A Look Back at 2017



2017 will certainly be remembered as one of the most life-changing and joy-filled years of my life. It was the year that we planned our wedding, got married, traveled to Europe, and started our life as husband and wife in a new state. It was another successful year of owning my own business and sharing some of my life with you all


Some highlights from the year:

+ My Bachelorette trip to NYC with some of my nearest and dearest

+ Our time spent on the Amalfi Coast on our Honeymoon

+ A year of what felt like endless celebrations!

+ Spending time with family and friends through wedding festivities, like my bridal shower

+ Our Girl's Trip to South Carolina

+ Moving into our first home together

It was a year of big transitions. Planning a wedding, prepping for marriage, and wrapping our heads around moving to a completely new state created some uneasiness and anxiety, as well. There were a lot of moving parts going on - nearly everything that was "normal" to us was in transition and that can be difficult for a planner like me. It was a year of personal growth - learning to be flexible, learning what it means to be a wife, and all the other things that came along this year. I'm deeply thankful for the joy and wonderful things that 2017 brought and look forward to this next year for our family! 

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for following along and allowing me to continue to do what I love through this blog and my business. I'm looking forward to continuing to share with you into the new year! 

Sneakers for Winter










Even in the cold months, my initial instinct is to reach for a pair of sneakers as I'm heading out the door. If I had to choose one, either sneakers or heels, for the rest of my life, it would take about .249 seconds for me to shout, "sneakers!" It goes beyond just a comfort thing, too. What I love about a good pair of sneakers is how they lend themselves to a more laid-back, casual-but-still-cool style.

A lot of my sneakers are better for warmer weather, although living in a more temperate climate with not much snow, I'm able to wear them a lot later into the year. I was looking for a good pair for this time of year and stumbled upon this pair at Nordstrom. Nordstrom is my first stop when I'm looking for nearly anything new to add to my closet. They have such a great selection of items and their free shipping and returns policy for online orders is amazing. I wasn't totally sure on sizing, so I ordered my normal size and a half size up, knowing I would just send one of them back, hassle-free. Worth noting, I ended up sticking with the size that was a half-size up!

So, now I have a pair of cold weather slip-on sneakers! The grey suede is so pretty and fitting for this time of year and the slight platform adds a little edge. I love pairing them with this cozy sweater and jeans, my favorite leggings or this dress when it warms up! I've included a few other pair of sneakers that would work well this time of year, as well.

SHOP MY OUTFIT 
Sweater | Denim | Jacket | Sneakers | Purse | Lipstick (Morning After)



SHOP OTHER SNEAKERS

In collaboration with Nordstrom. All opinions are my own.

Home for the Holidays


Mike, Milo and I hopped in a jam-packed car this morning to make our way back to the Midwest for Christmas! We're going to be stopping through southern Illinois to spend some time with his family and then up to Wisconsin to be with my side of the family for Christmas. Since we're going to be traveling for quite a bit, Milo is making the trip with us! He's been to my family's lake house in Wisconsin before, so he should adjust to his new surroundings pretty quickly. 

I'm looking forward to being with family and friends! We haven't been back to the lake house since we got married, so it will be fun to reminisce and remember where certain things happened on our wedding day. If I'm being honest, through, I'm really looking forward to the food. Deep dish pizza, Portillo's, and my favorite Mexican restaurant in Chicago are on the top of my priority list for things to do. I'm hoping to make it into the city a couple of times - it's always so magical this time of year!

Per usual, I packed way too many clothes, extra cold-weather gear, and plenty of snacks for the drive. I've got Someone Knows Something, Missing Richard Simmons, and Stuff You Should Know episodes downloaded and ready to go, too. If you need a new podcast, here's a list

All Things Wedding Q&A, Part Four


I know that you previously wanted to get married in a church and decided against it - how did you make that decision? 
I wouldn't say that we decided against getting married in a church. I never had set plans for what I wanted my wedding to look/feel like until we actually started planning, so I really didn't know if we would get married in a church! When we started really talking about what we wanted, the idea of having the wedding at the lake house and doing an outdoor ceremony just felt like us, so that's what we did! 

How many bridesmaids would you recommend? How did you like having four at yours?
That's a totally subjective question, in my opinion! I know people who have had none and people who have had twelve. It totally depends on your family, friends, expectations, etc. I loved having a smaller group and only wanted my nearest and dearest standing next to me - the people who I believe will be in my life for the long haul. I happened to luck out with the best bridesmaids ever - everyone was easy going and fun! There was no drama and I didn't feel put in any sort of awkward or weird situations. Having just four girls to shop for did make it way easier to find bridesmaid dresses, I will say that! 


