2018 // Year in Review

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, December 31, 2018
There were so many changes that occurred this year. Between starting a new job, moving to a new city, and traveling to new places, I experienced some really exciting things. Below, I'm recapping my year, filled with my top 12 moments of 2018.

All thanks to a ski trip in February, I found my group. These four have become my family over the past ten months, filling my life with laughter, new experiences, and incredible support. This year wouldn't have been half as memorable had it not been for Anil, Betty, Dana, and Emily. 

Our Family Tree + Christmas Traditions

in , , by Lavender Elizabeth, December 24, 2018
I absolutely love the holidays! It's my favorite time of the year because of all the decor and time spent with my family. Over the years, our family tree has become one of my favorite things. We have ornaments hung that were my great-grandparents' as well as some that we bought this year. It's a true representation of our family and the places we've been and the experiences we've had. In honor of Christmas Eve, I'm sharing our tree, some of my favorite ornaments, and the traditions we've carried on over the years.

My Fall Bucket List

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, December 23, 2018
Last season, I created a Summer Bucket List that shared at the beginning of fall. I had so much fun recapping the season, that I decided to make one for fall, too. Friday was the first official day of winter, which means it's time to share my complete list!

The Stressed Out Girl's Gift Guide

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, December 23, 2018
With Christmas right around the corner, the stress can begin to sink in. If you need to buy some last-minute gifts, why not buy items that will help de-stress? Below are twelve items that any girl needs to help relax.

Gift Guide for the Outdoor Lover

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, December 18, 2018
Next year, my friends and I are planning a trip to Banff and I'm so excited. I'm already starting to think about what I want to bring, which is what inspired today's gift guide. If someone in your life is planning a trip in the great outdoors, below is all the gift inspiration you'll need.

Gift Guide for the Photographer

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, December 16, 2018
Taking photos is one of my favorite things to do. I love being able to capture moments that will give me lasting memories to look back on. If you have a friend who feels the same way, this guide is perfect for them!

Gift Guide for the Fitness Lover

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, December 12, 2018
Today is this season's first installment of my Christmas Gift Guides! To start things off, I'm sharing items for your favorite fitness lover. From clothing to post-workout items, this guide is sure to inspire your "workout" shopping.

Kicking off the Holiday Season

in , , by Lavender Elizabeth, December 04, 2018
December 1st marked the start of the most wonderful time of the year - Christmastime! To kick-off the season, my roommates and I threw a Holiday Housewarming Brunch. It was our official welcome to our new neighborhood, as well as a great start to this festive month.

We decorated our house to make it as festive as possible. For food, we served two different types of egg casseroles, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal yogurt cups, and streusel muffins. For dessert, I made white chocolate cake pops and hot chocolate-inspired cookies.

Currently // November to December

by Lavender Elizabeth, December 03, 2018

Most of my November was spent out of state. I started in Norwalk, CT and then went to Montreal, Quebec. Both were work trips, but I was able to spend the weekend in Montreal exploring, which was so fun! I also spent quality time with my family over the Thanksgiving holiday - and trust me, the time off from work was definitely needed after my two weeks of travel. We also had our first big snowstorm of the season, started decorating for Christmas, and ran a 5K.

  1. Currently // October to November Recap of last month and a look into the next
  2. Trip Recap // Weekend in Montreal All the details from my trip to Montreal
  3. My Thankful List + Bible Verses What I'm thankful for & Bible verses to give thanks
  4. Giving Tuesday // Jewelry that Gives Back Shop the cutest jewelry, while also giving back

December 1 Holiday Housewarming Brunch
December 5 Spirited Women's NetworkHoliday Party
December 7-9 Canadian Family Visits
December 8 Diageo Holiday Party
December 9 Bible Study Cookie Decorating
December 10 Celebrate Anil's Birthday
December 12 Mitchell Tenpenny Concert
December 15 Gift Mart Volunteering & Friend's Holiday Party
December 16 Roommate Christmas Celebration
December 24 Christmas Eve
December 25 Christmas
December 28 Move my Sister to Charleston
December 31 Celebrate the New Year

Have a very special December!

