Thursday, October 31, 2013

are you insured? 'cause Flo and Mayhem gotcha covered!

last night, Ryan and i got all dressed up for our youth group's Bowl-a-ween night. we came up with this idea a couple weeks ago but wasn't able to gather everything together for it until this weekend - when to be honest, i had a little huge freakout moment 'cause i could not find a white apron anywhere. you would think that would be the easiest thing to find. they were sold out at just about every craft store around until a friend suggest Hobby Lobby (i always forget to go there 'cause it' the furthest from where i live) and lo and behold, there were two beautiful white aprons left (and i had a coupon so - bam!). the rest of it was easy 'cause then i just ironed on the Progressive logo (printed on fusible fabric) and printed and recreated the accesories from the pdf files from this site. the make-up was super fun, too - drastic, black cat eyeliner and bright red lipstick!

but hey, doesn't Ryan make a great looking Mayhem? his was easier to put together - from a wrinkled black suit, skinny tie and white shirt to some makeup to make his eye look bruised, some lipstick to recreate some blood smudges and you cannot forget his skinny bandage, cell phone and pink sunglasses. and Ryan even wore his costume to work - which is hilarious 'cause he works for State basically, we dressed up as his competition! and i even walked into his office to try and "sell" insurance to his boss. i even offered him a bundle. hehehehe. couldn't help it. 

and for those of you who are like who the heck are these clowns - well, you are in luck 'cause you can check out the commercials below for yourself. like i said, we gotcha covered!



and so whether you celebrate Halloween or All Saints Day or none of the above, i hope you still get to eat lots of candy, stay safe and have fun today! 

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

Monday, October 28, 2013

sponsor love + $100 Shop Credit giveaway with JoTotes.

meet JoTotes.

We have been creating and sending camera bags to photographers around the world since 2009. Our bags provide a fashionable and easy way for women to safely carry their camera bodies and lenses, along with regular purse items, every day. 

The main compartment of each of our bags is lined with padding to protect equipment. Movable interior pads are also included to allow for configuration around a variety of camera bodies and lenses. We carry several sizes, styles, and colors so you can select the bag that works best for your lifestyle. For additional product details, please see the descriptions under each style.

JoTotes has been a long-time, faithful supporter of this blog...and i have been a long-time fan of JoTotes' camera bags! the quality is impeccable and the color and designs are stunning - and they really do have fabulous padding to protect your camera and lens...with extra room to throw in your everyday junk. my new favorite is this mint one you may have seen me tote around - but i also love and own this and that one. they are just as amazing.


JoTotes is generously offering a $100 JoTotes Shop Credit! have fun on trying to pick just one - or maybe you have a special photographer in your life and would want to gift this to her (never too early to start Christmas shopping!). either way, it doesn't make the decision-making any easier. *wink*

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers thru November 5, 2013. 
Winner will be announced on November 6th. May the odds be ever in your favor! ;)

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

weekend highs (and we are not talking temperatures, folks).

 jacket: c/o Oasap / dress: base exchange / sweater: c/o Tailor and Stylist / scarf: c/o EcoShag / shoes (last season): c/o Blowfish Shoes 

- pulling out my favorite motorcycle jacket from the closet
- going to church and being with God's people 
- the autumn leaves dramatically making their colorful appearances
- reigniting my love for snailmail and the importance of it
- finalizing mine and Ryan's Halloween costumes
- Panda express runs for Sunday dinner
- Breaking Bad and Parenthood (finally!) binges 
- this trailer...oh my freaking goodness! it needs to be November 22nd like NOW!
- having my husband all to myself and soaking up every bit of the time we have together
- watching one of Ryan's favorite 80's movies for the first time and dying laughing over this scene 
- in the middle of reading Allegiant and enjoying it so far (don't know why people keep whining about it)
- and thankful for all of you that left kinds words on last friday's post - you are a blessing and friend to me! 

