wanderlust: greek islands

posted on: Wednesday, October 30, 2013


If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? For me, I've been feeling serious wanderlust for Greece. While I've trekked through Europe before, the Greek Islands are still on my travel wish list. Aren't these photos just so beautiful?

Tell me your dream vacation! What locations would you love visit?

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DIY beauty with Refinery29

posted on: Tuesday, October 29, 2013



Let's face it: The changing seasons can take a toll on skin, hair, and nails. As temps fall and winds increase, it can be difficult to retain a glowing complexion and healthy locks. What's a girl to do? Some of the best remedies to combat the effects of fall are found not at the department store, but ahem -- in your pantry!

I always love discovering natural beauty products and also creating my own treatments at home. I'm so thrilled to be featured on Refinery29 today for my DIY Vanilla Sugar Scrub. A homemade sugar scrub is an easy way to exfoliate and repair dry skin. It leaves your skin absolutely glowing. Plus, the combination of sugar and vanilla smells heavenly! You can find my recipe, along with other great DIY beauty tips, in the feature. Hope you enjoy!

Do you have any favorite DIY beauty tips? Would love to hear your homemade recipes and thoughts!

Image via

20 beauty buys under $20

posted on: Monday, October 28, 2013


Beauty products to achieve a flawless look don't need to break the bank. Here I've rounded up some of my favorite cheap thrills, including the best of makeup, hair and body. All $20 and under.

|| 1. Hand Lotion ($10.50, Caldrea) || 2. Nail Polish ($8.00 each, Essie) || 3. Eye Definer ($18.00, Trish McEvoy) || 4. Brush Set ($10.99, EcoTools) || 5. Blush Papier ($17.50, Mai Couture) || 6. Lip Balm ($2.99, eos) || 7. Luminizer ($20.00, Stila) || 8. Powder ($5.99, Covergirl) || 9. Lip Butter ($12.00, Korres) || 10. Mascara ($5.89, L'Oreal) || 11. Lip Gloss ($14.00, Cargo) || 12. Fragrance ($19.00, Lavanila) || 13. Foundation ($8.99, L'Oreal) || 14. Body Lotion ($12.00, H2O Plus) || 15. Eye Shadow ($18.00, Stila) || 16. Bar Soap ($12.00, TOCCA) || 17. Blush ($20.00, Stila) || 18. Hair Ties ($12.00, Anthropologie) || 19. Bronzer ($17.00, Sephora) || 20. Cleanser ($9.00, Murad) ||


What are your favorite budget beauty buys?

sunday morning

posted on: Sunday, October 27, 2013


Good morning! I hope you have a lovely Sunday.

home tour: classic white kitchen

posted on: Saturday, October 26, 2013



It's no secret I love traditional white kitchens. (Just take a peek here!) So when I discovered this beautiful home, I just had to share. In addition to browsing the photos, I also enjoyed reading the inspiration the designer shares behind this look:

"In the design stages, many details were incorporated in this classic kitchen to give it dimension since the surround cabinets, counters and backsplash were all in white. Polished nickel plumbing, hardware and custom grilles on feature cabinets along with the island pendants add shine and depth, while finer details such as inset doors, furniture kicks on non-working areas and lofty crown details add a layering effect in the millwork." (More photos of this home can be viewed here.)

What do you think? What type of kitchen do you love most? Here are a few products and finishes to get the look:


happy weekend!

posted on: Friday, October 25, 2013



Happy Friday to you! This week has been a fun one for me, as I enjoyed happy hour with a friend Wednesday night at Drumbar in Chicago, and last night, attended a production of "The Goddess" at a theater my aunt and uncle manage in the city. The show was outstanding! The rest of my weekend will entail a sushi date tonight with my boyfriend, and hiking at a nearby state park on Sunday. I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing weekend ahead!

And, a few links to share with you...
• A stunning interior design renovation completed in 1920s style.
• Daydream about an exotic getaway to Cuba with these beautiful photos.
• Stuck in a rut? Consider these 33 ways to stay creative.
• Read this quote-worthy interview with style icon Diane von Furstenberg.
• Watch this quick video on 16 chic ways to tie a scarf.
• A simple guide to throwing a fabulous and fun champagne party.

Follow along via Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin'
Image via

wear to work

posted on: Thursday, October 24, 2013



At your office or school, what's the "dress code" like? Casual? Corporate? Creative? 

The ad agency where I currently work is a very creative environment. So when I'm not meeting with clients, I tend to dress in structured (yet casual!) pieces like these.

