Monday, September 30, 2013

last day of being 28 years and 364 days old.

 dress: c/o eshakti / boots: Belk / lipstick: MAC (ruby woo) / ring: pandora (gift from mother in law) / watch: c/o Feral Watches

yeah, it's not the big three oh, but there is something special significant stellar about looking at the last year of your 20's right in the face. i don't exactly feel old (which might have to do with people thinking i'm still in high school - i take it as a compliment and hope these asian genes carry me into my later years in life) but i do feel liberated - from insecurities or worries that i used to have in my early 20s. a lot can happen in 10 years but it is def makes me smile to look back and see how i have changed (or how i have not!) since i first stepped into the twenties. i feel thankful to God and energized for the coming year.


and on two more important notes:
1. that collar on this dress. i swoon.
2. tickets for Catching Fire on sale midnight tonight. you are welcome.

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Friday, September 27, 2013


it's been a l o o o o o o o o o o ng week.
so this is a literal TGIF.

however, there were def some highlights to this week:

...finally busy kick-starting my holiday bazaar inventory.
...had a blast at youth-group with some crazy, fun people on wednesday night.
...enjoyed hanging out with a new friend over a delish dinner of good ole mexican.
...been re-learning graphic design and photo-editing skills through my recent download of photo-shop elements and having fun with my bamboo pen and tablet (aka see above image).
...blessed by your comments on this post from this week.
...actually had fun cooking this week (it's a learning experience for me, people). nail-polish paired with mint and gold.
...flying through season 2 of new girl and PLL.
...loving eleanor + park.
...Jimmy Fallon and JT never disappoint. husband 'cause we are in love like whoa and get to live this crazy life together.
...and in 3 more days, somebody is turning twenty-nine earth years (holla!).

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

orange is the new black.

jumpsuit: c/o Bollare via Line and Dot / cardi: Belk (similar) / leopard heels: Belk (similar) / lipstick: c/o Radiant Cosmetics (Moscow)

tried to watch the show - ain't so much my cup of tea.
but this jumpsuit. it just brought orange to a whole new level for me.

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

p.s. are you Jessica Ebersole 'cause you just won the Pretty Lovely Littles! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize! congrats to Jessica and thank you, Chelsea for one rockin' giveaway! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

the what dids vs. the what ifs

there are times in our lives when we have to leave the past in the past and press forward. it's easy to think through the what ifs and if we are all honest, we all have them. especially when thinks don't work out, you think what if i had gone that direction or what if i didn't make that stupid mistake and then you wonder where you would be today. but we all know that can be one big mess to do that 'cause really, you can't change the past.

but i do believe there are times that it is appropriate and look back. instead of looking at the what ifs, looking at the what dids - the things that did happen. this is probably why i am the biggest advocate for journaling or documenting life (i.e. photography, blogging etc.). personally it is through my journals, those times where i took a piece of the present and captured it into black and white, words scribbled in happiness or sadness or frustration - without hesitation and with rawness of my emotions.

and i have found looking back through past entries, i am brought back to places of hardships and rejoicing and can see them come together in a way that i have never been able to see them before. when i look back, instead of seeing fragments or one mass of a mess, i see something beautiful and orchestrated by the God who i believe has an infinite, detailed plan for my life.

i was reminded of this when i was sharing with a friend what God has been doing in my life - and as i told her the bits and the pieces, i remember in my looking back that God had a purpose for every single moment of that season. it was a season of heartache and disappointment, yet without that season, i would not be the person that i am today.

as the cycle of seasons go, one season passes and here comes another. presently, i am in a whole different season of waiting than i was last year. and waiting really is never fun. like...

