Saturday, April 30, 2011

neeeeerrrrdddd!!!! (plus a giveaway winner!!)

 top: rue 21 (oldie, but goodie!) / jeans: GAP wide-leg / shoes: blowfish
glasses: walmart / watch: fossil / earrings: courtesy of Le Mode / nails: OPI jade is the new black

 yup. i'm a huge nerd.

oh you didn't know that?
and it's not just the glasses.
you can ask my family, Ryan or best friends.

the weirdest things can make me laugh.
and then i'll laugh and not be able to stop laughing.
and i've defintely had my moments that i've laughed so hard that i've snorted. literally.
i get giddy over office supplies, especially pens. i have my mental categories of "good" pens vs. "bad pens.
oh and books make me so excited - piles and piles of books.
i went to a book fair yesterday and could hardly contain my excitement.
and yup, i'm that nerd that constantly has allergies come spring.

are you a nerd too?

hope you're having a fantastic weekend!

much love.
[happy weekend, friend.]

p.s. are you Sarah B. (#37) of Yes Teacher?! 
then my dear, shoot me an email at muchloveilly[at]gmail[dot]com 
'cause you just won the lovely Making Lemonade giveaway!
congrats to Sarah and thanks to Megan for hosting a fab giveaway!

Friday, April 29, 2011

blue angels, socks and sandals, and happy dancing it up!!!

 dress: belk / knee high tights: courtesy of we love colors / shoes: blowfish
earrings: courtesty of Le Mode accessories / nails: glitter + OPI jade is the new black

okay, so i know it's not current obsessions wednesday, but i am officially addicted to...

1. Bones (a day has not gone by that i have not watched one episode - and i wan the ringtone for my phone like um, now)
2. easter candy (inhaling the gigantic bags of sweettarts and sour starburst jelly beans)
3. my new Blowfish shoes (so comfy and "coushy" as my friend described her pair to be)
4. the knee-high tights look (whoever said not to wear socks with sandals?)
5. these random stupid videos but i cry laughing at their randomness 
(especially this one and this one - if you watch them, don't say i didn't warn you)

and folks, did you notice, it's the weekend!

are you doing the happy dance with me?

i'm looking forward to checking out our local library's book sale and then headed out with the family to see the Blue Angels fly at the base Air Show. i used to go as a little girl with my family so i'm totally looking forward to it! what do you have planned this weekend? (and did you stay up all night or get up early to watch the Royal Wedding? as i type this, i haven't decided yet. we'll see if my body will wake up first...)

and oh, got a few things to celebrate..
i hit 1,000 twitter followers this week, mother's day is just around the corner (love my mom!), and stocked up the shop with new designs! so feel free to use coupon code JUSTBECAUSE15 for 15% off of your order for yourself, your mom, or for the new princess of England. coupon code is valid all weekend, peeps.

much love.
[happy friday, friend.]

p.s. don't forget these two suh-weet giveaways!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

sponsor love: GIVEAWAY and interview with Rachel of Goose + Trisser!!!

today's sponsor is not brand new to the blog family. she has been a wonderful sponsor and friend from the beginning of this year, so it's even more of a pleasure for me to feature her today. she is gorgeous and talented! you'll also fall in love with her precious family, especially lil' Bird. so let me step aside so that you can...

meet rachel.

favorite nail polish for spring: 
Essie's Mint Candy Apple
  favorite item in your shop: 
Tie between I can!, because of the empowerment behind it and Sunny Sward, because around these parts I need every reminder of nice weather I can get!

what were you doing at 9:22 am today?
I was cuddling on the couch with my little lady. She wasn't feeling good and I took advantage of the snuggle time since she usually doesn't let me hold her any more, so grown up!

this girl's eye for color is impeccable.
can't you see one or two of these garnishing your studio or your kitchen?
i love the custom simple vocab and the i can one also!

 and guess what?! one of you lucky Much Love, illy readers have the chance at winning...

custom simple vocabulary hoop!!!

the suh-weet part about this is that you get to choose the word, fabric and embroidery color.
talk about the possibilities!
i'd love a mint green one with red lettering!! 

