October 12, 2015

My Favorite Fall Bootie (under $100!)

Fall weather is finally hitting Chicago and I absolutely love it! One of my favorite things about fall is switching out my bright summer wardrobe for my cozy sweaters and fall and winter clothes. One of my staples for fall has always been riding boots, but I've really been loving booties recently!
I bought this pair at Nordstrom last winter and they've become one of my favorite pairs of shoes.
Now that the weather has cooled down, I wear them almost every day! They're super versatile and really comfy. The bit of a heel that they have is also nice without being too much or getting uncomfortable at the end of a long day. The best part? They're under $100! I have them in black leather, but I also absolutely love them in grey leather, which is really more of a light grey brown, and charcoal suede. I'll probably grab another pair in one of those colors before winter hits us. I honestly cannot rave about these shoes enough!

Do you have a favorite pair of booties for fall?

October 9, 2015

Five - Zero - Zero

A few days ago, I realized that I've published over 500 blog posts here on Bowtiful Life since I first started posting back in my junior year of high school.
This is my 503rd post...!
They say that time flies when you're having fun, and that certainly
has rung true for me as a blogger! That being said, Bowtiful Life may seem like all fun, monograms, glitter, and games from one side of the screen, but it's also a lot of work! Before becoming a blogger, I had no idea as to just how much work went into running a blog. The whole "behind the curtain" aspect of blogging (ie: HTML coding, site design, CSS, copy editing, etc.) that goes into maintaining and creating a website ended up being much more extensive than I ever could have imagined. These minor "behind the scenes" things, which stressed me out to no end when I first started Bowtiful Life, have now become only minor blips on my radar as I tackle different and new aspects of blogging on a daily basis. I love learning new tricks and skills!
photo from my recent trip to the Skydeck
Now, I cannot even attempt to count the number of times I've skipped out on some extra sleep at night or gotten up a bit earlier in the morning to respond to emails, plan posts, shoot videos &/or photos, and write blog posts. To be honest with you, it is all so incredibly worth it.

All this hard work, time, and effort that I've put in, for almost four years now, has been so worth it and I wouldn't change it for the world. Thanks to the endless support I've received, I've been able to create and maintain something that I can be ridiculously proud of and I've been able to approach every situation and small (or big) problem wholeheartedly, headfirst, and with a positive attitude.

As Frank Lloyd Wright said...
"You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having"

In passing this milestone, I'd like to thank all of YOU! You, my readers, my "lovelies," are such an amazing support system! Whether you've been reading since I first started typing out posts back in high school, or if you've just recently discovered Bowtiful Life: thank you for following along and for supporting me! You guys are honestly the best and I'm so grateful for each and every one of you!

Here's to 500+ posts and to the many milestones to come!

October 6, 2015

"Expanding What's Possible" - Huntsman Cancer Institute & Derby Days 2015

It's that time of year again, Sigma Chi Derby Days is right around the corner! Ever since I joined Greek Life at the beginning of my freshman year of college, philanthropy has become an even bigger part of my life than ever before and I am so grateful for the many amazing philanthropic opportunities I've had because of my membership in Chi Omega at Loyola University Chicago.

As a Chi Omega, the philanthropy that is nearest and dearest to my heart is Make-a-Wish, but I am also very lucky to have had the chance to support many other organizations and their respective philanthropies on my campus. That being said, Sigma Chi Derby Days supports the Huntsman Cancer Institute which is another cause that is very important to me. I have both friends and family members who have directly fought cancer as well as countless people in my life who have been touched by cancer at some point. As scary as it is, cancer affects all of us.
I haven chosen to participate in fundraising for the Huntsman Cancer Institute once again this year as a way honor the many people I know who have had to fight cancer and as a way to support finding a cure. If you are able to donate even a dollar, please consider doing so, as this organization is absolutely amazing and what they hope to accomplish cannot be done without our support.
Donate Here ~

For more information on the Huntsman Cancer Institute and their mission, check out this video:

I know this wasn't a typical blog post for Bowtiful Life, but thank you so much for taking the time to learn about a cause so close to my heart.
Thank you for your support. ♥

October 5, 2015

September '15 Favorites Video

My September Favorites video is now LIVE on YouTube! 
Check it out on my channel, or watch below!
Featured items from this video
Laura Mercier Stickgloss in "Baked Earth"  //  Pinrose  //  bkr gloss bottle  //  Kendra Scott Naomi ring  //  Striped Swing Dress  //  Burgundy Shift Dress  //  Argo Bubble Tea (red tea with vanilla and extra bubbles) //  Shawn Mendes  //  Companion App  //  Kate Spade Umbrella

What are a few of you favorite things, currently?

October 2, 2015

October '15 Playlist

Happy October! I always associate the month of October with pumpkin spice lattes, fall colors, changing leaves, cuddling up, and cozy sweaters. For those reasons and more, it's always one of my favorite months of the year! Here are a few of the songs that I'm loving for October 2015.

What's your favorite song this month? 

September 29, 2015

Free Coffee!!! (National Coffee Day 2015)

Hey lovelies, I hope you're all having a terrific Tuesday!
As the majority of you know, I'm a tad obsessed with coffee. #sorrynotsorry. So, when I heard from Time that multiple places were giving out free or discounted coffee today, at participating locations, I had to share with all of you so that we can all be fully caffeinated today! These locations are all over the country, not just Chicago based, so all my readers have the opportunity to grab a free caffeine buzz today!

