Sorry for the silence, guys! It’s recruitment season, which means I have next to no computer time – but I haven’t forgotten about you all! I’m especially psyched for this week because it’s FALL BREAK. And I work for a school, meaning I actually get to celebrate it for the first time in years. WHAT. UP.

We’ll be spending part of this week in beautiful Wisconsin with some of Daniel’s family for a little family reunion of sorts. We got to visit last fall and guys….I am completely in love. It is one of the most beautiful states I’ve ever seen. All the farmland and rolling hills out in the country looked like a patchwork quilt. Everything was so well kept, there were flowers everywhere, the leaves were turning, and the weather was perfect! The travel bug has been biting since I got back from Chicago in July, so I’m very much looking forward to a mini-getaway.

I’ve been impatiently waiting for fall weather to get here, so I’m almost literally jumping for joy that we are going to 50 to 60-degree weather. I’m so ready to bust out my sweaters and coats!

 : from Babble.com

toggle coat, Hunter boots: from Classy Girls Wear Pearls

plaid shirt: from Society of Chic

striped top + garnet scarf: from Classy Cathleen

AHHHH. So ready to pack my bags and get on that plane. Can’t wait to show you pictures of the gorgeous Wisconsin countryside! Happy Monday!

What’s inspiring you this fall?

The Little Shop


In October of 2015, I did something a little nuts: I launched my own small business and became a MONAT Market Partner! Read this post to find out more about the products and the business. Click here to check out my products.

In addition to MONAT, in an effort to simplify my life and make a little extra cash for new threads, I invite my interested readers every so often to gather ’round and shop my closet! Come back often for new additions! To purchase something, just comment below or email me. (P.S. If you want multiple items, I’ll discount prices! $5 flat shipping rate to anywhere outside my area.)

And The Winner Is…!


The winner of the random drawing is……….Jimi Hightower! Congratulations, girl! :) Unfortunately, WordPress won’t allow me to post the video of the actual drawing, but you can view it here on Facebook or here on Instagram!

I had such a great time hosting this giveaway – it did my heart good to see my blog being shared and getting to read all of the sweet entry comments. A great big thank you to everyone who participated!

If I run another giveaway sometime in the future, what should I give away? What would you want to win? Let me know in the comments!

A Taste of My Tuesday

Things I’m daydreaming about today:

This minimalist bedroom from Design Sponge. THAT RUG. I need it!

Grace’s impeccable writing style from Camp Patton. I want to be her when I grow up.

12This hottttttt couples session from Melissa Green Photography. *swoon*

http://theslowroasteditalian-printablerecipe.blogspot.com/2014/04/soft-pretzel-dog.htmlThese pretzel dogs from The Slow Roasted Italian. (….what? I’m on a diet? Right.)

dinner party.jpg
This beautiful summer dinner party from The Fresh Exchange. It’s just perfect.

giveawayAlso, just a quick reminder – the free t-shirt giveaway is still open until this Friday at 11:59 pm! Want to win one of these bad boys from Embracing the Chaos? Check out this post to enter!

For those of you who have been asking about how my DietBet is going – I’ll post an update on my experience soon! ‘Keep a weather eye on the horizon.’

By the way – none of these ‘favorites’ are sponsored. I just like them a lot and thought you might too!

Friday Giveaway

Happy Friday, sports fans! I have some CRAZY news to share:

As of today, Embracing the Chaos stats officially broke over 1,000 visitors!!

How nuts is that?? I only started this adventure about a month ago, but I’ve been overwhelmed by the encouraging comments, emails, follows, and shares from my readers! THANK YOU so much for motivating and supporting me.

To celebrate, I’m running my very first giveaway! I stumbled across this tee a few days ago and fell in love with it. It appeals to the wanderluster in me.

To enter the giveaway you must do both of the following:

  • Share this post on Facebook with the hashtag #etcroadtriptee
  • Comment below with your email address and favorite Embracing the Chaos blog post so far

*For extra entries: repost the giveaway pic from my Instagram with the hashtags #etcroadtriptee and #embracingthechaosblog, and follow Embracing the Chaos via email!