...waiting for a doctor's appointment, you just want to get your diagnosis and be walking out the door.
...or while at line at the Mickey-dee's drive thru, you just want your order of large fries and vanilla cone/
...or salivating over that banana bread you just threw in the oven, wishing the delish piece of goodness would be done already

(ha! do you love that i had two food examples in a row! me and mah belly, i tell ya.)

but as we wait (i'm telling this to myself as much as i am telling you, friend), i'm learning to look back at your life and reflect on those moments where God did show up...where God turned something bad into some beyond good...where He made you stronger to prepare you for the season you are in. i think the great philosopher, Kelly Clarkson had a point in that stronger song: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

point made.

so take a look back at the what dids, instead of the what ifs. there have been times that i read back to an old journal entry and could not believe that i missed out on God's presence in that moment. i look back now and see what He was doing then in my life. He was so loud and obvious but i was so wrapped up in my circumstance that i could not even identify His hand in the process.

let's not miss out. so look back for comfort in the present and the future. you might be surprised.

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Monday, September 23, 2013

weekend happenings + there is a possibility i might offend you.

  cardi: c/o Boxie Tees / Paris tee: Urban Outfitters / scarf: c/o Ecoshag / leggings: Forever 21 / watch: c/o Feral Watches / rain boots: Hunter Boots (gift from my sister and brother-in-law)

so last week was a whirlwind and a half and i loved every bit of it. the kinds of days where they are full and that made you feel like you earned your weekend. and the weekend was just as perfect, spending lots of it with the husband...including a breakfast run to Mickey Dee's (becoming a weekend tradition), cool evening walks, and catching up on our favorite tv shows. i also got the chance to grab coffee with one of my super duper close friends and like it happens every single time, we never have enough time to catch up and laugh and drink our coffees. those are the best kind of coffee dates, aren't they? 

and let's discuss last Saturday's uniform (the one in the above photos). 

1. it actually was raining when i wore these rainboots - raining cats and dogs throughout Atlanta. on my way to my coffee date, i had to pull over to the side of the road 'cause i could barely see the street. and hey, not like anyone needs know whether or not it was raining, but i know some people have criticized me on an oh-so-unfortunately popular blog about my wearing rainboots when it's not raining. but even if it wasn't raining, i love my red hunter boots and would have probably ran around town wearing these bad boys. they keep me dry and warm (it's actually autumn now - yipee!) and make me happy.

plus they are the best thing ever for some puddle-jumping action. the end.

2. leggings are actually pants. shock! aw! gasp! yeah, yeah. it seems like this time of the season, people tweet or facebook the status about leggings not being pants. but whatevs. as long as you cover your boot-aaaay and hide any awkward butt-crack action, i think anybody can get away with it.

and i might have just officially offended half of you by that paragraph. movin' on.

3. scarves and cardi wearing season. F I N A L L Y ! (and it def helps that i get to finally wear this chunky, amazingly warm infinity scarf from my sweet friend, Tania of Ecoshag!) i seriously cannot tell you how happy this makes me. and you are all probably sick of me talking about the weather around here but it really is about time. the rain all summer long and the sticky, humidity was just getting so old. i was just getting so tired of being all layered up and then having to practically strip while out and about doing errands. 

first would go the scarf. then the cardi. then the pants. just kidding. i'm part of the never-nude club, so you know how that goes. (just gotta find me some blue paint and rip me more denim shorts...)

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

p.s. are you Jayden H. 'cause you just won the Boxie Tees giveaway! send me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com to claim your prize. congrats to Jayden and thank you, Boxie Tees for one rocking giveaway! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

taking stock.

~ Ryan has been growing this watermelon all summer long. i called it his (other) baby 'cause of all the care and attention he gave it. he cut it from its vine this week so we plan to celebrate the last of summer by indulging in the (literal) fruit of his labor. yum! ~

Making : lots of new headbands and accessories for the shop and for the upcoming Holiday Bazaar i signed up for in November. eeek! 

Cooking : nothing today because Ryan and i are having dinner with some new friends tonight.

Drinking : pumpkin spice lattes (finally!).

