High Five for Friday

happy friday! with travel this week, it feels like i went from friday-friday with nothing in-between. hey, i'll take it. 

here's a look back at some of my favorite things from this week:

1. i spent the week in North Carolina with my sister, nephew, and mom. it was nice to hang with the girls and to get lots of quality time with David. he's at such a fun age now - smiling all the time and discovering something new at every turn. i'm glad i get to see them in just a few weeks again!
at David's first pumpkin patch!
2. if there's one thing my mom, sister, and i do well, it's shop. we ran errands a couple days and i was able to stock up on some great sweaters for the fall and winter. i've been on a mission to up my sweater collection and that i did. like, had to carry one on with me on the plane yesterday because my bag was too full, did. 

3. Kate cut and colored my hair and i'm obsessed. they're both exactly what i wanted! it's been years since i've had my hair this short, so it's been fun to try new ways to style it. the hint of red is a fun change, too!

4. after David was in bed one evening, Kate and i decided we needed to watch Hocus Pocus. tell me you remember that movie! it was surprising to us to be able to recall scenes and lines before they happened, considering it's been at least 10 years since either have seen it. 

5. over the last few years, i've become quite the anxious flyer. i don't know what changed, but i dread getting on an airplane these days. these last two flights were some of the best i've had in awhile, so it was nice to have that for a change! heck, who wouldn't enjoy this view:

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!


Style + Function

if you ask me, style and function go hand in hand. especially when it comes to accessorizing, i look for things that fit within my personal style and serve a purpose (generally speaking). the easiest example of this is using a handbag. although the outside of the bag is what catches my eye first, before falling in love too quickly, i always check out the inside to see how large it is, how many pockets it has, if it has a divider inside, etc.

the Siena Leather Camera Bag from Jo Totes is a great example of style and function in one. while it's main purpose is to make carrying a DSLR camera easier (and safer!), it also has plenty of room to hold your regular handbag items, like your phone, keys, wallet, lip balm, and whatever else you need! truthfully, i tend to leave my camera at home when i'm traveling or doing something in the city merely because i don't have a safe and pretty way to transport it. not so anymore!
i love the shape of this bag - the structure of it is what allows for the protection of the camera, while also making it stylish and versatile. the leather is a rich cognac and the adjustable strap allows for easy wear. the adjustable pads on the inside make it easy to store an extra lens and keep the body of your camera from moving around and risk any scratches or damage. 
i'm happy to say that i no longer have a good reason to leave the DSLR at home, thanks to Jo Totes! i'm looking forward to bringing my camera with me when i travel, especially when i go to see my nephew, so that i can snap some photos that aren't on my iPhone ;)

one lucky winner will receive a $125 gift certificate to use on JoTotes.com! use the giveaway tool below to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Lucky Sweater

don't mind the salt stains on the toes of my boots...lesson learned.

a couple saturdays ago, mike and i headed out to a nearby outlet mall to do a little shopping. he was in the market for some pants for work and i'm always in the market for something at the mall. after a quick lunch, we drove out to get our shop on. we both had some success and still had the night ahead of us, so our next obvious activity was to head over to the casino and win a little money (hopefully!). 

the last time i was at a casino, it was in Vegas and i was about 12 years old. i made the mistake of stepping off the designated carpet area and was instantly reprimanded by casino staff. so, that was what i knew of a place like that. we set a limit of how much we were both willing to spend, and through those glorious double doors we walked. if you've never been, there's a bit of everything overload when you first walk in...we had to get our bearings and make a game plan. we circled around the whole place to see what types of games they had available and decided on the one that required the least amount of money. we found machines next to each other and got to work. we spied on some fellow gamblers, just to see how the thing worked, and then took a swing at it. i put a couple bucks in and ended up with a $.40 payout, so...i wasn't exactly off to a hot start. we continued and i started winning a little, $4.50 here, $7.60 there. i was feelin' it. Mike, however, wasn't exactly winning.

we continued on, trying a couple other games, until we found the one. we decided that i had the lucky touch, so my role was pressing the button. the first couple rounds weren't great, and then it happened. the rewards started rollin' in. 4x! 10x! double! 9 free games! you honestly would have thought that we just won a million dollars based on our excitement. we watched our winnings rise and debated every time whether or not we should test our luck again. after a couple losses, we knew it was quittin' time. i hit the 'payout' button and our $58.20 receipt was printed. whaaaaaaaat! like i said, you would have thought we won a million, but walking out of a casino with more than double the money we put into it was a sweet, sweet victory. we cashed out and strutted out of that place like we owned it. we recounted in the car and split our winnings, 50/50. and then it was time to decide what we'd do with this new pile of money we found ourselves holding. brunch in the morning, it was!

