Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sisters Christmas Wish List

The first snow has fallen, our trees have been lit and the radio is playing all Christmas music, all the time. The BIG day is a month away so of course we can't help but think what gifts we might find underneath the tree. As kids, we got so excited to write letter to Santa and hoped to butter him up with milk and cookies...20 years later, things haven't changed much except the lists are bit more digital and here's to hoping the big guy in red is a Rumchata fan ;)

We realize some of the things on our Christmas lists are slightly debatable for the ole family grab bag but it IS called a WISH list after all so nonetheless, we’re taking advantage... and we promise we’re on the nice list (or at last halfway decent list?) 





In addition to our lists, we've also been scoping out some unique gift ideas for you guys and we'll be continually adding them here -- stop by & check it out! 

What's on your list this year? 

 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your Family and friends!
We'll be back to blogging on Monday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Snow Much Flare

We got our first big Snow in Chicago on my birthday (of course!) and even though I pretty much loathe the cold, I admit: Waking up to a winter wonderland was absolutely magical. We had friends over late the night before so I was planning on it being fairly hard to get out of bed Saturday morning but as soon as I saw the GIANT snowflakes falling outside my window, I crept downstairs with my pup and we sat by the fire together just watching it fall. I made a peppermint mocha, opened up some of my birthday cards and enjoyed the silence…most of the time, our conversations are shared over the sound of TV or music in the background, so being able to hear my own thoughts and set my intentions for the day was much needed.

I have really been enjoying my yoga classes lately...I find myself taking the practices from my mat and applying them to my everyday life and it has been really helpful in busy/stressful times. Stay tuned for a post on gratitude next week!
Top: Old Navy
Jeans: J Brand
Bag: Just Fab (love this one too!)
Belt: LOFT (similar)
Hat: Purchased in Ireland
Watch: Michael by Michael Kors
Sunnies: Smoke x Mirrors 
(Use code SISTERSMARIE to get your first designer pair free on Ditto!)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Leather & Lace

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Mixing a feminine textile such as lace with a masculine one (like leather) is as perfect a coupling peanut-butter with jelly. It is a such an easy look to put together and great for all the holiday parties we have ahead of us. I loved this red lace dress and when it came to styling there was only one logical way to go on this cool November day.

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I added tights, my faux leather jacket, a crystal statement necklace, and black heels to finish the look. I was ready for my night out with my husband and felt put together even though it only took me 20 minutes to get ready.

Will you be wearing this combo before years end?
How would you style this dress?

Shop the look: 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Festive & Foil-Stamped

As I sit here joyfully listening to Christmas music (thank you 93.9 for flipping the switch), I realize some of you are totally offended by the fact that the Holiday spirit is in many ways, already upon us, but you must understand: I wait all year for these few weeks, few being the key word. I love nothing more than the cozy feelings of the season, and to me, it never lasts long enough. With that said, my husband and I host Thanksgiving at our house so this weekend while I sing along with Bing Crosby, I will also be putting up my turkey and harvest décor. I might be inviting some argument here, but I see no reason the two holidays can’t co-exist…Whether I’m drinking out of a (snowflake-less) red cup or watching Home Alone (again!), I will also be making a list of what I’m feeling grateful for and perfecting this years sweet potato casserole. 

In a world where we are busier than ever and as a result, permanently stressed out, I won’t apologize for relishing in the things that make me happy, even if it’s prior to the suggested date on the calendar...and do we really need more things to complain about? Seemingly, people are never satisfied...if we start celebrating too early, you're ruining Thanksgiving but if Starbucks forgoes the cup's precious graphics, it's an affront against Christian faith (or what he said). 

It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the let's let it be. 

Speaking of wonderful, I may or may not have been watching Jimmy Stewart while addressing my 2015 Christmas cards. After my Aunt told me she cut last year's picture out and framed it, it solidified my thinking that Tiny Prints is the perfect choice again for this years festive greeting.

As women tendsto be, I was quite indecisive on the design this year, especially because I am obsessed with the new foil-stamped selection...there were two options I loved and after asking multiple family members and co-workers, I still couldn't come to a decision (first world problems FOR SURE), but with my merry spirit in tow, I decided there was no pressure to just choose one so I ordered half of of both worlds :) 

See both designs here: One | Two

I wasn't sure how the gold foil would look in person, especially on the white background because it seemed a bit light on my screen, but in person, they are even better than I imagined. The foil is embossed on the card stock, giving it a three dimensional element. But let's be honest, is anyone paying attention to the design when Fitzgerald is clearly the center of attention? ;) 

I can't wait to send these out...
Which card is your favorite? 
You can see my previous Christmas cards here: 2014 | 2013

Thursday, November 19, 2015

SMW Chicago: 10 Things I Learned

I attended Social Media Week this year for the second time....due to my schedule at work, I could only make it to one day of classes but didn’t feel cheated at all because I came home with a ton of great content (which is perfect because content is king! Think I heard that in every single class on Tuesday) :) Speaking of content...