What vendor do you think is most important for the day?
For us, it was the decor/event production team. Every aspect is important - think food, music, photographer, etc. - but the production team perfectly captured my vision and completely set the mood for the wedding. They transformed a home into an event venue for the day, which made everything feel special and wonderful! 

How did you plan an outdoor wedding at a private residence? What would you have done if it rained?
Our rain plan was to have another, smaller tent set up over what would become the dance floor later in the evening. We would have gotten married under it and squeezed as many people under it, as possible. My parents were also very willing to let guests inside their home, in case of rain, which was incredible generous. Thankfully, the weather stayed clear and we were able to decide against the second tent a few days before the wedding! 

As far as planning the wedding, that was mostly up to our wedding planner! All of the vendors we hired had done plenty of outdoor and private residence events, so they all knew what they were doing! 


How did you keep your sanity through the whole process?
My cool-as-a-cucumber fiancรฉ and wine ๐Ÿ˜… Sort of kidding, sort of not. 

Having a wedding planner was key to my sanity, overall. While I still was involved in a lot of the decision making and things, she handled all the other stuff (which is a lot!). Having people close to you to lean on is key. I tried to not talk about "the wedding" every time Mike and I were together, but he was definitely a shoulder to lean on when I got overwhelmed. My bridesmaids and mom helped me talk through options and decisions, as well, which was great! 

Keeping perspective was important, too. While we wanted the day to be special and everything we dreamed, there was also the reality that it is just one day. It's important, of course, but not because of the food you choose of the dress you wear. It's important because of what it means to you, your spouse, and your loved ones. Everything else should pale in comparison. 

While there were times when I legitimately wished we'd decided to elope, it was all worth it, 110%. It was the most incredible day! 

What do you wish you would've known about the big day that you didn't know?
This is a hard one! I truly don't have any regrets or anything like that. I wish I would have known just how quickly the day goes by, but that's not something you realize until after. I tried to keep myself as present as possible, but there can be so many moving parts and so much going on that it's easy to get caught up in it all. Looking back, I have very vivid memories of specific things, like the first time Mike and I saw each other that day, what we talked about during our first dance, etc. Other parts, like most of our ceremony, are a total blur, which is why I'm so glad we hired a videographer!


What did you and your bridesmaids wear getting ready that day?
I bought them robes from Target and I wore a white robe from Bhldn! 

What did you include on the wedding website? 
Date, location, hotel information, and registry information! We had a pretty small group, so most anyone who had a question outside of that just contacted one of us to ask. Most people forgot about the website when it came time for the wedding, so I'm glad I didn't put too much effort into it! 


What elements of traditional weddings did you decide to keep out? For example, did you decide against favors? A seating chart?
We had table assignments (seating chart), my dad walked me down the aisle, and we had a first dance. And that's about it! So many of the "traditional" things, like a unity candle, the bouquet toss, and a big farewell, just weren't important to us. 

How long did you spent planning?
We were engaged on November 19th and got married on July 15th, so it was almost nine months. I didn't really start planning until January, so it was about six months of full-on wedding mode. 


How did you pick your wedding bands?
Mike's dad gave hime some loose diamonds that had been taken out of some family rings, so we knew that we wanted to use those for my band. I wanted a band that matched my engagement ring band, so that was easy! He picked out the band that he liked the look and feel of the most - I think we were at our jewelers for a total of 30 minutes for him to pick it out. He didn't have much of an opinion, so just picked the one he liked the most! 

Our Amazing Vendors
photography: Jordan Maunder
videography: Imagination Designers
wedding planner: Shannon Gail
design, decor and event production: Revel Decor
DJ: Fig Media

Read other Q&A Posts:


Coffee Conversations

Art | Chair | Pouf | Pillow | Blanket (Wayfair) | Rug | Mug (Anthropologie) | Nail Polish

Happy Friday!

There's just 10 more days until Christmas, which is pretty wild! I'm about 90% done with my Christmas shopping this year - just a few more people to think through. We drive back to the midwest early next week, so I'm hoping all of my packages arrive before then ๐Ÿ˜…

I'm going to go through this list and download a couple of podcasts for our drive. It will be hard to choose - there are so many good options!

Today is my last official workday of the year for Elisabeth Ashlie! It's hard to believe another year has gone by. I'm so looking forward to a little time off to plan new things for 2018!

I've made something really similar to this before and it is SO GOOD. It's a must-make for the holidays, if you ask me. Salty and sweet is the best combination!

If you're looking for the perfect navy nail polish, look no further.

