Thursday, February 28, 2013

pop stars, pink lips, parties, and pleated dresses.

denim jacket (oldie): Urban Outfitters / dress: c/o Tailor and Stylist / leggings: F21 / moccasins: Minnetonka / necklace: c/o Le Mode Accessories / lip gloss (elsa) : c/o Radiant Cosmetics 

not too much to report today, my good people. other than mint green and pleated dresses continue to rock my face off - and the fact that i have fallen completely head over heels in love with bright pink lip color. and especially after watching some American Idol last night and glossing up my lips with this shade of pink from Radiant Cosmetics this morning, i smacked my lips together and told Ryan that i felt like Nicki Minaj: heeeeey, laaaaady bug and continue to pucker my lips obnoxiously towards him (if you have no clue who Nicki Minaj is or if you have stopped watching AI, oh 10 or so seasons ago, you can disregard the previous quote).

oh, but alas! i do have something to report! it just popped into my head mid-post (cause that is how i roll in real life conversations  especially on the day before the weekend - frantic, interjections mid sentence!)

so now being an old married woman of two months and nearly a half (where does time go?!), the fun of planning a reception (the real partaaaaay!) is starting to unfold. i am super giddy since the details are slowly coming together. we already have a venue and a date set (eeek!) which feels like a huge check off my to-do list. so do excuse my pinterest boards if you happen to follow them, a large number of my pins lately are all wedding reception related. and if you are trying to figure out my theme or what exactly i am planning with this gathering, don't. i'm still trying to figure out that part myself. *wink*

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

i had one of those days.

with sunshine finally streaming through the windows instead of gloomy, clouds, i woke up with expectations of a glorious day. but then one thing led to another thing and then another - and on top of that, that oh so special time of the month makes my emotions as smooth sailing as a roller-coaster on steroids - and next thing i know, i am holding my head in my hands, crying my eyes out.

the plus side of being married to Ryan and him knowing me as long as he has is that this whole emotional side of me does not even phase him. he knows how to listen and how to encourage me. i am so thankful to be married to this man.

and last but certainly not least, he knows where to take me to bring a smile to my face again. they say that a way to a man's heart is his stomach. ha! little did they know that is very true about a woman's heart, too.

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

p.s. are you Angela Nementhy 'cause you just won the February Combo giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com  to claim your prize.  congrats to Angela and thank you, Kintage and Carina for a smashing giveaway! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

good things on a rainy day.

 dress: base exchange / tee: borrowed from sister / tights: c/o We Love Colors / rain boots: Hunter Boots / colette headband: c/o Oh Sweet Joy / red heart ring: Forever 21

hunter red boots.
planning a wedding reception.
Candy Crush app.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
updates from my sister about my future niece/nephew.
the little girl at the grocery store who told me, i like your fun boots.
the Taylor Swift goat video.
red lipstick.
Mumford and Sons.
staying up past midnight, reading.
mushroom and cheese ravioli. 
my husband (who will always make this list because he is so good to me).

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

p.s. if you love my turquoise, polka dot headband as much as i do, be sure to head over Oh Sweet Joy (headbands will list late Tuesday night, 2/26). the colette headband is a limited edition with a variety of color options, so if i were you i would grab one or two or three before they completely sell out. with how much i love mine, i know that they are gone like that *snaps fingers*! and Kim was super generous to offer you Much Love, illy readers a coupon code: MUCHLOVE for 10% off (expires March 1st at midnight).

Monday, February 25, 2013

sponsor love + giveaway: Jennifer of Simplistic Living.

meet Jennifer of Simplistic Living.

Hi guys I'm Jenn and I blog over at Simplistic Living! Simplistic Living is a lifestyle blog all about the little things I love in life. I love to share DIY, recipes, adventures I go on with my husband, newlywed life, and anything else I find interesting. I am addicted to coffee, books, Instagram, yoga, and crafting. Stop on by and get to know me!

i have personally enjoyed reading Jennifer's blog particularly loving this Project life post (i have been wanting to try it for forever - i think she just inspired me to take the leap!) and as a big fan of lists, i loved this honest and thoughtful list on what she has learned during her newly wed life. she is absolutely adorable and real and i think many of you will adore her! 


today Jennifer is generously giving away a $30 Target gift card and an XL ad space on her blog! woohoo! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to U.S. Much Love, illy readers thru March 4th, 2013.
Winner will be announced on March 5th, 2013.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lulu*s + TD // polka dots and the movies.

