Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Snippets 02

I’ve been in the entrepreneurial spirit lately so I've recently been reading several articles on start-ups and inspiring business people. Speaking of which, have you ever spent even like five minutes on Entrepreneur.com? Probably not, because it’s impossible to only spend five minutes there. It’s a black hole of inspirational articles that just keep sucking you in further and further. I spent my lunch break the other day on the site, and it must have been the fastest hour that I’ve ever experienced. I particularly enjoyed 15 Ways to Overcome Procrastination and 20 Reasons to Start Your Own Business


I was reading a past issue of Fast Company and there was a huge piece on Tory Burch and the empire that she has built in the past 10 years. While the article didn't focus a ton on her work space, it did mention that it was very similar to the decor of her stores, which inspired me to do a little of my own digging. I found that Architectural Digest did a feature on her office in September, and let me just say: ultimate office goals. 



What if Guys Acted Like Girls on Instagram
Hilarious! I can easily name several times when I have seen each of these photos posted to Instagram, and these spoofs are so spot on, especially the excessive hashtags.


17 Things To Do When You Are Bored Out of Your Mind
I love some of these ideas, especially my go-to favorites: do a puzzle, do a crossword puzzle and get into list making.

With Love,
Ellyse
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Opening my stocking on Christmas morning was always one of my favorite parts of the day. My sister and I would always wake up at the crack of dawn, and my parents had a rule that we weren't allowed to open anything until they came downstairs, except for our stockings. After making a beeline to the mantle and dumping out the contents of our stockings, my sister and I would always have a few goodies to be entertained with until the Christmas morning fun began with my whole family. These days, I still look forward to opening my stocking just as much, and I even think that shopping for stocking stuffers for others is better than buying the bigger gifts! 




With Love,
Ellyse
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: For the Guys

Guys are notorious for being impossible to shop for, but I've scoured websites to find some of the best items out there. Personally, I love the Barbour vest {I would definitely wear it myself!} and how cool is this turn table from Nordstrom? It has a USB port so that you can plug in any device and listen to any of your music, which is such a great concept! Happy shopping!



With Love,
Ellyse

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: For the Ladies

Holy moly, happy December already! With Thanksgiving being so late in November this year, Christmas will be here before we know it, and I'm already running behind on all my shopping {read: I have hardly any gifts purchased}. With that being said, it's time to get going!

Whether you're looking to spoil someone or just give a small token of gratitude this year, I have compiled several gift guides containing the perfect presents for everyone in your life. All of these gifts are available online, so feel free to do all your holiday shopping while wearing Christmas pajamas and sipping on a mocha. All the links will be provided in each post, or your can click on the "Gift Guide 2014" tab at the top of the page to easily see all the products featured in every guide. If you ask me, it sure doesn't get better than that!


Happy shopping!

With Love,
Ellyse

Sunday, November 30, 2014

How To: Decorate for the Holidays

The weekend after Thanksgiving traditionally marks the time when my family will begin to pull out all of our Christmas decor and start sprucing up our home for the holidays. For the most part, my mom gives my sister and me free reign when it comes to the decorating because we both love to do it and she seems to like what we come up with {or so she says...}.

While we purchase new items and update our decor from year to year, there are always decorating staples that my sister and I put up first. Pottery Barn and Target are my go-to's for Christmas decorations, but you can also find some of the best things when you shop around at small, local boutiques. There's nothing groundbreaking, but below are some of my essentials:


Garland: Garland is one of my favorite decorations and an instant game changer for your home. Throw some around your front door and banisters and on top of your mantle for a put-together and elegant look. 

Ornaments: The obvious use for ornaments is on the Christmas tree, but they can be used for so much more. I like to add them as filler for bowls and vases, nestled into garland or clustered on top of  the mantle. It's always a good idea to have plenty on hand in a variety of sizes and colors. 

Glitter Snowflakes: Speaking of having plenty on hand, these little suckers can be used for everything. Stick them anywhere that looks a little sparse in your garland, tie them on top of gifts or cards or hang them from the tree.

Stockings: I love the clean look of matching stockings hung on the mantle, and of course they are beyond necessary for a place to hold stocking stuffers ;). 

