. . . for Lauren and Lauren: April 2013

April 30, 2013


dress: old navy  ($7)     necklace:  ebay  

This last weekend we went to the same place in Wisconsin where we spent this weekend in October.  That weekend in October was wonderful but it was also filled with lots of emotions, as it was the start of our final round of fertility treatments for awhile. 

The days that we were there were the start of a new round of shots and hormones and all the emotions that came with it.  Fear, anxiety, excitement, and hope.  

One morning this weekend I stood in the bathroom getting ready, thinking how 7 months before I was giving myself a shot, praying that this would be the time that would give us our baby.   There was something surreal about being in that same place 7 months later with a healthy baby growing inside of me. 

I know many trials aren't entirely healed by time, but this one thankfully was.  Time passed and here we are two months away from meeting our sweet baby girl.  What a difference those 7 months makes and what a different place I am in now.  

Praising God for giving me this baby, for allowing time to heal my heart and for reminding me to trust in God's perfect timing.   

April 29, 2013

Recent Favorites

top: old navy   jeggings: walmart   shoes: rue 21  necklace: groopdealz

These floral flats I got for $5 for Rue 21 at the outlet mall on our trip.  

These headbands that I bought from this shop.  Can't wait for baby girl to wear them.  

The ladies in my small group who threw me an adorable shower on Sunday.  It is overwhelming and wonderful how much people love us and this baby. 

Stephanie's shop Ooh Baby Infinity.  She is beyond talented and has the cutest things in her shop.  I don't know how I would pick one favorite.  I know I'd love to own this elephant diaper bag, this nautical beach tote or this pink and white polka dot scarf.   I'd bet you'd have a hard time choosing a favorite too!

shop //  facebook //  twitter

Sara from The Hinton Hookup.  I love Sara and her sweet blog about life with her husband, and her recent move to New Jersey.  We share a love for old navy, a passion for running, and our love for sharing our life happenings on our blogs.  I've enjoyed reading Sara's blog since I started mine!

blog // twitter // instagram

Litva's Jewlery by Sandra.  She makes beautiful jewelry from feathered earrings to leather wrap bracelets. Her jewelry would make a great Mother's Day gift, like these ruby red earrings.  Plus she has free shipping on all her items!

shop // facebook

That I have a few large and medium ad spaces left for May!  Check out more details here and take 10% off any ad size!


April 28, 2013

A weekend away

We had such a wonderful weekend away.  A weekend free of computers, good phone reception, and things that needed to get done. 

It was a weekend full of guitar playing, delicious food, outlet shopping . . . 

book reading, lots of walking, and beautiful weather.

And a reminder of how much I love Chris and spending time with him.

Today I have a special person to introduce you to.  Besides being cute, likable and easy to relate to, Brooklyn is a wise woman who is sharing with you today how to be a person of influence, fighting the temptation to blend in with those around you!

Hey cute For Lauren and Lauren readers! I am Brooklyn and I blog over at This Little Blonde
I have a quote hanging on the wall in my room that says, "You will never influence the world by trying to be like it." 

I absolutely love how that quote changes my thinking. We live in a world where we are encouraged to "blend in." We try and fit in, and we try to be one of the crowd.

The last thing this world needs is one more person that is keeping his or her mouth closed about the things they care about. The world doesn't need more celebrities, it needs people who consistently do good. The world needs more people who put others first. The world needs more people of influence. So I have come up with a list of 3 simple ways to become a person of influence.
1. Seek to be worth knowing rather than to be well-known
I remember hearing this quote a few weeks back and I honestly can't get it out of my head. Be that person that is so nice, and so silly and so helpful that people can't help but like you. Your character will say more than your reputation ever will. In the blogging world, use social media to connect with your readers. Don't be a blog lurker! Comment away! People love to know that you are reading and thinking about their blog. That makes you someone worth knowing, because you are someone who cares. 

2. Work WITHIN your own sphere of influence
When I dream, I dream big. I don't just want my mom to read my blog posts, I want the president of the fricken United States to read my blog post. But to be honest, that will probably never happen. I try to really focus on my audience. Who can I influence? My roommates, my family, my boyfriend, my readers, my coworkers, etc. So how can I personally change so that my influence on them is a positive one? You don't have to write a letter to the government that will change ObamaCare for the better, but you can leave a note for a roommate wishing them good luck on their test the next day. Maybe you can't get a big blogger to tweet you back, but you can tweet back a new friend that asked you a question. 

