Friday, May 31, 2013

Love & Marriage: #GetCloserGoFurther with Durex


Thank you to Durex for sponsoring today's discussion.
They sent us a box of goodies so you'll be getting an update on June 3rd of all the fun stuff it inspired us to do and try (get your head out of the gutter people, games, spa and restaurant gift cards, and lots of other fun stuff!)

When I was asked to participate in Durex's #GetCloserGoFurther campaign I thought it would be a lot of fun! They have a Sparks section on their website and it has great ideas for flirting, datenight, foreplay, and sexplore. You really need to check it out!

Here is a bit about my love and marriage:

I have been married to Ryan for 5 and 1/2 years now (together for 8 and 1/2) and I love him more now then I did when we were first married.

 
I am lucky enough to be with a man who communicates with me. We have our highs and our lows, but we are always able to sit and talk issues out and that in itself is a blessing.
 
It's so easy when you first get married to look at other couples who have been married longer and are not as "touchy feely" and proclaim that will never be us! I was one of those people who thought we will ALWAYS have our hands all over each other.
Then life happens. Kids happen. Work happens. Stress happens. Our attention is not only on just each other but on a million other things. This is all normal! It is your job as a married couple to bring it back to the two of you.
 
That is why we make time for our relationship. Neither of us believe in divorce so we have some rules we try to follow in our marriage:
 
1) Date night 2-4 times per month.
Yes, we like to go out to eat and have a drink kid free, but sometimes this just means the two of us after the kids go to bed making time for us to reconnect, laugh, and just enjoy one another company.
 
2) Spa dates.
On occasion this is at a real spa, but mostly it's just us after the kids are in bed. We light candles and massage each other's backs, feet, arms, hands, etc. ;) It's a nice way to feel close to one another. Sometimes it's just nice to be touched and massaged after a long day or week!
 
3) Make out!
I'm not talking sex (although you should be sleeping with your hubby on a regular basis as well), but a good old fashion make out session. You know, the kind that your face feels like sun burn from all the kissing. Do it, mean it, it still gives me the butterflies years later. Plus who doesn't like to make out?!
 
4) Bad behavior jar. ;)
 Okay let me explain, every time one of us says something mean or hurts the other ones feelings we have a jar we put money into. It could be a quarter it could be $10, just as long as you put something in the jar to make it right.
This money is used for date nights and we are currently saving for a family vacation. When you are in a life long relationship there is no breaking up fights. This way we are aware of what hurts each other and we end up using the money to do more things together. Makes sense to us!

5) Give each other space! Yep, I said it. I'd say about 2 out of 7 nights per week you will find me reading, working, or watching cheesy reality TV while the hubby is playing XBOX, watching news, or listening to his pod casts.
It's OK to not spend every second together. In fact, sometimes it's needed to want to be around your spouse on the other days! lol

What are your secrets to love and marriage? Do you have any rules that you live by?


 
Follow along on twitter with the hashtag #GetCloserGoFurther

You can also visit www.durexusa.com/getcloser for more information about their products and ways to get closet with your partner!
 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fall in Love with Vintage Stud Earrings


I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love my diamond studs – They are fashion lifesavers!  In fact, I’m about 98% sure that I could shuffle out my door in slippers and sweatpants and still look good – as long as I’m wearing my diamond earrings!  So if you haven’t yet experienced the superpowers of this staple accessory, you need to march yourself to the nearest jewelry store immediately and take a set of studs for a test drive!

 


The best part about diamond stud earrings is that they can compliment any style.  Diamond earrings are renowned for their versatility, as well as for their classic appeal.  For a truly vintage look, I would recommend a diamond flower cluster or ethereal style stud.  Or if you’d like to be a little more daring, try going all out with some statement one-karat studs that will gleam dazzlingly into the eyes of any nearby jealous observers (or, who are we kidding – your new paparazzi).  Diamond studs can even enhance your natural beauty through the power of science!  The diamonds reflect a rainbow of light, and subsequently draw attention to your bright eyes and your gleaming smile.

 


And other advantage to owning a set of diamond earrings?  Well, because they’re so easy to match to your other diamond accessories!  When anniversary season rolls around, I really can’t think of a better excuse to need more diamond jewelry.  One of the most classic pairs I can think of is vintage-inspired bead set eternity anniversary rings for women, combined with your perfect set of vintage stud earrings.
 

Diamond stud earrings are a sure way to add a little glamour to any outfit.  Whether you’re strolling through the grocery store, or sharing a decadent meal with your sweetheart for your anniversary, the diamond stud is your fashion friend.  I guarantee that the moment you try on your first pair, you’re going to find it impossible not to fall in love.

