Sunday, March 31, 2013

emerald green outfits times 3, plastic eggs and easter goodness overload.

 dress: c/o Tailor and Stylist / tights: We Love Colors / shoes (last season): c/o Blowfish Shoes / lipstick (park): c/o Radiant Cosmetics / nails (cute as a button): Essie

so people who run into me at church probably think i am a leprechaun at heart because i realized as i got ready for church that i have worn emerald green outfits nearly three sundays in a row. (i dare you not to look back on my monday outfit posts to confirm this. *wink*) as a lover of color, it's really hard for me to choose an all-time favorite color, but if i did, i would have to go with green - so of course, it's not necessarily a bad thing that i have so much of it in my closet right now. and this dress from my friends at Tailor and Stylist is so fun, i couldn't help but rock it as my Easter dress! love!


in other news, we had a very delightful Easter Sunday. we went to the early Easter service at church, which is one of my favorite parts of any Easter. as much as i love the candy, the easter eggs, and dressing up for the holiday, being at church to celebrate and remember the resurrection of my Lord Jesus - there is nothing more spectacular. like Christmas, i believe that it is something that we should celebrate every single day in our daily lives, but there is something very special when God's people come to celebrate it together.

following church, the whole family got together at my in-laws house to enjoy a very delicious Easter lunch (prepared by mother-in-law). there was lots of eating and laughing involved - and of course a lot of Lily Rose cuteness.

~ having too much fun with Lily's easter basket ~

~ Butler sisters // my beautiful sister in law, Cricket and me ~

 ~ an Easter egg hunt with little Lily // isn't she growing up so fast?! ~

 ~ Easter family pictures under the cherry blossoms ~

~ me and my hottie of a husband ~

i hope that wherever you may be - whether surrounded by family or friends - that you had a wonderful Easter! even more so, i hope that you too may know the incredible, sacrificial love of Jesus, who loved me and you so much that He gave up His life on a ugly, bloody cross and rose again from the dead that we too may live life. He is risen!

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Matthew 28:6

much love.
{happy easter, friend.}

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

sometimes, always and never.

pens and pencil case: c/o Asian i-Candy 

sometimes i believe i can live off of donuts and cereal.
sometimes i do live off of donuts and cereal.
sometimes i think it would be fun to have a house full of kids (note that i said sometimes.)
sometimes i can go without a few hours of sleep especially if creative adrenaline had something to do with it.
sometimes i wish Ryan and I could move to the Philippines and be missionaries.
sometimes i pretend i'm on American Idol when i am alone in the apartment, in the car or in the shower.

i always like to dance in my kitchen.
i always finish ever bit of my coffee.
i always lick the spoon.
i always seem to laugh in situations where i am not supposed to laugh.
i always choose the mango flavor - except when cookie dough is an option.
i always talk too fast when i am nervous.
i always can eat french fries.
i always dream big.

i never waste a good opportunity.
i never like too bring food into the bathroom with me.
i never have liked celery very much - or twizzlers.
i never pass up the chance to catch up over coffee.
i never stay awake the entire time on a super long road trip (unless i am driving, of course).
i never want to lose sight of Jesus.

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

p.s. are you Geraldine R. Vinas 'cause you just won the Tailor + Stylist giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize. congrats to Geraldine and thank you, Tailor and Stylist! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away // movie night at The Butlers.

A couple weeks ago, I received a huge package full of goodies from the marketing team of Cirque du Soleil: World's Away. When i was asked to review the DVD, I was super giddy since I have always wanted to see a live performance of Cirque du Soleil. Ryan has been to a couple of them and plans to take me to one in the future since he knows it's something totally up my alley.

Cirque de Soleil: World's Away, produced by James Cameron (one of my favorite directors) takes it's audience on an adventure through some beautiful, mind-blowing worlds. The opening scene introduces us to an unnamed girl who stumbles upon a circus in the middle of a wide open field. She finds herself looking for the Aerlist and in her search for him, she is on a journey through many mysterious and strange yet mesmerizing places.

