. . . for Lauren and Lauren: November 2013

November 30, 2013

The Uglier the Better

sweater and shirt: old navy    jeggings: walmart   boots: target

One of my favorite things lately is graphic sweaters, like this heart one from Old Navy last year.  Although I have to admit that the other day I dressed Addilyn and realized we pretty much have the same sweatshirt. 
Which made me question my outfit choices since I seemed to be right on par with the wardrobe of a four month old.  
Speaking of graphic sweaters I was surprised to see ugly Christmas sweaters at Target the other day.  It is a little funny to buy something with the intentions of having it look the"ugliest."  I have sadly only been to one ugly Christmas sweater party and I don't even have a picture to prove it.  Where was instagram four years ago? 
Thankfully I know that if I was invited to an Ugly Christmas sweater party this year I'd have a whole lot of choices thanks to Target.  Which is good because when I went in search for one at a thrift store a few years ago, I found nothing.  Here are a few other options

Do you have an annual Ugly Christmas sweater party?  Want to invite me? 


This post is brought to you by Target, but all opinions and content are my own.  Follow along with #hilariousholiday

November 29, 2013

An emotional attachment

sweater: american eagle    pants: old navy   scarf: discovery   flats: target

I have way more clothes than I actually wear and quite often take way too long to get rid of something in my closet.  It isn't until I go a really long time without wearing something that I consider getting rid of it.  But then I often talk myself out of it because I have either a dumb sentimental feeling to an item of clothing or I convince myself it will be in style as soon as I drop it off at the thrift store. 

This sweater is thankfully one that I didn't follow through with getting rid of even though I haven't worn it in years.  After seeing a similar outfit in people magazine I'm glad I kept it, plus it is one of those items that comes with an emotional attachment.  My girlfriends from high school used to have an annual Christmas party and secret santa throughout high school, college and a few years after.  Sadly we haven't done it in a few years due to everyone living in different places, but this sweater was from my friend Shannon and makes me think about those high school sleepover days when I wear it. 

Tell me I'm not alone with the emotional connection to clothing?


November 27, 2013

Black Friday

sweater: kohls   t-shirt: old navy  belt: H&M  jeggings: walmart  boots: dsw

My favorite day of the year may just be the day after Thanksgiving.  It is the day we go cut down our Christmas tree and spend the evening decorating my parents tree, eating pizza and listening to Christmas music.  

While shopping isn't our first priority on Black Friday the girls in the family do like to do a little shopping! We usually only go to one or two stores and of course Target is one of them.  We definitely aren't extremely early shoppers and usually go in the afternoon when the crowds aren't crazy.  (Although with Addilyn not sleeping much at night lately I may as well be out shopping!)

A few years ago my mom and sister started a tradition to buy some sort of holiday platter or serving dish each year.  It's been fun to add to my collection and last year we ended up going with a big white serving plate, since we started getting a lot of holiday things.  I'd love to get something a little different this year like these appetizer plates or this canister.  

I'd also love to get some Christmas presents like this baby doll stroller for my niece and this soft book set for Addilyn.  I've actually already taken advantage of Target's pre Black Friday sales I bought a few women's sweaters for gifts since they were 40% off.  I may need to go back and buy one for myself! It's definitely a good idea to check out the deals online so you don't miss anything. 

What are your Black Friday plans?  Are you a crazy Black Friday shopper? 


This post is brought to you by Target but all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Follow along at #mykindofholiday.


November 26, 2013

Hello Four Months

Dear Addilyn, 

It's hard to believe that you are four months old already. I have a feeling I'm going to say that every month though.  This month has been so fun as you're little personality is coming out more and more.  You are such a happy baby and smile a lot! Your big gummy smile and beautiful big eyes are one of my favorite things about you.  

