. . . for Lauren and Lauren: June 2013

June 30, 2013

I know what you're thinking

tee: old navy    skirt: tjmaxx  necklace: curated by Kelly

Oh look, another maxi skirt and tee.  This is getting old.  

and yes I am thinking the same thing.  But I am running out of options.  I've thought about not posting outfits much since it is getting to be the same thing, but realize that posting outfits on my blog is probably one of the top motivation these days for getting dressed.  

If it weren't for that I'd only be wearing my boxer shorts and same tank top like I do most days.  And my tank top would be pulled high above my belly because I hate things touching my stomach these days.  Let's just say it's not a pretty sight.  

I am however incredibly thankful for accessories.  If it weren't for them I'd start to get even more bored with my outfit.  This is my new favorite necklace from Kelly.  I've wanted one like this for awhile and am so glad I waited until I got this one.  If you haven't checked out her shop you need to do  it.  She has so many beautiful pieces and they are not expensive either!  Win, win! :)  

Another thing that I'm thankful for is funny, cute and personable bloggers like Kaylin.  I'm happy she's back on my blog today to share with you 5 things that are better in summer.  I could easily come up with a list of 20 right away and they would include watermelon, dresses and walks.  

Sometimes you just need to be one with your outfit, if you know what I mean,
so insert awesome leopard impersonation here.....

Clearly, I nailed it.
I'm Kaylin, and I blog here at Stay  Blonde, Ski Local, or SBSL for short.  You'll hear tons about my new niece, my online shopping addiction, I'll even talk about weight gain, how I feel about blogging, and I'll confess a few personal things while I am at it as well.

I started reading Katie's blog the day I started blogging, which coincidentally was the day I started reading blogs. I immediately feel in love with her relate-ability, kind character, and adorable (and affordable) style!!!

Katie loves summer, but honestly who doesn't???
Summer is exponenially better than most all seasons, 
except maybe winter for the skiing, but for now we'll just agree it's better.
 So here are five things that are better in summer.

1.  Reading-
 sure curling up by the fire and reading sounds fun, but I usually end up falling asleep. Give me a lounge chair by the pool or lake, and a book, and it's like I blink and I've finished the book.  I love it. Super relaxing, and getting a tan while doing it. It's simply called multitasking.

2. Going to the Movies- 
Let's not pretend like the movies are 'enjoyable' in winter.  Who wants a cherry slurpee when it's raining outside? Also why must theatres run the air conditioners year round. Lay off the AC in the winter Signature Six, it's just no necessary. But when it's triple digit heat, going to the movies is AMAZING.  Plus don't all the good movies come out during summer anyways?

3. Walks- 
I love walking Zoey, try to do it every day. Though when it's cold, and I can see my breath (it doesn't even snow where I live, and overall we have mild temperatures, you Mid-Westerners are hating me right now) it's hard to find motivation to get out there and walk.  Summer is always more fun, there are more people out, everyone is happy, and you don't have to wear rain boots or a parka.

4. Dinner Dates-
 Need I say more. When the waitress asks, 'inside or outside', it's a no brainer, outside. 
In winter it's not an option. I LOVE sitting outside.

5. Road Trips-
 Traveling someplace by car isn't always fun, but when you can have your windows down, and awesome upbeat 'sing along songs', eight hours feels more like two and just like that you are at your destination, no worse for the wear.
Stop by SBSL sometime, I'd love to have you.
Also get out there and enjoy summer, it won't last forever.

Thank you Kaylin!  You know that I am much happier in the summer too! 


June 27, 2013


I started with the title of FIVE for this post in hopes of linking up to High Five for Friday but everything was far to interesting and important to take out two so seven it is.  (Please humor me as I know that none of them are all too exciting.) 

tank top: old navy   skirt: tjmaxx  

1.  We've had some pretty crazy rainy and stormy weather which means inside pictures.  And I believe I've been wearing this skirt at least three times a week.  To make me feel better please feel free to tell me that there is something you wear multiple times a week too.  

2. While I am in no place to be buying swimsuits or cover-ups with this almost 9 month belly, I'm still a bit addicted to window shopping for maternity wear, and can't help but look at cute plus size ones like I found on this site.
3. With our baby coming sometime in July I know that blogging will be a little harder at the beginning and want to be prepared and still work with sponsors.  Which is why if you sign up to sponsor in July you get to stay for August for free! That means that two months for a large ad space is only $15!  Check out details here and email me at katiejvale@yahoo.com.  

4.  Chris and I went to a wedding last week and clearly enjoyed the photobooth.  I also have to say that I stayed out to 11:00 both Friday night and Saturday night.  I shouldn't admit how proud of myself I was, but it is true.

5.  If you're looking for a blog to check out you need to check out Chelsea.  This week she shared about the perfect summer shorts which I wish I could own and wear, and showed a super cute and easy DIY project making a glitter travel mug.
6. Friday night we are having a Minute to Win it party at our house with our friends. I'm super excited to play games and eat lots of food!  I am making this delicious and easy dip.