The ornate costumes, colorful make-up and detailed sets of every new land are absolutely incredible, but beyond that, the talent of these circus performers (I don't even think that is the appropriate name to call them - I believe their talent should fall in a completely different genre, from a completely different world) are unimaginable. I held my breath as these aerialists flew through the air on mere ribbons and tumbling in cages at fantastic speeds and running up and down walls or diving into water that appears to be only inches deep. I can only imagine how much more fascinating and breath-taking it would be to see a live show.

Each act was set to a variety of music styles (some upbeat, some slow and sensual) - and some of the routines were even performed to Beatles' popular songs (these were probably some of my favorites to watch!). The pulse of the music obviously flowed the veins of these performances, becoming one with the world around them.

The package also came with a Girls Night kit - besides the Blue-Ray/DVD, it included a water bottle, t-shirt, necklace, pen, lip moisturizer, caramel corn (yum!), as well as a bunch of circus-inspired pieces like this mask and my favorite, the red clown nose! The Girls Night I was planning for this did not work out, so I got to enjoy watching the movie with Ryan which was just as enjoyable! And as you can tell, we had lots of fun with the kit.

So if you are looking for something light and entertaining, Cirque du Soleil is definitely a recommendation. It will certainly take you to more than many a-worlds away. Happy movie night, friends!

much love.
{happy Wednesday, friend.}

Cirque du Soleil Blue-Ray/DVD and Girls Night Kit were sent to me for review by M80, marketing for Cirque du Soleil. All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 25, 2013

hide your children. thanks to PRSPR kids i may be coming to your house to be your children's personal stylist.

meet PRSPR kids.

PRSPR is an e-shop featuring kids apparel for the kid life. Our mission is to build an attainable brand that resonates with the today parent and kid: the iPad swiping, happiness chasing, socially conscious, Instagram featured little ones. 

i am personally smitten by this adorable shop! i think the clothes are so trendy and stylish, i wish they had these pieces in my size. like this one or these - adult size, please! and with a little niece or nephew on its way, i need her/him to grow super fast so i can get these lovelies for him/her! or i'm thinking that Ryan's niece may be in need of an early birthday present. seriously with this shop, everyone hide your babies or i may be on the way to your house to be their stylist with a shop like PRSPR!

get excited, people because my friends over at PRSPR are generously giving Much Love, illy readers an exclusive discount code! *everyone clap your hands together in glee* use coupon code MUCHLOVE15 for 15% off of your entire order (coupon code valid thru April 7th).

so people, ruuuuuun to PRSPR now. 
and yes, you are oh, so welcome.

you can also find PRSPR via twitter / instagram / and facebook 
be sure to let them know Much Love, illy sent ya! 

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Sunday, March 24, 2013

rebel with a cause.

 cardigan: Belk / lahaina tank: c/o Tailor and Stylist / skirt: Target / tights: We Love Colors / heels: TJMaxx / necklace: c/o Le Mode Accessories / lip gloss (elsa): c/o Radiant Cosmetics 

whenever it's raining, i like to combat the gloominess with bright colors. it's my way of shaking my fist at the gloominess and say, you can't bring me down. so out comes the colorful clothing and bright lipstick. but i have to be honest, i ended up subcuming to the gloom eventually. after church, this girl slipped out of this cheerful attire and into a pair of yoga pants. but don't you worry, i kept rocking the red lips and found my most colorful hoodie and i didn't even take a nap. i am such a rebel.

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Thursday, March 21, 2013

fizzled brain.

 dress (last season): c/o Stitched and Adorned / sweater: c/o Lulu's / tights: We Love Colors / lipgloss (elsa): c/o Radiant Cosmetics / panda earrings: c/o Asian i-Candy / ring: Forever 21 / back zipper boot: c/o Minnetonka 

to be honest, it's almost the weekend and my brain is a little fizzled. 
not too much to say other than the following facts:

- today was a heck of a good day
- wore the above outfit and i believe that i could live in it forever
- currently deciding on dessert: it's between a pint of mango sorbet or leftover PB pie from last night's dessert
- panda earrings should be worn on date nights to Panda Express
- excited that Scarlet and Clockwork Princess are finally out and cannot wait to read them both
- lindsay vonn and tiger woods do not make my list of world's cutest couples
- The Hobbit could have been a better movie if it wasn't 3 hours long
- getting books on hold from the library feels like i won a prize
- looking forward to watching Les Miserables again

hope you have a fantabulous weekend, friend!