Christmas Tree: A given for this time of year! Artificial trees are easier to deal with and some come pre-lit, allowing you to avoid the hassle of stringing lights, but in my opinion those struggles are worth it in order to have the smell of pine wafting throughout your house. My family and I just bought our tree today, and I am looking forward to bringing it inside and filling it with lights, ornaments and ribbon. 

Holiday Candles: I used to be obsessed with candles to the point where I purchased an obnoxious amount, but I'm now very particular to the scents that I buy and find that a lot of them are too over powering and disgustingly sweet. Holiday candles are my one exception. I love candles with the warm aromas of pine and spice, and this diptyque candle subtly spreads amazing scents throughout your home. I'm currently burning the Winter scent in my bedroom as I write this. 

Fur Throw: There is nothing better than snuggling under one of these in front of the fire place with a hot latte while watching Christmas movies. Absolutely nothing. I also keep one in my bedroom and throw it on top of my comforter for extra warmth during chilly winter nights. They are the best!

What are some of your favorite holiday decor items?

With Love,
Ellyse

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November Popsugar Must Have Box

After months and months and months of waiting, I finally decided to go ahead and treat myself to an early Christmas gift by purchasing a Popsugar Must Have Box this month, and let's just say I'm in love. I mean who wouldn't love getting a full-size box of goodies in the mail every month? Exactly.

G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popcorn // Tiny Prints Stationery // Dominique Ansel "The Secret Recipes" Cookbook
K. Hall Simpatico Shea Butter Cream // Wine Glass Writers // SORIAL Wallet on a Chain

The box arrives packed with full-sized products...they really don't skimp. I mean they sent me a whole bag of popcorn for crying out loud! Here are a few of my favorites from this month:

K. Hall Simpatico Shea Butter Cream
My skin gets so dry and cracked in the winter, to the point where when I wash my hands at work, by the time I get back to my desk, they are already all dried out and gross. I'm always slathering lotion on to my hands, and this stuff does not disappoint. 

Tiny Prints Stationery
I'll keep this brief because I'm sure by this point we all know my obsession with paper products...I LOVE!

Dominique Ansel "The Secret Recipes" Cookbook
Craving for Cronuts? Then go ahead and whip up a batch. This cookbook alone was about as much as I paid for the whole box, so this was such a great deal. I'm currently pursuing the pages to see if there's any dessert that I can make this week for Thanksgiving.

With everything that came in November's box, it's safe to say that I'll be signing up for December's too. And obviously hoping that there's a few Christmassy things included!

With Love,
Ellyse

Sunday, November 16, 2014

sunday snippets 01

The holiday season is literally barreling around the corner, and I've been taking every available moment to soak everything up and get ready for the upcoming celebrations. This is, without a doubt, my favorite time of the year, so I try to make the festivities begin as early as possible in November and stretch them as long as I can into January. 

things i've been loving lately:





starbucks holiday cups
The familiar red and white cups are back, and I can't begin to tell you why Starbucks changing the color of their cups to match the time of year has such an effect on me, but it does. I mean seriously, the contents inside the cup are no different, but for some reason the emergence of the holiday cups is easily one of my favorite things about this season. Such a girl, I know. 

christmas music

"Too soon?" you ask, to which I answer, "it's never too soon." As I mentioned, I'm a firm believer that the Christmas season should be celebrated for as long as possible {see: above statement and Twitter bio}, so naturally I love getting a head start on listening to festive music. Whether it's listening to Michael's Buble's Christmas CD while I work or blasting the Holiday Hits Pandora station on the TV throughout my house, I can't get enough. 

iphone 6 
finally left the stone age and joined the 21st century when I bought the iPhone 6 this past week. My old phone was a 4s, never held battery, apps crashed constantly and the number of times per day that I could be found muttering "I going to chuck this {expletive} piece of crap out the window" was outrageous. I love having a bigger screen and it's amazing how fast my phone runs now. Certainly a much-need update! Also, if anyone has come across any cute 6 cases, please let me know. The pickings are reallllll slim right now.

have a great week!

