Saturday, October 30, 2010

paper love & some sponsor love.

last saturday night, mom and dad had a wedding shower to attend but mom forgot to buy a i offered to make her one. it was a nice break from all the sewing i had been doing. i love paper-goodies - happy tape, scarpbook paper and twine. i love the feel of cutting out shapes like hearts and bunting flags. colored envelopes make me swoon. (fun fact: the shop started off with paper goods. crazy, right?)

another thing i love to do when i'm taking a break from sewing is finding new shops, blogs and sites! anyone else agree? some recent discoveries for me also include some of muchlove-illy's newest sponsors. like i've mentioned before, i'm excited to be able to introduce them even more.

what a fun line-up, right?! 
be sure to stop by these shops and sites for some funness. everyone of them has something exquisite to offer - whether it be sweet goodies from their shop, inspiration from their creative blog, or a venue for even more handmade goodness! i promise you won't want to miss these lovelies.  

hope you have an incredible weekend! i'm off to spend time with my Ryan (i call him my Ryan because my sister is married to a Ryan too) and with the family. there is a GA game going on (goooooo dawgs!) and i have  a craving to make red velvet cupcakes today. we also have a cute stray cat visiting our yard but it's driving Peyton and my mom nuts so we might have to take the little cutie to the shelter (i really don't want to take her to the shelter - i'd keep her if i could but mom hates cats and ashley is allergic). i love weekends!

[happy saturday, friend!]

Friday, October 29, 2010

crossing fingers for falling temperatures,

can you believe it's nearly november?

oh, autumn. i can't believe it's nearly the end of october and it still feels like mid-summer here in south carolina. after living in chicago and dealing with its bitter cold winters, i never thought i'd actually want cold weather; however, now i'm craving the cooler days - those days when i could grab a scarf for more than a fashionable addition or to wear those knee high boots and run to starbucks with a friend. 

rumor has it the temperature is supposed to dip to a low of 50s this Sunday. i'll love that, especially since ryan and i are going to a harvest festival which will be an outdoor event. as much as ryan and i love dressing up (remember?), we're hanging out with my family for halloween weekend and spending the evening at the harvest festival. i haven't been to one since i was a little girl, so it's been awhile. i'm kinda looking forward to it since it'll be something different and because we'll be with my family. and i hear there is still a lot of candy, which is good since that's all i really care about anyways.  *wink*

so what else are you looking forward to this spooky weekend?

i'm looking forward to seeing ryan again. it feels like forever - so it'll be wonderful to have him here with my family. we're also planning on watching the GA vs FL game on saturday. (note that i did not say look forward to.) and i did get all my big wholesale orders out - whew! - so i don't have as much sewing to do this weekend, but i do plan on working on some more orders and also continue to work on the winter collection for the shop.

another sneak peak to the much love illy winter collection

and speaking of the winter collection, i have the winner of GIVEAWAY! the winner will receive the romance me with a glance evergreen poppy garland headband (a limited edition to the shop's winter collection!) along with a pair of lilac violet large rose earrings.drum roll, pls...

the winner is 

melanie, be sure to email me right away 
so that i can get this package of goodies to you right away!  

(note: the giveaway winner was selected through like i've alreayd mentioned, this was my first giveaway. the next time i host a giveawy i will include numbesrs by each person's name and figure out the random generator widget for the blog. wasn't able to get it on here for some reason, but thanks for your patience! )

thank you to all the joined my giveaway! 
i had so much fun hosting it and hope to be able to do this again soon. 

welp, i hope you, my friend, have an amazing weekend! 
hope everyone has so much fun (and stay safe)! 

much love.
[happy friday!]

