Monday, September 29, 2014

Oh, Hello!

Chalkboard Sign

Oh, hello there! I know I mentioned to you before that I wouldn't be updating Trés Bien Ensemble as often as I'd like to, but I didn't foresee just how busy I would be! 

As a freelance designer working from home, I was able to schedule all my own projects (which included this blog). I did miss the office environment (and cool coworkers) so a couple of months ago I started a fun new gig as a graphic designer at a very cool jewelry company here in Chicago called Dana Rebecca Designs. I love every pretty piece they create and hope to share more of my fave jewels on here (in the meantime, definitely get your daily dose of diamonds on our website and facebook page).

I'm definitely not saying goodbye – simply explaining my extended absence! Once I get in the groove of my new schedule, I fully intend to start updating you with my outfits, favorites, and general goings-on.

Miss you!  XOXO, Beth

Friday, July 25, 2014

Have a Stylish Weekend!

Simply Stylist Chicago

Whoa! It's the weekend already. This week has been a whirlwind with projects and events, and it doesn't stop there, this weekend is going to be busy busy and I'm so excited for the Simply Stylist event tomorrow (it's not too late to get tickets!)

Also this weekend ...
• Saturday is supposed to be a gorgeous day out – how about chilling on a river front patio? River Roast opened this week and this ginormous, gorgeous place serves up some seriously good food and tasty beverages. 

Wicker Park Fest is this weekend – you know the drill: tunes, tastes, a little shopping and some sips.

Project Runway started up again this week and I'll be honest, I actually had a hard time picking a favorite! There were a number of looks I would wear in a heartbeat (okay this has nothing to do with weekend plans – unless you haven't watched it yet and plan to play the recording). 

Have a great weekend!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Simply Stylish Event

become a personal stylist

When CakeStyle closed last year, I looked for a company that would allow me to continue to work with my clients both in Chicago and nationwide. I couldn't believe my luck when I came across Keaton Row – it was the answer to all of my stylist prayers. Keaton Row provides an incredible online platform that allows me to pull pieces from shops like Nordstrom, Shop Bop, and ASOS to create (free!) complete lookbooks for my clients. 

I'm thrilled to be one of three stylists to represent KR at the upcoming Simply Stylist Chicago event this Saturday! This awesome event includes Q&A and breakout sessions with industry big wigs, and a chance to network and rub shoulders with like-minded city stylists. If you're a stylist (or want to be), get your tickets here and swing by the Keaton Row table where you can sign-up to gain access to KR's seriously super (stylish) site. Hope to see you there!

become a personal stylist

Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy Monday!


Happy Monday! I know – they're usually the worst – but I'm excited because today I start a fun new job with a company that I've loved for a while (more on that later). I've been a little flakey lately, failing to get my daily posts up ... well I've been working quite a few projects that have kept me busy busy. I will continue to post as often as I can, but I can't promise it will be every single day. And oh yeah, my outfit posts are on hold until I get a new camera (womp womp). Here's to a fun week ahead!    

Friday, July 18, 2014

Have a Festive Summer Weekend!


Happy weekend! Looks like it's going to be perfect weather (again) for all your outdoor loveliness. We're taking it easy since this is the last weekend without major plans (um, pretty much for the rest of the summer!). Maybe I'll finally catch some rays and get a little color on my blindingly white legs.

Also this weekend ...
• The warm-up for Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Music Festival is this weekend. You can't go wrong with "Beck", and a friend recently introduced me to the rocking "Dum Dum Girls." We don't have tickets – and the site says sold out – but there's always a way, right?

• Festival fashion has become an institution in itself, and no one does it better than Free People. Get all your fringed frocks at Free People's Pitchfork prep parties tonight from 6-8pm – The Water Tower, Southport, and Wicker Park locations are all hosting events.   

• On the street festival side, this weekend there are a few good ones: Sheffield Garden Walk is always a fun time, Taste of River North sounds delicious, and the Chicago Craft Beer Festival has dozens of tasty brews (and a serious crowd – we went in the late afternoon last year and could barely take a sip without spilling).

