Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites

Hello, hello! So glad it's the weekend and I have some favorites to share!


The super exciting news around here is that in a few weeks, Sammy and I leave for Cabo! Sammy ended up having three days off on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in August and I have that same Friday off from work, so we decided to each take an additional few days off so we could go somewhere.
I stalked for weeks until I found the Krystal Grand and we decided on Cabo! We couldn't beat the price (under $1000 per person for airfare and all-inclusive for 4 nights) for how nice the quality seems, so we went for it. After the two weddings we were involved in this summer, another coming up before we leave, and other family/friend/work commitments, we're looking forward to this break.

Even though we've been dating for over ten years, we haven't traveled anywhere this far together, so I'm super excited (and have some dorky nerves about it!). I can't wait to get into that pool! 
I bought two new bathing suits and a cute cover up and am hoping to pick up a few more easy things to bring with on the trip. Hopefully I can do a quick round up of stuff I've gotten before we leave!


Emily (from Cupcakes and Cashmere if you live under a rock) posted these lists on her Insta story the other day and then announced they're starting a book club! She's chosen the first book from the "most recommended books" list: Behind Her Eyes. I purchased the ebook and have started it already. So far,  it's unfortunately a little eh, but I'm hoping it picks up. I'm not a natural reader of the thriller genre but have always wanted to get into it, so hopefully this proves to be a good introduction.
#3 is also on my ever growing list of "to-reads" and #9 is a lovely, gut wrenching piece of work.

My queen has also started a book club! I'm so excited and can't wait to pick up the first book (of four) she'll choose this year. It sounds intriguing already as it's been pitched as echoing The Great Gatsby and being about "an extended African American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream."

In other book news, our Boxcar Bookshelf was the #1 bestseller in the children's books category on Amazon during Prime Day on Tuesday! It seemed like a pretty universal feeling among bloggers and people on social media that there weren't a lot of intriguing deals this year on Prime Day (I'd have to agree, although I tried to stay away so I wouldn't be tempted to spend), however, it was a big day for us in the office. We were #1 in children's books and #7 in books overall. So exciting!


I was able to get some baby snuggles in last week when I met my cousin's daughter for the first time. How sweet is she?! Definitely a favorite ;)

I've started a kind of dorky tradition with myself... every holiday, I let myself look through Crate & Barrel's clearance section and get one holiday specific item if I find something I like. Then I add it to my stock pile for when I have my own home (which will hopefully be sometime next year!). I lust over Crate and Barrel merchandise and always felt like I was missing out on such holiday stuff that may not come back next year just because I didn't have a house yet (however, I should probably relax about this in general because it wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't snag some fourth of July decor item). So I went on their site and, of course, their summer shit is so cute. 
I ended up snagging several "hotdog baskets" on sale for $2.97 and several fry cups on sale for $1.97. I mean. You just can't beat their clearance. And I don't even want to admit how long I've been wanting to buy fry cups, so when I saw these on such a discount I took it as a karmic reward for waiting ;) And no one in my life is going to eat their hotdog out of a tin, but that didn't stop me from making that purchase. 
Go look at their summer collection now! Seriously, so cute.

Sammy and I saw Spiderman: Homecoming last Thursday and we both really enjoyed it. Spiderman is his favorite superhero, so he's been waiting anxiously for this to come out ;) He's totally converted me into a Marvel freak, and we're both coming around to the DC side as well. Can't wait for Justice League: Part 1 to come out in November. 

Sammy sent me an article yesterday about the new Scorsese film coming out in 2018 called The Irishman...and now I have no idea how I'll be able to wait until next year. It's about the Irish mobster, Frank Sheeran, and his possible involvement with the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Scorsese got all the guys from Goodfellas to sign on, including Joe Pesci who is one of my favorites always. I can't stop reading up on all the mafia history! My great grandparents knew a decent amount of high profile mafia members in Chicago (my great grandfather even played cards with one!) so I can't get enough of this shit. If you're into the mobster movies, keep your eyes open for any news about this one. 

I mentioned this dress before, but I have to mention it again. I wore it to work the other day and dressed it down with a denim jacket and my faux birkenstocks and I LOVED it. I ended up picking up the white one as well. It proved so easy to dress down, and I'll be dressing it up with some wedges and jewelry for a nature themed wedding in a few weeks. Check it out here.