Skinny Poolside Dip Recipe
Skinny Poolside Dip

And it is still considered skinny if you eat a large amount of it like I usually do?

7. I am still in denial that GFC is going away in a few days, but I did transfer all my blogs to bloglovin' and am ready if it really does happen.  If you currently follow through GFC make sure you find another way!  Bloglovin, facebook, twitter, or follow by email on the right. 

Happy Friday! I hope you have a great weekend!


June 26, 2013

Can I have yet another surreal moment?

dress: destination maternity    shoes: kohls

While our struggle to get pregnant came with so many hard and trying times, I can say that there have been so many blessings that have come from it.  I know there are many lessons, blessings and experiences I would have not had if we would've gotten pregnant when we wanted to. 

One of those blessings has been experiencing the power of prayer and encouragement from others.  Last weekend my mom, sister and sister in law through me a baby shower and everyone that was there has prayed for and waited for this baby.  My struggle through infertility would have been a completely different experience without these woman in my life.  Some who I shared everything with and others who just knew we were struggling and faithfully prayed for us. 

It was amazing to look around the room, full of woman who love me, love this baby and have been a part of our journey the last two and half years.  People from all areas of my life: work, college, high school, family, and even a few of my mom's friends who have been constantly praying for me were there. It was a room full of good listeners, prayer warriors, women full of encouragement and love who have been there for me.
 My sister gave this beautiful talk that brought me (and many others) to tears.  Sharing how wanted this baby is and how prayed for and loved she already is.  She also gave some amazing advice and encouragement to me as a new mom (which I will have her share here soon). 
The whole shower was wonderful.  I felt loved, blessed and so excited to tell my baby how many amazing woman helped me through all the waiting we did for her.   Just writing all this out, makes me all teary knowing how blessed I am.  Not that I would ever choose to go through what we did to get pregnant, but I have to say how thankful I am to have been able to experience feeling blessed in this way.
I'm pretty confident that this baby couldn't be more loved.  And now that my showers are over and everything is ready she can come any time!!


June 25, 2013

I'm officially starting to. . .

dress and tank top: target (a few years ago?)

carry a full term baby that is the size of a watermelon.

grunt and moan most times I have to bend over to pick something up or put on my shoes. 

be able to hold my hand entirely under my belly and not be able to see it. 
feel like I could be pregnant for 5 more weeks after my appointment today when I heard that nothing is happening down there.  She is head down but still really high.  

would like to hear some encouraging stories of no progress at all but still having a baby a week or two later.  

feel like some days are going by very slowly and although anxious about labor, getting unbelievably excited to meet our baby girl.  


June 24, 2013

So many deals

shirt, short, & sandals: target 

I should first say that when I went outside to take pictures, Chris asked me why I was taking pictures of this outfit.  (insert defensive and offended response) 

He told me I usually take pictures when I look more "dressed up" and never in shorts.  Now I do rarely wear shorts, but felt the need to tell him I still thought this outfit was cute and needed to share the good deals I got them for.  Plus I will take pictures these days whenever I am actually dressed.  

This shirt (which I should add the it says "in love" after the let's get lost, but it's hidden by my big belly) was $3 and the shorts were $12.  

I also recently got the dress I posted yesterday from Target for $11.  Can I say the unnecessary that I love Target?

I also got some great deals on baby stuff this week at garage sales.  I was beyond excited at all the sweet toys and baby things I found for such good deals.  It's crazy how expensive baby things and toys are and awesome how cheap you can buy them from other people for!

An activity mat, lots of board books, puzzles, blocks, a little bowling pin set, foam blocks, many other baby toys, a car seat base, and a push car all for under $30!!   I couldn't have been happier to spend that afternoon washing and organizing all this stuff!

Speaking of finding good deals, I had the chance to share about my deal finding abilities over at Shop At Home where you can find all kinds of coupons and deals.  Check out my post here.

And if that wasn't enough, today I get to share with you a blogging friend that is also a pro at finding good deals and is going to share her tips with you.  Samantha is a friend that I made near the beginning of blogging and I love reading her blog about her cute, stylish self, adorable little boy and just announced second baby on the way! 

Hi everyone! My name is Samantha and I blog over at Hooah and Hiccups. Katie's blog is one of the blogs I read religiously and one of the first ones I discovered when I started blogging. As you know, she is super cute and stylish and all about finding great deals! Today, I thought I would share some of my personal tips for shopping on a budget. 

People often hear shopping on a budget and automatically assume that means shopping for cheap clothes. Just because I get my clothes for less than they were originally listed, doesn't mean they're any less quality or lacking style. It's all about training your eye and knowing what to look for! Here are a few of the tips I recommend when hitting the stores:

1. Check out the sale and clearance racks before looking at the rest of the store. Even if an item seems "out of season", you can pair it with leggings, a cardigan, or the right shoes and make it weather appropriate. 

2. Know what stores have coupons. Express is my favorite store in the whole wide world but if we are being honest, I think they are overpriced. I only buy things there when they have the coupons like Spend $50 get $15 off or spend $250 and get $60 off etc. 