Giving Tuesday // Jewelry that Gives Back

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, November 27, 2018
Today I'm sharing a combination that I love: jewelry and giving back. In honor of Giving Tuesday, I'm sharing 15 companies that do more than just sell fashionable jewelry - they help the world. Below are places that you can purchase beautiful bracelets, necklaces, and more, as well as leave an impact on those in need.

My Thankful List + Bible Verses

by Lavender Elizabeth, November 22, 2018
Happy Thanksgiving, all! I hope you're able to spend the day surrounded by those you love. Just as I did last year, I wanted to make sure I set time aside to share what I'm thankful for. 

I'm thankful for my faith. While it can be challenging at times to connect with God in a real and authentic way, I'm continuing to develop my relationship with Him. Knowing that I have the unconditional and overwhelming love of my Savior is something I can never be thankful enough for.

I'm thankful for my family. I am so blessed to have the relationship I have with them. I love spending time with family, whether it's meals, playing games, or just relaxing together. I can tell them anything and I know they'll listen and love me.

I'm thankful for my roommates. Moving to the city was a whole new experience for me, but it was made that much easier thanks to my two roomies. We've been exploring our new city, watching Netflix series, and decorating our new place. I couldn't ask for better ladies to live with.

I'm thankful for my job. I've been in my new role for eight months now and I'm still loving it. I love finding new talent and giving people the chance to join our company. Plus, I have great coworkers and have had so many different opportunities given to me over the past few months. I'm constantly growing and learning, and I couldn't ask for more.

I'm thankful for the little things in my life, too. Puppy snuggles; tv shows; hot tea; soft blankets; trips to new places; nail polish; a good night's sleep; and so much more!

I'm reminded this year that giving thanks should be a year round occurrence. I used to spend time each night talking to God, sharing at least three things I was thankful for that day. Today, I'm sharing 12 Bible verses to remind us to always give thanks to God.

1 Chronicles 29:12-13 "Riches and honor come from you, and you are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in your hand, and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name."

Psalm 9:1 "I will thank the Lord with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous works."

Psalm 69:30 "I will praise God's name with song and exalt with thanksgiving."

Psalm 95:2-3 "Let us enter his presence with thanksgiving; let us shout triumphantly to him in song. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods."

Psalm 100:4 "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name."

Daniel 2:23 "I offer thanks and praise to you, God of my fathers, because you have given me wisdom and power."

2 Corinthians 4:15 "Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God."

Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

1 Timothy 4:4-5 "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer."

Hebrews 12:28-29 "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."

Revelation 11:17 "We give you thanks, Lord God, the Almighty, who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign."

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Trip Recap // Weekend in Montreal

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, November 20, 2018
The past two weeks I've been traveling for work for recruitment events. Because of this, I had to opportunity to spend the weekend in Montreal in between meetings. I hadn't explored the city before, so it was really exciting to venture through the different areas. I don't typically travel by myself, so this was a new adventure for me. Everything I did over the weekend is below!

Currently // October to November

by Lavender Elizabeth, November 10, 2018

Most of my October was spent working. Things really picked up this month with both hiring for new roles and planning our rotational program recruitment. Regardless of many late nights at the office, I still managed to have a fun and festive October. Between visiting a Pumpkin Pop-up and attending a Halloween bar crawl, I made sure to celebrate the 31st in style. I also took a trip to Kentucky, had a girls' weekend in Michigan, and enjoyed all the changing leaves in Bucktown.

  1. Currently // September to October A recap of last month and a look into the next
  2. Weekend Getaway // Grand Rapids Our fun girls' weekend away
  3. Chicago Hotspot // Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up A pumpkin-filled escape in Chicago
  4. Fashion // Fall Essentials My top 12 fashion needs for the season
  5. Halloween Weekend & DIY Group Costume A halloween bar crawl with Winnie and friends
  6. Recipe // Festive Candy Corn Cupcakes Three-tiered cupcakes for fall

November 4 Hot Chocolate 5K
November 6 Visit NYC
November 7-9 Work trip to Norwalk
November 9-11 Explore Montreal
November 11-15 Work trip to Montreal
November 15 Adler After Dark
November 18 Friendsgiving
November 22 Thanksgiving

Have a wonderful November, everyone!

