Coffee Conversations

Happy Friday! 

It's been a pretty tame week for me, but I'm still looking forward to a little relaxation time this weekend! 

We're this close to nailing down our Honeymoon plans. I can't wait to share a bit with you guys! We're both excited for the wedding day, but really excited for the honeymoon to follow. 

Have you listened to the newest podcast from Serial/This American Life, S-Town? I'm on chapter 2 - I'm definitely intrigued and entertained! (Note: mature audiences only 😉)

This is dreamy. Simple, organized and clean. 

I've been wearing these ear jackets on repeat this week!

Today is an "accounting" day, so wish my coffee maker luck. 

Wedding Update, No.3

Guys, it's almost April, which means there's only three full months left until our wedding day! OH MY. It's going to fly by, as if it hasn't already. Every past bride I've talked to has told me how quickly everything goes by they're not lying. Between work, preparing for marriage, maintaining a social life AND planning a wedding, time seems to escape me most days. I've reached the point where I'm very much looking forward to the wedding day, mostly because it means all the decisions will have been made! 

We've made some serious progress, which is wonderful. I had our first meeting with the company who will be doing all of the styling for the wedding and it was so fun! I loved being able to talk through the details and get a vision for the day and what it will look like. I'm so anxious to go back next month to make selections and actually see the things we chatted about. 

We have our tasting with the caterer next week and I'm counting down the days! I'm so anxious to try all the food and make those selections, too. Cake tasting will come the following month, which I'm equally as excited for. 

We've made good progress on our honeymoon plans, too! I'm looking forward to getting that nailed down in the next couple weeks and being able to fully check that off the list. Also, I cannot wait to travel around Europe with Mike - it will be such a cool way for us to start our marriage off. 

My bachelorette weekend has been booked! My sister and best friend have planned it all without telling me a thing, so I'm completely in the dark! 

Next big things on our list:

- figure out parking and transportation for guests

- start planning the feel, focus and flow of our ceremony

- picking Mike's tie and pocket square, which has been surprisingly difficult

- pick out and order invitations!

There's been progress, but the list of to-do's still seems daunting. I'm looking forward to seeing the tangible things - like the tasting and the next meeting with event styling - to see the fruits of some of the work that has already been done. 

P.S. I bought those swimsuits for our honeymoon - how cute are they?! 

Spring Edit

Spring mode is on, guys. It is time for winter to be over - chunky knits, boots, and heavy coats to be stored away...finally. Every winter always feels like the longest, but this past one was probably the easiest one we've had since I've been in the city. But, that doesn't mean I'm not 100% ready for warmer weather, sunshine, and a wardrobe shift!

It's not just my clothes that I'm anxious to change out, I want to overhaul everything. From my pajamas, to my makeup, to my home decor - a new season means change, and I like to do a little changing of all of it!

I'm generally averse to color, except around this time of year. The trees are budding, the grass is getting greener, and I'm not horrified by the thought of wearing a colored article of clothing ;) What can I say, it's in the air!

These are just a few of the things I'm craving for this new season - both for my closet and my home.

Floral Swim Top: Target | Nude Slip-Ons: Nordstrom | Glass Pitcher: H&M | Drinking Glass: H&M | Grey Sunglasses: Amazon | Sneakers: Zappo's | Pinstripe Pajama Top: J.Crew Factory | Pajama Bottom: J.Crew Factory | Striped Ruffle Top: J.Crew Factory | Ceramic Mug: Elisabeth Ashlie | Peplum top: J.Crew Factory | Leather Tote: Cuyana | Faux Tree: IKEA | Lipstick: Stila via Sephora | Mint Decorative Jar: H&M | Gold Pineapple Jar: H&M

Coffee Conversations

I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon thinking it was Friday, so to say that I'm happy that it's actually Friday would be an understatement. AND Chicago is forecasted to have a 60-70º day today, so that's absolutely delightful. 

I'm in full-on Spring refresh mode, as in I want to redecorated everything, buy a new wardrobe, purge all the things, and just generally overhaul my life. However, it makes very little sense to actually buy anything for the apartment, since we've registered for a bunch of items for the wedding AND we're moving and have no idea the place that we will be moving into. So, instead I'm just spending time browsing what's online and mentally adding things to my "wish list" that I will likely never fulfill. #issues

Elisabeth Ashlie has two new curated boxes, one for the New Mom and another for the friend who needs a little encouragement. It's been so fun to put these boxes together! 

You guys know how much I love this nighttime oil, but I have yet to try the daytime version.

Looking to recreate this look in our new place, if at all possible. It's so pretty!

I shared some tips and ideas for how to accessorize your bridesmaids over on the Shannon Gail blog. You can see the post here

Happy (almost) Weekend! 