*Thank you to Anjolee for sponsoring today's discussion

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Outfit: Off to the Lake House

Over the weekend we headed up north to the hubby's family lake house. 
Here is what I wore:

 photo 644de09e-4fb5-4289-8603-211e017f95f6_zpsaa733ff7.jpg  photo df5e9f64-e13e-495d-a6a7-199fd3850394_zpsb45134e5.jpg  photo 398e88d1-a221-4681-91d9-39737e4f9229_zpsc53513bf.jpg  photo 32fb81f3-7fd9-40dd-9542-544e62828375_zps8874f641.jpg
Jacket: Express, Tee: Loft, Jeans: 7 for all Mankind, Boots: Dolce Vita, Scarf: Swap w/ Kaitlyn, Sunnies: Ray Ban, Watch: Fossil, Bag: Piperlime

Meet Shamrock the boxer. 
We have been dog sitting for my brother and honestly I have fallen in love (my entire family has)!
I have never been much of a dog person (I have been bitten and have had stitches from three different dogs), but I am a dog lover now!!! 
 Our cat was not a big fan, but one day I think we will be dog/boxer owners for sure. Plus he kept jumping in my photos so I think he's a blogger dog. Meant to be much?! ;)

This look was perfect for a mommy day, dog walking, and a car ride up north to the lake house. 

What did you do for the long weekend?
Are you a dog or a cat lover (or like me, both!)?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

CBN's 500 Membership Mark Event

I attended the CBN 500 member event on Thursday night.
Can you believe there are already 500 members in the Chicago Blogger Network? So cool to have so many great ladies and men blogging in our city!
 

Here is what I wore :

 photo 7051e0e5-052f-4b16-8545-87c96469e511_zps42c27dce.jpg  photo af9577b5-f19e-4eea-99f1-9049fb8f3758_zps42e29cd5.jpg  photo bohochic_zps8476e65e.jpg
Dress: Mimi Chica via Nordstorm, Coat: Pepe Jeans, Shoe: C/O Just Fab, Bag: Piperlime, Necklace & Bow Ring: T+J Designs, Teal Ring: C/O Lotus Blossom Design, Chain Bracelet: House of Gemmes, Watch: Fossil, Large Cuff: Hive & Honey, Earrings: Just Fab, Lip color: Rose Blossom by Bobbi Brown
 
RM Champagne Salon is such a cool place. You have to go down an ally to get there and all of a sudden you are in France! The outdoor lounge is beautiful and the inside is so chic. Candles and chandeliers everywhere have a special place in my heart so this place is one of my new favorites, I can't wait to go back when it's warmer out!
 
Here are some shots from the night:
 
 photo 4ccb0f36-23e1-4216-98c2-de09a0163c79_zpsa497bf09.jpg
Lubna Hassan, myself, Kristin Hassan of House of Gemmes, Zahra of Love Zahra
 
Lubna is starting a women's and menswear blog with a guy friend of hers so watch out for that, how stunning is she?!
 
You all know Kristin Hassan by now. She is not only a very talented clothing and jewelry designer, but she has also been my friend for almost 6 years now.
I was super excited to go with her to this event and get a little friend time in along with networking. Business owners night out ya'll! lol
 
Zahra is a fellow mommy blogger who covers everything from fashion to gardening and I felt like I was seeing a friend I haven't seen in forever. ;) Do you have blog/instagram/twitter friends that you feel like you know even though you've never met? That was the case for me with Zahra. Now I like her even more! She has impeccable style and my goodness is she gorgeous or what?!
 
Myself and Kristin
 

 photo chicagoBloggers_zps148f6528.jpg
The ladies of the Jess &Jill blog with myself.

I love when I get to see these girls! We met at the very first CBN event back in late 2011 and have been blogger friends ever since (I Spy DIY event, Bobbi Brown event).
Make sure you check out their blog, they have great style and are just great girls to know in general. They both always have smiles on their faces and are just fun to be around. Love you girls!  xo

 photo RMChampagneSalon_zps9b5fd1ce.jpg
Sisters Marie and House of Gemmes working it ;)
 

 photo Sportsanista_zps1263e911.jpg
Myself and Mary of Sportsanista talking about our outfit choices. (The Italian in me comes out when I talk...lots of hand gestures ;)
 
This is my second time meeting her, we both attended the Bobbi Brown event back in August of 2012.
I have to say, I have a major blogger crush on Mary. She has the best taste in clothing and I feel like I'd be in hog heaven in her closet for sure. I think I love her so much because she is to sports what I am to moms...the fashionable kind. ;)
I'm not sure if she'll still talk to me if she knew that I watch zero sports...like none. My hubby doesn't watch, I don't watch, we don't care either way (we are the music family), but IF I was a sports fan, I would be rocking my jerseys and sports tee's the way she does for sure! Everyone go check her blog out, this girl is amazing!