Recipe // Festive Candy Corn Cupcakes

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, October 31, 2018
Festive food is so fun when celebrating a holiday. For Halloween this year, my roommates and I are hosting a dinner and movie night with friends. I was in charge of dessert, so decided to make candy corn cupcakes. The super-easy-to-make directions are below.

Halloween Weekend & DIY Group Costume

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, October 30, 2018
Halloween weekend means dressing up and going out with friends! This year, rather than go on a nighttime boat cruise, we deiced to do a day-time bar crawl. The crawl took place in River North, which is an area of Chicago I haven't explored very much. It was great! So many unique bars, with really different atmospheres. Plus, I got to do a group costume for the first time in years! We decided really last minute to recreate Winnie the Pooh and friends. Creating the looks were so simple. Our crawl recap and directions on how to make your own Winnie costumes are below. (Also, check out the incredible view from my friends' apartment!)

Fashion // Fall Essentials

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, October 25, 2018
I absolutely love fall fashion. You can throw on a chunky sweater and look super cute, while still being completely comfortable. This year, I'm going to try and step out of my typical fall staples and experiment with some new styles. I put together a complete list of all this season's essentials - some classic, some new - that I'll be trying over the next couple months.

Chicago Hotspot // Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, October 23, 2018
This past weekend, my friends and I hit up the newest Chicago hotspot: Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up.

HOTSPOT: Jack's - A Pumpkin Pop-Up Experience
WHERE: Goose Island
WHAT: A pumpkin wonderland beer garden, complete with a corn maze

Weekend Getaway // Grand Rapids

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, October 12, 2018
Last weekend, a group of friends and I went on a fun getaway to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Every other year, Grand Rapids hosts an international art show called ArtPrize, where artists showcase their work throughout the city. It's such a cool concept! It was basically a walking museum tour filled with unique paintings, sculptures, and interactive art. We spent the weekend exploring the art, tasting wine, and trying new restaurants. 

Our full girls' weekend recap is below!

Currently // September to October

by Lavender Elizabeth, October 01, 2018

September was one of the more relaxing months I've had this year. I was supposed to travel to Maryland for work, but with the impending hurricane, decided to cancel the trip. I did, however, still make it on my Tennessee trip, which was so fun! I was also able to see my sister a couple of times throughout the month; watch my pups while my parents were away; and continue to settle into my new home.

  1. Currently // August to September A recap of last month and a look into this one
  2. Completing Chicago's Tough Mudder All about that one time we competed in mud
  3. Home Trend I'm Loving // Watercolor Florals My new bedspread inspired my love of this trend
  4. My Summer Bucket List A complete recap of my summer season 
  5. Trip Recap // Nashville to Knoxville A look into my trip to Tennessee
  6. What I'm Loving this Month // September A review of everything I loved in September

October 4 Ed Sheeran Concert
October 6-7 Girls Weekend in Grand Rapids
October 9-11 LinkedIn Talent Connect in Anaheim
October 12-15 Visiting friends in the Bay Area
October 23-25 Work week in Norwalk
October 27 Halloween fun

Have a wonderful October everyone!

What I'm Loving this Month // September

by Lavender Elizabeth, September 30, 2018
September is officially coming to a close, which means it's time to review what I loved this month. From new TV to beauty products, it's all below.

Premiere Month
So many of my shows came back this month! All three Chicago shows, the Good Doctor, the Resident, Big Bang Theory! It's been a great month of TV.

Naked Palette
If you haven't heard, the original Naked palette is being discontinued (I know - so sad!). The benefit - they're currently 50% off! I'm been loving rediscovering the eyeshadow colors in this palette.

Rooftop Bars
A benefit of living in Chicago is all of the cool places to explore. This month, we found some fun rooftop bars with some amazing views!