Have a great weekend!

Photo courtesy of Chicago Reader

Thursday, July 17, 2014

You're On The List

best email lists

Pretty much every single brand has an email list, and if you're like me, you sign up when you see that promise of a discount code. Of course, once I use it, I eventually unsubscribe (or keep an old email address just to send that junk to). But here are a few email lists worth sticking with, a few that I've found continue to show customer appreciation with periodic coupon offers ...

Henry & Belle – this local denim company makes some of my favorite jeans (perfect amount of give, high enough rise) and they send out discount codes occasionally, which is just dandy if you ask me!

Cowshed makes some seriously luxurious scented bath products (and they're all natural!). I'm hooked on the Knackered Cow line, scented with lavender and eucalyptus. I'm also a fan of their flash sale codes they send out.

Ann Taylor has really been hitting it out of the park lately with their clean classics, perfect for stylish work ensembles. I love their generous discount codes, too! takes your business to the next level with their variety of luxe business cards (I love the mini moo cards!) letterhead, accessories, notecards, you name it! Oh yeah, they email out coupon codes too.

Ballard Designs is everything my home dreams are made of. We've implemented a few of their decorative items into our current condo (thanks to their coupon codes), but I'm definitely gonna need a big home someday for all the pretty pieces I want!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sale Away

Just like now is the time to score a good leather jacket on sale – it's also the best time to snag some new fall duds at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Starting Friday (or two days ago, for you Nordies card holders), tons of stylish stuff is marked way down, which means now is the time to get your hands on those wardrobe staples for the cooler months ahead. I know, it's sad but true ... autumn is right around the corner, so get ready and set for the stylish new season! Below are some classic pieces that should be on your sale-radar come Friday ...

nordstrom sale

Clockwise from top:
• A quality knee-length coat (something for those months before the puffy coat comes out). I love this grey one as an alternative to black.

• A new leather fall bag. This Tory Burch tote is perfect for everyday use at work, but chic enough with the chain detailing for the weekend or a night out.

• A nice cashmere sweater. This cream drape cardigan is one of those pieces you'll grab all fall/winter because it will go with everything and last forever (with proper care). 

• Faux leather pants. I snagged a pair last year, similar to these 7 For All Mankind and can't wait to don them again – think of them as a casual go-to, but like your black jeans cooler big sister.

• Heeled black ankle boots. Forgo fancy details like buckles or chains – a simple pair like these awesome Acne Studio boots go with everything from dresses to jeans to leather pants. 

• A versatile wrap dress. There's a reason the DVF wrap dress is a wardrobe staple – you can wear it casual with tights and boots for work or dress it up with heels and a statement necklace or earrings for an evening event. Choose a neutral like this navy one for the most wearability. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dreamy Destinations

travel dreams

Steve and I are always thinking ahead to our next vacation. We are lucky to have crossed a few dream destinations off of our list, but still have a long one to choose from. Below are some of our top spots to check out as we look forward to fall travel. What are we missing? And has anyone been to any of the below?  

travel dreams
Morocco offers an incredible package deal – breathtaking architecture, delicious food, and those markets in Marrakech! (I would have to forgo my one carryon rule for luggage to get all my desired souvenirs back).

travel dreams
Iceland looks like an amazing destination – the gorgeous green rolling hills and I'm all about those geothermal pools with mineral rich water that's said to be great for your skin.

travel dreams
Fiji reminds us of our fave spot on Earth, Bora Bora, but if there's a spot even close to similar and we haven't been there yet? I'm in.

travel dreams
An African safari is one of those bucket list trips. It seems like such an unparalleled experience, we've just got to do one someday (even if it does mean pumping ourselves full of vaccines for a few months – yaouch).

Photos courtesy of Pinterest

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bon Weekend!

Bastille Day

Bon weekend! It's supposed to be a lovely weekend in Chicago. With no serious plans, we're looking forward to hanging with family and friends.

