Best Finds of 2016

I am sharing some of my favorite products that I found during 2016 with all of you!  Check them out :)


   I had a rollercoaster of emotions come over me the weekend of Thanksgiving.  I was feeling homesick from not being home for Thanksgiving, excited because I was going to be spending the weekend in Switzerland, but then a little mind-blown because I was about to be on my last trip in Europe before coming home.  I can not believe how fast the time has flown.  I remember getting here and thinking 110 days, wow.  Now I am telling myself that I am leaving tomorrow, and I am trying to figure out what happened in the 110 days that passed by already.

Food Photography Portfolio

Day Trip Guide: Venice

This was the last of my day trips abroad... I can't believe I am starting to experience some of my "lasts" abroad.  This was also the last trip that I took with Tim before he left on November 15th.  I can not believe how fast the time has flown by and that I will be home in weeks... not months anymore.

Day Trip Guide: Rome

Many of you are probably thinking how the heck did I do Rome in a day?  It was a lot, yes, but abroad is a crazy adventure so I did some crazy things.  Tim and I took the train from Florence on a Friday morning, and we made it to Rome by 8:30 AM.  From here, we took the metro to the Colosseum by 9 am where we got a tour that was an hour and a half.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In Italy, Thanksgiving is clearly not celebrated.  It is a little sad knowing that I am not home to be with family and eating all the yummy food but my time is coming to a close very soon abroad.  Even though I may not be cooking at home or eating a big turkey dinner, I definitely have a lot to be thankful for, especially when I look back on these last three months abroad. (It is crazy to think I haven't been home in  months.)

1.  My roommates and friends, I have made in Italy - I don't know where I would be without their laughs, company, and friendships.  They have all made being here and away from all my friends at home much easier.

2.  My amazing teachers (specifically in Photography because my skills having improved enormously) - You can see from these two pictures: the first, I took in the first week of class and had no idea how to work photoshop, so my editing skills were poor; the second one I just took last week.  I am so thankful for my classes and the things that I have learned because they are very different experiences than what I see at U of I.

3.  Italian Food - I do not think I need to go into much detail here.  It is amazing, and I am lucky to be in a country that finds value in delicious food and taking the time to sit with friends and family to enjoy it at the end of a long day.

4.  My family - I honestly don't think I would even be studying abroad right now if it were not for the love and support (emotionally and financially) that my family has given me.  It doesn't matter what hour of the day I reach out to them; they are always there to talk or listen to another stupid story of mine (or bond over eating our favorite candy, Dad).

5.  The support of all my friends back home - you all know who you are.  Your Facetimes, texts, and Snapchats have made this time fly by for me.  I miss you all so much, and it is an amazing feeling knowing that I will be home in a couple of days and no longer a couple of months.

Clearly, I have multiple things in my life to be thankful for, even more outside of this simple list.  I am headed off to Interlaken, Switzerland for the weekend.  As my last trip when I'm abroad, it is a bittersweet feeling.  I hope everyone has safe travels and a great time with family and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving!


This trip might have been the closest to a perfect weekend I have had abroad, and unfortunately, I can't take any credit for it because Tim planned the whole thing.  Tim got to Florence the day before we left and was already exhausted heading into a very long week.  However, we still made it to the airport by 5:30 AM to make our flight.  I knew we would be tired, but with only a weekend in Paris and so much to see, it was ideal that we make it to Paris by 8:30 AM.

Under $25 // Scarves

Blanket Scarves have been trending for the last two years!  If you don't have one yet to complete all your fall and winter outfits, I would suggest getting one this season.  They are super warm and you can wrap them lots of different ways to make them look cute.  The scarf doesn't have to be super expensive, as you can see.  There are also tons of different plaids and colors.  I linked some of my favorite ones in this post.  Check them out!

Closing of Fall Break: Amsterdam

Finally, I got a little bit of fall.  It was so nice to finish my fall break in a city that felt a little more like home because of the changing colors.  This post is a little past due, but I still want to make sure I tell you about my fun adventures.