Express Sales
I may have bought 7 pairs of jeans from Express this month. They had a Labor Day sale where their jeans were 40-50% off, so I took full advantage of it!

Sister Time
I was able to see my sister a lot this month. From being in Urbana for a career fair and her coming down to Naperville, we were able to spend some special quality time together.

Tell me: what did you love this month?

Trip Recap // Nashville to Knoxville

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, September 28, 2018
This week, my work brought me to the state of Tennessee. I decided to fly to Nashville a day early to do some exploring on my own. It rained all day, but I had fun! The next two days were spent with two of my colleagues in Knoxville, recruiting students at their career fair. Below is a complete recap of my time spent in the Volunteer State.

My Summer Bucket List

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, September 21, 2018
Back in June, I started putting together a list of things I wanted to do this summer. Now that summer is coming to a close, I thought it'd be fun to share that list with you. From country concerts to exploring new places in Chicago, I had one hell of a summer.

Home Trend I'm Loving // Watercolor Florals

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, September 09, 2018
In my new bedroom, I chose to go outside of my comfort zone and purchase a show-stopping comforter.  I found this Lauren Conrad floral bedspread and fell in love. It quickly became the inspiration for the rest of my bedroom decor. This watercolor florals trend is one of my favorites right now. I love how romantic and girly it is, while also being colorful. Below are some of my favorite ways to incorporate this trend into your home.

Completing Chicago's Tough Mudder

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, September 03, 2018
Last weekend, my friends and I completed our first Tough Mudder. Back when we signed up in March, we had every intention of training and rocking our race. As it turns out, not one of us trained. That morning, we quickly switched our mentality to "let's go play in the mud." We had a blast! The obstacles were tough, but doable. We did the Half Mudder, which meant 5 miles and 14 obstacles. This is a race that 100% requires teamwork. We were helping pull strangers up, as well as each other.

Currently // August to September

by Lavender Elizabeth, September 01, 2018

August has been a crazy month. The biggest item of note - I moved to Chicago! I started out my month watching a high school best friend marry the man of her dreams; ended it by completing a Tough Mudder; and in between, moved into my new home.


  1. Currently // July to August A recap of last month and a look into this one
  2. Recipe // Pineapple Watermelon Sorbet Popsicles A tasty way to celebrate National Watermelon Day
  3. Weekend Recap // Kristina's Wedding A beautiful wedding weekend spent in Oregon
  4. My Morning Worship Playlist How listening to worship music changed my relationship with God
  5. Looking Back // My Graduation Letter A letter to my 18 year old self about change
  6. Recipe // Any-Fruit Mojito My favorite way to enjoy rum
  7. Moving Series // Why We Chose Bucktown How we picked our new neighborhood
  8. Bible Verses // God is your Shield Reminders that God is there to protect you
  9. What I'm Loving this Month // August A review of everything I loved in August


September 5 Volunteer with my colleagues
September 10 Watch the Cubs play
September 13-14 University of Maryland Career Fair
September 15-16 Explore Maryland
September 22-23 Explore Tennessee
September 24-25 University of Tennessee Career Fair

Have a wonderful September everyone!

What I'm Loving this Month // August

by Lavender Elizabeth, August 31, 2018
August has been so fun! I officially moved to Chicago, which has been amazing. It's been such a blast getting settled into my new home. This month, most of what I've been loving has been moving-related - check below for proof. 

My Apartment
I'm loving my apartment. We're still getting settled, but it's really coming along. We have our bookcases set up, pictures hung, and boxes unpacked. Plus, our neighborhood is the cutest!

I bought so much furniture for our apartment at Ikea. Five bookcases, a dresser, dining table and chairs, and kitchen accessories. I love to build furniture, so Ikea is a dream for me.

LC by Lauren Conrad
I went out on a limb and bought a colorful comforter. For the last few years, I've had neutral comforters, but I found this one by Lauren Conrad and fell in love. Bonus - it looks so nice in my room!

