Monday, January 31, 2011

drum roll, pls!! did you win the Goose + Trisser?!

and yet it was another suh-weeeeeet giveaway!
you lovely readers wanted to get your hands on this shop credit.
and i do not blame you.

the winner of the Goose + Trisser giveaway is...

Kim of Yellow Songbird!

kim, email me at muchloveilly[at]gmail[dot]com 
so that i can make sure you connect with rachel for your G+T shop credit. 

 congratulations to kim!!
and rachel, thank you so much for an amazing giveaway!!

sponsor love: giveaway and interview with Laura of Along for the Ride!!!

today's sponsor is probably one of the most inspiring ones that i know out there in blog-world. and i'm talking that this pretty lady knows how inspire readers in so many creative ways. we're talking about crafting it up on her Saturday Craft Day posts and her recent "What Inspires" Series. she also inspires readers with her faith in God especially when it comes to everything in her life, which does includes her blog and shop.

meet laura.

Tell us 3 random facts about you! 

1.I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and I filled in "Alaskan Native" on standarized tests until my teacher came over and informed me that I was not actually an Alaskan native despite the fact that I was born there. I was devastated.
2. My favorite band is Hootie and the Blowfish. I walked down the aisle to "Hold My Hand."
3. I met my first real boyfriend when he drove to Ohio State University and gave me a hubcap that he turned into a clock (I kind of collected hubcaps in college). The hubcap man and I have been married for 2 and a half years.

What is the story behind 
your blog and shop name? 

I've always seen blogging and creating as just another way to worship the Lord. I chose "Along for the Ride" as it is a daily reminder that, although I try, I am not in control, God is. He has a life perfectly planned and I need to be along for the ride that he has in front of me. Being along for the ride isn't about taking a back seat or being apathetic along life's journey, nor is it about taking the journey lightly. For me, being along for the ride is about trusting in the Lord to guide your everyday moments and to be a constant companion on your journey.

If you could interview anyone for your blog, who would that be and why?

I'd love to interview Lisa Leonard. I'm constantly inspired by her. In her roles as a mom, wife, blogger, crafter, and business owner, she shows women that it doesn't always have to be perfect to be beautiful and that the little things in life are really what make it sweet. What a wonderful lesson to learn every day.

take a peek into her adorable shop...

are not these pieces so lovely and just stinkin' adorable? 
i'm gushing over the robin egg blue rosette necklace! 
and wouldn't those earrings be perfect for a Valentine's Day date?!


welp, guess what?! 
if you love her goodies as much as i'm loving them, you'll be thrilled to know that to one of you lucky readers have a chance to snatch up laura's delightful giveaway:

$15 shop credit 
to her lovely shop!!!

how to enter:
1. be a public follower of Much Love, illy
2. visit Laura's shop and comment with your favorite item 
and that's it! 

unless you really, really want to win...
extra entries:
(keep in separate comments so that they count!)
- follow Laura's blog
-heart her shop
-follow her twitter
-tweet about the giveaway 
(include @muchloveilly and @aftr_laura so that we can track your tweet!)

Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers and closes at midnight, Sunday, Feb. 6th. 
Winner will be announced on Monday, Feb. 7th.

much love. 
[happy monday, friend.]

Sunday, January 30, 2011

wearing purple tights does not equal bieber fever.

top: H&M / vest: f21 / skirt: stole from sister / tights: target / 
shoes: madden girl, belk / nailpolish: OPI jade is the new black

the last time i showed off these bright purple tights in a fashion post someone commented that i must be suffering from beiber fever. um, i can tell you hear and now that I AM NOT. i'm not at all going ga-ga over beieber. you would think i would be going gag-gag over bieber since we hear his music play around the house and in the car all the time.

 disclaimer: i was paid A LOT to post that 2nd photo. just saying...

it's the lil' sister that is going through THE bieber fever...and most definitely in the ga-ga one (you don't want to see her room) - especially since the bieb's huge movie is coming up in a couple of weeks. call me the best big sister eva, i'm going to be driving ashley and a couple of her friends to the midnight showing. i will most likely also be the kleenex box holder as i've been informed that ashley and her friends are planning on bawling through the movie "because bieber is so cuuuuuuuuute!" 

