Monday, October 31, 2011

my heart was stolen.

i got to hang out with the coolest uncle and my almost-niece in the world over the weekend. you might recognize precious Lily Rose from here and my ever so popular model for the shop. she's getting so big - and doesn't she have the prettiest eyes ever?

and i love how i caught her and Uncle Ryan having a conversation. i think i took a million pictures of their little convo. she loves her Uncle Ryan so much. but of course, she and i had our own little conversation, too. she had a little cupcake on her onesie which sparked a conversation about our upcoming cupcake date. well, as soon as she is able to eat a cupcake, of course. our mini cupcake date is in the works at least.

yup, it's official.
lil' lily has stolen illy's heart.

much love.
[happy monday, friend.]

p.s. one more day left to enter Casey Wiegand's ad space giveaway!
and also thank you, thank you a million times over for all who participated in last friday's awesome October Follow Fest! it was seriously a blast - and i personally stumbled upon some new blogs and friends. mark your calendars for Friday, November 25 - rumor has it, it's the next date for another incredible Follow Fest!

Friday, October 28, 2011

October Follow Fest // it's a partaaaay and a half, people!!!

welcome, welcome, welcome!!
super stoked to have the chance to co-host this awesome beyond awesome October Follow Fest! 
i'm also excited to share my own love for autumn and all that comes with it (is it not crazy hard to believe that October is nearly over?!).

when i think of autumn, i think of...

autumn fashion.

it means pulling out my favorite scarves, colored tights, sweaters and anything mustard yellow!

my type of "scary" movies.

i'm not a fan of anything gory or utterly creepy - but i do like to jump and hide behind the pillows more during this time of the year. these are a few of my favorites - hardly in the category of "horror" but enough for a scaredy-cat like me.

images via pinterest / here, here, and here

comfort food.

now i love food all year round, but there are certain foods i found myself drawn to more when the chilly temperatures roll around. and if you follow my pinterest, you'll know how often i've been pinning my food favorites. um, alot.

hilarious costumes.

i rarely dress up for halloween, but a couple years ago, my fiance and i dressed up as Yoko Ohno and John Lennon for a party my roommate and i threw. and i cannot pass October 31st without cracking up over this photo. Ryan looks pretty darn good with that hair (not - barf! i think he's hot no matter what, but just not a fan of that wiiiig!).

what does autumn mean to you?
it's YOUR turn to share!

 Friday OCTOBER 28th


We are often asked how to grow your blog.  Here's your chance!!!! 

You will link up on any ONE hostess' site 1,2,3,4.  Our links will be interlinked.  Your post will be displayed on all our sites.  Then want to mingle? Party hop?
1. Write a post about anything Fall, Halloween, Recipes, Costumes or just introduce yourself! 2. Go to the links on any of the host pages beginning Friday, October 28th and link up.  3. a requirement: you must visit each of the 4 hosts sites! 4.Make new friends!!  Increase YOUR readers!!!



Thursday, October 27, 2011

guess what's baaaack?! // Cold Hands Warm Hearts Swap 2011

The long-awaited Cold Hands, Warm Hearts is baaaack! I hope that you are as excited as Sandy and I are to bring back this super fun swap back to blog world. Last year, we had the opportunity to introduce CHWH and since the first turnout and the many requests we got for a comback were both so great, we of course, decided to bring it back! 

So you're thinking, how does this whole she-bang work? All the details are written out below so we ask that you please read carefully. We want to make this experience as smooth and as fun as possible. 

About the Swap:

The Cold Hands, Warm Hearts Swap is a swap created to keep your hands warm as winter approaches and the weather gets colder. It's also a way for bloggers to make new friends across the blog world. Doesn't your heart get warm when you back new friends? Your package should include a pair of of gloves and other items you think your partner would like! You can't have too many pairs of cute gloves and who doesn't love getting extra goodies in the mail? We want these packages to be coming from your heart, so fill them up with lots of love!

Swap Partners:

We will pair you up randomly with one partner who you will send and receive a package from. Our hope is that you will gain a new friend from this! 


If you live outside of the U.S., you will be paired up with someone from a different country.If you live within the U.S., you will need to let us know if you are willing to ship outside of the U.S. We personally think that it is super fun to receive packages from other countries, yet we do understand that shipping might be more costly.


