Monday, February 28, 2011

sponsor love + giveaway: Alison of aPearantly Sew!!!!!

do you remember my dear friend, alison? she stopped by to visit with us a few months ago. if you weren't hanging out with us then be sure to check out her sweet interview! you'll discover that she is super talented and creative - and she is also super mom to two precious boys. not only is she the brains and artist behind aPearantly sew shop, she is the voice over at the aPearantly sew blog where you can keep up with her and her family's fun adventures as well as shop updates and inspiring DIYs!

this is alison.

what are three random facts about you? 
I love to read (but rarely have the time anymore)
I was homeschooled until I went to High School
I thought I wanted to be a Lawyer when I "grew up".
(It makes me laugh now to think about it.)

what is the last movie that you saw at the theatre?
Eat Pray Love

if you could have a lunch date with any person in the world, who would it be and why?
 I'll have to think on this and let you know. I honestly can not think of an answer! 

and this here is alison's incredible shop with the most adorable name, wouldn't you agree?
i'm especially in love with those cluthes and swooning over the tote - and the blue in the flower pin is so eye-popping!

want to get your hands on one if not 3 or 10 of these lovelies?!
well, you're in luck 'cause alison has generously offered...

$20 aPearantly Sew shop credit!!!

so awesome, right?! how can you NOT want that?!
everything in her shop screams spring and color - so purrrrfect for this time of the year!
so if i were you, i'd get on this giveaway like a cowbow on a horse!
okay, okay.
let's get on with the giveaway, ilene.

how to enter:
(counts as ONE entry so pls. do BOTH)
-be a public follower of Much Love, illy
-visit aPearantly Sew and comment with your favorite item from her shop

really, really want to win?
(keep in seperate entries to count!)
1. be a follower of Alison's blog
2. follow Alison's twitter
3. follow Much Love, illy twitter
4. tweet about the giveaway
(include @muchloveilly and @alilittle28)

want your hands on an aPearantly Sew lovelies NOW instead of later?!
take 15% off of your entire order with coupon code: MuchLove15

Giveaway is open to US and International Much Love, illy Readers until midnight, March 6th. Winner will be announced March 7th.

much love.
[happy monday, friend.]

Saturday, February 26, 2011

march sponsorship available now!!!

dude, this month is flyyyyying by! let's be brave enough to say the year is flying by. i can't believe i'm even talk about the month of march already, you know? yet here we are.

sooooo...we got a few slots opening up on da blog this month. if you're interested in promoting your shop or your blog and you think Much Love, illy would be the place for you, shoot me at email at muchloveilly[at]gmail[dot]com and we'll chit-chat rates, states and all that fun stuff.  oh and keep in mind that giveaway slots are limited so if  that is something you are specifically interested in, be sure to contact me asap.

can't wait to hear from you. thanks, friend!

i think you and i would be best friends.

 tee: rawrs / jeans: aeropostle / hightops, beret: f21 / bag: aldo

hmmm. so with internet being down for an entire day, this post would be oozing with all of that blogging creative energy that had been stopped up in there while not in front of a computer screen. however, i think when you start writing an entry post at oh, 12:13am after a super busy, fabu-lific (get it? fabulous and, don't got it? right. probably 'cause its 12:13am) day, you're mind is a little zonked.

the day was filled with a walk down the water front, enjoying a cookies and cream frozen coffee (delish!) and just savoring the last couple of days with my man. we also laughed a lot today. we had those moments where we looked at each other and just connected on something without even having to explaining and then end up busting out laughing. those moments are the best.

oh btw, people, thanks for all the fun questions you sent me my way wednesday! believe it or not, i'm excited to type those out and answer them for you. some of them literally made me laugh out loud. i also think that some of us our on the same wave-length and that if we met outside of blogging world, you and i would be best friends. you made me laugh that hard.  maybe one day we'll meet. i really hope so.

much love.
[happy saturday, friend.]

p.s. keep the party going. enter the blogiversary giveaway, friend!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

dude, it's friday + some link love.

