Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Mother's Day Style with francesca's

What would I do without my mama? She’s a friend and trusted advisor no matter how many miles away we are from each other. It’s so fun to reach a new phase in life where she’s not just “mom.” She empowers me to take on my girl boss goals, sends me stress- releasing coloring books after tough days, and is helping me plan my DIY wedding to my future husband!  I’m so thankful to have her in my life and hope she knows how much I care and appreciate her (I know you’re reading this mom, because you’re awesome and supportive of my blog!). 

I’ve partnered with francesca’s to share a gift guide filled with my favorite picks for mom (I even have a special gift I chose just for her). I’m also sharing my spring Mother’s Day weekend style. It’s totally getting packed in my suitcase for our upcoming mother/daughter weekend getaway to San Francisco and wine tasting in Sonoma! 

 First, the quintessential little white dress paired with playful, statement-making accessories.

Little White Dress & Spring Statement Accessories from francesca's

Spring style from francescas // white dress & tassel earrings

Spring style in a little white dress & pom pom clutch

Spring style // colorful pom pom straw clutch from francesca's

Spring style in a floral dress & statement accessories

Spring statement accessories from francesca's

 What I’m Wearing: 

 Maybe it’s because I’m getting married and have engagement parties, bridal showers, and wedding festivities galore, but, I can’t get enough of little white dresses right now. It’s the perfect blank palette and offers versatility to switch things up by styling with different accessories. I’m really loving the summery vibe of these trendy tassels and pom poms accessories, but this white dress could be equally as chic with a pair of preppy pearls and Jack Rogers sandals.

 I shot these photos outside at Kyle’s family farm. I love seeing all of the flowers start to come to life. Seeing everything in full bloom is sort of like my unofficial signal to break out the twirly dresses and open toe sandals! Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th, so there’s still time to get your mama something special! I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite ideas. There’s something for every mom to love at francesca’s! It’s one of my favorite spots to find unique & affordable gifts. 

 Check out a few of my top picks to show the special ladies in your life how much you appreciate them: 

Mother's Day Gift Guide ft. unique & beautiful pieces from francesca's

 Shop the Post: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
1. Jack Rogers Metallic Whipstich Sandal - Totally timeless sandals for any age | 2. Caroline Colored Vase - This comes in a ton of gorgeous hues | 3. Capri Blue Candle - These smell amazing, I give them as gifts all the time | 4. Jeweled Stretch Bracelet - This bit of bling dresses up any outfit | 5. “Live for Today” Canvas - Gorgeous canvas wall art with a postitive sentiment | 6. Avery Floral Scarf - I chose this scarf for my accessory- loving mom, and I know she’ll adore it! | 7. Light Pink Beverage Pitcher- A pretty polka dotted pitcher for the perfect hostess | 8. Sea Salt & Sage Boheme Candle - Reminiscent of the ocean for the mom that who loves beach days | 9. Laser Cut Satchel - The sophisticated version of a carry-all in trendy laser cut and pastel | 10. Stella Teardrop Earrings - Dainty go-with-everything earrings for any occasion | 11. Citrus Floral Recipe Box - Ask mom to teach you how to cook her favorite recipes so you can pass them down to your family some day.

Moms never seem to take time for themselves. So anything that can help them feel beautiful, special, and appreciated is a perfect gift option for Mother’s Day!

Thank you mom for all that you do, and & thank you to francesca's for partnering with me on this post!

 xoxo, lauren

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow?

These days I've been doing some major "adult"-ing. Kyle and I have been making serious plans for our farmhouse renovation, wedding planning, and talking lots about life plans. I can't tell you how excited I am for a low-key but hard-working life in the country. We've been spending nearly every weekend working outside on projects at the farm.

Kyle's mom and I just hit up the local garden stores and picked up seeds for planting our wedding flowers. She is going to help me grow a few of my favorite blooms for the table arrangements at our reception- from blush zinnias to deep burgundy dahlias (check out my inspo here).

Hoping to gain a green thumb this spring? Check out my picks:

garden must haves for a green-thumb in training!

Shop the Post: How Does Your Garden Grow?

I've never been so excited to garden before! I'm so excited that I'll be able to have a hand in so many of the flowers at our wedding. I've fallen in love with the heirloom blooms of Floret Flowers & the hip gardening tools & supplies at Shop Terrain.

There's something so gratifying about being able to grow some of your own fruits & veggies or even just beautiful florals. I hope I've inherited some my nana's gardening skills!

xoxo, lauren

Monday, April 11, 2016

April Reading List

Earlier this year I decided one of the things I was saying "yes" to was reading more books. I've actually done a decent job at it. Now instead of automatically tuning into Netflix before board, I'm opting to read a book- unplugging and letting my mind rest a bit!

