Thursday, August 27, 2015

Levi's Love {& a Giveaway!}

I'm sure many of you can relate. You work hard, come home, work out (if you're lucky!), make dinner, watch Netflix & go on Pinterest, repeat. Even if you're next to your significant other, sometimes you're not truly spending much quality time together. It's so easy to get sucked into that routine and trust me- we do it all the time. In the words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Thankfully, Kyle & I have started to realize the importance of making time for unscheduled fun and like to break up the week with mid-week dates. Whether it's a scrabble game (we're huge nerds), a walk around the block at night (pointing out our favorite houses in the neighborhood), or trying out a new grilled pizza topping combo & red wine.

One thing I love about Kyle is his great personal style. Believe it or not we even like going shopping together for fun. He loves having a live-in personal stylist & I love getting his opinion. For this fun collaboration with Levi's we made a mid-week trip to Kohl's to buy new jeans together & choose an outfit for each other. He even let me talk him into this slim fit, dark denim pair. He picked out this light wash pair & Lauren Conrad for Kohl's top for me.

When life gets busy, there's nothing more comforting & familiar than putting on a pair of perfectly worn in Levi's blue jeans. When our active life feels like it's in fast forward, we love taking time out to enjoy each other's company and relax. Check it out because, there's a $100 Kohl's gift card up for grabs too!

Levi's Love: His + Her's Denim Style
What We're Wearing:
Kyle:  Olive Green Henley- Levi's | Straight Slim Dark Wash Denim: Levi's
Lauren: Super Skinny Jean Leggings:  Levi's | Floral Babydoll Top: LC Lauren Conrad
Gold Bracelet: LC Lauren Conrad | Felt Floppy Hat: Mudd (similar)
Levi's Love: Floppy Fall Hat + Floral Top

Levi's Love: His + Her's Denim Style

Levi's Love: Boyfriend Style

Levi's Love: His + Her's Denim Style

Levi's Love:Floppy Fall Hat + Floral Top
 
Levi's Love: His + Her's Denim Style

Enter my giveaway to win a $100 gift card to Kohl's!
It's pretty unbelievable how few pictures we have together in our 4 years of dating. I feel like these pictures capture who we are as a couple so well- loving & always a bit goofy!
 
Thank you to Levi's & Kohl's for sponsoring this post & for making jeans that can keep up with our crazy schedules and chaotic lifestyle.
xoxo, lauren

Back to School Survival Kit Giveaway

Despite the fact that I no longer actually have to go to classes, I still take a similar approach to back to school as an adult. It's time to re-evaluate myself, my goals, and even my wardrobe! Also, it's the best time of year to score cute office supplies. It's the time of year I like to break out the inspirational books & take time to learn.

Another one of my goals is to drink more water. Bobble has made this so much easier with their line of colorful water bottles - with built in carbon filters! I'm not sure why, but I always find myself drinking way more H20 when I have a cute water bottle in tow.

I've teamed up with Bobble to bring you an AMAZING back to school survival kit giveaway. I've curated a collection of my must-haves: chic office supplies, sweet snacks, products for pampering & relaxation, and of course a lavender Bobble of your own! It's super easy to enter, don't miss out on all of these awesome goodies (valued at $150)!



Back to School Survival Kit

Back to School Survival Kit Giveaway Contents (sponsored by Bobble):

(I've linked to similar items in case you're on the hunt for back to school items)!

Back to School Survival Kit

Back to School Survival Kit

Back to School Survival Kit

Enter our awesome giveaway below:
Whether you're going back to school, or just living vicariously through the excitement of those who are- these pieces are fun must-haves! I think a successful back to school season is all about daily inspiration, keeping your balance, and treating yourself! Check out Bobble's line of colorful water bottles with built in filters, especially if you're trying to drink more water like I am!

What are your essentials for back to school (or what would you have recommended to your past self)?

xoxo, lauren
Disclosure: Thank you to Seventh Generation Ventures for sponsoring this post & awesome giveaway for Back to School!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Books That Inspire + Uplift

 I love getting lost in a good fiction book, but lately I've been turning to more inspirational reads. I've been reading everything from tips for a more organized home to living simply to embracing your creative side. I swear my Amazon wishlist is getting a little ridiculous- though I don't think I'd have it any other way!

