Thursday, May 17, 2018

My Trip to Napa

Happy Thursday! As promised, I wanted to give you all a look into the amazing trip I went on with Downtown Napa a couple of weeks ago.  I had been to Napa once, before I turned 21, so I was really excited to go back and actually be of legal drinking age this time.  What I didn't realize, is that in addition to the amazing wineries that live in Napa, they also have an adorable little downtown area as well. 

I stayed at the Napa River Inn and it definitely exceeded all expectations!  Located right along the Napa River, this inn grants walking distance to all the shops, restaurants and wineries downtown.  The rooms are very quaint and I thought it was so cool that my room used to be a roller skating rink.  The floors are actually the original floors from the skating rink back in the day. Another plus about staying at Napa River Inn, is each morning they deliver fresh breakfast and pastries to your room from Sweetie Pies, located right next door! 

We started off our trip by having lunch and getting introduced to the Vice Mayor of Napa at Compline Wine.  We learned so much about the history and evolution of the city, which was all super interesting, especially because a lot of people don't even know that Napa has a downtown!  The lunch consisted of amazing food (the duck breast and the broccolini are to die for) and wine, followed by a butterscotch pudding & cheese plate for dessert.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!!

Our next stop was a wine tasting (more wine, of course!) at Vermeil Wines.  We tried everything from Chardonnay to Syrah, which was all delicious, I can't even pick a favorite! This winery is very modern and is actually named after the family of Dick Vermeil, the former NFL coach.  After wine tasting, we headed over to Gran Electrica for some yummy Mexican food and margaritas.  I loved how it was super trendy and it was also packed for a Tuesday night, which is always a good sign!

One thing that I thought I really wasn't going to enjoy was kayaking.  I've only done it one other time and didn't have the best experience so I was hesitant, but it ended up being so much fun! The Napa river was surprisingly very calm and peaceful and it was such a pretty view of all the trees & greenery (and even downtown!) My arms were pretty dang sore the next day, but it was well worth it.

After freshening up from being out on the water all morning, we made our way over to a hands-on cooking class at CIA (Culinary Institute of America) at Copia.  This was SO much fun and we all got the chance to cook different things (I helped with the delicious dessert) and eat it afterwards! We had rosemary lamb, vegetable and goat cheese risotto and a strawberry dessert... with more wine of course. :)

This picture was taken right outside of CIA.  The views of the mountains there are absolutely breathtaking... lots of photo opp opportunities.  My dress is HERE.

After dinner we went to the newly opened Archer Hotel located right in the heart of Downtown to check out Sky & Vine, an amazing rooftop bar/restaurant with killer views. The cocktails were  delicious and the charcuterie plate is a must-order.

On our final day we had breakfast at the Oxbow Public Market, which is a gathering place for great food and wine in Napa.  There are tons of cute little shops and restaurants, so everyone could choose what they wanted for breakfast without all dining at the same place.  Inside the market they have Annette's chocolates, a local chocolate shop that we actually toured earlier in the day.  The chocolate was SO good, so I ended up picking some up for my mom for Mother's day!

Before heading to the airport, we did a wine tasting at Whetstone Wine Cellars, a family owned and operated winery in the heart of Napa.  We had lunch catered in to soak up the endless amounts of wine we consumed, while we chatted about how we were so sad to be leaving!

I had such a great time and am counting down the days until I can return!


Where to stay:  

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Thank you to Downtown Napa for hosting this trip.  As always, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Wedding Planning w/ Babbleboxx!

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.  Thank you for supporting brands that make Marvelous in the Midwest possible!

Happy Monday! I know I've shown you all a fun bridal themed Babbleboxx in the past, but I am super excited to show you another one I just received in the mail! If you're not familiar with Babbleboxx, it's a curated box of wedding essentials that will keep you on track for the big day! Here's a sneak peek of what was all included in my most recent box:

First up is this Wedding Stationary book from Mixbook.  Mixbook makes creating beautiful photos super easy with its powerful design editor.  You can create endless one of kind designs to reflect your personal style or select from a collection of on-trend designer themes.  This is perfect for creating wedding invites, save the dates, thank you cards, etc.  

Right now, you can get 50% your wedding stationery order by clicking HERE through 12/31/18 (discount will automatically populate.) 

