January 29, 2016

Giveaway: Lava Lamps

When I was asked to host a giveaway by Lava Lamp I was so excited. I had (and still have actually) a lava lamp that I put to good use back in high school and in college. It was always in my bedroom and when we move, I plan to take it back out and put it in our game room. I get nostalgic when I think of Lava Lamps and I am so excited to say that they not only still sell the original lamps, but boy have they expanded. 

My kids are both under seven, so having a lamp that use heat wasn't ideal. No problem! Lava Lamp sells fun lamps for the younger crowd that use no heat at all. My kids looked around on the site and chose their favorites. My daughter chose the aquarium and my son chose the volcano. He also loved the hand painted earth lamp (which does use heat), so we ended up getting him both. 

Here is how they look in the kid's rooms: 

I love how both lamps look in his room. The volcano one is at a level where he can touch it, but again, no heat so no issues. He loves watching it and it actually changes colors too. The one that uses heat we put on his dresser. Since he is seven, he understands he is not allowed to touch it and we certainly don't leave it running for tons of hours unattended. ;) 

My daughter is obsessed with the fish! This lamp came empty and you add the fish and distilled water to get it up and running. My daughter loved being part of creating her lamp. It is a litter noisy, but she loves it so much. She actually puts it on right before bed as an added night light and I turn it off 20 minutes later when she falls asleep. She even named each fish inside. So precious! 

One lucky winner will win both the aquarium and the volcano fun lamps (no heat!) just like my kids have in their rooms! Giveaway will run one week, winner will be announced on 2/5/16. Open to US readers only. Good luck! 

Did you have a Lava Lamp when you were younger? Do you or your children have one now? They are just so much fun and are bringing so many smiles to my children't faces. What's not to love about that? 

January 26, 2016

A Pop of Plaid

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To say that I am obsessed with these plaid pumps from Coach would be an understatement. I have worn them about five times so far and each time I do, I look down and smile. That's what shoes should do for you, no? I've got happy feet!

This is such a standard look for me when it comes to an afternoon appointment (and I've just been to the gym, and have less then twenty minutes to get ready). A beautiful sweater, cuffed denim, pop of plaid in the heels, and a great bag are so easy to trow together. To finish the look off in a short amount of time, I took my air dried hair and gave it a braid. Easy and fun. Then by adding a bright lip it gives the illusion that I am way more put together then I actually am. Fake it when you just don't have the time to make it! ;)

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Can we just talk about the little pockets on this top? I am such a sucker for literally anything with a pocket. Not necessarily functional, but awfully cute! Over-sized sunnies, a long necklace, my wool coat tossed over my shoulders, and I am good to go.

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Top // Coat: Victoria's Secret (3 years old) // Shoes: Coach (similar) (similar) // Jeans: Kohls // Necklace: E Street Denim // Bag // Sunglasses 

Now on to hair talk. I posted a photo of my hair on Instagram last week (the day these photos were taken), and I got quite a few emails asking questions about it. No, my hair is not naturally wavy, no, I did not use a curling or straitening iron. You guys are going to laugh so hard, because this front wave is so east to make. When your hair is wet, part down the center and tuck hair behind both ears. As it air dries, keep tucking your hair behind your ears until it's completely dry. That's it! Talk about effortless. I wish I could say my technique was cooler then that folks, but that is it! I shall call it my tuck wave.
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What are some of your daily hacks you use to cut time? Do you like this outfit pairing?

January 24, 2016

Celebrating Eight Years of Marriage

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This year we celebrated eight years of marriage and we went with more of a "go big or go home" 24 hours. We checked into the Intercontinental Chicago around 5:00 p.m. and promptly popped a bottle of champagne. We had dinner reservations set for 7:30, so there was plenty of time to get ready (and of course take some photos).

I went a lot out of my box in a very daring body suit. OK, real talk. I was self-conscious as hell before we left our hotel room. I asked my hubby if he wanted boobs or legs and he went with boobs! So, I literally only packed the outfit I had planned to wear. Meaning I had no back-up outfit other then the sweater and jeans I arrived in. Alright, I can do this! I ended up taking the ties that were supposed to make a bow at my neckline and tied the strings around my neck for a little extra support. I mean, what if it untied while I was dancing or something? I am way past the age of nip-slips! lol

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Sweater Vest // Bodysuit // Skirt // Boots // Cuff: Coach (similar) // Watch // Ring

I also added a sweater vest over because I knew we were going out after dinner, but this felt more appropriate for the first part of the night. It was also perfect for the two bars we went to after because boy was it warm on the dance floor!