Weekend Sale Alert:
My favorite open hoodie, which I've shared a bunch, is 50% off!

My beanie and matching gloves are 25% off - these would make a cute set for Christmas!

These sleep leggings and these ribbed leggings are just $15! I wear them all the time.

My over the knee boots from Wednesday's post are marked down to just under $80. I love these boots!

Gifts under $25 ideas - and they're all 25% off!

Did you catch this week's posts?
My Current Skincare Routine
Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers
Over the Knee Boots
How I Get My Everyday Curls

Preview of what's to come next week:
All Things Wedding Q&A, Part Four (tomorrow!)
Home for the Holidays
Winter Sneakers
Coffee Conversations

Have a great weekend!

How I Get My Everyday Curls


It's finally here! Watch how I achieve my everyday curls: 
Watch the video on Youtube HERE.
Here's a look at all the products that I use, from washing to finished product:
Pureology Hydrate Shampoo | Pureology Strength Cure Conditioner | Rusk CTC Blow Dryer | Aquage Uplifting Foam | Living Proof Timeless Plumping Mousse | Nume Titan 3 Wand | GHD 1" Flat Iron | Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo | Kenra Volume 25 Hairspray | Kristin Ess Beach Wave Spray

Read this post for my full haircare routine, including my favorite hair mask and why I use the products that I use.

Over the Knee Boots








Guys, I did it. I took the plunge on the whole over-the-knee boot trend and I'm in love. Love, I tell you! Admittedly, I was a little nervous to try it. The whole concept felt fussy and fancy and not quite my style, but then I was browsing Nordstrom online and found this pair and pulled the trigger. They arrived within days, because Nordstrom is just the best like that, and I immediately slipped them on. The black suede and chunky heel means that they're an instant classic. 

What I love about OTK boots is that they can be dressed up or down. I love them paired with this comfortable dress and cardigan, but they would also be great so many other ways. With some destructed denim and an oversized sweater, paired with leggings and a cozy tunic, or with dark denim and a festive blouse for holiday parties. We have a holiday party to attend this weekend and the only thing for my outfit that I have picked out is these boots!

You can shop my outfit below, and a few other OTK boots to try for yourself.

Outfit Details


Other Over the Knee Boots to Try


In collaboration with Nordstrom. All opinions are my own.

Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers


1. Agave Kisses Set - this is such a cute set and a great value for these products! 


3. Journal Trio - for writing new year goals! 



6. Velvet Sunglasses Case - because who says her sunglasses shouldn't be kept in a cute case?


8. Velvet Hair Tie Set - a nod to one of the biggest trends this season.



11. Plush Slippers - to keep her feet warm and cozy all winter!


13. Silk Eye Mask - I sleep with this every single night - one of my favorite things! 

14. Origins Mini Mask Set - the best face masks in a perfect kit.

SHOP THE POST


My Current Skincare Routine

Sweater | Lip Color

Finding a good skincare routine that works well for my skin has been years in the making. For too long, I settled on using products that probably caused that breakout on my chin and extra oil around my T-zone and definitely didn't do what I wanted it to do. It was a combination of not wanting to throw a ton of money at products and not really knowing what my skin needed. Thankfully, I've finally found brands and products that work great for me and my skin has never been happier! 

Before I get into the products I use and how, let me explain my skin a bit. I have very sensitive skin. Like, very. I've tried products in the past that cause a full-face skin rash within hours. I break out within a day or two of using something that either isn't doing its job or isn't right for me skin type. In some ways, I appreciate the sensitivity because I know nearly instantly if I need to stop using the new product. In many ways, it has made me timid and nervous when it comes to skincare. In terms of oily/dry, I have pretty normal skin, although I do get more oily around my nose and my chin, which is where 97% of my breakouts will happen. In winter, my skin gets more dry, naturally, but I've never had an issue with regular dryness. 


AT NIGHT
Step One: Remove Your Makeup/Cleanse
There are two things that I must do in order to go to sleep at night: floss and brush my teeth, and remove my makeup. I can think of about 3 times that I've slept in my makeup in the last 6+ years. Always, always take your makeup off before you sleep! I've found that a cleansing oil, like Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, is my favorite kind of cleanser to do this. It melts my eye makeup off and cleans my skin without leaving me feeling dry. Plus, this oil smells amazing!

Step Two: Toner
It wasn't until about a year or so ago that I regularly introduced toner into my routine. Origins Zero Oil Toner helps reduce the oil on my skin and purifies down into my pores, preventing breakouts! 


