. . . for Lauren and Lauren: May 2013

May 30, 2013

High Five for Friday

jeggings: Walmart    tee: old navy    wedges: shoe carnival     necklace: caroline g

1.  I am starting to feel limited in what I can wear and what is comfortable and am starting to wear the same pieces over and over like this jeggings from Walmart.  $10 was definitely money well spent!

2.  My class threw me a surprise baby shower this week.  It was wonderful!  One of the mom's made a little scrapbook/photo album and had the kids write advice for me.  I'll have to share some of them in another post next week!  

3.  As a thank you to my parent volunteers this year I made this popcorn.  I've seen many recipes like this on pinterest but managed to make it even easier than those. 

Pop two bags of popcorn and take out any kernels.  Melt one package of white almond bark and pour over popcorn.  Mix it all up.  Add a bag of M&M's.  Spread out on wax paper, pour sprinkles over it and let it hardened before breaking it up.  

It made plenty for these three bags and left me with lots to eat myself! 

4.  I am so excited because Chris and I recently found and booked our newborn photographer.  I get beyond excited when I think of all the adorable pictures she is going to take of our baby girl!  And I can't wait to use those pictures to send out baby announcements.  I love finding websites that have really simple and easy to edit cards like Signazon.  This is one of my favorite birth announcements.  

5.  Speaking of cards, I have been writing a few thank you notes already but have yet to have my main baby shower and know I will be writing a lot more! I found this cute baby shower card that I was able edit to say thank you.   I think it will be perfect for sending thank you notes after my shower!

Happy Friday! I hope you have a great weekend!


May 29, 2013

Can I even call this a DIY project?

This project was so easy I'm not even sure it qualifies as a real DIY project, but I love it and figured I needed to share it with you anyway. 

I saw baskets similar to this online at pottery barn (of course I can't find them now to share) for over $25 and would not pay that much so I made my own for $12!

I found my basket at Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon so it was only $10.  The chalkboard tags come in packs of 10 and they were $2. (I have more baskets in the closet that I plan to label with these.)  I already had the rope, hole puncher and chalk.  

I took one chalkboard tag, wrote toys on it, punched two holes on the side and tied it to the basket.

At this point you're probably wondering why I would even include directions to this.  I don't know either. I'm sure you would be smart enough to figure it out, but I wanted to write about accomplishing a project so here it is.  

And in case that isn't exciting enough for you I have a blogger friend to introduce you to.  Nadine is the sweet and beautiful girl behind Back East Blonde, where she blogs about her life with her puppy and her boyfriend on the east coast.  Today she is sharing with you the difference between what you may say your favorite book and what your real favorite book is.  I definitely enjoyed reading it and agree with her on a few of her favorites too!
Have you ever asked someone what their favorite book is? 

This question usually only comes up in a situation where you've run out of things to talk about and are pulling out all the stops to avoid awkward silence. Or you're at a book club meeting. 

Everyone has a book that they say is their favorite book. But they're lying.

The book inevitably makes them sound smarter than they are. It's almost like there is a list of books that are supposed to be your favorites. The socially acceptable favorites. My go-to is To Kill a Mockingbird. It was one of the only books I read in school that I sort of enjoyed.

I'm sure there are more that go on this list. Just insert any classic that I undoubtably read the SparkNotes version of in high school.

But the truth is, my actual favorite books would never be read in the classroom. In most social situations, if I claimed these were my favorite books, I'd get a giggle or two. 

1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling

I laughed out loud through most of this book. Just a warning in case you were planning on reading it with anyone else around. I want Mindy as my BFF. It's because of this book that I became a devout fan of The Mindy Project. 

2. BossyPants by Tina Fey

If you didn't have enough laugh out loud moments from Mindy, then Tina's your girl. I liked her on SNL, I loved her as Liz Lemon, but the real Tina, she's my favorite.

3. Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah

I like to call this a "beach read." A professor of literature might call it trash. You could also call it therapy. This book is a story. It sweeps you away and you forget you are reading for hours. It got me through my worst breaks up ever. For that alone, it will always be on my list.

4. Anything by Nicholas Sparks

Have you ever thought about the fact that this man has a wife? If he's one tenth as romantic in real life as his books are, I think he should be traveling the country providing lessons to the men of America. I'd send my guy. Just sayin'.

5. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

Duh. I re-read the series every few years. I love it. I'm also frequently judged for having a framed replica Harry Potter wand on my wall. Some call it over the top. I call it awesome. [Note: I'm sure this is read in some schools. But it will never replace the classics, even if it should]

For the three people who read this post who swear that some classic is your favorite book, I applaud you. The reality of reading is this: read what you enjoy. Happy summer reading!

Thank you Nadine!! And I'm pretty sure my sister just may be one of those three people so I'm curious to see what she says!  

Don't forget to go visit Nadine and her cute blog!  Hope you are having a good week!

and if you haven't entered to win $50 to Kintage, do that here!


Linking up to: Saw it, Pinned it

May 28, 2013

Watermelon dress and $50 for you

dress: c/o kintage    necklace: target ($8 clearance)   sandals: target

I was so excited to get a chance to wear another dress from Kintage.  I am always looking at their store and love all of their things!  I was really happy to be able to pick out a dress that I can wear at 33 weeks pregnant, but also after the baby too!

Even though it feels like it should be summer weather, we've had some crazy weather with it being either really hot or a little chilly.  I love that I can wear this dress with my chambray top over it too.  Which means I'll get to keep wearing it throughout summer and fall too!

And the best news is that Kintage is giving away a $50 giftcard to one lucky reader!  I am incredibly indecisive and would have such a hard time choosing what I would do with $50.  Here are some of my favorite items: 

  maxi dress      maxi skirt       polka dot dress

I'm sure you'll have a hard time choosing if you win! Enter below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be contacted after the 4th! Thanks for entering!


Linking up to: pleated poppy   random wednesday

May 27, 2013

Weekend randoms

I got this dress at JCPenney a few weeks ago for $15 and love that it is a stretchy, comfy non-maternity dress I know I will wear after the baby!

I imagine reading lots of posts about Memorial Day weekends being spent on beaches or outside grilling with lots of friends.  I can say mine was quite the opposite but it was wonderful.  Every night this weekend Chris and I were home, on the couch or in bed, watching movies.  We've been so busy lately that it was perfect!

We did run a few errands on Sunday and I found these shoes at DSW.   Thanks to a $10 coupon they were only $8. 

I also spent some time organizing things in the nursery.  I took apart the diaper cake we got and I loved putting away these tiny little diapers.  I'm sure some time in the future I won't enjoy diapers but right now I love it!

I also washed the huge amount of hand me downs we got a few weeks ago.  I can honestly say folding and sorting these baby girl clothes was one of the best things I've ever done.  

And I plan on ending this long weekend by watching the Bachelorette tonight! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!


May 26, 2013

I want . . .

dress: c/o pinkblush maternity  

this dress to last me through pregnancy. Here's the dress at 20 weeks and 32 weeks. 

to be on dancing with the stars and I want to be Derek's partner.
to eat brown cinnamon sugar pop tarts all the time and I want them to be healthy. 

to read some baby/parenting books as soon as school gets out.  Any suggestions from you moms out there?
(I do own Happiest Baby on the Block already) 

you to meet these two ladies:

Destini from The Healthy Wife.

Destini is a Canadian newlywed who loves blogging about delicious recipes like this egg frittata or cold ninja juice.  Not only does she blog about recipes, but recently started Fitness Friday Check-ins where she checks in with how her workouts and week has been going.  Being a wanna be photographer, as she says, makes her blog even more appealing with her great pictures!

Next is Sara from Social Sara.

Sara's blog is a mix of everything, which I think top my lists of favorite kinds of blogs, as she writes a little about fashion, food, travel and home decor.  My favorite kind of posts though, are ones where I get a glimpse into other's lives and I loved reading about Sara's anniversary and what she's learned from six years of marriage.  Sara is a sweet Southern girl that you will love! 

Hope you are enjoying your weekend! Happy Memorial Day!


May 23, 2013


dress: H&M   necklace: old navy  sandals: ? 

1.  This last Tuesday marks 32 weeks.  Hard to believe that in less than 8 weeks our baby girl will be here!
2.  Last weekend Chris and I took a childbirth class and we both liked it and learned a lot.  We did have one spurt of embarrassing laughter when we were trying to practice our breathing.  Thankfully we still passed!  

3.  Since school is almost over, and hopefully a lot of our busyness too, I plan on actually making dinner a few nights a week.  This is on my list for this weekend:

Southern Style Chicken Salad
Southern Chicken Salad

4.  Want to sponsor for Lauren and Lauren in June? I'm thinking with this sweet baby coming in July I will probably change things up for a bit with group features and giveaways, so now is your chance to participate! Take 20% off large and medium ad sizes for June.  Check here for more details and email me at katiejvale@yahoo.com.

