Saturday Style | 45

Cozy Layers

Gift Giving with PBteen

 Gift giving season is upon us...and I couldn't be happier! While I will gladly accept any gift graciously given to me, I enjoy the act of thinking of, shopping for and giving gifts to others more. I try to be as conscious of a gift-giver as possible, really thinking about what the recipient will actually want/use/enjoy. I try to avoid gift cards at all costs, unless there was a specific request for one. I like to think of what the recipient does for a living, what their hobbies are, what is something they've said they want but wouldn't buy for themselves. 

My Favorite Nail Shades for Winter

Gift Ideas for Every Gal on Your List

Whether you're buying for your sister, mother-in-law, best friend, or co-worker, these gift options will work! Personally, I would be thrilled to receive any of them...hint hint...

Take advantage of the Black Friday sales today! I know I'll be perusing and hopefully checking a couple people off the list. 

P.S. Elisabeth Ashlie is having a 20% off sale for Black Friday! 

Our Engagement Story

Taken just after he popped the question - misty eyes and all!
Saturday morning started out just like any other morning. We were visiting his brother in Virginia and had decided to wake up early that morning to make the drive to Shenandoah National Park for some hiking. After a failed alarm, a mixup with a rental car pickup, and a stop for breakfast, we were on the road about 2 hours later than anticipated, headed for Northern Virginia.

After making a few stops on the way, we arrived to the Park and started driving up the long, winding road to one of the lookouts. We made our way up the mountain to one of the higher lookouts and Mike casually asked if I wanted to get out to take a look at the valley. I obliged, even though it was about 45º with 20 mph winds, so we hopped out of the car. I think I lasted about 23 seconds before looking at him and then quickly running back to the car. 

Little did I know, he was thinking about PROPOSING TO ME RIGHT THEN. Oops. 

I noticed that he seemed pretty agitated getting back into the car. I, of course, had no idea that he had a ring in his pocket that he intended to use, so I figured he was just annoyed that we had made the drive all the way to the Park for it be much chillier and windier than we had anticipated - we hadn't dressed appropriately. We started driving back down the mountain, passing a couple of overlooks along the way before we came to another one that was empty. He pulled into the parking lot and asked if I wanted to try to get some pictures, as it seemed a bit less windy at this one. We got out and found a little path that led to a more secluded, private part of the lookout. We climbed up on a huge rock and had the most beautiful view of the valley (seen below). I pulled out my phone to snap a couple pictures, at which point he put his arm around me. I thought he was just pulling me in for a hug, to keep warm. I looked at him and before I could even say a word, he started talking. He said some words and, before I knew it, he was down on one knee with a ring box in his hand, asking me if I would marry him. I can't remember if I said "yes" or "of course" or "duh", but whatever I said caused him to pull out that ring and slip it on my finger. I was so surprised and couldn't believe that it had all just happened. We spent a few minutes celebrating and taking photos, before realizing how cold we were and running back to the car! 

As soon as we got in the car, he started telling me the whole story of how he had planned the proposal. It was a complete surprise, so it was cool to hear about the thought and planning that had gone into the whole thing. He had been totally himself all day, so I hadn't suspected a thing. The man can keep his cool under pressure, that is for sure! 
The view from where we got engaged!
We were able to celebrate with his brother and family when we returned to their house. After a couple hours there, we hopped in the car and drove to Raleigh to meet up with my sister's family and my parents. It was so special to us to be able to see both of our families that day and celebrate with some of our loved ones. I love that he factored that into his plan! 

The proposal was simple and sweet and perfectly surprising. I love that we have a special place where it happened, a place we can visit again to relive that wonderful day. Looking back on it, there was a sense of peacefulness that covered that whole day. It just feels so dang natural to be his future wife, officially, and I love that.

We loved our time of just dating and have had a wonderful 4 years together, but we're both so excited for this next chapter. I would've married this guy three years ago without a second thought, but I wouldn't change the timeline or course of our relationship for anything. Being able to share in one of life's biggest and most exciting moments for the first time, together, has been such a blessing. He truly is one of the best humans I know and I'm honored to be able to call him my fiancé. 


Taken by my sister.  SHE CAN DO ALL THE THINGS!
Thank you for all the sweet words of congratulations. So many of you have expressed your excitement and it truly means the world to us! 

Holiday Reading List

With the holiday season, I seem to do a lot of travel and take a good amount of time of work. Much of that time off is spent with family, but I also like to take advantage of the opportunity to read as many books as possible. I love a good show, don't get me wrong, but is there anything better than getting sucked into a really good book? 

Saturday Style | 44


Friday Edit, No.19

TGIF, guys. Am I right?!

Our Trip to Seattle

One of the (many!) things that I love about Mike is that he enjoys traveling as much as I do. It seems to be that just about every new season, we're off to another place together. We have a good mix of new places, like Seattle, and places we've been before, like Washington, D.C., to visit family. Without fail, when we're at the airport waiting for our flight back to Chicago, we talk about where we want to go next - on my list are Toronto, Austin, and New England. 

Saturday Style | 43


Daniel Wellington Watch

Friday Edit, No.18

You can buy the mug here! || nail polish 

Goodbye Chicago, Hello Seattle!