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

p.s. are Erin Campbell 'cause you just won the Simply Alli Visa GC giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com with your mailing address so that you can get your hands on it asap! congrats to Erin and thank you, Alli for a fantabulous giveaway! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013


1 // swinging until our feet reach the sky 2 // the most loving and selfless man that i know  3 // BIG STUFF youth group with these cuties 4 // it's officially autumn in Georgia 5 // pink lips + infinity scarf + stripes 6 // the good kind of jiggle 7 // moccs + moss 8 // my long lost twin (it's scary how many things we have in common!) ~ via instagram @muchloveilly ~ 

hello, friends. i've always been real on this blog, so i'm gonna be real.

this week was tooooouuuuugh. the kind of week where crap hits the fan and you do not know how to clean it all up. and it was the kind of week where you didn't just reach for two cookies for reached for eight or ten. the kind of week where you run until you can't run anymore. the kind of week where you hug your husband a little tighter and didn't think you could be more grateful for him, but you are.

and speaking of being grateful, i think it's sometimes in the toughest of times (when the smoke and dust has cleared from the crap explosion), you find yourself grateful for the little things...that i believe are direct gifts from a good God to remind us that He is still here and still sovereign...even when life is so messy.

i love how instagram allows you to capture moments that you most likely wouldn't. looking back at this week, there are snippets of God's abundant goodness. guyssssss, it's about the little things only because of the grace and goodness our great BIG God.

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the bench.

when Ryan and i were first engaged, we ran into an unexpected amount of time apart. what we thought would be a couple of months apart turned into a couple of years. for those of you who followed this blog during our long-distance relationship might remember the highs and the lows of our being apart.

one of the highs of our relationship were the visits. he lived in Georgia with his parents and i moved back home to South Carolina to live with my family. whenever i visited Ryan, we always made a stop to a local park. it was one of our favorites - with long, winding walking paths, lots of wide grassy areas and even a little pond to watch the bass and brim swim through its murky, brown waters. and every time, after our walk down through the park, our final stop was a bench. nothing special about the bench but it was our favorite because it gave us the best view of the park (and yes, in other words, best place to people watch! come on. you know you do it, too!).

but it was also where we often ended up talking about the deep stuff - about life, about our future, about our dreams, and because we were still living apart, about finally getting married. there were countless conversations, tears, and prayers exchanged on that bench. 

as i write this, it seems like those conversations were ages ago. the heartache of waiting and the pain of being apart almost seems faint. 

however, last week, as the temperatures were cooling and our bellies were full from a date night at Chipotle, Ryan suggested we take a walk at this particular park. we had not been for awhile and a crisp, autumn walk sounded like the perfect thing.

and like usual, we walked hand in hand through the winding walking paths, watching families celebrate the gorgeous weather with outdoor picnics or friends tackling each other in a friendly game. runners briskly ran past us, while others walked their dogs or pushed baby strollers. and as we approached the end of our walk, we spotted our favorite bench, empty and inviting.

at first, we just took our seats, leaning back against it's wood frame and taking in our surroundings, enjoying the peacefulness and soaking in our time together. we made small talk about the cute dog that waddled by or giggled over the awkward biker. 

and then Ryan said, remember those days that we would sit on this bench and talk about finally getting married?

and all those memories came flooding back. the anticipation of waiting for certain doors to open. the joy of being together even for a couple of days. the tears shed and the embraces exchanged. the nine o'clock nightly phone dates. the five hour road trips between GA and SC. 

and last but not least, i remembered the faithfulness and goodness of God. i remembered His timetable was not our own. i remembered the exhilaration of finally being able to move forward with our lives and get married on a beach in Maui. i remembered thinking that i would not have wanted this any other way. He knew what was best for me and for Ryan. He knew the lessons we would learn, the strength we would gain, and the experiences we would go through in the waiting process.

that bench will be a lasting reminder to me - and not just a reminder of God's faithfulness and goodness to me in the past, but also a reminder of His constant faithfulness and goodness. the thing about God is that He is unchanging. His character will always remain the same (Heb. 13:5). so no matter what season you may be in life, friend, know that God is faithful and good and unchanging.

