Bordeaux Plaid

white pants in February...this is just killing some of you, i know it. i've said it before and i'll say it again, i don't really believe in 'fashion rules'. i think you should wear whatever you want whenever you want. and, so, here i am wearing white (well) after labor day. i love white pants during the winter time. they can be warm-weatherish, yes, but you can also winterize them with the right colors, patterns and textures that you pair them with. like, say, plaid, animal print, and bordeaux. the white pants are basically the snow of the outfit. okay, i'm reaching...

separately, it's Friday and i'm really thrilled about that. the newest season of House of Cards is available and, as soon as the clock strikes 5pm, i will be in my bed with wine watching until my eyes cannot stay open any longer. which, let's be honest, will probably be like 8:30pm. #grandmotherstatus

top | Topshop
pants | Target
flats | Target
scarf | ZARA (similar)
belt | Target

Dalmatian Print + Grey

i made the mistake of convincing myself that spring was on the way and then mother nature was all, 'YEAH RIGHT, SUCKER! here's some more snow for you.' so i've completely resigned to wearing sweaters and boots basically forever. which is cool and all, except i'm bored to tears with wearing the same thing day after day. so, i'm slowly adding some less wintry items into my outfits, like say color or a non-boot shoe. both of which take this otherwise simple jeans-and-a-sweater outfit to a slightly less snooze-inducing level. a little pop of grapefruit, a printed wedge, and a bubblegum lip step it up just enough for me. 

also, i bought these wedges several years ago, before i was a real wedge/heel-wearer. they haven't received much wear, but you better believe they will these days. my feet have finally been trained to not throb within 2 minutes of wearing anything other than a flat shoe, so i'm finding myself reaching for them more and more. what i love most about them is that they can take an otherwise simple outfit (jeans and a sweater) and dress it up just enough with the addition of the right accessories and a lip color. every girl should own a pair of animal print wedges (or any type of shoe!), if you ask me. these wedges are old, but i found some similar pairs here, here, here, and here.

sweater | H&M
pants | Gap (similar)
wedges | Banana Republic Outlet 
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
cuff | Elisabeth Ashlie
watch | Kate Spade
bag | Forever 21

Shopping for Staples

if you were to look through my closet and read the tags on my clothes, you'd find a decent variety of brands. in the past couple years, i've really made an effort to try new stores to shop at and have found some success! most of my daily outfits consist of closet staples, which i seem to have from a select number of places. it's one of those things where once you find that perfect fit in a pair of jeans or that tee that's just long enough and soft enough, you don't spend anymore time shopping elsewhere. in my case, i buy that tee in 7 colors and wear them for four years. 

my favorite place to get tee shirts from is J.Crew Factory. i've been buying them there for years and don't see that ending anytime soon. they're high quality, come in plenty of different colors, and you can get a ridiculously good deal on them when they have a sale. i usually have luck at Target, too, but J.Crew Factory is my first stop when i'm on the hunt. 

i've mentioned before that it wasn't until a couple years ago that i actually started caring about footwear. i used to exclusively buy my shoes at Target. they always had what i needed and i couldn't find cute shoes for a better price anywhere else! i still shop at Target, but i've found that  Zappos and DSW are almost always a guarantee to find something. obviously, they both have a huge variety and offer far more than just a single shoe store. i'm not brand-loyal to any type of shoe, so i don't have a go to store that i know will have the fit and style that i'm looking for. plus, i enjoy the hunt with places like DSW and Zappos. and DSW's clearance section is a gold mine.

before shoes, and for as long as i can remember, i have been a bag girl. i get it honest, since my mom loves and appreciates a beautiful bag, too. i would much rather invest in a quality bag than anything else in my closet, no doubt. i love the 'magic' wallets from J.Crew, especially if it has a cat print. i've also had good luck shopping at Nordstrom Rack for designer bags at a much more reasonable price point - especially when they're on sale! 
through the winter months, i wear a sweater almost everyday, so i feel like i've become an expert on where to buy sweaters that i like. H&M and Old Navy have come through clutch this winter with warm, cute, and affordable sweaters. Target, of course, has also been a good spot for me this winter.