Leopard Folder Clutch ($210, Claire Vivier) || Infinity Scarf ($65, Cuyana) || Peplum Top ($78, J.Crew) || Crystal Earrings ($58, J.Crew) || Gold Bracelet ($145, Michael Kors) || Jeans ($108, J.Crew) || Bootie ($198, Banana Republic)

behind the scenes: sugar paper l.a.

posted on: Tuesday, October 22, 2013



If you follow along my blog, you've probably noticed my liking for the items from Sugar Paper. The stationery shop in Los Angeles offers an amazing collection of notesets, journals, calendars, gift tags, letterpress prints, and online freebies. Today, the company's co-founders, Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker, tell their story in a feature by The Everygirl. They say, "Running a company is not easy but, if you love what you do, you keep going. You grow, you learn, you stumble, and you figure it out . . . and then you learn the next thing." For more inspiration and behind-the-scenes photos, head over here.

sparkling pink grapefruit cocktail



INGREDIENTS:
• grapefruit sparkling water (I love Pink Grapefruit Sparkling ICE)
• prosecco
• fresh grapefruit

Fill glass a quarter full with grapefruit sparking water. Squeeze in fresh grapefruit juice. Top with chilled prosecco and citrus garnish, if desired. It's that easy. Enjoy!

Product provided by Sparkling ICE in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sparkling ICE is donating proceeds of its Pink Grapefruit variety this month to help find a cure for Breast Cancer. And best of all, proceeds go directly back to the community where the product was sold.

Image via 

ringside for mercy gala

posted on: Monday, October 21, 2013


ringside for mercy chicago
As I shared in Saturday's post, the annual Ringside for Mercy gala was held this past Saturday. What a blast! Thought I'd share these few snapshots with you from the event. How was your weekend? I hope you all have a great week ahead!

a black-tie affair

posted on: Saturday, October 19, 2013



Tonight, I'll be joining my boyfriend at the annual Ringside for Mercy black-tie gala. This will be our fourth year attending the event, and I can tell you, it's one of my favorite nights each year. We always have the best time! There are live boxing matches between financial industry professionals and traders – and plenty of dining, dancing, live and silent auctions. The charity event benefits a great long-standing organization in Chicago, The Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. I'm looking forward to dressing up in a long gown and dancing the night away! It's safe to say tomorrow will be a cozy day at home. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Images via | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

hello, weekend!

posted on: Friday, October 18, 2013



Happy Friday, all! Hope you're having a good week. Here are a few links that have kept me entertained lately:

• I'm loving this city chic ensemble (above), pairing a draped wool coat, edgy leather gloves, and nude lip gloss.
• A series of fun city guides on where to eat, shop, stay, and play, according to Kate Spade.
• Rare photos from a Christian Dior fashion show in 1948.
• These berry pancakes look amazing. Breakfast in bed, anyone?
• A great weekend DIY idea to make your own gold-embellished coasters.
• How about this morning yoga sequence to energize your day?
• Lastly, I'm thrilled to have been featured on the West Elm blog! Thank you, West Elm, for giving my budget home décor selections a shout out.

Follow along via Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin'

home décor favorites for autumn

posted on: Thursday, October 17, 2013



The changing of seasons not only influences fashion, but also home décor. Lately, my eye is drawn to warm whites, gold, and rich textures – perfect for cozying up at home. Here are a few selections I'm currently coveting...

Noteset  ||  Printed in gold foil, this noteset is paired with lined envelopes in a luxe honeycomb pattern. (Sugar Paper, $24)
Decanter  ||  Brilliant from top to bottom, serve your signature cocktail from sparkling crystal. (Macy's, $80)
Bowl  ||  Handcrafted brass bowl features an elaborate, mixed grain finish. (Crate & Barrel, $119)
Pillow  ||  Beautifully hand-sewn beads on this pillow give dimension and depth. (Williams-Sonoma, $70)
Candle  ||  Gilded Amberleaf candle smells like rich cedarwood and golden amber, infused with warm vanilla. (Illume, $34)
Tableware  ||  Crafted of stoneware, I love this simple and classic everyday set. (Kate Spade, $60)
Blanket  ||  This time of year is perfect for cozying up in a luxe faux fur throw blanket. (Restoration Hardware, $79)

You can find more selections and inspiration here. What home décor items are you loving lately?

layered fall fashion

posted on: Monday, October 14, 2013


old-navy-fall-clothes
laura-bright-and-beautiful

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Mine was wonderful, having spent time with friends and family in my hometown. I was thrilled for the chance to escape the city and experience the beautiful fall scenery this time of year. One of the best parts of the weekend was visiting the park to take in all the fresh air and vibrant colors. I loved pulling a few fall layers out of my closet, like this soft sweater and quilted vest (both amazing finds from Old Navy!). The pieces really feel more expensive than their price tag... especially when paired with statement jewelry and a good quality boot.

|| Sweater (Old Navy) || Vest (Old Navy) || Watch (Michael Kors) || Leggings (Nordstrom) || Bag (JPK, similar) || Boots (Nine West, similar) || Necklace (Ann Taylor, similar) ||

So, there we have it: my first ever outfit post! Now your turn. What are your favorite pieces to wear during the fall season?