3. Buy items that can be mixed and matched with other items. Most of the tops and pants in my closet are solid colors that can be worn with everything. Patterned items are fun, but they are less practical. Spend majority of your budget on staple items and throw a few patterned things in here and there. 

4. Spend most of your budget on things you can wear everyday. Sure, that pair of Jimmy Choo's or that Dolce and Gabbana suit are super cute, but can you wear those to the park or a night walking on the town? It's okay to spend a little more on things you really want, but make sure they aren't going to sit in your closet and collect dust. 

5. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize! A simple scarf, bracelet, or statement necklace can totally change the feel of an outfit. I've found this is the easiest way to dress an outfit up or down. And most of the time, these items are all found on clearance or sale! 

I'd be happy to answer any personal questions you may have as well. I make fun of my husband because whenever we go shopping, his one item adds up to be the same price of my 5 items. I have perfected the art of bargain hunting and still maintaining my style and when given enough practice, so can you!

Thanks again to Katie for having me and I hope you'll stop by and say hello :) 


June 23, 2013

as if I needed proof

dress: target ($11 recent)  necklace: groopdealz   flats: target

I know I've shared before that there is no doubt that Chris has ADD.  And while I do find it quite annoying sometimes, there are times when I just have to laugh about it.  

Which I did when we were looking through some of our maternity pictures and the multiple pictures we have where Chris is clearly distracted.  

Clearly it didn't bother me at the beginning.  See I do laugh at him once in awhile?

This would be mid sentence most likely telling him to stop doing that. 

There were about four pictures with Chris pointing to things.  A plane, an animal, a fish jumping in the water.

And this one I may look like I'm smiling but was probably more forcefully trying to push his head away, saying we were clearly done with the kissing belly photos.

I definitely do not need proof that Chris is easily distracted but clearly have it. 


Don't forget to enter to win $25 in Starbucks cards, an ulta gift card, design credit and some sweet accessories! Enter here!

Linking up to: Funday Monday

June 20, 2013

Nursery Rhymes and Natural Birth

The other week Chris and I ended up laying on the floor of the nursery looking through some of our baby books and started reading some of the nursery rhymes in one of the books.  (Definitely one of those moments that I will not forget as we get ready for our baby to be here!) There were a handful we didn't know so Chris was looking them up on his phone.  

We came across the nursery rhyme Goosey Goosey Gander and after reading about taking an old man and throwing him down the stairs we had to look it up online.  

Have you ever heard of this nursery rhyme? Who would write this and think you should sing it to your babies?  We got quite the kick out of it. 

Somehow after watching that video we were led to a video about natural child birth. (I must be looking up only motherhood videos on you tube)  Let's just say that I won't be posting this video online as it was a woman giving birth in the middle of a stream in a jungle and I was a little disturbed.  And I'll let you know that it made me quite scared for labor.  Thankfully I will not be delivering my baby in a jungle.


June 19, 2013

Saw it, Pinned it, Win it

My niece and nephew both have birthdays in May but we were waiting until they visited in June to celebrate.  I decided to make them something for their gifts and wanted to make Lena an apron.  I saw lots of tutorials online, but I always think most of them look harder than what I want to do so I just made one myself.  

Like most of my projects I didn't measure things, but still took pictures in case you want to make one yourself!

1. Cut out two pieces for the front and back of your apron in an "apron" shape. 
2. Cut out a rectangle for the pocket.
3. Fold down and iron all four sides of the rectangle.  Sew the top side down and leave open on your apron.  Then sew down the other three sides. 
4. Cut out two long stripes for the side ties.  Fold them in half and iron down.  Sew them alone the edges and along one skinny side.  Flip inside out. (This is time consuming and kind of annoying!)
5. Make another strip for the neck doing the same thing.  Lay your apron pieces back to back and put your ties laying on the inside because you are going to flip the whole apron right side in when you're done. 
6. Only a little of each tie should be sticking out.  Pin and sew along the edges leaving an opening to turn it right side in.  Hand sew your hole shut.  

I hope that makes sense! I know I fail a little at thorough directions, but overall it was pretty simple. 

For my nephew's gift I made him a car caddy following this tutorial.  I didn't print out the pattern for the car but just made my own, as I made it a little different size.  I love how it turned out!

Now for the win it part! It actually has nothing to do with those two projects but it sounded good for the title.   And I think you'll like winning these prizes more than the gifts I made.  One lucky winner will win all this from my June sponsors.  If you're wanting to be a part of next month's giveaway, check out my sponsor information here!

Delilah Bib Necklace from Curated by Kelly

$10 Starbucks giftcard from Hooah and Hiccups

Nordstrom "Botanical Scarf" from Stay Blonde Ski Local

$15 Design Credit to Olive & Ivy Designs

$10 Ulta Gift Card from Texas Mrs.

$10 Starbucks Gift Card from Sunny Tails & Happy Mail

Item of your choice from CJ's Craft Corner & $5 Starbucks Gift Card


Linking up to: saw it, pinned it, did it