Rekindled Friendships
At the beginning of the month, I flew to Portland for a friend's wedding. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was spending time with a high school best friend, Daphne. We hadn't seen each other in a couple of years, but fell right back into our relationship. Absolutely loved catching up with my best friend.

The Sinner
My roommates got me onto this show. We started watching season 2 and I was instantly hooked. Which of course meant I watched season 1 on Netflix almost right away. SO GOOD!

Tell me: what did you love this month?

Bible Verses // God is your Shield

by Lavender Elizabeth, August 30, 2018
shield (sheeld) noun a person or thing that protects

Back in April, I resumed my Alphabet Word Study where I look into a word in the bible for each letter. Today, I'm continuing with the letter "s" and the word shield.

We are so lucky to have a God that protects us. Regardless of situation, He is there for us to take shelter in. We've all been through something scary or hurtful; the joy is that God protects us. Through each circumstance, we learn to trust God a little more. There are many verses in the Bible that reference God as our shield, particularly in the book of Psalms. Below are some of my favorites.

Deuteronomy 33:29 "Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights."

2 Samuel 22:31 "As for God, his way is perfect: the Lord's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him."

Psalms 3:3 "But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high."

Psalms 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."

Psalms 33:20 "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our hope and our shield."

Psalms 84:11 "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless."

Psalms 91:4 "He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

Psalms 119:114 "You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope."

Psalms 144:2 "He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues people under me."

Proverbs 2:7 "He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless."

Proverbs 30:5 "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him."

Ephesians 6:16 "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."

To read letters A-R of my alphabet word study, click here.

Moving Series // Why We Chose Bucktown

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, August 27, 2018
This past weekend was my move into the city! I've shared why I chose Chicago and today, I'm sharing why I (along with my roommates) chose the neighborhood of Bucktown.

1. Proximity to work. Although there are three of us, we'll be commuting to five different places. We all set the precedent that we didn't want to drive longer than an hour to each of our locations, which landed us in the Logan Square community.

Recipe // Any-Fruit Mojito

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, August 16, 2018
Mojitos are one of my favorite drinks! I love that they're both sweet and refreshing. Today is National Rum Day, so what better day to make a fruity mojito!? Today's recipe will allow you to make a mojito with whatever fruit you'd like. Create the base and add the fruit - simple as that!

Looking Back // My Graduation Letter

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, August 15, 2018
While I was going through some things at my parents' house, I came across a letter I wrote my senior year of high school. During the last month of school, my English teacher had us write a letter to ourselves that she'd mail us a year later. It's funny how different things can turn out. I was so sure of my life path when I wrote that letter at 18, but almost everything changed. Today, I'm sharing that letter with you, as well as one I'd write to my college self now.

My Morning Worship Playlist

by Lavender Elizabeth, August 10, 2018
For the past few months, I've been feeling really disconnected from God. There was no big moment that separated me; it was a slow progression. I took a break from reading before bed, rarely went to church, and stopped praying as often. I had a moment during my weekly Bible Study where I realized just how far away I felt from my faith. I knew then that I needed to make a change.

For a long time, I've always felt very connected to Christ through music. It's one of my favorite parts of church and also how I experienced my first overwhelming moment with the Holy Spirit. Because of this, I decided the first step I'd make to regain my relationship with God would be through music. I started gathering some of my favorite worship songs and putting them into a playlist. My goal was to listen to it at least twice a week, on my way to work. For the past two months, I've tried really hard to stick to this goal. There's definitely been some weeks where I've missed the two time mark, but overall, I've done pretty well.

The result: I'm feeling more connected to God. There's been something so nice about starting my day praising Him. Not only that, but I'm being encouraged to pray during my worship time, as well. 

The top five songs on my playlist?

Even If by MercyMe
I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

One Thing by Hillsong Worship
If only to know You
To be where You are
And go where You lead
My God, I will follow

Air I Breathe by Mat Kearney
You are the air I breathe
You are the song I bleed
You are the war that I can't win
This is my white flag in the wind
Every word you speak
Is the air I breathe

Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave
I see the work of Your hands
Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I Am Yours by Lauren Daigle
Let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

If you're interested in my Morning Worship playlist, follow along on Spotify.