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

p.s. my goldenrod poppies are still on sale for a heck of a deal and for a limited time only over at Brickyard Buffalo!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

it's okay...

~ top: via Lulu's / necklace: via Le Mode Accessories ~

...that i cover my eyes and (partially) my ears whenever i watch a scary or intense movie or tv show.

...that i have to clean the bathroom on Wednesdays or else my week feels off schedule.

...that i can't remember whether or not i've used this picture in a blog post before.

...that i am a better listener when i doodle or draw all over my notes.

...that i need my cup of coffee and an hour to wake up to kick start my day (not a morning person).

...that i check my closet before bed every night, specifically for walkers.

..that i am emotional and sensitive and cry at least once a week (this can be triggered by a tv commercial or by a situation).

...that my husband has to keep me accountable with flossing and daily vitamins.

...that i don't finish a book if it doesn't keep my attention by the second or third chapter.

...that i can totally wear a song out, listening to it over and over again, but can never remember all of the lyrics for the life of me

...that i get easily addicted to games like Candy Crush and at one time Angry Birds or Temple Run.

... that i cannot break the habit of being a blanket-stealer (sorry, Ryan!).

...that i love McDonalds, fried foods, and just about anything health freaks roll their eyes at.

saw this super fun post idea via Beauty and the Bilyeu's!
what about you? what are you OKAY with? 

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

sponsor love + giveaway with Tailor and Stylist.

meet tailor and stylist.

What happens when a tailor and fashion stylist fall in love?  A beautiful story is sewn together, with chapters told in fashion forward tailoring and effortless style.  Indeed, we really were founded by a tailor husband and fashion stylist wife, and this is our true fashion love story!

Our look is polished and ladylike.  We believe that sophistication is sexy, and our feminine pieces effortlessly exude allure.  Our figure-flattering clothes make a girl look - and feel - like the confident, powerful style maven she truly is!  We love timeless and nostalgic pieces that have been given a modern twist and edgy styling.  

 The Tailor & Stylist Spring 2013 Lookbook was shot at a magical English garden, where artists live in an Airstream, bathe in outdoor clawfoot tubs, and create amongst koi ponds and lush foliage.  The lookbook features the T&S spin on spring's classiest trends, including ruffles, black & white, and nautical inspirations.  We were inspired by the Maya Angelou poem "Phenomenal Woman" for this lookbook because there is so much beauty in every single woman - and we hope that our lookbook celebrates every facet of feminine beauty. 


I am super giddy about today's giveaway! Tailor and Stylist is so generously giving away $40 of T + S shop credit to one of you very lucky Much Love, illy readers! i am absolutely smitten by their newest look book and pieces, so good luck to you as you try to narrow down your favorites! it's a toughie, i tell ya.

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers through March 26th. 
Winner will be announced on March 27th. 

{don't want to wait?}
use coupon code firstweek15 FOR 15% off of your entire Tailor and Stylist order! it's only valid until March 22nd, so be sure to *run* to Tailor and Stylist

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Brickyard Buffalo Deal Feature!

super exciting news, friends! Much Love, illy is one of the featured deals this week over at Brickyard Buffalo, the ever so popular pop-up shop showcasing all sorts of incredible online deals. and what makes this even more exciting is the shop favorite, Goldenrod Poppy Garland Headband, is 40% off (only $7.80 a headband!) - which I have never offered a discount so low, so do take advantage of this price at a limited time (one week)!

and if you wouldn't mind, help me spread the word!? *bats eyelashes* i would love to be able to sell all 100 of these babies, so i could use any help i can get. (if not, all my friends and families can expect to get poppy garland headbands for all upcoming birthdays and christmases in the next few years. there is a plus side to everything. *wink*) for those that have already spread the word this morning of the launch, thank you! it means so much to me. i am continually amazed by your support. you rock my face off! 

click here for the DEAL. 