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Iced coffee, flavored iced coffee, & iced Americanos are 50% off!

Cumberland Farms
Text "FREECOFFEE" to 33733 and you’ll get a coupon for a free coffee at one of their locations, which is redeemable all of today.

Dunkin’ Donuts
Each customer gets one free medium cup of dark roast coffee.

LaMar’s Donuts
One free 12-ounce coffee per customer (and a free travel mug while supplies last)

Krispy Kreme
One free 12-ounce cup of coffee and a free glazed donut.

Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co.
Purchase any item on the menu receive a free "Cold Brewsta" coffee.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea
Receive a free small cup of Peet’s Major Dickason blend coffee (I LOVE THIS STUFF) when you buy a food item.

The first 150 customers at Sheetz convenience stores get a free travel mug and every customer gets a free coffee all day

Stewart’s Shops
One free coffee per customer after 3pm

One self-serve cup of any hot beverage, up to 24 ounces in size, for free.

Whole Foods
A 12-ounce coffee is just 25¢ for the rest of September

Caribou Coffee
Different, but Caribou will donate a cup of coffee to nurses and families in cancer centers for each cup of "Amy’s Blend" coffee sold today.

Now go get caffeinated!

September 28, 2015

Influenster Homecoming VoxBox

 I got a fun package in the mail on Thursday... an Influenster VoxBox! I got my very first VoxBox last spring and I opened up my #HCVoxBox (Homecoming VoxBox) to find some great goodies to try out! I've included more photos and mini reviews of each of the items below so you can decide if you'd like to try them out too!

 Kettle Brand Potato Chips - Jalapeño
These were alright. I'm not a huge fan of jalapeño flavored things in general, but I shared them with my roommate and she seemed to like them! I personally love the Kettle Brand salt and vinegar potato chips the best.

Olay Active Botanicals Refreshing Gel Cleanser
I've never really used gel cleansers when it comes to skincare, but so far I like this one. It's infused with snow mushrooms (snow mushrooms can hold 500x their weight in water!!!) which are supposed to help with hydration. I'm curious to see if this cleanser changes how my skin feels after a few more uses!

Red Vines
Oh my goodness... I LOVE RED VINES. I was super excited to get a whole pack of these in my box to snack on while doing homework this weekend.

Luden's Throat Drops - Blue Raspberry
These don't taste like cough drops at all, they're honestly just like candy and they remind me of the blue raspberry Jolly Ranchers! Just a heads up, they will temporarily tint your tongue blue. Whoops!

SinfulColors SinfulShine Nail Polish
I received an intense black polish called "dark room" and the topcoat, which  is clear, contrary to what you might believe based on the bottle. The shine of these products is absolutely insane. I tested them out to see if the shine potential really matched the name and it really does! I'll probably be doing my toes in "dark room" the next time I paint them!

Please note that all of the items featured in this post were sent to me courtesy of Influenster and all opinions are my own!

September 21, 2015

Nordstrom Fall Beauty Trend Show 2015

This weekend I got up very early (a bit too early for a Saturday at least) and I headed downtown to Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue for their Fall Beauty Trend Show! I attended last year as well and this year was filled with even more fantastic products (all listed and linked at the bottom of this post) and representatives and/or founders from all the companies featured in the show. Nordstrom's regional beauty director for the Midwest, Kelly Edwards, acted as emcee and host for the show and she was so much fun!

The two sections for the show this year emphasized a graphic eye and a bold lip. I'm a lip product junkie, so that was one of my favorite parts for sure! Other highlights for me included the Dior, Pinrose, Jo Malone, Aerin (Estee Lauder's granddaughter), Nest, and bkr presentations.
Estee Lauder's granddaughter, Aerin Lauder!
Erika Shumate, Co-Founder of Pinrose
I  absolutely LOVE this company! The idea behind how they match you to a fragrance is so fun! You take a short quiz that asks you to pick between colors, images, and sounds and then you're matched up with a specific profile and scents to go along with it. I got "Goddess" as shown below!

 It was wonderful meeting Laura Slatkin, the founder of NEST Fragrances, after the show! It was so cool to hear about how she came up with their most recent scents and the inspiration behind it! I've been a long-time admirer of Nest candles, but I'd never purchased one because I could never pick just one! This time around, I finally made a decision and I picked up two: Moroccan Amber and Birchwood Pine. I'm obsessed with the gorgeous gold detailing on the Birchwood Pine holder!

Jo Malone's newest scent, Mimosa and Cardamom

I also got to meet the founders of bkr water bottles, Kate Cutler and Tal Winter! Their bottles are now being sold in the Nordstrom beauty department, because naturally, hydration is a big part of beauty! Why not hydrate in style? Their glass bottles come wrapped in silicone in shades inspired by the runway and I picked up one in the color "Gloss". I'm already finding myself drinking even more water than usual because the bottle is too cute and it fits perfectly in my bag!

 Featured Brands & Products 
Graphic Eye
Kate Sommerville

Anastasia Beverly Hills

NEST Fragrances




Laura Mercier



Bobbi Brown


Jo Malone

Bold Lip





Charlotte Tilbury


Giorgio Armani


Tom Ford



What's your favorite beauty trend this season?
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