. . . for Lauren and Lauren: 2018

December 26, 2018

Have some Christmas money to spend??

Do any of you have some Christmas money to spend? Or things to exchange? My grandma always gives the grandkids some money for Christmas and I love being able to pick out something fun and feel zero guilt about buying it.  Not that that stops me from buying things other time, just the zero guilt part. ;) 

I recently got to pick out some new items from Shein and I can't wait to get them.  One of my friends recently bought a dress I posted and she got it within a week which I was pretty impressed by.  Also you can use code katiejvale20 for 20% off your order!  Here's a few things I'm loving from their site: 

 one  //  two
I have the one on the right in yellow and grey and LOVE it.  It's oversized and one of my favorite sweaters.
three  //  four
I just ordered the one on the left and can't wait to get it!
 five  //  six

I'm not a huge off the shoulder fan, but I think both of these can be worn normal and look so cozy!
Basically I want anything that is oversized and cozy.  From not until at least March, right? I hope you all had a wonderful pictures.  Hopefully I'll make a post soon sharing some of our last few days!
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December 13, 2018

Teddy bear hug

 sweatshirt: c/o shein   leggings: target  boots: target

This sweatshirt feels like what it would be like to be hugged by a huge teddy bear.  Without the claustrophobic part for me.  It is so stinkin soft.  I got a small and it is still really big.  It's pretty warm, which is perfect because I hate wearing coats so I'm counting this as one.  

My sister and I bought these boots from Target on Thanksgiving when we were sitting in my car waiting for the Turkey trot to start.  Kind of an impulse buy as I forget that I even ordered them when they came in the mail.  Oops.  But they were only $15 and I love them, so I don't regret it on bit.  

Happy almost weekend!  We had a sick kid with the stomach flu yesterday and I am praying hard that no one else gets it.  We have Chris' work party this weekend, which equals a night away for us and I would be so disappointed to miss it!

(Use code katiejvale20 for 20% off anything you order from shein!) 

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December 12, 2018

See you tomorrow UPS man.

top: c/o shein    jeans: american eagle   boots: just fab

The other day Rosie was outside when the UPS guy came and she just barks like crazy and can't decide if she wants to be friendly or protective and also doesn't listen to me when I call her.  It made for quite an awkward interaction and the guy wouldn't just walk away.  Finally I told him "you can just give me the package and go and she'll relax.  I'm sorry!" He responded, "Okay, see you tomorrow."  


In my defense many are Christmas presents for other people, but I have had my share of clothes this Winter.  One new one being this top.  These kinds of tops are my favorite.  Super comfortable and cute and perfect for Fall or Winter.  This one I just got and it was $16 (but you can use code katiejvale20 to get 20% off your order).  I still am singing praises of American Eagle jeans and now own probably four pairs of them and love each of them.  

(If you don't want to tie it you can wear it loose or tucked in and I love it that way too!) 

Oh and in my defense I did NOT see him tomorrow.  Just the day after. 

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December 11, 2018

o christmas tree

It's been far too long since I've posted pictures of just our family and a just for "fun."  I was looking back at my blog and at pictures from years past and realize that is my favorite thing about blogging, is that I have all these years of memories and pictures in one place.  I want to get back to doing that! I didn't even do a post about Addi's birthday this summer, which I want to do. Ya know, just six months late.  Oops.  Someday.  

Getting our Christmas tree is my favorite day of the year.  We always go the day after Thanksgiving. We go to the same place we've gone since I was little.  First thing in the morning.  We take a tractor out to cut down a tree, eat homemade donuts they make there and take our trees home.  That night we go back to my parents house and we all help them decorate their tree.  The kids all get matching pajamas and we eat pizza.  This day is full of so many traditions and makes my heart so happy.  

We waited until the next day to decorate our tree. We spent the day in pajamas and had a super low key day, which was perfect after a few busy ones with Thanksgiving.  I love that our kids are old enough to start actually decorating the tree, and not just attempting to eat ornaments.

