Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An itch I can't scratch


Yep, I got poison ivy on my legs and feet.

Are we getting too personal? Sorry but I just had to share. This stuff is nuts! And the whole thing about it is I wasn't camping or gardening, I was just at a friend's grad party. Granted, she has a huge yard. and it was dark, so I obviously must not have seen it at all.

And the first day it wasn't so bad and I didn't think about it, but now all I want to do is scratch. I don't really remember having the chicken pox but this is like...well a lot worse!

Of course, I have remedies to try to stop the itching, but it's really hard. Has anyone ever gotten it? How long did it really take to go away? The madness needs to end!

Monday, July 30, 2012

On my Bookshelf

Hey ladies! So it's been awhile since I shared what I've read/been reading. I just finished Safe Haven and though it was a quick book to read, I kind of took a long time to get it done. Woops, things happen! But it was a really good book by the wonderful Nicholas Sparks. A total beach read if I do say so!

Has anyone read it? I thought the love story between Katie and Alex was just so cute and I loved it, but Katie's husband definitely scared me. Some nights before I went to bed, I was like, this guy sounds like creeps you hear about on the news. Scary stuff for sure. The ending totally threw me for a loop and I'm really glad that I read it before the movie comes out next year. Josh Duhamel is in it. omg. So pick up this book if you haven't read it yet, I thought it was pretty great as far as Sparks' love stories go!

Next on my list: Mary recommended this author, Carlos Ruiz Zafón and said that The Shadow of the Wind was an excellent book, so I picked it up at the library and the librarian was so excited that I was reading it. So that's a good sign too! I also picked up Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed (I know, but I like cheesy, romantic stories!) for a fun beach read as well.

What's been on your bookshelf lately?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Fancies: Favorite Summer Treat

I LOVE my iced coffee. It's my favorite daily summer indulgence and it truly brightens my day. So because I love it so, my fancies are modeled after my favorite summer treat!
iced coffee

Nothing to explain about this one! I'd love to be wearing it while sipping my favorite concoction! (Here's a tip: add raw sugar to your iced coffee! Super yummy and delicious!). What's your favorite summer treat?

Happy Weekends all!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

They're (almost) Here!

Yes, we've all heard about it but I'll say it again. Tomorrow. It begins. I cannot tell you how excited I am for these games! I've been waiting four years and I can't believe it's finally here. 

There is just a country camaraderie that I love about the games. Everyone knows what's going on and everyone is rooting for the red, white and blue (USA...even though Britain is sometimes pretty cool!). It is definitely my favorite thing to be addicted to and I cannot help but be amazed at what amazing feats these athletes take on.

I'm definitely looking forward to the marathon, the swimming, the diving, the gymnastics and the beach volleyball. Oh and seeing the Royals around.

Ok and seeing these guys:

Enough said! What are you looking forward too? Who's your favorite Olympian? We have a local guy, Conor Dwyer, who will also be swimming, so I will definitely be keeping an eye out for him too (he's a sight for sore eyes!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One Brooch Necklace

I don't know when I started having a thing for vintage brooches, but over the past few years, whenever I go to a great consignment sale, or a fantastic church rummage sale like I did this past weekend, I always look for cute big brooches. Some may have a little bit of whimsy, and some may have a ton of sparkle! But the reason why I look for them is I attach just one to an old vintage gold chain and just attach it so it hangs down.

My original brooch that inspired them all!

New addition! Cost: $2

New addition! Cost: $1
I've seen so many people (my lovely mother included!) find several vintage brooches and attach them together and form a big statement necklace. I'd LOVE to do that once I find enough, but for now, I think these simple one brooch necklaces suit me. They add a great amount of pop to an outfit or just simply float along as a great companion piece. (I can just envision that new black pearl with a LBD! Ahh love it!). What do you think? Would you do it?

Happy Mid Week!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Just a Dream

So yesterday we went on a little garden walk of a 7 acre garden. That's right: 7 acres. I hope that pictures will help explain how gorgeous this garden is. My mom has loved this woman's garden for years and every year she opens it for hundreds to view. And lucky us we got to go yesterday!

Have you ever walked into someone's yard or someone's house and just dream about what it would be like to live there? This was definitely one of those moments.

She absolutely loves hydrangeas of all colors (just like me!)

The yard has bent grass and beautiful grass steps. And a gorgeous pool. With a gorgeous pool house. Her gardeners also have a house on her property. That's right she has a house for her gardeners!

Gardeners' House

I loved her mix of English and French garden components. She had beautiful, sprawling gardens and colorful urns but also had very sleek, minimal topiaries spread throughout. So gorgeous!

And to top it off, she had a man playing French accordion music. I literally felt like I was in a movie! It was definitely such a fun way to spend a Sunday. What a dream that would be!

