December 24, 2012

...Christmas Eve

I sort of love Christmas Eve. The calm before the storm of cooking, family visiting, wrapping paper chaos. Singing Silent Night at a candlelit Christmas Eve service, it all feels so warm and familiar. Wishing everyone a happy and love-filled holiday!

a cute DIY project

December 21, 2012

...Christmas prezzie shopping

I've FINALLY finished everyone's shoppin. Took me a while to get my act together on that one. This year I'm going mostly homemade, so everyone receiving presents from me should look forward to macaroni necklaces and painted picture frames. 

December 20, 2012

...these holiday outfits

Put each of these on my body please.

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December 12, 2012

...happy hump day

I absolutely cannot believe Christmas is less than two weeks away. I don't want to complain about the nice weather...but can it get cold and wintery already? These 60 degree days are just not getting me in the Christmas spirit. I've been slowly collecting Christmas prezzies for my loved ones and (fingers crossed) if I have time I'll put a couple ideas up on le blog Friday!

Meanwhile...head over to the etsy shop to do some holiday shoppin!

image credit

December 10, 2012

...Maria's Lifechangers!

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OSiS Dust In Powder
I have very fine hair and am always on the search for volume products. My hair dresser introduced me to this product and it is insane. You dust a little into your hair and your hair magically gets thicker. I know it sounds weird...just try it and you'll love it!

Surface Trinity Shampoo & Conditioner
Maybe TMI but I have an awful sulfate allergy which disqualifies about 90% of all shampoos out there. I'm always on the search for quality sulfate-free products and have fallen in love with this shampoo and conditioner! I've been using it about 2 weeks and my hair feels stronger and appears shinier. So for my other sulfate-free beauties out there give this one a shot.

Conair Bun Maker
Fine hair=weak looking bun. Use this little guy for amazing "going-out-hair"/"I'm-on-a-date-hair"/"I-need-to-ace-this-interview-hair"/"I'm-having-a-bad-hair-day-hair"...basically any reason ever.

MAC Paint Bare Canvas
Am I the only one of this earth who has struggled with creasy eye shadow? I'm not sure if it's because my eye lids are more hooded or maybe they're just more oily. Regardless this product does the trick. You apply a little before eyeshadow, eyeliner and highlighter. Your eyeshadow will stay put all day. Can someone say #firstworldproblems?

Kiehls Avocado Eye Treatment
Buy this. Put it on every morning and every night. Your life may improve exponentially.

How Sweet It Is - The Blog
I have to learn how to cook so I can be a functioning wife/mom/person at some point in my life. This blog as simple, fun recipes that are great for beginners. Not to mention, the commentary is hilarious. 

Trader Joe's- Reduced Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
Do you think Trader Joe would send me a case of this in bulk? Can I put this in everyone's stockings for Christmas? Can I put in on everything I eat? Go visit Mr. Joe, buy it, don't fall in love too quickly.

Wai Lana Yoga Mat
This is by far the best yoga mat I've ever used. I've had yoga mats in the past that are either too thin or start to crumble after a month or two. I've had this yoga over two years and it's still looks and feels new. It's thick enough for a decent amount of support and has great grip if you're a sweaty yogi! I highly recommend and will never purchase another brand.

Double Cloth Metro Coat, J. Crew
I'm a bargain shopper at heart, however this coat is worth the money!! It's has some extra special magical lining which will keep you warm for hours, but also fits nice and snug so you still have a shape! I may buy them in every single color that ever existed.

Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Dress Shirts
One day in the land of Potomac Mills Outlet Mall I aimlessly wandered into the Brooks Brothers outlet store...I was rummaging through the sale rack and happened to come across these non-wrinkle button downs. For us ladies required to wear business professional to work, these are life changers. You literally throw them in the washer....THEN DRYER....and they come out looking like they've just been dry-cleaned. I've had mine for a couple years now and they still look amazing as well. Great basic investment.

December 7, 2012

...Christmas trees!

This weekend I am diving head first into holiday activities, regardless of the 55+ degree temps.

Tonight I'm going to zoo lights, and will drink hot chocolate and walk around and check out all the cool lights, maybe hang out in the nocturnal house, you know, typical Friday night activities.