Last Minute Thanksgiving Outfit

Complete Fall Look 2016

Outfit details: Mango Cape (perfect for the nude fall trends / linked similar) // black long sleeve (classic wardrobe staple) // Lilly Pulitzer Mia Leggings (in need of dressy leggings? get these.) // Tall boots (mine are from Italy so I linked ones that I love from home) //  Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace (I wear this necklace too much)

Fall Break (cont.) Santorini, Greece

Super windy and insane waves when crossing the Mediterranean to get from Mykonos to Santorini... I'll be fine.  I've grown up on the boat and wave runners in Lake Michigan I told myself so how bad can this be?  The boat crew passed out barf bags to everyone and Britt and I looked at each other like why would they waste their time?

The start of Fall break: Mykonos, Greece

The travel distance between Florence and Greece really isn't that bad, but Brittany and I made it a little harder on ourselves. We traveled from Florence to Rome by train. Then from the Rome train station had to take another train to the airport. We were going to take a bus to the airport but the gentleman said it would take 2 hours with Rome traffic. We had to quickly reroute.


Follow my blog with Bloglovin So have I mentioned yet that the cities get better as the weekends go by?  Barcelona is everything that it's cracked up to be.  From the lively music to the fantastic food, and to the beautiful beaches, there wasn't a part of it that I did not enjoy.

Munich, Germany ~ Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest!  What a time, what a time.  There were ups and downs of the weekend, but if I had to tell someone whether to go, I would say for sure go.  I traveled to Munich through a student lead organization called Euro Adventures, and I loved them.  I would totally recommend them, and I am planning on using them for a couple of other trips too.

We took a bus there, and it took about 9 and half hours.  It was long, but I got some sleep, and thank God because most of you know how I am when I am over-tired….

Day Trip Guide: Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre!! Finally, the day has come when I made it to Cinque Terre.  I went in with absolutely no expectations.  I am glad I didn’t know what to expect because it made the scenery that much more beautiful.  There were moments I looked around where I almost wanted to cry from the beauty.

Day trip Guide: Viareggio

On Saturday, my friends and I decided to conquer the Firenze S.M. Novella Train Station (Santa Maria), which is the central train station in Florence.  It was a bit intimidating to go there because we were told to be on high alert for pickpockets.  We left early with plenty of time to get ourselves from our apartments to the station and then be able to find the place to buy tickets.

Once we bought our tickets, it got a little confusing because the whole ticket was in Italian, so we had no idea how to find what track we had to be on.  Even though we left ourselves a full 50 minutes from walking out the door to getting on the train, we still had to run to the track with four minutes to spare.  Thank God there was a friendly Italian couple at the station because they were able to show us what track we needed to get to make it to Viareggio.

One Week of Classes Down

   SYLLABUS WEEK!  That is usually something that everyone will get extremely excited for, at U of I. In Florence, it isn't a thing here.  Most of my classes are over two hours long because they only meet once a week.  The teacher covered the syllabus in about 20 minutes and then we moved right into the first lesson.  Although I hate being in class for so long, I do feel it is more beneficial to the students. The way class works here is a professor teaches us for the first hour, then the second hour, an exercise is presented so you can apply what you learned. I am the type of person that needs to learn by doing, not just listening, so this is something that I have enjoyed and learned a lot during my first week of classes.

   For example,  I will show you some of the stuff that I have done in my two photography classes so far.  One class is Introduction to Digital Photography, and the other is Food Design, Styling, and Photography.  In both classes, we learned some basic manual settings on the camera.  The manual function used to be the most horrifying feature on a camera to me and now, I can't imagine taking another picture on auto-focus.  In the digital photography class, we also learned about shutter speeds and exposure to light.