Sign-ups will remain open until November 4th (unless all 150 slots have been filled beforehand). We will have your partners paired and emailed to by November 9th. And this part is super crucial: pretty please, have your packages mailed out by November 30th (enough time to take advantage of Black Friday sales, people!). And what makes this swap a party is on December 14th, where we'd love to have you write up, take fun pictures with your new gloves, leave some link-love for your swap partner and last but not least, LINK-UP to Sandy's blog so that we can all see what pretty packages everyone received!


1. You must have an active blog as of 2011 to participate.
2. Please try to spend $25-30 on your gloves + other fun goodies
If you decide to make your gloves or other gifts, make sure the total value is still within this amount.
3. If you decide to join, PLEASE make sure that you meet all time commitments and are able to send a heartfelt package.
4. We are capping this swap at 150 bloggers (more than last year - woohoo!), so be sure to sign up ASAP! you do not want to miss out!

{How to Sign-Up:}

THANK YOU for the super exciting response. you all ROCK!!
All you need to do is click HERE and fill out form.
All the info will be emailed to us and we'll start pairing you lovelies away!

Spread the word:

We would LOVE if you would help us spread the word about Cold Hands, Warm Hearts Swap! Grab one of the buttons below and stick it on your blog, so you can let people know you are joining this part-aaaay and that they can, too!

200x150 pixels

150x150 pixels


If you have any questions whatsoever, then don't hesistate to contact us at coldhandswarmheartsswap at gmail dot com - and we'll see what we can do for you!

and to kick off this awesomeness, be sure to stop by Sandy's blog today. She's hosting a GIVEAWAY for a pair of smarTouch gloves - perfect for cell phone users during wintertime! you got to save those little fingers but everyone needs to be texting and tweeting away, right?!

We are super stoked about this! So be sure to leave a comment below so that everyone knows who'll be joining the fun. It's sort of like RSVPing but even cooler (no pun intended - hehe)!!

much  love, from Sandy and Ilene (aka illy).
[happy CHWH kick-off day, friend.]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

this post comes with a warning.

so are you strapped to your seat?
'cause these peeps are about to bloooow you away.
you might or might not be familiar with this batch of sponsors, but either way, they are some of my favorite people in the world, so i'm pretty giddy to show them off to you.
and while you are at it, get your mouse and wallet ready.
you're gonna want to start following these blogs and shopping from their shops.

don't say i didn't warn ya.

Ashley of Run with Me. 

looking for some humor to go with your morning coffee, exercise motivation, style inspiration, and entertainment news updates?! then Ashley of Run with Me is your girl! she reminds me a lot of The Possesionista (and that ain't no bad thing!), oh and if you love Pan Am, she's plans to head up a runaway crew - i already signed up (hehe). but seriously, add this girl to your blog roll. you won't be disappointed.

Jihee of  The Soaktree.

autumn is that top of year that i'm scouring the shelves of handmade goddesses' shops for anything knitwear - and this is one of my top places to scour. jihee, the woman behind the knitwear goodness, is nothing short from talented and offers a variety of quality designs and colors. 

Chelsea of Tea Talk.

i had the privilege of meeting chelsea back in April when i was attending a conference in AZ, and i wished we had more time to talk than the hour or so that we had. she is as sweet and as fashionable in real life as she is on her blog. i also am continually in awe of the beautiful friendship and relationship that she and her boyfriend, Scott, share. be sure to follow her blog to read up on their super fun adventures! 

Krista of Saturated Canary.

i love the idea behind krista's blog. when you first open up the page, you see just below the banner: writing to taste life twice. i cannot tell you how much i love that line - and how much i feel that when i read krista's inspiring blog! whether it's reading up on a DIY tutorial or looking through the fun she shared with her family earlier that day, i sense krista's amazing love for life, her family, and for God. (and people, you already know how much a fan i am of her work? remember HERE.)

Ashley of After Nine to Five.

now this woman is caaaa-razy! crazy awesome, that is! she has a blog exploding blog world with her shop talent - and we're talking about a woman who excels in her jack-of-all-trades. After Nine to Five offers a fun collection of jewelry, hair accessories, graphic design, and even some new holiday prints! everything about this woman exudes energy and fun, so be sure to check out all of this awesomeness. 

