Think Pink

what's better than an easy graphic tee, white jeans, and pops of color? well, watching my nephew enjoy his first belgian waffle with homemade whipped cream would probably be my answer. (by the way, he totally gets his love for all delicious breakfast foods from me). but clothes-wise, maybe not much. possibly my favorite house clothes, aka clothes that i will only wear around the house. except, of course, on days when i'm feeling particularly apathetic about clothes and then you can find me in some interesting get-ups at the grocery store. 

but this, this here outfit is a winner. it's comfortable, casual-ish, and actually features color, which is a huge feat for me. i feel like i deserve a belgian waffle or something...

tee | LOFT
pants | Target (similar)
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
purse | Kate Spade
heels | similar

Cocktail Hour | Blueberry Basil Mojito

if there was one herb i wouldn't want to go extinct (is that even a thing that herbs do?), it would be basil. closely followed by cilantro. but i love basil. probably because it's in some of my favorite foods, like caprese salad and margherita pizza. but i also just love how dang fragrant it is by itself. the pepper aroma of the basil mixes perfectly with the sweetness of blueberries. i used to have a candle burning in my kitchen with the scent blueberry basil, which smelled ah-mazing, so i figured they have to taste good together in a cocktail, right?

this is a perfectly light and refreshing drink that can easily be tweaked to be just what you want! 
what you'll need:

> blueberries (5-7)
> fresh basil (2-3 leaves)
> about 2 teaspoons sugar
> 1 tablespoon lemon juice
> 1.5-2 oz. rum
> splash of soda water
> ice

how to do it:

1. in your shaker, put blueberries, basil leaves (i ripped them up a bit), sugar, and lemon juice.
2. with a small spoon or spatula, crush (muddle) all of that up until you start to see more liquid than solid pieces. 
3. pour in rum (or liquor of choice) and some ice cubes. shake well.
4. fill your glass with ice cubes. pour mix over ice. 
5. top with soda water and garnish with basil leaf.
6. enjoy! 

make it a mocktail:
use lemonade (sparkling or flat), flavored La Croix sparkling water, or ginger ale! 


Black x White

if i had a nickel for every time i wore this sweater, i'd have enough money to buy about 12 more. it's easy to imagine how it would be a staple during the fall and winter, but i'm also finding myself reaching for it even now that the weather is warming up. our apartment is just off the lake, so we definitely get hit with a cool lake breeze as soon as we walk out of the building. so for the days when it's warm in the sun and cool in the shade, this sweater is the perfect match with my favorite destructed jean shorts. another way i'd love to wear it is with a couple layered statement necklaces, some pointed toe flats, and a bold lip. this is sort of my 'cool girl' way of styling it. a tiny bit edgy, but mostly just some staple pieces in the same colors. 

sweater | H&M (similar)
shorts | Levi's
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
bag | Rebecca Minkoff

Cocktail Hour | Blackberry Greyhound

one of my favorite fruits is grapefruit. if i'm being real honest, i started loving grapefruit because of those sour grapefruit triangles you can buy at a candy shop. it wasn't until probably 2 years ago that i ate an actual grapefruit. even still, it was basically covered in sugar because that's the best way to eat them, am i right? ::nods in agreement::

i don't have a "signature drink" that i like to order or make, but if i see something with grapefruit on a menu, i'm ordering it. unless there's also something with waffles. because waffles trump everything. i discovered the classic greyhound a few years ago and wanted to add a little sweet and fruity twist since i also love blackberries and sugar. see, it all comes together in the end. this is the perfect cocktail (or make it a mocktail!) for summer and certainly not the last time i'll be making them. 
what you'll need:
 6-7 oz. of grapefruit juice
1.5 oz. of vodka
fresh blackberries
fresh grapefruit 
sugar (for rim) 
:::makes one cocktail:::

+ start by dipping the rim of your glass into half of the grapefruit and then into a bowl of sugar to sweeten up the rim
+ next, add 5-6 blackberries to the glass and mash with a spatula or fork 
(if you don't want blackberry pieces in your drink, you can mash the blackberries in a very fine strainer to get the juice and lose the the pieces!)
+ add grapefruit juice and vodka. stir. 
+ add some ice and garnish with a slice of grapefruit
+ enjoy! 

make it a mocktail:
substitute vodka for sparkling water, lemonade, or just leave it out! 


