Everyday Makeup Tutorial

i've had a few requests for my daily makeup routine. you request, i make an awkward video.

products i use in the video:
(1)MAC -- Studio Fix in N4
(2)MAC -- Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden
(3)Covergirl -- CG Smoothers Concealer
(4)Covergirl -- Professional Super Thick Lash Mascara
(5)Covergirl -- CG Smoothers BB Cream
mark. -- Matte Chance Mattifying Moisturizer (which i think they stopped making, which makes me very upset. WHY MUST YOU STOP MAKING A GREAT PRODUCT?!)

Fall Transitions

fall weather is kind of happening around here, which i couldn't be happier about. it's still in the low 70's but it's perfect for layering because it's cooler in the morning and at night. i can already tell that my "look" this fall is going to be some sort of manifestation of today's look. leggings or skinny jeans, a tee/top and a sweater for layering up. this Pickwick & Weller tee is the perfect tee to help with those transitions. plus, it's grey so you know i love it.

what's your go-to fall look?

top: c/o Pickwick & Weller
cardigan: H&M (old)
leggings: J.Crew Factory
booties: Target
necklace: Target
bag: Target

high five for friday

we meet again, friday! i particularly love fridays because they're more like saturdays, given my schedule. anywho, i'm looking forward to actually get some things done around the apartment and running a few errands. but first, let's review the week:

1. my mom and sister so graciously picked up this Philip Lim for Target bag for me in North Carolina and i'm obsessed. obsessed, i tell you.
also wearing: J.Crew chambray and phone case, Target pants and necklace
2. i made the formal announcement yesterday on facebook and instagram that i'm officially the sole owner of Elisabeth Ashlie Jewelry! i'm excited to continue making jewels and sending pretty things to people.

3. speaking of my sister, she's awesome. she sent me the sweetest care package filled with so many fun things. i'm just now picking my jaw up off the ground.
flats, tee and hairties: J.Crew, sweatshirt: Target, mug: Ashley Brooke Designs
4. speaking of my sister again, i get to see her in just under two weeks!!! we haven't seen each other in over a month, so you can probably imagine that we're looking forward to hanging again. can't wait to see that baby bump, too!

5. i popped into H&M earlier this week and went on a total sweater trying on binge. i ended up leaving with two of them, which i've already worn multiple times. i'm going to be the sweater queen this fall, i can already feel it.
overall, it's been a pretty great week!

p.s. a little shout out to Kate, since she's speaking at the Influence Conference tomorrow! wish i could be there!

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!

Giveaway: Crave Jewels

today's giveaway comes from the lovely Erin of Crave Jewels. she's got some fabulous statement necklaces for fall and sent me this beautiful sapphire one, which is going to be perfect for the fall. one lucky winner gets to pick out their favorite color from the Hampton Collection.

i paired it with this new colorful AND patterned top i spotted at Nordstrom Rack a couple weeks ago. by the way, Nordstrom Rack is the bomb. dot com. i've never really taken the time to look through their clothes before, but now it's one of the first places i stop at if i'm looking for something. they've got a great variety of styles, designers, and totally realistic pricepoints (with some more expensive things, too). if you haven't been, you should check one out! i don't think you'll be disappointed!

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Wardrobe Goals (+ a giveaway!)

pattern! color! who am i?! i've started this new thing where, when i'm shopping, i only allow myself to buy tops that are either colored or patterned. if they're colored, i try to get a color that i don't currently have. so, yeah, i'm trying to add a little variety to my wardrobe. it's working well, so far. although i still buy some blacks and greys. i just can't resist.

when Denise, from A Tad Monroe, wanted to send me this top to style, i knew it would be perfect given my new wardrobe goals! sure enough, it made itself right at home in my newly colorful closet. i love the pattern and the color -- it's not too much for this monochromatic girl.

want to enter to win one for yourself (+ a $25 shop credit)?! use the giveaway tool below!
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top: c/o A Tad Monroe
leggings: J.Crew Factory 
bag: Phillip Lim for Target
booties: Target
rings: Kate Spade + Lipstick Rose
bracelet: J.Crew Factory


have you guys heard of LE TOTE? if not, allow me to introduce you. because everyone that likes clothes and receiving mail needs to know about this.

