A Low-Key NYE

happy last day of 2014! 

i've never been one for fancy NYE parties or big celebrations - i prefer a cozy night at home watching the countdown on TV and snacking on some good eats in my sweatpants. i mean, really, is there a better way to kick off a new year? not to me! this new years eve will be spent with mike and some friends in Wisconsin for a little getaway. we're looking forward to trying some new Pinterest recipes, crafting up some tasty drinks, and probably playing a card game or two. every year, it gets more and more difficult to make it past midnight. something about forcing myself to stay awake makes me even more tired - does anyone else experience that? i'm hoping that it will be a bit easier this year, especially since we'll have other people around to stay up with ;) 

i'm looking forward to a whole new year! there's already plenty of things planned for 2015 that i'm looking forward to, so i think it will be a good one! 

happy new year, friends! hope you have a great time celebrating! thanks for spending 2014 with me :)

by the way, this tote bag is the perfect carry-on/quick getaway bag. it will be getting plenty of use in the new year, that is for sure. 

tee | J.Crew Factory
sweater | Gap
jeans | ZARA
scarf | ZARA
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie

Saturday Style | 04

well, HEY! it has been a hot steamy second. somehow, Christmas has already come and gone and i'm sitting here, on the eve of December 28th, mostly in shock that we're a couple days away from a whole new year. i'm not typically one for new year's resolutions - i've never stuck with one more than a few weeks - but i do plan to take the next couple days to really think about and set some goals for the new year, both personally and work-related. 

i'm tossing around the idea of doing a capsule wardrobe for January, or some other type of 'style challenge'. i'd really like to put my closet to good use and force myself out of the habit of wearing the same few items regularly. it's always fun for me to try on different outfits in the mirror and come up with new combinations of pieces that i own and it motivates me to get ready for the day when i look forward to putting together a new outfit. annnnd, hello, more outfit posts! 

until then, i'll pretty much be wearing the life out of these jeans. i've worn them both casual and a bit fancier, and they're really quite versatile. throw on a sweater and an oversized scarf and you have yourself a perfectly 'thrown together' look. 

alright, it's the last night of my holiday break, so i'm going to go watch as many episodes of One Tree Hill as i can before i fall asleep because, ya know, #yolo. 
sweater | Target
jeans | ZARA
bag | Kate Spade
scarf | ZARA (similar or similar)
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie

Lou & Grey Recap

my sister and i had the pleasure of hosting a holiday gifting workshop at Lou & Grey over the weekend. we popped into the store on Friday to check it out and finalize the details for the event on Sunday. it was my first time in and i was instantly struck by how beautiful everything was. the clothing, jewelry, displays, everything. it was like being transported to casual & comfortable clothes heaven. 
we arrived on Sunday evening donning our favorite Lou & Grey clothes to a beautiful spread of snacks and sips and a store quickly filling up with excited energy in anticipation of guests arriving. 
the ladies started coming in right about 5 and, before we knew it, the store was filling up and the fitting room was being well-used. Kate and i had the pleasure of mingling with blog readers while others shopped the snacked. it was such a pleasure to meet everyone and it was fun to put a face to an instagram username for some! about halfway through, Kate and i 'took the floor' to offer some styling tips/ideas and a couple hair demos. i wrangled a couple friends into dressing in some of my favorite items to share with the group, as well as offering how i like to wear Lou & Grey when at home. Kate did a couple hair demos for styles that fit in with the feel of Lou & Grey. 
we finished the evening chatting some more with attendees and reflecting on how much fun we had! to those of you that attended, thank you for coming out and spending the evening with us! we hope you enjoyed your time as much as we did! 
wearing the Wellworn Henley Shirt in charcoal grey
if you live near a Lou & Grey location, you should stop in sometime. it's gorgeous and full of beautiful clothes for everyday wear. 

High Five for Friday

happy friday, kitty cats! hope you've all had a great week. my week has been pretty thrown off from travel, so today feels more like a sunday than a friday, but i'll take it! here's a look back at some highlights from this week:

1. mike and i enjoyed a festive Christmas date last weekend. we walked around the zoo lights at Lincoln Park Zoo, had a delicious dinner and headed over to a movie afterwards. although we tend to do things like that together often, it feels a little more special when it's set aside as a 'date night' versus just another weekend night. 
2. Christmas shopping was pretty easy for me this year (hello, online shopping!) but i'm happy to say that i'm officially done! i like to think that i'm one of those people that thinks/plans ahead, but i've never been very good about that with holiday shopping. so, being done just a week before Christmas feels like a real victory to me this year! 

