Thursday, June 15, 2017


Stopping by to post on some of life's happening lately. 

If you have ever met me, than you know I have a passion for food. All food, especially cheesy food. Specifically pizza. My Dad went out of town for work and managed to bring home not one but two deep dish pizzas through security at the Chicago airport. I remember eating "the best pizza of my life" in Chicago as a child and I was blown away at my Dad's stealth. Here, you can find Louie the Labrador asking for a piece, too. 

I have adopted a new puzzling hobby. I have found that Barnes & Noble has a fabulous puzzle collection, the majority of which are made in the USA.  I am excited about my next installment, a Salvador Dali piece.  I found puzzle tape (which seemed easier and less messy than puzzle glue) for $3 on Amazon Prime. 

TJ Maxx strikes again. I found this adorable trinket dish for $2.99 in the clearance isle. It is perfect for sitting next to the kitchen sink, where I frequently almost drop my rings down the garbage disposal. Some things just aren't worth it. 

Another clearance find? These magnet bookmarks for $1 at Barnes & Noble. 
I am a sucker for a bargain, especially a bargain with pizzazz and good humor. 

Now that I am finished taking accredited tests for a while I am able to enjoy reading for pleasure. 
My latest favorite read was The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn. 

I just had to share this candid shot that one of my dear friends snapped at a Jimmy Buffet tribute band concert at a local winery. 


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Jack Rogers Special Edition Sandals

I am absolutely in love with all of the special edition Jack Rogers sandals. 
I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lilly Agendas

I am so excited that the new Lilly Agendas are available for pre-order. 

I do hate that agenda months overlap so much, because I always feel like I am wasting money on months I never use. However, I rely on my calendar so much that I can justify spending the money. 

It was very difficult to make a decision on a print this year. I was stuck between Multi Beach Loot and Indigo Gypsea, and ended up opting for the latter of the two. 

Last year I ended up purchasing the  medium agenda because I thought it would be easier to transport. However, I find that my writing gets crunched and this year I chose to purchase the large agenda. The small only allows me to write down my work schedule and leaves little room for other notes and activities. 

What is your favorite agenda to use, be it Lilly, Kate Spade or Erin Condren?


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Look for Less

There is something to be said for a great statement piece in your closet. However, the quality and timeless look of a classic piece can be very costly on the wallet. I have been crushing on the sophisticated look of the Gucci Sylvie bag for many years. I love that Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel are some of the few high-end lines that sell the same coveted bags for years, which is a testament to how classic they are. 

While you have a high chance at finding runway ready bags on a luxury online consignment shop, you can also try to find look-alikes and save vs. splurge.

I found the perfect alternative to the Gucci Sylvie. I actually think I like the Tory Burch garden party option more. The spunk, structure, and symmetry of the Gemini link on this shoulder bag will be something that your great grandchildren will crawl into your closet for years from you. Vintage is in, ladies!




Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Perfect Boyfriend Jean

I did it. I found the perfect boyfriend jean. 
These jeans are two things I never thought I would love...both a boyfriend fit and distressed. 
Yet, there is something sophisticated and put together with this pair. I think they would look great with a crisp button up, a white tee, or a Lilly V-neck. Somehow, I think this perfect Ralph Lauren pick will be a knockout vintage classic. 

Better yet, you could definitely wear these either rolled up or pulled down to the ankles as a perfect slim fit alternative to a dark wash skinny.  


Monday, May 15, 2017

Build Your Own Coffee Cart

As promised, I have built my coffee cart and have come to share the details with you! I spent time investing into quality pieces that would not break the bank. I was having difficulty copying links to Polyvore today due to technical errors, but a lot of these items I purchased on deep discount through Amazon Prime when they were on sale. 

I plan on doing a full series on all of my home updates as of late, but here is a start. You can view all of my home interior decor posts under my tab above. Follow me on Instagram to get details on home updates as soon as they happen over at @theduchess1317. 

