Spring Prep

posted on: Monday, April 24, 2017


There's nothing quite like spring that makes me want to dress in pastels and all things preppy. Between Easter and the Kentucky Derby (which is next weekend already!)... I find myself reaching for brighter colors, crisp whites, and classic silhouettes. J.Crew recently shared a ton of new arrivals to browse, along with these favorites of mine for spring.

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Wedding Registry with Pottery Barn

posted on: Wednesday, April 19, 2017


I had the best time sharing our engagement story last week! (In case you missed it, you can find the full post here). While we're still several months away from officially walking down the aisle, we've got a good start on the major details — like our wedding date, venue, catering and photography. After the bigger to-do's are underway, one of the more fun parts of the process we're looking forward to is developing our registry. I was thrilled when Pottery Barn asked to partner, as I've been a longtime lover of the brand, and can easily imagine items we'd use and appreciate in our home. 

Creating a wedding registry is all about building your home together as a married couple, whether it's with traditional tableware, bedding, furnishings and beyond. I admit, I personally prefer to do most shopping online versus "in-store" these days — but Pottery Barn always has things displayed so nicely and the service is top notch at our local Lincoln Park location. It's helpful to stop in, see items firsthand, and manage our list accordingly, right there in-store or with a click online. 

So, what's on our registry so far? We'd love this flatware set, a collection of frames for our eventual wedding photos, bedding for our guest room, a full set of fluffy new bath towels, plus a handful of entertaining and décor pieces. I should also mention Pottery Barn offers monogramed gifts, along with complimentary design services, a guide dedicated to top picks, and a 10% discount following your day. Whether you're a bride (or groom) or a guest, wedding season will be here before we know it!

Now your turn: Did you register for your wedding? What were some of your favorite items to receive (or what are your favorites to gift)?


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ADDITIONAL SOURCES:

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Photography by Iron & Honey  |  Thank you to Pottery Barn for partnering this post!


Links I Love

posted on: Monday, April 17, 2017


• SJP narrates a look at fashion of the 1920s with Vogue.
• 7 real ways to network you might not be thinking of.
• A full body workout that doesn't require any equipment.
• Try this simple bedtime routine for a good night's rest.
• A collection of recipes and ideas when cooking for two.
• Watch for these top trends in style this spring + summer. 
• My absolute favorite beauty product I've tried yet this year.
• Inside the Manhattan apartment of a favorite blogger of mine.


Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Our Engagement + Love Story

posted on: Friday, April 14, 2017


Ever since I shared news of our engagement in December, perhaps you've wondered about the proposal, or the story of "us." Well, many of you have asked — and today I'm sharing...

So, let's start at the beginning. How did we meet? Kevin and I first met in 2008, through mutual friends. He happened to grow up in the same hometown (same neighborhood, in fact!) as a good girlfriend and roommate of mine who I met during college. (If you didn't know, I went to school at University of Wisconsin in Madison — where fate would have us meeting). At the time during my junior year, I lived with a group of girls and our building was typically the spot to gather and "pre-game" before going out. (Remember those days?). It was one of those fun nights around Thanksgiving break, and my friend/roommate, Genevieve, invited two of her guy friends from her hometown over to our place. One of them was Kevin. (And the other, Phil, is still a good friend of ours to this day!)

We all ended up having the best night together, reveling around University Ave and State Street. For Kevin and me, our timing wasn't really right. He was about to graduate early from University of Illinois and begin work in Chicago, while I was completing my junior and senior years at Wisconsin. Though we parted ways after meeting that one night in Madison, we both held on to the idea and possibility of us together again.

Fast forward to summer 2009 and we were reconnected, among a group of friends at Genevieve's lake house in Lake Mills, WI. (Again: thank you, matchmaker Genevieve!). We spent the July summer weekend swimming, boating, waterskiing, and concluding with a Dave Matthews Band concert at Alpine Valley. That's when Kevin and I really fell for each other. He was 22, and me, 21.

Something I'll always remember is how Kevin asked me to "officially" be his girlfriend back then. It was a gesture I appreciated and found quite chivalrous, really. It seems those DTR ("define the relationship") conversations are too often avoided or don't happen at all, especially in the 20-something years. So there we were, boyfriend and girlfriend. In separate cities.

