outside the {jewelry} box

I have so many gorgeous gems, jewels and baubles.  I love them all!  But, I've yet to find a fitting way to display/store these lovely pieces...they're mostly just jumbled in my drawer or in bowls on top of my dresser.  Most jewelry boxes I've seen look exactly like well, jewelry boxes.  I've been on the hunt for creative alternatives & here's what I've found so far.  Tell me, what do you use to display your sparkly little pieces?



{loved it. made it.} spa scrub luxe

A luxurious spa experience at home...I'm in!  A good scrub is a staple to any spa experience, so let's make it!

The basics are simple and based on 2 ingredients: an oil (coconut, jojoba, or olive) and a coarse substance (salt, sugar, oats.) 

But, I need some luxury in my life so we're going all out.

Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub
1 cup coarse brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Mix the oil, extracts and sugar, adjusting amounts until desired consistency is reached.
Gently mix in cocoa powder.
Store in refrigerator in jar
Happy Spa Day!


{lookbook} the very first OOTD post!

Happy Monday, lovelies!  My birthday weekend cruise was amazing!  (I'll spill details soon...) So in honor of my first post in my new decade, I'm going to be courageous and do my very first outfit of the day!  I'm actually excited, so here it goes!  This is really more a shoes of the day post because I love those bad boys and plus, I have to ease into this whole plaster-my-picture-all-over-the-Internet thing.  (Interesting how I have no problem doing it on Facebook, but on a blog...it feels so different.)  I absolutely love this fuschia dress and the jacket with silver metallic threads woven through it.  But my favorite part of this whole look was my purpley blue Guess wedges with the bow on top...purchased from T.J.Maxx for $34.99.  Love it! 

I actually wore this outfit (minus the gold clutch) to work this past week!  I know, it's a bit flashy especially for the office but sometimes a girl needs a bit of sparkle in her life.   

I have to make a disclaimer here, my outfit posts most likely won't provide links where you can find my clothes or similiar looks.  I do most all of my shopping at T.J.Maxx, Filene's Basement, Loehmann's and the like.  For me, the purpose is not to get you to run out and buy the same jacket I'm wearing, it's just to show you one way to express creativity and hopefully inspire you.  If you want information on any of the clothes, shoes or accessories you see, feel free to write me and I'll tell you what I know!

So...what do you think?!


{thirty.} officially.

All my love to my nearest and dearest who make my life so special.
I accomplished so many incredible things in my 20s: traveled, loved, served, played, helped, learned, enjoyed! 
I'm really looking forward to the new things coming my way!
No doubt it's going to be a fabulous year!  xx

{ps: I'm currently cruisin, this is a scheduled post...obvs}

{pps:  many thanks to the incredibly talented Ms. Lilien for allowing me to use the birthday pic above!}


{jetsetting} {thirty.} cruisin to cyprus

I'm off to celebrate my birthday weekend with a cruise to Cyprus! It's just for 2 days but I'll be with 4 of my closest girlfriends and I'm so excited!  Laying by the pool, exploring the city of Larnaca, drinking Starbucks!  Couldn't think of a better way to start my 30s!  Have a great weekend, everyone! xx



{currently coveting} BIRCHBOX


WHY is this the first I have ever heard of Birchbox?  OMG, what an amazing idea!  You all have known about this for a long time now, right?  (I know, I know...I live under rock, far far away from America.) Ok, just humor me and let me tell you about this fabulous concept.  Birchbox is a monthly subscription that sends you 4-5 beauty samples in a beautifully wrapped box with a bow on top (don't quote me on the bow...).  Swoon.  And, it's $10/month.  Are you kidding me?  And these are not just any beauty samples, Birchbox features brands like Laura Mercier, Marc Jacobs, Korres, Stila.  Oh My!  Sadly (very, very sadly) they don't deliver outside of the US.  So please, if you're reading this (thanks, by the way!) and you live in America, JOIN BIRCHBOX!  Do it for me.  Do it for you.  And for those of you who already have a subscription, please tell me about it!  What products have you gotten?  Do you love them and use them all? 

Does anyone know the history of the company or the founders?  I love a good story, especially for a company or concept that I just adore.


Oh and ps, this is in no way, shape or form a paid endorsement of Birchbox. I'm just really that excited about this company (and also really that deprived of luscious beauty products...) 