Thursday, October 28, 2010

not quite autum (yet) in the south.

good morning, world!

since sunday morning was a cooler day, i wore something more in the category of autumn than summer. so this picture (taken on sunday) was originally going to kick off the fall fashion week that emery jo is hosting, but then looking ahead at the rest of the week, the weather here in SC has been anything consistently close to autumn attire. though, i think i say that from a chicagoan's perspective. i do see some people walking around in the knee high boots and jackets, yet the temperature (and my skin) is still screaming humidity to me. however, some friends of mine (megan, shawni, and ashley) have joined in the fall fashion fun so i've enjoyed reading their posts - so stylish!

in other news...

i can't say too much right now, but sandy and i are dying to talk up a storm about this exciting winter swap we're hosting in november - and we want ALL OF YOU to be a part of it! so be sure to be right back here on november 4th so that you'll have all the details and be able to join in all the fun. we promise that this is something you won't want to miss! so we'll see you here, right? okay, i think i see you nodding your head. 

and even more news...
so excited about those lovely buttons you see blossoming from the sidebar of this page! and i'm even more excited to get the chance to introduce you to every one of them. i think we have an amazing line-up of sponsors, wouldn't you say? in the next few weeks, we'll have intro posts so you'll get to know who these sponsors are through interviews and possible giveaways and discounts only for much love, illy readers. woohoo! i am beyond pumped.

alrighty, enough announcements. 
but hey, you gotta admit...those were some good ones! 

how is your thursday so far, friend?
are you feeling like these two sleepy heads with the end of the week just a little further up ahead?! i took this picture the morning after this one of peyton. ashley was camping out on my bedroom floor, pey-pey in the bed with me. i woke up to this and couldn't resist the picture. and remember, folks,how i've referred to pey-pey as being part human? well, that fact continues to prove that its true. i don't know any other dog in the world that likes to sleep under the sheets with his head on the pillow. it's ridiculous but we love him so.

and don't forget! 

 you have until midnight eastern-time to enter my first GIVEAWAY. i'm already blown away by all the comments. i've hosted a handful of muchlove-illy giveaways on other blogs, but this is the first one i hosted here at my own blog which makes it so much more personal. love it!

hope you have a lovely thursday, whatever you might be doing today.
i don't know about you but i'm already thinking about the weekend!
(Ryan is visiting for the weekend - woohoo!) 

do you have any fun plans that you are already  looking forward to? 

costumes all picked out? 
hoping to get a particular kind of candy in your trick-or-treat basket?
movies to see? places to go? 
either way, hope its amazing!

much love.
[happy thursday, friend!]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

current obsessions wednesday: to show off those colorful tights (and other random things).

can't go wrong with a night of sewing 
and a red velvet cupcake.

last saturday, i tweeted: call me a grandma, but i'm looking forward to a quiet night of sewing and movies/tv. anyone else relate with that? i had a handful of orders to fill including a wholesale order with a deadline, so while lounging in PJs and chilling out with lil' pey-pey, i spent the evening catching up with season 7 of the office (where have i been? this season is ridiculously hilarious!) and cutting up colorful felt for my poppy garland headbands. and what made it better? mom and dad came home from a wedding shower and brought me back the most delish red velvet cupcake. and you know how that is one of my weaknesses! nothing better than that and a cup of hot coffee.

and can you believe it's wednesday already? 
it's time for another round of current obsessions! lately my eye has been looking out for...
skirts, dresses and shorts (oh, my!)
anything to pair with my new colorful tights.

via zara

it's still so warm here in South Carolina so the tights have not come out as often as i'd like them to; however, they made an appearance at church but that was because sunday morning was cooler than the afternoon. 

other things i've been obsessing include: 
taylor swift's speak now. airline websites. Mickey-dee's strawberry banana smoothies. the right pair of winter boots. red balloons. cake boss. christmas stockings. handmade journals. wedding dresses.

such a random list but come on, are you really surprised? i've especially been stalking airline websites because the travel bug bit me (thinking chicago or arizona...hmmm?) the mickey-dee smoothies are surprisingly good. taylor swift. the end. enough said. love that album. and of course, wedding dresses are a constat obsession. i want to of course find the right one. funny is that i think what i thought i wanted isn't what i want anymore - but i'm not going to clarify what i mean by that because ryan is a good fiance and actually reads my blog, so i want to keep the lips zipped on the wedding dress. 

what are you obsessing over this week, friend?