 I thought I'd share a few books on my reading list that are reads to inspire and uplift. It's always helpful when a great book can help you refocus, find your passions or live a more purposeful life.

Books that inspire, uplift & help you live a more purposeful life!

Books That Inspire + Uplift:

1. Rising Strong- Brene Brown: Stories of a wide range of people &their stories of being brave & getting back up when they've fallen. It's a process that teaches us about who we are!

2. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up- Marie Kondo: A step-by-step guide to de-cluttering, simpifying, and organizing your home from a Japanese cleaning consultant.

3. Simply Tuesday- Emily P. Freeman: A book about finding happiness in small moments and taking the time to enjoy them. It's about replacing competition with compassion and finding contentment in the now.

4. Big Magic- Elizabeth Gilbert: The author of "Eat, Pray, Love" encourages us to find our unique strengths and offers unique perspective about creativity & conquering our fears.

5. The Nesting Place- Myquillyn Smith: This is not your average interior design book. It's about decorating for "real people"- which means embracing the natural chaos & imperfection of daily living.

6. Body Book - Cameron Diaz: The body book is a holistic, long term approach to making consistent choices and working towards the goal of a long, happy & healthy life. It offers education on nutrition and the body- it's not a "lose weight quick" routine.

7. The Desire Map - Danielle LaPorte: Goals are more about the feeling you hope achieving that goal will give you. Danielle helps you identify your "core desired feelings" & a liberating "goals with soul" approach for business and life.

8. Brave Enough - Cheryl Strayed: From the author of "Wild," is a book of her notable quotes capturing wisdom, courage, humor and inspiration. She calls it a mini-instruction manual for the soul!
I recently had participants in my #SocialMediaWithStyle Instagram challenge share their favorite inspiring reads. "Thrive" by Arianna Huffington is another one of mine. It emphasizes the importance of work/life balance, getting enough sleep, and identifying what's most important to you in life!
Have you read any books that have had a positive impact on your life? Be sure to share, I'm always looking for new reads to add to my wish list!

xoxo, lauren

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Heart & Hustle [Free Phone Wallpaper!]

Heart & Hustle... when it comes to chasing your dreams you can't have one without the other! For so long I just thought about & talked about my ambitions to make it on my own. As I quickly realized that you have to take matters into your own hands and add in the hard work to make it happen. The same goes for the hustle- if your heart isn't in it, even finding success won't make you happy!
 
This has been one of my favorite mantras and words to live by. When work gets crazy you can always come back to these two things to put things back into perspective!
 
I'm sharing a free "heart & hustle" wallpaper for you if you want to keep it top of mind too!
Heart & Hustle: Free inspiring phone wallpaper freebie!
 
As a happy side note, thank you so much to everyone who participated in this week's #SocialMediaWithStyle Instagram challenge. I've SO enjoyed getting to know you all a bit better and am so inspired by everything you're working on. Be sure to check out the #SocialMediaWithStyle hashtag to see what everyone's been posting!
 
xoxo, lauren

Friday, August 21, 2015

Back to School Must-Haves

The biggest thing I miss about going back to school? The shopping. I still use it as an excuse to take advantage of the awesome sales & cute new fall pieces. For any of my college gal readers, I've rounded up my top picks for back to school. Mix & match these pieces and pile on the layers as the weather starts to cool off!
 
Look for neutral pieces, subtle patterns, load of texture and denim in every silhouette. Don't forget putting the finishing touch on your look with accessories.
 
Back to School Must Haves! We're loving tons of texture, neutrals, lace, denim, monograms & ankle boots!
 