{via Birchbox}


{dream home} office

All I can think about lately is decorating my {non-existent at the moment} office.  I know exactly what I want.  I think.  I can picture it now:  a white desk, lucite and lots of crystal.  That's professional, right?  Ok, truth be told...I keep changing my mind.  How can a girl decide between all the fabulous design ideas on Pinterest?  Well atleast I've narrowed it down to these gorgeous offices.  I want them all!

{all images via}


{thirty} wishlist

It's officially birthday week!  
Who am I kidding, I've been celebrating birthday month...but still.  
Just a few pretty things on my wishlist.

1. Have you guys heard of HRH Collection? Her jewelry is stunning & she is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen!
2. Well this is a classic case of cart before the horse.
3. So lovely!
4. I'm obsessed with lucite trays!
5. OMG
6. Of all the colors I have in pencil skirts, I don't have one of my favorite
7. Hope I can get my hands on one of these ...they're all sold out!
8. A giant duffel made of sequins. Yes, please.
9. Love these clutches!
10. I can't believe, I still don't have one of these



It's 1 week til my 30th birthday and I thought what better way to begin the celebrations than by introducing....

I'm so excited to announce the new name for my blog: Lili & Mae!  This has been a long process...really, really long!  But, it's been so much fun and I'm so happy with the new name.  One day I'll share the whole story, but for now I'm just so excited! 

The content & my vision has not changed...you'll still see all the shiny pieces of my life here!

So, here's downside.  Please, please please update your blogrolls, favorites, links, etc.  The new domain: http://www.liliandmae.com/ is live, so go ahead and favorite it!  For now my blogger address will remain, but that will change soon too.  So many bloggers/friends have helped along the way and I'm so appreciative.  All my love to you guys!  And a huge thanks to ya'll out there for reading and coming back to visit me.  This wouldn't be nearly as much fun if it weren't for you. 

Oh, and Twitter is up too! So come follow me there.  Although, I gotta be honest...I haven't fully jumped on the Twitter bandwagon yet. I'm getting there, slowly but surely. 

One more thing!  This is equally as exciting.  I've added another feature...shop my closet!  Soon you'll be able to purchase gently worn & new clothes, shoes and accessories from my closet.  Details coming soon!

And finally, a little note about the design:  I've contemplated hiring an artist to design a header and do fancy work for a while now.  I'm a girl of many ideas and I usually go big or go home.  But as I reflected, I realized the purpose of this whole project was for me to develop my creativity.  So I decided I would do it all myself.  That could change, but for now, it's important that I do everything for this little blog of mine.  Besides, it's way more fun this way.  With that will most likely come some mistakes & stumbles along the way, your patience is appreciated!  I'm sure there will be plenty of nights filled with Googling, YouTube videos, and blank stares of confusion as I read about HTML.  But that's all part of the adventure.

Enjoy your weekend lovelies!
And again many thanks for all the love!

{ps:} I'd absolutely love to know what you think about all the changes!  
tell me, tell me!


things I loved this week

Here are a few of my favorites finds:

That's Bananas! Best idea ever! 

Finally! Here's a peek at all 400 pieces
of a certain Italian designer's new line at Target! 

No matter what they say, I'll always advocate following your dreams!

Somehow, really not sure how, I found some incredibly talented & fun Chicago bloggers. 
Three of my faves:  Sarah Jane, Danielle, and Alaina.

{I cannot get enough of this.  That pillow, the sidetable, the rug.  Love it all. Via Society Social}


{currently coveting} fall.

Ok so it's not actually an object of obsession for me to covet, but I'm so ready for fall to get here already!  I know the US has been experiencing crazy hot weather and it's not much better here in the Middle East!  Fall is my favorite time of year:  the clothes are stylish but effortless, the weather is perfect, the colors are magical, and it ushers in a new football season.  What more could a girl ask for?

{via cupcakes and cashmere}

Seriously, fashion is much easier in the fall.  Throw on a pair of jeans, a trench, gold hoops and leather boots.  Oh how I love boots!  And what about a glamorous cape?  They were so popular last year and I think they're here to stay.  (Although I must admit, my all-time favorite fall outfit has got to be leggings, Uggs, and a wrap sweater.  I know,  it's not exactly the epitome of high style but it's so comfortable and semi put-together, no?) 