don't forget to join my first GIVEAWAY, ending at thursday midnight. 
so hurry over, if you haven't already. and spread the word, pls!  

and if you are interested in sponsorships for the holiday season, now is a good time to grab some afforable ad-spots!  i'm excited about the new blog-feature that will be coming along with the new sponsors you see on the left. look out for some upcoming interviews and giveaways from these amazing sponsors. i got a few spots left so be sure to drop me a line. 

much love, friend.
[happy wednesday!]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

on the road again. not me this time.

i feel like i'm the one always on the go.

especially since ryan is in georgia, and i'm in south carolina,
he and i have been doing the whole traveling back and forth thing to each other's families. 
but this past weekend,
it was ashley's turn.

beret: forever21
aviator glasses: H&M (ahem, my pair)
baseball tee: american eagle
skinny jeans: can't remember
sky blue high-tops: converse

she's part of the high school choir at church, and they had a concert/mission trip to one of our church plants in Florida. she was gone for pretty much the entire weekend. the house was oddly quiet. and the house oddly had no baby, baby or somebody to love or eenie meenie's blasting out of our surround sound speakers. but seriously, the house is always a little different when someone is gone. home doesn't even seem complete without kristine around. even pey-pey knows it when someone is gone. 

while ashley packed for the weekend away, snuggable pey-pey and i chilled out with her in her hot pink bedroom. never did i realize how much clothing this girl has packed away in her closet. (we must be sisters!) and she has some really cool pieces - ones i'd wear! let me just be frank here: sometimes i forget ashley is 15 years old. you have to understand, she was six years old when i left for college - so all the transitioning from little girl to teenager, yeaaaah...i kinda missed all that. (makes me sad. don't let me think about it too long.)

 peyton likes ashley's stuff too.

and yes, we did have the music blaring. you got the j-bieber. some G6 and lil' willow's whip it, which both songs annoyed me like crazy the first time i heard them...but now they are growing on me. t-swift's full album had not been fully released, but we definitely were loving the singles. ashley and i are especially fan of speak now. the back to december just makes me so sad for lautner. oh bittersweet, teenage (ahem, werewolf) romance. 

isn't my little sister such a little cutie?! being back home has been such a blessing. it's as if to make up for the 8 years i've been away, but the cool thing is that we remained close even with the distance (these are the moments that you are grateful for unlimited texts, same family plan, twitter, blogs and facebook - it does too help with the distance!). i really think though that the closeness in our sisterhood and friendship is a God-thing. 

do you have siblings? sisters? brothers? 
or maybe a dog/cat you dress up in berets and take silly pictures of?

oh, btw...did you check out the sweet sidebar filling up? yes, the one to the left hand side of the screen. after inquiries and my own thought process, i went ahead and took the big leap for (prep yourself) SPONSORS! eeeek! i'm excited about this! 

in the early stages of my own shop, i sponsored a handful of blogs to work on getting my lil' name out there. i also met some cool people along the way and learned a lot through the process. and now i want to give that chance to other shops (even blogs!) that fit with the readership of muchlove-illy o be able to showcase and advertise. soooo...if you think this is for you, shoot me an email at and i'll be sure to send you advertising info right away. and that's a wrap with the commercial break...
[happy tuesday, friend!]

Monday, October 25, 2010

much love monday: farmers markets.

i enjoy my alone time every now and then. 
don't get me wrong or put me in the anti-social club. i love people and having a good social time, but i also don't mind chasing adventures on my own. chicago was a great place for that. you could be alone but then people were still around - so it was like the best of both worlds. (yes, you may cue in hannah montana.) this past saturday, i got the chance to drive out to a local farmer's market. mom originally thought about coming with, but then changed her mind - so it was my own little adventure. just me and my camera. the weather cooled down a little bit too that i got to wear my fave pair of leggings and my kristin davis flats. 

there were many booths selling fresh vegetables, handmade products, and even live music. there were more people there than i expected.  probably because it happened to be an actually harvest festival weekend, not just the farmer's market. i ran into one of ashley's best friends there and she explained it to me. i cannot tell you how refreshing it was to walk around and browse the booths and take pictures and to be able to soak it all in. i've missed my saturday morning farmer's market runs. 