Here's to a great week! How were your weekends?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fancies: Euro Trip!

Euro Trip

Happy Friday! {av} is off on her European vacation, so I'm here dreaming that I could be on one myself. If I were jetting off, I would love to explore England, Switzerland, and journey back to Prague (I went once in high school for a choir tour, it was gorgeous!). This outfit may look a tad 90s, but I'm still a big fan of it! I would want to look as cute as the Europeans (and chic too!). Of course, we know that mint is trending, because it's gorgeous and it's so fun to pair with neutrals, like this black tank. I'd take my jean jacket, my fedora, some fun oxfords for walking everywhere and of course, a bag to hold everything! Where have you been in Europe? Where's your next place you want to go?

This weekend will definitely be nice! After coming back from work, I'm doing a bit of work but then celebrating with the girls on Sunday night to see who Emily will pick as her mate for the Bachelorette Season Finale! Yes, I watch it. I'm hoping for Jef, since unfortunately Sean left. What are you up to this weekend?

Whatever it is, make it a good one and be safe! Happy Friday!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life Moves Pretty Fast

I don't know about you, but summer's moving pretty fast. How is it already mid July? Where has the time gone? It seems like summer just started. I keep hearing people talk about fall: fall food, fall fashion, fall weather! Well I'm going to try to slow down and enjoy what I have. Though the days sometimes seem hot and long, the weeks go by so fast and I don't want to miss a single thing.

So I'm going to stop and look. and read. and drink lots of lemonade. and go for a swim. and indulge a little bit. Because that's ok. I don't want to miss anything!

We're taking a last minute trip to Michigan today. I can't wait to be on the other side of my favorite lake, enjoying some ice cream and sharing a few laughs with my mom, my sisters and my aunt. It'll be a short and sweet getaway, and I'm going to savor it all!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Interior Lust: Gallery Wall

I'm so excited that I have gotten the opportunity to revamp my bedroom a bit. I'm hoping to paint my two side tables and I got rid of a lot of clutter that's accumulated over the years. Now for fun stuff! I'm loving gallery walls. I've seen them everywhere online and in person and I just think it's a great way to make a wall pop and show a bit more of my personality in my room.
via Live Creating Yourself
via One Woman Speaks

via pinterest

via pinterest
via pinterest
I know that I am not going to do as many as that last image (but wow, that's so cool!) but I do want that lovely gallery effect. My walls are pretty bland right now, so I know that this will be just what they need to bring a little more of me to my room, just as it should be! Do you have gallery walls in your house? Was it hard to figure out if you wanted the images to be cohesive or just anything you wanted?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To do list: Pretzel Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Is it just me, or do anyone go on these runs in this heavenly awful heat and then come home hungry? Ok, still just me? Ok cool.

Well last night I stumbled upon this recipe for these fabulous little treats. Hello heaven. It's like all of my favorite things rolled into one bar: pretzels, chocolate, peanut butter, oats. Delish! I can assure you, I will make them and definitely share with you how it goes. Because I seriously just have to make these. It'll happen...maybe today!

And speaking of food, has anyone been watching The Next Food Network Star besides me? I haven't caught up on this week's episode yet, so don't tell! I still have my high hopes for Yvan (come on, he's cute!) and Martie. I'll have to catch up! Do you watch?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blogger Blitz Recap!

This weekend, on top of working a lot and celebrating my brother Michael's birthday, I attended Blogger Blitz Chicago! It's always fun to meet new bloggers in person, but it's especially special to meet new bloggers that you've looked up to and that have inspired you, just like Alison has done for me. It was a gorgeous afternoon on the rooftop of Market on Randolph. What a view!

photo via Chris

Of course, when you meet bloggers, everyone was dressed with such style. It was so great to meet new bloggers and discover their work (and now get hooked to new blogs, yes!) and catch up with the gals that I had met at Everygirl's BHLDN Event. Definitely go meet up with other bloggers in your area, it's such a fun time and I definitely hope that we get to do it all again!

photo via Julia
Alison is truly just as sweet in person as she is on her blog and it was such a treat to be able to chat and hang for awhile. Come back to Chicago soon, av and thanks for hosting!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Fancies: Beach Wedding

beach wedding

I've never been to a beach wedding before, but if I were to go, I would definitely wear this. The vibe is totally relaxed and laid back with still a classy elegance that every wedding guest should have. As you all know by now, I will wear this color any day of the year. And here I go with it again! I love that it's a maxi and with that printed clutch, you can't go wrong. Maybe someday I'll be lucky enough to head to a beach wedding, you never know!