I plan to incorpate the following colors into my fall wardrobe:  emerald green, leopard, mustard yellow, grey.

Besides the ease of wear of the clothes, fall reminds me of family and gratitude, hot chocolate and cool crisp nights. What are your go-to fashion items for fall?  What's your favorite season?


{lovely tablescape}


{love, love, love this outfit. the cape. that purse. love it all.}

{shimmery fall decorating}
{images above via}
I'm so excited to be participating in the Fall in Love series with Big City Belle!  Click on over & check out more fabulous fall inspirations from other bloggers! xx



{currently coveting} ombre hair

I've become a bit obsessed with ombre hair. 
Honestly, I don't know how hot this trend is in the US anymore, but I still love it. 

{this is my favorite.}

I haven't even thought about highlighting or coloring my hair in years (gray hairs excepted, ahem...) I've been quite happy with my dark brown hair that gets a touch lighter in the summer sun.  When I was recently in the US on holiday, I saw a segment on ombre hair on Entertainment Tonight and honestly I was a little surprised at my level of excitedness.  I loved it! 

So what's your verdict on this trend?  Does it just look like a dye job that's long overdue or is it still stylish?

{who is she? she's stunning!}
{love this look for lighter hair colors}
{I just love this look!}

{all photos via}


keeping it all together


How do you stay organized & manage your time?  Do you write a to-do list while drinking your morning cup of coffee?  For as long as I can remember, I loved writing lists!  Well, I loved writing of any kind.  As a child, I never wanted toys...I wanted stationary, paper, pens, markers, and stickers.  Back in high school, I would come home from class and re-write all my notes to make sure my handwriting was beautiful and orderly and the page looked just right.  (I had friends, I swear!) 


As I got older, my daily list of tasks grew as well.  I've always been a stickler for staying organized, and I found I needed a to-do list to manage it all.  There's nothing that gives me greater satisfaction than crossing something off my list...sometimes I even add a task I've already completed just so I can mark it off.  At my very first job in Chicago, my amazing boss gave me a beautiful red leather notebook as a Christmas present.  I wrote very carefully!  But now apps, technology and my iPhone have replaced a crisp, thin-ruled piece of paper and a pink gel pen. (my personal favorites)  So, how do ya'll stay organized and on top of your pile of things to do?




my weekend: the big & small of it.

Happy Monday Morning, everyone! My weekend was definitely full of big moments and little fun details.  I told you all I was going to be working on my blog.  And work I did!  You can expect some exciting changes to come in the next few weeks!  I'm really looking forward it, Timbuk2 (had to Google that one) said it best:  the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!  Other than that, I did lots of little things (finally unpacking, watching a movie, shopping with a girlfriend)...they were really quite wonderful.  How was your weekend?

{I finally unpacked.  These are all the shoes I bought in America.  Happy girl!}
{images via pinterest & my iPhone}


happy weekend!

{are you kidding me right now? those cocktail rings. those crystal bingo markers. love it all.}
May your weekend be fabulous and joyful!

{image via Mrs. Lilien. she's amazing.}


{loved it. made it.} DIY crackle manicure...disaster.

Editors Note:  I was having a really hard time deciding between crackle nails and ombre nails.  I know, life's major decisions.  I was so inspired after seeing the Tea & Tips party over at Glitter Guide that I wanted to put on the kettle, bake some cookies, call over my girlfriends and paint my nails red...ombre.  But sadly the hustle and bustle of everyday life took over and I didn't have the time to host the party, plus I was super excited to try the crackle nail polish too.  I'm still loving ombre though...stay tuned, I have an exciting & unexpected ombre post coming up soon! 

What do you think of this new crackle nail polish trend?  I was a little hesistant at first, after all remember when it was popular in middle school?  But, I started seeing more and more of my favorite blogs post about the look and when I was in the US recently I noticed crackle nail polish everywhere from nail salons to Wal-Mart.  So I finally decided it was time to give myself a crackle manicure at home.  I was so excited to get started and then reality hit and I remembered I don't live in America anymore and my current host country is not exactly known for its trendsetting ways so I was a bit worried I wasn't going to find the polish.  But alas, after a few demonstrations, hand gestures and a good laugh, the sweet lady at my local Claires-meets-Beautyco type boutique handed me a bottle of the crackle polish!  Score!  And, it was a lovely shimmery ruby color.  I was set.  So, I came home and decided on a coral/pink color as the base.  