[love the reeese' hearts ryan got me for v-day. yum. and so much PB.
also rocking urban decay eyeshadow and OPI nailpolish.]

it's friday, folks! are you as happy as i am?! i'm looking forward to some more time with Ryan and family - especially tonight while we all head out to an oyster roast at our church. i'm not huge on oysters but these events are normally a lot of fun - and people keep raving about all the food they'll be serving there...and you know me! i LOVE food!!

soooo...i had one more blogiversary post to go up answering questions about blogging specifically but yesterday and early this morning, the internet was done. bummer. but it kinda worked for the best 'cause i had a super productive day. i also found myself less distracted by the internet - so i take that as a plus. oh and even got a little further into I am Number Four, another goodie.

speaking of goodies, i don't know about you but have you seen all the goodies out there in blog-world? though i'd shout out some link love for a few of my fave:

one of my favorite outfit posts of the week.

i'd read on this couch every day if i owned it.

discovering treasures in her grandparents basment.

obsessed with this color combo.

her photos make me hungry.

her favorites became my favorites - esp. the turquoise nails and red lips. 

what are you some of your recent blog post faves?
please share.

much love.
[happy friday, friend.]

p.s. if you haven't entered the blogiversary giveaway, be sure to do it 'cause i'm tell you now, you won't wanna miss it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BLOGIVERSARY cont'd: awkward/awesome thursday + Somerknits giveaway winner!!!

 dress, stretch tee, leggings: f21 / boots: rampage

can i tell you a secret?! come in just a little closer. a little bit more. okay, perfect. you seriously have been incredible to me this week. your comments have made my day - and thank you for making my blogiversary an uber-special one! so thank you, thank you!

so any-whooooos....many of you commented that one of your favorite MIL posts was the awkward/awesome post i wrote up a few weeks ago, so keep with the party, here's another one coming right backatcha.


1. while you're shopping you're sister holds up a dress and you scrunched your nose and say really loudly, "EW, THAT IS SO UGLY!" right as another customer walks up beside you carrying around the same dress to obviously buy or try on herself.

2. when you recognize someone from a local commercial and you say hey, you're that guy from that commercial? and he just stares at you then oddly looks around the room ...then says, yeah, we do that. okaaaaay. how does one even respond to that?  (wish i could claim that this happened to me, but it didn't. i was with ryan at this local jewelry store getting my mom's watched fixed while ryan had this situation happened to him with this guy.)

3. walking down a long empty hallway and you see someone walking towards your direction from the other end. but you don't really know that person and he doesn't know you. but then you can't do anything else but look ahead at either the ceiling ,the floor or the other person. what makes it worse is when you finally are shoulder to shoulder with the other person, you say hi but then are ignored.

4. seeing a man forcing his dog's nose into another dog's butt. dude, the dog's do that on their own. if your dog is anti-social, you can't just force him to do that. it's a dog thing. we're not a part of it.

5. telling someone that you hate wal-mart (i really don't hate it-but they drove me nutty that day) and make it an emphatic statement. later on you tell that same person, you love her cute hat. you ask her, where did you get it? and she says, oh. walmart.


1. my mom. she is one of the most generous, hard-working people that i know. i stopped to think about how much i loved her this week - and i do. a whole stinkin' lot.

2. New music like Adele's 21 and new books likes I am Number Four, Beautiful Creatures, and Iron King

3. getting to hang out with (my) Ryan every single day the past week - and those Sonic-runs (strawberry limeade with extra strawberries, pls.)!!

4. hitting 800 followers this week and blowing my mind with the number of comments for the blogiversary giveaway post (be sure to enter if you haven't yet - you won't regret it. i promise!).