You still love the mornings and it's my favorite time of the day with you.  We sit on the living room floor, I drink my coffee and we play for about an hour before you take a nap.  Most of the time we are on the floor you quickly roll over to your tummy.  You finally don't mind being on your stomach for a good amount of time, but you aren't so great at getting back to your back when you're done.  
You notice so much now! You love looking at and watching Molly and don't even mind when she licks you.  You love looking at things around our house and love playing with all your toys.  It's funny to me that you already have an opinion of what things you like to play with and what you don't care for.  
This month you got a pretty bad cold.  It was so sad.  You had a hard time breathing out of your nose and were so stuffy, with a bad cough.  We had two incredibly rough nights where we both slept terribly!  That started your bad sleeping phase, which you are still in!  We are anxiously awaiting for you to grow out of it and go back to being a pretty decent sleeper.  You probably find it funny at the different things that I try to attribute your bad sleeping to and all the things that I try to get you to sleep, when it probably just comes down to the fact that you aren't ready to sleep for long stretches and just aren't a great sleeper. (yet, hopefully!). 

You take most of your naps in your crib and although I like having some time to get things done myself, I miss those naps on the cough and your snuggles.  So once in awhile I hold you while you nap and I hope you keep letting me do it here and there because I love it! 

This month we celebrated Halloween and you dressed up as the cutest cow ever! I've never been a fan of Halloween until this year.  It's much more fun with a baby, even though you won't remember it.  We went to your cousins house to see them all dressed up and then stopped at Uncle Jacob's and Aunt Lauren's on our way home.  Next year you'll get to go trick or treating with them!
So many of the pictures that I try to take look like this because you are always moving. You also started laughing a lot.  Sometimes you do this almost fake sounding laugh and it is so funny.  But a handful of times you've given us this full on belly laugh with this little higher pitched giggle and I'm not sure anything has ever made me smile bigger.  I can't wait until you do that all the time!
You're getting really good at taking pictures and most of the time we can get you to smile! I hope you keep cooperating for pictures because I plan to continue to take a ton of them.  I still love dressing you every day, which is a good thing because since you drool all the time we go through about four outfits a day. I keep thinking all this drooling will result in some teeth but so far you are teeth free!

I'm pretty sure this next month is going to be my favorite as we get to celebrate Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  I can't wait to do all of our traditions with you and start some new ones too.  I love the happy, sweet little girl you are turning into and love watching you grow but wouldn't mind if time would slow down just a little.   You continue to be such a blessing and I still have moments where I can't believe that I am your mom.  I love you so much Addilyn Jane and think you are the best thing ever!


your mom

November 25, 2013

a little holiday inspiration

Normally I wait until the day after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas but this year I started a week early.  Every year I'm sad that everything is up for such a short amount of time so I decided I'd give it an extra week.  Plus I am extra excited for everything holiday because of Addilyn. Not like she will remember this year, but it seems like much more fun.

My favorite two Christmas decorations are my pinecone window and my glitter wine bottles.  
For the pinecones I hot glued pine cones to ribbon and then tied them to another strand of ribbon that I hung at the top of the window, and then I added some bows.  (Sorry for the poor photos.  Someday, someday I will learn how to use my camera properly.)

For the glittery vases I spray painted wine bottles and then used spray adhesive and rolled them in Epsom salt.  Although quite the glittery mess to take out and put away each year, I love them!

I have most of our decorations out and besides needing to get our Christmas tree, we definitely need a stocking for Addilyn.  I also want new ones for Chris and I so that they all match.  I've been looking online for stockings and these would be perfect! I love that they can be personalized too!
Personalized Christmas Stocking Chevron and Dots
How cute do they all look hanging together?

Christmas Stockings for the Family in Chevron - 4
Stephanie is the talented owner of Ooh Baby designs and I'm sure you've seen her scarves and totes around the blogging world or on etsy or facebook.  To help get your house ready for the holiday season, she also has a line of table runners.  From ones for Thanksgiving to everyday and a bunch of cute ones for Christmas:
Christmas Table Runner in Chevron and Burlap Snowflakes, Christmas Decor
Christmas Table Runner in Chevron and Burlap Reindeer
Christmas Table Runner in Chevron Monogrammed
Christmas Table Runner in Chevron and Burlap Peace, Joy
1 / 2 / 3 / 4

And lucky for you, Stephanie is giving away one of the table runners pictures above!  Enter below for a chance to win:  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And make sure to check out the rest of her shop! 


