Gray and Black Outfit

3

A gray and black outfit may be one of the easiest color combinations to pair together. The neutral tones create a chic, sophisticated look and it is easy to incorporate items that you already have in your closet.

Do you have black pants, black shoes, a gray top and a printed scarf? If you’ve answered YES to all of these questions then you are ready to recreate this look in no time.

To elevate the style and keep it from looking boring, try to create interest in your outfit with texture. Take this look for example – my gray sweatshirt is quilted and my black flats are lace-ups, suede and scalloped. Plus, I’ve thrown on a coordinating patterned scarf and sunnies to frame my face.

I pulled my hair back into a ballerina bun and added a little “Zen Rose” to my lip for a polished look to walk around the Gold Coast while enjoying an Iced Chai from Elaine’s.

This gray and black outfit combo is timeless and can be worn in so many different ways. I promise you’ll be reaching for these items again and again.

Gray Sweatshirt, Gray and Black Scarf (similar here and here), Black Skinny Pants, Black Lace-up Flats, Sunglasses, Gold Drop Earrings, MAC Lipstick, Gold Watch

Oversized Plaid Scarf

2

Over the weekend, I really wanted to add a little “fall” into my life and by “fall”, I mean plaid. I purchased these buffalo plaid coffee mugs, a cozy plaid blanket and this oversized plaid scarf. As I am sure it does to everyone else, this design just inspires me to embrace the season.

Thankfully I have a willing companion who will drive me an hour away to really embrace the true meaning of autumn – apple picking. I had a grandiose idea of a crisp morning among the apple trees pulling perfectly red apples and placing them into my coordinated basket all while wearing a cute outfit and plaid, of course.

I was dead wrong. After a long line of traffic, waiting in line for an extraordinary amount of time to buy an admission pass and then being handed a plastic bag to stow my goodies, things were not going as planned.

Nonetheless, we still rode the tractor out to the rows only to have our camera completely shut down. We took a few iPhone pics, purchased cider donuts and candy apples and sadly left the scene.

I was disheartened but my luck changed when we happened upon this rustic-looking bridge and our camera magically worked again. Cue cute fall outfit and this plaid scarf.

This scarf is only $33, cozy and so soft that I will be wearing it again and again this season…juuuusttt not back to the apple orchard.

Oversized Plaid Scarf, Military Skirt, Cat Eye Sunglasses, White Long Sleeve Tee, Fringe Booties, Red Lipstick, Earrings c/o Stitch Fix, Gold Watch

Burgundy Polka Dot Shirt

0

No joke, I have worn this burgundy polka dot blouse a few times since I purchased it. The color is so rich and pairs perfectly with the new lip shade I’ve been crushing on for fall.  Plus, the sleeves are already cuffed and the shirt barely wrinkles making it a no-brainer to pair with skinny jeans.

It was the perfect dressy-casual look for a girls night out with my friend Rachel. We had margaritas then attended a Curling 101 class at Goldplaited. We learned a bunch of different techniques on how to curl your hair and had a blast while doing it.

I ended up purchasing this curling wand which features three different barrels, making it easy to get the perfect wave for your hair length. And it is so incredibly easy to use, even for a hair-challenged gal like me.

In addition to hair styling, the makeup artist showed us how to fill in your eyebrows properly and taught us about brow highlighters. Um, how have I not heard about these yet?! It is like a face lift for your brows!

Polka Dot Shirt, Jeans, Crossbody Bag, Fringe Booties, Pendant Necklace, Gray Earrings, Lipstick, Gold Aviators

Create & Cultivate Conference Recap

2

On Saturday, I attended Create & Cultivate, “a creative conference and online platform for female entrepreneurs in the digital space” founded by Jaclyn Johnson. It was the first time the conference has taken place in Chicago and I was lucky enough to purchase a ticket before the event sold out.

Dress, Booties, Tote Bag, Gorjana Necklace, Gold Aviators

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what the conference was all about but saw that there was a rockstar lineup of lady bosses speaking throughout the day so I dove right in.

I signed up solo and therefore had major anxiety leading up to the event. I had been to similar large conferences (Alt Summit and Engage) and know that a 10-hour day of networking can be scary and downright exhausting. But, I did my research on #CreateCultivateCHI on Instagram and spotted a  familiar face in the lineup – Maureen from Kate & Company, whom I had worked with in the past. And even though I introduced myself to a ton of new people, it was nice to have a friend in the bunch to touch base with during breakouts. 

The action-packed day was split into panels, workshops, mentoring sessions, a keynote speaker and socializing with other female entrepreneurs. Plus, there was a shopping lounge by Whitney Eve (who was also a speaker), Topshop, Lulu & Georgia and Simon G. and a beauty lounge offering OPI manicures and hair and makeup touchups.  Why did I even get ready for the day?! 

What I Thought:

The standout panelists for me were ones that gave the most “real-world” advice – Erica Domesek from P.S. – I Made This, Jessica Sturdy from Bows & Sequins, Whitney Port from Whitney Eve and of course, Garance Doré. Garance was effortless and funny while being professional at the same time. With inspiring advice such as, “the heart first then the success follows” and “you cannot be everything to everyone,” I am really looking forward to reading her book coming out in the fall. 

Although there may be many people doing the same things, it is important to set yourself apart just by being YOU. We may buy the same bag or read the same blogs, but each person is unique. No one can be ME and I am pretty darn happy about that. So now it is time to hustle!

I was also happy to connect with the sister-duo behind White Elephant Designs, Kate from The Small Things, Rachel from Between Two Coasts, Kristin from Bridentity Crisis, Ashley from Ashley & Malone and Jay Goldmark from EmiJay during my mentor session. 

All in all, I am happy that I attended Create & Cultivate and look forward to more events here in Chicago. I would love to hear if you attended the event, what you thought or if you have any questions about that day. Let me know in my comments section!

What I Wore:

I stressed and stressed about what to wear and what to bring. After all, most of the women speaking and attending are quite fashionable. I chose this patterned, silk dress because it was stylish, comfortable and minimal on the wrinkle-factor (important when toggling between sitting and standing all day), black booties to last 10 hours on my feet and my trusty black tote filled with my camera, phone charger, lipstick and business cards. 

Dress, Booties, Tote Bag, Gorjana Necklace, Gold Aviators

Patterned Jumpsuit

0

Over the weekend, we packed up the car and headed to Libertyville – an adorable suburb of Chicago and home to my friend Kate and her family. Even though it is only about 45 minutes away, traffic and busy schedules make it hard to get to so I was so excited to have two whole days to spend with our friends.

We had a BBQ, went to the Libertyville Days parade and then had all intentions of hitting up the carnival before the rain washed away our plans. However, that didn’t stop the gang from walking into town, having a wonderful dinner and tons of laughs.

Since the weather was supposed to be toasty and I may (or may not) have ridden a carnival ride, I picked up this lightweight printed jumpsuit. It was comfortable, cool and easy to get around which was a huge plus in my book for summer ensembles. 

Jumpsuit, Ivory Wedge Sandal, Rattan Clutch, Ray-Ban Gold Aviators, Bourbon and Boweties Bangle, Golden Cuff Bangle, Gold Ear Jackets, Gold Watch

White Eyelet Shirt Dress

0

Summer provides the perfect excuse to wear white. It’s chic, timeless and keeps you cool. The newest addition to my white repertoire – a cotton eyelet shirtdress that I wore when exploring Playa Mujeres. I packed a few essentials in my take-everywhere tote and hit the road for some ice cream, shopping and cocktails.

Note: The top of the dress is a bit see through so I felt more comfortable with a camisole underneath. 

White Eyelet Shirtdress, Mar Y Sol Caracas Tote, Black Leather Sandals, Warby Parker Sunglasses, Gold Watch 

Picnic Style

0

The first moment the weather gets warm in Chicago, I am already mentally planning all of the places I would like to dine al fresco including the park. I love to pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and spend hours outdoors.

The first key to a successful outing: comfort! The pleats on this sleeveless top keep wrinkles at a minimum and the sheer details add just the right amount of flirtiness.

Pair it with your favorite pair of jeans (who wants to spend the whole afternoon messing with a skirt) and a crossbody bag and you’re all set!

Tomorrow I’ll share my perfect picnic essentials

Pleated Cotton Sleeveless Top, Jeans, Nude Wedges, Rebecca Minkoff Handbag, Gold Initial Necklace, Gold Watch, Tortoise Round Sunglasses, Picnic Blanket (in stores at Target), Picnic Basket (vintage but I love this one)

Baby Blues

0

Over the weekend, I visited St. Louis to celebrate our Martha Stewart Weddings magazine feature, meet my newest niece and spend time with my family. It was a perfectly relaxing weekend with the exception of my 10-mile training run which didn’t feel too great. 

By the time Sunday rolled around, the sun had driedup all of the puddles and I felt confident enough to wear my new suede heels which I had been saving for spring weather. I paired them with my trusty trench, white pants and this new baby blue sweater that I found for under $20!

Baby Blue Sweater, White Pants, Trench Coat, Nude Heels, Necklace, Tortoise Sunglasses, Rose Gold Pave Studs, Gold Watch, MAC Lipstick, OPI Nail Polish

Floral Printed Shorts

0

Over the weekend, Michael and I headed to Florida to celebrate my good friends Mollie and Kyle’s wedding in Marco Island, Florida. The weather and wedding were both perfect and it was a much-needed, mid-winter getaway. 

With temperatures reaching 80 degrees each day, I was in heaven in dresses, swimsuits and shorts – including these new floral printed pull-on shorts. I dressed them up with a lightweight white sweater, a statement necklace, wedges and my new favorite trend in accessories – ear jackets!

Floral printed shorts, Sheer yoke topped white sweater, Gold Aviators, Pave Halo Ear Jackets, Circle Necklace, Gold Watch, Tan Wedge (very similar here), Straw Clutch (old from J. Crew Factory but here’s another straw clutch that’s cute!)

How to Layer for Winter

0

Ok winter, let’s get a move on out…I am sick of all of my coats, gloves, and hats. So, I am going to layer my pieces in a different way to keep warm until Spring arrives in Chicago with this denim jacket, chambray shirt, and army green vest (old but similar here). Plus, a visit to Warby Parker with my mom over the weekend inspired me to dust off my glasses for this look. 

Denim Jacket, Chambray Shirt, Army Green Vest (old similar here), Rebecca Minkoff Bag, Warby Parker Glasses, Black Pants, Splendid Booties, Lily Dawson Necklace, MAC Red Lipstick