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

sponsor love + $40 Visa GC with Simply Alli.

meet Alli.

I’m Alli; I’m a huge goofball, I live simply, I love coffee…a lot, I enjoy cooking, cold beer and being outdoors. I love taking naps and I work full time in the corporate world. My husband and I have one super sweet, super energetic 4 year old named Day. I have a huge passion for blogging; Simply Alli is the name of my blog.  On it you’ll find snippets of our life, our adventures, delicious recipes, some DIYs and a little bit of anything else I feel like chatting about. Come say “Hi,” I love, love, love meeting new people!

alli is probably one of the sweetest sponsors i have ever worked with! her adorable personality exudes even through our email interaction and when i stalk her instagram feed! she and i also happen to be new iphone twins (5c, baby!!).be sure to follow her blog and join in on alli and her family's adventures as well as the simple things in life that we can all celebrate. 


and today Alli is generously offering any one of you lucky Much Love, illy readers a chance to win a $40 Visa Gift Card! and like i said this is open to ALL of you - international and stateside - so get those fingers ready to be clicking 'cause you are gonna want to win this one, folks! 

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers thru 10/28.
Winner will be announced on 10/29.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Monday, October 21, 2013

sk8er boi.

 dress: c/o Choies / tights: We Love Colors / boots (last season): c/o Blowfish Shoes / lipstick: NARS Ruby Woo

as much as i wear out songs, i am the worst at remembering lyrics. unless i have the words in front of me, then when i am focused i can memorize the lyrics. but if it's simply me just listening to it on repeat and if my life depended on it, i'd be dead.

so all day yesterday while wearing this dress, i told Ryan that i was channeling my inner Avril Lavigne and so proceeded, of course, to sing Sk8er boi and of course messed up the lyrics. i kept saying skater girl where it should have been boi and so on and so forth. thank goodness i have Ryan to keep me straight on lyrics 'cause then what would i do without him? he is a total keeper.

he's just a boy and i'm just a girl
can i make it anymore obvious?
we are in love. haven't you heard
how we rock each other's world?

(yup, totally looked up those lyrics off of metro lyrics)

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Thursday, October 17, 2013

sponsor love with Anjolee Jewelry: Celebrity Trends.

today i am excited to introduce you to a long-time supporter and sponsor of this blog, Anjolee Jewelry. you may have them seen them make an appearance on this blog more than a few times. they make a gorgeous variety of jewelry from engagement rings to their popular tennis bracelets (i own one - and LOVE it!). and as a sucker for celebrity news and trends, i am thrilled about their guest post and hope you enjoy it as much as i did. enjoy!


Looking for timeless style? Diamond bracelets are just as timeless now as they’ve ever been.

Celebrities have been seen with diamond bracelets at several events this year. Promoting her new movie Gravity, Sandra Bullock has just been seen on the red carpet wearing a white asymmetrical gown with a diamond circle motif cuff bracelet. Bullock wore the diamond bracelet in a traditional way, but Jennifer Lopez wore diamond bracelets in an interesting new way at the 2013 Grammy’s. The singer layered 3 diamond bracelets with a gold cuff bracelet, and then she repeated the elements by wearing one gold ring with two diamond rings. J. Lo isn’t the only celebrity layering diamond bracelets: at the Met Gala 2013, Jessica Biel omitted all accessories except for 3 Art Deco layered diamond bracelets from the 1920s. Bracelets worn from the 1920s accurately describes how timeless these diamond bracelets are.

