Wednesday, July 31, 2013

get carded. i did.

oh, no. not in that way. Hallmark carded me with their Get Carded challenge! i was referred to them by Cricket who knows my love for handwritten notes. the challenge basically is mailing out 7 cards for 7 days to 7 people!  

 this was a super fun challenge to tackle because i wanted to be intentional already about writing handwritten notes to family and friends. i think life gets so busy and so fast paced, it's often easier to send a text or an email and forget about the thoughtfulness of a handwritten note. this challenge reminded me of the joy of writing and from what my friends and family have told me, they loved receiving random cards in their mailbox. i mean, who doesn't love a good snail mail?


Hallmark has so generously offered one of you readers the opportunity to try the Get Carded challenge! if you are interested, leave me your email address in the comments and i'll send your info their direction and they should be in contact with you asap! also be sure to take advantage of the coupon code BLOG30 for 30% off of your order throughout this entire year! 

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

sponsor love + WINNER'S CHOICE giveaway with Blowfish Shoes.

We think personal style is just another form of self-expression...and we make shoes for creative girls who can put together a look with effortless originality. Blowfish takes a break from the ordinary and a cue from the past. There's something unexpected in every shoe we create, just as there's something unexpected about every girl who wears them.

as an avid shoe lover, i am obsessed with my Blowfish Shoes. they have one of those sites that i could browse forever since they have so many color options and a variety of shoe styles. and with every single pair of Blowfish Shoes that i own, they are made from the utmost quality which i especially appreciate when i wear out their shoes as often as i do. if you have never heard of them before, trust me - you will become obsessed, too!


and today my incredible, spectaculous friends over at Blowfish Shoes is giving away a pair of any Blowfish Shoes. you can pick out something swag for these hot summer days (these sandals are my fave!) or take a peek through their new Fall arrivals (just got these boots and they are to die for!) did you get that, people?! we are talking WINNER'S CHOICE! eye a pair that you love - and wah-la! - it gets shipped right over to your house. this giveaway is that awesome! 

Giveaway is open to US Much Love, illy readers thru August 7th.
Winner will be announced on August 13th.

{don't wanna wait?}
use coupon code ILLY15 for 15% off of your entire Blowfish Shoes order! 

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Monday, July 29, 2013

country roads, take me home to the place where i belong.


last saturday, the Butler clan made a trip out to the country at my sister-in-law's parents' house. we spent the morning riding four-wheelers (yeaaaaah, the best! i told Ryan we need to get a motorcycle!), picking pears and crab apples, and stuffing ourselves full of a delish home-cooked meal (courtesy of Cricket's incredible parents!). oh, and you know me - addicted to gifs as seen below.

~ wheeeeee!!! i think momma was having more fun than lily ~ 

~ the duo butler brothers rock some mr. roboto action ~ 

i loved this little four-wheeler. ryan and i rode through the woods on the property and also flew through some of the nearby roads. we loved every bit of it. i told him we need to get a motorcycle and then drive it like this all the way to Chicago. gaaaah, i wish.

dude, i love saturdays like these. it was great to get away from the pace of everything, breath in some fresh, country air and spend time with family. love it! 

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Friday, July 26, 2013

6 things.

1 // What is one of your silly quirks? oh, man - just one? i have a lot of them, but for the sake of time, we will play along with the rules: i like my coffee hot and feel like i don't get as much caffeine in me if it's lukewarm (which is just nasty) or ice cold. totally psychological, i know but hey, isn't that what makes it a quirk?

2 // Favorite movie, song or tv show? i don't even know why i picked this question because it is always so hard for me to narrow it down - in any of the categories; however, my all time favorite movie that i have never once gotten tired of and have watched literally a million times is Little Women, the version with Winona Ryder as Jo and Christian Bale as Laurie.

3 // What's your favorite beauty secret or product? this is not the most glamorous answer, but good ole Vaseline's  petroleum jelly for my lips. i have always have sensitive skin which includes easily chapped lips. it keeps my lips moisturized even with a layer of lipgloss or lipstick on top of it.

4 // What's your favorite go-to outfit? Love the one in green pleated skirt and floral tank. it's comfortable and cool but still fun and colorful. i like rocking it with a pair of sandals or moccs.

5 // What's a current dream you are hoping to achieve? This might be an answer within an answer, but i hope to accomplish my "things to-do before i'm 30 list." it's one i wrote in college and stumbled across it in an old journal the other day, so i will def share that with you guys sometime in the near future as my 29th birthday is jut around the corner!

