Thursday, June 28, 2012

summer goals.

 canvas tote bag largo navy/aqua stripe: c/o Citta Design / hot pink sunglasses: SHOTS (aka sisterhood of the traveling sunglasses)

1. spend one day a week at least at the beach. last week alone, i spent a total of 5 out of 7 days at the beach (the other 2 days i spent traveling. unexceptable, i know), so now i'm going through withdrawals because it was absolute bliss. and after getting back from St. Simons, i wondered why i didn't spend more time at the beach only 20 minutes away from my house. so we're gonna make this happen. it's not like this is a difficult goal for me. so let's assume that this goal is pretty much a done deal.

2. use this striped tote bag as often as possible. which in my case means lots of beach trips and vacations! my friends from Citta Design sent me this and i couldn't be more in love with it. i'm already obsessed with stripes and with the canvas streaking with navy blue and turquoise,  you know i'm sold. to top it off, the leather straps make it ultra classy and so easy to throw over your should when you're running out the door. like i said, in freakin' love.

3. finish up reading list. even though i read all year round, summertime is my season to read even more. if that's even possible. it might have to do with all of those summer months growing up when mom would take us to the library and we would have backpacks full of books to read - or even through college years, i found summer time to read all the "fun" books. and in case, you are wondering here are a few on my list: 

Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Wuthering Heights.
Gone Girl.
Anna Karenina.
Girl Who Played with Fire.
The Great Gatsby.
anything by John Green.

4. more photography projects! whether it's taking on the challenge of taking a photo an hour through out a day or using my fisheye lens more than usual, i wanna do it! i keep meaning to do these little projects that i see pop up around blog world...but then never get around to doing it! also am working on my smashbooks, so those should be making an appearance very soon. so remember keep me accountable, folks!

5. follow S.H.O.T.S (aka sisterhood of the traveling sunglasses). so back in March, i met up with some pretty incredible ladies in the state of A-to-the-Z. after we got back, we tweeted about how much we missed each other and wanted to stay connected. we made a joke about sending a pair of jeans around like in The Sisterhood of the Travelings Pants but as we were all different sizes (and even a beautiful preggo friend in the mix) we didn't see how this would work. so....i happened to find this pair of obnoxiously HOT PINK sunglasses which will begin making it's travels to this lady, this one, that one, and last but not least, this one. so be on the look out! 

so what's on your list of summer goals?
also any other book recs? i'm always open to them!

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

june jubilation group giveaway!!!!

i find summertime completely exhilarating! 
i love the pace of life - the rush of vacation and the lazy summer nights.
and you can't forget the over-indulgence of delish watermelon and lemonade, running through sprinklers with the neighbor's kids, or laying out on a sandy beach.

and to add to the list of amazing summer things is another fantastic June group giveaway from my ever so generous sponsors! and there is a bit of something for everyone - whether it's ad space for your blog or biz, handmade goodies, photography or the cutest traveling bag ever! and like all group giveaways go around here, it's WINNER TAKES ALL, folks! 

violet of Violet D'Art .

find her via blog /shop / facebook / website / twitter / society6
giving away any 8x10 photo from her Etsy shop! 

exclusive discount - use coupon code SUMMER20 for 20% off of your shop entire order!

krista of saturated canary.

find her via blog / shop / facebook / bloglovin
giving away a blog feature ad for the month of July ($50 value)!

exclusive discount - use coupon code ILLYLOVE 15% (valid through the end of June) for your entire shop order. 

kimmie of sugar and dots.

find her via blog / facebook / twitter / pinterest / bloglovin'
giving away Large Ad space for one month ($25 value)!

larissa of Rissy Roos.

find her via shoptwitter
giving away $25 of  Rissy Roos' shop credit

exclusive discount - use code MUCHLOVE25 for 25% off of your entire Rissy Roos' order!

laura of Our Reflection.

find her via blog / twitter / facebook
giving away this ever so darling turquoise and white weekender bag!


see what i mean?!
awesome, right?! 
so get those lazy summer fingers stretched out 'cause you are gonna want to enter this giveaway like a crazy person! 