it's a simple subscription service that delivers 3 garments and 2 accessories to your doorstep. the best part about it? you pay per month and can receive as many totes as you want within that month. you simply answer a few style questions and fill out a style profile and very talented stylists pick out items that they think you'd love to wear. the tote shows up and you keep them for as long as you'd like. once you're done wearing them, you return them and will be sent another tote. you can do it as many times within your paid month as you want to! it really doesn't get much better.

i filled out my style profile, as well as clicked through their available items and added my favorites to "my closet". the stylist(s) that chose my items did a pretty spectacular job. i was really impressed. this top was probably my favorite from my first tote, but i honestly would wear all of the items that i was sent.

i'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my next tote and will be sure to fill you in! for now, you can sign up for your own tote HERE and use code LOVESTOTES18 so they know i sent you! :)

top: c/o LE TOTE
jeans: Old Navy
bangle: c/o LE TOTE
sandals: Target

cat poems and such

all you cat lovers out there, today's post is for you. you're welcome.
so, mike and i went to the mall on sunday afternoon and i quickly ducked into Paper Source to drool over all the beautiful cards, calendars and other goodies. little did i know that i would find a plethora of cat-related things that i just had to buy. one of those things being this book of poems written by cats. obviously. i mean, how could i not?

i was reading them in the car on the way home and just cracking up. i read a few aloud to mike and all he could muster was a measly sympathy laugh, so i can't wait to share it with some reaaaal cat people. here's just a few of my favorites, but they're all pretty great.

Oh, uh, hello
I did not expect an answer
I did not expect an entrance
I did not expect this room to be so unbelievably dull
So, uh, goodbye

You can have the CDs,
    I will take the string
You can have the TV,
    I will take this fuzzy thing
You can have the kitchen set,
    I will take this crumpled foil
You can have the car,
    I will keep this rug I soil
You can have the beach house,
    I will take this tissue box
You can have everything,
   Ooo I want those dirty socks
You can go to (bleep), I will see to that
For how dare you come home smelling of another cat?

That was just for you
That was just our little joke
So we could share a little laugh
Just the two of us alone
But you took that special moment
You posted it online
Now forty million people think
I bark like a dog
And so I hide under the covers
Cursing your very name
Saying you better get a good lawyer
Or me a great agent

Chicken and rice for the first day
Chicken and rice for the second day
Chicken and rice for the third day
Chicken and rice for the fourth day
Chicken and rice for the fifth day
Chicken and rice for the sixth day
Lamb and rice today
And just like that my world crumbles

so, yeah. you should probably go buy this book now.

High Five for Friday

i can't believe it's already Friday! truthfully, the beginning of this week went by very slowly, so i'm happy to see Friday. hope you've all had a fabulous week.
1. my roommate, Ariel, and i went out for a little date last weekend. we walked just a couple blocks from our apartment and discovered this little pocket of great restaurants that i never knew existed. i realized that i really only ever walk south or east, so it was good to go a different direction and get to know our neighborhood a bit better.
2. i couldn't resist sharing this one. Otis jumped up on my bed and caught his reflection in the mirror on my closet. he instantly puffed up like a little squirrel and stared at himself for a solid 3 minutes trying to figure out what was going on.
3. if you know me at all, you know i can't resist a pretty purse. also, when it's from Target and especially when it's for free ;)
4. i made my first trek to the grocery store earlier this week and got to use my little grocery cart from Ikea. nothing makes me feel more like a city dweller than toting my food home in this thing.
5. the other interns and i needed a little sugar pick-me-up on Wednesday, so we raided the local CVS and indulged while working. candy always makes things better.

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!

closet questions, part seven

in case you missed them, parts one, two, three, four, five, and six.

