Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fall Trends 2011 series // Ashley of City Lights.

So many people come in and out of our lives. Some friends, other acquaintances. And then there are the friends that stick with you - no matter the season. You can pick up right where you left off. Today's guest blogger is that very person to me. I think her writing will inspire you as much as she as a person has always inspired me! 


Hi, Much Love illy readers!  I'm Ashley, and I blog all things Chicago over at City Lights.
By way of introductions, husband and I live, work, and play in the Windy City.
You can often find us on a bench at Lincoln Park, or meandering the city streets on our red Vespa!

Chicago is also the place where I first met Ilene, both of us weighed down by stacks of college textbooks.
She's been one of my closest friends since.
We share a love for life in Chicago, especially cupcakes at Molly's.
I miss her dearly since she's moved to the South!
She might brag just a little about winters in the South, but come September, September is all mine.

The city comes alight with reds, yellows, persimmon orange.
Starbucks on every corner invite you to a pumpkin spice latte on your crisp walk, with Lake Michigan, parks, and skyscrapers just part of the well-tuned fall backdrop.

Her cardigan: JCrew / skirt: The Loft / tights: Banana Republic / boots: Nine West / necklace: Anthropologie / Him sweater: JCrew / jeans: GAP / shoes: Bass
My fall trend inspiration comes in a love for tights and boots, and sweaters that follow the hue of the changing leaves that line the city streets. This fall, I have my eye on these boots, any of the colors would do.

My favorite author becomes even more my favorite as she writes, 

Fall in Chicago is an event.  
It's like theater: active, kinetic, rich.

If you'd like to come over and see more of the event that is Chicago in the fall, come here and here.

and of course, since I'm on much love illy today, here's a post featuring my favorite poppy garland headband.
Hope to see you soon, and happy fall trending!

Ilene, I have a Molly's date penciled in for us, so come visit Chicago soon!


What did I tell ya? Those pictures of her and her husband, sooo stunning! And one is crazy not to oooh and aaahh over her fall-inspired colors in her outfit. She also makes my heart a little bit (in a good way!), missing my good ole Windy City! 

what are your favorite colors to rock out in the Fall season?
do you like to stick to traditional, warm colors? or are you thinking of pushing the envelope with some hot neons?

much love.
[happy wednesday, friend.]

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

on the road again: ROADTRIP check-in, folks!!!!!

just checking in to say whaaaaat's up?!
we have been having a blaaaast on this road- trip.
thought i'd share a few pictures from it.
and as you can see in the above picture, peyton is as happy as a squirrel with a pile of nuts.
he kinda looks like a squirrel sometimes.

got the chance to see my boy in GA. and yes, we totally made a pit-stop at Panda's. yeaaaah, baby! it made me so happy to see him. and of course, so happy to enjoy some orange chicken and chow mein. yow.

got the chance to grab coffee with my high school best friend, Dayna! haven't seen this woman in 11 years, so it was the best reunion. a few tears of happiness and lots of laughs were shared and sooo much catching up, too. loved our short but awesome time together.

 and on our way to Minnesota, we had a mini picnic with a feast of fruits with some of my parents' college friends. we're talking watermelon, cherries, melons, and peaches galour. i was in heaven. probably ate too much but it was so worth it. oh and ashley and i got the chance to run around the playground. we so needed too after 14 plus hours in the car!

and that's a wrap...for now!

and hope you all have been enjoying the Fall Trend series on the blog this week brought to your by some very special sponsors and friends. be sure to check out Malori's post today - you don't wanna miss her!

much love.
[happy tuesday, friend.]

Fall Trend 2011 series // Malori of Sunday Morning Sugar (+ a giveaway winner!!)

From the first day I got to know today's guest blogger, she has always been the sweetest thing! I actually got the chance to meet her outside of blog world way back in Chicago at my first craft fair. She is one sweet cookie - love her!


Hello, hello! I'm Malori from Sunday Morning Sugar and when I have the time I put fun handmade goodies in my etsy shop Jacques and Jill. Over on my blog I talk about food, fashion, and my life as a student in Chicago. I hope you'll stop by and say hello when you're done here :). 

I  was thrilled when Ilene asked me to guest post for her while she was away. I've been a reader of her blog pretty much since the beginning and now I can officially say that I was a part of Much Love, Illy :). She asked me to share about the fall trend I'm looking forward to the most this year and I immediately started to brainstorm about all the things about fall that make me happy. In the end, two things really stood out to me--bright lipstick and subtly patterned tights. 

