Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Beautiful Things

Yes, you do. Any shape, any form. The power's all yours. Go make it happen!

Don't forget it!

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On days like today...

Source: via Susan on Pinterest

I wish I was in a light tee, jeans, and this scarf, well either one. Aren't they awesome? It really does not look too difficult to make and could definitely go right into summer. I just love the Purl Bee blog. If you've never seen it before and you want to try to be a little bit more DIY (like I'm trying to do!), it's the perfect source of inspiration.

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, May 28, 2012

So 'Nuts!

Delicious, handmade doughnuts are few and far between, but thanks to Glazed and Infused I now know where to find them! I visited this cute 40s inspired doughnut shop that opened last week on Halsted in Fulton downtown Chicago. I walked in and just saw rows and rows of beautiful, round pieces of heaven and the girls working there could not have been nicer.

If you're a Chicagoan and want a new place to go get doughnuts in the city without a line around the block, I highly recommend coming to Glazed and Infused. Of course I couldn't try just one! So I tried the pink raspberry glaze with homemade raspberry jam infused in the glaze. YUM!!! It tasted oh so fresh and I could taste the jam in the glaze. I also loved the lemon glazed cake doughnut with lemon peel. Ohm'gosh if you love lemon, grab it! And then I'd be silly if I didn't try a chocolate. Both the chocolate cake and the chocolate x4 as the sales girl called it had me at hello.

Don't worry, I didn't devour all of these. I had some help from Ellen, my mom and my Grandpa!

If you want a new doughnut hangout in the city without the usual doughnut guilt (these are the only trans-fat free doughnuts in the city!) head to Glazed and Infused. Trust me, it will become your new favorite neighborhood place for coffee and a doughnut!

Happy Memorial Day! My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who are currently serving and those who have served us. God Bless the Good US of A!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday's Fancies: American Pride

memorial day

Happy Friday my friends! And Happy Three Day Weekend! Wow, how awesome is this? I don't know about you, but Chicago is looking like a beautiful weekend ahead, so why not celebrate with a Memorial Day BBQ sporting the red, white and blue? I honestly find our nation's colors to be such a fun color palette with so many possibilities and I definitely think that this is a great option. I love this dress! Where can I find myself one? With the red sandals and white accessories, it's a great stylish way to show American pride. Something about red, white and blue just screams summer to me!

No bbqs are on the horizon yet for me this weekend, but I sure will be taking in some sun. How about you? I hope everyone has safe and happy holiday weekends! Check out the other fancies over at Long Distance Loving!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: tests

Just a little bit of my life of late. Has anyone had this feeling lately? Or ever? I mean it's such karma isn't it?

All we can do is just breathe and keep going. So that's what I'm going to do.

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

They return!

So the summer temps are back! I instantly want to put on shorts, a t shirt and layer on a few friendship bracelets. I was so happy that last year they made a return in such a big way. Well this year is no exception! They are back and better than ever.

In fact, I've found that this year, the friendship bracelet is taking many different forms. Which is your favorite?

Stripes and Sequins also has been making a ton of friendship bracelets lately, like the last image with the ball chain.!

 These are all DIY and my biggest summer goal is to do more projects and I would definitely put a few of these on my list! What's your new favorite? Are you a traditionalist? Or do you want to branch out? I definitely am a fan of the wrapped chain with the colored thread or the ones with the charms in the middle. Choices choices... Maybe I'll just be ambitious, make one of each and then have a friendship stack for the summer!


all images via my Pinterest

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tough as Nails

I seriously did not join the nail polish bandwagon until this year. Being a pianist, there's always been this urge never to paint your nails for fear of distraction or ruining the keys. But this year, I didn't look back and now my nails have to have a color on them at all times.

I've definitely given into bright peaches, pinks and oranges for summer. I just think they're all fresh and bright and go from day to night instantly.

But then I look around on blogs and Pinterest and find so many different types of nail art. So what do you gravitate towards? Do you just play with pretty solid colors of all hues? Or do you decorate with a little extra sparkle? Or mix both?

I love adding a little bit of sparkle to my everyday summer wardrobe, but I don't always take the time to add it to my nails. Do you? Does it live up to the gorgeous images? I'd love to try it if it works! For now, I'll just stick with my regulars: Essie's Olé Caliente, Meet Me at Sunset and a Crewd Interest.