Reading: just finished Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay...which i thought was exceptionally good (the last sentence gave me goosebumps!) but heads up for younger or more sensitive readers that it is a little bit on the raw on content and has quite a bit of language. and so since i just finished that, i picked up Eleanor and Park from the library. i've heard mixed reviews on it - so we'll see which side of the fence i end up on. i'm giddy to start it!

Wanting: iPhone 5c in green, please. (birthday count down continues...)

Looking: at my computer screen.

Playing: Bejweled Blitz on my tablet. i'm addicted. it's my new Candy Crush.

Wasting: paper napkins. i am working on not using too many at the same time. bad habit.

Sewing: refer to top of the list under making.

Wishing: to cut my hair super short (posh-spice length or even a pixie cut). 

Enjoying: the cool, crisp fall weather. 

Waiting: for noon when Ryan comes home and we can have lunch together. 

Liking: this new black nail polish by Sally Hansen i've been wearing all week - it lasts forever! 

Wondering: what God has in mind the future.

Loving: my husband more and more every day.

Hoping: that season 4 of Parenthood gets onto Netflix already - and that they bring back Felicity. 

Marveling: the goodness of God. 

Needing: to sit down and write already. not blog-writing, not journal-writing, not to-do list writing...but rather writing-writing. all you writers know what i mean. 

Smelling: hair products. 

Wearing: jeans again. 

Following: too many blogs. 

Noticing: anything plaid. 

Knowing: a huge spoiler of PLL that i am still trying to get over as i watch season one.

Thinking: about a handful of short stories i need to write down. 

Feeling: creative and inspired.

Bookmarking: the Writer's Handbook for 2014 

Opening: a new box of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal 

Giggling: over inside jokes between me and Ryan. 

Feeling: pretty darn good. 

discovered this fun post idea from Sydney who found it via Pip! if you join in the fun, include your list in the comments - i'd love to read it. and remember: be sure to soak up every last bit of summer but be sure to usher and welcome in fall with some apple cider or a psl! 

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

i got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through fire..

 tiger sweater, sunglasses: c/o Choies / shorts: GAP / sneaker wedges (tugo): c/o Blowfish Shoes

...and now i got that Katy Perry song stuck in your head now, didn't i?! that song already gets stuck in my head all day long, but even more so when i wear this new favorite tiger sweater of mine. totes comfy. totes my new fave. and i totes can't believe i'm using totes in this post 'cause totally isn't that long a word to have an abbreviated word. but such is the technological i right? or am i right?


in other news, the weather since Saturday around the Atlanta has been magnificent. i mean, it really finally feels like fall (the season of pumpkins and apple cider and sharpened pencils and knee high socks) - and i am in love. i have been able to run further since i'm not fighting the heat. i love rolling the car windows down to feel the cool air. and my friend, tanya surprised me with a hot pumpkin spice latte (not iced...which just feels wrong to drink an iced pumpkin spice latte. it just is.) - which i was able to thoroughly enjoy since i didn't have to drink it in hot-lanta humidity. and today, i ran errands wearing leggings and a cardi. hallelujah! 

if you are rolling your eyes at me, then i am sorry. but it's about celebrating the little things - however, the ushering of autumn is no little matter, it's big freaking deal. 

can you tell i am excited?

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.} 

Monday, September 16, 2013

sponsor love + giveaway with Chelsea of Pretty Lovely Littles.

 meet Chelsea of Pretty Lovely Littles.

I started Pretty Lovely Littles shortly after I got married.  My entire wedding was handmade and full of crafty things, and I found myself missing staying up late crafting.  I try to create pretty little things that brighten your life whenever you see them--simple, girly things that add happiness to your life. 

 meet Chelsea and be completely smitten by this adorable girl and her blog! her about me section alone made me email her and ask, are you my long lost twin?!  her passion for life and for following the dreams God places in your heart are so contagious - and this is evident through many of her blog post. she also channels her creativity into her cute, whimsical etsy shop called Pretty Lovely Littles, with the coolest handmade decor! these hanging flowers are my absolute fave!


and today Chelsea is so generously offering a $35 voucher to be used in the Pretty Lovely Littles shop! like i said this is my fave, which you could put the voucher towards - or you could even snag this colorful decor or several of these! woohoo! 