In the fall and winter, I tend to get a little sexy. When everyone switches from cute summer dresses to baggy sweatpants and huge coats, I tend to up my fashion game. This will only be my third real fall/winter as I grew up in Arizona and I absolutely loathe the frumpy yucky feeling that winter brings. So I encourage you to get sexy too :). It perks up those cold days and, if you're a single lady like me, maybe you'll meet a handsome boy who you can cuddle with during the impending winter!

Photoshoot 8.18.11 
scarf: christmas present from my mama lipstick: $6 Revlon "alarm" #170 dress: $4 Forever 21 tights: $3 Nordstrom Rack
Photoshoot 8.18.11 
Looking great definitely does not have to break the bank. I'll be stocking up on all sorts of patterned tights from Nordstrom Rack to wear this fall. I've got quite the collection of lipstick but I'm certain I'll be buying new shades of that as well.
Photoshoot 8.18.11 
Thanks so much for inviting me to share here, Ilene! 
I'd love to hear what trend you want to rock this fall! 
Let me know in the comments :)! 
Is she not the cutest?! And I love how she rocks that red lipstick - HOT! and of course, you know me and my mad love for awesome tights, i'm loving those polka-dot tights. adorbs!

what trends do you want to rock this fall?
and what new lipstick shades will you try out?

much love.
[happy tuesday, friend.]
p.s. if you are JC (#77), then you just won the Asian i-Candy giveaway! shoot me at email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com so that you can claim your prize. congrats, JC and thank you, Asian i-Candy for a fantastic giveaway! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fall Trends 2011 series // Lindsey of SuLu.

I adore today's guest blogger so ridiculously much. We had the opportunity of working together in Chicago and through many lunch and Argo Tea dates, we found ourselves with a much cherished friendship. I have always looked up to her in so many ways. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside of the box has exercised my own thinking. This girl is incredible, i tell ya!

Hello Much Love Illy Friends!! I love how Ilene connects and encourages us all to be more creative . . . and brightly colorful!

(Any girl who can rock neon green tights as well as Ilene automatically has my respect.)
Thanks for letting me stop by today!

In my little corner of the world I’m often fascinated by those incredibly small, everyday moments that are rich in inspiration, which is why I’m learning to blog and creatively arrange life over at SuLu.  By day, I work in communications with the crazy and eclectic CreatePossible team and our wonderful clients. All other hours I’m hanging with my younger sis who recently moved to Chicago, enjoying relationships with some incredible high school gals, and showing some major TLC to a 1940’s Cape Cod home that my husband I recently purchased. My life is fueled by soy hot chocolate from Starbucks, but I also enjoy the s-l-o-w moments life brings. I also love taking flying leaps into dangerous change. 

Like today. Because this is what happens when a communications nerd tries to be a fashion blogger!

When I started my first job I remember thinking how b-o-r-i-n-g “practical and professional” clothes seemed. If you’re a fellow 9-to-5 person, maybe you can relate! My friends and I laughed and learned through this book as we attempted to move past the college sweatpants funk into something semi-presentable that wasn’t old and boring.

Now, I lean towards simple and classic pieces that have a bit of a modern twist.

For this fall, I’m particularly smitten with the emerald green that’s popping up everywhere,

as well as the wide selection of blazers!! Yes! Finally . . . no more horribly tailored and colorless jackets.

(I might push it a bit and add spiky heels.)

For a while, I felt really limited by the day job because I worried about breaking the rules

or what others thought which prevented me from wearing things that I loved.

But I’m glad others showed me that there is a happy medium!!

You can always incorporate small trends (like colors or jewelry) into what you wear.

(And seriously . . . don’t miss out on the affordable blazers options at Forever 21 this fall!)

Can’t wait to see what you’re wearing.

(And thanks for letting this nerd be a fashion blogger today!)

Be Well,


Yes, please, to emerald green! Yes, please, to blazers galour! Both are at the top of my fall trend list. 

what trend did you think you'd never try do you plan to rock out this fall?!

much love.
[happy monday, friend.]

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fall Trends 2011 series // Katie of Bubblegum and High Heels.

ladies and gents, i introduce to you a seriously sophisticated and stylish fashion blogger. she reminds me of an American Kate Middleton with a short, sassy haircut. and i pretty much nodded my head through out her entire guest post, in total agreement of her fave fall trends. but i won't ruin it for you. please, read on...


