greyed out


J. Crew v-neck sweater (perfectly oversized with pockets and on sale!…I wear mine at least 3 times a week in the colder months) | Coach phone wallet|Tom Ford eyeshadow trio | Madewell linen tee | Zara pumps | J.Crew pumps | J. Crew cardigan  | NARS nail polish in galathee and storm bird | MANGO oversized coat

A collection of lovely things in my favorite color: grey.  It’s a fantastic neutral. There are so many varieties of the color that I never get bored with it. From a soft, light grey the color of doves to a moody and deep charcoal, I love them all. I also love that grey can run the gamut from warm and cozy shades to shades that are cool and stark like concrete. Apparently, grey is “in” again this season, which makes me happy, even though I never realized it was “out” (how can a classic go out of style?).  I’ve been itching to add a grey coat and grey pumps to my closet. I’m vacillating between the two pairs shown above. I’m still on the look out for the perfectly oversized, slightly masculine grey topper. Any contenders?

Happy Monday!

snapshots #1


one a guilty pleasure – sprats in oil :: two selfie :: three james & me

four target shopping with my sister, kc :: five boat ride on Lake Michigan :: six new edition of my future sister-in-law, Trish Ryan‘s first book (highly recommended)

seven this picture caught my eye on pinterest , both for its depiction of a marvelous shopping spree and the even more marvelous woman (doesn’t she look fierce?)

I finally figured out a way to do justice to the photos that are languishing on my phone…

I’m excited for Friday and tonight’s dinner out (sushi!), as well as visiting my sister tomorrow in college.

Have a happy weekend!

things I love

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I love anything that is breathtakingly simple in its purpose, design, and functionality. This handmade-in-Spain wallet is just that, with enough card slots, a place for paper and coin currency, and a slim, compact design encased in unadorned Italian leather with a nondescript logo…all for $115 (make sure you check out the story behind the price!). Awesome.

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recent buys

recent buys

splurges: Illamasqua blush/bronzer :: NARS lipstick

steals: Maybelline gel eyeliner :: L’Oreal eyeshadows :: E.L.F. eyebrow gel

So…I may have gotten a little head start on that beauty update. These items didn’t make it on my fall beauty wishlist since I had already recently purchased them. The splurges were courtesy of a gift card from a friend that had been languishing in my wallet. The steals were courtesy of a Target trip that was supposed to be just a “quick stop for bread”…you know, just like every single Target trip (at least in our household).

Illamasqua Blush/Bronzer Duo in beg/bronze. The bronze shade looks downright crazy in the pan, but actually does a great job at contouring for my medium deep skintone (I wear NARS tinted moisturizer in either Malaga or Seychelles as my summer base color for reference). The blush is a great natural color that works for my skin now and the lighter tone I will become in a month or so. I’m still not sold on this product as I’m still a little skeptical about the bronze color (even though it works great). Perhaps I’m just being a tad bit suspicious about the disconnect between the color in the pan and the color on my face (and serious doubts about my ability to recreate whatever it was the makeup artist did in store to seduce me into coughing up my gift card).

NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita. True to my neutral-loving self, I love me a great my-lips-but-better lipstick. I’ve been eyeing this lipstick for awhile but I’ve always passed it up before. It’s such a nice color that I know I’ll wear often, but I sometimes shy away from buying a lipstick that is a bit ordinary, you know? I know it sounds silly, and it is silly since I’ve used it far more often in the couple of days I’ve had it than the other bold lip colors I’ve had for months. Note to self: basics often become can’t-live-without-it classics. Sure, they’re not flashy, but they have a tendency of becoming essential.

L’Oreal Infallible 24 Hour eyeshadows in Amber Rush and Bronzed Taupe. I know I’m late to this bandwagon, but I’m now shamelessly on it. These colors are beautiful and apply like a dream. At ~$8 a pop, these are gorgeous shadows to add to my stash with (relatively) little guilt over the price. I’m just sticking to two for now though – $8 x goingcrazy = a lot of money.