Back to School Must Haves:
1. Leather Bucket Bag: This 90's silhouette is back and it's the perfect size for storing the essentials & matches with everything! 
 2. Cuffed Boyfriend Jeans: Choose a pair with a slightly tapered silhouette to keep them from looking sloppy.
3. Fringe Scarf: This subtle pattern complements any color palette!
4. Green Lace Shirtdress: This hunter green hue can get layered up with tights & boots or a chic cardigan when temperatures dip.
5.  Tan Ankle Boots: This neutral colored boot goes with absolutely everything. It looks cute with skinny jeans or a fall floral skirt.
6. Oversized Sweater: This oatmeal knit sweater is oversized, but not sloppy. Pair them with tight jeans or ponte leggings & boots for a super cozy chic look.
7. Monogram Necklace: Monograms are one of my favorite classic jewelry pieces & I love this preppy, tortoiseshell style.
8. Bourbon and Boweties Bangles: These chic stone bangles are perfect for stacking- the more the better!
9. Lace Tee: I can't stop wearing this pale pink hue. This lace top dresses up a pair of jeans but is perfect for a night out with a faux leather skirt.
A few of the trends I'm loving for fall include tons of texture like cabled sweaters and pebbled leather,  special details like tassels, fringe & gemstones and a muted earth tone color palette.

Are you headed back to school this year (or do you just wish you were for an excuse to buy new clothes)?
 
xoxo, lauren

Monday, August 17, 2015

DIY Lavender Sugar Scrub

I can never visit Kyle's parents house without stealing a sprig of lavender from his mom's garden. I love the smell of lavender. It's known for it's soothing and relaxing qualities which is always something I can use little bit more of in my life. Typically I'll just let it dry out & add it to a floral bouquet, but then it dawned on me that it would be so perfect for a natural sugar scrub.
 
 It doesn't get any better than a straight-from-the-garden sugar scrub. Some day when I live out in the country, I plan on making as much as I can utilizing the resources around me. For now,  I'll just break out this sugar scrub whenever I want to channel my inner country girl. This DIY is so simple & works so well too.
 
DIY Lavender Sugar Scrub
 
Lavender Sugar Scrub:
(Fills 8 oz Mason Jar)
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 c. (melted) coconut oil
1 tbsp. dried lavender
 
If  you're using fresh lavender, just remove it from the stems. Mix well in a small, airtight container. Use within 4 weeks for optimum freshness!
 

A sugar scrub made with lavender from the garden!
 
I like the subtle lavender scent that the natural lavender gives off, but if you want to give it a little extra oomph you can add a lavender essential oil to the mix too!
 
This is such a simple DIY. I made sugar scrubs last year as stocking stuffers for the ladies in my life and it was so fun. Since then I've been loving experimenting with different mix-ins. I think I'll try a coffee scrub next.
 
xoxo, lauren

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Purple Floral Dress: Wedding Guest Style

This summer has been so crazy busy that I'm lucky if I make it out of comfy jeans let alone get all dressed up! Thankfully, it's also wedding season which makes for the perfect opportunity to slip on a cute dress and statement earrings. Who doesn't adore a celebration of love & a reason to get all dressed up?

When I'm going to a summer wedding I like to choose a breezy sundress that I can easily layer on a jacket with. I typically opt for a small clutch or crossbody bag - so much easier to carry around and it doesn't get in the way on the dance floor! I love my Mini Mac bag and wear it constantly. The statement earrings have to be my favorite part of the look- this colorful pair from Gemma Jewels allows me to keep my hair & make-up simple!

Casual Summer Wedding Style

What I'm Wearing: Summer Wedding Style
Floral Dress: Kohl's (similar) | Black Crossbody Bag: Rebecca Minkoff
Tan Wedges: Adrienne Vittadini | Bracelet: Rocksbox 
Earrings: Gemma Jewels

Casual Summer Wedding Style

Casual Summer Wedding Style
 Casual Summer Wedding Style

For another wedding I have coming up I'm going to try out Rent the Runway (they're offering a special for $25 off your first dress rental). When it comes to special events I never like to wear the same thing twice. So it's definitely makes sense to rent a piece. I can be a tricky fit so that's my only concern. I'll definitely let you know how it goes!

xoxo, lauren

Friday, August 14, 2015

August Inspiration Board: Savoring Summer

If there's one feeling I'm channeling for this month's inspiration board it's "savoring summer". I can hardly believe it's mid- August already. Thankfully, the weather is still warm and balmy and the weekends are filled with cooking, creating & catching up on life. I've been trying desperately to slow down and enjoy things. To say it's been easy would be a bold faced lie- but I'm doing the best I can to put emails on hold and live in the moment.
 