A Weekend of Miles

Well, it is safe to say that after this weekend, I think I have walked 37 miles total from Thursday to today. A lot of those miles were circles from getting lost here but I am learning so much.  Thursday and Friday we had orientation but they were early in the morning so we were able to do some more walking.  I walked on Thursday to find where all of my classes are because I have to keep reminding myself that classes start tomorrow.  (Oh brother)!

After the orientation and the tour of our classes, we stopped at the market again and picked up a couple things.  You have to pay for grocery bags so I bought a reusable one.  We came home and made some lunch at home and then decided that we wanted to go roam and waste all our energy because we did not want to go out later that night.  We found H&M and it was insane.  4 stories and their clothes were adorable.  Different than the U.S. but also had a few similar things.

I made it!

It has officially been 24 hours since my plane landed in Florence.  I didn't get much sleep on the plane, so I am exhausted.  I traveled from Chicago to Zurich and then from there had a quick flight to Florence.  The airports are surprisingly easy to get around, and the flights went smoothly.  I was a lucky girl getting to the baggage claim and finding all 3 of my suitcases, unlike some other students.  (yes, I just said three suitcases. whoops)

When I walked towards the doors to exit the airport, we were intercepted by a woman holding a Lorenzo de' Medici sign and thank God she was there.  She assisted us with our bags to the taxi line.  The taxi drivers know no English here.  So I just had to take my first leap of faith and hope that she told him the right thing and that we would just end up there.  The drive from the airport was alarming.  Other drivers are coming at you from every different direction.  The bikers and walkers just walk any which way in the street.   The culture shock had started, and I had only been in Florence for maybe 40 minutes.

Sailing out of Summer

Summer sales might be some of my favorite things.  You have to follow your favorite stores on social media because you usually find out about sales first since companies like to reward their followers.  Well I've been following my favorites stores all summer and I was able to land this adorable dress!

My Freshman Dorm

Decorating a freshman dorm can be daunting but my roommate and I had so much fun with it!  It is funny to look back at my room and compare it to some of the rooms girls do today.  When I was a freshman, matching and getting everything new was not always the "thing" to do.  Looking back, I am happy I brought along things from my room that I had at home because it made my dorm room feel like home.

Father's Day Last Minute Gift Guide

If you are anything like me, holidays like Mother's Day and Father's Day always come up so quickly and before I know it, I am running to find something.  However, the good thing about Father's day is that dads can be pretty easy for buy for.  Here is a quick guide of some classic things to grab for Dad.

1. Vineyard Vines Polo ~ Personally, this is what I grabbed for my dad this year!  They are his absolute favorite because the material is soft and wicks away moisture.  There are some good colors on my link but there are even more selections on Vineyard Vines.

2. A new belt ~ What dad does not need a new belt?  They almost all do.  My Dad personally love the Polo Ralph Lauren belts because they last a long time and it wears really nicely.  The belt can also be paired with the polo and you can help your dad create a good look.  They could probably use a little help in the fashion department anyways. ;)

February Jams

Well, I am been so insanely busy during the month of February and I totally apologize for not posting as much.  I promise I will be better in the month of March.  I just finished two midterms out of the three that I am taking this week so I am ready for some good jams.  Here is what I have been listening to for the last month to give you guys a little update.

Thanks for reading along and make sure to keep checking in!

What's in My Carry-On

I am one lucky girl because I was able to find a great deal on a flight to go visit my Grandparents in Florida this weekend!  I know that spring breaks are right around the corner and many people like to travel during the winter months so why not tell you guys what is it in my carry on!

iPad // One of the greatest things that Apple has ever made, in my mind, because it's super light and can hold all my music, books, and I can access the internet.  My iPad is a great travel buddy so if you have the opportunity to get one and you are traveling a lot, treat yourself to an iPad.