Hi Everybody! I'm Katie from High Heels And Bubble
I am so excited to be guest posting for Much Love, Illy!
I think she is so cute and her blog is always entertaining.
I was asked to do a post about my favorite upcoming fall trends
and I knew immediately what 2 of my favorites are.


The first is colored jeans.
My closet can look so boring because it's mostly denim, but colored jeans are back and I am thrilled. So far I have a red, blue, and green pair. It's such a fun way to liven up your wardrobe and have more than just denim to work with.

The next trend I've seen is going to be hot for this fall is fringe.
Fringe can be on your skirts, shirts, jewelry, bags, basically anything with fringe is in.
I saw this black fringe vest at Forever21 and I knew I had to have it.

Come visit me at and tell me what your favorite fall trends are.


see what i mean?! love those colored denim pants and i'm loving that fringe.
while on my roadtrip, i'm totally gonna be a lookout for both.

yay or nay to color denim and fringe? 
much love.
[happy friday, friend.]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

while you're enjoying your first cup of joe...

 top, tank: f21 / wide legs: belk / shoes: c/o Blowfish Shoes / ring: Charming Charlie's / earrings: francesca's collection / bag: c/o Le Mode Accessories / nails: OPI william tell me about + Sally Hansen glitter

by the time most of you are reading this post and enjoying your first cup of coffee, this girl will be road-tripping it up. i'm very much excited about the mini vacay, especially since along the way, i'll get to see my fiance (it's been over a month - way too long!) and my high school best friend (it's been 11 years since i've seen her - eeeek!). it'll also be nice to getaway for a bit for a little adventure and just a break overall.

and you know that saying, while the cat is away, the mice will play
well, while this kitty cat is away, some mice are coming over to play here in my little space of blog world. 
be sure to show them looooots of love for moi.

please? pretty please?
you will?! okay, good.

so off i go - blasting to some Pumped Up Kicks, laughing it up with my crazy family, taking travel pics with my Instax cam, hugging best friends and sleeping for long hours in the car. here's to the last hurrah of summertime, folks!

much love.
[happy thursday, friend.]

p.s. if you are Shea (#268) of Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique then you are the lucky winner for the Blowfish Shoes giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly [at] gmail [dot] com to claim your prize. congrats, Shea and thank YOU, Blowfish Shoes!

and enter the Asian i-Candy giveaway happening this week!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

i looooourve them like hot chocolate in the dead of winter.

okay, so just a warning: the following statement might come out completely across as completely ridiculous, but actually this statement popped into my head while browsing the huge ole blog world. i thought i knew of every incredible blog known to man - there's more?! yup, stupid, i know. my jaw was hanging open while browsing blog lovin'. it really does blow my mind how much "untapped" inspiration is out there. 

and you know those incredible blogs i was talking about? well, some of them actually happen to be my August sponsors so i am excited to show them off to you today! seriously, these women blooooow my freakin' mind when i browse their sites - whether it's a gorgeous outfit post, a brand new product, or some hilarious tweet - and i looooourve them like hot chocolate in the dead of winter. 

you might already be following a handful of them, but if not check 'em out. hit their GFC follow button. stalk them on twitter. like their facebooks. seriously, you won't wanna miss out.

Gabby and her outfit posts and love for photography and travel keep me coming back to her adorable, refreshing blog. makes me want to get on a plane and be a traveling woman like her! 

i share mad love for nailpolish like mandy, so i always heart her colorful posts on nailpolish and colors. she also has one of my favorite weekly features, Toy Camera Tuesdays inspires me to carry around my Instax everywhere i go. 

i adore this girl's vintage style - her outfit posts totally rock! plus her hair is absolutely stunning. she did a recent hair product review, making me want to buy every one so that my hair can look just like hers. 

i have been following Lauren's blog to the beginning of my blogging career - and she continues to inspire me with her variety of posts. she is beautiful,, hilarious and...did i already mention, inspiring with a capital I? oh and her tweets? the best ever. 

erika and i share an obsessive love for poppies! be sure to check out some of her recent new designs for fall. she is also completely adorable all around, so check out her blog showcasing outfit posts and adventures with her husband and little dog - who loves to make appearances in her outfit posts. her dog, i mean, not the hubby.