  SHE // dress: c/o Lulu*s / tights: we love colors / gyspy wedges (last season): c/o Blowfish Shoes / cardi: Belk / lipgloss (julien): c/o Radiant Cosmetics HIM // jacket: North Face / tee: c/o Trucker Deluxe / jeans: Levi's / shoes: c/o Trucker Deluxe

the weather has been absolutely stunning today. we soaked up every bit of the sunshine especially since the past couple of weeks have been painstakingly gloomy - and rumor has it, more gloomy, cold weather is headed our way this week. 

however, we will be staying indoors tonight to watch The Oscars. i wrote out our ballots and already wrote out our Oscar guesses for the night. whoever wins treats out the other for some Mickey Dee's dessert. (shamrock shake, here i come!) i did not get to watch all the movies i wanted to see before tonight (which happens to me every year) but i did see a more of them than last year, so i'm pretty confident about my votes. my top two movie favorites is a tie between Les Mis and Argo, which are two very different movies so it'll be interested to see how they go up against each other.

speaking of movies, when Ryan and i first started dating and many of our weekend date nights involved dinner and a movie. and one time at the theater, i remember Ryan looked over at me and said, i really am glad that you love movies like i do or else i don't think we would have lasted very long. some of you may think that is just plain silly - and obviously, our love for movies is only one of the many things that we have in common but this commonality that we share was a huge bonus. i have always loved movies. i love getting lost in a fabulous story with incredible special affects and characters and heart-pounding, goose-bumping music and gorgeous cinematography. i also grew up watching many movies with my dad, critiquing and enjoying films together (always with a big bowl of buttery popcorn) - and to later date and marry someone with the same love for good movies was an absolute cherry on top...with extra whipping cream.  

 and just like in the movies, here is a little behind-the-scenes-of-our photo-shoot conversation:

me: we should do a different pose.
ryan: what do you want to do?
me: i don't know. something different.
ryan: what if i did this? and catches me off guard as he dips me.

movies and spontaneous dipping?!
 goodness, i love this guy.

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Thursday, February 21, 2013


cardi: Belk / gangman style tee: Hot Topic / scarf: c/o Just Dawnelle / lipgloss (julian) and teal eyeliner: c/o Radiant Cosmetics

watching: of course, like the rest of the world (well, American viewers) had to deal with a broken heart on Monday morning after the dramatic, shocking, tragic (must i go on?) season finale of Downton Abbey! i know it's not PBS' fault if an actor wishes to pursue other things in their career but to kill him off that way - ugh, i can't stand it. as i mend my heart, i've been watching Walking Dead (my love for Daryl grows every season - so does my disgust towards Andrea and Merle), American Idol (loved Adriana and Kree!), and re-watching some of Arrested Development with Ryan who has never seen it before. Never nude club never ceases to crack me up.

listening: my ipod completely erased all of my music (nearly 4 years worth) but thanks to the beauty of technology, i was able to back up most of it from the cloud. however, i haven't had the chance to re-load my ipod so i've been making good use of my Pandora app. love the today's hits, 90's pop hits, Jesus Culture and N*Sync stations! oh and remember how i wasn't a fan of JT's new song a few weeks ago when it first released? um, yeah. it grew on me - and once JT performed it on the Grammy's, i was hooked! JT always does that, doesn't he?

reading: i started reading a couple of books that have honestly been boring me out of my mind, but people have told me that these books are worth reading so i kind of feel like i need to keep trudging through them. i feel ton since there are so many other books i want to read and hate when i get stuck in one that i'm not loving. life is too short to read boring books, don't you think?

eating: just inhaled a giant just out of the oven chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice-cream. need i tell you that it was absolutely divine? 

looking forward to: the warmer days of spring. temperatures were a little warmer today, so Ryan and i were able to go out on a walk after dinner. there was still a little bit of chilliness in the air, but i didn't need to bundle up at all. it was lovely just to be able to go on a walk. walks with Ryan are my favorite, so i can't wait for the days to be consistently warmer so we can take more daily walks. 

thinking about: being intentional - whether with relationships, blogging, writing, art and really just about anything in life. how easy it is to sometimes just go with the flow and i think we miss so many opportunities when we do that. we almost get lazy or apathetic. just as important as it is to savor every minute of sweet life we are given, i think a part of savoring life is being intentional with the time that we are given. i think i might have to unfold these scattered thoughts in a longer post so be on the look out for that one.

loving: these blogs - some new and re-discovered favorites: this. that. and this one, too. also this thick, beautiful coral scarf from my sweet friend, Dawnelle! be sure to check out her adorable shop here.

and you, my friend, what are you up to these days? if you have a currently post, feel free to link it up - i always love reading them! and as always, thanks to Danielle and her incredible inspiration behind this post. 

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Combo Giveaway ft Kintage and Lovely Little Whimsy!

i am sitting here rubbing my hands together - first because Georgia has proved to be chillier than normal and this sweater shirt is just not doing its trick. second, i am super giddy about today's fabulous giveaway by two super fabulous sponsors. once you see what they are giving away, i think you'll start rubbing your hands together, too - for good luck! 



find them via shop / facebook / twitter / instagram
giving away one of their everyday maxi skirts in blue or black!