Weekend Recap // Kristina's Wedding

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, August 06, 2018
Last month, I flew to Portland for one of my high school best friends' bachelorette parties; this past weekend, I returned to watch her marry her forever love. I had the most amazing weekend, but let me tell you, it was a rough start.

Recipe // Pineapple Watermelon Sorbet Popsicles

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, August 03, 2018
Happy National Watermelon Day! To celebrate, I created a twist on classic sorbet - tasty popsicles. I knew that watermelon would be a sweet flavor, so I wanted to add a little something to the mix; that's how I chose a hint of pineapple. This was my first time making sorbet and let me tell you, it was so simple! And even better, so refreshing. In the kind of heat we've been having lately, refreshing is the best kind of dessert.

Currently // July to August

by Lavender Elizabeth, August 02, 2018

I cannot believe July is already over. This month just flew by! I started the month in the best way - watching fireworks! The rest of my month consisted of traveling (to Portland to celebrate one of my best friend's bachelorette parties and Connecticut for my corporate induction) and spending time with friends (dinners and exploring Chicago).

  1. Recipe // Red, White, and Berry Sangria A recipe perfect for an American holiday
  2. Summer Fashion // Bathing Suit Favorites My favorite styles and patterns
  3. Currently // June to July A recap of last month and a glimpse at the one to come
  4. Weekend Recap // Kristina's Bachelorette Party A look at my weekend at the Oregon coast
  5. Get to Know the Blogger Complete with Cosmo-inspired quizzes
  6. Recipe // Raspberry Lemonade Margarita A tasty way to celebrate National Tequila Day
  7. Moving Series // Why I Chose Chicago The reason I chose to move to the city
  8. What I'm Loving this Month // July A review of everything I loved in July

August 3-5 Go to Portland for Kristina's Wedding
August 11 Start moving into my new place
August 18 Move the furniture into my new place
August 23 My aunt arrives for a 2 week visit
August 25 Complete the Tough Mudder & See Miranda Lambert

Along with the above, I have a couple of items on my to-do list:
  1. Decorate my new room to make it my own.
  2. Continue working out everyday to train for the Tough Mudder.
Have a wonderful August!

What I'm Loving this Month // July

by Lavender Elizabeth, July 30, 2018
July has been so hot! The humidity in Illinois decided to show itself this month, making it both hot and muggy. It's definitely not something I'm loving this month.

I am, however, loving some other things this July.

My most favorite thing. I love July because there's always a chance I'll get to see fireworks. This year, I was able to see the Arthur Fireworks and let me tell you, they were incredible!

My Job
I am loving my job right now. I've officially closed six roles and am slowly taking on more responsibility. I'm really finding my groove at work and loving it.

My Parents & Pups
I'm really trying to savor this last month of living at home. I've been spending more time with my parents and snuggling my pups a little extra.

Soft Workout Tanks
I have some extremely comfy tanks from Target that I've been living in. I workout in them, but also love relaxing in the softness.

This month, I remembered just how much I love this game. It's relaxing and requires just as much strategy as it does luck.

Tell me: what are you loving this month?

Moving Series // Why I Chose Chicago

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, July 26, 2018

In three weeks, I'm making the move from the suburbs to the city! When I accepted my job offer back in March, I also made the decision to move. I knew that as soon as I had a full time offer, I would move back out of my parents' house, I just wasn't sure where. After much consideration, I decided on Chicago.

Recipe // Raspberry Lemonade Margarita

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, July 24, 2018
Happy National Tequila Day! In honor of the day, I decided to create the most traditional tequila drink - the margarita. I wanted to put a sweet twist on it, so included two of my favorite things: raspberries and lemonade.

Get to Know the Blogger

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, July 20, 2018
Happy Introduction Friday! There have been a lot of new readers these past couple months, so I thought it'd be fun to re-introduce myself. I've always loved the Cosmo quizzes that the magazine does for its cover stars, so that's exactly what I'm doing today!