I thought I'd share a few of the books on rotation on my nightstand right now. I'm the worst at sticking to one book and reading it all the way through. I love hopping around to different reads, depending on the mood I'm in and what I feel like diving into that night.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: This book came highly recommended by the creative community at Rising Tide Society and so far it does not disappoint. It's an empowering read about giving into the creative process and embracing it in our everyday life.

Miracles Now by Gabby Bernstein: I've mentioned this book before, but it's a great one to refer to during stressful times. For anyone who suffers from anxiety or feels overwhelmed by stress- there are some great tactics for coping, overcoming it, and becoming a more centered person.

Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling: I love a good non-fiction read, but Mindy's book is exactly what I need when I need a good belly laugh. Her personal anecdotes are endearing and relatable.

Europe by Eyewitness Travel: Kyle & I having so much fun planning our honeymoon in Europe. One year for Christmas I got him this travel guide and bookmarked all of my favorite spots. It's so fun that now our wanderlust dreams are actually becoming a reality.

In case you're looking for any other fun reads, these are next up on my list:

What books have you been enjoying lately?

xoxo, lauren

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Ideas & Free Printable

My mama is without a doubt the best. She's always been supportive of my dreams and new adventures, and is there for me through good times and bad. Though there are  a thousand miles between us, we talk all the time and she's always there when I need her most to lend her support and advice. She has great style and a majorly enviable jewelry collection (& I think these would make a great addition)! 

This year is a big year for us because she's helping me plan my wedding! Thankfully, I got my creative genes from her and we're going to be DIY-ing and dreaming up a beautiful ceremony and reception together. 

I've teamed up with Uncommon Goods to share my favorite unique & beautiful Mother's Day gift ideas. I know my mama would surely approve of these gorgeous finds!

Unique Mother's Day picks for your favorite lady- from tea to candles to jewelry & bath products!

Mother's Day Gift Guide ft. Uncommon Goods:

1. Amethyst Geode Necklace- This boho meets modern necklace is beautiful for moms of any age. Amethyst is known as "nature's calmer" which is pretty perfect. 

2. Gratitude Journal - Practicing daily thankfulness is shown to improve overall happiness. A notebook with guided prompts makes a thoughtful gift.

3. Recycled Wine Bottle Candle-  These handmade candles are perfect for the mom who loves vino. 

4. Lily Ring Holder- A delicate, handcrafted floral piece to store her favorite jewels.

5. Box of Flowers Soaps- Gorgeous bath products made with natural floral fragrances and ingredients you can actually pronounce (double yay)!

6. I Am Rooted Framed Art- I just love the colors in this beautiful art print.

7. Tea from Around the World Set- No passport necessary to brew these loose leaf tea blends from around the globe.

8. Spa in a Bag- Help mom relax with these honey-infused bath products like body butter and sea salt scrub.

9. Mom's Little Vase - A handmade bud vase that displays one single, statement-making bloom.

10. Nesting Stoneware Mixing Bowls- Rustic, stoneware clay mixing bowls are perfect for the mom who loves to cook and loves beautiful pieces for her kitchen.

11. Gold Branch Family Necklace- Customize this gold necklace with birthstones to represent your family tree. They have a ton more unique jewelry pieces here.

Need a card for your favorite lady? Download my free printable floral print Mother's Day card here.

Printable Mother's Day Card for your favorite lady!

I've definitely inherited a lot of traits from my mom,  but of all of them, I'm thankful that she's taught me kindness above all else and the ability to care endlessly! I think for me, sometimes it manifests itself as worry about friends and family- but it's all out of love! Thank you mom for making me who I am today!

What traits are you thankful for getting from your mom?

xoxo, lauren

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

April Inspiration Board

If you've noticed I've been blogging less, I promise I'm not going anywhere! There's been lots of excitement around here lately. I'm spending a lot of time planning for the future (a sneak peek at what's next for me here)- wedding, house, business.. the whole shenanigans!

I've been feeling more inspired than ever thanks to some serious goal setting with my PowerSheets (see what I'm saying  "yes" to this Spring here). I've also tried to be really intentional with the way I spend my time. So even during the most exhausting weeks I've been making time for skype dates with my girls, a mid-week trip to the book store with my guy, and weekends without a cellphone attached to my hands.

I thought I'd share a peek at what's inspiring me most this month!

 April Inspiration Board: pastel houses in San Fran, preppy pink dresses, colorful rugs, grapefruit & edamame salad and more!