3. Find your strengths, and use them
I am NOT good at sports. But I am a GREAT cheerleader. I am not a good artist, but I'm a decent writer. You need to do what YOU are good at. Not what any other blogger is good at. I can look at every person in my life and find something to be envious of, but instead I try to focus on the things I am good at, things I like about myself. When you are comfortable in your own skin you are more worried about others than you are about yourself. Write about things you love. People will notice.

What are you ideas on becoming a person of influence? Also, because I think you're really great, I am offering you 50% off ad space on my blog with code FORLAUREN
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Thank you Brooklyn for your post and your wise words!  Hope everyone had a great weekend!


April 25, 2013

Happy List

dress: target   cardigan: old navy

 I can now wear maxi dresses and not be freezing.   Hallelujah!!  And I found this non-maternity dress on the clearance rack at Target for $6.

I passed my gestational diabetes test.  And the sugar overload drink, while not pleasant, wasn't as terrible as I had heard.  
My grandma got to come see my house this week.   I definitely never expected her 92 year old self to make it out here from California after not traveling for over 10 years.  

I didn't realize that 90210 started again after Christmas, when means I got to watch eight episodes in a row over the last two weeks, which makes my teen drama loving heart happy. 
I am not a big reader and can't even tell you the slim number of books I've ever purchased myself, but I bought this book today and am really excited to read it.  
Chris and I are going away tonight until Sunday to Wisconsin, the same place we stayed during our Fall trip. I can't wait for three days of relaxing and time together.  

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


April 24, 2013

A horse sweater, fake shoes and lots of gift cards

sweatshirt: forever 21   jeans: ross maternity  shoes: tjmaxx

I wanted this horse sweater from Forever 21 for a really long time.  By the time I actually bought it I was already pregnant and felt that tight clothes at the beginning of pregnancy did not work well.  Needless to say I have not gotten much wear out of it.  

I do have some concern that animal prints may not be quite so trendy next year, which would be a shame since I own quite a few things with birds or elephants on them.  So I figured it was time to wear it, even if it barely reached the bottom of my belly.  

On another random note I would love to own a pair of TOMS some day but for now these copy cat $5 pair from TJMaxx will have to work.

And if both of those topics completely bored you, then at least I can offer you the chance to win gift cards to Starbucks, Amazon and three of them to Target.  Along with some other sweet prizes! 

heart necklace from Peace it Altogether

$10 gift card from Everyday with the Jays

$15 gift card to Litva's Jewelry

$15 Target giftcard from Bella Cene

Large ad space from by the porchlight
$15 Amazon giftcard from a Heart Full of Frost

$10 Starbucks gift card from This Little Blonde

$10 Target gift card from The Hinton Hook-up

Enter below! Winner will be contacted after the 29th!

I can't believe that April is almost over!  I have a few large ad spots and medium spots available for May! Email me at katiejvale@yahoo.com this week for 10% off ad spaces!


April 23, 2013

DIY Polka Dot Tee

shirt: shade clothing - DIY polka dots    pants: walmart   necklace: old navy  shoes: target

I'm pretty sure I've developed a slight obsession with polka dots.  I love to wear them and am filling baby girl's room with them.  

I followed this tutorial and I used the same spray can top that I used for these canvases to make my dots.  I've become pretty good at making these polka dots.   I didn't do the back like she did or the sleeves and can only chalk that part up to a little laziness and not wanting to make any more polka dots.  The front is way more important anyway, right? 

Every once and awhile I feel the need to tell you how much everything cost in my outfit, so here it is:

maternity tee: $4
pants: $10
wedges: $6
necklace: $3 

I should probably do it more often and maybe someone would hire me as their personal shopper. 


April 22, 2013


dress: H&M    tee: old navy    flats: jcpenney

I feel a little like a pioneer in this dress because of it's length.  I don't know if I've ever had the problem of a maxi dress being too short but I'm pretty sure it shrunk and then add my belly to shorten it.  But it's so comfortable I am still going to wear it.

I am so happy to be in the third trimester.  It felt like it was beyond slow at the beginning and now time seems to be moving quickly.  There is this huge relief that I feel now that we've reached this point.  Although I have no plans on early labor or any reason to think something will happen, it's comforting to know that if our baby girl decided to come anytime soon, she'd be able to make it.  