5. random Wal-green runs and walking out with sour patch kids and sweettarts (or any kind of sour candy) 

make me laugh. 
any awkward moments for you lately, friend?  

and guess what?!
yesterday was a little crazy so i wasn't able to post the winner of the Somerknit's giveaway, so here ya go!!

shoot me an email at muchloveilly[at]gmail[dot]com with your mailing address
so that sweet Somer can get her amazing bow cowl in your hands right away!

oh! and for those of you talented knitters out there, Somer has offered the pattern for her Illy cowl right HERE on her blog!
isn't she so sweet?

much love.
[happy thursday, friend.]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BLOGIVERSARY PARTY cont'd: you asked, i answered. that's how it works.

 top: base exchange / shorts and belt: f21 / tights: hue
shoes: madden girl / nails: OPI jade is the new black 

to keep up with this week's blogiversary celebration,
 i thought it might be kind of fun to answer
some of the FAQ's that i get in comments or via email.
so here we go, folks!! let's roll!!

where does the name much love, illy come from?

my finace nicknamed me illy as a joke. he called me lil' illy and then it kinda stuck. he wrote it to me in emails or when he would jokingly greet me. also a little etsy connection, my etsy shop started as a card shop - so it seemed appropriate to name it with a closing signature. like i mentioned yesterday, the blog got the name from my etsy shop. and hey, it just fit!

what kind of camera do you use?

started out with a canon powershot. loved it but then it got killed by an ocean wave. it was  sad day but it gave me a chance to upgrade to a canon rebel which i am utterly in love with. i also shoot with my 50mm lens which i use all the time.

who takes your pictures?

i take all photos if they are non-outfit related (totally hope to study more photography one day). outfit pictures are taken by my little sister, ashley when i'm home in SC and by my fiance, Ryan when i'm in GA or when we're off on one of our crazy adventures.

do you edit your pictures?

not too much. i play around a teeny-tiny little bit with picnik.
wish i had photoshop. maybe one day.

are you full or part Filipina?

i am 100% Filipina! my parents are both filipino. i grew up in the American culture but lived all over since we were a military family. that def. doesn't mean that i don't live the Philippines or filipino food! love it all!

were you really homeschooled?

this question cracks me up - but yes, i actually was! i was homeschooled from the 4th grade through high school. i think people are surprised because my sisters and i are really social (or i guess more social than most homeschoolers people know). mom and dad kept us super involved in sports, the community and our church. because of their wise balancing, i feel like my homeschool experience was a very good one and i am beyond grateful for it.

do you have any tips for blog growth or etsy shop success?

with how i often i get this question, i'm working on a couple blog posts on this. i defintely do not know everything on this, but i'm happy to share what i've learned and am learning so far!

how do you do your hair?

i do whatever it wants me to do. it has it's on mind. drives me nuts.
to prove it to you, i think this calls for my first video tutorial!

and that's a wrap!!!
and hey, if there are more questions you have that i didn't answer,
include them in the comments and i'll try to include some of them in later posts!


oh and a huge thanks for making yesterday super special with all of your amazing comments!
we hit over 400 comments in the first day, so you all def. made my day.
keep spreading the word - and if you haven't entered, click HERE for your chance at 5 giveaway packages. they are some pretty good ones if i may say so myself!!

thank you, thank you, sweet friends!!

much love.
[happy wednesday, friend.]

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

BLOGIVERSARY: you bet it's a party so you better get on over here!!

so before we start this party...

before i dive into anything super emotional, i have a pretty good feeling that someone messed with the dates of my blog...'cause i was pretty sure that my blog-anniversary is on Feb. 22nd! however, when i looked over the date of my first blog, it says Feb. 19th?! since when...?! i feel like a bad girlfriend best friend wife blogger that forget her boyfriend best friend husbands blog's anniversary! 

okay, okay. this is a little embarrassing (laugh it off) but whatever. the day is gone - so we're making this a continued celebration! the date is not gonna change the goodness of this part-aaaaay! it was a very ilene-moment...and we're gonna move forward with it. you game?

are you ready? really, really ready for this? 
let's bring it!
on feb., feb. 22nd,
much love illy (the blog) was born.

so you ask, why did you start blogging?
well, i'm glad you asked! 

[my first blog banner]

when i did, i remember starting the entry with little idea of where it would head. i had a blog on tumblr but it was pretty random and i got tired of how long it took to load my posts - and my friends always complained that they could never comment on it. also my sister and some close friends moved away and so this was one way i knew i could keep in touch with them. another best friend of mine even told me she was surprised that i didn't have a blog - that i seemed like a person that would. 

 [my first etsy shop banner]

my etsy shop also started to take off and so i wanted to have a place to record inspiration as well as include shop updates. and like many bloggers, there was so much inspiration out there in blog world, that i needed my own place - my own sort of bulletin board to tack on all my ideas. 

[home sweet chicago]

i was always taking so many pictures - and sometimes facebook just wasn't doing it for me. i'm a writer at heart and i wanted to write, journaling my love for life, my family, my faith and relationship with Jesus Christ, and...just to write. i also wanted to showcase photos so of course, blogging started to hit the spot for me as i recorded adventures with Ryan and friends in the my favorite city in the world, Chicago.

[one of the first pic to appear on da blog. me and the ryans]

and of all years to start blogging, i'm glad i started it that particular day. 
why? because seriously so much has happened. 

spring break in the philippines. first much love illy giveaway ever. JSB 2010. cupcake dates. first craft show. family adventures in the city. making a BIG decision. ryan's graduation.  my first date with my canon rebel. chicago adventures. the alphabet hop. a sulu brainstorm. first current obsession wednesday. bruiser the cat. meeting sandy and shia. hit 100 followers. i got ENGAGED to my best friend in the whole wide world. saying goodbye is hard. it was really hard to say goodbye. the big move. hello, georgia. hello, south carolina.  first outfit post. birthday partay. engagement pictures. first blog crawl. first giveaway. first sponsor love friday. more outfit posts. CHWH swap 2010. thanksgiving with the fam. christmas with the fam. 

and the adventures have continued into this new year. what started to be a way to connect with family and friends and a creative has grown into a community that i would never have expected to be a part of and i have YOU, my friend, to thank.

 and because of YOU, i wanted to celebrate YOU today. 
i want to thank you for making this year so amazing for me. 
for allowing me to grow alongside you. 
for encouraging me with your sweet comments. 
for letting me awkward and whiny.
and awesome on some days.
and to celebrate YOU, we are talking up some major giveaway stash. 
vanna white, will you please...?

behind curtain #1...

i have been a long time fan of these lovelies, so when i got my hands on my own pair you bet this made it to my list of favorite things! so for one special winner today, the winner will receive one modern pearl necklace in their choice of color - and there are oh, so many!

next we have curtain #2 
and is that also a curtain #3?

before i let you in on giveaway package #2 and #3 (unless you decide to scroll all the way - totally your choice but also your loss)...i want to introduce to you three very special women who have had specific impact on my journey as a handmade seller and as a blogger. they have been with me from the very beginning. 

meet sandy, kim, and ashley.

every single one of them reached out to me when i first started. i am talking about THE very beginning. they were encouraging, supportive and were the cheerleaders that told me keep going with "this etsy/blog thing" - without needing anything back from me. i've asked them questions. i've vented - and they've been there. i've looked up to them and admired the examples they have set as women, friends and as bloggers. they are real and were there for me when i needed them. so they are definitely  a huge part of my bloganniversary because they helped me to even get this whole thing started. sooooo...the following giveaway packages include goodies from their incredible shops! 

handmade goodies package #1.

  ohsweetjoy ruffled stripes coffee cuff / LMM mustache necklace
sandyalamode lacy mustard yellow bow
(package valued: $32)

handmade goodies package #2.

ohsweetjoy happy bunting coffee cuff / LMM cateye glasses necklace
sandyalamode diana red felt bow
(package value: $32)

talk about an amazing stash of handmade goodies from some of the best out there!

and speaking of handmade, behind curtain #4...

like i said, the Much Love, illy shop is a huge part of me and my blog. 
it's a collaboration of my love for fashion and for handmade.

and last but not least, behind curtain #5...

i think i've been raving about my love for the lemode traveling bag for forever. you've seen me blog about it probably every week. it's so perfect for throwing in your every day junk. it's great for the casual and for the not-so-casual outfits. so many of you seemed to love this bag as much as me, so i thought i'd throw one of these in the giveaway too! oh and adrianna of lemode also offered these sweet set of floral transformation earrings, one of my favorite from the lemode collection. 

via lemode

breathe in. breathe out.
are you still out there?
if you are loving these goodies as much as i do,
then here's how you can get your hands on them.
or at least the chance to.
'cause if i could give every single one of you everything on this list, i would.
like donkey said in shrek, really-really. 

we're talking 5 amazing giveaways 
to 5 incredible Much Love, illy readers!

