. . . for Lauren and Lauren: 2012

December 30, 2012

Playing Favorites

sweater, leggings & necklace: kohls    boots: dsw   watch: groopdealz 

Joking about what child is my parent's favorite is a common conversation in my family and it's pretty much known that I am my mom's favorite.  Even though I have played the middle child syndrome card a few times.

While I don't think I have all of the typical middle child traits, like having to fight for attention, or feeling like I don't belong, I may have a few like being shy or impatient.

But I don't think I can attribute that to being a middle child, because I think my parents did a really good job of giving us equal attention and not favoring anyone when we were younger.

However, now that we've gotten older I have to say I may have earned the most favorite child.  Proof was that my mom bought me this ornament a few years ago:

It took a few years for my siblings to notice my ornament and due to their jealous feelings and my mom's need to make everything seem completely equal and fair, she had to buy them one too: 

But I'm just going to have to hold on to the fact the she bought mine first and without being asked. 

Is there a favorite in your family? 

December 27, 2012

High Five for Friday

dress: c/o sugarlips   boots: old navy  sweater & tights: kohls

1. Christmas Eve outfit.  

2.  I hope you all had a great Christmas! Our Christmas was wonderful and I am loving all the time I get to spend with my family this week.

3.  This week a few of my good friends from high school came in to town and we got to go out to lunch. It was so fun seeing them!

4.  Two of my favorite recent presents are these two scarves.  One from my sister and one from my sweet friend Alison.  Animal print and polka dots.  They both know me well!

5.  After getting an elephant scarf, I may just have enough animal printed things.  Just maybe.   I've seen so many cute things with anchors on them, like this sweater.  And will be adding it to my list!  

If you haven't entered my December group giveaway, you should!  You could win gift cards to Bath & Body Works, Target, Ulta, jewelry, ad space and more!  Enter here!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

December 23, 2012

An early Christmas present


Right now I'm sitting on the couch at my parents' house, enjoying time with my family, including my sister and her family that got in from Vermont yesterday.  I love this time of year and am always reminded how full of blessings our life is.  I'm looking forward to spending Christmas with my family, as well as the rest of the week.

Before I take a few days off of blogging, I thought I'd leave you with a pretty sweet giveaway.  Which will make for a really nice Christmas present for one lucky winner!

Thanks to some great ladies and their generosity, I have lots of great prizes, like Target, Ulta, Bath & Body Works gift cards, jewelry, make up and other great gifts! 






from Team Bowen




Winner will be contacted after the 30th!  Thanks for entering!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy some time with your family the next few days!

December 20, 2012

High Five for Friday

dress: target  tights & boots: kohls 

1. I realized that I have many pairs of colored tights but have not worn them nearly enough.  That needs to change! 

2. This article brought me to tears.  I'm guessing you have seen it already.  But if not you need to.
To see more more moments like this.

The famous rugby player who visited his biggest fan in the hospital

3.  We watched the Survivor finale this week and Jeff Probst reminded us that there have been 12 years, 25 seasons of Survivor.  And I reminded myself that I have watched every single episode of those 25 seasons.  And while I should feel slightly embarrassed, I am instead proud.    

4. My sister and her family come in Saturday!  I am SO excited to spend time with my family. Maybe I can try again to get a picture of my niece and nephew together, as I failed miserably last year. 

5. I have a few large and medium ad spaces left for January.  Email me before Christmas to get 20% either size!  More details here.

Hope you have a great weekend!  And don't forget to enter to win a Target gift card from yesterday's post!

December 19, 2012

Comparisons and a Target Gift Card

After reading Holly's guest post, I'm even more convinced that we should be friends in real life.  I couldn't stop laughing at number six on her list of comparisons.  PLUS she is giving away a gift card to Target, which we all know we'd love to win!

Don't you just love when you stumble across a blogger where you think: "OMG, we'd totally be friends in real life!"
That's how I feel about Katie.
So often I find myself thinking, "yeah, me too!" or "that's totally me!" when reading her posts.
And the more I read her blog, the more alike I find that we really are.
Let me give you just a couple six examples:


1. We are scarf-obsessed soul mates.


2. We will both be carded well into our 50s at this rate.
Hello, 28 going on 19.


3. We take pity on "ugly" shoes.

Mine: Moxyn // Hers: Molly

4. Our dogs' names start with the letters "Mo." And they both have crazy retriever hair and are very happy pups!


5. We are bargain shoppers. Which means 99% of our clothing comes from Old Navy and Target.


6. We have cute asses. She calls hers Norman and I call mine Beyonce Jr.

I guess I should introduce myself.
I'm Holly and I blog over at Running in Stilettos.
And if you love Katie as much as I do, then you might just tolerant/like/love me, too.
Stop by any time. My door is always open thanks to this whole Internet thing.

And because you ladies deserve some goodies for having such great taste {i.e. reading Katie's fabulous blog}, I'm giving away a $10 Target gift card and 2 months {January and February} of featured ad space {300x200} on Running in Stilettos.



Good luck, silly heads!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be contacted after the 24th!  Thanks for entering and thank you Holly for a great post and giveaway!

December 18, 2012

Christmas Traditions

shirt: old navy   skirt: target   tights: kohls   shoes: old navy

I was so committed to taking a new outfit picture today, I did so despite the snow/hail that was coming down.  Only to go inside and have it stop 5 minutes later.  But it was too late.  Because you know that I spend just about zero time in anything other than sweatpants when I am home. 