Memorable Monday - Valentines Day Editon

If you think that your boyfriend is struggling on what to find you something for Valentines Day, then send him on this way!  I have so many ideas in store and I have them all listed below in different price brackets.  It also is so easy for him because everything will be linked below!  So if you want to make sure you get a good gift, then makes sure to bookmark on his phone or laptop!

all photos are via links below for each product

Kate Spade Agenda // Every girl needs an agenda and these Kate Spade ones are absolutely adorable and extremely affordable.  This one is on sale right not and she will love you because you are helping her make sure she stays to that New Years resolution of "staying organized".

Nordstrom Studded Earrings // Nordstrom has some of the nicest play jewelry.  When I say play jewelry, I mean that it is not actual diamonds or genuine stones.  I have a pair of Nordstrom studs that I wear with everything and they still look beautiful.  I paid a lot more than $25 so these studs are a great steal!

Alex and Ani Bracelet // Now this may be closer to $28 but it is well worth spending $3 over your budget because if she already has an Alex and Ani collection, I am sure she can not wait to add to it and if she has not started one yet, then she is waiting for someone to get her started.  Trust me.  You can not go wrong with an Alex and Ani.

Kendra Scott "Elise" Necklace // This necklace is great and will show your significant other that you put thought into something really pretty.  Kendra Scott is a very reputable jewelry company that has become popular in the last year.  It can go with anything and the red is a great touch to remind them that it was from Valentines Day.

Kate Spade Earrings // Kate Spade is something I mentioned earlier because she has some really great stuff.  These earrings are a part of her Valentines Day line and they are very cute.  They are another signature piece that will remind your significant other that you got her them for Valentines Day.

Customized Necklace with Saying //  This is a very meaningful gift because you can have whatever you would like written on the necklace and she will think it is romantic and caring.  You can find these customizable necklaces all over Etsy but the one I have linked is a great option.

Roses and Dinner // The $100 price mark even gives a lot of wiggle room with dinner and roses because some dozen of roses can be $20 and some can be $40, which means that $60-$80 can be spent on dinner, which can easily be a dinner at a nice Italian resturant.

Spa Day Gift Certificate // What I have linked here is a spa kit for at home but a girl's favorite thing is a manicure, pedicure, and massage day to herself.  Find a local spa that is relaxing and specializes in massages and get her a gift certificate for all 3 services.  She will love this gift and if you are interested even, you can do a couples day at the spa, which can be very romantic and relaxing for you also.


Tory Burch Wallet // Any girl that has a good sense of style loves her Tory Burch and Tory Burch's wallets are extremely nice.  She also has a few cross-body bags that are black and gold and very nice that are in this price range. Go click around on Tory Burch's site but this wallet is a great option and is a very classic piece since it is black and gold.

Michael Kors Bracelet //  This Michael Kors bracelet is absolutely beautiful.  I personally chose the gold because I wear more gold jewelry but it also comes in silver, which is great because some girls wear more silver.  It can go with everything and anything and she will get many compliments on it and will love the fact that she can say you got it for her.  For $150 and it is something you will know she will love, I am not sure why you are hesitating to buy this!

Tiffany & Co Ring // You all know that the easiest way to your girl's heart is by buying her Tiffany & Co.  Do not be intimidated by this if you are looking to spend a little less.  There are so many pieces that range between $125-$200 that are very manageable and that she would love.  You can never go wrong with a necklace but I love this ring so I thought why not choose it as my $200 piece.  The ring is dainty and sleek so it makes it very hard for her to not love.

Hope I was able to give you some great ideas!  As always, thanks for reading along :)

Cass C Jewels

Hey everyone!  Hope you are getting exciting because it is hump day, which means we are almost at the weekend!  I have been waiting to publish this post and I can not wait to share it with all of you.

My friend Cassie just started her own jewelry line called Cass C Jewels.  It has been taking off and I absolutely love all of her pieces because they are super classic and can be worn with about everything.  What a surprise... I am sharing another classic item with you guys! 