Saturday Style | 14

another weekend in the books! this weekend went by particularly fast, probably because Mike and i seemed to be out and about more than we had been during the hibernation months of winter. most of my friday night was spent working, but saturday and sunday were two full days with my man. i introduced him to the deliciousness of Pastoral, one of my favorite spots in my neighborhood. i'd tried to get him to go there with me before, but hadn't described the sandwiches well enough so he was skeptical. who knew i couldn't describe a sandwich?!  it was some confusion between the true definition of a "sub sandwich" and i lost. however, he's finally seen the light and i'm pretty thrilled because that means there's a lot more caprese sandwiches in my future. 

sunday was spent doing a little shopping - the man is in need of some jeans - with very little success. well, he got a pack of new socks, so i guess that's a success? he seemed pretty pleased. and he talked me out of a pair of Nike's that i was this close to pulling the trigger on, until he pointed out that they made my feet look a little bit like clown feet (in the sweetest way possible) and i agreed, so we both left empty-handed...not my finest show of my shopping skills, that's for sure. 

and here we are at the start of a new week! i've got a laundry list a mile long of things i need to get done over the next three days before heading down south to spend some time with my sister and cute nephews, so i'll leave you with my new weekend uniform: 

jeans | J.Crew (old)
tee | H&M
vest | H&M (similar here or here)
loafers | Coach via Marshall's
bag | J.Crew
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie

Dancin' Shoes

one of my favorite things about living in the city in the spring and summer is the opportunity to see live music. as i've gotten older, i've come to really appreciate the simple activity of watching and listening to musicians play. whether it's the symphony in Millennium Park, going to a jazz club, or checking out a band at a local bar, i'd pretty much be interested in all of it. it's also on my list to attend a real music festival sometime, if for no other reason than to access my inner boho girl and wear fun clothes that i maybe wouldn't wear in my day-to-day life. nothing crazy, of course, but something with a bit more life and vibrancy. although, i'd also be totally cool wearing all grey and black. 

for me, any outfit that i'd consider wearing to watch live music or to a festival would start with the shoes. something comfortable, durable, and that would add a pop to my outfit. these sandals from DSW fit the bill perfectly. with a mix of pretty pinks, blues and yellows in a fun print, i can add a couple colored accessories and be good to go. paired with a simple black dress and lace crop top, i feel comfortable and like myself, with a little bit of something new and fun.

a few other ways to go with these sandals would be to pair them with joggers and a bright tank, a maxi dress and layered necklaces, or some ripped jean shorts and classic white tee. i'd pull in some boho accents with a fringe bag, a stack of mixed metal bangles, and a colored eyeliner.  with any of these options, i would feel put together and ready to dance to the music! 

top | H&M (similar)
dress | Urban Outfitters
sandals | DSW
purse | Old Navy
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie

disclosure | this post was sponsored by DSW through their partnership with POPSUGAR select. while i was compensated to write a post about DSW, all opinions are my own. 

Floral x Lace

something about the sunshine and warm weather brings out the girly style in me. while i haven't totally put away my black and grey (and never will) from the winter, i'm definitely more apt to reaching for colors and patterns these days. it also makes a difference that it's warm enough to not wear a jacket or to at least leave on unzipped so that my outfit is actually seen by people! i love the look of layered items, so this lace crop top and floral blouse was a no-brainer for me. what i love most is how easy it is to dress up or dress down. i could trade my jeans and flats for some black pants and heels for a fancier look. some more dramatic makeup and a different clutch would add the finishing touches to make the transition. 

i'm thinking i'll drop a hint to Mike to take me out this weekend so i can wear this new combo somewhere other than in my dining room ;) 

lace top | H&M (similar, similar, similar)
floral tank | Marshall's
jeans | Gap
flats | Aldo (similar, similar)
jacket | Old Navy (similar)
clutch | LOFT
earrings | J.Crew Factory (similar)

Saturday Style | 13

you may remember this outfit from an inspiration board last week - i took page straight out of my own book! i love the look of a simple tunic and distressed denim, but sometimes want to be able to do a bit more with it than feeling like i'm just in a tee and jeans (which i wear a lot!). adding a pointed toe flat with some cutout details, some fun earrings and a bold lip did the trick for me. i felt comfortable and casual, but also ready for whatever the day may bring! 

Mike and i enjoyed the beautiful weather by eating brunch outside - that's the true sign that the weather is getting nicer in the city. all the tables are out and typically filled on the weekends when the sun is shining. we loved it! we wanted to spend the day outside, so we walked all around my neighborhood and along the lakefront. it was one of the most relaxing days i've had in awhile, so i'm really missing the weekend today. 

so, in case you wondered how this outfit from last week would look on a person, now you know ;)

top | J.Crew Factory (on sale + free shipping)
jeans | ZARA
flats | similar
bag | J.Crew (25% off with code SHOPNOW)
earrings | Sole Society

Saturday Style | 12

this striped tunic arrived on my doorstep last week and i've been waiting for the weather to cooperate to let me wear it without needing a sweater layered on top. i'm thinking it would be perfect paired with some destructed skinny jeans, my favorite bucket bag, and some simple flats. to add a little something more to the look than it just being a simple tee-and-jeans, a pop of red on the lips and some crystal jewels should do the trick! i'm picturing a messy bun or loose beach waves, don't you think? yep, it's settled. i'm wearing it this weekend.  
tee | J.Crew Factory 
 jeans | ZARA
 sunglasses | h&m
 lip color | Bite Beauty
rings | Sole Society
earrings | Sole Society
bag | J.Crew
flats | Target

