Holiday Gift Guide: Quality Classics

posted on: Thursday, November 30, 2017


Today's holiday gift guide is all about quality classics. Each year I grow older, I find myself opting for 'fewer, better' things. Now more than ever, I'd prefer a streamlined capsule wardrobe of items I can mix and match, that I know I'll love for years to come. And that's really the philosophy behind the brand, Cuyana. I first discovered Cuyana in 2013 and asked for the classic tote from Kevin that Christmas. I can honestly tell you, four years later, the tote has held incredibly well — considering the amount of use it gets! Since then, I've picked up a shawl cape, crossbody bag, iPad sleeve, and most recently: this beautiful structured tote. Of course, I have my eye on others... this silk blouse, reversible coat, and bomber jacket are too good.



posted on: Wednesday, November 29, 2017

{my favorite place in the city for morning coffee}

{talking... wedding dresses!}

{...about to dress the mantle with Christmas garland}

{I love these dainty gold hoop earrings and soft cashmere sweater}

{a latte made with love}

{a cozy spot at The Ambassador}

5 Bridal Trends to Know This Season

posted on: Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Sorella Vita style 8828 criss-cross strap bridesmaid dress
One of the biggest decisions a bride will make while wedding planning is... the dress, of course! Whether sleek and simple, beaded and boho, or lacy and romantic, a bride's wedding dress truly sets the tone for the big day. I had the opportunity to attend Chicago Bridal Market earlier this season, on behalf of BRIDES magazine and Essense of Australia, to gather a look at the top trends dominating the bridal scene this season.


DIMENSION  |  From floral appliqu├ęs to soft overlays, dimension is a leading trend this season. One particular dress that caught my eye is a stunning garden-inspired gown by Martina Liana, featuring laser cut floral details and multiple layers of lace. The dimensional design of the dress gave a knock-out look that would impress from all angles.

SEPARATES  |  I love the concept of bridal separates. It gives brides a chance to play with varying styles, like a modern crepe skirt and a romantic lacy top. Martina Liana specializes in separates, allowing a bride to create a custom, fashion-forward look. We're also seeing detachable overskirts that give a sense of drama for a ceremony, but can be removed for the reception. It's all about versatility!

ILLUSION  |  Illusion is a trend that's returning again this season, but in new ways. Among many wedding dresses, I noticed subtle illusion necklines (and backlines) that show a peek of skin, as well as latticework. A popular way to see latticework is near the hip, as a crosshatch pattern placed over sheer side cutouts to sculpt and contour the silhouette, like on this dress by Stella York.

ROMANTIC NECKLINES  |  While traditional v-neck and sweetheart necklines are still very much 'in,' a whole new spin on bridal necklines is here. We're talking off-the-shoulder, illusion tulle, delicate straps that drape across the back, and dramatic deep necklines. Brides are also embracing long sleeve designs for 2018, for an ultimately timeless and elegant look.

MIX AND MATCH  |  Lastly: we can't forget about bridesmaids! "Mix and match" is a top trend lately that's here to stay. A great tip from Sorella Vita is to select a unifying feature for bridesmaids — whether it's color, silhouette, or neckline — when mixing dress styles. I especially loved this cross-neck gown, Nouveau Sequin design, and the shade, vintage rose, for bridesmaids.

Thank you to BRIDES and Essense of Australia for sponsoring this post.

Dear Santa... & Cyber Monday!

posted on: Monday, November 27, 2017

Happy Monday, friends! This year brought many blessings for me personally, and I certainly have everything I need. I truthfully have a small 'wishlist' this year, relating to anything material-speaking for the holiday. Of course, there are a few things I wouldn't mind seeing under the tree... ;) Little mementos for our upcoming wedding in 2018, or fitness-focused items, like a gift card or new activewear, would be wonderful. Do you have anything special on your own wishlist this year? 

You can shop my gift ideas here, or click directly on the image above. Also, don't miss the best CYBER MONDAY deals below!



ANN TAYLOR |  50% off + free shipping with code BESTMONDAY
ANTHROPOLOGIE | 20% off full price items
ASOS |  30% off everything with code EPIC30
CRATE & BARREL | Save 15% with code SAVE15
HENRI BENDEL | Take 30% off full price items
J.CREW | 40% off, plus an additional 10% off 'til noon
J.CREW FACTORY | Enjoy 60% off everything with code CYBER
MACY'S | Free shipping at $25 and extra 20% off with code CYBER
MADEWELL |  25% off your purchase with code GOODMOOD
OLD NAVY | Take 50% off everything sitewide
POTTERY BARN | Free shipping with code FREESHIP
TORY BURCH | 30% off $250+ and free shipping/gift wrap for all
ULTA | Free shipping on orders $35+ and additional savings sitewide
WEST ELM | Save up to 30% and free shipping with code FREERIDE
WILLIAMS-SONOMA | Up to 30% off and free shipping

3 Favorite Nail Polishes + Giveaway

Over the past year, I’ve tried to step up my ‘nail’ game. I’ve always been one to keep them short and simple, but there’s something about a pretty polish that just makes me happy. (It’s the little things, right?) While I frequently do my own nails at home, it’s fun to indulge in a mani/pedi every so often!