6 // What's your favorite part about marriage? since Ryan and i were long-distance for over 2 years, i believe that i made us appreciate the little things...such as saying goodnight and waking up next to each other or cooking dinner together or even running errands together.

the lovely Shio of Sweetnessaboos tagged me (thanks, girl!) i tag Sandy, Ashley, Cricket, TiffanyNicole, Becca and whoever else wants to play! just answer these 6 out of the 12 questions below:

1.// What is one of your silly quirks? Or something silly that you get excited about.
2.// Favorite movie, song, or tv show?
3.// Any funny stories to share that has happened recently?
4.// Tell us something we don't know about you.
5.// What's your favorite beauty secret or product?
6.// What's your favorite or go-to outfit? (pics please)
7.// What's a personal trial you had to overcome?
8.// What's a current dream that you are hoping to achieve?
9.// What's the coolest thing you've made? (food, craft, anything)
10.// Who or what inspires you?
11.// Share one of your favorite pics. Tell us why it's your favorite
12.// What's your favorite part about marriage? Or what have you learned since becoming married?

  if you do play, leave a comment, i'd love to read your post! 

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

sponsor love + giveaway with Shio of SWeetnessaboos.

meet Shio of SWeetnessaboos.

Hello Much Love Illy readers, I am so excited to be here today doing this giveaway! I have been quite busy these past few months opening up my 2 etsy shops! The first is called Sweetnessaboos which is the same name as my blog; where I sell headbands, headwraps, and jewelry! Soon to be selling more items for kids, which I am super excited for! And then there is my other shop where I sell authentic Native American handmade jewelry made by me! It's pretty rare nowadays to get any Native American jewelry that is real authentic & made by an actual Native American. So I am pretty excited for this opportunity to do so, and excited to see where this little shop of mine takes me! Hope you enjoy this little giveaway and don't forget to come say hello at my blog Sweetnessaboos where I share tid bits of my family life, DIY tutorials, inspiration, a little bit of fashion!!

first off, i love this girl! Shio is the sweetest thing ever - i absolutely adore her blog and her precious family. she also has mad creative skills so be sure to check out her two etsy shops. like she mentioned above, this one is stocked up with darling headbands and hair accessories (so excited about this braided ones!) and this one has gorgeous handmade native american jewelry! so many seriously awesome pieces! and like i already said, Shio is absolute doll so do start stalking following her inspiring blog!


and Shio happens to be giving away two incredibly beautiful necklaces from her Mourning Dove Jewelry shop - one Gold Arrowhead necklace and an Ilene Collar Spike Stone/Bead Necklace (with your choice of color). luuuuucky! and i have to say that second necklace has one pretty name i might add. i might be partial to that one. *wink*

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

{don't wanna wait?}
use coupon code ILLY25 for 25% off of your entire Mourning Dove Jewelry order!

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

the tank says it all, does it not?

 tank: c/o StyleLately (on sale NOW!) / skirt: Belk / moccs: c/o Minnetonka Moccs / watch: c/o Feral watches / lipstick (park): c/o Radiant Cosmetics 

today's to-do list is two post-it notes long, so i must not dilly-daddle (is that how you spell that?) - but the words on the tank is preaching it today (word!), so i am just going to leave it with that. hope everyone is having a rockin' middle of the week! keep it real, good people.

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Sunday, July 21, 2013

rewind + a continued obsession.

 dress: c/o Tailor and Stylist / clutch: c/o Lemode Accessories / heels (illi): c/o Blowfish Shoes / sunglasses: Sunglasses Shop / lipstick: NARS / watch: c/o Feral Watches

i don't know about you but i am having one of those weekends where i really wish we could turn back time just to be able to have the weekend all over again. okay, so maybe that happens every Sunday night but especially this past weekend. i think with Ryan working full time outside of the home and me working from home makes the weekends or any day that we have together even sweeter.


in other news, my obsession with black and white stripes continue with this black and white number. the tank portion of the dress is so perfect for these southern summer days and the striped skirt is just too much fun! and you know me...i love throwing in some color there for the heck of it. no matchy-matchy for me. i even threw some cognac in there. and can we talk about that wrap watch for just a second. oh em gee, where have you been all my life?

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lulu*s collaboration: how to rock a black and white outfit (without looking too bland).

so guuuuuuyysssss, i am super-duper excited about the post we have going on in my little ole part of blog world. today i am collaborating with the incredible and creative people of Lulu*s, talking up a storm on this fun topic: how to rock a black and white outfit (without looking bland). that's right, people! and this the the perfect topic for me...especially when just last night my husband made quite the observation, all your clothes are white and black lately, which of course, follow wither a very emphatic nod of my noggin. you got that right, dear watson. i could most definitely walk onto the set of Beetlejuice and happily be stunt double for Michael Keaton.

but seriously, i LOVE me some black and white. i think there is something classy and crisp about a black and white ensemble. so *clapping hands together* let's dive right on in and let's do this, people!

showcase your black and white pieces. one of  my favorite ways to showcase black and white is to choose either black or white as sort of the background to the canvas. for example with this striped black and white top, i loved making it the center of the outfit by rocking a black tank, black skinny jeans and black sneaker wedges. all the black draws the attention to the top. you can do the same in reverse with white. (psst! i call this my beetlejuice top!) 