The tomorrow...tomorrow morning I am dragging Casey to a Christmas tree farm and we are cutting down a tree! He is so excited he just won't stop talking about (oh wait...that's me.) The only problem is, a tree is a bit pricey, and I have NO ornaments! So I ordered $15 worth of felt poms and am going to make a garland like the one you see above, throw some lights on it and rejoice in having my FIRST Christmas tree!

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December 6, 2012

...this news!

Is anyone else as excited as I am about this?

December 4, 2012

...more cards in the etsy shop!

Hello all my favorite readers (yep, I'm talking about you...) I've been slooooowly working on some more stationery for the past couple months and finally have something to show for it!

Up in the i simply love etsy shop are these lovelies below and some others of course...Just in time for the holidays!

December 3, 2012

...a creative necklace collection

From the Yellow Owl Workshop - check them out here. 

November 30, 2012 some Friday

I'm so excited for the weekend! Guys - I'm going to work hard to get some new cards up on the i simply love etsy shop, so I hope you like them! 

Here are some things I'm obsessed with this week...

PJs  //  stamps  //  lipstick  //  organize

November 27, 2012

...Giving Tuesday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both stressed me out and I avoided most shopping this weekend (especially the crowds). But this year, Tuesday has been assigned a monicker and I think I can get behind it! Giving Tuesday - to kickstart the holiday giving season and - in theory - give back with the money you just saved in all the crazy sales!

Recently, I've been trying to be better about donating some money when I find something I'm passionate about. I read this article about service dogs helping war veterans recover and was so moved I donated some money right then.

Glamour does a feature about 31 Days of Giving in their magazine and I was thinking about hanging the article up at my desk and trying to donate a small sum to a couple charities a week. Here's the link to the online article: Glamour's 31 Day's of Giving

And finally - Giving Tuesday's official site - check it out and find something you're passionate about. Seriously, $5 isn't too little!

November 26, 2012

...Ashley's Lifechangers!

Ashley is one-half the photographer duo known as Jen + Ashley, a sorority sister of mine, and cute little blogger. Read below for her sweet lifechangers...

1. My husband Jeremy. He keeps me grounded, keeps me sane, and pushes me to dream bigger. I would never be where I am right now without him...and he's pretty funny. :)

2. My iPhone 5. Yes, I know it's silly to consider a phone a lifechanger, but it is. I use my phone for so many things, and even use photography apps that help with my weddings like the Sunset/Sunrise app, that tells you on any given day what the sunrise and sunset will be. Super helpful when planning start times for sessions since my goal is to shoot either at sunrise or sunset! 

3. My business partner Jen. She is, in many ways, my total opposite, but one of my best friends nonetheless. It's been absolutely amazing having someone to share this crazy journey into photography with and I truly couldn't ask for a better partner. People always ask if we ever wish we were going it "alone" and the answer is always NO WAY. 

4. Starbucks iced grande skinny caramel macchiatos. Enough said. 

5. My dogs Riley + Cooper. They are my co-workers since I work from home, my constant source of entertainment and definitely my "children". 

6. Bic blue pens. The really cheap ones. Like the $5 for a box of 20 ones. I've been using them since I was in high school and have ever since. I just love them and the way they write. Except for the time I got a box of duds. Literally only two pens worked in the whole box!

7. My Macbook Pro. It allows us to do same day slideshows at our weddings, which has been one of best (and most fun) marketing tools. 

8. My parents. They raised me to be independent and never scared of chasing my dreams, and always allowed me to take the path less chosen. I have no doubt I am in the photography world today because of them. 

9. Essie Nail Polish. I'm obsessed. I change my nail color at least once a week, and Essie is by far my favorite polish! The colors are the best!

10. Wine. I definitely couldn't live without wine. :)

Here's a little bio of her photography business:

Jen + Ashley are a two-woman wedding photographer team specializing in modern, fresh, and timeless wedding images. Ashley loves sprinkles, the color mint, living audaciously and dancing to The Wobble on wedding days. Jen is a persian cat collector, out eats all her guy friends, watches a mean game of tennis, and knows just as much about her car as she does her camera!

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November 21, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving my little readers! I'm headed up to NYC to hang out with my brother (who has to work Wednesday and Friday so couldn't come home), then we're going back to Charlottesville and cooking a real Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday! Hope you are all with the ones you love!

image credit

November 19, 2012

...Homestead Farm

A couple weeks ago I went apple picking here (they were out of apples so it turned into pumpkin patching) and fell in love with the farm! It was so charming - they sell treats and produce grown there, have apple trees, a pumpkin patch, and are opening their Christmas tree stash on November 23! I am making Casey go back with me so we can pick out a cute little tree for my apartment. 