10 things from SMW Chicago:
  • “Putting out great content without any promoted dollars is like shouting in a forest when there’s nobody there.” – This was probably my favorite quote from the day and it came from Jenny Heinrich at Edelman, another speaker on the same Niche panel. As hard as it is to swallow that your passion-driven organic content isn’t enough to create engagement, it’s truthful and logical when you think of how much over-saturation there is in the world of social. P.S. Jenny was hilarious, I laughed out loud at many of her comments, even when no one else did and decided we were social spirit animals ;)
  • One of my favorite speakers was Eric Munn from The Onion – He was part of a fantastic panel on how to build Niche Awareness on Social Media (btw, think about how you say the word niche out loud, this was a huge debate in the class!) He mentioned that the target audience for the publication doesn’t want to see advertising on their site but on that same note, there are a lot of brands looking to advertise with the Onion because of its popularity with millennials so they make sure to do it in a way that fits in with their brand. He talked about working with Bacardi during a previous holiday season, using the idea that people love drink around the Holidays because they are forced to spend time with irritating family members. Using Bacardi products, the Onion created actual cocktails including a margarita recipe that required you to blend all the ingredients together, thus using the noise of the blender to tune out annoying Aunt Judy. I thought this was super clever and made so much sense…they would lose people if it was just a basic ad, but there is useful information here mixed with humor which is a great way to appeal to their audience.
  • Many of us spend time analyzing our content and one thing we look for at the best times to post…Bob Gearing of Social Bakers shared that engagement has been dropping on the zero and on the half so he suggested posting at odd times to avoid all the clutter…see you guys tomorrow at 9:34am ;)

  • Random tidbit: It felt oddly welcoming to be surrounded by hundreds of other people who have no shame about photographing every moment of the day. To the fashionable girl snapping a lay flat photo of your badge and the beautiful succulent, I feel you ;)
  • Beth and Andrew of Sharablee looked at what content is most shared between the two sexes and found females prefer to share content that is useful and makes us “feel smart,” whereas the guys, not so much…they are looking to share humorous content with their fellow friends. Seems about right…I don’t see many guys re-pinning no bake oatmeal bites or 10 reasons to incorporate yoga in your life.
  • B2B content is growing on social, even faster than financial services (which is good I think?) Woo B2B, people! I feel like so much of social data is based around consumer so this was exciting to hear since I do a lot of B2B in my role at the exhibit design company.
  • Random tidbit: The Merchandise Mart is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, inside and out. My company is a preferred vendor there, as we do a LOT of signage/graphics and installs for their various showrooms but I have only been a handful of times and on each occasion, I have been stunned by all it has to offer. By the way, I stopped at the Protein Bar for a pick-me-up smoothie which only reconfirmed that if one of these was located near my office, I would be short a few more (hundred) dollars.
  • “Think of blogs less as publications and more as Tupperware parties” – Another one of my favorite quotes, shared by Erin Bassett who you all may know from the Windy City Blogger Collective (#WCBC, hey girl hey!) This resonated with me and sums up why I love writing for our blog so much…it’s a space that allows you to share your feelings, just as if you were having apps and wine with your girlfriends ;)
  • You don’t always need a high production budget to create engaging and interesting content– Serena Schaffner of the American Egg Board (who connects American Egg Farmers with consumers -- cool right?) said they are always looking for visual ways to make the egg interesting and appealing (on Instagram, specifically). They noticed that avocado toast is really big across the food spectrum right now (You don't have to tell me!) so they created some beautiful images of the snack using eggs as part of the recipe. This took little to no budget and fit within current trends so people who may not have ever found the American Egg Board, now had a reason to.
  • Random tidbit: For any future conference you plan on attending, don’t be afraid to walk up to someone and say hi. It can be as simple as, “is the WiFi working for you?” and all of a sudden you are exchanging information about your jobs and walking to the next class together. It’s like being in 4th grade all over again but in this case, you’re swapping business cards instead of treats from your lunchbox ;)
Have you attended social media week before in Chicago or another city?

I want to hear your thoughts on the conference! Share them with me on IG or here, below!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Put a Vest on it

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There is just something about adding a vest to any (and every) outfit that I am just loving. It really does take the look up a notch...especially when it's a gorgeous print number like this one. Lately my life has been go, go, go (who am I kidding, my life is always like this), so it really helps out to take minimal time getting ready. This outfit was effortless as I just grabbed a few basics and dressed it up with the vest, bright lip, and bow heels.

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Another thing I am super into are these Spanx jean leggings. I have two pair, one black and one blue, and they are hands down my favorite leggings to wear. What is not to love about pants that hug you in all the right places? Not much I say.

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Vest: Forever 21 // Top: H&M // Jean Leggings // Shoes // Bag // Watch // Cuff: Coach // Hat // Sunglasses // Lip Color 
Do you ever throw a great long vest over a very simple outfit? Have you tried Spanx brand leggings yet? You will not be disappointed by doing either. ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

No Fear of Fringe

Ladies, I'm coming at you today with a perfect example of "don't knock it until you try it." I know fringe details are everywhere this season, but it hasn't always been my favorite look...Even when I see other women pulling it off with great success, part of me still thinks you run the risk of looking a little more Pocahontas than fashion forward. But as with some other trends, I tend to wait a little while before diving in and then sometimes, a fellow fashionable sister-in-law comes along and makes you realize it's worth giving it a shot ;) So alas, my first date with fringe...

Any trends you're thinking of trying? 
How do you wear fringe?

Top: Old Navy (On sale for $10!)
Skirt: Swap with Lisa (Love this style too)
Hat: Target (similar)
Backpack: Target
Shoes: Sole Society
Watch: Aibi c/o
Necklace: T+J Designs
Sunnies: Elizabeth & James - USE CODE "SISTERSMARIE" to get your first pair free!