And this is her new thing when we try to take pictures.  I think I'd rather have this one then when she rolls her eyes back in her head.  Five year olds. ;)

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December 10, 2018

RIP Camera

 dress: c/o  shein

I used to wear dresses all the time.  Dresses like this with leggings or tights and boots in the Winter. I think I forgot how comfortable they are! I recently got this dress and I love it.  (I got a size small and in my opinion it runs a little big.)  It's only $14 and easy to dress up with tights and booties, or dress down a little with taller boots and leggings.  (You can use the code katiejvale20 for 20% off your order at shein.)

Also I attempted to take pictures outside with my tripod and timer and my camera fell over and smashed the glass on the lens.  RIP camera.  I rarely use it and can't decide if it's worth getting it fixed or just upgrading to a better phone camera.  Either way, mirror selfies it is for now.  

 I'm already sad thinking about Christmas being over because I absolutely love everything about it. Our Christmas tree being my favorite I think.  I usually set my alarm to get up before Isaac most mornings so I can have a little bit of time to read my Bible, journal, drink my coffee, sit in quiet. It is more motivating these mornings because I can sit by the tree and not even need to turn on the lights. It makes me so happy!

Hope you had a great start to your week!

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November 26, 2018


sweater: c/o shein

This weekend we got a big snow storm! We always get our tree the day after Thanksgiving (I miss posting those updates and need to do get back in the habit of it again) so all our Christmas stuff is up and this snow just made it feel even more welcoming of the Christmas season.

I always feel sad when Thanksgiving week and all our traditions that go with it are over, so I'm letting myself act like I got one more day of "holiday weekend."   Addi could be outside forever, and Isaac and his sweet little sensitive self lasts about five minutes. Thankfully she can play outside on her own this year with us watching from the windows!

I just got this sweater in the mail and I think it is my favorite one I've ever picked out from shein.  It is so soft and comfortable.  I love it on it's own or with a tee underneath it.  And feels perfect for winter!

sweater: c/o shein    jean and striped tee: old navy  
(Use code katiejvale20 for 20% off your order at shein now until January 1st!)
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November 13, 2018

Grandpa cardigan

sweater: c/o shein    jeans: american eagle   tee: old navy

We got our first snow this weekend and the kids and I were pretty excited.  I will fully welcome snow now through Christmas.  I feel like now that it's really cold out, it may as well be pretty, right? Everything looks so bare, now we just need some snow that sticks!  Freezing temperatures also mean cozy clothes, like this cardigan.  You better believe the second I got home I changed into leggings instead, which this sweater is long enough I should have just started with them in the first place. 

 (You can use code katiejvale20 for 20% off your order at Shein!) 

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November 6, 2018

Give me everything sherpa.

 sweatshirt: c/o  shein   jeans: american eagle   shoes: target

My sister and I were talking this weekend when we went shopping that we're so glad most things that are in style or trendy right now are insanely comfortable.  Which explains why I've quickly reached my limit of fuzzy sweatshirts for the year.  This white and green one is super soft and I love it. It's a tad bit short so I wish I got a large instead of a medium, but otherwise I really like it.  Plus it was only $14.  I also got this one from Old Navy and it is so soft and warm. It was a birthday present so I'm not counting it as part of my problem. ;) I'm in full support of these kind of clothes being in style forever and ever.  

(You can use code katiejvale20 for 20% off your order at Shein!) 
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October 11, 2018

Five happy things

 tee: c/o shein   jeans: american eagle   shoes: target (goodwill) 

I've had a tougher week or so.  Honestly, this season has just been kind of rough and I feel like I spend a lot of time fighting off fears and paying attention to the so many things that I am grateful for. So here are five things that are making me smile today . . . . 

1. I wanted these shoes last Fall when they were twenty some dollars at Target, but never bought them. I found them for $4 at Goodwill, brand new at then end of the season. I love them and they make me happy. 