Maybelline EyeStudio gel cream eyeliner in blackest black. Again, another party I’m late to. The Illamasqua makeup artist used the brand’s gel creme liner on me, and I loved the effect. I balked at the $28 price tag for theirs, so I went digging on the web to find something more wallet-friendly. This one was recommended by so many, and after trying it, I now see why. It’s got great pigmentation, is easy to use, and the brush isn’t bad. I prefer using an angled brush more so than the pointed one that comes with it, but it’s a nice addition. I don’t know about drying out issues yet as I just got mine, but I closed the lid tightly on the jar and am hoping for the best.

E.L.F. clear mascara/eyebrow gel. Ah, the biggest of steals. This baby was $1. I’m an eyebrow gel newbie, so even though this product got mixed reviews online (many complained of the relatively small amount of product and of the gel looking discolored over time), I figured it was a good place to start. For $1, it was worth a try and if the product does start looking unpleasant, it could be thrown out and replaced at a very low cost. It does a good job of helping my eyebrows stay put, so at least in the short term my $1 was well spent.

things I love


image via

This is the perfect reading nook. I love the clean palette of blue, white, and grey – doesn’t it just look like such a peaceful place to while away an hour or two (or four) getting lost in the magic of books?

wish list: fall beauty

fall beauty wish list

L’Occitane soap :: Stila eyeshadow palette :: Urban Decay lipstick :: FRESH lip balm :: Giorgio Armani foundation

Oribe spray :: TARTE blush :: Tom Ford eyeshadow quad :: Essie nail polish (out in October) :: Sephora moisturizer 

So many good things in the fall! Aside from wanting sumptuous leather boots and cozy sweaters, I always want to add a few beauty items to my stash when the weather gets cooler. The new season begs for richer colors and textures – jewel tones, a little luster, a little more depth.  Here’s what I’ve earmarked for some updates to my beauty arsenal in the fall:

L’Occitane soap. Walking into a L’Occitane boutique is always such a great sensory and tactile experience. I love the muted, pure scents they produce, and I love the work they do for their producers in Provence and in Burkina Faso. In addition to their fabulous shea butter hand cream, I love their soaps. I don’t use them everyday as they’re expensive, but I try to include a couple of bars over the endless Chicago winter for a little pampering in the shower. I’m partial to three scents: lavender (a classic!), milk (so pure and clean), and lemon verbena (so refreshing).

Stila In The Light palette. I’ve heard so many good things about this palette. I’m a neutrals girl at heart, and I love that this palette gives me plenty of neutrals in both matte and shimmer finishes. I had the Naked 2 palette, and I found that there was just too much shimmer in the shadows for it to be my everyday go-to. That palette went to my sister, and I think this would be a much more versatile replacement. It also comes with a full-size espresso/dark brown eyeliner that has gotten great reviews on its own.

Urban Decay Revolution lipstick. Again, I’ve read great review after great review about this new line from UD. I’m looking for a rich berry/plum color – not too bright, but not too dark – that’s the perfectly rich shade to complement autumnal tones of oranges, reds, and greens. I’m thinking the shade venom might just fit the bill.

FRESH Sugar lipbalm. This will actually be a refill for me. This balm in rose (the pink tube) is the most beautiful flush of pink that on my lips is so soft and natural. It’s a super easy product that provides some SPF protection along with a great tint of color that helps me look put together with just one swipe. Bonus: I adore the tin packaging and the lemony scent.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation. During the summer, I always reach for tinted moisturizer, but in the fall, I find that I want a little bit more coverage. With the colder weather, I can tolerate a little bit more makeup since I’m not afraid to have it all melt off. I have yet to try this specific foundation, but it comes highly recommended by close friends. I think a product that claims to provide medium coverage that feels light as air while still giving a tinted-moisturizer glow and the added benefits of minimizing pores deserves a try by me.