5.  Tomorrow our class is going on a pioneer field trip.  All day long.  Two hours on a bus. And I have to dress like a pioneer.  I can say I will be happy when it is over.  

Hope you have a great weekend!


May 22, 2013

My love for Amazon

Months ago Chris spent a good amount of time convincing me that we needed to sign up for Amazon Prime. You pay a fee each year but then get really fast, free shipping and also get points for future purchases.

I finally gave in and am so thankful I did because it's come in real handy with buying our baby furniture.  

The first time we looked at Buy Buy Baby and looked at cribs I was surprised how expensive they were.  So I was really excited when we found the same cribs on Amazon for so much cheaper.  We ended up getting our crib, dresser and glider from there and each was under $200 (plus we had points so they were even cheaper).  

Lucky for you, you have a chance to win two Amazon gift cards, along with Target and Ulta gift cards and other great prizes from my May sponsors! 

And I definitely plan on sharing more picture of our nursery and how I made our baby girl's bedding soon! 

$15 Amazon gift card from Back East Blonde

Media Kit Design from Wifessionals

$15 Design Credit to Olive & Ivy

$15 Amazon gift card from Pursuit of Pink

$10 Credit to Sweet Piper Lane  from Social Sara

$10 Ulta gift card from Beauty by Arielle

Wine sippy cup and large ad space from Hey Hollywood

$10 gift card to Target from Everyday with the Jays

Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you for entering!  The winner will be contacted after the 27th! 
Want to be included in next month's giveaway?  I have a handful of large and medium ad spaces open for June for 20% off! Check here for more details! I'd love to work with you!

May 21, 2013

I was a runner

dress: old navy   belt: target   shoes: dsw 

I've considered myself a runner for at least the last 8 years or so.  I have finished a few marathons, half marathons and other races.  But a week or so ago my confidence in my ability to still be a "runner" was a little shattered.  

I had every intention of being one of those pregnant woman that run up until they are due.  Well that quickly went out the window when I was on bed rest for a big chunk of the beginning of my pregnancy, then too scared to be running and then too late to start running while pregnant.  So I've stuck to walking. 

I was walking outside the other day and a bee flew in my hair.  Which I think will always make me run.  I ran probably 5 yards.  You would have thought I ran at least a mile.  Running with this belly was a complete change in my sense of gravity and I immediately felt like I was front heavy, carrying another person.  Oh wait I guess I am.  But a very very small person. 

I was out of breathe, hot, tired and then also slightly concerned.  

It's hard to imagine getting back into running shape and becoming a runner again. But I sure plan on working on it in the Fall.  

On a different note this may be my favorite maternity outfit so far.  I got this dress this Winter at Old Navy for less than $5.  It's not a maternity dress, just extra baggy! 


May 20, 2013

Giving In

 tee: shade clothing maternity     pants: walmart     scarf: gap

First thing:  I don't want this post to sound like I answered the interview question: "What is your weakness?" with "I just don't know when to stop working," or "I love the kids too much and take my work home with me."  Because I truly do this to a fault and will hopefully communicate what I am trying to work on. 

I have a very hard time giving into things.  I've always been really stubborn and disciplined and I think that can be a good thing and has.  A good thing when training for a marathon or working really hard at my job.  A good thing with exercising daily and working on the relationships around me. 

But a really poor thing when I try to control everything.  

This pregnancy has challenged me with a whole new level of giving in and it's starting to give me anxiety because I'm not doing it.  Even with little things like giving myself a break with not stressing out about what I eat, how often I'm not exercising and how much weight I'm gaining.  I need to give in to what my body needs to do, and do so with an attitude that this is what I need to do and to be content with it.  

But on a greater note I'm feeling less in control of the future than I ever have.  I don't know what it will look like to be a mom.  I don't have the answers of how Chris and I are going to adapt well and quickly to parenthood.  I don't know the exact time I'm going to go back to work, or how insurance is going to work out.  I can't control how much money Chris makes in his business.  

I'm failing quite miserably at giving in to a future that I can not control.  You may think that I would have learned this already, as I've written multiple posts about giving God control.  But here I am today filled with anxiety about what our future will look like.  My stubbornness and desire for everything to be in order are making me fearful and emotional.  

So I am working on giving in to my body, my relationship with Chris, our finances and our future changing.  Handing over my stubbornness and control and having confidence that God will take care of it.