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Sunday, March 17, 2013

every st. patty's day.

dress: belk / belt: forever 21 / tights: c/o We Love Colors / clutch: Sew Caroline / sneaker wedges: c/o Blowfish Shoes / bracelet: c/o Posh Locket

every st. patrick's day, ryan takes me out for a shamrock shake. it's been our little tradition and i look forward to it every year. today, we sat in the car with the windows rolls down and the radio blasting, spontaneously dancing and then lowering the volume to talk or people watch those coming in and out of Mickey Dee's.

and every st. patrick's day, i think about my first painful pinch because of my lack of green one year. there was a boy i knew back in the 3rd grade - who happened to be in the same class as me at school and in my Sunday School class at church. i always found him so annoying, since he was such a tease to me and to all the other girls. he also liked being the center of attention, the class clown at school and at church - and i remembered that irked me so much because i didn't think he was that funny.

 on one particular st. patrick's day, i went to church in one of my favorite pink dresses. i really wanted to wear that dress even if it wasn't green, but i figured i could get away from it since there were green leaves included in the floral pattern of the dress. i thought, surely, i won't get pinched because i am technically wearing some green.

i walked into Sunday School and guess, who was marching his way to me that morning with his fingers stretched out towards my bare arm? before i knew it, the class clown of my school and church (and was apparently also the St. Patrick's Day-make-sure-you-were-wearing-green cop) pinched me with a very satisfied grin. i yanked my arm away and screamed him, i'm wearing green! 

no, you're not! he obnoxiously laughed and walked away, off to stalk his next green-less victim.

do you have any st. patty's traditions or stories? 
did you wear green on st. patty's this year?
if you didn't, i hope you were able to dodge any heartless leprechauns! 

oh, btw - did you hear Google Reader is shutting down this summer?
 i would love if you continued following Much Love, illy over at BlogLovin'. thanks, friends! 

Follow on Bloglovin

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Thursday, March 14, 2013

hashtag five things.

coventry jacket c/o of Tailor and Stylist (which happens to be on SALE right now!) / brrr! it's still cold in GA! i thought spring was here to stay!?!

so i have a confession: i am really bad about responding to instagram challenges (#widn and #5things and so on and so forth) that i get tagged with 'cause they pop up and i'm all like, i'm totally going to do this! but then the notification disappears and i completely forget. i really do not mean to ignore you and i'd hate for anyone to think that! so since i've been seeing 5 things pop up all over blogs, i thought this would be a fun band-wagon to jump on and in a very slow response to the past instagram challenges i have been tagged in. without further adieu...

1. i am always cold...or maybe i always end up living with people who like living in ice-box habitats (aka my parents, roommates, and now husband). i have a green blanket  that i burrito myself in whenever i am in the living room or walking around the apartment, which ends up looking like a cape and Ryan starts dying laugh 'cause i then remind him of Star Wars or some super hero. we also have two extra blankets for me to layer on top of the mink blanket that we already have in our bedroom. (however, i do hate wearing socks to bed so being cold is def the lesser of two evils.)

2. my first memory of my life is watching E.T. with my Lola (tagalog for grandma). i remember sitting with her in our living room, watching E.T. feeling so sad and crying my eyes out. i think she was crying, too. this is probably why it does not surprise my parents with how emotional i get when i watch any movie (or commerical).

3. i am 100 percent Filipina. most people think that i am Hispanic, Hawaiian or possibly half-Filipino (they always guess that my dad is white). both of my parents are Filipino. i was born on an American base in the Philippines and went to an American school and later, when i was 5 years old, moved to the States. so as proud as we are of our Filipino background, none of us sadly do not speak Tagalog. i do understand a lot of it and am able to translate from Tagalog and English, which is a skill that i was able to use on past missions trips. i also have a very soft spot for Filipino foods - especially halo-halo, leche plan and pansit!