This is my inspiration board for August (but really.. more like a visual summer bucket list):
 
August Inspiration Board: Savoring Summer
 
August Inspiration Board 
 
We've been spending every weekend out at Kyle's parents family farm getting their barn ready for his brother's wedding- no small feat! So for me that means less Netflix and more fresh air and relaxation. No complaints here. Even if I'm still working out there I still feel so much more relaxed.
 
How are you planning on savoring summer?
 
xoxo, lauren

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Instagram Challenge for Creative Entrepreneurs + Bloggers

If you haven't heard of the Rising Tide Society yet, you must check it out! It's an organization with meet-ups around the country that bring creative together to learn, network & promote community over competition. It's a mission I wholly believe in. Over the past 8 years of blogging, I've seen people collaborate and lift each other up & on the flip side I've witnessed jealousy and bitterness. I promise you if you care enough about your blog or business, there is room for everyone to learn, grow and find their niche! 
 
 Last night, I had the opportunity to speak at our local Madison meeting about Instagram! With a room of 20-or-so entrepreneurs we had open conversations & I shared my most valulable learnings about the platform. I shared a few tips that have taken me a couple of years of testing & analyzing the platform to figure out. Imagine how much better bloggers & business owners we can be if we work together to empower each other rather than view each other as competition!
 
 
In the spirit of helping each other reach new heights and opportunities to get creative on social media I'm launching a fun little Instagram challenge for next week!
 
 
You can participate as much as you'd like in the "challenge", just use hashtag #SocialMediaWithStyle on your image! Take the opportunity to connect with fellow go-getters & entrepreneurs and have fun! I'll even be granting one person (at random) who participates a free 30 min social media strategy chat with me!
 
  On a final note, in my talk I spoke about the importance of finding "your people". La Petite Fashionista readers (new & old!), I just want to thank you for being my people. Thank you for sticking with me as this blog went through the evolution of a high schooler with big dreams to college fashion student to a #girlboss trying to learn the ways of adulthood! 
 
Cheers to big dreams & getting there together!
 
xoxo, lauren


P.S. Looking for Instagram tips? Check out a few of my biggest takeaways here.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Blue Jeans Weekend

Some of my favorite summer weekends are spent outdoors. This weekend I helped Kyle's mom in her garden, picked berries & made hand-crafted cocktails with them, had a late-night bonfire and took rides around the countryside in the four-wheeler. Sometimes when life gets overwhelming & crazy- nothing has a more calming effect than being out in the country. It's definitely one of my happy places! How could you feel stressed surrounded by wildflowers, hummingbirds & baby fawns.
 
When I'm out here I always choose comfort over everything. Madewell just opened in Madison and I finallyyyy got to try on a pair of their famous jeans. They are SO comfortable & perfectly fitting that I can't imagine ever not having them in my closet. I have a feeling they'll become my most-loved, well-worn pair. Side note, these pineapple & colored gemstone bangles from La Joli Bijou are my new fav #armparty!
 
A kimono & blue jeans for a casual weekend outdoors!
 
What I'm Wearing: Kimono + Jeans
Kimono: Target (similar) | Skinny Jeans: Madewell | Bangles: La Joli Bijou
Coral Tank: LOFT | Wedges: Adrienne Vittadini va MyHabit

A kimono & blue jeans for a casual weekend outdoors!
 
A kimono & blue jeans for a casual weekend outdoors!


A kimono & blue jeans for a casual weekend outdoors!
 
 A kimono & blue jeans for a casual weekend outdoors!
 
A kimono & blue jeans for a casual weekend outdoors!
 
 
Sometimes a weekend in the country is just what the doctor ordered. I feel so blessed to have this special place to come out to & am looking forward to adventures out here for years to come.
 
Where is your "happy place"?
 
xoxo, lauren
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