And speaking of dresses, my cousin found this one as a bridesmaid dress contender for her wedding next July. I think it's so cute and love the lace overlay. Perhaps the best part about it? It's on sale for $49.99 at Macy's. Cheapest bridesmaid dress I've ever bought ha! We're getting together on Sunday so I can try it on. 


I'm looking forward to spending a low key night in with Sammy tonight. Someone at worked recommended we watch The Jinx on HBO after she heard we were watching The Keepers on Netflix. We love shows like this, so I'm hoping he's up for a little binge watching tonight. 
Saturday we have a graduation party and a post-Forth of July party, however we may have to divide and conquer if we can't make both together. 
Sunday we're going out for an early dinner to celebrate Sammy's mom's birthday a few weeks early, and we'll get some time with our niece which is all anyone cares about anymore anyway ;)

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

4th of July / Weekend Recap

Last week for me was honestly kind of like one long weekend. Having Tuesday and Friday off, made the week feel super short and easy to tackle. I wanted to do a quick recap of our fourth which led into another wedding weekend!


My first priority of the day was to sleep in because I've been looking forward to having the fourth off for like a stupid amount of time. 
I stopped by my girlfriend's first who was having friends over for some pool time and then Sammy and I went downtown to visit friends. 

Image result for caprese orzo pasta salad

I brought big batches of this caprese orzo pasta salad to both get togethers and it seemed to be a hit. This my go-to for picnics and outdoor outings. I don't even use a recipe, it's that easy! It also makes for great leftovers. 

An over-the-top-looking patriotic post on Insta with this guy was taken before the night was over. 
This was the first year we didn't see fireworks near our houses which is tradition and that made me a little sad. But on the way home from the city you could see at least 8 different town's fireworks from the highway going on all at once which was pretty cool. 


The rest of the week was pretty chill and easy going as I also had Friday off #BlessSummerFridayOfficeHours so I got prepped for another wedding weekend!

Will never tire of being gifted robes and sipping champagne while getting my hair done ;) Seriously, this robe though...the bride had to overnight ship these for us because the ones she originally ordered from Target were delivered without the belts! But these are soo light and airy for summer and the floral print is so pretty, right? Kind of glad we didn't get the originals ;)

Look how cute all the bridesmaid/parents/flower girl gifts look? Ugh, so pretty.

Most stunning bride.

Me and my SIL on the trolley!


Two of my very favorite men pretending to be serious aka already drunk

More trolley selfies (and really cool tan lines, nice job, Alex)

The bride and groom infused bottles of olive oil as favors for each guest which also doubled as place card holders. They're so cute, I can't. 

The ceremony and reception was at 19 East which is this cool loft event space downtown. They decorated the space so well. Everything looked simple and elegant--just like the bride. 

All the flowers were white and the table number holders were small Golden Retriever statues (!!) because they're so in love with their Golden, Eli (who happened to be the ring bearer and I died about it). 

The flower girl was pretty into the bride :)

This is the whole bridal party! The groom had 14 groomsmen and it was so fun. Can't wait to see how these turn out in the professional pictures. *please note Eli in front of the groom* ;) 

Two of my favorite women. 

See? Stunning, right? 

Everything looked so elegant with all the candles and super soft uplighting. 


Super into the fonts they used for everything. 

Of course her dance with her Nonno made me tear up. So sweet.

We had the best time standing up in this wedding. Sammy and I obsessively love spending time with his our cousins and weddings are so fun with them, especially when they're for them.
Sarah and Dario are one of the most lovely couples I know. They love so big, you can just feel it when you're around them. The day was so personalized to them, but they also personalized it to their family and friends and it was so nice to witness. Another cugini wedding in the books!


On Sunday we got Shake Shack before leaving the city and going home and spending the rest of the afternoon/night napping and recuperating.

We have one more wedding at the end of this month and then I'll be ready to move slightly out of wedding season ;) even though they are so fun. 

We're halfway through the week, people! 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Favorites

Well it wouldn't be a Friday Favorites if I didn't recap all my wedding favorites from last Friday and Saturday!

Chelsie and Dan's wedding couldn't have been more beautiful. Seriously just wouldn't have been possible. People haven't stopped telling me how gorgeous the venue's grounds were and how lovely everyone and everything looked. It's been so fun to look back on it even though it's only been a week!

How stunning was she?!

Last Friday, Chelsie and I met one of our girlfriends (another bridesmaid) to get mani/pedis in the morning which was fun girl time and much needed.

