Saturday, March 10, 2012

BHLDN and other pretty things

Thanks to the lovely ladies who will be standing next to me on my wedding day, I had such a special day on Saturday.  I know my last post was a bit of a downer, but hey, it's the truth.  Saturday I got to experience a little wedding planning bliss though {it's not always terrible!}  We started the day trying on bridesmaids dresses and the girls making me laugh uncontrollably.  My original idea of purchasing all different cocktail dresses in complementing colors was a bust.  They either didn't fit right, the colors were off together, they weer too short, etc.  So, off to Jenny Yoo and J. Crew.  Afterwards we checked out BHLDN, Anthro's bridal boutique that just opened it's doors in Chicago.  Yes, it's exactly as amazing as you'd expect {images below}.  I ended up finding my wedding shoes here!  They have a great selection of vintage inspired jewelry, cocktail/bridesmaids dresses, off-the-beaten-path wedding gowns and decor.  Even if you're not engaged, it's worth checking out.  We spent the rest of the afternoon at lunch and shopping, of course. There may have been Sprinkles cupcakes and prosecco at Fred's - why put an end to a great day?

{Clutches at BHLDN}

{so pretty!}

{Wedding gowns - BHLDN}

{decor room - BHLDN}

{My shoes!}
{with pom pom}

{J. Crew jewels - amazing right now}

{fireplace at Tory Burch Chicago, so glam}

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

I have to admit that from time to time during this wedding planning process, I've found myself getting incredibly overwhelmed. I generally am not a fan of events that have a lot of build-up around them.  The expectations are too high, I'm upset when things don't turn out perfectly, the way I had planning in my head and I'm far too controlling to let anyone do the planning for me.

This may be surprising to my friends and family because I love helping others plan their special day, I'm obsessed with details, flowers, food, hosting parties, etc. Planning my own has been a completely different story.  Every decision has more weight.  We're trying so hard to make our wedding unique, a day that reflects us as a couple.  The idea of a completely traditional and formal affair is just not us.  

There have certainly been times throughout the past few months when we've considered eloping/going to the courthouse/grabbing our immediate family and closest friends and just going for it.  In the end, we decided that it's important to us to have the people who love and support us surrounding us on our big day. 

So, now I'm trying to truly enjoy this time of our engagement.  I know that it will be gone before we know it, we're already just over six months out. I have to step back and remember that when it's all said and done, I will be married to a wonderful man.

image via

Monday, February 20, 2012

An update in instagram

A J. Crew Outlet trip with my mom resulting in lots of brights for Spring! 
 Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies - my favorite

 A book club get together {an excuse to break out the gold flatware and eat large amounts of cheese, yes, that is white aged cheddar with chocolate in it, yes, it was delicious}

Hollywood had bath time and was then mad at me for all of two hours

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dream Home

Have you ever logged on to your Pinterest account and clicked through your interior inspiration boards, just taking in the beautiful images, putting them all together to build your dream home?  Come on, I know I'm not the only one!  Here's what I've put together this evening...

 Jenna Lyons' entryway, so full of character

 Lots of cozy places to curl up - a must

 A bedroom sanctuary perfect for lounging on Sunday mornings 

 A little outdoor space

 The perfect space to cook, complete with dog waiting for you to drop food

 I'm a city girl 

 Space to entertain

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oh, to be French...

Why is it that the French just do it better - eat, enjoy, raise children.  Seriously, I've read all of these, with the exception of Bringing up Bebe (which comes out this month), and these ladies seriously have their ish together.

