Formal Dresses & Events this Winter

Outfit Details: Rachel Allan Dress, Style #L1094 (wearing size 0) | Black Sandal Heels | Black Monogrammed Clutch | Sorelli Crystal Drop Earrings

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the excuse to get dolled up for parties and events. I feel the most confident when I’m in a fancy dress with heels – so that’s what this post is about! I’ve been wearing Rachel Allan dresses for a few years now to various formal occasions and I always seem to find the perfect dress for each event (see past dresses: here here  ). You might be thinking that you don’t have many places to go where formal attire is required. So below I included two events I’ll be attending this winter that I definitely recommend and how you can purchase tickets (and find your dress!).

  • Snowball at the Field Museum — This has been one of my favorite events in Chicago to date! See this blog post to learn more about Snowball – Chicago’s premier black tie event hosted by The Junior Council – an affiliated organization of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. All proceeds from the event benefitted the Lurie Children’s Hospital and helped raise awareness. Tickets for 2018 haven’t gone on sale yet, but I will be posting on here/my social media when they do! A great event to get dressed up for and to support a wonderful cause.
  • Whitney Art Party in NYC: I’m a member of the host committee for this event happening at the Whitney Art Museum in New York City on November 14th at 9PM. Co-Chairing the Art Party this year will be Vanity Fair’s Fashion Director, Michael Carl, Celebrity Stylist Micaela Erlanger and soon to be announced fashion designer and celebrity (last year those were Brandon Maxwell, Common and Karlie Kloss). Coverage was broad and as varied as Vogue, WWD, W Magazine, The New York Times, and many others. It’s going to be a fun night of music, dancing, and festive attire – get your tickets here!

Plus there’s always winter weddings and upcoming holiday work parties! To find this style and any of her other beautiful dresses, use this store locater to find a retailer near you.

Formal Occasion Hair – I’m pretty picky about who I use to get my hair done because I usually like to do my own hair. I’ve gone to Dream Dry a few times now before big events (like Lollapalooza!) and I’ve been more than happy with their services. Available in Chicago, New York, and Atlanta: find locations here.

And to answer your questions about where I get my hair highlighted – I still go to the woman in my hometown (South Bend) who has been doing my hair since I was born. I’m serious – Tina actually gave me my first haircut and she’s still highlighting my hair!! Read this post for Tina’s info and how she highlights my hair. Thank you to Rachel Allan for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions and ideas that went into the production of this post are my own!

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Follow Your Heart, But Take Your Brain With You

Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite. I loved when Belle and the Beast realized they were in love, he turned back into a man, and they lived happily ever after. Same with the rest of the crew: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty… that’s where we learned about what love was supposed to look like. We grew up watching these princesses fall in love with a prince who had perfect hair, never did anything annoying, and probably always texted back within 2 minutes.

Or how about when we used to play ‘house’ in our friend’s basements (up to an age that’s too old for me to admit – Emily I hope you’re reading this). We’d give ourselves fake last names and talk about what our husbands did and how many kids we had. And do I even mention how I gave every Barbie I owned a boyfriend with matching hair..because that’s how it worked, right?

Then we grew up, because life forces you to.

I’m sure you remember the first time you really hurt someone. And I know you’ll never forget, for the rest of your life, the first time someone broke your heart. The pain is hard to forget and it changes you forever. I used to think failed relationships were pointless and an unfortunate waste of time. Until I realized how my past had slowly turned me into a girl who didn’t focus her life around finding romantic love. Instead, I started to focus on how much I was already loved by God and my family, and learned to put my goals and the people I loved at the center of my life. Here are some of the ways i’m looking at love a little differently now at age 26, and how I’m attempting to navigate relationships with a healthier and more realistic approach:

1. A man shouldn’t make your life, he should just make your life better

I can’t stress the importance of a couple who has their own lives outside of each other enough. When other areas of your life are fulfilled, you don’t turn into the clingy weirdo who relies completely on someone else to satisfy every aspect of your life. Your goal should always be to be emotionally and financially fine on your own before adding someone else into the picture.

2. Strongly consider the future and focus on compatibility

I used to roll my eyes when my mom would tell me relationships were a partnership. That sounded so boring. But picking your person really does have so much to do with mutual interests and similar family backgrounds (there mom, I said it). A happy, healthy relationship should look more like a best friendship than an episode of The Bachelor.

3. Let your pride go and stop assuming.

I used to be so bad at this. I was the girl who would get so upset in certain situations and stay silent expecting the other person to read my mind. It wasn’t until recently that I figured out it saves a lot of time and pointless fighting to just let go of your pride and walk the person through what you want. You just can’t assume they’ll know what you’re thinking unless you communicate it to them.

4. Ask yourself if the other person makes you a better person?

Take a step back. Are they making you the best version of yourself? Do they make you like yourself more? Are you more confident? Do they challenge you, but also make you feel comfortable in your own skin?

5. Ignore social media relationships

Remind yourself that in 90% of couple Instagram pictures, he’s probably complaining about taking the picture. Nothing hinders a relationship more than a skewed idea of what your relationship ‘should’ look like.

6. Pray about it

Be open to receiving whatever answer He gives you. Even if it’s to walk away.

7. Know when it’s time to get a new “type”

Stop fishing in the same pool of bad fish if you want to find a good one. One of my best friends told me to write down what I’m looking for in someone on a business card and carry it with me to remind myself what I wanted/needed.

I’m obviously no expert considering I’ve made 95% of the mistakes above, but I think that getting your priorities straight will alleviate the pressure to find love and make it more of an enjoyable journey. I’ll never stop being a hopeless romantic, because love really is beautiful. Even if it isn’t the romanticized idea of love I used to have in my head. Whether you’re involved in a relationship right now you’re not too sure about, or if you’re still searching for your Ken doll with matching hair, I hope you’ll start to approach love with both your head and your heart!

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Travel Outfit: LA Bound

Outfit Details: Pink Cropped Hoodie (XS) | Pink Midi Skirt (XS) |   | Distressed Denim Jacket (XS) | Large Rose Gold Hoops | Jared Hammit Bag | Away Bigger Carry-On SuitcaseRay-Ban 51mm Rose Gold Sunglasses| Sneakers (run large, order half size down)

Hi! Just posting my travel outfit real quick from the airport before I head out to LA for the weekend! This pink two piece from Lulu’s is the perfect travel outfit, so comfortable and chic. The white sneaks are good airport shoes and I love how the jean jacket looks draped over the sweatshirt. I’m wearing a size XS in the top and skirt with no alterations (4’11” and typically wear an XXS). The material is really soft and stretchy. The thick waistband makes the skirt so flattering and I love the little pockets!

I’m always flying out to the east coast so I thought I’d switch it up and go see some of my friends out in California! On Saturday I’m going to the 8th annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic – the same event I went to earlier this year out in Jersey City (see this blog post from that event). It’s going to be an awesome event, so stay tuned for some IG stories while I’m there! I’ll be staying in Santa Monica with Caitlin, one of my good friends from Chicago who just moved out there. I have a couple things planned in West Hollywood and I’m going to visit the Show Me Your Mumu girls downtown on Monday! What are your favorite things to do in LA?? I’ve never really been there for long enough to explore the city so please leave suggestions in the comments below or on my Instagram post 🙂 Have a good weekend! xo, liv

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