Posted on April 26, 2017
“Why did you move from California to Chicago?” is a question I have received 100+ times. My answer has remained consistently the same: The energy in Chicago is different than anywhere else and you never take a beautiful day for granted. Now that I don’t live in California, I never take a pretty day for granted there either.
I was so excited to be in Santa Monica/ Venice Beach for work and I was able to stay the weekend to visit my family. I was able to squeeze in a few things here and there whether it was get a workout in, grab a yummy coffee, walk around the Venice Canals, check out Abbott Kinney Blvd.. it was all so fun. There is so much to do and see in Los Angeles. The next thing I have on my list when I return is to get in more hiking, drive up the coast from San Diego to San Francisco, and see wine country in NorCal. My bucket list just keeps getting longer and longer! What’s on your bucket list and upcoming travel schedule?
Below are a few pictures + outfits linked from my very own La La Land- and I can’t wait to go back ❤
Bathing Suit: Victoria’s Secret (Similar HERE!)
Until we meet again, La La Land ❤
Posted on April 14, 2017
We made it to Friday! I am so excited for a few adventures coming up in the next few weeks, so thanks for following along :). I will give you a hint of what my upcoming adventures include: an ocean, flowers, and more flowers. Oh yes. As you can tell I have been on the floral fashion train because I cannot stop talking about them. I found my top on sale from Anthropologie and I thought it was perfect to wear in the city because it is long sleeved but still bright and cheery (writing this as I wore all black today…). I paired it with my jeans from Zara that are so comfy (and they are high rise!) and my bright pink M. Gemi flats. Anthro usually has a few great pieces on sale when I check out their site or in store (and make sure to grab some Voluspa candles while you’re at it) so make sure to take a peek.
I hope you enjoy your time with family and friends this weekend for Easter! And don’t stay at work too late today.. Happy Friday!
Photography by Brittany Benson
Posted on April 10, 2017
It’s Monday and Spring is (actually) HERE. We are slowly learning what sunshine is in Chicago and I love it. Spring time in Chicago is the best with colorful tulips on Michigan Avenue, strolls on the river walk, bright colors and spring dresses. I have been dying to wear my red sandals out and about and not only are they comfortable, but they come in so many different colors! The Who What Wear line at Target is coming in clutch with its shoe collection. I’m in love with my Crochet Knit Dress by Ellie Kai because it is so comfy and can be dressed up or down! It’s the perfect dress for a Sunday Stroll, day time brunch, (did someone say Easter?!), or even for a Hamptons party (thank you Al for hosting!) If you haven’t heard of Ellie Kai before, make sure to check them out! This made to order clothing line has so many different styles, patterns, and fits to choose from. Not to mention the brand prides itself in making its clothing in an ethical way, in hopes to eliminate waste. The company also donates to organizations that focuses on bettering education for women and girls. Love me some Ellie Kai.
You can never go wrong with a white dress and a pop of color for a day in the sunshine. Can’t wit for more spring fashion inspiration. Let’s just hope this sunshine in Chicago is here to stay for awhile!
Photography by: Meghan @ Lincoln Park Minute
This post includes complimentary product.
Posted on April 6, 2017
Over the past few months, my skin has completely changed. This is not something I normally talk openly about, but I think it is important to know that not everyone is perfect! I went from having crystal clear skin with a few bumps here and there to having flare ups of tiny little bumps all over my face. Let me tell you: it isn’t fun!
I have always stuck to a strict skincare routine involving a lot of high-end products that worked wonders for me for years and I had not recently changed anything so I was puzzled. I go for a monthly facial at Cowshed Spa in Chicago (I see Ashley- she is a miracle worker!) and found out that my sudden little bumps were not acne, but bodily toxins trying to expel themselves through our largest organ: my skin. Ashley had me switch all of my beauty products over to being 100% plant based, organic + all natural and I was totally lost. I started researching brands that are gentle but effective and stumbled upon TULA.
Each TULA product nourishes your skin with a balanced meal of good-for-you ingredients, the same way a healthy diet nourishes your body. At TULA, they are not just looking at what we put on our face, but looking inside at internal medicine to improve the health and appearance of our body’s largest organ, the skin. That means leveraging the power of probiotics, “the newest breakthrough in skincare.” TULA uses carefully selected skin superfoods and probiotics AKA good bacteria to help skin reveal it’s best self.
My personal favorite and new hero product is the Exfoliating Treatment Mask. I have never used a mask that has exfoliating particles in it, but was pleasantly surprised at the texture. This particular mask contains Lactic acid and Bentonite clay to gently peel away impurities, dead skin, and debris and the tiny beads are plant-based and biodegradable. They release hydrating nutrients including Jojoba and Vitamin E to heal and calm skin.
