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Today, I am SUPER DUPER excited to bring this sponsor love + giveaway post!  Ilene, from Much Love, Illy first met through the blog world this past summer (not exactly sure how, but SO glad that we did)!  My summer was packed full of traveling and one of the stops was Chicago~!  And I happened to be passing by there a few weeks before Ilene left for South Carolina, so we decided we’d have a “blind date”!  😉  We met up for delicious food at Grand Luxe and chatted the afternoon away!  And the rest is history~!  Haha, but foreals, meeting a blogger in real life is always like a “blind date”, except for the fact that you already know A LOT about them and you know what they look like but sometimes people can be different in person than in real life, ya know?  But Ilene was just as sweet, bubbly and cute in person as she is on her super fun blog, really!  Here’s a picture that we took together on our meet-up!  Since then, we’ve become such great blog (and real life) friends and I love that we always  bounce ideas off of each other if one of us needs help.  We even  started the Cold Hands, Warm Hearts swap together and it was so fun to have a partner to do it with (can’t wait to see your blog posts soon, ladies)!!  I am sooo glad I’ll be seeing her again at Creative Estates in April, can’t wait!! 🙂  Can you tell I just love this girl?

If you need a new blog to read, then I highly recommend Much Love, Illy.  She has tons of posts from her daily life that range from her cute dog, her outfits, happenings in her life and shop updates!  And I am sure you guys are already familiar with her shop, if you aren’t, have you been hiding under a rock?  She makes the most beautiful poppy headbands and sells other cute accessories as well!  Here are just a few of my faves, but my faves rotate pretty much weekly!

Ilene has soo graciously answered a few questions (some tough ones too) for us so that we could get to know her just a little bit better!  And seriously, I’m digging all her answers, you can just tell how fun of  a person she is from them!


1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Ilene, a 26 year old girl who recently (is 2 months ago recent? it feels recent!) moved from Chicago to the South to spend time with her family and to start the wedding planning process (got engaged to my best friend in August and couldn’t be happier!). I love all things creative (crafting, blogging, photography and writing – you name it!). I’m obsessed with spending time with my family and fiance, missions work in the Philippines, coffee with lots of creamer, nailpolish and colored tights…oh, and listening to one song over and over again (yeah, roommates always got annoyed with that!). I also am currently struggling with whether or not, I need to wait till after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music. (I normally do, but I’m also antsy to break the tradition and listen to it before my Thanksgiving meal). Just being honest here with struggles, people. 😉

2) Your poppies are blowing up the blog world, how did you first get the idea to make them?
Blowing up the blog world?! Everyone grab your armor! Don’t want anyone to get hurt! As for how I got the idea…during Christmas break last year, I was obsessed with felt and all the cute headband designs coming out. I bought a ton of felt from the craft store and started experimenting designs. I came up with the poppy garland and stocked the shop with two of them to see how they would sell. They both sold within the next week! Because of that, I bought more colors and started experimenting with more designs. It’s funny to see how the poppy garlands have evolved since then. (Don’t look at my first few sales – the pictures are horrific!)

3) What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Coldstone’s Cake Batter or any brand with cookie dough in it, hands down!!!

4) What are your top 3 fashion obsessions?  If you can narrow it down to 3. 😉
Oh tough question!

Fashion Obsession #1 – Colored Tights (I think everyone knows this about me with how often I write and tweet about them). I just love the pop of color they add to any outfit. They are just so much more fun and less boring than black or gray – but those tights def. have their place for the more colorful outfits. I also love sliding across bare floors with tights. Now that is fun!
Fashion Obsession #2 – Vests. I love taking a really girly outfit (lots of florals and pops of color) and then throwing on a vest. It adds a fun menswear kick to it. I even love wearing vests in the summer time over tank tops and dresses.
Fashion Obsession #3 –  Shoes. Is that too broad an obsession? It probably is – but if you saw my closet, you would know that I’m speaking the truth, people. I love shoes. I get it from my mom – or maybe Imedla Marcos (a former First Lady of the Philippines know for her huge collection of shoes)? Like tights, shoes can do a lot to an outfit. I’m currently drooling over boots and platforms if we have to narrow it down.

5) Since the holidays are fast approaching, what are some items on your wish list?
Another hard question (come on, Sandy!). Too many things on my list. 😉 I’d love a wide lens for my SLR and more film for my instant fujimax. A day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t looked Allora Handmade’s modern pearl rosette statement necklace. And I’m a fan of gift cards so then I can go shopping the weekend after Christmas – lots of good sales go on then!


Ilene is giving away $25 credit to her shop!  Ummm isn’t that amazing?  Talk about getting your holiday shopping done (without having to spend any money!)

How to enter:

1. Leave a comment with your answer to this question

“What is your favorite thing to do during the holiday season?”

For additional entries (please leave separate comment for each action):
2. Follow this blog with Google Friend Connect on right (if you already do, please let me know)
3. Follow Much Love, Illy with Google Friend Connect (if you already do, please let me know)
4. Tweet about this giveaway (make sure to use @sandyalamode and @muchloveilly in your tweet)

Feel free to use this tweet:
I just entered an awesome #GIVEAWAY for $25 shop credit to @muchloveilly on @sandyalamode! http://bit.ly/idKJ6K

This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and closes on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 9PM CST.  Winner will be announced shortly after.

Entries for this giveaway have been closed! Thanks!