Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weekend Recap: Nashville

I can't tell you how happy I am that it is already Thursday. Can't we have 4 day weeks every week? I spent this past weekend in Nashville, TN with 4 of my college roommates. It was the first time I have gotten to spend more than a night with them and it was an amazing weekend. We ate, drank, and listened to live music for 3 days. It was also 100 degrees the whole time so I'm pretty sure I had a constant "glow" going.

Dinner out at Virago.

Brought some chasers to the bar with us.Totally necessary.

Country Music Hall of Fame

Line Dancing!

Danielle & Me

Vintage shopping. Loved this gold bust.

The birthday girls.

Our last night with Elvis.


Virago- Great for both people that like sushi and those that do not. Modern atmosphere and pretty reasonably priced (a little more than your average sushi joint). I tried the lobster fried rice, edamame, chicken & filet mignon skewers, and the Aloha roll (pineapple, bacon, coconut, and tempura shrimp). For cocktails I'd recommend the kiwi-cucumber cocktail & the strawberry elderflower sparkle. 

Merchants- Probably my favorite place of the trip. The restaurant has a cool eclectic feel to it and the wait staff was amazing. Each table starts off with seasoned homemade popcorn. We had the baked cheese as an appetizer and I had the chicken salad salad for my dinner. It was delicious. I also would recommend the soup & sammy- a spin on a classic grilled cheese and tomato soup.

The Pharmacy- It's a cab ride away from downtown near East Nashville but it is so worth the drive. Although be warned for those that do not like beer or milkshakes (which is a little sad) you may not find it as appealing as I did. It's a burger bar with a large menu of locally brewed beers and a wonderful beer garden. I had the chicken sandwich with garlic aoili and homemade fries. It was delicious. And two of my friends are vegetarians and loved their meal, too. A really fun place to try. 

East Nashville - We did a lot of great vintage shopping in this area and there are some really cute sections of local shopping and dining. I would highly recommend a trip out of downtown to go there. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Enjoying Life

how true

I apologize for the radio silence these past couple of days. I was in Nashville all weekend (more to come on this tomorrow) and have been trying to get back in the swing of things. I didn't want to do a half-hearted post so I figured no post was the better route. 

Also, I saw this quote and it really got me thinking about a few things. In college, I found myself constantly counting down the days til any event I had coming up. I would countdown until the next time I'd see my boyfriend, my friends from home, until the next social with my sorority. You get the picture. And while I don't see anything wrong with a little anticipation- I am really going to start trying to live day by day. So much time is wasted waiting for bigger and better things to happen, but the normal days where I go home and eat with my family and watch crappy reality TV are just as important.

I'll be back with my weekly wants later this afternoon! :) 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

In Every Color

I've really been loving bright colors for summer and my handbag is no exception. I think a crossbody bag in a bright hue is the perfect way to add flair to even the simplest of summer outfits. I also like the fact that you can remove the strap and bring it out at night as a clutch- definite bonus points. Would you wear a bright bag?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Need, Want, Must Have

Some of the things in my roundup this week I actually had to have. Like that James Perse Dress and the Gorjana Necklace. Luckily Shopbop is having their "Big Event" sale and I was able to get $50 off my purchase. I realize that may not be enough justification for some of you much more financially responsible than myself, but for me- it's all the convincing I needed. I'm leaving for Nashville on Friday to celebrate a few birthdays and I am getting really excited. It's going to be 100 degrees all weekend so I'll be packing lots of flowy dresses and skirts to combat the heat. Have you ever been? Any recommendations? 

Also, in my Birchbox this month I received a sample of BB Cream and I am officially obsessed with the stuff. It's perfect for summer- SPF, light coverage, and flawless/dewy skin. I highly recommend trying one- there are about a million brands out there. If you have a favorite, I'd love it if you shared it with me! I'm still trying to decide which brand I like best. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Girl on a Budget

You know it's a good find when even the "splurge" version is pretty budget friendly. Personally, I like the added detail in the Dolce Vita pair but for $15 you really can't beat the Target pair if you don't think you'll wear them often. I think that these are pretty much an every day flat that can be worn with jean shorts, skirts & summer dresses in any color. What do you think? Would you save or splurge?