Q: What's the hardest part about blogging outfits? Ever look back at a post and wince? -- Allyson
A: hmm...that's a good question. at first, it was probably getting comfortable with taking a bunch of photos of myself and then sharing them for the world to see. talk about putting yourself out there. i've always been more of a behind-the-scenes person...i don't really enjoy having a lot of attention on me and would prefer to stay in the background, but i've learned to be confident with what i have to "offer" and people seem to enjoy my outfit posts, so i keep doing them! now, the hardest part is just finding the time to shoot the outfits. it has to either be on the weekends or random days during the week when i can convince someone to be my photographer for a little bit.

i'm sure there are plenty of posts in the early days of my blog that would make me cringe, but it's all part of my blogging journey, so i kind of like that. it's fun for me to see where i've come from and how much my blog has transformed with me!

Q: I would love to hear your opinion on what are essential clothes to have in your closet. And maybe which kind of color you would recommend for them. (like neutral or bright, etc.) -- Heide
A: for me, i like to have a variety of tees (plain v-necks, boyfriend style, graphic, and printed) to pair with jeans and a cardigan or blazer on the weekend. for the work week, pencil skirts, trousers or pants for work, and blazers are great pieces that can be mixed and matched. throw in some printed and solid blouses to layer under blazers or cardis for something a little different. i like to also have a variety of colored/patterned pants to mix and match on my days off with my blouses or tees. for tees, i tend to stick with neutrals. for blouses, i like to throw in some pattern and color because i tend to pair them with solid bottoms and a blazer or cardigan.

Q: Closet question: I seem to always have this problem of going into my closet and having something in mind to wear but I only have things on opposite ends of the spectrum. So I would have something that is too simple or too over the top. How do I stop buying the wrong items and better know what to buy when I go shopping? -- Sydney
A: the best thing i can suggest for you to do is to take a couple hours one weekend and go through your entire closet. make sure that all the things that you have in your wardrobe are pieces that you do and will actually wear and that they're all flattering and well-fitting. it may help you a lot to get rid of some things that you know you won't wear, because it will narrow down your options. once you have your closet full of things that are your style and that you'll wear, trying putting together some outfits that you haven't put together before. through the process of doing that, you'll probably come to realize the things that are missing, like patterned blouses or neutral options for bottoms. make a list and try to conquer it! it's hard to give you specifics since i'm not able to look at all of your clothes and give you suggestions, but i hope this helps!

Q: How do you know when/how to style a statement necklace? -- Allyson
A: i'm one of those people that thinks you can wear a statement necklace with just about anything. to me, the most obvious choice is to wear one with a dress or skirt/top combo. a statement necklace is great because it can totally bring an outfit together and it doesn't require a lot of work. with solid dresses, it's great to add one with color. if you're doing a patterned or colored dress, but feel like you need to add a little something to bring the whole look together, try a simpler necklace like the crystal one on the left. i also love wearing them with graphic tees or more casual looking tops, like the color-blocked tunic on the bottom right. it adds a little glam and instantly brings an outfit up from being casual. other than those options, pairing them with a fun blouse or a sweater in the fall/winter is great, too!
Style a Statement Necklace
J.Crew blue dress / Madewell patterned dress / Topshop color block tunic / Green shirt  / Madewell Paris tee / Equipment neon pink blouse Fuchsia and Blue necklace / Crystal necklace / J.Crew blue necklace
Q: I recently bought a maxi skirt and am having the hardest time pairing it with a shirt. It's a foldover top, so I feel I have no choice but to do a tucked-in shirt. -- Lauren
A: the foldover top maxis are tough. my best advice is doing the tucked-in shirt or pairing it with some sort of blouse. the blouse should either have a nice shape to it (i.e. nip in at the rib cage) or be something that you can belt to give yourself some shape. stay away from wearing a loose or flowy top because it won't do anything for your figure when you pair it with a loose skirt!

be my ring twin?