including a touch of denim. denim is the perfect go-to for any black and white piece. i suggest going with denim if you prefer a more casual for a morning at the farmer's market or for an afternoon picnic. my favorite chambray tops are the more fitted ones especially if you have a more balloon-shaped or A-line skirt like this one.

add a pop of color. a fun way to add fun to a black and white ensemble is a pop of color - whether it's with shoes or accessories...or maybe even with a bright shade of lipstick. choose something bright and have fun with it! i think color always makes outfits more fun and playful! and i think that these bright turquoise flats did just the trick for this dress (and let's talk about the back - it totally makes the dress, does it not?!)! 

be classic. not every black and white ensemble needs an overload of extra bells and whistles; however one suggestion - remember to break up the black and white between solid colors and prints. this skirt helps unify the black tee with the white moccs. also think classic. think audrey hepburn. you really can't go wrong with sticking with the basics.

~ all highlighted clothing pieces c/o Lulu*s. all opinions are my own ~ 

and you? what are your favorite ways to rock a black and white ensemble? leave your answers in the comments - i'd love to hear them! 

btw if you are loving any of these pieces or anything on the Lulu*s site, be sure to use coupon code MUCHLOVEILLY for 15% off of your entire order (valid for US and Canadian residents, 7/18/2013 thru 7/22/2013). take advantage of this people! happy shopping!

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

isn't it ironic, don't you think?

 tee: c/o Skip N Whistle / skirt: c/o Lulu*s / womens rain boots : c/o Joules

...especially when it's been raining all week long, and that afternoon when you grabbed your camera to take pictures for your outfit post with your new favorite pair of wellies (i totally said that in my mind with a British accent), the sun decides to come out to play? it's just one of those things. but let's be for reals....rain or shine, i love these wellies so much (the stripes are just fab!) that i was going to rock them either way.

most obviously.

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Monday, July 15, 2013

sponsor love + custom monogrammed clutch giveaway with Touch of Serendipity.

meet Ragan of Touch of Serendipity.

Hey friends! My name is Ragan and I blog over at Touch of Serendipity. I am happy to be sponsoring Much Love, Illy this month! My blog is all about life and travel and my love for photography. My husband and I are backpacking through Europe this month, and I will be blogging as I go, so stop by and read about our adventures!


i think this is one blogger's adventures you do not want to miss - especially since she and her husband are gallivanting throughout Europe this summer! Ragan is absolutely adorable! she has the cutest fashion sense, and every bit of her blog screams her love for life, her husband, family and travels. i don't even need to tell you that you have to follow her precious are totally going to want to. 

and today Ragan is so generously giving away one of these uber-sophisticated monogrammed clutch. this is one giveaway where i am jealous of you guysssssss! you get to pick out the color and the font - completely adorable, right?! i'd totally want to rock a coral or an emerald green one in the interlocking font - so fun!


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

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}


 dress: c/o Lulu*s / lipstick (Moscow): Radiant Cosmetics / flats (last season): c/o Bait Footwear 

i might have mentioned this a little while ago but Ryan landed a job back earlier this summer (yahoo!) and it looks like the Butlers are here to stay in the Atlanta area. life has been so transitional for what feels like more than a couple years (including the time that Ryan and i were long-distance) that i almost feel like doing a double-take as we start to set roots in our new home. for awhile we didn't even know if we were going to be staying in GA or if our job-hunt would take us elsewhere - and since i have been home from all the traveling, it feels like reality is starting to slowly set in.

to be honest, it felt a little weird for me - not in a bad way, just different - the whole thing of setting down roots or settling in. the idea has always been foreign to me. being a military brat, i have always been on the go and have in a way grown up, mentally, physically and emotionally prepared for it. and now the thought of making Atlanta home is relieving, a little nerve-wracking, and exhilarating all at the same time. i am excited to see what God unfolds for the us in this next season of life. 


btw the outfit above (obsessed with that dress!) is a sneak-peek to a super fun collaborative post with Lulu*s later this week. be sure to come back to check it out - we are super stoked about it! 

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Thursday, July 11, 2013

on a mission.

 hoodie: c/o Boxie Tees / shorts: GAP / backpack: c/o Chicnova / moccs: c/o Minnetonka 

today my sister-in-law did some mad shopping. we were on a goal to find our dresses for my wedding reception in August. and thank the good Lord...i found a dress - and i discovered it just like my wedding dress. when i tried it on, i knew that was the it dress. now i am on the mad hunt for shoes - the fun only continues, my friends.

and so with all the running around for a dress, i know i am going to sleep real good tonight. so not the most profound or most stylish of outfit posts; however, this was my comfy-on-a-mission-slash-adventure-outfit that i rocked today. when you see me in an outfit like this, you know i mean business - in the looking for a wedding reception dress sort of way, of course.

and ah, yes. this post only proves my continued obsession of summer backpacks. they are my fave.

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

p.s. are you Holly Beach 'cause you just won the EcoShag giveaway?! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize. congrats to Holly and thank you EcoShag for one awesome giveaway!