April Inspiration Board (L-R):

1. San Fran: Headed there for a girl's trip with my mama to visit my sister next month. SO excited! 

2. Be Kind: This is kind of my life long mantra. As my gramma always told me, "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar".

3. Lace-Up Heels: I can't think of a prettier pairing with all of spring's lacy pastel hued dresses.

4. Preppy Pink Shirtdress: So in love with this bubble gum pink frock- it has a vintage feel, right out of the 1950's.

5. Colorful Rugs: We're planning on a pretty neutral rustic d├ęcor for our fixer upper, so I love the idea of a pop of color with a bright rug.

6. Avocado, Edamame & Grapefruit Salad: This combo sounds so fresh & springy. Totally going to make it for lunch this week!

7. Neutral Lips:  For spring & summer I'm digging these neutral lips with peachy bronze cheeks & a dab of mascara.

8. ALL THE FLOWERS: Am I the only one who can't help but pick up a bouquet every time I wander into Trader Joes? This time of year just makes me want to fill every room with a vase of fresh florals.

9. St. Germain & Grapefruit Mimosas: Seriously all of my favorite ingredients rolled into one and those lavender sprigs? SO cute. Hello weekend brunch!

Here are a few of my April favorites:

So, what's inspiring you this month? Are you feeling the April blues or fired up for a new season?

xoxo, lauren

Monday, April 4, 2016

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

One of my favorite spring traditions in the Midwest is the start of baseball season! Catching a Milwaukee Brewers at beautiful Miller Stadium is a not-to-be-missed activity on your next visit. For me the tailgating, sausage races (it's a Wisconsin thing guys!), and choosing a comfy but chic game day outfit are just as much fun as the actual baseball game. Growing up all of my guy friends played baseball so I have SO many fond memories of sitting in the stands on summer evenings.

Today is opening day for my home team and though I'm not there in person- I'll be wearing my Brewers gear in celebration and planning my next baseball road trip with friends. I've teamed up with Gordmans to share how I dress in style while cheering on my favorite Major League Baseball team!

Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Fashion 

Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Fashion 

Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Fashion 

Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Fashion 

Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Fashion 

 Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Fashion 

Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Fashion

What I'm Wearing: Brewers Baseball Game Style
Brewers MLB Baseball 3/4 Length Tee: Gordmans  | Chambray Shirt: Kohl's
Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Cap: Gordmans | Bucket Bag: MyHabit (similar)| Monogram Necklace: Similar | Wedge Sandals: MyHabit (similar) | White Aviator Sunglasses: Tory Burch 

This 3/4 length baseball tee is lightweight but perfect for the still-chilly spring weather we've been experiencing. I've layered it with a chambray shirt for extra warmth. A cute team baseball cap (this was one was on sale for $11 at Gordmans!) keeps sun out of your eyes so you won't miss a single play on the field. The wedges are super comfortable for a long afternoon of tailgating but help make the look equal parts sporty and chic.

Whenever I'm headed to a sporting event I like to balance my athletic wear with stylish accessories in team colors. For the Brewers game style I've opted to a blue chain bracelet & white bucket bag (perfect for storing lip gloss for a 3rd inning touch-up or a sweater for the evening). Be sure to check out your local Gordman's for great deals on stylish clothes for your favorite baseball team!

Be sure to check out these blogger babes' baseball style!
Sabby Style
Charmingly Styled
Economy of Style
The Adored Life
Treble in the Kitchen
Stylin In St Louis

What's your favorite baseball season tradition?

xoxo, lauren

Disclosure: Thank you to Gordmans for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Packing List for a Weekend Getaway

Ever since Kyle and I set a date for our wedding it feels like time is moving by at lightning speed.We're trying to take advantage of every weekend, make time for dates nights and slow down and enjoy each other's company. Traveling and exploring new places is one of the things we both love most. There's nothing more fun for either of us than a spontaneous weekend road trip.

I'm partnering with Dove to share how I'm incorporating their new Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant into my weekend getaway packing list. This new product from Dove is a huge up & coming beauty trend, and it makes the perfect travel companion. It's perfect for the girls like me who always seem to be on the go!

 Be sure to pin & save my weekend getaway checklist to make sure you don't forget any of the must-haves on your summer adventures!

My Weekend Getaway Packing List:

 photo packing for the weekend dove dry spray_zpsqxtman6e.jpg

I have a perfectly roomy tote that I love using for weekend trips.  It helps me practice some constraint, because let's be real.. do I  really need 4 pairs of shoes for a weekend trip? The key to packing light is choosing pieces that are super-versatile. For example, a dress that can be great as a cover-up during the day and dressed up with a statement necklace for evening. It also helps to do a quick survey of the weather report before you leave. Anticipating rain and chilly temps? Skip the sandals and use the space for a rain jacket instead.