 Happy Tuesday!


all images via Pinterest

Monday, May 21, 2012


Every so often, I get the urge to make something the minute after I see it on Pinterest. Well, this Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie instantly caught my attention. I had all the ingredients and I figured, why not? I loved it so much, I had it twice in one weekend. And I guess when you're sick and spend a beautiful weekend doing nothing but coughing, that's allowed. This will definitely fit my chocolate fix at a moment's notice and it tastes like a milkshake without the guilt!

Find the original recipe here! (note: I just used regular milk and didn't put any of those seeds. Honey is also optional. I also added ice cubes to make it colder).

In other news, I watched a lot of Modern Family and Season Three of Sex and the City. And I finished Water for Elephants. I really liked it! I want to see how the movie compares. I also started The Happiness Project. I've heard it's fantastic and can't wait to keep reading!

Hope you all had fantastic weekends!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Fancies: Chambray Array

Chambray Array

I never thought I'd own a chambray shirt, because originally, I was like, what do I wear with this? I know, I was really naive! Now, the possibilities are absolutely endless and I wear mine all the time. It can really be bent in so many directions! I still want to give in to the colored denim, but since it's out of my budget, I'll just dream it! The jeans and those apple shorts! Ahh love them! Plus, who doesn't love this color palette? It's just so perfect for spring/summer. Yes, I'm considering this as almost summer now! It just feels right doesn't it?

Have lovely weekends! Head over and check the other chambrayed fancies over at Long Distance Loving!


P.S. I must have the worst immune system on the face of the planet and I'm sick again. So I've gotten really into Modern Family. Why has it taken me so long to discover how hilarious that show is? What other shows should I catch up on?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

We're unique, but we're not alone

Some of you maybe are familiar with this wonderful movement that was originally started by Jess and then was made into a major movement this week by Meg. It's called Things I'm Afraid to Tell You. What I've learned from reading what so many ladies are afraid of is that although we are each unique, individual women, we all have similar fears. Yes, they are each catered to our own lives, but I've found that we're not alone. In most of the posts and the comments that I have read, we share common threads.

We tend to compare ourselves to others and not think we're good enough or pretty enough. We blame ourselves for being disorganized and sometimes think that we are not independent enough. We think that we are meant for something more and are sometimes unsure of what we want to pursue, and that it changes more than we were ever hoping it to. We are self conscious of what we write and publish for others to read. We feel guilt about relationships with friends and family and significant others that are not what we want them to be. We don't always accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. But we are one thing, we're not alone. 

I'm not going into depth about things I'm afraid to tell you, because I think maybe you have an idea of what I am afraid of. They include different specifics of everything of the above paragraph, and a lot of the time I think that I'm alone in my fears. But because of this week I've found that I'm not alone. We are not and we shouldn't feel bad about it all. The posts by Liz, Jess, Nikki, Caitlin, and Carly struck a chord with me and visit Meg for the full list of bloggers who posted. 

I don't know a lot, but I do know that we are more than what we are afraid of. We are bigger than all of it and worth more too. And sometimes, we find that our fears motivate us to be better. We are all connected and we can all relate. Never feel alone in what you are afraid of. I think that this movement is a great reminder of that. 

Happy Thursday,


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I finished the SMASH finale last night. Ahh it was wonderful. I'm so sad that I have to wait until the fall to know why they completely left me hanging! It's ridiculous how much of a cliffhanger it was. If you haven't watched the season yet, watch it. The finale was for sure my favorite! Katharine McPhee really made this show a Bombshell.
image via

But this beautiful Marilyn outfit that Katharine McPhee sported was such a stunner. I couldn't help but wonder how this look could be brought to 2012. The Met Gala was last week and I feel like we saw so many gorgeous images. If I could've gone to the Met Gala, it would've been so fun to do a Marilyn inspired look. So here's Katharine McPhee's Marilyn, but a more modern version. 

Smash look

This one shoulder, gold sequined beauty is such a stunner and she wore a cuff on each wrist, how classy! The red lips make the look and I wished last night that I could've been Katharine McPhee, wearing an outfit like this, singing my heart out. Yes, I just admitted that to all of you. I'm that cliché!