{how to enter:}

be a public GFC follower of this blog!
*mandatory entry*

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

- follow, like or heart any of the listed link and let me know for which sponsor ( 1 entry per sponsor link)
- tweet, blog or facebook about this giveaway and lemme know that you did (include link)

feel free to copy/paste the following tweet:
i want to win the incredible June Jubilation Group Giveaway happening over @muchloveilly's blog!

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers thru July 4th.
Winner will be announced on July 5th.

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}


 ballerina tee (old) : Urban Outfitters / maxi skirt: Belk / neon tank, red heart ring: Forever 21 / moonstone ring: pandora, gift from Ryan's mom / nails: passionfruit by Orly / ellie flats: c/o Bait Footwear / threads bracelets: c/o The Shine Project

ever since my sisters, dad, and brother in law returned from their mission trip in the Ukraine, i find myself thinking back to the days when i had the privilege of serving on the mission field. flashbacks of the long days, always learning and receiving more from the generous, loving people we went to serve than i felt like we extended to them. in my previous job, i co-led several college spring break mission trips to the Philippines and worked with a prostitute transformation ministry where they taught women a livelihood (such as cooking, sewing, jewelry-making, etc) so that they would have the chance to turn their lives around. 

that excites me more than you know - to see people's lives change because a person shared a piece of his/her own life with someone else. they didn't just hand over money and say go, change your life then turn around and walk away. time and sacrifice and a relationship were a part of the process and as a result, we see a life changed for the good.

so you can bet that i was beyond stoked to hear about my friend, Ashley's next project, threads! and you all may be familiar with The Shine Project, in which threads is an extension to further assist at risk teens in pursuing leadership qualities and a college education. through threads, these students make beautiful, trendy bracelets to continue to raise funds for The Shine Scholarship Project. basically, the more of these bracelets that are sold, the more students that can be hired to raise more money for their college educations. 

besides the stunning bracelets i received, my favorite part of the threads package was the card with the photo of a girl named Mary. Mary is a student and she was the one who made my bracelets. nothing like making it personal, right? every threads package will receive a card with a thank you from the student, letting you know that he or she appreciates your help! 

so want to make a difference? want to shine? then take that first step and visit The Shine Project shop and make your own threads purchase! so many designs to choose from - i am especially obsessed with mine! buy one for yourself, your sister, your neighbor or your best friend and spread the word! and when you wear that bracelet, you can be reminded that you helped somebody and know that you changed a life for the good.

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Monday, June 25, 2012

tuesday letters.

tank, vest, skirt: Forever 21 /floral heels: c/o Blowfish Shoes / earrings: c/o Le Mode Accessories 

dear john green. i am obsessed with The Fault in Our Stars. i'm only half way through with it and immediately smitten by Augustus and my heart aches for Hazel. i cannot believe that i waited as long as i did to read any of your work. and now i'm thinking to carry around an unlit cigarette. for metaphor's sake only, of course. 

dear stephanie meyer. edward stole my heart back in the Twilight series. this is no secret. but wow, Ian and Jared in The Host blew me away - and i actually loved the female character in this book. please, please consider continuing the series.

dear summer olympics. i cannot cannot cannot wait for july 27th, especially to see phelps and lochte go neck and neck. i also can't wait for women's swimming and track - and of course, to watch women's gymnastics (my absolute first love).

dear sonic. i really need to try out your guac hotdogs. all the ads are making my tummy growl and my mouth salivate. i'll be visiting you very soon. 

dear breaking dawn, part 2 movie trailer. i pretty much died watching the newest trailer. it needs to be november 16th already. 

dear vampire diaries. thank you for quenching my thirst - snicker, snicker - for a new tv show and for some vampire goodness. no wonder everyone has been raving about this show. and oh, Paul Wesley, you are yummy. i thought i'd be team damon, but i'm thinking not.

dear brand-new nike black and mint green running shoes. though i'm still breaking you two in, i am obsessed with you guys. you guys make me want to work out even more. that's always a good thing.

dear biebs. never expected to have your CD on repeat on my ipod, but it is. this 27 year old has no shame. 

dear fiance. first, you are yummier than Paul Wesley or Ryan Lochte. second, i had a blast with you last week at the beach. it was not enough time - it never is - but i loved every single second of it because i was with you. i love you. 
much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

p.s. are you Leslie Marquez (#59) 'cause you just won the LOVED giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize. be sure to include your necklace choice and your mailing address. congrats to Leslie an thank YOU to LOVED for a fantastic giveaway! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

sponsor love + giveaway with Our Crazy Beautiful.

meet Nicole of Our Crazy Beautiful.