This was a gift from a friend but I found it here! 

Peppermint bark candle, organic cocoa powder and tall candles were found at TJ Maxx. The bowls were vintage and gifted to me from my mom. 

I am so happy with how my quirky little morning paradise space turned out. 


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Coffee Cart Accessories

I just received everything I needed in the mail to assemble my at-home coffee cart. This will be the perfect addition to my kitchen area. It was a treat to myself after studying hard (with caffeine!) to receive a medical certification under my license. 

Once I have everything set up I will definitely be sharing it on the blog.
Until then, enjoy my favorite coffee cart accessories from my favorite designers which are a must. 

And did you know that Lilly Pulitzer starting making all of these fabulous bar cart accessories? I think some of them transition beautifully into coffee cart decor. I love that they are a step above a lucite or lacquer tray. These would also make a great bridal shower or birthday gift for the women who like to host in your life!  I love that there are two color options. The "Painted Palms" print is personally my favorite. 

And did anyone else get the Samsung Galaxy S8 released this week? I had a free upgrade and I am absolutely loving the new chic design!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Things I Am Loving Lately

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with friends and family. 

We had the most perfect day. We started off with blueberry lemon muffins and church. We then went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a few puzzles (our new hobby together) and I also found a few new reads, including The Arrangement which I cannot put down and would recommend to anyone looking for an unpredictable book with dark humor and an honest depiction of real people and their very real problems. 

Later we took a trip to my parents and enjoyed Easter dinner, kite flying, minibiking, the movie Sing (which I loved every second of), and "Head Charades" (a new iPhone app which is a great family game). 

I wanted to share today some of the things I have been obsessing over lately. 

TJ Maxx has done it again...I found this very applicable night shirt for under $10 on the clearance rack. Summer is approaching and I get very hot at night but like the weight of covers on top of me. My solution? Nightshirts. (It is also worth mentioning for humor's sake that I have ruined all of my nice PJs, including those from Victoria's Secret and Liz Claiborne. Everything from bleach to fire has taken a toll on my favorite prints and patterns. I no longer am allowed the luxury of investing in nice pajama sets. 

I got on board the Starbucks "Unicorn Frauppacino" train and tried one. It was very strange, yet weirdly delicious. It is not something I would drink every day but it was worth trying. The tarte mango would taste great spiked on a vacation. 

Speaking of coffee, I am tired of spilling my hot caffeinated drinks on myself in my car by using my poor judgement and choosing to carry open coffee cups into the car. I love my new Lilly Pulitzer mug, and you can purchase it off the Paper Store with 10% off your first purchase. I actually bought mine off of Amazon Prime. They don't make this print anymore! I love that it is BPA free, though a pain to handwash it every time. 

One of my favorite blogs to read is April's "Smidge of This." It is actually listed in my favorite blogs list on the right. Her sister is the owner of Laura Cox designs, a fabulous Etsy shop with handmade necklaces. I am especially in love with her gold dipped oysters and hammered bead necklaces. They are beachy and fresh. I love Etsy and the thought of supporting small businesses, many of which are run by SAH moms. Shop Laura Cox designs here!  

I am on a bit of a spending freeze after buying my new coffee maker and bar cart as a reward for passing my CCRN exam. However, I would love to purchase one of these in the summer!

Lastly, everyone needs to try out my favorite new highlighters. I have been a die hard Too Faced makeup fan by entire life and almost all of my cosmetics are from this brand. Their quality and sustainability is unmatched. Their new Love Light highlighters from the Natural Love collection do not disappoint. They are light and icy. There is one for every skin tone, from dark to light. How many other makeup brands honestly make 3 different highlighters that universally cover every skin tone? I can't leave my house without them, even if I don't wear foundation. I get so many compliments on my "sunny glow." 

I would love to hear what you are all obsessing over lately!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Coffee Carts

I have recently become immune to the amount of caffeine in tea. It just isn't doing it for me anymore. I work night shift, and have for over a year. The bouncing back and forth between nights and the demands of needing to get stuff done during the daytime when off work gets to be exhausting. 