I'm so glad I attend this event. It was great too see some old friends and some new ones too!
Sorry I didn't take more photos, I saw so many other great bloggers and was kicking myself when I realized I stop taking pics about half way through the night.
Until next time....
 
Does your city have meet ups?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Outfit: Everyday Wear

I'm totally out of contacts right now!
I have my eye appointment in a few days, but I decided to save my last few pairs for special events and give my eyes a rest.
Here is what I wore on a warm spring day:
 photo e0d415e3-4294-41de-b9b6-a479ce820827_zps6dc88d15.jpg  photo jewelry-3_zps3924e28a.jpg  photo 93bbbac7-1a6b-4e19-91a4-2cc3a44f2241_zpsa199911e.jpg  photo mintsandals_zpsd630ad4d.jpg
Top: Swap w/ Kaitlyn, Shorts: Blank Denim, Shoes: C/O Just Fab, Watch: Fossil, Beaded Bracelet: C/O Juicy J Jewels, Smoke inspired bracelet: Fire and Vice Designs, Textile Bracelet: C/O Inbar Shahak, Necklace: Jewelmint
 I love the pop of mint with the all black and white outfit. 

Now can we talk about how amazing the jewelry is? The smoke inspired jewelry is made by a friend of mine and her mother (you must check out their etsy shop!) and the textile bracelet is one of my new favorites! Like it? Enter to win you own below! 

What do you think? 
Are cut offs and a tank top ever your go-to for everyday wear?


*Enter to win a $40 credit to Inbar Shahak Textile Jewelry's Etsy shop on the Sisters Marie Blog! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Product Review: Perlier 8 Piece Travel Set

The most recent product I have decided to review from the IFabbo Shop is the Perlier 8 piece travel set. I love me some great shower gels and lotions (plus they are 100% organic) so I was super excited to try!
 
Here is what the set comes with:

 photo 25bc0353-f0a3-4172-81b8-a0013ff1ac47_zps355c9b0d.jpg  photo Perlier_zps2e490e49.jpg
-100% Certified Italian Organic Honey:
Scent-Clean pure and soft. Great for women, men, and children
 
-100% Organic Italian Olive Oil:
Scent- Herbal-the perfect scent for mind, body, and spirit. Similar to the scent you would expect from an Italian Spa.
 
-Pure 100% Certified Organic Shea Butter & Citrus
Scent-Soft notes of Citrus. The perfect combination of lemons, limes, and oranges to warm it all up.
 
-White Almond with Cold Presses & Pure Almond Oil
Scent: Soft Italian almonds from Sicily, considered to be the best almonds in Italy. Almond with a touch of mouthwatering Marzipan
 
I used these all week, trying a different one with each shower I took. My favorite was hands down the organic shea butter & citrus. The scent awakens all your senses in the shower and wakes you right up. The shea butter of the lotion is thick and creamy but not greasy and would be great for year round chapped skin repair. I loved the scent the best out of all four types and it was gentle on my sensitive skin.

The Organic Honey and Organic Italian Olive Oil are both a close second. It was hard to decide which I liked better. Both were also great with my sensitive skin and I would use any of these three on my kids as well as the hubby I'm sure will be taking them over soon. ;)
I have to say, I'm super excited I own all of these so I can keep switching up my morning scents!  
 
My least favorite surprised me.
I am so obsessed with almonds I thought that one would be my favorite. The white almond smelled like cookies to me in the shower (that's the great part) but the lotion left a lingering perfume smell that gave me a headache. I am super sensitive to smell and a lot of perfumes do tend to give me headaches. The body wash was wonderful but the lotion was just not for me.
 
Have you ever tried Perlier products? What's your favorite?

* Get $5 off any Perlier purchase on HSN by using code IFABBO5

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cooked Play Dough

I was so excited when my daughter's speech therapist showed up with a great homemade play dough recipe.
She said she has had it for years and it makes play dough that smells better, is softer, and keeps longer then store bought! Plus it's super easy to make.
 