and so, this sweater is officially dubbed my 'lucky sweater'. here's to hoping that luck continues!

sweater | J.Crew Factory
pants | Madewell (old)
booties | DSW (similar)
bag | Target
necklace | J.Crew Factory (similar)
earrings | Elisabeth Ashlie
sunglasses | Kate Spade 


Work Out to Hang Out

i've been on a kick of wearing workout clothes a lot lately. when i'm spending the day at my desk or doing things around my apartment, i don't always feel the need or desire to put together an outfit that requires any sort of fuss or uncomfortableness. with that being said, i certainly feel better and am more productive when i've taken some time to get ready - applying a bit of makeup, doing something with my hair, and putting on an outfit that doesn't involve sweatpants and an old tee. i love the comfort of exercise clothes and the challenge that comes with making them into an outfit that i can pop into the store or grab lunch with a friend and not feel underdressed or sloppy. 

i had the opportunity to pick out a few items from the Target® C9 Collection for a little style haul. i’ve always been a fan of the collection, with a pile of tops and bottoms from the C9 Collection already in my dresser drawer. as i went into shopping, i had in mind that i wanted to pick out items that could be worn for exercise and for other things, like running errands or working outside of the apartment while still feeling productive.
the C9 by Champion® Women's Performance Tee in Hydro was my first pick. i like having exercise tees (versus tanks) for the cooler months because the more fabric, the better. the tee is fitted without being too tight, so it keeps me cool but doesn't get in the way. i love the vibrancy of the color and appreciate that it adds a little 'spice' to my typically neutral wardrobe. the best thing about this tee is that when you cover it with a jacket or sweater, it doesn't immediately scream, 'i’m wearing exercise clothes!'

paired with some simple joggers, a jean jacket, and some casual lace-up booties (replacing my tennis shoes), i can go about my day while feeling comfortable and put together. 
i’m a sucker for workout leggings, especially when they have a fun pattern or color. the C9 by Champion® Women's Legging Pinstripe in Plum are the perfect addition to my collection. with a super soft and stretchy fabric blend, these leggings slide right on and have a 'barely there' feel. they’re durable enough to be worn in the chilly temps we've had in Chicago, while remaining breathable during exercise. the color and pinstripe add the final touch to make them fun and playful. 

with the trend of patterned leggings going around right now, these workout leggings transition easily from workout to hang out. adding a sweater/jacket with a little structure (and touch of leather!) and some nude ballet flats, i’m able to go from the gym to a coffee shop to get some work done without looking like i came straight from my workout. 
the final piece is the C9 by Champion® Women's Yoga Layering Cowl in black. it's light and breathable and good for layering. with the addition of the hood, cinching at the bust, and drawstring detail at the waist, it becomes a more interesting top than my other workout tops. it will definitely be used this fall for outdoor jogs because it will keep the sting of cold air off of my skin while still allowing me to keep cool enough to achieve a good workout. 

swapping my shorts and tennis shoes for some jeans, simple flats and a vest allows me to go transition to other tasks without having to change my entire outfit. 

my favorite thing about all of the pieces that I chose is how versatile they are. with fun colors, details, and high-quality materials, these items will become regulars in my at-home outfit lineup. 

be sure to check out the Target® C9 Collection for more great items! 

Disclosure |  This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.


High Five for Friday

happy friday! i hope you've all had a good week and i trust that you're ready for the weekend. i am, too! 

here's a look back at some of my favorite things from this week:

1. as I've mentioned here before, Mike and I are huge fans of The Walking Dead. the premiere of season 5 was on sunday evening and we were both counting down the hours until we could watch it. we agreed that it was one of our favorite episodes (ever) and can't wait to see where the season goes! who else is watching?

2. on the topic of Mike, he and I enjoyed a lovely weekend together. i'm often reminded of how difficult (and valuable!) long-distance relationships can be since both of my roommates are in them, so being able to spend every weekend with Mike is just a little bit sweeter. 

3. in true form, I already have the itch to redecorate/change things around in my room. i've been casually looking for a new desk chair, since the one that I originally purchased isn't the most comfortable thing in the world. I was browsing Marshall's yesterday and found a beautiful grey velvet chair with silver stud trim and immediately reserved it. I'm excited to see how it goes with my desk and for a more plush seat! 

4. my roommate's and I decided this week to throw a house-warming party! it's maybe a little late...seeing as we will have been living here for over 2 months by time it happens, but we mostly wanted a reason to entertain in the space that we have. and so, I'll be going overboard on pinterest with all the appetizer, drinks, etc. ideas I can possibly find. 

5. this week, I've been intentional about setting aside time in the mornings to read while I have my coffee, instead of immediately getting on my computer and working. it's been a great change and I've already noticed feeling more refreshed when I sit down at my computer each day, having had some time to myself.

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!