*exclusive discount code: MUCHLOVEILLY for 10% off of your entire Kintage order!* 

carina of lovely little whimsy.

find her via blog / shop / twitter / facebook
giving away $15 shop credit and one month of blog ad space on Lovely Little Whimsy (valued at $29).

*exclusive discount code: ILLY15 for 15% off of your entire order!*


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers.
Winner will be announced February 28th, 2013.

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

p.s. the winner of the Lulu's $100 Shop Credit giveaway is Amber Cannon! Shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize. congrats to Amber and thank you, Lulu's for a rocking giveaway! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Copy Cat Closet: Floral Prints

 dress: f21 / jacket: c/o oasap / tights: we love colors / wedged boots (last season): c/o Blowfish Shoes / scarf: c/o Snowdrift Designs

every week over at the fabulous blog of my sweet friend, Natalia, she hosts a super fun link-up called Copy Cat Closet. every Thursday she sends out an newsletter to all the participants on what is the Copy Cat Closet challenge of the week. on the following Wednesday, the participants link-up their own blog posts on how they personally styled up the challenge. and this week week, Natalia graciously asked me to be the guest host - woohoo!

as the guest host, she let me pick out what the challenge of the week would be and i picked floral prints! with spring just around the corner, i thought it would be fun to see how everyone styles up their favorite florals that have been hanging out in their closets through the winter! or if you are like me, i love styling floral prints in the winter, giving some bright, fun flair through dark, gloomier months.

so if you are new to Much Love, illy, welcome to my part of blog world and thanks so much for joining in this super fun challenge! i cannot wait to see all of your fun looks! OR if this is the first time you heard about this challenge, it's not too late to join. just link-up with the rest of us below and have fun blog-hopping to see all the floral print bloggers!

note: link-up does not open up until 12:00am, February 20th.

be sure to head over to Natalia's blog to check out my advice on how to best wear floral prints! and if you want to join in on future, sign up for the Copy Cat Closet email below:

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

i got a feeling...

...if you got - uh, i mean, have - a feeling that we would make a fabulous partnership, whether it's to promote your blog or your biz, then you are in luck! sponsorships slots have opened up for the month of March, so shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com for more sponsorship info. also giveaway and features  are limited to one a week, so if that is something you re interested in, contact me asap because those always go fast

and now i'm off to jam to some Black Eyed Peas.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Sunday, February 17, 2013

december seventeen two oh twelve.

 photos by Sean Hower Maui Wedding Photographer of Hower Photography

i still can't look at these pictures without experiencing pure elation. the entire whirlwind of that week from Ryan surprising me to traveling to Hawaii to getting married to my best friend on a beach in South Maui at sunset, all of it was an absolute dream come true. i hope you enjoy these snapshots (captured by the incredible Sean of Hower Photography - who was absolutely phenomenal) as much as we love looking at them again and again.

and if you want to see more pictures from our wedding, Sean created a gorgeous slideshow of our wedding pictures (with soothing Jack Johnson playing in the background). click HERE or scroll down below! enjoy!

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

p.s. for those who have inquired and might inquire, my wedding dress is from Red Velvet two seasons ago. as soon i saw it was for sale, i fell in love with it and bought it. i carefully laid it away in my closet, ready to go for the day we would elope. there could not have been a more perfect dress for my dream wedding. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

With a Little Help From My Friends: Love Edition

after a couple of months of holiday and wedding craziness, i am super giddy to bring back a brand new edition of a With a Little Help from my Friends, a serious where i pose a serious or not-so serious question and have some blog friends and readers help me out with answering the question! it's also a super fun way for me to introduce you to some of my favorite blog reads and dear friends. and if you missed the past editions of With a Little Help be sure to check out this one, that one and oh, this one, too!

so this week's question on the table (drum roll, pls!):
I am a firm believer that Valentine's Day is not the only day to celebrate love. What are 3 of your favorite ways to SHOW love to another person? And what are 3 ways you FEEL most loved by another person?

to show love:
- Writing notes, sending a text, or giving a gift on a random occasion to encourage them.
- Spending quality time with a friend, asking them out for coffee or inviting them over for dinner.
- Figuring out a person and knowing exactly how he/she likes to be loved. 

to feel loved:
- I am a mix of being a words of affirmation type of person - whether spoken or handwritten - and a quality time person especially over hours of laughing and talking over a cup of coffee.
- Being with my husband, laughing over the same jokes, dreaming the same dreams and living life together.
- When I think about Jesus and his sacrifice for me on that cross - that is ultimate love.