Target {$14.99}                                           Dolce Vita {$69.00}                 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cannes Fashion '12

If I've learned anything from looking at the photos from Cannes this year, it's that sequins are never going out of style. Both Diane Kruger and Jessica Chastain brought their A game. I fell in love with almost every outfit they've worn the past few days- these two looks especially. What really stood out to me (besides the sparkle) is that both kept their makeup minimal and went with simple loose waves. Have you been paying attention to all the Cannes fashion? Which looks have been your favorite? 


Freida Pinto, Diane Kruger, Jessica Chastain, Eva Longoria

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Chambray Season

Happy Friday! I've  been sick the last few days, so I apologize for the lack of a post yesterday. With all this NATO craziness going on in Chicago I'm not exactly sure what my weekend plans are, but I know it will involve being outside since it's going to be 85 and sunny. This week's outfit is based on a favorite staple in my closet- the chambray shirt. There are endless ways to wear it and I typically wear mine with white shorts, coral jeans, or even with a dark denim skinny jean. I decided to try something new this week and throw it over a dress with some girly accessories and you're ready for brunch or a Saturday shopping session.
What are your plans this weekend?

Madewell Perfect Chambray / Madewell Sundial Dress / BCBG Clutch / J.Crew Starfish Studs / J.Crew Patent Leather Belt / Stuart Weitzman Wedges

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Need, Want, Must Have

The weather has been beautiful in Chicago all week- I'm talking 80's. Which has really put me in the mood for some bright colors, fun patterns, and even a few ice cream treats. What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The 'Opal'

It is no secret that I love the DVF Opal wedge. I have put them in many outfit posts, wish lists, etc. I have been stalking them everywhere, waiting for them to go on sale and guess what? They finally did. I would head over to Nordstrom right now and snag yourself a pair at 40% off. It's only these two colors and in the tan there is only size 10 left (I'm super jealous if you're a size 10). Those brown beauties are on their way to me as I type this. Ready? Go shop. 

Diane von Furstenberg 'Opal' Wedge SandalDiane von Furstenberg 'Opal' Wedge Sandal
DVF Opal Brown Burlap                               DVF Opal Pumice Leather

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Recap

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day weekend. I'm not very happy it's already Monday.. I saw this today and it really summed up my Morning perfectly. Sorry Mike! :) 

When my boyfriend tries to wake me up before he leaves for work: 

This weekend I.... 
Met up with my best friends on Saturday night.

Got my very first Birchbox (which I love!)

Made brunch for my mom & family Sunday. 

Reverted back to my high school ways (bags & Bud Light).

Created quite a grocery list for previously mentioned brunch. 

Surprised my mom with some lovely tulips. 

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Loving Lavender

Hooray, the weekend is finally here. This week's Friday's Fancies is all about our current favorite color (mine changes weekly). For May I'm loving anything lavender. It's feminine yet not over the top like a bright pink outfit- although I'm not opposed to those either. What are you all doing this weekend? I'm finally eating at RPMItalian (Guiliana Rancic's restaurant) with my boyfriend's sister. Cross your fingers for me that her and Bill are there. And then on Sunday I'll be putting together Mother's Day brunch at my house (cross your fingers for me on that as well). I'll be sure to share anything that actually turns out delicious.