I've been anxiously anticipating the arrival of this day because Mike and I fly to Seattle this morning! Neither of us have been to the Pacific Northwest before, so we cannot wait to explore the area! I thought I'd share a little "what's in my carry-on" because I'm nosy and like knowing what other people bring with them when they travel. 

Saturday Style | 42


My Tried & Trues


Ruffles + Rips


Friday Edit, No.17

Is it me, or has this week gone by particularly fast? It's probably because I know not going to be working much next week and I have a to-do list about a mile know how that goes.

My Picks for Fall


Saturday Style | 41


Friday Edit, No.16

Happy Friday!

Pastel Dreams


Saturday Style | 40


Friday Edit, No.15

Happy Friday, guys! This week has flowwwwwn by, but I ain't complainin'. And I'm currently watching Mark Wahlberg on Live with Kelly, so again, not complaining. 

Fall Outerwear Essentials


Friday Edit, No.14

Happy Friday! 

Black & Grey

Autumn Grey

Friday Edit, No.13

image via

Editing Your Closet

With a new season approaching, it's the perfect time to edit my closet and simplify my wardrobe. I tend to be a collector of things - if I find a tee that fits well, I buy it in three colors. What inevitably ends up happening is that I have a surplus of clothes and only wear about 10% of them regularly. I'm realizing more and more that I would rather spend a little more money on one top that is different from everything else that I own, than a little bit of money on three of the same. I'm in full closet-editing and season-transitioning mode, so I thought I'd share how I do it. 

With each new season and closet transition, I like to go through and edit all of the clothes that I have. Since they will be stored for 3-6 months, I want to make sure that I'm holding on to them for a reason. Some things I know will transition easily, like a simple grey tee or a lace blouse, so they stay hanging. Other things, like dresses and lightweight camis go through my "list of questions" to see if they will make the cut.

Have I worn this in the last three months? If so, how many times?
The first question I always ask is if I've worn the item during the season it's meant for. If no, then it goes in the donate pile immediately. If yes, I think about how many times. If it was once, then I consider if I still like the style, fit, color, etc. If I wore it multiple times, it stays. 

If I'm looking at special occasion items, like a dress for a wedding or event, and haven't worn them yet but still like them, they'll stay. 

Do I still like this item? 
Once I've determined how many times it's been worn, I look to see if I really like the item still. Do I like the color, the cut, the style? Does it fit in with the rest of my wardrobe, or is it something that I wouldn't normally wear? Is it something that I can transition easily into the next season, or will it be out-of-style in 6 months? If the answer to all of these is yes, then I go for the try-on test. If I fidget with it, try to adjust it, or feel the need to layer over it, it doesn't feel like it needs to be kept. I like fuss-free clothing that I feel comfortable in, so I want to get rid of anything that feels high-maintenance or not quite right. The real question is, "Do I feel good in this?" If there's any doubt, it goes.

Can I wear this in other seasons, or is it just a seasonal item? 
If a top has passed the first two rounds, it's time to decide just how valuable it is. If it's something I can wear in multiple seasons, it's an automatic "stay". If it's something that I can only wear in the Summer or only in the winter, I have to decide if it's worth taking up space on a hanger or in storage. Is it something I could find again? Is it unique enough that it's worth holding onto? 

How many ways can I wear it?
When I've pared it down to only things that fit well, make me feel good, and will last for more than one season, I like to assess how functional it will be. If it's something that can only be worn one way and for one occasion, I think about if it's really worth keeping. Will there be another scenario that will call for this, or am I just holding onto it, in case of the 5% chance I'll want it? Can I find something like it, if that occasion arises? If I can think of multiple ways to style it, it's made the final cut and can find it's resting place in storage (or still in my closet). 

I don't just do this with clothes, either! Bags, purses, jackets, scarves - everything that is stored in my closet gets put through the test. That way, at the start of a new season, I have a simplified wardrobe that can be built on. It's inevitable that I'll want to add a couple things each season to my closet, so I like to have just my favorite, best-fitting pieces left, so that I have something to work from. If I'm shopping, I can think through what I already have and determine if the thing I'm looking at is really worth adding to my wardrobe. Will it fit in with my style? Will it pass my test in 3 months? 

When I've purchased a new item, I like to bring it home and try it on a couple different ways - style it differently to see if it will really be worth keeping. If it's going to be one of those things that I wear once and end up donating in 3 months, then I return it. This whole process helps me to be a little more intentional when it comes to my closet, which is never a bad thing.

Saturday Style | 39


So. Many. Good. Things. On. Sale. 

And so many options to flawlessly transition your wardrobe into the fall season. 

(I can personally vouch for the jeans, faux leather jacket, bell sleeve top, and maxi dresses. They're all great and such good deals right now.)

the best jeans | bell sleeve topdrape front utility jacket | rose gold watch | cream cross body | baby blue tote | patterned maxi | high-neck maxi | booties | wristlet | faux leather jacket | lace up sandals

Friday Edit, No.12

image via

My Tried and True Nail Routine

One dress, 2 ways