Want to make sure you don't forget anything? Check out my getaway packing list below. I'm also sharing tips for getting the most versatility out of your pieces.

Here's a few of the highlights of my essentials for a weekend getaway:

Choose a dress that can work for day or night and jeans and a chic top as the base of your weekend wardrobe. A denim jacket is perfect for layering over a dress on chilly evenings. A pair of flats and wedge sandals should be a great balance of comfort and style. Leggings and a slouchy top can work for pajamas or be worn for a hike or exercising depending on your itinerary. Don't forget the bathing suit! Even if you're not headed to the beach you don't want to miss out on the hotel's hot tub.

Choose accessories that coordinate with the clothing you're bringing and fit the vibe of your vacation destination. I'm a big fan of statement earrings and dainty necklaces that look cute with a bikini or sundress. You may also want to bring sunglasses or a hat if you plan on spending your weekend out in the hot sun!

When it comes to toiletries, without fail, I somehow always seem to forget an antiperspirant.  I'm excited to have found a product I won't travel without now. Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant goes on instantly dry, gives you 48-hours of odor and wetness protection and no visible residue. It even has moisturizers to help give you softer, smoother underarms.. score! You'll definitely want to try this one out for yourself guys- check out more info at Dove.com/TryDry.

As for packing my cosmetics bag for a weekend trip, I tend to go with a low-maintenance version of my normal routine. For example, using a BB cream instead of foundation that packs in some SPF protection and skipping the eyeliner in favor of a lash-lengthening mascara! Dry shampoo is a perfect solution for giving your 'do some life during action-packed days.

ETC. Essentials:
I hate driving, so typically when Kyle and I are roadtripping he's in the captain's seat and I'm the comfort officer. So, I'm responsible for the can't-stop-singing-along 90's jam playlists, podcasts that make the hours on the road fly, and the oh-so-crucial navigation. Don't forget a phone charger to keep said navigation fully charged, a camera to document your short but sweet weekend moments, and car snacks (my go to: licorice, Kyle's: sour anything).

We've already been planning a couple of weekend trips to Milwaukee and my family's cabin in the Northwoods.. but I'd be perfectly happy if we just made spontaneous plans on a Friday afternoon to get  in the car and drive (are you reading this Kyle?). Now, I've got the packing list for whatever summer adventures come my way!

Thank you to Dove for sponsoring this post and allowing me to dish on this new beauty trend.

What weekend getaways are you planning for this summer?

xoxo, lauren

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Girl Boss Guide to Instagram Changes

Last week Instagram made an announcement that they would be making a change to break away from the chronological feed to begin to show you the moments they believe you "care about most". Cue the collective girl boss freak out. It's what a lot of people are calling the Facebook effect. Social media platforms are constantly changing and evolving. Right when you think you've got it all figured out, they like to switch things up!

While the unknown can be totally terrifying, you can in fact utilize Instagram's changes to your advantage. What does this all mean?  Every person who follows you won't be seeing every post in their feed. Engagement is going to matter more than ever! Instagram will be rolling out this update in the coming months, but I wanted to share a few ways to maximize your reach and prepare for the updates as a personal brand or business owner.


Tips for Embracing the Instagram Change:

1. Choose Quality over Quantity (or both): While it's tempting to push out content frequently- strive to make sure that you're putting your best content out. Take a look at what posts have been receiving the most engagement. See if there are any common threads between them. Maybe your audience is loving the behind the scenes personal posts mixed in with business posts? Maybe they respond to bright colors and light backgrounds?

2. Create a Consistent Look & Feel: Taking a consistent branding approach to your Instagram is so important. Color and mood can be an important tool. Try to choose a few key brand colors and incorporate one of them into every post. I love the new app A Color Story, and you can even save editing steps for a consistent look every time you edit the photo.

If you're in Madison and want to learn even more about branding be sure to check out my hands-on branding board workshop on 4/12 at Dream Bank (it's free)!

3. Engage With Your Audience: I think what people often forget is that social media is a 2 way conversation. If engagement will begin to rule the feed than be sure that you're responding to comments on your posts and doing more than just pushing your content out into the platform. Taking the extra step to leave comments instead of just a "like" is worth your time!

I also recommend finding and supporting your business peers! Joining a group like Rising Tide Society is a great way to get & give support to other small business owners.

