Monday, April 30, 2018

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...accomplished exactly zero items on my to-do list. I told you, it happens every time.
...met up with my friend Jaclyn to try on bridesmaid dresses after work on Friday for a wedding we're co- maids of honor in this October. We realized earlier in the week that the store we were buying them from, Weddington Way, was shutting down (noooo!) and could see the inventory dropping for the dresses we wanted, so we basically had to buy them this weekend. We both ended up getting the last of the style and colors that we wanted in our sizes! The bonus was that since the store is closing, we ended up getting the dresses on sale.
...after dress shopping we ended up having a couple of glasses of wine at Tavern on Rush, which turned into dinner. They have the cutest little outdoor seating area with big heaters - it reminded me of being back at the cafes in Paris! So really it was the perfect choice for a chilly spring evening - we got to sit outside but also not freeze to death.
...saw that LOFT was having another sale, and ended up ordering this cute little embroidered mini skirt! I mean, how freaking adorable is it?! Not sure how I missed it during the last sale (you know, last week) but I'm glad it's making its way to me now! I also ended up ordering this cute little travel wrap I had been eyeing the last go-round, I think it'll be the perfect light layer for spring.
...drove out to Brookfield Zoo for a zoo day with my sister, niece, and mom. My niece Mae is now to the point where she's actually interested in looking at the animals, but more interested in quickly marching through each exhibit so it was a much speedier visit than I'm used to ;)
...had a date night in with Jeff and rented The Greatest Showman. I'm a musicals person so obviously I was the driving factor in that choice. I'd heard mixed reviews, and I have to say I definitely wasn't wowed but I also didn't think it was a bad movie. Fun and entertaining but I'm not going to watch it again or listen to the soundtrack nonstop.
...went out to the park to play a little tennis with Jeff! I'm sure I've mentioned this at some point, but Jeff comes from a tennis family. In case you haven't noticed, I am not a sports person - I still like to close my eyes when trying to hit or catch a ball. We're going on a trip with them this summer which always involves a lot of tennis, so I'm trying to brush up on my skills. I'm happy to report that only about a quarter of the balls I hit went flying off in a completely unexpected position!

Here's hoping you had a good one!

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday Finds

And Friday is here again!! After a busy couple of weekends, Jeff and I have nothing on the calendar. Zero. Nada. 

Of course, I always hesitate to post that here, because inevitably gloating about my zero plans weekend leads to us somehow having a million last minute plans and not accomplishing anything. But I swear! This weekend we're definitely going to get some things done around the house, including the incredibly exciting task of washing our outside deck windows. I also am currently obsessing over the idea of buying new lounge furniture for our roof deck. We went amazingly cheapo when we bought furniture two years ago because we weren't quite sure what we wanted. Well now I know I want really durable material that we don't have to worry about covering all the time, cushions that attach to the base so they won't slip all over the place and that are preferably made out of Sunbrella material so we can leave them out all summer, and sectional pieces that really attach to each other. So I've been obsessing over this gorgeous set, which has all of the things I want but is perhaps a tinge over budget. Okay, more than a tinge. I'll keep you posted ;) 

So, onto the finds! How freaking cute are both of those bags?! I keep telling myself I don't need another woven bag, but the black and white is so fun. It looks so expensive too, but it's actually only $53! Somebody hold me back!!

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Baby Sprinkle!

My sister is expecting her second baby (in three weeks!!) so I decided to throw a little baby sprinkle for her. What's a sprinkle, you ask? Well, it's a little smaller than a baby shower, but a way to still celebrate the momma. Typically it's more for family and really close friends, or newer friends who didn't get to celebrate the first time around. I had heard of sprinkles but a lot of my family members hadn't, so you may want to let people know what the expectation is.

Keep reading for pictures, inspiration, and details on everything I made for the party!

I decided I wanted to go all-in on the sprinkle theme, so things got real colorful up in my house haha ;) My favorite thing I made were these giant sprinkle BABY letters. Let me tell you, you may want to warn your significant other if you decide to make the letters, because Jeff thought I maybe had something to tell him when the letters arrived one-by-one in the mail. These were really easy to do. I ordered these letters, some spray adhesive, and an industrial sized container of sprinkles. I poured the sprinkles into a disposable catering tray, sprayed the front of the letters with the adhesive (waiting the 3 minutes for the adhesive to get tacky), and then dipped them into the sprinkles, pressing from all sides. I did have a few sparse patches, so I just individually pressed in a few sprinkles and called it a day. Just a note, you're going to want to protect way more floor or counter than you think you need because the spray adhesive goes everywhere!!

