. . . for Lauren and Lauren: October 2012

October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

vest: old navy  shirt: american eagle  leggings: jcpenny  boots: kohls

This is my ideal comfy outfit for a chilly Fall day, like today.  Tonight I will be spending my evening sitting on my couch, eating Chris' delicious chili, watching Survivor, and greeting the one adorable trick or treater we'll get. 

Despite yesterday's post, I wasn't a total Halloween scrooge this year. 

This year I found out we were going to a costume party the morning of, so I had about 2 hours after work to figure out a costume.  Thanks to a borrowed hat and shirt from my sister-in-law and the Target dollar spot for some big glasses, I was Where's Waldo?

Now if only I could control Chris' costume choice.  I will happily say I didn't have anything to do with his costume, as he chose to be some annoying character from South Park. Which I am the farthest from a fan of.  But I am impressed with his robot making ability.  

Maybe once I have kids I'll be able to control what costumes they are.  At least for a few years, right?

Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2012

Evolution of my pumpkin carving

 vest: old navy   shirt: old navy (similar)   jeans: target   boots: famous footwear (similar)

I have a confession to make.  I am too lazy to carve pumpkins.  
Something about setting everything up, scooping all the goo out, sorting the seeds, smelling the insides - 
just doesn't appeal to me.  But we haven't always been such pumpkin party poopers.  

Here's what's happened to our pumpkin carving over the years:

First year we were married.  It may not look impressive, but it was my first pumpkin carving experience and I took a long time making that ghost.   Too bad a squirrel ate the ghost out the day after we put it out.

and so begins my minimal effort with pumpkin carving. 

Next year's pumpkin carving.  Stuck with the quick and simple pumpkin faces.  Molly wasn't even impressed.

The next year is when it started to go downhill.  We resorted to drawing on our pumpkins with sharpies. 

After that we just bought pumpkins.  Didn't do anything with them but set them outside our house. 

And this year? I just held up a pumpkin. Didn't even buy it.


Which I guess makes me cheap and lazy in the pumpkin department. 
Maybe someday we'll suck it up and actually participate in this fall festivity.

Halloween Scrooge  

October 29, 2012

Another Katie and a Forever 21 giveaway

I'm really excited for you to meet another Katie! Not only do I love her because we share a name, but she is also a teacher, adorable dresser, good deal finder and super sweet.  Katie's blog is actually one of the first blogs I started reading, well before I started my own blog.  I have to admit I was beyond excited when I knew that Katie started reading my blog!

Hi guys! I'm Katie and I blog over at High Heels and Bubble Gum. My blog is mostly a style blog mixed in with bits and pieces of my life and things I feel passionate about. One thing I feel passionate about is not spending a lot of money on clothes. I have found that you really don't need to. You can still find great clothes that don't look cheap for really inexpensive.

 Even though I'm 30, I have no problem saying that one of my favorite stores is Forever 21. You definitely have to pick and choose what you buy there, but I have found so many items I love for really inexpensive. I wanted to share some of my favorite outfits that are mostly made up of clothing from F21.

 Because I am such a fan of Forever21, I'm going to giveaway a $15 gift card to a lucky shopper. Good luck! Stop by my blog and say hello!!

Enter here:

Winner will be contacted via email after November 3rd. 

October 28, 2012

Crabby McGee

Two posts in one day?  I couldn't possibly leave you with just this post from earlier, so here's another:

jacket: old navy (similar)   dress: francesca's (similar)     boots: dsw (similar)   scarf: made my my sister

Want to know a way to NOT turn your spouse's bad attitude around?
Call them Crabby McGee. 
or Crabby McCrabster. 

On occasion Chris would call me that when he is joking around about my bad attitude and it can go one of two ways. 
I may just laugh and it could slightly improve my mood. 
or it may have a high possibility of making me even more crabby. 

Either way I have to say that last week I just may have won an award for being ultra crabby at home and at school.  
The fact that it was dress up each day last week (crazy hair = crazy kids) and we had a power out and one half day of school.  That my friends, is a recipe for a crabby teacher.  

However, I am well aware that I am in control of my attitude and sometimes I wish that wasn't true.
It is much easier to be crabby and annoyed than choose to not let those things get to you.

So this week I'm working on putting away the Crabby McGee and having a better attitude! 

Hope you have a good start to the week!

If you haven't entered my October group giveaway yet, go HERE!