4. Ryan says that my sisters, mom and i have what is called "the gambooie stare." i never realized this until i met Ryan and not until he met my mom and sisters. apparently, when something shocks, displeases or surprises us, we give the look - or excuse me, "the gambooie stare." it's not very attractive, i admit. i guess you'll have to meet me in person to know what this is. or if you do know me, my mom and my sisters, i think you would know what Ryan is talking about. i started catching myself doing it and now it makes me laugh everytime especially if Ryan is around. (p.s. Gamboa was my maiden name and turned into Gambooie when Ryan's mom mis-pronounced my last name, so now the name kind of stuck.)

5. i used to have the worst fear of dogs - like hyper-ventilating, close to tears, and climbing on tables and chairs to get away from them. Ashley, one of my childhood best friend can testify to this. i used to ask her mom to keep their dog (an itty-bitty dachshund mind you) away from me while i ran to Ashley's room because the little dog scared the crap out of me. it didn't matter if your dog was little, huge, cute or ugly, they all freaked me out. i was always on the lookout for higher ground. and i don't know what happened but eventually, i lost my fear of them. maybe it was when i realized that really were man's (and woman's) best friend. (and most of you know that our family is a little more than obsessed with our family dog, Peyton - so yeah, the fear of dogs is forever gone.)

what are 5 random things about you, my friend? if you've written a 5 things post, i'd love to see - just include the link in the comments or just write out 5 random things in the comment itself. can't wait to see!

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

p.s. are you Chelsea Thom 'cause you just won the Alisha + Brandon giveaway!?! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com  to claim your prize. congrats to Chelsea and thank you, Alisha for a fabulous giveaway!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the joy of reading.

~ some of mine and Ryan's childhood books ~

One of my favorite childhood memories is my mom reading to me and my sister, Kristine, before bed every night. We went through so many books - from I Love You Forever to The American Girl series to anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder or C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I can remember my mom's voice was ever so gentle with her Tagalog accent emphasizing every word and always made me feel so at peace, never wanting to leave her side. With blankets and pillows wrapped snugly around me, I laid my head against her shoulder, while Kristine on her other side. Both of us pointed at the pictures or laugh, squeal or groan at the words Mom read outloud. There were lots of tears and tissues when we read through Addy's story from the American Girl series and lots of giggles when Laura and Mary used the pig bladder as a ball.  Then when Mom was pregnant with the third baby in the family, we made sure to include her in our story time. Kristine and I would take turns reading to Ashley, our little mouths and the books close to Mom's protruding, round stomach as if Ashley could see the colorful books we read to her, Though she might not have seen the pictures, we all knew that she could hear us.

Eventually I learned to read entirely on my own. My first chapter book i read was Charlotte's Web. I will never forget how happy i felt when i finished it. I felt so proud and it only made me hunger for more books. Every night, I crawled into bed at 9:00 pm and my parents gave us a half hour to read until lights out at 9:30. I kept a watching eye on the clock, counting down the minutes, dreading for mom or dad to tell me it was time to turn out the lights because i wanted to read just one more page. On some nights, i was able to get them to fudge, giving me until 9:45...but only sometimes.

And here I am, 28 years old, and the bed side lamp stays on until the wee hours of the night because you will still find a book in my hands - and stacks of them on the bookshelf and on my nightstand. I am so grateful for my mom and how she encouraged my sisters and me in our love for reading. It makes me look forward to sharing that same love of books with my future niece or nephew that will be making his/her appearance very soon. Or when Ryan and I start our own family one day, I look forward to reading to my own protruding belly because no matter how crazy I might look, I believe that it is never too early to introduce anybody to the joy of reading.

what were some of your favorite books growing up? did you grow up reading or was the world of books something you fell in love with later on in life?

 much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Monday, March 11, 2013

when wisdom made its appearance like Punksatony Phil.