As you can see, this emerald X grey wrap is absolutely adorable.  It is comfortable because of the soft wrap on it and I love that because you tie it yourself, you can adjust it to make it as tight or loose as you want.  I styled it for class, which again just shows how comfortable it is if I was able to run around in it all day.

Cass C Jewels has so many cute things on their website to make sure to check it out here.  Once you find something you absolutely love, which I know you will, use the code CLASSICALLYCLAD10 for 10% off!  Happy shopping :)

Maroon Monday

One of my favorite things about the winter is that maroon is such an awesome staple!  I find myself wearing it all the time because it looks great on girls with dark hair and light hair.  You can dress it down with a pair of light washed jeans or you can dress it up with a pair of dark washed jeans.  Here are some of my favorite maroon finds.

1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7 ~ 8 

Make sure to click on the links above for the classic maroon pieces that you love!  Thanks for reading and stay warn.

Filling the Spaces

Hey everyone!  I haven't been posting the last few days because I was moving back onto campus to start my second semester.  I am so excited to start this semester even though I know it is going to be a tough one.  Since I had some spare time before classes start, I started to realize I had some bare spaces on the walls in my apartment they were bothering me.  I enjoy having things to observe on the walls.  When working with a small space, it can be very hard to decorate so here are some of my ideas on how to fill the spaces.

The space above your bed can be a daunting place to decorate.  I have had shelves above my bed before and have had them come crashing down, so I tend to avoid shelves now.  At home, I have a great decorative headboard, which really adds flare to my room.  Unfortunately, when I am at college, I have to deal with what they give me.  I decided something simple above my bed would be great so I went with a tassel garland.  These have been very popular lately so I looked into buying one and it was going to cost me almost $30.  I was discouraged because what if I got sick of the colors or what if it wasn't good quality.  I decided to make this garland myself.  It was very simple and probably cost a total of $10.  I went to my local craft store and bought a spool of thread and a tissue paper bundle.  I cut the tissue paper into the tassels, stapled them together, and ran the thread through.  So simple and easy!

I had another wall that had absolutely nothing on it and who likes looking at a wall that is completely blank?  The greatest way to fill a large space is my placing pictures in a uniformed order.  I bought these frames at Michaels and hand cut my own pictures to create picture collages.  To make sure they took up some more space, I neatly spaced them out.  These are great for a blank wall because since there are so many pictures, they can end up becoming a focal point in the room because everyone is going to want to go look at all of the pictures.  The frames probably cost me a total of $20.  This was another really cheap and great way to fill the space.

The last idea I have for filling the space is the criss-cross lights for pictures.  It adds some brightness into a room because of the lights and it also adds light to your pictures, which has your pictures looking great and creates an eye draw to them.  This took me about 10 minutes to put up in the room. I used clear tacks to attach the lights to the wall and then clothes pins to attach the pictures to the strand of lights.  What I love about this idea is that it can work in any size space that you have.  You can add more strands of lights in you have more space to fill or you can make the criss-crosses smaller if you have a smaller space to fill.  This was my last quick, cheap, and cute way, to fill the space.

I am so happy to have my bedroom looking beautiful at school.  Like I said, I am excited to get this semester going and I hope all of you continue to follow along on the crazy ride with me!   As always, thanks for reading!

January Jams

I listen to music every day, especially when I am at school.  I have always enjoyed music and finding meaning in every song I listen to, which is why when I love posting the songs I have been listening to lately.  I feel like it is a great way for all of you to know a special part of me.  You will also notice when I post my music that it ranges in all different kinds of artists and genres.  I am always open to music suggestions too because I love finding new artists and songs.  Please, put some suggestions in my comments!  I love the feedback from all of you.

As always, SUBSCRIBE to Classically Clad on the right hand side under the title Follow By Email.  Thanks for reading and love you all!