Linking up to YOLO Monday  Monday Mingle

Spending your money

I can't even remember why I have this picture or why we would ever have this much cash when I normally carry about $5 in my purse.   But I figured it was worth sharing for this post. 

We all know that I am pretty careful with my money and will only buy something if it is a good deal. 
You may even call me cheap. 

Which is why when I choose to sponsor a blog I want to make sure it is well worth my money!
And I have some great blogs lined up to sponsor the next two months. 

and I'm pretty convinced that sponsoring my blog
for November or December will be well worth your money too. 

Current Stats:

Followers via GFC: 1,025+
Daily page views during the week: 600
Monthly page views: 16,000

X-large spots available for $15 (individual post and giveaway)
Large spots for $10 (group feature post and group giveaway).
and medium spots for only $5 (group giveaway). 

Email me at katiejvale@yahoo.com to save your spot for November or December! 

October 25, 2012

High Five for Friday

dress: steve & barry's   boots: dsw 

 1.   Have any of you ever been to Steve & Barry's? It's not a huge surprise that they went out of business because nothing in their store was over $9.  I got this dress for $2 when they were going out of business.  They had a line by Sarah Jessica Parker and their stuff was so cute - wish it was still around!

2. I'm really proud of myself because I've actually made real dinner this week.  Twice!
It makes it a whole lot easier that both were in the crock pot.

                     Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup                                           Cashew Chicken

3. And one of the best desserts I've made in awhile. 

and I'm currently eating these straight out of the pan at this moment. Bad idea.

4. I apologize for the recent overload of instagram pictures of the bottom half of me.
I can't stop taking them and I think it's because it makes my legs look about 10 times smaller than they really are.  

5. I'm really excited that this happened this week too. Thank you so much for following along!

Bonus number:
I have a few large ad spaces available for November for only $10 and lots of medium spaces for $5.
Email me if you're interested in sponsoring my blog this next month!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

October 24, 2012

Saved by a giveaway

You're so lucky that I have a give away post today because otherwise you would be stuck with a whole post dedicated to an outfit of me in sweatpants.

Thanks to red ribbon week I was lucky that "wear sweats day to school" fell on a night after not much sleeping.  The only problem is that the entire day all I wanted to do was take a nap.
And it made it extra convenient to go to the gym right after school.

I better stop now or this really will be a whole post about sweatpants.

A much more exciting thing is that you have a chance to win some awesome prizes from my lovely sponsors this month.  Here is what is up for grabs for one lucky winner:


from Simply Here

from Hooah and Hiccups

from GridIron Lipstick

from DIY Louisville

Enter below:

Winner will be contacted after the 30th!  Good luck!

And congrats to Angela for winning Ashley's giveaway last week!

**Want to participate in next month's giveaway and sponsor For Lauren and Lauren?
Details here.

October 23, 2012

Fall Repeats

This outfit consists of my favorite recent fall loves: 
colored denim, wedges, leather jacket and a scarf. 

I made this scarf last year and am excited to wear it often this Fall and Winter.
This isn't like one of those projects I've made in the past that claim to be 30 minutes, but really take me over two hours.
This project is honestly an under 30 minute deal.
So easy that I'm reposting the directions from an earlier post. 

Buy a piece of jersey/knit fabric.You need a fabric that is nice and stretchy.  (I bought two yards.)
Lay your fabric out on your floor and fold it in half so that shorter ends match up.
The outside of your fabric should be facing in. (although with some knit fabric is doesn't make a difference)

Pin it in place. (This is important since knit fabric is very stretchy.)
Sew the ends together.
Flip it inside out (or outside in technically?)

That is it!

I've also made one in yellow and I'm sure I'll make another one soon. I'm on the lookout for a floral print!

Happy Wednesday!

Linking up to: October Favorite Things

October 22, 2012

A year in . . .

dress: target (similar)  sweater: target (similar)   boots: dsw (similar)

It's still a little crazy to me that I have a blog. 
That I write and people read it.
That I post pictures of my outfits for hundreds of people to see. 
Even crazier that I've shared some of my most personal things on this blog. 

When I started my blog a year ago, I honestly thought Lauren, Lauren and my mom would read it. 
and that's it. 
I had no intentions of it turning into what it has. 

It's become a place to share things that make me happy
to share funny stories from teaching. 
to share my heart
to share my skill of finding cheap clothing
to make real friends.
to share projects I've made. 
to process what God is teaching me
to be encouraged by others. 

