Thursday, March 27, 2014

these are a few of my favorite things.

blazer: c/o sheinside / jeans: american eagle / shirt: c/o sundried / lipstick: NARS heatwave / boots: c/o dsw / watch: fossil 

when i threw off my normal week night schedule and went to see divergent with one of my girlfriends and we laughed and ate buttery popcorn and drank ice-cold tap coke.

when i realized that theo james was the same guy who played the turkish ambassador in downton abbey. gasp!

when i rocked this blazer one too many times this week because it's the perfect shade of black and fit (a good blazer is hard to find, i tell ya).

when i was hit my 4 mile stride again in tonight's run after work.

when one of my favorites friends in the world finally announced her exciting news to the world.

when i discover a new favorite grey t-shirt like this one from my friends at sundried (so comfy!).  

when my highschool d-group and i giggled about awkward stories and relationships and life and girly things while drinking our favorite starbucks drinks.

when my sister sends us the most adorable pictures of baby Lux (who is not really a baby anymore - she's growing up so fast!).

when spring shoved winter aside and decided to show its face again.

when my husband and i fist pump each other at work every day.

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

p.s. are you Stephanie Whitehouse 'cause you just won the London Retro giveaway! shoot me an email at muchloveilly at gmail dot com with the London Retro sun/glasses of your choice and be sure to include our mailing address so we can get them to you asap! congrats to Stephanie and thank you, London Retro for a rocking giveaway! (if i do not hear back within a week, i will redraw a new winner - thanks for all who participated!)

Monday, March 24, 2014

when others shuddered.


last saturday morning brought me back to the my saturday mornings when i lived in Chicago. with a book in hand, i disappeared into a Starbucks (downing a vanilla macchiato - my new fave!) and became enraptured by this recently released book, When Others Shuddered written by one of my favorite college professors and friend, Jamie Janosz.

When Others Shuddered is a compilation of eight stories about eight women who were ordinary and determined and refused to give up on life, on personal struggles or on their dreams. these women brought me back to the historic days of skirts that trailed the dusty ground and when education was viewed only for men; however, skirts and social boundaries did not keep these women's passions from spurring them forward. it was their faith in God that gave them the strength, compassion and love to do the work they were called to do - from loving the unlovable to accomplishing what seemed to be impossible.

growing up in a Christian environment, there were a few stories that i was familiar with ; however, Mrs. Janosz' gave me fresh insight on the familiar stories as well as introduced me to some brand new ones. my favorites were the ones on Emma Dryer and Nettie McCormick, two women who became a personal inspiration to me.

the beautifully narrated stories of these women's lives reiterated that these were ordinary women with hearts that yearned for more than this world could offer them. they weren't perfect women but they surrendered their lives to God, allowing Him to use them - from helping so many helpless people during the Chicago Fire or crafting gorgeous hymns for generations to sing or sharing His love through teaching His Word and assisting in laying the foundation to very college i attended!

to be honest, it's been a rough couple of weeks for me. transitioning to a new job. making decisions about the future. learning to trust God with the unknown. but what i'm thankful for is the timing that this book arrived in my hands and thankful for the stories that spoke volumes in that just because life is hard, doesn't mean that it is impossible to tackle. it truly is amazing to see what God can do in the willing hearts and lives of ordinary women - women just like you and me.

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Monday, March 17, 2014

currently: a super mini version.

enjoying: a relaxing evening
dreaming: about summer and vacations
loving: my red hunter boots more and more when it rains
watching: parenthood (tear-jerker. every. single. time.)
reading: insurance exam books
quoting: lots of Best in Show between me and Ryan (energy!)
thinking about: the super fun coffee date with Ashley
eating: almond butter on toast
drinking: green tea frappe from starbucks
sewing: nothing but want to sew some goodies for my nieces
passing: my license exam this morning!!!!!!!!!
running: over 5 plus miles regularly
painting: my nails in a spring color (mint? lilac? pink?)
craving: more chipotle (could eat it every day!)
listening to: frozen soundtrack on repeat
relishing: God's promise specifically in Isaiah 41:10
laughing: over this hilarious video of a naughty but cute dog
feeling: elated and thankful and excited about the future

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Monday, March 10, 2014

sponsor love + WINNER'S CHOICE sunglasses/glasses giveaway with MyOptique and London Retro.

~ wearing the Fitzrovia in tortoise sunglasses for women ~ 

meet MyOptique and London Retro.