Back to School or Work Outfits ~ Winter Edition

Going back to school or work after the Holidays can be daunting because you know everyone is going to be showing up in their best outfits that they probably got as gifts.  Now, you need to figure out how you are going to compete with that girl.  Come on.  You know you all have that girl in mind that is going to totally show you up.  Well, let's show her up instead.  Here are a few of my ideas that would be great going back to work or school looks.
all photos via

The Comfy look for school was put together with Lilly Pulitzer Mia Leggings.  Once again, my favorite leggings in the world and I can't say it enough.  I know the turtle neck sweaters have been huge this winter, but no matter how hard I tried, I never found one that was flattering. Instead, I loved the oversized v-neck sweaters just like this one.  It is probably going to be chilly walking to class if you are anywhere in the midwest or north east coast so boots are a must.  I love short boots and I paired this outfit with the classic bean boots but honestly, any cropped boots would look adorable.  Picking out socks to go with your outfit can be pretty stressful too but I always try to contrast so if I am wearing a dark sweater, I will wear lighter neutral socks like these.  Please do not spend more than $15 on these knit socks.  Sure, there are a lot of really cute pairs of socks out there, but remember, it is one. single. pair. of. socks. that you are buying.  Now, to finish off the outfit, a bag is always my favorite accessory for the comfy/casual look.  I chose a Longchamp because I love using this bag for class.  But any tote that you have that matches and is durable is great to complete your look!

The Comfy look for work is all about just picking exactly what the look is called, COMFORT.  I am going to pair a cute outfit for what is best for me, but just look in your closet your all your similar classic staples.  My favorite pants for work are the Old Navy Pixie Chinos.  My bank account likes them too because they are nothing too expensive.  My comfiest winter top is little more pricey since it is from Polo Ralph Lauren, but this sweater does go on sale all the time!  They are thick and warm and come in so many colors.  Just because it is winter, do not be afraid to add a pop of color into your outfit.  You would be surprised how much it will effect your mood!  For shoes in the winter, if you have a commute, wear your boots and pack your shoes.  What I have above, is my favorite pair of flats that I always wear but they are not meant for walking in snow so make sure you don't forget to throw your flats in your bag if your wear your boots in the morning commute.  Finish off the outfit with some easy jewelry and you are all ready for that early morning wake up call and will be as comfy as ever.
all photos via

Even for my sophisticated look for class, I am still going to wear my dark wash jeans.  I think jeans are the perfect thing to dress up for class and they are super practical in the winter.  I am going back to my favorite classic brand Polo Ralph Lauren for my top.  You definitely do not need to get this shirt at Polo.  Any top that you have that is a button up and is a neutral color would work great for this outfit.  I chose white because I am kind of obsessed with wearing winter white right now and picking pops of color.  I have so many of these oxford tops and they are one of the best classics that I have in my closet.  You can throw on any statement necklace or scarf to add a pop of color with them and you look perfectly put together.  I am showing a colorful scarf because it is winter so we have to keep warm on that trip to school.  Again, do not be afraid to add color in the winter.  This scarf I picked it great because it is large so you can throw it over your shoulders in class and then do a pretty wrap when going to and from school.  To finish the look, I am still a huge fan of tall boots and they are perfect for staying warm in the winter.  These boots are adorable and easy.  
Now the best way to really wrap everything together is taking some extra time in the morning to do your hair and make-up.  It really shows that you wanted to make a good impression and care about yourself when going into that first day of school.  Hope this was an easy way for all of your to look sophisticated at school!