Off Duty

I love the irony of calling this type of outfit "off duty" because that means I'm pretty much always not on duty, as in this is the kind of thing that you can find me in about 6 days a week. Actually, swap the denim for leggings and I nailed my everyday outfit. 

It's been yet another busy week between work, wedding planning, and generally trying to enjoy my life, so a comfortable, simple and stylish outfit like this would come in handy. Something I can just throw on without much thought, but still feel like I took a minute to get ready for the day. Also, I'm so anxious for the weather that will allow just a simple sweatshirt and light jacket - come on, Spring! 

Jacket: H&M, similar from Old Navy | Sweatshirt: Athleta | Jeans: Old Navy | Sunglasses: ZeroUV | Watch: Cluse | Lip: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Angelo | Bag: Madewell | Shoes: Dr. Scholl's

All Things Bridesmaid Dresses

It's been a minute since I wrote a wedding update, so I thought I'd share a bit about the process for Bridesmaid Dress shopping! I hadn't thought too much about what I wanted my girls to wear, so when it came time to narrow it down, it was harder than I anticipated. Our wedding is in July and will be outdoors, so I knew that I wanted something that was fitting with the season and the setting. I much prefer the look of a long dress, and I was going for a muted, almost neutral color. I really liked the idea of all the girls wearing the same brand and color, but different styles of dress. (Note: this was a lot harder to accomplish than I anticipated). After weeks and weeks of searching online, I found a brand and color that I loved, that would allow the girls to all get slightly different styles. Long story short, the quality was subpar for the price and it just wasn't worth justifying asking them to pay for them. It was back to the drawing board on dresses and I was getting stressed. 

I explained to my sister what I was hoping to find (styles and color palette shown above) and she was able to find a style and color that just might work! They had four sizes left in stock - each of which would perfectly fit my four bridesmaids. Plus, they came in at under $90 a dress! I'm pretty sure the stars aligned for that one. I got them delivered and was pleasantly surprised by everything - the color, the style, the material and the price tag. I made sure the girls felt good in each of their sizes and made it official! It was a huge relief to mark that one off my list, and has allowed me to make a lot more decisions about color palette, accents, family outfits, etc. I ended up finding them at Lulu's, of all places. They're non-bridesmaid dresses, which explains the price. I love that we were able to find some that can very easily be worn again, so the girls don't have to have a $200+ dress that they wore once and stash in the back of their closet!

For some brides, they know exactly what they want their bridesmaids to wear, even before they're engaged. For others, it's a harder decision - that was me! If you're having a difficult time narrowing down the style and feel you're going for, consider one of the trends for bridesmaids for 2017. I'm working with Shannon Gail's Team to help plan our wedding (If you're in Chicago and need a wedding planner, look no further. I'm serious!). Shannon is an expert in all things wedding, so she's sharing some of the trends to help get you thinking about what you may want at your wedding!

"Non-Bridesmaid" Bridesmaid Dresses
As planners, we are constantly looking to simplify tasks and processes for our couples, making the wedding process as easy and stress-free as possible. This is why we are loving (and recommending!) the newest trend we are seeing for 2017, which is choosing dresses from high-end retailers and department stores vs. mainstream bridal boutiques. A dress is a dress, whether or not it is specifically labeled or marketed as a “bridesmaid” dress. Often, a department store offers significantly more flexibility and a much easier process. Your ladies can visit a store, quickly try on a dress in their actual size, or order online from anywhere in the world. The sizing is standard, not bridal, meaning it’s much easier to select the best size and not worry about trusting measurements and inflated numbers (we’ve all been there!), and shipping, returns, and exchanges are much quicker and easier - no more waiting 8 months for the dress to come in!  Hello Nordstrom! 

All White! 
Celebrities and people of note have hopped on this trend a bit quicker than the rest of us, keeping the idea unique and untapped, which is why we love it so much for 2017! Both Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton chose to outfit their maids in white, and we just love fashion decisions which push the traditional wedding mold. Having your girls in white makes such a bold statement, while also keeping the party classic, formal, and oh-so-chic! We recommend keeping the dress choices simple without extravagant necklines or detailing. We do want the Bride to stand out after all!  
photo by Britta Marie Photography
Bride's People and Groom's People
We’ve saved our favorite bridesmaid trend for last, and that is having no bridesmaids at all! Who says your best friends have to all be females? We recently planned a wedding where the couple had “Bride’s People” and “Groom’s People” and we could not have adored it more! Each of them had their favorite people standing right alongside them, regardless of gender, and this is one “trend” we think is here to stay!
photo by This Is Feeling Photography
Obviously, I'm a little partial to the first, as that's what I ended up going with, but I also really love the idea of all white. I love that you can choose to do whatever you (and your fiancé) want for your wedding day - you don't have to follow any tradition or expectation!