I hate that I have been going to Starbucks at work. It is expensive, and I don't generally like plain black coffee so I have to settle for a pricier and more sugary drink. I think sometime in my future I will be in need of a Keurig. I realize that they are a pain to clean from time to time, but I also don't feel like having to clean out coffee filters and a whole pot every single time I make a drink. I will definitely be limiting myself to one cup. 

I have been casually browsing Pinterest for coffee cart inspiration photos. I don't have any counter space or cabinet space for a coffee machine, so a cart is the only way it is going to happen. I think I found a few cheap options on Overstock and Amazon that I like. 

Does anyone have any recommendations on carts, or coffee machines on that matter? 
I have heard many good things about owning a french press, but on that note I really don't know that much about coffee making and could use all of the recommendations I can get!

I am totally open to all opinions!


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Life Lately in Instagram Photos

I haven't posted lately due to an immense amount of studying for a special certification test that increases my credibility where I work in the medical field. Too much of life got in the way and I just haven't had time to do some of the things I love. Totally worth it, in my opinion, if that means that I can chip away at some of the things on my goals list for this year. Making time for blogging was one of those things. Even when I am not posting regularly, I am still active on Instagram so feel free to follow along for all of my favorite things, from foodie finds to chronic makeup hoarding. 

You may have seen my post here on falling in love with Too Faced "Fall in Love" collection. Well, since then I received it...and I am head over heals. The colors are flawless, the wear is at least twelve hours without a primer, and there is the perfect mix of matte shadows for bases and shimmery shadows for lids. Unlike many makeup palettes, there is not one color here that is not practical for everyday use. 

I also stepped out of the box and decided to try out Dior's Airflash foundation, as well as their brush specifically designed for aerosol foundation. This stuff is worth every single penny, my friends. I had a Sephora clerk apply it at the store and was instantly in love. My skin looked airbrushed. This is the kind of foundation you pay for when you get your makeup done for your own wedding. Though the quality does not disappoint, the price might. I was reading in the reviews that people who used this every day as their primary foundation ran out in three weeks. I definitely believe this, even if you are careful not to apply too much foundation into the brush before applying it to your face. 

Click here to find the link to the Backstage Buffing Brush

I use Too Faced Born This Way Foundation for every day use in the color Ivory and received almost as flawless effects. The Dior Airflash is definitely for special occasions and evening outings. 

Will and I had our own homemade pizza night when we decided that we no longer wanted the ground beef that I had originally thawed for dinner. I found premade dough at Giant Eagle and it turned out just as delicious. Personally, I don't regret not trying to make my own dough from scratch because living in an apartment means limited counter space and more of a potential for a disaster using raw ingredients like flour and yeast. 

Amazon has so many cheap frame options available, and I found the last set of a four pack of black frames (that already came with cut mats!) and did some light hanging in lieu of hanging curtains. When I eventually move out of my apartment, I have to patch all of the holes in the wall that I have created in my 1,200 square feet. I promise you that the amount of art, shelves, and curtains hung on other walls is second to none and I cannot bear to think of having to patch any more. This will do! 

I have had so much use out of my Lilly planner paper, from coating my acrylic makeup holder to invitations, coasters, paper mache ornaments, and this. Moral of the story, never throw your agenda out and always consult Pinterest for DIY ideas. 

We have made many a stop to our favorite donut shop for either cake donuts or rainbow sprinkle affairs. 

I can't get enough of the cute kits they have by the front line at Barnes and Noble. I picked this up, and am currently "refrigerating" my seeds, hoping they germinate in a few weeks. I have a newfound obsession with green-thumbing.  

I picked up two of these #FLOATIES for one of my good friends and I for the summer.
Such a great stocking stuffer, small gift, or thinking-of-you treat!

 What have you been loving lately?