Chelsie and I ran errands throughout the day and then I surprised her with massages for the two of us which she deemed "the best thing ever" afterward ;) If you're local, I highly recommend the Wellness Center in Libertyville. Incredible service and the massages were SO good. Can't speak more highly about the women that work there. 

Afterward, we headed back to the hotel with Chinese take-out which we ate out of the cartons on the bed :)

A few months ago when Chelsie asked me if I would spend the night before her wedding with her, I was thrilled. Sleepovers have always kind of been "our thing" and I was so honored she'd want to spend the night before her wedding with me. We were super goofy and ate bad-good food together which is basically the foundation of our friendship. It has been so fun to see how our relationship has remained the same even though our lives have changed. 

The next morning we took a "classic ugly" photo (aka I took an ugly photo cause look at her...nothing ugly about that face) and I celebrated her wedding morning by posting an evolution of our friendship in ugly ass photos on Instagram (we're probably 16 in that black and white photo). 

After that, we got our robes on, packed up the room, and hit the road!

We spent the morning sipping champagne, sitting out on the balcony of the bridal suite, and getting ready together. 

Chelsie and Dan did their first look and then we all took bridal party pictures. 
Full and total photography credit to Lindsey Kay Photography. She's absolutely incredible and just as lovely as she appears to be. 

They had the loveliest ceremony during golden hour. Everyone kept complimenting their music choices. The bridal party walked down to "In My Life" by The Beatles (which I can no longer listen to without getting goosebumps), Chelsie walked down to "Can't Help Falling in Love With You," and at the end, they walked down the aisle together to "Send Me On My Way" by Rusted Root. Like come on. 
Best music ever. 

They took some golden hour pictures during cocktail hour before they lost this gorgeous light. Are we dead from these pictures? I can't even stand it. 


Chelsie and Dan got married the Armour House in Lake Forest and their attention to detail is pretty impeccable. They worked with each vendor perfectly, had zero issues, and everything turned out so nice.

Sammy and I snuck in a photo during cocktail hour before heading in for dinner. 

I wish I had taken more photos of the room where we ate dinner because it was absolutely stunning. The flowers and the set up was done to perfection.

Chelsie and Dan had their first dance to "Fly Me to the Moon," the Sinatra version, of course ;)

And we spent the rest of the night dancing, drinking, and eating Lou Malnati's after 11 pm. It was a fabulous celebration for two people who couldn't be more suited for one another. 

These two are currently finishing up their mini-moon in Door County, WI (where they got engaged) and are doing things like riding bikes together, taking naps, sitting on docks by the lake, and just generally being grossly cute. 

And exactly one year from today, THIS girl will be married! Can't wait to see this wedding planning process begin! Especially when it's for literally the sweetest couple I know. 


And to continue with the wedding theme... next weekend these two gross humans get married:

(photo credit: Tim Tab Studios)

I mean, really? Yes, Eli will be in the wedding. Yes, Eli is the dog. 
Sammy and I are both standing up and I couldn't be more excited for another cousin wedding in Chicago!


Another very important favorite... my cousin had her baby this week!

- Vincenza Rose -


My favorite cousins have two of the loveliest girls ever now. I'm hoping we get to meet her this weekend!


And now some non-family/wedding favorites: 

Sammy and I got pre-approved for a mortgage this week and that's definitely the most adult thing I've ever done to date. 

We've been looking at houses for a while now, mostly for fun, and as it turns out, very unrealistically. So we're trying to slow it down and take a slight break from looking so often in an attempt to keep this process fun (as my father, the realtor, keeps telling us to do). Hopefully we'll have something by spring of next year!

Where do I sign up for this shit? #UltimateGoals

I've been wanting to watch Felicity ever since I finished Dawson's Creek (SO happy with the ending btw), so I started this week when I saw it was on Hulu. I'm liking it so far! Anyone who has watched, can we all agree Ben kind of sucks? #TeamNoel (so far at least) 

Another favorite: having no official plans for the weekend. 

The last few weeks have been so crazy trying to balance Sammy's work schedule with mine, family and friend obligations, wedding stuff, kickboxing, while also trying to make some time for myself. 

It hasn't been easy, but the outcome has been worth it, and the rest of the summer should flow a little slower. 

Sammy is working this weekend, so my days are completely free to do whatever. I'm hoping to get some baby snuggles in, maybe make a run to Costco, but otherwise I plan on catching up on sleep and binge watching Felicity in bed. Next week we have wedding festivities starting again, so I'm taking the slow weekends when I can get them! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!
I'm already looking forward to that Tuesday off ;)