London Retro’s new autumn/winter eyewear collection takes its inspiration from one of London’s most iconic landmarks, the London Underground. Available exclusively from, the collection is titled Metropolitan, with each style named after an iconic London tube line or station. It provides a modern look backwards, combining retro shapes with the season’s key colour and fabrication trends. Mirroring a trend seen on the catwalks at Chanel, Miu Miu and Dior, the collection features thinner acetates than previously. Matt finishes reflect the growing influence of texture, while subtle colourways like muted pinks are introduced for the first time.


as you can already tell by these recent outfit posts and my IG feed, i LOVE my sunglasses from MyOptique via the London Retro collection! like really, really love them. obsessed! these glasses are the perfect shape and tortoise frame with their brown tint glasses.

also each pair of sunglasses/glasses come in the most beautiful leather case along with a cleaning cloth that is safe for the lenses. as much as i throw things into my purse on a daily basis, it's the best thing 'cause i can put them in their case (like a responsible adult) and know that they will be safe when i'm not wearing them.


and you guysssss, you are really gonna want to enter today's giveaway from my friends at MyOptique! they are offering one of you lucky Much Love, illy readers the chance to pick out ANY pair of London Retro glasses or sunglasses of YOUR choice! how incredible is that?! it IS incredible. i'm telling you it's incredible because their sunglasses are my favorite pair ever - and i have quite the collection of sunglasses! 

Giveaway is open to ALL US and International Much Love, illy readers thru March 18th. Winner will be announced on March 19th. May the odds be ever in your favor! 

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}

Sunday, March 9, 2014

lesson (not) learned + other weekend ramblings.

tee: c/o lamixx / jeans: borrowed from sister / booties: c/o dsw / denim jacket: urban outfitters / sunglasses: c/o london retro / backpack: c/o lulu*s / watch: c/o feral watches necklace: c/o megan lane 

so...that long awkward pause on the blog last week was completely unintentional. 

there were a couple times last week that i meant to crawl back out of bed to pull out my laptop and write thoughts out in a post but with as mentally and physically exhausted last week from starting a new job and studying for this license exam, you can guess i never made it out bed until my alarm blared loudly at six thirty a.m. 

you can guess my first mistake: getting into bed. i never learn. i used to do the same trick in college. oh, just a ten minute nap. once i completely missed my best friend's senior recital by pulling that number. several friends called my phone at least 20 times and left several messages. even though the ringer was on, i never heard my phone one time. you'd think i would have learned after that.

in other ramblings on my mind....

1) my inner 90's child jumped for joy that i in fact tied my jacket around my waist. (does any one else think 90's when they witness tied jackets around waists?!)
2) i literally jumped for joy that i didn't need to wear a jacket after church today because it was that warm.
3) and speaking of jumping for joy, big news of the weekend is that i (this girl!) RAN 5.08 MILES on saturday morning! that might not be a big deal to some...but for me, that is a HUGE deal!
4) ryan and i finally finished breaking bad because netflix finally uploaded the last eight episodes. and i know i'm so behind with the rest of the tv obsessed world, but wow, what an incredible ending. satisfying in the best way possible!
5) could the weekend be one more day longer, pretty please? but don't we say that every sunday night?

much love.
{happy monday, friend.}

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

you must know...

stars05stars_collage02stars_collage01stars_collage03sweater: jcpenney / dress turned skirt: forever 21 / tights: c/o we love colors / flats: c/o blowfish shoes / watch: c/o feral watches 

you must know that as i write, i am eating the most delicious, moist (note: THE only acceptable time where the word moist is appropriate. THE only time, people) carrot cake with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, topped with nuts. yum.
you must know i am not the biggest fan of the world moist unless it comes to carrot cake. or any cake really. 

you must know that i never in a million zillion years did i ever plan, predict or expect to study for an insurance license, but i have been studying my brains out for the past two days for an exam in two weeks. hashtag prayers appreciated. so yeah, talk about a major, unforeseen fork in the road.

you must know that i believe God has a sense of humor and that i am constantly learning His plans are WAY bigger than my own. i have a feeling this will be a continued life lesson for me. 

you must know these flats from my friends from blowfish are my new favorites. 

you must know that i am so over winter and want spring weather. oh, you already knew that? i figured.

you must know that i loved every bit of oscar's night last sunday. my bff, j-law and everything she is and does. bradley cooper's face. lupita nyong's speech. ellen as the host. pizza delivery man. benedict cumberbatch's photo bomb. pharrel's red sneakers and happy song.

you must know that i have officially come to the point in my life where donuts trump cupcakes. shocking, i know. i'm really growing up here. 

you must know that i had the opportunity to sub for a high school Bible class last week for three days and loved every single bit of it. i described it like this to ryan: i felt alive, doing what i was made to do! along with writing and downing large amounts of coffee and liquid creamer, teaching is write up there with things i felt like God wired for me to do in this life. 

much love.
{happy tuesday, friend.}