3. my parents and i arrived in North Carolina late Wednesday night for a long weekend celebrating an early Christmas with my sister and her family. it's always nice when the majority of us can spend time together, especially around the holidays! 

4. after hearing great reviews and being already convinced i want to see the movie, i started reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. i'm only a few chapters in, but i'm really enjoying it! i used to go through books like they were going out of style, but have gotten away from reading in the past year or so. i'm hoping this good read will get me back in the habit! has anyone else read it? what did you think?

5. Mike is joining us for the weekend in NC today and i'm so excited that he'll be here! we don't often 'get away' with each other (even if it is just to my sister's house!), so it's fun when we do get to go on a little vacation together. i'm looking forward to spending all weekend convincing him that we should relocate ;)

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

How To | Double Wrap Scarf Tie

now that we're well into scarf-wearing season, i thought i'd share one of my favorite ways to wear my longer scarves. i've had quite a few requests for how wrap them, so you can find a step-by-step below! 

1 |  start by wrapping your long scarf around your neck, with the tails hanging in front
2 |  grab one of the two tails with you opposite arm (i.e. grab the right tail with your left arm)
3 |  loosely pull the tail around your neck
4 | the tail should be on the same side that it started on, wrapped once around your neck
5 | grab the other tail with your other arm
6 | loosely pull the tail around your neck
7 | pulling it all the way around your neck, the tail should be back on its original side
8 | adjust the scarf so that the tails are about equal length (rotate it around your neck, if needed)
9 | starting with the bottom loop, loosen the scarf a bit, 'fluffing' it out 
10 | step 9 will have tightened the top loop around your neck, so loosen that one, too
11 | again, adjust the scarf so that the tails are about equal length
12 | i like to have them just a little uneven, then tuck the tails under the loops so they're not sticking out to the sides
13 | 'fluff' the scarf a little more if it's laying too flat
14 | you're done! 

my favorite scarves to tie this way are from ZARA because they're extra long, like this one.

pin it! 

Saturday Style | 03

most of my weekends are spent with Mike since we don't see each other during the week. occasionally, he'll have things going on back in the suburbs, so that leaves me with a free day. while i obviously love spending that time with him, i can also enjoy a saturday or sunday to myself just as much! my sunday was spent walking some errands (it was in the 50's!), sipping on a vanilla latte, browsing Pinterest, and binge-watching One Tree Hill (i've already watched the series, but i couldn't resist re-watching!). it was a successful day of relaxing, indeed. 

sweater | LOFT
jeans | ZARA
shoes | Coach via Marshall's
bag | Dooney & Bourke (old)
scarf | ZARA

High Five for Friday

happy friday! hope you've had a great week! here's a look back at some of my favorite things that happened this week:

1. i had a friend from North Carolina in town over the weekend for a little Chicago getaway and we had a great time! i don't have out-of-town visitors too often, so it was fun to have someone new to the city to show around and take to some of my favorite places. 
the only 'attraction' she was interested in was the bean, which was totally okay with me. #awkwardselfies
2. since it was the first weekend after my birthday, some friends got together to celebrate! i pretty much had a week and a half long birthday this year, after celebrating with my family the weekend before. not that i'm complaining or anything...

3. Kate and i were so excited to be able to share the details about our shopping event at Lou & Grey that's happening next weekend. although the actual event will be a future highlight, we've had fun letting you guys in on the secret! 

4. i'm pretty well into my second year of living in the city and still feel like i learn and experience new things every week. something i hadn't done until last weekend was see the view from the top of the Hancock building in the Signature Lounge. Mike and i went for our anniversary a few weeks ago, but it was overcast and we couldn't see a thing. my friend and i went over the weekend and had the most beautiful view of the city. it was breathtaking! 

5. i've been intentional about going to bed early and waking up early this week and i've kind of loved it. i'm a morning person, but only if i can be alone with my thoughts for the first couple hours. it's nice to wake up to a quiet apartment and have a slower start to the day before i have to start working. also, being in bed by 9pm is my jam. here's to forming new habits! 