I was thinking of things my sister likes, and duh, donuts totally fit into the sprinkle theme. My dad loves woodworking, so I asked if he'd be able to build a mini donut wall for me, and he so delivered!! This thing is two pieces, so if I want I can remove the base and hang it on the wall instead. I would tell you how it's made, but all I know is that it took him less than one day to make and he got to buy a fun new tool that would drill little holes for the pegs to fit into. Thanks Dad!

I always love to design invitations myself, so sorry, no source on the cards! Err, I am the source ;) Oh and I took off my address and phone number here, so no stalking! I usually order custom invite designs from Zazzle, I like that they have a print custom cards option with choices for sizes and shapes, plus they come with complimentary envelopes.

For the Treat Yo Self and Sprinkled With Love signs, I ordered from Custom Paper Props on Etsy. I used to avoid Etsy or plan on it only if I was ordering 6 weeks ahead of time, but I'm always amazed by how fast some of the shops ship out these days. They made and shipped out the signs the next business day after I ordered! The Sprinkled With Love sign is here, the Treat Yo Self was a custom banner.

For food, I tried to keep it all sprinkles, but my mom said if we were serving booze I needed some real food too. Gosh mom fiiiiiiine. So I sent Jeff to Donut Vault (and then later to Dunkin Donuts to "get a few prettier ones") for donuts for the wall, made some chocolate dipped pretzels covered in sprinkles, and rice krispie treats with sprinkles. But we also got pinwheel sandwiches from Costco (I'm alllllll about letting someone else do some of the work when throwing a party - no need to do everything yourself!), I added in some white cheddar popcorn because it's also my sister's favorite, and my mom made our favorite seasoned oyster crackers.

Oh, and some of what's on the table are actual sprinkles, but the majority is actually these little craft supply balls that kids melt down to make slime or something. Only adults were attending the party so I thought it was fine to put them out, but if you're throwing a party with kids I would not suggest decorating with them because they definitely look like food!

I obviously had to make some cute sprinkle rim glasses for drinks. These were really easy, I just melted some white chocolate candy melts, dipped the glasses in the chocolate, and then dipped the glasses in the sprinkles. To get the sprinkles off after the party, I just soaked them in hot water.

For drinks, I used this recipe for individual punches, and then put out champagne and vodka in case people wanted to booze their drinks up, or make mimosas or vodka lemonades instead of punch.

Oh, and the sprinkle wall! How have I not mentioned the sprinkle wall?! I followed these instructions to make all of the sprinkle balloons, and used gaffers tape to attach them all over the wall. I was worried I couldn't put them up too far in advance because the balloons would deflate, but that was not the case. Because I loved it so much (read: I was feeling lazy) I left it up for a week after the party and they still looked great.

Two thumbs up from the mommy to be!

Here's a full list of supplies/sources:
B, A, and Y letters

Are you planning your own baby sprinkle? Check out my Pinterest Board for the party for more inspiration!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

April Budget

Every month I post about my clothing budget. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some and a little to others, but feels just right for me. You can read my thoughts on my 2017 budget here.

I was doing great on the clothing budget this month. I wasn't shopping, and I wasn't even really interested in buying anything. And then.... LOFT and J. Crew Factory both had huge sales. And I blew it ;) Here's what I bought in April:

J. Crew Factory One Shoulder Seersucker Dress - originally $108, on sale $54. I was on the fence about buying this (mostly because I already own this pale pink one shoulder dress from last spring) but it is so beautiful in person that I had to keep it! The fit is really flattering, and the fabric makes it really different than the dress I already own - it's actually brighter pink stripes on white fabric, so it looks a lot different in person than online.
Gap Straw Circle Bag (keeps selling out, this one is similar at the same price point) - originally $49.95, on sale $38.96, used giftcard $0. I loved the little designer circle bag I snagged earlier this year so much during our trip to Charleston, so when I saw this one (and then saw that it was finally included in a sale) I immediately scooped it up. I just got the chance to use it for the first time over the weekend (because it felt a little silly pairing a straw bag with a wool coat) and it's so fun to carry - I'm definitely going to be using it all summer long!!
J. Crew Factory Pom Pom Shorts - originally $39.50, on sale $19.50. How freaking cute are these little pom poms?! I saw these and had to have them. I'm excited to have them as a comfy short option this summer - they're like the leggings of short pants haha.
LOFT Lacy Ruffle Cuff Tee - originally $34.50, on sale $20.70. This tee is cute and simple (something I'm always lacking in my closet) and perfect for pairing with fun shorts and skirts this summer.
Treasure & Bond Platform Wedge Sandals - $79.95. These sandals are surprisingly comfortable and easy to walk around in, and filled a sandal hole in my closet. They're currently sitting out next to my bed, just begging to be paired with that polka dot romper once the weather decides to cooperate.
J. Crew Factory Scalloped Cami - originally $54, on sale $26.50. I've honestly ordered at least 10 similar camis over the years trying to find one that would work, and always skipped this particular one because of the racerback. I finally decided to give this one a try, and it's love. It's fully lined so it isn't see through at all, and the straps are adjustable so I can make it work with my bust. I'm thinking about snagging the black now - or maybe hot pink ;)
LOFT Striped Button Back Swing Top - originally $54.50, on sale $32.70. I waxed poetic about this top yesterday, so let's just leave it at love, love, love, wrinkles easily, love.
LOFT Polka Dot Romper - originally $79.50, on sale $47.70. Yes, that's right, this is actually a romper!! And how freaking cute?! I love the vintage-y vibes, but the wrap top makes it sexy too. There's a little snap to keep the top together that absolutely did not work on me, but I very carefully snipped it off and now it's perfect (albeit at a slightly higher risk for a wardrobe malfunction ;)
LOFT Faux Suede Wrap Skirt - originally $69.50, on sale $41.70. So so cute in person, will be perfect for work!