Giveaway is open to US Much Love, illy thru September 24th.
Winner will be announced on September 25th. 

{don't wanna wait?}
use coupon code LOVEILLY for 20% off of your entire Pretty Lovely Littles order! 

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Sunday, September 15, 2013

i confess.

 hoodie dress: c/o Boxie Tees / watch: c/o Feral Watches / booties: c/o Blowfish Shoes / bag: Belk / lipstick (park): Radiant Cosmetics 

i confess // i don't understand all of the rules of football, but i love the game. i love screaming and cheering until my throat hurts. i love the goofy commercials. i love the rivalries. and i think i mention this often, but i love the football food.

i confess // this hoodie dress is probably never leave my body this season. so if you come to my house and i'm wearing this to bed and around the house or as i head out to run errands, don't be shocked. it's that comfy and that incredible. don't say you weren't warned. fuh reals, yo.

i confess // i attempted the bang braid last week...and um, yeah. it was bad. i might have to leave bang-braiding and any sort of fancy braiding to the pros. will stick with the normal three-strand one (and even that one needs a load of help).

i confess // i bought a pair of harem pants the other day - with a cool houndstooth print and everything. i rocked them around the house all morning, tried them with just about every pair of shoes i owned....even did a couple of lunge stretches in them to see really how comfortable they were. and they were comfortable. and they made me feel sassy. and made me feel complete in my fashion-bloggingness...but i wasn't feeling it. so i returned them - tags, receipt and all - and felt much better. end of story.

i confess // as much as i love Carrie Underwood (and as the greatest pair of legs in the world, oh em gee), i have to say that Faith Hill's version to the opening song of Sunday Night Football has her beat.

i confess // i have listened to Royals (by Lorde) an unhealthy amount of times. the obsession with this song continues. i might have jammed my "on repeat" button on my ipod.

i confess // i met this girl last week and i want to be her best friend...or her taste-tester. once you see her instagram, you'll want to be her best friend, too. you are welcome.

what do you confess?
*post inspired by my dear friend, Ashley who has the best 'confession' posts around*

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

p.s. are you Alyson Cornman 'cause you just won the Theorium giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com with your mailing address. congrats to Alyson and thank you, Candace, for a rocking giveaway! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

rumor has it...

 swimsuit cover-up: c/o Jordan Taylor Collection (facebook / twitter / instagram) / bag: c/o RedEnvelope / jeans: American Eagle / wedges: Belk 

...that we are supposed to feel fall this weekend.
that's what the weather man has been forecasting all week long.
but while it is still semi-summer, this girl threw on a swimsuit cover up over a tank and paired it with jeans - 'cause the turquoise paired with this tote bag were just too fun to pass up.

just until the weather finally makes up its mind already.

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


 top: c/o Boxie Tees / shorts: GAP / booties (tugo): c/o Blowfish Shoes / headband: c/o Sweetnessaboos / lips: MAC Ruby Woo 

reading: finally, finally, finally finished the last book in the Infernal Devices series (the prequel to The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare). Clockwork Princess. and there is not a series that i could recommend more. i personally think it's way better than the MI series. i just found it more fast paced and i fell more in love with these characters and the story line. and the only reason that it took me forever to finish is that i started reading it at the beginning of this craaaazy busy summer but really had not got a chance to finish until last week. but for reals, so good. and i started a new book that a friend recommended that i am enjoying but to be honest, still holding my breath to see if i'm really gonna really love it before i recommend it...but i'll keep you posted! 