as much teasing as i give ashley about the biebs, i can't forget the days of my own boyband crushes. come on! you know what i'm talking about, peeps! remember the days of N*SYNC, backstreet boys, and maybe a little bit of O-Town. my sis and i were also really into Plus ONE (a Christian boy-band - haha!). i remember dad gave us a lot of eye-rolling back then. 

anyone else had boyband crushes?
if not boybands, who were your crushes back in the day?

oh and one more thing. believe it or not, my incredible mom took my outfit pictures! ashley had a youth group event and the tripod was not doing its job (grrr), but mom came to the rescue! another photographer in the making - woohoo!! thanks, mom!

much love.
[happy sunday, friend.]
p.s. you have just a few more hours to enter the Goose + Trisser store credit giveaway!
and don't forget to enter the giveaway for your own copy of the Hunger Games!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

getting comfy for the weekend + hello to new friends!!

 cardigan: base exchange/ top: base exchange / jeans: aeropostle
boots: rampage / nailpolish: OPI dating a royal

i told you it was an all-jean week. i actually even put on a pair of leggings and a skirt this morning, looked in the mirror and went eeeeh. just wasn't feeling it. and that's okay. it's the weekend. i'm in the mood for complete comfort! 

(btw isn't peyton the cutest?! we had too much fun with these pictures. he kept trying to lick me the whole time we were chilling on that bench. he's so sweet. our fam is in love with this dog! )

anywhooooo...i've been outta town for a little while so i'm looking forward this weekend at home (though it stinks that (my) ryan isn't here with me - boo). as for the agenda...sleeping in, lounging in sweatpants, hanging out with the fam - hopefully sneak in a few movies, finish up a book or two. gonna also attempt to finish up some products for the spring line (can't wait to show those off!). we shall see. just happy it's the weekend. 

what do you have planned this weekend, friend?
and what do you wear when you want to be comfy?

much love.
[happy friday, friend.]

p.s.  looking for a new read? enter my Hunger Games giveaway!

and oh, oh!! one more thing...
and zoweeeee, welcome to all the new readers and the batch of orders that came in this week! thank you to kendi and sydney for writing posts that made this girl *blush.* and so many of your comments made my day - thank you, thank you!! 
so lovely to have you, new friend. 

GIVEAWAY: since i'm in love with peeta so much...

...and i've been talking up a storm about it,
why should i not just give away a copy?

[nail-polish: OPI's dating a royal]

don't worry. i'm giving away a brand-new copy of The Hunger Games.
not this one. it's pretty beat-up,
especially after my sister read it and then i ate it up read it too.

how to enter:
1. be a public follower of Much Love, illy
2. tell me why you should win a copy of The Hunger Games

a couple extra entries:
(keep in separate comments if you really, really want to win)
-follow @muchloveilly via twitter
-tweet about the giveaway (including @muchloveilly in the tweet) so that i can track it

ONE MORE THING...if you've already read The Hunger Games
i ask that you not enter so that we can spread the obsession love.
get it? got it? good!

Giveaway open to U.S. and Canadian readers through Thursday, Feb. 3rd. 
Winner will be announced Friday, Feb. 4th.
[happy giveaway day, friend.]

p.s. are you giveaway happy?! then don't forget to enter the Goose + Trisser giveaway!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

rocking the casual + a victim of the panda.

jacket: belk / tee: urban outfitters / jeans: aeropostle 
necklace: f21 / belt: f21 / boots: belk

there are some weeks that i wear dresses and tights every day, then there are weeks where i feel like rocking the jeans. and this was one of those weeks. you know what i mean?! i had those awful allergies and not in the mood to be creative. if you wear jeans, you only had the top half to worry about out. am i right? am i right? actually i really do love this cargo jacket. its uber casual yet you can add a belt or a pop of color with any tee. i've thrown it over some floral or lace making a fun contrast.

speaking of fun...

here are some pictures that i cannot stop laughing over. this is what happens to unsuspecting victims when the panda hat creeps up on them.
victim #1

victim #2

sooooo...if you ever visit my house, don't tell me you weren't warned. 
you could be next.

much love.
[happy thursday, friend.]
p.s. drooling over Goose and Trisser? enter the giveaway for shop credit!  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

current obsession wednesay: another random batch for you!!

i'm guilty. 

i think it has been ages since i wrote up a FULL current obsessions wednesday's post. partially because i haven't really been drooling over too much lately, believe it or not. not since the days of christmas wish lists. and not since all those tempting sales were popping up all over blog world and in the real world. but i do have a few things up my sleeve.