Total spent: $322.75
Total saved: $196.70

Phew, I was convinced until I just did the math that I had gone way over this month!! That giftcard definitely helped ;)

As far as shopping in May, I'm mostly just searching for a new swimsuit for our trip to Florida in June (I ordered this cute striped wrap number, but it came in the mail earlier this week and is a little more boob-y than I'd prefer ;) and another spring-y top or two that would be appropriate for work as well as the weekend (read: covers both shoulders).

What were your favorite buys this month?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Striped Spring Blouse

Top and Sunglasses - LOFT / Jeans - Gap / Bag (similar here and here) - Ann Taylor / Heels - J. Crew / Bracelet - Jet Set Candy / Earrings (similar here and here) - handmade by my sister's friend! 

Yayyyy for white jean season!! Anyone else?

I tend to wear my white jeans year-round, but spring is when I tend to get the most use out of them. They just take any outfit with a springy top or shoes and really make it pop. I got this shirt on the mail on Friday afternoon (sorry sorry sorry for not managing to do try-ons on Instagram yet - I've got a lot of stuff coming at you soon!) and pulled it out the next morning to wear to my friend Sarah's baby shower! I've been in all baby showers, all the time mode between the one I hosted for my sister last weekend (hoping to share some photos this week!), Sarah's on Saturday, and my friend Emily's in two weeks. 

With all of these showers, I've been dying to pull out all of my pretty spring dresses, but unfortunately Chicago hasn't quite cooperated weather-wise yet. My tip for you if you're wondering what to wear for a shower when it's 50 degrees out is to pick one warm-weather item to get you into the warm-weather mindset, but to pair it with warmer pieces. In this case I went with sandals, but added in pants and a blouse so I wouldn't freeze to death. Thank you always to white jeans for looking more formal than regular denim! For my sister's shower I chose a pretty spring dress, but paired it with over the knee boots for warmth. It was actually just this exact outfit - I'm definitely an outfit repeater over here! Anyone else?? 

Anyway, back to this blouse! I love it, I love it, I love it. I mean, the sleeves! Those buttons down the back!! It's so cute with white jeans, but could definitely also work tucked into a skirt, and I'm looking forward to pairing it with shorts this summer. It's really light and breezy fabric, so it'll be great for really hot and humid summer days. The only thing I'm not loving is that it wrinkles pretty easily. I ended up wearing it to the shower, which included smushing it into a coat and then sitting in a car an hour there and back, so when I got back to my house I ended up steaming it again before heading out for the rest of the day. The light fabric steams really easily though, so really it just depends on how much that would bother you. 

Oh and I would be remiss not to mention the sandals - how freaking cute?! I freaked out and bought these the second they were included in a sale and they initially sold out, but I just checked and it looks like they're back in all sizes! The heel is a tinge higher than I would normally go for, so they're definitely not a walking heel. For an event that I drove to though, they were surprisingly comfortable! Oh and those bows? Dying!! For shoes like this that are lighter colored suede, I definitely recommend using a protective spray. I hosed these down with Scotchguard, which has been my go-to for years - since I wore knock-off UGG boots from Target back in college (hahahahahahahahahaha - oh those were the days). It keeps even that cheapo fake suede looking great. Jeff was just making fun of me because I bought a new bottle for these sandals, only to discover we already had three! Anyone have any shoes they need to protect? 