Weekend Recap // Kristina's Bachelorette Party

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, July 16, 2018
Last weekend, I traveled to Portland to celebrate one of my best friend's bachelorette parties. I met Kristina in our global studies class our freshmen year of high school. I remember my birthday sophomore year - Kristina wrote me a card and called me her best friend. I was so relieved she said it first. ;) Since high school, we continued to stay close and build our friendship. She went to university in Oregon, where she met her now fiancé. I remember her telling me about him over Christmas break and the incredible date they had. Right then, I knew he was a keeper.

Currently // June to July

by Lavender Elizabeth, July 15, 2018

I think I was busy every weekend throughout the month of June. I started out the month in Cancun with childhood friends and ended it with a three-day country festival in Chicago. In between there I went to the lake, celebrated my one-year work anniversary, and spent time with my dad for Father's Day. It was hectic, but oh so wonderful!

  1. What I Loved Last Month // May A review of everything I loved in May
  2. Currently // May to June A recap of last month and a look at the one to come
  3. Weekend Recap // Memorial Day A rundown of our eight year tradition
  4. Trip Recap // Cancun Palm trees, sunshine, and a killer sunburn
  5. Fun Activities to do with Dad this Father's Day Activities to do with dad
  6. Our Weekend at the Lake All the fun we had at our weekend away on the lake
  7. Weekend Recap // Country LakeShake Three days of country concert fun
  8. What I'm Loving this Month // June A review of everything I loved in June

June 30-July 1: move out of my Urbana apartment
July 4: celebrate the Fourth with friends
July 5-9: celebrate Kristina's Bachelorette Party in Portland
July 9-11: head to headquarters for Diageo's Induction
July 14: go to Chicago to tour my new home
July 21: move a friend into his new apartment
July 28: celebrate a friend's birthday in the city

Along with the above, I have a couple of items on my to-do list:
  1. Get back in the routine of reading a devotional before going to sleep.
  2. Start packing up my things to move to Chicago.
Have a wonderful July!

Summer Fashion // Bathing Suit Favorites

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, July 05, 2018
Bathing suits have stepped their game up this season! Different necklines have emerged, like the off-the-shoulder look - a personal favorite. It gives a little more coverage, while still having that bikini-vibe. The other style that's rocking my world is the one-piece comeback. There's something sexy and underrated about a one-piece. In honor of National Bikini Day, I'm sharing all of my favorite necklines and patterns this season. 

Recipe // Red, White, and Berry Sangria

in , , by Lavender Elizabeth, July 03, 2018
Last year for the Fourth of July, I made berry sangria popsicles. Let me tell you - they were delicious! This year, I'm making the real deal - a very tasty red, white, and berry sangria. Some friends are coming over for a BBQ and I can't wait to serve this for a refreshing pre-fireworks drink.

What I'm Loving this Month // June

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 29, 2018
This month has been a blast! The weather's finally been warm, I've experienced new things with friends, and have been able to see my sister multiple times.

Below is everything I've loved during the month of June.

Shooter & New Girl
I've been watching two very different shows on Netflix this month. I decided to give New Girl another try - so funny. I still find it a little stupid, but it's just so easy to watch. The other show is one I've been watching my parents - Shooter. It's a marine-centric show with Ryan Phillipe; lots of conspiracy and crime. We just started season two and I'm loving it!

The Lake
I spent the weekend at one of my friend's lake houses and was reminded of how much I love being on the lake. When I was younger, a group of us would go every year, so this was a perfect getaway. There's nothing better than floating in the water, riding jet skies, and blasting country music on a pontoon boat.

I've started wearing blazers to work to dress up my jeans now that we can wear them everyday. It's something so simple that can take my look from casual to work-appropriate. My current favorite is a pink and purple tweed jacket I inherited from my mom.

My Naperville Friends
I've spent a lot of time with this group this month and I couldn't be happier. I've been reminded countless times just how lucky I am to have met them. It's been four months since I first went skiing with them and am still so blessed they walked into my life.