Step Three: Serum
If there's one item that you should introduce into your own routine, it's Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It is liquid gold. I can't remember exactly when I started using it, but I will never stop. It has changed my skin. It used to be normal for my skin to have some sort of breakout that I would try to cover. After using this serum for a little while, my skin totally balanced out and was cleared of breakouts, save for hormonal or bad product reactions! 

Step Four: Moisturizer
Especially in the dry, winter months, moisturizer is key for skincare. I just started using Origins Original Skin Matte Moisturizer and I love it. It's super lightweight, smells wonderful, and has a truly matte finish. 


Step Five: Eye Cream
I do this step for my future self. I don't notice much wear and tear under or around my eyes yet, but I know that it's inevitable, so I want to keep those babies as protected as possible! I like Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, although admittedly I'm the least picky about this product. 

Step Six: Lip Balm
I can't stand when my lips feel even remotely dry, so I'm constantly applying lip balm throughout the day. Before bed, I always swipe on some Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment to keep them moisturized throughout the night.


Incidentals: Masks and Spot Treatment 
About once a week, I do a face mask. Not only is it like a little spa getaway, but it helps my skin out, too. If I've been wearing makeup a lot and my skin doesn't feel smooth, I like to use Origins Original Skin Mask to retexturize and smooth. If I'm nearing a breakout, I use Origins Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask. I love them both, but if I had to choose just one, I would definitely take the charcoal. 

When a blemish is coming on or I'm trying to treat it, I like Origins Super Spot Remover. It doesn't work miracles, but it does dry things out and speeds up the healing process! 


IN THE MORNING
After I shower, I use the toner and matte moisturizer before applying makeup! 

SHOP THE POST


Coffee Conversations

Sweater | Denim | Lipstick (Baci) | Mug | Nail Polish

Good morning and happy Friday! Has these week absolutely flown by for anybody else? It's that time of year where there's a million things to-do and time just keeps going by faster and faster! Christmas will be here before I know it. 

As you may have seen in Monday's post, the week started with my 28th birthday! Mike planned the best day for us - we went to breakfast, tried a new winery and went to delicious place for dinner. He knows me well, that guy. We were laughing on the way home from dinner because when his birthday comes around, the day I plan for him will likely be a lot different (read: I'm going to have to do some research for an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant around here -- that's basically his deepest desire ๐Ÿ˜‚) It was one of my best birthday's yet, all thanks to him! 

I saw on the news that there is maybe, possibly, but probably not a chance of a tiny flurry around these parts and, to be honest, I miss snow! I know, I know, I wouldn't be saying that if it were freezing cold and the roads were in bad condition, but there is something about snow that adds to the festiveness of the season! 

Our kitchen pantry needs some season organizational love, so I'm thinking of tackling that this weekend. It's one of those pantry's that is built into the rest of the cabinetry of the kitchen, so there are just three shelves to work with, which tends to get a little crazy and hard to organize. They're deep, too, so I like to keep most things toward the front, so that I can actually access it. I'm planning on browsing through Pinterest for some inspiration and then making a trip to the Container Store! 

If you've been looking for comfortable, casual over the knee boots, look no further. These are great

Have you tried any new podcasts from this list I shared? I'm thinking of starting one up this weekend, but there are so many options to choose from! 

Last night, I gave myself a fresh rose gold manicure for the weekend! I used two coats of this color (because I couldn't pull the trigger on the rose gold) and then one coat of this color over top. I don't usually like a shimmer polish, but I could get behind this combination. 

Did you catch this week's posts?

Preview of what's to come next week:
My Current Skincare Routine
Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers 
Over the Knee Boots
Updated Hair Tutorial
Coffee Conversations

Have a great weekend! 


Closet Update

I thought it would be fun to do a little Instagram, Lately / What's In My Closet update today. I've been adding some new things to my wardrobe (all those sales are too hard to resist!), so I want to share them with you! 

This hooded open sweater-jacket is one of my favorite things in my closet right now. It's got just enough structure that it isn't slouchy, but it's still casual with the hood and material. It's currently 50% off, which is a steal! I'm wearing an XS (fit is true to size).

Tee | Denim | Mules | Bag | Cat Tag

Love doesn't quite justify how I feel about this puffer vest, but it will have to do. I have it in two colors (the black has lasted me years) and wear them all the time. So great for layering over a long-sleeve tee, light sweater, or your favorite hoodie. The downstairs of our house stays pretty cold even with heat pumping, so I'm usually wearing one of these lounging on the couch in the evening. I have the vest in an XS, for a more fitted look.

