My favorite trend from the end of 2016 and into 2017 is velvet, specifically velvet shoes. I initially was hesitant because they aren’t the most practical for wet, snowy Chicago weather. After seeing these loafers though, I just couldn’t get them out of my head and finally decided to go for them when they went on sale just before Christmas. Speaking of being on sale, they are on super sale now so I’d recommend grabbing a pair ASAP before they all sell out. They come in three different colors – pink, black and grey and they are all stunning! The pop of gold in the heel makes them feel so fancy and dress up a casual jeans and sweater look. Scroll down for even more velvet styles I love!
Happy 2017! I say this every year, but I know it’s going to be hard to top 2016. We started off the year buying a house, spent the first part of the year remodeling the house, traveled throughout the summer and fall and finished off the year by bringing the world’s greatest pup into our family.
I spent a lot of time thinking about my goals for 2017 over the holiday break and I’ve decided to make 2017 the year I live smarter. What does live smarter mean, you ask? To me, it means to living my best life possible. I can honestly say that I am generally very happy with where I am at with my life personally and professionally and feel like I can only go up from here. I have a feeling this list will change and grow as the year goes on, but here are a few ways I plan to start living smarter in 2017.
I want to rely less on processed foods and cook more “whole” meals. Sometimes it’s so easy to cut corners and rely on packaged sides, sauces and seasonings, but there are so many added ingredients to these packages that don’t offer any health benefits. I spent part of yesterday prepping meals for the week, including these chicken parmesan burgers and gumbo (a winter favorite for us!).
I want to work more cardio back into my routine. I love Bar Method, but I have been missing the endorphin highs you get from running and spinning. I want to start slow, by working in two cardio sessions a month into my routine, then increase to once a week, in addition to 3-4 times a week of Bar Method.
This is a constant internal battle for me, but I am committing to spending less on myself. We want to do more updates to our home and travel this year, and I know that the money I can save from not buying another pair of shoes or a dress that I just have to have can really add up and help us to reach our goals.
Do you have any tips for how to live smarter? Please share!
For a second year in a row Brett and I are hosting New Year’s Eve. We will be ringing in the new year with Chinese food, board games and our closest friends. We’re so lucky to have such a great group of friends here in Chicago and I love that we’ll be able to spend another holiday together.
I wasn’t really in the market for a New Year’s Eve dress, but I was browsing Southport with my friend Joanne before Thanksgiving and came across this dress in Free People. We both fell in love and I tried it on just for fun. Of course once I tried it on, I knew I had to have it.
Because this dress is on the dressier side, I also wanted a way to wear it to more than just New Year’s Eve. Pairing a chunky turtleneck sweater over the dress gives it a more casual feel, but is still festive. It’s also makes it a little more practical for the temperatures we’ve been experiencing!
Tis the season for tartan! This time of year I will take any excuse to dress up and feel festive. Holiday party after work? Done. Christmas dinner with family? Done. Just another Wednesday? Why not! When I saw this plaid and bow tank, I knew it would be perfect for the holiday. I’ve also been wearing this one for more casual holiday parties.
This past weekend felt like the perfect holiday weekend. Brett’s whole family came to stay with us to celebrate Christmas together. Friday night we met my parents and friend JoAnne downtown and went to the Chriskindlemarket before a big family dinner at Lawry’s. Lawry’s is becoming a bit of a Christmas tradition for Brett and I. We’ve been almost every year we’ve been together and we always enjoy it. It’s decorated beautifully and they have old-fashioned carolers singing throughout the dining room and bar.Saturday after brunch at home, (I made this savory bread pudding) we boarded The Polar Express and headed to the North Pole! Can you get any more festive than that? I have to admit I was a little skeptical about the whole Polar Express ride, but it ended up being so fun. I am definitely keeping this on my holiday to do list for when Brett and I have kids.Saturday night we went to dinner at Gemini Bistro in Lincoln Park and walked to Zoo Lights. I love going to Zoo Lights every year, and this year the snowfall made it feel even more magical!Brett’s family left early Sunday to beat the snowstorm, so Brett and I took advantage of being up before the brunch crowd and had a breakfast date at Southport Grocery and spent the rest of the day on the couch watching movies and watching the snow fall outside.