{how to enter:}

visit Goose + Trisser and comment below with what word you would have embroidered if you win this giveaway!!

{really, really wanna win?}
keep in separate entries to count!

- be a public follower of Goose + Trisser blog
- be a public follower of Much Love, illy
- follower @gooseandtrisser via twitter
- follow @muchloveilly via twitter
- heart Goose + Trisser on etsy
- tweet about the giveaway
(be sure to include @muchloveilly and @gooseandtrisser so we can track your tweet!)

{don't want to wait?!}
Goose + Trisser is offering (get this!) a 25% off discount with coupon code MUCHLOVE25 throughout the entire month of May. is that not a rocking code?!

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers through May 1st.
Winner will be announced on Monday, May 2nd. 

much love.
[happy thursday, friend.]

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

current obesssions wednesday: missing my life's calling in dancing + a giveaway WINNER!!

 tee: HM / skirt, tights: f21 / sandals: kristen davis, belk
headband: courtesy of Making Lemonade / nails: sally hansen sonic boom

so blame my dancing mood on my weekly obsession over Dancing with the Stars. totally didn't expect to get into it as much as i have. it all started with my first childhood crush, ralph macchio (remember him? wax on! wax off, baby!). after i watch an DWTS episode, i realized that i missed my calling. i always get the urge to get off the couch to dance - but alas, i'm nothing but a mess of arms and legs and no rhythm. oh, well. i live vicariously through the stars...for now. 

dancing with the stars.

see the DWTS judges?
i told you i mssed my calling. they're giving me 10s.

yellow heart art.

so did not expect this ultra incredible surprise at all and am obsessed with it.
i recieved this lovely Yellow Heart Art print and got this surprise!
leonora got it all right, didn't she? my fave cardigan, shoes, tights and all!
(oh and if you've never checked out her shop. do it. now. you'll be obsessed, too.)

among other obsessions...

getting into bed earlier so that i can read this book.

replaying Cosmic Love. totally blaming it on Water for Elephants trailer.

my pretty Making Lemonade lace headband. super comfy and girly. love it.
(and if you want your own, be sure to enter the Making Lemonade giveaway right HERE!)

 what are you obsessing over this week?

much love.
[happy wednesday, friend.]

p.s. hold up! also got the winner of the Andi Adam's Bubble Gum notecard set giveaway!!

drum roll, pls...congratulations to Amber Branconier (#45) of Life Unscripted!
amber, shoot me an email at muchloveilly[at]gmail[dot]com so that we can make sure you and Andi connect soon! 

congrats to Amber! and Andi, thank you for a lovely giveaway!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

my moment of shyness + a happy dance

 cardigan: f21 / tee: urban outfitters / shorts: hm / wedges: new direction, belk / watch: fossil
headband: muchloveilly / nailpolish: sally hansen wet cement and sonic boom

okay, so i'm not a shy person, but i can be shy about wearing my own products 'cause i feel funny when people ask oooooh, where did you get that awesome headband? then i tell them, um, i made it like a little kid excited about her artwork. i don't know what it is but the words feel funny when they roll off my tongue. i don't like people thinking i wear my stuff just to promote it. i mean it doesn't hurt to do that, but i really truly wear my stuff 'cause i love what i create and it makes me happy.

i think it also has something to do with getting used to answering people's questions about what i currently do for a living. i get the oddest, most confused looks in return when i tell them that i run a handmade business and write a blog full-time. i don't suppose i'm the only handmade business owner that has gone through the awkward explanation of this when people don't "get it."

in other news... 

i don't think i've even gotten the chance to do the happy dance here (totally did the dance on twitter!!) 
that last week this bloggity-blog hit... 


so thank you sooooo much for reading my random ramblings, 
encouraging me with your comments, and sticking with me this whole time! 
it really means so much to me.
i think this calls for a blog party of some sort, dontcha think?!
so stand-by. momma is gonna cook something up.
and i have a feeling it's gonna be ridiculously good.

