimp (uncooked, deveined, peeled)
1/2 medium white onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 TB olive oil
1/2 TB butter
2-3 cloves of garlic
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 small bunch cilantro
1 lime, cut in wedges

In a pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions, jalapenos, and red pepper flakes.  Cook 5-6 minutes.  Push onions and jalapenos to the side of the pan.  Add butter and garlic to other side of pan.  Once the butter melts, add shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes, turning once, until they turn pink and are no longer clear.  Mix shrimp and onions/jalapenos together, and add cilantro, cooking for one additional minute while stirring.  Serve in warm tortillas with lime juice squeezed over the top.  And, if it happens to be a Friday night, with dos cervezas for good measure.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Feature on The Darling Prepster

Hello everyone!  Today I'm being featured on The Darling Prepster.  Jump over to find out five fun facts about me.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

This weekend...

This weekend I...
- witnessed my boyfriend and mom dressed as twins
- hit up Burger Fest in Roscoe Village and tried four sliders (I chose Mrs. Murphy and Sons as my favorite)
- caught a hint of Sharknado
- went swimming down at the beach with my sister
- took the boyfriend on a major shopping spree
- got the one egg combo for breakfast in my hometown, in which you can clearly see more than one egg yolk
- learned to play a Korean game very similar to jacks which I'm weirdly good at
- got a little sunburn and four mosquito bites
- went to a big family dinner at my grandma's house
- caught many lightening bugs
- played (and lost horribly) a game of bags
- ate a hotdog down at the lakefront

So all in all, just about the perfect summer weekend.  I hope yours was great too!

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Friday, July 12, 2013


Happy Friday lovelies!!  This week was a little tough coming off a four-day weekend, so I'm excited for a little break.  I'm also sad for this weekend though, because a week after his wedding, I now have to say goodbye to my brother for the next two years.  He's moving to South Korea with his new wifey to teach history in an international school.  Of course, this does give me a good reason to plan a trip to Southeast Asia...

And now, a few of my recent Instagrams -

A yummy bbq scallop at lunch, playing with my photobooth moustache, watching the Blackhawks parade, and nail stickers from Essie

The awesome wine glasses above the bar at Boarding House, cupcake break at Crumbs, and lots and lots of American flags at my grandma's house

Pretty wildflowers my parents grew for my brother's wedding, trying on my sister's fancy headband, setting up the huppah for the wedding, and hitting a cubs game

If you want to follow along with me, find me on Instagram here.  Let me know if you do so I can follow you back.  I hope you have a great weekend!!  

P.S. I'm being featured on Simple Easy Style today, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!