Paige of Pink Lemonade.

now when i was 15 years old, i was busy with a lot of things in my life - and running my own handmade business was not one of them. paige continually blows me away with her rosette creations - from my all time favorite turquoise and yellow rosette statement necklace to the collection of cabochon jewelry that lines her online shop's shelves. and oh, yes did i mention that she's the 15 year old i'm talking about? yeah, just in case you missed that. incredible! 

i could not say it better than the definition displayed on the opening page of Etsify's shop: etsify (noun) - the place to find the most stylish handmade apparel and accessories and (verb) -fied, or -fying - to transform your personal style with unique handmade apparel and accessories. and how everything has been curated on this site is incredible. in a way, Kaily (the face behind the awesomeness) and her group of stylists (you'll find Much Love, illy there!) has weeded through the gigantic world of handmade and brought to you the best of the best. so they put it, Have you Etsified yourself today?

Alli of One Pearl Button.
blog / shop

i completely adore Alli's style of photography, writing, fashion, and DIY tutorials. i especially love reading her posts on her weekend adventures - makes me want to run outside and take lots of pictures all the time. a recent GIF of her jumping up and down in her new cape articulated what i was feeling about autumn. she really knows how to put the word "frolic" into a visual for you. love it!


so what did i tell ya?!

these are some incredible and inspiring (makes you wanna go do something creative, right?!) kinds of people. i've closed the comments so that you can go and show these lovelies some love. shop their shops, send them an email to encourage them, or leave them some comment love. i know they'll love you for it! 

much love.
[happy wednesday, friend.]

adventures of the wandering whippycakes: poppy // south carolina

 tee: gift from DOTS / tank: f21 / boyfriend jeans: GAP / nerd glasses: rue21
Vance booties: c/o Blowfish Shoes / knit scarf: c/o Somerknits / Poppy brooch: Whippycake

for those of you brand new to the adventures of the traveling Whippycakes, here's a little introduction. the idea of the Whippycake adventures started in Phoenix, AZ back in April of this year.  five friends, five blogs, and five Whippycakes. 

and today, i got the chance to rock out the Poppy (originally owned by Lindsay - doesn't it remind you of her? Hawaii and sunshine?!). i love the burst of yellow it exudes, making it the perfect match to my mustard yellow knit scarf. i think that is what makes the Whippycakes so awesome - they are so versatile and can work with your wardrobe in more than so many ways. (see HERE, HERE, and oh yes, HERE.)

and be sure to check out all the other Whippycakes being featured across blog world today:

Lindsay of Aisle to Aloha
Moriah of Moriah Makes
Sandy of Sandyalamode

much love.
[happy wednesday, friend.]

p.s. have you enter the Casey Wiegand ad space giveaway
it's a good one - especially if you are a blogger or business owner! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

dust bunnies, be afraid.

 dress: base exchange / striped stretched tee: f21 / necklace: c/o Le Mode Accessories 
tights: c/o We Love Colors / Hanakai boots: c/o Blowfish Shoes

yesterday i spent the afternoon organizing and cleaning my studio space. in other words a section of my bedroom involving pub table, plastic bins filled with felt and materials, jars of buttons and supplies...all stacked underneath and around the table. it's really nothing fancy but it works for now - and when it is cleaned up and organized, i feel even more ready to tackle the constant stream of creative juices that likes to drown my mind at times, ya know what i mean?

and no, i did not wear this outfit when i was cleaning (wore it over the weekend, sunday morning to church).
my cleaning attire looked more like a scary monster in shorts - and i'm not even joking.
my tee had a picture of a scary monster screaming raaawr!
i wore it to scare the dust bunnies away. the above outfit wouldn't have done the job. 

much love.
[happy tuesday, friend.]

p.s. and psst! if you are Kaitlin (#86) of Bee-loved, you just one the Let's Talk Trunk ad space giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your awesome prize. congrats to Katilin and thank you, lovely ladies of LTT!

Monday, October 24, 2011

sponsor love + giveaway with Casey of The Wiegands.

meet casey of The Wiegands.