jeans. oh, jeans. i mostly hate shopping for jeans, especially when i'm in-between brands. i tend to go on kicks with stores. for awhile it'll be that i love Gap jeans, then Madewell, then Target will put out some great jeans and then back to Gap (or somewhere else). since living in the city, i've discovered the beacon of hope for my jean shopping that is ZARA. i've found several pair of jeans there that are comfortable and fit perfectly, so it's currently my go-to place for jeans. their sizing is a little weird, so it's definitely worth trying them on in-store (just a heads up!).

lastly, and probably my favorite, winter accessories. scarves, hats, gloves...all the things to cover all the parts of my skin from the windchill. i'm hoping somebody will invent an affordable heated winter jacket sometime soon because that would solve a lot of problems. anyway, Forever 21 is where i like to buy my winter hats because they're cheap and cute. i don't wear them enough to feel the need to invest in a higher-quality one, so these get the job done! i love a good scarf, so Forever 21 and  ZARA have come in handy for that department. i pretty much swear by the scarves at ZARA because they're warm, high-quality and big but lightweight. plus, when they're having their big sale a couple times a year, you can get them for a fraction of the price and stock up for next winter. 

if you've been following my blog for any length of time, you probably already knew that i shop at all of these stores since they make up about 80% of my outfits. but hey, what's life without consistency? ;)

Saturday Style | 07

happy monday! 

i woke up early enough to watch the morning light slowly get brighter through the windows and was reminded of how peaceful quiet mornings are. but do you know what's not peaceful (in the best kind of way)? a German restaurant. mike and i ventured to a new spot this weekend and found a little gem we will definitely be going back to. if, for no other reason, than the massive hot pretzel that they serve. and when i say massive, i mean it. we ordered a half pretzel and barely finished it. which mike was shocked by because he knows how much i love hot pretzels. i pretty much only going to sporting events or attractions for the pretzels, if i'm being honest. anyway, i accessed my German roots for the night and we enjoyed some delicious food and good drinks. Sunday was spent catching up on shows and mistakenly taking a 2 hour nap. that's what the weekend is for, right?

and for wearing all of your current favorite items in your closet, no?

tank | H&M
hoodie | H&M
jacket | Cusp
jeans | ZARA (similar)
sneaks | Converse
bag | Vince Camuto
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie (here and here)
watch | Kate Spade

Prepping Your Home For Spring

see what i did there with that title? the cleverness is just abounding over here. as i've mentioned before, i have spring fever like crazy. i'm ready for the sun to shine more regularly, to pack away my winter coats, and to let my fair skin see the light of day. while winter lingers (as it always does), i've been doing some things indoors to alleviate the fever a bit. they're super easy and really do make a difference, at least for me!  

here's a few ideas for adding spring to your home:
source | source
 cold winter nights call for fur blankets (i have at least two on my bed at all times) and dark sheets. i like to change my bedding with the seasons, so an easy thing to do is to switch your winter set for something a bit more light and airy. add a new or different throw pillow and switch out the fur for an open knit for a quick change that will transform your bedroom. 
i'm a serial candle-burner, especially candles that can mentally transplant me to another place. these days, i'm dreaming of a beach vacation so any candle that smells like coconut, pineapple, lemon, or fresh flowers is highly acceptable around here. 
i'm not really one for fresh flowers, but i do love a good bunch of artificial blooms. i added this beautiful bunch of peonies the other week and love how it adds some spring-ness to my dresser top. 
iPhone wallpaper via Design Love Fest
i just stumbled upon this wallpaper the other night and instantly downloaded it to be my new background. every time i check the time on my phone, i see a beautiful pattern that reminds me that spring is coming! 

how are you prepping your home for spring?

Cheers to the Weekend!

happy friday! i'm particularly happy this friday because i'm officially the aunt of two of the cutest boys on the planet. my sister had her second son yesterday and he is just as perfect as the first. so i'll be spending my weekend switching off between staring at a newborn (because what else do you do with a newborn) and chasing David around the house while he giggles and tries to hide. which is exactly how i was hoping to spend it.  

also, how cute is this sweatshirt from Philia? it's perfect to throw on with a lace layering top and your favorite sneakers for running errands or whatever else you like to do on the weekends ;) or any other day, because you can do whatever you want. 

hop on over to instagram for a fun giveaway! 

sweatshirt | c/o Philia
lace top | Marshall's
pants | Madewell (old)
clutch | Anthropologie (old)
shoes | Nike's (similar)
watch | c/o Daniel Wellington