Hope you have a great start to the week!


April 21, 2013

Countdown has began

skirt, shirt and shoes: old navy

In the last weeks I have said all of these things at least once in my classroom . . . 

Let me check your pencil sharpener for ants.  

You may not bring those ants home, please empty your pencil sharpener in the trash. 

We just talked about this last week.  You may not be firing people from your club.  

You may not even have a special club.  

Please stop crawling underneath your desk. 

It shouldn't take you 15 minutes to pick your pencil up off the floor again.  

and no I am not planning on naming my baby Zorro.
As another Monday rolls around, let's just say it is time for summer and the countdown is on! 31 school days to go!


April 18, 2013

How are you feeling?

I am positive I have never been asked this question so many times, as I have in the last four or so months.  It seems like the necessary question to ask a pregnant woman.  I'm pretty sure just about 90 percent of people I talk to ask me that. 

But I am not complaining.  I am happily accepting everyone's concerns and nice gestures for me and plan on soaking it all in the next three months.  

Last weekend Chris and I went to this university that isn't far from our house.  I can't believe we've never walked around here before.  Besides being super windy that day it was perfect for pictures.  I have plans of coming back and having someone take some real maternity pictures for us!

I am so thankful that it is Friday.  This week has seemed ridiculously slow and I am ready for the weekend!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


p.s.  If you want to win $450 you need to go enter this sweet giveaway that I get to be a part of! 

April 17, 2013

Comfort, a canvas and a blog designer

scarf: discovery   cardigan, tee and shoes: old navy    leggings: jcpenney

While it'd be nice if I felt like a I had super cute outfit every day, the truth is that leggings, a long tee and a cardigan seem to win at least a few days a week.  I can only imagine as I get closer to the end that comfort will continue to win!

I shared awhile ago that I loved this canvas of an ultrasound picture and had been looking for a more affordable version as some of the ones I found were $40 or $50 for a small canvas.  Thankfully Lauren found this site for me and I waited until they had 50% off (which seems to be often) and ordered this:

I LOVE it.  I edited and added the text before I uploaded the pictures since that wasn't an option on the site.   It's hard to tell in the picture, but the edges of the canvas are a minty green color.  I plan on ordering another canvas from there with a newborn picture in July!

Today I'm exited to introduce you to another sweet blogger.  Laura loves photography, her husband and her hamster!  Plus she is a talented blog designer.  I love the blogs she has designed and even better she is extremely affordable.  It's funny that she says she isn't a fashion blogger because her staple outfit is colored skinny jeans, a striped top and a scarf - which pretty much sums up the typical "blogger" outfit to me!  Plus she is giving one of you a custom blog design too!

Hi, I'm Laura and I blog over at Girl in Flight!

Whenever I'm asked if I want to do a guest-post I get the blogging version of stage fright. I sort of nod wordlessly at my computer screen before being like, "Yeah, I'll do it!". What will I write? I'm rubbish at fashion, I have about 0.1% of the fashion sense of an amoeba. I look at bloggers like Katie and think, "I want to be beautiful and fashionable!" before putting on my staple of coloured skinny jeans, a stripy top, a cardigan and a scarf. See?

Albeit the cardigan was missing, but hey, it was our hottest day in the UK a whole 19c! (That's about 66F!). Knowing our weather that will be the hottest day this year so I was pretty excited to only be wearing one layer!

When I'm not worrying about being a total fashion disaster, I spend my time hanging out with my lovely husband, Simon, our very, very old hamster Hercules and our two adorable rabbits Sophie and Rory. When they get bored of me (thankfully, not often!) I design blogs and take lots and lots of photographs!

This is my favourite self-portrait of us, mostly because I fell out of the tree right after it was taken!
So, for my give away I am offering one reader of For Lauren and Lauren a free custom blog design from my Etsy shop Sophie&Rory (any guess who it was named after?!). The winner will receive a custom blog design complete to their specifications with any additional add-ons. And if you just can't wait to see if you won, all readers of For Lauren and Lauren are entitled to a 10% discount when using the code FORLAUREN.

Thank you reading and thank you to Katie for being such a sweetheart and having me over! Good luck!

Thank you Laura for your post and sweet giveaway!