weekend wardrobe

posted on: Sunday, October 13, 2013


|| 1. Crystal Wildflowers Necklace ($59.50, J.Crew) || 2. Peplum Shirt ($78.00, J.Crew) || 3. Calf Hair Ballet Flats ($278.00, J.Crew) || 4. Shimmer Compact ($42.00, Bobbi Brown) || 5. Chain Bracelet Watch ($195.00, Michael Kors) || 6. Skinny Jean ($185.00, Tory Burch) || 7. Tortoiseshell Sunglasses ($12.00, Nordstrom) || 8. Ankle Boots ($298.00, J.Crew) || 9. Cross-Body Bag ($14.00, Old Navy) ||

|| Shopping this weekend? Amazing sale at J.Crew today and tomorrow... take 25% off everything with code 'SHOPNOW.' ||

wedding weekend

posted on: Friday, October 11, 2013



I'm so excited to return home today to celebrate the wedding of my dear friend, Lauren. I can't wait to see her walk down the aisle! I'm also looking forward to reuniting with hometown friends :) The remainder of the weekend will entail a visit to my alma mater (University of Wisconsin!) for Homecoming and spending time with family. What are your weekend plans? Doing anything fun?

5 foods to beat stress

posted on: Thursday, October 10, 2013



Feeling stressed? We're all bound to feel a little under pressure from time to time. One of the best (and easiest!) ways to combat stress is by tweaking your diet to include nutrient-dense and natural foods.

I came across this great feature from Health Editor, Erin Dow, where she breaks down how our bodies react to stress and why it's so important to focus on healthy, nutritious foods. Erin also shares her top recommended snacks to "chill out." Take a read...

A well-balanced diet provides our brains with the right fuel to operate at peak performance. But when stress puts a wrench in the works–either by eating too much of one thing or not enough of anything–the entire balance can be tipped. It’s a hard cycle to break after it’s started.

So when you’re stressed and your diet is suffering for it, my advice is to prioritize small portions of whole foods with varied visual and textural characteristics and flavor profiles. You can combine them into a meal or just nibble on combinations of them as a snack. The goal is to keep things from getting boring or hyper-focusing on one type of food.

If you have a small appetite, you won’t have to eat much; but, the small amount you consume will boost your brain and body’s ability to cope with stress. If you’re a stress-eater, a variety of foods tricks your brain into feeling satiated quicker, so you’ll eat less overall. Plus, the foods you’ve eaten will have covered a wider range of nutrients, meaning you’re on your way to breaking the cycle that got you there in the first place.

These are my top five stress-busting foods. As someone who is apt to not eat when stressed, I’ve chosen easy items that can be grabbed on the run. But I’ve also chosen nutrient-dense foods, meaning I’ll get the most nutrition out of each calorie I’ve eaten.

Nuts: Omega-3s help the body maintain a lower blood pressure during stressful situations.
Kiwi: A high Vitamin C content helps reduce stress hormone levels in the bloodstream.
Oatmeal: A small serving of complex carbohydrates can boost serotonin levels, leaving you more relaxed.
Dark Chocolate: Consumption of a modest amount of dark chocolate can help reduce anxiety in those prone to it.
Strawberries: High in magnesium, strawberries can help reduce anxiety and irritability.

What do you crave most when you're stressed? What type of healthy foods or activities do you rely on to unwind?


let's connect

posted on: Tuesday, October 8, 2013



This morning, I want to thank you all for reading this new blog of mine and leaving such positive comments. I really appreciate all the love, as I'm growing bright and beautiful. Besides you and a few close friends & family members, I haven't told anyone else yet about this blog. (It's been my little secret these past few months!)

If you'd like to follow along, head over to Bloglovin' to keep up with posts, or visit Pinterest for daily inspiration. I also recently created Twitter and Facebook pages, as well. And please, feel free to leave your links in a comment, too!

I want to know: How did you begin blogging? When and how did you reveal your blog to friends and family? I'd love to hear any advice on how you got started in the blog world!


budget home décor

posted on: Saturday, October 5, 2013


Beautiful home décor doesn't need to be expensive. Some of my favorite pieces are finds from TargetWest ElmKirkland'sHome Goods, and World Market. Here are a few items that have caught my eye lately!


Topiary || A double-ball boxwood topiary is a great way to add a splash of green to any space. (Kirkland's, $44.98)
Table Lamp || This gorgeous lamp has a radiant gold finish coupled with a simple linen shade. (Kirkland's, $49)
Zebra Canvas || Printed on canvas, this Zebra print adds an element of exotic beauty. (Ikea) $39 
Bar Cart || Great bar carts are hard to find and this one's remarkably affordable. (Target, $129.99)
Mercury Votives || Mercury glass votives in chevron, herringbone and wave designs cast a playful glow around the room. (West Elm, $10 each)

What are your favorite stores or sources of budget home décor?




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