November 24, 2013

Fall Flannel Layers

I used to get subscriptions to a few magazines and in the last year or so I stopped getting them and didn't realize how much I missed looking through them.  I usually look on pinterest for outfit inspiration, but was surprised how many outfit ideas I got from looking through these magazines.  Plus it somehow seems much more relaxing to flip through magazines then sit at my computer.  Especially when it is accompanied by a cup of coffee and a napping baby.

What makes these magazines even better is that I went to Target to get them and when you purchase the December issues of People StyleWatch and InStyle together, you get a $5 gift card to spend at Target.  Target, fashion magazines and a gift card? That is three favorite things right there.  

I wanted to find a good fall outfit to copy with things I already owned, and loved these two looks from InStyle.  I loved the "trip home" outfits and thought with my new blazer I could copy the outfit on the right.  I also love the graphic sweaters and own a few of them, like this heart sweater and owl sweatshirt.  Good thing they are still considered trendy because I don't plan on stopping wearing them anytime soon!

But my favorite fall inspiration I found was in People StyleWatch.  I loved the crochet looking sweater layered over the flannel shirt.  I just bought this red flannel shirt from Old Navy and was excited to wear it. 

Of course I found my inspiration on their deal page, however I still think their items are a little expensive.  My flannel shirt was only $15, and my trusty Walmart jeggings were only $13.  I usually get too hot when I wear layered clothes, so even though I love the look I often don't wear it.  But because this sweater is short sleeved and lightweight I can handle it! 

Here's the look so you can shop for yourself:

fall people magazine copy

And don't forget to head to Target and buy your copies of InStyle and People StyleWatch so you can get some fall fashion inspiration and a $5 Target gift card!


November 23, 2013

an idea to support

For most years when shopping for Christmas presents or really just presents for anything, I bought most of my gifts at Target, Old Navy or a similar store.  Now I do love those stores (a lot); however, I've started buying more and more things on groopdealz, etsy and other online boutique like stores.  

One of the reasons I do so, is because I truly love buying handmade items.  I love the idea of each one being different and also like personalized gifts.  I like supporting individuals who are working hard at something they love doing.  I was so interested and impressed when I read about this company, Rickshaw Bagworks, which is a unique company that runs out of  a small brick warehouse in an old industrial neighborhood in San Francisco. 


Their company prides itself on creating custom made bags, backpacks and totes that are handmade and leave behind no waste.   For example, this messenger bag is named Zero after the amount of waste generated during the production of creating it.  Like all of their products, Rickshaw Bags aims to make everything they produce meet their three f's as they call it: form, function and footprint.  Their goal is to make "high-quality products for long-term, everyday use." 
I found it quite impressive when I read that each bag is designed in a way that lets them use every part of the fabric that they cut.  While no seamstress myself, I know I waste quite a bit of fabric when I make any kind of project and end up throwing it away.  It's neat that this company truly tries and succeeds at making ZERO waste, from not printing catalogs to minimizing their packaging.  

While minimum wage is $10.55 in San Fransisco, Rickshaw bags pays employees $20 an hour, which interestingly is 20 times the current labor rate in China and 100 times that in Bangladesh.  For this reason and many others, this is one of those companies that makes you want to support them.  And actually kind of makes me want to work for them too.  Especially after watching this video:

One of the neatest things about Rickshaw bags is that they strive to support local businesses and vendors for outside services, like screen printing and embroidery.  But instead of driving around transporting supplies, they visit vendors by bicycle.


If I'm being honest I sadly don't do a good job of "being green."  I fail to recycle most of our things and I rarely think about ways to help our environment.  But if I am being honest, this company and reading these articles inspires me to start trying better.  I want to support companies and people like this.

"Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Once you embrace the fact that sustainable business practices save money, simplify operations, and build brand equity, you will continually seek new ways to embrace them. At the same time, you will be making things better for the environment and for future generations. After all, sustainable business is just good business."  Mark Dwight, founder of Rickshaw Bags


This is a sponsored post, however all opinions and views are my own. 

November 21, 2013

you should know . . .

jacket: c/o eshaki   tank top: target   jeans: gap

You should know that I recently got this jacket from eshakti and I love it.  Its glitters make me feel fancy and its buttons and collar kind of make me feel like I'm going to lead a marching band. I'm also loving this dress and this skirt.  The best part about their clothes is that you can make them custom made to fit you perfectly! 

You should know that sometimes I forget that getting dressed, even if I'm only running a few errands, drastically changes my mood about myself and my productivity.  Case in point: fancy jacket = better mood.

You should know that I know baby shoes are a little impractical but I want Addilyn to own these boots from Dr. Martens.  

Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donuts

You should know that I continually pin donut recipes like this one, even though I do not own a donut pan and sadly cannot make any of them.  I am thinking of asking for it for Christmas, but am wondering if it is one of those things I'll use once and then just take up space?  

You should know that I've always loved crock pot recipes, but love them now even more when I never know how much hands free time I'll get to make dinner these days.  I made this recipe on Monday and it couldn't get much easier and was delicious.  

You should know that this time of the year is my favorite and I can't wait for Sunday as my sister and family will be in town.  Hope you have a nice weekend!


November 20, 2013

why a dingo will never eat my baby

I read way too many baby board forums about babies sleeping through the night and it's starting to make me crazy.  First of all I have to say technically "sleeping through the night" means five to six hours at this age, which lets be honest is so far from sleeping through the night, because five hours means I'm up before 1:00 feeding Addilyn.  NOT sleeping through the night.  So when people say their babies are sleeping through the night I don't really know what they mean. 

I kind of (okay really) hate seeing other mom's pictures and statuses when they say how many hours their babies slept.  An immediate wave of jealousy and frustration comes over me and then lots of thoughts of what am I doing wrong.  I seriously celebrate when Addilyn sleeps a six hour stretch and wakes up only twice before 7:00.  Chalk it up to four month sleep regression, a growth spurt, having a cold or just being a baby and these days I'd celebrate her going four straight hours just once through the night. 

When she was two months old she slept a few eight hour stretches and I seriously felt like we were on top of our sleeping game.  I thought we had an above average sleeper and were in for some many sleep filled nights ahead.  Well our baby girl had a different plan, which is really no plan at all.  She is all over the place with sleeping the last month and has not repeated that eight hour stretch once.  And lately we are back to how she slept as a newborn.

Whenever I read someone's status about their champion sleeper or read a baby board post about the same, I want to know. Are they swaddled? Do you nurse them to sleep? Do you feed them on demand? Do you sneak some sleeping drugs into a night time bottle? And what I really want to ask and assume the answer is yes is "are you lying?"  Because that one always makes me feel a little better about our situation.  

This article has been the best thing I've read when it comes to sleep training.  Besides making me laugh, it reminded me that I need to relax, keep trying and do what works best for us.  Plus it's safe to say that Addilyn is just so smart she'll never get eaten by a dingo, day or night.  

So we're working on baby steps in the sleep department, even if that means sleeping on the floor in Addilyn's room as we work on transitioning her to a crib.  Just kidding.  That would just be silly.   


P.S.  I have read many different sleep approaches, received a lot of wanted and unwanted advice and am kind of at a point of where we've tried everything we are willing to try the time being, so we're just going to keep trying.  I'm banning myself from reading articles, books, and baby boards for the time being because it is making me crazy.  So if I'm being completely honest, unless you want to come over and spend the night and show me in person your successful sleeping techniques just tell me to hang in there and that babies are babies and are hard sometimes.  ; ) 

Oh and here is another article for any of your sleepless mamas that I loved.