Here's a shot of my handsome husband Ryan:
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Coat // Shirt: Express // Pants: Banana Republic

On our way out for the night:
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We had the most amazing dinner at The Kitchen. We kicked our night off with this gorgeously delicious seafood platter and from there we shared soup and a steak entree. The food here was beyond amazing. We were truly blown away at how good everything tasted down to the seasoning on the potatoes that came with the steak. We can't wait to go there again!

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This would have been more then a great anniversary had we ended our night here and headed back to the hotel. However, we had a kid free night and we were already out in the city, so when in Rome!

Up next we headed to Vertigo Sky Lounge and had a drink outside. Yes, it was cold, but oh was it a beautiful view up there. Next up, we headed to Untitled and sat for a drink before hitting the dance floor. I don't think we have danced that much ever! Ryan is not a big dance guy, but if it's just us and no one we know is around (plus a few drinks in the system), he is a dancing machine. I'm talking fast songs folks. He is my dream man!

We headed back to the hotel around 1:00 a.m. and found ourselves back in our day clothes headed to the hotel bar complete with a piggy back ride. What? That's standard for 1:00 am, no? We wised up soon after and called room service around 2:30 a.m. for this amazing meal below!
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This was hands down one of the most fun nights we have had together. We just had fun and went where the night took us. No plans, no responsibilities, so fun! ;)

How do you celebrate your anniversaries? Check out how we've celebrated in the past here

January 20, 2016

Remix: Blue Midi Skirt

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I love me a great midi skirt and this blue one I snagged last year right before Piperlime went out of business takes the cake. I originally thought it would be a Spring/Summer item, but then I added tights and a crop knit and ta da, it can be worn year round! I love clothing items that end up surprising you. From a crop knit, to a breezy boho blouse, and back to a crop tank, this midi skirt really took me though all the seasons last year. My only question is, how will I style it next? 



Are you a fan of making items in your wardrobe fit in year round? How would you style this blue beauty? 

January 17, 2016

Winter Whites + Real Talk

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OK, this is going to be a bit of a different post. I'm going to tell you all about my outfit and styling but then we will do some real talk people. Let's start with outfit chat, shall we?

The temps here in Chicago have been super cold lately, so when I put this dress on for a Sunday brunch with my family, I couldn't help but put a twist on the styling. I knew we were stopping to take photos, which generally means five-seven minutes outside of the car (with no coat on for 1/2 the time) while the kids are waving and my hubby is being my photographer. That may not seem like long, but my fingers and nose turn bright red and my eyes begin to water. "Get the shot babe, hit the shot Lisa" are the words running through my mind. I mean seriously, I have to get these shots and get them fast! Oh the pressure!

So, as I was getting dressed and digging for my tights, I saw my jeans out of the corner of my eye. Why not I thought. I will be way warmer and it's actually super cute. Why not indeed! I may need to try this with a few of my other dresses.

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Now let's talk about this dress and the terrible experience I had with the website it is from. In my six years being a blogger, I have NEVER talked about any company in a negative or slandering manor. Nor have I ever pushed a brand I don't stand behind (and I will not start now), no matter how cute this dress looks in these photos. I would never shop at this place again and I wanted to tell you all why. And may I also point out this outfit was from weeks ago! I waited to post it in hopes this issue would be resolved by now. And it is not, so here is my story.

Have any of you heard of StyleWe? I'm sure you have as they advertise literally everywhere from Yahoo to Facebook. Back in November I ordered two dresses and paid extra for expedited shipping assuming I would have it with in the week (expedited shipping said two-three days and cost me $18). These dresses were not super cheep either, about $74 each, which seemed fair as I had planned to wear them for the holidays. Three weeks later one of my two dresses showed up. It did not look like the dress I ordered from the website. I'm talking different material then shown, the sizing was all off in arms and waist (even though I specifically checked the sizing chart), poor quality, and again it came so late and the white dress I had ordered was not in the package. So, I wrote StyleWe and told them how unhappy I was. I asked how to return and told them the dress was not as shown. No response.

A few days later, I received an email saying the white dress was on the way, but the photo of the white dress they were shipping me was again, not the white dress I had ordered. Before this one even showed up I wrote their customer service again, and again no response. OK, it's almost Christmas, maybe they are busy, let's still give them the benefit of the doubt.