Things I'm Loving for Spring

with each new season, i find myself narrowing in on a few trends and things that inspire the rest of my style. for Spring, simplicity is key. i like low-fuss things that, when put together, create a total look that is very "me". 

 i'm really loving bucket bags lately, so i picked this one up (on sale, too!) and love it. it's very spacious and so lightweight, which is good for me because i tend to add a lot of crap to my bag that weighs it down. anything and everything striped is catching my eye. i'm a firm believer that you can never have too many comfortable tees, so this striped one was a no-brainer. and these wedges, which i've had for several years, are making a real comeback. i go through phases with my shoes of choice, but these are too classic to ever be totally phased out.

when it comes to jewelry, i'm opting for simple pieces with cool details. these rings are a perfect example with their clean, simple lines and cool cutout detail. this tube necklace goes with everything and has a "barely there" effect that i like. my nails are almost always polished, lately in pastels and lighter shades like this perfect pink. when it comes to perfume, i'm being drawn to fruity, light scents. my sister gave me this one a few months ago and it's a subtle and fresh option. 

what are you loving for Spring?

Sunday Best

it's official, we've finally entered into Spring. how do i know? because i wore a dress to church on Sunday and wasn't freezing my tail off. YES. THAT IS RIGHT. on top of it, i love this dress even more than i did when i first saw it because it passed the test of comfortability while i was cooking and sitting during brunch. and the keyhole detail in the back? stop it. oh, it's 50% off today, so you should go get it

i had one of the most enjoyable Easter Sundays yesterday with my people. my parents, brother, his girlfriend, Mike and i went to my church for an Easter Sunday service and then back to my apartment, where i hosted my first ever holiday all by myself. growing up, i'd always help my mom set up and prepare for dinners, holidays, parties, you name it. she's an excellent host, so i channeled her on Saturday when i was preparing the food and setting the table for brunch. i had a much simpler table scape than she would have, but it still included all the Easter colors and little details, like egg-shaped salt and pepper shakers and fresh pastel-colored tulips. we had some appetizers, since we were all pretty darn hungry when we got out of church. also, mimosas, because i will always find a reason to drink a mimosa. 

the windows were open, the sun was shining, the food was delicious, and we had great company to celebrate the meaning of Easter and all that it represents to us. and we even got to open Easter baskets because, ya know, #foreverchildren. i've got Easter candy for weeks. 

dress | LOFT
cardigan | Lou & Grey c/o (similar)
wedges | J.Crew Factory
clutch | LOFT
necklace | J.Crew Factory (similar)
bangles | Elisabeth Ashlie

A Shopping Day with LOFT

over the weekend, while it was raining and windy and cold, i popped into LOFT on Diversey Ave to see if i could add some new pieces for Spring to my wardrobe. as soon as i walked in, i knew i would have no trouble finding things i liked. in fact, the trouble was going to be narrowing down what i could actually buy! between the beautifully laid out displays, the perfect pops of color throughout, and the brightness and cheeriness of the store, i was launched right into mid-May. the top that i'm wearing in this post was the first thing that caught my eye. it was on the mannequin right inside the store and i knew, just knew, that it was coming home with me. i made my way through the rest of the store and found a pile of things to try on.

i made my way into the fitting room to get to work. can we just take a second to appreciate stores that have large fitting rooms? LOFT doesn't disappoint. i love their fitting rooms. the lighting is just right. the mirrors are big enough to see the entire outfit without having to go on your tip-toes. and the three way mirror is perfect for checking out all angles of a dress or pair of shorts. i found the perfect dress for summer weddings i have to attend in the coming months. and a graphic tee in my favorite shade of grey. it was one of those rare (for me, at least) times in the dressing room where nearly everything fit just right. i had to rifle through and think logically about which of the pile of things i would be likely to get the most use out of for the spring and summer, although i probably could've taken them all home with me and been just fine with it!  

this pouch was a last minute 'oh, what the hay! just toss it in the pile!' addition that i'm glad about. it's going to be great for traveling. plus, i tend to like using a clutch as a purse during the warmer months, and this one fits the bill perfectly. i had a hard time deciding between the one i picked and this one! oh, and if you happen to be in need/want of the comfiest striped tee, i'd recommend this bad boy.  

thanks to LOFT, i'm ready for Spring! now if the weather could do ahead and feel the same way, we'd be golden...

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disclosure | this post is sponsored by LOFT through my collaboration with rewardStyle. while i was compensated to share my experience shopping at a LOFT store, all opinions are my own.