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

Come Shop with Us!

mark your calendars! 

my sister and i are SO excited to share that we will be hosting a shopping night at Lou & Grey in the North Hills shopping center in Raleigh, NC next Sunday, the 21st. along with being able to shop the store, i'll be sharing some styling tips for how to wear your new Lou & Grey items and Kate will be sharing a couple hair demos that would pair perfectly with your outfit. we're so looking forward to the evening! if you're interested in stopping by, please be sure to RSVP to Lou_Grey@AnnInc.com (email seen above). we hope to see you there! 

Style Evolutions + One Deep Thought

it's fun (and sometimes kind of horrifying) for me to look back at how my style has evolved over the years. with this blog and social media, i have a lot of outfits documented over the past three years or so. some i still love and would wear, while others are long gone from my closet...never to return. it makes sense that my style would evolve as time passes, but it doesn't seem so dramatic when it happens over time, versus over night. certainly, there was a day that i probably wouldn't be caught dead in an oversized sweater (that looks like something my grandfather probably owned) or a time when i couldn't wear any shoe with a heel for more than 10 minutes. my, how times have changed! 

on a grander scale, i can look back and see how i've evolved as a person, too. things that used to be important to me don't seem as important anymore, and vice versa. when i look to the future and what i picture my life to be, it's vastly different than what i pictured 3, 5, 10 years ago. and that's the cool thing about life. we're all on a different path going to different things and that path will more than likely change, sometimes slightly and sometimes completely. i remember a time when i thought i'd never live in a big city, and here i am feeling like i could never leave Chicago and be perfectly happy.   but, a year from now, that could be totally different. i've learned that it's about being along for the ride, taking things as they come and being open to whatever may come along. you never know what one decision could change your life, ya know? 

today's deep thoughts brought to you by one week of being 25 years old and possibly having a tiny quarter-life crisis. and yes, this outfit. who knew clothes could be so inspiring? ;)

p.s. i had a rather difficult time figuring out what to title this post. i'm fairly convinced that's the hardest part of blogging.

top | LOFT
sweater | Gap
jeans | ZARA
booties | DV by Dolce Vita
necklaces | Elisabetha Ashlie (here and here)
earrings | Anthropologie

Winter White

i've come over from the dark side (i.e. always wearing black) and jumped into an unknown territory: a palette of light colors. there must be something in the water. 

truthfully, i tried this sweater on at target and as soon as my arms slid through the sleeves, i felt like i had just wrapped up in the warmest, softest, blanket-iest sweater ever. in fact, i get a little too warm in it at times, which is why i layer it over a tee so that i can peel back the layers if it's too much. i like to call it, 'grandma', which may seem like an odd name (no, it is an odd name)(also, why are you naming your sweaters?). there's a story. 

my sister has a chenille blanket at her house that she's had for years. every single time i have gone to drape it over my cold legs - girlfriend likes to have her house set to what feels like 37ยบ (it's like she's pregnant or something) - the strongest whiff of elderly people blows past my nose. you know that smell, the musty but sweet smell of a grandparent. so i started calling the blanket 'grandma', which is actually pretty funny when i say things like, 'oh my gosh! it's so cold - toss grandma over here!'. and now, everything that is chenille will be called grandma, just because that's my only experience with it.  
*note: my sister has washed the blanket before and nothing else in her house smells musty. it's just something about that blanket. just want to make that clear ;)

separately, i've been busy as heck with Elisabeth Ashlie holiday sales, which is why posting has been quiet around these parts. while i'm really enjoying devoting most of my days to my biz, i'm looking forward to it slowing down a bit after the holidays and getting back into regular posting here. i'm working on some fun ideas for january!

tee | Evereve
sweater | Target
jeans | ZARA
scarf | H&M
booties | DV by Dolce Vita
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie
bangle | Loren Hope
watch | Kate Spade
rings | Pradman and Delezhen

High Five for Friday

happy friday! whew, it’s been a busy week for me. i didn’t exactly intend on the virtual radio silence that has happened here, but it just sort of got away from me. i’ve been going, going, going since before Thanksgiving and haven’t seemed to have a second to catch my breath...until now. while it’s been an incredibly busy week, it’s also been full of good memories and fun activities.

here’s a look back at some of my favorite things: 

1. lots of family time was had over the thanksgiving holiday! it was great to have my sister and her family in town. now that all of us kids are grown, i enjoy our time together as a whole family in a different way than when we were younger. we tend to spend most of our time sitting around the dinner table or the living room chatting, so it’s always a nice way to reconnect as a family! 