With Love,

Ellyse
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Monday, November 3, 2014

november goals



to be better at documenting
I absolutely suck at taking pictures. To be honest, a large part of why I blog so infrequently these days is because I never have any photographs to share, and I find that pulling pictures from Pinterest day after day is so uninspiring and makes my blog so impersonal. A blog is supposed to be a journal and what's a journal if I can't physically see evidence of what happened in my life?  

In November I will take more photos. I will take photos of everything, even if the subject is boring or I think the photo will turn out bad. I can't get better if I don't start somewhere. Plus, I've finally upgraded to an iPhone 6, so I no longer have to deal with grainy iPhone 4 photos. Hallelujah emoji.

to do just a little bit, every day
I'm working on a pretty big project right now and quite honestly it might be a few months before I'm ready to launch it or make it public, but in November I will be making an effort to work towards my end result every day, even if I can only devote 10 or 15 minutes per day to it. My hope is that with this ritual, spending time daily on this project will become a habit, which is exactly what I need.

to slow down
Commuting and working in the city turns me into a mad woman. I mean I'm not like foaming at the mouth or anything (sorry for the visual), but I'm always late, always in a hurry, never walking fast enough. Granted, having a bit of hustle is necessary sometimes, but in November on the days where there's no reason to bust my booty to get from point A to point B, I want to make sure to slow down a bit more and enjoy the journey. 

What's on your list to accomplish this month?

With Love,
Ellyse

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

kate spade coats

Kate Spade has absolutely nailed it this season with their outerwear. I'm currently in the market for a good transition coat--something a little warmer than my J.Crew Downtown Field Jacket, but not necessarily my North Face parka. All of these coats are absolutely perfect!




With Love,
Ellyse

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall

{via}

I know, I know: totally cliche title for the first day of fall, but what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't love a good F. Scott Fitzgerald quote? I'm particularly drawn to this one because it never ceases to amaze me year after year how autumn acts as a sort of reset button on our lives. 

We start new classes and television series either premiere or come back on air after a long summer hiatus. We trade out our summer shorts for a new wardrobe full of thick sweaters and scarves and new sports seasons begin.

This year in particular signifies a huge new beginning for myself:

I got a job!
Beginning later this week, I will be working at a public relations agency in the city. I couldn't be more excited and I'm so ready to begin working, which is something that I thought I would never say when I graduated earlier this year.

I'm not a very religious person by any means, but I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. 

I turned down a job that I could have started the day after graduation for a reason.

I spent the summer searching endlessly for positions for a reason.

I did not hear back about any of the 50 or so positions that I applied to for a reason.

And finally, after seeming like I would never be employed (despite placing myself on a strict regimen & following these rules), I was asked to come in for an interview at a fabulous PR agency for a reason.

That reason?

Everything about this job was perfect for me. 

It's in the city at a smaller company, which is something that I love the feel of. I will be doing work in an area that I feel experienced enough in to be able to excel, but I can also already see that I will be challenged more than I ever have been before. Like I said, perfect.

I am so so so excited to start in the real world, you guys! So what if I have to commute and I can already feel the exhaustion that's going to be inevitable for the first few weeks? I can't remember the last time that I was honestly this excited for something in my career. Most of the time I have had to psych myself up and tell myself that whatever I was doing would pay off in the long run. Well, the way I look at it, this is the long run and everything I've done so far sure has paid off.


Hope you guys are off to as great of a start as I am this fall.

With Love, 
Ellyse
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Monday, September 22, 2014

tory burch fall

It's no secret that Tory Burch is my go-to designer for practical, stylish shoes and pretty much every handbag I have ever wanted, but I tend to go back and forth on whether I like her clothing collections. This fall, however? Everything is so spot on. While most of her pieces are just a tad out of my price range, this collection is definitely something for me to aspire towards!


tunic // blouse // skirt 


Go shopping
With Love,
Ellyse
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

summer book report

I haven't done a book report in a long time and there's not better time than summer to catch up on some great books, so I thought I'd clue you all in on what I've been reading lately. At any given time, I'm in the middle of two or three books. I seem to have some sort of storyline ADD and always flip from book to book as I see fit. Here are some of the books that I've either recently finished or am currently working through.



I wish I was kidding when I say that this book is literally the story of my life. I can relate to nearly every single thing that Katie writes about in this story, so much so that I'm more than slightly convinced that we are the same person. This is a hilarious, easy read about the trials and tribulations of dating and is filled with sarcastic humor, which--for anyone who knows me--is right up my alley. 

I got hooked on this book after I saw a preview for the show on TV one day and decided to start following the series on Netflix. There's only a couple of seasons so I finished the show quickly and was left wanting more, especially when I learned that the show was eventually cancelled. In an effort to fulfill my young Carrie Bradshaw void, I picked up the book and finished it in a few days. The book and the show vary in several aspects, and I do have to admit that I enjoyed the storyline and the characters from the show a little better, but overall it was a good read.

The Cuckoo's Calling
I'm literally only a few pages into this one, so it's difficult to say what I think about it so far, but I heard it was a book with lots of mystery & suspense. The story follows a private investigator who is in the midst of solving the case of the mysterious death of a famous supermodel. I have never been one to turn down a good mystery novel, {#tbt to Nancy Drew} so I have a feeling I'll enjoy this one once I get further in.

We Were Liars
This book is written unlike anything that I've ever read before and can be difficult to follow at some points. So far I'm only about a third of the way in, but the storyline is filled with twists and turns as the main character, Cadence, suffers from amnesia after being in an accident and tries to piece together what happened to her. I've heard that the ending is quite surprising, so I can't wait to finish this one up and see what I think.

Fifty Shades of Grey Series
I thought I would go ahead and re-read these books before the movie comes out early next year {I have this book on my Nook, which is the reason why it is not shown in the photo}. I'm sure you all know about the plot to these books, so I won't bore you with the details, but I'm in still just as in love with the storyline as I was the first time I read it.


What books have you picked up and enjoyed this summer? Let me know! I'm always looking for new reads!

With Love,
Ellyse
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Here's to...


+ to the time we called a plumber at midnight because my necklace got washed down the drain

+ to break ups, Ben and Jerry's and binge watching Netflix

+ to the Sunday morning brunches and the rehashing of our Saturday night escapades

+ to Liesel's Lounge

+ to five girls cramming into a twin bed just to chat

+ to the Catalina Wine Mixer, countless pregames and an ugly sweater party

+ to a roommate Christmas Card photo shoot

+ to outfit crises and closet sharing, which seemingly go hand-in-hand

+ to 2 a.m. trips to Devil Dawgs, both drunk and sober

+ to never having any alone time in our tiny bathroom

+ to that damn smoke alarm that beeped for five months straight

+ to the robbery that made us realize how much more important people are than possessions 

+ to allnighters that drove us near insanity 

+ to that one time we actually cleaned the entire apartment at once 

AND 

+ to knowing that I have made my best friends that I will have for the rest of my life, thanks to living in our crazy little apartment for the past year. I miss it so much already, but I can't wait to see every single one of you in my wedding one day (if I can ever find a guy crazy enough to marry me, that is...)

With Love, 
Ellyse

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Survival Tips for Graduates Living at Home


Like most recent graduates, I had grand plans of staying in the city after school and enjoying life as an urban 20-something. Reality eventually caught up with me, and I quickly realized that it was in my best interest to take some time away from Chicago in order to save up some money. Before I knew it, I was packing up boxes, saying goodbye to my roommates and heading back to live in the suburbs with my parents. While nights out to dinner with my family are vastly different from nights out at bars and parties with my friends, I'm starting to get the hang of this whole moving-back-in-with-my-parents thing, and I thought that I would share a few tips with you guys to make your adjustment a little easier.

Have a plan | While I was wrapping up my senior year, I was fortunate enough to be offered a job that would have started literally the day after I walked the stage at graduation. While some people will advise you to take anything that you can get so you can start making money, I was also fortunate enough to be in a position where I had some cushion and didn't need to start working right away. I turned down the job because it wasn't aligned with the area that I hoped to be working in and honestly just didn't excite me. I knew that I could keep on searching for a better opportunity throughout the summer while enjoying some time off, but I also knew that I couldn't be unemployed forever, so I made sure to come up with a plan. I set goals for myself every week pertaining to the number of people that I would reach out to and network with and the number of positions that I would apply for. Having a plan makes the job search process SO much more manageable and ensures that you actually make progress towards your goals during your time off. 

Pitch in a little bit | You are living at home, which is ultimately saving you money on rent, food and utilities. While moving in with your parents may not have been exactly what you wanted, in the end they are doing you a favor and helping you out a ton, so it's only fair that you help them out as well. Think back to those chores you did in high school, pick up the broom and start doing them again. Offer to cook dinner every now and then or run errands for your mom. Your parents will be appreciative and you'll feel like you're earning your keep. 

Update your bedroom | The first time that I was able to decorate my bedroom on my own, I was in the midst of a major pink phase. I still like the color quite a bit, but I just don't feel the need to have it splashed all over my walls anymore. Since I'll be living in the room I grew up in at least for the next few months, I have plans to swap out the pink for a pale blue or purple and to kick a bunch of the clutter to the curb. Giving your room an update will ensure that you don't feel like you've reverted back to high school. 

Set up a routine | As unfortunate as it is, gone are the days of sleeping in until 11 and then spending the next three hours on the couch having a Sex and the City marathon {guilty}. Finding a job should be treated as a job and that includes waking up at a consistent, normal hour. I've been working towards getting up at 7 a.m. every morning. While it seemed impossible at first, I'm learning to love the peacefulness that comes with early rising and the extra four hours in my day. You should carve out a better portion of your day to commit to sitting down, searching for relevant positions, writing out cover letters, sending networking emails and applying for positions, but make sure to also set aside time each day to work out and to take a few breaks. Reward yourself at the end of a productive day by spending time on something you enjoy. For me, this means reading through my favorite blogs or doing something creative.


With Love,
Ellyse
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Year Ago Today...

A year ago today I was basking in the HOT Arizona sun (#throwbacktuesday?), spending a week enjoying a routine consisting of morning workouts followed by afternoons laying by the pool and sipping fruity cocktails. Wishing I was there right about now, but good thing I'm heading to Florida in less than a week!


With Love, 
Ellyse

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Five // 09


ONE // BEST DAYS TO LIVE IN CHICAGO // Never has an article more accurately described my favorite city in the world. I only have a couple of weeks left living in Chicago and then it's back out to the suburbs for a while in an attempt to save up some money, but you can guarantee that I will be counting down the days until I can move back. I miss patio Saturdays and summer parties already :(



TWO // ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK // I'm absolutely hooked on this show and thank goodness I've had some free time lately because I just plowed through 10 episodes in two days and was finished with the first two seasons a few days after that. By no means is this a show that I could ever see myself getting caught up in, but I can't. stop. watching. 




THREE // HOW I USE EVERNOTE // I love this feature on Cara Lynn Livermoore's blog about how she using this handy app. For a while in college I used Evernote to take notes during lectures. It made it so easy to sync up with my iPad and phone so that I could study without having to lug my computer around everywhere or I could pass my notes along to friends. While I had a system down for classes, I've never used this program to it's full capacity, and it was so interesting to read about all the other functions this app had. 


FOUR // NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE // Christmas in July is finally here! TONS of new products including things from designers such as Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Burberry and Frye will be marked down until August 4. Make sure to take a look at some of the things I have my eye on this year!




FIVE // 11 REASONS WHY MARIANOS SHOULD BE YOUR GO-TO GROCERY STORE // Mariano's is a new grocery store chain that is only located in the Chicago-area at the moment. Think Whole Foods, but better. So much better. I loved reading this piece and seeing what unique features these stores have to offer. Any place where you can grab a drink while you shop or have your wine in three minutes is a favorite in my book. Also, know all those times when a new recipe you're trying out calls for a tiny amount of a really obscure spice, but the only way to get your hands on it is to buy a huge jar that you know you'll more than likely never use completely? Mariano's has a solution to that! If you're ever in the Chicago-area and need to go grocery shopping, I highly suggest venturing into one of their locations. Not to mention how delicious their juice bar is. Do I have you convinced yet? 