I’m all about booking appointments online and through my phone, which is why I’m excited to share BeautyNow by Groupon is now live in Chicago! The app is the easiest way to discover and book beauty services — from nails, hair, lashes, tanning and beyond. I book my appointments directly from the Groupon app, which is so seamless and quick. All you have to do is select a date and time that works for you, then Groupon confirms with the salon and stores your information for easy payment and gratuity.

Last week, I booked a manicure at Four Seasons and truly loved the experience. My nail technician, Laura, did a wonderful job! I tend to rotate between three polish colors, depending on the season...

'MODEL CLICKS'  a deep burgundy, perfect for autumn.
'BEAUTY MARKED'  a true crimson red, festive for the holidays.
'LACE ME UP'  an opaque whitish pink, beautiful for spring and summer.

All colors are essie gel, which I've found to be the absolute best — I look for this collection at the salon (or bring my own essie polish with me). If you’d like to try these colors and BeautyNow for yourself,  If you’d like to try these colors and BeautyNow for yourself, you’re in luck. Please enjoy $10 off your service with Groupon by using the code: BRIGHT10. If you're based in Chicago, just download the Groupon app and select 'Salon & Spa Booking' at the top to start booking. Everything is handled for you directly within the Groupon app, on your iPhone or Android device.
Lastly, you’re also invited to enter a giveaway (below) for Salon and Spa Services for one year. Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Groupon for sponsoring this post.

The Best Black Friday Sales

posted on: Thursday, November 23, 2017

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! If you're like me, hitting the stores on Black Friday sounds a bit maddening... I MUC prefer online shopping at home. In case you're holiday shopping today too, I rounded up the best Black Friday sales happening now. Also, be sure to browse The Holiday Shop and my series of gift guides. Enjoy!

J. CREW |  Take 40% off everything with code THANKU

MARK & GRAHAM | 20% off plus free shipping + gift wrap with code FRIENDS

SERENA & LILY | 20% off everything with code CHEERS

SHOPBOP | Save up to 30% sitewide with code MORE17

CRATE & BARREL | Enjoy 15% off items with code SAVE15

ANN TAYLOR |  50% off everything with code GOPINK
ANTHROPOLOGIE | 30% each and every item!
ASOS |  30% off everything with code EPIC30
HENRI BENDEL | Take 20% off everything
J.CREW FACTORY | Enjoy 50% off everything with code FRIYAY
MACY'S | Free shipping at $49 and extra 20% off with code HURRY
MADEWELL |  25% off your purchase with code DONTSTRESS
NORDSTROM |  Save extra 20% off select styles + free shipping and returns
OLD NAVY | Take 50% off everything sitewide
POTTERY BARN | Free shipping with code MERRY
SEPHORA | Free 3-day shipping on orders $50+
TALBOTS | 50% off any item or 40% off entire purchase
TORY BURCH | 30% off orders $250+ and free shipping/gift wrap for all
ULTA | Free shipping on orders $35+ and additional savings sitewide
WEST ELM | Save up to 30% and get free shipping with code SAVEMORE
WHITE ELEPHANT DESIGNS | 25% off everything with code THANKFUL25
WILLIAMS-SONOMA | Enjoy 25% your purchase with code THANKS

Photography by Danielle Moss

Holiday Gift Guide: Glam Gal

posted on: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Today's holiday gift guide is all about classic, luxe items she'll cherish for years. From jewelry and cosmetics, to sleepwear and lingerie, to shoes and leather goods (Cuyana is the best)... here are my favorite picks for the glam gal.


Holiday Gift Guide: For the Guys

posted on: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Guys: this one's for you! Shopping for your boyfriend, husband, Dad or brother can be a tricky task... hopefully there's a gift idea (or two) here he'd love. Whether he's a foodie, techie, sports lover or outdoor aficionado, I've rounded up 50+ gift ideas for the special guys in your life. Many are currently on sale, like at J.Crew (where you can now enjoy 40% off everything!) and from sites like Nordstrom and Mr. Porter where free shipping is offered on all orders. I also recommend checking out Mark & Graham for personalized gifts, made with his monogram. And for the guy who's impossible to shop for: there's always Amazon ;)

You can browse these gift ideas below, or click on the product directly in the image above.


Holiday Gift Guide: The Homebody

posted on: Sunday, November 19, 2017

In the midst of winter, it's all about cozy little indulgences.  (And let's be real: these items would carry that warm fuzzy feeling all year long...!) A few pieces I personally enjoy at home are: this holiday candle (which comes in a variety of sizes, like this votive that'd make a great hostess gift), a marble wine cooler that can double as a kitchen utensil holder, this ultra-soft pajama set and a pair of faux fur slippers. Also on my radar: this monogrammable champagne bucket and rose gold brush set (only $16). You can browse these gift ideas below, or click directly on the image above. Enjoy!


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