moriah of Moriah Makes.

to show love:
- Buying someone their favorite coffee. I love being a gift-giver. 
- Being there for people when they need a helping hand. I consider myself a "helper" and love serving others when they need it most.
- Quality time with people that I love. There's nothing better than going for a walk, talking about life, and just being a listener once in a while. 

to feel loved:
- When my husband makes an amazing meal for our family. He's a much better cook than I am, so this is always a treat!
- Quality time with my husband. Include a couch, a movie, and two giant bowls of vanilla ice-cream (loaded with fruit and chocolate chips), and I'm set.
- Any act of service, if it's doing the dishes, vacuuming the carpet, or changing a dirty diaper. I'll take that over roses any day!

krista of Saturated Canary.

to show love:
-I love to give gifts.  That is something I really enjoy, especially if I know it will be a complete of those 'no-reason-at-all' gifts.  I think that is a very real way to show others I am thinking of them during my day.  
-I often show love to my children through adventures.  Being spontaneous.  Making a cool memory with them.  Like driving down a dirt farm road just to see where it leads...or going to a late movie on a Friday night... or doing a fun, surprise day trip.  Memories of laughter and excitement are ways for them to feel my present love for them throughout their whole lives:).
- I show my husband, Phil, love by setting aside time to spend with him.  Just quiet time, with a coffee.  Talking and laughing.  I know those times are important to him, and he knows I cherish those conversations when I actively make time for them, even during a busy week.

to feel loved:
- Through words.  I am a total Words of Affirmation type of person:)!
- I feel love from my kids, when they just want me close.  I allow them to sleep with me a lot because I love them snuggled next to me.
- I feel loved when I think about Jesus walking this earth and dying on the cross for me.  The fact that he would bring himself into creation, limit himself to the life of humanity, and then rescue me on the cross-- that is enough love to fill my eternity over and over.

dawnelle of Just Dawnelle.

to show love:
-I love giving random little surprises especially when they aren't expecting anything and then you give them something really sweet!
-Bombarding them with lots of little notes, messages, emails, texts. When I was dating my husband, for Valentine's one year, I sent him a box full of almost 100 little kids valentines with something I loved about him written on each one. It took him almost an hour to go through them all.
-Surprising them at work or home, but when they aren't expecting it. Just showing up to say hello!  (haha I guess I like surprises... )

to feel loved:
-Oh I love when someone will take me out to do something fun or just include me in whatever they are doing. I used to love as a kid when I would get to go out with my mom for a day of fun!
-Helping me with my children. Nothing says you are loved than someone holding my babies and caring for them like they are their own.
-Surprises... I love to be surprised with pretty much anything, little gifts, notes, outings... anything.

mindy of Marigold Road.

to show love:
My top favorite way of showing love is carving out uninterrupted time for that person. Secondly, I most easily show love by uplifting the person through sincere words of encouragement. And my last favorite way is doing something special that's a bit outside my comfort zone.

to feel loved:
I feel most loved (by Shawn) when he spends uninterrupted time with me, affirms me through words, and gives me a small gift like a sticky note on the mirror or a Butterfinger candybar, without being prompted.


hope you were as inspired as i was reading through these gorgeous ladies' (inside and out) answers to this week's question! now don't let Valentine's Day be the only day we show love to those we love the most - let's keep the holiday rolling all year long, good people! 

what about you friend? what are your favorite ways to show love and to feel loved?

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

happy day of massive love, good people.

photo by Hower Photography, Maui Wedding Photographer

whether you have someone special in your life or you are running solo, i hope your day is filled with love and surrounded by the people who are most special to you. today is an extra special Valentine's Day for me and Ryan because it's our first one we celebrate it as husband and wife and the first one in a couple of years that we did not have to road trip to celebrate the holiday - so the fact that we are together is celebration enough.

what do you have planned today, my friend?

much love.
{happy valentine's day, friend.}

p.s. we got our wedding pictures in the mail this week! i plan to do one big ole obnoxious post of them next week. hope that's alright with you, good people! if not, then...oh, well. i'm posting them anyways, you loveless person you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Walking Dead is on my mind when...

sweater: c/o Lulu*s / skirt: Belk / flats (last season): c/o Bait Footwear / acorn necklace: c/o Pretties by Meg  

 ...we go on a walk at the park on the runner's path and see a group of people in their walking attire (we are talking hands swiftly moving back and forth at their sides, sweatbands, and iphones blaring music without headphones - these people are hardcore and move in herds) and i grab Ryan's hand and tell him we need to take a different path because all the walkers are coming!

i know, i know. i crack myself up sometimes.
hey, Ryan found me amusing so don't be hatin'. 

much love.
{happy wedneday, friend.}