Next is a company you've probably seen me post about in the past, RingHero.  It's an armband ring holder for when working out or doing anything active.  It stays secure through any type of activity and protects your gem's from getting lost or damaged!  I have a blue one and black one, but it comes in 4 different colors so it will match any workout outfit!  

You can get 10% your order using code 'BBRINGHERO' through June 30th, 2018!!

Finding the right shapewear can be tough, but thanks to Bali's Lace 'N Smooth Body Briefer you don't have to fret anymore! Bali is the number one national intimate apparel brand found in department and mid-tier stores across the nation.  This white lace one is perfect for under a wedding dress, or any other wedding occasion dress as it really smooths out all the bumps!  It also comes in black and nude and tons of other styles and shapes.

If you know me, you know I always have my nails painted and feel naked without it.  I was on a huge no-chip run for awhile but realized that it was slowly ruining my real nails (sad face) so when I saw these pretty colors by Zoya I was super excited! These three colors (from L to R) Jordan, Leia and Abby are the perfect wedding neutrals for fingers and toes.  The pink color (Jordan) is so soft and gorgeous, I can't wait to rock it on my big day!  What I really love about Zoya, is the polish is Big10 free, meaning it's free of all of the nasty and toxic stuff you'd find in other nail polishes.  It's vegan-friendly and there are over 500 shades to choose from!

Last but not least are these stunning Moissanite Stud earrings from Charles & Colvard.  They are a company based in North Carolina that is the original creator of moissanite. What I love is their driven by an ethical promise to create the world's most brilliant gem!  Moissanite is extremely hard and durable so it's very resistant to scratching, abrasions and chipping.  These earrings would be a perfect gift for bridesmaids, mother of the bride & groom or even the bride to wear on the big day!  

Use Code BRIDALBLISS15 for 15% off* purchases on from 5/1/2018 through 11:59pm PT 06/30/2018 (*Discount not valid on loose gemstones, green moissanite, prior purchases or with any other offers. Offer expires 11:59pm PT 06/30/2018.)

I hope you all enjoyed this box!! Make sure to take advantage of all the great discounts so that you can alleviate some of that wedding stress with perfect essentials for the big day! xoxo

Friday, May 11, 2018

Shopping w/ a Purpose for Mother's Day!

This post is sponsored by Global Purpose.  As always, all opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting brands that make Marvelous in the Midwest possible!

Happy Friday! I am so excited to be sharing some awesome with you all... a perfect gift for Mom with an amazing purpose.  If there is one thing I love, it's a bouquet of fresh flowers.  I love how they smell and how they make any room instantly cheerier and brighter. 

I came across this company, Global Purpose, which is owned and operated by Kaylynn Jordan. It use ethically sourced products to build awareness and advocacy to benefit nonprofits.  They also build in a giveback program with each purchase that provides a financial benefit to the nonprofit.  In this case, it's this amazing reusable, natural jute, gift bag for flower bouquets that can be found Fresh Market stores for only $2.50 (prices may vary store to store) across the country (find a store near you HERE.)  I was super excited because it's just in time for Mother's Day and thought what could be a more perfect gift?!

When you purchase one of these adorable bags (designs vary) you are actually benefiting the International Justice Mission (IJM) that will aid in the fight against human trafficking.  You can find out more about the mission of IJM and Global Purpose by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Fresh Market has so many beautiful flowers for sale now, so go buy a bouquet, an adorable bag and surprise your Mom with a gift that really matters! xoxo

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The $16 Crop Top You Need for Summer!

TOP: Forever 21 // SKIRT: Abercrombie // SHOES: See By Chloe // BAG: Cult Gaia (similar, less expensive HERE)  // SUNGLASSES: Francesca's // EARRINGS: Sugarfix by Baublebar

Happy Tuesday, friends!! It's been a hot minute since I've been on here, but between traveling and weather planning... my head is spinning in every direction! I seriously can't believe we only have 4 months left. Time is flying by and I couldn't be more excited for the big day to finally be here! Last week I had an amazing opportunity to join 6 other bloggers and writers in Napa and had the best time! I will be posting all about it soon, so stay tuned.