After that dried, I applied the crackle coat and anxiously waited.  It happened fast, the impending disaster that is.  I simply did not like the look.  And, my nails were so matte.  I added top coat and that improved the situation a little bit, but I just wasn't loving it.

Off it came, super fast.  And my beautifully rich, classic taupe color replaced it.  I'm a happy girl now!  I love at-home manicures, but crackle nails are not for me.  They look so good on others though!  Do you all like them?  What's your favorite go-to manicure color? 

Exciting news!  I'm linking up to a DIY manicure party over at Lifestyles of the Thrifty & Shameless today.  I'm so happy to participate...thanks for hosting Miss Rockwell!  It's all part of Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday over at Modly Chic.  What a wonderful group of bloggers! I'm really happy to be a part of it & a special welcome to everyone visiting from the party!

{ps:}  did you notice my new iPhone cover in the last pic? I finally found the Tory Burch sleeve!  It's sold out everywhere, but I managed to get one.  I absolutely love it! 



Thank God It's Thursday!  But I miss my Sundays!  Let me explain: here in the Middle East, the weekend starts on Friday and lasts through Saturday night.  Before I would spend my Sundays sleeping in, standing in line at my favorite brunch spot, eating delicious food, and cruising around town...things are a little different now, my Sunday mornings involve waking up at 7 am, getting dressed, and going to work.  I never imagined that it would feel so different, after all what does it matter as long as we're off for 2 days and then go back to work.  But, I'm so attached to my Sunday mornings!  I miss them! 

This weekend, I'm hoping to catch a movie, go to brunch on Saturday and then sit in the local coffee shop to work on this blog.  (The design is coming along, it's just a bit of a slow process.  Thanks for putting up with my simple style for now!)  I love sitting with a creamy cup of hazelnut coffee, my laptop, my iPhone, a few magazines...just watching the world go by, oh and doing some work!  What are your plans for the weekend? 

{this picnic basket + the lawn at the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago = lovely Sunday}
{report here for a Sunday afternoon read & nap}
{or here}

{let's be honest, all that's really needed for the perfect Sunday}
{images via}



My holiday is over and it's back to work this week.  It's a struggle for me every morning, this getting up early & getting ready business.  I can barely open one eye, let alone coordinate a stylish outfit.  When I was working as a lawyer in Chicago, my job didn't start until 9am and I had a car so it was a little easier. Now, I start at 8am and I have to climb up a mountain (I'm.not.kidding.or.exaggerating.) to get to work.  So, there are a few more factors at play. Thankfully, I love the professional look so I enjoy the process of putting together outfits...it's so much easier for me to figure out than casual wear.  Lately though, I've gotten into the habit of relying on my two trusty favorites: the wrap dress and the black pencil skirt/colored shell/black cardigan combo.  But, I have so many other clothes and options!  My holiday has inspired me and I've decided to start putting some more effort into it.  The past few days, I've had some pretty cute outfits if I do say so myself (I've actually photographed them as well, so I promise an outfit post is in the near future!)

I absolutely love this post by J's Everyday Fashion on Office Style Secrets.  Check it out...she shares some fantastic tips & lovely inspiration outfits!

Here are some of my other favorite looks:

{I would wear this outfit everyday if I could}

{casual office wear}

{I pretty much love anything that OP wears}

{unexpected combinations, I would tidy up the look}
If my butt wasn't so big I would love to wear this to the office..
{my new favorite wardrobe staple:  pencil skirts in fun colors!}

Cute office wear
{here's a look from J's Everyday Fashion}

{all images via}


{dream home} East Coast Estate

Hello lovelies, I have to share one more thing with you all.  Check out this gorgeous, beachy estate in Connecticut on the market for $28 million!  I just came across this post on CoCoCozy...wow!  This house is so comfortable yet chic.  I've always wanted to live on the East Coast!  I would keep this as my summer home and have a modern loft in NYC for the rest of the year.  Where is your ultimate dream home location?  Click on over to CoCoCozy to read the full details and meanwhile, enjoy these beautiful photos!

{all images via}