i probably could have bought out the whole place. i found some homemade apple butter and handmade jewelry and vintage designed coasters. i wanted to take all of it home. i did take these two lovely treasures back with me and am so happy with. the cupcake was a buttermilk flavor with a cream cheese frosting (yum!). isn't it just so pretty, too? love the frosting swirls. and the darling little owl hairclip is from carolina ribbons - i couldn't resist it when i saw it. it's actually for a friend of mine, i'm just waiting for her to come back from overseas so that i can mail it out to her. *wink, you know who you are.*

and you better believe i was so happy to have found the cupcake booth! i told the cupcake woman my whole life story (i just moved from chicago where we had cupcake shops every and blah and blah! and im just so happy to have found you!) and she told me she was happy that i found her too, giving me all her info on where to locate them. the sweet carolina cupcake shop is still about 40 or so minutes away but its closer to me than my chicago ones! 

any other places having farmer's markets during this time of the year? i told someone today that this seems so backwards to me 'cause back in chicago it's way to cold to keep farmer's markets open this late in the year.  

hope you had a lovely weekend, friend!
much love.
[happy monday!]

p.s oh, and don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY.
i'm already so blown away by the response with it being my first one and all. 
thank you!

blog post linked to anna's weekly feature of much love monday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

so in love.

doesn't this picture make you want to snuggle up with him?

the other night my sister and i were up super late, just laughing, talking, doing random things. so while we were doing our random business, guess what lil' pey was doing? the lil' guy was out cold. made me want to stop what i was doing and just cuddle with him.

i am so in love with this dog.

[happy saturday, friend.]

Friday, October 22, 2010

hey, folks. it's friday - and time for my first giveaway!!!

there is always a reason to celebrate. 
  a brand new day. coffee with lots of creamer. laughter. being random. 
creativity in the mundane. color in blandness.

and another reason to add to that list:

Much Love, Illy reached 200 followers
(and counting!) 

shout it from the rooftops. do a little jig. drink more coffee. wear your best party dress. 
 this is pretty exciting for me and i wanted to celebrate it with you, friend. 
and how do i do that?! 
with a long awaited giveaway!

last week, i gave you a sneak peak to my up and coming winter collection (thank you for so many of your kind encouraging comments!). one of my favorite pieces is a dark evergreen poppy headband. at the heart of its felt petals is an elegant vintage black and gold button. this poppy blossoms at nearly 4 inches wide, securely attached to a stretchy black headband. this is a sophisticated addition to any outfit for these coming cooler days of winter! 

romance me with a glance evergreen poppy headband. i'll be giving away this darling poppy headband! 
it has not yet been stocked into the shop yet - this will be the first one released! 
and know the headbands in this collection will be a LIMITED edition,
so the winner will be one of the few lovelies to receive it!

and if that's not enough, i'm throwing in...

a pair of lilac violet large rose earrings

and let me let you in on a little secret. orginally these roses only graced vintage victorian style rings. this past summer, ohhellofriend hosted a summer guide gift exchange and the lovely sasha of the gilded bee and i did a swap. she requested a custom order for these rose rings to be created into earrings. i had never tried it before but i said sure! why not? after i made a pair for her, i made myself a pair and then started stocking the shop with them and they have sold like hot cakes since. (so thank you, sasha!) 

1) publicly follow my blog 
2) comment to let me know that you did 
3)  include your email address so i know how to reach you if you win!

extra entries 
(each counts as one entry. 
be sure to put in separate comments.):
-visit my much love, illy shop and comment on which is your favorite item
-follow me via twitter (muchloveilly)
-tweet about the giveaway and be sure to include @muchloveilly so i can track it
-blog about the giveaway and comment with the link
-add my button to your blog  

Giveaway is open to US and International Residents  
and will close at midnight, Thursday October 28.
Winner will be chosen at random by 
and announced  the following Friday morning.

 [happy friday, friends!]