For the sophisticated work look, I am going to keep the theme of easy because I know that early alarm is still going to be difficult but if your office is fancier, then you need to continue to dress the part into the New Year. Color block dresses are a great, easy, and classic staple.  Just be careful when picking them out because they can sometimes be too boxy and then not flattering.  This dress I picked seems like it will hug in all of the right places.  The one thing I request if you do decide to wear a dress to work in the winter is WEAR TIGHTS.  I have failed all of you if any of you walk out your front door between November through all of February (at least) without tights on.  Ladies, you must wear tights.  With the dress that I have picked, black matte tights would be perfect!  They aren't expensive so there is no excuse to not wear them.  Sure they are not the most comfortable but beauty is pain sometimes.  I picked out two shoes to go with this outfit.  A heel and a flat.  The heels are suede because I think that looks extremely classic in the winter.  Plus, these heels have a little sassy bow on the back and I am all about that sass in an outfit.  A classic black flat can also work with this outfit if you can not walk around the office in heels all day.  Pick your favorite black flats and they would go great with this.  I chose these flats because my Tory Burch black flats are amazing but, which ever ones you have I am sure are great.  Finally, since the dress I picked is sleeveless, I would wear a sweater or cardigan.  Picking a sweater with a block dress can be hard because if the sweater is too big, it can look unprofessional.  I would recommend a cardigan that comes to your the top of your hips and hugs through your waist.  If you like a longer sweater than that is completely fine but just make sure it hugs you through your back to give you a beautiful silhouette.  With this outfit, I know it seemed like I picked a lot of black out, but it is good to pick one base color and one pop of color, if you are looking for a more sophisticated style at work.  I know this isn't always the most fun way to dress, but that is why once, again, I am bringing in a pop of color.  You can always bring in some more color with your jewelry!  Don't forget to accessorize.

I know that was a lot for all of you to read but I hope this was helpful!  Do not forget to follow along with me on Pinterest for more outfit ideas.  I also have tumblr, instagram, and twitter, which are other great ways to follow along with Classically Clad.

If you all go enter your email on the right and subscribe (follow by email) to Classically Clad I will love you forever!  Thanks for reading.

Blogger Date: Dana Edition

Blogging is something that I have been able to thoroughly enjoy.  I never thought that I would be where I am today.  I also never thought it would bring me a great friendship.  I still can't believe how much happened in 2015 and because of that, I can not even explain my excitement for 2016.  I think my friend Dana agrees with me completely.  Speaking of Dana, let me tell you a little about her and how much fun we had the other day!

Dana is the owner of From Pizza to Prep and has been having so much fun with her blog for the last 6 months.  We know each other because we are both in Alpha Xi Delta at the University of Illinois but our friendship became fast and furious when we both started blogging.

Dana is from a suburb just outside of Chicago so I thought why not take her downtown for the day!  We ate at this amazing Sushi restaurant called Union Sushi + Barbecue Grill.  We both loved our meals and you can totally tell Dana was loving it because of the smile she has on in this picture.

After lunch, I decided to show Dana around Chicago's Gold Coast where there is some of the highest end shopping to be had.  No, unfortunately we did not buy anything from Hermes, Louis Vuitton, or Barbour, but we did take trips on just to dream the one day we could.  This day was a day of firsts for Dana because we took a trip to Sprinkles, Vineyard Vines, and Kendra Scott, all of which she had never been to before.  I was so happy I could bring her because they are some of my favorite places in Chicago's Gold Coast.

After all of our fun trips around the Gold Coast, we decided to be some what productive with our blogger date and actually take some outfit pictures for all of you so here is what I wore!

What I wore: Coat (similar) / Sweater (similar) / Jeans / Booties (similar) / Necklace (similar)

The J. Crew coat that I am wearing was definitely one of my favorite birthday presents.  It is perfect for mild Chicago days when it is unzipped, but it has also been great when I couple it with a scarf for the cooler days.

Sweaters and statements necklaces are still always a classic look for me.  I have had this sweater and necklace from J. Crew for about a year now and I still always wear them.  That is a perfect indicator that J. Crew makes great classic and timeless pieces.

My jeans and booties were just quick pick ups from American Eagle and Charlotte Russe.  I have told you all before how much I swear by these jeans.  I am not usually one buy cheap shoes.  I got these booties for $15 and they are by far the most comfortable shoes I own.  That just goes to show you that you do not always need to spend a fortune on shoes.  I spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect booties so just take some time when picking out something you would really like.

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