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 ;)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Sharing some favorites from life lately...

Shopping Finds

Per usual, I should really cut back with the online shopping, but some of these summer sales lately have been too good. 

I picked up these two Free People tops because I've recently realized just how much I am obsessed with Free People. I just love the variety in their line, especially their flowy/boho style stuff. Andrea has posted about that white shirt before, so when I saw Bloomingdales had it on sale for just over $20 I knew I had to snag it. I'm excited for it to come in. 

I grabbed this dress from Nordstroms yesterday (!) per Courtney's suggestion. Seriously, everything looks lovely on her. (As an aside, I recently discovered her blog and she is DEFINITELY a new favorite. I'm completely obsessed with her fashion and decor style.) I have a very summery, nature-y wedding at the end of July and I think this will be perfect for it. And for $40? Yes, please. 

So I've been really loving Birkenstocks recently like they look so cute on everyone (in like an ugly way), but I felt like they would legitimately look ugly on me, so I've been wary of paying the price for them. So I picked up these knock offs from Target for $22.99 and figured I would just return them if I hated them. Well. I'm obsessed. Don't even care if they're ugly. Don't even care that they're knock offs. I think they look really awesome in person and they're super comfortable. I've been wearing them everywhere. 

I ran to Sephora with Chelsie last week to pick out a lipstick she'll wear on the big day (! - she picked this btw) and I grabbed a few things for myself because I have no self control. 

I finally got the "Take the Day Off" balm that Clinique makes. I love their eye makeup remover from this line, so I've been wanting to try a product that would take everything on my face off. I like it a lot so far! It really breaks down all kinds of makeup which is great. 

I grabbed the travel size version of this volumizer because I've been wanting to try a Living Proof product and because that section by the registers is literally the reason why I go to Sephora. 

I used this product this morning after I curled my hair and loooove the way it smells. I threw it in my purse and am excited to use it after work to see if it gives me some volume after a full day.

I grabbed this guy because Origins is my go-to skincare brand and this might be the best mask I've ever used. I'm typically a sheet mask kind of girl because they're easier and less messy, but this mask (and their charcoal masks) are total game changers. I can't even describe how much I love their products. 

I grabbed all of their new sheet masks (because I can't relax about anything) from their website earlier this month and have been loving them which is no surprise. I highly recommend checking them out. 

Now this isn't the most fun product, and god knows I'd rather not have to wear it, but boy am I happy they exist. 
(I'm always looking for recommendations for stuff like this, so I thought I would share in case anyone is looking!)
Guys, I may have found the shape wear to end all shape wear. I initially didn't want to wear anything this constricting to Chelsie's wedding because I really want to be comfortable and just enjoy, but when I realized I wasn't going to lose the weight I wanted to lose in time for the wedding, I knew I had to change my plans a bit. 
So I ordered this Maidenform shape wear without much positive expectation (I don't have great luck with shape wear and I actually really dislike Spanx. They've never worked well for me ever. Plus that price tag...), but it delivered this week and I'm really, really loving them. They're soft, comfortable (for shape wear which is huge), and have a thick piece of sticky material around the waistband to hold them up. I'm wearing them for the group photos and ceremony only (and then ditching them for dinner and the reception because I'm not a total masochist) and I'm hoping they hold up as well as I think they're going to. They fit true to size, in my opinion, but some reviewers were saying they could have sized down to get even more tightening power (which is why I also ordered these in a medium but chucked that idea when I couldn't get them over my knees). Did I mention they're $15? Ok. 


*I have a decent amount, so if you're a reader, I can't wait to hear what you think! But if you're not, you'll hate this, so bye*

On the children's front...

My mom and I are big, big fans of RBG (I have an illustrated button of her on my denim jacket) so when a picture book came out about her, I knew it would be a perfect addition to my mom's birthday gift. I love all these picture book bios coming out about badass women! 

I also preordered She Persisted as soon as it became available to do so. It came in the mail a few weeks ago and it's been so lovely to page through and see what amazing women came before us. 
We have so much gratitude to give. 
I started building my future children's library this year (working in the industry makes that a little too easy at times), so I grab a picture book whenever it speaks to me and I've been stockpiling them in our basement. I'm thrilled to have this one as part of my daughter and/or son's collection. 

On the young adult front... 

