How To Make This Your Best Work Year Yet


My work year begins just before Labor Day. After a wonderful, restful summer vacation, I am never ready to go back to work. Those months completely fly. Then at the start of each "school year" I resolve to make it my best year ever. Fast forward thirty days, and the under-eye bags have returned and I'm usually a disorganized, anxious, highly caffeinated mess. Determined to truly make this my happiest and healthiest year yet, I've consulted the experts and rounded up a handful of interesting and informative links that have inspired me (and hopefully you) to kill it this year! 

Wooden It Be Nice


What I'm wearing: Club Monaco sweater and shorts, Cuyana tote, Zara flats, watch c/o JORD

More than any other accessory, I love watches. No outfit is every truly complete without one. I'm an old fashioned girl who relies on my wrist, rather than my cell, for telling time. Truthfully without a one, I would probably always be late. 

So when I discovered JORD wooden watches earlier this summer, I was instantly smitten. JORD watches are a playful take on this class piece of arm candy. In this case, my wooden timepiece offers the perfect compliment to a relaxed weekend look. The neutral band and face are handcrafted out of wood, and despite the substantial size, these watches are as light as a feather. Available in a rainbow of shades, each boasts a stand-out design with a bit of nature charm. It's a nice departure from a traditional metallic watch, no?

Shop more of JORD's wooden watches here!  

Photos taken by Rachel Schrader

Fresh Flowers


Sunday marked one of my favorite days of the year. Flag Day! Kidding! But it was the first day of our neighborhood farmer's market! My fiancé and I look forward to the Wicker Park farmer's market every Sunday during the summer and early fall. Upon arriving, he made a beeline for the apple wood chunks and the gorgeous, rainbow of produce. But my first stop is always the flower vendor. Especially right now as it's peony season, which like every other warm blooded female, is my favorite season. 

Most say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but really, isn't it flowers? Flowers have the ability to instantly lift your mood. Flowers exude a similar effect when it comes to an outfit too; the power to instantly brighten it up! This time of year there is no more perfect print. 

Photos by Rachel Schrader

Linked with Trend Spin and Fab Favorites

Wedding Guest


What I'm wearing: Nanette Lepore lace open back sheath (rent it here or buy it here), Rebecca Minkoff clutch, Zara strappy sandals

If you're like me, then your refrigerator is currently decorated with save the dates and your calendar is filled to the brim with weddings. Well 'tis the season! Over the next year we will attend numerous nuptials, each completely different in location and theme, but with one consistent similarity: the requirement to dress up!

As a boring / non- celebrity / regular person, the opportunities to get fancy are few and far between, so I welcome the chance to be a wedding guest! The job of a wedding guest is simple and clear: Don't wear white, drink too much, make the day all about yourself, or do anything else that could piss off the bride. On the flip side, we should, eat, drink, and be merry!

I chose this Nanette Lepore frock for my fiancé's cousin's big day because lace is such a romantic fabric, making it perfect for weddings. The halter top and back (not seen, but amazing) were insanely flattering. And in the freak chance the bride forgot her something blue, I could be right be her side!

Regardless of the dress code, a wedding is special, so your outfit should reflect that. I've rounded five dresses perfect suited for this season of love and celebration!

Rent The Runway... A Love Story


I'm what you would call an emotional decision maker. Just ask my fiancé, who is hands down the most logical human being on the planet. He's working hard to break me of this habit, as it lands me in trouble more times than I'd like to admit. However, I am oddly logical and practical when it comes to my wardrobe. I have to love, adore, not be able to survive without a dress or pair of shoes in order for me to make the purchase. I obsess if they are worth the money, and often have to sleep on it before making a decision. So when I discovered Rent The Runway several years ago, and realized that I could wear the best designers, without much of a commitment, or paying the designer price, I thought "Sign me up!" 

I’ve been a fan and frequent customer of Rent The Runway since its infancy. RTR has become my go-to destination for finding that perfect outfit for memorable occasions like weddings, special events, even my engagement party. Any event that you anticipate will have an abundance of photo ops, is ideal for a rental. Not to sound like a diva, but let's be honest, nobody likes being seen in the same dress over and over again. As a member of RTR, you have access to a closet that’s boundless, allowing you to be the most stylish version of yourself!

When you log on to RTR, it's a dream. Fun and formal dresses and accessories at every price point, at your disposal. For you non- shoppers, you're spoiled with lists of hand picked dresses depending on the occasion. For you fashionistas, you can literally spend hours perusing RTR's selection. RTR offers you the perfect opportunity to step out of your fashion comfort zone, and try a dress (or accessory) that you typically would not. With your rental you are sent two sizes of said dress, for four or eight days, along with all of the return shipping materials. To some this may sound anxiety provoking, or just too good to be true, but their customer service is incredible making it essentially risk free. If you're lucky enough (like us Chicago girls) to live in a city with a brick and mortar RTR store, you can and try on and return dresses on site (they will style you too). 

I rented this sassy BCBG number for my birthday last week. I was drawn to this dress because it's demure with a twist. The triangular front cutout and asymmetrical slit give this conservative silhouette a dose of drama. While I truly loved this dress, it's not exactly something that I would typically buy, thus making it absolutely perfect to rent! 

Throw wardrobe practicality out the window and join me in embracing the rental game! 

Photos by Rachel Schrader

Linked with Trend Spin and Style Sessions

The Friday Find // Mar y Sol 'Caracas' Tote


Is it too early to declare that I've found my summer bag? Mar y Sol's 'Caracas' Tote undoubtedly has a future on my arm. Sizable enough to haul around all of my (and my fiancé's for that matter) goodies, but also pretty and fun (those pompoms though), making it the perfect dose of arm candy. Can it just be summer already!?

Kentucky Derby Style + Four Ways


When you think of the Kentucky Derby, what comes to mind? Horses? Mint juleps? Big hats? While technically the Derby is about the horses, it's really all about the fashion. So when the opportunity presented itself to attend Chicago's biggest Derby party and enjoy The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports (check out last year here), after immediately saying yes, I had one thought "What am I going to wear?"

When planning for a derby look, one is faced with the age-old dilemma; What should come first, the hat or the dress? If there is one thing I know, it's that I look absolutely horrid in hats. (For someone that comes from a baseball family, you would think I could pull one off with decent success; not the case). So currently I am in desperate search of the perfect hat, and once found, the right dress will follow.

The Kentucky Derby is always one of the most fun fashion events of the year, making it the perfect excuse to try out some of spring's hottest trends, like culottes, matching separates, and woven handbags. Hold on to your hats and shop the looks seen above, in the links below!

Look 1: Rebecca Taylor DITSY TULIP JUMPSUIT (rent it here) / Topshop Crochet Floppy Hat / ASOS Horse Shoe Swing Earrings / Mar y Sol 'Giselle' Woven Clutch

Look 2: BCBG JENNI RUFFLE-SHOULDER RACERBACK DRESS / Alex and Ani 'Kentucky Derby - Race Horse' Bangle / Brooks Brothers Flower Derby Hat / BP. 'Luminate' Open Toe Dress Sandal

Look 3: Pixie Market Little Dreams Matching Separates / PIERS ATKINSON Flower-embellished sinamay trilby / Karen Walker 'Number One' Sunglasses / SOLE SOCIETY GEMMA bejeweled sandal

Look 4: H & M Ribbed Dress / Mar y Sol 'Collins' Woven Tote / SOLE SOCIETY MIX STRAW SUN HAT / SOLE SOCIETY Nahara wedge