Elisabeth Ashlie HQ

a couple weeks ago, i did some rearranging in my workspace to accommodate more storage and organization for the business. i used to have a sitting area in the corner where the bookshelf now is, but it was wildly underused and i knew that space could be utilized in a much better way. without buying a single thing, i moved some furniture around from other rooms in our apartment to create a perfect little corner for Elisabeth Ashlie HQ. i'm pleased with how it turned out and have found it to be very useful and allow me to be more productive during the workday.

for me, storage should be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. i like to use open storage items so that i know what's inside and to double as decor. a lot of the items i've used to set up my system are not specifically 'workspace/office' items, but things that i've collected over the years that work just as well!
bookshelf: Ikea | canvas bag: Marshall's | galvanized boxes: Ikea | fur rug: Home Goods | wall art: Target

glass box: Hobby Lobby | wire basket: Target (similar)
magazine holder: Ikea
gold magazine holder: Target | farmers market basket: Anthropologie | spice jars: Ikea
tag: Marshall's
the way i've organized the letters for jewelry is probably my favorite part! they used to all be kept in tiny plastic bags that were falling apart and difficult to manage. now i can see exactly what i have on hand and what i need to order.
box: Hobby Lobby
bag: BAGGU 
i love using a reusable bag like this for my trips to the mailbox. they can hold quite a few packages and fold up nicely to be stashed in my bag until the next day. 
most of these items are linked in this post

 my mom gave me these glass boxes for Christmas and they're perfect for storing extra jewelry supplies, new items, and other things. i love that they're pretty and that i can see inside of them without having to open them.
egg crate: Anthropologie (similar)

pencil holder: Anthropologie
so, there you have it! a peek into my workspace and how i've organized for my business

Spring Wish List

who else is ready for spring? (insert girl raising her hand emoji)

it's that time of year where where stores start rolling out all their beautiful pastels, florals, and warm weather goods while we're still having to bundle up in sweaters, boots, and hats. well, those of us that don't live in warm climates, that is. i've got spring fever somethin' fierce, so i rounded up some of my current wish list items:
phone case: Society6 | flats: Zappos | earrings: BaubleBar | bag: Rebecca Minkoff | nail polish: Sephora | scarf: H&M | scalloped sweater: J.Crew Factory | umbrella: ZARA

i'm feeling all the muted colors and feminine details that i've seen so far. like the scallop on that sweater and that beautiful shade of blue in that bag. i'm envisioning delicate jewelry, soft color palettes, and plenty of fun patters for my spring style. 

hurry up, May! 

Stripes + Ripped Jeans

and the countdown to the weekend begins! 

i'm particularly excited for this weekend because Mike's birthday is on sunday! the first year of dating, we were long distance and didn't get to spend birthdays together. i happen to really love birthdays, so it bummed me out that i didn't get to celebrate him on his actual day. one of my favorite things about being living closer to each other is being able to do things like this together. and the whole not having to get on an airplane to see each other thing is nice. we're not doing gifts, so i'm going to be spending some time today making some of his favorite treats and planning something a bit more special for sunday. if i didn't know any better, i'd say that i'm more excited for his birthday than even he is. i totally am.

in separate news, one of my favorite casual outfits to wear these days is some version of this. i love a soft and loose top with ripped jeans and minimal accessories. it's cool and laid-back but could definitely be worn out in public, which i can't say about a lot of other outfits i wear when i'm working from my apartment all day. so, it's a win win. 

tunic | Evereve (similar)
jeans | ZARA
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie

My Updated Skincare Routine

it's been a few months since i've shared my skincare routine, so i thought i'd let you in on a few new secrets that i've discovered. obviously, my skin is at its driest during the winter months. especially right around this time, since it's been winter for several months and still dry as the desert. pretty much every time i go to touch something, i see a little spark of electricity from my fingertip to said thing. my nails are 100% worthless and my back gets itchy when i stretch a certain way because my skin is screaming, 'MOISTURIZE ME'. so, that's where we're at. 

i use a pretty healthy mix of drugstore and 'luxury' skincare products. i lean more heavily toward the drugstore side, but the couple of more expensive products i use have been skin-altering for me, so it's worth it. 