"I love painting and sharing our life through my blog...where you can expect pieces of my perspective on life, faith, kids, marriage, with touches of art, creative inspiration, projects and things I love along the way. I have two little ones with the hopes of lots more and am married to the love of my life!"


i am super stoked to have the chance to feature the beautiful Casey and her incredible blog here today (you might remember her as blog sponsor way back when). if you don't already read her blog, please, pleeeeeaaase add her to your daily blog roll. her raw and inspiring writing, gorgeous photography, awesome pieces of art, and fun outfit posts will have you coming back for more. and this woman is the real deal. she has personally challenged and inspired in so many ways.

and today, she offers each of you a chance to be a part of her blog goodness by offering this giveaway's winner 200x150 ad space ($50 value - including the chance to participate in a group giveaway feature!).  with the upcoming holiday season, if you are a blogger or a handmade business, you'll want to jump on this like...STAT. trust me, you want this.

{how to enter:}

be a GFC blog follower of The Wiegands and comment below that you follow her blog! 
(mandatory entry)

{really, really want to win?}
additional entries - keep comments in separate entries to count!

- be a GFC blog follower of this blog (1 entry)
- "like" Casey Wiegand via Facebook (1 entry)
"like" Much Love, illy via Facebook (1 entry)
- follow @muchloveilly and @caseywiegand via Twitter (1 entry)
- tweet, blog, facebook about this giveaway and include link in your comment!

feel free to copy/paste the following tweet:
crossing my fingers to win the @CaseyWiegand ad space giveaway over at @muchloveilly!!!

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers thru October 31st.
Winner will be announced on November 1st.

much love.
{happy monday, friend.} 

Friday, October 21, 2011

cupcakes make everything better.

 tee: DOTS / shorts, belt: f21 / olive green tights: c/o We Love Colors
Hans boots: c/o Blowfish Shoes /rings: Charming Charlies, f21 / watch: Fossil

and so do the following:
watching Pan Am while sewing up orders
starting a brand new creepy book like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
wearing these awesome new boots and colorful tights 'cause it's cool enough
bike riding with Daddy
anything knit - scarves, socks, and hats
my daily phone dates with the boy
singing super loud and dancing (as much as the room allows) in the car with my sister
my grass green Urbanears headphones
chips-ahoy chocolate chip cookies
when my sewing machine decides to be nice to me

what makes everything better for you, friend?
besides the awesome fact, that it is friiiiiday!

much love.
[happy friday, friend.]

p.s. don't forget to enter the Let's Talk Trunk giveaway for November ad-space and personal feature!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

 blush cardi: H+M / tank: f21 / scarf: Le Mode / jeans: Belk / wedges: c/o Blowfish Shoes

okay, not really.

but thanks to the Justin Bieber's recent Christmas single, my sister had his song blasting from our living room for the past couple of days. and then while i was sewing today, i found myself singing Christmas carols. what the heck?! who am i becoming? i am totally the girl who waits till after Thanksgiving to pull out the Christmas music and the decor.

however, i have been most certainly in the spirit of the autumn season. i've had my daily dose of hot apple cider (mixed with some red hots to give it a kick - if you've never tried it, it's uber good). i've been pinning every pumpkin recipe possible via pinterest - and i've had my heart beating over knit socks, boots, scarves, and sweaters.

so until the morning of Black Friday rolls around, i'm gonna fight to keep from singing and listening to Christmas music. 
i'm just going to have to stay strong (even if the Biebs and Ashley keep fighting me on this).

much love.
[happy thursday, friend.]

p.s. don't forget to enter the Let's Talk Trunk Giveaway!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

November sponsorship spots available NOW!

crazy to think the month of November is just around the corner.
not only that, but we got Thanksgiving turkeys and mistletoes and gift wrapping quickly making their appearances - if not already, but oh, so soon! and with that said, that also means the blog is opening up sponsorship spots for the new month! i offer affordable sponsorship for 1-month and 3-month packages, perfect to show off your business and blog for the holiday season.

(my own photo)
and something a little extra! since we are on the topic of the holiday season, all sponsored businesses will be included in the Much Love, illy 2011 Holiday Gift Guide.  i will not be charging extra for the gift guide, but i will only be including Much Love, illy sponsors to this guide - so keep that in mind for the extra exposure for your shop and products! 

if you think you and i can make magic together, check out more details HERE or shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to further chit-chat it up. i look forward to hearing from you lovelies!