so here we go, folks.
 welcome back, current obsessions wednesday. 

lots and lots of reading.

when i start reading, i get on a major roll. i wouldn't say i read a lot of books all the time but i def. have my spurts - and i'm in the midst of one of my spurts. ever since i got into the hunger games series, i can't stop. i keep looking for the next fix. after h.g. i picked up matched (recommended!). i love my classics and the books that make you think, but lately i've been in the mood of something more on the easy reading side with a story that can suck you right into it. and those past 4 books have done their job. we'll see how the next two on my list do.
mickey-dee's hot chocolate. 

i know, i know. so many people are against mickey-dee's food and what-not. but dude, their mcafe beverage's rock, especially their hot chocolate and for $1 buck. you can't beat that. when the fam and i were in atlanta during the snow storm and MD's was the only place open, we chilled here downing these babies. yum.

pandora rings.

first off i love my pandora bracelet. ryan's mom gave me a bracelet and has given me a charm for every birthday and christmas he and i have been together. while visiting ryan's family, margaret took me to a jewelry store that carries pandora and oh my goodness, i fell in love with their stackable rings. *swoon*
all things hearts.
i've always loved anything with hearts, but even more so lately as more and more hearts are popping up in time for the most romantic day of the year! i actually ordered one of gracie's heart headbands and plan to show it off in an outfit post soon enough. the other two are on my list!
canvas cuties.


and who has NOT seen these cutie canvases that popped up last week in Linds' studio?! are they not sooooo darling? i'm in love with this camera one so she needs to hurry up and restock soon. *hint, hint*

okay, so there you have it. 
my random current obsessions. 
if you've followed them before, it's really not that surprising. i'm already random as it is.

am i alone in any of my current obsessions?
and what are you obsessing over right now, friend? 
care to share? 

much love.
[happy wednesday, friend.]

p.s. don't forget the sweet shop credit giveaway by Goose and Trisser? 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

weekend: what i wore + allergies + (my) ryan

tee: macy's / vest: f21 / belt: f21 / skirt: target
tights: hue / shoes: kristen davis / necklace: allorahandmade

i love gray a little too much sometimes. so there is nothing like a pop of color that can break up the darker shade - especially my allorahandmade necklace. i think i wear this lovely once a week. can you blame me? i love it. you better snag your own before they're sold out. they go like hotcakes. no joke.

sooo....for most of the weekend, i've been fighting a ridiculous cold...or allergies? who knows? it started out as allergies but then it got beyond sneezing. i went through way too many boxes of kleenex and lots of aloe vera to sooth my red nose. okay, enough with the details. you don't want to hear it.

either way, (my) Ryan was with me so i felt better just having him around. we drove back from GA on Wednesday and then enjoyed a really fun time with the family (i'll share more pics later!). so aside from the icky cold, it was a perfect weekend! oh and i even got a chance to photograph a dear friend's baby shower. i can't wait for her to see the pictures and i might even share a few here. 

what were you up to this weekend, friend?

much love.
[happy tuesday, friend.]

p.s. don't forget to enter the Goose and Trisser giveaway!

Monday, January 24, 2011

GIVEAWAY: shop credit to Goose + Trisser!!!

i've always been so fascinated by embroidery work - especially when it goes beyond grandma's favorite quotes (nothing wrong with that, of course). rachel's delicate and colorful handiwork pieces are some of my favorite kinds of embroidery work out there. the background patterns are whimsical and the colorful words are a sweet treat. see for yourself, friend!

meet rachel.

get to know her and her precious family 
through her blog
(i love her baby's name. Bird. so cute, right?!)

and you won't want to miss out 
her beautiful shop

Tell us about YOU, the brains and artist behind your shop and blog.

I'm a late 20-something wife to T, and mother of a one year old beauty, Bird, who gave me the inspiration for my first shop item that has just spiraled into Goose and Trisser. I foolishly moved back from Southern California after two fun years of great weather and good times, back to my forever home in Southeast Michigan. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I used to spend my days doing advertising, and now I spend them with my Bird, napping when she naps, playing when she plays and creating in the wee hours. Rounding out my days, I make time for my husband who loves my hair brained schemes and is unconditionally supportive, which is great cause I have a lot of those.

Is there a story behind your shop's unique name? 