Top and Sunglasses - LOFT / Jeans - Gap / Bag (similar here and here) - Ann Taylor / Heels - J. Crew / Bracelet - Jet Set Candy / Earrings (similar here and here) - handmade by my sister's friend! 

Linking up with How I SpringStyle Me Wednesday.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...ran to Nordstrom to return a few things (basically the story of my life) and realized it was the release day for the Gal Meets Glam collection, so I decided to try on a few. Most of the dresses are not my style (a little too girly and southern) but there are a few that are really cute. I had heard mixed things about the sizing, but I found them to be true to size for your regular dress size (typically larger than other clothing which can use vanity sizing). I ended up ordering this ruffled maxi and this casual gingham dress - excited for them to come in the mail this week!!
...carpooled up to the suburbs with my friend Katie for our high school friend Sarah's baby shower - I can't believe that little lady is expecting!! Sarah and her husband have moved all over the place since getting married so I hadn't seen her in what seems like forever, so it was so fun to catch up! The shower was at Milwalky Taco in Libertyville, and if you ever find yourself in Libertyville for some reason, you should definitely go. The tacos were phenomenal (I went for a chorizo/egg and crispy pork belly - yum!!) and they had a really fun brunch menu, plus a patio for when the weather ever accepts that it's spring.
...went out for a big group dinner to Las Tablas for a little Colombian food (and lots of sangria ;) on Saturday night, and you guys, the steak was so freaking good!! A bunch of us got combination plates, but I wouldn't even mess with that if I went again - all steak, all the way. We followed up dinner with a dive bar, and then I'm pretty sure I complained that I wanted a cocktail and somehow got the whole group to head to Kite String, which has a bunch of really good cocktails that come out of "bubblers" which is not a term I've ever heard before, but they're basically on tap - I loved the passion fruit punch!
...finished reading Brain on Fire, and you guys, it was so good and so freaky at the same time. It's about a young woman who gets a disease that includes mental health symptoms, and the fight to get a diagnosis and heal. The part that really freaked me out was that people with her disease can exhibit symptoms like the little girl in The Exorcist!! Well, you know, minus the head spinning all the way around and the levitating stuff.
...thought I was going to have a lazy Sunday, but ended up realizing at the last minute that we had a reservation at Summer House. It's such a great place to go to pretend it's warm outside - the decor and giant sunlight make you feel like you're at the beach! We followed up lunch with a little shopping on Armitage, and our lunch drinks convinced us to basically buy Jeff a whole new wardrobe at Bonobos. It was a fun role reversal for us ;)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Two Great Sales!

So whenever I try to take a break from blogging is always when something comes up that I just have to share it with you! Two great sales landed in my inbox today, and of course I had to round up some of my favorites (ahem, and shop ;)

My favorite shoes are on sale for less than $50!! They are so comfortable and I get compliments every time I wear them! 

LOFT - 40% off with code FRIENDS
I know, I know, they JUST had a huge sale less than a month ago (check out my fitting room try-ons from that sale, almost everything is still available). I almost didn't even click through to their email, but it turns out, there are a ton of cute new arrivals to shop. I ended up ordering quite a few things to try, including this striped shirtdress, this suede skirt, and this cute coverup for our beach trip in June!

Nordstrom Spring Sale - Up to 50% off 
Everyone goes nuts for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, but let me tell you, there are some pretty amazing items on sale right now - especially the shoes and accessories! My favorite bow mules are currently on sale, and I ended up ordering this cute red dress and little white eyelet bag, I'm planning on pairing them with my new favorite espadrilles and white statement earrings. Oh, and these earrings are less than $8 (yes, really!) so I had to snag them too!

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Monday, April 16, 2018

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...spent the whole time recovering from a cold I picked up in San Francisco last week, hiding from the weather, and planning/throwing a baby sprinkle for my little sister! The sprinkle was a huge success and included quite a few donuts, but I'm going to be honest here, I'm freaking exhausted. And while I took a lot of pictures from the sprinkle, I didn't get down to any other content creation this week. And you know what? I think I need a little breather! So we're going to take a little break here on the blog this week, and I'll be back fresh and new (and hopefully in spring clothes) next Monday! If you miss me, you can always follow along on Instagram!

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! This weekend I'm throwing a sprinkle for my sister Ellen (you know, like a baby shower, but for the second kid) so I'm in full party planning mode! I maybe bit off a little more than I could chew with this one, but I'm excited to see it all come together. I'll be sharing pics - hopefully next week, but you can also follow along on Instastories!! Shhhh Ellen, don't look!

Here are my finds for the week!! Found some real steals this week - everything is less than $70, and that bag is less than $40! If I know anything about how current online pricing strategies work, it's likely on even better sale today ;)

one / two / three / four / five

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