Friday, November 21, 2014

Shop, Lately?

  1. "Wait, what is the hash tag?!"
  2. "We gotta do the Ellen selfie! .... "Yes! I love that everybody calls it that!"
  3. "What's your phone number? I only have your social media handle in my phone..."

Conversations like these are just routine when #ChicagoBloggers get together for a photo shoot. These fun opportunities are just one of many reasons why we feel so lucky to be part of such a supportive blogging community. We have met so many sweet girls and it's like worlds collide when we can collaborate together in order to blend everyone's unique style and ideas. 

We were really excited to team up with ShopLately to showcase a few must-have wardrobe staples for all the festivities over the next few months. ShopLately is a marketplace that gives designers and brands the opportunity to showcase their products to an audience, so it's similar to Etsy but specifically fashion focused...Yes please!?

Here is my holiday look (perfect for NYE or cocktails with the girls):

Dress: JC Penney (similar) | Blazer: Piperlime (similar on sale!) | Boots: GILT | Purse: BISTM 
Necklace: Shop Lately | Rings: c/o Shop Lately | Bracelet: LOFT | Lipstick: Kate Spade

Let's take a much deserved moment to address this necklace from Lily Wang (currently sold out, but here is a very similar piece). I have a vast collection of neck wear but this one was placed in my regular rotation immediately, especially with holidays coming up. I think it works great with this dress for an evening look but I also love the idea of wearing it with a simple white t or knit, taking something from very basic to super chic...they don't call them statements for nothin' ;) 

You can shop more of our holiday picks's refreshing to find a selection so unique and it makes me feel good to know everything is coming from entrepreneurs fulfilling their passion.

Have you browsed Shop Lately? Let us know what you think!

P.S. The answer to number 1 is you can see all of our Instagram posts!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rocked it & Swapped it

A great blouse is like a great pair of jeans: It can be worn year in and year out (never going out of style), it can be styled so many different ways, and it is also a staple item in your closet. 

This white and black polka dot blouse from H&M has been in my closet for two years now. I first wore it to the pumpkin patch last year and styled it by adding a faux leather jacket over. Kaitlyn styled the blouse under a vest and with a wool hat last month, and I styled it again a few weeks ago by adding plaid for some pattern mixing. 

Here are our looks: 

Do you have a few blouses in your closet that are worn year in and year out? 

How do you style yours?

Find a great polka dot blouse for your own closet: 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Make a Statement with Sparkle

Top: Express | Necklace: House of Gemmes

So much of my every day outfit selections are based on accessorizing. I feel naked if I leave the house without (at a minimum) my stud earrings and one other piece of jewelry, typically a statement necklace. Over the years, I have accumulated quite a large collection in order to complete any outfit...oh, and because I'm like a kid in a sparkly candy store when surrounded by jewels. 

With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to share a few of my favorite wardrobe and necklace pairings that are perfect for any occasion.

Top: Forever 21 (similar) | Necklace: T+J Designs (similar)

I am as they say "mad for plaid," especially this season because it's everywhere and I LOVE to see it dressed up. As mentioned many times, I gravitate towards fashion that mixes feminine and masculine pieces so this lumberjack gone black tie affair look is my ultimate mix.

Blazer: Piperlime (similar) | Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)

Much like my anchor print collection, the amount of leopard print items in my closet is getting slightly out of the control and this blazer is queen of them all. The leather lapel detail gives it an extra edge so I like pairing it with an equally gritty piece of jewelry. With flared denim and a heeled bootie, this look exudes confidence.

Dress: LOFT (similar) | Necklace: T+J Designs (on sale!)

There are statement necklaces and then are STATEMENT necklaces and this is my go-to. I knew we would be a perfect match from the first time I laid eyes on the gold and lucite design. This piece always makes any outfit feel more special whether it's a basic white blouse or a festive red dress and I (don't) apologize for being a repeat offender because isn't going out of style any time soon ;)

Jacket: Buffalo Jeans (similar) | T: House of Gemmes | Necklace: LOFT (similar)

If I was asked to describe my favorite outfit, I would likely mention the graphic T and leather jacket combo. I am by definition a jeans and T girl but I do enjoy spicing things up with a unique accessory. I think the pink in the necklace compliments the red jacket nicely and makes an otherwise edgy outfit feel a little more girly. 

Shirt: H&M (similar) | Necklace: T+J Designs

Oh chambray, how I love you so. In my mind, it's one of the most versatile pieces you can own - pair it with a pencil skirt, leather skirt, opposite wash jeans (hello Canadian tuxedo!), printed pants, shorts, layered with a knit or flannel, and the list goes on. I like the blue on blue pairing here and love when the statement necklace fits perfectly under the collar, making for the perfect peek of sparkle.

How do you make a statement with your jewelry? 