much love.
[happy tuesday, friend.]

p.s. don't forget to enter some rockin' giveaways: 

Monday, April 25, 2011

sponsor love: interview + GIVEAWAY with Ashley of After Nine to Five Designs!!!

today's sponsor has so many exciting things happening in her life - totally makes me so happy too! she recently returned from an amazing life-changing trip (i'll let her tell you all about it). her shop is exploding with new goodies every day, and her suh-weet blog recently had a face-lift and it looks incredible! and she definitely has good taste in ice-cream. 

meet ashley.

tell us about your shop. 
and is there a story behind the name?

After Nine To Five Designs was launched after I took a big leap of faith into being self-employed. Currently, the main focus is on jewelry, but it is constantly expanding and currently includes other products such as greeting cards, photobooks, and headbands.

The premise behind the name, and the shop, is to cover what people like to do outside of the daily grind - 
things such as traveling, sightseeing, and being crafty.

has anything life changing happened to you recently?

Yes, yes, and yes! I went out of the country for the first time to Jamaica and got married. It was by far the most amazing experience of my life and I could not be happier with the man I married or the way we chose to tie the knot.

    your all time favorites when it comes to...
        ice cream
Cookie Dough! But I'm a big fan of all ice creams. Well, a big fan of food in general.
Aveda. Or Biolage. OR Bed Head. I don't know. 
Anything that smells good and leaves my hair feeling clean is good with me.
    tv series. 
True Blood. Or Six Feet Under, but that's done with now. 
I love HBO.

i normally have a thing for chunky necklaces, but come spring, i am a sucker for dainty,  charm necklaces. this adorable shop is stocked full of them! 
i'm in love with this one the most. 

today one of you have the chance of winning...

$15 After Nine to Five shop credit!!!

you could pick one of Ashley's cuuuuute necklaces or a couple sets of her adorable cards.
so much goodness to choose from. 

{how to enter:}

 visit After Nine to Five and comment below with what you would use the shop credit if you win! 

{really, really want to win?}
keep in separate comments so entries count!
- "heart" After Nine to Five on etsy
- be a public follower of Much Love, illy
- be a public follower of the After Nine to Five blog
- follow @afterninetofive via twitter
- follow @muchloveilly via twitter
-tweet about the giveaway
(be sure to include @muchloveilly and @afterninetofive so we can track your tweet!)

{don't want to wait to win?}
use coupon code MUCHLOVEILLY for 15% off of your entire order!!

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers through Sunday, May 1st.
Winner will be announced on Monday, May 2nd. 
much love.
[happy monday, friend.]

Sunday, April 24, 2011

i'm the easter bunny that ate candy out of my little sister's easter basket.

dress: f21 / shoes: aldo / earrings: the loft / bag: le mode accessories
nails: OPI william tell me about + sally  hansen sonic boom

when we were growing up, it was a tradition to go shopping for brand new easter dresses for church. my sisters and i totally rocked the matching dresses with the huge bows and the dressy hats. i hope to do the same with my future daughters one day (maybe stick a few poppy garland headbands on them while i'm at it - hehe). this wasn't a new dress (remember it from mine and ryan's engagement shoot?) but like i said, it was still fun to dress up! 

the easter bunny (ahem, moi) surprised Ashley with a basket full of goodies - so we got snacked through most of it throughout the day. in the morning, my family enjoyed a wonderful Easter worship service at our church - such a powerful message and so good to see so many family friends, some from out of town. it was also fun to catch up with my childhood bestie. i love Easter Sundays - it's definitely one of my favorite times of the year, especially when i'm home with family.

how was your easter, friend?
did you share any fun traditions with family or friends?

much love.
[happy weekend, friend.]

 p.s. did you all see the fun Connection post that Susannahbean interviewed me and Sandy (of Sandyalamode) for? check it out HERE.

