May 17, 2018

paris part I

[ Dress: Y.A.S. (similar here and here) | Belt: ASOS | Sandals: Soludos | Scarf: Vintage (also love this and this) | Bag: Mango (similar) | Sunglasses: AJ Morgan (similar) | Lips: Kat Von D 'Outlaw' ]

I am so excited to finally share the details of our amazing 10-day long France trip that we took at the end of April!  I will do my best to recap the highlights, share the favorite things we did, what we saw...and hopefully not bore you over the next few blog posts!

So first a little background.  This trip came to fruition back in November when we got the save-the-date to the wedding of one of my sorority sister's.  The wedding was at the end of April in Provence  but it made the most sense to fly in and out of Paris (Patrick had never been; I'd been dying to go back since high school), and thus the planning began.  It was quickly becoming clear this was going to be the trip of a lifetime, and the next thing we knew we were booking tickets for a 10-day trip.  Throughout the planning process, there were times where 10 days felt like way too long, and then times where it felt like it wasn't going to be nearly enough.  In the end, it was the perfect length.  I won't bore you with the details of the planning process (basically a ton of googling and blog reading) and will skip right to the start of the trip:

We landed in Paris around 6:00 am, and once getting through customs and retrieving our luggage, we high-tailed it to the city.  We couldn't drop our bags off at our apartment until 9 am, so we killed time by getting croissants and coffee at a local cafe and then hung out in the courtyard of the Louvre (you do what you gotta do haha!).

Once we could get into our apartment, we showered, took a nap (hello jetlag) and got ready for the day.  The weather was unexpectedly in the mid-80s (a huge shock coming from never-ending winter that was happening in Chicago), so I threw on this breezy dress, tied my hair back with a vintage silk scarf and we were out the door.

The only thing on the agenda for our first day was to see the Eiffel Tower.  I knew we would be jetlagged and didn't want to overdo it, and what's more Parisian than the Eiffel Tower?!  I had read that the views from Avenue de Camoens were incredible, and it promised to be less touristy than the Trocadero.  Indeed it was beautiful!

We ended our first day in Paris with dinner (and dancing!) at Maxim's and a long stroll home to our Parisian apartment.  It was perfect.

PS Wishing a very happy birthday today to my husband, my better half, the man behind (and a lot of the times in front of) the camera and my everything!  I love you!

xo, Annelise

April 12, 2018

business casual

[ Blouse: SheIn c/o | Blazer: J.Crew | Jeans: Madewell (obsessed!) | Booties: Hinge | Bag: Zara (also love this one) | Necklace: J.Crew | Lips: Burberry 'Bright Plum' ]

Photos taken in Gold Coast

It's rare that I love an outfit that I wear to work.  I don't know what it is about my work wardrobe, but the outfits are just so mundane to me.  For starters, Monday through Thursday we need to dress more on the formal side, which I am NEVER inspired to do.  I think when you have to dress a certain way, it depletes you of your creativity.  But on Fridays, we get to wear jeans and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for me!  I love the look of a formal top half (think oxford shirts, blazers, structured jackets, etc) with jeans on the bottom.  I wore this to work last Friday and then and straight on to our double date that night!

xo, Annelise  

March 30, 2018

these are a few of my favorite things

Sorry for getting that song stuck in your head 😊 I've seen a few other bloggers do posts like this and I thought they were such a great idea and were so helpful to me.  After all, bloggers are real people and I love hearing their first hand input and items they've tried and loved.  So without further ado, here they are - my favorite things of all time that I keep buying again and again:

Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm
This product is holy grail status.  I've been buying it since discovering it at Urban Outfitters in high school (!!) and have not found a single chapstick that works quite like it.  It's the perfect consistency and keeps your lips dewy for hours...and I'm an incessant lip-rubber!

J.Crew Dreamy Cotton Pants
I have these pajama pants in two colors and wear them every. single. day.  They're so incredibly cozy, and they don't break the bank like a lot of pjs out there right now.  They also make the perfect gift!

Swell 25oz Water Bottle
Let me start by saying I never really understood the need for a fancy water bottle.  I'm not one who wants my water to stay cold (I prefer it room temp), I refill the same plastic bottle over and over again at work, and I just drink out of the fountain at the gym.  So when I asked for this Swell water bottle in 'Blue Granite' for Christmas, it was purely for aesthetic purposes.  I wanted to have a nice looking bottle on my desk since I sit at the front of the showroom.  And now that I have a fancy water bottle...I totally understand the appeal!  I drink way more water since I have a huge bottle of it sitting there (rather than with my little plastic bottle that I would never take the time to go refill it) and now I challenge myself to refill it 3x a day so that I'm consuming 75oz of water.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick
I was first introduced to this lipstick by my coworker a few years ago when she was wearing the most perfect shade of red on her lips.  She let me try hers and I immediately hooked and bought one for myself (it was color 'Outlaw').  The application is super easy - it goes on bold - and stays for hours without flaking or turning into lip liner (we've all been there!).  A few months later I went back and bought 'Lolita II' to have something to wear during the day.

