With Bells On

With busy days prepping for 2 weeks off work ahead, it has been crunch time to the extreme, making every hour feel like a blur. Nights haven't been much different, as almost every evening I've had festive plans celebrating the season with good friends, work, blogger buddies and family. Almost all those get togethers have been filled with delicious food, long chats, warm hugs and lots of laughter, reminding me that this time of year is truly so special. Especially during the holidays, it's so important to stop, take it all in and enjoy every moment.

So, this is my promise to do just that this weekend. I'll be completing my last minute shopping, traveling to Michigan, and celebrating with family. What's more, I'll do all this with bells on, and most definitely some comfortable yet fashionable outfits like the one shown below. And, throughout it all I'll be figuratively pinching myself as a reminder of how incredibly, truly lucky I am so be surrounded by the people that I am.
:: Shop The Post ::
Black & White Skirt - Similar here {Budget friendly!} or here | Beige sweater - Similar here or here. Also, this option is adorable! | Brown Booties - Similar here or here | Black scarf - Similar here or here | Purse - Similar here {I love this quilted Rebecca Minkoff option!} | Leopard Coat - Similar here or here

Here's to taking in the season exactly how it should be: Surrounded by the ones you love most. I hope you have a fabulous weekend filled with love and laughter! 


Icing On The Cookie

"The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that some mouth-watering sugar cookies soon will be there." Santa's officially put in a petition to change the rhyme to his liking, and I can't say I'm against it. Who doesn't love a delicious cookie or ten during the most wonderful time of the year?

Of course, half the joy of eating those cookies is decorating them before. I recently got together with Jess of The Golden Girl, Kit of The Kittchen, Erin of Color Me Styled, Maya of Charmingly Styled, Jen of Jennie Wold, and Nicole of Cedar and Rush to decorate cookies complete with carols crooning in the background. Excuse my pun, but it has to be said: the festive decor from Minted was totally icing on the cake cookie.

Below are snapshots from our festive gathering - be sure to swing by their blogs for more!


New Years Eve Dresses To Impress

Let's take a break from decking the halls & singing carols for a moment, shall we? There's another holiday on the horizon that's also festive & full of sparkle. While I'll be celebrating New Years Eve at my bestie's wedding in a bridesmaid dress, the rest of you have some major prepping to do! Plus, by now a lot of your presents have been bought for others and it's time to treat yourself to a new dress worth toasting over.

Below are some picks that I'd have my eye on if I were you. After all, when the clock nears 12 and the countdown begins, there's no better way to celebrate than in style.

:: Shop The Post ::
{Clockwise from top left}
Bailey 44 Harvest Moon Dress | Piperlime Keepsake Forever Dress | Madison Marcus Feather Dress | Lovers + Friends Azalea Dress | Alice + Olivia Winny Gathered Dress |  BB Dakota Sequin Dress | J.O.A Sequin Shift Dress | Piperlime Night Tale Dress |  T by Alexander Wang Long-Sleeve Black DressJ.O.A. Spree Dress


Cape Town

If there's one thing that's certain about Midwest winters, it's that you have to be prepared for anything. One day the thermometer could be in the single digits as you hurdle through wind tunnels pushing you backwards, and the next you could be faced with a totally bearable day where you oh-so daringly proclaim, "You know, winter's not so bad!" The below photos were taken on one of those bearable days while home in Michigan, when it was crisp more than cold and a cape was gladly opted for over a coat. A quick walk downtown told me that I wasn't the only one with capes on my mind as a plethora of women and I walked by each other with a "You know what's up, you sassy cape girl" smile of approval.

And so, I shall state it again, you must be prepared for anything with Midwest winters. Days when the arctic feels like Florida, and days were capes are all over town.

:: Shop Cape Coats ::
{Cape in photos is Banana Republic but is no longer available. However, this option from Etsy is amazing!}


The Ultimate Gift Guide For Everyone Left On Your List

...That's right. Everyone on your list is covered below. Simply scroll the items under their respective titles. Happy shopping!

:: For Your Best Friend Who You Made A 2015 Bucket List With That Includes Coachella, Paris & Of Course The Taylor Swift Concert ::

:: For Your Sister Who Is Your Lifelong BFF And You Totally Don't Mind Splurging On ::

:: For Your Co-Worker Who Always Tells You That You Have Food In Your Teeth Before You Enter That Meeting Room ::

:: For Your Boyfriend/Husband Who Prefers Practical Gifts But Will Wear That Stylish Blazer Just Because You Bought It For Him ::

:: For Your Niece/Nephew Over Which You've Turned Into "That Annoying Aunt" Who Squeezes Their Cheeks Because They're Just So. Darn. Cute ::

:: For Your Hipster Brother Who Still Won't Admit That Divergent & Hunger Games Weren't Half Bad ::

:: For Your Dad Who Gets More Excited About New iPhone Launches Than You Do ::

:: For Your Mom Who Is Your Inspiration For Making A House A Home ::

:: For Your Grandparents Who You Swear Are 20 Years Younger Than They Say ::


Personal Gift Wish List

The best part of the holidays is of seeing the smile on the faces of those you love when they open the perfect present picked especially for them. Of course, there's a small part of all of us that loves being on the receiving end of that, too. This year, my wish list is filled with wardrobe staples and home items that I've been pining after but haven't had the opportunity to purchase myself. 

Below is a quick run down + links to go with! You know, just in case Santa is reading.

:: Canon 50mm Lens :: Photography is something I've been trying to focus more on lately, particularly for this blog, and with lots of grand plans for 2015 I'll need to be armed with a camera lens that takes wow-worthy photos. 

:: Unique, Eclectic Decor Items :: One shop that has adorable finds is The Trendy Sparrow. It's filled with prints and mugs that have fun sayings on them. I have such a soft spot for finds like this! 

:: Shinola Watch :: This is my big ticket item this year. I love Shinola, not only because it's a Detroit native (I've got to support my home city!) but because their watches are so well made and the designs are timeless. 

:: Chunky Sweaters + Classic Shirts :: ...Because girl can never have too many comfortable sweaters or stylish undershirts to wear underneath them. 

:: Bright, Fashionable Coats :: For the life of me, I can't wrap my mind around why I only have a few winter-appropriate coats, especially since I live in the frigid Midwest. Coats are an item I never really thought about focusing on, to be honest. This year I'd like to change that and start loading up on great finds that I'll have for years to come. 

:: Tall Black Boots :: Don't have these in my closet either. << Hanging head in blogger shame. >> 

:: Coffee Table Books :: I'm dying to read this and this

:: Gold Bar Cart :: Le Sigh. It's just so lovely. 

Readers - what's on your personal wish list this year? Be sure to swing by tomorrow - I've got a round up of gift picks for {literally} everyone that you have left to shop for! 

Oh! One last note. If you're in Chicago, be sure to join myself and the Windy City Bloggers at Del Frisco's on Monday evening for a Holiday Shopping Soiree! It's the perfect excuse to put on your newest holiday dress, mingle with friends and cross more items off your wish list. (Shop owners like The Trendy Sparrow will be there with goodies to buy!)


Art Effect + Come Play!

I've said it for years and I have no doubt that I'll say it for years to come: Art Effect is one of the best stores in Chicago. As soon as you walk in, you're met with an explosion of the loveliest, most gift worthy items in existence. They have literally everything from delicate jewelry and trendy clothing to french perfumes and eclectic maps for your apartment. Which is why Maya and I are beyond excited to partner with the shop in the Lincoln Park Merchants Association Holiday Shop Hop tomorrow evening!

We'll be at Art Effect starting at 5:30, so be sure to swing by and enjoy holiday treats and plenty of gift shopping with us. To help prep for the event, we swung by last week and I couldn't help but snag the below leather skirt and Michael Stars t-shirt. A girl can never have too many wardrobe staples!

:: Shop The Post ::
Skirt & T - Art Effect | Necklace - Milk & Honey Boutique | Plaid Scarf - Talbots 

Just in case you want to pre-map the event below are all the fabulous bloggers participating in the Holiday Shop Hop and the stores they'll be at. {I know, right? Killer group of ladies!}

Fox's Designer off-Price: Lauren of Lakeshore Lady and Erin of Color Me Styled
Londo Mondo: Nicole of Cedar and Rush and Sara of Project Soiree
Pilates Pro Works: Jeana of A Sweat Life
Essentia: Ashlee of The Little Foxes
Lululemon: Liz of Adrian-James
Pure Barre: Sara of Lakeshore Runner
Barbour: Ashlee of Kinks are the New Pink and Jess of The Golden Girl
Francesca's Collection: Peggy of Hallways are my Runways and Jill of Hot Pink Style
Ten Thousand Villages: Sarah of The Kissing Booth Blog
Oh, Olive: Kit of The Kittchen
Art Effect: Emily of Isn't that Charming and Maya of Charmingly Styled
Comfort Me Boutique: Laurie of 312 Beauty and Monica of Caravan of Style
Rara Avis: Jamie of House and Hanger
All She Wrote: Tomissa of She Loved Life
Shop857: Jennie of Actually, just Jennie and Shaheen of Lows to Luxe
Kiehl's: Caitlin of A Cheeky Fox
Green Goddess Boutique: Rachel of An Eventful Life and Samantha of Gold Coast Girl
Studio Fit: Sarah of The Balanced Babe
Stella Barra: Christina of Chritiques
Little Black Dress: Maria of The Style Letters and Jennie of 2 girls 2 cities

Outfit Photos by Maya of Charmingly Styled
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