Also this weekend ...
• Monday is Bastille Day in France, but there are plenty of French fêtes around Chicago. Head to the French Market for a taste of France, or a serious French meal at Kiki's Bistro

• Sunday is the World Cup Finals and the games just get more and more exciting. The best way to watch is surrounded by futbol fans ... preferably on a patio with TVs like at Grandview or Smoke Daddy

• August isn't far off, which means Lollapalooza is coming up quick! If you didn't score tickets, dine at Quartino this weekend for a chance to win passes.

Have a great weekend!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Summer Necklace

I like to keep accessories a little lighter in the summertime, so I'm loving the long lariat style necklace to layer on top of my everyday pieces. A far cry from the lariat style I wore in the 90's — a lot more beading, a lot less fine jewelry — these thin chains add just a hint of shimmer on top of a summer tan. I'm also pretty modest when it comes to showing any skin, but I love this look with a deep vneck or scoop neck blouse. The only question is which adorable one to get? My current faves ...    

Lariat necklaces

From left: catbird gold bar  //  shark tooth lariat  //  Gorjana honeycomb  //  beaded lariat  //  Rayna Eye lariat

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Staple Sale Scores

It's kind of hard to think about wearing a thick, leather jacket in July, but now is the best time to score a sweet deal on this wardrobe staple. I came across this gem on deep discount and couldn't resist (especially given the similarity to my beloved Acne Rita jacket). With fall attire starting to fill stores, peruse those sale racks now for a fantastic classic leather jacket (tip: it goes with everything!)   

leather jackets

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Reduced Republic

After my weekly sweep through Zara (it helps that my husband pretty much exclusively shops there as well), we were drawn to the giant "sale" signs in the neighboring Banana Republic. I always find some great classics here and this trip was no different ... even better, all of my faves were on the sale rack! I came away with the cream colored jacket below and cannot wait to wear it (obviously after this heatwave subsides). Below are a few items I may have to head back for ... like immediately 

Banana Republic

Monday, July 7, 2014

Food, Fun, and Fireworks

After a relaxing holiday week (and unintentional hiatus from my little blog due to down interwebs) it's good to be back! I hope everyone had a lovely Fourth weekend ... ours was full of good food (my fave local BBQ and the largest micheladas in town!), quality friend and family time (over patriotic ice cream cake and beer), and of course, some fireworks (I wait all year for this show set to music). Well it's back to the grindstone, so here's to a fantastic week ahead.  
fourth of july

Friday, June 27, 2014

Have a Perfect Summer Weekend!

Weekend Brunch

Happy weekend! Isn't it amazing that we get foggy/rainy/cool weekdays, but gorgeous weekends? If the forecast of 80 and sunny holds true, I'm hoping to finally grab brunch at The Dawson on their awesome patio (above) ... I just can't decide between the incredible salmon breakfast or decadent french toast ... 

Also this weekend ...
• The 45th Annual Pride Parade kicks off in Uptown this Sunday. This day long event is always a fantastic time, full of fun loving people, definitely not to be missed!

• I'm a huge (huge) Beatles fan, so since I'll never fulfill my dream of seeing them live, I "settle" for the solo shows by Paul and Ringo. Ringo Starr and His All Star Band will take the stage at the Chicago Theater this Saturday – a perfect venue for this old Beatle.

• Another summer weekend, another fun summer festival! Lincoln Park Summerfest, to be specific, and this one has all the bells and whistles – BBQ, live music, beers in the park, and shopping. 80 and sunny out? Perfect. 

Have a great weekend!

Photo courtesy of TWO restaurant

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Summer Shoe


I am still loving my Kaanas espadrilles that I picked up a few months ago – they're comfortable and stylish and pretty much the perfect summer shoe. Well this summer staple isn't only for us gals, I'm definitely digging the espadrilles for dudes. I like the slip ons, but the lace up versions are the perfect warm weather wear for your man friend. They look awesome with casual cuffed trousers, tailored shorts, or my fave, the summer short suit. Below are a few good pairs to send his way ...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Out of Juice

juicy tracksuit

Well folks, it's the end of an era – Juicy Couture will close all of it's U.S stores this month. Sure we all had (or wanted) one of those covetable velour tracksuits ... but really, this wasn't the best look. Yeah it was comfortable for class back in the early 2000's, but sweats in public? No. Just, no. 

