Sunday, September 15, 2013

Monograms, monograms, and more monograms.

I figured that posting about the things I love would be a great way to dive back into the blogging world- and I sure love monograms! As of lately, I've been buying more than my fair share of monogrammed items, and have found some stand out favorites for sure!

Busy Bees Gifts Etsy // Facebook
Excuse the iffy quality of the photo, but these koozies are GREAT. I ordered a few for myself, as well as for some friends that I knew would appreciate their monograms on a koozie. I loved ordering from Busy Bees because the owner communicated with me throughout the process and my items came in the blink of an eye! She is always posting new items and photos on her Facebook page, which is way too tempting!

Cuttin' Crazy Etsy // Facebook
My polka dot cell phone cover looked way too lonely without a monogram on the back... Cuttin' Crazy had an Etsy deal on 2" monograms and I really couldn't say no. Once again, I was thrilled with how quickly the decal got to me, and I've recommended these to friends multiple times already. Each decal comes with really great step-by-step directions, great for the decal amateur!

For Pete's Sake Pottery Facebook // Etsy
I'd been searching all over the internet for a wooden monogram that I could paint, and was so thrilled when I fell across For Pete's Sake Pottery on Twitter, and then again on Etsy. This 10" monogram was gorgeous before I even painted it- really great quality! As the name suggests, this is mostly a pottery business, and the owner does a beautiful job painting custom ceramic items. 

What are some of your favorite places to get a monogrammed item? I have been dying for a monogrammed baseball hat, but right before I order one, I remember how goofy I look in hats (I've had this realization 5+ times). 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Alpha Delta Pi <>

Happy Founder's Day to one of the things in my life that has meant the most and shaped me into who I am today- Alpha Delta Pi. I can't even imagine creating something that would affect women 162 years in the future, and pave the way for women's organizations everywhere, but I am so proud to be a part of the sisterhood that did. It's hard to fathom the great strides our six founders had made in 1851- all before women were allowed to vote.

Alpha Delta Pi has shaped me into the leader I am today, and is 100% of the reason that I had such a wonderful experience in my four years at Illinois State. The bonds of sisterhood were something I had not experienced as an only child, yet I graduated college having known the love and sisterhood of Alpha Delta Pi. 

It's not four years, it's for life. First, finest, forever.

<> <3

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

Things that I don't understand have always fixated me... now, I don't mean physics or philosophy or anything else like that. In this case, I mean iced cookies. I tried to bake Brendan some cookies in December and the icing was an absolute nightmare. Somehow half of the batch was thick like clay, and the other half was more runny than water.

I'm not a novice baker by any means (ahem- I WORK at a bakery for goodness sake), but something about cookies and decorating them is just so beyond me. I paint, and I can paint pretty well if I do say so myself, so maybe I need to give cookie decorating a try one of these days.

Here are some absolutely AMAZING cookie makers I've found poking around Pinterest, Instagram, and various blogs. Enjoy!

When I came across these on Facebook, my jaw dropped. I can't even comprehend the complexity and cuteness of these cookies. If anyone wants to send me these exact cookies (dGa is my monogram) for my birthday next year, I would be MORE than happy to receive them ;)

TBE is doing a really great thing during the month of May- taking part in a virtual bake sale to raise funds for No Kid Hungry, a program encouraging Americans to help end child hunger. There are many baking bloggers around the country participating, so do a little poking around and find someone local if you want to save on shipping. Regardless, the money is going to a great cause and you get some yummy treats in return.

How cute are these London-themed cookies? After watching the Olympics from London this past summer, I dying for a return trip back "across the pond" but I think these cookies would suffice for a little while! I love the little details on the telephone booth, and the Union Jack looks like it's blowing in the wind.

One Preppy Cookie is also a fun blog to follow, a combination of adorable cookie creations and various lifestyle posts and home projects. Her site says she is currently booked through the calendar year with cookie orders, so naturally I want what I can't have even more!!

A while ago, I found these amazing anchor cookies on Pinterest and it was love at first sight. I love love love all things nautical and anchors, and these cookies are simply amazing. Sweet Goosie Girl has really perfected the scalloped cookie with amazing designs in the center. A set of 12 is $36, and can be individually wrapped to be as favors. I'm already sending this link to Brendan in hopes he wants to get me "just because" cookies!

I hope this post left everyone feeling inspired to start trying some fun baking, or giving you a new business to buy some delicious treats from! 

Have a good weekend everyone! I am off to Soldier Field (where the Chicago Bears play) for the American Beer Classic- whoo!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Online Shopping Obsession Continues...

As a rule of thumb lately, if I can do it from my iPad, I love it. Online shopping hasn't always been my thing, but lately I've found so many amazing sites with accessories, clothing and shoes that I'm lusting over that it makes it so fun and so worth it.

These are some of my favorite sites for cheap basics, trendy items, and accessories!