Bantam Bagels
I've been snacking on Starbuck's new classic bantam bagels a lot in the morning. I mean, can you really go wrong with bagel bites filled with cream cheese?

What have you been loving this month?

Weekend Recap // Country LakeShake

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, June 27, 2018
This past weekend I went to my first country festival in Chicago - Country LakeShake. A group of us, including my sister and her fiancé, attended all three days. Our weekend was filled with friends, food, and incredible music. Friday, it rained all day, so Northerly Island was quite muddy. It was also supposed to rain that night, so we were decked out in rain jackets. It was definitely a chillier night. Saturday and Sunday were, thankfully, nice and warm. We were able to enjoy the sunshine, play some games, and explore the festival. My favorite day? Sunday! The artists were some of my most played, the company was perfect, and the weather was just right. Below are some photos from the weekend.

Our Weekend at the Lake

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, June 19, 2018
This past weekend, a group of friends and I went up to the lake. Between bonfires, card games, and hours in the lake, we had the perfect mini getaway. This weekend reminded me of just how lucky I am to have met this group. Back in February, I never would have guessed that they'd turn into my own little Illinois family. Below is our lake weekend recap.

Fun Activities to do with Dad this Father's Day

in , , by Lavender Elizabeth, June 13, 2018

Last month for Mother's Day, I shared my top nine activities to do with your mom. This month, I'm sharing the Father's Day edition. My plan for Father's Day - take my dad high speed go-kart racing! Not only do we get to spend time together, but we also get to experience something new. Spending time with my dad is always one of my favorite things to do. We love adventuring, as well as just relaxing and talking. I can't wait to race him around the track during the day, and somehow I just know, end our evening with a bonfire. Below are other ideas to celebrate the amazing dad in your life.

Trip Recap // Cancun

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, June 10, 2018

Last weekend, I headed to Cancun for a fun girls' weekend away with two of my childhood best friends, Keiko and Shannon, and some of Keiko's high school friends. I love that I'm still so close with girls I've known for 18 years! We were there for only four days, so made the most of being in paradise. From countless hours on the beach to cooling off in the turquoise ocean; pina coladas throughout the day to dressing up for dinner; we had a blast. Our group stayed at the Riu Caribe, which is where we spent most of our time. When Shannon and I booked our rooms, the hotel was sold out, so we ended up staying at their sister resort next door, the Riu Palace Peninsula. Both resorts were all-inclusive, which in my option, is the way to go!

Weekend Recap // Memorial Day

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 08, 2018
For the past eight years, my friends from college have spent Memorial Day weekend at my parents' house. It started our freshmen year and has continued post-grad, even with me living in Illinois. It's a weekend that we always look forward to - it's our mini-reunion and I always have a blast. This year, I wanted to experience some new things together, so planned a fun itinerary for us. Below is all the exciting things we did.

The girls arrived in Chicago around lunch. Once home, we dressed up and headed to Mesón Sabika for tapas and sangria.

We headed to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin! It was one of the hottest days, but we still had a blast. The day started with a champagne brunch cruise on the lake, complete with a mansion tour. We then went to the beach and relaxed in the lake - it was perfect. For dinner, my parents had two of their best friends over, so we all had dinner together. Afterwards, we played shuffleboard and then Phase 10.

My friends had wanted to try Pure Barre, so we went to a morning class. They were surprised at just how difficult it was. For a nice little pick-me-up afterwards, we went to Starbucks and then shopped around downtown Naperville. For dinner, we had a typical Memorial Day BBQ with hamburgers, corn on the cob, and caesar salad. And for dessert - ice cream from Oberweis.

Emma was accepted into medical school, so to celebrate, my mom decorated the kitchen for her at breakfast. For lunch, I made reservations for us to go to the Emerson Creek Tearoom - it was amazing. The food was delicious, the grounds were rustic and adorable, and the store had some great finds. We also stopped to swing on their swings, which was surprisingly fun. The girls flew home that evening, so we decided to relax before their flight.

I'm already looking forward to next year's Memorial Day weekend with the girls!