While we're talking fashion regret, let's remember some of the other fashion faux pas many of us (myself included) were guilty of ...

90s fashion
These skirts! Everyone owned at least one of these gems. The shorter the better was our motto – seriously, sometimes those cutoff denim skirts could be confused for belts on the hanger. And those ruffles – tiers of regret from 2000. 

90s fashion
The handkerchief tops. Somehow these stuck around for a few years – because nothing says sexy like showing your love handles and pointing straight to your crotch (?).

90s hair
The hair – oh god the hair. I definitely sported both of these looks at one point (I even had the butterfly clips and "cornrow" look done at a salon for a dance!).

... of course, there will come a day when I look back at something (some things?) I'm wearing now and I'll shake my head. Here's to sticking to timeless classics!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blossoming Bridesmaids


A little over 2 weeks ago, my younger sister got married! It was a fabulous day, full of fun, friends and family ... and flowers. My youngest sister and I were the only bridesmaids, so we went simple and romantic with long cream gowns (by the same designer that my sisters wore in my wedding), and donned traditional babysbreath floral wreaths. It was elegant but whimsical ... and likely the only excuse we'll ever have to wear a flower crown! I will share more photos later, but wanted to share a peek at our summer wedding ensembles ...

the merry maids

the lovely couple

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's one of my fave events of the year – the Zara sale. It's no secret that it's pretty much my fave spot to shop, so when the decent prices are slashed to amazing prices, I'm there in a flash. Below are my top pics from the sale, currently on now ...   

layered printed dress – $59.99

combination blouse – $35.99

high waisted skinny jeans – $35.99

patent leather court shoe – $39.99

Triangle bikini top – $15.99

contrast dress – $39.99

cut work skirt – $59.99

dress with bow – $25.99

court shoe with bow – $59.99

coat with zips – $119.99

Friday, June 20, 2014

Have a Culture-Filled Weekend!

Art in the Village

Here's hoping the rain holds off this weekend so we can get out and do fun things! This is the first weekend in a while that we don't have any major plans so I'm looking forward to chilling and seeing where the days take me. 

Also this weekend ...
• If you feel like taking a break from the bustling city summer festivals, head north to Winnetka for Art in the Village. This juried art show takes over part of Lincoln avenue Saturday and Sunday and includes amazing artists from all over (like Armando Pedroso, above). After you've absorbed all the art you can, pop in the cute shops or grab a bite at my fave little european cafe

• Head up to Winnetka Saturday, then check out the Green Music Fest Sunday. This 2-day eco-friendly focused fest has crafts, drinks and snacks – but most importantly, tunes. Check out my personal faves, The Features, Sunday night.

• Perhaps the most festive of festivals this weekend is Chicago Pridefest. The pride parade is still a week away, but the revelry starts this weekend with a huge celebration including food, drinks, and crafts – plus pop and dance performances. Talk about a serious summer kick off party!

Have a super weekend!

Photo courtesy of Armando Pedroso

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Ultimate Pencil Skirt

You guys – I just discovered the best pencil skirt. I thought I'd do a simple sweep through Zara, no big deal – however – turns out this skirt caught my eye, and is amaze. I'm a curvy girl, right, and this skirt has a way of smoothing everything out, like spanx for real life. I'll definitely do this bad gal with crop tops or tuck a lightweight shirt in for a polished look. 


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Chiffon Pie

strawberry rhubarb

My mother in law recently gave me a big bunch of fresh rhubarb. I was thrilled, but also a little nervous – I've always loved the flavor, but never cooked or baked anything with it myself. After storing it in the fridge for a week while I mustered up the courage, I figured Father's Day was the perfect opportunity to take the plunge (plus rhubarb is one of my dad's faves, so there was no excuse). A traditional pie sounded too heavy (and incredibly daunting) so I opted for a light, no-bake strawberry rhubarb chiffon pie. Pie isn't really one of those things you can taste to make sure it's good, so I brought a backup dessert just in case, but it was a hit (and all gone in about 15 minutes)!

