Monday, April 30, 2012

you know it hits the spot when...

 dress, neon belt: forever 21 / tights: c/o We Love Colors
timo wedges: c/o Blowfish Shoes / clutch: c/o Le Mode Accessories 

1. when you french-kiss a unicorn. in other words, inhale a Taco Bell Dorito taco in three big bites.
2. when picmonkey makes your day after your unexpected withdrawels from picnik.
3. when you wear cobalt blue tights or cobalt blue pants. either works for moi.
4. when you go through two books that have bored you like crazy and then come across a new one that makes you fist-pump the air and say yes, that was what i was talking about
5. when you find a new shade of nail-polish that you wear for weeks - coral reef by sally hansen.
6. when you hear a sermon at church that you know you were meant to hear. 
7. when you pour Almond Joy flavored creamer into your coffee. life-changing, i tell ya.
8. when you nail a drawing in Draw Something and feel like the next Van Gogh.
9. when you flip through the channels on a sunday afternoon and find a movie you never get sick Forest Gump.
10. when you eat cereal anytime after 10pm.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

p.s. are you SuperMilf (#44) 'cause you just won the Rissy Roo's giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize. congrats to you, friend and thank YOU, Rissy Roo's for a fantastic giveaway! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

sponsor love + giveaway with Agape Love Boutique/Designs.

meet maria of agape designs/boutique.

Hey all, I'm Maria-Isabel the designer behind Agape Love Designs/Boutique. I am a lover of all things artsy and crafty, so you will find a lot of that on my blog... But I also love variety which is why you will also find me writing inspirational posts about my faith, fashion & makeup, my photography, as well as my weight loss journey. I started my shop at the end of 2010, because I LOVE creating jewelry and headbands and needed to support my habit. ♥ However it has evolved into something so much more. Now I still create those things, but my items are unique in that most of them have special meaning, and stories behind them! I also have several faith inspired jewelry items. After all I do aspire to glorify God in all that I do.

and i am partial to my personalized hand stamped necklace that maria made for me with mine and ryan's initials. 
i am such a sucker for anything hearts.


and today one of you awesome readers gets the chance for your very own hand stamped necklace - or really anything else that caught your eye in her shop because Maria is giving away $40 Agape Love Boutique Shop Credit! she's got just about anything for any girl in your life - from headbands, bird nest necklaces, hair clips, earrings and so much more! maybe even do some Mother's Day shopping while you still got time!

{how to enter:}

visit Agape Love Boutique and tell me what you would spend the shop credit on if you win! 
(mandatory entry)

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

- Heart Agape Love Boutique via Etsy (1 entry)
- be a public GFC follower of this blog (1 entry)
- follow Agape Love Designs blog (1 entry)
- Like the Agape Love Designs Facebook page (1 entry)
- follow @muchloveilly and @mariagridley (1 entry)
- blog, tweet, or facebook about this giveaway and include its link (1 entry)

feel free to copy/paste the following tweet:
i heart Agape Love Boutique so i entered @mariagridley's shop credit giveaway over @muchloveilly's blog!

{don't wanna wait?}
use coupon LOVEILLY for 35% off your entire Agape Love Boutique order! (that's huge! what are you waiting for?!)

Giveaway is open to US and Canadian Much Love, illy readers through May 7th. 
Winner will be announced on May 8th.

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Saturday, April 28, 2012

time to partaaaaaay!! // Self-Portrait Saturday!

if you are like me, i'm awe of bloggers who do a portrait a day challenges. they say you learn so much about yourself. things you love about yourself. things you despise. they look back at certain days and remember why they were smiling or not smiling, why the day was the best day of their life or not. you get the picture. um, no pun intended. 

welp, with this self-photo, i remember how exhilarating that Saturday morning was. i actually got up early to go spend the morning at the local farmer's market with my mom, and i took this photo on the drive back home. the weather was perfect. the car windows were rolled down. the music blasted with our favorite radio station. it was one of those moments were i felt so happy to be where i was at in life. it was a moment where i felt like i truly grasped the meaning behind savoring life. life is obviously not perfect but at that moment, i felt grateful - and i want that perspective from that day to be ingrained in me. 

p.s. so excited to be teaming up with mah friends Dana and Rebecca to celebrate Self-portrait Saturdays over at The Wonder Forest. and be sure to read the deets below so that you can join this fun link-up partaaaay! and of course, thank you to the incredible Dana for putting this together! 