2. I had an appointment at the foot doctor today and had to take Isaac, which is often stressful and exhausting.  He did wonderful.  Forty five minutes or so in the room and he was happy and easy the whole time.  Major victory.  

3.  One of my favorite Fall recipes are those easy pumpkin muffins, made with a cake mix, can of pumpkin and chocolate chips.  Since I'm not eating gluten right now I wanted to find a substitute and made these.  They were super good and I made them for the second time yesterday.  I have no idea if giving up these food groups is a long term thing, but it feels good to find or make alternatives to food I love.  

4. I just finished reading The Book of Essie and I loved it.  Reading has been really good for me and I am thankful I've been making that much more of a habit.  I'm also reading the book The Gifts of Imperfections.  Totally a different kind of book than the first, but really great and has given me some really good things to think about and work on. 

5.  We've had some weird weather here like often with the start of Fall.  Really hot one day, insanely raining (hence the flooding in our yard), then cooler.  I am trusting that from here on out we'll be in real Fall weather and I am very happy about it! 

This cute tee also makes me happy and is only $11.  Plus you can use code katiejvale20 for 20% your order!  I hope you have a great weekend!!

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October 8, 2018


 sweater: c/o shein    pants: target    shoes: gap factory

1. I'm pretty sure this top is supposed to be worn with the twist in front, but at the risk of wearing a crop top and showing my belly button (no thank you) I turned it around and think it is super cute this way.  Plus it's only $15.  

2. I got these shoes online from Gap Factory for $18.  I didn't realize they were velvety and probably wouldn't have bought them had I know because they feel a little too "loud" for me, but I am starting to love them.  I couldn't find them online anymore but they have a ton of really cute shoes for pretty cheap! 

3.  I just got these pants from Target (on sale for $20) and the color is my favorite.  Plus they are stretchy and so comfortable.  Bring on all the Fall clothes now!

I hope you had a great weekend! 

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September 12, 2018

Give me your healthy snack ideas!

top: c/o shein    jeans: american eagle   shoes: payless  sweater: target

In an effort to find some relief from some of my joint pain and inflammation I'm trying an anti inflammatory diet, not eating gluten, dairy and sugar.  I'm a little over one week in and it has gotten a little easier, but I sure do miss a few things.  That handful of chocolate chips or chocolate covered banana I'd eat after bedtime, or my greek yogurt and granola, or a glass of wine!  Thankfully meals haven't been too hard overall, as I had been eating pretty healthy and "clean" foods, and I've found a ton of good recipes online.  But I would love any good snacks or "treats" that you've found.  Those things are what I am struggling with the most! 

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September 11, 2018

Grandma status

 top: c/o shein    shoes: payless   jeans: american eagle 

This weekend I got to go to a Johnnyswim and Needtobreathe concert in Chicago.  A big group of friends were going and my sister and brother in law had tickets, but he couldn't go so I went in his place.  I was pretty certain that concerts weren't my thing and I was proven correct.  I should be embarrassed to admit this, but during the concert at one point I thought "I can't believe people pay a lot of money to do things like this?"  It was outside and SOOO incredibly windy and cold, super loud, tons of people and far away so I didn't get home till one.  I'm just going to go ahead and wave my grandma flag and never do that again.  Give me a concert where it's all acoustic, inside, small and I'm home by ten.  Those probably don't exist. 

Speaking of grandmas, these shoes are kind of grandpa like and I love them.  I found that for $10 at Payless and they are super comfy and I think I will be wearing them all Fall.  This sweater is super cozy and my favorite color to wear and is $18.  Minus that insane Chicago wind while sitting in high bleachers late I night, I excitedly accepted the Fall weather this weekend and am so happy about this season! 

August 21, 2018

potato sack, overalls, same thing.

 overalls: c/o  shein

I feel like I am kind of wearing a potato sack.  Linen overalls, feels like a combination of pajamas and a onesie.  But you know what?  Once you wear them, that's all you'll want to wear.  Just like jumpsuits.  Give them all.  Especially when they only cost $15 (here). 

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