as much as i love easter candy goodness, there's another part of easter that i love more....

photo via brenton little /text inserted by me / concept inspired via ohhellofriend

i think that if you know me at all or have been following my twitter long enough, you know that i love holidays. you know that i am a sucker for holiday traditions and for all the candy and foods (no surprise there!) that come with them. and Easter is no exception, especially when it comes to all that yummy Easter candy goodness. 

but the holiday means so much more to me than all of that. it's when i reflect on what my Lord and Savior, Jesus did...when He died on the cross, was buried and then rose from the dead. today i celebrate that because of Christ, i can truly live. like Peter, i marvel and continue to marvel at what happened.
 much love.
[happy easter, friend.]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

a SPRING shop update + a GIVEAWAY winner!!!

like i mentioned yesterday, i finally got some time to restock the shop and come up with new designs! so we got some new colors and new designs, so be sure to check it out this weekend!

and for even more fun, use coupon code SPRINGROCKS for 10% off of your entire order.
come on. you know that's gooood.
the easter bunny told me to tell you that it's gooood.

and i also got the name of the Le Mode Accessories giveaway winner that you've all be waiting for. congrats to...

Anna Elder (#51) of And Everything Nice!!

anna, shoot me an email at muchloveilly[at]gmail[dot]com with your mailing address
so that Le Mode can ship you your rockin' new Blushing Love Handbag! 

and thank you Le Mode Accessories for a fantastic giveaway! 

much love.
[happy saturday, friend.]

p.s. two more suh-weet giveaways to enter on da blog!

Friday, April 22, 2011

sewing machines do not bring me instant gratification.

 top: borrowed from ashley, belk / cropped pants: HM / wedges: new direction, belk
necklace: courtesy of Le Mode Accessories / ring: much love, illy 

this week has felt like a vacation compared to the past couple of months. still been busy, but it's been a blast to actually have time to design new products (like my ring above - you likey?!), to "waste" time on creating new products (anything sewing machine-related does not give me instant gratification is one way of putting it), taking new product photos and stocking them up in the shop - along with the normal week's happenings.

also i got myself a big ole notebook specifically for brainstorming purposes. while at CE, one of the speakers (becky higgins, i think it was) encouraged us with this piece of advice:

"write down all of your ideas in one big notebook, so you can make more room up here [pointing to her head] for even more ideas" 

simple enough but well-stated. i already had a little anthro planner and a ton of loose leaf papers and post it notes that was doing that very job for me. but i figured i should organize it up a bit by having one central location to creatively puke on. i'm keeping the planner for anything schedule related (giveaways, sponsorships, etc) but then using this larger notebook (found it at a Borders on sale) to keep things as in check as possible. we'll see how this goes! 

oh, and the winner of the Whimsical Poppysmic custom ipod/iphone cover giveaway goes to #10, Kara Beth of Sweet Baby Cakes! Kara, shoot me at email at muchloveilly[at]gmail[dot]com so that we can make sure you and Chrissy connect ASAP. 
thanks again for a suh-weet giveaway, Chrissy!

much love.
[happy friday, friend!]

p.s. a few more incredible giveaways for more chance to win sheer awesomeness!
Le Mode Accessories (just one more day to enter)
Andi Adams
Making Lemonade

Thursday, April 21, 2011

i got my eye on you and want to eat you all up.

ever since lula included peeps in her sweet scenes post, i have been asking myself why have i not gotten my hands on a box of those peeps?! welp, last night the family made a pit stop at walgreens and there was an uber collection in an array of pink, yellows, purples, blues and ah, yes green. 

so these little guys kept me company this afternoon while i worked through emails and blog posts. um, they didn't keep me company for two long. inhaled them all too quickly. 

and as you can see easter robin eggs made their way onto my notebook. 
but they didn't last too long either. 

what kind of easter candy are you 
hoping to find in your basket this weekend? 
much love.
[happy thursday, friend.]

p.s. don't forget to enter this awesome giveaway, this one, and oh, this one, too.