J.Crew Factory Cashmere V-Neck Sweater
I posted about this back in November and it still reins true: J.Crew Factory sells the best cashmere sweater.  It's so soft and snuggly, plus major bonus points for being under $80.  My only wish is that they release more neutral color options.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream
I sang my praises of this product on Instastories a few weeks ago but it deserves a a full and permanent review here on the blog.  It's actually what inspired this post!  Let's rewind to winter 2016 when my skin, for the first time in my life, didn't adjust well to the bitter cold.  I was experiencing dryness/flakiness, dullness and red splotchiness on my face, particularly around my nose and mouth.   Aside from doing a hydrating mask here and there, I didn't take much action and just lived with it, knowing that spring was around the corner and my skin would go back to normal.  Well it didn't - the flakiness and splotchiness remained, albeit less intense, but it was still there and I was left wondering what was making my skin so angry.  So I spent most of 2017 trial and error-ing new skincare products, reading reviews on skincare publications and retailers websites, reading other bloggers reviews, asking friends and colleagues for their favorites, and getting a facial or two - everyone and everything had their two cents, and each persons two cents were different from the next.  From the brands, to the product options, to the sheer variety of skincare experts, I was so overwhelmed with the thousands of options out there and the uniqueness of my own skin.  By fall, I knew it was time to confide in my dermatologist, however her next available appointment wasn't until April 2018...yikes!  I felt defeated.  It was around that time that I was reminded that Sephora will fully refund you for a used product as long as less than half of it was used.  This was good news for me because, while I was willing to spend a pretty penny on a product that would actually work, I wasn't willing to if that product didn't work.  So I went to Sephora and told the sales associate my symptoms.  Without hesitation, she brought me to Dr. Jart+'s Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream.  The results were instant!  My skin looked full of life again!  It was dewy without being oily; the dryness and flaking were gone.  The redness also significantly diminished.  I wish I could say I knew what it was about this product that works so well for me, but I can't - I just know that it does and that's all I need.  So if you're experiencing the same problems, I highly recommend you give this product a try.  Nothing would make me happier than knowing I helped someone else going through the same defeat!  Some disclaimers: everyone's skin is different so although this worked miracles on me, it may not on you.  Also, I tried the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment since it had SPF in it, and I hated it.  It was super chalky and the tint in it made my routine so messy!  Just throwing that out there so you don't make the same mistake!

What are your favorite products?  Would love to hear!

xo, Annelise

March 28, 2018

lucky ladybug

[ Sweater: J.Crew Factory | Jeans: J.Crew Factory | Boots: Steve Madden | Bag: Mango (similar) | Jacket: Ann Taylor | Sunglasses: AJ Morgan (similar) | Lips: Kat von D 'Outlaw' ]

Photos taken in River North

Polka dots are slated to be one of the biggest trends this year, so I'm leaning into the fad with this kitschy ladybug print sweater.  I was drawn to it first by the bold black stripes at the edges.  I also love that from far away they look like red polka dots but up close you see they're actually ladybugs.    Plus, nothing says spring quite like an insect motif sweater.  It has slight Miss Frizzle vibes, which I'm fine with 😊

Hope you're having a great week!

xo, Annelise

March 20, 2018

live colorfully

[ Sweater: Lovers + Friends | Skirt: J.O.A. (also love this, this and this one) | Heels: Calvin Klein (similar) | Bag: Henri Bendel (on sale!) | Sunglasses: Forever 21 (also love these) | Lips: Tom Ford 'Pure Pink' ]

Photos taken in Gold Coast

I've never been one to shy away from color.  Compound that with my love of stripes and some bell sleeves, and you could say this sweater was made for me!  I love the springy vibe it gives off.  I paired it with my favorite midi skirt for a fun bold look, but also picture wearing it with some wide white leg trousers like these.  Colorful stripes give you so many opportunities for styling - this sweater would look great with some light blue statement earrings like these or these, or some yellow sandals like these or these.  The possibilities are endless!

If I had to pick my favorite item in my closet, it would have to be this skirt.  It goes well with so many things and is such a classic silhouette.  I wish it was still available!

xo, Annelise

March 13, 2018

perks of being a wallflower

[ Jacket: J.Crew (similar) | Sweater: Jack Wills (also love this one) | Bag: Mango (similar) | Jeans: LOFT (similar) | Sneakers: TOMS (similar) | Sunglasses: Forever 21 ]

Photos taken in front of May Flowers mural by Juan de la Mora, located on the backside of Silent Funny

We were beyond productive on Sunday.  We rented a Maven for two hours and ran a bunch of errands around the city, most of which involved donating old clothes and housewares to various places.  I did a lot of research to make sure our donations were going to the best possible local services and not into landfills.  Here is where we donated:

 DenimMadewell will take your old jeans and turn them into housing insulation.  Bonus: they give you $20 per pair to be used on a new pair of jeans from them! 

Designer Clothes, Shoes, Accessories: I donated to threadUP for consignment and donation.  I signed up online and they send you a large prepaid USPS bag to ship your items in.  Anything they cannot sell, they will donate for you.

Used Clothing and Housewares: I decided to donate these items to a local Chicago charity, Brown Elephant.  All proceeds benefit LGBTQ health and fund care for the uninsured and under-insured at Howard Brown Health.

Unusable Shoes and Clothing: after the above donations, I still had a bunch of clothes and shoes left that were so used and abused, they would likely not be accepted by charity.  After a quick google search, I found a source called Chicago Textile Recycling, which will take your used items, grind them up and turn them into cleaning products.  You can donate at their facility (250 N. Mannheim Rd, Unit B in Hillside) or at one of SWALCO's donation bins.

I found other Chicagoland donation services here.

We finished off our productive day by driving out to Humbolt Park to find the above mural.  I had seen this mural on Instagram and from other bloggers and had to check it out.  It's such a fun colorful installation - much needed on these last few dreary weeks of winter.

xo, Annelise