Sweater | Bag | Denim

My beloved robe. Guys, I love this thing. If you caught my Insta-stories a couple months ago, you know that I was searching for the perfect robe. I tried some from other brands, but when this one graced my doorstep, it was meant to be. So warm, so cozy. 

Slippers | Leggings | Eye Mask | Speaker

My perfectly festive and oh-so-comfortable leggings are 50% off right now! I own them in two colors, but (not so) secretly want to buy the other three. These would make a great gift this holiday season! (Fit is true to size!)

Tee | Cardigan | Socks

A couple of my Cyber Weekend orders finally arrived yesterday! Here's what I'm keeping:

these jeans 
If I could take up permanent residence in this pair of denim, I would. So flattering, super stretch, and the perfect coloring. I sized down, as they're so stretchy.

this perfect button-up
It's a bit out of season (although, I think it would look super cute a cardigan, but it's such a classic piece to have in my closet. I ordered an XXS and love the fit.

this beanie
Such a pretty color and super warm!

these socks
I wear no-show socks with so many of my sneakers and booties, so I'm a bit of a snob about them. These stay on your heel and aren't too tight!

+ this swim top and bottom
Both fit true to size! The material is so soft and the ruffle adds just the right amount of femininity.

Gift Guide: Dear Santa


I've had a hard time thinking through what I would ask Santa for this year! I'm one of those people that will just buy things for myself when I see them, so that makes it a little more difficult for family when the holidays come around. This year, there are just a few things on my wishlist:

1. Kitchen-Aid Pasta Roller and Cutter Set - We learned how to make pasta (SO easy!) on our honeymoon and I've yet to do it at home. I love this set because you can make all different types!

2. Prosecco Rose Candle by Voluspa - I'm a firm believer that you can never have too many candles. This beauty would go perfectly in my office! 

3. 18-piece Le Pen Set - My absolute favorite pens to use. 

4. Russel + Hazel One Day At A Time - Such a pretty notepad set! 

5. The Transport Weekender - The perfect back for quick trips.

6. Mini Jewelry Case - I don't usually travel with much jewelry, so this is a great size!

7. Q Venture Smartwatch - I love the idea of the Apple Watch, but hate how it looks. This beauty is perfect - looks like a standard watch, but with smartwatch functions! 

8. Stereo Turntable System - While I don't own any records, I love the idea of having this in our main living space. It's kitschy and fun and would set a great atmosphere. 


Twenty-Eight

image via
If it wasn't clear by the title and the birthday cake image, it's my 28th birthday today! Mike hasn't said anything about his plans for the day, so I'm totally in the dark (which is how I like it). My only hope is to relax and enjoy my day, which shouldn't be too difficult! And to eat cake. I must eat cake on my birthday. 

Admittedly, it's a little bittersweet to say goodbye to 27 - it was such a big year for me! Being engaged, planning a wedding, getting married, moving to a new place, traveling to Europe. It was a bit of a whirlwind and a little crazy at times, but one of the best years of my life, for sure. I'm hopeful that 28 will bring maybe a little less change, but just as much joy and contentment. I can honestly say that I've never felt more content in my life, which is an incredible blessing from God. With work, with family, with Mike...all of it. My prayer is that the year of 28 will bring more contentment, as well. 

My late twenties have been good to me - for the obvious reasons, like getting married, but also for the less obvious reasons, like self-confidence. I feel like with each year, I grow more and more comfortable with who I am. There are things that I would like to change (as there probably always will be) but, in general, I am more accepting of the things that I don't necessarily like. My early twenties definitely brought some insecurity, which caused me to weigh the opinions of others (including strangers on the internet) more highly than those who know me personally. That's taken such a dramatic turn in my late twenties, which is a great thing. I value the opinions of people who know me, like my husband, my family, and my close friends, so much more highly than my own self-doubt or insecurities. I look forward to continuing this shift this year, as well. 

I haven't really thought through any specific goals that I have for this next year, but I do hope to continue to be proud of the work that I do and to continue to connect with you. You, my blog reader, are a large part of the reason that I love my job and have this contentment that I've been talking about, so thank you! 

In the spirit of celebration and giving, I though it would be fun to give away a little collection of some of my favorite things to one of you! This giveaway is exclusively for my regular blog readers - I'm not sharing it anywhere else because I want it to go to one of you! Simply use the giveaway widget below to enter. Winner will be chosen tomorrow! 

Here's what is up for grabs:
My favorite Elisabeth Ashlie scarf, a festive Kate Spade oven mit, my favorite mug, one of the notepads I use everyday, a set of pencils, an Essie nail polish, my favorite face mask, and a lip treatment. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway