essentials

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Move over Topshop. Step aside Asos. There’s a new heir to ascend the British eTailer throne.

We’d like to introduce you to Very.com, your new one-stop-shop for affordable on-trend fashions for men and women. With speedy shipping + returns [both are free for orders over $98], over 400 brands and celeb partnerships à la Whitney Port [love her] you’ll find something for everyone on your shopping list this year [& maybe a little something for you too]!

To celebrate their stateside launch, Very.com has graciously offered navy + cream readers an exclusive opportunity to receive 20% off everything on the site. It’s true! Simply click on the image below [you'll be redirected], enter your email address and voilà! You’ll score 20% off brands like French Connection, Miss Sixty, DKNY and more.

Just a few things I’m currently coveting from Very.com…

{nude patent oxfords – $48}

{leopard clutch – $65}

{rust one-shoulder fringe dress – $60}

{printed blouse – $48}

Happy shopping everyone!

 

*disclosure: i received compensation for posting this advertorial, however the words & opinions expressed are my own. now what are you waiting for – start shoppin’!

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[pumpkin spice latte {& my sweet chipped polish} in your face. make yours a venti.]

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WHO Nike and AKIN

WHAT WE RUN CHI., a party to kick off the launch of the Chicago LunarGlide+3 & a preview of Nike’s fall collection before the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

WHEN Saturday, October 1 [the day after TOMORROW!], 3-5 p.m.

WHERE AKIN, 2350 N. Clark, Chicago, 60614 [map here]

WHY Well, for starters:

+ Nike specially commissioned local Chicago artist Tara D. to design these one-of-a-kind LunarGlide+3′s.

+ Nike reps will be on hand to give tips on running in the rain, the dark, and in these chilly fall and winter months.

+ There will be complimentary food, drinks and snazzy giveaways [after all, it's Nike we're talking about].

+ You can get a sneak peek at Nike’s new Marathon Collection and fall running line.

Plus …I can hardly contain my excitement because the lovely folks at Nike are kindly gifting me a pair of these limited edition sneaks, yippie! I may not have a million dollars but I will have the coolest kicks in town! ‘Tis the little things in life my friends.

I plan to lace up my new LunarGlide+3′s for trips to the coffee shop, gallivanting around town, and maybe even once in awhile for an actual run. I’m thinking these are just the motivation I need to hit the lakefront trail when the temperature takes a plunge.  I can’t keep these lovelies all to myself!

I love the way Tara D. captured the spirit of the city, from incorporating the flag of Chicago’s color scheme to subtle details like adding CHI to the tongue.

[be still my heart.]

Even though I’m most definitely NOT running the marathon, I will gladly show my support [from the sidelines] by sporting my new sneaks. So Saturday, bring your friends … 2350 N. Clark … 3-5 pm … come run, come all!

 

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If you know me, if you know this blog, you know that fall is my favorite season by far. I’m a fall baby, born in October and I associated the season with so much happiness and excitement. The beginning of a new school year, football, crunchy leaves, bonfire weather, hot apple cider…  Vince and I joke that if there was a place where it was fall year round we would move there in a heartbeat. As we all know such a place doesn’t exist, but perhaps the fleeting nature of fall is part of it’s appeal. We look forward to it, we celebrate it, and although we’re not ready to say goodbye… in the blink of an eye it’s gone. Mid-November creeps in and with it come those pesky winter doldrums. For that slim window of time though, fall was ours.

This is fall to me:

1. Aubin & Wills Calderwood Jumper, $236

2. Tory Burch, Clines Ballet Flat, $235

3. BDG, Plaid Ruana, $42

4. Mulberry, Small Baswater Satchel in Oak, $900

5. Caramel apple shout out!

6. NARS Nails in Sparkling Candy Apple Red, $17

7. J Brand, High Rise Flared Corduroy Jeans in Toffee, $225

8. Burberry Walking Umbrella, $250

9. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, “…signature espresso blended with the unmistakeable spices of fall – cinnamon, nutmeg, clove – smooth with steamed milk and topped with delectably sweetened whipped cream.” love in a cup.

What says fall to you?

 

 

 

 

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Now that the fun parts of winter {family-filled Christmas + lively New Year’s parties} have passed us by at whirlwind speeds, we’re left with a resounding….

“Well now what?”

Let’s face it, when the temperature takes a nosedive it’s all-too-easy for your spirits to plummet right down with it. Although the winter can be downright demoralizing, I’ll admit that it can be kind of nice too. There’s just something to be said for a cozy winter night by a crackling fire, mug of hot cocoa in hand {extra marshmallows please}, with the falling snow and good conversation to keep you company.

We winterize our cars with snow tires and antifreeze, so why not winterize us? Here are a five ways to help you fend off the winter funk and keep you smiling ’til spring.

1. Walking around with a chapped mug is a buzz kill any time of year. Keep your lips moisturized with a balm that is light and has a heavenly scent, like this C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve [$5.50].  My aunt got me some just in time to replace the one I’d had for three years {as seen here}.

2. Dash through the snow in style this winter with some fancy footwear, like these haute Burberry Winter Boots [$295]

3. This one may seem like a no-brainer but exercise truly makes a difference in elevating your mood and revitalizing your spirits. In case you’re snowed in, keep a jump rope [$9.99] handy so you never have an excuse to miss a heart-pumping cardio session.

4. Adopt a low-maintenance skin care regimen that will keep your skin radiant all winter long. I really like Bio-Oil [$16], it’s a hot-seller overseas and just recently became available in the US. The Australian based product contains PurCellin Oil which improves the appearance of scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, aging and dehydrated skin. While we know there’s no such thing as a miracle in a bottle, this stuff is pretty close.

5. Manicures only last a week at the most, besides, why trudge out in this weather when you don’t have to? Cuticle oil, a nail buffer, and a shiny clear topcoat will make your DIY mani look {nearly} professional. I layered Urban Outfitters navy polish with glitter* to lighten things up, plus every time I glance down at my sparkly digits I can’t help but feel happy. Tip: if going for a dark polish, keep nails short and square to keep them neat & chic instead of goth-gone-bad.

*unfortunately neither of these polishes are available online. i purchased them as part of a 10-piece mini polish gift set for $20 from the urban outfitters at clark + diversey [chicago].


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Why am I already thinking about St. Patrick’s Day? I’m not so sure but I saw this Irish Fishermen cardi on sale [for $29.99] at Urban Outfitters the other day and thought it would be perfect for gallivanting around on St. Patty’s. Can’t you picture wearing it with a kelly green tee peaking out from underneath? Okay I’ll stop talking about St. Patrick’s Day seeing as how it’s November, but while we’re on the subject, I’m a firm believer that a girl can never have too many cardigans. They’re so versatile and instantly cozy up any outfit. Here are some that go beyond the basics:

1. Modcloth Hard Rain Cardigan [$57.99] This typically sweet silhouette gets toughened up with some silver studs.

2. American Eagle Cable Knit Wrap Cardigan in Birch Heather [$89.90] This sweater is essentially a blanket that is socially acceptable to wear out in public. Sign me up.

3. J.Crew Merino Sequined Crochet Cardigan in gold [$148] No list of mine would be complete without something from J.Crew. This mustard-gold shade oozes sophistication.

4. Anthropologie Bright Specs Cardi [$98] Feminine frills make this cardi pop.

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My love affair with bags began in grade school. Case in point, my favorite part of back-to-school shopping wasn’t the new pencils or even new shoes [although that was a close second], no, it was the part where I picked out a new backpack. My parents couldn’t understand why I was so fixated by backpacks. In their eyes it was just a sack you store your books in, but to me it was oh-so much more. I campaigned for a fugly black leather backpack one year, a hunter green L.L. Bean another, an embroidered Notre Dame one, and when North Face first came out with pink backpacks you bet I was all over it… *sigh* I could go on. This isn’t normal, right? I’m certain experts would classify this as early-onset purse addiction.

My parents supported my obsession reluctantly but willingly. They saw my love for school accessories and assumed it translated into a love for schoolwork… and there was definitely some truth in that. In eighth grade my mom finally put her foot down and said, no more, and I begrudgingly obliged… but like an unstoppable rebel force [thank you meet the parents] my childhood addiction found it’s grownup counterpart: the purse.

From clutches to cross-bodies to carryalls, the right bag can transform an outfit from casually cool to seriously chic. The only problem? Choosing which essentials make the cut from purse to purse. Here are the eight staples that I toss in my tote each time I switch it up.

1. this ralph lauren ralph girl rollerball [$18] is the only perfume I wear. it’s perfect for a quick swipe when you’re running out the door and the delicious fragrance is subtle yet feminine.

2. rosebud salve [$8] this little compact is worth it’s weight in gold. you can use it for everything, from dry skin to blisters, and i’ve had the same tub for three years! bonus, this everyday balm has a light rose scent.

3. mary kay timewise age-fighting eye cream [$26] i love how silky smooth this light cream goes on. it’s barely-there texture is surprisingly moisturizing. your eyes will thank you after a long night on the town.

4. tide to go [$13.50 for a pack of 6] portable stain remover, enough said.

5. neutrogena hand cream [$4.50] i slather this on my hands as often as i remember, not only because it feels like a mini massage, but it’s über-important to take care of your hands. did you know the skin on your hands ages quicker than on your face -and- hands are exposed to the elements more than any other part of your body? keep those babies moisturized.

6. ipod nano [5th generation, $120] always and forever an apple girl, i love how sleek this little gadget looks and feels. it’s about the size of two credit cards stuck together, holds all my music, and has a radio. love.

7. band-aid friction block [$7.50] enter the lifesaver in a stick: it prevents blisters and enables allover happiness. i no longer need to tote around band-aids when my poor heels fall victim to my sky-high stilettos.

8. mor body souffle in sorbet [$24] this australian based cosmetics company makes perfectly luxurious body lotion with a soft coconut scent.

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