sandy is one of my best friends in blog world and in real life. wanna know where i picked up my blogging skills? sandy has been my "blog mentor" since the beginning of time - so her blog is seriously where it's at: outfit posts, the most creative boards, and gorgeous photography. and a baby la mode is coming soon - eeek! 

have obsessive love over totes bags?! then look no more! these bags are made of the best quality is...get this...leather adjustable straps. you'll also find that the fabric patterns are all unique, and the totes themselves made in the best quality. be on the look out for their latest fall design - in shop late August! 

this lovely lady and i shared a blog meet-up back in April and have been friends ever since! before that i had been a long time admirer of her cute blog, sporting outfit posts, adventures with Scott (her sweet bf!) and showcasing some of the best business out there in blog land. she is as sweet as she is online as she is in real life! 

Rachel currently serves as a teacher in Germany. since she serves as a missionary, she must raise support every year, reaching out to family and friends and also through her own handmade business. if you have a heart for missions and teaching, be sure to check out the various ways that you can help HERE!

Morgan's love for color and shoes is what first drew me to her blog. and when she wrote the line in reference to her colorful outfit i looked like a unicorn threw up on me, it was a friendship made in heaven. her posts are filled with wit, color, and real life. don't miss out!

so what did i tell ya, folks?
quite an incredible round-up don't you think?! 
and there are more sponsors i'll be introducing to you in the coming days, so be on the look out! 

be sure to show these ladies some love.
visit their blogs, shops and twitters.
a lovely word goes a super long way.

much love.
[happy wednesday, friend.]

p.s. don't miss out the Asian i-Candy giveaway going on NOW!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

always going green + permission to go shopping like...NOW!!

 dress: belk / tights: c/o We Love Colors / bag + necklace: c/o Le Mode Accessories / Hanaki booties: c/o Blowfish Shoes 
nails: OPI and Sally Hansen / rings: (l to r) gift from a friend, Charming Charlies, and from my fiance

i have always been obsessed with the color green. mom associates everything green with me. friends have nicknamed me Green Ilene. my bedroom is painted in lime green paint. visiting the emerald city would be a dream come true. watching (ahem 4x) the musical Wicked was closest to the dream coming true. i don't think Elphaba's greenness was a bad thing. i have a love affair with anything green apple flavor. my ghetto phone is green. i always go for the green toothbrush at the grocery store. okay, you get the picture.

and you're probably not even reading this post with a hint of interest in my green obsession. go ahead nod your head in agreement. i know, i know. your eye was caught with the whole permission to go NOW, right?! 

so did you notice the lovely handbag and colorblock necklace? both of those lovelies are a part of a HUGE birthday party celebration going on all week on Le Mode Accessories! they are celebrating Le Mode's one-year birthday! it's such a celebration that selected fashion bloggers were asked to pick out their favorite Le Mode items, which were then grouped together into exclusive flash sales.

how does it work? all flash sales will be up for only 48 hours and all prices on my fave products have been slashed to super awesome - so be sure to make your purchases ASAP! and you won't be able to find these items anywhere else at these prices on the Le Mode site, except through Much Love, illy.

and guess what?!

for Much Love, illy readers, Le Mode has offered an extra 10% discount off of your entire purchase. 
use coupon code: 1YEAR at checkout. um, how can you not celebrate at this party?! be sure to be on the lookout for more flash sales coming to another blog near you!

Happy One-Year Birthday, Le Mode Accessories! 

so like i said, click on the "Le Mode" bday sign above. 
you have permission to go shopping like...NOW.

much love.
[happy tuesday, friend.]

p.s. are your Lacretia (#30) of Ready Heart? you just won the lovely EL Vintage $25 shop credit giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize! congrats to Lacretia and thank you, Emily!