With Love, 
Ellyse
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale officially kicks off this Friday (Nordstrom card holders have early access until the sale officially begins). Having formerly been a Nordstrom employe, I'm super excited to hit up the coveted sale and score some great pieces from fall. Must buys on my list? A new pair of running shoes, a pair of unique heels and some lived-in jeans. Happy shopping!

// sweatshirt // iPad case // jeans //
// heels // earrings // sneakers //


With Love,
Ellyse
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

currently...



enjoying summer saturday mornings at the farmer's market

craving a major closet update...my wardrobe is so worn out right now

planning a late summer trip to Florida with some friends

wearing light and breezy sundresses to fend off the sweltering summer heat

designing an update to my childhood room since I'll be back at home for a little bit. Out with the hot pink, in with the neutrals

reading the story of my life {insert monkey covering eyes emoji} and revisiting a favorite from my high school soccer days

sipping Arnold Palmers or fruit water...the perfect summer refreshments

listening to the country music Pandora station on repeat and X by Ed Sheeran

eating healthy! I'm on a kick right now and it's full of fruit, protein and green juice & smoothies :)

watching Orange is the New Black. Nonstop. 

needing to stay focused on the job hunt

loving summer!!


// sweater // shorts // sandals //

With Love,
Ellyse
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

what to wear: fourth of july

For me, the Fourth of July will always be associated with spending the holiday weekend at my grandfather's farm in Pennsylvania. Every summer my family and I would leave behind our hectic schedules full of soccer tournaments and day camps to retreat to his countryside oasis for a week or two. All of my aunts, uncles and cousins from my dad's side of the family would come over for a huge party, which included my sister and I wearing matching dresses, tons of food, cannonballs into the pool and running around catching fireflies all night. My grandpa has since sold his farm, so my Fourth of Julys are a lot more laid back these days, but I'm still looking forward to spending the day outside, eating tons and tons of watermelon and wearing an outfit that's both casual and patriotic!

what to wear: fourth of july
// blouse // red shorts // navy shorts // sandals // dress // sandals //

With Love, 
Ellyse
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

10 instagrams you need to be following

Aside from scrolling through Pinterest for hours upon hours, a peek at Instagram can always provide me with the best inspiration. I'm always in search of new accounts to follow, and if I find myself with a few minutes to spare, I'll hop on to the Explore page to see if I can find a new favorite. The ten accounts below are my "go-to's" when seeking cute outfits or motivation.



_thelustlist_ Sally takes the cake for the most gorgeous and most realistic watercolors. Fueled by the motto, "if I can't have them, I'll draw them," she is constantly putting out paintings of beautiful things that I find myself lusting after as well. 

collegeprepster I love following Carly on her adventures throughout New York. She is the epitome of class and working hard to achieve what you want and is a constant source of inspiration.

rachparcell Every outfit that Rachel posts is so perfectly, yet effortlessly styled and makes me wish that we shared a closet. She provides endless outfit inspiration and not to mention, I love her new house that her and her husband recently built. 

lizschneider_ I love following this Chicago blogger who happens to live right in the same neck of the woods that I do. It's always interesting to see where she is out and about in the city as well as the various outfits that she puts together. 

theeverygirl_ From effortlessly chic entertaining to what to wear on a job interview, this Instagram covers it all!

katie_kime Love, love, love this Instagram. Katie's photos are full of funky patterns and designs, as well as some snapshots of her adorable children. 

citrusandstyle Everything Caroline posts is perfectly preppy and instantly makes me want to be whisked away to Martha's Vineyard, sipping a San Pelligrino by the shore. 

lemonstripes Julia makes life in NY look so simple and laid back. Great outfits, delicious food and lots of champagne are plentiful! 

kylajicha I am beyond obsessed with all of Kyla's perfectly styled photos bursting with color and Lilly prints. And of course, I love that she's just as attached to her planner as I am ;)

ashleybrookdesigns I love a good desk shot and Ashley hands down has the best. Her photos are filled with bright colors, cute stationery and of course, confetti!

What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?

With Love,
Ellyse
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