Looking back at this last year this blog has been a great blessing and has been one of my favorite things.
I am truly convinced that God has used my blog this year as a hobby, a distraction, and a place to for me to share what He is doing in my life.
I am continually amazed at the people that I have met and the encouragement and joy that they have brought to my life.  

Each time I post a personal lesson or a glimpse into what I'm going through I'm blown away by the people that read my story, take the time to comment on my post, offer me advice, encouragement and even share their own hearts.   
I can't imagine how alone I would feel in my struggles if I hadn't met the people I have and I am beyond thankful for that. 

Not to say that there aren't things that I don't love about blogging.  Like my desire to buy more clothes or the added time it takes me to get dressed in the morning as I often feel the need for a "blog worthy" outfit post. 

Or the struggle with comparing myself and my blog to others or the amount of time I spend on my computer.
And I imagine as I continue blogging, the struggle for finding balance and avoiding comparison will increase.  

BUT the blessings from this little blog have been so good.
and I am thankful for you.  For reading my blog and for the friendships I've made.
I look forward to many more blessings!

October 21, 2012

Birthday Wishlist and New Friends

boots: kohls (now on sale for $45 online)   jeans: kohls (similar)  tank top: target ($3)  sweater: ? 

Unfortunately this picture has nothing to do with the rest of this post, but it's an outfit I wore this weekend.

Any creative transition between these two would be appreciated. 

My birthday is less than two weeks away. 
Thanks to a million blogs, etsy and pinterest I have no problem coming up with a wishlist.
Here's some things I'd love to get for my birthday!

mustard cardigan / horse sweater / cowboy boots
monogram necklace / elephant scarf / teardrop necklace

Chris did you read this post?
I should probably more be asking "Mom, did you read this post?"

Something that is probably way more exciting to you than what I would like to get for my birthday is a chance to meet some pretty neat ladies.  I feel honored to have them on my blog this month and they are definitely some girls that you should get to know!

First up is Montana from Sara Montana Says

blog // twitter // facebook 

I have loved getting to know Montana through her blog!  Blogs like Montana's are my favorite to read because they combine all things of real life.  Like really exciting moments, hard and painful moments, and then everything in between.  Montana blogs about fashion, recipes, life, as well as her adorable etsy shop.

Next up is Kait from GridIron Lipstick

This picture alone is a good sign that Kait is really fun.  I'd place money on the fact that she is more fun than me.  Case in point - this picture is her making a snow angel in Super Bowl confetti.   While she claims to be far from a fashion blogger, she wears some pretty cute outfits and posts about her sweet love story too.  

I'm so excited to have Julee and Kim from DIY Louisville again.

blog // twitter // facebook

I can't imagine you missed their introduction last time but in case you did, you need to three things about these sweet, talented ladies.
1. They know how to dress and post adorable outfits.
2. They share some really delicious recipes, like these Autumn Muffins.
3. They are extremely talented in the craft making department, like these adorable fabric acorns.

Finally, meet Bethany from Northwest Betty.

blog // facebook // bloglovin'

Bethany is one of the girls from who I feel so blessed to have meet through blogging.  We have emailed back and forth countless times, as we have both found ourselves struggling with infertility and how to handle it.  I am so thankful for her open heart through such a painful time, as well as her wise words and outlook on life.  I'm also thankful for the beautiful pictures she posts and every chance to get to look at one of the cutest dogs ever!

You should definitely go check out these ladies.
and feel free to buy be one of those presents for my birthday too.

Interested in being one of my sponsors in November?  Check here for more details and email me!

YOLO Mondays   Monday Meetup
Monday Mingle

October 18, 2012

High 5 for Friday

top: old navy   pants: gap   shoes: target

1. Sorry for the poor picture quality.  I'm a little sad that we are getting to days when it is too dark in the morning to take pictures and dark some days when I get home.  

2.  One of my favorite fall decorations in my house may be this book pumpkin I made last year. 
It's nice to know I can put old college textbooks to good use. 

3.  I'm really excited because I ordered these boots this week and can't wait to get them. 

They were only $30 and I found a 20% coupon online. 
 This site may be dangerous as there are way to many things I want! 

4. My brother's birthday was this week.  
I'm loving that I've been able to spend more time with him since he's been married and lives so close.  I'm pretty proud of the man he's become and his wife picking skills too.   

Happy birthday Jacob! I love you!

5. While we have had great time away the last two weekends I am SO happy to be home this weekend.  I have plans for catching up on tv shows, a yoga class with my mom and maybe a sewing project.

Happy Friday!