Monday, April 29, 2013

2013, so far

Happy Monday ladies! I can't believe that it's almost May. Seriously. Where'd the time go? And in honor of it being (almost) May, I thought I'd talk about the year so far.

I graduated from college a year ago today. I can't believe it. So much has happened in a year. I can't even believe how much has changed since last May. I moved back home and I started subbing five days after I graduated. In August, I got my first full-time job, and though it has had its challenges, it's been a fun ride so far. Also in August, I started giving piano lessons to one little girl and I now have eight students every week. I babysit, perhaps a bit too much, for several really good families. It's been a whirlwind. and I can't believe it's been a year.

one of my favorites and I at IWU graduation a year ago today
To say that 2013 has had its challenges so far is an understatement. It's been a time of little bits of trial and hardship. My faith has been tested, but I always know that God will provide and His plan will work itself out in time. I've spent a lot of time with my family and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've worked. and worked. and worked. Probably a little too much because I've gotten too many colds this year, like today. But I feel good about all the work I've done so far, and I'm saving a lot, which was one of my goals for the year.

But I've also had my fun (aka one of the most relaxing trips I've ever been on). I've spent so many fun Friday nights cooking, watching too many movies, and getting to know my favorite city once again.

It's been a crazy ride so far and I wouldn't change anything about it. I know that there will still be more challenges that come my way, but I know I can face anything head on and I'd like to think that I've been sticking to this 2013 manifesto (found here). What about you? Have you stuck to your goals this year?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Fancies: April Showers

Happy Friday all! I'm so happy that it's Friday, it's been a long one. Hopefully the weather's looking up, temps are climbing and May starts next week (seriously?!)! Well in honor of the last week of April and all the April showers storms we've been having in the Midwest, I'd wear this to brave the elements (with an unlimited budget of course!).

april showers

This trench is just classic, go with anything, have for life Burberry and I'd love to dance in the rain with that coat. I'd be lost without my classic black Hunter boots, and what a thrill it'd be to carry that Prada bag. Even just for five minutes! It's gorgeous!

Have great weekends everyone! My work is having our annual Benefit Fundraiser tonight and then I'm spending the rest of the weekend hanging with my family and soaking up the warmer temps. Happy Friday!

and see more Rain Lovin Looks on Long Distance Loving!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Summer Concert Time!

It's almost May and that means that times of outdoor food festivals and evening summer concerts are almost upon us and I could not be more excited! Fortunately for us in Chicago, there are tons of places for outdoor concerts in the summer (many of them are extremely cheap or free of charge). My favorite venue is Ravinia up in suburban Highland Park. It's a huge space, great for picnics and long evenings spent with friends and family.

My dad and I always catch a classical concert or two, but my main event that I'm looking forward to this summer is this man:
image found here

Yes I know. I might be nerding out on this one, but his voice is absolutely gorgeous and I *may have been* playing his songs on my piano since I was 16. To say I've been waiting to see him live is an understatement. I'm so excited that he's finally coming to town! Trust me, I will be singing along. and it might be really loud, so sorry in advance! haha

Who's on your summer concert radar? I'd also like to get in a Dierks Bentley fix when he comes into town in August!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Fancies: Neon

Did you know Neon is a country song by Chris Young? and a good one at that! (I was singing it while writing this!) Anyway, the theme this week is Neon and though I'm not the biggest on neons, I'll do it in small doses. I would make an exception for this dress. Yes, you've probably all seen it before now it's beautifully styled in the J.Crew catalog, but this is me dressing it for a sunny afternoon, and after this storm, I'd take anything!

neon scalloped

And I may have a thing for these Kate Spade totes with the writing on them, and this one's too cute. Also, wedge season is back! Give me a 70 degree day and I'll be in wedges all weekend. I'd take an outdoor picnic too, with lots of barbeque and fresh fruit and homemade desserts... That's wishful thinking!

Hope you all have fantastic weekends! We're going to be cleaning and organizing around here to try to get our basement back to normal. Wish us luck! and check out the rest of the fancies on Long Distance Loving!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Get out those rain boots!

I just wish that I could look as cute as Ms. Blair Eadie in those boots today. But I feel like my boots are going to need to be styled with a rain slicker or five. It has rained so hard in the past 12 hours and there's no end in sight for the next 12. I feel for those who are going to have a hard commute today to get to work (stay safe). Nearly every highway is flooded at some point so side streets are going to be packed, and to those of us who are going to have cleaning to do in their basements (*raising my hand high). We were up in the middle of the night helping move things upstairs as unfortunately we have flooding in our basement. But, maybe just for a minute, we can have those boots on, and just for a minute feel cute and a little happy that spring has arrived.

and then we can get back to reality!

Both images via Atlantic Pacific

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Fancies: Can I have these Shoes?

Happy Friday to all! After yesterday's day at work, I am so ready for this weekend! Yes it includes more work, but also a day at the Cubs game with a few of my favorites, can't wait! (I'll be packing my parka. But it'll be fun to go to my first game of the year.

mint and navy

Anyway, to fancies! The theme this week is shoes. I will admit, I used to have no sense of style when it came to shoes. In fact, I would pick downright ugly ones that weren't flattering and added nothing to either my outfit or my style. Now, I believe I've gotten much better. Who wouldn't want to take home these new flats from J.Crew? They are gorgeous! I love the mint color and pairing them with a navy sweater seemed like a no-brainer. J.Crew Bonus: I love this new Biennial Satchel. My friend at work has the Biennial in navy, but I love it now in this new color and pattern. So ready for spring! *Chicago, warm up, please!*

Have fantastic weekends and see more swoon-worthy shoes over at Long Distance Loving!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Beauty of a Beach

Last week, I spent time with two of my favorite girls in the Bahamas on a cruise. It was lovely to say the least! It was my first cruise and I had such a great experience on it. There were so many options and so many fun things to do, we were booked every night. But during the day, we took our time and didn't do too much (which was exactly the plan!). Luckily, we were able to escape to a few beaches while we were there. This first beach was in sort of a back area, not many people really knew it was there. It was so tranquil (and I love the driftwood!), I want to go back! The sky was this beautiful shade of light blue, then quickly changed. Still gorgeous, right?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Be Strong and Courageous

Morning ladies! It's been a while since I've given this blog some love, and today, for just personal reasons, I need a little boost. My sister Mary found this tumblr last week that had the best bible quotes, but the illustrations make these prints more than just a verse. Each verse has a beautifully hand-painted illustration by a woman named Laura Lin. She has videos in slow-motion of how they are created and the time and details required for each piece--just gorgeous. Though all of these prints are gorgeous, today, this is the one that resonates most with me.

Though sometimes strength is the hardest feeling to exert, we need to be strong, always knowing that someone else will always be there to help us through.

Check out the rest of her beautifully illustrated quotes here (and pin away! I have!)