Accessory Boutique is on Facebook and features really great auction-style jewelry sales on Thursday evenings. Pictures get posted with price and quantity, and shoppers can comment their emails and an invoice is emailed! The earrings below are right up my alley and are currently on sale for $15 with free shipping. I was lucky enough to win the pink make-up bag below in a giveaway last month.. I love it for travelling, especially since I'm always headed somewhere, it seems.

UrbanOG has been my go-to since freshman year for cheap shoes and accessories to wear to sorority events. The only place I found the right color pink shoes for my formal dress (and trust me, I searched everywhere) was on UrbanOG. Currently I'm in love with these shoes ($31.91) and this dress ($27.20), I'm trying my best to spend less money on clothing, but all bets are off! 

My obsession with GroopDealz started earlier this year when the lovely Mary Beth Goodwin shared a link to a GroopDealz flash sale with me on Twitter. It's been love ever since, and it's great getting emails in the morning with the weekly deals. This week I'm a big fan of the Pave Crystal bracelet ($10.99) Summer Finley Necklace ($11.99). I have been really into gray and yellow lately, and this would be such a cute look with chambray and white jeans!

Sassy Steals and GroopDealz are tied for first on my list of favorite emails to receive each day! I usually eat my breakfast while scrolling through the flash sales on these two sites. This week I'm loving the Teardrop Bubble Statement Necklace ($11.99). Everyone seems to have the same bubble necklace these days (I'm guilty, see like two posts below.. eek), which is fine because they're adorable, but this one is really unique!  And since summer is right around the corner, the Personalized Beach Tote ($15.99) is perfect for bringing drinks to the beach or pool!

I didn't escape this post unscathed.. can you guess what item(s) I bought? 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Snail Mail Love

Nothing beats getting mail! The majority of mail addressed to me lately is either student loan payments or my university's alumni association asking for donations... so needless to say it always brightens my day when I see something addressed to me that's not asking me for money. Here's some favorites of mine as seen around the internet. If you see one and are feeling the overwhelming urge to send it to me, please feel free ;)

How cute is this Pick A Card, Any Card Get Well Soon card? Fun colors and patterns can sometimes be the best medicine. My mom made this card, so I'm slightly biased! ($2.50 for one card)
Of course this post wouldn't be complete without featuring some of the adorable Lilly Pulizter note cards on Lifeguard Press. I just got a multi-occasion set of Lilly cards from Von Maur and had to resist the urge to send each and everyone one at once. So cute! ($30 for 10 note cards)

Jonathan Adler is one of my new favorite designers- after seeing his things on Lifeguard Press and then again recently in JC Penney I've been obsessed. They're the perfect balance of preppy and geometric, and I definitely need some more Adler in my life! ($18 for 6 cards)

Any other great brands that I need to know about? :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Greek Easter

Sunday was Orthodox Easter, which meant that my family got to celebrate a second time (perks of being half Greek, I suppose)! Just photos tonight, next post will be featuring greeting cards and all of the joys of snail mail!

It wasn't quite warm enough for shorts, but is IS May already so who cares!
Cardigan: Forever 21 from a while back
Shirt: NY & Company Outlet, but they were previewing their spring items so it may still be in stores!
Shorts: Loft from last spring
Jewelry: Sassy Steals, Etsy, Style & Co.

Mommy and I before leaving

My sweet little cousin, Elijah who likes to think he's Spiderman. We played the whole time and I learned that I definitely don't know how to play with toy cars!

Hope everyone had a fun weekend!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Glass Slipper Project

Yesterday I had such an incredible volunteering experience that I just had to share it with the Internet! After hearing about the Glass Slipper Project from Brendan's mom last spring, I was ready to volunteer a whole year in advance! GSP collects donated prom dresses, shoes, accessories and more to provide to Chicago high school seniors who could not otherwise afford to buy a dress to attend prom. The program is completely run by volunteers and is donation-based, which was even more motivation for me to clean out my closet and give some new life to all of the dresses I've accumulated over the years.

Girls show up as early as 5:30 on Saturday morning to line up for their "appointments" to get dressed for a gown. Each girl is matched with a volunteer Personal Shopper who leads them around to each station. A vacant Chicago Public School is turned into a boutique for four weekends in the spring and houses over 4,800 dresses, accessories and more. Each room is dedicated to a dress size, and the dresses are grouped by color as well. After selecting a dress, there are two enormous rooms of shoes to choose from, as well as many rooms of jewelry, purses, and brand new makeup generously donated by Chicagoland businesses. 

I was sent with two HUGE boxes of brand new shoes that Brendan's Aunt Leah generously purchased from H&M and shipped to the Project for the last weekend. It was love at first sight for the volunteers and the shoppers, and I was so excited when the first girl I dressed selected a pair of shoes Leah had sent!

Overall, this was an incredibly humbling experience, and I left feeling so happy that I had gotten to help girls choose something to wear on a night they'll hopefully remember forever! I leave you all with this gem, circa 2008 Grant High School Senior Prom