- Grab your camera and take some awesome self portraits!
- Create your blog post and insert the Self Portrait Saturday banner into it
- Link up your post below!
*Enter your blog post URL not your actual blog URL.
Anyone linking up their actual blogs and not a Self Portrait Saturday post will be removed.*

- Visit the hosts blogs and say hi, and don't forget to visit the other participants!
Dana | Ilene | Rebecca

Thursday, April 26, 2012

some crazy weeks call for this.

mickey-dee runs, especially when they build a 2 story one in your itty-bitty town (the only other place i've seen a 2-story mickey dee's was in chicago!). strawberry banana smoothie plus medium order of hot, salt fries equals absolute best.

listen to The Wanted on repeat over and over and over again.
especially Lightening and All Time Low. 
and of course, you all know i'm already obsessed with Glad You Came.

senior year of college, 2006. i liked popcorn back then, too.

and why is it when you are most busiest that you find yourself flipping through old photos on facebook or on your laptop? 
found this one this week and can't stop cracking up. good times.

what do you do when life gets a little caaaa-razy for you?

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

p.s. two sweet giveaways happening here and here! and this weekend i'm hanging out over at with my friend, Dana over at her part of blog world, The Wonder Forest. she is having a haaa-uge link-up party so be sure to check back here Saturday morning so you can join in! 
AND are you Barb C (#7) 'cause you just won the NS Pottery giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize! congrats to Barb and thank YOU, NS Pottery for a fantastic giveaway! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the definition of a nerd.

tee, nerd glasses: Urban Outfitters / skirt: swapped with The Delightful Dozen / red heart ring, leggings: Forever 21 / teal ellie moccasins: c/o Bait Footwear

way back when i lived in Chicago, i remember a conversation that i had with a friend who felt the need to break down the definitions of the words nerd, geek, and dork when i used one of them out of context. according to him and Webster, a nerd is an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a non-social hobby or pursuit. i actually remember cracking up laughing during our conversation because he was so nerdy about it, which made the conversation so much more entertainingand then the conversation unfolded into a debate on which is the better television show, LOST (my argument) versus Battlestar Galactica (his). 
we were both HUGE nerds about it.

 and so whenever i put on these glasses, i often remember that intellectual conversation.
and i always wrinkle my nose, stick my finger between my eyes and go, "neeeeeerrrrd!"
next time i'll need to find some scotch tape somewhere to complete the look, dontcha think?

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CLOSED - a super-duper APRIL group giveaway!!!

okay, folks. i am super-duper excited about today's giveaway. 
it's seriously one that i wish that i could enter because there is so much mad swag here, it's making my jaw-drop. and these sponsors keep blowing my mind every single month. their blogs and shops have become some of my personal faves and i think that you will fall for them, too. 

and like all the group giveaway partaaaay's we have here, it's totally ONE WINNER TAKES ALL


meet kintage.

find them via shop / facebook
giving away $25 Kintage shop credit!

exclusive discount to Much Love, illy readers: 
use coupon code ILLY for 10% off of your entire Kintage order! 

laura of Our Reflection.

find her and her beautiful family via blog / facebook / twitter
giving away this jaw-dropping weekender bag (valued at $35)!

liz of Craft Radio.

find her over at her shop / facebook / blog / twitter
giving away $25 Craft Radio shop credit!  

exclusive discount to Much Love, illy readers:
use coupon code MUCHLOVE for 10% off of your entire Craft Radio order! 

laura of along for the ride.

find her via blog / shop / twitter / facebook
giving away $25 Along for the Ride shop credit!

exclusive discount to Much Love, illy readers:
use coupon code muchlove15 for 15% off of your entire Along for the Ride order!

kristina of simply bold.

find her via blog / twitter / bloglovin'
giving away 2 months of Large Ad Space! 

talk about a suh-weet line up, right?! 
so warm up those fingers 'cause this is a WINNER TAKES ALL giveaway!
so let's hope some good luck is on your side!

{how to enter:}

be a public GFC follower of this blog! 
(that's it! mandatory entry!)

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

- follow, like, or heart any of the listed links and lemme know for which sponsor! 
- tweet, blog, or facebook about this giveaway and lemme know that you did (include link!)

feel free to copy/paste the following tweet:
crossing my fingers to win the super duper APRIL group giveaway over @muchloveilly's blog!