i've always been a ring girl. most often, you can find me wearing a few rings on my fingers and simple studs in my ears. and that's about it. occasionally, i feel daring and throw on a necklace or a couple bracelets, but i usually keep it really simple. knowing that, you can probably imagine how excited i was to add another ring to my collection. this adorable wishbone midi ring comes from Lipstick Rose. they generously are offering a regular sized ring to one lucky winner (or you can purchase the rose gold version!). that's right, we get to be ring twins!

i just want to take a second to apologize for the chipped nail polish and iPhone quality photo. sorry. 
use the giveaway tool below to enter!
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summer's end

i'm very aware that i'm several months behind this whole high-low trend thang, but this dress came in my first LE TOTE box (full post coming on this soon!) and i loved it. truthfully, it's one of the only high-low dresses/skirts that i've ever seen and really liked. something about the colors, the stud detail on the dress, and the flowy-ness of it that just all works for me. also, it's grey. and we all know how i feel about grey. the necklace came in my tote, too, and i loved that thing. it was perfect with the dress and brought the whole look together really well.

this dress was the one thing that was really hard for me to send back in my tote, but since the summer season is almost over, i decided not to keep it. plus, i don't live in the south anymore, so it's going to get cold around these parts pretty quickly.
dress: c/o LE TOTE
necklace: c/o LE TOTE
bracelet: J.Crew Factory
wedges: Franco Sarto via DSW

Apartment Style: Bedroom

today deserves a little celebration - i'm finally finished putting my room together! yes, yes, yes, yes! i love it more than i imagined, and i hope you do too!
shelf: Ikea | grey + yellow boxes: Ikea | owl bank: Urban Outfitters

bed frame: Ikea | duvet cover: West Elm | hanging light: Ikea | cat: not for sale

desk: Ikea | shelf: Ikea

chalkboard sign: Hobby Lobby | candlesticks: Ikea | magazine rack: Marshall's

left print: Emily Ley | bottom print: Kate Spade | right print: Orange Beautiful

cat sign: Sweet Pea's Party | instagram prints: Prinstagram

small bowls: Anthropologie | cake plate: Pier 1 | ring holder: Marshall's | letter: Anthropologie

&: gift from my sister | giraffe: Anthropologie | picture frame: Target | cat sign: Francesca's

rug: Ikea | chair: Ikea

giveaway // Rodan + Fields

today's giveaway is pretty awesome, if i do say so myself. although i've only met Kate via the internet, she's just about the sweetest person in the world. she's also incredibly generous and wants to give FIVE winners some Rodan + Fields products!

here's the goods she'll be handing out:
- the multi-funcion eye cream
- body micro-dermabrasion paste
- mini facial kits, which include: microdermabrasion paste, night renewing serum, and lip renewing serum

i've never personally used R + F products, but based solely on Kate's enthusiasm for the product line, i feel like i need to try them at some point! i love the idea of having a mini facial kit to use at home instead of spending money to go to a spa.

she also wanted me to give you a little head's up about consulting for R + F. she told me that consulting is a great way to earn a nice check every month by doing what you're already doing—spending time with your family, meeting up with new and old friends, and talking to strangers in the grocery store line! check it out if you're ever looking for an additional stream of cash!
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High Five for Friday

happy friday, Mexican jumping beans! i have Mexican on the brain because i indulged in some fab Mexican fare last night and it put me in a darn good mood. the weather in Chicago is going to be absolutely divine this weekend, so that also puts me in a darn good mood. let's review the week, shall we?
1. Mike and i drove up to the family lakehouse last weekend to hang with my parents and do a little apple picking (hello, fall!). it's so nice to be so close to the lakehouse that i can just make a quick trip up there on the weekend. i missed that place while i lived in the south.
2. my mom got me this ca-ute Kate Spade mug for my new city life. i think the cuteness made my coffee taste better, too.
3. i walked into Nordstrom Rack, which is dangerously close to my apartment, and walked out with 6 new tops while spending under $110. umm jackpot. this was one of them and i want to wear it every day.
4. if you missed it, i was able to attend the taping of ABC's Windy City Live on Wednesday! i'm a marketing intern for Billy Dec, who does a weekly segment on air featuring events and activities around the city. it was pretty cool to be behind-the-scenes and see it all.
5. i met (my former roommate) Sam for dinner last night at the best Mexican restaurant in the city, Las Fuentes. seriously, drool.