If you have sensitive skin like me or are
making a conscious effort to switch what you put on your body to being plant-based, TULA is the perfect line to dip your toe into. They offer this great little started pack so you can try different skincare items to see what works best for you.
PS: how funny are these products from Anese? The silly names make me laugh every time I look at them. Currently obsessed with this hair elixir. PSS: take 20% off your order with code FIRST20. No…I do not earn anything from this.
Thank you TULA for working with me on this post!
Posted on March 29, 2017
‘Tis the season for weddings and there isn’t anything better than celebrating a forever love over a glass of bubbly. I had the most wonderful time celebrating a friend’s marriage in sunny Orange County, California. My dear friend has nothing short of great taste, so I knew it would be stunning. The venue was at the Monarch Beach Resort and if you ever have a chance to stay there, I would highly recommend. Ocean views and amazing hotel amenities? For those who are stuck in this chilly Spring gloom, I will leave it at that.
My favorite color has always been pink and I love that it is a popular color. I hopped around Nordstrom and luckily found most of my outfit in one place except my shoes from Nordstrom Rack (Nordies clearly has my heart…). I kept it simple finding a pair of tassel earrings I could wear with a messy up-do, and black heels to compliment the black bow in the back of my dress. The up-do was in part that I didn’t want to overheat in the sunshine and I wanted to show off the cute little bow. To top it all off, I was feeling fabulous with my lashes done by Amazing Lash Studio Chicago in Streeterville. I love this dress so much I might sport it for the Kentucky Derby with a black hat and black gloves… thoughts on it being cute or more so aspiring to be Audrey Hepburn? 😉
I hope you get to go to a wedding and celebrate love soon, too! ❤
Posted on March 28, 2017
This past week I finally got to visit Nashville! DJ frequently takes trips to Nashville for work, but since beginning my masters program at DePaul University in Chicago it has become difficult to travel due to missing class. I had my Spring Break last week and tagged along on DJ’s work trip that he extended through the weekend so we could explore and it did not disappoint.
It felt SO.GOOD. to get away from the cold weather in Chicago and walk around without a jacket most of the trip. I had no idea that there were so many different areas to explore besides the touristy downtown- I explored 12 South and Germantown. 12 South is home to a lot of great, small stores and restaurants as well as Draper James. Draper James is adorable but dangerous because one thing is cuter than the next- more on that in a post to come!
I stuck to basics throughout my trip, opting for dark denim, my new favorite flats and nontraditional, light tops. I found these flats at Nordstrom in Chicago last month. They are by Tory Burch’s previous designer, Mercedes Castillo. They are SO ingenious because you can wear them as a slide, or slip a leather cord through the sides of the flat for a tie-up style sandal. I already have my eye on these (and every other shoe in her line- lol.)
Some beautiful old houses I snapped while wandering around Germantown. If you visit Nashville anytime soon, I would highly recommend heading to this area! We are thinking that we would like to visit Charleston soon- any recommendations?
Posted on March 15, 2017
I have been meaning to channel my inner tourist and share some images that really capture the epitome of Chicago. I wanted to live here for a reason, right? One of the most iconic pictures in Chicago is the infamous CHICAGO marquee located at State and Lake at the Chicago Theatre. I work right next door to it so I get to see it every morning and night as I get off and on the redline. State street is great for shopping (I call the Macy’s the Disneyland shopping adventure of Chicago) and you’re in the heart of the city’s Theatre district where you can easily snag student rush tickets to a show.
It has still been a little colder than usual in Chicago, so I went with a black sweater, torn jeans, and ankle boots. I tend to lightly style my hair during the work week and use more products/ heat on it during the weekends, so I think that could be a reason as to why my hair grows so fast (I am in a desperate need of a haircut…). I shared a few of my hair products I use in case anyone is looking for new product recos! Moroccan oil has been my go to for years, and sometimes I mix it with my Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial to give my face ultimate moisture before bed. Any must have black clothing items you have spotted? Let me know!
Posted on February 23, 2017
I am so excited to share my travel guide while I was in New York City. One of the many hot spots I checked out was Brooklyn and I was pleasantly surprised during my time there. I always thought of Brooklyn as a beaten up part of New York City- almost a place where people don’t want to be associated with. I was very much so wrong as it is a youthful and vibrant place where I think many people enjoy the fact that they can get away from the rush of Manhattan. Brooklyn reminded me of a cross between Balboa island in Newport Beach, CA and the Wicker Park neighborhood in Chicago. It has a bunch of both mom and pop shops and trendy stores that attract millennial New Yorkers.