The name of my shop comes from my husband and I's nicknames for each other. I am known as the Brown Goose and he is just my Trisser. Lucky for me, we are the only pair out there and the name stuck!

I love the unique designs of your products.
Where do you get your inspiration? 

I am inspired by so many talented people in my everyday life and those that I am continually happening upon on the interwebs. I pull from good memories that I have, things I want to give to my friends and family, and random things I think just might work.

 What do you look most forward 
to in the new year? 

In the new year, I'm excited for my little family to grow, perhaps, for my shop to continue to be inspired by the beauty and community around me and to really enjoy all the moments I am given.

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go and why?

I really don't have any one place that I would like to go or see. I always get stumped by this question. I've been to Italy and it was amazing and beautiful. I don't really have a want to go to Africa and see the "homeland" or anything. I want to go to London, but doesn't everyone. I really love Canada but its my neighbor to the North and I feel like I should pick a more far away place. So I guess my answer is a bit of every where, I have a wanderlust for all the world.


so guess what today's sweet giveaway includes?
if you've been drooling over these incredible, unique pieces like me,
you will LOVE what rachel is offering one lucky Much Love, illy reader!

{$15 credit to use towards any of the lovelies in her shop}

did you wipe that drool off your face, yet?

how to enter:
 (counts as ONE entry so be sure to do both!)
1. be a public follower of Much Love, illy 
2. visit Rachel's shop and comment with your favorite item 

extra entries:
(separate each action into individual comments to count)
1. follow the Goose + Trisser blog 
2. heart Rachel's shop
3. follow @gooseandtrisser via twitter
4. follow @muchloveilly via twitter
5. tweet about the giveaway 
(include @gooseandtrisser and @muchloveilly so we can track your tweet) 

can't wait to see if you won?
use the coupon code MUCHLOVE for a 10% discount off of your entire order.
code applies for the entire month of January. you have a week left so hurry! 

 Giveaway closes at midnight, Sunday January 30th
Open to US and International Readers!
The winner will be announced on Monday, January 31st.

[happy giveaway day, friend.]

holla!!!! shout out to february sponsors!!!!

interested in showing off your sweet business or blog to blog-oh-sphere?! 
february is a good month for that too especially 
since lovely lads and ladies want ideas on what to get their valentine!

if you think you + me could work together, shoot me an email at muchloveilly[at]gmail[dot]com.   
and we can then chit-chat. you send me an email and i'll send you my stats and affordable rates!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

LC blazer, chipotle obsession, and another book update.

dress: eshakti / blazer: lauren conrad / tights: hu
shoes: madden girl / necklace: ale grace /

another oldie, but goodie. just never got around to posting it during the holiday season. i loooove my black dress from eshakti. remember it from way back when? (see here.) i'm also a huge fan of blazers and tights - esp if the blazer is made by lauren conrad and if the tights are any color other than black. and don't you love my necklace?! my sister's bff made it for me for christmas - i love it!

in other news...
okay, soooooo remember back when we were in atlanta last week? despite the awful snowstorm, as the snow and ice melted away, more and more restaurants started to open up - one of them being my ALL-TIME fave. if you knew me back when i lived in chicago, you know how much ryan and i LOVED this place. we seriously went there once a week. no joke. ordered the same thing every time. (and during the days when american idol was good, we would order to go and eat it at either one of our apartments to enjoy our meal with simon, paula, and randy).

there was a CHIPOTLE in atlanta just down the street from the hotel we stayed - and ash and i were freaking out!! i know there are a ton of them all over Atlanta but nada, zero, zip in SC - or if there is one, it's def. not close to us! so i INHALED my burrito bowl (chicken, no beans, lettuce, mild salsa, lots of sour cream and lots of cheese!!), scooping up every single bit of it onto a tortilla chip. (i need to stop writing about this. i'm about to eat up my computer screen...)

and hey, folks, it's the weekend! as you know, ryan is here with me and my family (woohoo!!) and we're looking forward to a weekend of grilling, movies, maybe some board games and still trying to convince ryan to play just dance with us.

what do you have planned?
and any other chipotle lovers out there?
oh, yum.

much love.
[happy friday, friend.]

p.s. um, started Matched last night. couldn't put it down. will keep you posted. 
p.s.s. oh, and thanks for the emails and tweets for those of you that helped me process Mockingjay. i needed it to get me through my depression. *wink*