Good luck – hope you win! ;) Have a great weekend!

RULES: No purchase necessary. Open eligibility for any entrants 13 years of age or older. Enter by sharing the giveaway blog post on Facebook, commenting on giveaway blog post with favorite Embracing the Chaos post. Extra entries may be earned by reposting the giveaway picture on Instagram and following Embracing the Chaos by email. The giveaway begins August 7th, 2015, at 12:00 AM and ends August 14th, 2015, at 11:59 PM. Prize for winning is one (1) Road Trip Warrior t-shirt from http://www.lookhuman.com. Winner will be selected by a random drawing on or around August 15th, 2015. The number of eligible entries determines odds of winning. Winner will be contacted by email on or around August 15th and will have 7 days to respond and claim prize. If prize is forfeited or unclaimed, another random drawing will be held on or around August 22nd, 2015. Embracing the Chaos is not liable for loss, shipping issues, or improper sizing of t-shirt. Embracing the Chaos reserves the right to obtain and publicize winner’s information. Giveaway is not sponsored by any outside organizations, including WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, or Human designs. Void where prohibited by law.

That Moment When: Summer Clothes Edition

That moment when…

…you walk through the grocery store and see a 75-year-old wearing a shirt you own.

…you have to strategically plan what to wear to church based on how long it’s been since you shaved your legs. (6 days, if you were wondering.)

…you dry the same laundry load about four times out of laziness busyness.

…you give up on ever finding swimsuit separates that simultaneously fit you AND are the same size. (If you can wear small + small or medium + medium, I salute you.)

…you finally break down and go bra shopping, which is undeniably the worst.

…you have literally 27 bras to try on because you have so many to replace.

…after gathering up all of the bras accordion-style in one hand, you realize that because Target puts their fitting rooms in a corner, you have to walk about a mile across the store. With all of the bras. While lots of people stare at you because you are holding enough bras to outfit a small army.

…you try on all 27 bras and find one that fits. Just one. Thestruggleisreal.

…you buy that one bra in three different colors because it’s the only one that works.

…you look in your closet later and realize you own the exact same shirt in two different colors. (Apparently this is what I do?)

…you put on Spanx and legitimately consider it your workout for the day.

…you consider becoming a nudist so as to stop the never-ending laundry cycle.

…you remember that FALL IS COMING SOON and you’ll be able to wear jeans without wanting to die. Please, God, let it be soon.

Happy Monday! Hope this starts your week off right!

Packed: Chicago Picks

With my extended weekend just two days away, I figured I should finally start thinking about packing. I’m usually a big packing list maker, but the last few weeks were pretty full and this trip really snuck up on me! Two days early is the best I can do this time around to try to “prevent that last minute pack everything I own business,” as my traveling buddy Jennifer put it. (Which – let’s be honest – I will probably do anyway.)

I’m a big fan of basic mix-and-match essential pieces like:

•  a striped tee
•  printed shorts
•  skinny jeans
•  a structured dress
•  strappy wedge heels

Most of my packing lists include combinations of items like this, along with other accessories like a statement necklace or a wide-brimmed fedora. As I mentioned before in my first post about this trip, I’m not really concerned about looking like a tourist – I have no plans to pack any fanny packs or ugly printed t-shirts. But it is important to me that I genuinely love each outfit I wear when I travel, regardless of how casual or fancy-pants it is.

For a four-day trip, including travel days, here’s a few outfits I came up with:

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#1: Plane travel outfit. Comfy skinny jeans, slip-on shoes for security, and a cardigan in case of crazy-AC-blasting seatmates on the flight.
#2: Walking the city streets. Light blue oxford, belted shorts, and a statement necklace for a little frosting.
#3: Dressy night out. Little black dress, pearl cluster necklace, and leather wedges.
#4: Extras. A grey tee, striped tee, printed tee, floral scarf, leather flats, and my favorite J.A.C. jeggings – easy pieces to swap in if need be.