watching: okay, so i was mega bummed over the weekend. i finally started Felicity but then Netflix pulled the plug on i unfortunately, did not even get to finish the first season. but there is a good side: so many people had been recommending Pretty Little Liars. i avoided it for forever 'cause i hate super freaky shows - and the commercials always looked freaky to me...but since Felicity was taken away (waaaah!) i thought i'd give PLL...and now - why did i even start?! WHO IS A?! and it didn't help at all waking up in the middle of the night last night, imagining that A was in the darkest corner of our bedroom! no more PLL before bed, but you can bet i'm gonna keep watching to find out who this person is?! 

loving: the new iPhones that were released, particularly the 5C 'cause i really want that green one. it pretty much was calling my name. i have a blackberry (or like one of my friends call it, a crackberry) and in need of an upgrade next month which so happens to be my birthday month. so yeaaah, i am very late to the game. never owned an maybe this is my year, people. so until then, i'll wipe this drool from my mouth and hope i get one of these in my hands for my birfday (ahem, Ryan? mommy? daddy? santa?). 

wearing: this cozy pullover from my sweet friends at Boxie Tees. the temps are def not screaming autumn around here yet, but i was able to wear it when the temps dropped slightly yesterday evening - but come autumn, i know i will be pulling this bad boy out of my closet on many occasions. it's oh so comfy for evening walks or weekend outings. (don't forget there is a Boxie Tees giveaway happening on the blog this week - as well as a generous discount! check it out here!)

enjoying: RUNNING! who would have thunk, right? i have never enjoyed running. even during all the years in gymnastics, i hated...hated...hated having to do laps of any sorts. in college, i didn't get into a routine of any sort of exercising until later during my junior year and even then, i stuck to the elliptical, stationary bike and treadmills (which ever was available at the gym, really). but since i started running this summer and making it a part of my week, i have started to look forward to it - the feel of my feet hitting the pavement, the music pounding in my ears and the welcomed morning breeze running along with me. who am i?! and like people have been telling me for years, there really is nothing like a runner's high. best.thing.ever.

listening: Royals by Lorde has been on repeat on my ipod - but also whenever it comes on the radio, it's one of those songs that i love to turn up the volume mega loud. also been loving JT's newest, Take Back the Night and Roar by Katy Perry (which is an awesome running song btw!). 

eating: lots of apples, especially these big, juicy honey crisp ones from the farmer's market. it might be my way of trying to egg summer on and bring in some autumn goodness. okay, maybe not. okay, maybe really. autumn, get your butt over here already.

rejoicing: over how i'm done writing all of my wedding thank you notes. i really didn't hate it as much as people said i might...but it does feel really good to have them all made (yup, i'm crazy - i made every single one), stamped and mailed out the door. woohoo! 

what have you been up to lately, friend? write up a currently post like this and include it in the comments below so i can check it out! and as always thanks to Danni for the inspiration behind this post! 

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Monday, September 9, 2013

sponsor love + $100 shop credit giveaway with Boxie Tees.

meet Boxie Tees.

"Boxie – wash, rinse, repeat tees is a resort lifestyle collection born and bred in Los Angeles, California. Beyond creating essentials for the everyday wardrobe, Boxie strives to use eco-conscious fabrics and dyes, work only with local production teams and talents, and stay “Made in the U.S.A”. Owner Tracy Engelien has been working in the garment industry of Los Angeles, CA for 12 years and counting. Call it a mark of the depths of her obsession with what is now today's most essential item of clothing for men and women: The Tee Shirt.

"In 2001, my aunt and uncle called me up to offer me a generous, badly needed job at their clothing company, Grassroots, in Santa Monica, CA. That is when I walked into what became an apprenticeship in the fashion industry and tee shirt world. The moment I started my first day in the warehouse making color swatch cards and answering phones, I was hooked. It has been a very long road, but now I am the owner of my own clothing company where the tee shirt tradition continues.

I love my tee shirt life and love the wonderful emails and messages that I've received over the past few years from boutique owners and customers alike who have purchased a Boxie tee and fell in love too. 
Let the tradition continue!"