Oribe Dry Texturizing spray. I’ve been wanting to see if this product really deserves its Holy Grail reputation. I’ve yet to find a dry shampoo I really like, and I’ve also been meaning to find a product that will do something interesting yet low-maintenance with my hair. I love the fact that my hair is thick, but thick hair often becomes a tricky exercise in volume. I think this could introduce an effortless dose of trying to do something with my hair without too much expertise/added time to my routine.

TARTE Amazonian Clay blush. My skin tone loses a lot of its golden undertones in the fall/winter, so I find that I need a little bit of color to compensate. I’m a NARS anything blush type of girl, but the colors on these blushes are so pretty. The color tipsy seems like it would give a lovely flush of color to my winter-tone cheeks without going over the top.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad. I have yet to give in to the temptation of Tom Ford makeup – it’s not exactly easy on the wallet! But I saw this quad in Orchid Haze, and I was smitten. The colors are so pigmented yet refined. Eyeshadows are my Achilles heel in beauty – I think my eyes are my best feature so I tend to go crazy on eye products. On the flip side, they’re definitely the products I use most, so the cost/use equation is pretty justified (or so I think). But $78 is a lot for eyeshadow, however nice. Here’s hoping for a gift card. One’s 25th birthday is a good reason to buy something so lovely yet so exorbitantly priced, right?

Essie Shearling Darling Winter 2013 Collection. Essie nail polishes are my go to when it comes to my tips, and this collection has such great colors. I’m determined to be much more selective with new nail polish purchases, so while a couple colors caught my eye, I really am eyeing Parka Perfect – I’m a sucker for moody grays.

Sephora Collection Flawless Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15. I’ve already gone through two bottles of this product, and I have yet to find anything I like better for the price, smell, and effect.  I love the lightly fragranced smell – light and refreshing without that medicinal scent that “light fragranced” or “non-fragranced” products tend to have. I love the built in SPF 15. I love the way it feels on my skin – not too oily, and I don’t feel like I need to use a lot. My one gripe with the product is with the way it’s packaged, I never can tell when that last pump of product is coming. I’m currently making do with one of my night time moisturizer right now (I just add some Neutrogena sunscreen beforehand to make up for the lack of SPF) since I hit that dreaded last pump last week and I haven’t had a chance to run to Sephora for a refill. That’s probably a good thing  for my wallet though considering how long this wish list is!

My sister tends to give me a gift card to Sephora for my birthday in November, so I’ll save some of the want-more-than-need items until then and cross off some of the more necessary/less pricey items first.

What’s on your fall beauty wish list?



James & me

Today is our five year anniversary.  These past five years have been a once in a lifetime adventure. We’ve been through a lot together, both good and bad. We’ve grown up together and become better people, individually and as a couple. We’ve become even better best friends. He is my confidant, my advisor, my shoulder to lean on. He is also the best person to remind me that sometimes, life is too short to always be serious.

I don’t think there’s a magic “secret” to making a relationship work other than commitment, communication, love, and a whole lot of hard work, but I think the fact that we try every day to make each other laugh has gone a long way in the past 5 years.

Here’s to my best friend. Here’s to us. Here’s to five years, and many, many more.

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he’s not perfect. you aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. but if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. he isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. don’t analyze. smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. love hard when there is love to be had. because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you. – bob marley

things I love


When madewell came out with its fall catalog, I mentally put this on the top of my wishlist. I placed my order for this sweatshirt weeks ago, but it only came last Friday, and I didn’t have the chance to wear it until today. One wear in, and I’m in love. It’s super soft, and the black-and-white color scheme is right up my alley. It has that perfect slightly slouchy fit that seems so simple but not always the easiest thing to find. I love easy pieces like this that have a cute or interesting detail to keep them from being too plain (on the reverse is the word “fait”… bien fait = made well/well done…how cute is that?).

Available on backorder here.