every morning starts with cleansing my face with Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash Foaming Scrub. i have very sensitive skin and this is one of the few face washes i've found that actually feels like it's cleaning my face, while also not leaving it irritated, bumpy, or dry. so, it's a keeper. and it has the little beads, which i love the feeling of on my skin. i lather up on Vaseline's Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Moisturizer because it truly is intensive care. i can almost feel my skin just soaking it all up when i put it on and it lasts all day long. and smells amazing. for my face, i like to apply Covergirl Smoothers BB Cream as both my moisturizer and first layer of foundation (i dust powder foundation overtop). it moisturizes well and provides SPF protection. for lips, i love Vaseline Lip Therapy Original for moisture and longevity. a little goes a long way and lasts a long time. 
my nighttime routine is pretty similar to my morning routine. i use Neutrogena's Oil Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser to remove all the dirt and grime of the day. if you lather it on long enough, you will start to feel it really cleaning out your pores and removing the junk. i moisturize using Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream With Super 7 Complex because it is amazing. i've been using it for a couple months now and my skin is totally showing the difference. it's more clear, bright, and healthy looking than ever before. even during these dry months, it's moisturized and has a dewy look. i love it. i have the small container for travel and the large one is kept in my bathroom for my nightly routine. even though it is certainly not cheap, it does last a long time because you need just a little bit to cover your whole face and neck. for the results i've seen, it's worth every penny. interestingly, i received a free sample of the eye cream and it caused my skin to break out in a rash where it was applied. so, that's weird. lastly, i love Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask for nightly wear. it hydrates and softens my lips like a champ, and is still just as fresh when i wake up than when i went to sleep. it's sticky as all get out, so beware. but it does last all night. 

on a pretty regular weekly basis, i treat my skin to some 'special' things. i love the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. it leaves my skin soft, bright, and clean. throwing it back to my middle school days, i still love BiorĂ© Deep Cleansing Pore Strips because it's a cheap thrill. i'm the gross human that likes to watch peeling the strip off with a magnifying mirror so i can see just what exactly is being pulled out of my skin. it's a cheap thrill. for Christmas, i received the little container of Glamglow ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment. i was anxious to try it since i'd heard good things about it. if you need ultra hydration, you should try this. you're basically just spreading hydration on your face when you apply it. it's thick and goes a long way. the first time i used it, i overestimated how much i needed and ended up with a very thick layer on my skin, which was a bad idea since it mostly ended up on my pillowcase by the next morning. i use far less these days, and just apply a thin layer to my entire face and neck before bed. i wake up with super-hydrated, dewy looking skin. it's worth a shot if you've been curious about it. even the small contained can last you quite some time! 
so, that's that. my 'as of late' skincare routine. it's done well for me this winter so far, so here's hoping it continues to provide enough hydration to last! 

Winter Weekend Wear

we finally got some snow in Chicago. and when i say, 'got some snow', i mean 19.3 inches. also known as the 5th largest blizzard to ever hit the city. so yeah, we got some snow.  it was the most beautiful snowfall, too. big snowflakes that quickly lined all the tree branches and coated the sidewalks. it all fell so fast that plenty of cars (including mine!) got stuck in their parking spaces for the night and had to be shoveled and pushed out the next morning. Mike and i learned a lot of tips for the next snowstorm, like don't park at the beginning of a long one-way street because the plows will not get to the road in time for you to leave and you will get stuck at least 5 times on your way to the end of the street. also, don't park in a school zone or your car may get towed and you have to show up  early to shovel it out, only to realize that there is no school that day. those sorts of things. i like to call these #lessonsfromlinus (Linus is the name of the storm). he taught us a lot and we're forever grateful ;) 

anyway, the best part about a big snow is getting to bring out my true winter/snow gear. i wore my true winter coat for the first time this weekend. you know, the one that covers from my neck to my ankles? that one. i bundled up with my favorite leggings, a comfortable button-up, a thick scarf, hat, gloves, and some light accessories for some weekend activities. 

important lesson i've learned about wearing Hunter boots in snow: your toes and feet will freeze if you're not wearing thick socks and/or boot liners with the boot. they are perfect for sloshing through the ugly brown slush that collects at the end of sidewalks, though. 
watch: Fossil | earrings: Elisabeth Ashlie | parka: H&M | plaid: H&M | glittens: J.Crew Factory | hat: Forever 21 | scarf: Target | bag: H&M | leggings: Athleta | boots: Hunter | lip: Bite Beauty