Check out the blog at Shannon Gail for tons of inspiration!

Dresses in top graphic, from left to right: one, two, three, four

Coffee Conversations

After traveling for over a week, I could go for a nice, slow morning in bed. Mike and I flew to Northern Virginia last Thursday evening. We stayed there through Monday, when he flew back to Chicago to work and I drove down to Raleigh to hang with my sister and nephews for the week. I'm flying back to Chicago this morning. 

We were in Virginia to scope out some neighborhoods because we'll be moving there at the end of the summer! We've known about this officially for a few months, but it feels good to share the news! Mike will be starting a masters program, so we will be there for a couple years. We're both excited for the adventure and to live in a new place together. It's going to be a whirlwind summer - we'll be getting married, honeymooning and moving all within about a month. I have a feeling we're going to crash in September, but I'm looking forward to all of the exciting changes coming! 

We got so many good recommendations on places in VA, too, which has added to our excitement! We're looking in the Leesburg and Fairfax areas, but will just have to wait to see what is available closer to when we're looking to move. 

In completely unrelated news, I ordered this bath caddy tray and am so excited. I love taking baths, especially in the winter, and am looking forward to having a spot to hold my wine, candle and iPad (for reading). 

I've been reading The Couple Next Door for literal months (I go through phases of really enjoying reading and then completely forgetting about it), but am back into it and it's getting very good. If you like suspenseful, dramatic books, I'd recommend it! 

Beauty Restock

While I enjoy trying out new beauty products, I tend to stick with my "tried and true's" - the products that I know work for me, and work well. There's nothing more annoying to me than paying for something that doesn't live up to what I thought it would. If you're like me in that way, I thought I'd share some products with you that I keep re-buying because they work and they're worth the money (in my opinion)!

First up is this lip glow by Dior. I have it in Lilac and Pink, and love both of them! It adds just a touch of color while hydrating your lips - I love it for days when I'm going casual but need a little boost to the color on my face, or when I want to keep my makeup look simple and minimal.

I'm a big dry shampoo girl - I love that it adds a bit of texture and grit to my hair and helps a ton with styling (and making my hair last a few days). I love the Living Proof dry shampoo because it works well and comes in the perfect travel size bottle! Another hair product that I use all the time is this Bb thickening finish spray - I love to spray it on my ends after styling to add a little volume and texture to my curls.

I've been using the Anastasia Brow Wiz for awhile now, too, and really like it. It creates a very natural looking brow and is super easy to use. I also love this Boscia cleanser for removing my makeup in a gentle way. I use it nightly and really like how it takes everything away and leave my skin feeling soft. 
I use a lot of lip products, so I like to use this lip exfoliator every week or two to buff my lips and remove and dead skin. Plus, it tastes like sugar, can't go wrong! 
I've shared before, but this serum is liquid gold. I've been using it for quite some time now and love it so much. It adds just the right amount to moisture for overnight without feeling heavy. Plus, it's helped clear up some skin issues and it lasts so long - I can get 3-5 months out of one bottle! 


Saturday Style | 47

It's was a busy weekend in Northern Virginia! We've been on the go most of the trip, so I've been pulling out my favorite sneakers, comfortable layers and keeping the accessories simple.

We all know I love athleisure (aka the socially acceptable way to wear your most comfortable clothes out in public). The best way I've found to do it is to keep it simple - pick a color or two to build your outfit with. Sometimes I do all black, with a pop of grey in my bag or sneakers, other times I'm feeling really wild and do something like wear pink. Don't even try to stop me.

Hoodie: H&M | Tee: Nordstrom (so soft and under $20!) | Leggings: Lululemon (I live in these) | 
Watch: Wristology (under $40!) Wallet: Cuyana (on my wish list) | Backpack: Rebecca Minkoff | Sneakers: Zappo's (I have these in three colors - they're so good!)

Coffee Conversations

Happy Friday, from Northern Virginia! Mike and I will be here for the weekend, visiting family and doing something else really fun - more on that soon! I was kind of a hermit this week, so it feels good to be out. Plus, it's always fun to get away from the city for a little while. 

I was in need of another pair of sunglasses, so I ordered these and love them. You can't beat the price and they arrived in 2 days. Thank you, Amazon Prime.

I had a preliminary call with our travel agent last weekend and am getting to stinking excited for our honeymoon. I'm looking forward to sharing some details with you guys, once we have a better idea of what we're doing and where exactly we're going.