What is your favorite of these combinations?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Easy Dinner Idea

Some days you are just super busy! And some days you forget you need to make dinner for your family! lol 
No, but seriously, I have a few go-to meals for days that just get away from me. Here is one of my families favorites, Pizza Bagels. They are super easy to make and you can eat them healthy(ish)....well, it's better then that processed frozen stuff! ;)

Here's what you will need: 
-Whole Wheat or Gluten Free Bagels
-Organic Mozzarella Cheese
-Pizza sauce (you can make homemade!)
-Garlic powder (or fresh garlic)
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-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Cut bagels and place on a cookie sheet. 
-Add sauce to each bagel half and top with as much cheese as you want. 
-Sprinkle with garlic powder.
-Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese it to your liking. 

Here is the finished product:
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Do you ever make your own pizza bagel? What are your go-to's for easy dinner ideas?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Moms Night Off ;)

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Over the weekend, my sister and myself decided to sneak away for a moms night off. Neither of us have ever done that before and thought it would be pretty cool. 

We booked The Renaissance Hotel on Priceline and had such a fun time. The room was beautiful and our view from the 19th floor was amazing! We decided to stay in the hotel for the night and grab dinner at their in house bar. I mean if you are staying in such a nice hotel, why not stay there all night?

I decided to wear my leopard print shift dress. I kept the styling very simple by adding tights, oxblood heels, a neutral bag, and great jewelry. 
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Dress: Loft // Shoes: c/o Just Fab // Bag: Aldo // Necklace & Earrings: House of Gemmes // Tights: Loft // Bracelets: T+J Designs // Watch: Fossil

The hotel bar, Novo, had tapas style food. We had some super yummy eats, quite a few beers, and lots of great chats. We may need to do this more often! 

What do you wear for dinner out with your sister or girl friends? Have you ever stayed at the Renaissance hotel or been to bar Novo before?

*Head over to Stilettos and Diaper Bags  to see what I wore downtown all day!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thanksgiving Traditions and Decor

My husband and I are hosting Thanksgiving for the second time in a few weeks and with last year under our belts, I feel much more confident in our duties and the flow of the day this time around. I am starting to love that this is becoming a tradition, as it feels special to host such a momentous holiday that everybody looks forward to all year long. 

Last Year's Table Setting

Speaking of traditions, that's one of my favorite things about this time of year. It makes me feel so good to know that families come together all over the world to celebrate the same notion, the blessing of the harvest and the preceding year. Traditions makes the anticipation of the holidays so exciting, as we look forward to revisiting our best memories each year - #SistersMarie (Tweet this!)

Here's a few of our favorites:

Myself: If there’s one thing my family and husband knows to be true, it’s that our traditions are ingrained in me and I am true to them through and through. I always looked forward to the morning of Thanksgiving because I would wake up to smell of my Mom's delicious cooking (which she already been at for hours) and she would make hot chocolate from scratch (in Macy's Day mugs) for the four of us in anticipation of the Parade - the boys didn't care about the show much but she and I were glued to the TV, just waiting for the eleventh hour when Santa would arrive. Though I'm almost 28 years old, I still make sure not to miss this moment because for me, it signals the start of the season. Age is just a number, my friends.

Lisa: Thanksgiving is a holiday that changes yearly for our family. It's a day I spent as a young kid with my step-dad's side. As I got older, my dad's side starting celebrating together because it was so difficult to see everyone at Christmas. My favorite tradition has always been one we do when my aunt hosts Thanksgiving. Each year before we eat, we each stand and take turns saying what we were thankful for over the past year. This is something we still do when I see them and it is really great hearing what everyone has been through and is thankful for in their lives. Plus, it's really cute to hear what all the kids say, now that most of my cousins have kids too!

Each year we alternate which party we will go to making it more special as we don't have to race to multiple parties on this day. Last year we were at Kaitlyn's house (which was a BEAUTIFUL party!), so this year we will be with my Dad's side.

It is for sure difficult to find the balance when you have a larger family, but this holiday is always so much fun wherever we end up! And of course we watch the parade too because my kids literally scream when they see Santa coming. Okay, maybe I do too because that means it's fine for me to have my Christmas decor up now (even though it's probably been up for weeks by this time)! ;)

As this years hosts, I have been on the hunt for easy DIY projects for our table settings.

Here are a few of my Pinterest favorites:

What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? What is your favorite tradition?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rocked it & Swapped it

From bare legs to tights, our clothes transition with the seasons and we love a piece that doesn't get lost in the shuffle. This sweater dress is one of our fall-winter staples because who doesn't swoon for an item that allows you to be comfortable and chic all at once? 

Kaitlyn wore this dress just as the leaves began to change so was able to get away with a wedge bootie and a whole lotta leg. Lisa styled the dress when the temps started to drop so she added black tights and oxblood heels, making this look perfect for her Christmas photos. 

Shop the Sweater Dress: