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Things I Love: The Harsh Winter Edition

I don’t know about you, but the harsh Chicago winters can wreak havoc on my skin. Dry, cracked lips, ugh. Not so smooth skin that doesn’t take to makeup as nicely as it should. Dry hands and feet. None of it’s pretty, that’s for sure! So, come the winter, I am all about gentle exfoliation (to get rid of the dry skin just sitting on your face and body) and major hydration (to bring that skin back to beautiful life)!

Dr Jart+ Dermaclear Mico Milk Peel – Use this stuff daily in the winter to keep your skin oh so smooth. It exfoliates gently, but also leaves it feeling hydrated, love it! (Usage: Daily)

Honest Beauty Konjac Sponge – Admission time, I hate washing my face. Makeup wipes, toners, and the works, sure! But I hate how messy it is to wash your face. Water gets all over the sink and, in the end, I never feel like my face is really clean. But using a konjac sponge to wash my face has changed the game for me! When I use this to wash my face, I actually feel like I’m getting all the grime and makeup off my face. And, even better, it is so gentle that it feels like a mini massage for my face! (Usage: Daily)

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – This stuff is a god send! On days I work from home, makeup-free, I make a point to put some on several times throughout the day. Just lather it on and don’t stop! And if you have nightmares of developing turkey neck in your old age, make sure to run some into your neck as well! (Usage: Daily. Morning and Night.)

Mario Badescu Facial Spray – An absolute must for long winters, sun drenched skin, and air travel! I wasn’t always sold on the idea of a facial spray, but after 31 years of these harsh Chicago winters, I’m finally on board. If you feel like your skin is so parched that half way through your morning, you already feel like it needs a little TLC, then pick yourself up a facial spray. It is like a breath of fresh air for your face, both hydrating and gentle.  It renews the natural luminance of your skin, while also protecting it from further dryness. (Bonus: It also brings your makeup back to life after a long day.) (Usage: As Needed)

Moroccan Black Soap + Hammam Exfoliating Glove – Obviously dry skin can build up everywhere, not just on your face! And this stuff is a miracle worker if you want some full body exfoliation. Use the Moroccan Black Soap in the shower and then go ham with the Hammam glove! You seriously won’t believe how effective this duo is! (Usage: Once or twice a week.)

e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator – You will only get so far moisturizing your lips from the elements (or harsh liquid lipsticks, eeek)! Doing some semi-regular gentle exfoliation is key to keeping them flake free and gorgeous! You can DIY some at home brown sugar scrub, you can pick up this fantastic sugar lip scrub, or you can get one of these lipstick exfoliators. I personally prefer this method of lip exfoliating because it’s a lot less messy! I will often use it while I am working at the computer, massaging the exfoliating ‘lipstick’ into my lips for a few minutes, and then quickly washing it off a few minutes later. Since it is something I can do at my desk, I am much more likely to keep up with it. And these are a total bargain buy, to boot! (Usage: 2-3 times a week.)

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream – I know I’ve blogged about this favorite before, but I have definitely started using it even more in the winter. It says it is meant to tighten and firm skin, but I mostly love it for the major hydration factor. Not to mention, the lovely light scent of coconut makes me think of sunnier days! (Usage: Nightly)

Josie Maran Argan Oil – Rub this on your face and all over post shower and hammam exfoliating session! There is also a ‘light’ version if you feel like the pure oil formula is too much for your skin. (Usage: Daily)

TONYMOLY Shiny Foot Super Peeling Liquid – I know, I know, if you google this product and see the photos, you might be a little scared off, but if you want super smooth feet, just do it and thank me later. (Usage: Once a month)


I could go on forever, but these are my ride-or-die go to products as of late! How do you combat thrashed winter skin? Any other products I should check out or techniques I should incorporate into my routine? Share in the comments!