I highly recommend it as a little afternoon outing!

November 15, 2012

...chalkboard wall

I reeaalllyyy want a chalkboard wall in my apartment. Do or don't?

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November 13, 2012 birthday!

My 26th birthday started off with my boyfriend fixing my sink for me before I woke up. Sooo romantic (but really, it was awesome because I've just been hoping it would magically fix itself for a couple weeks...).

I went to Crafty Bastards - an awesome craft fair held at Union Market - with my friends and treated myself to some cute crafty things (highly recommend, put it on your radar for next year!).

The I was whisked away by this handsome gentleman to a s'mores picnic. S'mores + picnics = 2 of my favorite things EVER.

We had dinner at Birch and Barley, and after I was surprised by my friends and brother and got my dance on!

Cupcakes for breakfast the next morning. I wasn't sad about it.
Thanks for all the birthday love! 

November 12, 2012

...Alisa's Lifechangers!

Today I am bringing you my little Alisa's lifechangers! I have know her since high school and we definitely bond over a love of good products and clothing. When we lived together after college I would constantly go shopping in her closet - the girl has some great style. Enjoy!

1. Clinique All About Eyes - I live by this stuff.  I have a jar in my bathroom, my purse, my school bag...I put it on every morning and every night and it definitely makes me look at least slightly less sleep deprived :)

2. It's a 10 Leave-In Product - I use this every time I get out of the shower.  Not only is it a great detangler, it also does tons of other fabulous stuff for your hair so you don't have to use 10 products at once...hence the name!

3. Chloe Eau de Parfum - My go to perfume.  Not too strong, not too weak.  Smells luxurious!

4. J.Crew Stretch Denim Jacket - I've worn this WAAAAY too much already, but seriously it goes with everything. And it's adorable.  The 90s called, and jean jackets are BACK! lolz.

5. Talenti Gelato - OMG NOM.  The most nom in the world.  Mediterranean Mint and Caramel Cookie Crunch are my faves.  Usually I just mechanically shovel food in my mouth (#ladylike), but I savor talenti gelato because it is beyond delicious.

6. Rent the Runway - I'm a 3rd year in law school and we randomly have tons of cocktail parties to go to.  It's really fun, but let's be real - I cannot buy a new cocktail dress every week, and I can't be photographed wearing the same Tibi dress to every event.  Because I am a celebrity.  And Lexington, VA is the equivalent of Los Angeles.  And Facebook is People Magazine. JK but seriously - this website is the best.  I smack myself every day for not thinking of this.  You can rent awesome designer dresses for $50-$300.  I've rented several times.  You can rent two sizes just in case one doesn't fit, and you can rent an additional dress at the same price for $25.  If nothing fits, they give you a store credit.  The dresses are always in perfect condition (the company cleans everything on their own), and the website is full of reviews and pictures of real people wearing the dresses.  Try it out for your next event!

7. Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn - Okay, now for the real stuff.  This book is about the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.  The thesis is essentially that if we educate women, the world will be a better place.  Simple message, but incredibly powerful piece of writing.  I've read it 4 times.  Get it NOW!

8. Funny women - Tina Fey & Amy Poeller - Seriously, these women are the sh*t.  It's super cheesy, but seeing intelligent, funny women succeed is the biggest motivator in the world. I'm religious about watching 30 Rock and Parks and Rec - not only because it's funny and brilliant and entertaining, but it's also inspirational seeing awesome ladies like Tina and Amy (who star in, write, and produce these shows) win at LIFE!

9. Google Docs - If you haven't used google docs yet, get out from under that rock and create a file!  It's actually called google "drive" now (wtf?).  In the top bar of your gmail, click on "Drive" and you'll be able to open any kind of document (word, excel, etc.) and share it with others.  You can edit it, they can edit it, you can create's awesome.  This is hugely helpful for school work or planning events. 

10. Doodle  - Best website ever for scheduling events.  I was in a bridal party recently and had to corral 8 women for bridal showers, luncheons, bachelorette parties, etc.  Create a survey at with your own dates and times and send the link to your friends if you ever need to meet with a big group or make a decision with a bunch of friends. 

