{Be Inspired} Welcome Ilene from Much Love Illy

I knew Creative Estates would be great for meeting new friends and I did just that!

Meet my next {BE INSPIRED} BLOGGER Ilene the author of Much Love,Illy…

She was apart of the adorable group of girls that I mentioned in my CE post a few weeks ago! I got a chance to talk to her while she was running her booth at the handmade market! I was immediately drawn to her COLORFUL handmade goodies she had on display. Her next door neighbor Oh Sweet Joy, Tamarria and I all had a chance to chit chat and fellowship for a while! I couldn’t wait to get back home and read her BLOG and I immediately fell in love with it! The fact that I got to meet her in person was a PLUS!! Illy, a nickname given to her by her boyfriend, has the most beautiful photos, handmade yumminess and her food posts make you want to eat the screen! Such a sweet girl! Read along as we get to know her a little bit better!




How did you get started in the blogging world?

I got on board in the blog world when my sister and other close friends were moving away from Chicago. Most of them had blogs, and so since I wanted to keep in touch with them, I decided to start a blog too. Close to that time, I started my etsy shop and began to slowly include shop updates in it. That is how Much Love, illy blog is what it is today.
Who was your first BLOG crush? I’d totally have to go with Danni of Oh Hello, friend. I had never seen a blog as fascinating as hers before. She has the cutest etsy shop and the most inspiring blog.

How would you describe your blog “niche?” If there is a niche of randomness, I belong in that niche! My blog has a mix of lifestyle (I love writing about my family, faith, and friends – and oh, yes my love for food!) as well as a love for fashion and handmade goodies. I’m kinda random like that.

How has being a follower of Christ influenced your blog and writing? I think it’s definitely influenced my writing ’cause being a follower of Christ is a part of my life. I do my best to portray myself 100% whenever I write. A lot of people have described me as “full of happiness” or a “joyful person” – that I think is already a representation of Christ and what He has done and is doing in my life.

You are newly engaged!! Congrats! How has GOD used your past experiences to prepared you for the next stage in your life…being a wife?:0) Wow, such a good question! Ryan and I dated for 3 1/2 years before getting engaged. I think the time we had dating gave us the time that we needed to really get to know each other more. It laid a foundation down in our relationship that I believe will better prepare us for our future marriage and ministry. 
We all know that CREATIVE ESTATES was awesome! Tell us what your favorite part was? Getting to meet people!! I loved finally meeting a lot of the bloggers that I already knew before I arrived. It was incredible to get to know them all at a different level. I also loved meeting new people and new bloggers/handmade business owners – like you!

Tell us about your ETSY shop and how you decided to sell your handmade goods? I loved my old job back in Chicago, but during my 3rd year of working there, my creative side was about ready to explode! I needed an outlet – and that outlet eventually translated to my Etsy shop. And I’m so glad I did it! 

The Much Love, illy shop is made up of lots of colorful accessories – from poppy garland headbands, jewelry and other hair accessories. I’m a huge fan of color and accessories so this shop merges my two loves together!

I need these in EVER color—–> 

hot like its summer pink rosebud earrings.

Your outfits are SO fun and stylish and just plain ADORABLE…tell us how you would put together a DATENIGHT outfit with your newww fiancé?!! Aw, thanks, friend!! Since he and I currently long-distance, we don’t get to see each other much – so when we go out on a date night, I really love to dress up! I’d go for a cute sun dress and a fun pair of chunky platforms (currently obsessed with that trend!). Ryan also loves it when I play up the eyeshadow so I’ll probably either do some funky blue or a dark purple – though it does depend on the colors of the outfit. :)

 look how cute she is—->
What advice do you have to anyone who has had a blog for awhile and isn’t seeing the “results” they want?
Well, I think whenever I get discouraged – whether it be my Etsy shop or my blog – I always go back to the question: Why am I doing this? Am I doing this because I love it? If you love what you do, if you blog even though “no one is reading,” then keep on going with your work! I think this is always what a person should start with. Do you do it ’cause you LOVE it? If not, forget it.

There is also the practical side of blogging where you need to step back – or maybe ask someone to step back with you – and look at your blog from a readers perspective? Is the layout visually appealing? Is your blog easy to maneuver through? Do you post quality content or do you just post to post? Sometimes it helps to even get another blogger’s opinion. Ask someone you trust to critically look at your blog and to give you honest feedback.  They might be able to give you tips or a perspective that you might have missed.

Tell us THREE truths and one LIE about yourself:0)
I always loved this game. Here we go:
1. I lived in Okinawa, Japan for 4 years.
2. I’ve never had a glass of wine in my life.
3. I’ve never broken a bone in my body.                                                                                                                                                                                    4. I met Jennifer Hudson while shopping at H&M. 

Oh, I‘m  guessin number THREE is the lie!!!!

Thank you so much Ilene for taking some time out and letting us get to know YOU! You have a wonderful spirit and it shines through your blog!  Go over and show her some LOVE and say HI! She loves to meet new friends!


  1. love the interview!!!

  2. I love this new series you’re doing! When I met Ilene at Creative Estates, I thought she was such a sweet heart and absolutely beautiful! She definitely has a light that shines brightly. So glad you featured her!

  3. She’s so cute!

    Loving this new series!

  4. Love the interview. I’ll have to go check out her blog.

  5. Just became your 400th follower! So sad I just realized we were both at Creative Estates and didn’t meet :( Have a great weekend!


  6. GREAT interview!! I’m heading over to check out more from Miss. Ilene!!! BUT FIRST I gotta say! CHECK YOU OUT LADY!!! A feature post on Today’s Creative Blog and THEN on Blue Cricket Design!! WOW!!!! You rock Momma! :)

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