J Brand Lavender Denim / Lavendar Stripe Pillow / Notebooks / Styleserver Scarf / Betsey Johnson Cuff / J.Crew Wool Dress / Opening Ceremony Sunglasses / Amethyst Studs / McQueen Purple Clutch (ultimate splurge!) / Madewell Skimmers / Essie "Playdate"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Look (For Less)

Happy Thursday! I am counting the seconds until it's Friday but hey, at least we're getting close. I don't know if you saw WhoWhatWear yesterday but it featured one of my very favorite style bloggers Jules from Sincerley Jules. Her style is the epitome of effortless and she can style Converse Chuck Taylor's like it's nobodies business. I love this outfit because of the layering and the simplicity of the pieces. Every girl has something grey in their closet and I'm almost certain most have black skinny jeans. My favorite find? Those flats from Nordstrom. What do you think? As the weather gets warmer do you like layering? I really need to try it more often. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Need, Want, Must Have

I apologize for the lack of a post yesterday- I have been in this weird post-vacation slump and for some reason cannot find my way out of it. This week the things I've been pining over are a bit random, but I've been stalking them all waiting for a few things to go on sale. I ordered that dress this morning because I just couldn't take it anymore: flattering cut, fun spring color, inexpensive. It certainly checks everything off my list.  And yes, I know polka dot pants seem a little unreasonable but paired with a bright top, a floral print, or a chambray shirt I think it could be very versatile. Also, that Bauble Bar necklace is perfection- and only $24! What are you loving this week?

Monday, May 7, 2012

This & That

 Olivia Palermo

Loving bright pops of yellow on this particularly gloomy Monday. 
How was your weekend?

images via (here & here)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Quatro de Mayo

Well, I'm back from my week in Mexico and it was even better than expected. Thank you to the lovely ladies that did guest posts for me- I hope you all enjoyed them! I came home to a ton of work, so I will be busy working through it all today. But, tomorrow I plan to sip margaritas in the backyard with a few friends- I might as well keep the Mexican celebrations going. If only I would have purchased a sombrero from the man on the beach earlier in the week ;)

cinco de mayo cake

PiƱata cookie tutorial

cinco de mayo

As always, you can check out more Cinco de Mayo/Derby Friday's Fancies at Long Distance Loving!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post: Miss Dixie

Last but certainly not least is Katie from Miss Dixie! Katie was kind enough to agree to post even though she just went on a trip of her own last weekend, too! Her blog is full of shopping tidbits, interiors, and many other things but my favorite part about her blog is all of the personal touches she adds. You should see how she decorated her laundry room and how gorgeous her wedding was. But seriously, if you haven't seen them go right now. Thank you again Katie, you're the best! 

Hey everyone, it's Katie from Miss Dixie! I was so thrilled that Ashley asked me to guest post for her while she is away in Mexico. She is one of the most stylish bloggers I've encountered and I always love looking at her wish lists! Ashley and I both had vacations planned within just a few days of each other, so needless to say I think we know what has been on our minds for a while! Since packing is fresh on my mind, I thought I would share a few of my carry on essentials.

Much to my husband's chagrin I like to carry on a lot of things onto the airplane. He is good to go with his book and ipod, I have a mini version of what I use every single day all packed into one bag. Or two. Usually I end up overflowing into his carry on :) Most of these things would fit in a decent size tote bag that could double as your small carry on. I like to reserve the other carry on for at least a days worth of clothing, just in case. 

Lilly Pulitzer Scarf- I have to bring a scarf on a plane whether it is summer or winter. I own several of the Murfee Scarf because they are a great weight and brighten up any outfit. Re-tie it once you are landing and you look instantly freshened.

Eos Strawberry Lip Balm- I hate to have chapped lips and since I bought this little guy I can't stop reapplying it!

Kate Spade Socks- I always need socks because inevitably my feet get cold. During the summer I bring a pair strictly for flight time- I don't care if they match or not, my feet will be warm.

Natures Valley Granola Bars- This is my breakfast several days a week and when I travel I bring them with me as well. I would rather have one of these than breakfast at the airport.

Kate Spade Small Bag- I hate to be the one rooting through my bag constantly because I can't find anything, so a smaller bag that holds your tiny things works well to organize.

Stella McCartney Perfume- My favorite of all time, I can never grow tired of it! I always feel better after getting off a flight with a bit of perfume.