Here is what you need:
 
1 Cup Flour
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring of choice or Tempera paint

 
-Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan.
-Cook over medium heat.
-Stir Constantly until mixture forms a ball.
-Knead until smooth.
-Store in a covered container.

This was such a fun project! It takes less then 20 mins to make, cool, and start playing with.
My daughter added 2 drops of blue, 1 drop of yellow, and 6 drops of green food coloring. We ended up with a green/aqua color.
I think the fact you can make it whatever color you want is my favorite part! ;)

 
 Have you ever made play dough? You should definitely try, I will never buy it again. The homemade kind smells and feels so much better!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Outfit: IEP Meeting

I know all mothers think their kids are the best, but my son really is (my daughter is too, but this post is about the little man)! ;)
 
Two years ago I attended my first IEP meeting and I remember the group telling me his goal would be "to be able to answer a yes-no question with no prompts in 12 months". I cried at this meeting. Happy tears. That was such an amazing thing to think that my son would be able to answer a question. He was 3 years old with maybe 5 clear words, very little eye contact, and a bad case of repeat the last word you say.
 
Forward two years, endless bio medical bills (IT'S SO WORTH IT!), natural cooking (with gf, low dairy diet....also worth it), and a whole lot of patients from myself and the hubby to the AMAZING early childhood staff at my son's school.
 
Which brings me to this IEP meeting.
My son is being main streamed and I was told by 1st or 2nd grade he will no longer qualify for speech therapy as he will be age appropriate. AHHHH! Hear come those happy tears again!
We still have a long way to go and he will be on a special diet and take natural medicine the rest of his life, but we are finally hitting our stride!
 
The lesson of this day was SUCK IT AUTISM, I'm getting my boy back...but thanks for the great memorization, excelled math, and quirky personalty, we will keep that gladly!
 
Here is what I wore for his IEP meeting at the school:

 photo 80acac90-3eb2-42ea-9172-18f09af26bc8_zpsb11d13ec.jpg  photo bohoearrings_zps4b28fbde.jpg  photo cf3a381f-f4b7-488c-9246-565dccd715fa_zps16fcaf22.jpg
Tank: Urban Outfitters, Under Tank: JC Penny, Shorts: Loft, Shoes: C/O Just Fab, Bag: Piperlime, Watch: Fossil, Sunnies: Ray ban, Earrings: C/O Lotus Blossom Design (get your here for only $9.75!)
 
Anyone else super excited for summer break?
Little man will be in the one month summer school program, but we plan on lots of swimming, outdoor bike rides, and trips to the lake!
 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Outfit: Our Son's 5th B-Day Party

Over the weekend our little man turned five. Where has the time gone?!
Being that my son is truly an original, he asked that this years theme is auto show/hot wheels/cars.
Okay, I can work with that, lots of homemade decor, but I an work with that. ;)
 
Here is what I wore:

 photo IMG_72532_zps3709aa72.jpg  photo outfitpost_zpsc063a5b6.jpg
Top: ASOS, Shorts: 7 for all Mankind, Shoes: Nine West, Sunnies: Ray Ban, Watch: Fossil, Chain Bracelet: House of Gemmes, Large Ring: Banana Republic
 
I was so worried about the weather because he wanted a bouncy house, but it ended up being 90 degrees out. I'm not sure why, but every year with out fail it ends up being the hottest day of the year to date...I guess we just get lucky!
 
Here are some shots of all the decor we made & bought:
 photo autoshowbirthdayparty_zpsaa911f28.jpg  photo carsbirthdayparty_zps18a1028a.jpg  photo boysbirthdayparty_zps0b5ce813.jpg
Each poster we made had a theme (street racing, sports cars, etc) and he wanted an area with car dealership pages from the paper so people could buy cars if they were in the market.
Obviously family members all came in hopes to buy cars later that day so it was good we had all the info they needed to do so displayed around the house. ;)

It was declared at the end of the day that it was the "best birthday ever" and that is really all that matters!

What type of themes do you have for b-day parties for your kids? Ever have to make the majority of the decor?
 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Outfit: Bold Accessories

I decided to wear this great sheer tunic/tank with skinny jeans this day, but as I was dashing out the door for errands, I loaded up on bold accessories.