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Eleven days after my third time writing to customer service telling them I was disappointed, felt scammed, and wanted a refund, someone wrote back and simply gave me a return address. There was no mention of why the dresses were not as shown or and even a good explanation as to why they hadn't responded sooner. Along with the return address, they asked that I send a photo of my shipping label to them (as proof) and I would be refunded in three business days.

So, even though the white dress has a super small head hole, can only be worn a handful of time due to poor quality and untied strings  fraying all over, I only returned the other one. Yes, I kept the white one, I'll give it too StyleWe, that dress photographs well! Plus, it ended up being the one I ordered in the first place and their system just sent me wrong photos in the shipping confirmation (also odd, no?).

As requested, I sent them a copy of my return address label the next day, and anxiously awaited my refund. No such luck! It has been twelve days since I sent in my return, as well as I have sent four follow up emails since asking of the status of my return/refund and no one has responded to me. At all! I will never shop at StyleWe again! I also really hope I not only get my money back, but that none of you guys get sucked in by their cute photos and promises of fast shipping and easy returns. They really do have great photos of what look like really great products! Again, I hope this is an isolated event and for some reason that has still not been made clear to me, this bad experience has only ever happened to me. This just can't be their norm!

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Jeans // Bag // Bracelet // Fitbit // Watch // Ring // Shoes // Coat: Victoria's Secret (old)

So yes, this outfit ended up being super cute and I kind of love the white dress. But overall it is not worth $74 (for reasons listed above) and I can't believe I have still not been refunded for the other one or even apologized to for the madness and length of time this has been going on unresolved.

To be honest, if they had emailed me once apologizing and I had already gotten my refund, I may have not told you this story. But I have a voice here and even though I feel terrible telling you guys this (as I may come off as a fashion blogger who is brand bashing), I honestly just want you guys to not make the same mistake I did and fall for good advertising.

Have any of you shopped at StyleWe before? What was your experience like?

*Update 1-20-16: After this post went live, 2 more emails, and messaging them on FB, I got a FB message that my return was received & that I would be refunded in 3 business days. Still no refund. Still no explanation or apology. We shall see.... 

January 13, 2016

A Dress Made for You

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I have been a fan of eShakti since 2011 when I ordered my first custom dress. I love the concept that you can choose from any item on their site and make it perfect for you. I'm not just talking size and fit either, although that is one of their very helpful features to make the fit perfect for your body. You also have the option of changing the garment. The length (higher or lower then shown), neck line, and even sleeve details are all up to you! Take this dress for example, when you find it on the site it is a tank top style dress. I choose to make it a short sleeved dress and the perfect length for flats. How cool is that?

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I am so in love with the finished product. When it came to styling the dress, I decided less was more and wanted it to be the star. By only adding silver jewelry, black flats, and a cute plaid jacket, this outfit was perfect for a dinner out with the family. I love the pocket detail and I couldn't help but to twirl and spin all night long. 

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Dress: c/o Eshakti // Shoes // Coat // Fitbit // Watch // Bracelet // Necklace: Baublebar (4 years old) 

Have you ever shopped at eShakti? Are you a fan of custom clothing?

Here are a few previous dresses I have received from Eshakti: 
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January 11, 2016

Happy 8th Anniversary Mr. Fergus

One of the best and most unique parts to having been a blogger for so many years, is that I have six years of my life documented in photos. That includes six of my wedding anniversaries (seven including the photos of our date that will be coming  to the blog soon!).  
Let's take a look back at anniversary's past, shall we? 

I was not a blogger in 2009 for our one year, so let's start at our second wedding anniversary. These three posts were actually the first three ever put up on Stilettos and Diaper Bags! You can click through to each post below if you'd like. 

2 Years 

3 Years 

 4 Years

5 Years

Five years was a big one, so we treated as such! I not only shared lots of our wedding photos in a post, but we also went to Mexico for three nights. Oh boy was that the most wonderful time. 

(day one

6 Years

7 Years 

8 Years
That brings us to today, our eight year wedding anniversary. Ryan and I celebrated over the weekend and will have a special dinner with our children tonight too. This may have been one of the best anniversaries yet, and it's not even over! 

I have to say, it was really fun to write this and take a look back by reading each post linked above. It is so special to have all my anniversary outfits and what we did all documented. Ryan and I value our marriage and it's not all a cake walk, you have to work on it, but at the end of the day there is no man on this Earth I would rather work on it with then him. I really did marry my best friend and we have parented two pretty amazing kids. What more can you ask for? I am such a lucky lady! I love you Ryan, happy anniversary!