Hi y'all! I'm Nicole. A wife, momma, blog designer, and lover of all things fashion and design. All of which you will find on my blog. Welcome to our crazy beautiful little story.


i got the privilege to meet Nicole in person earlier this year, and she was an absolute joy to get to know! whether it was us dying over shamrock milkshakes or talking about faith, i found a connection with this woman - and i believe that you will, too! her writing is honest, her style refreshing and her love for her family inspiring!

and today she gives you a chance to be a part of her blog! Nicole is giving away one month of Large Feature Ad Space on her blog, a perfect way to advertise and get exposure to your own blog or biz! 

{how to enter:}

Follow the Our Crazy Beautiful blog - just click on the + on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen!  
(mandatory entry)

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

- follow Our Crazy Beautiful via Bloglovin' (1 entry) 
- be a public GFC follower of this blog (1 entry)
- Like Our Crazy Beautiful via Facebook (1 entry)
- follow @muchloveilly and @thislilmomma via Twitter (1 entry)
- blog, tweet or facebook about this giveaway (1 entry)

feel free to copy/paste the following tweet:
i wanna be a part of @thislilmomma's Our Crazy Beautiful blog so i entered her giveaway over @muchloveilly's blog!

{don't wanna wait?}
use code ILLY20 for 20% off of blog design! 
ILLY20 must be in the email subject line when contacting Nicole.

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers thru July 2nd.
Winner will be announced on July 3rd.

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

if you wanna be my lover - er, sponsor, you gotta get with my friends.

channeling old school Spice Girls, here's a July Sponsor Shout out!
wanna be a Much Love, illy sponsor for the month of July?
wanna promote your blog or your biz?
wanna get more exposure and traffic to your site and think that we'll make a rad team?!
then shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com for rates and more info!

much love.
{happy weekend, friend.}

Thursday, June 21, 2012

the best way to kick off summah two thousand twelve.

1. spending it with the one you love
2. being with family
3. waking up at the beach
4. eating lots and lots of lots of food
5. hot tubs and cool pools
6. playing with an adorable baby like Ryan's niece every day
7. swimming to a sandbar and finding a ton of sea treasures
8. people watching 
9. long walks on the beach
10. sleeping in and doing it all over again

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

p.s. are you Katie (#22) of Lauren and Lauren 'cause you just won the amykathryn handbags shop credit giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize! congrats to Katie and thank YOU, amykathryn for a fabulous giveaway! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

you can take a wild guess that we had a grand ole time.

 'cause we freaking did.

after the mission trip to the Ukraine, Kristine and her husband stayed for a day and a half.
we got the chance to celebrate her birthday (which took place while she was away) at Dockside, a very delicious seafood restaurant on the island. 

and as we usually do, we took goofy pictures in our bathroom mirror.
it's totally out of habit and we always end up laughing and making the ugliest of goofy faces. 

and as we usually do, we cried when we took her and (her) Ryan to the airport. i always tell myself that i won't cry because we'll see them again soon, but as soon as one of us starts crying, i lose it and the tears come. 

i think that is a part of being so close to your family.
the love that we have for each other is so big and is so deep that when we are together and happy, we are over the freaking moon happy. and if we are apart and sad, we hit the lowest of valleys. 

it def suuuucks when the goodbyes happen but i am thankful that i have a family where we feel how we feel about each other. we can be on the deepest parts of the ocean in the scopes of our emotions but then that just means our love for each other is as big and a wide as the entire universe. 

and i'd dare say that is pretty darn big.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

p.s. are  Cindy (#57) of Hellcat Vintage 'cause you just won the awesome Marigold Road giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com with your mailing address so we can get your lovely prize to you right away! congrats to Cindy and thank YOU Mindy for an incredible giveaway!