 dress: Belk / tights: We Love Colors / moccasins: c/o Minnetonka  / infinity scarf: H+M 

today started off as a pretty blaaaah day. not a bad one mind you, just blaaah - which is pretty typical of Mondays, a universal truth. at first, i could feel it start to egg at me, glaring back at my barely touched to-do list and the pile of unfinished headbands on my desk. the spring weather, which got us all excited over the weekend, decided to take a leave of absence and usher in some dark clouds, winds, and gloom in its place. oh, March, you can be such a tease. and Ryan's niece came over to visit so i was a little pre-occupied with watching her draw on a dry-erase board (squiggle, squiggle, erase, squiggle, squiggle, erase) and run around the living room and kitchen with furry, easter bunny ears. we also had fun doing a little photo shoot for her easter card - dressing her up in a denim jumper, a cute pink bow, and using an easter basket and bright colorful plastic eggs as props. 

not that Lily was what hindered me from my to-do list at all. actually, with how adorable she is, she has permission to "interrupt" anytime - it was my own lack of motivation this afternoon when i finally settled down in front of my desk and list of things to do. now i did get through most of it, but was unable to tackle the larger things on my list which started to give me that no feeling. 

yes, that feeling where i feel my stress levels go up just enough for the edginess to come out of my voice and the patience oozing out of me like a tube of toothpaste that didn't mean to squeeze out so much at one time. 

then just as i could feel the exasperation reach its max, glancing at the clock as it clicked over to four zero zero, i let out a deep breath that i had been holding for way to long when this thought crossed my mind: you cannot measure days by what you do. i can't remember if i read that in a book somewhere or i heard it in some sermon - or if some wisdom buried super deep inside of me just decided to make it's appearance like Punksatony Phil, but wherever that thought came from, i needed to be reminded of it.

then i started to think about the future. about ministry or a career. about a house. about (gasp) children. about other things that need to be cared for besides myself, my husband and my own to-do list. if the bathroom doesn't get cleaned or my workout doesn't get completed, will it really be the end of the world?!

i am learning that my days must be measured - or valued or counted as successful - by more than crossing things off my list. though that is one of the best feelings in the world in my book, i want to go to bed at night and think back through my day, measuring it by how much i loved God, my husband, my family and other people. i want to love every bit of life that i have been given - whether expressing myself through art and writing, enjoying the sunshine (when it's around, of course) while on a walk with my husband, laughing with my sisters on the phone, or savoring that spiced vanilla latte from Starbucks. i want to look back and know that i lived life fully and in the moments, not defined by my to-do lists.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Sunday, March 10, 2013


top: forever 21 / skirt: c/ o eshakti (use code MCHLVELLY for 20% off thru 3/20) / tights: we love colors / shoes: c/o Blowfish Shoes (last season) / necklace: c/o Le Mode Accessories / lip gloss (elsa) : c/o Radiant Cosmetics / bracelet: c/o Posh Locket 

loving life and the warmer spring temperatures here in Georgia.
eating lots of salad lately. i think it's the change of warmer weather that is making me crave it more.
obsessed with this midi length skirt from eshakti. i've never owned one this length before but i think i'm obsessed with it. it's def flirty in it's own way and the loud pop of grass green makes me giddy about shamrock shakes and all things green next sunday - this skirt is super fun to twirl around in.
watching season 2 of Parenthood. never thought i'd get into this show but i am completely hooked. love that it's all about family, and the characters truly pull you in and know how to make you cry or cheer.
reading Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamont. it's actually my second time to read it and she can still suck me in with her raw honesty and hilarious wit. i also finished re-reading The Faith of a Writer by Joyce Carol Oats, which is def a book i recommend for any other writers out there. i love her brilliant insight on the world of writing, particularly fiction and short stories. 
learning a whole freaking lot, so much so that i don't really know how to put it down on paper just yet. i've written lots in my journal but if i were to hand you my journal, i think it might sound like a whole lot of pieces to a puzzle that are slowly being pieced together. and it hasn't all been cupcakes and pretty flowers - there is def some pain and disappointment and doors closing that comes through any learning process; however i actually find it all exciting rather than confusing because i sense that God is really working in my life in this season. i just can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

what are you currently up to, friend? and if you have your own currently list, include it in the comments - i'd love to see! as always thanks to dani for the inspiration behind the currently posts. 

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}