So you're left with a snow interrupted picture. 

Speaking of snow, we've had about zero of it and I would LOVE it to snow before Christmas, and we are running out of time!

But more than having a white Christmas, my favorite thing about this time of the year is the traditions that my family has.  When we got married, I know that Chris thought my family may be a little overboard with our yearly traditions, but now he either loves it or knows not to say anything. 

On Christmas Eve we always read the Christmas story from the Bible.  When we were little we used to dress up as one of the "characters" from the story.  There was always a fight between my sister and I about who got to be Mary, and clearly based on the two pictures I found she won more than me.

An angel is just as important though right?
Better than a sheep, which I did resort to one year.  


And I was clearly working hard at playing the manly part of Joseph. 


I'm so thankful that many family started traditions like this, and while we don't dress up anymore I think it's time for my nephew to start the tradition over!  

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

December 17, 2012

Not for a Moment

"Tears are falling, hearts are breaking, how we need to hear from God. You've been promised, we've been waiting. Welcome Holy Child. Welcome Holy Child."

My heart is heavy today as I think of all the families and people in Connecticut.  And thinking of them daily trying to sort through this terrible nightmare.  

And then my thoughts have been consumed with the events of this last year.
It has been a rough year and a year filled with heart ache for so many of our friends and family.

This year I watched a best friend go through finding out her mom has breast cancer, and then surgery and treatments.

Another good friend find out her dad has advanced brain cancer. 

I've experienced Chris and I's immediate family lose 3 grandparents. 

Chris and I have gone through so many hard trials through our infertility journey.  

My sister was diagnosed with Lyme's disease and was really sick for many months. 

This last year I've watched a good friend lose her dad suddenly. 

Another close friend go through a tragic and painful loss of her baby far along in her pregnancy.

It's crazy to me how Chris and I had been married for over six years and had really dealt with no major heartbreaks or trials like this.   And then looking back on this last year it feels like they kept on coming.  This year I've watched my friends grieve things that I feel should not happen to anyone.  

Sometimes it is hard to not walk around thinking about how sad and hard life is.  And how so many people are hurting.  And that sometimes life seems unfair.  I know it's hard for some to question where God is in all of this and how this can all be part of His plan. 

We sang this song in church on Sunday and I've been listening to it and reading the words over and over.  
Clinging to the truth that God will never forsake us.

You were reaching through the storm, walking on the water,
Even when I could not see.
In the middle of it all, when I thought you were a thousand miles away.
Not for a moment, did You forsake me.
After all, You are constant.
After all, You are only good.
After all, You are sovereign.
Not for a moment, will You forsake me.
You were singing in the dark, whispering Your promise.
Even when I could not hear.
I was held in Your arms, carried for a thousand miles to show,
Not for a moment did You forsake me.
And every step, every breath You are there.
Every tear, every cry, every breath.
In my hurt, at my worst, when my world falls down.
Not for a moment, will You forsake me.
Even in the dark, even when it’s hard
You will never leave me
After all
After all, You are constant.
After all, You are only good.
After all, You are sovereign.
Not for a moment, will You forsake me.
Not for a moment, will You forsake me.

The world is full of terrible things.  Hard trials.  Unbearable pain. 
But God is present and is there. 

I know that there are seasons in your life.
Seasons of joy and happiness and seasons of pain and heartbreak.
I'm thankful for such a long season of joy that Chris and I have had for most our marriage and am excited for that to happen again because I know it will.  
And I know it will for my friends that are hurting.  And for the people in Connecticut.   

We can't understand why things like this happen and that's where faith comes in.
Faith in a God that has a plan.
In a Heaven that is free from pain.
And in a God that will never forsake us.  Not for a moment.

*Thank you Cassidy for letting me share your beautiful voice.  I've listened to you sing it countless times in the last few days. 

December 16, 2012

Some things you should know

1. My sister in law is adorable and thankfully listened to me when I told her she should start taking some outfit pictures so I could share them with you.


2. I have a miniature pet donkey named Norman.  (He lives at my parent's house).


3. I was really good at doing the splits when I was I was little.


4.  My brother, sister and I call my dad, Papa.


5.  I've always wanted to be one of the Fanta girls.  The only problem is that I can't sing, I'm not tall and I doubt they are even looking anymore.

6.  I ate my first toaster strudel today and it was delicious.  I would like to eat one. or two. every day.

7. And finally, you should get to know these ladies:


Kaylin is adorable and has a blog that will definitely make you smile.  She blogs about her cute outfits, adventures, and "adult" life which she is learning is fun at times and not so fun at other times.  Whether it's about making lists, or a new perspective you'll love getting to know Kaylin. 

blog // twitter // instagram (StayBlondeSkiLocal) 

Next is Whitney from Keeping up with the Cyperts


I've been reading Whitney's blog for awhile and I'm excited to share her with you!  Whitney's blog is a mix of everything.  From delicious recipeslife with her husband, traveling, and everything in between.  I love one of her recent Sunday Confessions post, because although we don't share a love for hairless cats, we do share a love for puppies and tv.

blog // facebook

And finally we have Bethany from Still in Louis


There are multiple reasons why you should check out Bethany's blog.
1. I'm always amazed at bloggers who find awesome things at thrift stores.  She is one of them.
(Bethany I would like to go shopping with you.)
2. She has whole posts dedicated to bloopers pictures of her kids.  They are hilarious.
3. She is an honest blogger who shares her heart and what God is teaching her.

blog // shop

Hope you have a great start to the week!