Tina, Brian and I took the subway over to Brooklyn (we went through a underwater tunnel.. woah!) and ventured around Williamsburg neighborhood. We started off by going to The End where I found the beautifully crafted Unicorn Latte. It is noted as a vegan wellness latte with a bunch of different ingredients that are all natural (think beetroot and blue algae). And yes, even the sprinkles are vegan. Their drinks are aesthetically pleasing and taste as good as they look. If I could have tried every drink I would have, but I guess it just means I will have to go back soon.
On our walk to East River State Park, there were the cutest streets and wall art I had to snap a few pictures.. Tina joined in on the fun too.
Afterwards, we ventured to East River State Park where some of the best views of the city are. If you want to feel how it is to be “on the outside looking in,” this is the place to go. It was a perfect day to be outside and take in the breath taking views of the city. I had fun dressing up for the day, as a New Yorker does, and wore a simple neck scarf with a sweater and my black ripped jeans. I bought my shoes from DSW and they helped me get through all my walking while I was in NYC. Tina and I averaged walking about 6.5 miles a day.. compare that to my average of 1.5-2 miles (without exercise) in Chicago. I was so excited to be adventuring the streets of Brooklyn with my friends. We ended the day going for cocktails at Wythe Hotel and grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant we randomly came across with the best crispy chicken burger at Allswell. Hanging out in Brooklyn is on my top 5 things to do when it comes to traveling to NYC. Also a part of my travel guide is to learn a little more about the NYC neighborhoods and find all its hidden gems.
Photos taken by Brian De Los Santos
Posted on February 8, 2017
Brunch in Chicago is more than just your average pancake house. In Chicago, it’s an activity or a full blown experience. 3 Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware is hands down one of the most classy, delicious, and all around beautiful brunch experiences in the city. You might know Restoration Hardware as an upscale furniture store but here, it is more.
Deeply embedded within the historical streets of Gold Coast, lies a once upon a time all women’s boarding house, with room after room, and a grand atrium in the middle. Now you can walk around this magical space with a glass of rose looking at different interior design decorations while you wait to be seated for brunch. (I recommend getting their early or the wait will be long!) They have a great menu with everything from a delicious scramble (pictured below) or an elevated grilled cheese and burger. So far, I have tried a number of items on the menu and have yet to be disappointed. The service is great and a special thank you to the RH staff for always ensuring a lovely time at 3 Arts Club Cafe.
If you are visiting Chicago, dining here is a must. It has quickly become one of the top things to do in Chicago and even when I live here, this charming experience never gets old. Looking for a cute date spot to get out of the house? Gentleman, you score major brownie points going here.
The Outfit Essentials
Questions on a few of my other favorite Chicago go-tos? Comment below and I’d love to share.
Posted on January 30, 2017
Loved partnering with JORD Watches. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I always love finding the perfect gift for special occasions, especially for Valentine’s Day. For friends who are my forever Valentine’s, I love getting the cheesy Valentine’s Day cards from the nearest drug store and writing a sweet little something! They chuckle, but know it’s from the heart.
But then there is my gift to my sweet Valentine! I love getting Bill something he normally wouldn’t purchase for himself, and he has recently become very into watches. Whenever we walk into a department store it’s a given that we stop by the men’s watches.
While I gave Bill his Valentine’s Day gift a little early this year, I knew I had to share the perfect gift to purchase for your special someone too. I got Bill a watch from JORD. It is an all natural wood watch, that is unlike any other watch I have seen. Something that really intrigued me about JORD watches is how timeless it is. To me, it’s the perfect combination of a natural and modern lifestyle, great for day to day, and a really cool watch that friends ask about.
When you are lookingfor the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, I highly recommend checking out JORD’s men’s shop. They have so many different designs that will never go out of style. Gents if you have a lady friend who loves a great statement piece, their women’s shop has an array of options for both the simplistic and the fierce.
Bill is wearing the Dover Zebrawood and Dark Sandalwood watch and he loves that it goes with a street style look or if he is going for something a little more preppy. He might have an extra pep in his step that day- but I’ll never know ;). The skeleton front of the Dover shows that the watch is automatic, so it is powered by movement and no battery needed. JORD’s other designs, Cora and Sawyer are automatic too.
Ladies, you can never go wrong with purchasing your man a new watch right? Love is timeless, and out of anyone we can spend time with, we cherish the time most with the ones we love. For me, no matter if it’s watching a movie together, trying a new restaurant in Chicago, or blogging while Bill diligently studies, I know that at the end of the day, being together is always time well spent in my book.
Watch: JORD Dover Zebrawood and Dark Sandalwood
I encourage you to take a look at JORD’s men’s shop if you are looking for a Valentine’s gift or have an upcoming special occasion. Customized engraving is available too for a select watch series. Also, don’t forget to enter for the chance to win $100 gift code to use on the JORD site! While only 1 winner will be selected, everyone who enters will receive a code worth $25 at the end of the contest! Make sure to enter HERE.
Happy Valentine’s Day!