Earrings- I always keep my jewelry close to me in my carry on instead of checking it.

Propel Zero- I am hooked on these packets- just add one to a bottle of water. I do this every morning when I work out and they are packed with vitamins, and alos good for hydrating on an airplane and energizing. I don't travel with out them!

iPod Nano- My husband bought me this last summer and I love the small size! It holds all my music and is so minimal to pack.

Lilly Pulitzer Trellis Tote- I blogged about this one a few weeks ago, and I still love it. It seems to be the perfect size for when you want a bigger handbag, but not over the top huge.

Oh, and I can't forget some good reading material, that is an absolute must! I hope you all enjoyed a peek at what I travel with these days. Did I miss anything? I would love to hear your essentials and please, stop by Miss Dixie anytime and say hello! 

A huge thank you to Ashley today for having me...
I hope she is having an absolute blast in Mexico right now! 


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guest Post: A Simple Affair

Today we have my other favorite sconnie/badger alum Carly from A Simple Affair. Unlike Laura, I did know Carly a bit from college but we really didn't connect until the blogosphere brought us together. You would never know she's only been blogging since the fall when you check out her blog- it is seriously impressive. It's full of fashion, food, interiors, and tons of helpful tips & lots of humor. Also, please go look at her outfit post from last week because it's absolutely adorable. Thank you x 1000 Carly for creating a post for my blog- I appreciate it more than you know! 

Hello lovely readers! Carly here from the fashion and lifestyle blog a simple affair! With Ashley on my dream vacation and relaxing all day in the sun, I now have summer on my mind.  I thought I would share some of my summer must haves with you today!

1. Get yourself a maxi you love.  I chose this one for the summer because I love the fun stripes and the pockets (need I say more?), and it is one of the most comfortable things I have ever put on my body.  Done deal. I will have to wear smaller wedges with it to create a longer look, but let's just say I'm happy with the purchase. If you don't own a maxi and aren't sure if you'll love the look, start off buying a cheaper one and make sure you love it before investing.  That's what I did last summer and quickly knew I needed another maxi in my life pronto.

2. Sunglasses, hello! You will be wearing sunglasses hopefully all day, every day in the summer while soaking up some rays.  My Ray-Ban aviators are my favorite, but I am craving these tortoise Karen Walker beauties.

3. The perfect wedge.  Now this will be different for all of us lovely ladies.  Since I'm barely 5'2", I want wedges that don't have an ankle strap because if they do, my legs get cut off.  I know, I know SO dramatic.  You get my point though, right? Find a wedge that works for your body and makes you feel extra confident strutting your stuff.

4. Invest in some colorful outer pieces.  Those summer nights can get chilly, and a colorful blazer or cardigan can serve two purposes: to keep you warm and to keep a smile on your face because who doesn't want a little more pop of color in their lives, especially in the summer?

5. Colored bottoms, whether they be shorts, capris, or pants.  Don't let the top have all the fun! LOFT has some fabulous colored shorts right now with an extremely reasonable price tag.  If color isn't your comfort zone, again, I recommend buying something at a lesser price to give them a test run.  But I have this weird hunch you'll be craving some more in the very near future!

Thanks so much for having me today, Ashley! Now have a margarita for me would you?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guest Post: The Lifestyle Guide

Today we are lucky enough to have a post from Landi of The Lifestyle Guide and she's talking about all of the things every gal should have in her closet. I know I've been struggling to focus on the basics lately and I love what she put together. I think my next essential purchases will be a great pair of flats (hopefully in leopard print). If you've never been over to her blog before- go right now. It's full of fashion, interiors, and even fitness tips! It has a little bit of everything you're looking for and her outfit posts are adorable! Thank you SO much for participating, Landi! 