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

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Monday, April 23, 2012

maybe i'm growing up. eh, maybe not.

dress: base exchange / beige tunic: c/o  Lamixx / tights: c/o We Love Colors
valery, floral heels: c/o Blowfish Shoes / arrow bracelet: c/o PoshLocket / watch: fossil

the other day i went shopping and found myself drawn to only neutral colors. oh, you've never heard of them either? you know, the ones that don't belong in the bright colors or neon section (aka the only colors i'm normally ever drawn to) like beige, nude, whites, and browns. so weird for me. i was introduced to a whole new world, it felt like.

but even with this neutral top, i found a way to pop in some color with these crazy awesome wedges. i just can't seem to get away from color. so nope, the child-who-is-forever-in-love-with-80's-neon-colors has not yet left the building.

 oh and you knoooow a close-up was necessary on my arrow bracelet, made from katniss' actual arrow. 
okay, not really. but i like to tell myself that.

much love.
[happy tuesday, friend.]

p.s. don't forget the sweet Rissy Roo's giveaway on da bloggity-blog this week! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

sponsor love + giveaway with Rissy Roo's.

meet larisa of Rissy Roo's.

I'm your local hairstylist by day, crafter by night.  In my etsy shop, and also in the salon, I aim to create things that compliment every girl's individuality. Here and there, I am teaching myself, challenging myself, and loving all there is to learn along the way!


spring is one of my favorite times to update my wardrobe and accessories - and Rissy Roo's might be your next favorite place to help you update! Larissa's shop is stocked full of darling dangling earrings, rosette headbands, fun bows and bobby pins. it has a little bit of something for everyone!

and one of YOU lucky readers gets the chance to snag more than a few pieces since Larisa is generously giving away $35 Rissy Roo's shop credit! if i were you, i'd use the credit towards this and that piece (are you really that surprised that i love all the Hunger Games inspired pieces?!)

{how to enter:}

visit Rissy Roo's and comment below on what you would spend the shop credit on if you win!

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

Heart Rissy Roo's via Etsy (1 entry)
be a public GFC follow of this blog (1 entry)
- follow this blog via Bloglovin' (1 entry)
- follow @muchloveilly and @RissyRoo0924 via Twitter (1 entry)
- blog, tweet or facebook about this giveaway and include its link (1 entry)

feel free to copy/paste the following tweet:
crossing my fingers to win the @RissyRoo0924 giveaway over @muchloveilly's blog!

{don't wanna wait?}
use coupon code MUCHLOVE for 20% off of your entire Rissy Roo's order!

Giveaway is open to U.S. Much Love, illy readers thru April 30th.
Winner will be announced on May 1st. 

much love,
{happy monday, friend.}

Thursday, April 19, 2012

this bass makes me go ape.

 beige tee, mint tank: forever21 / jeans: tjmaxx / bracelets: c/o PoshLocket 
watch: fossil / wallet: c/o glow kourture / wedges: c/o Blowfish Shoes 

 when the radio dj and i are on the same wavelength and he plays songs like We are Young. Call Me Maybe. Glad You Came. Payphone.  Boyfriend. Starships. What Makes You Beautiful. Part of Me. not gonna lie, i am that girl that pumps up the bass and volume and sings her heart out. whether or not the dude in the next car at the stoplight thinks i'm a crazy person. oh, well. maybe i am.

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

p.s. and since on friday's we talk about happy things, i wanted to highlight that polka dot wallet from my friend, kenye of Glow Kourture. it pretty much makes my day. polka dots and bright red lining inside. sheer perfection. totally meant for fridays. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

sponsor love with Little Daily Miracles.

drawing and sketching is one of my all time favorite art mediums. and that is why i find so much inspiration from my sponsor and friend who i have the privilege of introducing to you today! and be sure to follow her travel adventures and discover more of her inspirations through her blog, Little Daily Miracles!


"Hello, everyone! My name is Aleksandra, and I'm blogging over at "Little Daily Miracles" about my daily life as an architecture student, artist and traveler. Feel free to visit and I hope you will like what you see. From me to you, A." 

aren't the details mind-blowing
and what about that jaw-dropping dumbledore sketch - gah, i love it! talent, i tell ya.

get to know Aleksandra more through her blog / twitter / facebook
and be sure to hop over to her part of blog world and leave her lots of love - let her know that i sent you!

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

made my day.

1. a starbucks chai tea latte. 
2. expanding my book wish list at barnes and noble.
3. updating our hunger games knowledge in the magazine section.
4. mint green anything.
5. mom, dad (who was there, but was behind the camera), and my little sistah - i love them so stinkin' much, it's ridiculous.
6. discovering a nearby Jo-anne's. felt like i discovered gold. 
7. shopping at forever 21 at 10am - made us feel like we owned the place, didn't have to fight crazy weekend shoppers.
8. Poshlocket arrow bracelet (hunger games, no?).
9. stuffing our faces at a Chinese buffet.
10. the therapy that comes with phone dates with those that can make cry laughing.
11. coming home to a bunch of orders of this (thank YOU! i'm gonna blame this friend for it. again.)
12. sonic happy hour all freaking day long - and trying to their new york hot dog for the first time (partaaay in my mouth).

tell me, friend.
what's making your day?