I've still only partially gotten into Everything, Everything and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I know I'm not going to have any issue with an Alexie novel, but Everything, Everything  is proving to be a little more difficult for me to get into which is disappointing because Nicola Yoon has been getting so much publicity and seems really awesome. I work with an editor who worked on Everything, Everything and said her newest book is even better, so I'm more interested in that one now. 

However, I did finish Zenn Diagram which I thought was very sweet for a debut YA author. It had a cool premise where the main character could know exactly what a person was feeling or at least gauge their energy whenever she touched one of their belongings. She tutored after school, so if she touched someone's calculator or notebook, she sensed a lot of vibes from them. She discovers that she has a deeper connection to one of the boys she tutors than she could have realized. It was innocent without being corny and/or over the top. I'd recommend it! 

I also finished Once and For All by Sarah Dessen who is my QUEEN YA novelist. I absolutely love her and was so excited when her book was available for pre-order. This book felt like she was getting back to her roots, as I've felt with the last two or so books of hers that she seemed to be waning from her authentic tone a little bit (as much as I hate to admit it). I really enjoyed this one and finished it within the week. It made me want to reread all of her stuff, especially The Truth About Forever which is my favorite Dessen novel. *heart eyes forever*

Up next: 
A coworker grabbed an ARC of A Short History of the Girl Next Door at BEA in New York a few weeks ago and is letting me borrow it, so I'm excited to dive into that. 

On the adult front...

I finished It Ends with Us which was an easy read and I enjoyed it despite the serious topic of domestic abuse, although I'm glad this topic is being featured in popular contemporary fiction in an authentic way that allows people to have a safe conversation about it.

I ended up reading Confess later in the same week and finished it in a day because I wanted to watch the tv show they made of it. Finished that in a day too because, well, look at that guy (also, it's only like six episodes long). Definitely a guilty pleasure, but I actually liked the tv show more.  

I finished Forever, Interrupted this month as well. I definitely liked it, but I've heard that her others are better, so I have a new one on my nightstand now. Her books can be considered somewhat chick-lit-y (even though I hate that term), but they're easy reads that aren't over the top corny or dramatic. Dialogue is a big thing for me in YA and contemporary fiction, especially when there's a romance angle, because I tend to feel like dialogue often sounds forced or unrealistic, but I think she does dialogue well. 

Up next:

This is the new TJR novel I have on my nightstand and I've heard really good things about it, so I'm excited to get into it. I read the prologue before bed the other night and it seems to be setting up the book nicely.

This has been on my nightstand just begging to be read. It has gotten so much praise and the plot diving into the restaurant scene in New York has me hooked. A coworker named this her favorite book of 2016 (and we make books, so I like to think our opinions are somewhat valid ;)) so I'm eagerly waiting to get into this. 

Personal Favs

The only favorite that really sticks out this week is the obvious...tomorrow is Chelsie and Dan's wedding! 

I've said it 100 times, and I'm sure every bride and/or the people that have been along for the planning ride have said the same thing, but I can't believe we're here. It seems so crazy to think all that planning is coming to fruition tomorrow. 

The rehearsal dinner was last night and it was so fun to be with the whole group. Dan's dad made a lovely speech before dinner and it gave me hope for my own I'll be giving tomorrow night which I'm freeeeaking out about. 


It's kind of weird how weddings make you evaluate your friendship with the person getting married. Like what is it about our friends getting married that makes us analyze every detail of our friendships? I guess it's the growing up and the moving on and wondering if things will stay the same or how they'll change. It's reminiscing and having gratitude for your memories, and for a sentimental fool like me, I can admit to spending a lot of time thinking about our friendship and what it has meant to me over the last twenty years. 

As I mentioned, I have to give a speech, which I've been dreading for the last year and a half, but I'll do it (with the help of some whiskey, I'm sure)! I had to cut back on said sentimentality because I knew I'd be a ball of hysterics if I didn't. Her card on the other hand, that is filled with the grossest amount of nostalgia and love imaginable. 

We're off to get mani/pedis and I've surprised the bride with evening massages tonight, so we'll be enjoying a pampered day before tomorrow :) We're also having a sleepover tonight in the hotel just the two of us and I can't wait. 

I can't wait to share pictures from tomorrow. It's going to be just the best day. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!