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November 8, 2012

...occupy Sandy

This is super cool and creative:

The Occupy Wall Street guys set up a volunteer system to help victims who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.

They are taking donations through the Amazon registry so they can ask for exactly what they need. How smart is that?

Go here to donate!

And if you have time, browse through the incredible images on the NYTimes website, where I found the one below.

November 6, 2012!

I may or may not be rocking some patriotic colors tomorrow, getting to the polls when they open, and watching the results come in at a bar on Capitol Hill. Now, everyone go vote!

November 1, 2012 cinnamon french toast

Good morning!

I went apple picking on Saturday (more on that later) and of course came home with millions of apples. Monday morning when I was off work due to Sandy I wanted a warm, indulgent, yet healthy breakfast. So I made some apple cinnamon french toast!

It was easy - 

I cut up 2 apples into cubes, threw a tablespoon of butter into a saucepan and sprinkled cinnamon on top. I let those cook on medium heat while I did everything else, probably about 20 minutes.

For 6 slices of wheat bread I mixed 2 eggs and about 1/2 cup of milk. I like a lot of cinnamon so I went heavy on that, probably at least a tablespoon, just sprinkle in whatever amount you like!

After dipping the bread in the egg mixture and frying it on either side, I topped it with the cinnamon apples and some (or a lot) maple syrup!


October 29, 2012

...a hurricane day

I'm not complaining about a day off hunkering down waiting out Sandy. Casey and I are watching lots of TV (and if the power goes out we have a stack of books handy) and eating lots of chocolate chip cookies.

...Carol's Lifechangers!

Today I bring you my lovely Momma's lifechangers! I'm really excited to continue this series and I have a couple great people lined up in the coming months!

My mom has great style and I am constantly "borrowing" jewelry, shoes, and other accessories from her. It is a good thing we don't wear the same size clothing because she would be missing half her closet! I love to share my favorite tips with her (Moroccan oil shampoo changed my life so I got her hooked on it by giving it to her for Christmas!), and I finally gave into her obsession with Old Navy jeans and recently bought 3 pairs...

1. Dry Shampoo - Batiste is the brand I like, it make's my dirty hair look totally refreshed for an extra two days, what a time saver!  Need to look for travel size.  

2. Moroccan Oil Shampoo - Addicted.  Makes my hair so soft and I love the smell.  Anne Carlyle got me hooked on it.

3. Wacoal Bras - most comfortable bra I have ever warn, period.  Expensive but worth it.

4 .Cutco knives - I never knew how smooth and easy chopping could be.  Even though I don't like to cook.
5. Kindle app for IPad - I still love a real book, but this little thing comes in handy, especially for traveling or reading in bed (back lit).

6. Digital Library Loans - free digital books for the Kindle.  I love the library!

7. MacBook Pro - laptop changed my life.

8. Belk Coupons - Don't leave home without them, makes shopping at Belk just as cheap as my one true favorite, Marshall's.

9. Repetto Ballet Flats - my Phi Mu sister, Barb, took me to the store in Paris. The leather is like butter, you've never felt anything so soft.  Like going barefoot in adorable little shoes. Made popular by Brigette Bardot.  And I bet Audrey Hepburn wore them, too.

10. Old Navy Women's The Rock Star Super Skinny Jeans - saved the BEST for last.  Discovered these cheap and stretchy skinny jeans a few years ago.  $19 if you catch a sale, $34 regular.  SUPER comfy.  Have accumulated 16 pairs.  Did I say they come in lots of colors?!  And this year in corduroy!!!!!!!!!!!! I wear them almost every day.  I made Anne Carlyle get them.

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October 26, 2012

...these fall looks

I think I will be living in some variation of oversized sweaters and leggings and large tribal print sweaters this fall/winter.

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October 25, 2012

...these fall pieces

I love these leggings. They are cheap and comfy and I will wear them once a week until spring. I also splurged on these madewell boots and am not regretting it. They are so easy to wear with just about anything and quite comfortable as well.

Do you babies have any fall obsessions I should know about?

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October 24, 2012

...being back.

Things in my life got a little hectic. Work got a wee bit busy, as did life. While I was gone from the blog world I worked a lot of overtime, started (and stopped) training for a half marathon and fell in love with the most wonderful boy. So I guess I've been a little preoccupied. 