Over the next year, we spent time traveling between Madison and Chicago to see one another. I would save money I earned from my college job for bus fare into the city, and Kevin would make the reverse 3 hour route from Chicago to Madison, too. Once I graduated from school and began working in Chicago myself, we really began building our lives together. Since then, we've established roots in Lakeview, enjoyed time with each other's family, developed great friendships, spent summers sailing on the lake, and have taken some pretty incredible trips together.


Then it happened. December 15, 2016: our engagement. One of the most frequent questions I've gotten is, "Did you know it was coming?!" I'll say, the engagement: Yes (I mean, c'mon, we had been together for seven years!)... but the proposal: No (it was a total surprise!).

Kevin's parents spend most of the year west near Vail, Colorado, and the two of us had a trip planned to visit them the week before Christmas. Our first night was spent at Kevin's parents' home, and the following day, Kevin had made plans for the two of us in Aspen. So Thursday morning, we drove an hour and a half through the breathtaking mountains until we reached Aspen. We checked into our hotel around 1:00pm and got settled. We were staying at The St. Regis Aspen, which was totally decked out for the holidays. Not too long after checking in and dropping our bags to the room, I suggested we take a look around and explore the hotel. By this point, we were chilling a bottle of prosecco and some beer in the bathroom sink. (#Truth.) Kevin agreed to exploring the hotel, but first left the room to "get more ice."


15 minutes or so later, Kevin returned to the room. I didn't think too much of the delay, as he said our floor's ice machine was broken and had to go to a different floor. I didn't mind, though... I was just happy to be together in such a beautiful place the week before Christmas.

We finished our drink and left our room for the lobby, which was filled with festive decor, crackling fireplaces, and sounds of Christmas music. The St. Regis is located at the base of Aspen Mountain and the hotel has a large outdoor courtyard area facing the slopes. In the middle of the courtyard was an enormous Christmas tree, complete with ornaments, and I naturally wanted to take a closer look. So Kevin and I walked out of the lobby and outdoors toward the tree. It had just begun to snow, and for whatever reason, there were no other people in this open courtyard besides us.

Approaching the tree, I was enamored by the view of the mountain and also the Christmas ornaments (anyone who knows me, understands how much I adore the holiday!). And then, I turned around to find Kevin on one knee.

I was completely surprised!


Kevin said the sweetest things to me and presented me with the most stunning diamond ring I have ever seen. I said "Yes!" of course ;)

Moments later, we were congratulated with glasses of champagne from the hotel, and Kevin had one more surprise up his sleeve. He told me to look across the courtyard... and tucked inside the lobby window was a photographer who captured the moment! Truth be told, I always imagined a low-key, private proposal — but I'm so glad Kevin had planned it how he did. It was perfect. When Kevin was "finding ice" earlier, he was actually in the lobby coordinating with the photographer!

Since it was only around 3:00 in the afternoon, we had the entire rest of the day and night to celebrate — which was an amazing way to begin our weekend as a newly engaged couple. I was convinced Kevin might ask later at night, or  maybe on Christmas day, so I was pleasantly surprised. We called our families with the happy news and spent the rest of our time celebrating all over town.


So what's next? Wedding bells, of course! We recently set our date, booked a venue, and are now focusing on the larger items, like photography, music and our ceremony. I'll be sharing some wedding updates throughout the planning process — so stay tuned! Whether you're a new reader or have been an old friend, thank you for following along here and for your continued support. It really means the world. I'm feeling so happy to experience and share this special time.

xo, Laura

Easter

posted on: Wednesday, April 12, 2017



Easter is this weekend (!) and has me thinking about all things pretty, pastel, and spring. Friends of ours are hosting Sunday brunch, which I'm looking forward to! Do you have any special plans to celebrate the holiday?

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Snapshots from Vacation

posted on: Monday, April 10, 2017


{vibrant colors in Cave Creek, Arizona}

{in a spring state of mind! Wearing seersucker by Lauren James}

{spicy margaritas at Tonto Rancho Mañana}

{desert colors all around}

{poolside margaritas... can't complain!}

{a favorite outfit post of mine to-date, in case you missed it}

{still swooning over this beautiful patio and fireplace at El Chorro}

{sunnies by Karen Walker}

{my cute niece and goddaughter, Emma, is growing  up so fast!}

{a little browsing for wedding dresses...!}

{enjoying our tradition visit to the lawn at the historic Biltmore}

{returning home to Chicago and excited to see signs pointing to summer...}



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