2. mike and i were able to take in a Bulls game with my sister and her husband for a little double date night. it was fun to hang out just the four of us and watch a great game!

3. i celebrated my 25th birthday yesterday and mike was sweet enough to drive into the city to spend part of the day with me. i’m looking forward to continuing the celebration this weekend with my roommates and friends!

4. the apartment is officially fully decorated for Christmas! there's something about this time of year that really is the best.

5. it was wonderful to spend so much time with my nephew this week. although i don't get to see him as often as i'd like (every day), it's fun to see all the new things that he learns and to discover new little parts of his personality when we do get time together.
i used this photo in last week's post because it's the only one i have with David from the week! how that is even possible, i do not know! 

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

Recent Beauty Finds

i've added a few new beauty products into my regular routine that i thought you may want to know about. mostly because they're some of my new favorites, but also because i always find it helpful to read/hear about a product from someone instead of spending my money on something that i might like. a couple of the recommendations came from my sister, while the others were just lucky picks i made at Sephora.   
 first up is this life-altering face cream, Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream from fresh. okay, maybe not life-altering, but certainly skin-altering. i've heard rave reviews about it, so i thought i'd give it a try...and here i am, giving a rave review! i started with the 0.5 oz. jar just to give it a shot, and have a feeling that i'll be going back for the 1.7 oz. jar when i run out. i apply just enough at night (after cleansing my skin) and it gives my face a silky-soft smoothness. i'll be honest, i don't love the smell of it, but it soaks in quickly to my skin, so the scent is gone quickly. especially for the winter months, i need a super moisturizing face cream, which this one is. i'm looking forward to continuing to use it to see any long-term effects. 
 next up are my new favorite eyeliners, Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Plushie and Sabbath. sometimes i like to opt for a colored eyeliner, versus the classic black. i love the shades of these, a rich purple and a deep navy, and how easily they slide over my eyelid. my favorite way to apply them is to do a thin line, just above my lash line, and smudge the line with a thin eyeliner brush. i add a little to my lower lash line that way, too. it's fun to use a color to make your eyes 'pop' or in lieu of a bright lip! they really do last all day, too! 
my favorite from this group is the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. i'm a big fan of Bite, already having a few of the shades of the Lush Lip Tint and one BB for Lips. i'm one of those people that always needs to have something moisturizing on my lips, whether it be lip balm, lip tint, or regular old chapstick. i hate the feeling of dry lips, so i like to find new products that moisturize and last a long time. this lip mask does the trick. i picked up the mask in Champagne, so it has a bit of a color to it, which is nice for wearing during the day. i prefer to use the mask as night, applying a thin layer before i go to sleep. i wake up with moisturized and nourished lips, which is a good way to wake up. 
if you're a beauty lover, these are a couple great ideas to add to your wish list this holiday season (or treat yourself to!). 

High Five for Friday

happy friday! i hope everyone (that celebrated) had a wonderful thanksgiving yesterday! we enjoyed a delicious dinner at home with some extended family and i ate just a little too much, seeing as i woke up still feeling full this morning! 

here's a look back at some of my favorite things from this past week:

1. Mike and i celebrated our 2 year anniversary over the weekend! we had a relaxing day, starting with a delicious breakfast and professional massages (mike had been talking about wanting one for months, so i figured we should treat ourselves!). we went to The Signature Lounge for some drinks before dinner and, unfortunately, it was probably the most overcast night possible, so we couldn't see a thing. it was cool to go up there, since neither of us had been before, but we're definitely heading back sometime when it's a clear evening! 

2. my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew are in town for a few days and it's so nice to have them here with us! David is as cute as ever and we're all enjoying some quality time together.

3. thanksgiving was wonderful yesterday! the food was delicious, we shared plenty of laughs at the table, and we had the prettiest snowfall during the day. not to mention, i got to spend it with these two cuties:

4. i had last friday evening all to myself at our apartment and enjoyed every second of it. one roommate was traveling, while the other was at a friend's, so i was left with the place to myself for a few hours. by the end of the night, i was ready for some human interaction, but you better believe i enjoyed the solitude for a few hours! 

5. yesterday marked the first day of my several-day vacation! i'm looking forward to spending time with family at home and taking a little break from work! 

psssst! Elisabeth Ashlie is having a black friday sale! you can shop here and here

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