So I'm back with a little bit of a new approach to i simply love... I want to try and average about three posts a week and post a Lifechangers feature every two weeks! Please email me at if you're interested in sharing yours!

Tomorrow, I'll be back with some of my favorite pieces for fall. Yes, it will include pleather leggings. Yes, I am obsessed.

Thanks for sticking with me!

September 11, 2012

...a busy week

Work is about to take over my life this week...wanted to pop in and say hello! Hopefully I'll have some goodies for you later, have a great week babies!

September 6, 2012

...leather leggins

I've resisted these for a couple seasons...but I'm wondering if this is the year I buy leather leggings. Which would obviously be pleather jeggings but that's just too many made up words for one sentence. The one thing I am surely obsessed with in this photo is the navy purse...I will be searching for one of those!

September 5, 2012

...summer/fall transition outfits

This is a tricky and fun time of year to dress for. I love mixing seasonal pieces, like a chunky sweater with jean shorts. This week I might try a fallish cardigan with white jeans, but I can't decide if the no more white jeans after Labor Day is a rule worth breaking...thoughts?

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September 4, 2012

...type crush Tuesday

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I am always excited for a change of season, change of pace, new weekends to plan...September is bringing a visit to NYC to see my brother, tailgating at FedEx field for a JMU game, many long runs for my half marathon in November, and hopefully lots of work on my Etsy shop!

PS - did you see Moonrise Kingdom? So good!

Image credit

August 31, 2012

...the Friday before a long weekend

I am going to enjoy mine. Do touristy things around my own city, make some chocolate chip banana bread, maybe some chocolate chip pancakes, try one of these chocolate chip cookie recipes, (I'm seeing a trend...), cook mac and cheese for my boyfriend and college best friend, and go for a long run!

I hope YOU thoroughly enjoy your long weekend!

Super cool polka dotted house!

August 30, 2012

...a collection of chocolate chip cookies

Which ones do I make first?

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August 29, 2012

...Woody Allen Documentaries

I've been on a documentary kick recently and one that's spoken to me a bit is the Woody Allen: A Documentary series (there's two). I'm not a Woody Allen movie buff but I find his life fascinating. He makes movie after movie after movie and just seems so hilariously apathetic about it all. He's quite honest about knowing that not everything he does is a masterpiece but he keeps spitting them out. Watch them on Netflix! 

August 28, 2012

...type crush Tuesday

Some nice handwritten type love for ya today!

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...happy birthday JAKIE!

My little brother just moved to NYC and started his first real job, out in the real world. Today is his birthday, and I am (watch out-getting sappy) so lucky I am related to him (even though I'm obviously the favorite child).

August 22, 2012

...sprinkles ice cream (whaaaa?!?)

Its been said that I am an overly enthusiastic person and that everything is "my favorite." BUT I PROMISE Sprinkles cupakes are my favorite. All (most) cupcakes are delicious and tasty and wonderful and I rarely turn one down, but hands down, Sprinkles are the best. Now they're conquering the ice cream world. Eagerly awaiting the first time I get to try some.

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August 21, 2012


Shamelessly obsessed. But I also think this movie poster is clever. As is the tumblr I found it on - Minimal Movie Posters

...type crush Tuesday

I really love this logo done under design director Gideon Keith. What a gorgeous identity.

August 20, 2012

...these looks that I would never wear

I love and admire these two looks, but know I would never wear them. I sometimes feel like I'm in a (j.crew induced) style rut, so maybe I will try to pull some small elements of these outfits and apply them to my life. I kind of secretly want the black waxed legging jeans...paired with a denim shirt?

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August 16, 2012

...beyonce's tumblr

Recently rediscovered, and I fell in love officially this time. What a gorgeous, creative collection of images.

August 15, 2012

...pattern on pattern on pattern

I really want to wear lots of cute patterns and mix them all together. The problem is, I don't own any patterned clothing. So on my agenda this weekend is to find something polka dotted and something striped and make sure they look cute together.

August 14, 2012

...type crush Tuesday

I feel like I've put these up here before. But I'm not sure. And I love them. Because they're gray and white and letterpress.

August 13, 2012

...wide-legged pants

Crushing on these looks right now...

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August 10, 2012

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