I'm excited for the weekend! Tonight my dad and I are heading up to a classical concert at Ravinia, the outdoor music pavilion in our area. I can't wait! Tomorrow is my brother's birthday and Sunday I am going to head to Blogger Blitz Chicago and maybe see Dierks Bentley (for free!)! I didn't win those Kenny Chesney tickets for last week's concert, and since this one's free, why not go?

Happy Friday all! Head to Long Distance Loving and check out more wedding guest fancies!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Law 159

Earlier this week, Victoria talked about how she had been seeing these Laws of Modern Man everywhere on Pinterest. Well I have fallen victim to the intrigue. This is just one of the many laws that really resonate with me.

I think there is a difference between being thankful for life, and truly contemplating it and thinking about it. I have never considered myself ungrateful, but lately, I have been caught up in where others are versus where I am. I can't do that anymore. Life is way too short. I have everything I need and then some, so whenever I get that way, someone needs to just knock me in the arm and tell me to do this. I bet that would bring me back down.

What do you guys think of these Laws of Modern Man? Though some of them are a bit silly, I'd love to read more!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Back in the Swing

When I was little, the first sport I ever learned how to play was tennis. My parents were both super good at it and we would go to the courts behind our house all the time. I also learned to hit the balls against our garage door. Sometimes I did it so often that the paint would fall off! I never played on a team because my serve was never up to par, but this summer, I vowed to get it off the ground again.

My mom and I went to play over the weekend and I am STILL sore from it. I truly forgot how much of a full body workout tennis is, but it felt so good. So since I'm trying to get back in the swing, how cute is this Kate Spade racquet case? I love it! I saw it in the newest issue of Rue. Maybe it'll be on eBay someday!

Kate Spade had a whole tennis line this past spring that I died for, though of course, because of those high, high price points none of it became mine. So for now I'll just dream it!

Do any of you guys play? Do you have a sport that you love to play still or once played?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What to do with your leftover Coffee

Source: topnfun.com via Willow on Pinterest

After I exercise in the morning, the first thing I do is reach for a cup of hot coffee (or two). It's exactly what I need to put me in a good mood and get me started. But sometimes, especially in the summer time, we don't always finish the pot and have a little bit of extra leftover. What to do? Well, you don't have to waste it! Here are a few tips to stretch your dollar on your coffee:

Make iced later! This is a no-brainer! Chances are, later it'll get warmer and iced coffee will be the perfect treat to cool you down.

Make coffee iced cubes! A perfect addition to the iced coffee. It makes the flavor more intense and is the perfect compliment to the iced drink.

Bake with it! I know, it sounds odd, but you could add it to cake batter, chocolate sauce, even cookie dough to give your baked goods that little extra zing! Hello, yum!

Put it over vanilla ice cream!!! My mother taught me this little trick about a month ago...and I'm hooked! I love it! It's the perfect way to make coffee ice cream if you don't have it. Sometimes I even add little chocolate chips on top to make it like a mocha. Best.Treat.Ever!! Seriously, tell me if you try it because you will not regret it!

How do you stretch your coffee? What's your favorite way to have it in the summer?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Right now, I...

Right now I'm crushing on my blue nails! Essie Bikini so tenny. Only in the summer would I think about pulling off blue nails. But it's fun and perfect for this weather!

Right now, I'm loving that Roger Federer won Wimbledon! However, that Andy Murray is so good looking, and I truly felt for him when he started crying at the end. He put up a good fight. Plus, this match brought Kate and Pippa to the final, and I was jealous of both of their outfits!

Right now, I'm loving my newest consignment finds. I found this penguin bracelet that is thin, light, and so much fun to stack up!

Right now, I love that my windows are open! The breeze feels fantastic and even though I was kind of a fan of the intense heat, it's nice to have a break of air conditioning.

Right now, I love that I picked up the Joy the Baker cookbook from the library. I think her blog is so good and she's got some fantastic recipes in here that I can't wait to try! This one looks right up my alley!

What's going on with you right now? Did you have a great weekend/extended holiday?

Friday, July 6, 2012

My Friday Fancies: Stars and Stripes!

Happy Friday! I took a few days off of blogging to get out of the city and visit my grandparents. We celebrated the 4th there under these hot, hot conditions. Despite the heat, I was able to wear my red, white and blue. 

I look forward to this time of year every year just to be able to make outfit combinations. I really do! This year though this was probably my favorite!

Tank: H&M Skirt: J.Crew (on sale now!) Bandana: Walgreens 

 So I would sport this outfit again, any day of the week! I just love it and it's the perfect amount of red, white and blue for the holiday (sometimes I can go overboard!). What'd you sport this year? Lots of stripes? Any stars?

Hope you all have fantastic weekends! I'm not doing a whole lot, though I keep calling in every hour to try and win Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw tickets. Maybe I'll be successful?

Happy Friday!