I was craving a new lip color, so I picked up this liquid lipstick in the color "Baci". I wore it yesterday for the first time and was pretty impressed with the wear. I love that it's matte, but didn't overly dry my lips. After a couple hours of wearing, I'd put a light layer of my agave lip mask over top to refresh it a bit.

Have you seen our newest curated box at Elisabeth Ashlie? I'm thinking about buying one for myself ;) 

Hope you have a great weekend! 

Closet Basics

Wardrobe basics are my love language. I've considered doing a "capsule wardrobe" so many times, but then I go to my closet to pick out my clothes and realize that I'm pretty much always operating on a capsule wardrobe. I get a lot of use out of a small amount of items and almost all of them can be worn together, hence capsule wardrobe. I would be curious to see if I'm able to put together an outfit faster without the distraction of all the other things in my closet. Also, when am I going to learn that I just don't like wearing color that much and should stop buying it?

We've had a few warm days here that have hinted at Spring, so I'm in that mode. I'm ready to pack away my boots and puffy coat, oversized sweaters and tall socks. Mostly, I'm just tired of wearing the same few things but won't allow myself to buy anymore winter clothes. So, we're in a tweener stage. I can pull out my spring-ier things, like a chambray shirt, but still have to layer a heavy cardigan over it so I don't freeze.

This, right here, is the dream outfit for this time of year. Simple and casual, but still warm and put together. Really, any outfit that involves leggings is a winner in my book.


DIY Lavender Basil Scrub

I'm a firm believer in taking a hot bath, especially if it is accompanied with a glass of wine or takes place in the afternoon. I usually just soak until I'm sweating, but I recently tried this DIY body scrub that I love.  

There isn't really a recipe, as it's mostly up to your personal preferences. All you need is sugar, coconut oil, lavender oil, and dried basil. I used about two cups of sugar, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, a tablespoon of lavender oil, and a few sprinkles of basil. The basil doesn't really serve a function besides smelling delicious, just so you know. I wanted a more grainy texture so that it could be used as an exfoliator, but you could easily add less sugar for a softer mix. The coconut oil makes your skin so silky smooth and soft and the lavender oil makes it smell delicious. 

What I love about this is that you can add or take away just about anything - throw some brown sugar in there for a prettier look, add orange oil to help wake you up in the shower in the morning...whatever you like! 

It's also a really funny DIY gift! I picked up this jar from Hobby Lobby, but you could probably find one at any craft store, or just use one in your cabinet. 

Coffee Conversations

Welcome back, Friday! I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we missed you.

I already had my morning coffee because I woke up at 5am. For absolutely no reason besides the fact that I was asleep before 10pm. So, I guess that makes sense. In a dream world, this would be my schedule every day - I love getting up before the sun, but only when it's on my own terms. I always feel so accomplished by 9am and tend to have a better day when I can get to my to-do list early in the morning. Plus, it means I can usually wrap up the workday around 3 in the afternoon, which is also pretty nice. Especially on a Friday. Especially especially when I have an adult slumber party to look forward to tonight. Also, I get to use my new weekender bag for the first time! 

I shared on Instagram yesterday that I recently got into listening to audiobooks. I listened to Lauren Graham's (Parenthood, Gilmore Girls) "Talking as Fast as I Can" in about 2.5 days. If you've watched either of those shows and love her as much as I do, you should listen. Also, audiobooks are awesome. 

Have you seen our Curated Boxes at Elisabeth Ashlie yet? These are so fun to put together! I'm currently working on a couple more for different occasions, too. 

I've recently made it a life goal to have a fireplace in my bathroom. Doesn't this look too dreamy? I'm pretty sure I would never get out of the bath.

I just got this planter delivered for my money tree in my office and I love it! 

Have a great weekend!

Pretty Travel Accessories

The next 6 months of my life involve a lot of traveling. Like, a lot. Between our honeymoon, my bachelorette weekend, a girls trip with my mom and sister and a couple other trips, I'm going to be on a plane at least once a month from now until September 🙈

So, it stands to reason that I'm going to become somewhat of an expert in packing a bag. My birthday and Christmas fall within about 3 weeks of each other. Pretty much all I asked my family for was assorted leather goods for traveling, including three of the items in this post. I'm kind of a bag hoarder, but it all makes sense to me when I go to pack for a trip because I love being able to organize all the things in different carriers. Makeup, accessories, toiletries, jewelry, odds and ends - everything has its right place. 

I know most people dread packing for a trip, but I actually look forward to it. I almost see it as a challenge for how organized and functional I can make my bag. While I'm a little overwhelmed with all the upcoming travel, I'm looking forward to using my new goods and keeping everything in just the right place!