Timeless diamond bracelets are great as gifts, too: Josh Duhamel is rumored to have given Fergie a diamond bracelet as a “push present” (a present to her for giving birth to their son, Axl), and in 2012, Beyonce was reported to distrust her friendship with Kim Kardashian when Kim bought a $5,000 pink and white diamond bracelet for Beyonce’s daughter, Blue Ivy, and engraved it with “Love, Auntie Kim.” Diamond bracelets are the hot item among celebrities for gifts and red carpet events.

One of the reasons that diamond bracelets work so well is because fashionistas may have a hard time making a necklace work with an asymmetrical neckline. When you have a dress you can’t wear a necklace with, that doesn’t mean you should go without accessorizing. Some people may choose to accessorize with earrings, but the best way of glamorizing your outfit is by adding a diamond bracelet.

If you’re looking to celebrities as inspiration for Fall 2013 style, you can wear the diamond bracelet simply, or you can choose to layer your diamond bracelets.

what is your favorite celebrity trend to rock this season?

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

stripes, oxfords, and an idol named Busyness.

 tee: c/o Skip N Whistle / pants: TJMaxx / infinity scarf: Theorium / oxfords: c/o Lulu*s / lip gloss: Radiant Cosmetics 

i saw this quote on my suh-weet friend's blog this past week: 

We seem to value our time so little, that we find our worth based on how little of it we have. In other words, we've idolized “being busy,” and confused it with being “important.” You can be busy but unimportant, just as you can be important but not busy. 
 ~ source ~

it pretty much hit me square in between the eyeballs.

that is probably 'cause i was just thinking about this very topic - the idolizing of our busyness. and i think there are certainly times when we are legit busy, when we feel like the to-do lists are unending or when everybody needs you so much, you feel like a piece of play dough that cant' stretch much further. then there are other times where we find our identity and wholeness in our busy lives and schedules. 

i remember there was a time back when i first graduated from college, i went through a season where God started stripping off different layers of my identity...from being a college student to having to find my place in the work force. from being an girlfriend to being an ex. from being under the roof of my parents to trying to figure out the adult world on my own. from being in a position of leadership to becoming more of a behind the scenes person. and i found myself in a different season of "busy." it was weird. it was painful. but it was necessary for me so that my identity was not wrapped up in what i did but rather in who i was and am.

so food for thought (and an outfit post) on this tuesday morning.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

p.s. are Alyssa Dawson 'cause you just won the Quotation Marks giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com with your mailing address so that we can get your Great Gatsby scarf to you asap! Congrats to Alyssa and thank you Quotation Marks for one rockin' giveaway! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013


 top: / jeans: GAP / booties: Belk, gift from Mom / camera bag: c/o Jototes / lipstick: NARS Ruby Woo / watch: c/o feral watches 

reading: you know when you pick up and book and you can't put it down? but then when you do put it down, you look for every single, possible moment to pick it back up? yeah, i'm in the middle of ones of those kinds of books and to me, it's one of my favorite feelings ever. i am reading Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and since i am only half way through it, can't entirely recommend it yet but will def keep you all posted! it is on the eerie side but i think that is why i am easily hooked! i just wanna know what happens!

wearing: this joules top from surfdome is my new favorite top. it's made from sweater like material but then it's super fittered and cozy. the red collar and the stripes are def my fave part of it! and i don't know about you but once the cooler weather hits, i'm on the hunt for new long sleeves tees and sweatshirts like these here to give my wardrobe some autumn updating!

watching: i'm still keeping up with PLL. there was somewhere in season 2 that i hit a lull and was like tell me who the heck A is already?! and didn't know if i could handle anymore of the same drama, but then season 3 picked up and i'm addicted to it all over again. the husband and i are also in the midst of Breaking Bad (no one say anything to me yet! only on season 4 - eeeek!) and then there is The Middle (which hasn't been as funny as i remember it to be...probably since Axel is off to college, it's just not the same) and also digging this season Xfactor (loving the groups so much!). i did see Netflix added a bunch of new seasons of my favorite shows like Parenthood, The Office and The Hart of Dixie so once i find more time (ha!), i'll keep rolling with my tv addiction. and last but not least, TWD starts tonight - YES!