[…] Sponge – I talked a little bit about these in my Winter Edition of Things I Love, but I just had to include them here too. These are another game changer for your […]

2017: The List

Okay, I know I usually do a blog post revisiting my goals from the past year and assessing my success, but I have to admit that I took a look at my 2016 list and it turns out I was a big fat failure. Okay, well, not a total failure. Business was great! I got to work with amazing couples in amazing places with amazing people. And life in general was pretty great too! I lived it! And that’s saying A LOT. I made sure to block out time for myself and my family. I said no to things. I gave myself reasonable deadlines. I worked a little harder at maintaining some balance in my life. I lived in the moment. Each wedding. Each session. Each meeting. Each date night. Each day spent with my family and my out-of-office reply on. I focused on the present in both my work and my home life. Much more than I ever have in the past! So, I don’t know, I didn’t accomplish a lot of my lofty goals for the year, but I did some pretty fantastic things regardless. And I think I got a whole lot better at this work life balance thing! So, it might look like a failure on paper, but in real life, it felt pretty damn successful! (However, that means my 2017 list looks a heck of a lot like my 2016 list!)

(Image by Genevieve

So, here is what I’m hoping to check off my list in the new year! With lots more living in the moment in the in between!

On the business front:

  • Do things that intimidate me. Jump in more.
  • Listen to more Podcasts + Read more Books!
  • Plan an inspiration trip (and shoots) somewhere new! (If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve already got one in the works!)
  • Be more timely with submitting work.
  • Book a wedding in a new international destination! (Dying to get back to France and Italy! Have camera, will travel!)
  • More print features! (Because I can never have enough, ha.)
  • Follow through with a brand refresh!
  • Relaunch the website + blog.
  • Hit 3K+ Instagram followers.
  • Design a new client guide.
  • Update contracts.
  • Work on creating a more lasting experience for clients. (I’m always wanting to give my clients more and more…of my time, my energy, their photos, their products, surprises, you name it. I think streamlining this into my workflow would make it a lot easier and more impactful.)
  • Update Facebook Albums + Graphics.

On the home front:

  • Purge, Purge, Purge. (Especially toys!)
  • Cook 1-2 home cooked meals a week. (Starting small here.)
  • Less booze, more water! (It was a miracle I pulled off a month of it this winter, because I’m finding it harder and harder to stay strong on this!)
  • Less Starbucks, more at-home Nespresso. (Such a senseless waste of money.)
  • Book a trip with my love, even if it is a just a long weekend. (Or Iceland. Iceland would be good too.)
  • Figure out some sort of organized storage situation for all my beauty products. (It’s getting out of control!)
  • Maybeeee start planning for a second kid. I said maybe! (We are going through some life changes with the spouse starting a new job, so we have to find our footing first, but eventually we should get to that second kid.) 
  • Get our upstairs painted!!
  • Replace our dining room artwork.
  • Give our pups more love.
  • Pay off debt + start saving.
  • Spend less on things, more on experiences.
  • Start exploring school options for the kid. (Because from what I have been told, it’s like a part time job to figure all that stuff out.)
  • Talk less. Listen more. Ask questions.
  • Waste less. Consume less.

What do YOU want out of the new year? What intentions have you set? What do you want to focus on? 

Golden Globes Fashion 2017

I got in pretty late from my Golden Globes party last night….and by that I mean it took a while to pull myself away from my sweatpants and wine glass after the show had ended. But, before passing out, I made sure to pick my red carpet favorites to share with you all! Because we all know awards season is my favorite time of year!

(Images: Getty)

This year, I had a clear winner in my book! Mandy Moore!!! In a Naeem Khan that completely stole the show in a subtle but absolutely stunning kind of way. Oh so classic, but with the twist of a deep V neckline and sheer cape. It was everything and so much more! She 100% killed it!

I did have two close seconds to Mandy! Naomie Harris in a stunning Armani gown of subtle sparkle with a gorgeous impact! And Priyanka Chopra in an embellished golden gown fit for a goddess! I can’t help loving all the metallic goodness!

Honorable Mention: Kristin Cavallari! 

Who did you LOVE on the Red Carpet this year?! Do tell! 

Wedding: Julie & Dan – Galleria Marchetti

Closing out the 2016 season with these two was such a treat! Despite 30 MPH winds and the holiday lights festival taking over the city, we made the magic I knew we would and these two had an unbelievable day! Congrats Julie & Dan!!!


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Elopement: An & Roman – Chicago Elopement Photographer

There is nothing better than a cozy little Monday morning elopement! Congrats An and Roman!


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