Hi styleash readers! I'm Landi from The Lifestyle Guide & could not be more thrilled to be here posting for Ashley today. She's in Mexico {soaking up some rays} with the bf right now... jealous, right? I know I am! BUT am so happy Ashley asked me to post while she is away. Today I bring to you {what I consider} the TOP 13 "must haves" for your wardrobe. As you can see these pieces are all black, white, navy, and tan. The neutrals... why? Well because they're essentials! These articles of clothing can get you away with almost any other color/pattern you'd want to pair it with and in any place you may be going. That's the beauty of key pieces in your closet... Check it out.

1//James Perse Tee Shirt: These are the BEST tee's money can buy. They last ages, come in different styles {crew neck, v-neck, etc.} and colors. They're awesome for lounging or being paired with nice pants & flats for a girls lunch.

2//Rebecca Taylor Dress {no longer available}: Although this dress is currently sold out, you get the picture. A dress that is a little dressier is great in case of a last second interview or brunch with the boyfriend's parents for the first time occasion. 

3//AG Stilt Straight Leg Jeans: Every girl {woman-whatever tickles your fancy} should own an awesome pair of "nicer" jeans. I like straight legged jeans the best because skinny/cigarette pairs make me self-conscious. The darker wash makes them not only look more expensive but you can get away with wearing them to an event which light jeans would  look inappropriate but the darker jean is just fine because of the color ;)

4//TOPSHOP Pleated Skirt: So yes, pleats are in, but that's not why I choose this skirt. One, the color - you could pair this skirt with almost any pattern/color and get away with it. Two, it can be dressed up or dressed down - score!

5//AG White Matchbox Jeans: Just like #3, I feel the same way about white jeans {and black for that matter}. Great for summer, obviously, and these babies can be worn over and over again without getting sick of them.

6//TOPSHOP Silk Blouse: A blouse, such as this TOPSHOP one, is wonderful. You could pair it with shorts, a skirt, jeans, or leggings and it'd be precious. You can wear it to work with a suit or with a pair of jean shorts on a picnic. It works wonderfully everywhere.

7//AG Coated Black Cigarette Jeans: Is it obvious yet that I love AG jeans? They're my favorite brand because of their fit & how long they last. They don't stretch to make you look like you've pooped in your pants but don't look like you're going to bust at the seems either. These jeans--refer to #3 & #5 ;)

8//Vince Favorite Tank: It is an obvious must have to own great tanks. Whether you're wearing it as an actual top with some great layered necklaces or under a blazer or sweater, they're close to your body & need to be comfortable. I love Vince tanks but also Nordstrom carries a great line of them for a wonderful price!

9//J.Crew Nora Calf Hair Flat: Leopard flats are such a great pair of flats to own. They're great for long periods of standing on your feet & you can wear leopard in any season!

10//Kelsi Dagger Black Pump: I'm a big fan of a killer pair of black pumps. The material doesn't matter as much... make it suede, patent, leather - whatever you prefer... but you'll need black pumps for a great deal of events in your life so investing in some great ones couldn't hurt. Kelsi Dagger is a fave - comfortable & reasonably priced -- can find even cheaper at DSW!

11//Steve Madden Traisie Pump: Basically the same goes for a pair of nude pumps as for the black ones... great investment!

12//Sam Edelman Gigi Sandal: Sandals are great in the summer time & buying a pair that are a neutral color is even better. Then you can wear them with any outfit you've sported in the summer time & not worry about them matching! Grab & go, baby!

13//Frye Melissa Button Boot: My all time favorite thing about winter is being able to sport gorgeous boots. These Frye Melissa boots are my world but are a bit on the pricey side. You can invest in a cheaper pair of boots (Steve Madden?) for half the price that are still way amazing. Here again - brown or black boots can be rocked with tons of outfits & will last you decades!

Hope you all enjoyed reading about my "must-have" pieces... Is there something else you consider a must have? Do share!! Thank you, Ashley, for having me - hope you get totally burned tan on your amazing vaca. Come by and see me anytime at The Lifestyle Guide. Would love to have you ;)