4. Create an Instagram Ad: Did you know that Instagram now lets you create ads through the Facebook Power Editor ad platform tool? You can set whatever targeting and budget you prefer and use it as a tool to help your ideal audience find and follow you on the platform.

5. Use High Quality Hashtags: I find that using hashtags that are slightly more specific work way more than general tags - for example instead of #travel use #travelcolorfully or #travel(cityname). A few of the hashtags I like using best have bigger accounts that share their favorite photos from the feed. My favorites are #abmlifeiscolorful (for color photos), #darlingweekend (for lifestyle images), #communityovercompetitition (for business photos) & #wandeleurspark (for lifestyle images).

Proof that hashtags work? One of my posts was picked up my the A Beautiful Mess account- which they discovered thanks to my use of their hashtag!

6. Ask Your Followers to Turn on Post Notifications for You: One way to ensure that your audience sees all of your content is to ask them (nicely!) to turn on post notifications for your account. That way, they'll get a heads up every time you post. This article explains how to utilize this feature- but I've seen some bloggers do a fun how-to and explaining the changes that are coming.

I hope these Instagram tips are helpful! I promise this won't be the last time that social media decides to change things up! If you have any other questions tweet me or if you'd like to dive even deeper into social media, set up a Social Media Strategy session with me!

We can do this y'all! :)

xoxo, lauren

Monday, March 21, 2016

Brunch Mimosas 3 Ways

With the dawn of Spring comes the start of mimosa season. Bring on the brunches, bridal showers, and just-because weekend celebrations. I fully support finding the little things to celebrate. From March Madness bracket wins to hitting the t-minus 7 months till the wedding mark. Mimosa bars are a staple for morning & afternoon entertaining. I mean, I love who doesn't love a little  juice with their champagne.

I've created 3 different combinations - each equally as delicious. Next time you're hosing brunch set up a DIY mimosa bar- filled with different juices, frozen berries to keep the libations chilled and freshly cut florals. Cheers!

 photo diy spring mimosas_zps5slhrjir.jpg

 photo diy spring mimosas_zps5slhrjir.jpg

 photo spring mimosas 3 ways_zps7jksvtki.jpg

 photo mimosa spring brunch - 3 ways_zps1fqjvgjb.jpg

Brunch Mimosas 3 Ways:

Tropical Mimosas-
Mango, Guava & Passion Fruit Juice (Naked Juice has a great version of this)
Sparkling Wine
Garnish with frozen pineapple

Florida Sunrise Mimosas-
Grapefruit Juice
Sparkling Wine
Dash of Grenadine at the bottom to balance out the tartness

Sweet Strawberry Orange Mimosas
Strawberry Orange Juice
Sparkling Wine
Garnish with frozen strawberry

Side note: I love a drier Brut champagne to balance out the sweetness of the juice, but if you want something more decadent go for the Supmante!

Why don't you gather your favorite ladies together for a DIY mimosa bar - have everyone bring a dish to share (bagels, pastries, bacon.. are you hungry yet?!).

xoxo, lauren

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring Dresses for Every Occasion

You guys, I can't wait until there are leaves on the trees again, grass growing, and flowers blooming. My neighborhood is the most depressing place to take spring outfit photos right now! In the meantime, you can find me making my spring dress wish list.

There are so many occasions for pretty party dresses this year- we already have 3 weddings happening over the next few months. My mama, sister, and I just booked a girls trip to San Fran and Napa Valley- andddd my very own bridal shower is right around the corner. 

I'm sharing a few of my favorite looks & the shoes, accessories and lip colors to add the perfect finishing touch to the looks. I'm obsessed with a few of these new silhouettes for the season.

Spring Dresses for Every Occasion

Spring Dresses for Every Occasion:

Weekend Brunch:
This floral maxi brings a bit of sass to a sophisticated silhouette with a cutout.

Wedding Guest:
The drop waist dress is classy, cute, and comes in the prettiest peach colorway. Dainty ankle strap heels are trending in a big way this season.

Spring Break:
This boho embroidered maxi dress is perfect for the beach. Wear it as a cover-up during the day and take your look to night with a pink pouty lip color.

Easter Sunday:
This colorful Lilly Pulitzer shift dress pairs a preppy pattern with Palm Beach inspired tassel hoop earrings and chic flats.

I had to share this one of my friend Jaclyn and I at a summer barn wedding last year! I adored her teal crochet dress. I'm wearing a hot pink silk Yumi Kim dress. They have the most gorgeous fit & flare dresses- I want to invest in a bunch for date nights & special occasions!

What special occasions do you have coming up this spring?

xoxo, lauren
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