This outfit is one of my favorites for summer and now that it's finally nice out in Chicago (hello 80 degrees!) I can't wait to wear it on repeat.  I found this adorable cropped bow back top from Forever 21 (it's only $16!) and paired it with the denim skirt from Abercrombie that I've been living in.  I know I've said it before, but I LOVE the fact that denim skirts are back in style.  It's such a nice alternative to a pair of jean shorts and can make any outfit look just a little bit fancier (okay not fancy, but you get what I'm saying... :)  I also love these espadrilles by See by Chloe.  They were a splurge item for me, but I know they're espadrilles that I will wear all spring and summer long.  I have had a lot of people reach out and ask how they fit so I will let you all know that they run true to size! I typically wear a 6.5 or a 7 depending on the shoe and got a 7 in these and they fit perfect!  If you're a half size (they only run in whole) just size up to the next whole size and they will be perfect! The floral laser cut-out is just too cute.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!! I have my first dress fitting tomorrow, wish me luck! xoxo

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Straight or Wavy with Beautopia Hair x Vibrastrait PRO

As you all probably already know, I am a huge sucker for a good hair tool!  During the week I usually go straight unless I have an event, and then style beachy waves on the weekend for date night or going out.  One thing I absolutely love is a tool that can be versatile for both straightening my hair and creating beachy waves; a win-win! Que the Vibrastrait PRO flat iron.  When I found this tool, I quickly realized how this would make the perfect Mother's Day gift (Mother's Day is May 13th, people!).  My mom also wears her hair straight and curly, so I know she will absolutely love this gift!  The Vibrastrait PRO is a 1-inch (or 1.75-inch) salon quality flat iron that actually smooths and detangles with gentle vibrations (it's so cool to see it actually vibrate when working... it vibrates 7,500 times per minute!) that leaves your hair silky smooth with no damage like other curling irons and flat irons.  This flat iron is truly unique as it takes only 18 seconds to heat up to 450 degrees, which I've noticed others can take up to 5 minutes.

Alongside the Vibrastrait PRO, I used some of my new favorite hair care products by Beautopia Hair.  First, I shampooed and conditioned with the sulfate free Cloud 9 Miracle Repair Collection, which smells like a dream and really made my hair feel silky and thoroughly washed.  Next, I used the Hotshapes Heat Protector, the Cloud 9 Blow Dry Serum, and Cloud 9 Conditioning Mousse to lock in the moisture and protect my hair before blow-drying and finished with the Moveable Hold Finishing Hair Spray (this is a must for fine hair!) I wanted to show you how the straightener works as both a straightening tool and a curling tool, so I first straightened my hair and then went back through to make beachy waves. is currently running a Mother's Day promotion offering 20% sitewide with code "LOVEMOM" now through May 13th, 2018. This is the perfect opportunity to snag some goodies for Mom (or yourself) that she will actually love and use! You can get the whole Cloud 9 Regimen for only $75 (a $93.50 value), which is an amazing deal and a whole lotta products!

Also you can get social with Beautopia Hair @ Facebook  / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

Thank you Beautopia Hair for sponsoring this post.  As always, all opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting brands that make Marvelous in the Midwest possible!


Friday, April 27, 2018

The Perfect LWD for Under $100

DRESS: ASTR the Label // SHOES: Steve Madden // BAG: TheAtelierUnique (c/0)

Happy Friday!  With all the showers & wedding festivities coming up in the next couple months, I was on the hunt to find the perfect LWD to wear for one of those events!  I came across this lace midi dress and instantly became obsessed.  The fit is perfect and is flowy enough so that you can still sit down and eat and not feel like you're being sucked in.  I love the contrast of the lace and the underlayer because it really gives the lace at the bottom a nice 'pop.'  This dress also comes in SEVEN other colors, so if white's not your color, or you need a dress to attend as a wedding guest, there is one for everybody!  It's fully lined, so it's definitely not see-through in any area, which I greatly appreciate!  Also, I wanted to show you guys this adorable clutch that The Atelier Unique sent me with my future initials! It may look familiar, I gave all of my bridesmaid's one (see How I Asked My Bridesmaid's post) and they loved them! You can customize the straw clutches with any initials, and they also do bigger sized totes and bags (perfect for the honeymoon!)

This weekend I am attending a Bridal Shower (as a guest!) so I definitely can't wear this, but I look forward to showing you all more options that you can wear for showers, rehearsals, etc soon!! xoxo

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