{how to enter:}
- be a public follower of Much Love, illy
- comment by telling me ...
what is your absolute favorite thing about blogging or blog-world?

{do you really, really 
want to win?}
(keep in seperate comment boxes to count!)
- comment with your favorite Much Love, illy blog post and why
-follow @muchloveilly (that's me!) via twitter
 - tweet about this giveaway
(include @muchloveilly so i can track it) 
-blog about the giveaway and include your link
-heart the muchloveilly etsy shop 

Giveaway will be open to US and International Much Love, illy readers until Monday, February 28th. 
Winners will be announced Tuesday, March 1st. 

and just a couple more things..
(let me be a cheeseball 'cause that's who i am. )

just a little bit of thanks.

for life. for giving me a reason to live and to write.  
encouraged me from the beginning with blogging and my etsy shop 
(but he doesn't have an etsy shop so i couldn't do a giveaway for him - hehe)
Daddy, Mom, Bethie, Pey-Pey, Kristine and Ryan:
for always, always being there for me and reading all my posts 
(and letting me blog about our crazy life)
Whit, Ashley T., Dannon, Julie, Nora, Stephanie, Timmy T, Jen, Sarah, 
Fenton, Josh and Joe:
you know who you are. thanks for letting me get excited with you about art and blogging - even though some of you had no clue what i was talking about. you were still excited with me.
You continue to blow me away with your support. thank you, thank you!

[happy blogiversary, 
my dear sweet blog!]

Sunday, February 20, 2011

sometimes you need to make your own little island.

lace tank: urbanoutfitters / cardi: f21
jeans: jcpenny / shoes: guess / necklace: theblueballoon

one of the things i miss about ryan and i live in the same city are the adventures we used to have all the time. i mean, most people wouldn't call adventures in the city "real" adventures - but i looked forward to the ones we had nearly every weekend when i was in chicago. we would find a new place to have a picnic or a new resturaunt to eat out. or we'd ride bikes till forever until we found a new part of the city we'd never explored.

like i mentioned ryan has been visiting me in my tiny town so there really isn't too much to explore. but the other day while driving through downtown, we found an old dock right off of one of the main bridges. we told each other we should figure out how to get there while he visited. so the next day when we were trying to figure out the day, i reminded him about the dock.

i guess most people wouldn't find it super special, but we loved it. the dock itself was rather rickety - but ryan walked ahead to make sure that it was safe...and it was, as long as you walked down the middle. i made him nervous 'cause i was wearing heals and kept getting them stuck in between the broken cracks - hehe. the bridge didn't have rails so he was worried that i might fall over. and it wasn't a huge dock so there wasn't enough room to get a full outfit shot - but i didn't care. i just loved the surroundings themselves.

it was so beautiful and still. the tide was low and so much marsh and oyster bed surrounded us below. the breeze was salty, and we were finally together. it was like our own little island.

have you found your own little island yet?
if so, where?
unless you want to keep it a secret, then you don't have to tell.

oh and btw, guess what is in that cool looking crab-trab that ryan is holding?
a dead rat. when he told me, i just about threw up. ick.

and don't forget what's happening this Tuesday, Feb. 22nd!!!! holla!!! 
if you haven't yet marked your calendars, mark them for a super suh-weet Blogiversary party!!
cue song...right here! right now! right here! right now!

much love.
[happy weekend, friend.]

p.s. in love with purple, bows and cowls?!
then do not forget to enter Somer's sweet giveaway!!