Strawberry Rhubarb Chiffon Pie

1 premade graham cracker crust
1 package gelatin (I used strawberry, but may opt for plain next time so the flavor doesn't takeover)
1 C boiling water
2 tsp finely grated lemon peel
3 T lemon juice
1 C whipping cream (next time I'd like to swap this for plain or vanilla greek yogurt for a healthier take)
2 C strawberry rhubarb sauce (directions below)
whipped topping (I like Tru Whip, it's all natural and tastes great)

strawberry rhubarb sauce
3 C diced rhubarb (about 1/2 inch pieces)
3 C shopped strawberries
1 T lemon juice
1/3 C water
1/3 C sugar

directions - strawberry rhubarb sauce
in a sauce pan, heat sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Add rhubarb, simmer for 15 min until pieces soften. Add strawberries and lemon juice and simmer for an additional 10 minutes until all combined. Allow to cool, then pulse mixture in blender until smooth. Set aside for now.

• In a large bowl, combine gelatin with boiling water. Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice. Place bowl in a large bowl of ice water, stirring frequently until mix is partially set (kinda like the consistency of unbeaten egg whites) - about 10-15 min. Mine started to set a little more, but this was okay.

• In a medium bowl beat whipping cream with mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (mine never got very thick, but this was alright. I think greek yogurt next time would work well, eliminating this step). Add cream and rhubarb sauce to gelatin mixture and mix together using a spatula. Cover and chill for 30-45 min until mixture thickens and mounds when spooned.

• Transfer mix to pie crust, cover and chill for at least 8 hours or until firm. Just before serving, spread whipped topping over top of pie if desired (slicing the pie is kind of fun, pieces are like whipped jello jigglers!) 


strawberry rhubarb

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Petite Pretties

We cheer (and jeer) all of the gowns that go down the red carpets, but rarely stop to think about the incredibly intricate work that goes into each inch of a custom couture dress. I'm a sucker for behind the scenes and how it's made videos, so I was mesmerized by these shorts showing the making of (totally adorable) miniature Dior gowns. The detail that makes up these dresses – and these are doll-sized! – makes you really appreciate the full-sized beaut.    

... I can't decide which is more impressive ...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Going Green

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Style

The goods:
• dress from Zara

• wedges from Boutique 9 (I also love these)
• vintage silver necklace
Nothing says spring like a bright, bold hue (and this is coming from a girl who sticks to mostly black and white basics). I love Zara for it's clean classic silhouettes, I just tend to gravitate toward the neutrals and dark colors, but this kelly green number with it's cut in top and flirty skirt was perfect for my sister's rehearsal dinner last week. I dressed it up with my fave nude wedges and bright silver necklace, but I definitely plan to wear this frock with flat sandals to one of the fun fests this summer.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Have a Fantastic Father's Day Weekend!

chicago tacos

My how time flies! I jet off for a few days and it's already the weekend (missed you!). We're looking at a lovely weekend ahead – maybe slightly cooler – but sun and fun for sure. Don't forget it's Father's Day so grab dad and head to any of the fun fests around town ...

Also this weekend ...
• My personal fave, Taste of Randolph, is Friday through Sunday. Some of the cities best restaurants set up shop along the rue (like De Cero – I say the best taco in town – pictured above). Plus there are always great bands at this fest. 

• Another gem is the Old Town Art Fair. More great food and music, plus the lovely cultural addition of artists galleries for your viewing (and buying) pleasure.

• After a full day of music and food, chill and catch a movie at one of the cities dozens of Movies in the Park options. Catch Gravity in Pulaski park, Rookie of the Year at Oz park, or Goonies at Revere park (or one of the many more). 

Have a great weekend!

Photo courtesy of TWO restaurant

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mini Vaca

gone boating

After a wonderful whirlwind wedding weekend for my sister, some family members have decided to stick around for a reunion of sorts ... so we're off to the lake for a couple days to soak up some sun, catch up, and kick off the summer. Be back soon!