Monday, August 22, 2011

september sponsorships are now available!!

i still cannot get over the fact that in the next week, we will be flipping the calender over to a brand new month. i'm honestly a little more than excited about Fall approaching us so soon, but it's crazy how quickly grew wings and is flying off like it is.
this also means that some sponsorship slots are opening up on the blog!
do you have a blog or a business that you'd like to promote?
think that you + me would work well together?
i'd love for the opportunity to work with you!

so if you think we would click like sugar and spice and all those other things that makes the world nice, then shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com and i'll send over the deets! thanks for the interest, friends.

sponsor love: Asian iCandy $25 shop credit giveaway!!!

i am a little giddy over this giveaway because i am absolutely in loooooove with my lady of roses chiffon dress from Asian i-Candy. the quality of the dress is excellent and a perfect fit - the sleeves and material so whimsical and fun!
i have a feeling that you too will fall hard for them.

as noted on their incredible site, Asian iCandy Store features Asian-inspired clothing, accessories and deco directly from independent artists/designers. Not only we carry trendy Japanese/ Korean fashion items, but also we specialize in mixing traditional Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian, Vietnamese or Thai elements with modern sensibility.

these are some of my fave pics from their site. there is so much fun and variety! you will have your pick from gorgeous dresses, spunky shoes, stunning accessories, and something in every color. (i have been eyeing that crazy-awesome messenger bag for forever!)

and today, one of you suh-weet readers have the chance to grab....

 $25 shop credit!!!

holla! be sure to enter like an insanely-obsessed person so that you don't miss out on the chance, folks! 
(i think you'd be craaaazy not to enter.)

{how to enter:}
1. visit Asian i-Candy and comment below with what you would spend the $25 shop credit on
2. "like" Asian i-Candy on Facebook

{really, really wanna win?}
 (keep in separate comments to count as individual entries)

- be a GFC follower of this blog
- follow @asianicandy via Twitter
- follow @muchloveilly via Twitter
- tweet about this giveaway
(be sure to include @asianicandy and @muchloveilly so we can track your tweet!)

feel free to copy/paste this tweet:
i really wanna win the @asianicandy $25 shop credit giveaway over at @muchloveilly's bloggity-blog!!

{don't wanna wait?!}
use coupon code ILLY at Asian i-Candy checkout for 15% off of your entire order!

 Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers thru August 29th.
Winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 30th.

much love.
[happy monday, friend.]

Friday, August 19, 2011

i heart the super mario bros + Much Love, illy shop fall collection launch!!

 tee, glasses : rue21 / skirt, belt: f21 / shoes: Blowfish Shoes

i don't think i've ever stopped loving these brothers.
yup, i was one of those girls that grew up playing video games.
and so the boys always gave me weird first.
guess i don't look like a plaaaya like that.
but then, i would beat 'em bad at their own game and the looks on those faces would change.
and to this day, i can play a mean game of mario kart or super mario bros. bring it.

and look what's up, folks: i've been busy sewing up some new autumn designs for the shop this week.
the designs launch at midnight EST friday, so take a look around and buy yourself a little autumn accessory. 
for you. your mother. even your neighbor, best friend, and grandmother.
and heads up, this chick is heading outta town next week, so the last shipment of orders will go out wednesday. 
 (and psst! use coupon code FREEFALL at checkout for FREE shipping thru Sunday night only.)

it's the weekend, folks.
time to kick in the happy dance.
*cause i got the mooooo-oooves like jagger.*

much love.
[happy friday, friend.]

p.s. two rockin' giveaways are blowing up the blog this week. don't miss out!
enter HERE and HERE.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

adventures of the wandering whippycakes: mall rat // south carolina

 top: base exchange / shorts: GAP / shoes: Blowfish Shoes / ring: Charming Charlie's
nails: OPI wiliam tell me about / whippycake: mall rat

 so i'm totally jealous of these whippycakes and their advetures. yes, the whippycakes. go ahead and call me crazy. or try to understand where i'm coming from. these whippycakes get the chance to travel - that makes this military brat's heart going pitter-patter super fast. the travel bug is constantly biting me - and what i would give to get to Hawaii or Colorado for just over $2 bucks. please, wrap me up in some tissue paper and send me off in a manilla envelope.

this time, i got the privilege to style up the Mall Rat. i adore the size and shape it, different from the one i own and the other whippycakes i've styled. doesn't it remind you of something you'd pick up from Anthro?

be sure to check out the other fab ladies and their wandering whippycakes:
Lindsay of Aisle to Aloha
Moriah of Josiah's Nest
Sandy of Sandyalamode

oh and are you Lushdeez (#91) of Lush Lounge?! you just won yourself the Soaktree giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot come to claim your prize! congrats to Lushdeez and thank you, Jihee!

much love.
[happy thursday, friend.]
 p.s. there are two HOT giveaways on the blog this week. be sure to enter the EL Vintage and the Blowfish Shoes giveaways! 
you won't want to miss out on either!