Did you watch it? Love it? Hate it? Would you do a Marilyn inspired look? It's bold, but I'd attempt!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I've done it

disclaimer: I am no model! Sorry for all of you lovely people who do outfit photos so beautifully!

My friends, I have done it. After years and years of searching, I finally found the perfect pair of jeans!

Ok, in all technicalities, I didn't. My sister did. But still! They are here!

I know, I said this last time, and it didn't work. But this time, I know it's true!

I've mentioned before that jeans are difficult for me. I have wider hips and bigger, kind of muscular-ish legs, and let me tell you it is not the must fun combination on the planet for jeans. Jeans I have bought in the past stretch out, or I have a tendency to buy them too big in the first place, but now I think I have finally bought them to fit perfectly.

I got them at a boutique in Evanston (if any of you Chicagoans haven't been to The Mexican Shop on Dempster, GO!), and they're Just USA brand. I swear, I probably should go back and grab myself a few more pairs in other colors, since the price was perfect and I feel amazing in them.

So now I know what I've been missing all of these years. So how about you? Do you have those jeans that just make you feel incredible? Where did you get them?

and I just had to take pictures of the day we had yesterday! Gorgeous!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

1 year young

One year ago today I started my blog, and I clearly had no idea what I was doing. But, being able to blog has been such an amazing release for me. It has brought me so much joy and inspiration from many different angles, and I never thought that one year later, I would still be at it and loving it.

I had no expectations, nothing was thought through. In the beginning, I read Cupcakes and Cashmere, Live Creating Yourself, Breakfast at Toast, and Makeunder My Life and I just loved them. I loved how these girls could make their everyday lives so interesting and engaging, and enjoyed their perspectives on food, fashion, fitness, home interiors and personal intentions (and now I can't even say how many amazing blogs I have found in a year!). I wanted to have a space to try to see what I could offer.

In the beginning, I wanted to mold myself to what I saw on other blogs. I loved what they did, and sometimes, yes I still stay in my mold, but I've branched out so much more. Everything you see here is really me. I'm focusing on giving more of little bits of daily brightness from my life, in all different areas, and seeking new inspiration for my life and yours. It's been so great so far and I'm excited to keep up my journey.

I cannot tell you how much it means to me that people return to my blog, or even visit just once. I never thought that people would want to read what I had to say, and I'm so happy that people have come back and given their input. Your comments mean so much to me, seriously, every time I get an email I smile (and I so apologize if I don't answer every one. Life happens sometimes!). It's been such a great way to meet people from all over the country--heck even other countries! Who has the opportunity to do that! Bloggers, that's who! I'm so happy that I've gotten this chance to do this, it's been a big blessing this year.

So here's to another year of Sunshine! Thank you so much for sticking with me, it means more than you all know.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Fancies: Blue Crush

mother's day brunch

Happy Friday friends! This week was color crush, and I have to say I just love this color blue. It really pops and I love it paired with coral! (well I love anything paired with coral!). I think this outfit is perfect for a Mother's Day Brunch or outdoor event for the beautiful weekend ahead! I'm love the clutch, it just screams spring to me. Top it off with a white blazer for a cooler day, and it's a perfect for a Mother's Day Sunday!

I hope you all had wonderful weeks! I do not have too much up my sleeve this weekend, except that my brother is coming back from school and we're having a family barbeque to celebrate Mother's Day. Can't wait!

Have splendid weekends!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

BHLDN + The Everygirl

I was so beyond excited when I found out that The Everygirl was having an event for their Wedding Week in Chicago! It was held at the gorgeous BHLDN store, where the most gorgeous jewelry, shoes, dresses and inspiration reside. To say that I wanted to bring everything home with me was an understatement.

The place was absolutely gorgeous and filled with Everygirls! They had yummy Sprinkles cupcakes, a delightful cocktail, and fun cookies to take with. Delicious! I was so excited that I got to meet some of my blogging idols, including Jess, and of course the dream team of Danielle and Alaina. These were the girls that inspired me to start blogging and I so admire them for the work they do everyday (and I want to thank Danielle for mentioning me on her blog yesterday. Wow I was on Breakfast at Toast!). But honestly, I can't say more wonderful things about the Everygirl. For where I am in my life right now it is the perfect source for me to pick myself up and know that I can accomplish anything and I'm so happy that I was able to relay that message in person to Danielle and Alaina. Make that site a daily read and you will not regret it!

Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vocal for The Voice

This is kind of a video heavy post, but I was just so moved that I had to share!

So here's the deal: I LOVE THE VOICE!

This season has been so fantastic! So many incredible voices every week, but my favorites throughout the whole competition have definitely been two of the four that have ended up in the finale: Chris Mann and Jermaine Paul.

Now, if you don't watch The Voice, Chris is an opera singer who has never had the opportunity to hit it big, though he had an EP a few years ago. He's got the voice of an angel (kind of Grobanesque) and he's absolutely gorgeous! If you missed last night, he sang this Groban favorite:

He also sang The Prayer with Christina Aguilera, and I nearly melted. It was gorgeous!

Chris would be my number one favorite...if Jermaine wasn't in the mix.

Jermaine is a God given talent. He's got such a rich, soulful voice and every time I hear it, I smile. Also, I love him by default since he's on Team Blake! He's been trying to get a break for years since being Alicia Keys' background singer years ago, but no luck. Now all those people who have ever told him no are probably eating their words! He's hit it out of the park week by week, but last night hit the jackpot. I rewatched the YouTube video and got the chills. So please, if you watch anything today, spend three minutes watching this:

Ok I watched it again. And downloaded it. Still have chills.

I haven't gotten this excited about a finale since the first season of Idol! I am really hoping either Jermaine or Chris takes the title home. Get used to seeing their names around because I'm sure this is just the first of many hits we'll see from both of them!

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunshine Lately

Happy Monday! I wanted to bring a little sunshine to the picture, since literally this weekend I've felt we've lived in Seattle. It rained literally all weekend. That damp, cold, rain. Rain's all well and good sometimes, but I don't want to feel too attached to my bed (I guess the fact that I was sick made me also yearn to see sunshine too!) I woke up this morning to the same dampness, no sun yet again.

Though the sun's not out, but I've been finding my sunshine by eating fresh oranges, drinking hot lattes with a homemade cookie, and spending mornings slowing down a bit more than usual. Where are you finding your sunshine lately?

I spent the weekend recovering from a bad cold, so I  re-watched Downton Abbey (both seasons, three days, pure bliss). Nothing too exciting to report, although I loved this year's Derby winner! How deserving for I'll Take Another. Did you know that he was named after the fact that his owner will always take another cookie? Oh the things we learn!

Here's to a great week ahead my friends!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Get Ready!

It's Wedding Week on The Everygirl! Ok, so I may not be engaged, but I still love weddings, so whether you're engaged, already married, in a wedding party, hosting an engagement party or bridal shower, or just love weddings, check it out this week on The Everygirl.

And in case you don't already read it, catch up! It's an absolutely fabulous website/blog that empowers women of all ages, telling the tales of women who are everygirls, women who have succeeded in business ventures or blogs that have hit it big. It also offers guides to girls who want to be everygirls: basic tips that every girl should know, from fashion advice to cooking tips to finance. A great guide!

So, will you be at wedding week?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Fancies: Decked out for the Derby!


derby accessories
My sister Mary absolutely loves fashion...and the Kentucky Derby! So today, she's guest posting three different looks for her Friday Fancies, Derby Edition:

I like to think of the Kentucky Derby as the American version of the Royal Wedding. The best part is that it happens every year! The Derby is great because while everyone has the opportunity to pull out all the stops,they are still able to stay true to their own personal style but picking that perfect hat! I created three different looks, one being more romantic, one more classic, and one minimal style.

I must say, I'm in love with the all black option! It's so classic and the pop of red (courtesy of Chanel... of course!) adds the perfect luxe touch.

I love the movement on the blue dress and I think the nude heels are super cool as well!

While I'm not a huge minimalist, I love the soft pink hat! It almost looks like a flying saucer, which is cool... right?

Thanks to Sue for letting me guest post today! Have a wonderful Derby Day!

Isn't she hysterical? I mean flying saucer? Who comes up with that stuff! A big thanks to my little sister Mary for guest posting today! So will you be watching the Derby? I love the fast pace and the names for all the horses. Aside from watching the Derby, I have absolutely nothing planned, except a fun girls night in with my sisters tonight, can't wait!

Have a wonderful weekend!