As for my on-flight essentials:

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Fossil wallet – because money and identity are important when flying.
Sunglasses – my new pair has tortoiseshell upper rims!
ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty – the perfect nude lip color.
Real Simple magazine – one of my favorites.
Headband – for when you are just done with your hair being down.
Mini portable phone charger – holds enough power for a full phone charge!
Pen – because pens are always good to have.
Jergens BB Body Lotion – for dry skin at high altitudes.
Hand sanitizer – because people are gross.
Headphones – so you can watch a movie or pretend to be busy.
English Laundry Eau de Parfum rollerball – when you need a little smelly-good stuff.
My Future Listography – because this book makes the list-maker in me giddy.
Osprey Daylite Daypack – perfect backpack for day trips.

I’m almost all packed, but I need help with one little thing. I can’t decide whether to pair this tank with mint or navy shorts. What do you think? Help me decide!


What’s your vote: mint, or navy? Also – what are your packing list must-haves when you travel?

An October Sort of City


“Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.”
— Nelson Algren, Newsweek, August 13, 1984 (photo via)

No matter how many times I do it, I always get excited about taking a plane trip.

Some people only like the destination part of a trip – cough*Daniel*cough – but not me! The planning, the packing, the journey to get there, the destination itself – I love it all. (Minus the unpacking and the laundry to do when you get home.)

In less than TWO WEEKS, I’ll be in Chicago for an extended family weekend with my cousin and sister, and I really couldn’t be more excited about it. I wish Daniel could come too, but I can’t wait to explore the city with my girls! I’m the type of person that as soon as I know a specific place I’m visiting, I start planning every minute of my trip, from packing lists to the food to the must-see destinations. And, in true Pinterest fashion, I’ve been busily pinning lots of pictures of “Chicago style,” few of which actually include clothing items I already own…*oops*

I’m still working on an outfit packing list, but here’s a few pieces of inspiration. I am a packing fiend – I love figuring out how to maximize what I pack while minimizing the amount of space it takes up. Anyone else out there like that, or am I alone in my fiendish-ness?

taupe and gingham  https://machiajul.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/a38a87c7df0917086801d58873c8bb53.jpg?w=322&h=1024  chambray + printed tee + red jeans
  Marled Cardigans and Tall Shoes  blue oxford shirt, black & white stripe shorts
(From top left to bottom right: 1. pin, source; 2. pin, source; 3. pin, source was Sevenly, image no longer available; 4. pin, source; 5. pin, source; 6. pin, source)

I’ll keep you posted on my outfit choices!

I was feeling extra hipster this weekend so I checked out this article:

10 things not to do in Chicago (and what to do instead)
(Pin photo via Condé Nast Traveler, article source here)

I’m not really that hipster, you guys. I could lie and be all, “Oh, I don’t want to look like a tourist,” but the truth is I really don’t care what’s considered “touristy.” I’ve been to Chicago before, but it was nearly 10 years ago when I went with the Oklahoma Baptist Youth Choir and Orchestra (which makes me sound stupid old), so it’s been awhile. We visited a lot of popular places, but I enjoyed them, so who cares?

The biggest differences between that trip and this trip are: (1) more freedom as far as itinerary, (2) staying in the city as opposed to outside of it, and (3) I’M A GIANT FOODIE NOW. It’s a little sad how excited I get about food. I’m at the mercy of the people I’m traveling with, of course, but I’m hoping we can visit some neat little local places instead of stuff we could easily get back home.

Even though I’ve been to a few of these already, here’s my top 5 hopefuls for the trip:

Shedd Aquarium – the largest indoor aquarium in the world
John Hancock Observatory – the best 360 view of the city
Pequod’s Pizza in Lincoln Park – called “the deep-dish pizza locals actually eat”
• Any of Thrillist’s 10 Best New Burgers in Chicago
Millennium Park – lots of cool packed into one city block

If you’ve been to Chicago before – what was your favorite place you visited?