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Monday, April 16, 2012

oops, i might have cheated.

 cropped top: H+M / pencil skirt: target / shoes: madden girl
neon belt: forever21 / watch: fossil / bracelet: c/o Poshlocket 

i wore this outfit (minus the shoes, belt, multi-chain bracelet and little mermaid long hair - so tempted to cut it!) last spring but decided to rock it out this past sunday. i had a different cropped shirt in mind but it just didn't work out. also this neutral platforms demanded to be paired with a pencil skirt. it's the professional working outside of the home side of me coming out. 

so basically, i feel like i cheated the whole re-mixing rule that apparently fashion bloggers live by. you know the one where you don't wear the same thing over again in a post. and isn't it funny how blogging makes you apologize slash admit for things that you never would apologize slash admit in real life?

well, i'm not apologizing. not really.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

p.s. are you Bree Holloway (#241) 'cause you just won the Casey Wiegand giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize. congrats to Bree and thank YOU, Casey for your generous giveaway!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

sponsor love + giveaway with NS Pottery.

meet natalie of NS Pottery.

Hi, I'm Natalie! I started NS Pottery back in 2008 as a young 20-year-old business owner. The idea of being an artist and selling things that I make has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl (I used to make paper animals at my grandma's house to sell to my relatives, ha!) After graduating from high school, I took some wheel-throwing classes at a local pottery studio and fell in love with clay. I have learned SO much about clay and business in the past four years and feel so blessed to be living my dream!

i am super stoked to have the chance to feature the incredible work of Natalie! i love her creative use of quality stoneware - whether it's a beautiful trinket dish or darling necklaces like this one or that one. and i am particularly obsessed with the key to my heart necklace - i own one in teal and rock it with just about any outfit (see photo below)! and for any dinner or bakeware, everything is dishwasher or microwave safe - amazing, right?! seriously impressive! and on a side note, i think her photography work is stunning! 


and one incredibly lucky Much Love, illy winner will have the chance to own their very own piece of NS Pottery as Natalie is giving away $40 NS Pottery shop credit! say whaaaat?! 

{how to enter:}

visit NS Pottery and comment below on what you'd spend on the shop credit on if you win!
(mandatory entry)

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

- be a public GFC follower of this blog (1 entry)
- be a public GFC follower of Natalie's blog (1 entry)
- Like the NS Pottery Facebook page (1 entry)
- follow @NSPottery and @muchloveilly via Twitter (1 entry)
- blog, tweet, or facebook about this giveaway and include its link (1 entry)

feel free to copy/paste the following tweet:
in love with @NSPottery's jewelry and stoneware so i entered their shop credit #giveaway over @muchloveilly!

{don't wanna wait?}
use coupon code MUCHLOVE15 at checkout for 15% off your entire NS Pottery order!

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers thru April 23.
Winner will be announced on April 24.

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Thursday, April 12, 2012

and that's a wrap.

 tee: base exchange / cobalt blue pants: tjmaxx
natalia flats: c/o Blowfish Shoes / scarf turned headband: Le Mode Accessories 

a head wrap that is.
and the end of a long week.
nothing bad. just happy that it's the weekend.

need some extra smiles for your friday? check out this clip (for those Hunger Games and Sophia V fans) and oh, do watch this song on repeat and dance around your living room...or office - if your boss is okay with that. and don't forget to put regina spektor on repeat, especially Dance Anthem of the 80's because she always puts me in a good mood. 

and i personally think the whole world should be in good moods on fridays. 
but maybe it's just me.

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

check me out...


...over HERE today. 

i'm hanging out at The Delightful Dozen, styling up this suh-weet beige floral maxi dress originally owned by Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky. check out how me and two other fab ladies of the Dozen styled up the maxi dress in our different styles.

and if you haven't heard of The Delightful Dozen, we're kind of The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants on steroids...except - dare I say that we are cooler than America Ferrera or Blakey Lively - but uh...yeah, we just are.

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

p.s. and don't forget if you are a blog or biz, you don't wanna miss out on the Casey Wiegand giveaway happening on the blog this week!