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!

being anonymous

on this day, i miss my small but wonderful group of people i spent most of my time with in North Carolina. although i've only lived here a couple weeks, there's something about such a big city that can make you feel so...anonymous. it's a weird feeling, walking around and passing by so many people but realizing that you haven't had an actual human connection with any of them.

i'm thankful to have a roommate that i can call a friend, my best friend just a quick el ride away, my boyfriend nearby, and modern technology to communicate with those not so close, but the transition into a new "group" is harder than i had anticipated. truthfully, i didn't even really think about  having to make new friends or getting to know a bunch of new people. i was so excited to be in a new city and be closer to my boyfriend that i forgot about all the other "life" stuff that i'd be experiencing. i'm looking forward to getting to know more people at the company i'm interning for and hopefully getting connected to a local church starting this weekend, but the investment ahead of me is intimidating. it's hard to get to know new people, at least it is for me. it requires time, openness, and vulnerability. it's wonderful once it happens, but it doesn't always happen right away.

as with most things in life, i just need to be patient and stop trying to be in control all the dang time.

**important note: just want to clarify that i don't intend for this post to be negative, depressing, or make me sound sad. just wanted to share my thoughts with you. because, well, i kinda like you.

intern duties

my first "official" assignment at my new internship is to attend the taping of Windy City Live this morning...um, i'll take it! for those that don't know, WCL is Chicago's local daytime show. i've only had the chance to see a few episodes, so i'm looking forward to experiencing it in-person and seeing what goes on behind the scenes.

the reason i'm attending the show is because i'm a marketing intern to Billy Dec, who does a weekly segment on WCL where he talks about all the great events going on in the Chicago area for the following week. as part of my internship, i'll be responsible for finding those events that he will talk about on the show, which is pretty darn cool (in my humble opinion).

i get to take my mom with me to the taping, so i'm looking forward to spending some time with her today!

and, of course, follow along on instagram for probably too many photos of my experience at WCL.

happy wednesday!

DIY photo heart (+ a giveaway)

one of the things i was most excited about doing in my new apartment was this photo heart. i've never been much of a picture-haver, but i wanted to make sure that i had a place in my apartment to be reminded of all the people that i love (and many that i miss from North Carolina!). this DIY seemed like the best way to show some of my favorite photos of my favorite people.

the prints are from Social Print Studio's prinstagram. i purchased 2 sets of the squares (48 total photos) for the heart, and it was the perfect number. if you haven't ordered prints from printstagram before, it pretty much couldn't be easier. you just pick out what type of prints you want (or choose from other products like mini books and calendars!) and login to your instagram account to choose which photos you'd like to use. and that's about it. i told you it couldn't be easier!

i recently ordered a set of the miniprints to do another little project with, which i'll share with you when it's finished! for now, why don't you enter to win your own set of miniprints?!
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Intern Girl

today marks the first day of my new internship! i found out on Friday that i was officially offered to be an intern at an event planning and production company and was so excited. i interviewed earlier last week and knew that it would be the perfect place for me to start my career. so yeah, Friday was a pretty great day. i'm excited to learn more about what i'll be doing and will share as many details as i can!

my roommate picked up some cupcakes on her way home from work on Friday so we had a little celebration in our apartment. also, this cupcake shop is steps from our building. i'm in trouble.

i've definitely already fallen into the all-black city wardrobe and i've only been here a week. and technically my top is navy blue, but looks pretty black in the photos. dark colors are here to stay in my wardrobe, it's official.

top: Marshall's
leggings: JCPenney (?)
shoes: Nine West via Marshall's (similar)
bag: Jessica Simpson via DSW
necklace: Kate Spade Saturday
bracelet: J Crew Factory

*by the way, sorry for the indoor photos. i haven't had the chance to talk my roommate into photographing some of my outfits yet, so i'm workin' with what i can for the time being!