All books available on

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: The Registry

Lets be honest, a lot some elements of wedding planning really aren't that fun.  Things that are fun: the dress & registering.  We made our way to Williams Sonoma a couple Saturdays ago to get some goodies up on our registry.  We've lived together for a couple years, and I love to cook, so we've pretty much purchased the things we've needed as we've gone.  BUT there are a couple things I've been holding out for: a Le Creuset dutch oven, a Kitchen Aid mixer, and some killer All Clad stainless steel cookware. We threw some other fun stuff in there too. The fiance was excited for two things: an incredible hulk pancake flipper and a french press.  Both of which are on our registry.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hollywood vs. the booties

This was just too funny not to share. I got Hwood some booties because her poor little bulldog paws were getting torn up from the cold, salt and ice on our Chicago city sidewalks. Last night was our first attempt.  At first she didn't really know what to think of them {or how to walk in them}, but after we headed out on our walk, she was totally fine with them.  I actually think she likes them!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm in love

Seriously... IN LOVE.

With what you ask? Well, not that amazing white subway tile with grey grout, or the subtle drop lights that perfectly accent the natural light from the window. Not the simple and elegant white flatware or the splash of green brought on by the cleverly placed topiary. Certainly not that fabulous stove and that gorgeous natural brown island or the wicker accents.

I am seriously in love with that loaf of bread... I love me a loaf of crusty Italian bread.

TGIF ladies.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine's Day Gift Guide {for your man}

In honor of February 1st, I thought I'd skip a Wedding Wednesday and throw together a little gift guide for your man.How do you like to celebrate Valentine's Day? I personally like to lay low. Pizza  and red wine has become a much loved tradition.

baseball hat J. Crew
jack spade iPhone case
sir jack's {pricey} cufflinks
bulleit rye whiskey

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

J. Crew Spring 2012

Going to need all of this for Spring.

available at

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Winter Weekend

Dinner at Lillie's Q, snuggling by the fire at home, homemade pizza, cozy flannels on sale at J Crew.  This is what we call winter in Chicago... or hibernating.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to my handsome future husband. Tonight we will be staying in {I'm making dinner} and probably catching up on Modern Family and Selling New York.  Oh, how birthdays have changed...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Inspiration

These are just a few images that have given me endless inspiration for the big day.  The photo at the top is actually our venue - inspirational on its own, an old, rustic loft in an industrial district here in Chicago.  It just screams for white pillar candles, right? With the details, I wanted to contrast this raw space with some softer textures and a little golden glam.  

All images via my pinterest wedding board

Monday, January 23, 2012

My domestic weekend in photos

 Despite the crazy snow storm Friday, my weekend was quite productive.  Lots of cooking/baking, a little decorating and some quality girl time. 

{Baked my mom's super simple and delicious dark chocolate chip banana bread recipe}

 {showed my mantle some love, took a little trip to West Elm - white blown glass with a succulent nestled inside, all in that perfect glass dome}

{Ordered three of these to hang over our kitchen island.  They were only $13 per pendent!!  That's right, head on over to the home depot website and order yourselves some.  I just can't get enough brass in my life right now}

{Ordered this address stamp from MaeMae Paperie for our Save the Dates, RSVP cards and thank you notes}

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday Musings

Three things getting me through this work week: one - my sparkly ring finger nails, two - new perfectly adorable {affordable} and wearable flats {from Gap AND they're offering 30% off right now} and three - this pad of paper via Rifle Paper Co.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wedding Wednesay: Our Photographer

We've checked another item off our planning list this past weekend - we hired our photographer!  After working with Tim and his wife, Bethany at Cara's wedding in Napa this past October, we knew they were incredibly talented.  They have a photo-journalistic style, which was what we were looking for. They say they don't care much for predictable shots, but rather love to get people being themselves, interacting and making each other laugh.  Their work definitely reflects this.  We met with them on Saturday over coffee and they are just the cutest couple {recently married in August!}. We can't wait for them to capture our big day. If you're in the market for a photographer - engagement, wedding, baby, etc. - I recommend you check them out: Tim Tab Studios.
 Oh, and please be sure to mention my name if you do happen to give them a call.

 {This is the lovely couple - photo from their site}

Here's some of their work from Cara and Nathan's wedding. 

{See me in there? Second from the left}