Boxie Tees happens to be one of my favorite staples in my closet. during the humid summer months, their tees were the ones that i was constantly grabbing and wearing non-stop - from this white tank to this basic tee. and then this upcoming fall collection of cardigan and pullovers and long sleeves are just as amazing! the quality is perfection and all of it, so cozy! my favorites right now include this (perfect with tights and knee high boots) and that one (for all those cool, fall evenings). as soon as the temps change here in the south, i'm sure i'll be rocking these autumn staples just as often as the summer ones! 


and today Boxie Tees has one generous giveaway for you lucky Much Love, illy readers! they are giving away $100 of Boxie Tee shop credit!!!! that is something worth going craaaazy over! especially if you are like me and oh so ready to update my fall wardrobe. i have been hoarding autumn pieces like craaaazy waiting for the summer air to turn cool and crisp. this giveaway will get you more than ready for it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US, Canadian and EU Much Love, illy readers through September 16th. Winner will be announced on September 17th. 

{don't wanna wait?}

use coupon code MUCHLOVE25 for (wait for it!) 25% off your entire Boxie Tees order and FREE SHIPPING!

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Sunday, September 8, 2013

forgot about these guys.

 dress: Belk / vest: Forever 21 / watch: Fossil / booties: Kim Rogers, Belk (gift from mom) / clutch:  c/o Le Mode Accessories 

so these black booties have been in the back of my closet for the past couple years. i completely forgot about them. my mom bought them for me not this past christmas, but the christmas before. i wore them a few times during the winter months but then as this often happens to me, they found their way to the back of the closet. it wasn't until i moved to GA (way back in January of this year) did i locate them in the deep, dark places of my closet in a yellow Forever 21 bag. then during the move, they got stacked in the back of our walk-in closet and (gulp) i forgot about them until i did some re-organizing of my closet last week. 

while browsing through some blogs and magazines, i found myself being drawn to all the ankle booties making their appearances for fall. i even tried on a couple pairs while out running errands, but then was like wait, a minute. these guys feel familiar. so once again, i ran back into the darkest corners of my closet and there these guys were, almost greeting me with finally, you remembered us! we hugged until i slipped them onto my feet like cinderella and her glass slipper.

goes to show you: don't be quick to toss away clothes or accessories or shoes. you never know if they'll come back in style...and as history often repeats itself (even in fashion), it most likely will. 

fashion is so weird.

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Thursday, September 5, 2013

this and that.

  jean jacket: Urban Outfitters / dress: c/o Tailor and Stylist / cut lace earrings: c/o Noonday Collection / heels: Jessica Simpson

this jacket, i have had it since my freshmen year of college. don't worry. it's been washed many times over. there was a good ole urban outfitters on the corner of rush - and it was the first UO, i had ever been to, the first one that i fell in love with. that jacket has been on many outings, dates, adventures and airports. i remember when i first bought it, it was super tight - but overtime, as Goldilocks said it best, it's now just right. 

that dress may have been the perfect summer dress but it is transitioning into the fall season with me. well, whenever fall decides to transcend over the southern states. any day now. either way, i'm thinking to layer up this baby once September finally cools off - we are talking tights, scarves and booties. but not too covered up of course. we got to have those polka dots in view at all times.

this pair of earrings have a story. they were hand crafted in the Nepal out of blocks of pure silver and gold to help orphans and families around the globe to fight poverty. it is because of Noon Day Collection, an organization with a movement to impact the world in a very creative and powerful way! be sure to check out their site and their gorgeous Fall 2013 Lookbook and with every purchase, you can take part in helping to change this world. 

that mustard pair of Jessica Simpson shoes. i die. a gift from my my sweet mom, who has the best taste ever. i only learned from the best! and the color...another sign that fall must be around the corner, right? maybe if i wear these shoes around enough, it'll cool down and i can finally get myself a hot pumpkin spice latte. crossing all fingers and toes...while rocking my mustard JS heels. 

 much love.
{happy friday, friend.}