Here is what I wore:
 photo b96bbdd6-4af2-41b2-9af3-068c1524a243_zpsc082a672.jpg  photo 69513620-ec22-4590-975f-534614339df5_zps33f43910.jpg  photo rockerchic_zpsf0b75e74.jpg  photo 7b7ce1e4-8aef-40fa-8b39-cade9e4b87a2_zpsa0315be1.jpg
Vest: Macy's, Tank: Lush, Under Tank: Forever 21, Jeans: Old Navy, Boots: Dolce Vita, Sunnies: Just Fab, Necklace: Ax+Apple (similar), Bracelet: House of Gemmes, Watch: Fossil, Love Wrist Wrap: BISTM-Kenzi's Closet, Stackable Rings: Shop Jules, Knuckle Ring: Varameat, Lip Color: 505A by Wet n Wild

The last shot is what I actually looked like when I was home, but it was pretty fun to walk around the Jewel and post office in my vest with colored sunnies. ;)

Sometimes you just need some statement pieces to take a basic look up a notch.

What do you think? Ever layer up with bold accessories?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Outfit: Pizza Night

My side of the family tries to get together at least once a month (there are 17 of us, not the easiest to coordinate), so sometimes it ends up being on a different day and time the our usual Sunday afternoons.
 
This Saturday night we got together for pizza and to celebrate all the mothers in the group.

Here is what I wore to family pizza night:

 photo 2fb9ebb6-01c2-49be-83f9-9621d6cda7f0_zps8c79f4ca.jpg  photo 4aad8b83-aabe-43dd-bd24-325875c8c2cb_zps3ee6d3c7.jpg  photo e8a89c56-2bff-43e1-bcde-b0f876545d08_zps97071930.jpg  photo boho_zps963e94ad.jpg
Dress: Zara, Vest: Dots, Jacket: Pepe Jeans, Shoes: C/O Just Fab, Chain Bracelet: House of Gemmes, Bow Ring: T+J Designs, Earrings (one of a 3 part set): Just Fab
 
I only wore this maxi dress once last summer so I was very excited to break it out of the back of my closet!
 
What do you wear for casual family gatherings?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fashionable Moms Love Shoedazzle



ShoeDazzle is the original online personal-styling innovator treating millions of women to a monthly showroom filled with on-trend, personalized shoe and accessory recommendations.
By building an intimate, customized experience through creative innovation, social engagement and world-class service, ShoeDazzle aspires to make women feel pampered and beautiful.
Fashion icon, designer, and world-renowned stylist Rachel Zoe serves as the company’s Chief Stylist.
The company’s founders include Brian Lee, Robert Shapiro, Kim Kardashian and MJ Eng.


I took the quiz and found out Shoedazzle has taken it up a few notches since I was a member two years ago. I actually ended my membership because I didn't feel the shoes were worth the $39.95 all the time. They sure seem to be worth it now!
 
Here are a some of my current favorite items on their site:





Take the ShoeDazzle quiz to gain access to your showroom with personalized picks just for you. Make a purchase within 2 days of taking the quiz and get 25% off your order!
 
Which are your favorites?


Thanks to ShoeDazzle for sponsoring today's discussion

Friday, May 17, 2013

Outfit: Swap Skirt, & BISTM Top

The only thing better then a cute outfit is a cute outfit that you did not pay for! ;)

Here is how I styled a skirt I swapped with Kaitlyn and a top I swapped with Johanna on BISTM:
 photo a92c4c96-fb64-4192-a6d3-a447eee43428_zpsdb9d7288.jpg  photo 6c25cecc-16fa-45e5-b372-38553eeeea87_zps5c575560.jpg  photo f061835d-58b2-4e04-b997-02dd4eab068b_zps4059abea.jpg  photo justfab-4_zps76caaefe.jpg
Top: BISTM-Johanna's Closet, Skirt: Swap w/ Kaitlyn, Shoes: C/O Just Fab, Belt: ASOS (similar), Large Cuff: Hive & Honey, Necklace: C/O Sarah Aghili, Clutch: Express, Earrings: Just Fab, Sunnies: MNG by Mango, Bracelet: Willow House Jewelry, Watch: Fossil, Lip Color: Rose Blossom by Bobbi Brown

I did have to give Kaitlyn back her skirt, but I swapped the top for keeps!

What do you think?
Do you buy, sell, and swap on BISTM yet?


*JUST FAB promotion
May 17 10:00am -May 18 11:59pm (while supplies last)
All $39.95 styles are buy one get one at 40% off!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lets Talk Watches

Lately I find myself checking out every one's watches.

I have to admit, three years ago I had one watch. ONE!
It had been that way since high school. I would own one watch, wear it daily for years then replace it when it was discolored or no longer working (whichever came first).
I currently own seven watches. I love mixing them up now and find myself lusting over watches everywhere I go!
Here are some watches that made me do a double take:


Which are your favorites?
How many watches do you own?