loving: oh i am forever obsessed with anything by JoTotes (if you are not familiar with them, they make gorgeous designer camera bags especially for women photographers). everything they make is of absolute quality. i already own three of their bags and every single one last forever and the colors are as vibrant as they are on the site. i could not stop doing the happy dance when this one came in the mail. just like their other bags, it came with removable padding to protect my camera and lenses - and this color. i swoon.

eating: lots of apples. i especially love the ones from the farmers market that Ryan and i like to go to on Saturday morning. they are so much juicier and bigger than the ones at the grocery store. or maybe it's all in my head but they are just so much better. and once Starbucks brings out caramel apple ciders, i am dead. so so so good. and you can't get it without the whip cream 'cause you need the caramel drizzle. did you hear me? need.

thinking about: how it's nice to be in a place of familiarity. sometimes routines can be boring but with how transitional mine and Ryan's life was for awhile, we both agreed that it's nice to finally be somewhere that's become familiar and for life to have it's own set pace - to know people and to make friends and to have weekly happenings to look forward to. it's especially nice to be able to live this same life alongside Ryan. we looked forward to that for so long, it only makes us more grateful for it.

what about you, friend? what is currently happening in your crazy, God-gifted life? this post was inspired by Danielle of Sometimes Sweet. be sure to include your post and i'd love to check it out.

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Monday, October 7, 2013

sponsor love + Great Gatsby Script Scarf giveaway with Quotation Marks.

Hi, I'm Farrell, the person behind Quotation Marks!  I love words, and so Quotation Marks is dedicated to helping you put your favorite quote on your new favorite accessory: the script scarf!  I handwrite each scarf from my studio in Boston and I LOVE seeing the quotes that people choose for scarves for their bridesmaids, their families, their friends, and for themselves!  Visit my shop if you'd like to see more script scarves, and visit my blog if you want to see a quote a day!

as a huge fan of quotes (particularly from my favorite books and characters) and of course a lover of scarves, i fell quickly in love with Quotation Marks. i think the variety of colors and the handwriting makes these a super fun pick for your next autumn scarf. and though QM offers a great variety of quotes, they offer the option to customize your own scarf! you pick the colors and the quotes yourself!

and today QM is giving away my personal favorite from the shop, The Great Gatsby Script Scarf with the following quote:

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic 
future that year by year recedes before us. It 
eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we 
will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And 
then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against 
the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Giveaway is open to ALL Much Love, illy readers thru October 14th.
Winner will be announced on October 15th.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

loving lately.

 pullover: c/o Boxie Tees / leggings: Forever 21 / floral crown: c/o handmadecolectibles / booties: c/o Blowfish Shoes / lipstick: NARS heatwave

the new friends and people i have been meeting in our new town.
this floral crown i am in love with, reminding me that florals aren't just for spring.
the binge watching of Breaking Bad with the husband and a leftover birthday cake.
the hole in my thumb from all the sewing i've been doing for the bazaar.
the new iPhone 5c (the green one!) that Ryan got me for my birfday. yippeeeee!
the caramel apple cider i practically inhaled the last time i was at Starbucks.
my morning runs that have been taking me further and faster as of late.
facetiming with my sister and Baby Lux.
falling asleep to the sound of rain.
late night reading until my eyes fight to close.

what have you been loving lately, friend?

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Friday, October 4, 2013

you get older and you really could care less about awkward birthday hats.

side note: there are days i look at Ryan and can't believe how lucky fortunate blessed i am. he is so dang good-looking and hilarious and loves Jesus. what more can a girl ask for? carry on.

so yeaaaaaah, i turned the big two nine. okay, not really the big two-nine but i think it's a pretty big deal when a) it's the last year of your twenties b) i got to celebrate it with my husband (first married birthday - woohoo!). the day was filled with people calling, texting, and of course facebooking (the only time a year that people you haven't talked to all year long decide to post a birthday greeting on your fb wall - come on! you know it's true!) and so i can't deny that i felt very special. so thanks, friends - even the ones i haven't talked in ages (ahem, facebook).

when i picked up Ryan from work, i was oh so giddy. the birthday day itself was great but i couldn't wait to celebrate with him. he said i could go anywhere i wanted to go around town. and believe it or not, with all the places i've lived, i have never had hibachi. i've had plenty of japanese foods but never straight-up hibachi...

...where you get to sit at the table surrounding the flat top with the dude in the red hat and apron doing sweet knife tricks and igniting flames that make you feel like your eyebrows might fall off. and oh my goodness, the food (it hurts - in a good way to say this) was ridiculously, painfully good. the kind of good where you can't eat another bite but you do anyways because you can't stop (*insert miley cyrus we caaaaan't stop here*). from the hot soup to the ginger topped salad to the fried rice and the chicken and shrimp. excuse me as i wipe the drool from my laptop thinking back to that dinner.

in three short words: to die for.

and when they heard it was my birthday, the hostess grabbed this obnoxious hat and stuck it on my head and brought out two bowl of sherbet. one of the scoops had a candle for me to blow out while they sang happy birthday to me. and despite the full capacity of my stomach, i still found room for the sherbet in case you were wondering.
much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


~ my mommy and me // it's weird and neat 'cause she is almost 29 years old in this picture ~ 

1 // i was born on clark air force base in the philippines.

2 // i was homeschooled from the 4th grade through my senior year of high school.

3 // i share a birthday with julie andrews, zach galifianakis, and jimmy carter.

4 // this is my first year to celebrate my birthday married to my hunk of a husband.

5 // i am sentimental and miss people and places easily.

6 // i can 100% understand Tagalog but i cannot speak it.

7 // i am a coffee addict.

8 // i get easily obsessed (i.e. hunger games, candy, books, Hello Kitty, apps, etc.).

9 // i paint my nails every 2-3 days.

10 // Charlotte's Web was the first chapter book i ever read.

11 // my blogging career spans almost 4 years long.

12 // i got my undergraduate degree from Moody Bible Institute with a B.A. in Communications (print media).

13 // i don't believe in luck.

14 // cupcakes trump actual cakes IMHO

15 // i will never get a tattoo because needles fuuuuuh-reeeaaak me out.

16 // i'd rather live on a beach than on the mountains.

17 // when i was 6 years old, i auditioned to be an extra on Forest Gump - for the role of a Vietanmese child.

18 // i have met Jennifer Hudson (nice), Shia Lebouf (not so nice), and Patrick Demsey (very, very nice) in person.

19 // i read books like it's my job.

20 // my sisters are my best friends.

21 // was a total pageant child - finalist for miss south carolina, baby!

22 // the thought of having babies is starting to excite me. the thought of actually giving birth to them freaks me out as much as tattoos. okay, probably a million times more.

23 // i am madly in love with my husband.

24 // i read Psalm 139 every morning of my birthday.

25 // my relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life.

26 // i am 100% Filipino but people always guess i am spanish, indian or hawaiian.

27 // i am blessed to say that i have a mom and a dad who i have never doubted their love for me. and again, i know i am blessed because not everybody can say that.

28 // i have a fear of things that pop or snap suddenly.

29 // last but not least, today is my birthday and i am in the last year of my 20's! i don't feel any different but it is weird to think this is my last year before i turn the big 3-0. and i don't want to dread it. i want to celebrate it because another birthday means another year of life which is an absolute gift from God that i never want to take for granted!

i made one of these lists a couple birthdays ago - so you may have already known some of these things about if you read this blog long enough or know me in real life. or maybe you didn't and you are like "wow, what a weird-o." it's okay. i get that a lot, plus i'm 29 and this skin is a lot thicker than it was a few year back. rolling it off like water on a duck's back.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}